Col. Sanders Invades Hanoi

Things have come a long way in Vietnam since the war.

Sure, the country is still communist, but the recent arrival of Col. Sanders has many people wondering which direction Vietnam is heading.

The presence of Kentucky Fried Chicken’s creater–a man who fashioned himself as a plantation owner from the South–is certainly ironic for a country which prides itself as anti-capitalist and anti-worker exploitation.

And yet, there he is.

The colonel made his Vietnam appearance in 1998 with the first of what would eventually be 20 Kentucky Fried Chickens in Ho Chi Minh City. The big news today, however, is the opening of the first KFC in Hanoi–the current capital of Vietnam as well as the former seat of the North Vietnamese communist government during the war.

I wonder how many POWs being tortured in the Hanoi Hilton ever thought they could look across the street one day and spot the colonel’s smiling mug beaming down at them. Sure, it’s a small victory for American capitalism, but a potentially horrific loss for the Vietnamese who will quickly learn about the slippery slope of fast food chains. One day you’re eating pho and the next you’ve said yes to too many supersize meals and you’re suddenly overweight with Type 2 Diabetes.