September 06, 1999 12:00 PM

PBS (Tues., Sept. 7, 10 p.m. ET)

If former Rep. Douglas “Pete” Peterson gets a yen to run for office again after completing his tenure as America’s first postwar ambassador to Vietnam, he may want to consider using this one-hour documentary as a campaign infomercial. The program gets a bit puffy as it recounts Peterson’s career in the military (Air Force bomber pilot, POW in Vietnam for 6½ years), on Capitol Hill (three-term Democrat from Florida) and at our Hanoi embassy (working tirelessly to promote trade and reconciliation). But there’s no denying the emotional pull of Peterson’s personal story, including his 1998 marriage to a Vietnamese-born Australian diplomat. And the documentary performs a valuable function by prodding Americans to think of Vietnam in terms of the promising future, not just the bitter past. Speaking from experience, Peterson says, let’s move on

Bottom Line: Fruitful diplomacy

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