Vietnam has experienced contrasts, confl icts, foreign occupation, and disunity for millennia, perhaps because of its geographic position as a crossroads between North and South Asia, East and West Asia, and Asia and Oceania. The crossroads metaphor implies a brief meeting place of disparate factions coming from many directions, and decision-making about what direction to take. The crossroads metaphor also refers to factors that led to the Vietnam War, because the United States feared that if Vietnam went communist, so would the rest of Southeast Asia and beyond. Thus, the crossroads had to be turned into a dead end, according to Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and their chiefs of staff. The political crossroads turned into a dead end for the United States with the loss of the Vietnam War and the deaths of thousands of American soldiers (and the deaths of more than a million Vietnamese). But a musical crossroads developed and it led to an Americanization of Vietnam’s popular music culture for several decades.