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Posts Tagged ‘Vietnam’

The Failure of the Nation-State

November 6, 2009 Leave a comment
Divide et impera (Cartoonist - Paresh).

Divide et impera (Cartoonist - Paresh).

Divide et impera

Vietnam suffered from a prolonged war (1956-1976) – and finally peace had a chance after 20 years of war. Korea remains divided. The Cyprus problem between Turkey, Greece and the Cypriots has been simmering for nearly 100 years.

The role of the Anglo Saxon Bloc, in Indonesia, the overthrow of Sukarno, installation of Suharto and finally the secession of East Timor is another excellent example. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict (1935 onwards) will soon enter its 75th year. The entire Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a creation of the Anglo-French-American axis. The many other issues in the West Asia and Africa are living testimony of the Western gift to the modern world.

The track record

Closer home is the Kashmir problem. After 60 years of negotiations, India-Pakistan relations have remained hostage to the Kashmir issue. Similarly, between China and India, the border issues remain 60 years after the eviction of Britain from India.

The Anglo-Saxon habit of partitioning countries is a disaster!

  1. Cyprus between Greece and Turkey
  2. Israel between Palestine, Jordan and Syria
  3. Chinese Singapore in Malaysia
  4. Northern Ireland out of Ireland
  5. Two Koreas
  6. Taiwan and China

and of course a Pakistan out of India.

With a benign, ‘democratic’ dictator like Lee Kuan Yew, in the frame, the Singapore out of Malaysia is too small and too short-term a success to make any impact. The other thing is the Western ‘nation’ model has been a huge failure. How many countries have been successful in this quest for ‘nationhood’?

Robert McNamara and the Ghosts of Vietnam

February 8, 2009 Leave a comment
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread - McNamara and LBJ

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread - LBJ and McNamara

he was so impressed by the logic of statistics that he tried to calculate how many deaths it would take to bring North Vietnam to the bargaining table … (later) he wanted to know why his reckoning had been wrong, why the huge casualties that he had helped inflict had failed to break the will of the men in Hanoi …

His ruminations about this began at the Americans’ April meeting in Washington, where he, Cooper and General Vesser agreed that casualties did not seem to weigh heavily with North Vietnam …. “Was there any consideration of the human cost in Hanoi as they made these decisions?” McNamara asked. “Is the loss of life ever a factor?” He noted that while 58,000 Americans had been killed, the most authoritative estimate — in a September 1995 article by General Uoc — put the number of Vietnamese deaths at 3.6 million. “It’s equivalent to 27 million Americans!” McNamara exclaimed.

To explain this to himself, he remembered … There were some people to whom life was not the same as to us, he reasoned as he stood one evening in the hotel lobby. (via Robert McNamara and the Ghosts of Vietnam; ellipsis and brackets mine).

McNamara’s unique contribution to the Vietnam War was ‘body count’.

He was right. Only he could have killed an equivalent of 27 million Americans – for American neo-colonial objectives.

And still talk about the value of human life. With a straight face.

The Free Press?!

The Free Press?!

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