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You thought the Holocaust was sickening? Read about the Nanjing Massacre.
January 29, 2001 5:44 PM   Subscribe

You thought the Holocaust was sickening? Read about the Nanjing Massacre. A very graphic account of the massacre of Chinese citizens by Japanese soldiers in World War 2. I found this tale to be far more sickening than that of the Holocaust.

Don't read it if you don't wish to read and see accounts of how Japanese soldiers sliced up pregnant women and beheaded children in the streets. It is truly awful.
posted by wackybrit (47 comments total)

 
I think the thing which disturbs me most about the "Rape of Nanking" (the traditional name for this atrocity) is that the Japanese nation is still in denial about it.

Actually, the entire history of the Japanese occupation of China is one long atrocity. For more than ten years China bled. I am fascinated with Japan and also with the Pacific theatre during WWII and I've studied both extensively. I think that Japan has much to be proud of. But I wish that they could come to understand what they did in China and Manchuria and Korea.

Perhaps there's hope. But maybe not. A couple of years ago, the Japanese PM apologized to the Koreans for some, but not all, of the atrocities there. In particular, the issue was that the Japanese took Korean women by force and used them as prostitutes in brothels set up to satisfy the soldiers.

But Korea is an economic trading partner of Japan. It's possible that it was more utilitarian than heart-felt. There has been no equivalent apology to Chna, and the Japanese still haven't acknowledged most of the horrors they inflicted on Korea.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 7:03 PM on January 29, 2001


This is a truly heartbreaking and horrifying story. It is difficult to read and the atrocities are beyond comprehension.

What I did find fascinating though is the racial brainwashing (among other kinds) that the Japanese army did on its soldiers starting from a very young age. It seemed that this brainwashing was so effective that they could not "see" what they were doing to the Chinese. The Chinese were literally equated with pigs.

It is a horror.
posted by amanda at 7:13 PM on January 29, 2001


Understanding the indoctrination of the Japanese soldiers requires studying the history of the Imperial Japanese Army all the way back in 1870, at the time of the Meiji Restoration (and end of the Tokugawa Shogunate). Believe it or not, the seeds were planted then which lead to the army which felt no qualms about killing civilians in swarms, of executing POWs or of using them for medical experiments, and of sacrificing themselves in suicidal attacks.

Once you study the beginnings, what it lead to really does make sense. That doesn't diminish from the horror at what they caused -- understanding doesn't lead to forgiveness.

I'd love to go into more detail, but entire books have been written about it. It can't easily be explained in two paragraphs.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 7:27 PM on January 29, 2001


Actually, it's really sad to see actually how little "brainwashing" is required to encourage an army of soldiers to dehumanize and massacre civilians. There are plenty of modern examples to bear that out.

Nevertheless, atrocities on this scale can only be organized by governments.

This crime, unfortunately, lives on today because the Japanese were never required to account for their crimes against humanity and can go blithely on rewriting their own history. Most Japanese are unaware of the massacre or understand a totally fabricated version of it. That's in stark contrast to the German people who have had to (rightly) live with 50 years of guilt for the Holocaust.

posted by lagado at 7:41 PM on January 29, 2001


I somehow don't feel comfortable knowing there are 'levels' or 'degrees' of massacre and horror. There are, but is talking about them any better? Certainly there are issues about knowledge and awareness of these events. Such as they are I don't think I'll get into them tonight.

I wanted to post an article connected to this earlier in the week, but forgot. This BBC article talks about Unit 731. Japan has finally admitted that it existed, but refuse to apologize. I got the link off of a certain discussion over at soc.culture.japan. It can be found here, and there are mainly two people one arguing that the past is behind, most of whom committed this stuff are dead and time shouldn't be wasted. What do you think?
posted by tiaka at 7:49 PM on January 29, 2001


Steven said: In particular, the issue was that the Japanese took Korean women by force and used them as prostitutes in brothels set up to satisfy the soldiers.

Which, in my humble opinion, is far more humane than what happened at Nanjing.

I am quite surprised that the Japanese army could act in such an inhumane way because I thought most Japanese subscribed to the beliefs of Japanese Zen.

Of course, religion stands for absolutely nothing really, since Christians were enslaving blacks and Jews were killing Arabs, way before this. It's just a shame that in atrocities such as this, faith goes totally out of the window.
posted by wackybrit at 8:04 PM on January 29, 2001


I think the Japanese people are still quite capable of committing some horrible mistake like this again, whereas in many cases the German people are more aware and would put a stop to it very soon.

This country has zero consciousness of what happened to the rest of Asia during and before World War II. The ultra-right wing groups who go around in their black trucks with loudspeakers have made them aware of all the things that happened to *them*, be they real or imagined, but there is never talk about eg forced prostitution in Malaysia or the Philippines or the horrors perpetrated in China.

Oh yes, let's not forget that China was only a part of it.
posted by locombia at 8:06 PM on January 29, 2001


Sadly, such atrocities are not rare in the history of war. Just read what Hannibal's father did in war or the gory parts in the bible. When at war, men tend to lose restraint. The morals of their society tend to get tossed out the window. This is particularly true anytime the army gains control over the government.

This sort of horror is the reason US soldiers have to go through such an enormous amount of seemingly obvious training on Rules of Engagement.
posted by citizensoldier at 8:14 PM on January 29, 2001


locombia said: This country has zero consciousness of what happened to the rest of Asia during and before World War II.

It would be very un-Japanese to dwell on the past. The Japanese specialize in looking at the future and ignoring the past. In total contrast to the British, of course, who seem to whine about the past all the time.

While it can be a good thing not to dwell on the past (what's done is done), it could surely lead to future atrocities taking place since they refuse to learn from or acknowledge their history.

But, and I'm probably not alone here, I can't see Japan posing a major threat to the world in the near future.
posted by wackybrit at 8:30 PM on January 29, 2001


They can build a bunch of sexy fembot cyborgs that will kill everyone. Don't you see the *big* picture?
posted by tiaka at 8:36 PM on January 29, 2001


Perhaps.. but they'll build a bunch of sexy fembot cyborgs that will do other things first ;-) More money in that industry, see..
posted by wackybrit at 8:44 PM on January 29, 2001


I will confess my essential inhumanity and state that Nanking, together with the Burma Railroad, and the Bataan Deathmarch, are reasons why I feel zero guilt over Hiroshima/Nagasaki.

As far as I'm concerned, they got off easy.

...but then again, I'm an inhuman monster.
posted by aramaic at 8:49 PM on January 29, 2001


I feel zero guilt over practically everything in history. I wasn't born yet.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:52 PM on January 29, 2001


...although I wasn't alive in WW2, I could theoretically have "family guilt" -- my grandfather spent the second half of the war with the Manhattan Project as an engineer (totally minor figure, mind you, not even close to one of the Big Theorists).

People have, amazingly enough, tried to use this family connection against me in debates (eg: "you can't understand the peace movement because your grandfather was involved in mass-murder"). Consequently I get uppity when the topic appears...
posted by aramaic at 9:03 PM on January 29, 2001


Because of your grandfather? That's very strange. I've never heard such an odd argument, seriously, at least, it's the oddest this side of completely disconnected...
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:10 PM on January 29, 2001


I can't see Japan posing a major threat to the world in the near future.

No. it doesn't look that way now. but ... They do have the second-largest military budget in the world (so I have read).

And there is a very strong undercurrent of nationalism here, eg the quite popular governor of Tokyo who uses slurs to refer to people from the rest of Asia and talks about how in case of a large earthquake, the military should target these "sankokujin" (third world country people) as they will surely riot.
posted by locombia at 9:19 PM on January 29, 2001


Hmm... grandfather?

"I challenge your school of monkey style to a death battle over at the temple! I curse your ancestors of your ancestors! Meet my master - Nip Lee! - Do you accept the challenge by the Wu-tang style?"

heh.
posted by tiaka at 9:34 PM on January 29, 2001


I feel zero guilt over Hiroshima/Nagasaki.
As far as I'm concerned, they got off easy.
...but then again, I'm an inhuman monster.


Maybe, maybe not.

Actually the dropping of the bomb was another crime against humanity and the US government must be held responsible for it. It may have been welcomed in Asia as it was in Australia and the US at the time but it was a crime no doubt about it.

Do you see a pattern forming here? Atrocities against civilians are really bad things. Furthermore they can never be justified.
posted by lagado at 9:44 PM on January 29, 2001


Dropping the bomb on non-combatant civilians was awar atrocity. War creates a terrible amount of human pain and suffering, and each side uses their own pain to justify inflicting it on others.

Statements such as "I think the Japanese people are still quite capable of committing some horrible mistake like this again" and "I feel zero guilt over Hiroshima/Nagasaki.
As far as I'm concerned, they got off easy." strike me as ignorant.
posted by mikojava at 10:13 PM on January 29, 2001


Yes. For those that think that two wrongs make a right are wrong. Revenge is a bad thing, in the grander schemes of things, I don't think this applies to truly guilty criminals and such who killed people, since they are responsible for the crime; civilians are not.

Recommended viewing as far as the Hiroshima bombings go - One of Kurasawa's last films - Rhapsody in August talks about the very thing, remembering what happened. Graveyard of fireflies is very good and painful, Barefoot Gen is also pretty good. You should also find Mothernight, it's an excellent film by Keith Gordon.
posted by tiaka at 10:49 PM on January 29, 2001


Furthermore they can never be justified.

Yes they can. Not very often, but sometimes. If it's a war on the scale of WWII, and the Bomb could be the difference between ending the war for good or having it drag on for untold months in unbelievably insane conditions (such as having Japanese - soldiers and civilians - brainwashed to the point where they'd be willing to fight down to the last human being long after any chance of winning was lost), if it takes that much to finally shake the enemy government into surrender, then attacking a civilian population is absolutely justified.

(I know there are some people who, in order to further a Pacifism Uber Alles agenda, have attempted to "prove" that continued fighting in Japan past August 1945 wouldn't have killed as many people as the atomic bombs did. I don't subscribe to such theories.)
posted by aaron at 11:11 PM on January 29, 2001



As far as guilt goes for all atrocities ever committed by mankind, I prefer to think of it this way: In the end, it is a good thing that all of history has unfolded in this fashion. Why? Because if it hadn't, none of us would exist, and whatever sort of civilization there was on the planet today wouldn't be anything like what we experience.

WWII alone was enough to completely alter the course of the lives of practically every person living on Earth at that time. Nobody under age 60 or so would ever have been born. Science and technology would have evolved in completely different ways. So would politics. We have no way of knowing if, perhaps, the Soviet Union would have gone on and developed the Bomb ahead of the US. Or that events wouldn't have unfolded that led to all-out nuclear war as a result. In the grand scheme of things, I'd rather have a Nanjing and a Holocaust than permanent worldwide nuclear annihilation.

And sure, it's possible that things might be better today instead of worse if WWII never happened. But it's not a bet I'd want to make. We're all here. Life is generally good and getting better. We should be happy we've made it this far in one piece and not second-guess the past too much.

If I could go back in time, I wouldn't change a thing. Okay, I'd have stopped Windows. But that's it.
posted by aaron at 11:22 PM on January 29, 2001



wow so by that logic, anything I do isn't really that bad, because what COULD have happened could be MUCH WORSE. Thank god! This is really liberating!

Someone pass me some St. Ides
posted by chaz at 11:31 PM on January 29, 2001


What you do to affect the future is a completely different matter from what others did to affect the past.
posted by aaron at 11:40 PM on January 29, 2001


I didn't see anyone here advocating pacifism in the face of japanese aggression.

As for using the bomb on civilians, this is a tired defence. The war in the Pacific was basically over when the bombs were dropped. They were unnecessary. There were so many things the Americans could have done. Providing a simple demonstration of their destructive power would have been one. They chose to drop it instead and in doing so they committed a crime against humanity.

As for your second post, well, basically, apart from being just plain silly, it says that there's no point discussing history. So maybe it's better if you don't.

posted by lagado at 11:49 PM on January 29, 2001


I have a weak stomach, so could someone please tell me if there are pictures on that site. I can handle descriptions, but pictures will make me gag.

posted by milnak at 11:58 PM on January 29, 2001


Ah, meanspirited arrogance, pomposity and personal attacks. How pathetic, lagado.
posted by aaron at 12:16 AM on January 30, 2001


Kurt Vonnegut once gave a speech in which he spoke out against the US using the atomic bomb. A soldier spoke up to defend the decision, stating that he had been training to invade Japan, and the atomic bomb probably saved his life. Vonnegut acknowledged the man's point, but then retorted:

''I know a single word that proves our democratic government is capable of committing obscene, gleefully rabid, racist, yahooistic murder, of unarmed men, women, and children. Murders wholly devoid of military common sense. The word is a foreign word, the word is Nagasaki.''


posted by Optamystic at 1:58 AM on January 30, 2001


Very eloquently put, Optamystic.

posted by lagado at 3:01 AM on January 30, 2001


milnak, don't go to the site if you have a weak stomach.
posted by lagado at 3:03 AM on January 30, 2001


The early posts refer the the Japanese and their atrocities against the Chinese. Fair enough. But what of the more recent atrocities by the Chinese against their own people? Such things (and let's not forget Russian under Stalin) ought to remind us that we can and do often cite the evil done by one group against another but that when one people do similar things against their own people we may well be on to learning something about the human condition.
posted by Postroad at 3:07 AM on January 30, 2001


That's a fair enough point. It's not so much about the human condition and more about how history is used in the present to serve the interests of national governments.

I was thinking while I was reading the site about the numbers who died in the 1950's and 60's under Mao Zedong (somewhere in the order of 20 to 30 million based on recent estimates).

Obviously the Chinese state will want to extract retribution from Japan but it will continue to deny any wrongdoing of its own.

posted by lagado at 3:35 AM on January 30, 2001


While on such a happy topic, let us also not forget that herding American indians into what we call reservations in part gave Hitler (he had read his history) the idea for his concentration camps....and oh, yes, the smallpox laden blankets given to Indians. OUr atrocities are not nearly as bad of course as those of other countries, still, its a start.
posted by Postroad at 4:57 AM on January 30, 2001


I do not think that we can say that anything is 'far more sickening' than the holocaust...even if it could theoretically be more affecting, there simply isn't that much further along the scale to go.
posted by ecvgi at 5:11 AM on January 30, 2001


White man's burden, postroad, white man's burden.
posted by tiaka at 5:27 AM on January 30, 2001


I do not think that we can say that anything is 'far more sickening' than the holocaust...even if it could theoretically be more affecting, there simply isn't that much further along the scale to go.

Many things are at least as sickening. You're not one of these people that think the Holocaust is the Worst Crime Against Humanity Ever and that even comparing anything else to it is disrespectful, are you?
posted by dagnyscott at 6:27 AM on January 30, 2001


Well, some things just don't compare.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:19 AM on January 30, 2001


I keep seeing people who object to the use of the two nuclear weapons, and invariably it turns out that they're ignorant of the detailed history of the time.

For instance, the Nagasaki bomb was necessary. The Japanese cabinet was meeting after Hiroshima, and the heads of the military tried to claim that the Hiroshima bomb was the only one the US had, and that there would be no more nuclear bombings and that the Japanese should continue to resist. The debate raged, and then someone came into the room to announce the dropping of the destruction of Nagasaki. That changed the tenor of the discussion. More to the point, it finally roused the Emperor to do something he did very, very rarely: to override the government and actually make a critical decision.

But more important is that I think people object to the two nuclear bombs not so much because of the level of devastation they created as much as because they were nuclear. For those of us who grew up during the cold war, that looms large. It has to be understood that in 1945 it didn't.

If you object to them because of the number of people they killed, then that's where a study of history becomes important. The first nuke was dropped in August, 1945. It was not the worst single bombing inflicted on Japan. Not even close.

Everyone talks about the bomb. No-one seems to talk about the other bomb -- I bet most of you don't even know what I'm referring to. I'll give you its name: Mark 69 incendiary. Does that cause you to feel a bit sick to your stomach? No? Well, it should.

The Mark 69 incendiary killed at least twice as many Japanese civilians as the two nukes did, in ways at least as gruesome. In a single raid against Tokyo, more people were killed than at either Hiroshima or at Nagasaki. Beginning in March, 1945, the US began mass-bombing Japanese cities with the M69 and the devestation was apalling. So why is it that so many people object to the nukes, and most of them haven't even heard of the M69?

War is not a nice thing. (It may surprise some of you to learn that.) Bad things happen in war. Sometimes they're necessary, but sometimes they're not.

WWII ushered in the era of "total war". By WWII it was recognized that the distinction between "non-combatant" and "combatant" was artificial. Everyone in your enemy's country is a combatant; if they're not in the military then they contribute to the infrastructure which builds weapons and which feeds and supports the military. Every participant in WWII which ever fought outside its own territory recognized this and attacked everything belonging to its enemy military or economic significance. Cities definitely qualify. The people in them work in the factories which keep the armies and navies supplied.

Destruction of enemy cities was a legitimate strategy in the era of total war. This was particularly true with the Japanese because it was finally realized that a substantial part of Japanese industry was distributed in the form of small workshops all through the cities.

But let's try to get back to the subject of this thread, shall we? Neither Hiroshima, nor the firebombing of Tokyo, are comparable to the Rape of Nanking. The distinction is that the attrocities committed in Nanking took place after the city had been captured. If you're looking for a moral difference between the Japanese and the US, here it is: the US never did that to any city it occupied. Once a city was taken, in Italy or in German or in Japanese territory, the Americans supplied it, policed it, and did not ravage it. (The mildness of American occupation was in fact legendary. Hordes of people in Germany fled west in 1945 hoping to be captured by the Americans and British, rather than by the Russians.)

There's a big difference between destroying an enemy target for political or economic reasons, and ravaging a city you've already taken simply because your soldiers have run amok.

Because that's what happened at Nanjing. It was not ordered or controlled by top command. It was simply that discipline had broken down. It wasn't one big attrocity, it was a hundred thousand small ones all in the same place. It grew slowly. As the soldiers became inured, and also as they realized that they would not be punished, they began to do more and more. It escalated over time to the point of absolute horror.

The firebombing of Tokyo and the nukes at Nagasaki and Hiroshima had a legitimate military and political purpose. The nukes caused the Emperor to act and force the government to accept a surrender, shortening the war by perhaps a year and saving both Allied and Japanese lives.

The Rape of Nanking, on the other hand, served no purpose whatever.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 10:00 AM on January 30, 2001


Well said, Steven.

There IS a strong (and unnerving) streak of xenophobia and nationalism in Japanese culture. But before we write off the entire population as a hive mind of historical denial, consider this: because Japan has had NO real historical experience with organized protest, it is sometimes easy to overlook the fact that there are individual Japanese people of conscience that DO know about the atrocities. Saburo Ienaga, for example. He's been waging a neverending campaign to force Japanese textbook publishers to give accurate information, or any information at all, about atrocities like the one at Nanjing. I heard about this guy when I was living in Japan, after the decision came down on this lawsuit. He's truly an inspiration.
posted by varmint at 10:54 AM on January 30, 2001


While on such a happy topic, let us also not forget that herding American indians into what we call reservations in part gave Hitler (he had read his history) the idea for his concentration camps...

And the very term "concentration camp" comes from British policy during the Boer War. A lot of nations have a lot of ugliness in their past.

Steven, you wrote: By WWII it was recognized that the distinction between "non-combatant" and "combatant" was artificial. Everyone in your enemy's country is a combatant; if they're not in the military then they contribute to the infrastructure which builds weapons and which feeds and supports the military.

I think your analysis of the "total war" mentality in WWII is spot on (and explains the firebombing of Dresden in addition to the bombing of Nagasaki), and I think much of that outlook was derived from lessons learned after the sheer carnage (scroll down and contemplate those numbers) of WWI, the last European war based on 19th-century military theory. Let me ask -- do you feel that this is still a valid military theory today, given advances in the technology of mass destruction and the idea of mutual assured destruction? Or is the sort of "pinpoint war" America claimed to be fighting against Iraq the future of conflicts between nations with modern armies?
posted by snarkout at 11:15 AM on January 30, 2001


As far as guilt goes for all atrocities ever committed by mankind, I prefer to think of it this way: In the end, it is a good thing that all of history has unfolded in this fashion. Why? Because if it hadn't, none of us would exist, and whatever sort of civilization there was on the planet today wouldn't be anything like what we experience.

Hmm, and that would be a bad thing? Perhaps the world would be a better place if certain things hadn't have happened, who knows?

Infact, the BBC ran an interesting series called 'What If?' which projected what the world would be like if certain things didn't happen. The only one I watched was about if Henry VIII -got- an annulment from the Catholic Church, and what the ramifications of a Catholic England today would mean.

The net result was that Britain wouldn't have really had a large tyrannical empire in the 1800s and Americans would all be speaking Spanish or French. All interesting stuff.
posted by wackybrit at 1:29 PM on January 30, 2001


I keep seeing people who object to the use of the two nuclear weapons, and invariably it turns out that they're ignorant of the detailed history of the time.

I know its your favorite subject, Steven, but I don't think you can claim a monopoly of knowledge on this topic. Yes, many of us also know about the fire bombing of Tokyo and many of the other attrocities committed by both sides.

posted by lagado at 3:38 PM on January 30, 2001


Snark, with the development of weapons of mass destruction, the theory of war became extremely complicated. In the future, I think we'll see three kinds of wars. First, conflicts between great powers who are all armed with nuclear weapons. The result will be proxy war, where everyone tries to make sure there's no direct confrontation, but where one great power fights against the other side's client state, or where two client states fight each other. Examples of proxy wars in the last fifty years are VietNam and Afghanistan. This was the pattern throughout the cold war, which was fought on many fronts, costing millions of lives and unbelievable amounts of money.

Second, conflicts between a great power and a small state which is no-one's client (e.g. the Gulf War). In those cases what will happen is essentially what we did see in the Gulf War: the great power will crush the insect.

Third, conflicts between small countries where no-one is a client of anyone, or chronic civil wars within small countries. Examples from the recent past: Yugoslavia, Lebanon, border wars between Pakistan and India. What will happen there is difficult to predict, especially if the small countries have managed to obtain nuclear weapons (something which will become progressively more common as time goes on).

Note that "great" and "small" are measures of economic power, not of population. Despite it's great population, India is not a great power -- yet.

"Mutually Assured Destruction" is horrible, terrible. The only thing it has to recommend it is that it worked. For fifty years it has prevented a nuclear exchange (though we came damned close once).

A lot of lip service is given to nuclear disarmament, but it won't ever happen. Without at least a small stock of weapons then the deterrent ceases to exist.

Will there ever be another nuclear attack on people? Absolutely. It's only a question of time. It won't be done by any of the great powers. But there are two scenarios which could make it happen. First, something equivalent to the Gulf War, except that the small country which loses has a bomb and the leader of the country is a nutcase and decides to use it. So he either bombs part of the attacking army, or he bombs a city. Either way, the result is to "waken a sleeping giant and fill it with a terrible resolve" (in the words of Admiral Yamamoto). At that point, the great power will crush the small country. There's almost no chance of a nuclear counterstrike, but the great power will spare no expense and will suffer any degree of casualties to completely defeat the minor country and to capture or kill its leader.

The other scenario is that a nuclear weapon gets into the hands of a terrorist group, who then uses it to bomb a city belonging to a great power. This can be done and nothing can prevent it. The means is readily available. (No, I won't say what it is. If you're curious, send me email.) There is no defense. And the reponse is extremely problematic.

There's also a small chance of one minor country using a nuke on a neighbor. For the moment, the only place where that's a risk is India/Pakistan, where an uneasy balance exists. The result is to either raise tension about three notches, or to scare the crap out of everyone, and for tension paradoxically to be reduced as everyone realizes what's at stake. Fortunately, India and Pakistan seem to be following the second course, for the moment.

But by far the most common use of nuclear weapons will be in the form of sabre rattling, with no-one harmed. One country will test a weapon, to intimidate its neighbors. It will turn out that one of the neighbors also has nuclear weapons which are untested, and they will also test, in response. (This is what happened with India and Pakistan.)
posted by Steven Den Beste at 3:40 PM on January 30, 2001


Rats. I should have edited that more closely. The last two paragraphs should have read as follows:

=====

There's also a small chance of one minor country using a nuke on a neighbor. For the moment, the only place where that's a risk is India/Pakistan, where an uneasy balance exists.

But by far the most common use of nuclear weapons will be in the form of sabre rattling, with no-one harmed. One country will test a weapon, to intimidate its neighbors. It will turn out that one of the neighbors also has nuclear weapons which are untested, and they will also test, in response. (This is what happened with India and Pakistan.) The result is to either raise tension about three notches, or to scare the crap out of everyone, and for tension paradoxically to be reduced as everyone realizes what's at stake. Fortunately, India and Pakistan seem to be following the second course, for the moment.

=====

That's what I get for trying to write when I have a fever. (moan)
posted by Steven Den Beste at 3:46 PM on January 30, 2001


Examples of proxy wars in the last fifty years are VietNam...

...or a war of aggression by a big power against a smaller one, it comes down to how you read the events that lead to it.


posted by lagado at 3:48 AM on January 31, 2001


Without making any judgement of their merits, those two characterisations of the VietNam war are not mutually exclusive.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 8:19 AM on January 31, 2001


True
posted by lagado at 4:03 PM on January 31, 2001


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