201 posts tagged with vietnam.
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Cats and War

What Cats Know About War. A reporter adopts cats to reconnect with life amid unremitting death. [Via linkfilter.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 14, 2007 - 30 comments

Rephotographing Vietnam

Vietnam Then/Now. The enormously talented photographer courtneyutt traveled to Vietnam with her father, who served in 1970-1971. courtneyutt turned his Vietnam photo album into a rephotography project, revisiting pagodas, roundabouts, waterfalls, etc. etc. Ain't never been there, but I can tell you, Vietnam has really changed. Nothing warlike here -- she says, "my father was mostly interested in buildings! which makes sense, because after he returned from vietnam he became an architect." (See previous rephotography projects on mefi here and here. Nothing as personal as courtneyutt's.)
posted by dbrown on Sep 20, 2007 - 8 comments

This can still happen

It's the Vietnam War. Nixon has declared a state of emergency and allows for secret tribunals against anti-war protesters, draft dodgers, and others guilty of "hindering the war effort." They have two choices: spend 15 to 20 years in a federal penitentiary or spend 3 days in Punishment Park, where they will have 3 days to trek 50 miles in the California desert without food and water while on pursuit by armed National Guard and police units. Watch Peter Watkin's (previously) "documentary" of Punishment Park here (Google Video, with strong language ).
posted by champthom on Aug 22, 2007 - 28 comments

Make Music, Not War

Anti-War Songs of the Vietnam Era
Alice's Restaurant [1] Ball of Confusion [2] Billy Don't Be a Hero [3] Blowin' in the Wind [4] Eve of Destruction [5] For What It's Worth [6] Fortunate Son [7] Give Peace a Chance [8] I Ain't Marching Anymore [9] I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixing-To-Die Rag [10] Imagine [11] Machine Gun [12] Masters of War [13] Ohio [14] One Tin Soldier [15] Stoned Love [16] The Unknown Soldier [17] War [18] War Pigs [19] What's Going On [20] Us and Them [21] Volunteers [22] With God On Our Side [23]
posted by Poolio on Aug 8, 2007 - 120 comments

No one here gets out alive

Underfire; images from the Vietnam war. Some photographers never made it out: Dana Stone, Henri Huet, Sean Flynn. Tim Page is still alive and his photos tell the story of 'Fire in the Jungle". Several of these almost forgotten legends hung out at Franki's House at one time or another. Page, Stone and Flyn were all friends of Michael Herr who wrote about them and the war in Dispatches which was widely acclaimed and acknowledged by Hunter S. Thompson as puts the rest of us in the shade.
posted by adamvasco on Aug 8, 2007 - 14 comments

The Legacy of Agent Orange

During the Vietnam War, millions of gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed across regions of the country to destroy forest cover used by guerillas. A photo essay from Slate: On this day in 1984, a $180 million out-of-court settlement was announced in the Agent Orange class-action suit brought by Vietnam veterans, who argued that exposure to AO had caused various cancers, birth defects, and other chronic diseases. The settlement came to government benefits of about $1,500 a month until 1997. Yet many Vietnamese victims who also suffer greatly have received nothing from the United States since the end of the war. Some images are quite graphic and not something you want to look at while eating lunch or possibly at work. I know we've done Agent Orange before ( here and here), but this collection of images is rather intense.
posted by otherwordlyglow on May 7, 2007 - 23 comments

The Wrong War - Why We Lost in Vietnam

...By refusing to recognize or admit that the Vietnam War was from its inception primarily a civil war, and not part of a larger, centrally-directed international conspiracy, policymakers assumed that North Vietnam was, like the United States, waging a limited war, and therefore that it would be prepared to settle for something less than total victory (especially if confronted by military stalemate on the ground in the South and the threat of aerial bombardment of the North). In so making this assumption, policymakers not only ignored two millennia of Vietnamese history, but also excused themselves from confronting the harsh truth that civil wars are, for their indigenous participants, total wars, and that no foreign participant in someone else's civil war can possibly have as great a stake in the conflict's outcome--and attendant willingness to sacrifice--as do the indigenous parties involved.
The Wrong War - Why We Lost in Vietnam
See also Who Lost Vietnam ?
See also Vietnam in Retrospect: Could We Have Won?
posted by y2karl on Apr 18, 2007 - 77 comments

The Objective Orbiting Eye in the Sky

Live, From Outer Space: rural fires [1, 2], The Haze in China [1 ,2, 3] and its movement, aerosols, and the brothers carbon monoxide [a photochemical smog agent] and carbon dioxide.
posted by trinarian on Apr 14, 2007 - 10 comments

The Short Timers

It doesn't seem like it was twenty years since Stanley Kubrick produced Full Metal Jacket based on the out-of-print novel "The Short Timers" by Gustav Hasford. While out of print, the full text of "The Short Timers" is available on his (memorial) website as is the followup, "The Phantom Blooper". Hasford's bid for an Oscar was colored by the discovery of nearly ten thousand stolen library books in the same year. Some say the experience of being caught red-handed broke him, leading to his death from non-treatment of diabetes at the age of 45.
posted by Ogre Lawless on Apr 2, 2007 - 52 comments

One Action

Nhat Hanh back in Vietnam for the second time since his exile in 1973. He will lead three requiem masses "to offer prayers and healing energy to those who suffered unjustly as victims of war."
posted by Abiezer on Mar 15, 2007 - 7 comments

Aftermath of another war

Effects of Agent Orange Following Jonson's Hiroshima post, a (prob. NSFW) collection of images of Vietnamese children born to parents exposed to Agent Orange. Via a Matt Taibbi article on Joe Klein.
posted by adamms222 on Feb 7, 2007 - 29 comments

Life before American Idol.

Chomsky v. Buckley, 1969 (videofilter). The primary subject is Vietnam, but other topics abound.
posted by bardic on Jan 23, 2007 - 55 comments

Gimme Mo' Pho

Pho (pronounced fuh), Hanoi's signature beef broth scented with ginger and anise, is one of the world's great culinary glories. Turns out it's not an ancient dish, but a 1950s-era syncretic product of the French occupation of Vietnam, which introduced the notion of boiling beef in a pot au feu (which may be the origin of the name). The heady, fragrant noodle soup is a global hit, prompting an international pho conference, several good blogs, and a sensual national obsession: "When Vietnamese talk of pho they think of sex: 'We say that rice is a spouse, whereas pho is a lover.' " "Pho is life, love and all things that matter." Tips on eating and cooking pho - recipes and more inside.
posted by CunningLinguist on Jan 10, 2007 - 105 comments

India's Outsourcing Problems

India's Outsourcing Problems One of the most controversial aspects of the global economy has been the newfound freedom of companies from physical location and the subsequent spread of outsourcing jobs. No country had embraced tech outsourcing with the passion of India. Of late, problems there are beginning to rise: engineers start a project, get a few months' experience, and then bolt for greener pastures, bringing a level of attrition that replaces entire staffs within the course of a year. Combine that with salaries in Bangalore that are rising at 12% to 14% per year and it is no surprise that companies are leaving India for a slew of emerging hot spots for IT outsourcing such as the old Soviet Bloc, China, and Vietnam. This comes as companies such as Microsoft continue to laud outsourcing and proudly proclaim that it is here to stay, and it looks as if Ho Chi Minh City will be the next Bangalore.
posted by PreacherTom on Dec 11, 2006 - 19 comments

It’s hard to remember, but he was once the future.

“How could this happen to someone so good, so competent?” he said. “This war made me doubt the past. Was I wrong all those years, or was he just better back then? The Donald Rumsfeld of today is not the Donald Rumsfeld I knew, but maybe I was wrong about the old Donald Rumsfeld. It’s a terrible way to end a career. It’s hard to remember, but he was once the future.”
And for comparison, How did so many smart guys make such a mess of Vietnam?
posted by orthogonality on Nov 13, 2006 - 98 comments

Leslie Scalapino, poet

"[M]y writing's not making a distinction between physical/muscular action and mind action or between events of history and minute events between people." -- Leslie Scalapino. Leslie Scalapino is an American poet associated with the language poetry movement. -- How2 Special Feature on Scalapino. -- Excerpt from The Forest is in the Euphrates River. -- Audio links to Scalapino reading from and discussing her work. -- Another audio link, to Scalapino reading from her book The Pearl. -- Excerpts from The Tango. -- Scalapino's Nov. 11 2006 reading at The Poetry Project in NYC. -- Scalapino is the daughter of controversial Berkeley scholar Robert Scalapino, who founded Berkeley's Institute for Asian Studies. -- Scalapino defends her father. -- Scalapino co-edited a volume of poets against the U.S. interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. -- Scalapino's discussion of "relation of writing to events" with Judith Goldman.
posted by jayder on Oct 29, 2006 - 6 comments

Political Roundup.

Turns out Colin Powell was actually fired. In other administration news, it looks like one of the pre-9/11 anti-terrorism meetings wasn't mentioned to the 9/11 commission. According to Bob Woodward's new book, where we also find out that Bush meet with Henry Kissinger at least once a month, and Kissinger's theories on Vietnam inform Bush's reasoning on Iraq.
posted by delmoi on Sep 30, 2006 - 51 comments

Gabriel Kolko - Lessons From Iraq and Lebanon & Another Century of War ?

...The United States, whose costliest political and military adventures since 1950 have ended in failure, now must face the fact that the technology for confronting its power is rapidly becoming widespread and cheap. It is within the reach of not merely states but of relatively small groups of people. Destructive power is now virtually 'democratized.' If the challenges of producing a realistic concept of the world that confronts the mounting dangers and limits of military technology seriously are not resolved soon, recognizing that a decisive equality of military power is today in the process of being re-imposed, there is nothing more than wars and mankind’s eventual destruction to look forward to.
The Great Equalizer - Lessons From Iraq and Lebanon
By Gabriel Kolko, author of Century of War: Politics, Conflicts, and Society Since 1914,
The Age of War: The United States Confronts the World
and Another Century of War?
posted by y2karl on Sep 5, 2006 - 20 comments

Agent Orange

The Vietnam Syndrome. "In the 1960s, the United States blanketed the Mekong River delta with Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant more devastating than napalm. Thirty years after the end of the Vietnam War, the poisoned legacy lives on in the children whose deformities it is said to have caused." Photo essay by James Nachtwey, written essay by Christopher Hitchens. [Previously discussed here and here, via C&L.]
posted by homunculus on Sep 1, 2006 - 31 comments

At least the Cold War made sense.

Now we're faced with a supposedly democratic Russia where the opposition parties are established, crushed, united, their leadership changed, all at the behest of the president. China, now clearly a capitalist state, albeit one without the democratic trimmings, still calls itself communist. Vietnam has gone much the same way.

Some things remain the same, though. America's still meddling in Latin America, just like it did during the Cold War. The US Army is also fighting a guerilla resistance in Iraq, its leaders apparently ignorant of the lessons of history, yet accusing others of exactly that. It's just like the 60s, when it was just as obvious who had learnt lessons and who hadn't.
posted by imperium on Aug 30, 2006 - 48 comments

The Divine Eye is watching j00!

Collection of Divine Messages, vol. 1. In 1926, Vietnamese intellectuals tried to unify the religions of the world. After a year of intensive seance, here's what they came up with: Spiritist mediumship, Taoist cosmology, Christian rhetoric, Catholic structure, Buddhist/Confucian morality, .....Masonic imagery? Their take on vegetarianism: "An impure physical body will create an impure spiritual body, which cannot conduct electricity well. As a result, it will then be struck by lightning and be destroyed in the atmosphere. Even if the impure spiritual body is wise and remains on the earth to avoid the lightning, it will remain an Immortal and never proceed to Buddhahood. This is why I recommend the practice of complete vegetarianism before attempting meditation." More via Sydney Centre for Studies in Caodaism.
posted by Laugh_track on Aug 18, 2006 - 9 comments

Operation Igloo White

"We wired the Ho Chi Minh Trail like a drugstore pinball machine and plugged into it every night." From 1965 to 1975, telemetry from thousands of microphones hidden in remote Vietnam jungles were fed to a massive data processing center in Thailand, where an IBM System/360 [wiki] mapped real-time Vietcong movements to display terminals. The details of Project Igloo White remained compartmentalized and highly classified until only several years ago.
posted by rolypolyman on May 22, 2006 - 33 comments

My Lai II

U.S. Marines "overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood", according to Rep. Murtha (D - Pa.), whose previous comments regarding the "unwinnable" nature of the Iraq conflict drew retaliation and accusations of treason from the GOP and associates. From reports verified by the military, troops "shot dead 15 members of two families, including a 3-year-old girl", despite initial reports that officially claimed a firefight had killed Iraqi civilians. Some have suggested this incident echoes the My Lai massacre of the Vietnam War.
posted by Mr. Six on May 18, 2006 - 165 comments

Sir! No Sir!

Sir! No Sir! The Vietnam GI Antiwar movement. (49 minute video)
posted by leapingsheep on May 16, 2006 - 37 comments

Sex, Drugs, and Agent Orange

On at least one occasion, Jonathan Taylor's photographic studies of the seedy side of Southeast Asia have featured in Time Magazine, but thanks to the wonders of the Internet, you can view his photographic take on Thailand's drug problems, sex industry, and hired killers, as well as moving and disturbing images of the legacy of US involvement in Southeast Asia.
posted by bcveen on May 6, 2006 - 26 comments

Today Marks the Thirty-Fifth Anniversary of MayDay!

MAYDAY. The largest and most audacious civil disobedience action in American history is also the least remembered yet it had a profound affect on the development of tactics for practicing civil disobedience in the United States. MayDay! was perhaps the only essentially peaceful action, at least in modern times, undertaken with the intent to shut down the federal government . The slogan, early on at least, was "If the government won't stop the war, we'll stop the government! Thanks to Wikipedia, at least there is something easily accessible about it. And, with the advent of blogging, other thoughtful pieces are appearing.
posted by swlabr on May 1, 2006 - 19 comments

Rebels in the Ranks

"I've been silent long enough... My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions--or bury the results." Marine Lieutenant General Greg Newbold, the Pentagon's former top operations officer, becomes the latest military insider to raise his voice against the "zealots" who led the US into war in Iraq. He writes in Time magazine: "Never again, we thought, would our military's senior leaders remain silent as American troops were marched off to an ill-considered engagement. It's 35 years later, and the judgment is in: the Who had it wrong. We have been fooled again... After 9/11, I was a witness and therefore a party to the actions that led us to the invasion of Iraq--an unnecessary war." During the Vietnam war, such discontent among soldiers sparked a massive campaign of disobedience and peace activism (as well as, more darkly, fragging) within the ranks, as recounted in a new documentary called Sir! No Sir! Can it happen again? Ask the Soldiers for the Truth.
posted by digaman on Apr 9, 2006 - 60 comments

Korat Bar girls

Korat bar girls. R and R from the Indochina war.
posted by the cuban on Mar 26, 2006 - 43 comments

Daniel Ellsberg interview

I don't believe they'll give up on the bases and the oil. Nor will its successors, Republican or Democrat. So I think that's what we will be doing, staying forever. Unless the rest of us, outside the government, force change on the leadership of the Democrats as well as the Republicans, which will be difficult and take a long time.
From DailyKos comes an excellent series of interviews with Daniel Ellsberg; leaker of The Pentagon Papers. Part 1: The Pentagon Papers and the Overlooked 1968 Leaks, Part 2: Judith Miller, the New York Times and Government-Controlled Press, Part 3: The Cult of Secrecy in Government and Its Undermining of Democracy, Part 4: Whistleblowing and Effective Activism, Part 5: Iraq/Vietnam Parallels and Other Foreign Policy Fiascos and Part 6: Bush, the Next 9/11 and the Approaching Police State.
posted by afu on Mar 23, 2006 - 48 comments

When you go to the wall, / You can feel all the heat of that cool decade

"Next, have those who lost legs crawl forward and neatly/ stack them. Then bowl the skull of your best killed buddy/ down the aisle / Finally, have the blind push the quadruplegics forward / (they will have knives in their teeth to give to the legislators / to use on themselves). We leave."

Or: "Today you reached retirement/ with a disturbed and primal conscience / .... / Drunk and stoned, down in your worst / moment, you subpoenaed yourself / into believing the mission / was more important than the man."

Or: "Terrified, by the death grins. / Afraid, I'll be one of the dead. / Wondering, why did I ever think, / it wouldn't be as bad as they said?"

Soldiers' stories told in the veterans' poetry, from the archives of the Viet Nam Generation Journal.
posted by orthogonality on Mar 20, 2006 - 18 comments

Hanoi Panoramas

Hanoi Panoramas
Beautifuly atmospheric 360 degree photography in the streets of Hanoi, by Vietnamese photographer Thinh Le. Also black and white panoramas of Downtown Saigon and Chaudoc. A little info on the camera and technique.
posted by MetaMonkey on Mar 8, 2006 - 11 comments

O Recondo Distractum

Recondo! In 1966, the MACV Recondo School was established to train Special Forces Units in long-range recon tactics and commando operations. Graduates were called "Recondos" and could infiltrate enemy-controlled territory for long periods of time without being resupplied. The school was well known enough to spawn a cheezy GI Joe character. Apparently you can easily infiltrate Hollywood as well with allegedly false Recondo credentials.
posted by Smedleyman on Feb 9, 2006 - 12 comments

Sticker Shock and Awe

Then: Q - Mr. Secretary, on Iraq, how much money do you think the Department of Defense would need to pay for a war with Iraq? Rumsfeld - Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question. And now: The estimated cost to US taxpayers of the Iraq war to date is $250 billion and rising, or $100,000 per minute. Total cost of the Bush doctrine of spreading "democracy" since September 11th -- half a trillion dollars, or nearly the cost of the 13 years of the Vietnam War, adjusted for inflation. What else could we have done with that kind of money? Also see here.
posted by digaman on Feb 3, 2006 - 112 comments

Asian progressive music from the 60s and 70s

60s/70s psych, crossover, beat, and a go-go from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and Vietnam with band/music scene histories, streaming audio, cover art, etc. Part of a large site devoted to 60s/70s progressive music around the world.
posted by carter on Dec 8, 2005 - 15 comments

Gulf of Tonkin Intelligence 'Deliberately Skewed'

Gulf of Tonkin Intelligence 'Deliberately Skewed'
The National Security Agency has released hundreds of pages of long-secret documents on the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident that played a critical role near the beginning of the Vietnam War. ... The most provocative document is a 2001 article [PDF] in which an agency historian argued that the agency's intelligence officers "deliberately skewed" the evidence passed on to policymakers on the crucial question of whether North Vietnamese ships attacked U.S. destroyers on Aug. 4, 1964. Based on the mistaken belief that such an attack had occurred, President Lyndon Johnson ordered air strikes on North Vietnam, and Congress passed a broad resolution authorizing military action.
[more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Dec 2, 2005 - 22 comments

Costly Withdrawal Is the Price To Be Paid for a Foolish War - Martin van Creveld

For misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C sent his legions into Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president's men. If convicted, they'll have plenty of time to mull over their sins.
Costly Withdrawal Is the Price To Be Paid for a Foolish War
Martin van Creveld, a professor of military history at the Hebrew University, is author of "Transformation of War" (Free Press, 1991). He is the only non-American author on the U.S. Army's required reading list for officers.
An interview with Martin Van Creveld. See also Nowhere To Run
posted by y2karl on Nov 29, 2005 - 73 comments

arrested abroad?

Ever wondered what to do if you end up in a spot of bother far from home? Fair trials abroad is an organisation campaigning for the fair treatment of Europeans arrested abroad. They deal with campaigns like the Free Craig Alden campaign. Unlike the famous bloke there's no history of child abuse and no real evidence of an offense, but there is a history of standing up to authority and evidence of legal incompentence. If you're from the US, you have to rely upon these people instead.
posted by handee on Nov 29, 2005 - 13 comments

This just in: Jane Fonda is eating babies in North Korea

Operation Barbarella - from the London Review of Books, a review of Jane Fonda’s War: A Political Biography of an Anti-war Icon by Mary Hershberger.
So, what is the story behind Jane Fonda? You will find few people so reviled among macho warrior types. Back in the Depressingly Christian Private School (DCPS) that I went to, to hear some of the things she had been accused of you'd have thought she was the Whore of Babylon herself.
The truly interesting thing about this article isn't the discussion of the reality of Fonda's anti-war protesting measured against the myth, but as an illustration of the kind of pass-it-along info, whose truth is a matter of almost-scriptural faith, that serves as the conventional wisdom concerning the Left in the ill-educated backwaters that compose so much of our nation. This kind of thing is the political equivilent of the story of the midget who hanged himself on the set of The Wizard of Oz.
Additional reading: the Snopes page on Jane Fonda.
Via Linkfilter.
posted by JHarris on Nov 13, 2005 - 34 comments

Kiss the Boys Goodbye

"I am Colonel Tom C. McKenney, You must know how to reach Bobby Garwood. I directed an official mission to assassinate him behind enemy lines, because I believed what they told me. Would you tell him that I will crawl on my hands and knees to beg his forgiveness?"
posted by drakepool on May 30, 2005 - 22 comments

Broadsword calling Danny Boy

Channel 4's 100 Greatest War Films as voted for by their (generally more clued-up than average) viewership has plenty for you to disagree with, but much to recommend. Filmsite.org has a history of war films (as does Berkeley) for the completists among you. There are more war films from and about Vietnam and Indochina than you can shake a bayonet at (see also the 1999 NYT article, Apocalypse Then: Vietnam Marketing War Films to learn a little about the Vietnamese government's 1960s and 70s archive of war film). The [British] national archives have archived film from pre-WWI to the Cold War.
posted by nthdegx on May 17, 2005 - 74 comments

Forgotten Tragedy

1970 shootings at Jackson State were successfully covered up at the time. They remain a footnote to the Kent State shootings to this day. Memorials are rare. And news coverage is limited to a brief almanac item.
posted by warbaby on May 15, 2005 - 14 comments

The last US battle in Southeast Asia

Thirty years ago today, on May 12, 1975, less than two weeks after the fall of Saigon, the U.S. flagged container ship Mayaguez was seized by the Cambodian Khmer Rouge who took the crew hostage. Late that night the ship was located, anchored off a tiny island called Koh Tang in the Gulf of Siam. U.S. President Gerald Ford ordered the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea, the guided missile destroyer USS Henry B. Wilson and the frigate USS Holt to the area of seizure. He also ordered a battalion of Marines to assault the island and rescue the crew. The rescue was bungled. 41 US servicemen were killed. The crew of 39 was released.
posted by three blind mice on May 12, 2005 - 12 comments

David Hackworth fades away.

Col. David Hackworth, who billed himself as America's most decorated living soldier (he had eight Purple Hearts and ten Silver Stars), died in Mexico this week at age 74. Hackworth saw combat in World War II (having joined the Army at 15), Korea, and Vietnam; in 1967 he and Gen. Samuel Marshall wrote the Vietnam Primer, a "lessons learned" document prepared for the Army to explain how not to fight a guerilla war. In 1971, after years in-country, Hackworth turned publically against the war, telling ABC News that it could not be won and moving to Australia, where his anti-nuclear efforts earned him a United Nations Medal for Peace. Hackworth was a distinguished war correspondent, a self-appointed advocate for the average soldier who used his website as a soapbox, a best-selling author, a critic of American tactics in the Iraq War, and possibly the only figure respected by both WorldNetDaily and Common Dreams.
posted by snarkout on May 6, 2005 - 33 comments

Insert obvious George Santayana quote here

"We are here to hand over to you the power in order to avoid bloodshed." Today is the thirtieth anniversary of the Fall of Saigon.

A secret plan to end the war. After the rewarding the Vietnam war's technocratic architect with the Presidency of the World Bank, after the twin failures of President Nixon's "madman plan", to scare the Soviet Union into concessions over Vietnam out of fear of Nixon's insanity, and of "Vietnamization", turning over responsibility for the war to the South Vietnamese, the North nevertheless won the war.

Disposable helicopters. Operation Frequent Wind, the chaotic evacuation of the American Embassy, brought to a close fifteen years of American hubris. Karl Marx, who got little else right, observed "History repeats itself, the first as tragedy, then as farce."
posted by orthogonality on Apr 30, 2005 - 50 comments

For young deserters, refuge is hard to find

For young deserters, refuge is hard to find It seemed like a drastic but simple solution: a step over the border into a country that had offered sanctuary before to Americans fleeing their homeland. Instead, the growing band of US soldiers who have sought political refuge in Canada after defying orders to serve in Iraq have found themselves in a political limbo.
posted by Postroad on Apr 25, 2005 - 83 comments

Our whole history is treason; our blood was attained before we were born -- Theodore Parker

"Hanoi Jane" Fonda: the traitor stands in worse case of woe. "… sitting on an enemy aircraft gun was a betrayal," she said.
Treason or higher loyalty: her country right or wrong? Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may. --Mark Twain
posted by orthogonality on Apr 3, 2005 - 83 comments

Training Hanoi Street Children

KOTO is a charity training restaurant for street children set up in 1996 in Hanoi, Vietnam by Vietnamese-Australian Jimmy Pham (pdf file).
Of the more than 100 or so former street kids who have learned cooking, waiting and bar skills, 100% of KOTO graduates have since become employed in hotels and restaurants in Hanoi.
KOTO stands for Know One Teach One and they provide uniforms, accomodation, most meals and a small wage during the traineeship.
Even Bill Clinton ate there.
Street children number something in the order of 20,000 or more in Vietnam and most head to the city from poor villages in the countryside, seeking their own slice of the wealth that transition to a market economy is said to generate. Most make little money shining shoes and selling postcards and many become involved in drugs, crime, prostitution or are harassed and arrested by the Police.
Hoa Sua restaurant is another exemplary training enterprise (French affiliation) run along similar lines to KOTO excepting that they also have bakery outlets and embroidery training.
These organizations are hopeful examples of education combatting the cycle of poverty.
(Aside: but no contribution to the Vietnamese economy will be forthcoming from U.S. chemical companies who supplied agent orange during the war)
posted by peacay on Mar 11, 2005 - 11 comments

Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state

Aerial Propaganda Leaflet Database. Propaganda from WWI to Operation Iraqi Freedom, including many safe conduct passes. Also, leaflets from the Korean War & Vietnam, Sefton Delmer's "Black Propaganda Radio, and even some NSFW (work, not war) propaganda. Come On Boys, Himmler For President!
posted by armage on Mar 9, 2005 - 6 comments

"When you see your own photo, do you say you're a fiction?"

“The problem is not to make political films but to make films politically.”
In "Tout Va Bien", just released on Criterion DVD, four years after May '68 Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin examine the wreckage: fading workers' empowerment (page with sound), media fatuity, capitalist sprawl, global imperialist mayhem, interpersonal disconnections. "Tout Va Bien" is the story of a strike at a factory as witnessed by an American reporter (Jane Fonda) and her has-been New Wave film director husband (Yves Montand). Included on the DVD is also Letter to Jane (1972), a short film in which Godard and Gorin spend an hour examining the semiotics of a single, hypnotizing photograph of Fonda as she shares feelings with a Vietnamese villager. More inside.
posted by matteo on Mar 8, 2005 - 18 comments

On The New American Militarism - How Americans Are Seduced By War

The argument I make in my book is that what I describe as the new American militarism arises as an unintended consequence of the reaction to the Vietnam War and more broadly, to the sixties... If some people think that the sixties constituted a revolution, that revolution produced a counterrevolution, launched by a variety of groups that had one thing in common: they saw revival of American military power, institutions, and values as the antidote to everything that in their minds had gone wrong. None of these groups — the neoconservatives, large numbers of Protestant evangelicals, politicians like Ronald Reagan, the so-called defense intellectuals, and the officer corps — set out saying, “Militarism is a good idea.” But I argue that this is what we’ve ended up with: a sense of what military power can do, a sort of deference to the military, and an attribution of virtue to the men and women who serve in uniform. Together this constitutes such a pernicious and distorted attitude toward military affairs that it qualifies as militarism.
An interview with Andrew Bacevich, international relations professor and former Army colonel, and author of The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War--and here is a review. Recently by Bacevich: We Aren't Fighting to Win Anymore - U.S. troops in Iraq are only trying to buy time.
posted by y2karl on Feb 21, 2005 - 37 comments

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