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Archive for the 'World Civ-Cold War in East' Category

The Vietnam War, as Seen by the Victor

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

The event, known in the United States as the fall of Saigon and conjuring images of panicked Vietnamese trying to crowd onto helicopters to be evacuated, is celebrated as Reunification Day here in Hanoi. The holiday involves little explicit reflection on the country’s 15-year-plus conflict, in which North Vietnam and its supporters in the South fought to unify the country under communism, and the U.S. intervened on behalf of South Vietnam’s anti-communist government. More than 58,000 American soldiers died in the fighting between 1960 and 1975; the estimated number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed on both sides varies widely, from 2.1 million to 3.8 million during the American intervention and in related conflicts before and after.

Vietnam War as Seen by the Victors

China, Communism, and Confuncianism

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

In class I try to question the degree to which and the ways in which the Chinese Communist Revolution was indeed a revolutionary break from Chinese traditions. The Economist likewise questions this. Here is a short summary of the argument I’ve been making for years. 

Vietnam war photo essay from the Atlantic

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

check out this three-part series. Harrowing. Mind bending. 

Five Myths About the Cold War

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Mark Kramer is director of Cold War Studies and a senior fellow at Harvard University’s Davis Center. More than 20 years since the U.S.S.R. disappeared, Russia’s incursion into Ukraine is renewing old rivalries and sparking talk of a new Cold War, with former KGB officer Vladimir Putin serving as the West’s latest foil in Moscow. But how apt is the comparison?

Let’s examine some myths that endure about the East-West stalemate.

How China’s millennials talk about Tiananmen Square

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Twenty-five years after June 4, 1989, even China’s educated youth have only a foggy understanding of the incident, and they’re skittish about discussing it openly. Textbooks don’t mention the violence that left hundreds, maybe thousands, dead in the streets of Beijing. The Chinese Internet has been scrubbed of all but the official accounts. (The first result on the search engine Baidu is a short article from People’s Daily concluding that the incident “taught the party and the people a useful lesson.”) The Chinese government has arrested dozens of people in recent weeks for planning or participating in events related to the anniversary, and police have warned foreign journalists not to cover the story. Still, most young Chinese people I approached were willing to talkas long as they could remain anonymous.

Red Guard Reunion: he class of 1967 still can’t criticize the icon

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

How had the class of 1967—a group of young people who came of age just as the Cultural Revolution was approaching its height—come to grips with their own role in this dark chapter in modern Chinese history?

The Vietnamese tribesmen who fought alongside American Special Forces

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

The indigenous Montagnards, recruited into service by the American Special Forces in Vietnam’s mountain highlands, defended villages against the Viet Cong and served as rapid response forces. The Special Forces and the Montagnards—each tough, versatile, and accustomed to living in wild conditions—formed an affinity for each other. In the testimony of many veterans, their working relationship with the Montagnards, nicknamed Yards, was a bright spot in a confusing and frustrating war.

The bond between America’s elite fighters and their indigenous partners has persisted into the present, but despite the best efforts of vets, the Montagnards have suffered greatly in the postwar years, at least in part because they cast their lot with the U.S. Army. In a war with more than its share of tragedies, this one is less often told but is crucial to understanding the conflict and its toll.


Sunday, October 27th, 2013

The Conelrad Blog is awesome…and disturbing

What We Learned From the Korean War

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Is Korea still, as it was called then, the Forgotten War? Unfortunately it is. But it shouldn’t be. The objectives, the conduct, and the conclusion of that war are significant in too many ways. This anniversary provides an occasion to remember them, and to honor those who served in that war.

CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran

Friday, September 20th, 2013

In contrast to today’s wrenching debate over whether the United States should intervene to stop alleged chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government, the United States applied a cold calculus three decades ago to Hussein’s widespread use of chemical weapons against his enemies and his own people. The Reagan administration decided that it was better to let the attacks continue if they might turn the tide of the war. And even if they were discovered, the CIA wagered that international outrage and condemnation would be muted