All posts tagged: Vietnam

The Year of the Pig is here…literally

Andre Vltchek Gong Xi Fa Cai: happy year of the Pig 2019! Congratulations, the Year of the Pig has arrived! According to the Chinese astrology, 2019 is a great year to make money, and a good year to invest! 2019 is going to be full of joy, a year of friendship and love for all the zodiac signs; an auspicious year because the Pig attracts success in all the spheres of life.” So, what is astrology actually saying? We will soon have some sort of ‘brotherhood of men’ year ahead of us; a year that could bring both peace and understanding between all the zodiac signs? We all wish that it could be possible. But we all have doubts that this is what is actually ahead of us! * So, where does the world stand, as the most populous nation on earth – China (but also Vietnam and several other countries) – celebrates the New Year? To be honest, the world does not ‘stand’ at all – it lies in the gutter. It appears to …

More than Cognitive Dissonance

James O’Neill The dilemmas in Canberra go beyond the respective roles of the American alliance and the China trade. They point to a failure to grasp historical reality and an equal failure to perceive the future. In a recent article in the influential Australian website Pearls and the Irritations (www.johnmenadue.com 8 January 2019) Richard Broinowski set out several reasons why the Canberra establishment (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Defence and Prime Minister and Cabinet) in what he described as cognitive dissonance, have adhered to a pro-American set of foreign policies. This has been the case ever since then Prime Minister John Curtin’s announcement in 1941 that Australia was essentially switching its reliance on the United Kingdom to an equally dependent relationship with the United States. Mr Broinowski then set out a series of factors why this has been the case at least up until the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper, although he now detects some faint glimmerings of a possible policy shift. Such optimism in my view lacks a solid evidential foundation. …

WATCH: Truth At Last: The Assassination of Martin Luther King

Released last year, to mark the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination, James Corbett’s documentary examines King’s attempt to reconcile the civil rights and anti-war movements of the late 1960s, and dispels the many myths that have grown up around both King and his alleged assassin. On April 4, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered a passionate speech at Riverside Church in New York staking out his opposition to the war in Vietnam. One year later to the day, he was assassinated. Now, 50 years after that fateful day, the truth about the assassination of Dr. King can finally be told. A full transcript, along with links and sources, can be found here.

Chomsky’s Unearned Prestige

Eric Zuesse A large part of Noam Chomsky’s public image as an intellectual is derived not from his role in the field of linguistics, but instead from his having co-authored with Edward Herman Manufacturing Consent. The first matter to be discussed here will therefore be Chomsky’s contribution to that work; and, more broadly, that work’s contribution to human understanding — the actual significance of the book. Chomsky’s contribution to that 1988 book was to describe the selling of specifically the wars in Vietnam and in adjoining Indochinese nations, according to that book’s main author, Herman’s, theory. That theory was called the “Propaganda model of communication”. It’s the book’s theory, or “model,” of manufacturing consent for wars. According to their book, the practitioners of this model are the public relations or PR profession that sell, to the domestic American public, invasions and military occupations of foreign lands. This is a specialized field of PR. Herman’s theory (or “model”) of political PR (commonly called “propaganda”) for the invasion and control of foreign countries, had, itself, actually already …

What Happens if the Yellow Vests Win?

A View from Vietnam Andre Vltchek What if protesters in Paris win, and the French government gives in to all their demands? What if taxes are reduced, wages increased, President Macron steps down? I am not talking only about the fuel tax; attempts to impose it have been already abandoned. I am not talking about increase of the minimum wage – the government already agreed to rise it by 100 euro per month. What I am talking about are real, fundamental changes which many protesters seem to be desiring: substantial tax reduction for the majority of French citizens, generous increase in wages and enhancement of social benefits for all. So, if the Yellow Vests manage to win all this, then what will happen? Who would benefit? But also, who would lose? * One of my readers recently wrote to me that France should reduce its military budget and from those billions of euro saved, could easily finance demands of the protesters. Another reader wrote that the richest citizens of France (or call them ‘elites’) should …

A Spiritual Special Ops Team’s Christmas Gift

It was snowing hard in the days before Christmas in 1972 as I sat at my writing desk looking out the back window toward the woods that were filling up with snow. I felt trapped by the heavy snow that made the roads impassable, but even more so by the contemplation of the barbaric “Christmas Bombing” of North Vietnam carried out by Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and their associated war criminals. I was filled with despair and imagined the snow turning red with blood.

Against the Stream

So, when did the Trente Glorieuses (1945-1975) end, and the great counter-reformation begin exactly? Some would argue when Nixon took the dollar off of the gold standard in 1971, or perhaps with the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, or again possibly during the late 70s early 80s when the Anglo-American duo, Regan and Thatcher, rewrote the political playbook. It seems probable that the inflexion point was reached when the interaction of these variables attained critical mass; but this exact moment cannot be known. What is known, however, is that an historical shift – probably irreversible – took place involving the demise of the social-democratic, welfare-capitalist, model in western Europe and New Dealism in the US.

No, Carole Cadwalladr, THIS is what war looks like…

Carole Cadwalladr has been applying her fingertips to her keyboard again. This is usually bad news for anybody offended by giant leaps of logic or insufferable smugness, but it’s also usually inane enough you can just ignore it. Not in this case. The overall standard of Western Journalism has fallen, and it was never mountainously high to begin with, but this tweet is SO offensive, so hubristic and vain and insulting that it merits special attention. It deserves to be called out. Loudly, and often. No – Carole – Facebook profile pictures are NOT “what war looks like now”, and sitting behind a keyboard in the home counties, giggling about Russian bots whilst Wimbledon is muted on the TV behind you, doesn’t make you a fucking soldier. How DARE you write that? Do you have no sense of hubris? Of respect? It is the most disgusting sentence I have ever read. Words cannot express the smallness of the mind and the gargantuan scale of the ego that shat those words into the world, fully expecting …

JFK at 100: The War on Our Heroes Part 2

In the first half of this article, published on JFK’s centenary, I discussed the general degradation of the intellectual and moral character of figurehead politicians, the concomitant societal decay, and whether or not this is a deliberate policy or a by-product of promoting sociopaths above their ability to function.

In this half we will re-examine the death of JFK, not just as a simple assassination, but as an act of psychic-warfare on the general populace, and explore the long-lasting effect on the American psyche.

Haunted by the Ghosts of War

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori

Middle Eastern Surgeon Speaks About the “Ecology of War”

Text and Photos: Andre Vltchek Dr. Gus Abu-Sitta is the head of the Plastic Surgery Department at the AUB Medical Center in Lebanon. He specializes in: reconstructive surgery. What it means in this part of the world is clear: they bring you people from the war zones, torn to pieces, missing faces, burned beyond recognition, and you have to try to give them their life back. Dr. Abu-Sitta is also a thinker. A Palestinian born in Kuwait, he studied and lived in the UK, and worked in various war zones of the Middle East, as well as in Asia, before accepting his present position at the AUB Medical Center in Beirut, Lebanon. We were brought together by peculiar circumstances. Several months ago I burned my foot on red-hot sand, in Southeast Asia. It was healing slowly, but it was healing. Until I went to Afghanistan where at one of the checkpoints in Herat I had to take my shoes off, and the wound got badly infected. Passing through London, I visited a hospital there, and …

Will Vietnam embrace China after Trump elected?

by Andre Vltchek Common wisdom says that after Donald Trump got elected in the United States, Vietnam should be in panic. True, there could be some ‘objective’ reasons for alarm, if one is truly obsessed with the ‘free’ trade agreements. The Trans-Pacific Partnership may soon go to the dogs and at least one sizeable part of the Vietnamese leadership was counting on it, hoping that it would boost the economy, particularly its garment and agricultural sectors. However, Vietnam is and always was tough, and on top of it, there are many signs indicating that the public and many government and Party heads are actually demanding a more ‘hardline’ Communist path, not just more business activities. Earlier this year, the Secretary General of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyen Phu Trong, was re-elected, while Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung was pushed from power. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported: “Mr Dung was the party’s strongest voice in denouncing Beijing and was credited with Vietnam’s smooth accession to a US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership.” In brief: he was one …

No Pasaran, Commandante Fidel!

by Andre Vltchek Many years ago, Fidel declared: “Men do not shape destiny. Destiny produces the man for the hour.” It did; destiny shaped them all, los Barbudos, and threw them right into the center of the whirlpool of world history. As they fought for the freedom of Cuba, of Latin America and the entire oppressed world, they actually managed to defy their own words: in the end they irreversibly shaped the fate of our planet, of the entire humanity. Fidel stood firmly at the forefront of the struggle, from the very outset to his last breath. I was driving through Central Vietnam when the message of Fidel’s death arrived on my phone screen. For several minutes there was absolute emptiness and silence inside me. Then, on a wide and beautiful river I spotted several marvellous ships belonging to an ancient Vietnamese fishing fleet, and a boat proudly flying both the Communist red flags with yellow stars, as well as several desolate black flags – symbols of mourning. In a remote place in Asia, Fidel’s …

Western Hypocrisy, and Why It Makes the World a Dangerous Place

by Michael Jabara Carley, October 16, 2016, via Strategic Culture The West has always been a great trembling hive of hypocrisy, portraying itself as liberal, progressive, civilised and democratic. You know the descriptors; the list is very long. Take the United States, for example, it is the «shining house upon the hill»: just, altruistic, democratic, with a «mission to extend individual liberties throughout the world». “Our cause has been the cause of all mankind”, Lyndon Johnson declared during the 1964 presidential election campaign. To reinforce his argument Johnson cited President Woodrow Wilson, who had similar things to say about American virtue. Nothing has changed: listen to Barack Obama talk about the altruism of the United States. “We are the «exceptional nation»,” he often says. These western and especially US virtues are mobilised to justify policies, wars, covert activities which are not virtuous at all. Let’s start with Wilson. He is best known for the «Fourteen Points», national self-determination, “democracy”, open agreements, and so on. “Do as I say, not as I do,” Wilson might have …

“Our imperial adventurism”

by Charles W. (Chas) Freeman, Jr., via LobeLog I’m here to talk about the end of the American empire. But before I do I want to note that one of our most charming characteristics as Americans is our amnesia. I mean, we are so good at forgetting what we’ve done and where we did it that we can hide our own Easter eggs. [….] Americans like to forget we ever had an empire or to claim that, if we did, we never really wanted one. But the momentum of Manifest Destiny made us an imperial power. It carried us well beyond the shores of the continent we seized from its original aboriginal and Mexican owners. The Monroe Doctrine proclaimed an American sphere of influence in the Western Hemisphere. But the American empire was never limited to that sphere. In 1854, the United States deployed U.S. Marines to China and Japan, where they imposed our first treaty ports. Somewhat like Guantánamo, these were places in foreign countries where our law, not theirs, prevailed, whether they liked …

America’s Real Foreign Policy: Global Corporatization by Force

by Noam Chomsky, via Common Dreams (2014) The question of how foreign policy is determined is a crucial one in world affairs.  In these comments, I can only provide a few hints as to how I think the subject can be productively explored, keeping to the United States for several reasons.  First, the U.S. is unmatched in its global significance and impact.  Second, it is an unusually open society, possibly uniquely so, which means we know more about it.  Finally, it is plainly the most important case for Americans, who are able to influence policy choices in the U.S. — and indeed for others, insofar as their actions can influence such choices.  The general principles, however, extend to the other major powers, and well beyond. There is a “received standard version,” common to academic scholarship, government pronouncements, and public discourse.  It holds that the prime commitment of governments is to ensure security, and that the primary concern of the U.S. and its allies since 1945 was the Russian threat. There are a number of ways …

John Pilger: “From Pol Pot to ISIS: The blood never dried”

Following the ISIS outrages in Beirut and Paris, John Pilger updates this prescient essay on the root causes of terrorism and what we can do about it. Part of our “New 9/11” series. In transmitting President Richard Nixon’s orders for a “massive” bombing of Cambodia in 1969, Henry Kissinger said, “Anything that flies on everything that moves”. As Barack Obama wages his seventh war against the Muslim world since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and Francois Hollande promises a “merciless” attack on the rubble of Syria, the orchestrated hysteria and lies make one almost nostalgic for Kissinger’s murderous honesty. As a witness to the human consequences of aerial savagery – including the beheading of victims, their parts festooning trees and fields – I am not surprised by the disregard of memory and history, yet again. A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a …

Viet Nam a half century later

by David Swanson Jimmy Carter called a war waged in Vietnam by the United States — a war that killed 60,000 Americans and 4,000,000 Vietnamese, without burning down a single U.S. town or forest — “mutual” damage. Ronald Reagan called it a “noble” and “just cause.” Barack Obama promotes the myth of the widespread mistreatment of returning U.S. veterans, denounces the Vietnamese as “brutal,” and has launched a 13-year, $65 million propaganda program to glorify what the Vietnamese call the American War: As we observe the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, we reflect with solemn reverence upon the valor of a generation that served with honor. We pay tribute to the more than 3 million servicemen and women who left their families to serve bravely, a world away . . . They pushed through jungles and rice paddies, heat and monsoon, fighting heroically to protect the ideals we hold dear as Americans. Which ideals might those have been? Remember, this was the bad war in contrast to which World War II acquired the ridiculous …