Tag: Vietnam

Simply writing a personal or family memoir would be an easier task than producing an illustrated graphic memoir. It is not only that the work is more difficult technically, but so much more is at risk in the visualization of the narrative. Emotions about family members and their lives emerge in the pictures. Visual storytelling commits where words can remain ambiguous. (More…)

On September 11th, the War on Terror will turn 15. Some would argue that it is in fact much older. Without a doubt, it has now outlasted WWII by a decade. Given how much that conflict transformed Europe, God forbid what this war has done to it. (More…)

The first five years of the occupation were as dangerous and brutal as anything out of South Vietnam during the 1960s, or Iraq in our own time. Even as peace settled in, an account of the 1917 parliamentary elections reproduced in a Haitian newspaper for the centennial is instructive of the problems faced by the Yanqui occupiers. (More…)

The drone war, as it has been fought to this point, has featured an effective interweaving of military and ideological considerations. Grégoire Chamayou’s A Theory of the Drone represents  the most comprehensive attempt to untangle the most politically complex aspects of drone use, and to explore its and psychological implications. (More…)

The Khmer Rouge got off easy. No act of genocide is as misunderstood as the murderous campaign that the Maoist revolutionaries undertook during the second half of the 1970s. Two million Cambodians were murdered in the space of four years. The scale of the killings, and the ruthlessness with which they were conducted, shocked the West, which was still struggling to get its head around the Holocaust, just three decades earlier. (More…)

For those of you not familiar with Vietnam veteran Tim O’Brien’s 1978 novel Going After Cacciato I have two pieces of advice. Firstly, locate a copy and read it. It is as good and insightful a book on war as his better known The Things They Carried. Secondly, be prepared to find in Cacciato more than a faint echo of Bowe Bergdahl, the missing US soldier traded this week for five Taliban figures after going missing in action half a decade ago. (More…)

From Pretoria to Peoria, the whole world is in mourning. For a one-time revolutionary leader from South Africa, that ought to say something. Not just about his political achievements, in helping end his country’s hated Apartheid regime. Rather, what Nelson Mandela’s breakthroughs meant to persons abroad, with little to no immediate stakes in his victories. (More…)

Attacking Syria gets more surreal every day. The abstract nature of that debate, in the United States, as if somehow real lives, Syrian lives, were not hanging in the balance is appalling. And what is most starkly absent from the discussion is any apparent concern over a civil war that has already caused over 100,000 deaths, created some six million refugees and internally displaced persons and promises that the worst is yet to come. (More…)

Although almost everyone around the world has a superficial knowledge of the American way of life, forced down their throats by the United States’ two most successful export industries, weaponry and media, deeper understanding can prove elusive. How, for example, can the people of a nation that has been a global superpower for the better part of a century still conceive of themselves as renegade underdogs, fighting for freedom? (More…)

Barack Obama continues to insist that surveillance of telephone and internet communications is necessary. Speaking in Berlin, where the outcry over PRISM has been the loudest amongst US allies, Obama claimed that the surveillance had thwarted “at least 50 threats of terror attacks in the United States and other countries,” according to the Voice of America. (More…)

Soon the Great British Olympic moment will be over. The closing ceremony was held last weekend. This year’s Paralympics will be finished by early September. By the turn of the season, the magic will finally have faded. The nature of the legacy left in its wake, for London in general and the people of Newham in particular, remains to be decided (NB: some locals have already complained about being short-changed.) (More…)

The Syrian civil war has caused an explosion of political graffiti, cartoons, and flyers in the country’s many Diasporas. The following examples, which contain many Syrian slang words, were photographed in Berlin last month. They give an impression of increased bitterness and radicalization directed against an autocrat who, little over a year ago, was said to be unaffected by the Arab Spring. (More…)