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    woo..., 2003-12-14 12:06:12 | Main | At 5:55, two hours and 55 min..., 2003-12-16 11:59:48

    riding to china on a mountain of bones:

    I keep thinking I've seen the end to new additions, at least major ones, but here's another one I wasn't aware of. The NSA release of relevant declassified internal documentation - largely confirming and extending the record as presented in a 1991 Zmag article by Stephen Shalom - was only released one year ago. Amid the genocide of 500,000 to 3 million Bengalese the United States is the sole international actor to maintain material support for the criminal party throughout the 9 months of the campaign - minus perhaps China, which promised aid but evidently never delivered. The reason? To retain Kissinger's contacts with the Chinese that the record demonstrates also existed through Romania: what a realist.

    I recently purchased, on recommendation from friends, NYT correspondant David Halberstam's War in a Time of Peace, which I'm reading in parallel with Burg and Shoup's The War in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I haven't gotten very far into WTP, as I'm having a bit of trouble getting past the point in chapter 2 where Halberstam describes Kissinger as part of the "moderate bipartisan foreign policy establishment". I think I'm feeling what Brad DeLong must have felt when he attempted to read What Uncle Sam Really Wants. Not terribly pleasant. I take it such an aside stems from the fact that this is more a psychological history of the self-perceptions of three American presidents than a history of things that actually happened, but that's just the running theory. Kissinger the moderate, sure, from the perspective of somebody who thinks a massive bombing campaign on civillian infrastructure will improve human rights conditions on the ground. Makes sense.

    I don't remember what fork in the google originally got me on this particular topic, but one of the subsequent prongs lead me to 3rd World View, a Bengali blog that yesterday marked the anniversay date of the kidnappings of martyred intellectuals by the Pak army. A week ago he pointed out an interesting article on the events leading to Bangladeshi independence in a Pakistani defense journal. A brief passage worth noting, in the present context:

    The reason of opening of old wounds (over) thirty years later is the tragic fact that the nation and its leaders refuse to face the facts. ... For a fresh start, it is essential that all skeletons in the closets should be taken out. Unless, all old demons are taken out from darkness and exorcised, they will keep haunting the nation forever.

    Quite remarkable.


:: posted by buermann @ 2003-12-15 17:21:18 CST | link





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