The antiwar movement was a never-ending fount of new organizations and projects. From 1965 to 1967, new organizations included Clergy and Laity Concerned about Vietnam, Veterans for Peace in Vietnam, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Another Mother for Peace, RESIST, and American Writers and Artists Against the War. Among the new projects were the National Voters Peace Pledge Campaign, organized by SANE, “Vietnam Summer,” a community organizing project led by Martin Luther King and Benjamin Spock, and “Negotiations Now,” a petition drive led by prominent liberals such as Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
A summary Pentagon report at the end of 1966 took stock of civilian casualties, estimating that about 80 percent of the 13,000 to 24,000 North Vietnamese killed by American bombs were civilians. The commanding generals discussed the issue of civilian casualties, not as a humanitarian crisis, but as a public relations problem, as any acknowledgement of civilian casualties would give North Vietnam a “propaganda” advantage and turn world opinion (more strongly) against the United States. The report also noted that the Joint Chiefs of Staff were eager to abolish all legal restraints on bombing. A final report on Operation Rolling Thunder issued in the fall of 1968 summarized its failure to achieve stated military and psychological objectives:
The poem begins with the image of a falcon flying out of earshot from its human master. In medieval times, people would use falcons or hawks to track down animals at ground level. In this image, however, the falcon has gotten itself lost by flying too far away, which we can read as a reference to the collapse of traditional social arrangements in Europe at the time Yeats was writing.
In the fourth line, the poem abruptly shifts into a description of "anarchy" and an orgy of violence in which "the ceremony of innocence is drowned." The speaker laments that only bad people seem to have any enthusiasm nowadays.
At line 9, the second stanza of the poem begins by setting up a new vision. The speaker takes the violence which has engulfed society as a sign that "the Second Coming is at hand." He imagines a sphinx in the desert, and we are meant to think that this mythical animal, rather than Christ, is what is coming to fulfill the prophecy from the Biblical . At line 18, the vision ends as "darkness drops again," but the speaker remains troubled.
Finally, at the end of the poem, the speaker asks a rhetorical question which really amounts to a prophecy that the beast is on its way to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Christ, to be born into the world.
West Africa is becoming the symbol of worldwide demographic,environmental, and societal stress, in which criminal anarchyemerges as the real "strategic" danger. Disease,overpopulation, unprovoked crime, scarcity of resources, refugeemigrations, the increasing erosion of nation-states andinternational borders, and the empowerment of private armies,security firms, and international drug cartels are now mosttellingly demonstrated through a West African prism. West Africaprovides an appropriate introduction to the issues, oftenextremely unpleasant to discuss, that will soon confront ourcivilization. To remap the political earth the way it will be afew decades hence--as I intend to do in this article--I find Imust begin with West Africa.
President Felix Houphouet-Boigny, who died last December atthe age of about ninety, left behind a weak cluster of politicalparties and a leaden bureaucracy that discourages foreigninvestment. Because the military is small and the non-Ivorianpopulation large, there is neither an obvious force to maintainorder nor a sense of nationhood that would lessen the need forsuch enforcement. The economy has been shrinking since themid-1980s. Though the French are working assiduously to preservestability, the Ivory Coast faces a possibility worse than a coup:an anarchic implosion of criminal violence--an urbanized versionof what has already happened in Somalia. Or it may become anAfrican Yugoslavia, but one without mini-states to replace thewhole.
In the aftermath of the Versailles Conference, Ho turned to socialist writings for inspiration, and to socialist and communist parties for support. Living in Paris, he read Vladimir Lenin’s “Thesis on the National and Colonial Questions” and came to the conclusion that “only Socialism and Communism can liberate the oppressed nations.” In 1920, Ho became a founding member of the French Communist Party. In the summer of that year, the Second Congress of the Communist International met in Petrograd and Moscow, and declared its support for anti-colonial revolutions, offering revolutionaries space for headquarters and limited funding. In 1930, Ho became a founding member of the Indochinese Communist Party.
The general consensus among American historians is that the American War in Vietnam was a “mistake,” although interpretations differ as to what exactly this means. This essay takes the view that the ‘mistake” was a product of U.S. global ambitions and misperceptions that developed in the aftermath of World War II and were compounded over time. It probes deeply into the origins and nature of the war, making it a long article for a website (about 70,000 words), with about one-third devoted to the antiwar movement at home (Part IV). A half-century of excellent scholarship on the Vietnam War is drawn together and frequently cited in this essay.
"Think of a stretch limo in the potholed streets of NewYork City, where homeless beggars live. Inside the limo are theair-conditioned post-industrial regions of North America, Europe,the emerging Pacific Rim, and a few other isolated places, withtheir trade summitry and computer-information highways. Outsideis the rest of mankind, going in a completely differentdirection."
Copyright © 1994 by Robert Kaplan. All rightsreserved. The Atlantic Monthly; February 1994; The ComingAnarchy; Volume 273, No. 2; pages 44-76
“Executive Summary,” Report of the Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. United States Senate. 1993-01-13; and Appy, American Reckoning, p. 243. See also Franklin, M.I.A., or Mythmaking in America.