Noting debates here over the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu (March-May 1954), it remains my position that the French loss (esp post-Korean War armistice) was a needless disaster & that the Allies should have helped the French resist the Communist insurgency. I blame Ike. 🇫🇷 ⚜️
The brilliant war correspondent & historian, Bernard Fall, wrote superb histories of the French experience in Indochina, include the Dien Bien Phu denouement
Bernard Fall's account of the end of the French war in Indochina at Dien Bien Phu was a lesson that awaited 'learning', less for the successor Vietnam War (which was a just war of assistance to Sth Vietnam) than for the Afghan War of our times.
Bernard Fall's comments on Dien Bien Phu - and that occupying powers will be defeated by losing the initiative & being exhausted by repetitive & draining engagements - are worthy of consideration at any time but especially now, re the military folly of counter-insurgency.
Will end this thread for now noting post-WW2 (grandiose American pronouncements notwithstanding), the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch etal all held imperial/colonial territories each wanted to hang on to for as long as possible. We lack good late Imperial histories.

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More from @GrayConnolly

22 Nov
On this day in 1963, the US President, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated in Dallas. Kennedy was a naval officer and war hero in WWII, then a Congressman and Senator. A complex man whose presidency was cut short, yet was also significant for the crises it faced in its 1000 days. Image
Kennedy served in WW2 in the US Navy - by contrast to the Boomer generation & Vietnam, young Kennedy, with a terrible medical history, lied in order to join the US Navy, first serving in Naval Intelligence and then in the SW Pacific. Image
In 1943, the US Navy's PT-109, serving in the Solomon Islands campaign. is rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. The boat's Skipper, LT(JG) John F. Kennedy, swam for 4 hours to rescue & then save his sailors. Australian coastwatcher, SBLT Arthur Evans, helped save the crew. Image
Read 9 tweets
21 Nov
Very sound #Catholic reading for a Sunday on left by ⁦@BarnasJoe⁩ .... sadly on right is a very amateurish caricature that is doing the rounds & is a form of penance one must endure. We must be understanding of error but vigilant in its correction Image
That ‘against integralism’ piece was so bad. I am not even an integralist (albeit it asks good questions about a just society) and this review was just a bonfire of straw men amid the spirit of 1965.
Catholic theology needs a “prisoner swap” with higher protestant theology. This is abysmal. Also Catholics use Tradition not “tradition”. This is just a hot mess of 1965 redux Image
Read 4 tweets
21 Nov
Look forward to the Media taking responsibility for cheering on a 20 year War so that NATO could bring weird European liberal norms to tribal & primitive Afghans that hated us as occupiers & in which our local allies were often pederast Warlords. We need a complete accounting.
For example, Laura Bush thought the Afghan war was important enough for the 'Afghan women' but not so important for her own daughters to enlist .... Guess what the media cheered on....?…
More here - apparently we are all now occupying Afghanistan to bring Brooklyn to Bagram .... you can never withdraw. Ever…
Read 5 tweets
19 Nov
A moral equation of the 'body count' between abortions and state executions is simply absurd....also, an execution usually follows an exhaustive if at times flawed process. They are two separate species of 'death penalty' & culpability of the 'executed'.
Biggest problem for advocates of the death penalty: the criminal justice system can and does make horrifically unjust errors.

Biggest problem for opponents of the death penalty: what do you do with those tried and convicted at Nuremberg in 1945-1946?
What if the death penalty is to be viewed, historically at least, as the domestic application of war powers the State will use abroad? The Sovereign's duty was to protect the realm, against enemies foreign and domestic. Do those to be 'droned' deserve any due process?
Read 4 tweets
18 Nov
Oasis were better than the Beatles
There is no Beatles song that is as remotely a good driving song as “Morning Glory”. And no one from the Beatles took on Eric Cantona
Also getting someone like Patrick MacNee for “Don’t Look Back In Anger” was perfection

Read 7 tweets
18 Nov
Parler sounds Cromwellian
If you do not know what this means please unfollow.
Why are you following anyway?
Read 4 tweets

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