Archive for December, 2017

Merrill McPeak | Bombing the Ho Chi Minh Trail – NYT – & response

The Tây Sơn Rebellion on Facebook
Published by David Lindsay2 mins

Merrill McPeak ends with, “But when Saigon fell, it was not a swarm of ragtag Vietcong guerrillas who overran the city, but columns of Russian-made T-54 tanks, leading a modern field army complete with artillery and surface-to-air missiles, all delivered by those tough-guy truck drivers down that seemingly indestructible Ho Chi Minh Trail.”
I hope that Gen. McPeak reads of Vietnamese history, which I believe is the key to understanding the country, its people, and it extraordinary ability to wage war. The Chinese invaded in 101 BC, and tried to make Vietnam part of China, but almost a thousand years later, in AD 938, the Vietnamese rose up and threw the Chinese out in military conflict.
By the time Ho Hue, later called Nguyen Hue, the third son of the famous three brothers who led the Tay Son rebellion, defeated 200,000 Chinese army regulars in pitched battle, it was the seventh time, counting 938. The Viets defeated an army sent by Kublai Khan, and another army of 500,000 sent by his son Kublai Khan. Vietnamese military historians have reported that many of the booby traps used against US soldiers were part of an old technology perfected by the Vietnamese in the 13th century against one of the larger Chinese invasions. Over time, the Viets determined the southern border of China.

No matter how many times we attacked it, the North Vietnamese transit network remained. In the end, it’s how they won.
nytimes.com

Posted in: David Lindsay, The Tay Son Rebellion, Vietnam-American War

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A tsunami of human-made troubles in the Indonesian capital poses an imminent threat to the city’s survival. And it has to deal with mounting threats from climate change. By MICHAEL KIMMELMAN, Photographs by JOSH HANER

The Tây Sơn Rebellion
Published by David Lindsay20 mins

“In fact, Jakarta is sinking faster than any other big city on the planet, faster, even, than climate change is causing the sea to rise — so surreally fast that rivers sometimes flow upstream, ordinary rains regularly swamp neighborhoods and buildings slowly disappear underground, swallowed by the earth. The main cause: Jakartans are digging illegal wells, drip by drip draining the underground aquifers on which the city rests — like deflating a giant cushion underneath it. About 40 percent of Jakarta now lies below sea level.

Coastal districts, like Muara Baru, near the Blessed Bodega, have sunk as much as 14 feet in recent years. Not long ago I drove around northern Jakarta and saw teenagers fishing in the abandoned shell of a half-submerged factory. The banks of a murky canal lapped at the trestle of a railway bridge, which, until recently, had arched high over it.”

“Jakarta’s former governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok, ordered the eviction. He is ethnic Chinese, a geological engineer by training. As governor, he tackled several of Jakarta’s big problems, or tried to. He tried, but failed, to wrest control of the water supply from the private companies. He assembled a sanitation crew, called the Orange Army, to remove sediment and garbage from rivers and canals.

Workers repairing a sea wall that failed, flooding homes in a nearby kampung.

And he cleared out some of the kampungs that obstructed waterways. The efforts began to make a difference. Rains that once caused days of floods drained within hours.

But many people forced out, like Topaz, resisted the moves, convinced that the evictions were really intended to enrich developers, not improve drainage. Akuarium became a hotbed of protest against the governor.

Capitalizing on residents’ resistance and the piety of the urban poor, the hard-line Islamic Defenders Front teamed with some of the governor’s political rivals and religious conservatives to tap into a vein of anti-Chinese populism. Ahok’s enemies escalated what had been a conflict over the displacement of a fishing community into an argument about whether a non-Muslim should lead a Muslim-majority city.

The governor found himself regularly attacked at Friday prayers. He lost his re-election bid, and the Islamists, who exploited anger against him, had him brought up on charges of blasphemy. He is serving two years in prison.”

David Lindsay:  These stories make a good argument for communism, or fascism. Democracy hasn’t worked for Jakarta.

It seems like they are repeating an old meme from the Christian bible stories,  the sins of the world were cleansed by Noah’s flood.

 

Countless human-made troubles in the Indonesian capital pose an imminent threat to the city’s survival. And it has to deal with mounting threats from…
NYTIMES.COM

Posted in: Environment, Population Growth

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Google Missed Out on China. Can It Flourish in India? – The New York Times

“JODHPUR, India — Every month, about four million more Indians get online. They include people like Manju, a 35-year-old seamstress in this city of ancient palaces, who got her first internet phone last week.

“It’s necessary for me to learn new things,” said Manju, who uses only one name. She was so thrilled to discover YouTube and other streaming video services that she quickly burned through her monthly data plan. Now her phone carrier, Reliance Jio, has relegated her to a trickle of low-speed data until next month, when her plan resets.

“It’s all finished,” she complained on Monday when a Google researcher came to visit to ask about her online habits.

Photo

Manju, who uses only one name, holding her Reliance Jio phone on Monday, when the visiting researcher, Ted McCarthy, showed her how to use Google Assistant.CreditRebecca Conway for The New York Times

Source: Google Missed Out on China. Can It Flourish in India? – The New York Times

Posted in: India, Information Technology

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