Thursday, May 07, 2009

Blood of Indochina

Today is Thursday, 7 May 2009.

On this date in 1954, the French fortress at Dien Bien Phu fell to the Viet Minh.

The next day, the French government began negotiating withdrawal from its Indochinese colonies. Vietnam was subsequently split into two halves: the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in the north, ruled by the Viet Minh, and the Republic of Vietnam in the south, ruled by the dictator Ngo Dinh Diem. The latter became a client of the United States, primarily at the instigation of its Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, supported by his brother, Allen Dulles, Director of Central Intelligence. This would lead to some 5 to 6 million more deaths by 1975, when US influence was finally expelled.

Interestingly, the law firm of J.F. Dulles had represented the interests of Nazi Germany in the US during the 1930s.

The Quote of the Day is from yesterday’s The New York Times. By way of background: Mia Farrow is currently on a 21-day hunger strike to draw attention to the mass murder in Darfur.

“We appreciate Mia Farrow’s intentions and we respect her for her interest in the welfare of the Sudanese people,” says Khaled al-Mubarak, media councilor at the Sudanese embassy in London. “She is a good actress and a good human being, but as a politician she is only a beginner. She is like George Clooney, who has also got involved in the Darfur question. He is good looking but ignorant. She is ignorant too.”


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