The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Vietnam has largely dropped out of sight since the Communists won a bloody North-South civil war in 1975. But, with a population of 93 million, it has hardly gone away. Now it is in the news again thanks to Noble, an acclaimed new movie. Directed by Stephen Bradley and starring Deirdre O’Kane, Noble is a... Read More
“It just started out as a simple goodbye song,” James Douglas Morrison told reporter Jerry Hopkins. “Probably just to a girl, but I could see how it could be goodbye to a kind of childhood... I think it's sufficiently complex and universal in its imagery that it could be almost anything you want it to... Read More
Is the PRC Ditching the Nine Dash Line? Without any ambiguity, the People’s Republic of China has announced that it considers itself and not the United States the boss in the South China Sea. Its most assertive statement of this principle was to send the HYSY 981 rig, escorted by a flotilla of dozens of... Read More
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A Dangerous Game for Washington
In a recent round of finger pointing, the Obama Administration blamed China for being both “dangerous and provocative” in its crisis in relations with Vietnam. The specific incident that led to the rebuke was rioting in Vietnam in response to a Chinese oil drilling rig being placed in disputed waters in the South China Sea.... Read More
And...Island Games: Okinotorishima vs. Johnson South Reef
My Twitter feed contained the following ringing statement: To paraphrase Napoleon on the Pope, how many battalions does the frickin’ passive voice have? “Must be prevented”. That’s the problem with the pivot. The "pivot to Asia" is an idea. It's not a doctrine, like the Monroe Doctrine, the Truman Doctrine, the Eisenhower Doctrine, or the... Read More
First off, Vietnam. There has been some bewilderment expressed as to why Vietnamese--demonstrating against the PRC’s provocative positioning of its HYSY 981 oil rig in waters claimed by Vietnam as part of its Exclusive Economic Zone--attacked Taiwanese factories. The answer is depressingly simple. Anti-Chinese prejudice—including prejudice against all Chinese, including Taiwanese Chinese, PRC Chinese, and... Read More
In discussing the issue of why the PRC plunked down the drilling rig HYSY981 off the Vietnamese coast, there seems to be a certain amount of cognitive dissonance plaguing the Western commentariat. Apropos l’affaire HYSY 981,The Asia Society hosted a roundtable on its website composed of the luminaries Daniel Kliman, Ely Ratner, Orville Schell, Susan... Read More
My take on the Chinese oil rig HYSY 981 off the Vietnam coast is up at Asia Times Online. Today the PRC government has offered talks with Vietnam on the issue. Talks have always been on the table with Vietnam, since the PRC is determined to discuss its South China Sea issues bilaterally. On the... Read More
Jonathan Schell (1943-2014) and the Fate of the Earth
“Up to a few months ago, Ben Suc was a prosperous village of some thirty-five hundred people.” That is the initial line of The Village of Ben Suc, his first book, a copy of which I recently reread on a plane trip, knowing that he was soon to die. That book, that specific copy, had... Read More
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
[The following interview from Chris Appy’s 2003 book Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered From All Sides is used with the kind permission of his publisher, Viking Penguin, and is posted at TomDispatch.com as a memorial to Jonathan Schell, who died on March 25th, and to his work, which will long outlast him.] Rushing into the... Read More
[The Asia Times Online yearender, which appeared on Dec. 22, 2012. It can be reposted if ATOl is credited and a link provided.] The passing year was the People's Republic of China's (PRC) first opportunity to get up close and personal with the United States' pivot back to Asia, the strategic rebalancing that looks a... Read More
 A lot of matches are flying around the Chinese tinderbox.   Fortunately, most parties involved seem more interested in scoring political points than making a genuine and risky effort to push back China. However, as the example of Sarajevo tells us, sometimes wars happen when nations become prisoners of their own posturing.   So it's worthwhile to... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
The ghosts that haunt Senator John McCain are about 600 in number and right now they are mustering for an onslaught. McCain, one of America's foremost Republicans and President Barack Obama's opponent in 2008, is currently locked in a desperate bid for political survival in his home state of Arizona. After 20 years of immunity... Read More
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The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
Eighteen months ago, TAC publisher Ron Unz discovered an astonishing account of the role the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, had played in suppressing information about what happened to American soldiers missing in action in Vietnam. Below, we present in full Sydney Schanberg’s explosive story.
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Hundreds of POWs may have been left to die in Vietnam, abandoned by their government—and our media.
In the closing days of the 2008 presidential campaign, I clicked an ambiguous link on an obscure website and stumbled into a parallel universe. During the previous two years of that long election cycle, the media narrative surrounding Sen. John McCain had been one of unblemished heroism and selfless devotion to his fellow servicemen. Thousands... Read More
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My Four-Decade Fight to Report the Truth
May He Rest in Darkness
Robert McNamara, who died yesterday, July 6, served as Kennedy’s , then as Johnson’s defense secretary. He contributed more than most to the slaughter of 3.4 million Vietnamese (his own estimate). He went on to run the World Bank, where he presided over the impoverishment, eviction from their lands and death of many millions more... Read More
I am participating in a panel discussion on Friday as part of the 40th reunion of my class at the University of Chicago. I will be the token conservative pitted against three "progressives" who participated in the various building occupations, teach-ins, and demonstrations that took place in 1967-8, mostly directed against the war in Vietnam.... Read More
HANOI - The remains of a B-52 shot down by North Vietnamese anti-aircraft artillery lie in the middle of Huu Tiep Lake in northern Hanoi, by the side of a busy back road. For old residents of Ba Dinh district, it's a powerful reminder of what the country fought for: during the American War -... Read More
HANOI - Just as it took a few years for the Americans to lose the hearts and minds of the South Vietnamese, it took them only a few weeks to lose the hearts and minds of the majority of Iraqis - which ultimately means losing the war, whatever the strategic final result. Topographic denials -... Read More
HO CHI MINH CITY - Wheeling and dealing is the name of the game in go-go Saigon. The city of Uncle Ho remains a motorbike hell, although Vietnam may be on its way to becoming a country where the middle class buys cheap sedans to replace them. In the lovely characterization of a communist party... Read More
HO CHI MINH CITY - A Vietnamese TV crew is shooting a soap opera in a park behind the late 19th-century Notre Dame cathedral. The leading lady, clad in a beautiful crimson ao dai, sobs uncontrollably despite the efforts of her partner, against the background of the city's usual non-stop parade of motorbikes. Nguyen Phuoc... Read More
War Crimes vs. Thought Crimes by Ron Unz National Review Online, Friday, May 4, 2001 Former Senator Bob Kerrey is fortunate indeed that the charges recently leveled against him are merely that he committed war crimes and not any far more devastating accusations of thought crimes. Serving as president of the impeccably left- liberal New... Read More
Ho Chi Minh, by William J. Duiker
One of the great moving forces of the world in the early twentieth century was the resentment felt by Asians towards those European powers that had seized their territories. Intelligent young people from these old, proud countries seethed with rage at the effrontery of the white men. The other side of this anger was shame... Read More
In a March 1984 Optimist feature article, Julian Lowenfeld performed the valuable service of focusing our attention on the plight of the remaining 2490 American MIAs of the Vietnam War. As Dr. Lowenfeld makes clear, although these brave young Americans are officially listed as "Missing in Action,'' most are actually POWs, still held as human... Read More
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The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.