Category Archives: Southeast Asia

Alfred McCoy on the Rise of China

[NOTE: In 2008, Al McCoy was a main speaker at a conference on U. S. torture that I helped organize. Both his talk and his academic record marked him as a scholar to reckon with on matters of foreign policy and empire. This record drew me to this new analysis of the rapid shifts of power and empire, especially in the context of the Ukraine war.]

The Rise of China (and the Fall of the U.S.?)

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By Alfred McCoy, a historian and educator. He is the Fred Harvey Harrington Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and author of To Govern the Globe: World Orders and Catastrophic Change. O published at TomDispatch.

From the ashes of a world war that killed 80 million people and reduced great cities to smoking rubble, America rose like a Titan of Greek legend, unharmed and armed with extraordinary military and economic power, to govern the globe.

Continue reading Alfred McCoy on the Rise of China

Gwynne Dyer: Ukraine — The West vs. The Rest


Gwynne Dyer — April 27, 2033

There is a deep and growing rift between “the West” and “the Rest” about the need to resist and defeat the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is because it is really a war in defence of sovereignty, which ought to be something every sovereign country can buy into — but Western governments publicly insist that it is a war in defence of democracy Continue reading Gwynne Dyer: Ukraine — The West vs. The Rest

U. S. -Vietnam: Yesterday, Enemies: Today, Allies Against China??

[NOTE: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and “what goes around . . . .”

Who in the U.S. remembers the ten years of bitter jungle and urban warfare (and the dozen years of “secret” fighting before that), besides a rapidly disappearing remnant of veterans, a cadre of geezer peaceniks, a scattering of historians and a novelist/filmmaker here and there? Continue reading U. S. -Vietnam: Yesterday, Enemies: Today, Allies Against China??

A Superbowl Alternative (or Prequel): Something Fishy. (Two things, Actually.)

[NOTE: I hardly eat fish anymore, though in my old-style Catholic boyhood Fish-on-Friday was a rule. I particularly liked tuna. But tuna (along with a lot of Catholic dogmas) turned out to be toxic, along with a lot of other finned favorites. So I mostly let it pass.

But of course that doesn’t absolve me of complicity in the ongoing world fish fiasco: I’m a longtime cat owner.  So I’m pondering these two articles too.]

#1 — The Guardian — Interview

Sylvia Earle on the Oceans: ‘We are on the brink – a million species may be lost’
Chris Michael in Vancouver — Thu 9 Feb 2023

We are a species that is superb at killing, says veteran oceanographer, who calls for us to stop treating fish like crops and give them the respect they deserve

Seascape: the state of our oceans is supported

The renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle has urged a global gathering of marine experts to rein in industrial overfishing that threatens hundreds of species with extinction and to rethink our relationship with the oceans, calling on humanity to “do unto fish as you would have them do unto you”. Continue reading A Superbowl Alternative (or Prequel): Something Fishy. (Two things, Actually.)

Dyer: Alliances and The Big Wars Nobody Wanted, But Stumbled Into

[NOTE: This column is a followup to the post of early last week:  Lightning Strikes Three Times: Japan, Taiwan & The Emerging Big Power Arms Races.

Gwynne Dyer

It’s an improvement, in two ways: First, Gwynne Dyer knows what he’s talking about. He has a doctorate in war history and strategy; he served with the militaries of three different countries, and has traveled and studied wars past and present across much of the world. Second, he writes with rare concision and clarity, building on forty-plus years  of practice in meeting deadlines and skillfully fitting big thoughts and insights into always-small and tight Op-Ed column spaces.

And — oh wait, there’s a third: Dyer is an independent journalist/analyst, and excels most others in seeing through the thick fogbanks of propaganda and lies thrown up  around wars and rumors of war by most or all sides. Here, he does it again.]

Gwynne Dyer: More alliances could lead to wider wars:
The game is now afoot, and it will be hard to stop

Hamilton Ontario Spectator–January 19, 2023

Continue reading Dyer: Alliances and The Big Wars Nobody Wanted, But Stumbled Into