|Piecing together the motivations of Cambodia, Viet Nam, China, and other sovereign parties might start to look something like this. Image credit: http://sepiatonedeaf.blogspot.com/2014/04/nwar-3-string-theory.html|
As its been said in the introduction sequence to the most recent Fallout games, "War. War never changes." Such a saying holds true in helping to describe this week's theme of Ancient History of Viet Nam, Cambodia, and Laos. The struggle for dominance amongst the trio of Southeast Asian countries perpetuates the narrative of their history as factions both within and outside of the area look intently at the conflicts that rise up in the region. Nayan Chanda's Brother Enemy: The War After the War attempts to provide historical context behind an overlooked third Indochina War. Though Chanda's narrative is thorough, I find myself lost within the mires of motivations and conflict. However, a recurring theme arose from the retelling of history. Those who are in power rely on those without to struggle amongst themselves, and every single faction discussed in this reading relied on this fact to fuel their political, economic, and military actions which shaped the course of history into the narrative Chanda reconstructs.
Considering that this chapter of history isn't often discussed in the mainstream history books often, it makes me curious after reading why this is the case. Could the complexity of the motivations and maneuvers in this region be too much for the average historian to handle? Or is it a failure to identify the parallel impacts of these conflicts with other human mishaps in the overarching timeline of history?
- Patrick Camarador