Saturday, February 18, 2017

Zoua Nikki Thao - Week 7

The War After the War by Nayan Chanda explores the complexities of Southeast Asia before, during and after the Vietnam War, particularly in terms of the countries that make up Indochina. Chanda does not only look at what happened post-Vietnam War, but way back into ancient Southeast Asian kingdoms as well, such as Champa. As I learned more about the origins and histories of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, the greater my understanding of the war became. The relationship between the three countries show not only how interconnected their involvement in wars are, but their combined liberation as well. Stemming from an unusual, tributary relationship with China, Chanda discusses how reticulated the narratives of these nations are from as early as 200 B.C. to the Vietnam War and onward.

Reading the history behind these ancient kingdoms have allowed me to understand why the neutral countries of Laos and Cambodia got pulled into the Vietnam War. Yes, the United States' military intervention was a huge reason behind Laos and Cambodia's involvement, but so is this "brotherhood" that exists within Indochina (112). Chanda describes that this historic brotherhood basically lies in the common struggle of Indochina and its historical relations with superpowers, such as China. For one nation to be independent, that meant that the other two had to be as well. There was no Vietnam versus China, but had always been China versus Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. The brotherhood is essentially a stronger alliance.

Learning about this makes me question how deeply rooted and complex wars are today. As I try to unpack and learn more about what is happening in Syria, the more confused I become. There are alliances that the United States has to some middle-eastern countries that fuel the Syrian War. Although the Syrian War has created the Syrian refugee crisis, there are more countries involved than just Syria and the United States. Are we ever going to know all of the facts behind wars? What does liberation look like for a country like Syria when it's independence may be dependent on other nations?

A picture showing all the forces Syria is fighting against.


Chanda, Nayan. "Introduction" "Chapter 1: Old Enemies, New War" "Chapeter 4: A Glimpse into the History" "Epilogue" N.p., n.d.The War after the War. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers. Web. 17 Feb. 2017

No comments:

Post a Comment