Ancient History of Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos
Kao Kang Kue Vang
As I read Chanda’s book, Brother enemy: The war after the war, I felt that these warring countries were immature children, bullying one another in the playground. It is absolutely ridiculous how the constant struggle over power became a pissing contest of rivalry, friendship and enemies that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. I don’t want to be cynical but as I read the stories of mending strained friendships and exchanging of gifts only to learn of the symbolism behind their hatred for one another it makes me wonder, what intent really is there to ever mend any sort of relationship after all these wars? It almost makes me question who allowed these people to even come to a position to rule such countries. Feelings aside, this book is a sad reflection of what hunger for power and control can do to devastate a country. The saddest part is how other countries think they can exert their power and meddle into other countries’ political affairs only causing more chaos as Vietnam, Cambodia and China attempts to rebuild themselves-only resulting to other micro wars amongst themselves.
These warring countries reminds me of the United States and their recent encounter with Iran. Trump’s authorization to kill Soleimani, an Iranian general, led to the counter attacks that not only killed American soldiers but by “human error” take down an entire airplane killing all 176 passengers aboard. The two warring countries are now fumbling to blame one another as to who is responsible. It is obvious that decades later, countries have still not learned past wars and innocent lives continue to pay the price for the assertion of political and military power.
What are your thoughts, do you think countries can ever mend their past and become friends and not warring nations? Is there such a thing as peace? Do people who live in these countries or those abroad as immigrants, transnationals or refugees as a result ever achieve peace?
Image: This is the image of the wreckage of the Ukraine Iran Plane crash. How do you justify this as “human error?”
Chanda, N. (1986). Brother enemy: The war after the war. Harcourt.