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The Fiftieth Anniversary of The Tet Offensive

Mar 05, 2018 | 0 comments

It is a strange event for any American, Australian, New Zealander, South Korean or Thai who fought in the Viet Nam War to celebrate the Tet offensive in South Viet Nam which occurred fifty years ago last month. The offensive preceded the Tet holiday or lunar new year celebrated by the Vietnamese. The Tet offensive spawned a massive escalation in the Viet Nam War and resulted in the loss of an average of 45 American soldiers per day that year. It led President Lyndon Johnson not to seek a second term of office. Accordingly, it was a celebratory event for...

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Women Journalists During the Vietnam War

Jan 08, 2018 | 0 comments

The New York Times recently published an article by Elizabeth Becker, a well-known author and journalist, entitled The Women Who Covered Vietnam.  Although the article highlights the experience of Kate Webb, who was recognized this year on an Australian stamp to commemorate Australia's Veterans Day, Elizabeth Becker utilizes Kate's experiences as well as those of herself, Sylvana Foa, a reporter for U.P.I. and others to highlight the difficulties for women breaking into what was truly regarded as a man's world.  The fact that Vietnam was not designated as a U.S. war prior to 1967 enabled women to jump into the...

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Frequent Fliers and The Hanoi Hilton

Feb 13, 2017 | 0 comments

Back during the Vietnam War era, the last hotel you wanted to visit was "The Hanoi Hilton" or what was officially known as Hoa Lo Prison. When the author started visiting Hanoi in the early nineties, the "Hanoi Hilton" was still standing. It would have been on a great jogging route from the Metropole Hotel but too depressing because of the bad spirits that resided there and the author chose another jogging path around Truc Bach Lake. The "Hanoi Hilton", shown below in a photo surreptitiously taken by the author on an early morning jog, was formerly a French prison...

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Activism in Buddhism

Jan 16, 2017 | 0 comments

We think about Buddhism being a kind of a passive religious faith but the author would describe it as a form of spirituality from a deeply revered enlightened one whose teachings were not radically different than those of Jesus and Mohamed in their recognized religions. Moreover, despite the massive bloodshed in the past over alleged religious reasons, the precepts are all pretty much the same. So what has caused Buddhist monks to be less than the passive, quiet folks, they are supposed to be? In the final analysis, when things are woefully wrong, they step up and react. Without going...

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