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Showing posts from May, 2012

Viewing Syria from Vietnam

Like many in West I have watched the Arab Spring with fascination, sometime horror and hope. Praying that the turmoil will be proven to have benefited the people. Since I read that Syria has been laying landmines against its own fleeing civilians I have feared that Syria was going to much bloodier then Egypt or even Libya. Today sitting in a Vietnamese Cafe in Hoi An not far from the site of the DMZ I read this article.
Outrage grows over Syria massacreI read of the European countries, Arab countries and USA coming together to protest and call for an end to the violence. I imagine that the calls for military intervention will grow. From wisphers at the fringe into the central halls of power. The two big players who stand apart are China and Russia. Sitting in Vietnam that seems an earily similiar political divide. I can not begin to suggest what should happen next. I feel the UK (and probaly other friends of Syria countries) is tired with war abroad. Tired to see men dying in other lan…

The War, Hue, the DMZ and Chưa Biết Tên

It is impossible to go to Vietnam and ignore the Vietnam war (and the conflicts before and after it). Vietnam has suffered at the hands of foreign armies including the French, Chinese, Japanese, American and other allied forces. The Vietnam War is the most obviously destructive war with evidence of it all across Vietnam. 
On our way between Hanoi and Halong Bay we stopped at a craft centre. I immediately jumped to the conclusion this was one of the regular scams put on by tour companies where they get massive kick backs by depositing bus loads of tourist to buy overpriced items. But I was very wrong. Handspan (the tour company we went to Halong Bay with) has an eye for be ecological and helping out local NGOs and Charities. The craft centre we had stopped at is an employment scheme for disabled Vietnamese who otherwise often get forgotten about or become a large financial burden on a family. The centre ( focuses on teaching disabled people craft skills they can u…