‘Biggest bombing in history’
“Among the calamities of war may be justly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages” - Samual Johnson
Western power in Southeast Asia continues to have a significant influence despite half a century of independence. Regional narratives lean towards revisionist histories crafted predominantly by Western voices. Whilst the great game of social ideologies continues to be played out between ‘developed’ Western capitalist countries and the regional ‘developing’ communist autocracies. The language and historical narratives are dominated by Western administrations, academics and media who promote neo-colonial ideologies that preserve Western economic interests. The end of the Second World War marked a critical time for Western power in Southeast Asia. The colonial capitulation before an aggressive Japanese invasion strengthened local resolve for independence from colonialist administrations.
Until the Second World War Colonial Indochina was administrated by the French government. At the end of the war, after the Japanese withdrawal France was keen to re-establish regional control. Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos had returned to local royalist governance. Northern Vietnam’s communism administration based in Hanoi had been established by Ho Chi Minh who had fought against the Japanese, supported by the American OSS (Office of Strategic Services) the predecessor of today’s CIA.