Category Archives: Theatre of War

Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, northern Thailand, Gulf of Siam

Keeping The Secret Alive

Will the CIA be great again?

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By Larry Joseph Calloway © A Great Place to Have a War: America in Laos and the Birth of a Military CIA by Joshua Kurlantzick (Scribner, 2017) Laos is a great place to be a tourist. It has Luang Prabang, with its French colonial architecture and Buddhist monasteries along a simple historic main street. It […]

Saying Goodbye In Thai

Mean Streets, Peaceful River

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      by Larry Calloway (c) 2012 In the new Bangkok air terminal a long sculpture on the way to international departures depicts a tug of war, demigods v. devils, in the clean bright primary colors of Theravada Buddhist  temples. This moral chemistry, this dynamic equilibrium of unresolved issues that has gone on since […]

Secret Wars Have No Heroes

More on what Obama revealed and rued

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A king at rest   (C)text and photos by LARRY CALLOWAY   Air America was created in 1959 to support covert operations in Laos, a landlocked country of no more than 3 million people then, caught between Vietnam and Thailand. Our man in Laos was Phoumi Nosavan, a diminutive general of the Royal Lao Army […]

The Emptiness Of The Plain of Jars

A sidebar to President Obama’s Laos apology

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        (c)by LARRY CALLOWAY THE JARS  on the Plain of Jarres (French colonialists named it) are empty. The bomb craters from the secret war in Laos, pockmarks of a sick strategy called “madman,” are not empty. They hold the remnants of cluster bombs that popped open in the air and birthed out […]

The Buddhists Had The Answer To The American War in Vietnam

Thich Nhat Hanh In Hanoi

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During the Vietnam war he spoke out against foreign ideology and foreign arms. He created a volunteer youth group to rebuild destroyed villages. He was consequently exiled. Now he was back, in peace.

Meditation In A Killing Field

What is the relationship of Buddhism to genocide?

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As the tour guide struggled through the life of the Buddha I watched a depressed monk smoke a cigarette and stare out toward a pile of skulls pressed against glass. I wondered what he was thinking.

It Was Not Shambala, This Village Full Of Life

Recalling a Buddhist ceremony in pre-modernThailand

On the eve of a return trip to Southeast Asia, I recalled a village scene 40 years ago that to me defines the difference in practice between the two “vehicles” of Buddhism. Theravada is not as lonely as Mahayana.