After the Cataclysm, Postwar Indochina and the Reconstruction of Imperial Ideology

By Noam Chomsky; Edward S. Herman | Go to book overview

Preface

This is a companion volume to The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism. The final chapter of Volume I examined U.S. intervention in Vietnam up to the collapse of the Saigon regime in April 1975, including its real and nominal purposes, the balance and interplay of terror and violence, and the images constructed by the propaganda system. The main body of this volume (chapters 4, 5, 6) is devoted to the postwar condition of the three states of Indochina: Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (Kampuchea) respectively. The time frame of the discussion is from mid-1975 to the end of 1978. As in Volume I, the discussion has a double focus: on Indochina itself and on the West (primarily, the United States) in relation to Indochina. We will consider the facts about postwar Indochina insofar as they can be ascertained, but a major emphasis will be on the ways in which these facts have been interpreted, filtered, distorted or modified by the ideological institutions of the West.

Chapter I presents the general background. In chapter 2, we review some historical precedents reflecting our dual concern: specifically, we will consider the treatment of the defeated enemy during and after other conflicts, and the ways in which the Western intelligentsia have tended to relate to state power in the past. In chapter 3 we turn to the interesting pattern of responses in the West to the plight of refugees during the period under review. In this preface, we will take note of several themes that will be

-vii-

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After the Cataclysm, Postwar Indochina and the Reconstruction of Imperial Ideology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Table of Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Chapter 1 the Setting 1
  • Chapter 2 Precedents 23
  • Chapter 3 Refugees: Indochina and Beyond 49
  • Chapter 4 Vietnam 61
  • Chapter 5 Laos 119
  • Chapter 6 Cambodia 135
  • Chapter 7 Final Comments 295
  • Notes 301
  • Index 385
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