Far more important in our context is the link between the policies of Alexios I and the passage of the crusader armies through Byzantium. The letter of Alexios I to Count Robert of Flanders, asking for troops and admitting the weakness of the Empire, has been decisively shown not just to be spurious in form, but also unlikely to have ever been sent. It is also highly doubtful that a Byzantine request for troops was submitted in 1095 at the Church Council of Piacenza (pp. 37, 47-50, 54), as there was no need for them at that time. The western sources reporting these events were all written several years later and coloured by the light of subsequent developments. They clearly reflect western, rather than Byzantine views. It is questionable, therefore, whether the armies of the First Crusade came to Constantinople in response to a Byzantine appeal. In any event, at that time the land route through Byzantium was the only possible one for a large crusading expedition, in the absence of adequate maritime transportation.
The First Indochina War had begun. It pitted a combined French force of 348,000 – 80,000 French soldiers, 20,000 Foreign Legionnaires, 48,000 North Africans, and 200,000 Vietnamese working for the French – against some 350,000 Viet Minh troops, with a supporting cast of millions under the leadership of President Ho Chi Minh, General Vo Nguyen Giap, and the DRV government.
Proof read. There should be no spelling errors. There should be no typographical errors. There should be no run-on sentences, sentence fragments, or misused words. Have a friend read over the paper. Run a spell check. Take it to the writing center. DO ANYTHING YOU HAVE TO DO TO PRESENT AN ERROR FREE TEXT. A sloppy paper is the sign of a sloppy mind.
According to Harris (Chapter 9), this perception and Byzantium's failure to make what the Latins considered to be the rightful financial contribution to the recovery of Jerusalem were the two factors leading directly to the Latin conquest of Constantinople. These same arguments were used by western writers to justify the first conquest of Byzantine territory, namely that of Cyprus by King Richard I of England in 1191.(pp. 141-42) In 1195 the western emperor Henry VI exerted strong pressure on Byzantium to provide financial assistance for a crusade, a precedent followed by Innocent III in 1199. In 1202 the pope issued a thinly-veiled threat to Alexios III that force could be used against Byzantium if it did not comply. Although he neither advocated nor condoned an attack on the empire, his pronouncements allowed the participants in the Fourth Crusade to believe that it was justified.(pp. 149-152)
- The Book of Jeremiah is largely a biographical story of one of God’s prophets, though the messages that can be found in the text have been carried throughout generations.
A summary Pentagon report at the end of 1966 took stock of civilian casualties, estimating that about 80 percent of the 13,000 to 24,000 North Vietnamese killed by American bombs were civilians. The commanding generals discussed the issue of civilian casualties, not as a humanitarian crisis, but as a public relations problem, as any acknowledgement of civilian casualties would give North Vietnam a “propaganda” advantage and turn world opinion (more strongly) against the United States. The report also noted that the Joint Chiefs of Staff were eager to abolish all legal restraints on bombing. A final report on Operation Rolling Thunder issued in the fall of 1968 summarized its failure to achieve stated military and psychological objectives:
American bombing missions were enabled by the U.S. global military base structure, which allowed airplanes to carry out missions from as far away as Guam, Okinawa, the Philippines, and Thailand, and by the construction of air-bases, landing fields, military compounds, roads, ports and energy depots in South Vietnam by two politically connected companies, Bechtel and Kellogg, Brown and Root. For the Pentagon, Vietnam served as a “remarkable technological opportunity,” in the words of General Maxwell Taylor, for showcasing new super-weapons developed by military scientists and engineers. Following the Soviets launching of Sputnik in 1958, the Eisenhower administration founded the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), whose mission was to recruit top scientific talent for developing cutting edge military technologies that would enable the U.S. to win the Cold War. In 1971, it was estimated that more than 240,000 technological and scientific workers were involved in war related production or research. Their output was considerable.
Still, President Nixon did what he could to ensure that South Vietnam would survive as long as possible. On April 30, 1970, he ordered U.S. troops into Cambodia to destroy NLF-NVA sanctuaries as well as back up the rightist coup d’etat of General Lon Nol. Nixon’s public announcement of this expansion of the war set off nationwide protests on college campuses, including one at Kent State where members of the National Guard shot and killed four students. U.S. troops were withdrawn from Cambodia after two months, but the bombing of Cambodia continued for another three years.
In the aftermath of My Lai, more atrocity stories came to light, many told by GIs and veterans themselves. To limit the damage, the Pentagon assembled a secret Vietnam War Crimes Working Group that gathered more than 300 criminal investigation reports, testimonies, and allegations of atrocities, including massacres, murders, rapes, torture, assaults, mutilations, and the execution of prisoners. The purpose of the working group was not to administer justice but to bury the evidence in top-secret classification. The Pentagon framed My Lai as an “isolated incident,” the product of a few “bad apples,” and kept the lid on information and reports regarding other atrocities, including the massacre at My Khe that same day. It refused to investigate many of the allegations by GIs and vets in the interest of keeping the extent of atrocities under wraps. This went beyond public image making, as the generals themselves could be charged with war crimes under international law (in the tradition of the Nuremberg Trials) should a consistent pattern of atrocities and cover-ups be proven.
The man at the helm of the “death machine” from June 1964 to June 1968, General William C. Westmoreland, was callous in his attitude toward Vietnamese civilian deaths and saw technical advances in Vietnam as inaugurating a new way of war. He told an army lobby group in October 1969 that “on the battlefield of the future, enemy forces will be located, tracked and targeted almost instantaneously through the use of data links, computer assisted intelligence evaluation and automated fire control. With first round kill probabilities approaching certainty, and with surveillance devices that can continually track the enemy, the need for large forces to fix the opposition will be less important.”
The story that was heard in the U.S., however, was that of Douglas Pike, an employee of the U.S. Information Agency, who blamed the civilian deaths entirely on the insurgents and warned that more massacres could be expected should South Vietnam fall to the communists. His story was spread by U.S. agencies and the American Friends of Vietnam, which issued a pamphlet in June 1969 warning that the “massacres at Hue … were only the most outrageous in a long history of such Communist atrocities.” Excerpts of Pike’s story also appeared in Reader’s Digest (September 1970) in part to counter revelations of American atrocities at My Lai. Writing forty years later, the American military historian James Willbanks concludes: