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  • LIFESTYLE

    A geopolitical pivot

    Life, Published on 01/12/2017

    » During the Indochina War years from the 1950s through to the 1970s, America's seven military bases in Thailand symbolised the extraordinary extent of US influence over the politics and development of the Kingdom. In the subsequent 30 years, American influence in Thailand has slowly but steadily waned, largely supplanted by a rising China. Thailand, which had been a linchpin of America's Asian strategy, is now instead a linchpin of China's Asian strategy. American soldiers on R&R have been replaced by Chinese tourists, American airbases by plans for Chinese high-speed rail links. China, not the US, is now Thailand's largest trading partner.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Excellent research

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 07/10/2016

    » Though over for three-score-and-10 years, with many of its combatants gone to the Happy Hunting Ground, the World War II is still being written about and regurgitated in film. Little wonder, as tens of millions of soldiers and civilians were killed in it, courtesy of the Fuhrer and General Tojo.

  • LIFESTYLE

    The Fourth Reich?

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 30/05/2016

    » Whereas the guns going quiet with a ceasefire (armistice) marked the finis of World War I, World War II ended with unconditional surrender. Tens of millions, soldiers and civilians, perished in both struggles. The sides realigned in the Cold War with far fewer deaths.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Expert Advice

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 13/04/2018

    » In several Peanuts comic strips, little Lucy sets up a booth. For a nickel she'll solve a problem bothering you. Her advice is quite good, indicating insight unlikely in the young. The thing about advice is that virtually everyone offers it, asked for or not, free and costly.

  • LIFESTYLE

    The future is now

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 21/03/2016

    » While there have been vast improvements in the military sector for millennia, the soldiers wielding the weapons remained much the same. Basic training toughens them, yet their bare strength is no match for a bear or an ape. Psychologically they are vulnerable to stress.

  • LIFESTYLE

    In Iraq, dread is in the air

    Life, Published on 01/09/2014

    » Many soldiers, reporters and commentators have compared the Iraq War to a deadly, sickening version of the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day — a war not of decisive battles but of seemingly endless efforts to take individual streets and towns, only to lose them and have to fight to take them again, all at enormous, heartbreaking cost.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Artificial intelligence

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 12/01/2018

    » There are Vatican scholars. Then there are novelists who research the Vatican library to give the plots of their imaginative religious stories the aura of authenticity. It turns out that the lay writers usually pen more interesting books. Less authentic, yet more believable.

  • LIFESTYLE

    A hoax in Rome

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 15/12/2017

    » When, after suffering horrendous losses, the 3 million-strong Red Army liberated Eastern Europe, Stalin was feeling his oats. Who couldn't they defeat if he gave the order? The Catholic Church was the reply. How many men does the Pope have, he chuckled? One billion, was the reply. The supreme dictator stopped chuckling.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Choosing sides

    Life, Bernard Trink, Published on 08/12/2017

    » Not long ago a historian calculated that throughout human history there has been a total of fewer than 25 years of peace. There were wars somewhere on the planet the rest of the time. The clear meaning is that homo sapiens are a violent, bloodthirsty lot.

  • LIFESTYLE

    Half a spy thriller

    Life, Published on 20/10/2014

    » Wars, the death of soldiers and civilians, are fought for a variety of reasons: some making more sense than others. Self defence is the most legitimate. All combatants, attempting to take the moral high ground, make that claim. Even that they are fighting God's battles.

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