6 June 2015   Leave a comment

Today is the 71st anniversary of the allied invasion of France (commonly known as D-Day) in World War II.  It marked the beginning of the end of Nazi power in Europe (the Germans would surrender in May 1945), but the Soviets had been fighting the Germans effectively on the Eastern Front since the breaking of the siege of Stalingrad in February 1943.  The invasion was quite costly in terms of allied lives, but it remains one of the most ambitious and successful military maneuvers in military history.

DDayInvasionMap-Normandy

Juan José Morales has reviewed a book by Serge Gruzinski entitled The Eagle and the Dragon.  The book is an analysis of the beginnings of European imperialism in China by the Portuguese and Mexico by the Spanish which occurred virtually simultaneously in  1519-20.  The analysis is quite revealing:

The Portuguese failure in China drew a dividing line between Asia and America. On one side was a New World which would give its raison d’être to the West, and whose wealth, population and spaces would be ruthlessly exploited; on the other was Imperial China, which would absorb much of the silver extracted from the mines of America by the defeated Indians and African slaves. The fate of the two shores of the Pacific was now linked, as the Iberians had laid down the economic and political bases for a massive decanting of precious metal. The history of the colonization of the New World would have China always in the background, America would be a constant presence in that of modern China.

None of the actors involved was aware of how their destinies were intertwined.   But the history of European imperialism would have been quite different if both invasions had not occurred at roughly the same time.

India and Bangladesh have settled a long-standing set of border disputes.  The disputes are the residual of British imperialism and the flawed partition of India in 1947 and the subsequent creation of Bangladesh in 1971.  Currently there are 162 “enclaves” that do not respect the territorial boundaries, and the resolution of these issues should lead to much better relations between the two states.

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Posted June 7, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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