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Tom H.

It's worth noting that the American Revolution was actually a nasty civil war, too. I'm most familiar with stories from the South, but the first thing Google returns that looks well-footnoted talks about the Mohawk Valley (

On the one hand, "Should the Committee of Safety believe the man of the house posed a threat to the area (i.e., by providing food, shelter, or information to British scouts) then that man was jailed. The property and possessions of Loyalists were seized and sold at auction. Their wives and children were incarcerated in homes in Schenectady, Albany, or some other designated location."

On the other, after British and Indian raids, "at least 1,200 farms had been left uncultivated and that 354 families had abandoned their homes and left the county. In some settlements, such as Cherry Valley, Springfield, and Harpersfield, there was no one left."

"Of the estimated 10,000 white population in 1777, approximately 1,000 were killed or taken prisoner. Some 2,500 to 3,000 Loyalists left the valley and about 3,000 Patriots abandoned their farms.19"


Well said. I saw Hitchen's article and had a similar reaction to his opinion. He may write well, but what he writes is unpalatable.


I don't think that estimating the size of the NLF will tell you much about its popularity. The size of the USA army is very small in relation to the total population too, but it's very popular nonetheless. Insurgent organizations are usually small in number, regardless of their popularity.


Implicit here is that the original "classic" Maoist insurgency--that led by Mao himself--was both popular and gentle with the civilian population. Was it?

While it is certainly true that Mao achieved mass mobilization, and even at the end converted the guerrilla force into something resembling a conventional army, what does this really say about its "popularity"? And the guerrillas certainly exercised their own share of terror against civilians they suspected of collaborating with the enemy.

Alan Mclaughlin

Apart from ignoring the fact that the US had no right to even be in Vietnam ,let alone creating and then sustaining a completely puppet regime with no legitimacy whatsoever,this piece incredibly omits any mention of the savage violence of the American assault on the whole on the (in comparison)largely defenceless population of the region.
This kind of blinkered ideological garbage masquerading as analysis would be treated with derision in any other country in the world.

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