Executive Intelligence Review


EIR Presents Battle Against
Colonialism in the Indochina Peninsula

May 23, 2000 (EIRNS)--The battle against the effects of colonialism is still at the heart of the policy issues to be confronted in Indochina, argues EIR's Gail Billington, in her broad-ranging package on the 25th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam war, published in this week's EIR magazine. To understand how this battle can be won, she argues, both Americans and leaders in the Southeast Asia region must understand the conflict between the legacies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and take up the American System approach of vast infrastructure projects, particularly the development of the Mekong River Basin.

The EIR package is comprised of three major elements. First, the history and tasks of the economic development of the region are elaborated. Development of the Mekong River Basin has been a matter of discussion since the 1950s, and Billington presents the plans, both as they have been developed in the context of economist Lyndon LaRouche's proposal for a Eurasian Land-Bridge, and as they are currently being advocated, in much scaled-back form, by the Asian Development Bank.

With the aid of maps, Billington and EIR economics editor Marcia Baker present the challenge of harnessing the river, supplying adequate power, and improving transportation in the region. The fact that Indochina is one of the youngest, and fastest-growing, populations in the world, underscores the importance of world leaders' becoming familiar with this perspective, which EIR has advocated vigorously since at least 1983.

The second major element of the package is made up of three interviews with leading figures from the region.

His Excellency Vang Rattanavong, the Ambassador to Washington, D.C. of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, spoke with Billington at length about the prospects for economic development in his country and the region. His review of the problems and the progress that has been made with the Laotian population of 5 million, is concrete, and exemplary. He stressed that his country's "policy efforts are aimed at bringing Laos out of underdevelopment, to make it a developing country."

His Excellency Ambassador Ouch Borith, the Permanent Representative of the Royal Government of Cambodia to the United Nations, devoted much of his discussion with Billington, to the legacy of the devastation carried out by the Khmer Rouge, a legacy which is ever-present in physical form, in the land-mines scattered through a large portion of the country. Ambassador Borith makes the case that "once our people have enough to eat and become educated, once our people have knowledge of science and technology, Cambodia will certainly enter a more prosperous era."

The third interview in the package is with Cambodian Loung Ung, the National Spokesperson for the Campaign for a Landmine-Free World, a program of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation; this interview provides a staggering account of this crippling aftermath of the war, and the efforts to clear the mines.

The final segment of the EIR package features a 1984 Memorandum by Lyndon LaRouche, in which he comments on Vietnam's 1984 Five-Year Plan. The memorandum excerpts provide an application of the method of American System thinking to the problems of formerly colonized nations, in direct contrast to the approach of the imperialists, and as applicable today as in 1984. The cultural principles which cohere with such a perspective are also briefly summarized.

This issue of EIR can be obtained by calling 703-777-9451 or 888-EIR-3258, or by getting in touch with EIR through its website, www.larouchepub.com.