The Blood Telegram

The Blood Telegram In the Pakistani army launched a devastating crackdown on what was then East Pakistan today s independent Bangladesh killing thousands of people and sending ten million refugees fleeing into I

  • Title: The Blood Telegram
  • Author: Gary J. Bass
  • ISBN: 9788184004830
  • Page: 252
  • Format: Kindle Edition
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      252 Gary J. Bass
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      Posted by:Gary J. Bass
      Published :2019-03-19T16:37:30+00:00

    In 1971, the Pakistani army launched a devastating crackdown on what was then East Pakistan today s independent Bangladesh , killing thousands of people and sending ten million refugees fleeing into India The events also sparked the 1971 Indo Pakistani War.Drawing on recently declassified documents, unheard White House tapes, and meticulous investigative reporting, GaryIn 1971, the Pakistani army launched a devastating crackdown on what was then East Pakistan today s independent Bangladesh , killing thousands of people and sending ten million refugees fleeing into India The events also sparked the 1971 Indo Pakistani War.Drawing on recently declassified documents, unheard White House tapes, and meticulous investigative reporting, Gary Bass gives us an unprecedented chronicle of the break up of Pakistan, and India s role in it This is the pathbreaking account of India s real motives, the build up to the war, and the secret decisions taken by Indira Gandhi and her closest advisers.This book is also the story of how two of the world s great democracies India and the United States dealt with one of the most terrible humanitarian crises of the twentieth century Gary Bass writes a revealing account of how the Bangladeshis became collateral damage in the great game being played by America and China, with Pakistan as the unlikely power broker The United States embrace of the military dictatorship in Islamabad would affect geopolitics for decades, beginning a pattern of American anti democratic engagement in Pakistan that went back far beyond General Musharraf The Blood Telegram is a revelatory and compelling work, essential reading for anyone interested in the recent history of our region.

    Comment 342

    • Raghu says:

      This book brings back vivid memories for me as I lived through the 1970-71 East Pakistan crisis as a young man in India. The author shows us a picture of the events leading to the creation of an independent Bangladesh from the vantage points of the US consulate in Dacca and the White House. To a lesser extent, there is also the view from New Delhi, both from the Indian govt and the US embassy. To say the least, I was shocked to read about the visceral hatred that Kissinger, Nixon and Zhou-en-Lai [...]

    • Lynda says:

      Extremely well written chronicle of the formation of Bangladesh and the US's complicity in a genocide. After the end of the British Empire, a Muslim state was created called Pakistan that was divided into West and East Pakistan with India in between (not the smartest state formation). The Pakistani government botched a recovery effort after a large cyclone hit in 1971 and subsequently suffered in the nation's first election. East Pakistan was more populous and its nationalist/separatist groups w [...]

    • Savi says:

      I have always loved non fiction over fiction. And then I discovered the world of political histories. My grandfather migrated from Bangladesh to India in 1947, right before Independence. So technically he wasn't termed as an Bangladeshi immigrant, the tag given to Bengali Hindus who were displaced during the creation of Bangladesh. However, the angst and sense of displacement remained forever with my father. I could never understand why and how he could feel so connected to the land of Banglades [...]

    • Steven Z. says:

      When one considers the foreign policy pursued by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger decisions related to Southeast Asia and relations with the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union come to mind. In discussing Southeast Asia, the strategy pursued to end the war in Vietnam is front and center resulting in revisiting the “supposed” plan to end the war known as “Vietnamization” that emerged during the 1968 presidential campaign. This promise to end the war was nothing more than th [...]

    • Mal Warwick says:

      When Americans today think of Richard Nixon, four or five episodes in his public life usually come to mind: Watergate, the Cambodia invasion, the opening to China, his TV debates with John F. Kennedy, and, perhaps, his kitchen confrontation with Nikita Khrushchev when still Dwight Eisenhower’s vice president. Nixon’s frantic efforts to sanitize his record — including ten books he wrote after resigning from the presidency — and the cult of secrecy that envelops the US government have obsc [...]

    • Hadrian says:

      Our government has failed to denounce the suppression of democracy. Our government has failed to denounce atrocities. Our government has failed to take forceful measures to protect its citizens while at the same time bending over backwards to placate the West Pak[istan] dominated government and to lessen any deservedly negative international public relations impact against them. Our government has evidenced what many will consider moral bankruptcy [] But we have chosen not to intervene, even mor [...]

    • Abhinav Agarwal says:

      A bikini of a book. Lays bare an ugly passage in American diplomacy, but conceals the true horrors of a genocide.The forced exodus of ten million Bangladeshis in 1971 - ninety percent of whom were Hindu, the genocide of an estimated three million Bangladeshis, and the rape of close to half a million women - were all small prices that Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon willingly paid in exchange of opening bilateral ties with China, and in the process getting their names enshrined as statesmen. He [...]

    • Vishal Kale says:

      Why is anyone from the West totally unable to write a clean book on Indian matters, one that does not raise hackles, and is balanced? This book, like others I have read, also manages to raise my hackles due to its treatment of Indian Affairs. While it is easily one of the most unbiased works on India to come out of the West, it still leaves a lot to be desired for. The author has made a genuine effort to be unbiased and truthful in his approach; and is reasonably comprehensive in coverage of the [...]

    • Yognik1789 says:

      Quite comprehensive work. An excellent story of how USA deteriorated a still containable and harmless situation into a mess, continued to deny engagement and accept guilt or even take prudential steps to control the damage, lived in their fools paradise shamelessly riding upon the power of their dollars and guns, flouted laws and in the end nonchalantly walk past the graves of millions of dead civillians.The book's American cover has this tag line: Nixon, Kissinger, and a forgotten genocide.Bass [...]

    • Bigsna says:

      The Blood Telegram may possibly be one of the most important and well written books I’ve read on modern Indian history so far, and I'm surprised to see that only under a thousand people have read it on GR. As someone who is almost always incurious, indifferent and unenthusiastic about politics (national and world) in general, reading this book has been a revelation on international diplomacy as well as a completely new perspective on the maneuverings that take place in the highest offices of t [...]

    • Nikunj says:

      The book is divided into two parts-Part one- Here the reason for the title is given, describing the man who stood up against the giants of the white house, who were being a blind eye to the genocide in East Pakistan.Part two-Here one gets the reasons for the following things-1. India`s admiration and closeness with the Soviet Union till date.2. Indian`s deep mistrust of USA.3. Pakistan`s malignant agendas against India.4. Why the chances of any betterment of relations between India and Pakistan [...]

    • Ching-Bing-Ping says:

      “Once again we demonstrated to the world that the Bengalis are a fighting martial race”The Blood Telegram, was a document I had heard about, but never could I have imagined a book as informative as this could be written in such a fast fluid way on the tragedy of the Bangladeshi genocide by the Pakistani Govt. Wonderfully researched and written, this book digs in deep into the fallacy of the Nixon-Kissinger duo. Their apparent denial of the massacre, their love for Yahya Khan, their secret th [...]

    • Emily says:

      What a horrifying story. There was a lot here for me to absorb, because I didn't really know this story at all. I was most fascinated by the behind-the-scenes look at Kissinger's conversations with Nixon about Bangladesh--Kissinger, that shonda for the goyim, comes across as even nuttier and more repulsive than Nixon, not at all the wily and brilliant statesman. The contempt for genocide is breathtaking: I guess if you take the thirty thousand foot view you can ignore all those inconvenient peop [...]

    • Ashish Narain says:

      Must read

    • Mansoor Azam says:

      The first of it's kind. Full marks to the title, it literally caught my eye. Even before I knew the ABC of it I was sort of lured by the book. And honestly it didn't disappoint my appetite for knowledge about 1971 Indo Pak war and the crisis in then East Pakistan. But for some one with scant knowledge or no base in the history of this affair this book is not recommended as a first read on the subject. Rather than leaving you with balanced view on this, I fear, it ll make u prejudiced. The book c [...]

    • Ed says:

      This isn’t really a tale of genocide or of the civil war that created Bangladesh from what had been East Pakistan but of how deliberate actions and inaction on the part of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger facilitated the mass slaughter of Bengalis and the forced relocation of millions while the United States destroyed any chance of long term influence in South Asia. The narrative centers on Archer Blood, the last U.S. consul general in Dhaka when it was still the capital of East Pakistan, and [...]

    • victor harris says:

      The story behind the independence movement in Bangla Desh which created a chain reaction of diplomatic maneuvers as Pakistan tried to suppress those aspirations. Heavy-handed dealings by the Pakistan government and military when they refused to recognize legitimately elected leaders in East Pakistan served as the catalyst for the aggressive separation advocates. Central to the narrative, hence the Blood Telegram, is the refusal of Kissinger and Nixon to heed the advice of their diplomats in Sout [...]

    • Peter Mcloughlin says:

      A little remembered crisis in South Asia involving a genocide comparable to Rwanda and the added possibility of Nuclear Conflagration is the subject of this book. In 1971 unrest in East Pakistan lead to a crack down by the Pakistani military dictatorship after a failed election. The crack down caused a resistance movement to grow leading to a civil war. The war lead to a refugee crisis which dragged India already hostile to Pakistan into a conflict with Pakistan. All the Superpowers of the U.S t [...]

    • Christopher says:

      Informative, passionate call for a foreign policy more deeply rooted in human rights/takedown of Nixon/Kissinger's support for (then) West Pakistan's brutal repression of (then) East Pakistan/(now) Bangladesh. At the same time, its (close to heedless) passion walks directly into the "it's a tough world in which we must make unpleasant decisions, Mr. Professor" critique that has been predictably launched by Kissinger loyalists. Bass's argument would benefit from (more frequently, he does it on oc [...]

    • Geoffrey Kabaservice says:

      An impressive though depressing book, which draws on previously unrevealed documents as well as interviews with many of the participants. The portrait of Nixon and Kissinger is damning, and the history of US diplomacy that Bass assembles is thorough if not inspiring.

    • Alok says:

      First of all, Mr. Bass deserves a big bow simply for the effort he put in this book. Get this, almost 45% of the length of the ebook I read are just references!! Bass waded through innumerable books and journals to get his facts right and place them in context in addition to transcribing thousands of hours of White House official tapes and extracting relevant stuff out of it then. This book is no minor feat.Now, about the book. Meticulously written by, it narrates the events during the 1971 cris [...]

    • Mushda Ali says:

      This was interesting to read through. Foremost, it did bring into play a fresh perspective on the 1971 War. Being used to the history books changing names every 5 years and so, this book brought forth a thorough and meaningful setting for the war and the roles played by contradicting, selfish and selfless sides. The immense powerplay that went on behind the scenes of the battlefield is something that I was very less informed about. The Blood Telegram ensured enriching the knowledge cornucopia on [...]

    • David Quinn says:

      4.5 stars rounded up to 5.This book does a tremendous job of explaining the Cold War strategies and alliances of the U.S. in 1971. Why the U.S. was cozy with dictators who trampled on the rights of their people and why the U.S. had such a cool relationship with the largest democracy in the world (India). As the Cold War has slipped into distant memory this book informs us that the events it describes in 1971 are still felt today.Tricky Dick Nixon and Henry Kissinger come into clear focus through [...]

    • Sainath Sunil says:

      This book is a testimony to the efforts of Archer Blood, the consul general of Dacca and his team who were instrumental in keeping up the reporting of the slaughter being committed by the Pakistan Army in east Pakistan. Though this resulted in Archer losing out on a promising career and being sidelined by Kissinger. This book offers a clear glimpse into the thought processes of Nixon and Kissinger, the combine that helped keep Yahya Khan in power at terrible human costs. Their blatant approach t [...]

    • Manish says:

      This work is not a comprehensive history of the liberation of Bangladesh. The war and the military aspects of the campaign are covered in the barest minimum, Bass, rather focuses all his energy to expose the extent to which Kissinger and Nixon went to ensure that India was kept at bay and wouldn’t cross the line and dismember Pakistan. The tone of the writing made it clear that the effort was also to showcase Nixon and Kissinger’s hand in a bloody history that is hardly known to people outsi [...]

    • Saad says:

      Very insightful and vivid description of how Richard Nixon and a cunning Henry Kissinger were complicit at supporting Pakistan's 1971 war till the end, to the point of making secret and third party arrangements to send arms and ammunition to Pakistan through Jordan and Iran and giving absolutely no regards to the diplomatic cables dispatched from Dacca at the time. This book enlightens the American perspective and exposes its dirty politics with declassified tapes from the White House and severa [...]

    • Maphead says:

      A few months ago this one popped up on as a book I might be interested in, based on my reading history. When a copy became available at my local public library I grabbed it. Holy cow, was right. This is a superb book. No wonder it was a runner-up for a Pulitzer Prize. As the subtitle declares, few, if any Americans know anything about West Pakistan’s brutal military crackdown and subsequent genocide in what’s now Bangladesh. In telling this forgotten story, Bass details all the secret geop [...]

    • Paul Benkowski says:

      Now I have another reason to hate Nixon. Excellent book about the US backing Pakistan's genocide of Hindus in the soon to be country of Bangladesh all for a place in history as the first US president to go to China. The Blood Telegram is an insightful, exhaustive telling of this time period with Vietnam lurking in the background no one wanted another South Asian mess so Nixon and Kissinger washed their hands of Bangladesh and millions of people died. A sad but important book.

    • Peter Flom says:

      In 1971 Pakistan split into two countries: Pakistan and Bangladesh.The USA played a large role in the war and genocide that occurred. We sided with a genocidal dictator. We aided and abetted a genocide. We violated the law and we risked World War III. Then Nixon and Kissinger covered it up. But now, Bass has uncovered it. Brilliant and scathing. Full review: bubblews/news/8497413-

    • Arun Siddharthan says:

      The pro Pakistani tilt of the USA, back in the 60s and 70s is well known. But the extent of the tilt is breathtaking. Nixon and Kissinger hated the Indians with a vengeance back then. The book brings out these facts in very clear detail and does a great job completely trashing the ridiculous US polices of the 70s towards the subcontinent.

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