Tim Page obituary
War photographer who served as a fearless witness to the escalation of hostilities in Vietnam in the 1960s

Tim Page, who has died of cancer aged 78, earned a reputation during the Vietnam war as a fearless gonzo combat photographer who would venture where others feared to tread. Dubbed “war groupies” by more conservative correspondents, Tim and his circle of photographer friends paid for their daring with injuries and, in some cases, death.

Tim was hit several times and became known for his narrow escapes. His Vietnam war came to an end during an ill-fated 1969 rescue when his helicopter was diverted to pick up wounded American troops near the Parrots Beak region northwest of Saigon. Viet Cong guerrillas triggered a hidden command-detonated artillery shell that killed the soldier in front of Tim, moments after they had both exited the helicopter to assist soldiers on the ground.

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China’s censorship reaches far beyond its own borders | Letter

We should never take free speech for granted, especially if it concerns art, writes John Finlay

I read with interest your editorial (The Guardian view on China’s censors: the sense of an (acceptable) ending, 24 August). In 2016, I was about to publish a book on pop art, which had a short section on artists responding to political and social turmoil in the 1960s, and which included an illustration of Jim Dine’s Drag – Johnson and Mao (1967). The etching depicts Mao Zedong of the People’s Republic of China and the US president Lyndon B Johnson, who sent troops to counter Chinese communist support in the Vietnam war.

Dine’s coloured etching applies cosmetic touches to the lips, cheeks and eyelids of these two supposed (and opposed) “freedom” fighters (and a black heart painted on the chin of Mao), essentially to caricature political propaganda and masculine conviction. The capitalist and communist leaders appear as drag actors whose posturing affects a global audience. The printers of my book – a Chinese company – forced the London publisher to remove the offending illustration and text. In our cosy western world, we should never take free speech for granted, especially if it concerns art.
John Finlay

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‘Napalm girl’ Phan Thi Kim Phuc receives final burn treatment after 50 years

Phuc, pictured in 1972 running from napalm attack during Vietnam war, has final laser treatment in Miami

Phan Thi Kim Phuc, whose photograph became a symbol of the horrors of the Vietnam war, has had her final skin treatment with a burn specialist, 50 years after her village was struck by napalm.

Phuc was photographed aged nine as she ran, unclothed and screaming in agony, after napalm was dropped by a South Vietnamese Skyraider attack aircraft. Nick Ut, the photographer who captured the image in June 1972, drove her away to find medical treatment.

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Biden isn’t the first president to promise never to wage another war of intervention | Simon Jenkins

Military adventurism has long appealed to western politicians – even those who say they will not meddle in others’ affairs

Joe Biden declares an end to “an era of major military operations to remake other countries”. A president’s job, he says, is to protect and defend the “fundamental national security interest of the United States of America”. That does not include trying to construct new nations in foreign states.

Quite so. But Biden isn’t the first president to make such claims. Each of his recent predecessors won power as non-interventionists, but tried to hold on to it by waging war. Bill Clinton said America’s mission abroad was “not about fighting a war”, it was about bringing people to the peace table. He ended up bombing Iraq and Yugoslavia. At first, George Bush agreed with Clinton’s sentiment. On coming to office, Bush’s aide, Condoleezza Rice, emphasised his opposition to foreign adventures. “We don’t need to have the 82nd Airborne escorting kids to kindergarten,” she told the media. Yet the Bush doctrine had soon proclaimed an American crusade for “the expansion of freedom in all the world … with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny”.

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