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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Vietnam War

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Vietnam War The Battle for Vietnam. .

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  #136  
Old 25 Sep 17, 09:20
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Originally Posted by Half Pint John View Post
From the link.

What a load of SSSHIT. There was no pride and sure as hell anything but unity. Writer is smokin some strange stuff and sniffin glue.
Most of us know that generalizations about vets are not very trustworthy--either direction. Vets' opinions vary along with their views on politics in general, among other things.

IMHO, Vets get to say things about vets that we don't like to accept from nonvets. It's a kind of a veteran PC thing.

In this article,
http://nypost.com/2017/09/19/missing...se-who-fought/
West is referring to the fact that most (not all, naturally) veterans during decades after the war, and present day, are proud of having served-- (even, I might add, many of the ones who believe that the whole enterprise was a massive charlie-foxtrot).

JM$.02
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  #137  
Old 25 Sep 17, 18:08
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There's no way that a documentary about the wars -- plural -- in Viet Nam can cover every aspect, or even every aspect that some might think important. In the interests of watchability, some things will have to get cut, and some of them might be considered important. Otherwise the doc will be as long as the war itself.

Kudis to Burns & Co for having RVN personnel tell their side of the story. For years all we've heard about RVN is that their government was corrupt, they enjoyed no popular support, and that their armed forces were cowards. Lots and lots of RVN personnel really let it all hang out in the fight against the Communists, and it's about time that their story gets told too.

Big thumbs-down for the Tet episode, especially Burns & Co's telling of the backstory behind this famous photo.



What Burns & Co omitted:

Quote:
. . . . The man being shot in the “Saigon Execution” photo was Nguyễn Văn Lém, also known as Captain Bay Lop, and he was exactly the kind of enemy fighter that Loan’s men were looking for.

According to Lém’s widow, he had disappeared just prior to the Tet Offensive, and according to the soldiers who captured him in Saigon, he was caught practically red-handed leading a Viet Cong hit team tasked with killing National Police members or, if they couldn’t find any, their families instead.

On the morning of the “Saigon Execution” photo, Lém’s death squad had just killed 34 people – seven police officers, two or three Americans, and several police officers’ family members, all bound at the wrists and shot in the head over a pit – and they may have been looking for Loan himself.

Legally, this put Lém in a bad position. He wasn’t wearing a uniform, he wasn’t fighting a battle, and he had evidently committed a major war crime against General Loan’s own subordinates and their kids. As a war criminal and terrorist, Lém had effectively no protection under the Geneva Conventions and was eligible for summary execution when caught. . . . .

"The Story Behind The Iconic 'Saigon Execution' Photo," by Richard Stockton, All That Is Interesting-dot-com, 20 Jul 2017
That one photo may have done more than any other factor to turn American public opinion against the war in Viet Nam, and few ever learned the truth behind it. At this stage in history, Burns & Co are most definitely obliged to do the right thing and tell the whole truth, not just the part that they want to tell. That omission is pretty shameful.
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  #138  
Old 25 Sep 17, 18:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffy View Post
Some interesting commentary, Gents. Too much to follow.

A few random remarks:
I haven't seen anything on the Aussies or the ROK troops so far in this series. Maybe I just overlooked it. I know it can't be comprehensive, of course.

All 10 episodes are available for viewing (including an Explicit Language Version of each episode, only very slightly different from the broadcast versions) on the series website, but I've watched only the first six.

Not many surprises to me, so far. Pretty much the so-called orthodox view.

Based on the first six episodes, a viewer would think that Tet '68 was about the first fight the South/US side ever won.

I see Burns and Ward got the update that Le duan, not Ho Chi Minh, ran this war. I'll bet that for the majority of regular folks and most vets (not the experts) who thought they knew a little about the subject, that was something of a surprise. Informed corrective welcome.

Nice of Burns and Ward to include a general disclaimer (Willbanks, I think) after the Tiger Force atrocities segment. I think on that score, they did justice to the issue of atrocities up close and personal, in brief: our side did some atrocities, but atrocity conduct does not characterize us all.

Here's one aside: Really significant for history that W.D. Ehrhart and his squad found a food prostitute during the battle for Hue? Who'da thunk it? (BTW How many did you care to screw the week you ETS'd? [if at all]) At least it was a transaction, according to Ehrhart,not an ouright rape...

an' the beat goes on...
My thoughts exactly. The US won every single, major, battle of that war. Yet by watching the episodes from when the US first intervened, you would've thought just the exact opposite.

I actually was surprised that they credited the US/RVN with a victory in Tet...which would be accurate...but contrary to the fiction that was created by the MSM about the US/RVN losing Tet.
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  #139  
Old 25 Sep 17, 18:45
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Originally Posted by phil74501 View Post
My thoughts exactly. The US won every single, major, battle of that war. Yet by watching the episodes from when the US first intervened, you would've thought just the exact opposite.
In Burns & Co's defense, they did say that, by-and-large, the NVA/VC rarely won a battle in the conventional sense, ie holding the field of battle after the battle had ended. That being said, however, they didn't have to: all that the Communist forces had to do was inflict casualties on the US and RVN forces and on the RVN populace, and maintain military cohesion. In that respect, they rather emulated George Washington, who lost more often than he won, who declined many battles, but kept his army in the field and cohesive despite countless challenges. Like Washington, time was on the Communists' side, and they knew it. So too did the leadership in DC.

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Originally Posted by phil74501 View Post
I actually was surprised that they credited the US/RVN with a victory in Tet...which would be accurate...but contrary to the fiction that was created by the MSM about the US/RVN losing Tet.
The "loss" of Tet wasn't the US' and RVN's forces', but the MACV's and the US' leadership, who'd maintained all through 1967 that they were grinding down the communists down to a nub. Had their accounts of NVA and VC losses been correct, then there should have been no major offensive in 1968. As it turned out, there were two.

For great nations, there are no small wars -- Lord Wellington

For great nations, war has a political shelf life. Popular support for a war is a must if a given society is to continue prosecuting a given war. But popular support is almost always predicated on at least an appearance of some sort of progress. FDR ordered the militarily insignificant Doolittle Raid because he felt that the American people wanted to see some progress against the Axis -- any progress. After months and months of Westmoreland and McNamara and LBJ claiming progress against the communists, Tet blew all of their claims up. They relied on body count metrics in order to glean the communists' status. Not only was body count an inadequate metric, but officers were incentivized to inflate their figures. Tet made them all look either incompetent or mendacious or both. that much has been known for better than twenty years, so you can't blame Burns & Co for making that up.
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  #140  
Old 25 Sep 17, 20:10
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should we judge a thing after only seeing part of it?
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  #141  
Old 25 Sep 17, 21:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slick_miester View Post
In Burns & Co's defense, they did say that, by-and-large, the NVA/VC rarely won a battle in the conventional sense, ie holding the field of battle after the battle had ended. That being said, however, they didn't have to: all that the Communist forces had to do was inflict casualties on the US and RVN forces and on the RVN populace, and maintain military cohesion. In that respect, they rather emulated George Washington, who lost more often than he won, who declined many battles, but kept his army in the field and cohesive despite countless challenges. Like Washington, time was on the Communists' side, and they knew it. So too did the leadership in DC.



The "loss" of Tet wasn't the US' and RVN's forces', but the MACV's and the US' leadership, who'd maintained all through 1967 that they were grinding down the communists down to a nub. Had their accounts of NVA and VC losses been correct, then there should have been no major offensive in 1968. As it turned out, there were two.

For great nations, there are no small wars -- Lord Wellington

For great nations, war has a political shelf life. Popular support for a war is a must if a given society is to continue prosecuting a given war. But popular support is almost always predicated on at least an appearance of some sort of progress. FDR ordered the militarily insignificant Doolittle Raid because he felt that the American people wanted to see some progress against the Axis -- any progress. After months and months of Westmoreland and McNamara and LBJ claiming progress against the communists, Tet blew all of their claims up. They relied on body count metrics in order to glean the communists' status. Not only was body count an inadequate metric, but officers were incentivized to inflate their figures. Tet made them all look either incompetent or mendacious or both. that much has been known for better than twenty years, so you can't blame Burns & Co for making that up.
According to Giap, not only were the US/MACV accounts of losses not correct, they were actually to low. I know I've posted this on here before, on another thread, where Giap said in an interview with an Italian journalist...I could look up her name and the account of it...that the body count number was half what the actual number of NVA/VC killed was.

I suppose though that it all comes down to how you define victory. My point though was that the impression I've gotten from the first 3 or 4, whatever the number is, episodes is that every US soldier/marine committed atrocities, that the US never won a single battle, that the NVA/VC could do no wrong.

Tet was a "loss" for the US/RVN because that's how the MSM chose to spin it, despite any evidence to the contrary. So yes, if you buy into the medias version of things, which is inaccurate IMO, then Tet was a loss. If you view the total decimation of the VC to the point that they were never again a viable force, then it was a victory for the US/RVN. If you take into consideration that the ARVN gave a good account of itself during Tet, that ARVN units didn't just melt away, that the populace of South Vietnam didn't rise up and join their northern brethren, then it was a victory for the US/RVN.
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  #142  
Old 25 Sep 17, 21:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slick_miester View Post
That one photo may have done more than any other factor to turn American public opinion against the war in Viet Nam, and few ever learned the truth behind it. At this stage in history, Burns & Co are most definitely obliged to do the right thing and tell the whole truth, not just the part that they want to tell. That omission is pretty shameful.
That backstory has no substantial evidence other than hearsays, sort of a "it's all over the Internet so must be true" thing. Erik Villard served as advisor to Burns & Co and certainly pointed them in the right direction.
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  #143  
Old 25 Sep 17, 22:10
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Originally Posted by bill shack View Post
should we judge a thing after only seeing part of it?
--------------------
My buddy whom served in VIet Nam has the whole DVD set already. It goes even further left when it gets to 1970 and Kent State, according to him. I haven't seen those episodes yet but it wont surprise me at all. And yes we can judge it by each episode. Its just a TV show.
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  #144  
Old 26 Sep 17, 13:36
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Originally Posted by altus View Post
That backstory has no substantial evidence other than hearsays, sort of a "it's all over the Internet so must be true" thing. Erik Villard served as advisor to Burns & Co and certainly pointed them in the right direction.
So this is not factual?
On the morning of the “Saigon Execution” photo, Lém’s death squad had just killed 34 people – seven police officers, two or three Americans, and several police officers’ family members, all bound at the wrists and shot in the head over a pit – and they may have been looking for Loan himself.

All these years including prior to the Internet the above is what I read.
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  #145  
Old 26 Sep 17, 15:02
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Hanoi looked like a city with many wooden structures. Surprised no firebombing ala Tokyo was tried.
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  #146  
Old 26 Sep 17, 17:52
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Hanoi looked like a city with many wooden structures. Surprised no firebombing ala Tokyo was tried.
The outcry over civilian deaths -- both internationally and at home -- would have been overwhelming. Kinda hard to play the good guy when you're firebombing a city in a country that your not in the throes of total war against.
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  #147  
Old 26 Sep 17, 23:41
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The outcry over civilian deaths -- both internationally and at home -- would have been overwhelming. Kinda hard to play the good guy when you're firebombing a city in a country that your not in the throes of total war against.
Burns did a hell of a good job of playing the outcry of Kent state. Its like those four meant more than any deaths in Vietnam. Then quickly follow it up with two of the soldiers he has been interviewing since the beginning turning total war protestor. I have yet to see any soldier proud of his service and his tour of duty. The only brave man was that guy who went to Canada.........
The bright minute of the whole show was the mother who told the protesters if they knocked on her door again she would blow their Sh!t away with a .357.....
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  #148  
Old 27 Sep 17, 01:28
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I quit watching after episode 3
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  #149  
Old 27 Sep 17, 02:33
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I quit watching after episode 3
I did too but I wound up resuming over the weekend and stayed with it.

Tonight's episode was good with the coverage on the Kent State affair. While I'm sure I'll stay the course from here on out, I see I was right in the beginning in speculating this would all have a leftist slant. Actually I feel he's gone a little further left than I expected and I don't like "left" at all.

I hope with the younger generations this does not become the defining story of the whole affair for the future.
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Old 27 Sep 17, 09:55
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I did too but I wound up resuming over the weekend and stayed with it.

Tonight's episode was good with the coverage on the Kent State affair. While I'm sure I'll stay the course from here on out, I see I was right in the beginning in speculating this would all have a leftist slant. Actually I feel he's gone a little further left than I expected and I don't like "left" at all.

I hope with the younger generations this does not become the defining story of the whole affair for the future.
I think it will be.............sadly.
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