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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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  #166  
Old 28 Sep 17, 01:00
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More disappointment. Did all that footage and interviewing with the POW(s) however nothing on Son Tay. My wife is disappointed for the same reasons also.

Too much glorification of the North and nothing much on the ARVN efforts and USA accomplishments.

I'll watch the last episode tomorrow but I'll never go back in to this documentary again. IMHO it's only marginal at best.
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  #167  
Old 28 Sep 17, 01:03
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Originally Posted by hankwill View Post
I gave you an eyewitness account of Chinese foot solders fighting alongside of NVA troops against US Marines in Vietnam Sir.T
This should've been shown if they had featured the Son Tay raid and did it right.

To be honest, I was also looking for Cuban and Russians too. No mention of them in combat at all. More than one documentary has in the past but not this one. Very disappointing.
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  #168  
Old 28 Sep 17, 01:06
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Originally Posted by Trung Si View Post
What a Phony, I hope he likes himself in the mirror every morning and keeps telling himself that, as polonius said, " to thine own self be true"
I've got no respect for him that's for sure but he's the kind of person that Burns wants to exemplify and give time to. Pathetic.
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  #169  
Old 28 Sep 17, 01:27
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Wink

Burns portrayed the era of the Vietnam war.You were waiting for an ode to the US Army ,probably.Thus disappointment.
The French Daniel Costelle did a great job on your army there ,some years ago.

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  #170  
Old 28 Sep 17, 01:42
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Originally Posted by GRA View Post
I've got no respect for him that's for sure but he's the kind of person that Burns wants to exemplify and give time to. Pathetic.
I got a knot in my stomach that just F**kin makes me sick. All through this thing the two main combat veterans and they both turn out to be members of the Vietnam veterans against the war. There was what........? 200 of em?

Out of 2 million veterans.........I'm not condemning them ........if anyone has a right to protest that war they do..........but For crying out loud.....that is showing both sides? And their hero is John Kerry...........that lyin SOB.......
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  #171  
Old 28 Sep 17, 08:47
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And their hero is John Kerry...........that lyin SOB.......
I agree. The whole time Kerry was featured last night my wife was also calling him a traitor. Par for the course with Ken Burns though.

Tonight's feature is the fall of Saigon. Looks like he's using the same officer they always feature when somebody does a narrative on 04-30-1975. Best one I've seen so far is "Last Days In Vietnam" (offered on Amazon video). I'm sure this will have a leftist slant too somehow.
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  #172  
Old 28 Sep 17, 10:10
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Documentary film is a visual medium, so it's possible to say one thing verbally, but anther visually. Verbally, the commentary about Jane Fonda was fairly neutral, but the footage they used of her applauding/swooning over an NVA AAA emplacement



made her look like a cross between a trained seal and an adolescent a$$hole, That and her strip tease from Barbarella.



Burns & Co really said that Jane Fonda is not to be taken seriously, that perhaps the peroxide from Roger Vadim's "masterpiece" had penetrated Fonda's brain.

Seb, you erudite Froggies have some explaining to do for foisting Roger Vadim on an unsuspecting world.
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  #173  
Old 28 Sep 17, 16:32
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Roger Vadim got Brigitte Bardot , Catherine Deneuve and Jane Fonda .
He's a damned lucky bastard . Hope he got a long and painful agony.
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  #174  
Old 28 Sep 17, 16:36
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Originally Posted by sebfrench76 View Post
Roger Vadim got Brigitte Bardot , Catherine Deneuve and Jane Fonda .
He's a damned lucky bastard . Hope he got a long and painful agony.
You're telling me that that non-entity bagged three of the hottest chicks of their generation? It sure as hell wasn't his talent. What was he, hung like a horse?
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  #175  
Old 28 Sep 17, 22:16
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Originally Posted by slick_miester View Post
Big thumbs-down for the Tet episode, especially Burns & Co's telling of the backstory behind this famous photo.



What Burns & Co omitted:



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.
Slick,

I haven't watched the series yet, though I am enjoying seeing how many people clearly decided what they would think of it before it even started. I assume I will find plenty of flaws when I watch it, but no documentary is ever going to satisfy everyone, especially people with a strong emotional connection to the war. I can't comment on how Burns handled this image, but I do know a great deal about the backstory & how it was reported (probably more than the guy you quoted).

The only source for the claim that Bay Lop/Nguyen Van Lem was responsible for 34 murders was the people who chose to execute him in from of a jeep full of photographers & 2 TV crews. That doesn't mean he didn't do it (he most likely did), but it means the claim doesn't nearly rise to the level of 'truth'. I would argue that some reference to his alleged crimes should be made, but its a contestable point.

When the photo was reproduced in major daily newspapers in the US (NYT, WashPo etc) it was reported that he was suspected of killing the families of ARVN soldiers. There were quotes from an ARVN officer & some papers even ran a photo of an ARVN soldier holding a dead child on the same page or a facing page. I've seen some of those newspapers & carefully studied what was presented, so I'm not just reporting what someone else wrote. I'm not sure what, if any context TV viewers got, but people seeing the image in major newspapers at the time had it presented in the context of someone suspected of terrible crimes being executed. That doesn't mean people chose to see it that way, but the information was certainly there.
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  #176  
Old 28 Sep 17, 22:30
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Originally Posted by slick_miester View Post
I'm so "right" that I probably make you look like a New Dealer, but clearly this episode went left. That being said, Burns & Co did very subtly suggest that the anti-war movement was 1) partially driven by foreign communists, 2) that every protest movement imaginable tried to piggy-back on the anti-war movement's coattails, thus rendering it something of a joke, and 3) that the more extreme elements like the Weathermen not only brought the anti-war movement into disrepute, but that they were pursuing a logical fallacy very similar to the VC's expectation that the RVN populace would rise up and support the Tet Offensive. Those critiques were subtle -- perhaps too subtle -- but they were in there too.

I'd also add, however, that the glorification of the anti-war movement isn't merely a "left" thing, but it's a generational thing. The '60s generation has spent the last half-century ramming their glory days down our throats. To hear the '60s generation tell it, they invented peace, they invented free love, they invented free speech, they invented recreational drugs, they invented political dissent, they invented cool music. Never has a generation taken more undue credit for stuff that had existed for millenia than has the '60s generation. I've been listening all my life to how cool and happening they were, and frankly, not only didn't I ever see it, I long ago grew resentful of their unwarranted and endless self-aggrandizement, so it's no surprise to me that Burns & Co -- given their vintage -- would celebrate the anti-war movement and the counterculture like they actually did something useful, or even original. By and large they were hacks: self-satisfied and self-indulgent hacks -- evidenced by the immediate dissolution of the counterculture once US involvement in Viet Nam came to an end. The '70s, the "Me Generation," was a pretty clear repudiation of the '60s crap. Like a lot of counterculture's fans, Hunter Thompson made the mistake of thinking that loud street protests would engender a revolution in people's minds. He failed to recognize that it was all predicated on middle class kids' desire to not hazard their precious hides in places like Viet Nam, and that once the war ended, so too would the "good vibes."
Slick,

You left out one demographic who have done as much to glorify the role of the anti-war movement as any nostalgic baby boomer - conservatives. From the time the anti-war movement started until the present day a wide cross section of conservatives have inflated the importance of the anti-war movement (and the media) to the point where you might think the DRV & NLF barely had any impact on the outcome of the war. This is part of a profoundly Amerocentric view of the war that assumes it was America's to win or lose & treats everyone else was as a bit part player. Both sides buy into this in different and sometimes the same way.

The left's opposition to the war and wildly inflated self regard leads it to over estimate its own role in the result, denigrate the behavior of the US & its allies and ignore the nature of the side it chose to support. The right's support for the war & wildly inflated sense of what America could/should do leads it to over estimate the role of the anti-war movement and the media while ignoring the success of enemy strategy & tactics and the failings of US strategy & tactics.

When some idiot leftie yells 'hey, we stopped a war' there are just as many idiot conservatives lining up to agree. They are both well wide of the mark.
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  #177  
Old 28 Sep 17, 23:20
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Originally Posted by slick_miester View Post
You're telling me that that non-entity bagged three of the hottest chicks of their generation? It sure as hell wasn't his talent. What was he, hung like a horse?
Worse.
He used to wrote poetry
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  #178  
Old 29 Sep 17, 09:39
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For a more balanced view I recommend:

Vietnam: A Television History https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UMTL-zQSYw
I am up to episode 7 of 11 and it is more World at War in quality then the KB & Co. one
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  #179  
Old 29 Sep 17, 10:05
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Originally Posted by BF69 View Post
Slick,

I haven't watched the series yet, though I am enjoying seeing how many people clearly decided what they would think of it before it even started. I assume I will find plenty of flaws when I watch it, but no documentary is ever going to satisfy everyone, especially people with a strong emotional connection to the war. I can't comment on how Burns handled this image, but I do know a great deal about the backstory & how it was reported (probably more than the guy you quoted).

The only source for the claim that Bay Lop/Nguyen Van Lem was responsible for 34 murders was the people who chose to execute him in from of a jeep full of photographers & 2 TV crews. That doesn't mean he didn't do it (he most likely did), but it means the claim doesn't nearly rise to the level of 'truth'. I would argue that some reference to his alleged crimes should be made, but its a contestable point.

When the photo was reproduced in major daily newspapers in the US (NYT, WashPo etc) it was reported that he was suspected of killing the families of ARVN soldiers. There were quotes from an ARVN officer & some papers even ran a photo of an ARVN soldier holding a dead child on the same page or a facing page. I've seen some of those newspapers & carefully studied what was presented, so I'm not just reporting what someone else wrote. I'm not sure what, if any context TV viewers got, but people seeing the image in major newspapers at the time had it presented in the context of someone suspected of terrible crimes being executed. That doesn't mean people chose to see it that way, but the information was certainly there.
I'd first heard that Lem was a VC assassin from the photographer, Eddie Adams. In an interview that I saw in the 1980s he related what he knew of Lem, and expressed regret that anti-war protesters in the US didn't know what kind of person Lem was. Forgive me for not locating that piece now, but after considerable time on Google I had to give up. Failing that, here's some of Adams' views repeated by Wikipedia.

Quote:
On Nguyen Ngoc Loan and his famous photograph, Adams wrote in Time in 1998:

Quote:
Two people died in that photograph: the recipient of the bullet and General Nguyen Ngoc Loan. The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapons in the world. People believe them; but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths. ... What the photograph didn't say was, 'What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American people?'.... This picture really messed up his life. He never blamed me. He told me if I hadn't taken the picture, someone else would have, but I've felt bad for him and his family for a long time. ... I sent flowers when I heard that he had died and wrote, "I'm sorry. There are tears in my eyes.
Adams later apologized in person to General Nguyen and his family for the irreparable damage it did to the general's honor while he was alive. When Nguyen died, Adams praised him as a "hero" of a "just cause". On the television show "War Stories with Oliver North" Adams called Gen. Nguyen "a g*dd@mned hero!"

Wikipedia,
Additionally, the report that I had linked to earlier quoted Lem's wife, as well as furnished his alias. Granted a source can fabricate those items, but no reputable author or journalist that I know woudl fabricate information like that. Therefore I am of the belief that Lem was, in fact, a terrorist, and that his summary execution was both justified and legal under the accepted rules of war.
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  #180  
Old 29 Sep 17, 10:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BF69 View Post
Slick,

You left out one demographic who have done as much to glorify the role of the anti-war movement as any nostalgic baby boomer - conservatives. From the time the anti-war movement started until the present day a wide cross section of conservatives have inflated the importance of the anti-war movement (and the media) to the point where you might think the DRV & NLF barely had any impact on the outcome of the war. This is part of a profoundly Amerocentric view of the war that assumes it was America's to win or lose & treats everyone else was as a bit part player. Both sides buy into this in different and sometimes the same way.

The left's opposition to the war and wildly inflated self regard leads it to over estimate its own role in the result, denigrate the behavior of the US & its allies and ignore the nature of the side it chose to support. The right's support for the war & wildly inflated sense of what America could/should do leads it to over estimate the role of the anti-war movement and the media while ignoring the success of enemy strategy & tactics and the failings of US strategy & tactics.

When some idiot leftie yells 'hey, we stopped a war' there are just as many idiot conservatives lining up to agree. They are both well wide of the mark.
No doubt, no doubt. The "hawks" can no more take responsibility for the failure in Viet Nam than Erich Ludendorff could take responsibility for losing WW1, hence the "Stab in the Back" nonsense. Guess it's just human nature to blame some one else -- any one else -- rather than stand tall and face the music. Gen Harold Johnson, US Army Chief of Staff from 1964 to 1968, was one of the few who stood tall and faced the music: not only did he pepper Westmoreland with tough questions following Ia Drang, but Gen Johnson wrote hundreds, possibly thousands, of letters to the families of US soldiers KIA in Viet Nam, and was known to attend their funerals, at least in the Washington DC area. Precious few are the top echelon leaders willing to do anything like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix C View Post
For a more balanced view I recommend:

Vietnam: A Television History https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UMTL-zQSYw
I am up to episode 7 of 11 and it is more World at War in quality then the KB & Co. one
I haven't seen it in many years, but I do recall that they covered My Lai in great depth, and were actually more critical of C/1/20 Infantry, and particularly so of Lt Calley, than were Burns & Co. I recall an interview with one of Charlie Co's riflemen, an African-American man, who veritably dripped with sweat and exhibited a pronounced nervous tick during his interview. He stated that his guilt over My Lai was so great that he'd been prescribed a number of powerful psychiatric medications. After the end of his interview, a note was scrolled relating that he had committed suicide during post-production: another casualty of My Lai.
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