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PBS-Ken Burns-The Viet Nam War

Discussion in 'Veterans' started by mdj696, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. AK Hunter

    AK Hunter G&G Evangelist

    Here is the link to watch them if you want to see them on your own time.
    mdj696 and ncnascarlady like this.
  2. mdj696

    mdj696 G&G Evangelist

    Here's a picture I have framed. Took picture during convoy route 13 between An Loc and Dian (pronounced Zion). Early 1968. Johnny Grimes driving. Tank on side of road pulling convoy security. 0985730-R1-E058.jpg

  3. mdj696

    mdj696 G&G Evangelist

    Above "tank" is really what we called dusters, twin 40mm. Guns were great. Tracks were garbage. We had 2, 1 to tow the other one in. Consant oil and fuel leaks. M-Jones-D142-LG.jpg
    Rocky7 and AK Hunter like this.
  4. john_r

    john_r G&G Evangelist

    Jax, Fla
    FWIW. I didn’t watch the series, and I was 10 when the war ended.

    'BEYOND SHAMEFUL': DON'T FALL FOR THIS DECEITFUL VIETNAM FLICK by Major General Patrick Brady, USA, Retired 11/01/17

    Major General Patrick Brady exposes startling omissions, distorted facts in war film

    Editor's note: Major General. Patrick Brady is a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor. He is former president of the Medal of Honor Society.

    [General Brady’s full biography is a good read, as is his MOH citation:]

    Needless to say, Ken Burns' "documentary," "The Vietnam War," has caught the attention of Vietnam veterans. Except for the John Kerryites, the feedback is decidedly negative.

    Burns' obsequious devotion to the Vietnam-era media narrative is breathtaking. Many call Burns' "Vietnam" a hatchet job. That attitude certainly has merit, but I barely got past Tet when it was clear to me that what Burns was doing was more subtle than a hatchet job. A better description is: Burns damned us – not only the veterans, but America as well – with faint praise.

    He uses a deceitful journalistic tool of gathering token credibility bites from those on the other side of his preordained narrative in an effort to appear objective. Burns' "Vietnam" is plagued with media malfeasance including obfuscation, omission and some really messed up moral equivalences.

    North Vietnam would have fallen in weeks if the American media had been there and treated it as they did our efforts in the South. The GIs knew this and would often declare that we should not fear the enemy – they will only take your life. Instead, they'd say, fear the media because they will steal your honor.

    In Burns' effort to highlight the GI disdain for Vietnam's people, I was amazed to learn that we ridiculed their homes by calling them hooches. Really? We called our own living quarters hooches. And mama-san was a term of endearment for our hooch maids, not in any way an insult.

    The Grantonian remark that U.S. Army Gen. Creighton Abrams "drank a lot" disturbed me. What was the point? That he was a drunk? I knew Abrams, and he was unquestionably one of the greatest soldiers we ever produced. I never heard a word about him drinking a lot.

    I was especially disturbed by the notion that we wouldn't carry the Vietnamese dead. In one tour in Vietnam, my unit and other helicopter ambulance units ("Dustoff"), carried hundreds of Vietnamese dead, as well as Communist dead and wounded.

    Burns repeats Walter Cronkite's apocalyptic version of Tet despite the fact that it was surely one of the greatest military victories in the history of warfare. We killed 41,000 and captured 2,500 of 84,000 enemy combatants. Gen. Vo Nguyan Giap, the Communists' supreme commander, was ready to quit. (Years later, I would represent Army Gen. William Westmoreland in a visit with Giap, who was willing to go on the record with Westy and admit what a catastrophe Tet was for his side.) Yet it was portrayed as a defeat, thanks to the likes of Uncle Walter, who had his nose up Ho Chi Minh's posterior. It was like America turned around after Normandy and retreated across the English Channel or George Washington quitting after Yorktown.

    Burns repeatedly reminds us that we didn't understand the Vietnamese. How then do we understand that they would vote for a Communist over a nationalist? As for Ngo Dinh Diem's popularity, it is worth emphasizing that after the Vietnam division of 1954, hundreds of thousands fled Ho Chi Minh's North in favor of Diem in the South. How many went North? We have no idea of Ho's popularity since Communists don't do polls.

    More at the link above.