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Ken Burns's Vietnam War

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ShinyTop, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    On PBS, started last night. I know I posted a long post years ago about the war. But this show revealed details I did not know, but details that only reinforced my opinion that the government screwed the American people and its soldiers bases on lies and political expediency.

    I did not know that South Vietnam navy boats attacked NVN islands as the beginning of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the incident that began us attacking and enabled the Gulf of Tonkin resolution.

    I did not know that in a meeting in 1966 McNamara told Johnson we only had a 1 in 3 chance of winning even if the government provided the troops asked for.

    The documentary did comment on most young Americans, like me, did not believe their government would outright lie to them.

    After all these years I again am shaking with anger.
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  2. SixofNine

    SixofNine Jedi Sage Staff Member

    The Gulf of Tonkin incident always felt like a flimsy pretext.
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  3. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

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  4. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    In tonight's episode he showed the side of family waiting to hear about sons in Vietnam. Very powerful.
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  5. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Will come back to read it later. Thanks for posting.
  6. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    We are watching that series too. In 1973 I read The Best and the Brightest
    The Best and the Brightest - Wikipedia and came to the conclusion that the war was a huge mistake, but this series is making it even more obvious. When that book came out, I don't think the author had access to as much information as Burns had. I am finding these revelations disturbing, too, especially that 1966 conversation between McNamara and Johnson. Someone in the series said something about covering up to protect the egos back in Washington. How true!
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  7. Allene

    Allene Registered User

    Yes, I was just going to ask about that. Denton "Mogie" Crocker had poor eyesight, but he got into the Army and was "point man" on one of the patrols. I think he tried to get into the Marines first, but got turned down because of his eyesight. How did he pull that off? Was there a change in the rules during the Vietnam War? My husband was in the USAF in the late 1950s and early 1960s and was not allowed to learn to fly planes because of his poor eyesight. He was a cryptographer the whole time.

  8. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    Ken Burn's documentary on Vietnam is 18 hours long. It's spread out over ten episodes. I've watched eight so far and will finish up today or tonight.

    Vietnam is a war that after its end the people in the US wanted to forget about it. It is still so today. It was the center of the storm that tore the nation apart more than any other event in our history besides the civil war. The period of 1968-1975 changed the direction of this country unlike any other period after the civil war. I think that one either had to be in the military during that time or have at least been a young adult living in the US to really understand.

    So far I've learned nothing new of significance, but it has refreshed my memory. It did, however, stir up anger that I thought was dead and buried long ago. I was wrong. It was buried alive. Big difference. I will spend the next week reburying it.

    Other than being too long this is a stand-alone documentary that thoroughly defines the war and all of the issues or baggage that went with it. One of the issues being that despite so involving the population we learned little from the lessons taught us by the war.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
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  9. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Watching the outstanding PBS documentary on the Vietnam War I began noting similarities between Vietnam and our continuing involvement in Afghanistan. In both cases we are in the midst of one people of a country fighting another of the same country. In both cases the other side has safe havens and another country supporting it. In both cases the recognized civilian government is at best luke warm to American involvement. And in both cases the recognized civilian government is rife with corruption thus stopping the aid before it gets to the people who need it.

    the biggest differences are the number of US troops committed and that there is no draft.

    Those that don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
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  10. Arc

    Arc Full Member

    Afghanistan! The longest war in our history. Now sixteen years long and counting. Our "enemy?" The Taliban. As of this post, they control 80 percent of the country.

    A war that we won in thirty days and accomplished all of our stated goals. Destroy al Qa'ida camps and forces in Afghanistan plus accomplish a regime change. (The Taliban were the official government then.) The preceding was one of our county's greatest military exhibition of planning and execution. Plus we did it with few casualties to US personnel as we got Afghans opposed to the Taliban to do all of the ground fighting and we supplied massive precision, (and I mean precision) air support.

    War won. Stated objectives accomplished. Then we decided to stick around and "help out."
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
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