Ken Burns Vietnam --- starts tonite.

Feb 17, 2017
94
4
8
#2
Can you watch it on pbs.org? I've seen the first two episodes, and it's painful. But then, so was the Viet Nam war era painful. At least with Ken Burns' production, there are interviews with people who were involved in the proceedings, and there is archival information that I have never seen before. A significant amount of the information also comes from participants both from North and South Viet Nam. You're not going to get that perspective elsewhere.
 
Jan 23, 2010
2,266
617
113
54
Morley IA
#3
I happened to catch just bits and pieces of it last night. I personally thought it was well done. I hope to catch more of it as time allows.
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
4,997
404
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#4
Recording it, but haven't seen it yet.

Saw a preview some weeks back and have my own personal doubts about anything regarding Vietnam on PBS. I think we Viet Vets are all going to get a painting with Hanoi Jane's broad brush.

I'd love to be wrong about that.

Greg
 

1J04

Morale Officer
Aug 7, 2011
8,499
2,464
113
PACIFIC NW
#5
Watched the Adult version of Episode One last night. So far I'm impressed with the unabashed background/history leading up to the inevitable. It's done very well and I think many will enjoy it for it's depth.
 

sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
8,885
3,937
113
53
The Snobbiest Town in The Snobbiest State in the N
#6
Ken Burns tends to walk a pretty good historical walk... and keep politics (mostly) out of his work. His co-producer Kim Novak, on the other hand, is a commie whack-job. But it appears that Mr. Burns himself kept the reins on this one. Again, I have not seen, but have now had several e-mails from friends who were there and historians who are serious students of the conflict. They are all saying that Burns did a great job.

I hope it comes up to the level of The 10,000 Day War done by CBC. That was also very well done, just a few years after the conflict ended. c. 1979. Superb series.

I think Ken Burns will do it justice. The story will never be complete. Nor will it ever avoid politics. But the more it's studied through different lenses, the better we can understand it without being polarized by it.

Looking forward to seeing it when I get home.

Cheers,

Sirhr
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
4,997
404
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#7
Viewed my fist two recordings. It looks like a documentary, it sounds like a documentary, but somehow I'm still left waiting for the other shoe.

I still don't trust PBS on anything that's as contemporary and politically charged.

In the previews, Lynn Novick declared something to the effect that this will be a final clearing of the air about the conclusions to be drawn and the meanings to be inferred. I'm expecting bias, blame, and condescension from her contribution. If something complimentary of us Veterans comes out from her input, I'll be surprised.

There's still a lot to come, and I'll be watching as best I can. The NY Times article appears to be making explanations and anticipating disagreement already, which does not enthuse me greatly.

I suspect that a lot of this boils down to the viewer's prevailing prior viewpoint; as in whether your heroes have always been cowboys, and in which Fondas you like and which Fondas you don't.

Greg
 

fx77

Sergeant
Nov 29, 2005
939
23
18
ny state
#8
Having lived through that era, but not directly in the Sh-- ( cared for Marines at the naval Hosp. with Chronic Active Hepatitis from shooting drugs --draftees --if anyone remembers that time) it is very disturbing because we have learned nothing from that era. We still support corrupt regimes with the lives of our troops. I can only watch a 1/2 hr at a time.
 
Aug 21, 2007
1,157
116
63
#10
For my particular fascination (the Why?) the series has generated many questions and disappointments. The 1st episode made a faint, and since then it has devolved into Kennedy felt pressure to hold the line, Johnson picked up the mantle only to waffle later; and we will see how they treat Nixon.

I find it interesting that the historical record shows that Ike warned the Country prior to Viet Nam; and then in the 2003 documentary The Fog of War, McNamara fleshed out during VN - and none of this is discussed.

The personal stories are compelling. However, it views like revisionist history.
 
Last edited:

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
4,997
404
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#11
The insights are largely new to me. Initially, they have made me angry, primarily at the things that we never knew, like the 300,000+ Chinese support troops working in No Viet, freeing their forces to operate in the South. The political posturing and prevarication may have been novel then, but are now sorta like the water and the duck's back.

I am reminded of the Teach-Ins, where academia took on their direct role in subverting a nation, our nation.

They are still at it, firmly entrenched, and are the first echelon in the indoctrination supporting the deep state. No wounds that I can see will be healed before that element is ruthlessly rooted out of existence. What might have been an amenable process decades ago has been permitted to reach more drastic proportion. The wounds will heal only if or when America is determinedly restructured to a very different configuration. It will not be pleasant, whether or not it is achieved.

Greg
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,156
179
63
in yooperland
#13
The insights are largely new to me. Initially, they have made me angry, primarily at the things that we never knew, like the 300,000+ Chinese support troops working in No Viet, freeing their forces to operate in the South. The political posturing and prevarication may have been novel then, but are now sorta like the water and the duck's back.

I am reminded of the Teach-Ins, where academia took on their direct role in subverting a nation, our nation.

They are still at it, firmly entrenched, and are the first echelon in the indoctrination supporting the deep state. No wounds that I can see will be healed before that element is ruthlessly rooted out of existence. What might have been an amenable process decades ago has been permitted to reach more drastic proportion. The wounds will heal only if or when America is determinedly restructured to a very different configuration. It will not be pleasant, whether or not it is achieved.

Greg
What did they say? Military Intelligence is an oxymoron? We, the U.S. knew it. But, how far down the line did that information go? In reality, one need only look at Korea and the Chinese attack across the Yalu River. Whether or not MacArthur was rattling his sword, that was gonna happen. Truman, the lay down president, let it happen and didn't even support the men in the field. Going back to WWII, we had to pay the communists to get our pilots back. Keep in mind we supplied their sorry asses directly, or indirectly through the Soviets. So, why be surprised when the Chinese were supporting No. VietNam? It didn't take a genius to know that at many levels before our guys went over there, that they were.

So, mentioned was the "Fog of War", in it, Mcnamara had talked about if he'd known the North VietNamese were fighting this war for unification of the country, and not communism, he would never have gotten us into it. I don't believe that considering how many N. VietNamese got their post WWII political indocrination in the Soviet camp and not the camp that bailed them out in WWII. Ungrateful POS bastards. Had they sought post war education in free countries and not communist countries, we would have helped negotiate autonomy for them from the French.

In all I hope this is a good series and hope to watch it soon. I may not like the politics, but it will be interesting to see the actions that led to what happened there.
 
Aug 30, 2011
310
2
18
49
Upstate NY, USA
#14
Next episode is the one I've been waiting for, lets see if Burns tells the whole story surrounding the 68' peace talks, and how Nixon and Kissinger secretly undermined them by promising the South better terms under a Nixon Administration. Over half the names on the Vietnam Memorial came after 68', and yet Nixon and Kissinger rarely are held to account for unnecessarily prolonging a war the Pentagon knew was lost before 1965.
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,156
179
63
in yooperland
#15
Next episode is the one I've been waiting for, lets see if Burns tells the whole story surrounding the 68' peace talks, and how Nixon and Kissinger secretly undermined them by promising the South better terms under a Nixon Administration. Over half the names on the Vietnam Memorial came after 68', and yet Nixon and Kissinger rarely are held to account for unnecessarily prolonging a war the Pentagon knew was lost before 1965.
If the pentagon knew the war was lost, why did they increase troops in VN up until 1969, the peak of U.S. troops there?

I have to ask in what capacity Nixon and Kissinger served as neither were in office until 1969.

A comment on the number of people killed over there from 1968 to 1975. The first U.S. Soldier killed in that war was 1946. Up until the U.S. Army considered us "in the fight" in 1961 (although we had several thousand advisors/support people there already) there were just over 400 deaths from 1946 to 1964. From 1964-1968 is when we climbed to a total casualty number of about 36,000. But, that is when most of the big operations were conducted and the bigger battles were fought by us. Starting in 1969 to the peace treaty in January 1973 (final toll goes to 1975) there were roughly 24,000 Americans killed. So, the deadliest time in VietNam was 1964-1968. BUT, with all the drawdown and 'non-operations' why did we still lose 2/3 of what we lost from '64-'68? Because most of the troops there were not combat troops. They were specialty MOS's thrown in to the mix there to support ARVN. It's that fact that makes the later part of the war so bitter for so many people.

I've often heard it called "Nixons War", but he didn't start it. It was Truman's, Eisenhower's, Kennedy's, Johnson's, and Nixon's war. To the numbers of people killed. The most deadly year there for a U.S. Soldier was 1969. A lot of times it's said it takes two years minimum for the effects of an administration to be seen. I think there is some of that going on, but some of that was also Nixons getting more involved than Johnson was. The 1970 invasion of Cambodia was completely his doing. Both Nixon and Johnson were guilty of sitting down to breakfast with congressmen and high ranking military types to pick targets for the day or week or whatever. This shows a lack of focus on winning the war. Putting special interests in front of strategy and tactics.

Anyhow, a friend of mine was to be drafted and he just missed out. He was under the impression he'd be going to some support unit if he went in and probably to VietNam. I told him he's lucky he didn't. They sent him a letter saying they didn't need him after all in 1972.
 
Last edited:
Aug 30, 2011
310
2
18
49
Upstate NY, USA
#16
Last edited:

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,156
179
63
in yooperland
#17
sandwarrior, the fact is Kissinger and Nixon sabotaged the Paris talks in 68', before inking a nearly identical deal in 73'

10s of thousands of dead US troops were added to the Memorial after 1968, that's on Nixon alone.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...man-notes.html

You saw these deals? And would these deals have stopped the North from breaking every clause in those deals? Just like 1975 when they came down without us there and killed 25,000 civilians in two months?

I think that since you come from that era, you believe the common notion that whatever is said from a politician it must be true. I find the "Nixon's War" people to be amazing. One peace conference, that the North was backing out of constantly, would have ended the war? Not likely. Not until we resumed bombing the living shit out of them did they finally stay in their own country...until they saw the perfect chance to break their word...again, for the last time in 1975.

So, don't come off like most of the people died there under Nixon. Most of the people died there under Johnson. And the people who did die there under Nixon, died because policies and procedures we're still very much the same as they had been the previous four years. As I explained above, there were also a MUCH higher percentage of support people killed in the last year's of conflict there.
 
Last edited:

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
4,997
404
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#18
OK, I've reached my limit with the series. I have viewed up to about 2/3 of the way through the third episode on recordings, and watched the fifth episode on PBS last night

It's not about how the series content is presented, it does a good job of that.

It's about my own adjustment to my own experience. I had managed to forget just about every bit of my confusion, terror, anger, disgust, and resentment about that time. I had managed to find an acceptable degree of inner peace. Yes I was asked whether I had killed people, babies. Yes I had been spat on.

What I had forgotten to do was to turn back and ask those questioners whether they had abused any Vietnam Veterans for doing the things that they had been trained to do, ordered to, coerced to do, had done to be best of their abilities, had been proud of their behaviors.

It's a valid question, and so many times more valid today.

Brainwashed into believing they were being virtuous and altruist, what they were really doing was acting out their own vicious inner natures, bolstered with self serving excuses. In our places, they would have shirked, did shirk, and so many of them ran away when they got the same call we answered. They were/are proud of their courage of conviction, but that courage of conviction was really just their name for cowardice in so many of their cases.

It was not about the rightness or wrongness of our orders; we soldiers are not permitted the luxury of debating our orders. It was about the degree of honor with which we did what we were ordained and committed to do. It was about who we were, who we were with, and how much their survival meant to us as compared to our own.

I did not remember that time because I did not want to remember, could not bear to remember. And I had gotten my wish.

But it's all come back for me. The emotions this series rekindles in me are not good. I worry about my ability to readjust to them the way I had adjusted. I may not have the same inner serenity, and the courage I managed so long ago. I may not have the time left.

I know that continuing to view the rest of this is not going to help that process. I know that for whatever reasons the producers and executives had for making this documentary, they think they were doing the right thing. I know that my continued viewing of this series is not doing the right thing.

For me.

The history, the politics, the events are not the problem. I am the root of my own problem.

Please pray for me on this one.

Greg
 
Last edited:

sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
8,885
3,937
113
53
The Snobbiest Town in The Snobbiest State in the N
#19
Greg:

You are echoing the reactions of quite a few veterans who have watched it. I think I mentioned it in the first post on the thread. It really struck a chord with those who were there when they were given a pre-screening a few weeks ago.

So you aren't alone by any means. And the problem of the memory isn't yours.... and certainly not yours alone... it's one shared by a lot of the great Americans you served with.

Best and hope the difficult memories fade fast... this time.

In greatest respect,

Sirhr
 
Aug 21, 2007
1,157
116
63
#20
If the pentagon knew the war was lost, why did they increase troops in VN up until 1969, the peak of U.S. troops there?

I have to ask in what capacity Nixon and Kissinger served as neither were in office until 1969.
You do know that Kissinger was a policy wonk as far back as the late 1950’s - right?

As for the Why? Well that is a question isn’'t it?

Some things are for sure though, Viet Nam was the prototype for an economy based in large part on the expansion of debt (to the point where the US had to default and abandon the Gold Standard) and growth fueled by MIC expenditure. Chasing the Communist boogeyman through the brush, expending $10’s of thousands of dollars a day in material to destroy, to rebuild and pacify, only to do it all over again. It was as fanciful (full of shit) as the War on Terrorism is today.
 
Last edited:

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,156
179
63
in yooperland
#21
You do know that Kissinger was a policy wonk as far back as the late 1950’s - right?

As for the Why? Well that is a question isn’'t it?

Some things are for sure though, Viet Nam was the prototype for an economy based in large part on the expansion of debt (to the point where the US had to default and abandon the Gold Standard) and growth fueled by MIC expenditure. Chasing the Communist boogeyman through the brush, expending $10’s of thousands of dollars a day in material to destroy, to rebuild and pacify, only to do it all over again. It was as fanciful (full of shit) as the War on Terrorism is today.
Kissinger was on the Harvard faculty staff from 1954-1969. He was tenured in 1959. He did serve as a special advisor to Kennedy and Johnson. So, if he was doing what Johnson says he was doing, he could have fired him on the spot. And, Nixon would not been able to hire him, as at that point if it came out as Johnson said it would, he would not have been accepted by the Senate.

Greg,

Prayers to you. I served no time in Viet Nam, I came along ten years after. And in what I did I also have a mountain of anger to dwell on. I just know my mountain is no where near as big as those who served in Viet Nam.
 
Aug 21, 2007
1,157
116
63
#22
Consider that Kissinger (like Zbig Brzezinski) were not partisan in the typical sense - their allegiance was to individuals and entities akin to the CFR.
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
4,997
404
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#23
Thank you. I am coping.

My method is escape; into my family, into my Cardio Rehab, into re-perfecting the setups of my rifles, into helping my VFW stay afloat and interact as a center of our little community, into interacting with you folks here on the 'Hide. As much as anything else, this site is my community,

I don't want to sound like I'm wallowing in self pity. I'm really a bit tougher than that. It's just annoying and somewhat frustrating to find myself needing to redo something I had once already done so well. Oh, well, time to get back with that and get it behind me again. Please forgive me for burdening you folks with my own self-doubt.

Greg
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
4,997
404
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#24
About the series;

I pick out a thread, maybe it's a faulty one, but I think it does indeed explain how we all came to become who we are today.

It starts with everybody's favorite President trying to stopgap world communism; trying to turn a small, incredibly alien country into a speed bump by augmenting and honing its military. Reeling from flip flop occupations, thrown to the wolves of Geneva, it arrives essentially stillborn in an attempt to partition it into a cold war boundary cast in the mold of the Koreas. But the Koreas it's not.

In mid step, the President is cut down by a neurotic idiot with a surplus store abomination they jump to call a 'rifle'. In steps a political deal-maker who's already obsessed, embedded within a program attempting to redefine our nation as a great society.

In essence, a pair of pipe dreams are merged, intentions are corrupted, and political corruption in Indochina spawns a baby, soon to be 500 pound gorilla child called 'advisors', soon to grow into 'escalation', eventually to expand beyond all reason, becoming a half million 19 year old Americans crouching low in the midst of heat, mud, abundant foliage, and a never ending threat coming from no direction, yet every direction. .

Kindly, well meaning older Veterans were appalled at the state of those of us who emerged.

They had been in 'a great war', where they were staged, trained, committed to discrete operations, then withdrawn to safe havens behind the lines of combat, recuperated, and then held in reserve for the next effort. Many spent years in this context. They were indeed a great generation. They knew what a war was and they thought we'd crumbled under our share of more of their same. They despised us for weak complaining cowards.

My generation looked the same, we wore the same uniforms, we had the same short hair, and we ended up with fuses equally as short as that hair.

But what we did was a new thing. We went in, we never came back out until we were toast and we were then simply discarded back out onto the civilian landscape. There was no line of combat, there was no safe haven anywhere within reach. There was the wire. The war was not just on the one side of it. It was 12 and sometimes 13 months of incessant complete vulnerability to an unheralded, instantaneous death coming from any and all directions. We were the frogs in the pot. It was a constant simmer, punctuated by the occasional rolling boil. But that pot was always cooking. No stand downs, no withdrawals to safe havens, not relief in sight, always looking for that light at the end of the tunnel that the politicians and their pawn generals were always reporting glimpses of. That light was truly the proverbial train. It was upwards of 365 to 400 days away down the track.

If you can come out of that with your mind intact, you are superhuman. None of us were superhuman.

It was a hell such as even Dante could not imagine. I will tell you it unhinged me, and that I was one of the luckier ones. At least I was able to stumble back out onto a productive path in the aftermath.

Many individuals, and our nation, were not so lucky. A split personality resulted, for both the individuals and the country. Schizophrenic Paranoia is often misdefined as a split personality. It involves hallucination, rage, confusion, acting out, and many other aberrations Thus describes both the unluckier individuals, and the nation.

Meanwhile, our good friends the press were supplying a steady feed of fork fed tidbits, overlaid with pompous off the top of the head commentary, providing narrow slices of stark reality to a nation who would rather be watching the Jetsons, but who could literally not tear their titillated eyes from that screen. They got a select slice of reality, overlaid with carefully steered commentary, all deliberately intended to up the interest level by sparking the wildest speculation and controversy. It sold a lot of advertising, it sold a lot of internal conflict, it inflated politicians' egos, and it enticed the truly malicious agitators out of the woodwork.

A confused nation resorted to outbursts of argument and protest. facts abounded, mostly dead wrong. Arguments escalated into marches, riots, and urban destruction. When the dust settled, a nation lay in fragments, and the people, shocked and ashamed by their own vivid memories, stepped back. Into the void stepped the agitators with their agendas. They gravitated toward the academe, where the minds were most malleable, and the restraints were totally nonexistent.

Cut to today. The train set is still being played with. The derailments continue unabated. If it were a toy, we'd throw it out and get ourselves a new one. It's not a toy; the rails have been refudged together so many times they are irreparable, yet nobody is quite up to the task of admitting the whole thing is irretrievable. But it is.

I tell you for the umpteenth time, democracy is a failed experiment. The Romans proved that several millennia ago. Bread and circuses. Time out for the Dark Ages, then centuries of feudal misery, once again stamped out by the Triumph of Democracy reborn. We are back once again to the bread and circuses.

The train set needs to go.

I make no attempt to suggest an alternative; I won't live long enough to share in the results. I won't earn my right to do so. I can't suggest anything that does not stand beyond the limits of what my own mind considers acceptable. That's what you get when an old man is talking.

I'll sit this one out, I did my time in Hell, Sir...

Greg
 
#25
Not watching it, nor recording it. Ken burns is a Leftist hack. I served in Tiger Force, in 68/69. I know many of the guys from 1967 (the ones still alive). The person interviewed about the events during that time, either exaggerated or told stuff that didn't occur. He is an asshole with some agenda that no one has yet figured out. Whatever it is, he served himself up to KenBurns on a platter, to add to Burns' smear campaign. Sickening. Before Tigers, I was with C company, 1/327. A bunch of us get together every year (aside from the 101 reunion, and TF reunions) on a beach in Texas. I still support the young guys in the team, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan, Africa. They are Scout/Snipers, but they wear our old patch under their jacket pocket flap. Brothers forever.
 
Feb 17, 2017
94
4
8
#26
Greg, the series commented through one of the veterans that John Kerry's speech to the Senate hearing was the exact thing he wanted to say, and he thought Kerry's speech was perfect, etc. However, I appreciate your written comments here equally as much, although I was not in Viet Nam, since your comments reflect a much more prevalent opinion and experience than Kerry's, at least from the guys I talked to and knew. Thanks for the willingness to share a reality just as true as the one presented for the uninitiated viewers, whose whole history of the Viet Nam era is now going to be molded by this production on PBS. BTW, you and I are about the same age, and I had deferments which kept my lottery number from mattering to me; especially when the number got called. Another thing that makes the PBS "documentary" troubling is that no one in the world had all the information at that time, that every person watching the film will have. So the viewers will make judgments about the decisions of people who did not know what everybody knows now. I didn't know about Nixon's backdoor approach to the North Vietnamese delegation in 1968. Of course, LBJ got the information through what sounds to me like possibly an illegal wiretap. Then the series accuses Nixon of illegal wiretapping with regard to something happening later, while he was President. So the series treats LBJ and Nixon differently, with regard to each of them apparently doing the same thing, both times related to political chicanery prior to an election.
 
#27
Quote: "Greg, the series commented through one of the veterans that John Kerry's speech to the Senate hearing was the exact thing he wanted to say, and he thought Kerry's speech was perfect, etc".

The Senate seemed eager to accept what Kerry said at their hearings, Kerry was pushing the agenda even then. That was the start. He mostly lied, and that was determined and outed by the SwiftBoat Veterans. Including allegations that he murdered a VN on shore, and that he faked his own 3 purple hearts, so he could abort his tour. That has all been documented. Kerry is a POS. I was in VN, in combat and was outraged at Kerry's remarks.
 
Feb 17, 2017
94
4
8
#28
Kerry's "pretty speech" about the ideology of it all was OK enough; then he spoke about atrocities, but they were all hearsay. He only spoke about atrocities, and not about any other action by GIs. I knew a swift-boat vet back in '68-'69, and he told stories that scared me spitless. Not atrocities, but endless encounters with enemy fire coming from the dark jungle along the river. He said he joined the Navy to avoid such things. Oops. Thanks hankpac for sharing your experience with Tiger Force. I am not surprised that the majority effort was honorable; I am also not surprised that the current PBS screed paints a different picture. The leftists want our country to become pacified, unable to engage in effective armed conflict. I don't see them making any documentaries about Russian atrocities in Afghanistan in the 1980s, I don't see them getting the Chinese people all bothered about losing 1,000,000 men in the Korean War, or deploying 300,000 to North Viet Nam as backfill for North Vietnamese combat troops. All of the current social upheaval in the US is just propaganda by the Left, with the intention of segregating/fragmenting our society in order to weaken us through our lack of unity.
 
Last edited:

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
4,997
404
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#29
Revisionist historical literature, and now, video, is not at all a new thing. It goes hand in hand with the half century of conflicting accounts.

I am reminded of the three blind men describing the elephant when they have each only had one part of the animal to handle. As the complexity of the circumstance increases, so so does the potential for bloviage, as the potential accuracy of the account decreases. As the disparate contexts allow insight, they also impart a blurring between fact and propaganda.

I think that's a lot of what's happening here, the trees look clear, but the forest's breadth exceeds the width of the observers' viewpoints, and different soil compositions can make the same species foster largely differing offspring.

Such circumstances can temper and accent the narrative when an agenda fuels the effort. That the creator has such an established reputation in other narratives lends credence to this one whether or not it hews close to all of the facts. I suspect the verity of this work will also largely depend on omissions and emphases that have some particular commonality with an agenda, no matter how hard the creators claim, and even attempt, to reflect impartiality.

I sadly reflect that it is both too soon, and too late, to get a definitive picture; also that as vast as the work has become, it will still be a distillation, and I suspect that a lot of the wheat will fall aside along with the chaff, encouraging bias by omission and emphasis.

The question begs a vast answer, and I seriously suspect that any one attempt to draw facts and conclusions may be doomed from the start.

Likewise, my own commentary is definitely subject to the same criticism. I did not view the entire series. In all honesty I was unable to do so due to my one frailties and biases. So none of this should bear any great weight, or sustain any deep scrutiny. It is, of necessity, incomplete.

Unfortunately, my Cable TV provider is dropping television programming in the next month or so, and my own recordings will depart along with that programming. As I have done in the past, I will purchase (edited to add: have purchased) the commercially available disc set, to accompany my previous acquisition of the outstanding Civil War series.

Perhaps my time and sensibilities will allow me to view it in its entirety, and to form more extensive conclusions than those appearing here. I'll probably update my views here as well. FWIW, the past week has been a chore; my demons have come out to play, and maintaining an even strain has become a challenge. I shall overcome.

Completely O/T, can I reasonably expect Sling to provide a satisfactory programming selection? Bear in mind, I don't do much in the way of sports programming. we already have the Amazon Fire TV stick, although I don't use it very much as of late, and Roku on the other TV. Our Visio TV's and DVD player also have access to Netflix, and Hulu, etc.

Greg
 
Last edited:

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
4,997
404
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#30
I gave it another try, and watched the last(?) episode wherein Saigon fell, and many of the interviewees departed from their basic line of commentary. In essence, much of this belied the main thrust of the preceding episodes. To see staunch advocates of the North's rhetoric actually question that rhetoric was refreshing, but I would have never seen it had I stuck to my own resolve, to refrain from viewing further. So there was some benefit to my relenting.

One point that caught my attention was when the one woman protester admitted mistreating returning Veterans, and gave her tearful apology.

One protester; maybe fifty years after the fact...

Far too little, far too late. How many Veterans got pushed over the line into psychosis or worse in that interim.

Thanks for so little....

There is apology, and then there is restitution. Apology without restitution is little more than hollow mockery.

A couple of parades, a monument or sevreal is an honest testament, but many raw and open wounds remain, many good deeds will go undone by those who must instead carry an inner burden. I imagine they will remain so now; that the time in which such things would have been appropriate is long past, that doing so now would simply add to the mockery. We survivors carry on anyway. In the end, it is our own triumphs which carry our day.

If there is one thing that remains a core of bitterness within my own self, it is how so many Americans departed from a key attribute of a great nation, in that those who remain behind give support and solace to those who marched faithfully to the sound of the gunfire. Instead, those many gave aid and comfort to our nations enemies, and got off Scot free, gave each other high fives and back pats, went on to live productive lives founded on treachery and sedition. It remains enough to shake one's faith in a just God and a righteous nation.

That was the day the deep state drew its first breath, and anyone who claims to believe we have healed the nation's wounds from that time is blind, deaf, dumb, and utterly clueless. They are probably immersed up to their nostrils within that deep state, and oblivious to the values those survivors among us, fewer each day, hold dear and aim to maintain in the face of unprincipled opposition.

There are none so harmful, and few so delusional, as they who constitutionally believe in wrong thing.

For my own self, I was somewhat restored by that episode.

As the credits rolled, the words "Let it be..." crooned in the background, and I reflected how it is far too late to let such matters be a controlling influence in my life. I could fight the unfairness of life, or simply let it roll over unimpeded. No real difference in the world would accrue either way. But I could be free to invest that effort into things that still matter in the time I have left.

To concentrate on doing the positive things...

I think that would be best.

Greg
 
Dec 13, 2011
1,222
58
48
Georgia
#33
I hope you and your kind hold your head high Mr Greg, KraigWY, etc. The show raised a good point that I thinks often overlooked. Though the hippy shit may have started from some type of good intentions, by the middle-end of the conflict it seems to have been based on naught more than self-preservation. And when those POS's saw you returning from hell personified, you embodied everything they were not and did not have the grit to be - a warrior. Those cunts knew they wouldn't last a day in the meat grinder that yall plowed thru for months on end. And they hated you for it. Most of all, they likely hated themselves just as much. Because you were a warrior and had the proof to show it. They were simply something else, several levels below - coward, pussy, whatever the term of the day may be..
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
4,997
404
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#34
True as this may seem, may even be, we gain nothing at this late date by singling them out for what they were. I am not in favor of extending the enmity for even one second more, and then there's also the aspects associated with casting pearls before swine.

Any such effort would likely be doomed to fail just as much as it has failed continuously over the past half century. The anti's are instilled to the core with the adamant imperative to wear their disdain on their sleeves, to forge on blind and deaf to any differing view. They are lost to us, and more sadly, to themselves as well. They could be better, and the rest of us all for it. but Gibraltar will crumble first.

Repeating failed methods intended to heal in a hope of altering outcomes is the textbook definition of insanity, and insanity is the very thing we already have far to much of.

I reject any intimations of heroism. We had a commitment and we kept it. We got no fanfare and we expected none. Any such fanfare would have been embarrassing for me/most of us. We weren't in it for the adulation. It was a grueling job that needed doing, and it had become our lot to do so, just as it had going on back to before Valley Forge.

Far more important was reentering the mainstream and getting on with the nuts and bolts of a normal life. For most of us, those expectations were not fulfilled. What our Uncles and Dads came home to was diametrically opposed to what we got. First we were bewildered, then we were angry, then we were unjustifiably ashamed, then we went to cover and maintained a low profile, and we had to deceive folks, including ourselves, into projecting that "I'm OK, You're OK" sham.

We weren't OK. OK was not in our profile, not ever, would net ever be.

But we found a kind of peace.

For me, it was a wonderful Wife, a generational family, and a crack at a humble job that managed the progression to a professional career.

For others it was not so good, and got bad enough to become unendurable. We lost so many; good people with wounds outside and inside that become insurmountable.

Is there blame? Of course there's blame; but blame achieves no redress, no care, no comfort. Might as well blame the Moon for all the good blame achieves.

Is there care, comfort, redress? Redress is a myth, might as well hold your breath forever seeking redress. Is there care, comfort? Yes, and it can be a steep uphill strain to bring it to fruition. I'm OK, you're OK becomes an indomitable wall separating the need from the fruition. It requires a patience and a perseverance that most well meaning helpers can't fully manage.

But still, it does occur, and such successes have extended the process of relief to additional new generations of Veterans too much like ourselves; also despised, also treated with resentment, with harsh animosity. We are the nation for whom a military career has become an exercise in voluntary self imprisonment within a system that has little support from the beneficiaries of their sacrifices, and open antagonism from far too many.

The reflex is to lash back, but there is no appropriate recipient anywhere within view, out there in the open. The prime irritant lives deeply insulated behind layers of convenient fools, well seasoned with vicious psychotic sociopaths. They are encouraged and empowered by cynical manipulators, replenished with fresh cadres who are stoked and guided by the supposed guardians of our youth and their educations, funded by cynical manipulators bent on anarchy and their own warped sense of domination and absolute power.

The Veterans are the new breed of miners canary. How we treat our Veterans is a litmus for the health of our society.

It's not doing so well; not at all.

There are many among us who would improve on that. But the traditional means are undermined, corrupted, co-opted by the very miscreants one might wish to vanquish. Our very decency is mocked and flaunted with aberrant and insulting behavior. That decency becomes the rack upon which right and wrong, honor and benevolence are twisted and destroyed from within. Decency is an implement, a goal, and our most damning impediment; for if we might uphold it, it blocks us from implementing what means would be necessary and effective,. It is a the petard upon which our honest indignation is daily being hoisted.

We need to set the good aside, that it may once again someday brought back out to the daylight that is currently clouded with hatred, greed, and a hunger for absolute and undeserved power.

This discussion started out being about a documentary, an entertainment, a proclamation about the whens, the wheres, hows, the whys surrounding the Vietnam war. I think, however, that what it has really achieved is to highlight how that war undermined a great nation, destroyed its traditional values, and has brought us to the very brink of that nation's redefinition.

If we do not take hold of that redefinition, others will, and they neither share, nor respect, our values.

We did not lose the Vietnam war, we surrendered. What we soldiers achieved was discarded and abandoned in a fit of political expedience, in a mire of self revulsion, in a subtle and deceitful corruption of decent values, with a deliberate and cynical intention to substitute dominance for freedoms.

We were winning when I left.

But winning was never the intention, and when it looked like it might happen anyway, it was manacled and scourged so thoroughly that nothing associated with military and victory could ever be respectable again. For some, for many, for far too many, that was a good thing.

But not for me.

Greg
 
Dec 13, 2011
1,222
58
48
Georgia
#35
As always you raise some great points Mr Greg, always a pleasure reading your posts. I'm reminded of something I read long ago though for the life of me can't quite recall the source. Apparently, after Tet, the politburo up north was debating on suing for peace due to the devastation you and your brothers in arms rained down on em. There was actually supposedly a large portion of the assembly which supported suing for peace... that is until a member on the other side brough up/showed the assembly recent footage of Walter Cronkite proclaiming the war was all but lost, right after Tet...
thanks alot Cronkite.
 

sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
8,885
3,937
113
53
The Snobbiest Town in The Snobbiest State in the N
#36
^^^ An interesting supposition, Coyote. And one I had not heard. I'll have to check into that. Because if true, it certainly backs up a lot of anecdotal data about the effect the US media had.

One thing that is not in doubt is that the Tet Offensive helped rid the North of a lot of pesky South Vietnamese Viet-minh/Vietcong who were likely to be trouble after re-unification. Giap was concerned that the guerilla army in the South would be un-controllable after re-unification. And Tet pretty much eliminated all the cadre South of the DMZ. Leaving the North Vietnamese Army to prosecute the war from then on.

Tet didn't wipe out all the irregular troops. But enough of them that they never posed a threat to the post-war People's Republic. It has been posited that the Tet Offensive was not only intended to be a psychological operation against the U.S. (as you point out about Cronkite) to prove that the war was 'not' almost won. But that it was intended to purge out the Vietcong... the non-regular forces.

Maximum consternation, indeed.

Sirhr
 
Dec 13, 2011
1,222
58
48
Georgia
#37
^^^ An interesting supposition, Coyote. And one I had not heard. I'll have to check into that. Because if true, it certainly backs up a lot of anecdotal data about the effect the US media had.

One thing that is not in doubt is that the Tet Offensive helped rid the North of a lot of pesky South Vietnamese Viet-minh/Vietcong who were likely to be trouble after re-unification. Giap was concerned that the guerilla army in the South would be un-controllable after re-unification. And Tet pretty much eliminated all the cadre South of the DMZ. Leaving the North Vietnamese Army to prosecute the war from then on.

Tet didn't wipe out all the irregular troops. But enough of them that they never posed a threat to the post-war People's Republic. It has been posited that the Tet Offensive was not only intended to be a psychological operation against the U.S. (as you point out about Cronkite) to prove that the war was 'not' almost won. But that it was intended to purge out the Vietcong... the non-regular forces.

Maximum consternation, indeed.

Sirhr
Interesting, and pertains somewhat to a topic I was curious on. The documentary certainly gives the impression the VC and NVA were 2 totally seperate entities. I was always thinking the NVA and VC while seperate, ultimately answered to the same command structure up high. Is this not the case?
 

sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
8,885
3,937
113
53
The Snobbiest Town in The Snobbiest State in the N
#38
I don't know exactly how their command structure worked. But the VC were not under a rigid command structure. They worked independently and in cells and did not play by the NVA playbook.

My suspician is a power struggle in Hanoi or simply the recognition that eventually we are going to win this thing... and the last thing we want is a lot of armed Southern guerillas running around trying to decide if they should be 'in charge' vs. Hanoi. I am sure someone has written about it, I just don't know who. But Tet served a dual purpose. And one was to destroy the VC as a fighting force. And that was not by accident.

Cheers,

Sirhr
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
4,997
404
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#40
I have received my copy of the DVD series.

Much speculation has been voiced about whether the vast VC (NLF) casualties over Tet were deliberately, cynically intended by the planners in the North.

Likewise, the role Cronkite's despondent summation had on both the North Leadership and American public sentiment is more than purely speculative.

The NLF was an outgrowth of the Viet Minh force intended to overthrow the French, and was governed with a heavy hand through cadres trained and sent from the North. They performed according on Politburo policy, and were strictly indoctrinated with Northern Communist ideology.

Some deeper insight can be garnered from this Wiki article.

Greg
 

sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
8,885
3,937
113
53
The Snobbiest Town in The Snobbiest State in the N
#41
I have not had time to do a review... but am watching and am now on episode three. And so far, I am not only un-impressed, but I think that Kim Novak has had her heavy hand of Ivy League Communism all over this series.

More to follow... and I wish I was really enjoying this series. But I have watched hoping to see a brilliant historians apolitical treatment... and saw a diatribe. I'll point out my thoughts... right, wrong or indifferent when I have some more time.

But this is the first time I have watched a Ken Burns series and said to myself... this is a travesty. When the title page started with "Ken Burns and Kim Novak" I cringed. It usually starts with Ken Burns... and Kim Novak (the filthy pinko commie) is usually only mentioned in credits. Not this time.

Sirhr
 

SND

Private
Jul 7, 2006
121
4
18
56
Central Michigan
#42
Nixon apparently had a staffer with a link into the S Viet government during the campaign who at his direction supposedly pitched the idea to the south they would get a better deal in the peace negotiations with Nixon than with Johnson. At the last minute, the south pulled out of the talks. This unauthorized private citizen working with a foreign govt during war is a violation of the Logan Act, an act of treason. This was widely suspected and Johnson called him on it but it couldn't be proven. David Frost question Nixon on it also. Some recently released Nixon notes now confirm it. What a shame ...


sandwarrior, the fact is Kissinger and Nixon sabotaged the Paris talks in 68', before inking a nearly identical deal in 73'

10s of thousands of dead US troops were added to the Memorial after 1968, that's on Nixon alone.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...man-notes.html

 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,156
179
63
in yooperland
#44
The points made about Cronkite are very interesting. Without some kind of documented context of where he was at and when, what he says is an unfounded opinion of how to win a war. First, he was a war correspondent, not a soldier. Second, while many admired him for his bravery in previous conflicts, he was not the strategist. He was simply a "bystander". Unfortunately, a bystander with a lot of clout when it comes to swaying public opinion. My point is, he could have said the same thing if he was in the area on Omaha beach where we took the most casualties. But, he wasn't. In each of his major reporting events he was not in the thick of things, he got there after it happened.

I happened to like him as a news anchor, but I could never figure how he seemed to know so much to give an overall opinion on it in 1968. Well, he didn't know, it was conjecture. As I stated above, if you are in the thickest of the thick, and you witness mass casualties, your attitude is going to change. You either set your mind to overcome it or resign. He resigned. His opinion was based on spending a week in a not even hot area, and he only witnessed a few casualties. And, what was going on was not like the conflicts he had reported on first hand in the past. For one thing, we had no front lines. fighting was sporadic, not solid. We were chasing around a few individuals at a time, not whole units. That is NOT a clear vision of what was going on over there. And, while I liked him as an anchor, that was clearly NOT responsible journalism.

In spite of all that happened politically, both here and there, we won the war militarily. We ended up giving away the country just like we gave up so much land in the past there. Take it, then leave it. And when the Government of the South could never stop padding their own pockets over running and maintaining their own country, THEY lost it.
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
4,997
404
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#45
I agree completely.

It seems that what we see on the TV news is largely a construction of smoke and mirrors; and nowadays, even the evidence of one's own eyes can be a finely detailed "wag the dog" green screen fakery.

Does this occur? Honestly, it's just too hard to tell.

Cronkite made his bones during WWII by taking a ride on an American heavy bomber fling over Germany as part of the "writing 69th", and broadcasting during the flight.

"Cronkite was on board USS Texas (BB-35) starting in Norfolk, Virginia, through her service off the coast of North Africa as part of Operation Torch, and thence back to the US. On the return trip, Cronkite was flown off Texas in one of her OS2U Kingfisher aircraft when Norfolk was within flying distance. He was granted permission to be flown the rest of the distance to Norfolk so that he could outpace a rival correspondent on USS Massachusetts (BB-59) to return to the US and to issue the first uncensored news reports to published about Operation Torch.[SUP][19][/SUP] Cronkite's experiences aboard Texas launched his career as a war correspondent.[SUP][20][/SUP] Subsequently, he was one of eight journalists selected by the United States Army Air Forces to fly bombing raids over Germany in a B-17 Flying Fortress part of group called the Writing 69th,[SUP][21][/SUP] and during a mission fired a machine gun at a German fighter.[SUP][22][/SUP] He also landed in a glider with the 101st Airborne in Operation Market Garden and covered the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he covered the Nuremberg trials[SUP][23][/SUP] and served as the United Press main reporter in Moscow from 1946 to 1948.[SUP][24][/SUP]"

Greg
 
Last edited:

sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
8,885
3,937
113
53
The Snobbiest Town in The Snobbiest State in the N
#46
Sorry Greg... Wrong Novak.

I'll post more indepth review this week. Been a long couple of days in the shop trying to restore cannon trunnions and retrieve a tube from the point of no return. Looks like it is going to work. But have not had time to write indepth stuff. I'll post pictures of cannon this week.

More to follow....

Cheers,

Sirhr
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,156
179
63
in yooperland
#47
I agree completely.

It seems that what we see on the TV news is largely a construction of smoke and mirrors; and nowadays, even the evidence of one's own eyes can be a finely detailed "wag the dog" green screen fakery.

Does this occur? Honestly, it's just too hard to tell.

Cronkite made his bones during WWII by taking a ride on an American heavy bomber fling over Germany as part of the "writing 69th", and broadcasting during the flight.

"Cronkite was on board USS Texas (BB-35) starting in Norfolk, Virginia, through her service off the coast of North Africa as part of Operation Torch, and thence back to the US. On the return trip, Cronkite was flown off Texas in one of her OS2U Kingfisher aircraft when Norfolk was within flying distance. He was granted permission to be flown the rest of the distance to Norfolk so that he could outpace a rival correspondent on USS Massachusetts (BB-59) to return to the US and to issue the first uncensored news reports to published about Operation Torch.[SUP][19][/SUP] Cronkite's experiences aboard Texas launched his career as a war correspondent.[SUP][20][/SUP] Subsequently, he was one of eight journalists selected by the United States Army Air Forces to fly bombing raids over Germany in a B-17 Flying Fortress part of group called the Writing 69th,[SUP][21][/SUP] and during a mission fired a machine gun at a German fighter.[SUP][22][/SUP] He also landed in a glider with the 101st Airborne in Operation Market Garden and covered the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, he covered the Nuremberg trials[SUP][23][/SUP] and served as the United Press main reporter in Moscow from 1946 to 1948.[SUP][24][/SUP]"

Greg
He made his bones for sure in WWII.

I go back and read what I wrote and see that I didn't really get the meaning out that I wanted.

So, to say it more clearly this time, Cronkite was "out of context" when he reported what he did. What he saw and what he reported were true. However, it being one small part of the war, where different strategies were being employed by each different area of operations command. He did not get a chance to see what was, and what was not succeeding. The timing of that report couldn't have been worse for the war effort as well. Again, that is part of the context. We got sucker punched (TET), and when we hit back we delivered crushing blows in return. My first 1SG was there during that time and he talked about those sum-bitches running like hell with none of their equipment back to the North, we kicked their asses so bad. Cronkite didn't hang around and report that part of it. (possibly PNG at that point?) He reported in an area of relatively low VC activity where we were chasing a few bad guys around. Meaning he's telling what he sees like it's the whole conflict. It was not. And, he never clarified that.

He was a supporter of the war early on. He said, and I believe this, that he never wanted us to lose the war. Just that, as he saw it, we were not going to win it, so don't waste lives and material resources. We did win that war, and it was because Nixon finally stopped beating around the bush with the little commie shits from the North, who never intended to honor any agreements, by bombing the living shit out of them. (what Cronkite thought would probably work)

Interesting thought sirhr, about the North using the VC to be the throw away guys in the big offensive. Makes a lot of sense. The VC were effective but use 'em up like the tools they were. Reduce their numbers enough so, as you pointed out, they don't have more fighting between factions once they take the South. There was a lot of fighting post U.S. involvement over territorial turf. A lot of VC were in fact in a way, just mercenaries. They fought us because the North paid more, or it was keeping the lines of illicit drug trade open.:eek:...:cool:
 
Last edited:

sirhrmechanic

Command Sgt. Major
Feb 23, 2010
8,885
3,937
113
53
The Snobbiest Town in The Snobbiest State in the N
#48
I finally watched this series in its entirety. After starting it when it came out and not making it through the first episode as I was really pissed at the way Novak (who seems to be leading this series) was portraying the early involvement.

I found the first few episodes to be done in a relatively neutral and informative manner. The producers brought in some interesting people and I learned some new and interesting facts.

But as the series progressed, especially into the last few episodes, the whole thing just digressed into a rehash of Neil Sheehan and Daniel Ellsburg and a complete leftist diatribe on how the war unfolded. One segment after another was devoted to some atrocity and to justifying the appalling behavior of the anti-war movement.

It is worth watching... but has also soured my opinion of Ken Burns. Not that he isn't a good documentarian. He is brilliant in so many ways. What has soured me is that he let that nasty commie twat Lynn Novak hijack his name... on a film that could have been done with the same professionalism and historians eye... as many of his earlier works. But between The Central Park Five and this... it's clear that Ken Burns now means Novak and her leftist PBS pejorative blather.

Cheers,

Sirhr
 
Top Bottom