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Armor/AFV: Vietnam
All things Vietnam
Hosted by Darren Baker
Ken Burns, PBS
trickymissfit
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Posted: Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 04:52 PM GMT+7
I went fishing awhile ago. I love to fish because it's me and nobody else 80% of the time. Gives me time to think and sort thru my demons. It was in the low 90's and pretty humid. I gave up after about an hour and a half, and headed to the house. Then I decided I needed a beer, so I stopped by the local VFW. Could have gone to the Legion, but the VFW is closer. I walked in and the only person there was a lady I've known for years (as well as her husband). I hear a bunch of noise coming from the bathroom. Out walks her husband and a friend I also knew. Good men!

Her husband and I are close friends even though I'm old enough to be his dad. A couple months ago they had the "Moving Wall" placed about fifteen minutes away from his Reserve Post. About 30% of his men and women have seen combat, and the rest are in training. Of course there's some rivalry with the new guys taking much of it lightly. He assembles all his men and women and they drive over to Columbus to see this wall. He takes them to the very beginning and makes everybody read the names out loud all the way to the last panel. Took awhile, and people just stood and watched. Most of the 30% knew what those names were and why, while most of the 70% didn't. They do now, and why.
gary
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Posted: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 01:10 AM GMT+7

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John... I did my time in Kuwait. I served with 8th Tanks in Desert Sword/Storm. What a fantastic group of people I served with. Everyone a volunteer. There were no slackers to be seen, tougher than steel nails, never a complaint.. other than the rain and 6 months straight of MRE's. They were more intelligent group than you would have expected with many in college. I would have volunteered to go anywhere in the world with those marines no questions asked. I had complete faith that they had my back even to the end. I think Americas best is still flourishing. The modern military is outstanding. The job is tough and becoming more complex every year. We ask a lot of them with many doing multiple tours. I applaud those that followed me . I see the torch was passed and is burning bright. The lessons I got from Vietnam is not to squander our Marines and Soldiers on hopeless/useless operations. Be intelligent with their use and use them as a last resort not just as a diplomatic tool.

The young people of today are just as feisty as any time before. They know their rights and they stand up for them. You might not like their views but they respect yours. I see division happening in our country but not in our youth. I work with today's youth and I have faith in them and the future.



Thank you for your service. I would love to have more faith in the youth of today, and perhaps our difference in geographic locations of where we live might have something to do with differences of opinions. And I respect that as well of course. Living in the Midwest, like I have, the 'big city' reporting and news is not pervasive, and could be the buffer we have over time to differences in attitude about our country and flag. Living just outside of Orlando, the wife and I are constantly bombarded with the negatives of society. We try and avoid so much negativity as time goes by. I want nothing more than to see these kids succeed, and the proof is in the waiting list to get into the Academies, and quotas filled at the recruiting office. But I do fear the infiltration of lies about our country and flag, and what they stand for, is surely taking root.
phantom8747
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Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017 - 12:16 AM GMT+7

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Was just wondering if any of you were watching the PBS series on Vietnam? My friend and I are having a tough go of it for different reasons and time frames. He is an early war and I am a late war vets and things are very confused for both. Hope it explains some things for younger people and maybe for older ones too. Wayne



The younger generation...especially since 9/11...won't have a clue, or give a rat's a$$, about Burns' series on the 'Nam. Their self absorbed, I want everything handed to me mentality, tree hugging liberal high school and college brainwashing, will prevent them from any cognitive ability to understand the programming. And so it goes..."for those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected WILL NEVER know!...

As for me, I will be watching...I consider it "therapy"...



These kids have been fighting since 2001 , multiple tours . ALL voulenteers !! Keep watching you NEED the therapy !! God Bless these kids !!



This is true but for a period of time between 1968 to the 90's college educated individuals did not want to serve. Dropping out of school and doing drugs was their thing. I believe every male citizen of this country should serve their country in some capacity. What if any country like North Korea ,Iran or groups like Isis or any group of other radicals gets a hold of a nuclear wepon and decides to use it on America. As for the series I thought it was great covering all sides of the conflict.
trickymissfit
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Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017 - 08:33 AM GMT+7

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Was just wondering if any of you were watching the PBS series on Vietnam? My friend and I are having a tough go of it for different reasons and time frames. He is an early war and I am a late war vets and things are very confused for both. Hope it explains some things for younger people and maybe for older ones too. Wayne



The younger generation...especially since 9/11...won't have a clue, or give a rat's a$$, about Burns' series on the 'Nam. Their self absorbed, I want everything handed to me mentality, tree hugging liberal high school and college brainwashing, will prevent them from any cognitive ability to understand the programming. And so it goes..."for those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected WILL NEVER know!...

As for me, I will be watching...I consider it "therapy"...



These kids have been fighting since 2001 , multiple tours . ALL voulenteers !! Keep watching you NEED the therapy !! God Bless these kids !!



This is true but for a period of time between 1968 to the 90's college educated individuals did not want to serve. Dropping out of school and doing drugs was their thing. I believe every male citizen of this country should serve their country in some capacity. What if any country like North Korea ,Iran or groups like Isis or any group of other radicals gets a hold of a nuclear wepon and decides to use it on America. As for the series I thought it was great covering all sides of the conflict.



problem is that much of the newer generation(s) are still attached to the umbilical cord. I was! My first Platoon Sargent took care of that issue about fifteen minutes into the Army. Then I met my first serious First Sargent, and I thought I was gonna be dead in the next ten minutes. What happened was I learned to be a self starter. Didn't have to be told to do much of anything after he got done. If he had to tell you to do something, you knew upfront that it was not going to be a good day.

gary
babaoriley
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Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017 - 10:56 AM GMT+7
"The younger generation...especially since 9/11...won't have a clue, or give a rat's a$$, about Burns' series on the 'Nam. Their self absorbed, I want everything handed to me mentality, tree hugging liberal high school and college brainwashing, will prevent them from any cognitive ability to understand the programming. And so it goes..."for those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected WILL NEVER know!..."

A series of young men who worked for me in years past went on to serve, a couple in the Marines, one in the Navy (he so wanted to be a SEAL but an old back injury prevented that), one went on to be a police officer after his military service. They all work for a living, in some cases they started their own business and created jobs for others.

So I have a problem when folks want to write off a whole generation, especially with well-worn Archie Bunker ranting about tree-hugging liberals who want everything handed to them. Here's a thought-- when someone holds an opinion different from yours maybe it doesn't mean he's been brainwashed, it might just mean his experience of life has been different, he might even know something you don't.

I sometimes see young people who make me roll my eyes, especially when I hear that racket they call music (and I'm well aware that makes me sound like my parents). But then I see a kid who is holding down a job while he goes to school so he can take up a skilled trade or maybe even graduate from college (which can actually be a pretty good thing). I'm sorry you don't seem to meet any of the good kids, but I assure you, they're out there. And if some of them don't share my dinosauresque political and cultural views, oh well, that's the way the generations have come and gone for thousands of years. I'd guess it is always going to be that way....
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Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017 - 11:20 AM GMT+7
Yep watched it , and my hat is off to any troop that went through that dang war.
I grew up in that time zone, and watched it on TV.
But never saw it shown like that.
Body count was a wow factor, all true what I heard when I went in , thought BS , but as I have seen was not the way it was.A waste I hate to say, and should of left in 62 when only a few killed.
Bummer the whole deal,and lied too by the presidents. Wow again.
The gov, should send you all checks for $20,000 as a bonus for serving there.

Cheers

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Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017 - 12:04 PM GMT+7
Fantastic series. I had no idea that the harassment and attempted humiliation of vets was such a wide spread thing. And 30 000 went to Canada, and yet 30 000 Canadians went south to volunteer. Again, amazing show.
trickymissfit
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Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017 - 12:57 PM GMT+7

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Fantastic series. I had no idea that the harassment and attempted humiliation of vets was such a wide spread thing. And 30 000 went to Canada, and yet 30 000 Canadians went south to volunteer. Again, amazing show.



quite a few of those Canadian Vietnam Vets were drafted into the U.S. Army. I had two in my unit when I first joined my company. They had a policy that if you worked in the USA, they could draft you. If you didn't accept the draft, then you lost your job. On return you were given U.S. citizenship.

There also were Filipinos, Mexicans, Germans, and who only knows what others.
glt




Pongo_Arm
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Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017 - 01:42 PM GMT+7

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Fantastic series. I had no idea that the harassment and attempted humiliation of vets was such a wide spread thing. And 30 000 went to Canada, and yet 30 000 Canadians went south to volunteer. Again, amazing show.



quite a few of those Canadian Vietnam Vets were drafted into the U.S. Army. I had two in my unit when I first joined my company. They had a policy that if you worked in the USA, they could draft you. If you didn't accept the draft, then you lost your job. On return you were given U.S. citizenship.

There also were Filipinos, Mexicans, Germans, and who only knows what others.
glt




Give up your job for two years to join the army, or we will revoke your work visa? Compelling.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017 - 09:31 PM GMT+7

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Fantastic series. I had no idea that the harassment and attempted humiliation of vets was such a wide spread thing. And 30 000 went to Canada, and yet 30 000 Canadians went south to volunteer. Again, amazing show.



quite a few of those Canadian Vietnam Vets were drafted into the U.S. Army. I had two in my unit when I first joined my company. They had a policy that if you worked in the USA, they could draft you. If you didn't accept the draft, then you lost your job. On return you were given U.S. citizenship.

There also were Filipinos, Mexicans, Germans, and who only knows what others.
glt




Give up your job for two years to join the army, or we will revoke your work visa? Compelling.



Wasn't there something similar during one or both of the wars with/in Iraq? Fight for the US and get a citizenship afterwards?
/ Robin
j76lr
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Posted: Saturday, September 30, 2017 - 12:11 AM GMT+7

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Fantastic series. I had no idea that the harassment and attempted humiliation of vets was such a wide spread thing. And 30 000 went to Canada, and yet 30 000 Canadians went south to volunteer. Again, amazing show.



quite a few of those Canadian Vietnam Vets were drafted into the U.S. Army. I had two in my unit when I first joined my company. They had a policy that if you worked in the USA, they could draft you. If you didn't accept the draft, then you lost your job. On return you were given U.S. citizenship.

There also were Filipinos, Mexicans, Germans, and who only knows what others.
glt




Give up your job for two years to join the army, or we will revoke your work visa? Compelling.



Wasn't there something similar during one or both of the wars with/in Iraq? Fight for the US and get a citizenship afterwards?
/ Robin


i never heard of that !!
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Saturday, September 30, 2017 - 12:30 AM GMT+7

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Fantastic series. I had no idea that the harassment and attempted humiliation of vets was such a wide spread thing. And 30 000 went to Canada, and yet 30 000 Canadians went south to volunteer. Again, amazing show.



quite a few of those Canadian Vietnam Vets were drafted into the U.S. Army. I had two in my unit when I first joined my company. They had a policy that if you worked in the USA, they could draft you. If you didn't accept the draft, then you lost your job. On return you were given U.S. citizenship.

There also were Filipinos, Mexicans, Germans, and who only knows what others.
glt




Give up your job for two years to join the army, or we will revoke your work visa? Compelling.



Wasn't there something similar during one or both of the wars with/in Iraq? Fight for the US and get a citizenship afterwards?
/ Robin


i never heard of that !!



I was thinking of this but maybe I didn't get all the details right since I only heard it mentioned briefly in Swedish news more than 15 years ago:
https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume12-PartI-Chapter3.html
and this executive order:
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2002/07/08/02-17273/expedited-naturalization-of-aliens-and-noncitizen-nationals-serving-in-an-active-duty-status-during

/ Robin
trickymissfit
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Posted: Saturday, September 30, 2017 - 02:30 PM GMT+7

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Fantastic series. I had no idea that the harassment and attempted humiliation of vets was such a wide spread thing. And 30 000 went to Canada, and yet 30 000 Canadians went south to volunteer. Again, amazing show.



quite a few of those Canadian Vietnam Vets were drafted into the U.S. Army. I had two in my unit when I first joined my company. They had a policy that if you worked in the USA, they could draft you. If you didn't accept the draft, then you lost your job. On return you were given U.S. citizenship.

There also were Filipinos, Mexicans, Germans, and who only knows what others.
glt




Give up your job for two years to join the army, or we will revoke your work visa? Compelling.



Wasn't there something similar during one or both of the wars with/in Iraq? Fight for the US and get a citizenship afterwards?
/ Robin



that part has been in place for a very, very long time. The strange part is drafting a non U.S. Citizen. Still if you were a Beatle or an actor you didn't ever have to worry much

I might add here that it didn't always work well for some folks (non U.S. Citizens). One of my closest friends in the combat zone was a German. Fred was drafted even though not a citizen here. No big deal for Fred; other that leaving his business & young wife. Fred was old enough to remember the Russians marching thru Germany. Fred was shot standing right beside me in the foot, and had two or three grazing wounds in the same lower leg. He gets sent to Japan and then onto Ft. Dix NJ. Makes a recovery, but while doing his President's dirty work his Visa expires! They start deportation proceedings against him. His wife calls her Congressman and Senator in NYC. The got it stopped, but I often wonder how many times they got by with this?
gary
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Posted: Sunday, October 08, 2017 - 02:25 AM GMT+7
I still havent watched it ! its taped but doubt it
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Posted: Saturday, October 14, 2017 - 08:43 AM GMT+7
One of my SGT's was from Brazil, he was able to get fast-tracked on his citizenship because of OIF. One of the best NCO's I've ever worked with.
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Posted: Wednesday, November 01, 2017 - 12:38 AM GMT+7
So, has anyone watched the entire ten-part series?

—mike
bill_c
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Posted: Wednesday, November 01, 2017 - 04:18 AM GMT+7

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So, has anyone watched the entire ten-part series?


Yes, it's outstanding. And VN vets I've spoken with say it's pretty even-handed and factual. Not perfect, but few things are.
trickymissfit
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Posted: Sunday, November 05, 2017 - 05:08 PM GMT+7

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Yep watched it , and my hat is off to any troop that went through that dang war.
I grew up in that time zone, and watched it on TV.
But never saw it shown like that.
Body count was a wow factor, all true what I heard when I went in , thought BS , but as I have seen was not the way it was.A waste I hate to say, and should of left in 62 when only a few killed.
Bummer the whole deal,and lied too by the presidents. Wow again.
The gov, should send you all checks for $20,000 as a bonus for serving there.

Cheers




I'd be happy with a place out in the middle of nowhere that came with ten cases of "33" beer, and a life time supply of cigars. No drive way, and lots of snow.
gary
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Posted: Sunday, November 05, 2017 - 05:29 PM GMT+7

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So, has anyone watched the entire ten-part series?


Yes, it's outstanding. And VN vets I've spoken with say it's pretty even-handed and factual. Not perfect, but few things are.



When PBS did their first round of the Vietnam game plan many of us watched it in dismay, and others refused to. I watched most of it, but found out they must have been looking at a different conflict than I remembered. Almost laughable! Then the History Channel had their turn, and maybe were a slight bit more accurate (depends on the time of day and who you ask). I shied away from it, but was often asked about it. I did watch their segment on DakTo, and ran it by folks that lived in the neighborhood. Opinions varied, but most felt it was better than they'd expected. Still nobody came to the Que Son Valley or the Hiep Duc Ridge as I expected. Press don't go to garden spots with out a pink card to get out unscathed. No cameras rolled in Death Valley!
Now we get a new version of the same old game plan. Filmed by folks that had a way out, and narrated by folks that worked both sides of a Hatfield & McCoy's feud. Still it will be interesting to hear what they say about Rip Cord, Melon, Kam Duc, Thien Phouc, and places like Hill 435 or Hill 235. Let alone camera footage of the Hiep Duc Ridge or a visit to Siberia or OP88.

I think we'd all been better keeping it six feet under ground.
glt

P.S. they will not willingly tell you about Hill 235, and maybe we should keep it buried.
j76lr
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Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 - 01:29 AM GMT+7
I taped it and deleted it . never watched it .
trickymissfit
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Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 - 09:26 AM GMT+7

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I taped it and deleted it . never watched it .



went to a VFW meeting last night expecting to see a free for all over some internal issues. Surprisingly it remained calm cool and collected. This very same subject matter came up with a lot of negative comments. Then an old guy chimed in. He is a decorated Korean War vet, and quite a character to boot. He made a simple statement that left all the people stone quiet. He said that movie like so many other documentary's are made to make folks that stayed home feel good and on the otherhand please the REMF's. The rest didn't need it as they already knew the script.
gary
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Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 - 11:00 AM GMT+7

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I taped it and deleted it . never watched it .



went to a VFW meeting last night expecting to see a free for all over some internal issues. Surprisingly it remained calm cool and collected. This very same subject matter came up with a lot of negative comments. Then an old guy chimed in. He is a decorated Korean War vet, and quite a character to boot. He made a simple statement that left all the people stone quiet. He said that movie like so many other documentary's are made to make folks that stayed home feel good and on the otherhand please the REMF's. The rest didn't need it as they already knew the script.
gary



Wise old man, but then again maybe these stories aren't just told for folks who "stayed home" or were "rear echelon" guys, but also for those who weren't born yet and want to learn the history before they existed; or maybe in hopes of keeping the memory of those who served alive, or to maybe help guide future generations from repeating history and making the same mistakes.
bill_c
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Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 - 12:11 PM GMT+7
We have to learn from history, and no documentary about a nearly 30-year conflict can hope to tell the story with more than an overview. The (Aesop?) fable of the blind men and the elephant comes to mind, too: your Vietnam might be very different from 1,239 other people who were there. And anyone, from Homer on down to Ken Burns, who tells a story can't avoid making choices, selecting certain details while leaving out others, etc. That will inevitably put more weight on some things and leave out something else you may feel is important.

It's the storyteller's prerogative.

I haven't heard many CONCRETE objections to the series: mostly along the variety of "I didn't like it." I would like to know some factual details they got terribly wrong (not the wrong unit name or getting events out of order). I would like to know what ax they ground, other than that the public was consistently misled about most aspects of the war. Is that factually untrue?

I didn't think so.
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Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 - 02:19 PM GMT+7

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Still nobody came to the Que Son Valley or the Hiep Duc Ridge as I expected. Press don't go to garden spots with out a pink card to get out unscathed. No cameras rolled in Death Valley!
Now we get a new version of the same old game plan.



More than twenty American journalists were killed covering the war in Vietnam, and twice that many from countries like Britain, Australia, France, Japan etc. One of the Americans was the astonishing Dickey Chapelle who began her career in journalism covering the Marines on Iwo Jima and Okinawa in WWII and later learned to parachute so she could cover airborne operations right beside the troops. She is so honored by the USMC that the Corps presents an annual award in her name to the woman they decide has made the sort of contribution to the morale and welfare of United States Marines that Chappelle did.

Another was Bernard Fall, a combat veteran who supported the U.S. effort in Vietnam but correctly predicted its failure because the U.S. (like France) supported corrupt, incompetent and unpopular regimes. His book "Street Without Joy" should be read by anyone who wants to know what happened in Vietnam. Like Dickey Chapelle he died in the company of U.S. Marines at the front, he didn't slip and fall in a hotel bathroom.

Charles Eggleston was a Navy veteran and one of five journalists captured by Viet Cong moving into position for the Tet offensive who executed the other four but left Eggleston alive. Eggleston, who had previously been wounded in Vietnam, afterwards carried a rifle in addition to his camera and swore he would kill any VC he could. He was shot and killed outside Saigon during Tet.

One of the best known was Sean Flynn, the son of actor Errol Flynn, a photojournalist who specialized in travelling with special forces units and friendly militias way out in the boonies. He and journalist Dana Stone (also known for going out into the bush with special forces) were captured by communist guerillas in Cambodia and never seen again.

No doubt some journalists covering the war in Vietnam can fairly be described as liberals who were against the war. And some, perhaps many, probably did avoid getting too near the action if possible. Some reporters died just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, like catching a ride on a chopper that crashed--one Japanese journalist died when his apartment was hit by chance during a VC rocket attack. However others were slogging through the same mud as the troops when they died from enemy fire, some were themselves combat veterans and some had very public anti-communist views.

Any claim that all journalists were anti-war liberals who stayed well away from the fighting is simply not supported by the facts.
babaoriley
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Posted: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 - 06:33 PM GMT+7

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I haven't heard many CONCRETE objections to the series: mostly along the variety of "I didn't like it." I would like to know some factual details they got terribly wrong (not the wrong unit name or getting events out of order). I would like to know what ax they ground, other than that the public was consistently misled about most aspects of the war. Is that factually untrue?

I didn't think so.



Well said. If the Burns series is the latest installment in a decades-old liberal media conspiracy to somehow misrepresent what happened in Vietnam, where exactly do we see that in this series? What history has he willfully suppressed, what false reporting is he guilty of?

Some folks have questioned some things in the series, e.g. the Nixon Foundation has objected to depictions that Nixon knew the war was unwinnable but couldn't say so publically because he wanted to bring the north to the bargaining table. However in saying that Burns has no proof beyond the recollection of one of Nixon's speech writers, the Nixon Foundations itself offers no evidence that the speech writer's story is without foundation--it's a he-said, he-said situation in which those objecting to Burns' work seem to think that because they don't like what Burns says in the series they get to claim it isn't true.

As you point out, no historian is free of omitting some things that someone, somewhere thinks should have been mentioned. But it's a far cry from someone unhappy that a battle he fought in wasn't mentioned to representing the whole series as intentionally slanted. One editorialist in the NY Post (a Marine veteran of the war) attacked this series on the grounds that while it is factually correct it is too gloomy and fails to highlight the patriotism and pride felt by many veterans who served in Vietnam. He complains that film of the panicky final pullout in 1975 is depressing--as if the inclusion of something which happened just as shown somehow invalidates the whole project because it's upsetting to watch.

If that is the real objection some folks have to this series--that while accurate it still makes them feel bad--then perhaps they should stay away from history altogether, as much of it doesn't show humanity in a very positive light and can be quite depressing to read or watch.