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Ken Burns Documentary: VietNam

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  • Originally posted by phil74501 View Post
    Here's a direct link to the article Bo Archer mentioned https://kennedysandking.com/reviews/...m-war-part-one It's a four part article, so be forewarned.
    Thanks for posting the link, I found it very interesting with a different point of view

    One of the other questions I have concerns Nixon's contacts in the run up to the 1968 election with President Thieu, would Thieu agreed to go to the proposed peace talks if the Nixon efforts had not occurred?
    Last edited by tcox; 30 Nov 17, 16:55.

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    • Originally posted by tcox View Post
      Thanks for posting the link, I found it very interesting with a different point of view

      One of the other questions I have concerns Nixon's contacts in the run up to the 1968 election with President Thieu, would Thieu agreed to go to the proposed peace talks if the Nixon efforts had not occurred?
      -----------------
      In fairness I don't think it would have mattered either way if Nixon hadn't interfered. North Vietnam was never going to give in to anything Johnson had to offer, which wasn't much. I'm not defending Nixon far from it.

      Comment


      • Yet another outstanding article directed toward the Ken Burn's documentary. This one is special as it is from a South Vietmanese American female named Anh Le who is currently an independent journalist from San Francisco. She and her family lived the War and later moved to USA. Her article is titled: KEN BURN'S VIETNAM DOCUMENTARY MISSES MARK. It is found at beyondchron.org and dated 10/10/2017. Presently, at Beyond Chron website they have added a number of interest viewers follow up remarks (a number of veterans).

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        • Originally posted by Bo Archer View Post
          Yet another outstanding article directed toward the Ken Burn's documentary. This one is special as it is from a South Vietmanese American female named Anh Le who is currently an independent journalist from San Francisco. She and her family lived the War and later moved to USA. Her article is titled: KEN BURN'S VIETNAM DOCUMENTARY MISSES MARK. It is found at beyondchron.org and dated 10/10/2017. Presently, at Beyond Chron website they have added a number of interest viewers follow up remarks (a number of veterans).
          Link

          Thanks for sharing.
          "I have never known a combat soldier who did not show a residue of war." --Sergeant Ed Stewart, 84th Division, US Army, WWII

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          • I recently purchased and read the kindle version of this book cited below and here is the "About the Book" section:

            "PERFECT SPY: THE INCREDIBLE DOUBLE LIFE OF PHAM XUAN AN, TIME MAGAZINE REPORTER AND VIETNAMESE COMMUNIST AGENT by LARRY BERMAN"

            "During the Vietnam War, Time reporter Pham Xuan An befriended everyone who was anyone in Saigon, including American journalists---the CIA's William Colby, and the legendary Colonel Edward Lansdale--not to mention the most influential members of the South Vietnamese government and army. None of them ever guessed that he was also providing strategic intelligence to Hanoi---General Giap joked, "We are now in the U.S. war room."

            "chronicles the extraordinary life of one of the twentieth century's most fascinating spies."

            This is an excellent work!

            Comment


            • 73

              Originally posted by lirelou View Post
              I haven't see all the episodes as I was Korea the week it started. I did think that the depection of Tet 68, most particularly the fighting in Hue and the VC massacres of civilians uncovered after the fighting was fair and balanced. Particularly credible were his VC leaders, in one case trying to justify it, and in another case, that he, a former high ranking VC, might be getting himself in trouble for admitting they happened.

              Regarding the war overall, I don't feel I was duped. I do believe that the strategy was seriously flawed. And I remain convinced that if we'd pounded the North continuously with B-52s until they withdrew all their forces from the South, we could have had a two state solution. The frank truth denied by all Vietnamese nationalists was that the Nguyen-Trinh spit into two de facto Viet states, reunified in 1802 with territories earlier conquered from the Cham and Cambodians, had diverged enough to justify two separate Vietnamese states in the Cold War period and perhaps longer. Korean nationalists felt the same way about their country in 1950-53, and they remain a two-state solution.
              Thank u:
              For all those who say we could have never won the war. To those who say we didnít win in Ď73, read this mans post. As tough as the N Vietnamese were, when Nixon and Kissinger put together 75 miles of B-52ís, they came to the table, and signed the peace agreement.
              Last edited by CarlSnow; 23 Mar 18, 19:13. Reason: Misspelled words

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              • I was amazed that nixon an kissinger prolonger the war in 1968 by telling the VC that they would get a better deal to end the war from nixon and not to end the war with johnson. so many lives were wasted.

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                • bill shack

                  Bill if you check further I think you will find that Nixon and Kissinger would be provoking the South Vietnamese Government to kill off LBJ's peace talks with the North Vietnamese Government with the promise of a better deal with the incoming Nixon Administration. Nixon conducted an act of treason and prolonged the War. This is my humble opinion and I wanted to assist you in the correction if I am not mistaken. I posted this as it seems no one else cared to do so.

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                  • Originally posted by bill shack View Post
                    I was amazed that nixon an kissinger prolonger the war in 1968 by telling the VC that they would get a better deal to end the war from nixon and not to end the war with johnson. so many lives were wasted.

                    Originally posted by Bo Archer View Post
                    bill shack

                    Bill if you check further I think you will find that Nixon and Kissinger would be provoking the South Vietnamese Government to kill off LBJ's peace talks with the North Vietnamese Government with the promise of a better deal with the incoming Nixon Administration. Nixon conducted an act of treason and prolonged the War. This is my humble opinion and I wanted to assist you in the correction if I am not mistaken. I posted this as it seems no one else cared to do so.
                    You are both missing a very big elephant in the room. One that stomps all over a key part of this story.

                    In 1968 the Paris talks were just beginning. There are a dozen reasons why they might not have progressed, the main one of which is that what North Vietnam wanted & what South Vietnam were prepared to accept could not be reconciled. There is a reason a settlement only took place when Nth Vietnam controlled 10% of the South & lacked the military capacity to obtain more. So, putting the 4+ years of failed peace talks on what Nixon & Kissinger did in 1968 would be a reach even if they had actually stopped the talks.

                    Nixon did contact the Sth Vietnamese government and Kissinger did feed him information on the Paris talks. That is correct and yes, it was treasonous. However, and it is a major point, this did not prolong the war. The problem with the perspective you are offering, the problem that everyone I have ever read on the subject has, is that it ignores the only perspective that really matters - South Vietnam.

                    This is a very common flaw in writing on the Vietnam War - treating it as if the South Vietnamese were incidental to events.

                    Both of the senior leaders in Sth Vietnam at the time - Thieu & Ky - have commented on Nixon's intervention. They both make it clear that it did not influence their decisions. They were both aware that a Nixon government would be better for them. They knew & liked Nixon. They did not like Humphrey. They also understood that this was a rare moment when they might be able to exert influence on the outcome of an election they deemed vital to their survival. To them the peace talks were likely a death sentence (as they indeed turned out to be some years later), so killing them off was a no brainer.

                    Here is the funny part, and the part that tells you about the racial attitudes buried in all of this. Nixon assumed that the Vietnamese had acted the way they did because he told them to. LBJ assumed the same thing. So did all the other powerful white guys who knew about it, ans so have pretty much all the white guys who write & speak about it. it never seems to have occurred to anyone to ask if the Asian men involved might have been capable of thinking for themselves and acting for their own reasons. It is emblematic of the sort of thinking that deviled American policy throughout the war.

                    So, Nixon & Kissinger were treasonous filth, but they weren't the reason the talks failed in 1968. They were always going to fail and for good reasons.
                    Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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                    • Originally posted by BF69 View Post
                      You are both missing a very big elephant in the room. One that stomps all over a key part of this story.

                      In 1968 the Paris talks were just beginning. There are a dozen reasons why they might not have progressed, the main one of which is that what North Vietnam wanted & what South Vietnam were prepared to accept could not be reconciled. There is a reason a settlement only took place when Nth Vietnam controlled 10% of the South & lacked the military capacity to obtain more. So, putting the 4+ years of failed peace talks on what Nixon & Kissinger did in 1968 would be a reach even if they had actually stopped the talks.

                      Nixon did contact the Sth Vietnamese government and Kissinger did feed him information on the Paris talks. That is correct and yes, it was treasonous. However, and it is a major point, this did not prolong the war. The problem with the perspective you are offering, the problem that everyone I have ever read on the subject has, is that it ignores the only perspective that really matters - South Vietnam.

                      This is a very common flaw in writing on the Vietnam War - treating it as if the South Vietnamese were incidental to events.

                      Both of the senior leaders in Sth Vietnam at the time - Thieu & Ky - have commented on Nixon's intervention. They both make it clear that it did not influence their decisions. They were both aware that a Nixon government would be better for them. They knew & liked Nixon. They did not like Humphrey. They also understood that this was a rare moment when they might be able to exert influence on the outcome of an election they deemed vital to their survival. To them the peace talks were likely a death sentence (as they indeed turned out to be some years later), so killing them off was a no brainer.

                      Here is the funny part, and the part that tells you about the racial attitudes buried in all of this. Nixon assumed that the Vietnamese had acted the way they did because he told them to. LBJ assumed the same thing. So did all the other powerful white guys who knew about it, ans so have pretty much all the white guys who write & speak about it. it never seems to have occurred to anyone to ask if the Asian men involved might have been capable of thinking for themselves and acting for their own reasons. It is emblematic of the sort of thinking that deviled American policy throughout the war.

                      So, Nixon & Kissinger were treasonous filth, but they weren't the reason the talks failed in 1968. They were always going to fail and for good reasons.
                      interesting perspective...........

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by jeffdoorgunnr View Post
                        interesting perspective...........
                        Thanks.

                        I would be happy to put all of this on Nixon & Kissinger - both of whom I think should spend/have spent the latter part of their lives chained to the floor of a windowless cell. However, once I started chasing down the Sth Vietnamese angle I could never quite make it fit.
                        Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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                        • I am not find much logical reasoning on the issue at hand. If Nixon/Kissinger were successful in twisting the arm and making promises to the SVN govt. in 1972 (thusly walking away from the War). Why in the World could they not repeat the very same song and dance with the SVN govt. in 1968??? The well known reason was historically played out for all to see: Nixon's ego to make himself a powerful historical legacy (along with a legion of other warmongers among the military/political elites).

                          I agreed that the Vietnamese people should have been allow to determine their own destiny without interference of the French, Japanese, and American empire seekers. I agreed that American elites had no interest in Vietnamese opinion. However, I for one am not confused by saying that suddenly the SVN govt. strangely/somehow magically got the power to solely overthrow the powerful USA power play to end the war in 1968 all by their little selves. I am consistent in my logical thinking here I think.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Bo Archer View Post
                            I am not find much logical reasoning on the issue at hand. If Nixon/Kissinger were successful in twisting the arm and making promises to the SVN govt. in 1972 (thusly walking away from the War). Why in the World could they not repeat the very same song and dance with the SVN govt. in 1968??? The well known reason was historically played out for all to see: Nixon's ego to make himself a powerful historical legacy (along with a legion of other warmongers among the military/political elites).

                            I agreed that the Vietnamese people should have been allow to determine their own destiny without interference of the French, Japanese, and American empire seekers. I agreed that American elites had no interest in Vietnamese opinion. However, I for one am not confused by saying that suddenly the SVN govt. strangely/somehow magically got the power to solely overthrow the powerful USA power play to end the war in 1968 all by their little selves. I am consistent in my logical thinking here I think.
                            Then be consistent.........The Vietnamese should have been allowed to determine their destiny without china and Russia also.

                            Comment


                            • Yes Sir! Well done as I can see how one is likely to make that point!

                              Let me make this point! The Russians nor the Chinese never occupied any significant amount of Indochina in this time period under discussion. It was the Great Myth of the spread of International Communism under the control of the Russians or Chinese that duped the American People. After the War ended by 1975, where are those foreigner outsider garrisons of massive numbers of Russians or Chinese to dominate the Vietnamese People????

                              I did not include them in the post for the above historical fact. Yes! Yes! HCM was a Comintern Agent trained in Moscow but that significance is overblown and twisted into a misleading falsehood by certain groups. If left alone HCM and the follow up Vietnam Nation would not have need of a single Russian or Chinese soldier or their massive supplies.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Bo Archer View Post
                                I am not find much logical reasoning on the issue at hand. If Nixon/Kissinger were successful in twisting the arm and making promises to the SVN govt. in 1972 (thusly walking away from the War). Why in the World could they not repeat the very same song and dance with the SVN govt. in 1968??? The well known reason was historically played out for all to see: Nixon's ego to make himself a powerful historical legacy (along with a legion of other warmongers among the military/political elites).

                                I agreed that the Vietnamese people should have been allow to determine their own destiny without interference of the French, Japanese, and American empire seekers. I agreed that American elites had no interest in Vietnamese opinion. However, I for one am not confused by saying that suddenly the SVN govt. strangely/somehow magically got the power to solely overthrow the powerful USA power play to end the war in 1968 all by their little selves. I am consistent in my logical thinking here I think.
                                You seem confused. Very confused. I'm not even sure you are responding to my post, but I'll do my best.

                                First, you can't 'repeat' something you do in 1972 in 1968 unless you have a time machine. I'm assuming Nixon & Kissinger did not. However, there was a substantial difference between the bargaining position Nixon held in 1968 & 1972. Small matter of the Presidency. Oh, and Kissinger wasn't involved in Nixon's bargaining in 1968, he was just feeding information to Nixon.

                                Yes, very confused indeed.

                                Second, the Sth Vietnamese leadership did not need to be persuaded to tank the 1968 Paris talks because they didn't think the talks were in their best interests. Nixon was pushing at an open door, he just didn't know it.

                                Third, the Sth Vietnamese leadership DID have the power "to solely overthrow the powerful USA power play to end the war in 1968 all by their little selves" (looks like that patronizing US attitude has survived the past 50 years) because that is precisely what they did. You said it yourself - they 'killed' the talks. Not Nixon, Not Johnson, the Sth Vietnamese government. They had the power to do it and they did.

                                Why is it so hard to comprehend that the Sth Vietnamese leadership might have come to this decision for their own reasons? Why is it so difficult to understand that they were capable of comprehending the implications of their actions for what was a very tight US election? Why assume someone like Thieu, who survived at the top for a decade in a system where failure could mean jail or death, was somehow less intelligent or capable than his US equivalents?

                                Hopefully this will clear up your confusion.

                                Oh, and if you have any direct evidence from Sth Vietnamese sources that Nixon's intervention cause them to 'kill' the Paris talks by all means provide it. I have read accounts by the two most senior figures in the Sth Vietnamese government saying that it did not.
                                Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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