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Ken Burns Documentary: VietNam

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  • #16
    Originally posted by jeffdoorgunnr View Post
    That part about Truman never being shown Ho's letters.........I wonder who kept those hidden?
    Answer: IMHO, the devil himself.

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    • #17
      I watched the first episode and was glad Burns went into the history leading up to our involvement with such detail.
      I did not feel he was promoting the lefts version at all, the narrator clearly pointed out presidents from both parties bungled it. The CIA misread the situation (as usual) disregarded the observations of its own agents working closest to the situation. A lesson we still have not learned and one that has lead us into bad choices and wars that accomplished nothing more than enriching contractors.
      The only complaint I have is they kept jumping back and forth between the French fighting in the 40s and 50s and US troops in the 60s.
      One thing I believe everyone who lived through that era can agree on, it was the most divisive time in the past century for the US, emotions are still a bit raw. Those who volunteered and those who were constricted and forced into combat justifiably feel resentment towards those who actively resisted or avoided service, and have every right to distrust the government that handed them an incredibly difficult mission, then hampered them redicules rules of engagement and weapons that failed them.
      Last edited by Urban hermit; 18 Sep 17, 11:49.
      Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
      Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

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      • #18
        Originally posted by GRA View Post
        Answer: IMHO, the devil himself.
        Never heard SecState called that before, but it makes sense.
        Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
        Hyperwar, Whats New
        World War II Resources
        The best place in the world to "work".

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        • #19
          If you have time ...

          Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
          I'll watch so as to be ready to straighten out the third semester poli-sci students who will be pontificating based on this one series of TV shows.
          ... we could also use you in your good suit when it comes to the same regarding M*A*S*H and Korea.
          "I am Groot"
          - Groot

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          • #20
            Originally posted by OpanaPointer View Post
            Never heard SecState called that before, but it makes sense.
            There is the rub, the Presidents gate keepers and those who edit intelligence can control history and the fate of thousands.
            McNamara was one such devil. If there is one person that deserves to wear the title it is him. But there are many who earned the title and run a close second.
            Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
            Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
              There is the rub, the Presidents gate keepers and those who edit intelligence can control history and the fate of thousands.
              McNamara was one such devil. If there is one person that deserves to wear the title it is him. But there are many who earned the title and run a close second.
              POTUS can't read everything. The flappers are eternal.
              Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
              Hyperwar, Whats New
              World War II Resources
              The best place in the world to "work".

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              • #22
                The French used a lot more localized viets units. I feel that burns glossed over that fact. Unlike the Americans a majority of French units (including Legion and Metropolitan and Colonials) had local volunteers and/or whole companies.

                Meaning, French forces were able to integrate more closely to the local population. Also, the French were much more brutal than the Americans in general.

                Interesting documentary.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Legionnaire66 View Post
                  The French used a lot more localized viets units. I feel that burns glossed over that fact. Unlike the Americans a majority of French units (including Legion and Metropolitan and Colonials) had local volunteers and/or whole companies.

                  Meaning, French forces were able to integrate more closely to the local population. Also, the French were much more brutal than the Americans in general.

                  Interesting documentary.
                  Not to mention also that they spoke the lingua franca being...French, non?



                  ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
                  IN MARE IN COELO

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Jose50 View Post
                    Not to mention also that they spoke the lingua franca being...French, non?



                    Well no, not what I was going after. It would be like say, the 1st Marines having a strength of 800 in its 1st battalion.

                    In the American war, those 800 men would all be Americans.

                    In the French war 3-600 of those men would be Vietnam nationals.

                    See the difference?

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
                      The CIA misread the situation (as usual)
                      Rather skewed perspective considering by definition successful clandestine actions must be classified.
                      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                      • #26
                        Here is what I noticed last night.When most of the actual combat engagements by Americans was shown,due to the fact that I could tell by the style of flackjacket worn by troops.Overwhelming Marines,no matter what the narrative was.Marines in Vietnam wore the Korean era flackjacket unlike the Army.And it will **** me off till the day that I die when film makers portray Marines as Army soldiers.
                        Standby,I expect a lot more of K.Burns assumptions rather than facts.I don't like the guy.
                        The history addict asked me,"Where did you fought?"
                        Me...Damn..."I'm not sure."

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
                          Rather skewed perspective considering by definition successful clandestine actions must be classified.
                          It ain't classified now, so what's the point?
                          Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
                          Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            New & Interesting Information

                            Originally posted by jeffdoorgunnr View Post
                            That part about Truman never being shown Ho's letters.........I wonder who kept those hidden? or is that True?
                            I've never heard this before about Ho's letters. This is the first I've ever heard of it. IMHO, just because I've never heard of this before doesn't mean it didn't happen, so therefore I personally have no real reason to discredit this. This was something that was new for me to learn.

                            Another thing that was new for me was the statement they made regarding Eisenhower refusing to influence the departure of the French. First I ever heard of that. I always had the impression that it was Truman and Truman alone that refused assistance to Ho when he appealed to us to help remove the colonial interference from his country. I never really had any impression that Truman had anything but contempt for Ho.

                            I still have the impression that Ho's underlying reason for all the fuss and struggle was nothing more than to further the communist party and used the new nationalistic fervor in the country as a vehicle to aid in pulling off the deceit.

                            This is the very reason I feel the letters remaining concealed is indeed of significance as things may have turned out differently had they been known by Truman. Maybe I shouldn't be too hard on Truman as I have been in the past as I've never had a positive opinion of him.

                            What I got from tonight's "Riding the Tiger" episode is JFK seems to have recognized the Vietnamese conflict was a complicated civil war and it was a little too deep for us to maybe make any sort of difference in but refused to pull us out in the early years out of fear of his personal loss of re-election. If I caught all this correctly then JFK not only strikes me as a selfish politician but also down right wishy-washy. I definitely have issues with him being willing to risk American lives just for the sake of his presidency while he also felt these sacrifices would fail to return positive results.

                            And again ... most of you Vietnam Vets and older folks in here will know all this better than me so if I got anything wrong so far then please by all means set me straight or else I'll never know better.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by GRA View Post
                              I've never heard this before about Ho's letters. This is the first I've ever heard of it. IMHO, just because I've never heard of this before doesn't mean it didn't happen, so therefore I personally have no real reason to discredit this. This was something that was new for me to learn.

                              Another thing that was new for me was the statement they made regarding Eisenhower refusing to influence the departure of the French. First I ever heard of that. I always had the impression that it was Truman and Truman alone that refused assistance to Ho when he appealed to us to help remove the colonial interference from his country. I never really had any impression that Truman had anything but contempt for Ho.

                              I still have the impression that Ho's underlying reason for all the fuss and struggle was nothing more than to further the communist party and used the new nationalistic fervor in the country as a vehicle to aid in pulling off the deceit.

                              This is the very reason I feel the letters remaining concealed is indeed of significance as things may have turned out differently had they been known by Truman. Maybe I shouldn't be too hard on Truman as I have been in the past as I've never had a positive opinion of him.

                              What I got from tonight's "Riding the Tiger" episode is JFK seems to have recognized the Vietnamese conflict was a complicated civil war and it was a little too deep for us to maybe make any sort of difference in but refused to pull us out in the early years out of fear of his personal loss of re-election. If I caught all this correctly then JFK not only strikes me as a selfish politician but also down right wishy-washy. I definitely have issues with him being willing to risk American lives just for the sake of his presidency while he also felt these sacrifices would fail to return positive results.

                              And again ... most of you Vietnam Vets and older folks in here will know all this better than me so if I got anything wrong so far then please by all means set me straight or else I'll never know better.
                              During WWII, Ho was our Allied and we knew damn well he was communist, OSS under the direction of William Donovan, the director of the OSS and close confidant of FDR had told his agents assigned to train and arm Ho that the US was not interested in supporting European colonialism. FDR had made this part of his platform in campaigns.
                              Truman faced a difficult situation after the end of the war, as pointed out in the first episode on Sunday, the spread of Soviet influence and control of Eastern Europe was seen as a great threat in the west and France under De Gualie leveraged that fear for the Truman administration to give in up on that promise from FDR.
                              There has been a little confusion and much debate about the Ho letter sent to Truman, I have read that Truman himself circle filed it, and have also read that his Sec. of State intercepted the letter and sand bagged them.
                              Both reasonable scenarios. But personally I doubt Truman was completely ignorant of the letters or thier content.
                              Truman was much more politically shrewd and savvy then his country hick " straight shooter" "The Buck Stops Here" image would have us believe.
                              His man concern was stopping the spread of communism.
                              Today the undeniable truth is that with the exception of North Korea, the communist nations that were such a threat the democracy for seven presidents, are our trading partners. China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos are all vacation destinations.
                              The Vietnam War was a lightning rod issue that divided a generation, and families. The emotions run the gambit, from resentment to guilt to outright distrust and alienation.


                              I hope that this documentary helps younger generations to understand the issues the lead us into the conflict, and the many dimensions to a very complex and controversial era.
                              Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
                              Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Watched the first episode on the Vietnamese channel hosted on Youtube ,with Vietnamese subs..
                                Anyway , i found it to be a cleaver explanation of how all this mess happened .
                                Regarding the Burn's leftist bias , as stated before , didn't saw it.
                                That rug really tied the room together

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