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Controversial War, Honorable Soldiers,
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This review is from: Vietnam in HD [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Vietnam is my generation's war. It is hard to comprehend the young kids shooting the video presented in this DVD are now, like me, in their sixties. This DVD is not an in depth study of the war. It does not get into the reasons why this country became both mired in it, and torn apart by it. The Gulf of Tonkin is mentioned as the first step toward increasing U.S. involvement, but it does not discuss the controversy regarding legitimacy of the Tonkin incident. It doesn't mention Mai Lai, nor does it spend a lot of time discussing the reasons why the American public turned against the war. It is not meant to. This is the recollections of the young Americans who were on the ground, a nurse who served there and a P.O.W.'s wife. It does a great job of describing all the different hard fought engagements with the NVA, and the horror of it all. Many who went to Vietnam were volunteers,but many were draftees with no say in the matter. These young men served without caring about the politics of the time. They went, did what they were told to do, and just tried to stay alive. All Vietnam Vets who served risked their lives, and should be honored for the sacrifices they made. Some just wanted to survive and get home. Others returned home to join those speaking out against U.S. involvement. All were patriotic Americans, and hearing their personal stories put a human face on this war. For those who were interested in this DVD and/or the history of the Vietnam War, I recommend the exceptional PBS Documentary, "Two Days in October". Remembering my friend, John. Deployed in August of 1967, and killed in Kontum Province, March of 1968. 19 years old.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 6, 2011 11:29:14 PM PST
Last edited by the author on May 11, 2013 1:40:46 PM PDT
Lucian A. Tower says:
Vietnam in HD - Haven't seen it yet, but I will. All I know is that I was there, in Quang Nam Province & Quang Tri Provence, as a USMarine during 1967 - 1969. The Tet Offensive, Happy Valley, Mtn.1467, Hill 55, Hill 10, and Hill 22, to me, was hell on earth. I was just 18 years - old when I landed there at Da Nang airfield, and 20 years - old when I left. The things I saw there I cannot really talk about, they still hurt too much. The combat was every week, at time several times a week. I was an infantry machine gunner. I glad to know that finally people are seeing the Soldiers, the Marines, The Navy, and Air Force men and women who served, instead of the foolish Government, and its politics that literally tore our country apart then. I remember being spit on when I landed in Travis Air Force Base in California, when I came home> A long distance from what people feel now. God Bless you all!
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2011 1:16:46 PM PST
Granni Jani says:
I was a flight Attendant with TWA 1967-1969. We flew the troops within the US, and also to Vietnam. I think of all those guys I met and wonder what happened to to them. Glad you made it back, and sorry for the treatment many of you received when you returned. That was wrong.
In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2013 10:57:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 10, 2013 10:58:11 PM PDT
The "spit on" incidents have never been substantiated. They are a fiction.
And the real heroes are the resisters who preferred jail-time to supporting and advancing an unjust war based upon lies.
There is nothing honorable in defending and advancing a lie, especially as an education in the actual history buried under the pro-war propaganda would have informed one of what the actual purposes of the US's illegal involvement actually were. And it wasn't democracy.
Posted on Feb 3, 2015 6:57:00 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 3, 2015 7:02:59 AM PST
I think the problem with such a documentary is that our view of that war is shaped by combat footage and the stories of the people on the ground. Those are moving, and rightly so; but the real lessons of Vietnam are still not understood by the vast majority of people who were in it, who lived through the time, or who refer to it now when we make our continuing foreign policy blunders. What is needed is for people to see documentaries that show how and why that war started and how and why we got involved. Those will also explain why we lost. It is the presidents, politicians, diplomats on all sides that need to be heard. Especially on the other side since we did hear our own.
The lessons we did learn are: don't blame the troops, they suffered as much as anyone. Don't be surprised at atrocities they happen in all wars. War does terrible things to people. But those lessons did not keep us from unwise excursions into Iraq and Afghanistan with unrealistic goals.
The lessons of Vietnam for me: you cannot occupy a country and subjugate its people unless they agree with you, in which case you probably don't need to. You need to understand people and culture and history before you step in and take action. You will lose any war the American people don't support and understand and back fully. (Thus the difference between WWII and Vietnam, Iraq, etc.) You cannot have war overseas and complacent peace at home; if the people are not committed the effort cannot be sustained.
Specific to Vietnam: it would help to know that these people have been fighting occupation for 1000 years and no one has occupied them for long. Vietnam was essentially a civil war, not two countries with one invading the other. Indeed our Presidents often lied to us about all of that, calling to the Geneva Accords as support when the Accords actually mandated unification of Vietnam and did not create separate states. (Did you know the US was the most cited violator of the Accords by far?)
China was not a threat to us by reason of involvement in Vietnam since China has been Vietnam's main enemy for at least 700 years. I was in service and told this to another guy, who had been to Vietnam...and I bet him within ten years of our leaving that China and Vietnam would be at war. They were, a fact most Americans still don't know. The Vietnamese beat the Chinese asses; so much for monolithic communism.
I learned that the North was totally mobilized and deeply committed and in fact had an exclusively war economy and war orientation, while the South was led by corrupt and greedy men much of the time, and they did not even draft their own kids until about 1968.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2015 7:08:36 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 8, 2015 9:09:16 AM PST
While you are correct that the underpinnings of that war were rotten and the efforts of the soldiers were misused, they were victims. To say what they did was not honorable is wrong, as it is wrong to deny the bravery and sacrifices they made. (I served at the time but not in Vietnam, that was my way of dodging the draft; I came to be antiwar after I enlisted but I knew I could probably avoid combat and did...I do not deserve any honor for my service...it was selfish.)
The wrong is not at their level. They deserve to be honored for what they did, and most veterans I know from that war do not support the adventurism and imperialism that led us into, say, Iraq. Yes we have not learned all the lessons of Vietnam. That's sad and infuriating.
But the lesson you should learn is: It's not the troops fault that they are there.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2015 4:05:37 AM PST
LZ GATOR says:
Do you think the holocaust was real? or "substantiated"?
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