Inside the Vietnam War, The
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National Geographic provides a fresh, in-depth look at the Vietnam War. Firsthand accounts from Vietnam veterans are woven together with archival footage and photographs, to reveal the details of covert operations, military strategy and the emotional toll
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It picks up the war in the early 1960's with JFK sending military advisors and ends with the fall of Saigon in 1975, with veterans giving thier recollections for the battles and the time periods they served.
The battle footage is excellent, hard hitting, and not for the faint of heart (lots of blood and gore).
There are interviews with some very famous veterans. Colonel Hal Moore (who Mel Gibson portrayed in the movie "We Were Soldiers"). Philip Caputo, who wrote an excellent early account of his experience in Vietnam, "A Rumor of War". Retired General Barry McCaffrey, a military analyst for Fox News, I believe, are the three I knew of.
I'm a 22 year Army veteran. I joined the Army in 1972 but didn't go to Vietnam (by the the time I went into basic training in April 1972, the U.S. military's commitment in personnel there had dropped way down to around 50,000). But,as a teenager in the mid to late 1960's, I watched the war unfold on the nightly news and wondered after I turned 18 would I get drafted and go there. This war had some meaning in my early life, of course no way like those who actually served.
The recollection of some of the veterans gave me a lump in my throat and misty eyes. Very powerful emotional stuff.
But on the negative side. There are no interviews with any surviving NVA soldiers or Viet Cong, or any South Vietnamese.
It doesn't cover at all how Vietnam became divided in 1954 or the French involvement prior to that. The political wrangling and protests in the U.S. are covered just enough to get the jist.
This is still a very good documentary. Very powerful.
To the military industrial complex, I say shame on you. You sought to profit from 58 thousand dead Americans who had no focus to follow in winning the Vietnam War while you made millions upon millions. Hopefully, history will blame you and not the American soldier or communist guerilla who were there on orders from a generation of older leaders who remained in the comfort of their complexes and homes.
So, this is indeed a fresh look into a problematic situation which we all hope will not be repeated. Going to war without a purpose, or single goal, is wrong. And, to send young men and women into battle only to lose their lives, limbs or sanity is just plain wrong. We, who have replaced the older generation of that time, owe it to our future warriors to learn from this tragic experience and avoid wars without purpose or focus. This DVD will make us cry, like many others, and I hope learn just what how much the consequences hurt.