Sir! No Sir! - The Suppressed Story of the GI Movement to End the War in Vietnam
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But a movement of which we don't hear much is the movement within the services of men--mostly men as women didn't serve too many combat roles in those day--who opposed the war.
As informed as I claim to be, I knew little of this movement until I saw this fine film.
There were "underground" newspapers at the bases. Of course, law enforcement did its best to stop that. In one case, a troop was accused of having some marijuana in his car and was arrested thereby stopping his newspaper.
The army in that era tried to make themselves look like the "new army," just a bunch of wonderful guys preparing for a career and getting job training. (Their slogan at the time was FTA for "Fun, Travel and Adventure. The movements changed those words, and Jane Fonda and her fellow showpeople eased THOSE words a little to make them. "free the army.) But the Marines continued to "build men." But even the Marines had movements to end the war.
I liked the interviews with Fonda. The military did their best to keep the Fonda show off the road, but they had an audience, even among Marines! They loved it!
There's some great material in here. There's interviews with guys now in their 60s, and the things they did, the way they came around. Just lots of information of which I was unaware before. Great stuff.
But for the last portion of the film, the story concludes that the history has been rewritten. Not only do you not hear of these movements.Read more ›
Most people who have seen Oliver Stone's "Born On The Fourth Of July" were likely left with the impression that paralyzed Vietnam vet and activist Ron Kovic was the main impetus and focus of the GI movement, but Kovic's story was in fact only one of thousands (Kovic, interestingly, is never mentioned in Ziegler's film). While the aforementioned Kovic received a certain amount of media attention at the time, the full extent and history of the involvement by military personnel has been suppressed from public knowledge for a number of years, and that is the focus of "Sir! No Sir".
In one very astutely chosen archival clip, a CBS news anchor somberly announces that there appears to be some problems with "troop morale" in Vietnam (while in the meantime, behind closed doors, the US military was apparently imprisoning dissenting GIs left and right under "incitement to mutiny" charges, sometimes just for being overheard expressing anti-war sentiments). All the present-day interviewees (Army, Air Force,Navy and Marine vets) have interesting (and at times emotionally wrenching)stories to share. Jane Fonda speaks candidly about her infamous "FTA" ("F--- The Army") shows that she organized for troops as an antidote to the somewhat creaky and more traditional Bob Hope USO tours. Well worth your time. The film would make an excellent double bill with the clasic documentary "Hearts And Minds".
David Zeiger's purpose in "Sir! No Sir!" is not only to remind people that the Vietnam War was very unpopular even with many of those who fought it, but to make the point that being anti-war is not anti-soldier and never has been. According to the Pentagon, there were a half a million "incidents of desertion" during the Vietnam War. There were nearly 300 anti-war G.I. underground newspapers. In Vietnam, there were a disturbing number of mutinies and violent attacks on officers -so many that they may have played a part in the shift to an air war. In the U.S., there were anti-war G.I. coffeehouses, sit-ins, boycotts, and stockades full of servicemen who refused their orders to Vietnam or had attended protests.
The public knew that there was significant dissent within the military. It was all over newspapers and television news programs at the time. And people knew that anti-war protesters sympathized with the soldiers, wanting nothing more than to bring the troops home safely.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are some reviewers on Amazon claiming that the anti-war movement was never to the level as indicated in this movie. I believe those reviewers are mistaken. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Scotch tape 6 pack
Great documentary dispelling the myth that us "hippies" stopped the war in Vietnam.
We didn't. Read more
Unbelievably great. Have watched it at least ten times - can't believe we weren't told about this.
Should be required viewing for all Americans.
Truly the way to end wars is to have the vets and soldiers realize they are being used as pawns of the rich. We should learn this lesson and the movie tells it brilliantly.Published 11 months ago by Irene DE
Amazing review of actual events during the Vietnam war. It was our soldiers refusal to wantonly kill civilians for a high body count that created and led the anti war movement. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Bradley G. Mastin
Every American should see this film to see what is possible for the people to do, if their leaders lie, deceive, and send them off to die in a wrong war.Published 16 months ago by Peter S