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JoyinMudville

Anyone Else Watching Ken Burns' Vietnam?

118 posts in this topic

I'm on episode 3.

I've done my share of reading on the subject, Haberstam's "best and the brightest' as well as "one bright shining lie" by Neal Sheehan but i am still learning a lot from the show.

What's really amazing is listening to tapes of LBJ expressing grave doubts about involvement in Vietnam and yet still upping the ante at every turn.

Curious if anyone else is enjoying the program

Edited by JoyinMudville

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I'm keeping an eye on it, although "enjoying the program" may not be the way I'd describe it (no offense intended) ,  Mr. Burn's research appears to be very thorough  and accurate, with a neutral approach, allowing the viewer to make their own decisions, hopefully at the end of the series. 

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5 hours ago, ms maggie said:

I watched Sunday, need to catch up. Fascinating. Burns is so talented.

Not sure if he will ever top the Civil War, but everything he does is great.  The software I use to produce slide shows has a "Ken Burns Effect" where the image pans in or pans out and drifts from one focal point to another.  I always use it.  

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It will be interesting to see if Burns draws any parallels between that quagmire and the one we find ourselves in today.

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3 hours ago, PinkFlamingo said:

I've watched 1 & 2. Very well done, as is all Burns' stuff. 

 

Agreed, have watched his The Dustbowl and The Central Park Five.

Only have watched 1 so far, war is hard for me to watch but as with his other docs this is very well done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, MiddleOfTheRoad said:

It will be interesting to see if Burns draws any parallels between that quagmire and the one we find ourselves in today.

Ya know, for years they called Afghanistan "Russia's Vietnam."

Now that Russia is long gone What do we call it? 

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4 hours ago, MiddleOfTheRoad said:

It will be interesting to see if Burns draws any parallels between that quagmire and the one we find ourselves in today.

He hasn't done so overtly but the parallels are pretty obvious. The big one for me is that if you don't understand the country or it's people, you're going to get yourselves into trouble. We made that mistake all over again in Iraq coupled with the same arrogance that got us into trouble in Vietnam.

Edited by JoyinMudville

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16 hours ago, JoyinMudville said:

I'm on episode 3.

I've done my share of reading on the subject, Haberstam's "best and the brightest' as well as "one bright shining lie" by Neal Sheehan but i am still learning a lot from the show.

What's really amazing is listening to tapes of LBJ expressing grave doubts about involvement in Vietnam and yet still upping the ante at every turn.

Curious if anyone else is enjoying the program

I'm also reading  "The Best and the Brightest."  It documents  how the so called elites pushed  us into this  stupid war  based on their lies and ending   in killing 58000+ Americans.   The kids in the streets were right . 

The program is well done,  but infuriating . 

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someone started a thread on the Emmy's. The Emmy's? when this Vietnam doc is on. I've been glued to the tube......still learning....hard to take in, but a must.

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3 minutes ago, ODENTON said:

someone started a thread on the Emmy's. The Emmy's? when this Vietnam doc is on. I've been glued to the tube......still learning....hard to take in, but a must.

 

You can do both.

;)

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1 hour ago, Duke of Earl said:

I'm also reading  "The Best and the Brightest."  It documents  how the so called elites pushed  us into this  stupid war  based on their lies and ending   in killing 58000+ Americans.   The kids in the streets were right . 

The program is well done,  but infuriating . 

We hope to binge on it this weekend...

Yes, 'the kids in the streets were right'.

Vilified by the press, hated by teh deplorables, abused by the police and misunderstood by history, the 'kids in the street', the wide-eyed first-run children of the 'boomer' generation, used their new-found education to see past the headlines, see through the lies and attempt direct action.

I'm old enough to have been a proud part of the latter phase of the anti-(Vietnam) war movement, and like many others,  I see plenty of parallels between then and now.  

Perhaps 'the kids in the street' will get their due, as America struggles once again with the 'perpetual war machine'.

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4 minutes ago, gonzoliberal said:

We hope to binge on it this weekend...

Yes, 'the kids in the streets were right'.

Vilified by the press, hated by teh deplorables, abused by the police and misunderstood by history, the 'kids in the street', the wide-eyed first-run children of the 'boomer' generation, used their new-found education to see past the headlines, see through the lies and attempt direct action.

I'm old enough to have been a proud part of the latter phase of the anti-(Vietnam) war movement, and like many others,  I see plenty of parallels between then and now.  

Perhaps 'the kids in the street' will get their due, as America struggles once again with the 'perpetual war machine'.

I mostly agree. There's   no excuse for being at war in Afghanistan  for 13 years,  three times as long as World War II .

As for Iraq . there no excuse at all. It's as if  December 7 happened and FDR bombed Sweden . 

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17 hours ago, MiddleOfTheRoad said:

It will be interesting to see if Burns draws any parallels between that quagmire and the one we find ourselves in today.

I am not watching, because I think I've read & seen enough about Vietnam; but as for parallels, there was a 2003 cartoon that I cannot find online just now showing some general giving a press briefing & stating emphatically that Iraq will not become another Vietnam. Behind him a map of Iraq morphs into a map of ... Northern Ireland, which of course is where British troops maintained a constabulary force for decades.

American troops in 'Nam were, as far as I know, never a constabulary force, but for the most part that's exactly what they were & have been in Iraq & Afghanistan; what they were in Iraq after the first month, when elections were postponed & the Bremer edicts were enforced.

But the sad fact is that even during the Reagan years the armed forces became the front line of forn. policy & diplomacy acquired a residual status---"Iran-Contra" was the final by-product of a forn. policy run almost exclusively out of the NSC during that period. Subsequent pres. admins. have followed that path, which is why were now hearing so much about war w/ N. Korea. Diplomacy? We don't even have an ambassador to S. Korea.

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31 minutes ago, Hexexis said:

I am not watching, because I think I've read & seen enough about Vietnam; but as for parallels, there was a 2003 cartoon that I cannot find online just now showing some general giving a press briefing & stating emphatically that Iraq will not become another Vietnam. Behind him a map of Iraq morphs into a map of ... Northern Ireland, which of course is where British troops maintained a constabulary force for decades.

American troops in 'Nam were, as far as I know, never a constabulary force, but for the most part that's exactly what they were & have been in Iraq & Afghanistan; what they were in Iraq after the first month, when elections were postponed & the Bremer edicts were enforced.

But the sad fact is that even during the Reagan years the armed forces became the front line of forn. policy & diplomacy acquired a residual status---"Iran-Contra" was the final by-product of a forn. policy run almost exclusively out of the NSC during that period. Subsequent pres. admins. have followed that path, which is why were now hearing so much about war w/ N. Korea. Diplomacy? We don't even have an ambassador to S. Korea.

The armed forces are a part of diplomacy.  Clausewitz went so far as to say war is just diplomacy by other means.  When we send troops into combat we need to know why and what we are looking to accomplish - after which, we get them out.  We didn't know what we were doing in Vietnam ( or Iraq...or Lybia...or Syria...or Afghanistan...or...).  And if you don't know why you're there, you can't possibly know when you have accomplished whatever it was you sent them there for to begin with.

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The interviews with Vietnamese, and insights into North Vietnam that I have never seen or heard of before, are amazing

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4 hours ago, hst2 said:

The interviews with Vietnamese, and insights into North Vietnam that I have never seen or heard of before, are amazing

I was going to make the same comment.

Also the show's mention that Ho Chi Minh was something of an elder-statesman/figurehead by the early 1960s. The guy with real authority in North Vietnam wasn't a familiar name, and I don't recall it.

 

Edited by regularguy

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