I have been watching the new Ken Burns series on PBS, The Vietnam War. The incompetence of the intelligence gathered and the decisions made by the administration and most of the field commanders is staggering. Every journalist and GI knew the true story. The documentary seems to paint the administration and millitary decisions as misguided patriotism in an effort to fight communism. In his private taped conversations with MacNamara Johnson seemed to know the score but didn't want to admit he was on a doomed path. What's never mentioned is the role of the military industrial complex, the defense and oil corporations who made billions supplying the war. But that would be considered a conspiracy theory and PBS wouldn't broadcast it because they are heavily sponsored by corporate interests, just like the major networks and cable channels.
The truth is always Labelled a conspiracy theory that's how you know it's the truth, the CIA should change there name to Conspiracy intelligence Agency, since to them everything is a conspiracy and since they came up with the name .http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/08 ... t-stories/
I've seen the first 6 episodes I don't think I will watch the rest. To be honest, the documentary seems like a whitewash of Johnson and the Generals. They are painted as Patriots who wanted to fight Communism, trapped by historical events. I don't believe that. JFK had pledged we would be out of Vietnam by 1965 and he had already ordered 1,000 advisors to begin leaving the country. After his assassination Johnson reversed JFK's change in policy and escalated the war. He caused the casualties of half the soldiers who died or suffered permanent injury in Vietnam and Nixon caused the other half. All it would have taken would have been to follow JFK's plan and the war could have been over at any time. Or JFK's example of arranging a truce with Kruschev over Cuba. The US didn't suffer in any way from a Communist country 90 miles off our border, and wouldn't have suffered from one half a world away either, and today we are trading partners with Communist Vietnam. The people of the US had nothing to gain from the war. So many things have been omitted from this documentary which is sort of an Entertainment Tonight version of the war, acceptable no doubt to the PBS corporate sponsors. No mention of any possible link between the assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK and their outspoken opposition to the war. No mention of JFK's decision to pull out of the war and Johnson's abrupt reversal of that policy. No mention of the economic forces and influence of the military industrial complex that earned a cool trillion dollars in today's dollars supplying all of the materiel for the war. No mention of the CIA's role in any of it. Plenty of anecdotes of those who served, and news footage of the war and music of the 60's with Peter Coyote's mellow narration, but not much in the way of the aftermath of the war or any real analysis of the driving forces that propelled and escalated the war and let it drag on more than a decade after JFK recognized it was an unwinnable war and the only rational and humane course of action was to pull out.
Excellent review Ken. Happy to see I'm not just whistling in the dark on my impressions of Ken Burns' whitewashed history of the war. It adressed my complaint of there being no investigation of the Why of the war in Burns' series. I look forward to DiEugenio's next installment if there is one.kenmurray wrote:Jim DiEugenio's review:https://kennedysandking.com/reviews/ken ... r-part-one
Thanks so much for this Ken, as well as the other links. This one takes the cake. It blows my mind because JFK's numerous stands against colonialism and in favor of home grown nationalism in Indochina and Africa went all the way back to the early 1950's and his opposition to the Dulles' brothers and Eisenhower's foreign policy went back to the mid 1950's, was not supported by other Democrats like Stevenson and Johnson, the Pentagon, the CIA, etc., and only become stronger after he became president. He stated that the Communists shouldn't be the only ones to sponsor anti colonialism and home grown nationalist movements. If anything this seems to be the smoking gun that answers the question not only of why to the Vietnam escalation as soon as LBJ became president, but why to the assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK due to their anti-war stands as well. It's a shame we never saw any of this material in my college history and political science classes. Instead we were assigned David Halberstam's book, The Making of a Quagmire, and wrote essays about the causes of the American Civil War. While many students were against the war, no one knew the backstory of the clash of US foreign policy ideologies that JFK had introduced. But it's unlikely that this level of historical truth is taught even today. It now strikes me that my college education was just part of an establishment indoctrination program, as is the current day main stream media, and if Jim DiEugenio is correct, this Koch Brother's sponsored Ken Burns rewrite of history for mass consumption.The one thing I don't understand, having followed Bobby Kennedy's campaign at the time, and having voted for his anti war platform in the '68 California primary, is why didn't Bobby bring any of this information forward about JFK's more than a decade of opposition to colonialism in Africa and Indochina. If he had brought out what he knew, educated the electorate of the true reasons for the war and who the players were, it might have pulled the mask off of those who supported the war and initiated the US combat involvement there. Why am I only learning this more than a half of a century later?They say history is written by the winners, and it seems the people who won on 11/22/63 are still running the show and writing the history. The CIA's handprints were (and continued to be) all over conflicts in Indonesia, Indochina, Africa, the Middle East, South America, etc. What they did in Vietnam and the US was just business as usual.kenmurray wrote:Jim D's review part 2:https://kennedysandking.com/reviews/ken ... r-part-two
Bobspez wonderful reply to this post.Your incite has been very welcomed here on our forum.Welcome aboard and I think I can speak for many here your already a valued member that we all look forward to your thoughts and ideals !!