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  #121  
Old 18 July 2018, 20:49
Armitage12 Armitage12 is offline
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Originally Posted by Polypro View Post
Every one of those nits was covered, except the REMF angle (and I mean, really - the experience of the 33'rd Dipsy Dumpster Bn is irrelevant IMO, but they had a section with a female 1LT Nurse at a Hospital that took regular incoming).

Did you watch it?
They were covered. The view of the historians was that they were not covered in balance against the weight of the category's significance to the overall event. The historians did not think that the tokenism sufficiently presented the story to those who did not know Vietnam already, and the danger was that this documentary will now become the first run for many (and the only run, for some).
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  #122  
Old 19 July 2018, 00:44
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I've had a chance to digest a number of academic assessments of the series, and interestingly it came up for a lot of criticism from different directions from military historians and historians of international relations. [I'll be typing up from my notes here] In particular, the military historians noted that it overwhelmingly examined the experience of ground combat veterans, to the exclusion of the other military participants (who were the vast majority in country). The military historians saw this as a negative, because it slanted both the depiction of the experience (apparently everyone saw combat?) and the role of the military in such events (the only thing that happens in such wars is combat, nothing else). But 80% of the service personnel in Vietnam were in support roles or in the rear areas. In short, one could watch this not knowing anything else and come away not knowing about women or REMFs.
I did read your whole post, but that part of Burns' focus is my most overwhelming criticism of it. Bombing is mentioned, but I was left almost thinking the Navy wasn't there at all. I know better but I'm going off his presentation.

I felt like he did something I don't see all that often, putting a lot of blame on Truman, giving Eisenhower and JFK a pass. I remember one person saying they were still figuring it out. But basically putting the lion share of the blame on LBJ. Nixon was left in a difficult situation to say the least.

I've read mostly about the different SOF units operating in that war and have started to read more about the air side. I'm reading a book right now on the Wild Weasels and just the overall mistakes and mismanagement from Washington dealing with the SAM threat, etc.

I'm grateful that we have some veterans of that era posting here to share their perspectives.

I'll just also say I don't envy Ken Burns. This is still recent enough, it's not an easy job to tackle this big topic. I don't think you can ever make something like this that will please everyone. But there is still just a lot of room for improvement.
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  #123  
Old 19 July 2018, 10:09
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I haven't watched the series. I was not a combat soldier, either. I was in a position, however, to have time to observe things. The incalculable amount of micro-managing by our civilian government was precisely what was wrong. The military task was never, ever, handed to the military professionals. LBJ, apparently, was the first US President to fail to understand that "Commander-in-Chief" does not convey tactical ability, but means that a civilian restrains the military from acting on its own. I can remember coming to the realization that "I have been thrown away." It was in those exact words.
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  #124  
Old 2 August 2018, 13:32
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Watching this now. The depth of history covered, the people interviewed and the quality of production are really incredible.

Growing up, I read every LRRP/Recon/Grunt Vietnam book I could get my hands on. I've always idolized the Vietnam Veterans and I thought I knew the history pretty well but this series covers it in such detail I'm learning a lot of new things.

I think Burns' political views come through a bit too much in the series, but he does paint a unique picture of the war.
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  #125  
Old 23 August 2018, 21:09
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Watching now. Started with the 1969 episode. Very good series! Well
Fine. Much to contemplate.
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  #126  
Old 24 August 2018, 08:35
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I watched some of the series. I was glad when he got to 1969 that he skimmed through the 9ID deactivation, and deployment to Hawaii. My Brigade of the 9ID spent our entire time on Navy boats as a part of the Mobile Riverine Force (MRF). We conducted joint Army and Navy operations primarily on the Mekong River and to the Cambodian border. The Navy we served with got shot and bled just like us Army guys did. I am glad Burns missed us completely.
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  #127  
Old 14 September 2018, 05:14
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Just finished the series. Wow. Very well done.

Not much respect deserved for Pres. Johnson, Nixon and Kissinger and Macmamara - that is for sure. A lot of blood on their hands. Terrible war.

Some of the bombings we did still upset me. So much death to innocents in Laos. Piss on Jane Fonda. Tiger Force should have been severely prosecuted.

The devestting after effects in Cambodia not really explored in the series.

Hats off to all who humped a ruck honorably and did their duty there.

Ordering couple books written by authors who were interviewed through out the series.
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  #128  
Old 14 September 2018, 06:29
Armitage12 Armitage12 is offline
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Let me know if you have questions about what you read.
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  #129  
Old 14 September 2018, 08:18
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I couldn’t get through the whole series.

It upset me to see the lies by the politicians and it reminded me of the more recent lies and commingling done by politicians since 9/11.

Films like this plus my own experiences are why I would never encourage my children to join the military.

-Stan
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  #130  
Old 14 September 2018, 08:47
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Originally Posted by Stanley_White View Post
I couldn’t get through the whole series.

It upset me to see the lies by the politicians and it reminded me of the more recent lies and commingling done by politicians since 9/11.

Films like this plus my own experiences are why I would never encourage my children to join the military.

-Stan
Same here, to a "T" (except I watched it twice). I better be able to see ships/aircraft on the horizon before my kid grabs his rifle. F'n liars - all of them (and safe at home with *most* (not all) of their kids with differments in hand/stateside NG assignments).
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  #131  
Old 14 September 2018, 09:39
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I tell young men and women that I meet, or what are relatives or students, that ask me about military service - I tell them to join the Coast Guard. Or go join the Smoke Jumpers.
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  #132  
Old 14 September 2018, 09:59
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Originally Posted by leopardprey View Post
Just finished the series. Wow. Very well done.

Not much respect deserved for Pres. Johnson, Nixon and Kissinger and Macmamara - that is for sure. A lot of blood on their hands. Terrible war.

Some of the bombings we did still upset me. So much death to innocents in Laos. Piss on Jane Fonda. Tiger Force should have been severely prosecuted.

The devestting after effects in Cambodia not really explored in the series.

Hats off to all who humped a ruck honorably and did their duty there.

Ordering couple books written by authors who were interviewed through out the series.
I probably wrote up a lot of the targets in Laos and a few in Cambodia. Laos was in a constant state of flux with this group fighting that group much like Syria is today. It was the Loyalists and the Royalists against the Pathet Lao, the Viet Minh, the NVA and some scattered Viet Cong. We tried to get confirmation from ground forces before setting up an air strike but it really was a clusterfuck down there.
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  #133  
Old 14 September 2018, 10:43
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I have seen first hand the devastating effects the bombings had in Laos and Cambodia. Whole villages and tribes knocked off. And to this day the devastating effect of US UXO left behind. Sickens me. The big eye opener for me in 2008 assisting in a UXO survey in Laos, near the Vietnam border. Met up With a family who just weeks prior lost their ten year old son to one of our left over cluster bombs. The pain the family had, made me absolutely sick.

Ironically remnants of the Ho Chi Minh trail are still being used, but now for drug trafficking and illegal timber trafficking. My Khmer gendarmaries and myself set up some interticion ambushes on parts of the trail back in 2014 to arrest some traffickers.

We dropped more ordinance on Laos and Cambodia than all of Japamnamd Germany during WWiI. And for what? Why many advisors early in the war stressed using the Knife, bullet and rice to fight, rather than bombings. They knew the overall effect it would have.

Learning about the corruption, assinations, and massacre against Buddhist in the earl 60s maddens me. The corrupt regimes we supported. The way we had an opportunity to make Vietnam whole again, after WWII. Politics killing over 58.000 of our young men, and responsible for over a million deaths in Southeast Asia.

Was pretty cool the show being able to interview one of the OSS members who was in Vietnam during WWII and met up with ho chi Minh.

Now you go to Vietnam- I first started going there back in mid 90s when it first opened up, and have been there now like 7 additional times over the last two decades - and it is amazing on how developed it has become. How ecomically prosperous. How vibrant a country it is now. And again you ask with sorrow, why so many died? Men served with honor there, but politics, corruption, greed, ignorance and incompetence got in the way and killed many.

Iraq and Afghanistan, so many parallels.
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Last edited by leopardprey; 14 September 2018 at 11:05.
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  #134  
Old 14 September 2018, 11:12
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Originally Posted by DC Photog View Post
I did read your whole post, but that part of Burns' focus is my most overwhelming criticism of it. Bombing is mentioned, but I was left almost thinking the Navy wasn't there at all. I know better but I'm going off his presentation.

I felt like he did something I don't see all that often, putting a lot of blame on Truman, giving Eisenhower and JFK a pass. I remember one person saying they were still figuring it out. But basically putting the lion share of the blame on LBJ. Nixon was left in a difficult situation to say the least.

I've read mostly about the different SOF units operating in that war and have started to read more about the air side. I'm reading a book right now on the Wild Weasels and just the overall mistakes and mismanagement from Washington dealing with the SAM threat, etc.

I'm grateful that we have some veterans of that era posting here to share their perspectives.

I'll just also say I don't envy Ken Burns. This is still recent enough, it's not an easy job to tackle this big topic. I don't think you can ever make something like this that will please everyone. But there is still just a lot of room for improvement.
It would have been great to add some additional episodes:

Secret war in Laos
Cambodia involvement
Special Forces
SOG
SEALs and Brown water Navy
Rear Support
Australia, Thai, South Korean soldiers fighting


Of course there are some other good documentary films and of course many good books out there.
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  #135  
Old 14 September 2018, 11:42
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Originally Posted by leopardprey View Post
I tell young men and women that I meet, or what are relatives or students, that ask me about military service - I tell them to join the Coast Guard. Or go join the Smoke Jumpers.
Yeah I'm torn.

I will not pay for my kid to go to college: Get a scholarship. If my kid decides to go to St. John's or similar for a "Great Books" program I'll pay half.

I'm not working until I'm 80 to pay for a child to go learn to do Keg Stands and ask permission to make out or be filled with a bunch of outrage of the day nonsense.

But on the other hand, documentaries like this, and my own knowledge of lies and whatnot, have diminished the value of military service in my eyes somewhat. There is always the Coast Guard I suppose, and if my kid is dumb and can't get a full ride and wants to join the military, there will be long, fireside chats, to ensure the right decision is made without blinders.
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  #136  
Old 14 September 2018, 11:47
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Originally Posted by leopardprey View Post
I tell young men and women that I meet, or what are relatives or students, that ask me about military service - I tell them to join the Coast Guard. Or go join the Smoke Jumpers.
I'm pushing hard for our son (if he insists on joining the military) to go Coast Guard when he finishes school, but he's hard-headed like his father.
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I will not pay for my kid to go to college: Get a scholarship. If my kid decides to go to St. John's or similar for a "Great Books" program I'll pay half.

I'm not working until I'm 80 to pay for a child to go learn to do Keg Stands and ask permission to fingerbang a drunk sorority girl.
Smart man. I wasn't strong enough to tell my kids to suck it up and make their own way. I've spent a lot of money on their education that I could have spent on myself instead.
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  #137  
Old 14 September 2018, 12:01
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Originally Posted by Stanley_White View Post

Films like this plus my own experiences are why I would never encourage my children to join the military.

-Stan
I genuinely have no regrets. I joined to go to war and I got to.
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  #138  
Old 14 September 2018, 12:07
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I genuinely have no regrets. I joined to go to war and I got to.
I think many/most of us are in the same league. But find it hard to tell our sons, daughters, neices and nephews, young men and women we mentore/teach to do the same,
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  #139  
Old 14 September 2018, 12:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gray Rhyno View Post
I'm pushing hard for our son (if he insists on joining the military) to go Coast Guard when he finishes school, but he's hard-headed like his father.

Smart man. I wasn't strong enough to tell my kids to suck it up and make their own way. I've spent a lot of money on their education that I could have spent on myself instead.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kmV7G3JWwkA

Watched this with my neice last night. (See my thread in medical section). Looks pretty kick ass and challenging to me.
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  #140  
Old 14 September 2018, 13:48
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Trying to get my nephew to join either the USCG or USAF, get the hell out of his house (and away from his mother, my sister), learn about life outside of the fucking trailer park and xbox, see some of the world.

My sister has done a pretty good job of fucking him up but I hold out hope that some of what I tell him is getting through.
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