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  #21  
Old 14 September 2017, 21:59
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Burns himself doesn't editorialize, but many of the people who he uses as interview subjects, especially the historians, give free rein to their opinions of whatever topic is being covered.

I expect that will be the case here, and while there may at certain points be comments and opinions that are sure to rub some the wrong way, generally there is usually a counterpoint right around the corner. And of course he'll be interviewing many of the Vietnamese Vets over the course of the series. Time is the perfect distillation process for looking at history.

Considering how the subject of Vietnam is still stirring up passions for many people, I expect there will be fairly robust mix of opinions on this series.
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  #22  
Old 17 September 2017, 19:56
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Bump. Series starts in 5 minutes.
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  #23  
Old 17 September 2017, 20:11
Armitage12 Armitage12 is offline
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Starts with Marlantes. Firm opener.
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  #24  
Old 17 September 2017, 20:29
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I don't think the produces are going to do the Vietnam Veterans any favors. There's something about the conflict that compels Hollywood to twist the facts; as well as promote an agenda.

I saw their whole interview with Tom Brokaw, and I'm not too optimistic.
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  #25  
Old 17 September 2017, 21:56
Armitage12 Armitage12 is offline
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Finished the first episode. Solidly accurate, historically. This is not a whitewash. It is an exploration of what people did not want to talk about. Ho Chi Minh's people are not misunderstood nationalists just trying to make their way in the universe. Their bloodletting and party purging is acknowledged, and then there are reminiscences from those there remembering that bad things happened. At the same time, Diem's team is also noted for doing bad things. As are the French. There are no innocents here--they even pointed out that the religious groups formed their own militias in the early 1950s.

I found myself anticipating the next point to be made based on my lectures, and then there it was. The advisory panel is wide--and not just left-leaning academics. I'm seeing Col. Greg Daddis and Col. Matt Moten, Joe Galloway, Edward Miller, Ron Spector and Roger Spiller, and several other military officer/historians in the list. They aren't going to tolerate a Jane Fonda approach. From inside the academy, this first episode was good. Thinking of the audience here, this episode could not be labeled as anti-military or anti-America. It just is. It properly emphasized (complete with observation by a Vietnamese veteran) that war is really about destruction, not about who wins or loses, and the young men (and women) who were there were scared.

Several additional observations of things that were interesting: No academics interviewed. None in the first episode. Good. They advised Burns, but there are no talking heads. The woman whose sister joined the NVA--she came to the US, was married to a political science professor fluent in Vietnamese, and was on the advisory board. She wrote a book about her background. She seems to appear in every episode--so someone who escaped, and who lost her own sister to the lure of the NVA, anchors the reminiscences. That reinforces the idea that it was just horribly complicated. Last--Trent Reznor did the music!?!?!?!
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  #26  
Old 17 September 2017, 22:11
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I liked how in the opening few minutes...he declared that it was the result of bad decisions made by five Presidents -- of which those five consisted of BOTH parties.

I am already watching it for my second time to see what I missed the first go around....
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  #27  
Old 17 September 2017, 22:25
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I missed the first 15 minutes so I'll have to go back and catch that. But what I saw was very well done and quite informative.
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  #28  
Old 17 September 2017, 22:32
KillRoy KillRoy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Armitage12 View Post
Last--Trent Reznor did the music!?!?!?!
Reznor does a lot a soundtracks for movies and the like. He is quite an accomplished musician and composer. That is not unheard of for a lot of rock musicians with some actual musical talent to do this after their playing days are behind them. Stuart Copeland, the drummer for the Police is another.

I thought the series is off to a solid start. I was very surprised and interested in the segments on JFK visiting Saigon when he was a Congressman.
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  #29  
Old 18 September 2017, 08:14
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Ho may have been a bloodletting nationalists when we got involved, but no one will ever know if that would have been the result if we had continued to mentor him and his movement as started in the waning days of WWII.

The fact we were one bit concerned on the French jumping to the Soviets or what they thought, after we saved their inept surrendering asses, has always bothers me since I first started reading historical accounts of this period.

It wasn't covered last night, but those arrogant POS even wanted US troops to be commanded by French officers.
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  #30  
Old 18 September 2017, 08:59
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Ho may have been a bloodletting nationalists when we got involved, but no one will ever know if that would have been the result if we had continued to mentor him and his movement as started in the waning days of WWII.
The fact we were one bit concerned on the French jumping to the Soviets or what they thought, after we saved their inept surrendering asses, has always bothers me since I first started reading historical accounts of this period.

It wasn't covered last night, but those arrogant POS even wanted US troops to be commanded by French officers.

I fully concur, and the letters Ho had written went unread...so far, it appears as one grand comedy of errors, and Burns, as always, does a magnificent job of relating both sides from the gray lines of history.
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  #31  
Old 18 September 2017, 09:20
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Did you all catch the hour before the start about the children(adults now) their fathers were killed in Nam? Tough to watch
I look forward to the series.
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  #32  
Old 19 September 2017, 13:19
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Next up is the LBJ years, those 5 years of so where our involvement became so deep we practically couldn't pull out, for a lot of reasons.

I thought it was interesting that Kennedy brought up the domestic politics that guided his decisions on the war. He was of the opinion that there was nothing that could be done there, but that if he pulled out it would hurt his reelection chances.

Domestic politics always plays a role in the actions a president takes militarily.
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  #33  
Old 19 September 2017, 13:21
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One of the things I like about Burns' films is that he obviously has connections that allow him to obtain footage that has been hidden out of sight for so many years.

Much of the Kennedy footage shown in the last episodes was new to me and did shed some new light on his motives behind our involvement in Vietnam.
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  #34  
Old 19 September 2017, 14:12
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I'm really upset to have missed the first episode but will have to go back and watch. I spent 5 weeks in a small village in Laos that was in the Mu Gia pass right at what was pretty much the trailhead of the Ho Chi Minh trail system earlier this year. It was real learning experience in a lot of ways, and I'll be interested to see how the show handles the Pathet Lao operations along the trails and recruiting the "secret army" from Hmong.
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  #35  
Old 19 September 2017, 14:18
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I'm fortunate in Chicago as our PBS station has several sub channels, and they always re-run Burn's series after its initial showing, sometimes showing earlier installments simultaneously with the current ones being shown.

I expect at some point I will have seen all 14 hours, I've pretty much caught the first two nights in their entirety.
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  #36  
Old 19 September 2017, 14:20
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A lot of the second episode closely followed the book "A Bright Shining Lie" by Neil Sheehan. The book included a lot about John Paul Vann who was featured in the film as well as a lot of interviews with Sheehan. One of the takeaways I got from the book was how we turned the countryside into a free fire zone outside of the strategic hamlets, thus generating a great deal of hostility from the locals. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from Vietnam regarding fighting insurgencies.
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  #37  
Old 19 September 2017, 15:47
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We definitely got a lot of stories from the Lao on the bombing runs through the dog house. The whole landscape is pockmarked with bomb craters. Some of the older villagers talked a lot about leaving to hide in the caves at specific times every day because they knew the planes were coming, and then going back afterwards. In one case, a large part of the village was destroyed so they relocated further into the karst. I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of resentment. We really only saw that from one or two of the older people who, it turns out, had been working with Pathet Lao.
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  #38  
Old 19 September 2017, 18:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldpogue View Post
A lot of the second episode closely followed the book "A Bright Shining Lie" by Neil Sheehan. The book included a lot about John Paul Vann who was featured in the film as well as a lot of interviews with Sheehan. One of the takeaways I got from the book was how we turned the countryside into a free fire zone outside of the strategic hamlets, thus generating a great deal of hostility from the locals. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from Vietnam regarding fighting insurgencies.
What was it one of the Vietnamese Vets had to say about that? Try to convince the cadre in the Viet Cong to give up their fight, and if over time you couldn't convince them then you just kill them. Carrot followed by the stick.

The problem was that when given a bunch of people who might possibly be involved with the VC, instead of killing the one right person, they'd wind up killing the 10 wrong ones.

Thus are enemies created.
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  #39  
Old 19 September 2017, 20:15
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The rave reviews here instill some excitement in me to go watch this.

Thanks all, will enjoy.
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  #40  
Old 19 September 2017, 21:26
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Holy shit! I knew there was corruption, but I was completely ignorant to the depth of corruption, arrogance, and brutality the South Vietnamese government sank. I also found it really interesting (among other things) that Kennedy said if he pulled the advisors out of Vietnam he wouldn't get reelected.
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