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#997419 - 09/20/17 05:00 PM Ken Burns - Vietnam  
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Bud Offline
95% of an RT
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I can not say enough about this series on PBS. It shows both sides, explains why our choices doomed us to failure and how military decisions were, in part, based on re-election prospects.

It also shows how the war was started as a covert operation w/o informing the American public.

Last nights program highlighted the first firefight of the war. Col. Hal Moore and 200 men faced a force of over 7 times their size. Col. Moore was first on the ground and last to leave when it was over, taking all of his men with him, both dead and alive. If you want to know more, read We were soldiers once and young

Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it.

Last edited by Bud; 09/20/17 05:08 PM.

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#997421 - 09/20/17 05:17 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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Living the Dream Offline
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Originally Posted By: Bud
If you want to know more, read We were soldiers once and young



A most outstanding book!! For those that don't know, it goes beyond the movie's Ia Drang Valley fight.

Also, SgtMaj Plumley passed in 2012 and LtGen Moore recently passed in Feb 2017. Two great warriors!!!

Last edited by Living the Dream; 09/20/17 05:17 PM.

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#997431 - 09/20/17 06:13 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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It is a great series, Ken B does such a good job on these series. Unfortunately while some facts are revealing it's also quite disturbing. I've been waking up thinking about it.


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#997432 - 09/20/17 06:17 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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Been watching it the past 3 nights. Most excellent and eye-opening. Thanks to all who served there. You deserved much better when you came home, and glad you're all being recognized as the heroes you are.


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#997437 - 09/20/17 07:24 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: The Rocketman]  
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Originally Posted By: The Rocketman
Thanks to all who served there. You deserved much better when you came home, and glad you're all being recognized as the heroes you are.


Amen to that! thumbsup What a terrible shitstorm to be forced into as a 19 y/o kid. Then on top of that, be disrespected if you survived your year.


Pat


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#997443 - 09/20/17 08:53 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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it is excellent .

particularly since it goes into such detail regarding the North/South political differences and the long pre-history of french colonization.


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#997468 - 09/21/17 02:25 AM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Living the Dream]  
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Originally Posted By: Living the Dream
Originally Posted By: Bud
If you want to know more, read We were soldiers once and young



A most outstanding book!! For those that don't know, it goes beyond the movie's Ia Drang Valley fight.

Also, SgtMaj Plumley passed in 2012 and LtGen Moore recently passed in Feb 2017. Two great warriors!!!


When I was a First Sergeant I had all of my newly promoted NCOS read We were Soldiers once and young. Great lessons on how leadership can overcome adversity. No way to tell the whole story in a movie.

I also had the honor of knowing CSMs Plumley and Scott. CSM Scott was the CSM of the ad hoc battalion sent to relieve 1-7 and was I believe was awarded the distinguished service cross for bravery in the Ia Drang. He was also severely wounded. Both served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

I also met LTG Moore on a few occasions. Great Americans it was a honor just to have met them.


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#997480 - 09/21/17 05:05 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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Fascinating series. I remember that era all too well. The US was torn apart, politically and culturally. We'll never know what JFK would have done. After the Bay of Pigs, I think he would have been more skeptical of the brass and congressional hawks than was LBJ, but who knows.

I missed the draft (or it missed me when it ended) by 3 months so I was personally spared. To this day, I don't know what I would have done if compelled to join that war -- which, by 1973, was a lost cause. And by that time, without getting too political here, Nixon's Peace With Honor campaign-style sloganeering was utterly cynical (especially considering his treacherous backchanneling just before the '68 election that scuttled LBJ's peace talks).

McNamara's visit to Hanoi in the 90's opened his eyes only slightly to the cultural/nationalist motivation of the North Vietnamese (gangsters) who refused to give up their civil war. They "won" against an enormous foe, no doubt about it. The USA lost much more than valiant lives in that war.


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#997486 - 09/21/17 07:04 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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In March, 1972 I was on a train with other inductees on the way to AFEES/St. Louis. Turns out they didn't want me.

The series is spellbinding, but, while watching, I'm distracted by this question, "Given we've been at war since 9/11, have we learned anything?"


I was in Switzerland recently and I didn't see one person with a knife!
#997487 - 09/21/17 07:31 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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Well, there are only a few people in the "we" circle and the current mood there tells me, no we haven't.


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#997489 - 09/21/17 08:13 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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You couldn't pay me to watch it.
But I have heard that a whole lot of the true story was left out, and that it was done from a very particular point of view, or agenda.
So it turns out I have good reason to not watch it.
dc

#997490 - 09/21/17 08:30 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: David13]  
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Originally Posted By: David13
You couldn't pay me to watch it.
But I have heard that a whole lot of the true story was left out, and that it was done from a very particular point of view, or agenda.
So it turns out I have good reason to not watch it.
dc


So essentially you justify your decision not to watch based on someone else's opinion. Too bad. You'll probably never really know the accuracy of that opinion.


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#997492 - 09/21/17 10:08 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: TestPilot]  
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Let me start that I have the utmost respect for those that served in Vietnam. I was in the tail end of the Vietnam draft being inducted in Dec.72'. Unbelievable for me at the time I was very fortunate to spent my time in the US Army as a Radar Mechanic stateside. I'm a believer in the phrase "those that don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it". With that said I have no doubt of the best intentions of those that fought in the Vietnam war. I can only judge this documentary on what I've learned over time and it seems unbiased to me. I'm watching with an open mind.


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#997499 - 09/21/17 11:17 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: TestPilot]  
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My decision not to watch it came before anyone told me anything about it.
That was clear in my post.
I do have people that I can trust.
dc

#997505 - 09/22/17 01:35 AM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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Humans! Always at war always have been.
It's sad but it's true, it's what we are.
Very sad. But I'm glad to live here in the USA.


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#997506 - 09/22/17 01:36 AM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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Bud Offline
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Since the draft no longer exists, most Americans have no skin in the game as regards to our longest war. I wonder if the draft still existed if we would still have soldiers in combat today? Dunno


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#997507 - 09/22/17 01:36 AM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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very interesting series. wish i had seen the first two episodes..was TDY and missed them.


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#997508 - 09/22/17 01:43 AM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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They're on pbs.com on demand. We watch a new one each night.


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#997509 - 09/22/17 02:24 AM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: TestPilot]  
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Originally Posted By: TestPilot
Originally Posted By: David13
You couldn't pay me to watch it.
But I have heard that a whole lot of the true story was left out, and that it was done from a very particular point of view, or agenda.
So it turns out I have good reason to not watch it.
dc


So essentially you justify your decision not to watch based on someone else's opinion. Too bad. You'll probably never really know the accuracy of that opinion.


This. Exactly....

Sometimes we need to look at the whole picture. Including what's on the " other side of the fence"...

MB>


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#997511 - 09/22/17 02:35 AM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Living the Dream]  
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Bud Offline
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Originally Posted By: Living the Dream
Originally Posted By: Bud
If you want to know more, read We were soldiers once and young



A most outstanding book!! For those that don't know, it goes beyond the movie's Ia Drang Valley fight.

Also, SgtMaj Plumley passed in 2012 and LtGen Moore recently passed in Feb 2017. Two great warriors!!!


+1 They both epitomized the highest values of military service.


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#997514 - 09/22/17 03:11 AM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: mbelectric]  
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No thanks.
I already know what's over there.
dc

#997552 - 09/23/17 03:17 AM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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What a great documentary. I'll buy the DVD set when it becomes available. Powerful.


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#997652 - 09/24/17 07:34 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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Watched 5 last night, a great history lesson indeed. The staggering amount of poor political decision making was unbelievable. frown I appreciate every person who has ever served this country, bravery defined! thumbsup The Vietnam era vets got a screwing beyond all screwings. God bless them all!


Pat


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#997695 - 09/25/17 10:08 AM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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Exceptional series.


Dave
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#997783 - 09/26/17 05:11 AM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: TestPilot]  
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Originally Posted By: TestPilot
Originally Posted By: David13
You couldn't pay me to watch it.
But I have heard that a whole lot of the true story was left out, and that it was done from a very particular point of view, or agenda.
So it turns out I have good reason to not watch it.
dc


So essentially you justify your decision not to watch based on someone else's opinion. Too bad. You'll probably never really know the accuracy of that opinion.


Been watching it and support David13's stance. Frankly, anyone familiar with Ken Burns' slant on the various series he's produced has to wonder why his snout's (seemingly) eternally entrenched in the public TV money trough that is PBS. And, if you've not realized that PBS doesn't represent the public - OR independent lens - then you'll never really understand or appreciate the accuracy of my statement.


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#997795 - 09/26/17 12:33 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: beemerboy]  
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Wouldn't it be true of all TV shows, movies, books and news stations and newspapers, that they have an axe to grind, a view point that manifests itself in their slant and a story that they want to get out from their viewpoint? I see no difference in Ken Burns approach, he may have committed the sin of omission, or be guilty of a lack of all the realism, but he has told and is telling the underlying story of a time and place which caused a great division in this country as to the "Why." He is also showing the poor decision making as well as the cost of war on those who participated.
So for whatever reason he chose to write it and whatever slant he puts on it, it is out there, and as everything in this country, certainly subject to skeptics and to debate, as well as strong and weak opinions about his motivation and the subject matter. After all is said and done, he wrote it, we didn't. If anyone has more facts or wants to present an alternative perspective, please write your own version, we anxiously await it.


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#997868 - 09/27/17 02:11 AM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Patallaire]  
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Originally Posted By: Patallaire
... If anyone has more facts or wants to present an alternative perspective, please write your own version, we anxiously await it.


Yes, I would also like to see that. I'd also be interested to hear what agenda is being pushed. I haven't watched all of the series yet but it seems to be a pretty accurate and balanced presentation of what was happening at the time. It certainly reflects my recollections of it.


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#997871 - 09/27/17 03:31 AM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: MarkAZ]  
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Originally Posted By: MarkAZ
Originally Posted By: Patallaire
... If anyone has more facts or wants to present an alternative perspective, please write your own version, we anxiously await it.


Yes, I would also like to see that. I'd also be interested to hear what agenda is being pushed. I haven't watched all of the series yet but it seems to be a pretty accurate and balanced presentation of what was happening at the time. It certainly reflects my recollections of it.


Uh Oh. Here comes the politics. And it's really not your fault.

rofl

Out before the lock wave

MB>

Last edited by mbelectric; 09/27/17 03:31 AM.

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#997987 - 09/29/17 12:15 AM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: beemerboy]  
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Originally Posted By: beemerboy
Originally Posted By: TestPilot
Originally Posted By: David13
You couldn't pay me to watch it.
But I have heard that a whole lot of the true story was left out, and that it was done from a very particular point of view, or agenda.
So it turns out I have good reason to not watch it.
dc


So essentially you justify your decision not to watch based on someone else's opinion. Too bad. You'll probably never really know the accuracy of that opinion.


Been watching it and support David13's stance. Frankly, anyone familiar with Ken Burns' slant on the various series he's produced has to wonder why his snout's (seemingly) eternally entrenched in the public TV money trough that is PBS. And, if you've not realized that PBS doesn't represent the public - OR independent lens - then you'll never really understand or appreciate the accuracy of my statement.


I guess I'm dense and naive because I don't see any "slant" going on in this excellent historical series. What slant might that be? Do Pew Trust and David H. Koch finance the same slant?

"Funding for THE VIETNAM WAR is provided by Bank of America; Corporation for Public Broadcasting; PBS; David H. Koch; The Blavatnik Family Foundation; Park Foundation; The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations; The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; National Endowment for the Humanities; The Pew Charitable Trusts; Ford Foundation Just Films; Rockefeller Brothers Fund; and Members of The Better Angels Society:
Jonathan & Jeannie Lavine, Diane & Hal Brierley, Amy & David Abrams, John & Catherine Debs, Fullerton Family Charitable Fund, The Montrone Family, Lynda & Stewart Resnick, The Golkin Family Foundation, The Lynch Foundation, The Roger & Rosemary Enrico Foundation, Richard S. & Donna L. Strong Foundation, Bonnie & Tom McCloskey, Barbara K. & Cyrus B. Sweet III, The Lavender Butterfly Fund."


John
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#998067 - 09/30/17 06:01 AM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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The series has been excellent so far. I can't begin to claim objectivity, having been involved in the protest movement from the summer of '75, when I regretfully stepped away from ROTC, to the end of the war.
The series targets political figures of both parties. If I have any criticism it is that it vastly underrates the participation of the ARVN forces. While most have heard no lack of criticism of the ARVN, there were also units that fought with incredible bravery and commitment while being led by a venal and corrupt officer corps and political leadership that would make the Lannesters look like Goldilocks. ARVN helicopter pilots and ground-pounders worked hand-in-glove with American small units and men who worked with them praised their courage.
I would have liked to see more Hispanic representation.
If the series was politically slanted it would have made a point that has been consistently skirted, and could have made that point frequently and forcefully. But, so far (Episode 7) it has not. While no reportage can be ultimately objective an effort can be made, and I think Burns has made that effort.

To those of you who served there, you got a raw deal. In seven years in the peace movement I never, not once, saw disrespect paid to a man in military uniform. One of the groups I worked with, Philadelphia Resistance, shared offices with the Philly chapter of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. We marched together, hung out together, got high together and cried and raged over the TV news together.


I knew I'd end up disillusioned. I just thought it would be better than this.

#998224 - 10/02/17 07:02 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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I'm enjoying Ken Burns' series on Vietnam very much, and believe that for TV (PBS or any channel) it's being treated by and large as fairly as possible. That said, I fully admit I haven't read but a couple handfuls of books about Vietnam (I came of age a bit after the War ended). OTOH the period that captures my attention and passion for studying is the US Civil War. Using Ken Burns' Civil War series as a parallel, I can point out errors, enumerate many important omissions, and capture several biases taken by KB, yet as a whole I would still recommend it to someone who has only read a few books (or less) on the subject of the CW. It seems likely true for the Vietnam series as well, but I'll let students of that era say whether or no.

Series like these take a whole freaking lot of research, planning, shooting, organizing, production, etc., etc., etc. So, I am happy when they come off this well.


Craig
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#998246 - 10/02/17 11:13 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: TyTass]  
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TEWKS Online
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My short story about the Spires boys got used. They were neighbors of mine way back when. Richard remained a family friend up until his passing last year.

http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/the-vietnam-war/vietnam-stories/#tool

Oops wrong link, guess you have to go to Massachusetts stories.


Pat

Last edited by TEWKS; 10/02/17 11:15 PM. Reason: Link is wrong

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#998425 - 10/05/17 01:56 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: TEWKS]  
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"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do succeed" Curly Howard
#998429 - 10/05/17 02:08 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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Bud Offline
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Link works. Thanks.


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#999942 - 10/30/17 09:42 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
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This kind of goes along with this thread, I think. I put together this vid a few years ago and dedicated it to the warriors that survived their battle wounds in Korea & Vietnam. Without a flight in a medevac helicopter a lot of them would have died. I get to see the civilian version of this every now and again. I don't think it's a repeat, but.. dontknow grin

Medflight Operations

Pat


"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do succeed" Curly Howard
#999952 - 10/31/17 12:44 AM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: TEWKS]  
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Saw a much younger version of you in the vid. Thanks for posting.


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#999957 - 10/31/17 03:21 AM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Marty Hill]  
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Glad you liked it Marty. Quick one about the guy we loaded into the BK, we were traveling to the center station for some training when I noticed a guy fueling up his CBR 600 at a station on Main Street. (bike looked nice is all) Not three minutes later we got dispatched to a MVA (bike vs garbage truck) sure enough it was the same guy. eek frown Now a friend of mine who happens to be a paramedic lived right across the street where the crash took place. He was on scene in seconds and was able to establish an airway which actually saved his life. We all thought he wasn't going to survive his injuries but three months later he came by the station to thank us. I directed him to my friends house! thumbsup

Pat


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#999964 - 10/31/17 10:38 AM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: TEWKS]  
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Marty Hill Offline
The Energiser Bunny
Marty Hill  Offline
The Energiser Bunny
Member

Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 9,506
Atlanta, Ga.
Great ending!


Marty
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#1000274 - 11/05/17 08:03 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 662
ArizonaAl Offline
Member
ArizonaAl  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 662
Mesa, Arizona
For what it is worth, I watched a very little of the series and didn't think much of what little I did see.

I came across this article and couldn't agree more with it--

Check it out and see what you think

https://www.ammoland.com/2017/11/beyond-shameful-dont-fall-deceitful-vietnam-flick/

Just my opinion


ArizonaAl
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#1000276 - 11/05/17 08:57 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,759
JohnH VA Offline
Member
JohnH VA  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,759
Inside The Beltway
Best to watch the entire series oneself to draw a factual conclusion.

My opinion is that that particular general's Ammoland review of the series is heavy on personal political slant. Just saying.

For an alternate view, check https://vva.org/arts-of-war/the-ken-burns-documentary-a-review/.

"Remarkably, Burns and company run through all the controversies in an even-handed manner. Virtually all sides of every controversial question in this most controversial war are aired. Introducing Episode 1, for example, Coyote intones: The war “was begun in good faith, by decent people, out of fateful misunderstandings, American overconfidence, and Cold War miscalculation. And it was prolonged because it seemed easier to muddle through than admit that it had been caused by tragic decisions, made by five American Presidents, belonging to both political parties.”

In the end, Burns offers no conclusions, other than that the war, as Coyote says, was a “tragedy.”

Then there is the coda: “But meaning can be found in the individual stories of those who lived through it.”


John
'16 R1200RT (RT #5)
#1000326 - 11/06/17 02:31 PM Re: Ken Burns - Vietnam [Re: Bud]  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 6,860
Bud Offline
95% of an RT
Bud  Offline
95% of an RT
Member

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 6,860
Southern Illinois
Well said John.

Turbulent times which we all saw thru the our own personal history. It is not unusual that different people had a different view of the same events.

The one take away I had from the series is how each President, in their own words, continued to lie to the American public.

The fact that we lost the war in no way diminishes the honor, service and valor of those where were sent to fight.


95% of an RT.

I haven't had too many Beemers, I just don't have enough time.
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