Tuesday, September 19, 2017 – Ken Burns and Karen Novik – The Vietnam War. Sometimes Known as The Vietnam Conflict.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017 – Ken Burns and Karen Novik – The Vietnam War. Sometimes Known as The Vietnam Conflict.

I am calling attention to my blog post from Sunday regarding the PBS programming of Ken Burn’s and Karen Novik’s documentary – The Vietnam War. https://drdrd85.me/2017/09/17/sunday-morning-september-17-2017-vietnam-and-constitution-day/

If you are not watching this series you should be. If you are watching, then you know it is powerful, painful and critically important to watch.

Tonight is Episode 3. Here are some reactions I saw on Facebook that I paraphrased from Episodes 1 and 2 and then I added a few of my own. Feel free to share any of your thoughts.

From Episode 1.

Evans: I did not know it went back to the 1940’s.

Me: I did not know that of the first two names on the Vietnam Wall noting their death that one was from Texas – Copperas Cove.

Episode 2

Smith: I learned things I never knew – disturbing and relevant to today. Dammit.

Jones: I was shocked, but not surprised about the lack of communication from the OSS/CIA, Ho Chi Minh, John F. Kennedy, the US Congress and of course the American People.

Several people: I wonder what the outcome might have been if those communications had reached the intended parties and the U.S. pulled out and backed Ho Chi Minh?

Museum of the American G. I. (19124 Highway 6) South College Station, Texas. Permanently housing the Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibit. The name on the tag is Ralph Smith. Photo by me.

The black tags mark those MIA.

Me: who actually taught the Vietnam Unit in high school and college: I did not know Ho Chi Mihn’s history. While I remember seeing the monks set themselves on fire on the evening news, I did not know the cause behind them. I did not know it was a Catholic minority ruling a majority Buddhist country. Then again the Catholics are the church that gave history The Inquisition and invented burning at the stake. Or was it The Crusades trying to convert everybody to Christianity?

There are 10 episodes to The Vietnam War. Last evening’s episode ended with the assassination of Diem. History people know who was behind the assassination, but perhaps others are just learning. This could have been such a huge turning point. What if it went down like this? OK, Ho, we got Diem out of the way. It is all yours to unite your country and its culture. We are leaving.

Something that stood out for me last evening was this quote from one of the many Marines who bravely served and is providing narratives. It seems to describe a pivotal point in history.

“We were the last generation to believe our government would not lie to us.”

Last Sunday was U. S Constitution Day. I wonder if in tonight’s episode we see how The Constitution played into this history with the Gulf of Tonkin incident and why the Vietnam experience is of often noted as a “conflict” and not a “war.”http://kenburns.com/films/vietnam/

 

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