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Old 09-25-2017, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Cumberland Maine
825 posts, read 924,413 times
Reputation: 1665

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I began protesting against this war in 1964 as a senior in high school and continued doing so until it finally ended. As a high school senior, I read the history of the region and understood the conflict of the Vietnamese against the imperialist French and then the Americans. Often times, in "discussions" about the war, pro-war folks would say to me "what do you do, read up on this stuff?" In the 60's most Americans bought into the story lines the government handed out. Why would our leaders lie to us? Now, we know better. During those many years of protest, I can proudly say that I held true to my beliefs (I only participated in non-violent protests - although I was tear gassed on occasion and had rotten eggs thrown at me) and continued to study and learn. That even included subscribing to an English version of a Hanoi newspaper while in college. I figured that if I took the Hanoi news and the American news, added them together and then looked in the middle, I might be closer to knowing what was going on. The only regret I have from this period is the treatment of the soldiers returning. Most of these guys were drafted (not volunteers like they are now) and were treated very poorly when they returned. I, myself, did not participate in any activities that disparaged returning soldiers, but I still feel bad about it. As for this series, I did watch the first episode and found it informative. I cannot say that I liked it because it brought back too many bad memories. I have the others on my DVR but I don't know yet if I'll watch them. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for the veterans of that war to watch this show knowing it was all a big lie.
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
1,387 posts, read 602,607 times
Reputation: 2723
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiluvr1228 View Post
The American people were so naïve compared to today...
I'm sorry...that just made me laugh out loud. I mean, pick up the morning paper if you want out and out naiveté. It's become institutionalized.

As for the series, I'm a pre-Boomer with too large a batch of childhood friends up on The Wall, so it's mostly been a trip over old and familiar ground for me. But Burns does a good job as always of simply letting the history and its characters tell the tale. Hopefully, it will serve to open some doors and shed some light for younger folks on what were very dark and troubled times.

My main caution here would be not to do too much judging. The great majority of people at the time fell on one side of the issue or the other out of sincere belief and efforts to do the right thing. It wasn't all black-and-white in real-time. Slowly, the truth did come out, and support for the war simply dried up. We could use a little of that sort of thing again these days I would say.
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:53 AM
 
4,041 posts, read 1,838,530 times
Reputation: 3236
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryDactyls View Post
I began protesting against this war in 1964 as a senior in high school and continued doing so until it finally ended. As a high school senior, I read the history of the region and understood the conflict of the Vietnamese against the imperialist French and then the Americans. Often times, in "discussions" about the war, pro-war folks would say to me "what do you do, read up on this stuff?" In the 60's most Americans bought into the story lines the government handed out. Why would our leaders lie to us? Now, we know better. During those many years of protest, I can proudly say that I held true to my beliefs (I only participated in non-violent protests - although I was tear gassed on occasion and had rotten eggs thrown at me) and continued to study and learn. That even included subscribing to an English version of a Hanoi newspaper while in college. I figured that if I took the Hanoi news and the American news, added them together and then looked in the middle, I might be closer to knowing what was going on. The only regret I have from this period is the treatment of the soldiers returning. Most of these guys were drafted (not volunteers like they are now) and were treated very poorly when they returned. I, myself, did not participate in any activities that disparaged returning soldiers, but I still feel bad about it. As for this series, I did watch the first episode and found it informative. I cannot say that I liked it because it brought back too many bad memories. I have the others on my DVR but I don't know yet if I'll watch them. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for the veterans of that war to watch this show knowing it was all a big lie.

Please do not perpetuate the myth that most Vietnam veterans were Drafted.......................................
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
1,387 posts, read 602,607 times
Reputation: 2723
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiluvr1228 View Post
I was riveted to the TV but I also wanted to cry for all the soldiers who died needlessly and for the way many of them were treated when they returned.
It's the American Legion and VFW that you'd want to address those latter sorts of complaints to. They were the ones who reviled Nam vets as dope-smoking long-hairs who never fought in any real war to begin with. The anti-war people were more about welcoming their friends who survived back into the fold.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Cumberland Maine
825 posts, read 924,413 times
Reputation: 1665
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffdoorgunner View Post
Please do not perpetuate the myth that most Vietnam veterans were Drafted.......................................
You are correct: two-thirds enlisted, one-third drafted. Most of my friends were drafted. So let's change the word to "many". The sentiment remains. The returning soldiers were not treated very well and I feel bad about that.

Last edited by TerryDactyls; 09-25-2017 at 03:34 PM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 09-25-2017, 04:36 PM
 
Location: By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea
54,195 posts, read 38,256,957 times
Reputation: 26685
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
I believe Johnston said this in his memiours. He knew our side could never win, but the politics at home would leave his legacy in the dust if he said so. And he fed into the propaganda because he didn't know what else to do. I believe there was a study which came to the same conculsion, and it was ignored. The terribly sad thing about this tit for tat war is that everyone was going to lose, Viet Nam in ruins many places, with its population heavily damaged, and those who knew could not overcome the politics, and the kids of my generation also paid a huge part of the cost.

My cousins were just the right age, but one had a health problem, and the other stayed in school and they outlasted that fate.

When the documentary is on, all I can do is just watch, because I remember it so well. I remember worrying about if the whole world went back to war and the anger and fears which our society saw, and how it felt like no matter how many opposed the war or marched or more direct means, it would be too late.

This present situation is so scary since we have a 'president' who is more interested in his ego and just like Johnson might feel some day that he has no choice.

I was shocked to see the memo from McNamara's underling saying 70% of the reason we were still fighting was to avoid humiliation. And disgusted hearing some of LBJ's phone conversations in which he basically admitted we didn't belong there but stayed anyway.

I was in high school when LBJ sent combat troops in 1965 and I thought it an unnecessary war of choice at the time. I have yet to see any evidence that changes my mind.
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:47 PM
 
4,041 posts, read 1,838,530 times
Reputation: 3236
Quote:
Originally Posted by 17thAndK View Post
It's the American Legion and VFW that you'd want to address those latter sorts of complaints to. They were the ones who reviled Nam vets as dope-smoking long-hairs who never fought in any real war to begin with. The anti-war people were more about welcoming their friends who survived back into the fold.

In my case this is the opposite of what I encountered..........
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Boonies of N. Alabama
2,323 posts, read 2,102,684 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffdoorgunner View Post
In my case this is the opposite of what I encountered..........

Ditto.
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Gulf Coast
1,036 posts, read 547,187 times
Reputation: 2034
Being that this is in the TV threads, what this series has done for us, opening up the subject on tv all over again... is that now my DH is talking about it. He found a site where one can put their company etc. in and ask if anyone was there. He's told me some stories, some were the same ones I'd heard but now I'm getting the feeling behind the stories.

Though he stayed on a base mostly performing engineering support, he did guard duty and other things off base like emptying stuff at their dump, etc. He did tell me some of the awful things he saw along the way. He does not regret staying away from the most horrific spots where all around him were being killed daily, living in ditches filled with water, etc.

I asked him if he was homesick and he said h___ no. Said he was enjoying it to an extent; out on his own, etc. and the only thing he absolutely hated was military officials acting stupid, giving stupid orders that had no common sense in them and even resulted in people getting killed and him getting shot by a very scared youngster who was handed ammunition.... I think they knew he did not have the blind respect for them they wanted, because dumb orders are just dumb orders and he wasn't impressed. So they didn't ask him to stay in, though he'd decided he wanted to stay in VN another year as long as they just left him alone to do his job... and that's not what the Military wants.

Anyway, without this series on I'd never know a lot of these things. I am finding I'm a bit depressed after watching it so much. Anybody else?
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:47 AM
 
Location: By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea
54,195 posts, read 38,256,957 times
Reputation: 26685
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Answers View Post
Being that this is in the TV threads, what this series has done for us, opening up the subject on tv all over again... is that now my DH is talking about it. He found a site where one can put their company etc. in and ask if anyone was there. He's told me some stories, some were the same ones I'd heard but now I'm getting the feeling behind the stories.

Though he stayed on a base mostly performing engineering support, he did guard duty and other things off base like emptying stuff at their dump, etc. He did tell me some of the awful things he saw along the way. He does not regret staying away from the most horrific spots where all around him were being killed daily, living in ditches filled with water, etc.

I asked him if he was homesick and he said h___ no. Said he was enjoying it to an extent; out on his own, etc. and the only thing he absolutely hated was military officials acting stupid, giving stupid orders that had no common sense in them and even resulted in people getting killed and him getting shot by a very scared youngster who was handed ammunition.... I think they knew he did not have the blind respect for them they wanted, because dumb orders are just dumb orders and he wasn't impressed. So they didn't ask him to stay in, though he'd decided he wanted to stay in VN another year as long as they just left him alone to do his job... and that's not what the Military wants.

Anyway, without this series on I'd never know a lot of these things. I am finding I'm a bit depressed after watching it so much. Anybody else?

I was opposed to the war from the start and nothing's changed my thinking that it was one of our greatest foreign policy blunders. What depresses me is we've apparently learned nothing from the experience.
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