Skip to comments.Dropping The Bomb on Vietnam Myths
Posted on 11/13/2005 3:25:47 PM PST by Daralundy
Last week, co-author of Stolen Valor: How the Vietnam Generation was Robbed of its Heroes and its History B.G. Burkett, shed light on wide-spread and completely false misconceptions surrounding the Vietnam War. While trying to raise funds for a Texas Vietnam memorial, he realized that the media's influence and false coverage had altered the memory of Vietnam for the worse.
Correlating Burkett's lecture and the Vietnam War with something the UD core esteems, Thomas G. West, politics professor, drew upon Plato's image of the cave in his introduction.
"We here at UD read Plato's Republic and are shown Plato's cave, but what does that mean in the real world? Plato's cave suggests that the human condition is that we are all living underground chained in, with our eyes riveted on the wall in front of us where we see nothing but shadows made by people hiding behind us. We think the shadows are reality," he said.
West explained how Plato's Cave is still pertinent today. "If that image is true, it means that we as Americans and UD students for the most part believe a lot of nonsense; we believe things that are just not true. Another thing that we learn from the philosophers is just how hard it is to get out of the cave. We talk about the cave, but most people who talk about it are still in the cave. They say, 'well I've done the UD core curriculum-I'm out of the cave, I'm wise, I'm a philosopher' but when you ask them about current events you get the standard opinions," he explained.
(Excerpt) Read more at udallasnews.com ...
All Burketts are not the same.
This is unbelievable, but it sounds typical of lib propaganda apparati.
His research found that the stories of returning Vietnam vets being heroin addicts, wife-beaters, and violent criminals were far from the truth. He found that vets had higher income and lower rates of crimes that they committed than the national average.
I read an article that stated flat-out that 25% of all Vietnam vets have experimented with heroin and that 50% were addicted to one or more drugs upon return to the states. It's been a long time, I sure would like to find that article again and call out the author on it, because it is total crap.
Today it's the war of "torture."
Myths, myths, damn lies and the "anti-war"-MSM complex, Rats, and more.
During the 2004 election at least one Freeper posted the opinion that he'd be glad when all the old folks were dead so there would be no more talking about Viet Nam. Many elsewhere agreed.
Well, if they all only knew how much today's "anti-war"-MSM complex resembles the 1960s and 70s maybe they'd realize how you really can learn from history.
Few in the "anti-war"-MSM complex want a victory by radical Muslims unlike before when the "anti-war"-MSM complex favored their Ho in Hanoi. But today's "anti-war"-MSM complex do want the U.S. to be humiliated. IMO. Thus their turn to twist and lie, twist and lie, twist and lie . . . .
Excellent article! Very much worth bookmarking.
That is news to me (though not a surprise). The anti-American Media has done well to keep that fact from my attention for forty years.
Thanks for posting this.
This may well be one of the most "view-changing" articles I've ever been privileged to read.
Not only do I find it refreshing of my view of my country/government in the way it prosecutes wars it has to fight, but it also dramatically highlights the power of the press to "bend" reality and to affect opinions that become concrete, widely held and magnificently in error.
At the time the Communists had lots of "wars of liberation" going on worldwide and supported by the Soviets. Little mention was made of SEATO in the MSM after Kennedy.
Yet another similarity to today, when was the last time the MSM said anything about the U.N. resolutions leading up to actions against Saddam?
"Back, around the late 70's Teddy Kennedy had a $10 million government grant to have a building in Boston for all the homeless Vietnam veterans. Several of guys gave testimonies about how they ended up on the street after Vietnam, but I got the military records of those individuals and virtually none of them were Vietnam veterans," he said.
Burkett said other investigations have shown that very few "homeless veterans" were in the military.
Saying "I'm wise, I'm a philosopher" is a contradiction in terms. Sophistry is the claiming of wisom, and philosophy is the rejection of the claim of wisdon (reckoning that any claim of a virtue is the vice of arrogance) and steadfast openness to facts and logic - being a "lover of wisdom."
A claim of objectivity is the journalist's stand-in for a claim of wisdom; I doubt that "unwise objectivity" is logically possible. In any case objectivity is a virtue and it would be arrogant for me to claim that I have it.
Combine arrogance with the systematic superficiality of speaking only of very recent events - as if every day's events were of equal significance - and you have in journalism a perfect storm of tendentiousness. Naturally journalists propose that they are superior in virtue to the Vietnam vet - if they did not obfuscate the issue it would be all too obvious that the contrary is true.
Here's a link to a wonderful article about Vietnam by Freeper marron:
11,465 who died were under 20. Which means, that 11,364 were 19 years. little/small difference twixt 18 & 19 years old.
I was 20 when I went and I was "the kid" (for awhile).
I was thinking the same thing. In fact I was thinking the MSM has greatly improved its propaganda techniques.
I did not say that. I was taking this author at his word and I think he was right. I was simply noting how well MSM propaganda has worked.
I thank you for serving our country!
As good as the article is, the book is even better. The research Burkett did and listed in this book make sit worhty of being required reading in our schools. That will never happen, though, too many leftist socialists still brainwashing our young how evil we reall are for Viet Nam.
If any have no read this book, please find a copy and read it, excellent reading and a lot of myths dispelled.
It wasn't unpopular. Both major parties supported the war for the first 3 years of major US force involvement. The Democratic party, only, then split over the war. It did not decide against it, it split down the middle. The Republican party was in favor of continuing the mission. So were the American people, and the Dems lost power at the presidential level because of their split, and southern defections (they had their own civil war over desegregation at the same time, which the Republicans always favored back to Eisenhower days).
US forces were not worn down by guerillas. The guerillas were utterly defeated by the end of 1968 and no longer a factor. Main force units infiltrating the country from the north, sustained the war. They had borne the brunt of the major engagements for years already, but after 68 they were all that was left, really.
US forces were not withdrawn due to popular opinion moving against the war after Tet. Half the Democratic party - the left half - moved against the war, because they wanted the north to win. As fellow communists. The American people remained in support. Nixon deliberately transfered security responsibilities from US ground forces to ARVN forces, supported by extensive US air power, in order to reduce US losses and maintain political support at home. Successfully - he kept that support.
By 1972 nearly all US ground forces had been withdrawn, and Nixon was able to end the draft. The north invaded the south with conventional military forces, both across the DMZ directly from the north, and through Laos and Cambodia, where they had been operating for years. ARVN fought them off with strong US airpower support. The Dems nominated a peace candidate in favor of immediate withdrawal. Nixon defeated him in a landslide - the peace platform got its chance at the polls and lost completely. Nixon had full public support for his ARVN plus US air approach.
Nixon then forced the north to the bargaining table with extensive air attacks on downtown Hanoi. The north backed down.
By mid 1973, the US public supported everything that had been done, US forces were basically gone but US airpower remained ready to support SVN, SVN was independent and free and defended by its own armed forces. There was no defeat, ARVN had successfully withstood the north's best shot with US air support, which wasn't going anywhere. Moreover, by making his trip to China Nixon had divided the major powers supporting NVN.
Then came Watergate and the left's destruction of the Nixon presidency over matters unrelated to the war, aided by Nixon's hamfistedness and sleazy domestic political operations. Until that happened, the war was not lost, it was in all essentials won.
The left took power in the 1974 congressional elections, right after Nixon resigned. It passed resolutions that prevented any US airpower support for SVN. At the same time, the USSR sent enough modern tanks and armored vehicles to NVN, to give them more armored fighting power than the Germans invaded Poland with in 1939.
There wasn't a guerilla anywhere in SVN at this point. The country was secure, under ARVN control.
The north then attacked the south across its borders with massed armor in a classic "blitzkrieg" - no guerilla anything involved. The south begged for US airpower support against the Russian armor. Ford wanted to comply. The US congress forbid him to do so. The NVN armor then ran over the ARVN, leading to the famous scenes at the US embassy - three years after major US forces had left.
Notice, the ARVN were the last to give up.
The NVN proceeded to kill a million people in SVN, and a million more fled the country in rickety boats.
Simultaneously, the Khymer Rogue took over Cambodia and killed several million people.
The left cheered both. I swear I am not making this up.
That is what actually happened in Vietnam. It was lost in the Watergate building, not the rice paddies. US Congressional orders and thousands of Russian armored vehicles were the minimum winning coalition, not disgruntled peasants in pajamas.
It is amazing how few Americans know this completely history. The left has consistently protrayed the conflict as though Nixon did not exist, and as though the country stopped supporting the war as soon as the Democratic party split. They confuse opinion among the new left with the opinion of the whole country.
In fact, the whole country abandoned them the instant they stopped supporting our troops. And only empowered them when it thought the war was over as an issue, and domestic corruption was the issue they thought they were voting on.