Skip to comments."The War" (by Ken Burns) Part 5 of 7; Airing on PBS @ 7PM Central 9-30-07
Posted on 09/30/2007 5:10:22 PM PDT by VOA
Please see following posts for URL links to the
discussion threads for Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the series.
(VOA's boilerplate from prior threads)
All commentary regarding personal experience, family tales of WWII,
and critique of how Burns (and PBS) handles topics are welcome.
Hopefully the threads on the seven episodes will serve as
guides when this large documentary becomes required viewing in
Comments on how Burns handled the documenatry (positive,
negative, or neutral) will come in handy when "the younger
generation" sees the series. Especially if Burns takes a
"Smithsonian" tact to some topics...leaving people to wonder
"who the good guys were" during the epic struggle.
they just used the vilest of profanity. Unbelievable.
People used the F word in those days? shocking.
Situation Normal All F**ked (Fouled) Up
“they just used the vilest of profanity. Unbelievable.”
For a moment I thought I was having an auditory hallucination.
Thank goodness the niece we’re babysitting wasn’t in the room!
I guess that settles it...I’ll be watching the replay at 9PM after
my young charge is picked up by my brother and SIL.
I’m no prude and use those words occassionally...a couple of times
when I was coming out of the anesthsia after surgery!
Leave it to Burns/PBS to go for an Emmy via the low rode.
That sort of “shock value” is something that PBS would say is
“beneath them” any other day of the week.
Links to discussion threads on Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 as well as other useful links.
URL for thread on Part 1
URL for thread on Part 2 (Monday 9-24-07)
URL for thread on Part 3 (Tuesday 9-25-07)
URL for thread on Part 4 of 7; Airing on PBS @ 7PM Central 9-26-07 http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1902654/posts
URLs for PBS websites:
URL to check listing for local PBS stations:
PBS website for Ken Burns The War
“People used the F word in those days? shocking.”
Some people. And even yours truly when a surgeon has taken a knife
to my rib-cage.
But on regular network TV, Ken Burns and PBS seem to own the franchise.
I guess Burns never studied the films of Hitchcock.
Intimating is very often MUCH more effective than “just putting it
Well, maybe he studied Hitchcock and rejected that “old school stuff”.
bump for now;
I’ll be watching the 9PM re-airing...
> FUBAR? SNAFU?
There are a large number of people who use these terms,
and have no idea that they are acronyms.
Hillary is one of them.
She once described some Clinton White Trash House
scandal as just a “snafu”.
What’s revealing is not so much that she was
apparently unaware of what the “f.u.” stood for,
but the freudian slip about the “s.n.” part.
“They train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won’t allow them to write f*ck on their airplanes because it’s obscene!”
Watched parts of a couple of episodes. Saw the usual Japanese as victims in concentration camps story line. Nothing to watch after that apology crap.
Well, the victim parade continues. After reminding us that minorities were the real victims of World War II, we are told tonight that the rest of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines were victims too. Victims of stupid military leaders and of a pointless and senseless war. How much better would we have been if only Harry Reid had been President - we could have surrendered on December the 8th and avoided this tragedy.
Burns also featured survivors of the Bataan Death March. The Japanese didn’t seem like victims there.
But, tonight’s episode is carrying a political message that misrepresents the commitment and courage of the men who fought this war and the officers who lead them.
My father, a Veteran of this great triumph, would be insulted and disgusted. I’ll give this another ten minutes. But, methinks I’m done with it.
I was wrong, we’re not done with the minority victim parade. We are being reminded once again that we locked up the Japanese in Concentration Camps and that blacks served in segregated units. These two facts are the most important things to know about WWII. What do you want to bet that we are not going to be told that the Japanese conducted medical experiments on American POW’s and even ate them. Not important.
I am done with this. Joseph Goebbels could not have done a better job of slandering what America did in WWII. Unfortunately, this is all that the uneducated masses will see and know. Turning to a very mediocre football game.
I know a bunch of those folks. You owe them an apology. They withstood with the greatest dignity an imprisonment that’d left you a quivering hunk of useless protoplasmic excrement.
I know there are people who think all the death and carnage was some sort of requirement to be worked out existentially, but they are in error.
This is total propaganda tonight making American Marines the bad guys. I said to heck with the other episodes because I knew the Director, Burns is a flaming anti-war liberal.
My father, who fought bravely on Luzon, Phillipines, would kick the living crap out of Burns for this travesty tonight.
My mother's eldest brother served in Pelau ~ he said it was crap.
Turned out it was crap ~ a two year long battle with massive casualties for no discernible purpose.
Man didn't come back the same.
And who would have known this at the time? What if Germany had produced a nuke first? When you return from your trip to Neptune, let me know.
I agree with your post.
My Dad would have watched every moment of this ...I am glad he was spared this insult.
I was going to buy this series. Now not only will I save my money, but I will not waste my time watching one more minute of Mr. Burns’ great delusional adventure.
The Japanese were almost as close to building nukes as we were and had construction underway on giant submarines that could carry planes close enough to the US to mount raids.
But that'd been on the West Coast ~ which was terribly underpopulated and undeveloped at the time ~ not a major threat to most Americans or their property.
Few extra billion bucks in the project, and we could have had those bombs earlier and been bombing Berlin in late 1944.
Thinly veiled anti war revisionism. Burns is the military’s equivalent of a “jock sniffer”.
The Joe Medicine Crow was a bit of sunshine.
Extending mercy and fulfilling the four requirements to be a cadidate
for chief...pretty good.
And totally consistent with the Indians (yeah, Native Americans)
my dad grew up with in Oklahoma.
I don’t know the number, but the Indian males sign up at a high percentage
for a military hitch...in war or peace.
I have to agree with most of the negative posts. I was pretty fed up after the 2nd part but continue to watch. Tonight reached new lows. Thought I saw Kerry once or twice. The narration seems to be where the crap comes from not the Vets that are doing the talking.
The constant identity politics are beginning to grate on me. It’s never enough just to report shared experience, everything must be filtered through a cultural identity. It’s never “In the war, I experienced....” It must always be stated as “As a member of X group, in the war I experienced...”
I flipped to the series at a truly random time. The show was in the throes of Japanese internment. I thought it was the height of atrocious luck on my part, but I lost all desire to see more, and I managed to avoid melancholy over anything I might have missed. It struck me as a Ken Burns agenda piece. You can have my part of it.
"The constant identity politics are beginning to grate on me. "
As a tenured faculty member of color,
I'm inclined to agree.
That seemed to be the sense of the entire episode.
Actually, the letter to which you refer I thought was entirely plausable. There was another statement that I turned to my spouse and said. That is hind-sight observation. Can’t remember which one of the speakers it referred to.
Well, I don’t know what kind of experience you guys are looking for. We are living in a partitioned society and apparently its important to find veterans from every ethnic group and race so that the show appeals to everybody. Okay, fair enough, I can work around that. As I know from looking at my kids history text thats the way they write history now. I tell him I remember when Sojourner Truth wasn’t considered an important American historic character.
After watching a couple of these episodes now I guess I understand what the Mexican-American community was complaining about. They didn’t get their fair share of representation. If we are going to feature white, black, red, and yellow Americans we damn well better feature some brown. I’m sure there were a lot more people of Hispanic heritage in the U.S. military than Japanese. Its hard to believe that the PBS crew would screw up racial math since they invented it.
The “four towns” approach doesn’t really ring true to me. The woman, (researcher?) who appeared said that method wasn’t working for them so they decided to find some notable World War II survivors like Paul Fussel and hang the story on them, find out where they were from and then work the 4 town angle down from there. They just picked the home towns of their featured veterans.
I mean, its clearly a PBS product, but for all of that it doesn’t seem unwatchable. I’m fascinated by personal stories and memoirs and this does a pretty good job of bringing some pretty interesting stories to the screen. You guys complaing seem like you are really reaching to find something wrong with this.
My dad would have been insulted as well.
What battalion was your dad in? My dad fought on Luzon as well.
Paul Fussell is a well known anti-war leftist. He is no more the voice of WWII infantrymen than Elton John would be. Just because he served doesn’t mean that his distorted view of what happened has to be accepted.
The one good thing that Fussell has done in his miserable life is to collect and publish war poetry, primarily from WWI. Beyond that I have no use for him and his opinion. I suspect that he was a pretty poor platoon leader.
When Hitch was free of studio era censorship in 1972’s Frenzy, he filmed one of the most explicit disturbing rape/murder scenes of all time.
Maybe I missed my point. The one letter that was not sent was from the perspective of he was in a war of death. He was honest about his feelings and there was no political slant whatsoever.
The other statement was from a guy who actually made a 180 degree turn. He commented something about if our legislators had to experience war, blah blah blah. That is the statement I thought was hindsight—I question that being a battlefield thought although I suppose it could have been. Might be I perceived it incorrectly. Thus, to me the statement was entirely after-the-fact and did not represent what I thought this series was about.
Not exactly. D-Day on Peleliu was 15 September 1944. Organized resistance was declared over on 27 November 1944, not quite two years.
Your point however has merit. The campaign in the Central Pacific was hamfisted at best. Brute Force and Ignorance, and it cost many American lives, unecessarily.
MacArthur, who gets slammed by Kenny Burns and his buddies was far more judicious in his campaign in the SW Pacific. He tended to attack where the Japanese weren't and bypassed their strong points leaving them to wither on the vine.
But, remember, the idea was to defeat the Japanese and put an end to the Greater Far East Asia Co-Proserity Sphere. This, your uncle, my father, and many others did. What has Kenny Burns done?
Just read through a couple of brief references, and the whole thing started with a decision in 1942 that the US would need the small airstrip on Palau.
Amazingly by the time they decided to invade they didn't need that airstrip because aircraft had been improved substantially.
The whole point was it was a glorious battle with a lot of bravery, and it didn't have to be fought ~ just another island that probably should have been skipped over.
In the future guys on couches who look like they're playing video games will be doing all the combat.
We'll have total replay available of every single action.
Historians will lose their jobs too.
“When Hitch was free of studio era censorship in 1972s Frenzy, he filmed
one of the most explicit disturbing rape/murder scenes of all time.”
I didn’t know that.
But I did read the recent biography of Jimmy Stewart (by Marc Eliot?).
It had a fair bit about the Hitchcock-Stewart work, including a
lot of psycho-sexual commentary about Hitchcock’s casting of “Rope”.
Hitchcock was an “of his own kind” type of director...and sure sounded
like he had some personal kinks he was working out.
So, I’m a bit suprised about sexual violence in “Frenzy”...
and also not all that shocked.
Well, I guess I should restate: too bad Burns doesn’t stick with
the ‘implication” technique of Hitchcock...pre-”Frenzy”.
from what I understood we were destroying the airfield so Japanese wouldn't use it to attack our forces during the other island attacks.
Related thread on “The War”:
PBS showing right now the Battle of Peleliu during WW2
PBS | 09-30-07 | Me
I've also tuned into "The War" at random times as other FReepers have said (I haven't watched it straight through). Seems like an awful downer... constant gloom and doom.
I would love to see MRC or NewsBusters do a thorough analysis of "The War" as well. We were also planning to buy the box set and view it at another (less busy) time, but now I'm having second thoughts.