Skip to comments.Best Critique of Burns Vietnam
Posted on 09/22/2017 11:10:12 AM PDT by grayhog
Steve Sherman and VVFFH are reviewing each episode, pointing out the falsehoods, misrepresentations, outright lies and propaganda as they come up. Here is a summary of the first episode:
Segment One: (1945-1959)
Fails to mention that Ho Chi Minh was a Comintern (Soviet) agent for nearly 20 years, not a nationalist as portrayed in the documentary. If he was a true nationalist, he would have worked with the other anti-French nationalists (VNQDD, Dai Viet, Catholic, Cao Dai, etc.) instead of betraying them to the French Surete to be imprisoned or killed. He also murdered many anti-French nationalists and Vietnamese patriots because they would not adopt the measures and policy objectives of the Viet Minh. If Ho was a nationalist first and communist second, so were Stalin, Mussolini (was a communist before he formed the fascist movement), and Mao all were socialists first and nationalists second. Even Hitler was a socialist, if not a communist. Also, if Ho was a nationalist, why was he an officer in the PLA and why was he sent to Thailand by the Comintern to build the communist party there? No, Ho was a communist first period!
The portrayal of Ho as someone who admired the US and our policies is a false one. Ho was in dire straits at the end of WWII and he was desperate for any help he could receive. The Chinese Nationalists controlled China in 1945 and Maos base was in northwest China (Yennan), far from Vietnam. The idea that some sort of deal could be made with Ho to turn him into a Tito is not supported by any evidence, only supposition. Ho curried favor with the Americans simply because the Nationalist Chinese were not providing his communist guerrillas with any assistance after 1942 and he was willing to do just about anything to get US money and military equipment, using the gullible (and pro-communist) elements in the OSS to achieve it. The largest anti-Japanese guerrilla force in Vietnam during WWII was the one controlled by the Chinese Nationalists, not Hos small force. This all changed when the Nationalist left Vietnam in early 1946. Once Mao took over China in 1949, the French colonial control of Vietnam was doomed.
No mention is made of the fact that only ONE US pilot shot down over Vietnam in WWII was rescued by Hos organization. The rest were rescued by Chinese Nationalist/Vietnamese forces. The reason for such poor results is Ho had very few guerrilla fighters in the field when the OSS visited him. He was simply making an empty promise when he told them he would rescue downed American flyers.
The communists convinced the Vietnamese people to die so that the communists could ride in the government limousines.
Burns is the gospel for Liberals.... he will not be challenged in the schools.... THEIR propaganda will not be derailed
VVFH link seems to be down.
I think we (Freepers) broke the site. Hope they can get it back up. Excellent point by point commentary.
If Nixon had cranked up the B52s and went into Cambodia the week after he took office he could have won the war
Instead of putzing around like he did till he finally took action to get the POWs back and a peace treaty signed
But then he was neutered by Watergate and the War was lost
We need the other episodes done also. Very interesting. Can’t wait. Pls post here if we can’t get the site.
I did like Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary before so I’m interested in the Vietnam Veteran perspective on his latest film. I’ll check back later today. Thank you.
Thanks for linking this resource. I’ve watched each episode and have my own personal critique so it’s good to have further references. The first episode covered time before I was alive so those details are particularly helpful.
He’s right on.
Ho was a typical Commie thug.
I have noticed that only battles discussed so far are the ones where we or the ARVN had it rough. The method is to make audience think that we just lost over and over against a skilled enemy.
They’re propagandists and liars: in almost all major battles, we creamed them. Operations Hastings and Prairie, Hue City, Khe Sanh - we killed them in heaps.
But if showed any of that, goodbye to the underlying narrative that we were doomed from the beginning.
Anyone who expects the media to be honest on Vietnam is dreaming.
I know this below is a bit lengthy, but this is an interesting element to fit into the puzzle at that time albeit early in the stage of developments.
Anyone who followed the activities of Joseph McCarthy are probably aware that the US government was riddled with a huge number government employees, who, if not outright Soviet Agents (such as Alger Hiss) were "Fellow Travelers".
Particularly infiltrated and corrupted was the State Department. When the Communists took over China shortly after WWII, the cry became "Who Lost China", and any attempt to fix that lost foothold in the Truman Administration which was ultimately culpable.
The State Department (which advised the Truman administration on China affairs) had three officials in China who fed the State Department and the White House with the critical information they used to guide affairs with China. They were the ones typing up situation reports on a routine basis, which were sent back to Foggy Bottom and shared with the White House. Since the USA was considered to be better connected and equipped and knowledgeable in China to report on these things, the British government asked us to share our reports with them, and they guided their China policies accordingly.
Interestingly, this process also worked in reverse to monitor and set national policy in the Balkans, where we took our cues, reports, information and suggestions from the British Foreign Service who supplied them to us, since they were considered to be better connected, equipped, and knowledgeable about the Balkans.
But what the vast majority of Americans don't know is that the American State Department team in China, and the British Foreign Service team in the Balkans, were both composed of Soviet agents. In the case of Chiang Kai Shek and the nationalists in China, and the pro-American partisans led by Draza Mihailovich in Yugoslavia, both were betrayed by these agents, Chiang Kai Shek was exiled (he was lucky) and the non-communists supporting him were destroyed (if not then, through the upcoming purges through the Sixties) and Mihailovich was captured, tried and executed as were many of his partisans who he led.
These two Soviet agents in Chunking (John Stewart Service and Solomon Adler) who worked for the State Department and the third one, a Chinese national (Chi Chao-ting, who was educated in the US, and was an economist working for the KMT (Kuomintang) government who was also a soviet agent) all lived in the same building. Service and Adler shared an apartment, and Chi Chou-ting lived in the floor above them. They would all get together and bang out their reports, deliberately trashing Chiang Kai Shek and the KMT as deeply as they could manage to do without someone having reason to call them out on it, and building up the "Yenan Comrades" (Led by Mao and Chou En Lai) to a ridiculous degree. When you read the verbiage of the reports, it is hard to see how someone didn't call them out, but they accepted them. They deliberately did this in such a way to reinforce and buttress the reports coming from General Stilwell, so it would look like two independent sources of info that aligned. In actuality, Gen. Stilwell was blinded by his hate for Chaing Kai Shek and blew every negative thing wildly out of proportion and openly encouraged his staff to do so as well. (Stilwell was a great admirer of Agnes Smedley who was a well known writer and later accused of espionage) This, coupled with their unbelievably ridiculous assessment of Mao as an "Agrarian Reformer" dedicated to "the same kind of democracy we have in America", convinced our administration not to support the KMT.
Fantastically enough, we had pledged $800 million in gold bullion to the KMT government along with armaments, and elements in the State Department deliberately sabotaged the process, delaying shipments, to the point Chiang Kai Shek was screaming for promised military equipment to fight both the Chinese Communists and the Japanese, and when confronted, delayed them some more.
All that said, there were elements working against any kind of aid getting to the Chinese Nationalist government from the USA, and there was therefore nothing to send anything to French Indochina. So there would be no rapprochement with them of any kind.
One thing that I learned a few years back was that the Colonial French had been fighting in Asia for some time when we entered.
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