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Special Report | Burns / Novick PBS Series 'The Vietnam War': The Critics Speak Out

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Everything wrong with the new ten-part PBS documentary on the Vietnam War is apparent in the first five minutes.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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6 New Items including:

6) America’s Amnesia
5) The Killing of History
4) Making history safe again: What Ken Burns gets wrong about Vietnam
3) Does Vietnam Even Matter Any More? Does Ken Burns?
2) There Is No Rehabilitating the Vietnam War
1) The Ken Burns Vietnam War Documentary Glosses Over Devastating Civilian Toll

Fall, 2017 |

6) America’s Amnesia, Thomas A. Bass, Vietnam Full Disclosure 
Everything wrong with the new ten-part PBS documentary on the Vietnam War is apparent in the first five minutes. A voice from nowhere intones about a war “begun in good faith” that somehow ran off the rails and killed millions of people. We see a firefight and a dead soldier in a body bag being winched into a helicopter, as the rotor goes thump, thump, thump, like a scene from Apocalypse Now. Then we cut to a funeral on Main Street and a coffin covered in Stars and Stripes, which multiply, as the camera zooms out, into dozens and then hundreds of flags, waving like a hex against warmongers who might be inclined to think that this film is insufficiently patriotic.



5) The Killing of History, John Pilger, Consortium News
PBS’ “The Vietnam War” may show some of the conflict’s horrors but still soft-pedals the horrific war crimes that America inflicted on Vietnam, fitting with a corporate-dependent documentary project.




4) Making history safe again: What Ken Burns gets wrong about Vietnam, Patrick Lawrence, Salon <>
Historian Christian Appy: Vietnam was not a “tragic misunderstanding” but a campaign of “imperial aggression”



https://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/views-article/ken-burns-vietnam-no-big-picture.jpg?itok=oPqHmhF2 A U.S. B-66 Destroyer and F-105 Thunderchief dropping bombs on North Vietnam during Operation Rolling Thunder on June 14, 1966. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

3) Does Vietnam Even Matter Any More? Does Ken Burns? Robert Freeman, Common Dreams

"There's no scoping out," the author writes. "That is intentional."



https://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/views-article/vietnam_legacy_0.jpg?itok=gp6WLP-V The Vietnam War, writes Freeman, "must be remembered and condemned for the debacle it actually was." (Image: vietnamfulldisclosure.org)

2) There Is No Rehabilitating the Vietnam War, Robert Freeman, Common Dreams
There is enormous pressure and a lot of money working to rehabilitate Vietnam, to put the guilt and the shame of it behind us. But it was precisely the guilt of the people, their shame at what was being done in their name, and their courage to denounce it that made it impossible for their government to carry out the savagery any longer.



https://cdn01.theintercept.com/wp-uploads/sites/1/2017/09/vietnam-war-ken-burns-nick-turse-lede-1506546389-article-header.jpg1) The Ken Burns Vietnam War Documentary Glosses Over Devastating Civilian Toll, Nick Turse, The Intercept

If you really want to get a sense of “what happened” in Vietnam, just imagine that you’re actually crouched in your basement, that your home above is ablaze, that lethal helicopters are hovering overhead, and that heavily-armed teenagers — foreigners who don’t speak your language — are out there in your yard, screaming commands you don’t understand, rolling grenades into your neighbor’s cellar, and if you run out through the flames, into the chaos, one of them might just shoot you.



Related:

Special Report | Ken Burns / Lynn Novick PBS Documentary Series 'The Vietnam War' Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

The series will almost certainly avoid the fundamental moral issues that define the US as an historically imperial, dangerous, and deceitful political/economic nation state and culture.

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