Re Ken Burns' Viet Nam War. Your Feelings, Thoughts? Then and/or Now.

In 1952 I came back from the Korean War. In 1954 France lost its colony in SE Asia and I was soon hearing of American advisors there. I didn't know why they were there but I had other concerns. I was in college making a future for myself.

In 1965 I heard of President Johnson's sending half a million men to war there and was 'spitting angry'. "What are we doing there?" I asked.' I had doubted the Falling Dominoes story but had nothing to replace it.

In 1978 a newspaper article told of an American oil company negotiating with Communist China for drilling rights in the Tonkin Gulf. Suddenly I knew why America had been in that war.

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Gwaithmir, do you recall the earlier series well enough to describe briefly what you thought was better?

I've seen several of Burns' productions and they all have emotional appeal, with notes from letters or comtemporary documents, interviews and such.

The earlier series went into the politics in more detail and dealt with the facts more dispassionately. Also, Will Lyman is a better narrator. From what I saw, Burns is pretty much using all of the same news footage as the older documentary.

Burns did an okay job with the Vietnam series. Of course it wasn't as good as a University class would have been, or some of the books I read.  The people I've met and know that went through wars don't talk about it. It's too complex and painfull. A documentary series won't be able to explain the complexities of war.

It seems some people need an enimy. 

The so called ISIS movement and  other eligious movements isn't going to end by killing others.  That endless battle has gone on since apes began thinking they were humans.

I agree, Tom, my husband was caught up in President Johnsons' call, I asked the commanding general of Don's unit why we were involved in that war and he gave me the same answers as the news outlets reported. While Don was away, I read everything I could on the history of Viet Nam and I, too, came to understand that we were fighting over oil in competition with Communist China. 

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