The Vietnam War - Ken Burns PBS

Altair

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MARS said:
You are indeed in for a treat. It was the first Ken Burns show I watched.

And I agree with Altair - Civil War was even better, and I say that as someone with zero interest in the topic.  I think  perhaps its because Civil War doesn't have the benefit of tv footage to rely on for its story telling..only photographs and letters read aloud...something about that made it a little..haunting, I guess.  Definitely worth checking out as well.
In the civil war,  it was much easier to relate to both sides of the conflict. They had letters from soldiers all over the north and south at the same place, relating their experiences these battles. Some soldiers stories stop while another's continues along.

In the war,  it was the classic,  america versus evil that has been told a million times,  and sadly,  in much better ways the the war.

Vietnam returned to the soldiers on two sides,  and did a remarkable job of showing the vietcon,  south Vietnam,  north Vietnam, and Americans, but this war was not so much a war on the ground as it was a series of presidents trying not to be seen as the one to lose the conflict,  with no clear strategy on how to win it.

In short, the civil war was the most pure,  a story of soldiers against other soldiers,  with the perspective of both.

The war was pure,  soldiers against soldiers,  but the axis might as well have been a bunch of faceless,  soulless ghouls.

The Vietnam war did a great job of soldiers against soldiers, but this was a war where you get the sense that nomatter what the soldiers did,  this was a political war that was going to be won or loss in the white house,  not the battlefield. Not pure in that sense,  but still very very solid.
 

Cloud Cover

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I used about 40 minutes of the documentary last week with students in 4th year International Justice - the episode titled “History of the World” and specifically the My Lai massacre, we discussed the legal outcomes, the political sentiment and in particular public sentiment ( which was overwhelmingly not in favour of any prosecution) vs. the military sentiment which apparently approached consensus as a general sentiment of military personnel favouring a quick trial and severe punishment for the lot.
 

tomahawk6

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Cloud Cover said:
I used about 40 minutes of the documentary last week with students in 4th year International Justice - the episode titled “History of the World” and specifically the My Lai massacre, we discussed the legal outcomes, the political sentiment and in particular public sentiment ( which was overwhelmingly not in favour of any prosecution) vs. the military sentiment which apparently approached consensus as a general sentiment of military personnel favouring a quick trial and severe punishment for the lot.

What are you going on about ? Trial and severe punishment for who ? Don't forget your para's in Somalia. So why did Mylai happen and why did your experience in Somalia happen ? Calley served 3.5 years of house arrest and a Federal judge ordered the Army to release him.So far we haven't executed anyone yet although we have a case from 2003 that may see it happen.Then there is ft hood where Hasan killed 13 and wounded 30 some odd. He was sentenced to death but no telling if that sentence will ever go forward.
 

FJAG

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tomahawk6 said:
What are you going on about ? Trial and severe punishment for who ? Don't forget your para's in Somalia. So why did Mylai happen and why did your experience in Somalia happen ? Calley served 3.5 years of house arrest and a Federal judge ordered the Army to release him.So far we haven't executed anyone yet although we have a case from 2003 that may see it happen.Then there is ft hood where Hasan killed 13 and wounded 30 some odd. He was sentenced to death but no telling if that sentence will ever go forward.

Not quite sure that I understand your points. Let me add a few facts to the mix.

In brief, both My Lai and the Shidane Arone incident happened because of less than adequate leadership and sloppy orders and instructions that could be easily confused. In both cases charges were laid against those who directly committed the violent acts as well as the chain of command above them. (noteworthy in My Lai is that the event was covered up for a lengthy period of time and that as a result many of the shooters who were draftees had already been released and had fallen into a grey area where they could no longer be charged pursuant to the Uniform Code of Military Justice as then configured because they were civilians and not by the civilian justice system which at the time had no jurisdiction to try crimes committed in foreign countries.)

The results of trials at all levels were not entirely dissimilar in the two cases at trial or appeal although there was clearly more command and civilian "involvement" in the US cases (Nixon ordering house arrest vice jail, the Federal Court habeas corpus application [incidentally while the hearing judge granted habeas corpus and released Calley, an appeal court overturned that, returned him to jail where his sentence was twice commuted [from life to twenty then ten years]  and eventually he was paroled and his sentence commuted to time served by the Convening Authority and the Secretary of the Army and the fact that numerous charges laid against officers in the chain of command were dropped or discontinued by Convening Authorities etc)

The big difference in the two cases is how the two systems applied the concept of "command responsibility" in these cases. That is somewhat strange as in fact US law and ours tends to follow the same post-WW2 cases that outlined the concept and is generally the same. Nowhere is this difference more obvious than in the acquittal of Capt Medina who directly ordered the killing of civilians at My Lai and Maj Sewards whose was convicted for giving orders that led to Arone's abuse.

Generally, Cloud Cover's statements are fair ones. There clearly was a difference of opinion as between the US military and US public's perception, I think in large part because the military (and especially the US Army's legal system, which clearly understood the various responsibilities up and down the chain of command and laid the appropriate charges once the facts were known) and the public who didn't and saw Calley as an undereducated scapegoat rather than the murder that he was.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_Massacre for a thumbnail view of My Lai and the Peers Inquiry https://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/Peers_inquiry.html for the detailed version

For a Somalia thumbnail see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somalia_affair

:cheers:
 

CBH99

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tixOyiR8B-8


I didn't want to start a new thread, just to post a short video about Vietnam.  This video may have also been included up-thread somewhere, I'm not sure.

This randomly popped up on my Youtube feed over the last few days, so I finally gave it a click.


I really enjoyed it.  Wish it had been longer.


Cheers all
 
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