Tuesday, September 19, 2017

War is hell. 6.

I watched the premiere of the first episode of the new ten-part documentary The Vietnam War on PBS. I thank my mother-in-law for suggesting it.

This long interview with the directors is worth watching. The series took ten years to produce!
They claim understanding this war is key to understanding much of the division that persists in the USA today.

US readers can view the first episode here.

The New York Times review of the series is helpful and insightful.

I learnt a lot of history from the first episode, which covered the period from French colonisation to the French withdrawal, and the beginning of USA escalation. One "trivia" was how the OSS (predecessor of the CIA) originally supported Ho Chi Minh.

Several things are highlighted included the mis-calculations of the French and US, their complete underestimation of the passion and commitment of Vietnamese nationalism, mistakenly imposing a Cold war conflict perspective on a civil war and postcolonial struggle, and the lies that both sides told their people for domestic political purposes.
The metric madness of McNamara played a significant role in the self- and public- deception of US military and political leaders.

Humans have an incredible capacity to hate, to inflict brutalities on one another, to deceive, to believe what they want to believe, and to cling to power.

The most important (and painful) messages are War is Hell, there are no real winners, and people don't learn from history.

No comments:

Post a Comment