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Where Do Babies Come From, and Where Do They Go?

Interactive map of international adoptions, from the superlative Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. The site contains an amazing amount of information about corruption in international adoption in countries like Nepal and Vietnam.
posted by the young rope-rider on Apr 19, 2011 - 18 comments

Coming Home

1699 US Military personnel are still considered as POW or MIA from the Viet Nam conflict, but one is finally coming home. The remains of James Moreland are being returned to the US, and Kathy Strong, who's worn his POW/MIA bracelet since she was 12, can now, 38 years later, take it off.
posted by tomswift on Mar 7, 2011 - 37 comments

Alice's Restaurant

This song is called Alice's Restaurant, and it's about Alice, and the restaurant, but Alice's Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant; that's just the name of the song, and that's why I call the song Alice's Restaurant. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Nov 24, 2010 - 164 comments

Risking everything

On October 5, 2010 PBS' POV aired The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. It can be viewed online through October 27. (alternate vimeo link) [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Oct 7, 2010 - 5 comments

Art of War

Soldier-Artists in Vietnam. Flack jackets, pistols, iodine pills, insect lotion, sketch pads wrapped in plastic bags... Jim Pollock was a member of the Vietnam Combat Artist Program and this is his story (click through the links within the links to learn more).
posted by amyms on Sep 25, 2010 - 7 comments

An ancestor story

đẹp khoe, xấu che, or “show the good, hide the bad” - from the inaugural issue of the Trans Asia Photography Review. [more inside]
posted by unliteral on Sep 5, 2010 - 12 comments

Sterling Hall, 40 years on

“No, no. Academia is now part of the real world. Everything goes.” Just before dawn, on August 24, 1970, Dwight and Karl Armstrong, Leo Burt, and David Fine parked a van outside Sterling Hall at the University of Wisconsin. The van was filled with ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, and when it blew, it killed Robert Fassnacht, a young physicist working through the night. The Army Mathematics Research Center, the bombing's target, was untouched. The bombers, known as the "New Year's Gang," went underground, and enthusiasm for the radical movement in Madison was permanently dampened. The University of Wisconsin collection of transcribed interviews about the Sterling Hall Bombing. [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Aug 21, 2010 - 32 comments

None of them ever came home.

In 2008, The Nation Institute published a lengthy expose (single page) by Sydney H. Schanberg about the role of John McCain in supressing evidence of American prisoners of war who never left Vietnam.

Despite the fact that John McCain based a significant part of his campaign on his military service, the story never attracted any significant media attention. [more inside]
posted by valkyryn on May 28, 2010 - 60 comments

Into The Mud They Go

Yesterday, the New York Times published an investigative report showing Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (D) either lied or spoke ambiguously about serving in Vietnam in several past public appearances. Blumenthal is currently the Democratic frontrunner for Senator Chris Dodd's Senate seat, and is expected to face former WWE CEO Linda McMahon (R). Today, McMahon's campaign announced they "fed" the story to the paper and posted the video of Blumenthal's statement to their YouTube channel. More from Politico. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 18, 2010 - 124 comments

The Twain Shall Meet

Asia Snapshots "is a blog that examines topics in Asia through the perspectives of interesting people interviewed by a group of bloggers in Mainland China, Vietnam, Taiwan, and more." Meet Gao Qingrong and family, who along with seven other households are part of an organic farm co-op in Anlong Village, Sichuan. Or there's the tale of how one of the bloggers met Jun Jun, a male prostitute in Beijing; an encounter with Silang Laji, a road maintenance worker in Kham, a Tibetan region of China; and Gege, an enterprising journalist in Chengdu.Via
posted by Abiezer on Feb 28, 2010 - 4 comments

“A cobra among garter snakes”

He was... "...the meanest, toughest, most ambitious S.O.B. I ever knew but he'll be a hell of a secretary of state." -- Richard Nixon
Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr.,, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, who served US Presidents Nixon (as a military adviser, deputy assistant for national-security affairs, and chief of staff), Ford (chief of staff), and Reagan (secretary of state), has died at the age of 85. Haig commanded a batallion during the Vietnam War (where he was seriously wounded), managed the White House during the Watergate scandal that brought down President Nixon, and was himself a former Presidential candidate. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 20, 2010 - 40 comments

Colonel John Patrick "Jack" Murtha, Jr. (D) June 17, 1932 – February 8, 2010

Earlier today, the first Viet Nam veteran ever elected to congress, died. John Murtha (as of this past Saturday, Pennsylvania’s longest serving congressman) was the 19 term representative of Pennsylvania’s 12th district, most notably the home of Johnstown, and which for most of his service included Shanksville. He was a hawkish, conservative Democrat, infamous for his involvement in the Abscam controversy, and most recently the FBI’s inquiry into the lobbying firm PMA. He could be said to have been very representative, and certainly very supportive of his blue collar district—Pro-gun, anti-abortion, and at first a supporter of the invasion of Iraq, but eventually one of its greatest critics. But that criticism came at a price. John Murtha was 77. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Feb 8, 2010 - 35 comments

Enlightenment by trauma - soldiers speak up

Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don't understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war when it's profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it's profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it's profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it's profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us. — Mike Prysner (YT) [more inside]
posted by knz on Jan 9, 2010 - 52 comments

"We know what happened because he said 'yes'"

Last week on Bill Moyers Journal LBJ tapes were presented detailing Lyndon Johnson's decision to escalate American involvement in Vietnam. Moyers connected these tapes with the current U.S. administration's quest for a solution in the Afghan War. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Nov 27, 2009 - 88 comments

Calley Apologizes for My Lai Massacre

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported today that William Calley spoke to the Kiwanis Club of Greater Columbus on Wednesday. During his remarks he apologized for his role in the My Lai massacre.
“There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai,” Calley said. “I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry.”
The Kiwanis gave him a standing ovation, the first time the club secretary recalls that happening. (Previously)
posted by ob1quixote on Aug 22, 2009 - 106 comments

Vietnam in Pennsylvania

Civil War reenacting is so 2002. Vietnam reenacting is the new black. But really, if reenacting is your thing, you've got lots of wars to choose from.
posted by billysumday on Aug 17, 2009 - 59 comments

Strange

Former US Secretary of Defense and 'architect of the Vietnam War' Robert S. McNamara has died at age 93. [more inside]
posted by lullaby on Jul 6, 2009 - 76 comments

One man's trash is another man's gold

FRONTLINE: Ghana - Digital Dumping Ground On the outskirts of Ghana's biggest city sits a smoldering wasteland, a slum carved into the banks of the Korle Lagoon, one of the most polluted bodies of water on earth. The locals call it Sodom and Gomorrah. One of the biggest fallouts? Identity Theft.
posted by Christ, what an asshole on Jun 26, 2009 - 16 comments

The things they returned

In 1970, while burning captured enemy documents with no military intelligence value, Fred Whitehurst came across a tiny diary. Advised not to burn it by his translator, he kept it and took it with him to America when his tour was over. Thirty five years later, the diary came back home. [more inside]
posted by LenaO on Jun 25, 2009 - 5 comments

a photo returned

A photo returned... A short video of a man returning a photo to the daughter of the man he killed, and from whom he removed the photo, during the war in Viet Nam.
posted by HuronBob on Jun 20, 2009 - 21 comments

A marriage made in water

Last week, following torrential rains, Northern and Central Vietnam suffered their worst flooding in the past 25 years, killing more than 70 people and devastating buildings and crops. Still, life goes on in the inundated Hanoi neighborhoods, and water won't prevent people from walking/driving/boating around the city, getting engaged, marrying and fishing. These folks got their car back and the scenic Ninh Binh region looks like the Ha Long bay. By the way, Google understands vietnamese now.
posted by elgilito on Nov 7, 2008 - 22 comments

Make-Believe Maverick

Make-Believe Maverick. "A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty."
posted by homunculus on Oct 4, 2008 - 120 comments

The Wars of John McCain

The Wars of John McCain. "John McCain believes the Vietnam War was winnable. Now he argues that an Obama administration would accept defeat in Iraq, with grave costs to American honor and national security. Is McCain’s quest for victory a reflection of an antiquated pre-Vietnam mind-set? Or of a commitment to principles we abandon at our peril? Is there any war McCain thinks can’t be won?"
posted by homunculus on Sep 26, 2008 - 93 comments

Political Ephemera from the Vietnam War Era

The University of Washington has put a collection of Vietnam War era printed ephemera (posters, flyers, pamphlets, magazines, mostly cheap mimeographs or photocopies) online. The browsable collection ranges from Defend the Black Panthers to How to Make a Revolution in the U.S. to the Planetary Citizen Human Manifesto to plain old Do Something. The collection offers a fascinating insight into the passion, energy and graphic sensibilities of grassroots, home-front politics in late 1960s and early 1970s Seattle. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Aug 16, 2008 - 18 comments

Rocket pistol

The gyrojet pistol (video) - a handgun firing 13mm rocket ammunition, was an attempt to revolutionise gun design in the 1960s. Around a thousand were produced, and some may have seen use in Vietnam. Rifle and carbine versions were also produced. Design problems meant that it never seriously competed conventional firearms, but there is a modern attempt to revive the concept.
posted by Artw on Jul 26, 2008 - 38 comments

John McCain, Prisoner of War

John McCain, Prisoner of War: A First-Person Account. Originally appeared in the May 14, 1973, issue of U.S.News & World Report. "My six years of hell" is a February 2008 extract from McCain's book Faith of My Fathers.
posted by kirkaracha on Jul 5, 2008 - 82 comments

"What are they gonna do, send you to Vietnam?"

[NSFW]"The following program is in living color and has been rated X by the Vietnam academy of maggots. The purpose of this program is to bring vital news, information and hard acid rock to the first termers and non-re-enlistees in the Republic of Vietnam. Radio First Termer operates under no Air Force regulations or manuals. In the event of a vice squad raid this program will automatically self-destruct." Radio First Termer was a pirate radio show broadcast by "Dave Rabbit," an anonymous USAF sergeant, for 63 hours between January 1st and 21st, 1971, out of the back room of a brothel in Saigon, gracing the dial at 69 MHz and 690 AM. Fearing reprisal from his superiors, Dave Rabbit then shut Radio First Termer down and, after returning to the States, went back to living a normal life. 34 years later, while helping his son on a homework assignment, Dave came across old recordings of his show. He's since revived his old persona via podcast, and has also brought Radio First Termer back to the warzone--to Baghdad, Iraq. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on Jun 11, 2008 - 11 comments

...even after five agonizing years of the Iraq War, a summer blockbuster isn't prepared to say that not only is its action hero is corrupt, he's corrupt because America has become corrupt.

Iron Man, who represents an imperial America, can only win Pyrrhic victories. Spencer Ackerman of Tapped Online has a nice history of the Iron Man comics that reads the character's alcoholism, Civil-War overzealousness, and persistent blundering "into a hell of unintended consequences" as a symbol and subtle critique of American exceptionalism and what Jonathan Schell among others has called "impotent omnipotence".
posted by gerryblog on May 16, 2008 - 123 comments

Showing the horror of war

People can handle the truth about war. Veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas reflects on how the media's willingness to show the horrors of war has changed since Vietnam.
posted by homunculus on May 15, 2008 - 52 comments

The Heartbreak Campaign

The Heartbreak Campaign. "Increasingly opposed to the Vietnam War, Robert F. Kennedy struggled over whether he should challenge his party’s incumbent president, Lyndon Johnson, in 1968. His younger brother, Teddy, was against it. His wife, Ethel, urged him on. Many feared he would be assassinated, like the older brother he mourned." [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on May 10, 2008 - 28 comments

"I find myself looking for catharsis."

The Boneyard. I’ve come to bear witness to American folly, to rest my eyes on the flying machines that flattened the forests of Southeast Asia, poisoned its people, and changed my life. A personal essay about the long-reaching effects of Agent Orange. [more inside]
posted by amyms on Apr 5, 2008 - 14 comments

Interactive Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Interactive Vietnam Veterans Memorial
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 1, 2008 - 26 comments

Massacre at Pinkville

40 years ago tomorrow, more than 500 villagers were raped, tortured, and slaughtered (disturbing images) by American soldiers in a hamlet nicknamed Pinkville. Four Hours in My Lai tells the story. Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Mar 15, 2008 - 45 comments

Strange reunion

Vietnamese maid finds Taiwanese employer is her long-lost dad
posted by Artw on Jan 22, 2008 - 23 comments

Image of the Year.

Image of the Year. From the article: "If you want to go shallow for an Image of the Year, you can't do better than Paris Hilton, seen through the window of a Los Angeles sheriff's car, weeping as she's being hauled back to prison to complete a probation-violation sentence. But when you first notice the credit on that now infamous picture, there's a double take. The image came from the camera of Nick Ut, whose picture of a little girl burned by napalm, naked and running directly toward the camera and into the conscience of the American people, became perhaps the most powerful and influential vision of the Vietnam War. Not only was the Paris Hilton image taken by one of this country's most celebrated war photographers, it was taken June 8, 35 years to the day after the devastating image of 9-year-old Kim Phuc fleeing her bombed-out village. Let's put these two pictures up on the wall together for one last, end-of-the-year look, and see if something emerges."
posted by kittens for breakfast on Dec 30, 2007 - 52 comments

Nellis AFB Air Show.

Wednesday morning plane pr0n.
posted by saladin on Dec 19, 2007 - 46 comments

Found Photos

Man comments on Flickr photos he discarded in an alley dumpster 30 years ago. Vietnam 1967-1968: Darrell Hill, Photographer
posted by thisisdrew on Nov 11, 2007 - 29 comments

"What dreams / Will be left / undreamed tonight?"

For 11/11, soldiers' poems of MACV (and interstitial matter):
I can feel traces of my heart / leaving wet rivers / down my manly cheeks.

Stunned now / angry / helpless / bits of torn paper beside / empty red mailbag.

So / You averted looking directly / at their eyes / (That last graveyard / for their fears)

It's getting hard to talk to you, / You don't seem to communicate; / You get upset too easily, / I only asked what it was really like.
(Previously, previously) [more inside]
posted by orthogonality on Nov 11, 2007 - 8 comments

Supreme Master TV

Supreme Master TV. As advertised on the very back page of this week's Economist Newspaper. It's great when spiritual leaders just come right out and say it. Check out the awesome paintings.
posted by parmanparman on Nov 10, 2007 - 27 comments

Cats and War

What Cats Know About War. A reporter adopts cats to reconnect with life amid unremitting death. [Via linkfilter.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 14, 2007 - 30 comments

Rephotographing Vietnam

Vietnam Then/Now. The enormously talented photographer courtneyutt traveled to Vietnam with her father, who served in 1970-1971. courtneyutt turned his Vietnam photo album into a rephotography project, revisiting pagodas, roundabouts, waterfalls, etc. etc. Ain't never been there, but I can tell you, Vietnam has really changed. Nothing warlike here -- she says, "my father was mostly interested in buildings! which makes sense, because after he returned from vietnam he became an architect." (See previous rephotography projects on mefi here and here. Nothing as personal as courtneyutt's.)
posted by dbrown on Sep 20, 2007 - 8 comments

This can still happen

It's the Vietnam War. Nixon has declared a state of emergency and allows for secret tribunals against anti-war protesters, draft dodgers, and others guilty of "hindering the war effort." They have two choices: spend 15 to 20 years in a federal penitentiary or spend 3 days in Punishment Park, where they will have 3 days to trek 50 miles in the California desert without food and water while on pursuit by armed National Guard and police units. Watch Peter Watkin's (previously) "documentary" of Punishment Park here (Google Video, with strong language ).
posted by champthom on Aug 22, 2007 - 28 comments

Make Music, Not War

Anti-War Songs of the Vietnam Era
Alice's Restaurant [1] Ball of Confusion [2] Billy Don't Be a Hero [3] Blowin' in the Wind [4] Eve of Destruction [5] For What It's Worth [6] Fortunate Son [7] Give Peace a Chance [8] I Ain't Marching Anymore [9] I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixing-To-Die Rag [10] Imagine [11] Machine Gun [12] Masters of War [13] Ohio [14] One Tin Soldier [15] Stoned Love [16] The Unknown Soldier [17] War [18] War Pigs [19] What's Going On [20] Us and Them [21] Volunteers [22] With God On Our Side [23]
posted by Poolio on Aug 8, 2007 - 120 comments

No one here gets out alive

Underfire; images from the Vietnam war. Some photographers never made it out: Dana Stone, Henri Huet, Sean Flynn. Tim Page is still alive and his photos tell the story of 'Fire in the Jungle". Several of these almost forgotten legends hung out at Franki's House at one time or another. Page, Stone and Flyn were all friends of Michael Herr who wrote about them and the war in Dispatches which was widely acclaimed and acknowledged by Hunter S. Thompson as puts the rest of us in the shade.
posted by adamvasco on Aug 8, 2007 - 14 comments

The Legacy of Agent Orange

During the Vietnam War, millions of gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed across regions of the country to destroy forest cover used by guerillas. A photo essay from Slate: On this day in 1984, a $180 million out-of-court settlement was announced in the Agent Orange class-action suit brought by Vietnam veterans, who argued that exposure to AO had caused various cancers, birth defects, and other chronic diseases. The settlement came to government benefits of about $1,500 a month until 1997. Yet many Vietnamese victims who also suffer greatly have received nothing from the United States since the end of the war. Some images are quite graphic and not something you want to look at while eating lunch or possibly at work. I know we've done Agent Orange before ( here and here), but this collection of images is rather intense.
posted by otherwordlyglow on May 7, 2007 - 23 comments

The Wrong War - Why We Lost in Vietnam

...By refusing to recognize or admit that the Vietnam War was from its inception primarily a civil war, and not part of a larger, centrally-directed international conspiracy, policymakers assumed that North Vietnam was, like the United States, waging a limited war, and therefore that it would be prepared to settle for something less than total victory (especially if confronted by military stalemate on the ground in the South and the threat of aerial bombardment of the North). In so making this assumption, policymakers not only ignored two millennia of Vietnamese history, but also excused themselves from confronting the harsh truth that civil wars are, for their indigenous participants, total wars, and that no foreign participant in someone else's civil war can possibly have as great a stake in the conflict's outcome--and attendant willingness to sacrifice--as do the indigenous parties involved.
The Wrong War - Why We Lost in Vietnam
See also Who Lost Vietnam ?
See also Vietnam in Retrospect: Could We Have Won?
posted by y2karl on Apr 18, 2007 - 77 comments

The Objective Orbiting Eye in the Sky

Live, From Outer Space: rural fires [1, 2], The Haze in China [1 ,2, 3] and its movement, aerosols, and the brothers carbon monoxide [a photochemical smog agent] and carbon dioxide.
posted by trinarian on Apr 14, 2007 - 10 comments

The Short Timers

It doesn't seem like it was twenty years since Stanley Kubrick produced Full Metal Jacket based on the out-of-print novel "The Short Timers" by Gustav Hasford. While out of print, the full text of "The Short Timers" is available on his (memorial) website as is the followup, "The Phantom Blooper". Hasford's bid for an Oscar was colored by the discovery of nearly ten thousand stolen library books in the same year. Some say the experience of being caught red-handed broke him, leading to his death from non-treatment of diabetes at the age of 45.
posted by Ogre Lawless on Apr 2, 2007 - 52 comments

One Action

Nhat Hanh back in Vietnam for the second time since his exile in 1973. He will lead three requiem masses "to offer prayers and healing energy to those who suffered unjustly as victims of war."
posted by Abiezer on Mar 15, 2007 - 7 comments

Aftermath of another war

Effects of Agent Orange Following Jonson's Hiroshima post, a (prob. NSFW) collection of images of Vietnamese children born to parents exposed to Agent Orange. Via a Matt Taibbi article on Joe Klein.
posted by adamms222 on Feb 7, 2007 - 29 comments

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