As North Vietnamese forces marched towards Saigon in 1975, Citibank employee John Riordan
(Warning: Autoplaying video) was ordered by Citibank to burn everything important and evacuate. In Hong Kong, he and his manager discussed the situation of their Vietnamese coworkers, who were in grave danger because they had worked for an American company. [more inside]
The Texas Tech Vietnam Center and Archive
"collects and preserves the documentary record of the Vietnam War, and supports and encourages research and education regarding all aspects of the American Vietnam Experience." It includes vast sections of digitized material, including audio
, as well as all manner of documents. [more inside]
Waiting for your lottery number.
James, Oklahoma, 1969, No. 365.
I arrived at the dorm and went to my friend’s room where 12 of us were watching the lottery. I remember we had cases of beers to help us through. We knew this day could forever change our lives. When I came into the room I could feel the tension and see that the lottery had already started. It wasn't a big show on TV; it was just a series of numbers scrolling across the bottom of the screen while “I Love Lucy” played above. [more inside]
This is The Big Picture, an official television report of the United States Army, produced for the armed forces and the American people. Now to show you part of The Big Picture here is Master Sargent Stuart Queen
The series consists of ~822 documentaries produced by the United States Army Signal Corps Army Pictorial Service from 1951 to 1971 to educate both soldiers in uniform and the American public about military concerns as well as things like historical battles, world geography, famous soldiers, the latest weapons, space exploration, strategic objectives, peaceful initiatives, and the life of a soldier. Being a product of the Federal Government it belongs to the the American people, and is thus freely available to all to copy and distribute. Most can now be viewed on archive.org [more inside]
'Legendary Vietnam Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap dies.'
'Vo Nguyen Giap, the brilliant and ruthless self-taught general who drove the French out of Vietnam to free it from colonial rule and later forced the Americans to abandon their grueling effort to save the country from communism, has died. At age 102, he was the last of Vietnam's old-guard revolutionaries
.' 'To military scholars around the world, he was one of the 20th century’s leading practitioners of modern revolutionary guerrilla warfare.' [more inside]
, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and historian, has died at age 87. He won the prize in 1990 for his book In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines
(discussed on Booknotes
). He is best known, however for his work on Vietnam. His book Vietnam: A History
was widely acclaimed and its companion series on PBS, Vietnam: A Television History
won six Emmys and a Peabody award and was one of the most widely watched documentaries on PBS. He discussed the war in 2000 in this Salon interview
. Needless to say, his reporting was not appreciated
, the war correspondent who took one of the most iconic and disturbing photographs
of the Vietnam conflict, has died
. He was 81. [more inside]
A Look Back at the Vietnam War on the 35th Anniversary of the Fall of Saigon. (The following photo collection contains some graphic violence and depictions of dead bodies.)
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]
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]
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
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
"We wired the Ho Chi Minh Trail
like a drugstore pinball machine and plugged into it every night." From 1965 to 1975, telemetry from thousands of microphones hidden in remote Vietnam jungles were fed to a massive data processing center in Thailand, where an IBM System/360 [wiki]
mapped real-time Vietcong movements to display terminals. The details
of Project Igloo White remained compartmentalized and highly classified until only several years ago.
"I am Colonel Tom C. McKenney
, You must know how to reach Bobby Garwood
. I directed an official mission to assassinate him behind enemy lines, because I believed what they
told me. Would you tell him that I will crawl on my hands and knees to beg his forgiveness?"
"We are here to hand over to you the power in order to avoid bloodshed." Today
is the thirtieth anniversary
of the Fall
A secret plan
to end the war. After the rewarding the Vietnam war's technocratic architect
with the Presidency of the World Bank
, after the twin failures of President Nixon's "madman plan",
to scare the Soviet Union
into concessions over Vietnam out of fear of Nixon's insanity, and of "Vietnamization"
, turning over responsibility for the war
to the South Vietnamese
, the North nevertheless won the war.
. Operation Frequent Wind
, the chaotic evacuation
of the American Embassy
, brought to a close
of American hubris
. Karl Marx, who got little else right, observed "History repeats itself, the first as tragedy
, then as farce
"… sitting on an enemy aircraft gun was a betrayal," she said.
Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may. --Mark Twain
The Swift Boat Veterans video you didn't hear about.
Shown on CSPAN-2, now available on their website (downloadable video in WMV format), but not widely reported by any major news service. The angriest group of Vietnam vets you might ever see--men who served with and around John Kerry, united in their opposition to his becoming President.
Dead Men Walking
Thomas Lipscome urges us to think about 4th generation warfare, the nature of the battle, and the potential dangers well beyond the idea of nations such as Afghanistan and Iraq. From the article: "Terrorists become extraordinarily resourceful playing weak hands against the strong and rich. So do revolutionaries. And it is time to realize bin Laden is both"
This article is short yet wide-ranging, neatly bringing together the Balkans, Clinton, the Media, and 4G warfare.
via follow me here
Sen. Bob Kerrey tells a personal Vietnam horror story
And the NYT has posted an advance copy of its Sunday Magazine story to avoid being scooped, which is a first, I believe.
] Kerrey, as a lieutenant in Vietnam helped kill a village of Vietnamese women and children in 1969. How many more skeletons in the closets of the current leaders of America? And will this spur the actual beginning of American critical reflection on Vietnam, or will it blow over in a few weeks like when MacNamara's autobiographical confession came out a few years ago?