No Rehab For Vietnam

Ken Burns documentary on the Vietnam War has me posting several articles explaining various aspects of the war…..there will be both pro an con articles…to understand completely then all sides need to be discussed.

1975 and the fall of Saigon brought an end to the involvement of the US in the small Southeastern nation of Vietnam.

Since that day there has been an on-going effort to rehabilitate America’s role in the war.  An attempt to change something ugly into something noble, honorable….or at least acceptable.

There is enormous pressure and a lot of money working to rehabilitate Vietnam, to put the guilt and the shame of it behind us. But it was precisely the guilt of the people, their shame at what was being done in their name, and their courage to denounce it that made it impossible for their government to carry out the savagery any longer.

Since the day it ended, in 1975, there have been efforts to rehabilitate the Vietnam War, to make it acceptable, even honorable. After all, there were so many sides to the story, weren’t there? It was so complex, so nuancical. There was real heroism among the troops.

Of course, all of this is true, but it’s true of every war so it doesn’t redeem any war. The Vietnam War is beyond redemption and must be remembered and condemned for the calamity that it was. The Vietnam War was “one of the greatest American foreign policy disasters of the twentieth century.”

Those are not the words of a leftist pundit or a scribbling anti-American. They are the words of H.R. McMaster, the sitting National Security Advisor to the President of the United States.

Source: There Is No Rehabilitating the Vietnam War | By Robert Freeman | Common Dreams

The war cannot be rehabilitated for those that fought…..the images of the war are burnt into their minds to remain with them through life.

As a veteran of that war I have had many conversations with people wanting to know….then when they are told they dispute whatever was said….

This war cannot be rehabilitated with the truth…..only by manipulating the facts can it be made to appear otherwise.


12 thoughts on “No Rehab For Vietnam

  1. In some respects we are lucky that the war was so well-documented at the time. There is a lot of archive material, and publications from all over the world. They will bear witness to the truth of what happened.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Chuq, the one thing that everyone must realize is that they should never, ever lose faith with the troops. The young men and women who serve in any war–in any army, for any country–are the true pawns. Although I didn’t see it during either of my return trips from”Nam”, early on, the returning troops were being cheered; but, later on–perhaps as such horrendous atrocities as My Lai4 became known–many troops were harassed, spit upon and called “Baby Killers”.

    For a good, quick read on who the real winners and losers in war are, read “War is a Racket!” It’s a 17 page piece, available free, written by Retired Lieutenant General Smedley M. Butler, USMC, and it was written in 1920. After fighting in three wars, winning two Congressional Medals of Honor, he became disillusioned with Warfare. As he states: Young men, and now women, shed blood and die in war, while old men profit handsomely.

  3. Additionally, re: the magnificent Vietnam series, I have seen a number of comments complaining that Ken Burns did’t provide any answers. As you noted, the War–less than 50 years in the past–is still being debated. Aren’t some of these same people still debating our Civil War?

    Among the many books on Vietnam, Dereliction of Duty, by H. R. McMaster, our current National Security Advisor, as you noted is a good one. In it, he suggests that since Kennedy and Johnson deferred to Secretary of State Robert McNamara, who always had one general agreeing with his political beliefs on the War, the rest of the Joint Chiefs were considered irrelevant. As McMaster noted, that means that the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are not the constituents of anyone.

    Today, as Trump has three generals (two retired, one active) who report directly to him, once again, the Chiefs are shunted aside. The generals certainly retain their military allegiances; however, they currently work for Trump–not the Troops!

    1. I wrote about that back when he made all the general announcements….keep in mind he had yet another in the yearly days, Flynn…I felt that it was too many….chuq

      1. Flynn had been a pariah at the Pentagon, a loud-mouth, know it all, and no o ne wanted to work with him. Several German Generals, who had known Flynn at NATO HQ or in Afghanistan, were horrified that Flynn, as nasa, would be presenting Foreign Policy to Trump.

  4. I’ll only say this: what possible reason can anyone come up with to justify ANY war? I don’t think there ARE any, for it is ALL a sham, perpetrated upon ignorant people who refuse to take responsibility for their own actions, much less taking it for group insanity…. The simple fact is, people always look for ways to justify their impulse toward using violence to achieve their own desires. None of it is actually any justification at all, for it all serves no purpose for the species as a whole….

    gigoid, the dubious

  5. The passage of time tends to make history a bit murky; what’s lost is the feelings and passions of the time that led to the events of the moment. We tend to think of history in contemporary terms. One of the reasons the history of the Civil War has become far more complex for our contemporary minds to comprehend as we try to draw political correctness into it, than likely it was to the people who lived and fought in it.

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