Complete Crap

makes anti-war protestors look like idiots. never presents a rational for its anti-Vietnam stance. Everybody is anti-war. Hippies shouldn't have exclusive rights to it. There are just some of us (most of us actually) who believe somethings are worse than war, making war necessary. Makes us look like the bad guys, if you buy into the ridiculously simplistic view the movie takes.


Well, if you believe that war is necessary, that leaves you out of this completely. Thats the premise, WAR IS NOT NECESSARY, and NOT everybody is anti-war. You have no clue what you are talking about.Viet Nam war sucked. If you werent there, you have no right to discuss it like you know what you are talking about, cuz you dont.


Personally... I'd take the Vietnam Veteran's opinion, they've seen both sides of the story. Everyone is entitled to their opinions...

I was a product of 1969, born in 1970. My father was on the Swift Boats in the Delta during that time.

It is truly interesting to see the past. I thought this movie was excellent.


14-Year AF Vet


And what if two vets who were there disagree with each other? Does that mean neither one of them knows what they're talking about even if they were there?

Not to make light of it but just because some guy was carrying a riffle in a rice paddy doesn't mean that he's an authority on the politics of the time. Not to say that his effort wasn't noble and worth of praise.

And we all do have the *right* to discuss it and you shouting people down, telling them that they don't have the right to state their mind on the issue is a mockery of everything every honest American vet believes in.


Roger that. The average vet knows what happened to HIM, where he was for the time he was there. Some people have privately researched the war, studying material from both sides, from the ass in the grass grunt to the head of the dink army, Giap.
Just being there means very little. The REMF would have a very different outlook from Gen Westmoreland.

"They sucked his brains out!"


That's just STUPID.

"They sucked his brains out!"


usually if i start a movie, i have to finish it no matter how *beep* but THIS film i just couldn't bare the torture.


i loved it, it was dedicated to people who stood up and said somethinga nd didn't jsut sit around complaining

"Shut up Stupid!"
"What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate!"


well, that's why i initially saw it... at least someone loved it.


C'mon, you gotta love Downey, Jr. swinging from a rope in his undies and then running high as a kite through the graduation hall.


Downey high as a kite on LSD and stripped to his tighty-whities is really the end of the really good scenes in 1969. Pretty much everything that happens afterward is just utter crap. I've always wondered if this movie was shot before Kiefer and RDJ (and Winona) became famous and then rushed out there to capitalize.



I was an extra in this movie. Every single person in this film was famous when it was being made. We were super excited to have both old and young movie stars around.


That scene is appalling.

We know it's your opinion and if you're wrong we'll tell you.


actually, it's "bear".

RIP Heath Ledger 1979-2008


The movie was released at a time when Vietnam war protests were understood far better than they are today. Conservatives and their supporters have managed to rewrite history so as to make us believe those who protested or were against the war were in the minority, much as they do today with the War in Iraq. Yes, the movie takes a certain position, but it also assumes we already know the case being made for and against the war. Notwithstanding this, I tend to agree with your point in the specific argument used (principally by Keifer's character) where it attempted to define freedom in such a way that it should permit drug use and make death in the service of one's country an instance of protest against the war. It would have been more helpful I think to emphasize that freedom means tolerating protests against the government and not branding those who do as traitors. Without that strong message the power brokers can easily twist the debate so as to brand them as being against the troops, which if we recall the aftermath, the troops weren't exactly welcomed back as heros and the government which used them wound up abusing them. Today many of us are not aware that we actually lost that war, not because of the protesters, who understood it long before it officially ended, but because we were up against a foe that was fighting a civil war and desired unity. We got into it because we felt we had to stop the communist menace (or at least that was what we were told) and probably because of the need to protect our business ventures in that part of the world.

BTW. While it is true that war may be necessary at times, more often than not, war is the means those in power have for exercising that power over those they deem to be their enemies whether or not the nation as a whole is in danger of something worse than war. Unchecked power often leads to notions of might makes right and any means to the desired end. Protesting is one form of checking that power. Protesters are not the enemy.




You should clarify that it has been the neoconservatives that have rewritten history... Paleoconservatives were typically opposed to war. Looking back, we see that most of the significant wars of the 20th century were waged by Democrats: WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and Clinton's various mini-wars. Neoconservatism became prominent in the Republican Party during the '80s, which has led to the Middle Eastern wars waged by Old Bush and New Bush. Those are the people who have successfully turned conservatives into warmongers. By some twisted chance, neoliberals no longer seem to have a problem with war, as evidenced by their lack of opposition to Clinton's wars and Obama's escalation of the Afghan war. The general support of war by both prominent political parties is yet another reason that modern politics need drastic change.

"Why do you find it so hard to believe?"
"Why do you find it so easy?"
"It's never BEEN easy!"


99.9% this Troll that started this thread is a Republican....



You are totally clueless dude, kind of like one of the characters in this film. You go around insulting people by calling them 'Republican'? so clever.

I'm a civilian, I'm not a trout


Maybe you were one of the bad guys. You certainly sound like one of Nixon's "silent majority" who beat and murdered thousands of "hippies", college kids, freedom riders, lefties and "outside agitators". Everyone certainly was not anti-war in 1969, particularly those with the "Impeach Earl Warren" bumper stickers. The Viet Nam war was as divisive as the Civil war and the beginning of the Culture War that has brought this country to the brink of ruin and is still raging.

I thought this movie was an excellent glimpse at one family living in the period. One slight mistake: Alden's hair was too long. He would have had a "High and Tight", a quarter inch of hair on top and none on the sides.


None of you anti-war lunkheads are aware of or choose not to mention what the North Vietnamese regime did to civilians--as policy. That regime murdered 1.6 million Vietnamese, as I said, as a matter of policy, independent of any war from the late 1940s to the mid-1980s. Nowhere in the movie is there a discussion that factors-in why we were in Vietnam. It had to with communist expansionism, particularly Soviet expansionism. All we get from the movie is that the war, or any war, is wrong. Gee, thanks a lot, children.

The core of the "peace" movement was college age draft dodgers. The war had overwhelming support in the academy until some draft deferments were eliminated. So, they weren't really against the war, they were only against serving. When the mass electronic media decided to film small demonstrations, a tipping point was reached causing other people to join in the fun of being part of a brainless mobs. The North Vietnamese sent hundreds of thousands of their troops into futile battle to prolong the war as long as possible. That they were brainless is reflected in the movie by the non-mention of why we were there.

Now the communists in Vietnam are endeavoring with us to achieve a standard of living (a standard superior to that of any communist regime worldwide) that it could have had over 50 years ago had South Vietnam been allowed to flourish.

The people who opposed the war here are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people on all sides.


Riverside, you need a more reliable source than Rush Limbaugh. Your notion of the Vietnamese resistance killing their own is utterly without merit, although it does agree with a CIA disinformation campaign. And several ARVN warlords did slaughter peasants; we had training manuals telling us to ignore ARVN troops robbing, raping and murdering the peasants; "it is just their way" we were told.
Most Americans in 1969 had no good idea why we were there, and so that is not germain to the movie. Containment and abundant resources were why we were there, why we tied to bite off a piece of Vietnam for a colony.
The anti-war movement began in 1965 in academia, where there was no pro-war support.
In 1969, after having sabotaged Johnson's peace efforts, Nixon eliminated most deferments, especially those for students and fathers. But this did him no good, since in 1970 Vets became the backbone of the anti-war movement. The insanity of the US approach was illustrated by six of the criminal governments the US tried to impose.
While the US had been trying to conquer Vietnam for twenty years when Nixon was elected, most of the casualties on both sides occurred from his election until, thanks to Watergate, he accepted the same terms Johnson had negotiated. So the guilt for most of the bloodshed falls on the head of Nixon and his "silent majority" boneheads.
I may be a vet myself, but I cannot say "we" in connection with Tricky Dicky's crimes.


J-Edward, I do not rely on left wing pro communist bull--like "ARVN warlords"--to form my opinions. The deferments I referred to happened while Johnson was in office. And you obviously know nothing about what the communists did there, or I'd at least have to give you credit for acknowledging what they did. Read Death By Government by Rummell--it takes all nations to task. As for blaming things on CIA conspiracies, as soon as you do that you've done fatal damage to your argument. Conspiracy theories are self-sealing, anything that opposes a conspiracy theory is Orwellian "proof" of conspiracy. And recall that the CIA didn't even know that the Soviet Union was going to crumble.

It was very clear why we were in Vietnam from the very beginning--how you could say different is astounding. And there was wide spread support in academia. The chronic whine of "not knowing why were we there" just can't be taken seriously. The U.S. wanted Vietnam for a colony is such crap. Is South Korea a U.S. colony?. It can only be by your bizarre definition of the word.

Compare the assuredly less than perfect South Vietnamese governments to the brutal police state in the North for a realistic, non idealistic assessment between the two. When Vietnam was divided, hundreds of thousands went south. Did the South Vietnamese ever rise up and side with the North? No. Did the South Vietnamese leave en mass when the North invaded? Yes. Come down to earth when you assess reality.

What you said is true about Nixon sabotaging Johnson's peace talks. And Nixon's "peace" with the North was faux. He gave South Vietnam away just so he could get credit for ending the war--which put him snugly in the camp of the war protesters--consider that. Just like Obama did with Iraq. (40% of the U.S.'s KIAs were while Nixon was president.)

By the way, I hate Limbaugh. Maybe you thought otherwise about me because your source of "information" comes from the left wing equivalent of Limbaugh. My knowledge about the war comes first-hand and by way of an extensive, comprehensive study of the subject.

What was your job in Vietnam?


Riverside, try reading /The Pentagon Papers/, the report ordered by JFK and prepared by the Pentagon. They led JFK to order complete withdrawal in September, 1963. That the Vietnamese overwhelmingly favored Ho Chi Mihn was why IKE cancelled the 1956 elections and created the fiction of "South Vietnam".
As for CIA disinformation, look it up. it is part of "Psyop".
Neither then nor now was the Democratic government "brutal". On the other hand Vietnamese were setting themselves on fire during the Diem/Nhu regime in the south.
Harry Truman explained why we were there: "Oil, Rubber, Tin and Rice". He did not mention containment, just look at a map for that.
When Nixon took office there were about 28,000 US troops who had died in twenty years in Vietnam. Thirty thousand more died during Nixon's reign; that is more than 40%, more than 50% or most.
Nixon was never in the peace camp. As the Watergate investigation grew he felt he needed to quit making enemies, so he ended the war. He could not keep his job, but he did manage to avoid impeachment.
Oh, and the "left wing commie bull" upon which I rely are DoD publications.


J-Edward, do you know that the Pentagon Papers only cover the war till 1968? I mention that to point out that it's not the reliable source that you and others like to think it is.

I don't recall JFK ordering a compete withdrawal in September '63, what's your source?

As a matter of fact, in September of '63 JFK said if we left Vietnam, it and the countries around it would fall to the communists--not anything he would want to be responsible for. And it was pro form prior to an election to play down future military commitment.

Again, the spookiness of conspiracy theories do nothing for the conversation.

There were only a few self-emulating Buddhists. They were the exception, like nutcase Christians here. They were not in-general that militant

You know nothing about the communists in Vietnam. Even the Stalinist, Joan Baez, sent the Vietnamese communists a letter begging them to stop the brutality against the Vietnamese people after the war. The letter was also signed by numerous leftists. They're still waiting for a reply.

When I said 40% died under Nixon's watch, it was in no way a defense of him--it was a complaint. I'm sure it was closer to 40% than 50.

It's true that Nixon's Watergate criminality pressured him to agree to a faux treaty. Again, such treatment of the Vietnamese people in reality is more consistent with what protesters wanted--that the Vietnamese people be totally subjected to the brutality of the communists.

Your comment about DOD docs require explanations. Really, your views are leftist bromides about the war.

What was your job there? I ask because a lot of REMFs came back and told a lot of lies about Nam to obscure the fact that they weren't combatants. A lot of them claimed to be combatants and told lies about what they did. But whatever lies they told had the effect of trashing combatants. Are you one of them?

Why didn't the movie include at least some discussion of the war? In your opinion.


The /Pentagon Papers/ are eight or ten inch thick volumes that cover the war from 1948 to 1961 and include background and a detailed assessment of the requirements for conquest of Vietnam, specifically stating that the effort would require a force of one million men ten years to accomplish. This is an exceptional resource for historians since it gives very detailed information about all US actions and the information upon which military leaders based their judgements. And since it was prepared for the President, not the public, there is minimal whitewashing. Perhaps you are thinking of the NYT condensation with additional reports.
I recall JFK's speech wherein he stated that he would not send American boys to do the job Asian boys should be doing. Films of this speech can be seen in JFK retrospectives. He stated that our troops would be home by Christmas. A month later he was dead and I presume we all know the rest. I remember this particularly clearly because I had met my first Vietnam vet in 1962 and was already paying attention to the war. Kennedy never supported the "domino theory".
Your notion of communists is straight out of McCarthyism; the /Pentagon Papers/ made it clear that Ho and the democratic resistance were fighting for their independence (from being the "white man's burden") They fought the French, the Japanese, the French again and finally the Americans.
You clearly know nothing about Communists, particularly if you can call Joan Baez a Stalinist.
Thirty thousand is more than 50% of fifty-eight thousand. Third grade arithmetic. Nixon and his "silent majority" boneheads are responsible for most of the blood spilled during the American portion of the war.
Vietnam is now a free and happy country in spite of all the mines and Agent Orange we left behind. The only brutality in Vietnam after the war was in the minds of right wing loonies, at least until US factories started appearing.
The DoD has lots of manuals about everything it does. I was referring to Psyop and Disinformation manuals, some of which give examples of both successful and unsuccessful operation. And the "Small Unit Leaders Guidebook" for Vietnam which contained the injunction that US personnel should not interfere with ARVNs committing crimes, which the manual referred to as "just their way".
If you call what I am saying "bromides" then you are so steeped in right wing propaganda you will never be able to know the truth about anything.
I was an Intelligence Analyst, among other jobs. But as someone else pointed out, that only qualifies me as an expert on a few square meters of dirt. But it does help me recognize some bold faced lies. Discussions of the war must rely upon generally available public information.

The movie did not contain a discussion of the war because that is not what it was about; it was was about the experiences of one fictional but not untypical family during 1969. Which is why I am sure many readers are perplexed by this nonsensical digression.
There are many good films about he war itself: The Quiet American, Tell it to the Spartans, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now. To make it a little more realistic, you can live in your back yard (no tent or take out) for a month or so.


Addressing two items I overlooked:

Ike's comment re: an election was in the context that the process would be controlled by communist terrorism. And the U.S. and both Vietnams did not sign-on to that election. The election was a French contrivance. And in 1954, Ho acquiesced to the two Vietnams.

I can't say I've known of the Truman quote re: resources, but I can imagine him saying it for the purpose of keeping those resources from the communists.

Thanks for the clarification on the Pentagon Papers. Now I do recall that the CIA was involved in that study and it was slanted against a war in Vietnam. But didn't you trash Rummel's book "Death by Government" as CIA bull?

Ive been commenting here off the top of my head, but re: what JFK said in September of '63 re: Nam in the future and the Domino Theory, I will copy and paste some quotes and their source-link.

JFK to Cronkite: But I don't agree with those who say we should withdraw. That would be a great mistake. That would be a great mistake.
Mr. HUNTLEY. Are we likely to reduce our aid to South Viet-Nam now?

The PRESIDENT. I don't think we think that would be helpful at this time. If you reduce your aid, it is possible you could have some effect upon the government structure there. On the other hand, you might have a situation which could bring about a collapse. Strongly in our mind is what happened in the case of China at the end of World War II, where China was lost—a weak government became increasingly unable to control events. We don't want that.

Mr. BRINKLEY. Mr. President, have You had any reason to doubt this so-called "domino theory," that if South Viet-Nam falls, the rest of Southeast Asia will go behind it ?

The PRESIDENT. No, I believe it. I believe it. I think that the struggle is close enough. China is so large, looms so high just beyond the frontiers, that if South Viet-Nam went, it would not only give them an improved geographic position for a guerrilla assault on Malaya but would also Live the impression that the wave of the future in Southeast Asia was China and the Communists. So I believe it.

This thinking was important to people my age re: going to Nam. Our presence in Vietnam had its origins as a great liberal cause. I am a natural born liberal whose liberalism has directed me toward the center--away from the left.

Anyone who idealizes communism while aware of or irresponsibly ignorant of its brutal implementation is a Stalinist. It's a point that separates the good meaning of "liberal" from the toxic ideology of the left i.e. when many liberals learned of Stalin's brutality, they remained his champions--which means they were no longer liberals, but merely leftists.

Re: McCarthy. He was a toxic element in this country. He demonized the legitimate concern re: communism. That effect survives to this day. Ironically, that demonization and the fact that we defeated communist expansion worldwide without a world war has left millions of people believing it was never a threat. I predict, though, that that mythology will be undone once the tenured radicals die-off in the academy.

(We must be seeing different numbers re: KIAs pre-Nixon and under Nixon.)

(I'm one who's skeptical about agent orange. With all the claims of damage from it by people in this country, you'd think there wouldn't be any Vietnamese left.)

Repeating: The regime in the North deliberately sent its troops into a meat grinder, between lulls for recuperating, playing off the so-called anti-war people here. And, yes, many who protested were Nam veterans, but all or most of those people were not combatants. The psychology of the non-combatants was either to lie about being a combatant or to lie about what combatants did.

As for what ARVNs did, I can't take your concern seriously until you voice concern for what the communists did to civilians--1.6 million of them. It shouldn't make any difference who killed them. Whoever did it is guilty of murder--including some Americans. If I had my way, Calley and the others and anyone else who committed murder there would receive the maximum penalty.

As I said before, what Vietnam is getting now, it could have had over 50 years ago. There was no democracy in the North. Many such brutal regimes postured publicly by claiming allegiance to the Declaration of Independence. Still in Vietnam there are no legitimate elections. And happy? lots of Vietnamese look happy in photos but there is no middle-class, there is no popular force that can undo the current regime. When that middle-class develops, with our help by way of an improved economy, then you'll see some real changes. The history of communism in that country will be put in its proper place--like we did here with child labor, sweat shops, native Americans, and slavery.
I'd like to read more about your role as an intelligence analyst. Seriously.

The movie was soaked in the mentality of how wrong the war was. So the war was certainly important to it--remember the KIA brother and the fear of the draft? The reason it wasn't dealt with in any seriousness is because it was written and directed by a simpleton, whose entire idea of the war was nothing but a catchphrase.

I'll add The Deer Hunter and JFK to your mis-described mentions of Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now, and Platoon. All five of those movies are as responsible as the protesters are for the negative stereotype of the Vietnam veteran and what the war was all about. As a non-combatant, you should be more careful about that, given that you lucked-out. The two best reality-based movies are: We Were Soldiers and Hamburger Hill.

If this has been a digression, it's been a legitimate one, and a good one, I hope you think so too. We'd be lucky if anyone reads any of it, though.


This discussion is definitely off-topic. The topic here is the film /1969/. Rehashing old debunked propaganda is not particularly productive. Nevertheless I shall try one last time to set the record straight.

After the Vietnamese won their independence from the French in 1954 there was a Conference in Geneva to provide for the future of Viet Nam. The Geneva Accords specified that Viet Nam be partitioned for a one year cooling off period and that a national election be held no later than July 1956 to elect a government for Viet Nam. The US did not allow that election to take place because Ho Chi Mihn was extremely popular; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Elvis Presley all rolled into one. Instead the US invented the "State of Vietnam" to be ruled by the US and Bao Dai, grandson of the last Emperor of Viet Nam and former puppet of both the French and Japanese, and tried to make the partition permanent as they had done in Korea.

[In 1945 the US and USSR occupied Korea, which had been devastated by WWII. At the Moscow Conference of 1945 the US and USSR agreed to leave Korea by 1950. The USSR did leave in 1948; the US never left. The US created the RoK, led by Japanese collaborators and Syngman Rhee, who had lived in the US from 1904 to 1945, having been exiled from Korea as a criminal trouble maker. From 1945 on the US military established martial law and dealt violently with Koreans who wanted the foreigners gone and for their pre-war rights to be restored. In 1948 the Koreans in the north held parliamentary elections that eventually resulted in the selection of Kim Il-sung, who had fought the Japanese occupation for twenty years.]

So, in 1956 the Vietnamese, having won their independence once were not about to let the (rather stupid) Americans take it away from them and they took up arms again. The Vietnamese never used terror. True, some of the US sponsored war lords were brutal and cruel, but they were not terrorists. The only terrorists in the war were the Americans who spread Agent Orange, cluster bombs and napalm all over the country; the US killed more children than adults, and did so by means expressly proscribed by the Geneva Convention which the US had drafted. The only Vietnamese who acquiesced to the partition were French and Japanese collaborators who hoped to become part of the new puppet government.

The /Pentagon Papers/ were compiled by the Rand corporation, a think tank whose sole client was the US government. I do not recall making any comment about the Rummel book, but I do confess I have little interest in books by private people who happen to be outsiders. Especially today when so many people spread whoppers. And while the US government is expert at generating "disinformation" for public consumption, it tends to be as accurate as it can be when the reports are for internal use and classified. Perhaps you recall that the US tried to prevent their publication, tried to throw Dan Elsberg and Tony Russo in prison and fine the NYT?

Our getting involved in Viet Nam was just the US following its Manifest Destiny (cum American Exceptionalism). The history of the twentieth century is the story of the US attempting to conquer the whole world, attempts that are becoming stronger and even more blatant in the twenty-first.

The "brutal implementation" of communism is just propaganda. The rise of communism in the Russian Empire was less violent than the rise of Democracy in France. [And even that has been slandered. Perhaps you have heard laments about "the terror"? That was a period of ten months during which three thousand people were executed. Granted, that is a big number, even for Saudi Arabia. But compared to the ten thousand peasants Louis XIV burned in Paris every Holy Week it is not so impressive.]

In 1848 Karl Marx published /The Communist Manifesto/ and In 1867 /Das Kapital/. By the 1870s the US was at war with communists. For the forty-five years before the Bolshevik Revolution the terms communist and trade-unionist were interchangeable. The US used machine guns, tanks and bombers to keep workers "in line". You might want to read the history of The Battle of Blue Mountain, the Molly Maguires and the Bonus March. There were also times when the US Army set fire to worker camps and machine gunned those who tried to flee, but I cannot remember their names. I do expect you recall the protest song /Sixteen tons/. Charlie Chaplin was deported from the US as a communist. Why? He made /The Great Dictator/ which mocked US ally Adolf Hitler.

A (somewhat) current example is the protest at Tianamen Square. After the protesters had camped there a month the government sent in the Army to eject them. I expect you recall the kid trying to stop a tank, and the tank trying to go around him? If that had been a US tank, that kid would have been road kill. The US and its satrapies alone have mini-tanks, seen at the Rodney King riots, for population control. Can anyone imagine the US allowing anyone to tie up DC and NYC for a month? The Occupy just made an appearance and were met with deadly force.

Speaking of Stalin, he was brutal with some Ukrainians; those who had fought with the Wehrmacht. Did you know that the guards at the death camps were Ukrainians? He was also pretty hard on the Germans.

My KIA figures come from the Pentagon by way of The Wall. Did you know that (most of) the names are arranged by date of death?

Agent Orange is essentially dioxin, as in Love Canal. Many many vets are still suffering from Agent Orange exposure, as are many Vietnamese. It is also the same as Roundup and is generally a herbicide; in Viet Nam Agent Orange disabled many rice paddies and fields. As far as killing all the Vietnamese, we did that; the total of Westmoreland's body counts exceeded the population sometime in 1968. 😱 The Secretary of the Navy at the time claimed Agent Orange was safe and said he would drink a glass of it except ... But he changed his tune when his own son began suffering from dioxin exposure.

Giap did send his troops into a meat grinder; so did the US during WWII. Such is the nature of war, particularly modern war. The anti-war movement in the US had little if any effect upon the outcome of the war, in spite of what some of them claim. Tet was the beginning of the end. Sure, the US held on to all its major bases, but Giap attacked everywhere and overran the ARVN everywhere.

John Kerry won a Silver Star and Ron Kovic was almost cut in two by machine gun fire. Sure, there have been frauds, some who were never even in the military. (Sorry Don, military school is not the same thing) Most frauds claimed to have been Green Berets who won the Medal of Honor, like Hary Janos.

What the Communists did? In 1954 the CIA spread rumors in Hanoi that the Viet Mihn were killing Catholics and collaborators. About one million panicked and fled, giving the CIA a great photo op that they then sold at home. The fact is, there was no truth to that rumor. CIA disinformation campaigns are worthy of study; many were somewhat successful: Guatemala, Honduras & Iran to name a few. The main point was that the US took over countries without firing a shot.

Vietnam had no chance of a better life under the feudalism of all our various proxies; most Vietnamese were essentially sharecroppers. Even now things are not so great with dangerous sweatshops from Nike et al. One other thing to keep in mind: every country retains its character regardless of economic or political system.

Regarding My Lai, there were many such incidents. I would not be as harsh as you; sure rape is rape and murder is murder. Keep in mind that the individual who was punished the most for My Lai was Ron Ridenhour who was not there but did break the story in the Freep. And Major Colin Powell investigated the matter and found no wrongdoing, just another great American victory. This should give you some insight into the minds of the brass. Likewise, Bradley Manning released a video of a gunship crew shooting down a Reuters News team and laughing about it; the gunners were not punished, but Manning will spend his life in prison. This too should illustrate the thinking of our leaders.

Fellow vets have told me that they found happy and gracious people who chose their own leaders, both locally and nationally.

Things are not so great for Native Americans; the US is still stealing their land.

I am sure you would like to hear about my experience, but you would be disappointed. It is a cliche that the life of a soldier is mostly boredom punctuated with moments of terror. Had I worked at Division or MACV, it is possible that I might have had an interesting view on events as they unfolded. But at the battalion level the work is basically just clerical. The two most interesting observations I can make that even though the military is self-administered, somehow it manages to work. Nothing much has changed since Joe Heller wrote /Catch 22/ and GIs coined SNAFU and FUBAR. The other is that, while all the stereotypes were there, Central Casting was really confused. There were times I thought we could be overrun by a pack of Cub Scouts. Just one peek: a Gunnery Sergeant who looked like he stepped off a recruiting poster who was completely inept and made Rock Hudson look straight.

Yes, the movie was about people's perception of and reaction to the war. But the war itself was not part of the movie. Likewise, the existence of ghosts is not important in /Hamlet/. I found the film accurately represented life in 1969 as much as a commercial Hollywood film can.

JFK was not about the war. My experience was to be told that I and my fellow vets were disgusting for being the first Americans to lose a war. I thought all those movies captured a piece of the picture. There Are a few others, but I cannot recall them now.

Precisely. This topic is the film /1969/. Adieu.



J-Edward, while you are NOT reading this, know this: The movie "1969" is certainly a Vietnam movie. Watch it again. View the trailer and see how it's promoted. Vietnam, Vietnam, Vietnam. Your denial stems from the fact that it is a particularly horrible Vietnam movie. Somewhere inside anyone's head--regardless of their stance on Vietnam--must be an affront to the intellect as to how a movie about a subject can be so devoid of any serious discussion of that subject. The best message is its inadvertent acknowledgement that the endorsement of communism will always wallow in its natural state of no substance.

In the 20th century, the top 2 murderers were the communist leaders of the Soviet Union and Red China. The tiny country of Vietnam has its communists ranking 11th on that list. The people who opposed the war here, as depicted in the movie, reeked with self-absorbed vapidity. This is consistent with the fact that communists and their sympathizers are so murderous, directly and indirectly, when faced with alternate possibilities. Revealed is that there are no mediating thought processes, only the base instinct of kill the enemy--immediately or long distance.

After WWII, the West was facing a third world war with the worldwide threat of communist domination, particularly from the Soviet Union--invaluable patrons of the North Vietnamese. What truth there is to your list of complaints about this country's self-defense is nothing compared to what we were up against. What we did about the communist threat--including proxy wars--is what killed communism and saved everyone from another hot world war. And I am well aware of the violent spasms within The Enlightenment.

The communists in Vietnam now admit to 1,100,000 VC and NVA KIAs. These people were sent into a meat grinder only to postpone what the survivors are now embracing but could have had 50 years ago. The KIAs of the Allies in WWII saved the world from Nazi slavery. In your comparison you committed the irrationality of false equivalence. (As is your Tiannaman Square and Rodney King comparison.}

Manifest Destiny? Have you ever noticed all the independent nations in this hemisphere?

It's true that the so-called anti-war people here (actually they were pro war on the Vietnamese people) didn't end the war, but they prolonged it, as I explained earlier. The North was once again thoroughly defeated when they signed-on to a fake treaty. We did not lose militarily. When the North broke its promise to not invade the South, your like-minded people in our government broke our promise to help it (short of ground troops).

During Tet, the VC were 99% destroyed, never to be a factor again. The NVA took another brutal beating from the meat grinder, but not before the NVA murdered 2500 civilians in Hue City -with another 2000 plus never accounted for--and many more murders nation-wide. This is your idea of victory? And did you ever notice that the communists never complained, or at least not much, about our small number of crimes? (For which I give no quarter.) That's because the last thing they wanted to do was to draw attention to their mass murder of civilians as policy.

My criticism of some Nam vets was for adopting the lunacy of the protesters for social gain.

We ripped-off native Americans royally. But if you care about them more than I do, then give them back the land your house sits on.

Most or all of your other comments that I didn't directly address suffer from self-condemnation as written.

With no substantial middle class, the Vietnamese population lacks the educational tools to effectively oppose its oppressive government--eventually demands for equality, justice, and liberty will be made--with our help. Too bad the malignant ideology of communism caused so much death and suffering in its effort to deny the hard wrought rights that came from the Enlightenment.

And I know you were flummoxed by my correction (with profound indisputable proof) of your false statements that JFK was going to pull out of Nam and that he never supported the domino theory. Again, what's important about how wrong you were is that the whining about "don't know why we are (were) in Vietnam" is important to the depravity of the movie and the entire protest against the war itself.



This topic is off thread, so this will be my final reply.

How can this be a Viet Nam movie? All it tells us is that the US is involved in a foreign war in a place called Viet Nam and that different people have different feelings about the war. Was /Summer of 1942/ a WWII movie? I think not.

This movie is called /1969/. In 1969 the war was the elephant in every room in America. This is a story of one family living through that time. Friend Downey really wants to avoid the draft, son Kiefer is apprehensive, son Alden choses to do his part, father Dern wants his boys to make him proud and mother Hartley wants the men in her life to be healthy and in harmony. This film is about this family dynamic. Period.

If you think that it is about the Vietnam war merely because the war makes up part of the background, then you have serious cognitive impairment. Was /Hair/ about the war?

I suspect that this cognitive impairment is also responsible for your phobia about Communists. Josef Stalin did kill almost one million German and allied soldiers at Stalingrad. Does this horrify you? It elates me. I am grateful to Josef Stalin for defeating the Wehrmacht and Third Reich. At Stalingrad he not only killed almost one million "supermen", but destroyed seven German armies. (The US faced only one in western Europe.) Stalingrad was the turning point in the war. After Stalingrad the Wehrmacht began running for their lives. I applaud Stalin for this, and condemn the US for giving safe harbor to Nazi war criminals (Operation Paperclip) like Werner von Braun, Klaus Barbie, Josef Mengele and thousands more. These men deserved slow, painful deaths.

Your cognitive impairment also leads me to believe that you are a member of some wacko religious cult like /The Way/. If so, you are impervious to facts and reason. So here I end.



J-Edward, how can "1969" be about Vietnam? Well, you described it as such in a post on this site. Go back and have a look at your March post. Then add the fact that two primary characters in the movie actively gave aid and comfort to our enemy.

And comparing "1969" with the Summer of '42? Another example of false equivalence that shows the weakness of your position. Again, go back and read your March post.

The dynamics of the characters in the movie weren't exclusive to a family. Those dynamics were representative of three types of American males relevant to the history of the Vietnam War:

Wynne: mature masculinity i.e. he mans-up.

Downey: stunted masculinity i.e. self-absorbed childishness, no courage.

Sutherland: apparent ambivalent sexuality i.e. he has to be practically raped by a character who is a dead-ringer for the incredibly beautiful Winona Ryder before he shows any heterosexual interest in her.

Downey and Sutherland represent the males here and in Vietnam who opposed the war.

Ask the people who survived the murderous reign of Soviet communism about their phobia. In particular ask them about Stalin. Soviet communism murdered 62,000,0000 civilians---43,000,000 of which were caused by Stalin. Note that I said "murdered" not "killed." The people you mentioned who were killed by Russia during WWII are legitimate war deaths. An "intelligence analyst" like yourself should know the difference.

Speaking of intelligence analyzing (or not being good at it): After reading all my lengthy comments here, you come to the conclusion that I'm a religious nut?! I'm an atheist. It's clear that "intelligence analyst" translates into office boy. A REMF who deals with not having been a combatant by way of psychologically compensatory, self-serving disparagement of our war effort for the purpose of trashing those who actually fought it. A Downey or a Sutherland, or a combination of the two, who happened to end-up in-country.

For additional analysis, note how the more your position dissembles, the ruder you get

Too bad you only committed yourself to reading this post while banning yourself from replying to it.



An interesting thread. I was 10 in '68 and remember the "scorecards" on the Huntley/ Brinkley report of the dead and wounded for each faction and the footage of the embedded reporters. I remember a couple of my older brother's friends going over there and one not coming back. I remember my cousin going over there and not being the same when he came back. I remember being grateful that I just missed and never had to worry about the draft and that I never had to register. I remember the white paper reports and the CBS Charlie Company doc. An interesting time for a kid who paid attention. Anyway....

It would be interesting to do the research into this discussion to find out which of these diametrically opposed views is correct.

But what I wanted to say was, Riverside, you were the rude one. From your first post you were name calling and making disparaging insinuations. I don't recall you saying, though, in which branch of the military did you serve and what actions did you participate?


baran_eric, if you expect me to write a lengthy post justifying locations and unit for someone who claims to be undecided when he isn't, don't count on it. My infantry experience in Vietnam caused me to be awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star w/V device, and two Purple Hearts. I don't have to justify that to you. Of course, I'm not allowed to say such things about myself because "we never talk about it." You can read about the "we never talk about it" phenomenon on the link below about the movie Platoon. (Important fact: only 5 out of everyone 100 men who have the status of Vietnam veteran were in close-combat.)

You have revealed yourself as someone in the camp that sided with the enemy during the war. I doubt if you'll actually do a scholarly study of the subject without confirmation bias and selective perception. You'll probably only watch movies. So, watch We Were Soldiers.... for a realistic view of what Vietnam was overwhelming like. Better still, read the book.

As for your comments about my posts, be specific about each comment you don't like, and I'll respond to each one.


Like I said, you bitter old man, I was 10 in 1968, I hardly "sided with the enemy". You sure are quick to brand people as commies, aren't you? Why is that? You still looking for the enemy? All I asked is what your qualifications were and you had to come back with the typical over the top message board prevarications.

And I've already seen WWS, that's an example of FUBAR or SNAFU? Or would cluster ef be more descriptive? And that was typical, huh?


baran....., do you really need to be told that you sided with the enemy later, not while you were ten?

You're kind of nasty for someone who complains about nastiness and who professed a false interest in scholarship about the war. (And what's with the ageism? Problems with all the old people you know?) All you've proven is that you're permanently polarized. Think about about what the pro-communist people in this country accomplished in the 60s and 70s. Decades later they can make no claim to a positive change in the lives of Americans. All that persists is the fantasy that they love peace while making no contribution toward peace. The effect of that fantasy is only seen as weakness by our enemies, then and now.

And your characterization of We Were Soldiers.... reveals your simplistic mentality toward the subject. What's important about that book and movie is that none of the people fit the pro-communist, negative stereotype of Vietnam veterans.


baran_erik, better still, re-read, or actually read the comments between another poster and me on this thread. A good start for your scholarship on the matter.


Do you think the US were the good guys then?

'Well I've got two words for you - STFU'


gtbarker, if your post was meant for me: Learn some words and learn how to string them together.


Not everyone is anti-war of course usually they're the ones who never fought in a war.


I am on the road less traveled...