By Joe Ragonese
Fifty years ago, 1968, marked the halfway point in the Vietnam War. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, signed in August 1964, marked our official beginning of hostilities, although we had troops in that nation, in one form or another, since the end of World War II. The documentary, “Vietnam: 50 Years Remembered,” available for download at Amazon videos, covers those pre-war years in its first of seven installments. It clearly shows the incidents that led to the decisions which enveloped us in that maelstrom. 1965 marked the first year of offensive operations, up until then American forces provided only defensive or adviser positions. Soldiers died preforming those duties, and this documentary clearly demonstrates that.
1968, 50 years ago, was the high point of the war, with the most battles fought and highest casualty rates. Had this been any other war, 1968, would have been a turning point leading to our victory. But political considerations at home were the driving force that shaped the outcome of that war, not military actions. Politics, both in congress and on the streets of America, was what led to our valiant military leaving less than victorious, and shamefully caused the collapse of our ally, the South Vietnamese government and people. It is a shame that cannot be undone, and is little known.
The thing is that almost no one knows about how shameful that period was because a false narrative was created as events were occurring. In fact, every media account about Vietnam tells a false tale, one of America being evil and those who resisted victory and honor as heroes; at least until this documentary debunked the media’s lies.
If you listen to the mainstream media, the Tet Offensive of 1968 proved that we could not win the war, even though the opposite is true. Every television personality then, and now, repeated that false assessment. Within this documentary; however, the truth is shown. That truth is that we not only won the Tet Offensive, but overwhelmingly won. So massive was our victory, that had we followed up using proper military tactics, surrender would have followed.
Our defeat of the Viet Cong (VC) and North Vietnamese Army (NVA) was so complete that after it was over, the VC, the guerilla forces, were vanquished, and the war only continued because the NVA took over the fight. (Liberals would have us believe that the war was a civil war; however, it was a war of aggression on the part of the communist North Vietnamese.)
Russia, China, and even Cuba took part in that war, but America’s media never mentioned that fact even though it was widely known. Our prisoners were horribly abused, and the VC and NVA both committed untold mass murders and other atrocities to civilians in South Vietnam, also well known, yet never mentioned in the MSM for fear that Americans might realize that we were doing good there. This documentary takes note of those facts.
Had protesters at home, aided by anti-American Democratic politicians not interfered in the conduct of the war, 1969 would have led to victory under President Nixon’s leadership. But his hands were tied right from the start by a Democratically controlled congress who passed law after law which prevented him from taking the actions necessary to win, and communist protests in the streets which weakened America and bolstered our enemies. All of this is clearly shown within this documentary.
But the damage to America, especially the American veteran, had already taken place by 1968, and only continued afterward. Vietnam veterans bear a burden that no other vet has ever before, or since, had to endure. It left its mark on the vets that is as bad as the effects of Agent Orange. That burden is so heavy that it cannot be lifted by welcome home parades 15 years after the war ended, or by someone thanking you for your service. It is a scar on your soul so thick that nothing can remedy it. This too is shown in this documentary.
The Vietnam veteran’s burden began the day he/she walked off their military installation and back into civilian life, as was stated by an Army Nurse who was interviewed in this documentary. She remembered how even her parents never asked what she had done or gone through in Vietnam. There was apathy and intense criticism of veterans that intensified everyday after their discharge, that lasted over the next ten to fifteen years. It did irreparable harm.
So much so, that a few years ago this writer went to the Grand Old Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, where the patriotic audience there is beyond reproach. Prior to the show starting the emcee asked all veterans to stand and be recognized, dozens stood and were applauded.
I remained in my seat. My wife asked why I didn’t stand to be recognized and all I could say was that it was ok. How do you explain that you’ve been beaten down so badly over the years that your natural instinct is avoidance. Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of my service and will brag about it to anyone willing to listen, but that burden imposed on those who served in the military during the Vietnam War, weighed us down for the rest of our lives.
That beat down took place in every aspect of our lives. Story after story of vets having bags of shit thrown at them as they came home from battle are told by so many veterans that some may think it false; but it was not. From the minute veterans returned to American shores the beat down began. I was shouted at and called a baby killer at the San Francisco Airport, as I waited for a plane home to Chicago after my discharge from active duty. On the flight home the stewardesses ignored me, not even offering me food or drink.
If that wasn’t bad enough, after joining my local VFW, I got into a conversation with a WWII vet. He asked how I had the balls to walk into that place where honorable warriors gathered; he ended by telling me that he won his war, what the hell did I do? Year after year, one insult after another, that is what Vietnam vets endured, and that is also shown in this documentary.
Americans treated vets like that because every newspaper, magazine, movie, book and television show portrayed Vietnam vets as crazed baby killers; where magically the druggies were the heroes and those of us who served honorably were the enemy. Even the very same politicians who sent us into battle, turned on us, writing bills that hampered us more than helped us.
I went to college using the Vietnam era GI Bill, it was only good for ten years after my discharge and then it expired, no exceptions, no extensions. I didn’t go to college right away after my discharge, waiting a few years first. After ten years had expired, the VA shut down all funds. My last year was paid out of my pocket. My older brother, who joined the Marines in 1959, was eligible for the Korean War GI Bill, and even though he was out of the service for 15 years before completing his degree, his was paid until graduation.
I guess Korean War vets were more worthy. It was simply one more reminder of how worthless we were. The treatment of Vietnam veterans is another of the shameful episodes in America that is secretly cheered by progressives and hidden from view by the MSM. Some of that abuse is shown in this documentary; however, the totality of the abuse can never be shown. It could be a documentary on its own.
The Vietnam War divided this nation as much as the Civil War did, but those who conspired to arrange our defeat were the very same people who told the history of that war and times. It is why everyone thinks that those anti-war protesters were heroes rather than the cowardly, communist, anti-American pukes that they were. This documentary debunks all of the anti-American, pro-communist rhetoric that we’ve heard for the past 50 years.
The series of seven episodes has actual Vietnam vets throughout the episodes, who tell the truth about the war, their feelings about those who opposed it and those who were cowardly. From start to finish this documentary is a truthful representation of events at the time, leaving nothing out, and not painted with leftist ideology.
Anyone who would like to truly understand that war, why we fought it, and how we lost it, should take the time to view this series. History, many years from now, will tell the truth, and this is the first installment of truthful history to see the light of day.
Maybe after enough people learn the truth, the anti-Americanism that is flooding this nation will abate. In fact, only when the truth is told and the fake news ended, will America return to its rightful place in the world.