Sunday, August 29, 2010

"If it is your desire to understand how we are manipulated into believing the things we do -- watch this film..."

some_text

"A deep, richly illustrated study of the nature and history of propaganda, featuring some of the world's most insightful critics".
- Mark Achbar; Film director; 'Manufacturing Consent', 'The Corporation'


This is the first feature in a documentary series, entitled Psywar ("The real battlefield is the mind"), which premiered on Global Research.

The film explores the evolution of propaganda and public relations in the United States, with an emphasis on the “elitist theory of democracy” and the relationship between war, propaganda and class.

This is not a high budget affair, but was financed via a blue collar job, and is being released online for free. The interviews contained within are original and were conducted by proxy.

Some quotes in support of the film by figures such as William Blum are available on the Acclaim page of the website.


Here is the trailer:

he Corporation'

Here is the full feature:


Although Psywar does not explore 911 or false flag operations, it is certainly relevant to these issues, as 911 was perhaps the greatest exercise in psychological warfare ever conceived.

It is intended to deal with the 911 and the war on terror in subsequent entries. A few notable 911 truth scholars do appear discussing related subjects, including Peter Phillips and Graeme MacQueen.

This film is designed both as an introduction to the concept of psychological warfare by governments against their citizens, and as an exploration of certain dominant themes in American propaganda.

Significant time is also devoted to different conceptions of "democracy" as theorized by figures like Walter Lippmann, Edward Bernays and ultimately the founding fathers of the United States itself.

The next entry, Human Resources, will be online in about two months.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy 100th Birthday, General Giap!
Viet Nam’s “living legend”,
from history teacher to one of the greatest military geniuses of all-time,
General Vo Nguyen Giap - 100 Years young!


http://english.vietnamnet.vn/reports/201008/%E2%80%98It-is-our-pleasure-to-serve-General-Vo-Nguyen-Giap%E2%80%99-931650/



Vo Nguyen Giap is acknowledged as one of history's great generals and in honour of his 100th birthday today, Viet Nam News publishes excerpts written by Viet Nam People's Army Colonel Ho Ngoc Son that help explain his military genius.



General Giap's renown can be attributed to five major reasons:

His status as an expert in people's wars of national liberation in both Viet Nam and the world.

The war policy of the Communist Party of Viet Nam and the Ho Chi Minh Military Policy emphasised the importance of launching a comprehensive and long-lasting people's war of resistance.

People's war requires the building of an armed force consisting of guerrillas, a local army and regular army with the regular army playing the key role.

Weapons are the most important factor, yet personnel and politics are also decisive. It is important to launch guerrilla warfare combined with conventional war with tactics that use the weak to fight the strong; a small force to fight a big force, and an elite force to fight a major force.

Gen Giap conducted the people's war in Viet Nam in a very creative way. He gave the political training of his soldiers special attention. A deep love of their homeland and loyalty to the revolution ideology made the soldiers ready to sacrifice their lives for national freedom.

In addition, the solidarity between the soldiers and people was akin to that of water and fish.

Gen Giap successfully combined the military struggle with the political, economic, diplomatic and cultural struggle to achieve victories on two fronts – the war of resistance and national construction.

At the front, the Viet Nam's People's Army deployed the strategy of military and politics; armed attacks with the political struggle of the people, and agitation among enemy troops.

President Nguyen Minh Triet, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong yesterday wished General Vo Nguyen Giap good health and longevity on his 100th birthday.

The leaders showed their deep gratitude for the general and his contributions to the struggle for national liberation and re-unification, as well as national construction and defence.

They affirmed the Party, State and people's determination to build the country and reach the goal of a prosperous people, a strong nation, and an equitable, democratic and civil society.

The battle could take place anywhere: the mountains, the deltas or urban areas. In the rear, the focus was on building a strong foundation for the front.

The Vietnamese people's war reached a peak of the military arts.

One of its major victories was that it defeated and foiled the many war strategies of the strong 20th-century imperialists.

Gen Giap's scientific ideology for the building of the armed forces was very special, creative and comprehensive.

Starting from zero, Gen Giap formed many fighting and logistics units in a poor, backward country. He was successful in gathering around him many talented people from the rank and file who were able to perform their duties well in any circumstances.

Gradually, these units were built into the elite Vietnamese people's armed forces. It was the general who initiated the idea of building the Truong Son Trail, also known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail, as well as the "sea route" between northern and southern Viet Nam.

Armed forces units walked thousands of kilometres to the battle fronts. Communications and transport were very rudimentary. People were the means of supplying logistics and ammunition from the rear to the front. The logistics of the Middle Ages defeated the modern logistics of the United States and France.

Gen Giap's judgement in selecting the enemy's weakest point for attack was acute.

Gen Giap was very careful about comparing enemy strengths with that of the revolutionary forces.

He never underestimated enemy strength. His tactic was to begin with small-scale attacks.

He identified the enemy's greatest weakness was that their war was unjust.

They were not used to Viet Nam's climate; their knowledge of the country's geography did not match that of revolutionary forces and they did not have the support of the people.

In a people's war, every one, including the old and the young, are freedom fighters.

Rudimentary weapons, ranging from a piece of wood, bamboo and even paddy leaves, can be used to attack the enemy. Gen Giap always forced the enemy to change their tactics and follow his way of fighting.

The world's acknowledgement of Gen Giap as a teacher of military strategy and tactics.

Gen Giap never made mistakes in his military strategy in more than 30 years as military commander. Acting in accord with the leadership of the Communist Party of Viet Nam and directly from President Ho Chi Minh and the Politburo, he forced 10 French and US generals to commit strategic errors that led to their defeat.

The seven French generals were Philippe Leclerc, Ea'tienne Va LLuy, C. Blaijot, M. Cargentier, Delattre de Tassigny, Raoal Salan,and Henri Navarre, and the three US generals were W.C. Westmoreland, C. Abrams and F.C. Weyand.

Gen Giap studied the military doctrine of the proletarian and capital classes as well as the Soviet Union's Great Patriotic War; China's war against Japan; Clausewitz's military theory and Napoleon's battles.

He successfully applied the results of his studies to the wars against the French colonialists and the US imperialists.

His military and literary works have helped the world's military historians understand people's war and identify why the French and the American invaders were defeated.

Gen Giap did not attend any military schools. He learned from reality.

His judgements were based on facts. His theory of "the decisive battle" in military doctrine has drawn the special attention of military strategists and researchers.

He said "We could defeat the enemy when it had large numbers of well-equipped troops. We could also defeat the enemy even when they thought that they would win the battle if we had adopted sounds tactics based in reality."

His doctrine "decisive battle" at Dien Bien Phu in 1954; the "Dien Bien Phu of the air" in 1972, and the Ho Chi Minh Campaign in 1975 proved the success of his tactics.


Gen Vo Nguyen Giap's very special characteristics.

For Gen Giap homeland, the nation and the Party are the most important. He has always been alert to difficulties and challenge.

He has always put the interest of the nation and the people above all. He has done his best to narrow the divergence and contradictions so as to overcome mistakes and errors that might harm his homeland and the nation.

He is a general with genius military talent and virtue that has won him high prestige among the army and people. He has won the hearts and minds of the people, cadres and Party members.

He is a very modest man.

His contribution to the nation cannot be measured, but he has never talked about himself. He has instead spoken highly about the achievements of the people, the armed forces, the Party and President Ho.

During his reception for visiting Indian Field Marshal Me'hra in February, 1989, his guest was full of praise for him.

But Gen Giap replied: "If there was no good and clear-sighted collective leadership, the people and the heroic army, we – the commanders – cannot make victories ourselves no matter how good we are."

Following President Ho's moral example, Gen Giap has lived a very simple life. His guest room is the place where he has received many important foreign delegations, yet the furniture is very simple. He takes the train to his native village and visited the Dien Bien Phu battle field by a commercial flight. He is a close friend to the people, military officers, soldiers and the people.

In the military arena, he is a decisive man, yet very democratic and humane.

In difficulty situations, Gen Giap always exhibited his intelligence and bravery and always said that on the battlefield, soldiers were the key factor in deciding victory. That's the reason he holds high the spirit of democracy. He is an active listener and respects other people's opinions. All this has helped him create strong solidarity and invincible strength in the people's war.

He is a disciplined man, but very kind and generous. He considers the soldiers and army officers as family members. He shared the sadness and happiness with his men and with the people during war.

Many times he told his officers "War is not something that you can make an adventure. You should not win victory at any cost. A good commander is the one who can defeat the enemy at the lowest cost in lives. People's lives are invaluable."

Directed by President Ho and the Politburo, the Vietnamese people and their armed forces and the Vietnamese people led by Gen Giap won many resounding victories against invaders.

These victories helped change the third world and led to the collapse of old and new colonialism.

The people of five continents know Vo Nguyen Giap as a legendary general. His military genius will stand for all time.

He is an excellent disciple of President Ho, a general of the people and the eldest brother of the Viet Nam People's Army. — VNS

http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/Politics-Laws/202932/General-Giaps-100th-birthday-draws-tribute-.html






August 25th marks the 100th birthday of the Great General Vo Nguyen Giap, who is reputed as a talented commander and is respected worldwide.


General Vo Nguyen Giap was the commander in the Indochina War (1946-1954) and the Vietnam War (1960-1975). He took part in numerous important and decisive campaigns such as the Fall-Winter Border Campaign in 1950, the Dien Bien Phu Campaign in 1954, the Tet Campaign in 1968 and the Ho Chi Minh Campaign in 1975.

He is the first General of the Vietnam People’s Army.

Dozens of people have had an honor of working as the General’s staff and assistants.


This year, in celebration of the 100th birthday anniversary of the Great General of Vietnam, they, from different generations, on August 23rd, have gathered at the General’s house, wishing the General and his family good health, happiness and recalling their touching and unforgettable memories with the General.

Having worked as an assistant in charge of foreign affairs for the General for 34 years now, Colonel Trinh Nguyen Huan proudly said that “For everybody, the General is a typical revolutionary leader, a brilliant commander, a scholar and a talented warrior, a creative and ingenious strategist, a leading military ideologist and an outstanding organiser in the Ho Chi Minh Era. He is a very prestigious General domestically and internationally.


Moreover, for those who daily work along with the General, he is the “Brother Van” forever”.


Colonel Trinh Nguyen Huan stressed that “He is a kind-hearted, scholarly and simple teacher, father and brother”.

The memories with General Vo Nguyen Giap could not been counted.

Lieutenant-General Hong Cu, former Deputy Dead of the General Political Department, could not forget the General’s instructions.

He recalled, “in 1947, I was a political commissar at the Binh Ca Battalion (also called Battalion 42). I received the General’s order of “the Battalion lives and dies with Binh Ca-Thai Nguyen”. As the order was read loudly, the whole battalion was inspired with a new spirit. As a result, a lot of malaria-affected soldiers, as they were in forests for the first time, asked to go to the front and to fight to the finish in order to protect the road Binh Ca-Thai Nguyen”.

“After the Hue-Danang Campaign in 1975, Major-General Lieu Linh, a political commissar of Army Corps 2 and I, an envoy from the General Politics Department, delivered General Vo Nguyen Giap’s instruction of “Lightening and more lightening speed, daring and more daring. Assault on the front, liberate the South. Determined to fight and determined to win” to each army units. Having heard that order, all soldiers shouted clamorously that “Bravo General, Determined to fight and determined to win”, the Lieutenant-General touchingly added.


In 1975, General Vo Nguyen Giap’s order inspired the whole army so that the South was liberated and the country was unified.


To the Great General of Vietnam, studying is very important. Thus, after the victory of Dien Bien Phu Campaign, the General said to his assistant, Pham Khac Lam, who worked for him between August 1947 to mid-1954, that “You must go abroad for study”.

On the day of his departure, the General wished Lam, who later became the General Director of the Vietnam Television, good qualifications and self-training in politics.

“Our group on that day included front journalist Pham Phu Bang from the People’s Army Newspaper”, the former General Director of the Vietnam Television recalled.

He confided “we could have had lots of difficulties on the cause of national construction if the General, at that time, had not made daring decisions, such as our study abroad”, adding that “How farsighted the General is”.

According to General Vo Nguyen Giap, “at the early stage of the resistance war against the enemy, the loss of land was not avoidable. However, lost land could be taken back as citizens were protected”.

That “for people and depending on people” lesson, recommended by the General Vo Nguyen Giap, proved to be very effective in the resistance war and on the cause of national construction.

Stories about the great General Vo Nguyen Giap will never end because he, for all people, is a great but simple General.


Translated by Mai Huong

QĐND - Wednesday, August 25, 2010, 22:7 (GMT+7)

http://www.qdnd.vn/QDNDSite/en-US/75/72/184/164/166/121967/Default.aspx




General Vo Nguyen Giap – Unforgettable memories

VietNamNet Bridge –

American journalist Stanley Karnow recalled his memories of General Vo Nguyen Giap on Tuoi Tre Daily on the occasion of the 100th birthday of the legendary general (25-8-1911 - 25-8-2010).


General Vo Nguyen Giap’s daily photos

Moments in the daily life of General Vo Nguyen Giap

Moments in life of legendary generals







Stanley Karnow, 85, is an American journalist who writes popular histories.

After serving with the US Army Air Forces in Asia during World War II, he graduated from Harvard with a bachelor’s degree in 1947; in 1947 and 1948 he attended the Sorbonne, and from 1948 to 1949 the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris. He then began his career in journalism as a Time correspondent in Paris in 1950.

After covering Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (where he was North Africa bureau chief in 1958-59), he went to Asia, where he spent the most influential part of his career.

He covered Asia from 1959 until 1974 for Time, Life, The Saturday Evening Post, The London Observer, Washington Post, and NBC News. Present in Vietnam in July 1959 when the first Americans were killed, he reported on the Vietnam War in its entirety.

This landed him a place on the master list of Nixon’s political opponents. It was during this time that he drew together the stimulus for his seminal 1983 book Vietnam: A History. He was chief correspondent for the PBS series Vietnam: A Television History, which won six Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, a George Polk Award and a DuPont-Columbia Award.

In 1990, Karnow won the Pulitzer Prize in history for his book In Our Image: America’s Empire in the Philippines. His other books include Mao and China: From Revolution to Revolution, which was nominated for a National Book Award; and Paris in the Fifties (1997), a memoir history of his own experiences of living in Paris in the 1950s.

Karnow currently lives outside of Washington, D.C. He belongs to the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Historical Society.



Karnow had the chance at an exclusive interview with General Giap, posted to New York Times Magazine in June 1990 entitled "Giap Remembers.”

Karnow couldn’t forget the day he sat in an old-styled room in Hanoi and listened to General Giap, the legendary man, talking about the miraculous victory of his country.

When did you first interview General Vo Nguyen Giap?

The first time I saw him was in 1990. We met in an old house in Hanoi, near my hotel. We talked and then I visited his home. I met his wife and some members of his family.

After this trip, I wrote a New York Times article about him and used it in my book later. I researched the wars in Vietnam and Giap’s role when he became a leader of the Viet Minh… Giap and I talked with each other and we interviewed in French because he is very proficient in the language.

Do you know why General Giap agreed to be interviewed by you, an American, when Vietnam had just opened its door to the world?

I think perhaps he had read my book, Vietnam: A History, so he agreed to talk with me. He told me about Dien Bien Phu by moving tea-sets on the table.

The interview with General Giap was an important landmark in my career.

Is there any change in your view of the Vietnam War after your talk with General Giap?

I really think that Americans were wrong when they carried out the Vietnam War. The US didn’t have any opportunity to win and that is the topic of my book. Looking back I see this war is a tragedy. Around 60,000 American died and went missing. So many Vietnamese died. So many Vietnamese families lost their relatives and were affected by Agent Orange.

In any circumstance, General Giap was very determined. And when I asked him: “Can you help me understand why there was no chance for American to win this war?” He answered: “Because we were always consistent and ready to struggle to overcome every circumstance.”

Did he tell you about the price that Vietnam had to pay in the war?

He told me about cemeteries of war martyrs and the white tombstones. Many cemeteries have white tombs that don’t contain the remains of anyone. These are artificial tombs of soldiers who died in southern Vietnam, but their remains were lost. We could understand that there are always heart-breaking sacrifices in wars.

General Giap never told me about the specific number of Vietnamese who died in the war. He always repeated that it was a great loss. But he said there were people who had to sacrifice to win in that war. I listened to him and I understand very clearly.

I don’t judge him about it. I was a soldier in World War II, when I was only 18, 19 years old. I reported the war in Algeria. I observed many wars in my life to understand that the number of people who had to die for wars is terrible.

Why did you write about General Giap as the person who is on a par with Grant, Lee, Rommel and MacArthur in the temple honoring world military leaders?

I wrote about many general in my book and made comparisons with him. He told me how he faced the French since 1946. When Giap told me about French General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny in Vietnam, he was very proud to face him in the war. He made me remember the other great generals in history.

When he led the Dien Bien Phu campaign, foreign advisors were always besides him. They told him to do this, do that. General Giap said he always listened to what they said and didn’t sleep at night to make decisions.

He commanded soldiers to dig into the earth to move into the centre. The French could never imagine that General Giap could bring cannons to hill tops and then triumph with the least losses. That was one of the most special victories in his life. That’s why I compared him and his historic battle to other famous generals.

What was your impression of General Giap?

He is a courteous and a little humorous in talks. He is very intelligent and urbane in a French style. On this occasion, I would like to convey my and my daughter Catherine’s happy birthday wish to him.

General Giap is among 59 greatest military leaders portrayed in Great Military Leaders and Their Campaigns by Jeremy Black, published by Thames & Hudson in London in 2008 besides Julius Caesar, George Washington, Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Saladin, Ghengis Khan, Napoleon, Wellington, Ulysses S. Grant, Erich von Manstein, and Georgy Zhukov.

There are two pages about General Giap in this book, quoting him as saying: “Inheriting and continuing our nation’s tradition of fighting against foreign invasion, our people have defeated a large force with a smaller one.”


The book presents two pictures of General Giap in the Dien Bien Phu (1954) and Tet Offensive 1968 campaigns, with maps and instructions.


General Giap is the only living person among the 59 selected persons in this book, showing the position of the Vietnam War in modern world history in which General Giap is the symbol of Vietnam’s liberation.

The page about General Vo Nguyen Giap in "Great Military Leaders and Their Campaigns".


Party leader congratulates General Giap

Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh visited General Vo Nguyen Giap yesterday to congratulate the former military commander as he turns 100 tomorrow.

The Party leader wished the general good health and further longevity and thanked him for his great contribution to the revolution.

He also assured the general that the Party and State would take advantage of opportunities and overcome all challenges to foster the renewal process as well as modernisation and industrialisation.

The General Secretary also emphasised the Party and State’s determination to defend the nation and successfully reach the goal of a prosperous people, strong country and a just, democratic and civilised society.

General Vo Nguyen Giap was the first general of the Vietnam People’s Army and the top commander in the two wars against the French colonialists (1946-1954) and the US imperialists (1960-1975).

The veteran revolutionary was the Vietnam People’s Army’s Commander in Chief for 30 years and an excellent disciple of President Ho Chi Minh.

A great military strategist and tactician, he was closely associated with the historic defeat of the French at Dien Bien Phu on May 7,1954.

Under Giap’s command, libration forces captured Sai Gon, now Ho Chi Minh City, on April 30, 1975.










http://english.vietnamnet.vn/reports/201008/General-Vo-Nguyen-Giap-%E2%80%93-Unforgettable-memories-931426/




Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Enough of the Myth of American Morality
Awakening the Global Slave

By Bill Noxid

...What made America, America, was genocide, slavery, theft, and deception. You may not like our history, but it doesn’t change the reality of it. Every time the President (or anyone else) proclaims “This is America” like it places us above reproach, it demonstrates the pathological denial that he and this country suffer from.

Until you face the truth of this country’s origin and Modus Operandi, whatever you believe in is based on a Disneyland fraud. If that seems harsh, it’s your own fault for spending 500 years in denial.


Based on this country’s historical record, the evidence of the resulting state of humanity and the planet, and the magnification of the behavior exhibited over the last ten years, neither this country nor this religion can feign moral superiority (or even perspective) on any matter at all until it faces the incalculable mountain of deception and fraud upon which its empire was built.

Descendants of slavers who are still slavers, yet deny they are slavers or descendants of slavers, can no longer be afforded ‘free speech rights’ or moral standing to continue their denial, diversion, and deception.

Read the complete article, plus the public comments at the end!


*

There Are No Heroes In Illegal And Immoral Wars

By Robert Jensen

Until we can tell the truth about U.S. foreign policy, and how the military is used to advance that policy in illegal and immoral ways, we will remain easy marks for the politicians and their propagandists.

Continue

*

US Military 'Overwhelmed' by Mental Health Problems of Soldiers

By Gregg Zoroya

About every fourth soldier here, where 48,000 troops and their families are based, has been in counseling during the past year, according to the service's medical statistics.

And the number of soldiers seeking help for combat stress, substance abuse, broken marriages or other emotional problems keeps increasing.

Continue

*

"Enron Accounting" Has Bankrupted America:
U.S. Deficit Really $202 Trillion, Kotlikoff Says

By Peter Gorenstein
The “real” deficit - including non-budgetary items like unfunded liabilities of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the defense budget - is actually $202 trillion, the professor and author calculates; or 15 times the “official" numbers.

Continue


*

The Big Lie Technique Versus
The Reality Of Iran's Nuclear Program


Scott Horton discusses the Iranian peaceful nuclear program on Russia Today.


*
What You Will Not Hear About Iraq

By Adil E. Shamoo

Iraq has between 25 and 50 percent unemployment, a dysfunctional parliament, rampant disease, an epidemic of mental illness, and sprawling slums. The killing of innocent people has become part of daily life.

What a havoc the United States has wreaked in Iraq.

Continue


*

The Last US Combat Forces in Iraq?

Riz Khan Interviews John Pilger - Video

Who should be held accountable for the invasion and occupation that has left more than a million dead?

The occupation is not ending . . . it is being "rebranded".


*

Presidential Porn
Gerald Celente: The Recession is Heading Toward Depression

By Daniel Tencer

“What Obama’s doing out there is he’s hustling a confidence game. It really is presidential porn, that if you just wait until election day and have confidence, they’ll be an economic orgasm at the end of the day. . . but there's no happy ending!



*

Mossad in America

By Philip Giraldi - Former CIA Officer


Israeli intelligence steps up its activity in the U.S. — and gets away with it.

Continue

*

Wikileaks Posts Classified CIA Memo

By Al Jazeera

The whistleblower organisation Wikileaks has released a classified CIA document asking what would happen if foreign countries began to view the US as an "exporter of terrorism".

Continue


Sunday, August 15, 2010

My response to this article:

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=38220

Human Events

Why Vietnam Truth Matters

by Phillip Jennings

07/27/2010

"....Okay, for the record one more time—There was South Vietnam (a struggling democracy) and North Vietnam (a brutal communist government). We were allies with the South as they fought off the North trying to take them over. We beat the North in 1973. They signed a Peace Treaty. America came home. The communists launched a new attack and the U.S. Democrat controlled Congress abrogated the treaty and our obligations. North Vietnam overran South Vietnam so it became ONE communist, brutally ruled country to the death and miserable detriment of hundreds of thousands of our former allies.

....I heard Dr. David Kilcullen, current leading guru on counterinsurgency and former advisor to Generals Patraeus and McChrystal, speak at the World Affairs Council last Thursday evening. One point he made should resonate with all those who are NOT ignorant of the facts of the Vietnam War. And it should give us pause. Kilcullen said that the role of the U.S. military in Afghanistan is to prepare the U.S. for a negotiated settlement by putting us in the best possible position vis a vis our enemies there. We should remember that is exactly what the U.S. military gave us in Vietnam when we forced the North Vietnamese to the peace table. The military and Nixon had beaten the communists thoroughly on the battlefield and psychologically by bombing around Hanoi at will. The U.S. media and liberal congress then did their best to obviate completely that advantage gained with so much blood and tears by constantly undermining Nixon and Kissinger, passing resolutions cutting off military alternatives, and demanding settlement at any cost.

We cannot allow this to happen in Afghanistan.”


Phil Jennings is the author to the Politically Incorrect Guide to the Vietnam War. Phillip Jennings served in Vietnam with the United States Marine Corps, flying helicopters, and in Laos as a pilot for Air America...

(Of course, Air America was a known front for CIA covert operations.)


My response:

I recently read this article called "Why Vietnam Truth Matters", which I believe seriously distorts the real history of Viet Nam, and the American War in Indochina.

I guess this has to do with the brainwashing the author received during his time with the US military ravaging Indochina, but other soldiers have been able to overcome that and find a more empowering enlightenment - obviously not Phillip Jennings.

Actually, to be honest I believe he is a war criminal for what he did in Indochina, so he is presumably trying to justify the unjustifiable to save himself. That's not how to make amends for past crimes. Instead, he should follow the example of other military people who now work passionately for future peace and overcoming the tragic consequences of past wars. I respect those former vets immensely, but not the war mongers.

It is probably pointless trying to argue with him, because he obviously has his own agenda. However, there is a real danger that what Phillip Jennings writes could misinform others and become part of the popular myth-making by militarists, so for the benefit of everyone this important history needs to be properly understood.

When did the American War against Viet Nam really begin?

Not in 1965 when 3,200 Marines landed at Danang - about 20,000 US military personnel were already in south Viet Nam by then, engaged in combat without Congressional approval, and facing imminent defeat.

Not in 1954 when the French War officially ended with their surrender to the Viet Minh at Dien Bien Phu - the US had already been there for years, funding the French War up to 80%, and preventing peace talks.

Not even in 1950 when the US officially began large-scale shipments of military equipment (tanks, transport planes, etc.) to the French and their puppet government in Viet Nam.

Actually, it began in 1945 - as a disgraceful double act of betrayal!

During World War 2, the US and Ho Chi Minh were allies in the war against Japan. Even as that war was ending in 1945, the US government was secretly agreeing to betray the Vietnamese, and assist the French to reclaim their colonial power in Indochina instead.

In October 1945, the Pentagon commandeered ships and planes to transport 13,000 French soldiers into Saigon, thus even betraying their own World War 2 soldiers by delaying their return home to their families. So began the American War in Viet Nam.

Therefore, the basic truth is that the American War against Indochina was a criminal, imperialist enterprise to control resources, which started with US support for the return of the hated French colonialists in 1945, and continued with supporting various corrupt Vietnamese military dictators in the south. (Official US government statements about access to minerals, etc. were very blatant back in 1953!)

So, the war never had anything to do with "freedom and democracy" for the Vietnamese people! It was not a "noble cause" to resist "Aggression from the North"!

It didn’t matter that ‘South Vietnam’ was not a democracy, and engaged in US-sponsored systematic torture and human rights abuses - just as long as they were “anti-communist”. Tyrants are fine, just as long as they remain ‘our’ tyrants!

Imperialist wars are never about the rights or interests of the ordinary people anywhere - they are always only about controlling resources and making profits for the super-rich ruling class. Therefore, they are always sold to the public by lies and myths, hyping up false fears, and often by well-planned ‘false flag’ operations and economic or other provocations. The corporate-owned mass media plays a vital role in the selling of wars.

All that was true in the case of Indochina, just as it is true today in Iraq (lies for oil, the petro-dollar, regime change, military bases, etc.) and Afghanistan (lies about 9/11 and "terrorists" for oil & gas pipelines, military bases, minerals, etc.) If Iran is attacked, it will be all about protecting Israel, controlling oil, minerals, strategic interests, regime change - nothing to do with an alleged nuclear weapons programme for which no evidence exists, or the interests of the people of Iran.

Have we forgotten already the lies about "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq?!

Or, the fabricated, non-existent “Tonkin Gulf attacks” and other US 'psyops' and false propaganda in Viet Nam?

For Phillip Jennings to write this way about Viet Nam he has to completely ignore the huge body of reputable history books on the subject, the revelations in the official US government's "Pentagon Papers", and the US military hero Major-General Smedley Butler, who famously wrote all about why "War is a Racket" way back in 1935.

Phillip Jennings should also take the time to read the 1954 Geneva Agreement, and then he would know that it did not create two countries called 'North Vietnam' and 'South Vietnam'. There was only one country, temporarily divided in 1954 at the end of the French war, with two governments each claiming legitimacy over the whole country.

The Geneva Agreement specifically stated that the division into two zones was "a temporary military demarcation line, not a territorial boundary", and it would dissolve after nationwide democratic elections in 1956, supervised by Canada, Poland and India.

The Democratic Republic of Viet Nam government headed by popular president Ho Chi Minh (northern zone) had been given political legitimacy by the massive popular support of the people, who claimed power throughout the whole country in the largely-peaceful August Revolution, and proudly declared national independence on September 2, 1945.

Also, this government had political legitimacy bestowed on it by the last king, Bao Dai. On August 30, 1945, he formally handed over power, the royal sword and gold seal to the new republican government, declared he was now happier to be a private citizen in a free country rather than the king of an enslaved one, ended the feudal monarchy, and even served for a short time as an advisor to President Ho Chi Minh.

The other government (southern zone) was the State of Vietnam, established in 1949 by the French to oppose Ho Chi Minh, and headed by the ex-king Bao Dai who allowed himself to be used once again by the French as their puppet ruler. This government later had a name change to the Republic of Vietnam (later known as ‘South Vietnam’), and was headed by President Diem, an unpopular Vietnamese catholic from the US, who replaced Bao Dai. The minority of Vietnamese who had previously supported and benefited from the now-defeated French colonialists then supported this government.

So, who do you think was expected to win the 1956 national election?!

Even US President Eisenhower later wrote that if the election had been held at least 80% of the population would have voted for Ho Chi Minh. So the southern side, with full US government backing, refused to hold the democratic elections. Not only that, but they even refused to begin the consultative process of setting up the elections!

So, for the vast majority of the Vietnamese people, the victory that they should have won peacefully in the ballot box had to be won on the bloody battlefield instead, at a terrible cost in lives and property.

Present and future generations still suffer from the horrible effects of that criminal war, including from Agent Orange and other chemical warfare toxins, an estimated 800,000 tonnes of unexploded bombs and mines still killing and maiming people today, and the “wandering souls” of about 300,000 Vietnamese soldiers still Missing-in-Action and their families who still mourn them.

But, as Ho Chi Minh famously said: "Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom." Put yourself in their position, and can anyone argue against that?!

Remarkably, the Vietnamese won the war that was forced upon them, despite Philip Jennings' argument to the contrary.

This Vietnamese victory can be demonstrated by simply looking at the terms of the 1973 Paris Peace Agreement. It was essentially exactly the same as an agreement proposed by the Vietnamese on October 8, 1972, and agreed to then by Nixon and Kissinger without even consulting their puppets in Saigon.

When Saigon found out they were furious, because the agreement involved the withdrawal of all foreign troops (i.e. the US and their allies), but northern People's Army forces would remain where they were in the south. This was perfectly reasonable, as the Geneva Agreement had acknowledged the territorial integrity of one Viet Nam, so they could hardly be "foreign troops" invading their own country!

During 12 days and nights of Christmas 1972, the US Air Force therefore launched the massive, brutal bombing of the north to try to force concessions, including the withdrawal of northern soldiers from the south. It failed.

The US Air Force was shocked when 81 planes were shot down, including 34 of their high-flying B52 bombers - they did not believe this would be possible! Public anger, and the loss of so many US planes and top pilots, forced an end to the bombing. In nearly 10 years of aerial bombing, the Vietnamese destroyed over 4000 US planes. The Pentagon does not want to publicly admit to this devastating defeat for the US Air Force!

So, on January 27, 1973, the US signed the Paris Peace Agreement, under which northern troops were allowed to remain in the south! There were no more concessions. Vietnamese celebrate this victory every year as theDien Bien Phu of the Air".

This name reminds us of the historic Vietnamese military victory over the French at Dien Bien Phu in northern Viet Nam in 1954. Ironically, by 1954 the US taxpayers were paying 80% of the French colonialist war costs! How many even know this today?

Instead of writers like Philip Jennings writing a distortion of history to justify the unjustifiable, they would do better to use their experience and talents to write against the criminal folly of war, and work to prevent the insanity of wars in the future.

The military people to respect are those who follow in the tradition of military heroes like US Major-General Smedley Butler who finally understood that he was nothing more than "a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism....a muscle-man for Wall Street".

Today’s military heroes are the ones who wake up, become whistle-blowers against illegal wars and the lies used to sell them, go AWOL from criminal wars such as Iraq and Afghanistan, publish the truth and sabotage the imperialist war machine from within. Resistance within the military is growing, and all power to it!

There are many reasons ‘Why Vietnam Truth Matters’, one of them being to correctly learn from that tragedy in order to prevent future ones. Yes indeed, "War is a Racket", and promoting it as something noble does not serve humanity well.


Bruce McPhie

August 15, 2010

(Revised August 31, 2010)


*

Why Viet Nam Truth Really Matters


I recently read an article by Phillip Jennings called "Why Vietnam Truth Matters", which I believe seriously distorts the real history of Viet Nam, and the true nature of the American War in Indochina.


With imperialist wars continuing out of control under the cover of the bogus "War on Terror", understanding the truths of the 'Vietnam War' are more important than ever.


An extract from the article by Jennings:


Why Vietnam Truth Matters

By Phillip Jennings


"....Okay, for the record one more time—There was South Vietnam (a struggling democracy) and North Vietnam (a brutal communist government). We were allies with the South as they fought off the North trying to take them over. We beat the North in 1973. They signed a Peace Treaty. America came home. The communists launched a new attack and the U.S. Democrat controlled Congress abrogated the treaty and our obligations. North Vietnam overran South Vietnam so it became ONE communist, brutally ruled country to the death and miserable detriment of hundreds of thousands of our former allies.


....I heard Dr. David Kilcullen, current leading guru on counterinsurgency and former advisor to Generals Patraeus and McChrystal, speak at the World Affairs Council last Thursday evening. One point he made should resonate with all those who are NOT ignorant of the facts of the Vietnam War. And it should give us pause. Kilcullen said that the role of the U.S. military in Afghanistan is to prepare the U.S. for a negotiated settlement by putting us in the best possible position vis a vis our enemies there. We should remember that is exactly what the U.S. military gave us in Vietnam when we forced the North Vietnamese to the peace table. The military and Nixon had beaten the communists thoroughly on the battlefield and psychologically by bombing around Hanoi at will. The U.S. media and liberal congress then did their best to obviate completely that advantage gained with so much blood and tears by constantly undermining Nixon and Kissinger, passing resolutions cutting off military alternatives, and demanding settlement at any cost.


We cannot allow this to happen in Afghanistan.


Phil Jennings is the author to the Politically Incorrect Guide to the Vietnam War. Phillip Jennings served in Vietnam with the United States Marine Corps, flying helicopters, and in Laos as a pilot for Air America...


From Human Events (07/27/2010)

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=38220


Perhaps this article is a consequence of the brainwashing the author received during his time with the US military ravaging Indochina. After all, 'Air America' was a notorious front for CIA covert operations. However, other soldiers have been able to overcome their criminal past and find a more empowering enlightenment - obviously not Phillip Jennings.

What Phillip Jennings writes could misinform others and become part of the popular myth-making by militarists, so for the benefit of all this important history needs to be properly understood.


Actually, to be honest I believe he is a war criminal for what he did in Indochina, so he is presumably trying to justify the unjustifiable to save himself. That's not how to make amends for past crimes.


Instead, he should follow the example of other military people who now work passionately for peace and overcoming the tragic consequences of past wars. I respect those vets immensely, but not the war mongers!


When did the American War against Viet Nam really begin?


Not in 1965 when 3,200 Marines landed at Danang – about 20,000 US military personnel were already in south Viet Nam by then, engaged in combat without Congressional approval, and facing imminent defeat.


Not in 1954 when the French War officially ended with their surrender to the Viet Minh at Dien Bien Phu – the US had already been there for years, funding the French war up to 80%, and preventing peace talks.


Not even in 1950 when the US officially began large-scale shipments of military equipment (tanks, transport planes, etc.) to the French and their puppet government in Viet Nam.


Actually, it began in 1945 – as a disgraceful double act of betrayal!


During World War 2, the US and Ho Chi Minh were close allies in the war against Japan. Yet, in August 1945 the US government secretly agreed to betray their Vietnamese allies, and militarily assist the French to reclaim their colonial power in Indochina instead.


Then in September-October 1945, the Pentagon (and British) commandeered ships and planes to transport 13,000 French troops into Saigon, thus even betraying their own WW2 soldiers by delaying their return home to their families.


The enlisted crews on these US troopships were outraged, and signed a petition to the Congress and the President denouncing these “imperialist policies” and the use of American ships “to subjugate the native population” of Viet Nam.


So began the American War in Viet Nam, and the public opposition to it, in 1945!


Therefore, the basic truth is that from the very start the American War against Indochina was a criminal, imperialist enterprise to control resources, which started with US support for the return of the hated French colonialists in 1945, and continued with supporting various corrupt Vietnamese military dictators in the south.


Official US government statements about ensuring access to various minerals, etc. were very blatant back in 1953:


“Suppose we lost Indochina. If that happened, tin and tungsten, to which we attach such a high price, would cease coming. That is why when the US decides to give an aid of 400 million dollars to this (French) war, it does not make a gratuitous offer. In reality, we have chosen the least costly means to prevent one of the most terrible things for the US, for its security, its strength and its possibility to obtain what it needs among the riches in Indochina and South East Asia.”


- US President Eisenhower, at the Conference of State Governors, Seattle, August 4, 1953.



So, the ‘Vietnam War’ never had anything to do with "freedom and democracy" for the Vietnamese people! It was not a “noble cause” to resist “Aggression from the North”!


It didn’t matter that ‘South Vietnam’ was not a democracy, and engaged in US-sponsored systematic torture and human rights abuses - just as long as they were “anti-communist”. Tyrants are fine, just as long as they remain ‘our’ tyrants!


Imperialist wars are never about the rights or interests of the ordinary people anywhere. They are always only about controlling strategic resources and making profits for the super-rich ruling class.


Therefore, they are always sold to the public by lies and myths, hyping up false fears and cultural misunderstandings, and often by well-planned ‘false flag’ operations and economic or other provocations. The corporate-owned mass media plays a vital role in the selling of such improper wars.


All that was true in the case of Indochina, just as it is true today in Iraq (lies for oil, the petro-dollar, military bases, regime change, etc.) and Afghanistan (lies about 9/11 and "terrorists" for oil & gas pipelines, military bases, minerals, etc.)


If Iran is attacked, it will be all about protecting Israel, controlling oil, minerals, strategic interests, corporate profits, regime change, etc. - nothing to do with an alleged nuclear weapons programme, for which no evidence exists, or the interests and welfare of the people of Iran.


Have we forgotten already the deliberate lies about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq?!


Or, the fabricated “Tonkin Gulf attacks” and other US ‘psyops’ and false propaganda in Viet Nam?


For Phillip Jennings to write this way about Viet Nam he has to completely ignore the huge body of reputable history books on the subject, the revelations of deliberate lying exposed by the leaking of the ‘top secret’ official US government's "Pentagon Papers", and the US military hero Major-General Smedley Butler, who famously wrote all about why "War is a Racket" way back in 1935.


Phillip Jennings should also take the time to read the 1954 Geneva Agreement, and then he would know that it did not create two countries called 'North Vietnam' and 'South Vietnam'.


There was only one country, temporarily divided in 1954 at the end of the French war, with two governments each claiming legitimacy over the whole country, from the Chinese border in the north to the southern tip of Mekong Delta.


The Geneva Agreement specifically stated that the division into two zones was "a temporary military demarcation line, not a territorial boundary", and it would dissolve after nationwide democratic elections in 1956, supervised by Canada, Poland and India.


The Democratic Republic of Viet Nam government headed by popular president Ho Chi Minh (northern zone) gained political legitimacy by massive popular support of the people, who claimed power throughout the whole country in the largely-peaceful August Revolution, and proudly declared national independence on September 2, 1945.


At the time, Ho Chi Minh seriously wanted the friendship with the USA to continue, and wrote 8 cables to the US President discussing that - but got no replies.


Also, Ho Chi Minh's government had political legitimacy bestowed on it by the last king, Bao Dai.


On August 30, 1945, he formally handed over power, the royal sword and gold seal to the new republican government, declared he was now happier to be a private citizen in a free country rather than the king of an enslaved one, ended the feudal monarchy, and even served for a short time as an advisor to President Ho Chi Minh.


The other government (southern zone) was the State of Vietnam, established in 1949 by the French to oppose Ho Chi Minh, and headed by the ex-king Bao Dai who allowed himself to be used once again by the French as their puppet ruler.

This government later had a name change to the Republic of Vietnam (commonly known as ‘South Vietnam’), and was headed by President Diem, an unpopular Vietnamese catholic from the US, who replaced Bao Dai.


The minority of Vietnamese who had previously supported and benefited from the now-defeated French colonialists then supported this US-backed government.

So, who was expected to win the 1956 national democratic election?!


Even US President Eisenhower later wrote in his memoirs that if the election had been held at least 80% of the population would have voted for Ho Chi Minh.

So the ‘southern’ side, with full US government backing, refused to hold the democratic nationwide elections. Not only that, but they even refused to begin the consultative process of setting up the internationally-supervised elections!


So, for the vast majority of the Vietnamese people, the victory that they should have won peacefully in the ballot box had to be won on the bloody battlefield instead, at a terrible cost in lives and property, the natural environment, and social and family infrastructure.


Present and future generations still suffer from the horrible consequences of that criminal war, including from Agent Orange and other US chemical warfare toxins, an estimated 800,000 tonnes of unexploded bombs and mines still killing and maiming people today, and the “wandering souls” of about 300,000 Vietnamese soldiers still Missing-in-Action and their shattered families who mourn them still.


But, as Ho Chi Minh famously said: "Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom." Put yourself in their position, and can anyone argue against that?!


Remarkably, the Vietnamese won the war that was forced upon them, despite arguments from Philip Jennings to the contrary.


This Vietnamese victory can be demonstrated by simply looking at the terms of the 1973 Paris Peace Agreement. It was essentially exactly the same as an agreement proposed by the Vietnamese on October 8, 1972, and agreed to by Nixon and Kissinger without even consulting their puppets in Saigon.


When Saigon found out they were furious, because the agreement involved the withdrawal of all foreign troops (i.e. the US and their allies), but northern People's Army forces supporting the southern Provisional Revolutionary Government would remain where they were in the south.


This was perfectly reasonable, as the Geneva Agreement had acknowledged the territorial integrity of one Viet Nam, so they could hardly be "foreign troops" invading their own country!


During 12 days and nights of Christmas 1972, the US Air Force therefore launched the massive, brutal bombing of Hanoi and other cities and places in the north to try to force concessions, including the withdrawal of northern soldiers from the south. It failed.


The US Air Force was shocked when 81 planes were shot down, including 34 of their high-flying B52 bombers - they did not expect that! Public protest, and the loss of so many US planes and top pilots, forced an end to the bombing. In nearly 10 years of aerial bombing, the Vietnamese destroyed over 4000 US planes.


The Pentagon still does not want to publicly admit to this devastating defeat for the US Air Force!


So, on January 27, 1973, the US signed the Paris Peace Agreement, under which northern troops were allowed to remain in the south! There were no more concessions. Vietnamese celebrate this victory every year as the “Dien Bien Phu of the Air".


This name reminds us of the historic Vietnamese military victory over the French at Dien Bien Phu in northern Viet Nam in 1954. Ironically, by 1954 the US taxpayers were paying 80% of the French colonialist war costs! How many even know this today?


The Paris Peace Agreement was a turning point, but not the end of the war. US military and economic support for Saigon continued, with many US troops ‘rebranded’ and remaining as “advisors” (just as in Iraq today!), and there were immediate violations from the desperate Saigon side. However, the historic ‘Ho Chi Minh Campaign’ was ultimately successful, and Saigon unconditionally surrendered on April 30, 1975.


National reunification was finally achieved, but it could have been won peacefully at the ballot box in 1956, if the US government had not made the wrong choice in 1945!


Instead of writers like Philip Jennings writing a distortion of history to justify the unjustifiable, they would do better to use their experience and talents to write against the criminal folly of war, and work to prevent the insanity of wars in the future.


The military people to respect are those who follow in the tradition of military heroes like US Major-General Smedley Butler who finally understood that he was nothing more than "a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism....a muscle-man for Wall Street".


Today’s real military heroes are those who stand up, become whistle-blowers against illegal wars and the lies used to sell them, go AWOL from criminal wars such as Iraq and Afghanistan, publish the truth and sabotage the imperialist war machine from within. Resistance within the military is growing - all power to it!


There are many reasons ‘Why Vietnam Truth Matters’, one of them being to correctly learn from that history in order to prevent future tragedies. Yes indeed, "War is a Racket", and falsely promoting it as something noble does not serve humanity well.



Bruce McPhie

Revised October 21, 2010