History Blinded by Anti Socialism: Ken Burns’ Vietnam
The Vietnam War was a direct product of the Cold War, and thus cannot be told from a purely American/capitalist perspective, as Burns has unwittingly done. In the name of “fighting Communism” the U.S. government committed back-to-back genocides in Korea and Vietnam; a combined tragedy that matches the Jewish Holocaust.
Millions of people were killed and two nations destroyed in order to “prove” that Communism doesn’t work. And sure enough, the ruined, smoldering nations left behind struggled for years after, receiving none of the reconstruction spending given to post WWII Europe.
The merits of the Vietnamese version of “socialism” should be debated, but Burns allows no room for debate, since to him socialism is “bad.” However, Vietnamese socialism, while imperfect, allowed the nation to recover from obliteration and actually develop independently, and now the “mixed economy” performs better than most of the world, while overall Vietnam is a larger economy than several of its neighbors.
Even with the above blemishes Burns’ film will be a valuable resource to active duty soldiers, who will find endless similarities between Vietnam and the lie-based, unwinnable wars they are fighting in the Middle East. Seeing veterans discuss their evolution from obedient soldier to war protestor will have its effect, while watching the lies coming down from president after president in the face of mass killing cannot project faith in the American military project.
The international situation today demands that a new antiwar movement emerge that links arms with the active-duty troops unwilling to simply follow orders.nevereVereven, kath, Enthusiast and 3 othersPam, chknltl, Ichingcarpenter like this
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