Annotated Transcript Of Episode 2

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ANNOTATED TRANSCRIPT BURNS EPISODE 2 Riding the Tiger (1961-1963)

Color Coding: Red = False statement; Yellow = Warning; Green = Not yet used; Blue = Interesting, warranting Attention;

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MINUTES 0-9

1

00:00:01,566 --> 00:00:03,000 ANNOUNCER: MAJOR SUPPORT FOR "THE VIETNAM WAR"

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00:00:03,000 --> 00:00:06,500 WAS PROVIDED BY MEMBERS OF THE BETTER ANGELS SOCIETY,

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00:00:06,500 --> 00:00:10,466 INCLUDING JONATHAN AND JEANNIE LAVINE,

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00:00:10,466 --> 00:00:13,366 DIANE AND HAL BRIERLEY,

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00:00:13,366 --> 00:00:15,766 AMY AND DAVID ABRAMS,

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00:00:15,766 --> 00:00:18,266 JOHN AND CATHERINE DEBS,

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00:00:18,266 --> 00:00:21,166 THE FULLERTON FAMILY CHARITABLE FUND,

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00:00:21,166 --> 00:00:23,233 THE MONTRONE FAMILY,

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00:00:23,233 --> 00:00:25,566 LYNDA AND STEWART RESNICK,

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00:00:25,566 --> 00:00:28,333 THE PERRY AND DONNA GOLKIN FAMILY FOUNDATION,

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00:00:28,333 --> 00:00:29,333 THE LYNCH FOUNDATION,

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00:00:29,333 --> 00:00:32,200 THE ROGER AND ROSEMARY ENRICO FOUNDATION,

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00:00:32,200 --> 00:00:35,633 AND BY THESE ADDITIONAL FUNDERS.

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00:00:35,633 --> 00:00:37,533 MAJOR FUNDING WAS ALSO PROVIDED

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00:00:37,533 --> 00:00:39,266 BY DAVID H. KOCH...

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00:00:41,566 --> 00:00:43,766 THE BLAVATNIK FAMILY FOUNDATION...

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00:00:46,100 --> 00:00:48,533 THE PARK FOUNDATION,

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00:00:48,533 --> 00:00:50,700 THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES,

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00:00:50,700 --> 00:00:52,900 THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS,

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00:00:52,900 --> 00:00:55,566 THE JOHN S. AND JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION,

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00:00:55,566 --> 00:00:58,333 THE ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION,

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00:00:58,333 --> 00:01:01,000 THE ARTHUR VINING DAVIS FOUNDATIONS,

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00:01:01,000 --> 00:01:03,200 THE FORD FOUNDATION JUSTFILMS,

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00:01:03,200 --> 00:01:04,400 BY THE CORPORATION

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00:01:04,400 --> 00:01:05,633 FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING,

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00:01:05,633 --> 00:01:07,600 AND BY VIEWERS LIKE YOU.

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00:01:07,600 --> 00:01:08,733 THANK YOU.

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00:01:13,266 --> 00:01:15,400 ANNOUNCER: BANK OF AMERICA PROUDLY SUPPORTS

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00:01:15,400 --> 00:01:20,300 KEN BURNS' AND LYNN NOVICK'S FILM "THE VIETNAM WAR"

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00:01:20,300 --> 00:01:22,700 BECAUSE FOSTERING DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES

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00:01:22,700 --> 00:01:25,300 AND CIVIL DISCOURSE AROUND IMPORTANT ISSUES

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00:01:25,300 --> 00:01:27,600 FURTHERS PROGRESS, EQUALITY,

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00:01:27,600 --> 00:01:29,600 AND A MORE CONNECTED SOCIETY.

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00:01:34,066 --> 00:01:38,100 GO TO BANKOFAMERICA.COM/ BETTERCONNECTED TO LEARN MORE.

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00:01:51,400 --> 00:01:54,833 (distant helicopter blades beating)

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00:01:54,833 --> 00:01:56,500 (radio feedback) CON THIEN, SOUTH VIETNAM

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00:01:58,966 --> 00:02:04,733 JOHN MUSGRAVE: MARINE 1967 I was assigned a listening post at Con Thien in the fall.

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00:02:04,733 --> 00:02:08,766 That was like getting a death sentence in a trial.

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00:02:08,766 --> 00:02:11,100 Because that's just three Marines out there with a radio.

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00:02:12,566 --> 00:02:14,300 And that's the scariest thing I did.

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00:02:14,300 --> 00:02:17,100 You're listening for the enemy.

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00:02:17,100 --> 00:02:20,233 They call you on the radio every hour,

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00:02:20,233 --> 00:02:21,666 "Delta, Lima, Papa, Three, Bravo,

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00:02:21,666 --> 00:02:25,133 "Delta, Lima, Papa, Three, Bravo, this is Delta Three.

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00:02:25,133 --> 00:02:28,300 "If your sit rep is alpha sierra, key your handset twice.

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00:02:28,300 --> 00:02:29,666 (two blips of static)

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00:02:29,666 --> 00:02:31,366 "If your situation report is all secure,

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00:02:31,366 --> 00:02:33,066 break squelch twice on the handset."

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00:02:33,066 --> 00:02:35,066 (two lower-toned blips of static)

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00:02:35,066 --> 00:02:37,166 And if it's not, they keep thinking you're asleep

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00:02:37,166 --> 00:02:39,800 so they keep asking you, "If your sit rep is alpha sierra,"

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00:02:39,800 --> 00:02:41,166 and then it finally dawns on them,

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00:02:41,166 --> 00:02:43,833 maybe there's somebody too close for you to say anything.

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00:02:43,833 --> 00:02:46,866 So then they say, "If your sit rep is negative alpha sierra,

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00:02:46,866 --> 00:02:48,333 key your handset once,"

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00:02:48,333 --> 00:02:50,300 and you damn near squeeze the handle off the, you know,

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00:02:50,300 --> 00:02:53,533 and two on the radio because they're so close

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00:02:53,533 --> 00:02:55,500 that you can hear them whispering to one another.

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00:02:57,933 --> 00:02:59,433 And that's scary stuff.

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00:02:59,433 --> 00:03:00,700 That's real scary stuff.

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00:03:00,700 --> 00:03:04,500 And I'm scared of the dark, still.

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00:03:04,500 --> 00:03:07,433 I still got a night light.

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00:03:07,433 --> 00:03:10,733 When my kids were growing up,

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00:03:10,733 --> 00:03:14,466 that's the first time they really found out

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00:03:14,466 --> 00:03:16,666 that Daddy'd been in a war when they said,

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00:03:16,666 --> 00:03:19,233 "Well, why do we need to outgrow our night lights?

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00:03:19,233 --> 00:03:20,600 Daddy's still got one."

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00:03:25,566 --> 00:03:27,633 ("So What" by Miles Davis playing) JANUARY 20, 1961

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00:03:27,633 --> 00:03:31,833 JOHN KENNEDY: Let the word go forth from this time and place,

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00:03:31,833 --> 00:03:34,766 to friend and foe alike,

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00:03:34,766 --> 00:03:38,966 that the torch has been passed to a new generation

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00:03:38,966 --> 00:03:45,666 of Americans born in this century, tempered by war,

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00:03:45,666 --> 00:03:49,400 disciplined by a hard and bitter peace,

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00:03:49,400 --> 00:03:50,866 proud of our...

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00:03:50,866 --> 00:03:52,733 JACK TODD: I still believed, very much,

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00:03:52,733 --> 00:03:57,433 in this concept of an heroic America,

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00:03:57,433 --> 00:04:00,166 America being a really special country,

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00:04:00,166 --> 00:04:03,500 the best country in the world, the best democracy,

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00:04:03,500 --> 00:04:07,533 all the things that we believe about it, which...

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00:04:07,533 --> 00:04:09,633 and I didn't really see anything wrong with that.

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00:04:12,366 --> 00:04:16,966 I was sure that we were right to be in Vietnam.

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00:04:16,966 --> 00:04:19,200 You know, because it started under Kennedy

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00:04:19,200 --> 00:04:21,766 and, to me, JFK was God.

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00:04:21,766 --> 00:04:25,200 Anything that he thought was right, I thought was right.

85

00:04:27,466 --> 00:04:31,666 NARRATOR: At 43, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the youngest man

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00:04:31,666 --> 00:04:35,300 ever elected president of the United States.

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00:04:35,300 --> 00:04:37,766 He had promised bold new leadership,

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00:04:37,766 --> 00:04:41,133 and to his supporters his inauguration seemed to signal

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00:04:41,133 --> 00:04:43,966 a new day.

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00:04:43,966 --> 00:04:47,000 KENNEDY: To those new states whom we welcome

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00:04:47,000 --> 00:04:49,900 to the ranks of the free,

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00:04:49,900 --> 00:04:55,900 we pledge our word that one form of colonial control

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00:04:55,900 --> 00:04:58,433 shall not have passed away

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00:04:58,433 --> 00:05:03,733 merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny.

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00:05:03,733 --> 00:05:08,933 We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view.

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00:05:08,933 --> 00:05:13,466 But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting

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00:05:13,466 --> 00:05:18,933 their own freedom and to remember that, in the past,

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00:05:18,933 --> 00:05:22,466 those who foolishly sought power

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00:05:22,466 --> 00:05:26,733 by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.

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00:05:30,600 --> 00:05:32,933 (cheers and applause) THE VIETNAM WAR

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00:05:35,133 --> 00:05:37,500 NARRATOR: The new president gathered around him

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00:05:37,500 --> 00:05:41,333 an extraordinary set of advisors who shared his determination

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00:05:41,333 --> 00:05:46,433 to confront communism, including Secretary of State Dean Rusk,

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00:05:46,433 --> 00:05:50,266 National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy,

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00:05:50,266 --> 00:05:53,000 his deputy Walt Rostow,

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00:05:53,000 --> 00:05:57,400 special military advisor General Maxwell Taylor,

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00:05:57,400 --> 00:06:01,100 and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara,

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00:06:01,100 --> 00:06:02,800 who had given up his post

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00:06:02,800 --> 00:06:06,833 as president of the Ford Motor Company to serve his country.

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00:06:06,833 --> 00:06:12,933 He was a pioneer in the field of systems analysis.

111

00:06:12,933 --> 00:06:15,833 Like the president who picked them,

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00:06:15,833 --> 00:06:20,033 all of Kennedy's men had served during World War II.

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00:06:20,033 --> 00:06:22,433 Each had absorbed what they all believed

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00:06:22,433 --> 00:06:24,400 was its central lesson:

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00:06:24,400 --> 00:06:28,500 ambitious dictatorships needed to be halted in their tracks

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00:06:28,500 --> 00:06:31,766 before they constituted a serious danger

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00:06:31,766 --> 00:06:33,900 to the peace of the world.

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00:06:33,900 --> 00:06:37,200 Meanwhile, in South Vietnam,

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00:06:37,200 --> 00:06:39,300 the National Liberation Front[1]--

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00:06:39,300 --> 00:06:42,200 labeled by its enemies the Viet Cong [2]--

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00:06:42,200 --> 00:06:45,633 was determined to overthrow the anticommunist

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00:06:45,633 --> 00:06:51,033 and increasingly autocratic government[3] of Ngo Dinh Diem.

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00:06:51,033 --> 00:06:55,133 In North Vietnam, unbeknownst to Washington,

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00:06:55,133 --> 00:06:59,133 Ho Chi Minh, the father of Vietnamese independence,

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00:06:59,133 --> 00:07:02,500 was now sharing power with a more aggressive leader,

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00:07:02,500 --> 00:07:05,500 Le Duan,[4] who was even more impatient

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00:07:05,500 --> 00:07:07,900 to reunify his country.

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00:07:09,366 --> 00:07:11,000 BAO NINH: N. VIETNAMESE ARMY After the French fled, the Americans jumped in. For my parents generation you Americans were no different from the French.The Americans were also invaders. As their son, I inherited their ideas.[5]

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00:07:28,266 --> 00:07:31,866 LESLIE GELB: PENTAGON None of us knew anything about Vietnam.

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00:07:31,866 --> 00:07:36,066 Vietnam in those days was a piece on a chessboard,

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00:07:36,066 --> 00:07:38,233 a strategic chessboard,

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00:07:38,233 --> 00:07:42,166 not a place with a culture and a history

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00:07:42,166 --> 00:07:47,733 that we would have an impossible time changing,

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00:07:47,733 --> 00:07:50,700 even with the mighty force of the United States.

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00:07:50,700 --> 00:07:55,333 NARRATOR: Over the next three years, the United States would struggle

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00:07:55,333 --> 00:07:59,833 to understand the complicated country it had come to save,

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00:07:59,833 --> 00:08:03,066 fail to appreciate the enemy's resolve,

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00:08:03,066 --> 00:08:06,800 and misread how the South Vietnamese people really felt

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00:08:06,800 --> 00:08:08,766 about their government.[6]

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00:08:10,666 --> 00:08:12,966 The new president would find himself caught

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00:08:12,966 --> 00:08:17,666 between the momentum of war and the desire for peace,

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00:08:17,666 --> 00:08:20,733 between humility and hubris,

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00:08:20,733 --> 00:08:27,166 between idealism and expediency, between the truth and a lie.

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00:08:38,799 --> 00:08:43,933 EPISODE TWO - RIDING THE TIGER (1961-1963) ("My Country 'Tis of Thee" playing)

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00:08:47,333 --> 00:08:50,633 KENNEDY: And so, my fellow Americans,

146

00:08:50,633 --> 00:08:55,733 ask not what your country can do for you,

147

00:08:55,733 --> 00:08:58,033 ask what you can do for your country.

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00:09:04,933 --> 00:09:08,900 MUSGRAVE: I grew up in Missouri, near Kansas City,

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00:09:08,900 --> 00:09:12,033 a little community called Fairmount.

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00:09:12,033 --> 00:09:13,600 I was born in 1948.

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00:09:13,600 --> 00:09:16,200 And there were lots of kids being born in those days

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00:09:16,200 --> 00:09:17,833 from the guys who were lucky enough to come home

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00:09:17,833 --> 00:09:18,833 from World War II.

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00:09:20,066 --> 00:09:23,600 My dad was a pilot in the Army Air Corps.

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00:09:23,600 --> 00:09:26,400 And all of dad's friends

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00:09:26,400 --> 00:09:29,533 were World War II vets or Korean vets.

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00:09:29,533 --> 00:09:32,233 And all of my male teachers were veterans.

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00:09:32,233 --> 00:09:34,633 And even my pastor had been a chaplain.

159

00:09:36,166 --> 00:09:40,900 Well, they were my heroes, and I wanted to be like them. [7]

MINUTES 9-19

160

00:09:47,933 --> 00:09:50,900 NARRATOR: For all of John Kennedy's soaring rhetoric,

161

00:09:50,900 --> 00:09:53,566 for all the talent he gathered around him,

162

00:09:53,566 --> 00:09:56,933 the first months of his presidency did not go well.

163

00:09:56,933 --> 00:10:01,366 He approved a CIA-sponsored invasion of Cuba

164

00:10:01,366 --> 00:10:05,933 at the Bay of Pigs that ended in disaster. [8]

165

00:10:05,933 --> 00:10:07,833 He felt he'd been bullied

166

00:10:07,833 --> 00:10:10,266 by Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev

167

00:10:10,266 --> 00:10:12,633 at a summit meeting in Vienna.

168

00:10:12,633 --> 00:10:15,000 He was unable to keep the Soviets

169

00:10:15,000 --> 00:10:17,366 from building the Berlin Wall.

170

00:10:17,366 --> 00:10:21,600 And in Southeast Asia, he refused to intervene

171

00:10:21,600 --> 00:10:24,900 against a communist insurrection in Laos. [9]

172

00:10:24,900 --> 00:10:29,566 Critics accused him of being immature, indecisive,

173

00:10:29,566 --> 00:10:33,266 inadequate to the task of combating what seemed to be

174

00:10:33,266 --> 00:10:35,766 a mounting communist threat.

175

00:10:35,766 --> 00:10:39,300 "There are just so many concessions that we can make

176

00:10:39,300 --> 00:10:41,733 in one year and survive politically,"

177

00:10:41,733 --> 00:10:46,500 he confided to an aide in the spring of 1961.

178

00:10:46,500 --> 00:10:51,833 In South Vietnam, Kennedy felt he had to act.

179

00:10:51,833 --> 00:10:54,533 After the president received reports

180

00:10:54,533 --> 00:10:57,100 that the Viet Cong might be in control

181

00:10:57,100 --> 00:11:01,200 of more than half the densely populated Mekong Delta,

182

00:11:01,200 --> 00:11:05,333 he dispatched General Maxwell Taylor and Walt Rostow

183

00:11:05,333 --> 00:11:07,500 to Vietnam.

184

00:11:07,500 --> 00:11:11,333 They urged him to commit American ground troops.

185

00:11:11,333 --> 00:11:13,000 Kennedy refused.

186

00:11:13,000 --> 00:11:16,733 It would be like taking a first drink, he said--

187

00:11:16,733 --> 00:11:19,900 the effect would soon wear off and there would be demands

188

00:11:19,900 --> 00:11:23,333 for another and another and another.

189

00:11:23,333 --> 00:11:26,800 Instead, in the midst of a cold war,

190

00:11:26,800 --> 00:11:30,066 with its constant risk of nuclear confrontation,

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00:11:30,066 --> 00:11:33,400 the president supported a new "flexible" way

192

00:11:33,400 --> 00:11:39,000 to confront and contain communism: limited war.

193

00:11:39,000 --> 00:11:43,800 KENNEDY: This is another type of warfare, new in its intensity,

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00:11:43,800 --> 00:11:46,433 ancient in its origin--

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00:11:46,433 --> 00:11:51,366 war by guerrillas, subversives, insurgents, assassins;

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00:11:51,366 --> 00:11:55,800 war by ambush instead of by combat;

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00:11:55,800 --> 00:11:58,333 by infiltration instead of aggression.

198

00:12:00,066 --> 00:12:02,633 NARRATOR: To fight his "limited wars,"

199

00:12:02,633 --> 00:12:05,600 Kennedy hoped to use the elite Green Berets,

200

00:12:05,600 --> 00:12:09,200 special forces trained in guerrilla warfare,

201

00:12:09,200 --> 00:12:11,833 counterinsurgency.

202

00:12:11,833 --> 00:12:16,633 They were meant to be dispatched to hotspots around the world.

203

00:12:16,633 --> 00:12:19,466 ROBERT RHEAULT: Khrushchev said, "We're not going to destroy you

204

00:12:19,466 --> 00:12:20,966 with nuclear weapons,

205

00:12:20,966 --> 00:12:24,166 we're going to destroy you with wars of national liberation."

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00:12:24,166 --> 00:12:26,166 Everybody talked about the fact

207

00:12:26,166 --> 00:12:30,933 that communism was spreading and it had to be stopped.

208

00:12:30,933 --> 00:12:33,700 You went to Command and General Staff College

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00:12:33,700 --> 00:12:37,300 and you were playing on maps with nuclear weapons

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00:12:37,300 --> 00:12:39,000 and so forth.

211

00:12:39,000 --> 00:12:43,933 And I escaped from that by getting into Special Forces.

212

00:12:43,933 --> 00:12:46,666 So that instead of planning what we were going to do

213

00:12:46,666 --> 00:12:51,600 if World War III broke out, we were actually doing stuff.

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00:12:53,133 --> 00:12:56,500 And Vietnam was a place where we were going to draw the line.

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00:12:58,166 --> 00:12:59,966 NARRATOR: Kennedy sent the Green Berets

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00:12:59,966 --> 00:13:02,366 to the Central Highlands of Vietnam

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00:13:02,366 --> 00:13:06,033 to organize mountain tribes to fight the Viet Cong

218

00:13:06,033 --> 00:13:10,800 and to undertake covert missions to sabotage their supply bases

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00:13:10,800 --> 00:13:13,900 in Laos and Cambodia. [10]

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00:13:13,900 --> 00:13:18,466 But Kennedy understood that counterinsurgency alone

221

00:13:18,466 --> 00:13:19,633 would never be enough,

222

00:13:19,633 --> 00:13:23,233 so he doubled funding for South Vietnam's army,

223

00:13:23,233 --> 00:13:28,500 dispatched helicopters and APCs, armored personnel carriers.

224

00:13:31,500 --> 00:13:35,333 Kennedy also authorized the use of napalm

225

00:13:35,333 --> 00:13:39,866 and the spraying of defoliants to deny cover to the Viet Cong

226

00:13:39,866 --> 00:13:43,766 and destroy the crops that fed them.

227

00:13:43,766 --> 00:13:46,933 A whole array of chemicals was used,

228

00:13:46,933 --> 00:13:50,433 including one named for the color of the stripes

229

00:13:50,433 --> 00:13:56,466 on the 55-gallon drums in which it came-- "Agent Orange."

230

00:13:56,466 --> 00:14:00,066 And the president quietly continued to increase

231

00:14:00,066 --> 00:14:03,100 the number of American military advisors.

232

00:14:03,100 --> 00:14:08,466 Within two years, the number he had inherited would grow

233

00:14:08,466 --> 00:14:11,766 to 11,300,

234

00:14:11,766 --> 00:14:14,333 empowered not only to teach

235

00:14:14,333 --> 00:14:17,366 the Army of the Republic of Vietnam-- the ARVN--[11]

236

00:14:17,366 --> 00:14:19,433 to fight a conventional war,

237

00:14:19,433 --> 00:14:21,700 but to accompany them into battle,

238

00:14:21,700 --> 00:14:25,333 a violation of the agreement that had divided Vietnam

239

00:14:25,333 --> 00:14:26,400 back in 1954. [12]

240

00:14:26,400 --> 00:14:30,066 (gunfire)

241

00:14:30,066 --> 00:14:34,133 The administration did its best to hide from the American people

242

00:14:34,133 --> 00:14:36,566 the scale of the buildup that was taking place

243

00:14:36,566 --> 00:14:38,433 on the other side of the world,

244

00:14:38,433 --> 00:14:41,300 fearful that the public would not support

245

00:14:41,300 --> 00:14:48,233 the more active role advisors had begun to play in combat.

246

00:14:48,233 --> 00:14:50,933 REPORTER: Mr. President, a Republican National Committee publication

247

00:14:50,933 --> 00:14:54,333 has said that you are... have been less than candid

248

00:14:54,333 --> 00:14:58,233 with the American people as to how deeply we are involved

249

00:14:58,233 --> 00:15:00,133 in Vietnam.

250

00:15:00,133 --> 00:15:02,800 Could you throw any more light on that?

251

00:15:02,800 --> 00:15:04,900 KENNEDY: We have increased our assistance to the government,

252

00:15:04,900 --> 00:15:06,733 its logistics.

253

00:15:06,733 --> 00:15:08,700 We have not sent combat troops there.

254

00:15:08,700 --> 00:15:11,966 Though the training missions that we have there

255

00:15:11,966 --> 00:15:14,833 have been instructed if they are fired upon to...

256

00:15:14,833 --> 00:15:17,800 they are, would of course, fire back, to protect themselves.

257

00:15:17,800 --> 00:15:19,633 But we have not sent combat troops

258

00:15:19,633 --> 00:15:22,000 in the generally understood sense of the word.

259

00:15:22,000 --> 00:15:27,766 So that I-I feel that we are being as frank as the...

260

00:15:27,766 --> 00:15:29,066 as we can be.

261

00:15:29,066 --> 00:15:30,700 I think we... what I have said to you

262

00:15:30,700 --> 00:15:33,766 is a description of our activity there.

263

00:15:38,333 --> 00:15:41,800 NEIL SHEEHAN: I was a child of the Cold War.

264

00:15:41,800 --> 00:15:45,366 When I got off the plane in Saigon on a humid evening

265

00:15:45,366 --> 00:15:47,300 in April 1962,

266

00:15:47,300 --> 00:15:51,266 I really believed in all the ideology of the Cold War.

267

00:15:51,266 --> 00:15:52,400 On...

268

00:15:52,400 --> 00:15:55,000 That if we lost South Vietnam,

269

00:15:55,000 --> 00:15:57,466 that the rest of Southeast Asia would fall to the communists.

270

00:15:57,466 --> 00:16:01,433 There was an international communist conspiracy.

271

00:16:01,433 --> 00:16:04,000 We believed fervently in this stuff.

272

00:16:04,000 --> 00:16:07,966 NARRATOR: Neil Sheehan was a 25-year-old reporter

273

00:16:07,966 --> 00:16:11,366 for United Press International, UPI.

274

00:16:11,366 --> 00:16:15,533 He had served three years in the Army in Korea and Japan

275

00:16:15,533 --> 00:16:18,366 before deciding to become a newspaperman.

276

00:16:18,366 --> 00:16:22,666 Vietnam was his first full-time overseas assignment,

277

00:16:22,666 --> 00:16:24,666 and his only worry, he remembered,

278

00:16:24,666 --> 00:16:27,433 was that he would get there too late and miss out

279

00:16:27,433 --> 00:16:29,500 on the big story.

280

00:16:29,500 --> 00:16:33,733 Sheehan and other reporters rode along as the ARVN mounted

281

00:16:33,733 --> 00:16:37,366 a series of helicopter assaults on enemy strongholds

282

00:16:37,366 --> 00:16:39,800 in the Mekong Delta and elsewhere

283

00:16:39,800 --> 00:16:43,266 and brought terror to the Viet Cong.

284

00:16:43,266 --> 00:16:46,366 American pilots were at the controls.

285

00:16:46,366 --> 00:16:50,866 SHEEHAN: JOURNALIST It was a crusade and it was thrilling.

286

00:16:50,866 --> 00:16:53,466 And you'd climb aboard the helicopters

287

00:16:53,466 --> 00:16:56,833 with the Vietnamese soldiers who were being taken out to battle.

288

00:16:56,833 --> 00:16:58,500 And they'd take off.

289

00:16:58,500 --> 00:17:01,300 And they'd contour-fly, they'd skim across the rice paddies

290

00:17:01,300 --> 00:17:03,566 at about three or four feet above the paddies,

291

00:17:03,566 --> 00:17:07,533 and then pop up over the tree lines that lined the fields.

292

00:17:07,533 --> 00:17:08,833 It was thrilling.

293

00:17:08,833 --> 00:17:10,166 I mean it was absolutely thrilling.

294

00:17:10,166 --> 00:17:13,266 And you believed in what was happening.

295

00:17:13,266 --> 00:17:15,433 I mean you had the sense that we're fighting here

296

00:17:15,433 --> 00:17:19,333 and some day we'll win, and this country will be a better,

297

00:17:19,333 --> 00:17:20,366 better country for our coming.

298

00:17:22,333 --> 00:17:25,300 NARRATOR: The new M-113 armored personnel carriers

299

00:17:25,300 --> 00:17:29,066 were capable of churning across rivers and rice paddies

300

00:17:29,066 --> 00:17:30,933 and right through the earthen dikes

301

00:17:30,933 --> 00:17:33,233 that separated one field from the next.

302

00:17:34,666 --> 00:17:39,766 The Viet Cong had nothing with which to stop them.

303

00:17:39,766 --> 00:17:45,566 JAMES SCANLON: ARMY ADVISOR We were just overwhelming them with force, with firepower.

304

00:17:45,566 --> 00:17:48,966 And the firefights would be over in a pretty short time.

305

00:17:48,966 --> 00:17:51,733 MAN ON RADIO: We have some people running along the dikes.

306

00:17:51,733 --> 00:17:54,700 Actually, the canal is perpendicular

307

00:17:54,700 --> 00:17:56,200 to the one you're attacking now.

308

00:17:56,200 --> 00:18:00,166 They have on black uniforms, and I estimate approximately 3-0.

309

00:18:00,166 --> 00:18:02,900 Do you have them in sight? Over.

310

00:18:02,900 --> 00:18:05,200 SCANLON: That's what was causing us to win, see.

311

00:18:05,200 --> 00:18:08,433 And we were winning one after the other.

312

00:18:08,433 --> 00:18:12,100 And we were not meeting a heck of a lot of resistance.

313

00:18:12,100 --> 00:18:15,966 NARRATOR: Captain James Scanlon had been stationed in West Germany

314

00:18:15,966 --> 00:18:19,166 and had seen for himself the brutality with which

315

00:18:19,166 --> 00:18:21,800 the communist East Germans dealt with anyone

316

00:18:21,800 --> 00:18:25,366 who dared try to escape to the West.

317

00:18:25,366 --> 00:18:27,700 He was now in the Mekong Delta,

318

00:18:27,700 --> 00:18:30,766 an advisor to the 7th Division of the ARVN,

319

00:18:30,766 --> 00:18:35,466 and had begun to see evidence of Viet Cong brutality as well.

320

00:18:38,700 --> 00:18:42,400 SCANLON: Those of us who talked to the people who fled East Germany,

321

00:18:42,400 --> 00:18:46,500 we saw the need to stop the growth of communism,

322

00:18:46,500 --> 00:18:50,033 to stop the dominoes from being tumbled.

323

00:18:50,033 --> 00:18:52,566 That was a worthy cause.

MINUTES 19-30

324

00:18:54,066 --> 00:18:57,866 NARRATOR: As the ARVN and their advisors pursued the Viet Cong,

325

00:18:57,866 --> 00:19:00,600 the government of Ngo Dinh Diem had launched

326

00:19:00,600 --> 00:19:05,066 an ambitious program meant to gain control of the countryside

327

00:19:05,066 --> 00:19:07,833 by concentrating the rural population

328

00:19:07,833 --> 00:19:10,500 into thousands of fortified settlements,

329

00:19:10,500 --> 00:19:14,933 ringed with barbed wire and moats and bamboo spikes

330

00:19:14,933 --> 00:19:17,700 meant to keep out the Viet Cong.

331

00:19:17,700 --> 00:19:22,166 They were called strategic hamlets, part of the effort

332

00:19:22,166 --> 00:19:25,400 to win the hearts and minds, and loyalty,

333

00:19:25,400 --> 00:19:26,900 of the Vietnamese people.

334

00:19:26,900 --> 00:19:31,600 The French had tried something like it a decade before.

335

00:19:31,600 --> 00:19:35,633 They had called it pacification.

336

00:19:35,633 --> 00:19:38,300 ROBERT McNAMARA: President Diem's strategic hamlet program

337

00:19:38,300 --> 00:19:40,766 is making substantial progress.

338

00:19:40,766 --> 00:19:45,500 About 1,600 of the some 14,000 hamlets

339

00:19:45,500 --> 00:19:49,166 have been fortified to date.

340

00:19:49,166 --> 00:19:51,466 NARRATOR: By the summer of 1962,

341

00:19:51,466 --> 00:19:54,900 news from South Vietnam seemed so promising

342

00:19:54,900 --> 00:19:58,766 that Defense Secretary Robert McNamara made sure

343

00:19:58,766 --> 00:20:01,933 the Pentagon was prepared to implement a plan

344

00:20:01,933 --> 00:20:05,500 for a gradual withdrawal of American advisors

345

00:20:05,500 --> 00:20:08,166 to be completed by 1965.

346

00:20:08,166 --> 00:20:11,800 So far as most Americans knew,

347

00:20:11,800 --> 00:20:14,733 the United States was achieving its goal:

348

00:20:14,733 --> 00:20:18,100 a stable, independent, anticommunist state

349

00:20:18,100 --> 00:20:20,300 in South Vietnam.

350

00:20:20,300 --> 00:20:24,833 It was "a struggle this country cannot shirk,"

351

00:20:24,833 --> 00:20:26,700 the New York Times said,

352

00:20:26,700 --> 00:20:31,100 and the United States seemed to be winning it.

353

00:20:32,800 --> 00:20:36,766 But that same summer, Ho Chi Minh traveled to Beijing [13]

354

00:20:36,766 --> 00:20:40,366 in search of more help from the Chinese.

355

00:20:40,366 --> 00:20:43,733 The American buildup in South Vietnam had alarmed him

356

00:20:43,733 --> 00:20:46,033 and the other leaders in Hanoi.

357

00:20:46,033 --> 00:20:49,400 Ho told the Chinese that American attacks

358

00:20:49,400 --> 00:20:55,300 on North Vietnam itself now seemed only a matter of time. [14]

359

00:20:55,300 --> 00:20:59,400 The Chinese promised to equip and arm tens of thousands

360

00:20:59,400 --> 00:21:02,566 of Vietnamese soldiers.

361

00:21:02,566 --> 00:21:06,166 Meanwhile, the Politburo in Hanoi had directed

362

00:21:06,166 --> 00:21:09,533 that every able-bodied North Vietnamese man

363

00:21:09,533 --> 00:21:14,466 be required to serve in the armed forces.

364

00:21:14,466 --> 00:21:17,633 ("Honky Tonk Pt. 1" by Bill Doggett playing)

365

00:21:21,333 --> 00:21:23,666 NARRATOR: Inspired by their president's call,

366

00:21:23,666 --> 00:21:26,966 thousands of young Americans would join the Peace Corps

367

00:21:26,966 --> 00:21:30,900 and other organizations to help project American ideals

368

00:21:30,900 --> 00:21:33,266 and goodwill around the world.

369

00:21:34,366 --> 00:21:39,366 ("Honky Tonk Pt. 1" continues)

370

00:21:45,200 --> 00:21:50,000 RUFUS PHILLIPS: USAID We were not only there in Vietnam to stop communism,

371

00:21:50,000 --> 00:21:53,866 but there had to be something positive.

372

00:21:53,866 --> 00:21:57,200 We're trying to find out what the Vietnamese people want

373

00:21:57,200 --> 00:21:59,900 and to help them get it.

374

00:21:59,900 --> 00:22:01,300 And that was very simple

375

00:22:01,300 --> 00:22:03,433 but, if you think about it, also very complex.

376

00:22:03,433 --> 00:22:05,900 But it went to the heart, I thought,

377

00:22:05,900 --> 00:22:08,366 of what we were trying to do.

378

00:22:08,366 --> 00:22:10,300 ("Dirty Overalls" by Woody Guthrie playing)

379

00:22:10,300 --> 00:22:13,633 NARRATOR: Pete Hunting, a 22-year-old from Oklahoma City,

380

00:22:13,633 --> 00:22:17,300 would go to Vietnam right after college to do what he could

381

00:22:17,300 --> 00:22:20,633 to help poor villagers in the countryside.

382

00:22:20,633 --> 00:22:23,166 WOODY GUTHRIE: ♪ I was a soldier in the fight

383

00:22:23,166 --> 00:22:25,500 ♪ And I fought till we won

384

00:22:25,500 --> 00:22:29,666 ♪ My uniform's my dirty overhauls ♪

385

00:22:29,666 --> 00:22:31,566 HUNTING (dramatized): Dear Margo,

386

00:22:31,566 --> 00:22:34,066 I finally finished up my work in Phan Rang last week.

387

00:22:34,066 --> 00:22:36,033 Had spent a month working on a windmill

388

00:22:36,033 --> 00:22:38,133 I'd promised the people of one hamlet.

389

00:22:38,133 --> 00:22:42,766 Cost a lot of money, too, which I paid out of my own pocket.

390

00:22:42,766 --> 00:22:46,633 GUTHRIE: ♪ Well, I'll give you my sweat, I'll give you my blood ♪

391

00:22:46,633 --> 00:22:48,833 HUNTING (dramatized): I'm in soaring spirits today

392

00:22:48,833 --> 00:22:52,100 despite all the natural disasters, political intrigues,

393

00:22:52,100 --> 00:22:54,200 and subversive activities.

394

00:22:54,200 --> 00:22:56,700 NARRATOR: Pete Hunting worked

395

00:22:56,700 --> 00:22:59,600 for the International Voluntary Services,

396

00:22:59,600 --> 00:23:03,500 a nonprofit organization committed to improving

397

00:23:03,500 --> 00:23:06,700 agriculture, education, and public health.

398

00:23:06,700 --> 00:23:09,966 He was one of hundreds of dedicated aid workers

399

00:23:09,966 --> 00:23:12,600 in South Vietnam.

400

00:23:12,600 --> 00:23:16,466 GUTHRIE: ♪ My hoe is my gun

401

00:23:16,466 --> 00:23:18,733 HUNTING (dramatized): Latest news on this side of the world

402

00:23:18,733 --> 00:23:20,833 is that I'll almost definitely be extending over here

403

00:23:20,833 --> 00:23:22,800 for another two years,

404

00:23:22,800 --> 00:23:25,000 providing the country stays in one piece that long.

405

00:23:28,066 --> 00:23:30,300 NARRATOR: Two years after he arrived,

406

00:23:30,300 --> 00:23:32,800 Pete Hunting was driving in the Mekong Delta

407

00:23:32,800 --> 00:23:35,700 when he ran into a Viet Cong ambush.

408

00:23:35,700 --> 00:23:39,266 He was shot five times in the head...

409

00:23:39,266 --> 00:23:40,900 (gunshot)

410

00:23:40,900 --> 00:23:42,966 the first American civilian volunteer

411

00:23:42,966 --> 00:23:45,633 to be killed in Vietnam. [15]

412

00:23:50,300 --> 00:24:01,000 (helicopter blades beating, voices on radio)

413

00:24:01,000 --> 00:24:06,566 (distorted gunfire, explosion)

414

00:24:14,166 --> 00:24:16,566 ROBERT RHEAULT: People used to joke in Vietnam

415

00:24:16,566 --> 00:24:18,300 about winning the hearts and minds.

416

00:24:18,300 --> 00:24:21,933 And you hear that expression, but that should not be a joke.

417

00:24:21,933 --> 00:24:24,233 It's a serious, serious problem.

418

00:24:24,233 --> 00:24:26,766 If you pull off a military operation,

419

00:24:26,766 --> 00:24:30,466 and it may be successful on the military basis,

420

00:24:30,466 --> 00:24:33,433 but you destroy a village,

421

00:24:33,433 --> 00:24:37,266 then you've created a village of resistance.

422

00:24:37,266 --> 00:24:41,166 NARRATOR: Few advisors understood the unique challenges

423

00:24:41,166 --> 00:24:44,000 of fighting an insurgency in Vietnam

424

00:24:44,000 --> 00:24:48,000 better than Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann. [16]

425

00:24:48,000 --> 00:24:50,733 A career soldier from Virginia,

426

00:24:50,733 --> 00:24:53,000 he was the senior American advisor

427

00:24:53,000 --> 00:24:57,066 to the 7th ARVN Division in the Mekong Delta.

428

00:24:57,066 --> 00:25:01,700 Small, wiry and abrasive, John Paul Vann was convinced

429

00:25:01,700 --> 00:25:05,900 he knew how to defeat the Viet Cong.

430

00:25:05,900 --> 00:25:10,533 PHILIP BRADY: MARINE ADVISOR John Paul Vann was simply the most remarkable soldier

431

00:25:10,533 --> 00:25:11,700 I ever met.

432

00:25:11,700 --> 00:25:13,666 Period.

433

00:25:13,666 --> 00:25:18,500 The biggest challenge of John Paul Vann's life

434

00:25:18,500 --> 00:25:24,466 was somehow saving Vietnam, winning.

435

00:25:24,466 --> 00:25:27,466 That, to him, was the ultimate challenge.

436

00:25:27,466 --> 00:25:29,966 (explosion)

437

00:25:29,966 --> 00:25:31,633 NARRATOR: When it became clear to Vann

438

00:25:31,633 --> 00:25:34,600 that the tactics the Americans had taught the ARVN

439

00:25:34,600 --> 00:25:37,800 were beginning to make more enemies than friends,

440

00:25:37,800 --> 00:25:42,500 he sought out newspapermen to spread the word.

441

00:25:42,500 --> 00:25:46,466 NEIL SHEEHAN: He was able to explain to us what was going on.

442

00:25:46,466 --> 00:25:49,866 The important thing was not to alienate the population.

443

00:25:49,866 --> 00:25:52,833 That if you got sniper fire from a hamlet,

444

00:25:52,833 --> 00:25:55,233 you sent in riflemen to take out the sniper.

445

00:25:55,233 --> 00:25:57,600 You didn't shell the place, because you were going to kill

446

00:25:57,600 --> 00:26:00,000 women and kids and destroy houses

447

00:26:00,000 --> 00:26:02,533 and you were going to turn the population against you.

448

00:26:04,800 --> 00:26:08,166 NARRATOR: Most press coverage of Vietnam was upbeat

449

00:26:08,166 --> 00:26:10,933 in the tradition of previous wars.

450

00:26:10,933 --> 00:26:15,833 But a handful of young reporters including Neil Sheehan,

451

00:26:15,833 --> 00:26:18,400 David Halberstam of theNew York Times,

452

00:26:18,400 --> 00:26:21,033 and Malcolm Browne of the Associated Press,

453

00:26:21,033 --> 00:26:24,900 who spent time in the field with officers like Vann,

454

00:26:24,900 --> 00:26:29,033 were beginning to see that from the Vietnamese countryside,

455

00:26:29,033 --> 00:26:31,300 things looked very different than they did

456

00:26:31,300 --> 00:26:35,200 from the press offices in Washington or Saigon.

457

00:26:35,200 --> 00:26:39,500 SHEEHAN: So it was terribly important that we not only win the war

458

00:26:39,500 --> 00:26:42,366 but that we as reporters report the truth [17]

459

00:26:42,366 --> 00:26:45,300 that would help to win the war.

460

00:26:45,300 --> 00:26:48,433 We were very fervent in wanting to report the truth

461

00:26:48,433 --> 00:26:51,600 because it was very important to the welfare of our country

462

00:26:51,600 --> 00:26:52,933 and to the welfare of the world.

463

00:26:55,066 --> 00:26:58,600 NARRATOR: Sheehan and his colleagues began asking tough questions

464

00:26:58,600 --> 00:27:03,700 about what constituted progress, what victory would look like,

465

00:27:03,700 --> 00:27:06,100 and if the people in the countryside,

466

00:27:06,100 --> 00:27:09,833 where 80% of South Vietnam's population lived,

467

00:27:09,833 --> 00:27:14,700 could ever trust the government in Saigon.

468

00:27:14,700 --> 00:27:17,800 SHEEHAN: I remember going, during one of Robert McNamara's visits,

469

00:27:17,800 --> 00:27:20,866 out to one of these hamlets.

470

00:27:20,866 --> 00:27:22,400 The Vietnamese general who commanded the area

471

00:27:22,400 --> 00:27:24,000 was telling McNamara what a wonderful thing this was.

472

00:27:24,000 --> 00:27:26,600 And the-the... some of these farmers were down

473

00:27:26,600 --> 00:27:30,333 digging a ditch around the... around the hamlet.

474

00:27:30,333 --> 00:27:33,666 And I looked at their faces and they were really angry.

475

00:27:35,433 --> 00:27:37,100 I mean it was very obvious to me

476

00:27:37,100 --> 00:27:39,866 that if these people could, they'd cut our throats.

477

00:27:44,233 --> 00:27:48,300 NARRATOR: Farmers resented being forced to abandon their homes

478

00:27:48,300 --> 00:27:50,833 and move to strategic hamlets.

479

00:27:50,833 --> 00:27:54,933 Corrupt officials siphoned off funds.

480

00:27:54,933 --> 00:27:57,433 And villagers blamed the Diem regime

481

00:27:57,433 --> 00:28:01,466 for failing to protect them from guerrilla attacks.

482

00:28:01,466 --> 00:28:06,733 As the people's anger grew, so did the ranks of the Viet Cong.

483

00:28:06,733 --> 00:28:11,133 SHEEHAN: It turned out that the Viet Cong were recruiting men

484

00:28:11,133 --> 00:28:14,666 right out of those strategic... so-called strategic hamlets.

485

00:28:14,666 --> 00:28:16,666 And then the whole program fell apart.

MINUTES 28-40

486

00:28:17,900 --> 00:28:19,500 NGUYEN NGOC: N. VIETNAMESE ARMY Saigon called it "draining the water to catch the fish." They thought the revolutionary forces were the fish and the people were the water [18] and if they got the water out, they could catch the fish. But they couldn't succeed.

487

00:28:40,533 --> 00:28:44,433 NARRATOR: Nguyen Ngoc's father was a postal clerk south of Danang.

488

00:28:44,433 --> 00:28:49,033 His brothers and sisters taught in South Vietnamese schools.

489

00:28:49,033 --> 00:28:52,800 But he joined the revolution, and as a political officer,

490

00:28:52,800 --> 00:28:56,766 wrote poems, songs, and slogans to inspire the people

491

00:28:56,766 --> 00:29:01,433 in the countryside to support the Viet Cong.

492

00:29:01,433 --> 00:29:06,066 DUONG VAN MAI: The Viet Cong cadre would come in and talk to them

493

00:29:06,066 --> 00:29:10,933 and their message is usually (speaking Vietnamese),

494

00:29:10,933 --> 00:29:13,533 which means "turn your grief into action.

495

00:29:13,533 --> 00:29:16,033 "Do something about it.

496

00:29:16,033 --> 00:29:18,066 "Join us.

497

00:29:18,066 --> 00:29:19,533 "We'll fight together.

498

00:29:19,533 --> 00:29:24,133 "We'll liberate the country from this corrupt, unjust government.

499

00:29:24,133 --> 00:29:26,133 "We'll throw out the foreigners.

500

00:29:26,133 --> 00:29:27,933 "We'll reunify the country.

501

00:29:27,933 --> 00:29:31,100 "And we'll bring in this great regime

502

00:29:31,100 --> 00:29:32,733 "that will take care of you

503

00:29:32,733 --> 00:29:34,533 and bring economic and social justice."

504

00:29:36,633 --> 00:29:39,833 NARRATOR: The Viet Cong ran rival local governments,

505

00:29:39,833 --> 00:29:43,666 complete with their own tax collectors and school teachers,

506

00:29:43,666 --> 00:29:48,066 spies and propagandists, and province chiefs.

507

00:29:50,666 --> 00:29:52,966 To make matters worse,

508

00:29:52,966 --> 00:29:56,833 ARVN troops and American advisors now found themselves

509

00:29:56,833 --> 00:29:59,833 confronted by a new threat:

510

00:29:59,833 --> 00:30:03,100 battalions of well-armed Viet Cong soldiers,

511

00:30:03,100 --> 00:30:06,366 as well as by local guerrillas.

512

00:30:06,366 --> 00:30:08,666 SHEEHAN: We'd armed them.

513

00:30:08,666 --> 00:30:12,100 You could hear the arming of the Viet Cong.

514

00:30:12,100 --> 00:30:15,633 Back in early '62, they only had one machine gun per battalion.

515

00:30:15,633 --> 00:30:16,800 (single gunfire burst)

516

00:30:16,800 --> 00:30:18,366 It was sporadic fire.

517

00:30:18,366 --> 00:30:22,366 Then, as they captured more and more of these American arms, [19]

518

00:30:22,366 --> 00:30:24,266 when you made contact, it fi...

519

00:30:24,266 --> 00:30:26,600 it would build up into a drumfire of automatic

520

00:30:26,600 --> 00:30:28,133 and semi-automatic weapons.

521

00:30:28,133 --> 00:30:31,033 (cacophony of gunfire bursts)

522

00:30:34,800 --> 00:30:38,000 RUFUS PHILLIPS: Secretary McNamara decided that he would draw up

523

00:30:38,000 --> 00:30:40,866 some kind of a chart to determine

524

00:30:40,866 --> 00:30:43,800 whether we were winning or not.

525

00:30:43,800 --> 00:30:46,500 And he was putting things in

526

00:30:46,500 --> 00:30:49,366 like numbers of weapons recovered,

527

00:30:49,366 --> 00:30:51,733 numbers of Viet Cong killed.

528

00:30:51,733 --> 00:30:54,066 Very statistical.

529

00:30:56,633 --> 00:30:59,133 And he asked Edward Lansdale,

530

00:30:59,133 --> 00:31:03,033 who was then in the Pentagon as head of Special Operations,

531

00:31:03,033 --> 00:31:05,133 to come down and look at this.

532

00:31:05,133 --> 00:31:09,366 And so Lansdale did and he said, "There's something missing."

533

00:31:09,366 --> 00:31:12,666 And McNamara said, "What?"

534

00:31:12,666 --> 00:31:16,300 And Lansdale said, "The feelings of the Vietnamese people."

535

00:31:16,300 --> 00:31:20,233 You couldn't reduce this to a statistic.

536

00:31:20,233 --> 00:31:24,900 NARRATOR: Robert McNamara had vowed to make America's military

537

00:31:24,900 --> 00:31:26,366 "cost-effective."

538

00:31:26,366 --> 00:31:30,166 He demanded that everything be quantified.

539

00:31:30,166 --> 00:31:34,066 In Saigon, General Paul D. Harkins,

540

00:31:34,066 --> 00:31:37,466 head of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam,

541

00:31:37,466 --> 00:31:40,800 known as MACV, dutifully complied.

542

00:31:40,800 --> 00:31:45,500 He and his staff generated mountains of daily, weekly,

543

00:31:45,500 --> 00:31:47,766 monthly, and quarterly data

544

00:31:47,766 --> 00:31:50,866 on more than a hundred separate indicators,

545

00:31:50,866 --> 00:31:55,400 far more data than could ever be adequately analyzed.

546

00:31:55,400 --> 00:31:58,766 (typewriter keys clacking)

547

00:31:58,766 --> 00:32:01,733 General Harkins had little use for skeptical reporters

548

00:32:01,733 --> 00:32:03,366 like Neil Sheehan.

549

00:32:03,366 --> 00:32:05,933 Bad news was to be buried.

550

00:32:05,933 --> 00:32:10,166 Harkins ignored the alarming after action reports

551

00:32:10,166 --> 00:32:13,833 John Paul Vann and other officers were sending in

552

00:32:13,833 --> 00:32:15,900 from the field.

553

00:32:15,900 --> 00:32:18,966 DONALD GREGG: I was going to be made head of the Vietnam desk

554

00:32:18,966 --> 00:32:21,033 at CIA headquarters.

555

00:32:21,033 --> 00:32:24,433 And the first person of importance that I met

556

00:32:24,433 --> 00:32:26,733 was General Harkins.

557

00:32:26,733 --> 00:32:29,266 And he started out by saying,

558

00:32:29,266 --> 00:32:32,133 "Mr. Gregg, I don't care what you hear from anybody else,

559

00:32:32,133 --> 00:32:34,533 "I can tell you without a doubt we're going to be out of here

560

00:32:34,533 --> 00:32:36,333 with a military victory in six months."

561

00:32:37,833 --> 00:32:39,866 JAMES MOSSMAN: The country's 12 million peasants

562

00:32:39,866 --> 00:32:42,533 can scarcely remember what peace was like. [20]

563

00:32:42,533 --> 00:32:44,466 They're caught between the predatory guerrillas

564

00:32:44,466 --> 00:32:47,066 and the almost equally demanding soldiery.

565

00:32:47,066 --> 00:32:49,466 Their lives are lived in a state of permanent uncertainty,

566

00:32:49,466 --> 00:32:52,166 punctuated by bouts of violence

567

00:32:52,166 --> 00:32:53,633 as government forces come to grips

568

00:32:53,633 --> 00:32:55,966 with the black-clad communist rebel forces

569

00:32:55,966 --> 00:32:57,300 called the Viet Cong.

570

00:33:02,100 --> 00:33:04,600 HUY DUC: NORTH VIETNAM All of South Vietnam was a battlefield. If the Americans required that a democracy be built on those ruins, that was unrealistic. Clearly South Vietnam was more democratic, but in such a violent struggle, the side whose soldiers had fewer doubts, and asked fewer questions, would win.

571

00:33:43,533 --> 00:33:46,900 NGUYEN NGOC: NORTH VIETNAMESE ARMY Ho Chi Minh was very good at working among the people. He knew that Vietnamese respect the elderly, so he grew a beard to look older, a long beard like this. He referred to himself as Uncle with everyone. And he purposefully created a very humble image. He always used simple language. He was very shrewd at communicating with the people. [21]

572

00:34:29,466 --> 00:34:32,166 CAO XUAN DAI: NORTH VIETNAMESE ARMY: Ho Chi Minh told the people to defend the fatherland. He told us: "The war could last for 10 years, 20 years, or even longer. But the Vietnamese people will not be intimidated. Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom."

573

00:34:55,366 --> 00:34:59,733 DUONG VAN MAI: SAIGON On our side we were not as committed

574

00:34:59,733 --> 00:35:01,733 and we were...

575

00:35:01,733 --> 00:35:05,066 our leaders were corrupt and incompetent.

576

00:35:05,066 --> 00:35:10,133 And so deep down we'll always have this fear,

577

00:35:10,133 --> 00:35:15,800 this suspicion that in the end it'll be the communists who won.

578

00:35:15,800 --> 00:35:19,366 TOM VALLELY: MARINES When John Kennedy assembled

579

00:35:19,366 --> 00:35:21,500 what he thinks is the best and the brightest,

580

00:35:21,500 --> 00:35:27,833 20 years before that in a cave in the northern part

581

00:35:27,833 --> 00:35:30,533 of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh also put together

582

00:35:30,533 --> 00:35:32,033 his best and the brightest.

583

00:35:32,033 --> 00:35:35,200 And these guys are at it for a while.

584

00:35:35,200 --> 00:35:38,833 And when we show up, they were far along

585

00:35:38,833 --> 00:35:44,733 to consolidating their victory over this inevitable conflict

586

00:35:44,733 --> 00:35:49,366 between Ho Chi Minh and John F. Kennedy's vision.

587

00:35:49,366 --> 00:35:54,466 The more you think about the American strategy,

588

00:35:54,466 --> 00:35:58,166 the more you know

589

00:35:58,166 --> 00:36:01,000 that it was never going to work out particularly well.

590

00:36:15,900 --> 00:36:21,566 RHEAULT: I was at my top of my game when I was in combat.

591

00:36:26,600 --> 00:36:29,766 You don't have the luxury to indulge your fear

592

00:36:29,766 --> 00:36:31,833 because other people's lives depend upon

593

00:36:31,833 --> 00:36:33,133 you keeping your head cold.

594

00:36:41,866 --> 00:36:44,933 You know, when something goes wrong,

595

00:36:44,933 --> 00:36:46,333 they call it emotional numbing.

596

00:36:46,333 --> 00:36:48,700 It's not very good in civilian life,

597

00:36:48,700 --> 00:36:50,900 but it's pretty useful in combat.

598

00:37:02,600 --> 00:37:05,300 To be able to get absolutely very cold

599

00:37:05,300 --> 00:37:10,466 about what needs to be done and to stick with it.

600

00:37:16,333 --> 00:37:19,366 To me it's, it's a little bit distressing to realize

601

00:37:19,366 --> 00:37:21,133 that I was at my best

602

00:37:21,133 --> 00:37:23,800 doing something as terrible as war.

603

00:37:33,266 --> 00:37:35,900 MOSSMAN: President Kennedy has staked his reputation in Asia

604

00:37:35,900 --> 00:37:38,833 on saving South Vietnam from communism.

605

00:37:38,833 --> 00:37:41,266 As the army makes the sweep towards the village

606

00:37:41,266 --> 00:37:43,200 suspected of harboring Viet Cong,

607

00:37:43,200 --> 00:37:46,300 it can't tell whether it will meet resistance.

608

00:37:52,533 --> 00:37:54,766 The troops round up all the young men they can find,

609

00:37:54,766 --> 00:37:57,833 since they can't tell who is a communist just by looking.

610

00:38:00,333 --> 00:38:03,166 Those who try to run for it are shot

611

00:38:03,166 --> 00:38:05,100 on the assumption they have something to hide.

MINUTES 38-50

612

00:38:10,133 --> 00:38:13,766 TRAN NGOC CHAU (in English): PROVINCE CHIEF You see, for the Americans who come to Vietnam to fight a war, they look at everyone in the city as the friendly people. But they look at the people in the village as a Viet Cong because the Viet Cong have no uniforms. How could they win? If they kill one real enemy, they might get only one replacement. If they kill the wrong man, they get ten enemy. And mostly they kill the wrong man. [21][22]

613

00:38:56,766 --> 00:39:01,800 NARRATOR: Each of South Vietnam's 44 provinces had its own chief.

614

00:39:01,800 --> 00:39:04,700 Some were simply political appointees,

615

00:39:04,700 --> 00:39:07,566 corrupt allies of President Diem.

616

00:39:07,566 --> 00:39:13,300 Tran Ngoc Chau, province chief of Kien Hoa, was different.

617

00:39:13,300 --> 00:39:18,233 A privileged judge's son from the old imperial city of Hue,

618

00:39:18,233 --> 00:39:21,300 he and two of his brothers had fought against the French

619

00:39:21,300 --> 00:39:22,800 with the Viet Minh.

620

00:39:22,800 --> 00:39:26,966 But he had refused to join the Communist Party;

621

00:39:26,966 --> 00:39:30,000 he admired their dedication, but disliked the way

622

00:39:30,000 --> 00:39:33,233 they punished those who dared differ with them.

623

00:39:33,233 --> 00:39:36,300 Instead, he left the Viet Minh,

624

00:39:36,300 --> 00:39:39,533 became a major in the army fighting against them,

625

00:39:39,533 --> 00:39:43,433 and eventually so impressed Diem with his insider's knowledge

626

00:39:43,433 --> 00:39:47,366 of communist tactics that he was promoted to colonel

627

00:39:47,366 --> 00:39:53,300 and made chief of Kien Hoa, a Viet Cong stronghold.

628

00:39:53,300 --> 00:39:57,100 PHILLIPS: He was absolutely incorruptible.

629

00:39:57,100 --> 00:40:02,166 And people came to really understand that here's a guy

630

00:40:02,166 --> 00:40:05,266 who's, even though it's not an elected system,

631

00:40:05,266 --> 00:40:08,100 who never... nevertheless really represents us.

632

00:40:09,800 --> 00:40:11,800 NARRATOR: "Give me a budget that equals the cost

633

00:40:11,800 --> 00:40:16,100 of one American helicopter," Chau liked to say,

634

00:40:16,100 --> 00:40:18,833 "and I'll give you a pacified province.

635

00:40:18,833 --> 00:40:23,000 "With that much money, I can raise the standard of living

636

00:40:23,000 --> 00:40:24,666 "of the rice farmers,

637

00:40:24,666 --> 00:40:26,466 "and government officials can be paid enough

638

00:40:26,466 --> 00:40:31,300 so they won't think it necessary to steal."

639

00:40:31,300 --> 00:40:33,866 Rather than hunt down the Viet Cong,

640

00:40:33,866 --> 00:40:36,533 he sought to persuade them.

641

00:40:37,900 --> 00:40:41,033 TRAN NGOC CHAU (in English): And I don't want to kill, I want to convert them. When I locate a real Viet Cong family, I try to win over th family and through them, to win over the guy who left the family, And only after you fail, after you fail those steps, then you kill him. And after I leave the program, not only the C.I.A., the Vietnamese as well, they are more interested in the last part. That is the real problem.

642

00:41:28,700 --> 00:41:31,900 ("Walk, Don't Run" by the Ventures playing)

643

00:41:31,900 --> 00:41:35,600 NARRATOR: Back home, Americans were paying little attention

644

00:41:35,600 --> 00:41:37,900 to what was happening in Vietnam.

645

00:41:37,900 --> 00:41:40,733 They were watching The Beverly Hillbillies

646

00:41:40,733 --> 00:41:42,933 and Gunsmoke on TV,

647

00:41:42,933 --> 00:41:45,966 were interested in whether the Yankees would win

648

00:41:45,966 --> 00:41:47,466 the World Series again

649

00:41:47,466 --> 00:41:51,700 and in the recent death of Marilyn Monroe.

650

00:41:51,700 --> 00:41:54,833 ("Stand By Me" by Ben E. King playing)

651

00:41:54,833 --> 00:41:57,333 But some Americans had been growing impatient

652

00:41:57,333 --> 00:42:00,700 with the slow pace of social change.

653

00:42:00,700 --> 00:42:02,500 BILL ZIMMERMAN: ILLINOIS We were told in the '50s

654

00:42:02,500 --> 00:42:05,300 that we lived in the best country in the world.

655

00:42:05,300 --> 00:42:08,800 In the middle of, you know, trying to figure out

656

00:42:08,800 --> 00:42:11,166 what it meant to be a citizen of the...

657

00:42:11,166 --> 00:42:13,600 of this best country in the world,

658

00:42:13,600 --> 00:42:15,500 suddenly the civil rights movement exploded

659

00:42:15,500 --> 00:42:17,533 into our consciousness.

660

00:42:17,533 --> 00:42:23,766 BEN E. KING: ♪ When the night has come...

661

00:42:23,766 --> 00:42:25,766 ZIMMERMAN: We didn't think we had any power.

662

00:42:25,766 --> 00:42:29,000 We didn't think we could be actors in history,

663

00:42:29,000 --> 00:42:31,600 that we could affect things.

664

00:42:33,833 --> 00:42:37,000 KING: ♪ No, I won't be afraid

665

00:42:37,000 --> 00:42:38,933 ♪ Oh, I won't...

666

00:42:38,933 --> 00:42:40,700 ZIMMERMAN: And suddenly, you know,

667

00:42:40,700 --> 00:42:42,733 these young black students in the South

668

00:42:42,733 --> 00:42:44,433 were doing exactly that.

669

00:42:44,433 --> 00:42:47,600 And it just blew the tops of our heads off.

670

00:42:47,600 --> 00:42:53,333 KING: ♪ So darling, darling, stand by me ♪

671

00:42:53,333 --> 00:42:57,700 ♪ Oh, stand by me

672

00:42:57,700 --> 00:43:03,033 ♪ Oh, stand, stand by me

673

00:43:03,033 --> 00:43:05,900 ♪ Stand by me

674

00:43:05,900 --> 00:43:08,666 ♪ If the sky that we look upon... ♪

675

00:43:08,666 --> 00:43:12,166 NARRATOR: Other Americans were concerned about the proliferation

676

00:43:12,166 --> 00:43:15,500 of nuclear weapons in the world.

677

00:43:15,500 --> 00:43:19,533 SPEAKER: Perhaps it would be a good thing to put Khrushchev and Kennedy

678

00:43:19,533 --> 00:43:23,433 on an island and not let either one of them off

679

00:43:23,433 --> 00:43:25,866 until they came to an agreement.

680

00:43:25,866 --> 00:43:28,333 KING: ♪ Stand by me

681

00:43:28,333 --> 00:43:33,166 ♪ And darling, darling, stand by me. ♪

682

00:43:37,366 --> 00:43:40,733 SAIGON (bicycle bells ring, motors rumble)

683

00:43:48,466 --> 00:43:51,733 SHEEHAN: And if you were in a café when Diem was giving a speech,

684

00:43:51,733 --> 00:43:53,600 somebody would get up and shut the radio off,

685

00:43:53,600 --> 00:43:55,400 it would be coming in over the radio.

686

00:43:55,400 --> 00:43:57,800 Somebody would get up and they'd just shut the radio off.

687

00:43:57,800 --> 00:44:02,033 I mean, he was not connected with... to his own population.

688

00:44:05,000 --> 00:44:10,000 PHAN QUANG TUE: Diem was simply the opposite of what democracy was.

689

00:44:10,000 --> 00:44:13,866 South Vietnam, in the competition against the North,

690

00:44:13,866 --> 00:44:19,033 that should been, should have been a golden opportunity

691

00:44:19,033 --> 00:44:24,533 to have that society open with the free press,

692

00:44:24,533 --> 00:44:26,633 free expression.

693

00:44:26,633 --> 00:44:29,466 But there was not much choice

694

00:44:29,466 --> 00:44:33,966 if the two system are structurally dictator

695

00:44:33,966 --> 00:44:35,366 and oppressive systems--

696

00:44:35,366 --> 00:44:41,633 one under the Communist Party, one under a family.

697

00:44:42,733 --> 00:44:45,266 CHAU (speaking English): I see him. I know him. He didn't lead the government. The one who had the control over the government was his brother, brother Nhu.

698

00:44:58,533 --> 00:45:02,300 NARRATOR: Diem's brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, had been the architect

699

00:45:02,300 --> 00:45:04,800 of the strategic hamlet program,

700

00:45:04,800 --> 00:45:09,033 ran a personal political party that mirrored the techniques

701

00:45:09,033 --> 00:45:11,600 and the ruthlessness of the communists,

702

00:45:11,600 --> 00:45:15,866 and supervised a host of internal security units

703

00:45:15,866 --> 00:45:20,000 that spied on and seized enemies of the regime.

704

00:45:21,866 --> 00:45:24,066 Some reporters who probed too deeply

705

00:45:24,066 --> 00:45:26,633 into what Diem and Nhu were doing

706

00:45:26,633 --> 00:45:28,900 were ordered out of the country.

707

00:45:28,900 --> 00:45:29,966 (gunshot)

708

00:45:29,966 --> 00:45:32,466 When an American journalist objected,

709

00:45:32,466 --> 00:45:36,633 Nhu's sharp-tongued wife told him Vietnam had no use

710

00:45:36,633 --> 00:45:39,266 for "your crazy freedoms."

711

00:45:40,666 --> 00:45:42,633 Meanwhile, out in the countryside,

712

00:45:42,633 --> 00:45:46,900 John Paul Vann and other advisors had begun to notice

713

00:45:46,900 --> 00:45:50,733 that the corruption within Diem's regime had filtered down

714

00:45:50,733 --> 00:45:52,766 to the commanders in the field.

715

00:45:52,766 --> 00:45:57,800 Troops, who had once been willing to engage the enemy,

716

00:45:57,800 --> 00:46:02,000 now seemed strangely reluctant.

717

00:46:02,000 --> 00:46:06,933 JAMES SCANLON: God, I was told so many times, "(speaking Vietnamese)."

718

00:46:06,933 --> 00:46:08,933 You know, "Scanlon, (speaking Vietnamese)."

719

00:46:08,933 --> 00:46:10,133 Um...

720

00:46:10,133 --> 00:46:15,433 very dangerous, you know, going out there.

721

00:46:15,433 --> 00:46:18,266 NEIL SHEEHAN: John Vann would go out with them at night.

722

00:46:18,266 --> 00:46:22,466 And he noticed that somebody would always cough

723

00:46:22,466 --> 00:46:25,966 or make some other slight noise when it turned out

724

00:46:25,966 --> 00:46:28,466 that the Viet Cong were heading into the ambush site.

725

00:46:28,466 --> 00:46:30,300 They did not want to get in a fight.

726

00:46:30,300 --> 00:46:33,600 NARRATOR: South Vietnamese officers were chosen

727

00:46:33,600 --> 00:46:37,200 less for their combat skill than for their loyalty

728

00:46:37,200 --> 00:46:41,100 to President Diem, and their men knew it.

729

00:46:42,400 --> 00:46:43,833 RHEAULT: SPECIAL FORCES What we should have done is

730

00:46:43,833 --> 00:46:48,500 either forced the Vietnamese-- I mean really forced them--

731

00:46:48,500 --> 00:46:50,700 to clean up their act.

732

00:46:50,700 --> 00:46:52,833 And if they wouldn't clean up their act to say,

733

00:46:52,833 --> 00:46:55,266 "We're out of here.

734

00:46:55,266 --> 00:46:58,166 "Because we don't bet on losing horses.

735

00:46:58,166 --> 00:47:00,666 "This is a losing horse.

736

00:47:00,666 --> 00:47:03,100 You are not going to win this insurgency."

737

00:47:03,100 --> 00:47:05,933 We, as Americans, should have understood the desire

738

00:47:05,933 --> 00:47:09,533 of the Vietnamese people to have their own country.

739

00:47:09,533 --> 00:47:12,533 I mean we did the same thing to the Brits.

740

00:47:18,166 --> 00:47:23,100 NARRATOR: In October of 1962, the United States and the Soviet Union

741

00:47:23,100 --> 00:47:26,033 came closer than they would ever come again

742

00:47:26,033 --> 00:47:28,800 to Mutually Assured Destruction.

743

00:47:28,800 --> 00:47:31,900 KENNEDY: Good evening, my fellow citizens.

744

00:47:31,900 --> 00:47:35,966 This government, as promised, has maintained

745

00:47:35,966 --> 00:47:39,900 the closest surveillance of the Soviet military buildup

746

00:47:39,900 --> 00:47:41,633 on the island of Cuba.

747

00:47:42,733 --> 00:47:44,800 Within the past week,

748

00:47:44,800 --> 00:47:48,200 unmistakable evidence has established the fact

749

00:47:48,200 --> 00:47:51,700 that a series of offensive missile sites

750

00:47:51,700 --> 00:47:56,766 is now in preparation on that imprisoned island.

751

00:47:56,766 --> 00:48:00,066 NARRATOR: The Soviets had secretly placed nuclear missiles

752

00:48:00,066 --> 00:48:03,266 90 miles from the United States.

753

00:48:03,266 --> 00:48:08,266 The Joint Chiefs of Staff urged President Kennedy to bomb Cuba.

754

00:48:08,266 --> 00:48:12,500 He resisted and instead ordered a naval blockade

755

00:48:12,500 --> 00:48:16,900 to stop Soviet ships from resupplying the island.

756

00:48:18,500 --> 00:48:23,900 For 13 excruciating days, the world held its breath.

757

00:48:27,366 --> 00:48:30,700 Finally, in exchange for a private pledge

758

00:48:30,700 --> 00:48:33,500 to remove American missiles from Turkey,

759

00:48:33,500 --> 00:48:37,100 Khrushchev agreed to remove his missiles from Cuba.

760

00:48:39,933 --> 00:48:42,966 Neither the United States nor the Soviet Union

761

00:48:42,966 --> 00:48:47,100 wanted so direct a confrontation ever again.

762

00:48:47,100 --> 00:48:49,633 From now on, limited wars,

763

00:48:49,633 --> 00:48:52,233 like the growing conflict in Vietnam,

764

00:48:52,233 --> 00:48:55,666 would assume still greater importance.

765

00:48:58,966 --> 00:49:03,633 MUSGRAVE: MISSOURI I'd grown up in the shadow of the mushroom cloud.

766

00:49:03,633 --> 00:49:07,766 And I remember the... watching President Kennedy speak

767

00:49:07,766 --> 00:49:09,433 during the Cuban Missile Crisis

768

00:49:09,433 --> 00:49:11,733 and wondering if I was ever gonna kiss a girl.

769

00:49:11,733 --> 00:49:14,700 And so this was just continuing that battle

770

00:49:14,700 --> 00:49:16,566 against the Russians.

771

00:49:16,566 --> 00:49:20,200 Only we were fighting, you know, their, their proxies,

772

00:49:20,200 --> 00:49:23,633 the Vietnamese there-- but it was monolithic communism.

773

00:49:25,100 --> 00:49:28,066 It didn't matter to me where it was, I was going to go

774

00:49:28,066 --> 00:49:32,233 if my government said we needed to be there.

775

00:49:32,233 --> 00:49:35,266 We were probably the last kids of any generation

776

00:49:35,266 --> 00:49:36,600 that actually believed

777

00:49:36,600 --> 00:49:38,333 our government would never lie to us.

MINUTES 50-60

778

00:49:43,600 --> 00:49:46,000 SHEEHAN: JOURNALIST We had been writing stories about all the flaws

779

00:49:46,000 --> 00:49:48,933 on the Saigon side-- about how they wouldn't fight,

780

00:49:48,933 --> 00:49:51,766 about the corruption, they wouldn't obey orders,

781

00:49:51,766 --> 00:49:53,300 the disorganization.

782

00:49:55,233 --> 00:49:59,900 And then all of a sudden the Viet Cong, for the first time,

783

00:49:59,900 --> 00:50:01,366 the "raggedy-ass little bastards"

784

00:50:01,366 --> 00:50:04,266 as the Harkins's people in Saigon called them,

785

00:50:04,266 --> 00:50:05,900 stood and fought.

786

00:50:05,900 --> 00:50:08,266 And suddenly all the flaws on the Saigon side

787

00:50:08,266 --> 00:50:10,666 were illuminated by this.

788

00:50:10,666 --> 00:50:13,966 Like a star shell, it illuminated the battlefield.

789

00:50:13,966 --> 00:50:15,433 Everything came out.

790

00:50:16,700 --> 00:50:20,100 NARRATOR: A few days after Christmas 1962,

791

00:50:20,100 --> 00:50:23,666 the 7th ARVN Division got orders to capture

792

00:50:23,666 --> 00:50:25,933 a Viet Cong radio transmitter

793

00:50:25,933 --> 00:50:30,700 broadcasting from a spot some 40 miles southwest of Saigon

794

00:50:30,700 --> 00:50:33,766 in a village called Tan Thoi.

795

00:50:33,766 --> 00:50:36,600 The village was surrounded by rice paddies.

796

00:50:36,600 --> 00:50:42,633 An irrigation dike linked it to a neighboring hamlet-- Ap Bac.

797

00:50:42,633 --> 00:50:47,066 Intelligence [23] suggested no more than 120 guerrillas

798

00:50:47,066 --> 00:50:49,500 were guarding the transmitter.

799

00:50:49,500 --> 00:50:52,933 John Paul Vann helped draw up what seemed to be

800

00:50:52,933 --> 00:50:55,400 a foolproof plan of attack.

801

00:50:55,400 --> 00:50:59,733 Supported by helicopters and armored personnel carriers,

802

00:50:59,733 --> 00:51:03,800 some 1,200 South Vietnamese troops would attack the village

803

00:51:03,800 --> 00:51:05,733 from three sides.

804

00:51:05,733 --> 00:51:08,700 When the surviving Viet Cong tried to flee through the gap

805

00:51:08,700 --> 00:51:12,733 left open for them, as they always had whenever outnumbered

806

00:51:12,733 --> 00:51:15,033 and confronted by modern weapons,

807

00:51:15,033 --> 00:51:18,633 artillery and airstrikes would destroy them.

808

00:51:18,633 --> 00:51:23,200 Vann would observe the fighting from a spotter plane.

809

00:51:23,200 --> 00:51:28,900 But the intelligence underlying it all turned out to be wrong.

810

00:51:28,900 --> 00:51:34,533 There were more than 340 Viet Cong, not 120, in the area.

811

00:51:34,533 --> 00:51:37,600 Communist spies had tipped them off

812

00:51:37,600 --> 00:51:39,800 that they were soon to be attacked.

813

00:51:39,800 --> 00:51:43,866 And this time they would not flee without a fight.

814

00:51:45,333 --> 00:51:48,166 Among them was Le Quan Cong,

815

00:51:48,166 --> 00:51:52,533 who had been a guerrilla fighter since 1951, when he was 12. LE QUAN CONG: VIET CONG We prepared trenches and bunkers where we could hide. We could see clearly in front of us. When we opened fire, we would be able to kill the enemy troops, because they had to advance across an open field.

816

00:52:07,066 --> 00:52:12,266 NARRATOR: At 6:35 in the morning on January 2, 1963,

817

00:52:12,266 --> 00:52:15,666 ten American helicopters ferried an ARVN company

818

00:52:15,666 --> 00:52:19,033 to a spot just north of Tan Thoi.

819

00:52:21,933 --> 00:52:25,100 They met no resistance.

820

00:52:25,100 --> 00:52:28,766 Meanwhile, two South Vietnamese Civil Guard battalions

821

00:52:28,766 --> 00:52:32,066 approached Ap Bac from the South on foot.

822

00:52:35,066 --> 00:52:38,833 The Viet Cong commander let the Civil Guards get within 100 feet

823

00:52:38,833 --> 00:52:41,333 before giving the order to fire.

824

00:52:43,866 --> 00:52:46,633 Several South Vietnamese soldiers were killed.

825

00:52:50,600 --> 00:52:53,700 Survivors hid behind a dike.

826

00:52:53,700 --> 00:52:56,533 (gunfire)

827

00:52:56,533 --> 00:52:58,466 Ten more helicopters,

828

00:52:58,466 --> 00:53:02,333 filled with troops and escorted by five helicopter gunships,

829

00:53:02,333 --> 00:53:03,600 roared in to help.

830

00:53:05,133 --> 00:53:07,100 LE QUAN CONG: Our goal was to shoot down 5 to 10 choppers. As soon as they landed we opened up with mortars and machine guns.

831

00:53:30,533 --> 00:53:34,933 NARRATOR: Viet Cong machine guns hit 14 of the 15 aircraft.

832

00:53:34,933 --> 00:53:40,233 Five would be destroyed, killing and wounding American crewmen.

833

00:53:41,700 --> 00:53:43,866 LE QUAN CONG: From that moment on, we were no longer scared by the enemy. Even those who weren't very brave were no longer afraid.

834

00:53:49,966 --> 00:53:52,433 NARRATOR: The enemy concentrated their fire on the ARVN

835

00:53:52,433 --> 00:53:55,533 struggling to get out of the downed helicopters.

836

00:53:55,533 --> 00:53:58,600 "It was like shooting ducks for the Viet Cong,"

837

00:53:58,600 --> 00:54:00,600 an American crewman remembered.

838

00:54:02,933 --> 00:54:06,033 Colonel Vann circled helplessly overhead.

839

00:54:06,033 --> 00:54:08,533 He radioed the ARVN commander,

840

00:54:08,533 --> 00:54:12,633 urging him to send an APC unit to rescue the men.

841

00:54:13,966 --> 00:54:16,633 JAMES SCANLON: ARMY ADVISOR I got the word from John Vann

842

00:54:16,633 --> 00:54:19,533 that American helicopters were down.

843

00:54:19,533 --> 00:54:22,000 They were right in front of the Viet Cong positions.

844

00:54:22,000 --> 00:54:25,500 We had Americans killed and wounded

845

00:54:25,500 --> 00:54:27,666 and we had to get over there right away.

846

00:54:27,666 --> 00:54:31,666 NARRATOR: Like Vann, Captain Scanlon was only an advisor.

847

00:54:31,666 --> 00:54:35,200 Captain Ly Tong Ba,[24] his ARVN counterpart,

848

00:54:35,200 --> 00:54:38,000 would have to give the order to advance.

849

00:54:38,000 --> 00:54:41,266 Scanlon liked and admired him.

850

00:54:41,266 --> 00:54:43,800 SCANLON: I turned to Ba and said,

851

00:54:43,800 --> 00:54:46,566 "Hey, you know, you got to get over there right away."

852

00:54:46,566 --> 00:54:51,166 And Ba said to me, "I'm not going."

853

00:54:51,166 --> 00:54:54,566 NARRATOR: Ba's superiors within the ARVN, far from the battlefield,

854

00:54:54,566 --> 00:54:57,766 had told him to stay put.

855

00:54:57,766 --> 00:55:01,866 And John Vann, my boss, was, uh, screaming at me over the...

856

00:55:01,866 --> 00:55:05,266 over the radio to get them over there.

857

00:55:05,266 --> 00:55:09,700 NARRATOR: It took Scanlon an hour to convince Captain Ba to move.

858

00:55:09,700 --> 00:55:12,200 Another two hours were lost

859

00:55:12,200 --> 00:55:15,300 before the APCs could make their way through the paddies

860

00:55:15,300 --> 00:55:17,500 toward the trapped men.

861

00:55:19,466 --> 00:55:21,833 The firing had died down.

862

00:55:21,833 --> 00:55:23,833 SCANLON: Everything was quiet.

863

00:55:23,833 --> 00:55:26,700 You could see the open expanse of rice fields.

864

00:55:26,700 --> 00:55:30,133 And my reaction was, hey, it was all over.

865

00:55:30,133 --> 00:55:33,433 NARRATOR: The first two APCs dropped their ramps.

866

00:55:33,433 --> 00:55:35,900 Infantry squads stepped out,

867

00:55:35,900 --> 00:55:38,966 prepared to spray the tree line with automatic fire

868

00:55:38,966 --> 00:55:40,266 as they advanced.

869

00:55:40,266 --> 00:55:43,000 In the past, that had been enough

870

00:55:43,000 --> 00:55:46,433 to make the Viet Cong scurry away.

871

00:55:46,433 --> 00:55:48,700 This time was different.

872

00:55:52,400 --> 00:55:54,433 Eight of the APCs came under attack.

873

00:55:54,433 --> 00:55:57,900 Within minutes, six of their gunners had been killed,

874

00:55:57,900 --> 00:55:59,133 shot through the head.

875

00:56:00,533 --> 00:56:02,800 SCANLON: And boy, we got raked.

876

00:56:02,800 --> 00:56:04,666 So it was like a pool table.

877

00:56:04,666 --> 00:56:06,133 We were on the green

878

00:56:06,133 --> 00:56:08,466 and they were in the pockets shooting at us.

879

00:56:08,466 --> 00:56:11,333 NARRATOR: When Captain Ba managed to convince

880

00:56:11,333 --> 00:56:14,000 a few more APCs to advance,

881

00:56:14,000 --> 00:56:17,066 guerrillas leapt from their foxholes

882

00:56:17,066 --> 00:56:19,100 and hurled hand grenades at them.

883

00:56:24,100 --> 00:56:26,666 None did any real damage,

884

00:56:26,666 --> 00:56:30,333 but the drivers were so demoralized that they halted,

885

00:56:30,333 --> 00:56:35,366 turned around, and withdrew behind the wrecked helicopters.

886

00:56:35,366 --> 00:56:37,400 From his spotter plane,

887

00:56:37,400 --> 00:56:41,566 Vann begged the ARVN to make a simultaneous assault

888

00:56:41,566 --> 00:56:44,933 on the enemy by all the remaining ground forces.

889

00:56:46,066 --> 00:56:49,066 ARVN commanders refused.

890

00:56:51,466 --> 00:56:54,466 That night, the Viet Cong melted away,

891

00:56:54,466 --> 00:56:57,866 carrying most of their dead and wounded with them.

892

00:57:00,000 --> 00:57:04,233 At least 80 South Vietnamese soldiers had been killed.

893

00:57:04,233 --> 00:57:09,733 So had three American advisors, including Captain Ken Good,

894

00:57:09,733 --> 00:57:10,866 a friend of Scanlon's.

895

00:57:14,766 --> 00:57:18,766 SCANLON: We stacked the armored personnel carriers with bodies,

896

00:57:18,766 --> 00:57:20,566 stacked them up on top till they...

897

00:57:20,566 --> 00:57:22,500 we couldn't stack any more.

898

00:57:22,500 --> 00:57:28,766 And, um, I wouldn't let the Vietnamese touch the Americans.

899

00:57:28,766 --> 00:57:31,633 So I carried the Americans out.

900

00:57:31,633 --> 00:57:34,000 And, um...

901

00:57:34,000 --> 00:57:36,300 And I was... I was exhausted.

902

00:57:36,300 --> 00:57:42,200 They told me about Ken Good getting killed.

903

00:57:42,200 --> 00:57:46,566 And Ken and I had worked so hard with our two battalions.

904

00:57:46,566 --> 00:57:52,466 And to hear that... he got killed hurt.

905

00:57:52,466 --> 00:57:54,033 (voice breaking): Great guy.

906

00:57:55,466 --> 00:57:57,766 NARRATOR: Reporters arrived from Saigon

907

00:57:57,766 --> 00:58:01,866 before all of the ARVN dead could be removed.

908

00:58:01,866 --> 00:58:06,166 They were horrified at what they saw and tried to find out

909

00:58:06,166 --> 00:58:08,933 what had really happened.

910

00:58:08,933 --> 00:58:13,466 John Paul Vann took Neil Sheehan and David Halberstam aside

911

00:58:13,466 --> 00:58:15,500 and told them.

912

00:58:15,500 --> 00:58:17,400 The Battle of Ap Bac had been

913

00:58:17,400 --> 00:58:20,233 "a miserable goddamn performance." 914

00:58:20,233 --> 00:58:22,466 "The ARVN won't listen," he said.

915

00:58:22,466 --> 00:58:25,566 "They make the same mistakes over and over again

916

00:58:25,566 --> 00:58:27,600 in the same way."

917

00:58:29,266 --> 00:58:30,866 But back in Saigon,

918

00:58:30,866 --> 00:58:34,666 General Harkins immediately declared victory.

919

00:58:34,666 --> 00:58:37,766 "The ARVN forces had an objective," he said.

920

00:58:37,766 --> 00:58:39,300 "We took that objective.

921

00:58:39,300 --> 00:58:42,833 "The VC left and their casualties were greater

922

00:58:42,833 --> 00:58:45,500 "than those of the government forces.

923

00:58:45,500 --> 00:58:47,133 What more do you want?"

924

00:58:48,600 --> 00:58:51,066 When Halberstam and Sheehan reported

925

00:58:51,066 --> 00:58:54,000 that Ap Bac had in fact been a defeat,

926

00:58:54,000 --> 00:58:58,166 the U.S. Commander in the Pacific denied it all

927

00:58:58,166 --> 00:59:01,566 and urged the reporters to "get on the team."

928

00:59:03,866 --> 00:59:06,000 SHEEHAN: Ap Bac was terribly important.

929

00:59:06,000 --> 00:59:08,266 They had shot down five helicopters,

930

00:59:08,266 --> 00:59:10,766 which they previously had been terrified of.

931

00:59:10,766 --> 00:59:14,933 They'd stopped the armored personnel carriers.

932

00:59:14,933 --> 00:59:17,033 They demonstrated to their own people

933

00:59:17,033 --> 00:59:20,100 that you could resist the Americans and win.

MINUTES 59-70

934

00:59:23,833 --> 00:59:26,133 LE QUAN CONG: The movement was greatly energized. In the toughest battles, our soldiers were inspired by Ap Bac. They were yelling and fired up. They forgot their fear of the enemy.

935

00:59:39,866 --> 00:59:43,666 NARRATOR: In Hanoi, the Battle of Ap Bac was seen

936

00:59:43,666 --> 00:59:48,366 by Party First Secretary Le Duan and his Politburo allies

937

00:59:48,366 --> 00:59:50,666 as evidence of the inherent weakness

938

00:59:50,666 --> 00:59:53,733 of the South Vietnamese regime.

939

00:59:53,733 --> 00:59:57,600 Even when faced with American advisors and weaponry,

940

00:59:57,600 --> 01:00:01,466 the Viet Cong had learned how to inflict heavy casualties

941

01:00:01,466 --> 01:00:05,266 on Saigon's forces, and get away again.

942

01:00:06,766 --> 01:00:10,666 In Saigon, President Diem claimed the ARVN were winning,

943

01:00:10,666 --> 01:00:12,000 not losing.

944

01:00:12,000 --> 01:00:15,366 Ap Bac had only been a momentary setback.

945

01:00:15,366 --> 01:00:17,266 And he resented Americans telling him

946

01:00:17,266 --> 01:00:20,966 how to fight his battles or run his country.

947

01:00:20,966 --> 01:00:26,133 The President's sister-in-law, Madame Nhu, went further.

948

01:00:26,133 --> 01:00:30,533 She denounced the Americans as "false brothers."

949

01:00:32,033 --> 01:00:34,933 "We don't have a prayer of staying in Vietnam,"

950

01:00:34,933 --> 01:00:39,100 President Kennedy privately told a friend that spring.

951

01:00:39,100 --> 01:00:41,200 "These people hate us.

952

01:00:41,200 --> 01:00:44,633 "But I can't give up a piece of territory like that

953

01:00:44,633 --> 01:00:49,133 to the communists and then get the people to reelect me."

954

01:00:53,233 --> 01:00:55,800 (loud commotion)

955

01:00:55,800 --> 01:00:57,433 ED HERLIHY: Buddhist monks and nuns are joined

956

01:00:57,433 --> 01:00:58,933 by thousands of sympathizers

957

01:00:58,933 --> 01:01:00,700 to protest the government's restrictions

958

01:01:00,700 --> 01:01:03,700 on the practice of their religion in South Vietnam.

959

01:01:05,333 --> 01:01:09,000 SHEEHAN: Diem began by alienating the rural population.

960

01:01:09,000 --> 01:01:11,666 And that started the Viet Cong.

961

01:01:11,666 --> 01:01:14,600 Now he was alienating the urban population.

962

01:01:14,600 --> 01:01:17,233 HERLIHY: Seventy percent of the population is Buddhist

963

01:01:17,233 --> 01:01:18,833 and the demonstrators clashed with the police

964

01:01:18,833 --> 01:01:23,100 during the week-long series of incidents like this.

965

01:01:23,100 --> 01:01:26,600 NARRATOR: In the months that followed the Battle of Ap Bac,

966

01:01:26,600 --> 01:01:31,366 South Vietnam plunged into civil strife that had little to do

967

01:01:31,366 --> 01:01:34,266 with the Viet Cong.

968

01:01:34,266 --> 01:01:38,366 Religion and nationalism were at its heart.

969

01:01:38,366 --> 01:01:42,200 A Catholic minority had for years dominated the government

970

01:01:42,200 --> 01:01:45,033 of an overwhelmingly Buddhist country.

971

01:01:46,633 --> 01:01:49,133 That spring in the city of Hue,

972

01:01:49,133 --> 01:01:52,166 Christian flags had been flown to celebrate

973

01:01:52,166 --> 01:01:55,333 the 25th anniversary of the ordination

974

01:01:55,333 --> 01:01:58,133 of Diem's older brother as a Catholic bishop.

975

01:02:01,333 --> 01:02:04,766 But when the Buddhists of the city flew their flags

976

01:02:04,766 --> 01:02:10,233 to celebrate the 2,527th birthday of Lord Buddha,

977

01:02:10,233 --> 01:02:13,166 police tore them down.

978

01:02:13,166 --> 01:02:15,800 Protesters took to the streets.

979

01:02:17,900 --> 01:02:21,800 The Catholic deputy province chief sent security forces

980

01:02:21,800 --> 01:02:24,700 to suppress the demonstration.

981

01:02:24,700 --> 01:02:26,433 The soldiers opened fire.

982

01:02:26,433 --> 01:02:27,433 (two gunshots)

983

01:02:27,433 --> 01:02:30,466 Eight protesters died.

984

01:02:30,466 --> 01:02:36,433 The youngest was 12; the oldest was 20.

985

01:02:36,433 --> 01:02:40,233 The Diem regime blamed the Viet Cong.[25]

986

01:02:41,833 --> 01:02:45,633 Monks throughout the country demanded an apology.

987

01:02:54,466 --> 01:02:56,866 They also called for an end to discrimination

988

01:02:56,866 --> 01:02:59,233 by Catholic officials.

989

01:02:59,233 --> 01:03:02,566 Many Buddhists had come to see Diem's policies

990

01:03:02,566 --> 01:03:05,833 as a direct threat to their religious beliefs.

991

01:03:08,633 --> 01:03:12,366 DUONG VAN MAI: My family was against what Diem was doing.

992

01:03:12,366 --> 01:03:15,033 My mother was convinced

993

01:03:15,033 --> 01:03:19,100 that Diem was destroying the Buddhist faith.

994

01:03:19,100 --> 01:03:23,366 She would go to the pagodas and listen to the monks' speeches.

995

01:03:23,366 --> 01:03:26,800 And she was just extremely upset.

996

01:03:28,166 --> 01:03:29,466 She was not alone.

997

01:03:29,466 --> 01:03:32,366 There was a lot of people like her.

998

01:03:32,366 --> 01:03:36,400 NARRATOR: American officials urged Diem and his brother Nhu

999

01:03:36,400 --> 01:03:39,800 to make meaningful concessions to the Buddhists,

1000

01:03:39,800 --> 01:03:41,866 for the sake of maintaining unity

1001

01:03:41,866 --> 01:03:44,500 in the struggle against communism.

1002

01:03:44,500 --> 01:03:46,133 They refused.

1003

01:03:48,666 --> 01:03:53,766 On June 10, 1963, Malcolm Browne of the Associated Press

1004

01:03:53,766 --> 01:03:56,666 received an anonymous tip:

1005

01:03:56,666 --> 01:03:59,933 something important was going to happen the next day

1006

01:03:59,933 --> 01:04:03,500 at a major intersection in Saigon.

1007

01:04:03,500 --> 01:04:05,433 He took his camera.

1008

01:04:12,966 --> 01:04:16,433 To protest the Diem regime's repression,

1009

01:04:16,433 --> 01:04:22,833 a 73-year-old monk named Quang Duc set himself on fire.

1010

01:04:40,533 --> 01:04:45,700 As a large, hushed crowd watched him burn to death, [26]

1011

01:04:45,700 --> 01:04:49,233 another monk repeated over and over again

1012

01:04:49,233 --> 01:04:52,266 in English and Vietnamese,

1013

01:04:52,266 --> 01:04:55,233 "A Buddhist monk becomes a martyr.

1014

01:04:55,233 --> 01:04:57,866 A Buddhist monk becomes a martyr."

1015

01:05:04,766 --> 01:05:07,733 SHEEHAN: I remember they held the ashes

1016

01:05:07,733 --> 01:05:10,333 of the monk who burned himself to death

1017

01:05:10,333 --> 01:05:13,433 where it was kept in one of the main pagodas.

1018

01:05:13,433 --> 01:05:19,633 And lines of people came to pass by, and I saw these women,

1019

01:05:19,633 --> 01:05:22,700 not rich women, ordinary Vietnamese women,

1020

01:05:22,700 --> 01:05:25,833 take off the one piece of gold they had on, their wedding ring,

1021

01:05:25,833 --> 01:05:30,866 and drop it in the bottle to contribute to the struggle.

1022

01:05:30,866 --> 01:05:34,800 And I thought to myself, "This regime is over.

1023

01:05:34,800 --> 01:05:35,866 It's the end."

1024

01:05:39,966 --> 01:05:42,500 NARRATOR: Soon other monks would become martyrs.

1025

01:05:45,766 --> 01:05:51,400 Fresh outbursts by Madame Nhu only made things worse.

1026

01:05:51,400 --> 01:05:54,900 Burning monks made her clap her hands, she said.

1027

01:05:54,900 --> 01:05:57,566 If more monks wanted to burn themselves,

1028

01:05:57,566 --> 01:06:00,833 she would provide the matches.

1029

01:06:00,833 --> 01:06:02,800 The only thing they have done,

1030

01:06:02,800 --> 01:06:08,633 they have barbecued one of their monks,

1031

01:06:08,633 --> 01:06:14,266 whom they have intoxicated, whom they have abused the confidence.

1032

01:06:14,266 --> 01:06:18,666 And even that barbecuing was done

1033

01:06:18,666 --> 01:06:21,000 not even with self-sufficient means

1034

01:06:21,000 --> 01:06:24,033 because they-they used imported gasoline.

1035

01:06:25,766 --> 01:06:28,533 DUONG VAN MAI: They thought she was arrogant,

1036

01:06:28,533 --> 01:06:30,100 she was power hungry.

1037

01:06:30,100 --> 01:06:33,466 They suspected her and her husband of being corrupt.

1038

01:06:33,466 --> 01:06:39,866 Nhu ran the secret police, which arrested and tortured people.

1039

01:06:39,866 --> 01:06:43,100 People feared the Diem regime.

1040

01:06:43,100 --> 01:06:46,666 Perhaps more than they feared it, they really hated it.

1041

01:06:48,933 --> 01:06:51,666 NARRATOR: Students, including many Catholics,

1042

01:06:51,666 --> 01:06:54,166 rallied to the Buddhist cause.

1043

01:06:54,166 --> 01:06:57,466 So did some army officers.

1044

01:06:57,466 --> 01:07:01,900 BUI DIEM: SOUTH VIETNAMESE DIPLOMAT People among the military had to ask the question,

1045

01:07:01,900 --> 01:07:05,300 "Can we continue this kind of situation like that

1046

01:07:05,300 --> 01:07:08,800 "when the whole country, country was almost burning

1047

01:07:08,800 --> 01:07:10,566 with the kind of protest from the Buddhists?"

1048

01:07:10,566 --> 01:07:11,566 You see?

1049

01:07:15,166 --> 01:07:19,100 ZIMMERMAN: I first became aware of Vietnam because of a burning monk.

1050

01:07:21,633 --> 01:07:26,600 We had watched the civil rights movement in the South

1051

01:07:26,600 --> 01:07:29,600 and it had set the standard for us

1052

01:07:29,600 --> 01:07:36,033 to stand up against injustice, allow yourself to be beaten up,

1053

01:07:36,033 --> 01:07:38,433 allow yourself to be attacked by a dog

1054

01:07:38,433 --> 01:07:40,800 or hit by a police truncheon.

1055

01:07:40,800 --> 01:07:42,766 And we had enormous respect

1056

01:07:42,766 --> 01:07:45,900 for people who were willing to go that far.

1057

01:07:50,333 --> 01:07:53,333 And then one day in 1963,

1058

01:07:53,333 --> 01:07:57,700 we saw on television a picture of a monk in Saigon.

1059

01:07:59,133 --> 01:08:01,333 This was an extraordinary act.

1060

01:08:03,733 --> 01:08:06,633 Why was a Buddhist monk burning himself

1061

01:08:06,633 --> 01:08:09,366 on the streets of Saigon?

1062

01:08:12,100 --> 01:08:14,600 NARRATOR: The protests continued.

1063

01:08:14,600 --> 01:08:19,566 Tensions between Washington and Saigon steadily worsened.

1064

01:08:19,566 --> 01:08:23,566 The more the Kennedy Administration demanded change,

1065

01:08:23,566 --> 01:08:27,600 the more Diem and his brother Nhu seemed to resist.

1066

01:08:29,266 --> 01:08:32,100 The White House announced that a new American ambassador,

1067

01:08:32,100 --> 01:08:37,333 former senator Henry Cabot Lodge, was being sent to Saigon, [27]

1068

01:08:37,333 --> 01:08:39,899 a man eminent enough, the president hoped,

1069

01:08:39,899 --> 01:08:45,000 to make Diem listen more closely to American advice.

1070

01:08:45,000 --> 01:08:48,866 Diem professed to be unimpressed.

1071

01:08:48,866 --> 01:08:51,633 "They can send ten Lodges," he said,

1072

01:08:51,633 --> 01:08:55,600 "but I will not let myself or my country be humiliated,

1073

01:08:55,600 --> 01:08:59,466 not if they train their artillery on this palace."

1074

01:08:59,466 --> 01:09:04,200 He did promise the outgoing ambassador, Frederick Nolting,

1075

01:09:04,200 --> 01:09:07,033 that he would take no further repressive steps

1076

01:09:07,033 --> 01:09:08,600 against the Buddhists.

1077

01:09:10,366 --> 01:09:15,700 Then, a few minutes after midnight on August 21, 1963,

1078

01:09:15,700 --> 01:09:19,266 with Nolting gone and Henry Cabot Lodge's arrival

1079

01:09:19,266 --> 01:09:22,899 still one day away, Diem cut the phone lines

1080

01:09:22,899 --> 01:09:26,433 of all the senior American officials in Saigon

1081

01:09:26,433 --> 01:09:30,066 and sent hundreds of his Special Forces

1082

01:09:30,066 --> 01:09:33,966 storming into Buddhist pagodas in Saigon, Hue,

1083

01:09:33,966 --> 01:09:37,266 and several other South Vietnamese cities.

1084

01:09:37,266 --> 01:09:40,133 Some 1,400 monks and nuns,

1085

01:09:40,133 --> 01:09:45,766 students and ordinary citizens were rounded up and taken away.

1086

01:09:45,766 --> 01:09:49,333 (shouting)

1087

01:09:53,500 --> 01:09:58,066 Martial law was imposed, public meetings were forbidden,

1088

01:09:58,066 --> 01:10:02,566 troops were authorized to shoot anyone found on the streets

1089

01:10:02,566 --> 01:10:04,300 after 9:00.

MINUTES 70-80

1090

01:10:04,300 --> 01:10:07,700 PETER ROBERTS: Tanks guard a pagoda in Saigon

1091

01:10:07,700 --> 01:10:10,466 during South Vietnam's bafflingly complicated crisis

1092

01:10:10,466 --> 01:10:13,566 that has the government of President Ngo Dinh Diem,

1093

01:10:13,566 --> 01:10:17,400 students, and Buddhists, and the United States government

1094

01:10:17,400 --> 01:10:21,100 all trying to guess one another's next move.

1095

01:10:21,100 --> 01:10:25,000 NARRATOR: When college students protested in support of the monks,

1096

01:10:25,000 --> 01:10:28,700 Diem closed Vietnam's universities.

1097

01:10:28,700 --> 01:10:32,600 High school students then poured into the streets.

1098

01:10:32,600 --> 01:10:35,266 He shut down all the high schools

1099

01:10:35,266 --> 01:10:36,533 and the grammar schools, too,

1100

01:10:36,533 --> 01:10:39,866 and arrested thousands of school children,

1101

01:10:39,866 --> 01:10:42,766 including the sons and daughters of officials

1102

01:10:42,766 --> 01:10:44,833 in his own government.

1103

01:10:44,833 --> 01:10:48,000 PHAN QUANG TUE: I participated in the demonstrations.

1104

01:10:48,000 --> 01:10:54,900 I strongly believed that that government has to be overthrown

1105

01:10:54,900 --> 01:10:57,100 because it's a dictator government.

1106

01:10:57,100 --> 01:10:59,166 We couldn't stand it anymore

1107

01:10:59,166 --> 01:11:03,000 and this is an opportunity to rise against it.

1108

01:11:03,000 --> 01:11:07,100 NARRATOR: Phan Quang Tue was a law student that summer.

1109

01:11:07,100 --> 01:11:11,100 His father was a prominent nationalist whom Diem had jailed

1110

01:11:11,100 --> 01:11:14,433 for calling for greater democracy.

1111

01:11:14,433 --> 01:11:18,033 PHAN QUANG TUE: I was and I'm still a Catholic,

1112

01:11:18,033 --> 01:11:20,366 not a very good Catholic.

1113

01:11:20,366 --> 01:11:22,300 I don't practice religiously.

1114

01:11:22,300 --> 01:11:24,200 But I'm a Catholic.

1115

01:11:25,700 --> 01:11:27,233 I was rightly arrested

1116

01:11:27,233 --> 01:11:30,400 because I did participate in demonstration.

1117

01:11:30,400 --> 01:11:33,400 And I was interrogated

1118

01:11:33,400 --> 01:11:36,466 and briefly tortured, beaten a little bit.

1119

01:11:39,800 --> 01:11:42,700 HERLIHY: Henry Cabot Lodge took over as U.S. ambassador

1120

01:11:42,700 --> 01:11:44,266 in the midst of the turmoil.

1121

01:11:44,266 --> 01:11:45,700 And he has reported to have demanded

1122

01:11:45,700 --> 01:11:47,966 that President Diem's brother Nhu be ousted

1123

01:11:47,966 --> 01:11:50,333 or U.S. aid to Vietnam will be cut.

1124

01:11:53,633 --> 01:11:55,633 NARRATOR: In the wake of the pagoda raids,

1125

01:11:55,633 --> 01:11:58,100 a small group of South Vietnamese generals

1126

01:11:58,100 --> 01:12:01,833 contacted the CIA in Saigon.

1127

01:12:01,833 --> 01:12:05,366 Diem's brother Nhu was now largely in control

1128

01:12:05,366 --> 01:12:07,433 of the government, they said.

1129

01:12:07,433 --> 01:12:12,200 What would Washington's reaction be if they mounted a coup?

1130

01:12:12,200 --> 01:12:15,300 President Kennedy and his senior advisors

1131

01:12:15,300 --> 01:12:20,200 happened to be out of town, so Roger Hilsman, Jr.,

1132

01:12:20,200 --> 01:12:23,766 assistant secretary of state for Far Eastern affairs

1133

01:12:23,766 --> 01:12:26,233 and a critic of the Diem regime,

1134

01:12:26,233 --> 01:12:30,366 took it upon himself to draft a cable with new instructions

1135

01:12:30,366 --> 01:12:33,300 for Ambassador Lodge.

1136

01:12:33,300 --> 01:12:37,266 The U.S. government could no longer tolerate a situation

1137

01:12:37,266 --> 01:12:41,466 in which power lay in Nhu's hands, it said.

1138

01:12:41,466 --> 01:12:44,700 Diem should be given a chance to rid himself of his brother.

1139

01:12:46,166 --> 01:12:49,800 If he refused, Lodge was to tell the generals,

1140

01:12:49,800 --> 01:12:53,333 "then we must face the possibility that Diem himself

1141

01:12:53,333 --> 01:12:57,200 cannot be preserved."

1142

01:12:57,200 --> 01:13:00,933 The president was vacationing at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

1143

01:13:00,933 --> 01:13:04,966 Undersecretary of State George Ball read part of the cable

1144

01:13:04,966 --> 01:13:08,133 to him over the phone.

1145

01:13:08,133 --> 01:13:10,400 Since the early 1950s,

1146

01:13:10,400 --> 01:13:12,966 the United States government had encouraged

1147

01:13:12,966 --> 01:13:18,433 and even orchestrated other Cold War coups in Iran, Guatemala,

1148

01:13:18,433 --> 01:13:22,933 the Congo, and elsewhere.

1149

01:13:22,933 --> 01:13:26,933 Kennedy decided to approve Hilsman's cable

1150

01:13:26,933 --> 01:13:30,166 in part because he thought his top advisors

1151

01:13:30,166 --> 01:13:32,300 had already endorsed it.

1152

01:13:32,300 --> 01:13:35,200 They had not.

1153

01:13:35,200 --> 01:13:40,400 RUFUS PHILLIPS: And somehow, because of a cable that came out from Washington,

1154

01:13:40,400 --> 01:13:43,733 Lodge decided that the only solution was to get rid

1155

01:13:43,733 --> 01:13:47,533 of not just Ngo Dinh Nhu, the bad brother,

1156

01:13:47,533 --> 01:13:50,100 but also of Diem himself.

1157

01:13:50,100 --> 01:13:52,266 And that started us on this whole business

1158

01:13:52,266 --> 01:13:55,066 of promoting a coup.

1159

01:13:55,066 --> 01:13:58,533 And it was not a good idea.

1160

01:13:58,533 --> 01:14:01,366 I just had a feeling of impending disaster.

1161

01:14:02,566 --> 01:14:05,266 NARRATOR: On September 2, 1963,

1162

01:14:05,266 --> 01:14:09,000 Labor Day, Walter Cronkite of CBS News

1163

01:14:09,000 --> 01:14:11,600 interviewed President Kennedy.

1164

01:14:11,600 --> 01:14:15,700 The president used the opportunity to deliver a message

1165

01:14:15,700 --> 01:14:17,566 to President Diem.

1166

01:14:17,566 --> 01:14:21,400 CRONKITE: Mr. President, the only hot war we've got running at the moment

1167

01:14:21,400 --> 01:14:24,000 is of course the one in Vietnam,

1168

01:14:24,000 --> 01:14:27,000 and we've got our difficulties there, quite obviously.

1169

01:14:27,000 --> 01:14:31,600 KENNEDY: I don't think that unless a greater effort is made

1170

01:14:31,600 --> 01:14:33,566 by the government to win popular support

1171

01:14:33,566 --> 01:14:35,033 that the war can be won out there.

1172

01:14:35,033 --> 01:14:37,000 In the final analysis, it's their war.

1173

01:14:37,000 --> 01:14:40,900 CRONKITE: Hasn't every indication from Saigon been

1174

01:14:40,900 --> 01:14:43,033 that President Diem has no intention

1175

01:14:43,033 --> 01:14:44,033 of changing his pattern?

1176

01:14:44,033 --> 01:14:45,033 KENNEDY: If he doesn't change it,

1177

01:14:45,033 --> 01:14:46,966 of course, that's his decision.

1178

01:14:46,966 --> 01:14:49,066 He has been there ten years and, as I say,

1179

01:14:49,066 --> 01:14:50,433 he has carried this burden

1180

01:14:50,433 --> 01:14:51,866 when he has been counted out on a number of occasions.

1181

01:14:51,866 --> 01:14:52,966 Our best judgment is

1182

01:14:52,966 --> 01:14:55,500 that he can't be successful in this basis.

1183

01:14:55,500 --> 01:14:58,200 But I don't agree with those who say we should withdraw.

1184

01:14:58,200 --> 01:14:59,466 That would be a great mistake.

1185

01:14:59,466 --> 01:15:00,833 That'd be a great mistake.

1186

01:15:00,833 --> 01:15:02,866 I know people don't like Americans to be engaged

1187

01:15:02,866 --> 01:15:03,966 in this kind of an effort.

1188

01:15:03,966 --> 01:15:06,433 47 Americans have been killed.

1189

01:15:06,433 --> 01:15:08,433 We're in a very

1190

01:15:08,433 --> 01:15:11,300 desperate struggle against the communist system.

1191

01:15:11,300 --> 01:15:14,633 And I don't want Asia to pass into the control of the Chinese.

1192

01:15:14,633 --> 01:15:16,866 CRONKITE: Do you think that this government still has time

1193

01:15:16,866 --> 01:15:19,400 to-to regain the support of the people?

1194

01:15:19,400 --> 01:15:21,366 KENNEDY: I do, I do.

1195

01:15:21,366 --> 01:15:24,733 With changes in policy and perhaps in personnel,

1196

01:15:24,733 --> 01:15:26,333 I think it can.

1197

01:15:26,333 --> 01:15:29,900 If it doesn't make those changes,

1198

01:15:29,900 --> 01:15:32,033 I would think that the chances of winning it

1199

01:15:32,033 --> 01:15:33,700 would not be very good.

1200

01:15:35,433 --> 01:15:38,333 NARRATOR: Despite the cable, Kennedy and his advisors

1201

01:15:38,333 --> 01:15:41,700 were sharply divided about a coup.

1202

01:15:41,700 --> 01:15:47,066 Robert McNamara, Maxwell Taylor, Vice President Lyndon Johnson,

1203

01:15:47,066 --> 01:15:51,500 and the head of the CIA all cautioned against it,

1204

01:15:51,500 --> 01:15:54,933 because, while none of them especially admired Diem,

1205

01:15:54,933 --> 01:15:59,600 they did not believe there was any viable alternative.

1206

01:15:59,600 --> 01:16:02,733 GREGG: Fritz Nolting was called in.

1207

01:16:02,733 --> 01:16:05,300 And he said, "As difficult as they are to deal with,

1208

01:16:05,300 --> 01:16:10,333 "there is nobody with the guts and sangfroid in Vietnam

1209

01:16:10,333 --> 01:16:12,133 "of Diem and his brother Nhu.

1210

01:16:12,133 --> 01:16:15,600 "And if we let them go, we will be saddled

1211

01:16:15,600 --> 01:16:19,566 by a descending cycle of mediocre generals."

1212

01:16:19,566 --> 01:16:21,533 And he was absolutely correct.

1213

01:16:23,200 --> 01:16:26,133 NARRATOR: But several State Department officials believed

1214

01:16:26,133 --> 01:16:31,033 that without fresh leadership, South Vietnam could not survive.

1215

01:16:31,033 --> 01:16:34,300 The debate intensified.

1216

01:16:35,466 --> 01:16:37,466 "My God," the president said,

1217

01:16:37,466 --> 01:16:40,833 "my administration is coming apart."

1218

01:16:40,833 --> 01:16:44,266 In the end, Kennedy instructed Lodge

1219

01:16:44,266 --> 01:16:46,666 to tell the renegade generals

1220

01:16:46,666 --> 01:16:49,066 that while the United States does not wish

1221

01:16:49,066 --> 01:16:53,066 to stimulate a coup, it would not thwart one either.

1222

01:16:54,566 --> 01:16:57,700 The generals laid their plans.

1223

01:16:57,700 --> 01:17:00,266 (gunfire)

1224

01:17:04,000 --> 01:17:09,700 On November 1, 1963, troops loyal to the plotters

1225

01:17:09,700 --> 01:17:11,933 seized key installations in Saigon

1226

01:17:11,933 --> 01:17:15,400 and demanded Diem and Nhu surrender.

1227

01:17:17,933 --> 01:17:20,466 REPORTER: The battle for the city went on for 18 hours

1228

01:17:20,466 --> 01:17:23,800 and most of it was centered on the presidential palace.

1229

01:17:23,800 --> 01:17:27,333 Just after 6:30 in the morning Saturday, the shooting ceased.

1230

01:17:29,666 --> 01:17:31,533 (people cheering)

1231

01:17:36,266 --> 01:17:41,600 NARRATOR: Diem and Nhu escaped, took sanctuary in a church,

1232

01:17:41,600 --> 01:17:44,700 and agreed to surrender to the rebels in exchange

1233

01:17:44,700 --> 01:17:48,533 for the promise of safe passage out of the country.

1234

01:17:48,533 --> 01:17:52,100 They were picked up in an armored personnel carrier...

1235

01:17:52,100 --> 01:17:54,033 (gunshot)

1236

01:17:54,033 --> 01:17:58,233 And murdered soon after they climbed inside.

1237

01:17:58,233 --> 01:17:59,566 (gunshot)

1238

01:18:03,000 --> 01:18:06,466 Madame Nhu survived the coup.

1239

01:18:06,466 --> 01:18:09,733 She was on a goodwill tour in the United States.

1240

01:18:14,966 --> 01:18:17,633 PHAN QUANG TUE: The system was overthrown on November 1.

1241

01:18:17,633 --> 01:18:20,333 I was released November 4.

1242

01:18:20,333 --> 01:18:26,500 And it was the most exciting moment in the life of Saigon.

1243

01:18:28,333 --> 01:18:33,700 The excitement, you could feel it in the air.

1244

01:18:33,700 --> 01:18:38,233 DUONG VAN MAI: I was thinking that, yeah, it's a good thing.

1245

01:18:38,233 --> 01:18:41,900 Diem was making it impossible to win the war

1246

01:18:41,900 --> 01:18:45,466 because people were so against him

1247

01:18:45,466 --> 01:18:49,966 that the war would be lost if he stayed in power.

1248

01:18:51,633 --> 01:18:53,800 My father was a bit worried

1249

01:18:53,800 --> 01:18:55,833 because he didn't know who was going to replace Diem.

1250

01:18:58,633 --> 01:19:01,333 NARRATOR: Ambassador Lodge reported to Washington

1251

01:19:01,333 --> 01:19:05,966 that "every Vietnamese has a smile on his face today."

1252

01:19:05,966 --> 01:19:09,666 "The prospects are now for a shorter war," he said,

1253

01:19:09,666 --> 01:19:12,633 "provided the generals stay together.

1254

01:19:12,633 --> 01:19:15,466 "Certainly officers and soldiers

1255

01:19:15,466 --> 01:19:18,666 who can pull off an operation like this," he continued,

1256

01:19:18,666 --> 01:19:22,100 "should be able to do very well on the battlefield

1257

01:19:22,100 --> 01:19:24,566 if their hearts are in it."

1258

01:19:27,433 --> 01:19:30,666 President Kennedy was not so sure.

1259

01:19:30,666 --> 01:19:35,000 He was appalled that Diem and Nhu had been killed.

1260

01:19:35,000 --> 01:19:38,700 Three days later, he dictated his own rueful account

1261

01:19:38,700 --> 01:19:42,766 of the coup and his concerns for the future.

1262

01:19:44,366 --> 01:19:48,266 KENNEDY: Monday, November 4, 1963.

1263

01:19:48,266 --> 01:19:51,300 Over the weekend the coup in Saigon took place.

1264

01:19:51,300 --> 01:19:54,166 It culminated three months of conversation,

1265

01:19:54,166 --> 01:19:59,466 which divided the government here and in Saigon.

1266

01:19:59,466 --> 01:20:04,666 I feel that we must bear a good deal of responsibility for it,

1267

01:20:04,666 --> 01:20:07,700 beginning with our cable of August

1268

01:20:07,700 --> 01:20:10,400 in which we suggested the coup.

1269

01:20:10,400 --> 01:20:13,300 I should not have given my consent to it

1270

01:20:13,300 --> 01:20:15,566 without a roundtable conference.

1271

01:20:17,600 --> 01:20:23,066 I was shocked by the death of Diem and Nhu.

1272

01:20:23,066 --> 01:20:27,266 The way he was killed made it particularly abhorrent.

1273

01:20:27,266 --> 01:20:29,900 The question now is whether the generals can stay together

1274

01:20:29,900 --> 01:20:33,800 and build a stable government or whether public opinion in Saigon

1275

01:20:33,800 --> 01:20:37,566 will turn on this government as repressive and undemocratic

1276

01:20:37,566 --> 01:20:39,500 in the not-too-distant future.

MINUTES 80-90

1277

01:20:44,466 --> 01:20:46,866 NARRATOR: Kennedy would not live to see the answer

1278

01:20:46,866 --> 01:20:49,466 to the question he had asked.

1279

01:20:49,466 --> 01:20:53,966 He was murdered in Dallas 18 days later.

1280

01:20:53,966 --> 01:20:58,966 There were now 16,000 American advisors in South Vietnam.

1281

01:20:58,966 --> 01:21:04,500 Their fate and the fate of that embattled country rested

1282

01:21:04,500 --> 01:21:09,766 with another American president, Lyndon Baines Johnson.

1283

01:21:09,766 --> 01:21:13,733 (distorted rock music playing)

1284

01:21:27,166 --> 01:21:29,400 SHEEHAN: We thought we were the exceptions to history,

1285

01:21:29,400 --> 01:21:30,966 we Americans.

1286

01:21:30,966 --> 01:21:33,700 History didn't apply to us.

1287

01:21:33,700 --> 01:21:35,933 We could never fight a bad war.

1288

01:21:35,933 --> 01:21:37,933 We could never represent the wrong cause.

1289

01:21:37,933 --> 01:21:39,066 We were Americans.

1290

01:21:40,266 --> 01:21:41,600 Well, in Vietnam it proved

1291

01:21:41,600 --> 01:21:44,100 that we were not an exception to history.

1292

01:21:45,333 --> 01:21:47,633 (distorted rock music continues)

1293

01:21:56,533 --> 01:21:58,933 ("Mean Old World" by Sam Cooke playing)

1294

01:22:03,300 --> 01:22:12,066 ♪ This is a mean old world to live in all by yourself ♪

1295

01:22:16,833 --> 01:22:23,166 ♪ This is a mean old world to live in ♪

1296

01:22:23,166 --> 01:22:25,866 ♪ All by yourself

1297

01:22:29,766 --> 01:22:36,900 ♪ This is a mean world to be alone ♪

1298

01:22:36,900 --> 01:22:42,866 ♪ Without someone to call your own ♪

1299

01:22:42,866 --> 01:22:49,000 ♪ This is a mean old world to try and live in ♪

1300

01:22:49,000 --> 01:22:51,466 ♪ All by yourself

1301

01:22:55,633 --> 01:23:01,900 ♪ I wish I had someone, someone ♪

1302

01:23:01,900 --> 01:23:04,133 ♪ Who'd love me true

1303

01:23:08,566 --> 01:23:18,766 ♪ I wish I had someone who loved me true ♪

1304

01:23:21,433 --> 01:23:27,966 ♪ If I had someone who loved me true ♪

1305

01:23:27,966 --> 01:23:34,566 ♪ Then I know I wouldn't be so blue ♪

1306

01:23:34,566 --> 01:23:41,166 ♪ This is a mean old world to try and live in ♪

1307

01:23:41,166 --> 01:23:43,666 ♪ All by yourself

1308

01:23:45,933 --> 01:23:54,166 ♪ Lord, I find myself dreaming

1309

01:23:54,166 --> 01:23:56,400 ♪ I found a love

1310

01:23:59,800 --> 01:24:07,233 ♪ Sometimes I find myself dreaming ♪

1311

01:24:07,233 --> 01:24:10,533 ♪ I found a love

1312

01:24:12,933 --> 01:24:20,933 ♪ Sometimes I dream I've really found a love ♪

1313

01:24:20,933 --> 01:24:27,066 ♪ Someone who loved me true as the stars above ♪

1314

01:24:27,066 --> 01:24:32,633 ♪ For this is a mean old world to try and live in ♪

1315

01:24:32,633 --> 01:24:36,833 ♪ All by yourself.

1316

01:24:40,300 --> 01:24:43,600 Captioned by Media Access Group at WGBH, access.wgbh.org

1317

01:24:48,566 --> 01:24:49,766 ANNOUNCER: LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FILM

1318

01:24:49,766 --> 01:24:52,633 AND FIND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AT PBS.ORG/VIETNAMWAR

1319

01:24:52,633 --> 01:24:56,566 AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION USING HASHTAG VIETNAMWARPBS.

1320

01:24:56,566 --> 01:24:58,033 "THE VIETNAM WAR" IS AVAILABLE

1321

01:24:58,033 --> 01:24:59,700 ON BLU-RAY AND DVD.

1322

01:24:59,700 --> 01:25:01,433 THE COMPANION BOOK, SOUNDTRACK,

1323

01:25:01,433 --> 01:25:02,833 AND ORIGINAL SCORE FROM THE FILM

1324

01:25:02,833 --> 01:25:03,966 ARE ALSO AVAILABLE.

1325

01:25:03,966 --> 01:25:06,066 TO ORDER, VISIT SHOPPBS.ORG

1326

01:25:06,066 --> 01:25:08,533 OR CALL 1-800-PLAY-PBS.

1327

01:25:08,533 --> 01:25:09,966 EPISODES OF THIS SERIES ALSO

1328

01:25:09,966 --> 01:25:11,066 AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD

1329

01:25:11,066 --> 01:25:12,166 FROM iTUNES.

1330

01:25:15,433 --> 01:25:17,566 ANNOUNCER: BANK OF AMERICA PROUDLY SUPPORTS

1331

01:25:17,566 --> 01:25:22,466 KEN BURNS' AND LYNN NOVICK'S FILM "THE VIETNAM WAR"

1332

01:25:22,466 --> 01:25:24,866 BECAUSE FOSTERING DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES

1333

01:25:24,866 --> 01:25:27,466 AND CIVIL DISCOURSE AROUND IMPORTANT ISSUES

1334

01:25:27,466 --> 01:25:29,766 FURTHERS PROGRESS, EQUALITY,

1335

01:25:29,766 --> 01:25:31,766 AND A MORE CONNECTED SOCIETY.

1336

01:25:36,233 --> 01:25:40,266 GO TO BANKOFAMERICA.COM/ BETTERCONNECTED TO LEARN MORE.

1337

01:25:43,733 --> 01:25:45,166 ANNOUNCER: MAJOR SUPPORT FOR "THE VIETNAM WAR"

1338

01:25:45,166 --> 01:25:48,666 WAS PROVIDED BY MEMBERS OF THE BETTER ANGELS SOCIETY,

1339

01:25:48,666 --> 01:25:52,633 INCLUDING JONATHAN AND JEANNIE LAVINE,

1340

01:25:52,633 --> 01:25:55,533 DIANE AND HAL BRIERLEY,

1341

01:25:55,533 --> 01:25:57,933 AMY AND DAVID ABRAMS,

1342

01:25:57,933 --> 01:26:00,433 JOHN AND CATHERINE DEBS,

1343

01:26:00,433 --> 01:26:03,400 THE FULLERTON FAMILY CHARITABLE FUND,

1344

01:26:03,400 --> 01:26:05,466 THE MONTRONE FAMILY,

1345

01:26:05,466 --> 01:26:07,800 LYNDA AND STEWART RESNICK,

1346

01:26:07,800 --> 01:26:10,566 THE PERRY AND DONNA GOLKIN FAMILY FOUNDATION,

1347

01:26:10,566 --> 01:26:11,566 THE LYNCH FOUNDATION,

1348

01:26:11,566 --> 01:26:14,433 THE ROGER AND ROSEMARY ENRICO FOUNDATION,

1349

01:26:14,433 --> 01:26:17,866 AND BY THESE ADDITIONAL FUNDERS.

1350

01:26:17,866 --> 01:26:19,766 MAJOR FUNDING WAS ALSO PROVIDED

1351

01:26:19,766 --> 01:26:21,500 BY DAVID H. KOCH...

1352

01:26:23,800 --> 01:26:26,000 THE BLAVATNIK FAMILY FOUNDATION...

1353

01:26:28,333 --> 01:26:30,766 THE PARK FOUNDATION,

1354

01:26:30,766 --> 01:26:32,933 THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES,

1355

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1356

01:26:35,133 --> 01:26:37,800 THE JOHN S. AND JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION,

1357

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1358

01:26:40,566 --> 01:26:43,166 THE ARTHUR VINING DAVIS FOUNDATIONS,

1359

01:26:43,166 --> 01:26:45,366 THE FORD FOUNDATION JUSTFILMS,

1360

01:26:45,366 --> 01:26:46,566 BY THE CORPORATION

1361

01:26:46,566 --> 01:26:47,800 FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING,

1362

01:26:47,800 --> 01:26:49,766 AND BY VIEWERS LIKE YOU.

1363

01:26:49,766 --> 01:26:50,900 THANK YOU.

References

  1. Technically, National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NFLSVN)
  2. A shortening of Cong San (Communist)
  3. "autocratic" as opposed to the "totalitarian" government of the North
  4. Nguyen, Lien-Hang Thi (2012). Hanoi's War. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press. p. 39, 44-45. ISBN 978-0807835517. 
  5. Since there was no American presence in North Vietnam, all impressions of Americans came from North Vietnamese government sources.
  6. The South Vietnamese peasant wanted to be left alone. He would have preferred not to be forced to follow one side or the other.
  7. see Stirling
  8. which is usually blamed on Kennedy;s withdrawal of air support from the operation.
  9. Hannah, Norman B (1987). The Key to Failure: Laos & the Vietnam War. Lanham, MD: Madison Books. p. xxii. ISBN 0-8191-6440-2. 
  10. The North Vietnamese began its operations on the what became known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail in May 1959.
  11. For the record, the North Vietnamese capped their Army the People's Army of Viet Nam (or PAVN)
  12. see note on Geneva Accords
  13. Obviously he was more than a figurehead.
  14. On What Basis?
  15. Hunting was killed in 1965. On May 30, 1962 Viet Cong attacked the Leprosarium in Ban Me Thout. taking Dr. Eleanor Vietti, Rev. Archie Mitchell and Dan Gerber as prisoners. they were never heard from again.
  16. See note on Bright Shining Lie
  17. BURNS: "There is no single truth in War." The fact is that three reporters in their late 20's thought that they, alone, could recognize "truth." They spread Vann's self-serving description of the battle of Ap Bac (see Ap Bac) and later used their platform to lobby against Ngo Dinh Diem. (see Reporting on Diem)
  18. "The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea." Mao Zedong
  19. What are the weapons in this picture?
  20. Since 1940
  21. For that reason, few U.S. forces were sent to the Mekong Delta, where Chau was the Kien Hoa Province Chief.
  22. Scotton, Frank (2014). Uphill Battle: Reflections on Vietnam Counterinsurgency. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University Press. p. 7-8. ISBN 978-0-89672-867-7. 
  23. see Ap Bac. single-source intelligence from John Paul Vann
  24. Vietnam Veterans for Factual History (2013). "Our Presponse" A Supplement to the TTU-NARA Conference on Vietnam in the Year 1963. Houston, TX: RADIX Press. pp. 78–97 (Vietnamese). ISBN 978-1929932238. 
  25. There is indication this might be right
  26. Howard Sucharek, of National Geographic, asked Browne why he took that picture? Browne responded, "Wouldn't you?" Sucharek replied "No." Reported by Gerald Hickey
  27. timing?

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