Episode 5. This Is What We Do (July 1967-December 1967)

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Episode 5. This Is What We Do (July 1967-December 1967)

Annotated Transcript Of Episode 5

John Del Vecchio

First, know that all film from North Vietnamese sources was taken by NVA “armed propaganda teams” not by members of a free press. Secondly, realize that these NVA soldiers were very often scared, that they often felt forced to be where they were, that many were disheartened, and that very many disliked their command--particularly hating the political officers which were attached to all NVA units. [Kind of sounds like troops in any war, huh?] During the war some 20,000 northern troops defected to the south. That is a very significant number and should tell the reader more about NVA morale than Burns projection of happy patriots willingly and eagerly entering the maw. As to insurgents indigenous to South Vietnam (the VC), so disenchanted with the communist side, and so convinced the allied side was winning, some 180,000 defected to the South!

R.J. Del Vecchio

And again, they seem to have been unable to find, among all the vets they interviewed, even one who has anything positive at all to say about his service and what the war was about. They have found instances of commanders sending people into ambushes, and units getting chewed right to pieces, the kind of things that everyone finds stupid and command arrogance/stupidity, but which describes incidents in every war we or anyone else has ever fought.

Dan Kellum

I spoke with a Vietnamese truong uy (lieutenant) in 1970 in the Cam Ne area who complained about the lousy RF troops he was saddled with....they were miserable, that's being kind, they were beyond miserable....and said that soon us Marines would be going back home under Nixon's orders. This was his home, he said, and he expected the VC and North Vietnamese would return in large numbers and then it would be......at this point he ran a finger across his throat to indicate they would kill him. I wonder about his survival after the war.

Charles Krohn

While I try to limit my commentary to military aspects of VIETNAM, the intensity of the narration is further evidence that the war is not yet over ... nor have we as a nation moved on, putting the war behind us. It is very much with us, still.

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