R.J. Del Vecchio 4

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Episode 4 by R.J. Del Vecchio

The only clearly false report in this one is that the HCM trail was named the "559" trail after a military unit. In fact, the decision to start sending people down that route to bring men and supplies to the South was made in May, 1959, and that's where the designation came from. I am amazed that the Burns team could make that mistake. And just one seriously misleading comment about how "for a time" Black casualties were disproportionately high.... neglecting the fact that Black KIAs made up 12% of the total, when their part in the population was 13%, and their fraction of those serving was above that.

But the rest of it now shows the theme that's being built up. Mistake after mistake after mistake that our leaders made, the rise of sincere and wonderful antiwar people, and apparently they could find only vets who were there who decided over the years what a bad idea it all was, how badly it was all run. Not a single vet who today is still proud of his service and believes in the cause of our being there.

The one positive moment in 90 minutes was a guy named Herrington talking about the many good things that we did there as part of helping the people with construction, education, better rice seed, etc. But that was hard to keep track of in the long parade of all the bad stuff.

And of course the guy we learned all about starting last night, "Mogie", whom we all knew was going to get killed eventually, finally did get to Nam, get to the bush, and get killed. And we got to see again his pictures from infancy to adulthood in succession, to slam us all with the tragedy of his death. That's emotional manipulation, carefully staged, and not a worthy part of a documentary.

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