Annotated Transcript of Episode 1

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ANNOTATED TRANSCRIPT BURNS EPISODE 1 Déjà Vu (1858-1961)

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

Gray = I’ve got to study and verify this item; Pink = Loaded Words?

Minutes 1-10

1

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

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

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

7

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

8

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

9

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

10

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

11

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

12

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

13

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

14

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

15

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

16

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

17

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

18

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

19

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

20

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

21

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

22

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

23

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

24

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

25

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

26

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

27

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

28

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

29

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

30

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

31

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

32

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

33

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

34

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

35

00:01:44,466 --> 00:01:50,233 (helicopter blades beating, growing louder)

36

00:01:54,300 --> 00:01:56,000 (helicopter blades stop beating)

37

00:01:56,900 --> 00:01:58,500 (wind whipping, bullet whizzing)

38

00:02:02,033 --> 00:02:03,133 (gunfire)

39

00:02:03,133 --> 00:02:04,833 (explosion)

40

00:02:06,400 --> 00:02:08,266 (helicopter blades beating, indistinct voices)

41

00:02:10,866 --> 00:02:13,166 (gunfire, distorted screaming)

42

00:02:15,666 --> 00:02:18,500 (distorted Marine Corps Hymn playing)

43

00:02:19,666 --> 00:02:21,133 (electronic hum)

44

00:02:23,533 --> 00:02:31,600 (Marine Corps Hymn playing, crowd cheering)

45

00:02:32,766 --> 00:02:35,633 KARL MARLANTES Marine 1969 Coming home from Vietnam 46

00:02:35,633 --> 00:02:39,500 was close to as traumatic as the war itself

47

00:02:41,300 --> 00:02:44,433 For years nobody talked about Vietnam

48

00:02:44,433 --> 00:02:45,666 (gunfire)

49

00:02:45,666 --> 00:02:47,366 (marching band playing)

50

00:02:47,366 --> 00:02:49,066 We were friends with a young couple

51

00:02:49,066 --> 00:02:53,733 and it was only after 12 years that the two wives were talking

52

00:02:53,733 --> 00:02:57,266 Found out that we both had been Marines in Vietnam.

53

00:02:57,266 --> 00:02:59,866 Never said a word about it.

54

00:02:59,866 --> 00:03:01,666 Never mentioned it.

55

00:03:01,666 --> 00:03:03,866 And the whole country was like that.

56

00:03:05,400 --> 00:03:08,433 It was so divisive.

57

00:03:08,433 --> 00:03:13,400 And it was like living in a family with an alcoholic father

58

00:03:13,400 --> 00:03:15,800 (whispering) Shh, we don’t talk about that.

59

00:03:15,800 --> 00:03:18,033 (gunfire)

60

00:03:18,033 --> 00:03:20,133 Our country did that with Vietnam.

61

00:03:20,133 --> 00:03:23,000 It’s only been very recently that, I think,

62

00:03:23,000 --> 00:03:25,766 That, you know the baby boomers are finally starting to say,

63

00:03:25,766 --> 00:03:27,133 “What happened?

64

00:03:27,133 --> 00:03:28,500 What happened?”

65

00:03:28,500 --> 00:03:31,866 (“A Familiar Taste” by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross playing)

66

00:03:38,266 --> 00:03:40,200 HENRY KISSINGER What we need now in this country

67

00:03:40,200 --> 00:03:44,633 is to heal the wounds and to put Vietnam behind us.

68

00:03:44,633 --> 00:03:47,833 (“A Familiar Taste” continues)

69

00:03:56,600 --> 00:03:58,033 RICHARD NIXON The killing

70

00:03:58,033 --> 00:03:59,900 in this tragic war must stop.

71

00:04:02,100 --> 00:04:03,433 (“A Familiar Taste” continues)

72

00:04:10,566 --> 00:04:13,300 LYNDON JOHNSON General Westmoreland’s strategy

73

00:04:13,300 --> 00:04:15,033 is producing results.

74

00:04:15,033 --> 00:04:19,333 The enemy is no longer closer to victory.

75

00:04:21,266 --> 00:04:23,400 (“A Familiar Taste” continues)

76

00:04:26,666 --> 00:04:28,833 ROBERT McNAMARA No matter how you measure it

77

00:04:28,833 --> 00:04:31,600 We’re better off than we thought we would be at this time.

78

00:04:36,966 --> 00:04:39,766 REPORTER: You have been less than candid

79

00:04:39,766 --> 00:04:43,533 as to how deeply we are involved in Vietnam.

80

00:04:43,533 --> 00:04:45,100 We have increased our assistance

81

00:04:45,100 --> 00:04:47,300 to the government, its logistics.

82

00:04:47,300 --> 00:04:49,666 We have not sent combat troops there.

83

00:04:49,666 --> 00:04:53,566 DWIGHT EISENHOWER: You have a row of dominoes set up

84

00:04:53,566 --> 00:04:55,700 and you knock over the first one

85

00:04:55,700 --> 00:04:57,566 and the last one, certainly it will go over.

86

00:04:57,566 --> 00:04:59,833 HARRY TRUMAN: If aggression is successful in Korea,[1]

87

00:04:59,833 --> 00:05:02,533 we can expect it to spread throughout Asia and Europe

88

00:05:02,533 --> 00:05:03,800 and to this hemisphere.

89

00:05:06,133 --> 00:05:09,933 (“A Familiar Taste” continues)

90

00:05:19,733 --> 00:05:22,633 (“A Hard Rain is A-Gonna Fall” by Bob Dylan playing)

91

00:05:25,933 --> 00:05:32,433 ♪Oh where have you been, my blue-eyed son?♪

92

00:05:32,433 --> 00:05:36,700 ♪And where have you been my darling young one?♪

93

00:05:38,533 --> 00:05:42,966 MAX CLELAND: Viktor Frankl who survived the death camps in World War II,

94

00:05:42,966 --> 00:05:46,033 wrote a book called Man's Search for Meaning.

95

00:05:46,033 --> 00:05:48,433 DYLAN: ♪I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six. . .♪

96

00:05:48,433 --> 00:05:51,100 CLELAND: You know. “To live is to suffer.

97

00:05:51,100 --> 00:05:55,700 To survive is to find meaning in suffering.”

98

00:05:55,700 --> 00:06:00,233 And for those of us who suffered because of Vietnam,

99

00:06:00,233 --> 00:06:04,733 That’s been our quest ever since.

100

00:06:04,733 --> 00:06:11,333 DYLAN: ♪And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard♪

101

00:06:11,333 --> 00:06:13,400 ♪it’s a hard♪

102

00:06:13,400 --> 00:06:18,033 ♪It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall♪

103

00:06:18,033 --> 00:06:22,100 NARRATOR: America s involvement in Vietnam began in secrecy.

104

00:06:22,100 --> 00:06:27,100 It ended, 30 years later, in failure,[2]

105

00:06:27,100 --> 00:06:30,333 witnessed by the entire world.

106

00:06:30,333 --> 00:06:33,400 DYLAN: ♪And what did you see, my darling young one?♪

107

00:06:33,400 --> 00:06:36,600 NARRATOR: It was begun in good faith by decent people

108

00:06:36,600 --> 00:06:39,333 out of fateful misunderstandings,

109

00:06:39,333 --> 00:06:43,733 American overconfidence, and Cold War miscalculation.

110

00:06:43,733 --> 00:06:49,166 And it was prolonged because it seemed easier to muddle through

111

00:06:49,166 --> 00:06:52,300 than admit that it had been caused by tragic decisions,

112

00:06:52,300 --> 00:06:55,433 made by five American presidents,

113

00:06:55,433 --> 00:06:58,233 belonging to both political parties.

114

00:06:58,233 --> 00:07:00,433 DYLAN: ♪I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleeding♪

115

00:07:00,433 --> 00:07:02,300 NARRATOR: Before the war was over,

116

00:07:02,300 --> 00:07:06,133 more than 58,000 Americans would be dead.

117

00:07:06,133 --> 00:07:11,100 At least 250,000 South Vietnamese troops died

118

00:07:11,100 --> 00:07:13,633 in the conflict, as well.

119

00:07:13,633 --> 00:07:17,733 So did over a million North Vietnamese soldiers

120

00:07:17,733 --> 00:07:19,100 and Viet Cong guerrillas,

121

00:07:19,100 --> 00:07:22,366 DYLAN: ♪Sharp swords in the hands of young children♪

122

00:07:22,366 --> 00:07:24,600 ♪And it’s a hard. . .

123

00:07:24,600 --> 00:07:27,733 NARRATOR: Two million civilians, north and south,

124

00:07:27,733 --> 00:07:29,633 are thought to have perished,

125

00:07:29,633 --> 00:07:33,233 as well as tens of thousands more in the neighboring states

126

00:07:33,233 --> 00:07:35,133 of Laos and Cambodia.

127

00:07:35,133 --> 00:07:37,666 (helicopter blades whirring)

128

00:07:37,666 --> 00:07:41,900 For many Vietnamese, it was a brutal civil war;

129

00:07:41,900 --> 00:07:45,433 for others, the bloody climactic chapter

130

00:07:45,433 --> 00:07:48,966 in a century old struggle for independence.

131

00:07:48,966 --> 00:07:54,066 DYLAN: ♪And what you do now, my blue-eyed son?♪

132

00:07:54,066 --> 00:07:56,500 NARRATOR: For those Americans who fought in it,

133

00:07:56,500 --> 00:07:59,466 and for those who fought against it back home,

134

00:07:59,466 --> 00:08:03,066 as well as for those who merely glimpsed it on the nightly news,

135

00:08:03,066 --> 00:08:06,933 the Vietnam War was a decade of agony,

136

00:08:06,933 --> 00:08:12,500 the most divisive period since the Civil War.

137

00:08:12,500 --> 00:08:17,466 Vietnam seemed to call everything into question --

138

00:08:17,466 --> 00:08:22,100 the value of honor and gallantry;

139

00:08:22,100 --> 00:08:26,766 the qualities of cruelty and mercy;

140

00:08:26,766 --> 00:08:31,400 the candor of the American government;

141

00:08:31,400 --> 00:08:35,166 and what it means to be a patriot.

142

00:08:36,833 --> 00:08:41,566 DYLAN: ♪Where hunger is ugly, where the souls are forgotten♪

143

00:08:41,566 --> 00:08:43,766 NARRATOR: And those who lived through it

144

00:08:43,766 --> 00:08:46,766 have never been able to erase its memory,

145

00:08:46,766 --> 00:08:50,000 have never stopped arguing about what really happened,[3]

146

00:08:50,000 --> 00:08:55,666 why everything went so badly wrong, who was to blame,

147

00:08:55,666 --> 00:08:58,366 and whether it was a worth it.

148

00:09:02,033 --> 00:09:04,100 BAO NINH: It has been forty years. Even the Vietnamese veterans, we avoid talking about the war. People sing about victory, about liberation. They’re wrong. Who won and who lost is not a question. In war, no one wins or loses. There is only destruction. Only those who have never fought, like to argue about who won or lost.

149

00:09:41,733 --> 00:09:43,766 DYLAN: ♪And it’s a hard

150

00:09:43,766 --> 00:09:48,733 ♪It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall♪

151

00:09:54,300 --> 00:09:55,833 (song ends)

EPISODE ONE Déjà Vu (1854-1961)

152

00:10:00,433 --> 00:10:05,633 (Silk Road Ensemble playing “People and Fighters Unite”)

Minutes 10-20

153

00:10:24,766 --> 00:10:28,066 BAO NINH: The French attacked and colonized our country in the middle of the 19th century. The invasion was bloody and cruel.

154

00:10:35,566 --> 00:10:39,033 NARRATOR: The French conquest of Indochina began with an attack

155

00:10:39,033 --> 00:10:44,666 on the ancient Vietnamese port of Danang in 1858. [note picture]

156

00:10:44,666 --> 00:10:48,266 It took 50 years to lay claim to the whole region--

157

00:10:48,266 --> 00:10:52,933 Laos and Cambodia, as well as the 1,200-mile-long area

158

00:10:52,933 --> 00:10:56,200 that would come to be called Vietnam.

159

00:10:58,866 --> 00:11:02,166 All of this was ruled By a French governor-general

160

00:11:02,166 --> 00:11:04,466 from his palace in Hanoi.

161

00:11:06,100 --> 00:11:09,533 The French largely lived on plantation estates

162

00:11:09,533 --> 00:11:13,866 and in cities, like Saigon, made to look as much as possible

163

00:11:13,866 --> 00:11:16,033 like those at home.

164

00:11:17,300 --> 00:11:20,633 Most did not even bother to learn the language

165

00:11:20,633 --> 00:11:22,533 spoken by their subjects.

166

00:11:22,533 --> 00:11:26,333 instead they installed a series of puppet emperors

167

00:11:26,333 --> 00:11:27,933 and employed a network

168

00:11:27,933 --> 00:11:31,866 of French-speaking Vietnamese officials – mandarins --

169

00:11:31,866 --> 00:11:34,066 willing to carry out their wishes.

170

00:11:37,400 --> 00:11:41,866 The French put their subjects to work building roads and canals,

171

00:11:41,866 --> 00:11:44,433 railroads and bridges.

172

00:11:45,766 --> 00:11:48,133 BAO NINH: Of course the French were proud of their civilization, Which they boasted of bringing to the Vietnamese people. Of course, the Vietnamese people didn’t need French civilization. What they needed was independence.

173

00:12:00,533 --> 00:12:03,500 NARRATOR: The Vietnamese people did not take easily

174

00:12:03,500 --> 00:12:05,033 to French occupation,

175

00:12:05,033 --> 00:12:07,900 just as they had fought against earlier invasions

176

00:12:07,900 --> 00:12:09,533 by the Chinese.

177

00:12:09,533 --> 00:12:13,733 By the early 20th century, nationalism was on the rise,

178

00:12:13,733 --> 00:12:19,200 But anyone who dared resist colonial rule risked exile,

179

00:12:19,200 --> 00:12:21,700 prison or the guillotine.

180

00:12:24,133 --> 00:12:25,800 TRAN NGOC TOAN: S. Vietnamese Marines (speaking English) They control everything. The resources from our country. But mostly they took our independence And our freedom. When I was a small child, I got Nationalism already from school. I always looked at the French as my enemy. My enemy.

181

00:12:52,566 --> 00:12:56,333 LAM QUANG THI: S. Vietnamese Army To the French, the Vietnamese were an inferior people. In Vietnam, there was no “égalité.” It was why we hated them so much.

182

00:13:11,233 --> 00:13:13,233 (helicopter blades whirring)

183

00:13:15,533 --> 00:13:18,833 JOHN MUSGRAVE: Marine 1967 My hatred for them was pure.

184

00:13:18,833 --> 00:13:20,766 Pure

185

00:13:20,766 --> 00:13:23,966 I hated them so much

186

00:13:23,966 --> 00:13:25,533 And I was so scared of them.

187

00:13:25,533 --> 00:13:27,566 (gunfire)

188

00:13:29,866 --> 00:13:32,166 Boy, I was terrified of them.

189

00:13:40,533 --> 00:13:43,566 And the scareder I got, the more I hated them.

190

00:13:46,400 --> 00:13:49,800 I was an 18-year-old Marine rifleman with the ink still wet

191

00:13:49,800 --> 00:13:51,966 on my high school diploma.

192

00:13:51,966 --> 00:13:54,400 I didn’t want to shame myself in front of my buddies.

193

00:13:56,466 --> 00:13:58,400 But I was so scared.

194

00:13:58,400 --> 00:14:01,433 I felt like I was hanging onto my honor by my fingernails

195

00:14:01,433 --> 00:14:03,133 the whole time I was there.

196

00:14:08,200 --> 00:14:11,333 (“La Marsellaise” playing)

197

00:14:13,700 --> 00:14:16,000 (crowd cheering)

198

00:14:17,866 --> 00:14:20,033 NARRATOR: In the spring of 1919,

199

00:14:20,033 --> 00:14:23,366 as the victorious Allied Powers met in Paris

200

00:14:23,366 --> 00:14:27,166 to rebuild a world shattered by the Great War,

201

00:14:27,166 --> 00:14:30,966 President Woodrow Wilson headed the American delegation

202

00:14:30,966 --> 00:14:33,433 housed in the Hotel Crillon.

203

00:14:36,233 --> 00:14:40,200 One day, a tall, slender, 29-year-old man

204

00:14:40,200 --> 00:14:42,633 appeared with a petition for the president.

205

00:14:42,633 --> 00:14:46,833 he and other Vietnamese nationalists had written.

206

00:14:46,833 --> 00:14:50,200 Inspired by Wilson’s declaration

207

00:14:50,200 --> 00:14:53,233 that the interests of colonial peoples should be given

208

00:14:53,233 --> 00:14:56,466 equal weight with those of their European rulers,

209

00:14:56,466 --> 00:15:00,200 the man was asking that this principle be applied

210

00:15:00,200 --> 00:15:02,066 to his homeland.

211

00:15:02,066 --> 00:15:06,766 The president’s secretary promised to show it to Wilson

212

00:15:06,766 --> 00:15:10,500 but there is no evidence that he ever did.

213

00:15:10,500 --> 00:15:13,033 His name was Nguyen Tat Thanh,

214

00:15:13,033 --> 00:15:17,100 but he was now living under an alias, Nguyen Ai Quoc --

215

00:15:17,100 --> 00:15:19,733 “Nguyen the Patriot.”

216

00:15:21,033 --> 00:15:23,333 During his long shadowy career,

217

00:15:23,333 --> 00:15:27,066 he would adopt some 70 different pseudonyms.[4]

218

00:15:27,066 --> 00:15:30,300 finally settling on “the most enlightened one” --

219

00:15:30,300 --> 00:15:33,733 Ho Chi Minh.

220

00:15:33,733 --> 00:15:38,966 DUONG VAN MAI: Ho Chi Minh was a man who succeeded in projecting an image

221

00:15:38,966 --> 00:15:43,000 of somebody who was totally dedicated to freeing

222

00:15:43,000 --> 00:15:47,466 his country and his people from foreign domination.

223

00:15:47,466 --> 00:15:51,600 to the point that he sacrificed his own well-being,

224

00:15:51,600 --> 00:15:55,533 his own life, not having a family of his own.[5]

225

00:15:56,933 --> 00:15:59,500 To Vietnamese, That’s a big sacrifice

226

00:15:59,500 --> 00:16:02,366 because to us everybody needs a family.

227

00:16:04,266 --> 00:16:07,033 NARRATOR: Ho Chi Minh was born in 1890,

228

00:16:07,033 --> 00:16:10,066 the son of a minor official in the French regime.

229

00:16:10,066 --> 00:16:13,066 After taking part in a demonstration

230

00:16:13,066 --> 00:16:14,733 against the puppet emperor

231

00:16:14,733 --> 00:16:16,600 and the Frenchmen who pulled his strings,

232

00:16:16,600 --> 00:16:20,800 Ho was expelled from school and marked for arrest.

233

00:16:22,833 --> 00:16:28,266 He left Vietnam in 1911 and remained in exile for 30 years.

234

00:16:29,800 --> 00:16:33,166 He served as a cook’s helper aboard a French liner,

235

00:16:33,166 --> 00:16:35,933 and visited New York and Boston,

236

00:16:35,933 --> 00:16:40,966 where he worked for a time as a pastry chef at the Parker House.

237

00:16:40,966 --> 00:16:46,366 He shoveled snow in London, tinted photographs in Paris.

238

00:16:47,766 --> 00:16:52,066 There Ho Chi Minh joined the French Socialist Party.

239

00:16:52,066 --> 00:16:55,566 But, when he discovered the anti-colonial writings of Lenin,

240

00:16:55,566 --> 00:16:57,633 he became a communist.[6]

241

00:16:59,033 --> 00:17:01,100 He was invited to Moscow to study,

242

00:17:01,100 --> 00:17:04,266 underwent training as a Soviet agent,[7]

243

00:17:04,266 --> 00:17:07,733 was sometimes criticized for being a nationalist first,

244

00:17:07,733 --> 00:17:09,733 a communist second,[8]

245

00:17:09,733 --> 00:17:12,633 and then was dispatched to China

246

00:17:12,633 --> 00:17:15,966 to organize a cell of other Vietnamese exiles

247

00:17:15,966 --> 00:17:20,566 and help establish the Indochinese Communist Party.[9]

248

00:17:20,566 --> 00:17:24,433 Through it all, “He was taut and quivering,”

249

00:17:24,433 --> 00:17:27,766 a friend remembered, “with only one thought--

250

00:17:27,766 --> 00:17:30,666 his country, Vietnam.

251

00:17:31,933 --> 00:17:34,800 (air raid siren blaring)

252

00:17:34,800 --> 00:17:36,100 (bombs whistling, exploding)

253

00:17:36,100 --> 00:17:37,366 (shouting)

254

00:17:40,300 --> 00:17:44,433 (gunfire, explosions)

255

00:17:44,433 --> 00:17:50,900 NARRATOR: By 1940, much of the world was at war again.

256

00:17:57,100 --> 00:18:01,266 Germany had seized most of Western Europe,

257

00:18:01,266 --> 00:18:03,166 including France.

258

00:18:06,666 --> 00:18:08,433 Imperial Japan threatened

259

00:18:08,433 --> 00:18:10,533 many of the European colonies in Asia,

260

00:18:10,533 --> 00:18:14,533 and occupied Vietnam where they permitted their allies,

261

00:18:14,533 --> 00:18:16,133 the collaborationist French,

262

00:18:16,133 --> 00:18:18,966 to continue to oversee their colony.

263

00:18:22,000 --> 00:18:25,666 To some Vietnamese, the coming of the Japanese

264

00:18:25,666 --> 00:18:30,433 seemed to signal a welcome end to white colonial rule.

265

00:18:30,433 --> 00:18:33,733 But Ho Chi Minh, still in exile in China,

266

00:18:33,733 --> 00:18:37,266 saw the Japanese as alien invaders,

267

00:18:37,266 --> 00:18:39,800 no more welcome than the French.

268

00:18:39,800 --> 00:18:42,933 They were only interested in exploiting his country

269

00:18:42,933 --> 00:18:48,800 and seizing Vietnamese crops to fill their own rice bowls.

270

00:18:48,800 --> 00:18:51,166 The time had come, he said,

271

00:18:51,166 --> 00:18:54,833 to rally “patriots of all ages and all types,

272

00:18:54,833 --> 00:18:59,000 Peasants, workers, merchants and soldiers”

273

00:18:59,000 --> 00:19:02,900 to defeat the Japanese and the collaborationist French.

274

00:19:06,600 --> 00:19:12,166 In February of 1941, after three decades away from his homeland,

275

00:19:12,166 --> 00:19:16,300 Ho Chi Minh stepped back across the Chinese border into Vietnam

276

00:19:16,300 --> 00:19:20,766 and set up headquarters near the remote village of Pac Bo

277

00:19:20,766 --> 00:19:23,700 in a limestone cave at the side of a mountain

278

00:19:23,700 --> 00:19:26,433 he named for Karl Marx,

279

00:19:26,433 --> 00:19:32,033 overlooking a jungle stream he named for his hero, Lenin.

280

00:19:34,333 --> 00:19:35,866 There, he founded a revolutionary movement,

281

00:19:35,966 --> 00:19:39,700 which he called the Vietnam Independence League--

282

00:19:39,800 --> 00:19:43,233 the Viet Minh.

283

00:19:43,333 --> 00:19:47,100 TRAN NGOC TOAN: S. Vietnamese Marine (speaking English) Everybody wanted to join the Viet Minh to fight. Nobody know about the Viet Minh as a communist organization.

284

00:19:56,166 --> 00:19:59,433 NARRATOR: To build and lead a fighting force for his revolution,

285

00:19:59,433 --> 00:20:02,166 Ho called upon Vo Nguyen Giap,

286

00:20:02,166 --> 00:20:04,666 a one time teacher of French history

287

00:20:04,666 --> 00:20:08,433 who had instructed the children of Hanoi’s elite.

288

00:20:08,433 --> 00:20:12,033 Giap was an early convert to communism,

289

00:20:12,033 --> 00:20:15,566 whose life-long hatred for the French intensified

290

00:20:15,566 --> 00:20:18,900 when they beat his wife to death in prison.

291

00:20:18,900 --> 00:20:23,400 Inspired by Napoleon, Lawrence of Arabia,

292

00:20:23,400 --> 00:20:26,966 and the communist Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong,

293

00:20:26,966 --> 00:20:29,433 Giap had already begun to develop

294

00:20:29,433 --> 00:20:33,800 a distinctive theory of warfare that relied on guerrilla tactics

295

00:20:33,800 --> 00:20:38,833 until a full scale conventional attack could be mounted.[10]

296

00:20:38,833 --> 00:20:42,966 In the fight for independence, which he believed was coming,

297

00:20:42,966 --> 00:20:49,666 his armies, Giap said, would be “everywhere and nowhere.”

Minutes 20-30

298

00:20:49,666 --> 00:20:53,666 DUONG VAN MAI: The reason Vietnamese had always resort to guerrilla warfare

299

00:20:53,666 --> 00:20:56,200 was because we were a small country

300

00:20:56,200 --> 00:21:01,900 And it was just a way of fight the weak against the strong

301

00:21:01,900 --> 00:21:05,366 Don’t fight unless you’re sure you can win,

302

00:21:05,366 --> 00:21:08,766 and surprise is a big element.

303

00:21:10,500 --> 00:21:13,133 Choose your own battle.

304

00:21:18,633 --> 00:21:22,966 MIKE HEANEY: ARMY 1966 I had about 26 guys that day out of 45.

305

00:21:22,966 --> 00:21:25,400 We were always somewhat understrength

306

00:21:25,400 --> 00:21:27,833 And this day we were quite understrength.

307

00:21:29,500 --> 00:21:31,366 My platoon’s on point

308

00:21:36,333 --> 00:21:38,033 MAN: Go, go, go, go, go!

309

00:21:38,033 --> 00:21:40,966 HEANEY: And all of a sudden the very point man,

310

00:21:40,966 --> 00:21:44,666 the first guy in the column, said, “VC on the trail.

311

00:21:44,666 --> 00:21:45,933 VC on the trail.”

312

00:21:47,833 --> 00:21:50,333 Before I had a chance to digest this…

313

00:21:50,333 --> 00:21:51,466 (gunshot)

314

00:21:51,466 --> 00:21:53,200 . . .he went down, shot right through the chest.

315

00:21:53,200 --> 00:21:55,466 (gunfire)

316

00:21:55,466 --> 00:21:59,133 And what was a very Well-laid ambush erupted.

317

00:21:59,133 --> 00:22:02,633 (explosion, gunfire)

318

00:22:08,166 --> 00:22:10,433 (gunfire, shouting)

319

00:22:10,433 --> 00:22:12,533 I knew I’d lost a bunch of guys.

320

00:22:12,533 --> 00:22:16,900 I said a prayer to God saying, Basically,

321

00:22:16,900 --> 00:22:19,500 “If you need any more guys from my platoon, take me.

322

00:22:19,500 --> 00:22:21,266 Don’t take any more of my men.”

323

00:22:21,366 --> 00:22:25,533 As soon as said it, I freaked myself out and said,

324

00:22:25,633 --> 00:22:28,166 “Holy shit.

325

00:22:28,533 --> 00:22:33,866 Can I take that prayer back?”

326

00:22:35,300 --> 00:22:39,100 (gunfire, plane engine roaring)

327

00:22:39,100 --> 00:22:42,566 (explosion, alarm ringing)

328

00:22:42,566 --> 00:22:47,933 NARRATOR: By the spring of 1945,[11]

329

00:22:47,933 --> 00:22:51,233 more than three years after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor,

330

00:22:51,233 --> 00:22:53,400 the United States government was looking for allies

331

00:22:53,400 --> 00:22:55,466 behind the lines in Vietnam.

332

00:22:55,466 --> 00:22:58,900 The Americans were hoping to find a way

333

00:22:58,900 --> 00:23:02,166 to undermine Japanese forces there

334

00:23:02,166 --> 00:23:04,133 when they were contacted by Ho Chi Minh.

335

00:23:04,133 --> 00:23:09,200 DONALD GREGG: OSS/CIA And so it was decided to drop

336

00:23:11,600 --> 00:23:14,866 an OSS team in to meet with the Viet Minh leadership.

337

00:23:14,866 --> 00:23:18,700 Paul Hoagland was the medic on the team.

338

00:23:18,700 --> 00:23:20,566 And the first thing he was to do was that he must attend

339

00:23:20,566 --> 00:23:23,700 to their leader, who was desperately sick.

340

00:23:23,700 --> 00:23:28,200 So he was taken to a grass shack

341

00:23:28,200 --> 00:23:29,833 where a bewhiskered, skinny man lay on a bundle of straw,

342

00:23:29,833 --> 00:23:31,466 Desperately ill.

343

00:23:33,766 --> 00:23:38,633 And that was Ho Chi Minh.

344

00:23:38,633 --> 00:23:41,700 NARRATOR: The OSS, the secret wartime precursor of the CIA,

345

00:23:41,700 --> 00:23:46,700 supplied Ho’s ragtag guerrillas with arms

346

00:23:46,700 --> 00:23:49,500 and marveled at how quickly they learned to handle them.

347

00:23:49,500 --> 00:23:53,800 Ho Chi Minh began to call his followers

348

00:23:53,800 --> 00:23:55,666 the “Viet-American Army” and praised the United States

349

00:23:55,666 --> 00:23:58,966 as a “champion of democracy”

350

00:24:00,166 --> 00:24:03,466 that would surely help them end colonial rule.

351

00:24:17,166 --> 00:24:21,866 BUI DIEM (speaking English): S Vietnamese Diplomat We saw the American coming. And when we look at the American, we consider them as a kind of free man Liberating the people. They have liberated Europe already.

352

00:24:21,866 --> 00:24:24,066 NARRATOR: Meanwhile, famine gripped the northern part of the country.

353

00:24:24,066 --> 00:24:26,000 Hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese

354

00:24:26,000 --> 00:24:29,366 were dying of starvation

355

00:24:32,200 --> 00:24:34,500 while Japanese storehouses were filled with rice.

356

00:24:34,500 --> 00:24:36,600 DUONG VAN MAI: In those days, garbage was collected

357

00:24:36,600 --> 00:24:41,366 by people pushing carts.

358

00:24:41,366 --> 00:24:43,300 And my mother remembers that every morning she would see

359

00:24:43,300 --> 00:24:45,766 these garbage carts going around

360

00:24:45,766 --> 00:24:47,366 and people picking up dead bodies and throwing them

361

00:24:47,366 --> 00:24:48,933 on the cart.

362

00:24:48,933 --> 00:24:52,666 It was incredible.

363

00:24:52,666 --> 00:24:57,166 And people who lived through it never, never forgot.

364

00:24:57,166 --> 00:24:59,366 NARRATOR: Duong Van Mai’s father was the deputy governor

365

00:24:59,366 --> 00:25:02,033 of a province east of Hanoi,

366

00:25:02,033 --> 00:25:04,833 the son and grandson of mandarins

367

00:25:04,833 --> 00:25:08,133 who had all served the French.

368

00:25:08,133 --> 00:25:13,033 He and his wife had 17 children.

369

00:25:13,033 --> 00:25:15,566 DUONG VAN MAI: Parents who had children who were, you know, plump,

370

00:25:15,566 --> 00:25:18,033 were very afraid of their children being stolen

371

00:25:18,033 --> 00:25:21,300 and killed.

372

00:25:21,300 --> 00:25:24,966 And it was really like hell on earth.

373

00:25:24,966 --> 00:25:27,133 The government didn’t have a clue on how to deal

374

00:25:28,633 --> 00:25:30,100 with this calamity.

375

00:25:30,100 --> 00:25:32,300 NARRATOR: But Ho Chi Minh did.

376

00:25:32,300 --> 00:25:35,666 He directed the Viet Minh

377

00:25:35,666 --> 00:25:39,966 to break into the Japanese storehouses wherever they could

378

00:25:39,966 --> 00:25:42,533 and distribute the rice to the people.

379

00:25:45,000 --> 00:25:46,666 They were hailed as saviors.

380

00:25:53,633 --> 00:25:54,766 (engine starts)

381

00:25:57,200 --> 00:26:00,500 August 6, 1945 (explosion)

382

00:26:00,500 --> 00:26:04,266 NARRATOR: When an atomic bomb destroyed Hiroshima,

383

00:26:04,266 --> 00:26:07,366 and three days later a second one destroyed Nagasaki.

384

00:26:09,333 --> 00:26:13,000 Japanese surrender seemed imminent.

385

00:26:13,000 --> 00:26:15,033 Ho Chi Minh called upon all Vietnamese to rise up

386

00:26:15,033 --> 00:26:17,500 and take over their own country

387

00:26:17,500 --> 00:26:20,033 before the Free French could reestablish

388

00:26:20,033 --> 00:26:25,333 their old colonial regime.

389

00:26:28,800 --> 00:26:31,833 They did, in cities and towns across the country.

390

00:26:31,833 --> 00:26:34,633 On September 2, 1945,

391

00:26:34,633 --> 00:26:37,633 the same day the Japanese formally surrendered,

392

00:26:37,633 --> 00:26:42,533 hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese

393

00:26:42,533 --> 00:26:45,866 streamed into Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi to see for the first time

394

00:26:45,866 --> 00:26:50,533 the mysterious leader of the Viet Minh

395

00:26:50,533 --> 00:26:54,133 and hear him proclaim Vietnam’s independence.

396

00:26:54,133 --> 00:26:58,766 (Ho Chi Minh speaking Vietnamese)

397

00:26:58,766 --> 00:27:02,900 NARRATOR: With an OSS officer standing nearby,

398

00:27:02,900 --> 00:27:05,633 Ho Chi Minh began with the words of Thomas Jefferson:

399

00:27:05,633 --> 00:27:08,400 “All men are created equal.

400

00:27:08,400 --> 00:27:11,600 “They are endowed by their creator

401

00:27:11,600 --> 00:27:14,433 “with certain unalienable rights;

402

00:27:14,433 --> 00:27:16,700 “that among these are life, liberty

403

00:27:19,333 --> 00:27:22,266 and the pursuit of happiness.”

404

00:27:39,133 --> 00:27:41,533 DONG SI NGUYEN: Viet Minh All Vietnamese people, not just me, felt that from now on Vietnam would be independent. Free, unified, territorially secure and officially named on the map of the world. Everybody was so proud.

405

00:27:41,533 --> 00:27:47,000 GEORGE WICKES: OSS Ho Chi Minh had great hopes

406

00:27:47,000 --> 00:27:48,866 that the U S would support the Vietnam desire for independence,

407

00:27:48,866 --> 00:27:52,666 not necessarily by intervening

408

00:27:52,666 --> 00:27:56,466 but by doing what it could

409

00:27:56,466 --> 00:28:00,200 to support an independence movement.

410

00:28:00,200 --> 00:28:03,333 NARRATOR: Ho Chi Minh’s hopes for American support were calculated[12]

411

00:28:03,333 --> 00:28:07,200 but understandable.

412

00:28:07,200 --> 00:28:10,433 President Franklin Roosevelt had promised a postwar world

413

00:28:10,433 --> 00:28:13,466 that would “respect the rights of all peoples

414

00:28:16,266 --> 00:28:20,133 to choose the form of government under which they live.”

415

00:28:20,133 --> 00:28:24,066 But Roosevelt was dead now, and his successor, Harry Truman,

416

00:28:24,066 --> 00:28:26,566 had inherited a very different world.

417

00:28:26,566 --> 00:28:30,466 The alliance with the Soviet Union

418

00:28:30,466 --> 00:28:34,133 that had won the Second World War had collapsed.

419

00:28:34,133 --> 00:28:38,800 The Soviets now occupied the Eastern European countries

420

00:28:38,800 --> 00:28:43,666 they had overrun, and hoped to spread their influence farther,[13]

421

00:28:43,666 --> 00:28:48,100 into Iran, Turkey, and the Mediterranean.

422

00:28:48,100 --> 00:28:50,766 A new cold war had begun.

423

00:28:50,766 --> 00:28:53,866 French President Charles De Gaulle warned

424

00:28:53,866 --> 00:28:57,566 that if the United States insisted on independence

425

00:28:57,566 --> 00:29:01,066 for her colonies, France might have no choice

426

00:29:01,066 --> 00:29:04,566 but to “fall into the Russian orbit.”

427

00:29:04,566 --> 00:29:10,033 The United States must do nothing to undercut

428

00:29:13,900 --> 00:29:17,633 the restoration of France’s empire, including Vietnam.

429

00:29:17,633 --> 00:29:20,700 GEORGE WICKES: OSS There were hardly any Americans in Vietnam, you know--

430

00:29:20,700 --> 00:29:23,000 State Department people, consular officials,

431

00:29:23,000 --> 00:29:25,066 a few businessmen.

432

00:29:25,066 --> 00:29:26,933 Hardly anyone from this country

433

00:29:26,933 --> 00:29:31,733 knew where Vietnam was located.

434

00:29:31,733 --> 00:29:35,233 NARRATOR: George Wickes was part of a seven-man OSS mission

435

00:29:35,233 --> 00:29:38,866 sent to Saigon, the largest city in the south.

436

00:29:38,866 --> 00:29:41,533 The United States was officially neutral,

437

00:29:41,533 --> 00:29:45,233 hoping the French and Viet Minh could reach

438

00:29:45,233 --> 00:29:48,900 some peaceful solution on their own.

439

00:29:48,900 --> 00:29:51,366 Allied leaders had agreed temporarily to divide Vietnam

440

00:29:51,366 --> 00:29:55,700 into two separate zones.

441

00:29:55,700 --> 00:29:56,833 Nationalist Chinese troops were to handle things in the north.

442

00:29:56,833 --> 00:29:59,166 British colonial troops would try to perform the same task

443

00:29:59,166 --> 00:30:00,333 in the south, where rival factions,

444

00:30:00,333 --> 00:30:02,100 including the French and Viet Minh, were already fighting

445

00:30:02,100 --> 00:30:06,433 in the streets of Saigon.

446

00:30:06,433 --> 00:30:09,300 WICKES: No one was in charge.

447

00:30:09,300 --> 00:30:11,833 On both sides, there was brutality and atrocity

448

00:30:11,833 --> 00:30:16,100 and violence.

449

00:30:16,100 --> 00:30:17,766 It wasn’t quite a civil war

450

00:30:17,766 --> 00:30:20,266 but it was getting very close to civil war

451

00:30:20,266 --> 00:30:22,366 in the streets of Saigon.

Minutes 30-40

452

00:30:22,366 --> 00:30:24,733 NARRATOR: Lieutenant Colonel Peter Dewey,

453

00:30:24,733 --> 00:30:27,800 the 28 year old commander of the OSS in Saigon,

454

00:30:27,800 --> 00:30:31,266 tried to make sense of it all.

455

00:30:31,266 --> 00:30:33,900 WICKES: Right from the start he was in touch with everybody--

456

00:30:33,900 --> 00:30:36,733 not only the French, but very soon he established

457

00:30:36,733 --> 00:30:39,633 a connection with various Vietnamese groups.

458

00:30:39,633 --> 00:30:43,766 The Viet Minh soon established themselves

459

00:30:43,766 --> 00:30:46,933 as the most successful.

460

00:30:46,933 --> 00:30:49,466 NARRATOR: Dewey, who spoke fluent French,[14]

461

00:30:49,466 --> 00:30:52,300 brokered talks between a Viet Minh spokesman

462

00:30:52,300 --> 00:30:55,266 and the senior French representative in the city.

463

00:30:55,266 --> 00:30:59,100 His efforts infuriated British general Douglas Gracey

464

00:30:59,100 --> 00:31:04,033 who commanded Allied forces in the south.

465

00:31:04,033 --> 00:31:07,066 Gracey was convinced that French control

466

00:31:07,066 --> 00:31:10,033 should be reimposed as soon as possible.

467

00:31:10,033 --> 00:31:12,966 By conferring with the Viet Minh, Gracey said,

468

00:31:12,966 --> 00:31:16,466 Colonel Dewey had become a “subversive” force.

469

00:31:16,466 --> 00:31:21,100 (gunfire)

470

00:31:21,100 --> 00:31:22,466 The violence in and around Saigon escalated.

471

00:31:22,466 --> 00:31:26,033 Colonel Dewey urgently cabled his superiors:

472

00:31:27,900 --> 00:31:30,800 Vietnam “is burning,” he wrote.

473

00:31:30,800 --> 00:31:34,433 “The French and British are finished here

474

00:31:34,433 --> 00:31:36,966 and the United States,” he concluded,

475

00:31:36,966 --> 00:31:39,600 “ought to clear out

476

00:31:39,600 --> 00:31:42,000 (gunfire)

477

00:31:42,000 --> 00:31:43,600 Two days later, September 26, 1945,

478

00:31:46,100 --> 00:31:50,700 he set out for the airport,

479

00:31:50,700 --> 00:31:52,233 prepared to fly to OSS headquarters.

480

00:31:52,233 --> 00:31:57,166 At a roadblock, the Viet Minh mistook Dewey for a Frenchman

481

00:31:57,166 --> 00:32:02,466 and opened fire.

482

00:32:02,466 --> 00:32:04,600 (gunfire)

483

00:32:04,600 --> 00:32:06,133 He was killed instantly.

484

00:32:06,133 --> 00:32:09,300 WICKES: Ho Chi Minh wrote to the United States

485

00:32:09,300 --> 00:32:13,200 lamenting the death of Dewey, whom he recognized

486

00:32:13,200 --> 00:32:17,300 as a person sympathetic to his cause.

487

00:32:17,300 --> 00:32:21,266 It seemed a terrible irony that Dewey,

488

00:32:21,266 --> 00:32:24,166 who was doing what he could to help

489

00:32:24,166 --> 00:32:26,900 the Vietnamese independence movement should have been killed

490

00:32:26,900 --> 00:32:30,666 by the Vietnamese by a mistake.[15]

491

00:32:30,666 --> 00:32:33,000 (electronic buzzing, muted helicopter blades beating)

492

00:32:38,400 --> 00:32:40,900 VINCENT OKAMOTO: Army 1968 An elderly African-American woman answered the door.

493

00:32:44,400 --> 00:32:49,233 I think she knew the instant she saw us why we were there.

494

00:32:54,133 --> 00:32:58,200 And the padre said, uh,

495

00:33:01,166 --> 00:33:03,500 “I’m, I’m terribly sorry to inform you,

496

00:33:03,500 --> 00:33:08,033 but your son was killed in Vietnam.”

497

00:33:08,033 --> 00:33:13,400 And she just sat down.

498

00:33:13,400 --> 00:33:14,533 Didn’t say a word.

499

00:33:14,533 --> 00:33:16,133 Then the. . . her husband says, “No, there’s a mistake.”

500

00:33:18,500 --> 00:33:22,233 He comes back with this letter.

501

00:33:22,233 --> 00:33:24,166 And he said, “Look, see?

502

00:33:24,166 --> 00:33:26,400 We got it yesterday my. . . our son was still a live yesterday.”

503

00:33:26,400 --> 00:33:31,400 And the chaplain looked at the letter

504

00:33:31,400 --> 00:33:34,633 and he said, “It’s a week old.

505

00:33:34,633 --> 00:33:36,766 I think your son was killed on the day he wrote this letter.”

506

00:33:36,766 --> 00:33:41,266 (“La Marseillaise” playing)

507

00:33:43,233 --> 00:33:47,200 NARRATOR: In the fall of 1945, a week after Colonel Dewey’s death,

508

00:33:49,033 --> 00:33:53,333 fresh French troops began arriving in Saigon,

509

00:33:53,333 --> 00:33:56,333 taking over from the British.

510

00:33:56,333 --> 00:34:00,366 They quickly established

511

00:34:00,366 --> 00:34:01,633 control of the city

512

00:34:01,633 --> 00:34:03,533 and set out to reoccupy

513

00:34:03,533 --> 00:34:04,933 the entire country.

514

00:34:04,933 --> 00:34:06,800 Ho Chi Minh hoped somehow to achieve independence

515

00:34:08,633 --> 00:34:12,466 without a war with France,

516

00:34:12,466 --> 00:34:14,500 and he still hoped the United States would intervene.

517

00:34:14,500 --> 00:34:18,000 “You never had an empire, never exploited the Asian peoples,”

518

00:34:18,000 --> 00:34:22,100 he would tell a visiting American journalist.

519

00:34:22,100 --> 00:34:25,300 “Do not be blinded by this issue of communism.”[16]

520

00:34:25,300 --> 00:34:29,333 LESLIE GELB: He did not want to fight the French as an enemy of America

521

00:34:29,333 --> 00:34:34,633 And, in fact, I saw the letters he wrote to President Truman

522

00:34:34,633 --> 00:34:40,866 saying “We believe in the same things you believe.”

523

00:34:40,866 --> 00:34:45,466 Those letters I saw in the CIA files,

524

00:34:45,466 --> 00:34:48,833 they had never been given to President Truman.[17]

525

00:34:48,833 --> 00:34:52,766 (children shouting)

526

00:34:54,199 --> 00:34:56,933 NARRATOR: In June of 1946, Ho Chi Minh returned to Paris

527

00:34:56,933 --> 00:35:01,633 in a fruitless attempt to get the French to live up

528

00:35:01,633 --> 00:35:04,666 to a promise they had made of increased autonomy[18]

529

00:35:04,666 --> 00:35:08,100 for his country.

530

00:35:08,100 --> 00:35:10,366 While Ho was away,

531

00:35:10,366 --> 00:35:12,333 General Giap began consolidating communist control

532

00:35:12,333 --> 00:35:15,733 of the revolution.

533

00:35:15,733 --> 00:35:17,200 He conducted a merciless purge[19]

534

00:35:17,200 --> 00:35:20,000 of members of rival nationalist parties[20]

535

00:35:20,000 --> 00:35:23,100 and people he called “reactionary saboteurs,”

536

00:35:23,100 --> 00:35:26,500 landlords and moneylenders, Trotskyites and Catholics,

537

00:35:26,500 --> 00:35:31,933 men and women accused of collaborating with the French.

538

00:35:31,933 --> 00:35:36,333 Hundreds were shot, drowned, buried alive.[21]

539

00:35:36,333 --> 00:35:40,766 LAM QUANG THI: I saw that Viet Minh killed their fellow Vietnamese. They weren’t actually fighting for the Vietnamese people. They fought only for the international communist system.

540

00:35:40,766 --> 00:35:42,733 NARRATOR: On December 19, 1946, after months of building tension,

541

00:35:53,733 --> 00:35:58,766 fighting broke out in Hanoi

542

00:35:58,766 --> 00:36:01,066 between the Viet Minh and the French.

543

00:36:01,066 --> 00:36:04,200 (gunfire)

544

00:36:04,200 --> 00:36:05,966 The Viet Minh proved no match for French firepower.

545

00:36:08,233 --> 00:36:11,533 Ho, Giap, and their comrades slipped out of the city

546

00:36:15,966 --> 00:36:20,933 and returned to their mountain stronghold far to the north.

547

00:36:20,933 --> 00:36:25,066 “Those who have rifles will use their rifles,”

548

00:36:27,166 --> 00:36:30,466 Ho declared in a radio address

549

00:36:30,466 --> 00:36:32,600 calling for a nationwide guerrilla war.

550

00:36:32,600 --> 00:36:35,533 “Those who have swords will use swords;

551

00:36:35,533 --> 00:36:39,500 those who have no swords will use spades or sticks.”

552

00:36:39,500 --> 00:36:44,733 NGUYEN NGOC: Viet Minh There was a profound sense of responsibility to fight for our country. I remember it as a happy, beautiful time. We sang even as we marched into battle, very romantic songs.

553

00:36:48,400 --> 00:36:53,400 NARRATOR: But the country Ho Chi Minh hoped to unite

554

00:37:15,033 --> 00:37:17,800 was itself bitterly divided.

555

00:37:17,800 --> 00:37:21,133 Families were being torn apart.

556

00:37:21,133 --> 00:37:23,600 Despite her father’s position in the French government,

557

00:37:23,600 --> 00:37:27,566 Duong Van Mai’s sister felt compelled to answer Ho’s call.

558

00:37:27,566 --> 00:37:32,466 DUONG VAN MAI: My older sister Thang was married

559

00:37:33,933 --> 00:37:37,700 to a man who had great sympathy for the Viet Minh.

560

00:37:37,700 --> 00:37:42,800 And by that time Ho Chi Minh had evacuated his government

561

00:37:42,800 --> 00:37:45,966 to the mountain base.

562

00:37:45,966 --> 00:37:47,300 So my sister and her husband trekked all the way

563

00:37:47,300 --> 00:37:51,100 from Hanoi toward the base

564

00:37:51,100 --> 00:37:53,366 in order to join the resistance against the French.

565

00:37:53,366 --> 00:37:57,033 So the Vietnam War was really a civil war

566

00:37:59,600 --> 00:38:02,366 down to the family level.

567

00:38:02,366 --> 00:38:04,000 NARRATOR: France poured thousands of men into Vietnam --

568

00:38:12,200 --> 00:38:16,066 French regulars, European Mercenaries, and colonial troops

569

00:38:16,066 --> 00:38:20,366 from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Senegal--

570

00:38:20,366 --> 00:38:24,466 who fought alongside an army of Cambodians, Laotians,

571

00:38:24,466 --> 00:38:29,433 and anti-communist Vietnamese.

572

00:38:29,433 --> 00:38:32,400 French forces managed to occupy most of the large towns

573

00:38:36,100 --> 00:38:40,500 and province capitals

574

00:38:40,500 --> 00:38:42,000 and established hundreds of isolated outposts.

575

00:38:42,000 --> 00:38:47,033 The French also set out to try to win over rural Vietnamese

576

00:38:47,033 --> 00:38:51,866 through a program they called “pacification” --

577

00:38:51,866 --> 00:38:55,266 “Pacification” --

578

00:38:55,266 --> 00:38:57,466 building dikes, schools and roads, and vaccinating children.

579

00:38:57,466 --> 00:39:02,233 DUONG VAN MAI: The French would pacify a village

580

00:39:04,933 --> 00:39:07,433 and during the daytime they could control it.

581

00:39:07,433 --> 00:39:11,766 But at night the Viet Minh would come back.

582

00:39:11,766 --> 00:39:15,300 And so it was never completely secure.

583

00:39:15,300 --> 00:39:19,566 My father would shake his head and said, you know,

584

00:39:19,566 --> 00:39:23,166 “Pacification is really futile

585

00:39:23,166 --> 00:39:24,900 because it is like trying to hold sand in your fingers.”

586

00:39:24,900 --> 00:39:29,100 NARRATOR: The Viet Minh mined roads, blew up bridges and railroads,

587

00:39:32,433 --> 00:39:37,700 ambushed French patrols and then disappeared.

588

00:39:37,700 --> 00:39:42,866 French soldiers sometimes took revenge on the nearest village,

589

00:39:45,066 --> 00:39:49,433 burning homes, raping women,

590

00:39:49,433 --> 00:39:51,933 executing men suspected of aiding the Viet Minh.

591

00:39:51,933 --> 00:39:56,200 LE CONG HUAN: Viet Minh In 1948 in my home village the French came on tanks and burned our houses. They shot many of the water buffaloes tat we used to plow. When I was a little boy I witnessed that scene. It was seared into my memory.

592

00:40:01,033 --> 00:40:03,266 NARRATOR: But the communists proved every bit as ruthless as the French.

593

00:40:35,000 --> 00:40:39,900 “It is better to kill even those who might be innocent.”

594

00:40:39,900 --> 00:40:43,166 one commander said, “than to let a guilty person go.”

595

00:40:43,166 --> 00:40:49,000 And they specifically targeted

596

00:40:49,000 --> 00:40:51,300 anyone who had links to the French.

Minutes 40-50

597

00:40:51,300 --> 00:40:54,600 DUONG VAN MAI: Once my father started working for the French, then he was

598

00:40:54,600 --> 00:40:58,433 a target, especially the higher he rose,

599

00:40:58,433 --> 00:41:01,333 the bigger target he became.

600

00:41:01,333 --> 00:41:03,233 A Viet Minh agent actually came in with a pistol to shoot him

601

00:41:03,233 --> 00:41:09,400 but at the last moment decided not to.

602

00:41:09,400 --> 00:41:13,100 TRANG NGOC (“HARRY”) HUE: S. Vietnamese Army I saw the Viet Minh arrest Vietnamese soldiers in the French Army, strip them naked. And kill them savagely by burying them alive. They didn’t want to waste a bullet on these people. We lived under two oppressors.

603

00:41:15,466 --> 00:41:18,100 (gunfire)

604

00:41:47,666 --> 00:41:49,233 NARRATOR: French casualties continued to mount.

605

00:41:52,033 --> 00:41:55,366 “There are days when we are so discouraged

606

00:41:55,366 --> 00:41:58,300 that we would like to give it all up,”

607

00:41:58,300 --> 00:42:01,200 a French soldier wrote his mother.

608

00:42:01,200 --> 00:42:03,266 “Convoys under attack, roads cut,

609

00:42:03,266 --> 00:42:06,633 “firing in all directions every night,

610

00:42:06,633 --> 00:42:09,833 the indifference at home.”

611

00:42:09,833 --> 00:42:11,833 ROGER HARRIS: Marine 1967 While I was there I had the opportunity to call my mother,

612

00:42:21,300 --> 00:42:24,266 you know.

613

00:42:24,266 --> 00:42:26,366 And I was telling my mother what was happening over there,

614

00:42:26,366 --> 00:42:29,633 and was telling her how she shouldn’t believe

615

00:42:29,633 --> 00:42:32,700 what she sees in the newspaper and sees on television

616

00:42:32,700 --> 00:42:35,800 because we’re losing the war.

617

00:42:35,800 --> 00:42:38,500 I said “And you’ll probably never see me again

618

00:42:38,500 --> 00:42:41,366 “because we’re the most northern outpost that the Marines have,

619

00:42:41,366 --> 00:42:45,000 you know.”

620

00:42:45,000 --> 00:42:46,466 We could literally. . . could look right into North Vietnam.

621

00:42:46,466 --> 00:42:48,366 We could see the sparks when the guns fired on us.

622

00:42:48,366 --> 00:42:50,400 And I said “And everybody in my unit is dying.

623

00:42:50,400 --> 00:42:52,733 I probably won’t be coming back.”

624

00:42:52,733 --> 00:42:55,500 And my mother said, “No, you’re coming back.”

625

00:42:55,500 --> 00:42:57,633 She said, “I talk to God every day and you’re special.

626

00:42:57,633 --> 00:43:01,533 You’re coming back.”

627

00:43:01,533 --> 00:43:03,433 And I said “Ma, everybody’s mother thinks

628

00:43:03,433 --> 00:43:05,833 “that they’re special.

629

00:43:05,833 --> 00:43:08,033 You know I’m putting pieces of special people in bags.”

630

00:43:08,033 --> 00:43:12,133 (explosion)

631

00:43:13,466 --> 00:43:15,200 ED HERLIHY: August 29, 1949 President Truman’s dramatic announcement

632

00:43:17,466 --> 00:43:19,266 that Russia had the atom secret

633

00:43:19,266 --> 00:43:20,800 caused state departments all over the world

634

00:43:20,800 --> 00:43:22,533 to stir uneasily.

635

00:43:22,533 --> 00:43:25,233 HAL KUSHNER: Army Doctor, POW, Danville, VA We were very aware that there was a Cold War

636

00:43:25,233 --> 00:43:29,500 and that we had an enemy,

637

00:43:29,500 --> 00:43:31,400 and that enemy was the Soviet Union.

638

00:43:31,400 --> 00:43:35,466 The United States stood at one pole

639

00:43:35,466 --> 00:43:38,633 and the Soviet Union stood at the other pole.

640

00:43:38,633 --> 00:43:41,000 It was kind of a Manichean dynamic

641

00:43:41,000 --> 00:43:43,933 that there was evil and there was good.

642

00:43:43,933 --> 00:43:45,866 And we were good, and the other side was evil.

643

00:43:45,866 --> 00:43:48,000 It wasn’t morally ambiguous.

644

00:43:48,000 --> 00:43:51,066 NARRATOR: Just a few weeks after Russia became a nuclear power,

645

00:43:53,733 --> 00:43:58,066 there was more stunning news--

646

00:43:58,066 --> 00:44:00,000 communist forces under Mao Zedong seized control

647

00:44:00,000 --> 00:44:03,833 of China.

648

00:44:03,833 --> 00:44:06,466 Separate communist insurrections were also underway

649

00:44:06,466 --> 00:44:10,366 in the British colonies of Burma and Malaya.

650

00:44:10,366 --> 00:44:16,066 In January 1950, Mao formally recognized

651

00:44:16,066 --> 00:44:19,866 Ho Chi Minh’s insurgency and agreed to provide the arms,

652

00:44:19,866 --> 00:44:24,000 Equipment, and military training he had been seeking.[22]

653

00:44:24,000 --> 00:44:28,000 The Soviets recognized the Viet Minh as well,

654

00:44:28,000 --> 00:44:32,166 and also offered help.

655

00:44:32,166 --> 00:44:34,066 President Truman, who was being blamed

656

00:44:34,066 --> 00:44:37,733 by his political opponents for having “lost” China,

657

00:44:37,733 --> 00:44:41,533 and having failed to “contain” communism,

658

00:44:41,533 --> 00:44:43,966 approved a $23 million aid program

659

00:44:43,966 --> 00:44:47,566 for the French in Vietnam.

660

00:44:47,566 --> 00:44:50,400 The United States was no longer neutral.[23]

661

00:44:50,400 --> 00:44:55,166 SAM WILSON: Army We were caught on the horns of a dilemma

662

00:44:55,166 --> 00:44:58,166 of how can we maintain our friendship

663

00:44:58,166 --> 00:45:00,966 and our alliance with the French and support them in Indochina

664

00:45:00,966 --> 00:45:04,866 while we, as a former colony ourselves,

665

00:45:04,866 --> 00:45:08,533 sympathized with the Vietnamese and their aspirations

666

00:45:08,533 --> 00:45:11,666 for freedom and independence?

667

00:45:11,666 --> 00:45:13,666 ED HERLIHY: A highly trained and well equipped North Korean Army

668

00:45:18,300 --> 00:45:20,933 swarmed across the 38th parallel

669

00:45:20,933 --> 00:45:23,033 to attack unprepared South Korean defenders.

670

00:45:23,033 --> 00:45:25,233 (explosion)

671

00:45:25,233 --> 00:45:27,033 NARRATOR: In June of 1950, China’s ally,

672

00:45:27,033 --> 00:45:30,600 communist North Korea, invaded South Korea.

673

00:45:30,600 --> 00:45:34,333 (gunfire)

674

00:45:34,333 --> 00:45:35,866 President Truman ordered

675

00:45:35,866 --> 00:45:37,866 tens of thousands of American ground troops

676

00:45:37,866 --> 00:45:40,166 onto the Korean Peninsula.

677

00:45:40,166 --> 00:45:42,033 The United States and its allies

678

00:45:49,000 --> 00:45:50,866 eventually pushed the invaders back north.

679

00:45:50,866 --> 00:45:55,333 Meanwhile, in southern China,

680

00:45:55,333 --> 00:45:57,733 Mao’s military was beginning to turn the Viet Minh

681

00:45:57,733 --> 00:46:00,233 into a modern fighting force,

682

00:46:00,233 --> 00:46:04,133 capable of inflicting a heavy toll on the French occupiers.

683

00:46:04,133 --> 00:46:08,333 In July, the Truman administration

684

00:46:15,566 --> 00:46:17,500 quietly dispatched transport planes

685

00:46:17,500 --> 00:46:20,400 and a shipload of jeeps to Vietnam.

686

00:46:20,400 --> 00:46:23,133 Thirty-five military advisors went along to oversee their use.

687

00:46:23,133 --> 00:46:28,933 None of them, and no one in the American embassy,

688

00:46:30,766 --> 00:46:33,733 spoke a word of Vietnamese.[24]

689

00:46:33,733 --> 00:46:37,766 But the United States was now officially in Vietnam.

690

00:46:37,766 --> 00:46:42,133 In October of 1950,

691

00:46:44,300 --> 00:46:46,566 hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops

692

00:46:46,566 --> 00:46:49,733 began pouring into North Korea,

693

00:46:49,733 --> 00:46:52,000 driving the allies back down the peninsula.

694

00:46:52,000 --> 00:46:56,066 As that fighting raged,

695

00:46:56,066 --> 00:46:57,733 Truman continued to increase military aid

696

00:46:57,733 --> 00:47:01,166 for the French war in Vietnam.

697

00:47:01,166 --> 00:47:04,033 HARRY TRUMAN: If aggression is successful in Korea,

698

00:47:07,666 --> 00:47:09,400 we can expect it to spread throughout Asia and Europe

699

00:47:09,400 --> 00:47:12,800 and to this hemisphere.

700

00:47:12,800 --> 00:47:14,133 (mortar fire)

701

00:47:14,133 --> 00:47:16,733 We are fighting in Korea

702

00:47:16,733 --> 00:47:19,166 for our own national security and survival.

703

00:47:19,166 --> 00:47:21,900 (“Mean Old World” by T-Bone Walker playing)

704

00:47:25,400 --> 00:47:28,666 NARRATOR: In the autumn of 1951,

705

00:47:28,666 --> 00:47:30,800 a young Massachusetts congressman

706

00:47:30,800 --> 00:47:33,033 named John F Kennedy dined at the rooftop bar

707

00:47:33,033 --> 00:47:37,000 of the Hotel Majestic, overlooking Saigon.

708

00:47:37,000 --> 00:47:39,866 (distant gunfire)

709

00:47:39,866 --> 00:47:41,133 As he and his party ate

710

00:47:41,133 --> 00:47:43,100 they could hear the thunder of guns across the Saigon River.

711

00:47:43,100 --> 00:47:47,600 French commanders assured Kennedy

712

00:47:47,600 --> 00:47:50,800 that with more American support,

713

00:47:50,800 --> 00:47:53,266 French rule would be re-established.

714

00:47:53,266 --> 00:47:56,466 But Kennedy spent two hours with Seymour Topping,

715

00:47:56,466 --> 00:48:00,200 a seasoned American reporter,

716

00:48:00,200 --> 00:48:02,400 who gave him a very different perspective:

717

00:48:02,400 --> 00:48:05,233 The French were losing, he said,

718

00:48:05,233 --> 00:48:07,900 and many Vietnamese, who had once admired the Americans,

719

00:48:07,900 --> 00:48:11,766 were beginning to despise them for backing the French.

720

00:48:11,766 --> 00:48:16,100 Kennedy believed the reporter.

721

00:48:16,100 --> 00:48:19,366 Unless the United States could persuade the Vietnamese

722

00:48:19,366 --> 00:48:22,800 that it was as opposed to “injustice and inequality”

723

00:48:22,800 --> 00:48:26,533 as it was to communism,

724

00:48:26,533 --> 00:48:28,200 he told his constituents when he got home,

725

00:48:28,200 --> 00:48:31,200 the current effort would result in “foredoomed failure.”

726

00:48:31,200 --> 00:48:36,566 (Rosemary Clooney singing Come On-a My House)

727

00:48:36,566 --> 00:48:39,500 ♪Come on-a my house, my house, I’m gonna give you candy.♪

728

00:48:39,500 --> 00:48:45,000 NARRATOR: In 1952,

729

00:48:45,000 --> 00:48:46,900 General Dwight Eisenhower was elected president,

730

00:48:46,900 --> 00:48:50,300 in part because he promised to take a tougher stance

731

00:48:50,300 --> 00:48:53,200 on communism.

732

00:48:53,200 --> 00:48:55,266 That year, American taxpayers

733

00:48:55,266 --> 00:48:58,600 were footing more than 30% of the bill

734

00:48:58,600 --> 00:49:01,266 for the French war in Vietnam.

735

00:49:01,266 --> 00:49:04,366 Within two years,

736

00:49:04,366 --> 00:49:06,433 that number would rise to nearly 80%.

737

00:49:06,433 --> 00:49:09,933 CLOONEY: ♪Everything, everything, Everything.♪

738

00:49:09,933 --> 00:49:13,266 RICHARD NIXON: And many of you ask this question:

739

00:49:13,266 --> 00:49:15,700 Why is the United States spending

740

00:49:15,700 --> 00:49:18,000 hundreds of millions of dollars

741

00:49:18,000 --> 00:49:19,833 supporting the forces of the French Union

742

00:49:19,833 --> 00:49:24,066 in the fight against communism in Indochina?

743

00:49:24,066 --> 00:49:27,800 I think perhaps if we go over to the map here,

744

00:49:27,800 --> 00:49:30,133 I can indicate to you why it is so vitally important.

745

00:49:30,133 --> 00:49:34,700 Here’s Indochina.

746

00:49:34,700 --> 00:49:37,000 If Indochina falls,

747

00:49:37,000 --> 00:49:38,366 Thailand is put in [an] almost impossible position.

748

00:49:38,366 --> 00:49:41,700 The same is true of Malaya with its rubber and tin.

749

00:49:41,700 --> 00:49:44,866 Now I may say that as far as the war in Indochina is concerned,

750

00:49:44,866 --> 00:49:49,933 that I was there, right on the battlefield, or close to it,

751

00:49:49,933 --> 00:49:54,833 and it’s a bloody war, and it’s a bitter one.

752

00:49:54,833 --> 00:49:57,400 (explosions)

753

00:49:57,400 --> 00:50:02,700 NARRATOR: By 1953, the French had been fighting for seven years.

754

00:50:02,700 --> 00:50:07,466 They had suffered over 100,000 casualties

755

00:50:07,466 --> 00:50:10,866 and failed to pacify the countryside.

756

00:50:10,866 --> 00:50:14,100 Six commanders had come and gone.

757

00:50:14,100 --> 00:50:17,800 Nevertheless, the seventh commander,

758

00:50:17,800 --> 00:50:20,066 General Henri Navarre, assured his countrymen

759

00:50:20,066 --> 00:50:23,266 that victory was near.

760

00:50:23,266 --> 00:50:24,866 “Now we can see it clearly,” he said,

761

00:50:24,866 --> 00:50:27,966 “Like the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Minutes 50-60

762

00:50:27,966 --> 00:50:31,933 Meanwhile large parts of the French population were horrified

763

00:50:33,866 --> 00:50:37,800 by reports of French brutality

764

00:50:37,800 --> 00:50:40,433 and the widespread use of napalm[25]--

765

00:50:40,433 --> 00:50:43,233 gelatinized petroleum that burned foliage,

766

00:50:43,233 --> 00:50:48,066 homes and human flesh.

767

00:50:48,066 --> 00:50:50,600 When returning French troops disembarked at Marseilles,

768

00:50:53,400 --> 00:50:56,900 members of the longshoremen’s union pelted them with rocks.

769

00:50:56,900 --> 00:51:01,400 Parisian leftists began to call the conflict

770

00:51:01,400 --> 00:51:04,633 “La Sale Guerre” “The Dirty War”.

771

00:51:04,633 --> 00:51:07,833 (police sirens wailing, people chanting)

772

00:51:11,466 --> 00:51:14,966 RON FERRIZZI: The camera was a close up,

773

00:51:16,066 --> 00:51:18,466 was over the shoulder of this storm trooper

774

00:51:18,466 --> 00:51:21,633 who had a kid by the scruff of his shirt and he smacks him.

775

00:51:21,633 --> 00:51:25,333 REPORTER: People screaming. . .

776

00:51:25,333 --> 00:51:26,533 FERRIZZI: At that moment in time,

777

00:51:26,533 --> 00:51:28,700 I realized that anybody who really cared for America

778

00:51:28,700 --> 00:51:31,466 was sent halfway around the world

779

00:51:31,466 --> 00:51:32,966 chasing some ghost in a jungle.

780

00:51:32,966 --> 00:51:36,600 In the meantime, my country is being torn apart.

781

00:51:36,600 --> 00:51:39,633 So I saw somebody who looked like my dad

782

00:51:39,633 --> 00:51:41,933 hitting somebody who looked like me.

783

00:51:41,933 --> 00:51:43,600 Whose side would I be on?

784

00:51:43,600 --> 00:51:45,433 ED HERLIHY: In Korea, three years of combat end

785

00:51:53,333 --> 00:51:56,000 as United Nations and communist negotiators at Panmunjom

786

00:51:56,000 --> 00:51:58,966 sign a truce.

787

00:51:58,966 --> 00:52:00,166 NARRATOR: In July of 1953,

788

00:52:00,166 --> 00:52:03,166 the Korean War ended in a negotiated settlement

789

00:52:03,166 --> 00:52:06,700 and a still divided peninsula.

790

00:52:06,700 --> 00:52:08,700 American policymakers saw it as proof

791

00:52:08,700 --> 00:52:12,100 that communism in Asia could be contained.

792

00:52:12,100 --> 00:52:15,500 HERLIHY: And in Washington, a dramatic evening press conference. . .

793

00:52:15,500 --> 00:52:17,400 NARRATOR: That fall, the French indicated their willingness

794

00:52:17,400 --> 00:52:20,533 to begin talks to end the fighting in Vietnam.

795

00:52:20,533 --> 00:52:24,600 Ho Chi Minh agreed to meet.

796

00:52:24,600 --> 00:52:28,133 But before the negotiators were to convene in Geneva,

797

00:52:28,133 --> 00:52:32,166 each side sought to improve its position on the battlefield.

798

00:52:32,166 --> 00:52:37,233 General Navarre set up a fortified base

799

00:52:38,766 --> 00:52:41,333 in a remote valley in northwestern Vietnam

800

00:52:41,333 --> 00:52:44,300 called Dien Bien Phu, where he hoped to lure the Viet Minh

801

00:52:44,300 --> 00:52:48,933 into a decisive battle.

802

00:52:48,933 --> 00:52:51,000 Navarre was certain that superior French firepower

803

00:52:53,100 --> 00:52:56,200 and air support would crush any attack by the Viet Minh.

804

00:52:56,200 --> 00:53:01,366 He and his commanders saw no need to worry

805

00:53:01,366 --> 00:53:04,033 about the jungle covered hills that overlooked his 11,000 men,

806

00:53:04,033 --> 00:53:08,633 dug in on the valley floor.

807

00:53:08,633 --> 00:53:11,566 The artillery commander was so confident of victory,

808

00:53:11,566 --> 00:53:16,000 he complained, “I have more guns than I need.”

809

00:53:16,000 --> 00:53:20,100 Genera1 Giap saw his chance.[26]

810

00:53:23,100 --> 00:53:25,833 “We decided to wipe out at all costs the whole enemy force

811

00:53:25,833 --> 00:53:30,400 at Dien Bien Phu,” he remembered.

812

00:53:30,400 --> 00:53:33,466 To do it, he pulled off one of the greatest logistical feats

813

00:53:35,466 --> 00:53:39,300 in military history--

814

00:53:39,300 --> 00:53:41,200 a feat that would be restaged in propaganda films

815

00:53:41,200 --> 00:53:44,466 and celebrated for decades.

816

00:53:44,466 --> 00:53:47,733 A quarter of a million civilian porters--

817

00:53:47,733 --> 00:53:51,766 nearly half of them women--

818

00:53:51,766 --> 00:53:53,133 moved everything he needed for a siege, from sacks of rice

819

00:53:53,133 --> 00:53:58,033 to disassembled artillery pieces,

820

00:53:58,033 --> 00:54:00,300 on foot through the jungle.

821

00:54:00,300 --> 00:54:03,433 Gap surrounded the valley with 50,000 soldiers

822

00:54:03,433 --> 00:54:08,366 and 200 big guns, dug in and camouflaged so well

823

00:54:08,366 --> 00:54:13,600 they could not be spotted from the air.

824

00:54:13,600 --> 00:54:18,233 On March 13, 1954,

825

00:54:19,866 --> 00:54:23,833 Viet Minh artillery on the hill sides

826

00:54:23,833 --> 00:54:26,233 began raining down 50 shells a minute

827

00:54:26,233 --> 00:54:29,533 on the French troops huddled below.

828

00:54:29,533 --> 00:54:32,666 (explosions)

829

00:54:32,666 --> 00:54:34,933 The airstrip was destroyed.

830

00:54:34,933 --> 00:54:36,733 The besieged troops could only be reinforced

831

00:54:39,666 --> 00:54:42,833 and resupplied by airdrop.

832

00:54:42,833 --> 00:54:45,733 The French artillery commander,

833

00:54:49,266 --> 00:54:51,000 who had underestimated his enemy, committed suicide.

834

00:54:51,000 --> 00:54:55,966 NEWSREEL NARRATOR: The airlift to Dien Bien Phu continues,

835

00:54:55,966 --> 00:54:59,133 vital men and supplies for the heroic garrison

836

00:54:59,133 --> 00:55:01,733 that has defied the massed Viet Minh onslaughts

837

00:55:01,733 --> 00:55:03,466 for over six weeks.

838

00:55:03,466 --> 00:55:04,566 Today, Dien Bien Phu is a human dam

839

00:55:04,566 --> 00:55:07,733 trying to stem the red tide

840

00:55:07,733 --> 00:55:09,733 that threatens to engulf Southeast Asia.

841

00:55:09,733 --> 00:55:11,900 NARRATOR: The French government begged President Eisenhower

842

00:55:13,433 --> 00:55:16,333 to intervene.

843

00:55:16,333 --> 00:55:17,933 He refused to act without Congressional approval

844

00:55:17,933 --> 00:55:21,400 and support from European allies.

845

00:55:21,400 --> 00:55:24,300 Britain said no

846

00:55:24,300 --> 00:55:26,433 and the Congress would not support unilateral action.

847

00:55:26,433 --> 00:55:30,400 JOHN F KENNEDY: The communists

848

00:55:30,400 --> 00:55:31,700 under Ho Ch Minh are able to claim that they are fighting

849

00:55:31,700 --> 00:55:34,366 for independence and the French appear to be fighting

850

00:55:34,366 --> 00:55:37,066 for a maintain. . . maintenance of colonial rule.

851

00:55:37,066 --> 00:55:39,433 I therefore believe

852

00:55:39,433 --> 00:55:40,800 that before the United States moves in, in any degree,

853

00:55:40,800 --> 00:55:44,100 that independence must be granted to the people,

854

00:55:44,100 --> 00:55:46,666 that the people must support the struggle.

855

00:55:46,666 --> 00:55:48,466 NARRATOR: “I am convinced,” Eisenhower confided to his diary,

856

00:55:50,133 --> 00:55:54,166 “that no military victory is possible in this theater.”

857

00:55:54,166 --> 00:55:59,033 Still, without consulting Congress,

858

00:55:59,033 --> 00:56:01,866 the President had secretly sent more American transport planes,

859

00:56:01,866 --> 00:56:05,800 their markings painted over and flown by civilian contractors,

860

00:56:05,800 --> 00:56:11,566 to help resupply the desperate French troops at Dien Bien Phu.

861

00:56:11,566 --> 00:56:16,266 GELB: Everyone understood that in and of itself

862

00:56:19,833 --> 00:56:22,333 Vietnam didn’t mean very much.

863

00:56:22,333 --> 00:56:25,866 But they believed, I believed, if we lost it,

864

00:56:25,866 --> 00:56:30,100 that the rest of Asia would tumble to communism.

865

00:56:30,100 --> 00:56:33,033 EISENHOWER: You have broader considerations that might follow

866

00:56:33,033 --> 00:56:38,033 what you would call the falling domino principle.

867

00:56:38,033 --> 00:56:42,766 You have a row of dominoes set up,

868

00:56:42,766 --> 00:56:45,400 and you knock over the first one,

869

00:56:45,400 --> 00:56:47,333 and what will happen to the last one is the certainty

870

00:56:47,333 --> 00:56:51,233 that it will go over very quickly.

871

00:56:51,233 --> 00:56:54,266 (explosion)

872

00:56:56,000 --> 00:56:58,133 (muted gunfire)

873

00:57:02,166 --> 00:57:05,166 NARRATOR: On the afternoon of May 7, 1954, after 55 days of siege,

874

00:57:15,433 --> 00:57:21,500 the exhausted French forces at Dien Bien Phu surrendered.

875

00:57:21,500 --> 00:57:26,833 They had lost 8,000 men, killed, wounded, or missing.

876

00:57:29,366 --> 00:57:34,166 Genera Giap had lost three times as many,

877

00:57:36,900 --> 00:57:41,400 but he had won a great victory.

878

00:57:41,400 --> 00:57:44,600 NGUYEN THOI BUNG: Viet Minh Half of our country was liberated by the victory at Dien Bien Phu We had eliminated an entire French army corps. The victory instilled in us the belief in our ability to win.

879

00:57:45,633 --> 00:57:49,466 NARRATOR: Even Duong Van Mai’s parents could not help but be impressed.

880

00:58:01,766 --> 00:58:06,566 DUONG VAN MAI: They were very proud

881

00:58:06,566 --> 00:58:08,700 that the Viet Minh had defeated the French,

882

00:58:08,700 --> 00:58:11,566 this great Western power.

883

00:58:11,566 --> 00:58:13,500 Admiration and respect on the one hand,

884

00:58:13,500 --> 00:58:17,466 but fear on the other hand.

885

00:58:17,466 --> 00:58:19,866 And fear was the stronger emotion.

886

00:58:19,866 --> 00:58:22,566 NARRATOR: “We have been caught bluffing by our enemies,”

887

00:58:24,200 --> 00:58:26,966 Senate Minority Leader Lyndon Johnson said.

888

00:58:26,966 --> 00:58:30,766 “Today it is Indochina, tomorrow Asia may be in flames.

889

00:58:30,766 --> 00:58:35,866 And the day after the Western Alliance will be in ruins.”

890

00:58:35,866 --> 00:58:42,000 DONALD GREGG: We should have seen it as the end of the colonial era

891

00:58:42,000 --> 00:58:45,066 in Southeast Asia, which it really was.

892

00:58:45,066 --> 00:58:48,300 But instead we saw it in Cold War terms,

893

00:58:48,300 --> 00:58:50,833 and we saw it as a defeat for the free world

894

00:58:50,833 --> 00:58:55,533 that was related to the rise of China.

895

00:58:55,533 --> 00:58:57,333 And it was a total misreading of a pivotal event,

896

00:58:57,333 --> 00:59:02,566 which cost us very dearly.

897

00:59:02,566 --> 00:59:05,266 (chanting)

898

00:59:05,266 --> 00:59:07,433 (newsreel music playing)

899

00:59:07,433 --> 00:59:11,066 JACK TOBIN: The former home of the League of Nations,

900

00:59:11,066 --> 00:59:13,200 Geneva, Switzerland, where East is meeting West

901

00:59:13,200 --> 00:59:15,533 in the international conference

902

00:59:15,533 --> 00:59:16,866 that may decisively affect the political future of Asia.

903

00:59:16,866 --> 00:59:20,500 NARRATOR: The day after the fall of Dien Bien Phu,

904

00:59:20,500 --> 00:59:23,833 diplomats from nine nations[27] gathered in Geneva

905

00:59:23,833 --> 00:59:27,800 to settle the future of Vietnam.

906

00:59:27,800 --> 00:59:30,533 The talks dragged on for nearly two-and-a-half months.

907

00:59:30,533 --> 00:59:34,700 Despite their victory,

908

00:59:37,666 --> 00:59:39,466 Ho Chi Minh and General Giap could not keep fighting

909

00:59:39,466 --> 00:59:43,166 without more support from China and the Soviet Union.

910

00:59:43,166 --> 00:59:48,533 But China had lost a million men in Korea

911

00:59:48,533 --> 00:59:51,900 and did not want to become involved in another war

912

00:59:51,900 --> 00:59:55,133 along its border.

913

00:59:55,133 --> 00:59:56,666 The Soviet Union was hoping to ease tensions with the West.

914

00:59:56,666 --> 01:00:02,566 Both of Ho Chi Minh’s communist patrons urged him to agree

915

01:00:02,566 --> 01:00:07,533 to a negotiated settlement,

916

01:00:07,533 --> 01:00:09,500 a partition like the one that had ended the Korean War.

917

01:00:09,500 --> 01:00:13,966 Ho had no option but to give in.[28]

918

01:00:13,966 --> 01:00:17,300 In the end, no one was satisfied.

919

01:00:21,100 --> 01:00:24,000 Vietnam was temporarily to be divided at the 17th parallel.

920

01:00:25,966 --> 01:00:31,066 The 130,000 French-led troops stationed in the North

921

01:00:31,066 --> 01:00:35,666 were to withdraw to the South,

922

01:00:35,666 --> 01:00:37,766 and somewhere between 50,000 and 90,000 Viet Minh

923

01:00:37,766 --> 01:00:41,833 were to “re-group” to the North.

924

01:00:41,833 --> 01:00:44,466 The two halves would be separated

925

01:00:44,466 --> 01:00:46,333 by a demilitarized zone until an election could be held

926

01:00:46,333 --> 01:00:50,800 to reunify North and South Vietnam,

927

01:00:50,800 --> 01:00:54,100 an election everyone knew Ho Chi Minh would win[29].

Minutes 60-70

928

01:00:54,100 --> 01:00:59,233 The Geneva agreement called for a general election in two years, Which would reunify the country. Everybody believed it. Nobody thought it would last more than 20 years.

929

01:01:01,766 --> 01:01:06,233 (cheering)

930

01:01:14,733 --> 01:01:16,266 NGUYEN THO BUNG: I went to the North to train, To liberate the South one day.[30] But I could never believed the war would be so fierce. The violence was unimaginable.

931

01:01:16,266 --> 01:01:18,800 KARL MARLANTES: Marine 1969 We had started walking up

932

01:01:34,266 --> 01:01:35,933 and we had probably gotten about a third of the way up the hill

933

01:01:35,933 --> 01:01:37,900 and then they unleashed on us.

934

01:01:37,900 --> 01:01:39,500 (explosion, gunfire)

935

01:01:39,500 --> 01:01:42,200 We were in the middle of this horrible shit sandwich.

936

01:01:42,200 --> 01:01:44,633 That’s what we called it.

937

01:01:44,633 --> 01:01:46,566 (explosion, gunfire)

938

01:01:48,233 --> 01:01:51,600 One of the things that I learned in the war is that

939

01:01:51,600 --> 01:01:55,600 We’re not the top species on the planet because we’re nice.

940

01:01:55,600 --> 01:01:59,166 People talk a lot about how we, the military turns, you know,

941

01:02:02,033 --> 01:02:05,200 kids into, you know, killing machines and stuff.

942

01:02:05,200 --> 01:02:08,133 And I’ll always argue that it’s just finishing school.

943

01:02:08,133 --> 01:02:10,766 (gunfire)

944

01:02:10,766 --> 01:02:12,566 (shouting)

945

01:02:12,566 --> 01:02:16,766 NEWSREEL NARRATOR: Braving the dangers of the open sea in tiny, rickety craft,

946

01:02:19,133 --> 01:02:22,966 thousands of Roman Catholic and Buddhist faith

947

01:02:22,966 --> 01:02:25,533 have found life impossible under the communists.

948

01:02:25,533 --> 01:02:28,000 For them, it’s freedom or nothing.

949

01:02:28,000 --> 01:02:31,500 NARRATOR: Under the Geneva Accords,

950

01:02:34,666 --> 01:02:36,600 civilians living in either half of Vietnam

951

01:02:36,600 --> 01:02:39,533 would have 300 days to do so.

952

01:02:39,533 --> 01:02:41,866 DUONG VAN MAI: My mother and father wanted to stay

953

01:02:41,866 --> 01:02:44,866 and meet my sister Thang again

954

01:02:44,866 --> 01:02:49,000 because they knew Thang would come back.

955

01:02:49,000 --> 01:02:51,100 But on the other hand they couldn’t risk that.

956

01:02:51,100 --> 01:02:53,600 They were convinced that when Ho Chi Minh and his government

957

01:02:53,600 --> 01:02:55,733 arrived in Hanoi,

958

01:02:55,733 --> 01:03:00,900 my father would be the first one to be killed

959

01:03:00,900 --> 01:03:03,066 and all of us would be persecuted.

960

01:03:03,066 --> 01:03:06,633 And I remember the day we left

961

01:03:06,633 --> 01:03:08,633 I looked around and thought, “I’ll never come back here again.”

962

01:03:11,300 --> 01:03:13,366 It was extremely traumatic.

963

01:03:13,366 --> 01:03:16,766 It was like the ground was suddenly cut from under you.

964

01:03:19,100 --> 01:03:21,033 NARRATOR: In the end, some 900,000 refugees,

965

01:03:21,033 --> 01:03:25,800 including more than half of all the Catholics

966

01:03:25,800 --> 01:03:31,433 living in the North,

967

01:03:31,433 --> 01:03:33,766 fled to the South, many of them aboard American ships.

968

01:03:33,766 --> 01:03:35,066 The United States hoped somehow to encourage the building

969

01:03:35,066 --> 01:03:40,300 of a legitimate[31] government in the South.

970

01:03:44,600 --> 01:03:48,200 That government was now headed by Ngo Dinh Diem.

971

01:03:48,200 --> 01:03:50,566 Both a Roman Catholic and a Confucian

972

01:03:52,666 --> 01:03:57,333 in a largely Buddhist country,

973

01:03:57,333 --> 01:04:00,166 he was a celibate bachelor who had once planned to be a priest.

974

01:04:00,166 --> 01:04:02,433 GELB: The war for us really started when we became the partner,

975

01:04:02,433 --> 01:04:07,300 or would say the victim, of President Diem.

976

01:04:07,300 --> 01:04:13,566 We were going to help him turn South Vietnam into a democracy.

977

01:04:13,566 --> 01:04:18,700 That s what he said he wanted to do.

978

01:04:18,700 --> 01:04:23,900 And we believed him.

979

01:04:23,900 --> 01:04:25,433 NARRATOR: Like Ho Chi Minh,

980

01:04:25,433 --> 01:04:26,633 Diem had spent years abroad seeking support[32]

981

01:04:26,633 --> 01:04:28,933 for his own brand of Vietnamese nationalism.

982

01:04:28,933 --> 01:04:32,666 He was a veteran politician whose loathing for the French

983

01:04:32,666 --> 01:04:36,366 was matched only by his hatred for the communists,

984

01:04:36,366 --> 01:04:39,866 who had imprisoned him and buried alive his eldest brother[33]

985

01:04:39,866 --> 01:04:43,666 and his nephew.

986

01:04:43,666 --> 01:04:47,500 Diem was aloof, autocratic,

987

01:04:47,500 --> 01:04:49,966 mistrustful of anyone much beyond his own family.[34]

988

01:04:49,966 --> 01:04:53,333 He also proved to be shrewd, Resourceful,

989

01:04:53,333 --> 01:04:56,666 and skilled at exploiting the weaknesses of his opponents.

990

01:04:56,666 --> 01:05:00,800 But he faced a daunting task in creating a new country.

991

01:05:00,800 --> 01:05:04,866 The French, who still had thousands of troops

992

01:05:04,866 --> 01:05:10,966 stationed in the South, detested Diem.

993

01:05:10,966 --> 01:05:14,000 Several provinces were under the sway of religious sects

994

01:05:14,000 --> 01:05:17,566 with armies of their own.

995

01:05:17,566 --> 01:05:21,566 Tens of thousands of Viet Minh soldiers had gone north,

996

01:05:21,566 --> 01:05:23,966 but several thousand cadre--

997

01:05:23,966 --> 01:05:28,233 trained and dedicated Communist Party workers--

998

01:05:28,233 --> 01:05:30,466 had stayed behind to organize resistance in the countryside.

999

01:05:30,466 --> 01:05:33,833 And Saigon itself was ruled by the Binh Xuyen,

1000

01:05:33,833 --> 01:05:39,866 a crime syndicate backed by the French.

1001

01:05:39,866 --> 01:05:44,033 RUFUS PHILLIPS: CIA/USAID And the French were behind the Binh Xuyen

1002

01:05:44,033 --> 01:05:47,400 sort of supporting them

1003

01:05:47,400 --> 01:05:49,833 because they didn’t want Diem to succeed.

1004

01:05:49,833 --> 01:05:51,466 And that became the central contest.

1005

01:05:51,466 --> 01:05:54,433 NARRATOR: Some in the CIA believed that Diem could be the savior

1006

01:05:54,433 --> 01:05:56,433 of South Vietnam.

1007

01:05:58,400 --> 01:06:02,533 Others were not so sure.

1008

01:06:02,533 --> 01:06:04,633 “He’s a messiah without a message,”

1009

01:06:04,633 --> 01:06:06,600 one diplomat reported to Washington.

1010

01:06:06,600 --> 01:06:08,766 The U S ambassador agreed.

1011

01:06:08,766 --> 01:06:11,866 On Apr 27, 1955,

1012

01:06:11,866 --> 01:06:15,433 President Eisenhower decided to end American support[35]

1013

01:06:15,433 --> 01:06:18,766 for Diem’s regime.[36]

1014

01:06:18,766 --> 01:06:23,100 (gunfire)

1015

01:06:23,100 --> 01:06:25,666 But then Diem made an all-out assault

1016

01:06:25,666 --> 01:06:26,733 on the Binh Xuyen syndicate.

1017

01:06:26,733 --> 01:06:30,100 (sirens blaring, gunfire)

1018

01:06:30,100 --> 01:06:32,566 DUONG VAN MAI: Suddenly, in the middle of the day,

1019

01:06:32,566 --> 01:06:34,666 we heard gunfire and then we saw flames

1020

01:06:34,666 --> 01:06:36,733 and the neighborhood was burning.

1021

01:06:36,733 --> 01:06:41,200 MICHAEL FITZMAURICE: There are hundreds of dead and wounded on both sides

1022

01:06:41,200 --> 01:06:43,633 as the street fighting continues for an entire week.

1023

01:06:43,633 --> 01:06:46,600 For the United States, the situation presents

1024

01:06:46,600 --> 01:06:49,533 a grave problem.

1025

01:06:49,533 --> 01:06:51,733 Diem finally regains control of Saigon.

1026

01:06:51,733 --> 01:06:52,900 NARRATOR: In the end, Diem’s forces prevailed.

1027

01:06:54,700 --> 01:06:57,733 Eisenhower now saw no option but to stick with Diem.

1028

01:06:59,500 --> 01:07:03,766 The French then announced their intention to withdraw completely[37]

1029

01:07:03,766 --> 01:07:09,833 from South Vietnam, ending nearly a century of occupation.

1030

01:07:09,833 --> 01:07:15,233 PHILLIPS: Diem became wildly popular because he seemed to embody

1031

01:07:15,233 --> 01:07:21,466 the nationalist cause in the South.

1032

01:07:21,466 --> 01:07:26,600 He succeeded in getting the French

1033

01:07:26,600 --> 01:07:29,200 out of Vietnam all the way.

1034

01:07:29,200 --> 01:07:31,266 And Ho Chi Minh had only got them out of the northern half.

1035

01:07:31,266 --> 01:07:33,233 NARRATOR: Flush with victory, Diem called for a referendum in the South.[38]

1036

01:07:33,233 --> 01:07:36,800 The CIA warned him not to meddle too much with the returns.

1037

01:07:36,800 --> 01:07:42,733 But when the ballots were counted,

1038

01:07:42,733 --> 01:07:48,200 Diem claimed to have won 98.2% of the vote.

1039

01:07:49,266 --> 01:07:51,233 On October 26, 1955, Ngo Dinh Diem named himself

1040

01:07:51,233 --> 01:07:57,000 the first President of the brand-new Republic of Vietnam.

1041

01:07:58,766 --> 01:08:04,466 The election to reunify the North and South

1042

01:08:04,466 --> 01:08:10,200 that had been promised at Geneva would never be held.[39]

1043

01:08:10,200 --> 01:08:14,166 GELB: He became our ally, or rather our master,

1044

01:08:14,166 --> 01:08:17,733 because the goal of preventing

1045

01:08:17,733 --> 01:08:24,000 the communists from taking over the South

1046

01:08:24,000 --> 01:08:26,600 was so strong that we couldn’t afford for him to lose.

1047

01:08:26,600 --> 01:08:28,899 So Diem started to boss us around.

1048

01:08:28,899 --> 01:08:35,433 And this was a typical relationship.

1049

01:08:35,433 --> 01:08:38,266 You need any ally you believe

1050

01:08:38,266 --> 01:08:40,366 to be the centerpiece of your foreign policy.

1051

01:08:40,366 --> 01:08:42,766 They understand that right away.

1052

01:08:42,766 --> 01:08:45,866 And the tail wags the dog.

1053

01:08:45,866 --> 01:08:47,466 ED HERLIHY: From the Far East comes a distinguished visitor.

1054

01:08:47,466 --> 01:08:50,200 President Ngo Dinh Diem of Vietnam is accorded

1055

01:08:54,566 --> 01:08:56,866 one of President Eisenhower’s rare airport greetings,

1056

01:08:56,866 --> 01:08:59,700 as he arrives for a four-day state visit.

1057

01:08:59,700 --> 01:09:02,733 President Diem, one of America’s staunchest allies

1058

01:09:02,733 --> 01:09:05,466 in Southeast Asia,

1059

01:09:05,466 --> 01:09:07,833 will seek an increase in aid to shore up his country

1060

01:09:07,833 --> 01:09:09,066 against increasing communist pressure,

1061

01:09:09,066 --> 01:09:11,800 a request to which the president lends a sympathetic ear.

1062

01:09:11,800 --> 01:09:13,833 NARRATOR: Most politicians, Democrats as well as Republicans,

1063

01:09:13,833 --> 01:09:19,266 now seemed to share the changing views

1064

01:09:19,266 --> 01:09:23,333 of Senator John F Kennedy.

1065

01:09:23,333 --> 01:09:25,399 South Vietnam’s “our offspring,” he said.

1066

01:09:25,399 --> 01:09:27,466 “We cannot abandon it.”

1067

01:09:27,466 --> 01:09:31,066 If it fell the United States would be “held responsible

1068

01:09:31,066 --> 01:09:32,700 and our prestige in Asia will sink to a new low.”

1069

01:09:32,700 --> 01:09:37,200 There had never before been a South Vietnamese nation.[40]

1070

01:09:37,200 --> 01:09:41,399 but Americans, who had rebuilt much of their own country

1071

01:09:41,399 --> 01:09:46,899 during the New Deal and had helped rebuild Western Europe

1072

01:09:46,899 --> 01:09:50,166 through the Marshall Plan,

1073

01:09:50,166 --> 01:09:53,933 were convinced they could build one nonetheless.

1074

01:09:53,933 --> 01:09:55,200 (blows whistle)

1075

01:09:55,200 --> 01:10:00,066 Eisenhower ordered scores of American civilians[41]

1076

01:10:00,066 --> 01:10:02,133 to South Vietnam, full of plans for economic development

1077

01:10:02,133 --> 01:10:06,133 meant to win, he hoped, the hearts and minds

1078

01:10:06,133 --> 01:10:09,866 of the Vietnamese people.

1079

01:10:09,866 --> 01:10:13,833 But those civilians would always be outnumbered

1080

01:10:13,833 --> 01:10:15,533 by military advisors,

1081

01:10:18,433 --> 01:10:21,633 with orders to modernize, train, and equip Diem’s forces,

1082

01:10:21,633 --> 01:10:23,400 now called the Army of the Republic of Vietnam -- the ARVN.

1083

01:10:23,400 --> 01:10:27,733 Some ARVN officers found American methods unsuited

1084

01:10:27,733 --> 01:10:33,766 to the guerrilla war they expected to wage

1085

01:10:33,766 --> 01:10:39,300 against the communists.[42]

Minutes 70-END

1086

01:10:39,300 --> 01:10:41,900 Most American military advisors were veterans

1087

01:10:41,900 --> 01:10:44,066 of the war in Korea,

1088

01:10:44,066 --> 01:10:46,900 determined to prepare South Vietnamese forces

1089

01:10:46,900 --> 01:10:48,233 to slow a conventional invasion from the North.

1090

01:10:48,233 --> 01:10:52,000 But no one in North Vietnam

1091

01:10:52,000 --> 01:10:57,533 was planning a conventional invasion.[43]

1092

01:10:57,533 --> 01:11:01,300 Ho Chi Minh was focused on rebuilding his country,[44]

1093

01:11:01,300 --> 01:11:04,900 devastated by more than a decade of war.

1094

01:11:04,900 --> 01:11:08,900 The communists imposed brutal land reforms

1095

01:11:08,900 --> 01:11:12,900 modeled on those underway in China

1096

01:11:15,300 --> 01:11:19,066 with a ruthlessness that left [45] thousands of people dead,

1097

01:11:19,066 --> 01:11:21,266 including not only landlords who had sided with the French,

1098

01:11:21,266 --> 01:11:25,966 but also many villagers who had fought with the Viet Minh.

1099

01:11:25,966 --> 01:11:29,433 Ho Chi Minh was still determined to reunite Vietnam.

1100

01:11:29,433 --> 01:11:33,833 But he worried that if he took direct military action

1101

01:11:36,466 --> 01:11:40,233 against the South,

1102

01:11:40,233 --> 01:11:43,000 the United States would be drawn more deeply into the struggle.[46]

1103

01:11:43,000 --> 01:11:44,600 He cautioned his comrades in the South to put their faith

1104

01:11:44,600 --> 01:11:48,766 in political agitation and avoid violence.

1105

01:11:48,766 --> 01:11:52,233 But that message rang hollow

1106

01:11:52,233 --> 01:11:56,066 among embattled Southern revolutionaries

1107

01:11:58,433 --> 01:12:00,500 struggling to survive

1108

01:12:00,500 --> 01:12:03,433 under Diem’s increasingly harsh regime.

1109

01:12:03,433 --> 01:12:05,300 In a campaign he called “Denounce the Communists,”

1110

01:12:05,300 --> 01:12:10,200 Diem had imprisoned tens of thousands of citizens

1111

01:12:10,200 --> 01:12:14,833 without trial and ordered the executions of hundreds more.[47]

1112

01:12:14,833 --> 01:12:18,366 Now, the communists took matters into their own hands

1113

01:12:18,366 --> 01:12:24,533 and began attacking South Vietnamese officials.

1114

01:12:24,533 --> 01:12:28,533 LE QUAN CONG: Viet Minh We didn’t have guns then so we used machetes to kill they tyrants. During the uprising, we killed a security officer named Soc. Twelve of us got together with machetes. He ran out and fell into the rice paddy. We hacked him to death. Then, we told the people that anyone who attended Soc’s funeral Would be killed. Nobody dared to go.[48]

1115

01:12:28,533 --> 01:12:32,333 NARRATOR: As violence in South Vietnam intensified,

1116

01:12:33,700 --> 01:12:38,700 new leaders emerged in Hanoi.

1117

01:13:11,866 --> 01:13:16,100 Ho Chi Minh would remain the face of the revolution

1118

01:13:16,100 --> 01:13:18,866 around the world, but he now began to share power

1119

01:13:18,866 --> 01:13:22,333 with men who were growing impatient with his caution,

1120

01:13:22,333 --> 01:13:26,366 men about whom Americans knew almost nothing.[49]

1121

01:13:26,366 --> 01:13:29,633 The most important proved to be a carpenter’s son[50]

1122

01:13:29,633 --> 01:13:34,233 from Quang Tri province in the South named Le Duan.

1123

01:13:36,366 --> 01:13:39,266 He had helped found the Indochinese Communist Party,

1124

01:13:39,266 --> 01:13:45,400 survived nearly ten years in a French prison,

1125

01:13:45,400 --> 01:13:49,033 and proved himself a shrewd political infighter

1126

01:13:49,033 --> 01:13:52,566 as he rose to become First Secretary of the Party.[51]

1127

01:13:52,566 --> 01:13:55,700 NGUYEN NGOC: Viet Minh I met Le Duan for the first time in 1951. I was a young cadre. I saw that he was very different from the other leaders. He understood the will of the Southern people. Le Duan carried their will to the North.

1128

01:13:55,700 --> 01:13:59,266 NARRATOR: By 1959, Le Duan and his hard line allies[52]

1129

01:14:01,166 --> 01:14:05,233 were gaining influence within the North Vietnamese Politburo

1130

01:14:34,133 --> 01:14:38,233 and beginning to change its policy.

1131

01:14:38,233 --> 01:14:42,266 They now argued that Hanoi should do everything

1132

01:14:42,266 --> 01:14:44,900 within its power to help Southern revolutionaries

1133

01:14:44,900 --> 01:14:48,900 remove Diem by force.

1134

01:14:48,900 --> 01:14:52,033 BUI DIEM (speaking English) The North Vietnamese adopted a more expressive posture. They did not accept the division of the country, as such. And they would try to have the country reunified again, at any cost.

1135

01:14:52,033 --> 01:14:54,400 NARRATOR: Now bands of 40 to 50 armed Viet Minh

1136

01:14:56,366 --> 01:15:00,733 began slipping back home into South Vietnam,

1137

01:15:15,933 --> 01:15:19,633 following jungle paths hacked through the Laotian mountains

1138

01:15:19,633 --> 01:15:22,966 that the Americans would soon call the Ho Chi Minh Trail.[53]

1139

01:15:22,966 --> 01:15:26,900 Violence against the Diem regime steadily accelerated.

1140

01:15:26,900 --> 01:15:31,533 (gunfire)

1141

01:15:37,500 --> 01:15:40,800 (siren blaring)

1142

01:15:40,800 --> 01:15:42,466 On the evening of July 8, 1959, at Bien Hoa,

1143

01:15:42,466 --> 01:15:44,500 20 miles northeast of Saigon,

1144

01:15:50,500 --> 01:15:55,733 six American military advisors were watching a movie

1145

01:15:55,733 --> 01:15:57,600 in their mess hall.

1146

01:15:57,600 --> 01:16:01,966 Viet Minh guerrillas, who had crept silently

1147

01:16:01,966 --> 01:16:03,566 into the compound, opened fire through the windows.

1148

01:16:05,166 --> 01:16:07,366 (rapid gunfire)

1149

01:16:07,366 --> 01:16:11,033 Major Dale Buis from Pender, Nebraska,

1150

01:16:11,033 --> 01:16:13,700 and Master Sergeant Chester Ovnand

1151

01:16:16,533 --> 01:16:19,533 from Copperas Cove, Texas, were killed.

1152

01:16:19,533 --> 01:16:21,733 They were the first American soldiers to die from enemy fire[54]

1153

01:16:21,733 --> 01:16:25,266 in the Vietnam War.

1154

01:16:27,400 --> 01:16:31,866 JOHN KENNEDY: We must prove all over again,

1155

01:16:31,866 --> 01:16:33,833 to a watching world, as we sit on a most conspicuous stage,

1156

01:16:35,233 --> 01:16:37,933 whether this nation,

1157

01:16:37,933 --> 01:16:43,766 conceived as it is with its freedom of choice,

1158

01:16:43,766 --> 01:16:45,400 its breadth of opportunity, its range of alternatives,

1159

01:16:45,400 --> 01:16:49,600 can compete with the single-minded advance

1160

01:16:49,600 --> 01:16:54,266 of the communist system.

1161

01:16:54,266 --> 01:16:56,800 NARRATOR: On November 8, 1960, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was elected

1162

01:16:56,800 --> 01:16:58,500 President of the United States.

1163

01:16:58,500 --> 01:17:04,300 His Vice President was Senator Lyndon Johnson.

1164

01:17:04,300 --> 01:17:06,966 They had narrowly beaten Vice President Richard Nixon

1165

01:17:06,966 --> 01:17:10,900 and his running mate, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge.

1166

01:17:10,900 --> 01:17:14,900 During the campaign, both Kennedy and Nixon

1167

01:17:14,900 --> 01:17:18,266 had pledged to hold the line against international communism

1168

01:17:19,600 --> 01:17:22,633 wherever it seemed to be a threat.

1169

01:17:22,633 --> 01:17:27,366 But very few Americans knew or cared about

1170

01:17:27,366 --> 01:17:29,933 what was going on in Vietnam.

1171

01:17:29,933 --> 01:17:34,000 Six weeks after Kennedy’s election,

1172

01:17:34,000 --> 01:17:36,400 at a remote jungle village called Tan Lap

1173

01:17:38,100 --> 01:17:40,333 near the Cambodian border,

1174

01:17:40,333 --> 01:17:43,400 representatives of southern revolutionary groups

1175

01:17:43,400 --> 01:17:45,300 met to form a new organization to replace the Viet Minh,

1176

01:17:45,300 --> 01:17:49,300 dedicated to overthrowing Ngo Dinh Diem

1177

01:17:49,300 --> 01:17:53,500 and ousting the foreigners supporting him.

1178

01:17:53,500 --> 01:17:56,333 Behind the scenes Le Duan and his communist comrades in Hanoi

1179

01:17:56,333 --> 01:18:00,333 were orchestrating everything.

1180

01:18:00,333 --> 01:18:06,066 The new organization would be called

1181

01:18:06,066 --> 01:18:10,100 the National Liberation Front--the NLF.[55]

1182

01:18:10,100 --> 01:18:11,966 The armed wing of the NLF was called

1183

01:18:11,966 --> 01:18:16,266 the People’s Liberation Armed Forces,[56]

1184

01:18:17,766 --> 01:18:21,000 but its enemies in Saigon and Washington preferred

1185

01:18:21,000 --> 01:18:23,833 a more disparaging term.

1186

01:18:23,833 --> 01:18:27,433 In their eyes, the revolutionaries were

1187

01:18:27,433 --> 01:18:29,500 Communist Traitors to the Vietnamese Nation --

1188

01:18:29,500 --> 01:18:32,900 the Viet Cong.

1189

01:18:32,900 --> 01:18:36,466 (muted shouting)

1190

01:18:36,466 --> 01:18:38,033 HUY DUC: Our leaders said, “We are willing sacrifice to the last Vietnamese person.” We exulted in those slogans. The people couldn’t fully understand that behind those heroic slogans was their own sacrifice. History will judge whether the war was worth the sacrifice.

1191

01:18:43,933 --> 01:18:48,700 JOHN KENNEDY: January 20, 1961 Let every nation know,

1192

01:18:51,166 --> 01:18:55,833 whether it wishes us well or ill,

1193

01:19:28,100 --> 01:19:30,666 that we shall pay any price, bear any burden,

1194

01:19:30,666 --> 01:19:36,366 meet any hardship, support any friend,

1195

01:19:36,366 --> 01:19:42,366 oppose any foe, to assure the survival

1196

01:19:42,366 --> 01:19:47,333 and the success of liberty.

1197

01:19:47,333 --> 01:19:52,500 TIM O’BRIEN: Army 1969 For me, I’d always thought of courage

1198

01:19:52,500 --> 01:19:53,933 as charging enemy bunkers or standing up under fire.

1199

01:20:06,266 --> 01:20:08,833 But just to walk, day after day from village to village

1200

01:20:08,833 --> 01:20:13,366 and through the paddies and up into the mountains,

1201

01:20:13,366 --> 01:20:19,400 just to get up in the morning and look out at the land

1202

01:20:19,400 --> 01:20:24,100 and think, “In a few minutes I’ll be walking out there

1203

01:20:24,100 --> 01:20:28,500 “and will my corpse be there, over there?

1204

01:20:28,500 --> 01:20:32,100 “Will I lose a leg out there?”

1205

01:20:32,100 --> 01:20:35,400 Just to walk felt incredibly brave.

1206

01:20:35,400 --> 01:20:36,900 I would sometimes look at my legs as I walked,

1207

01:20:38,700 --> 01:20:42,366 Thinking, how am I doing this?

1208

01:20:42,366 --> 01:20:45,300 (“A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” by Bob Dylan playing)

1209

01:20:45,300 --> 01:20:47,766 ♪Oh where have you been my blue-eyed son?♪

1210

01:20:51,733 --> 01:20:57,833 ♪And where have you been my darling young one?♪

1211

01:20:57,833 --> 01:21:01,766 ♪I’ve stumbled on the side of 12 misty mountains.♪

1212

01:21:04,133 --> 01:21:08,466 ♪I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six crooked highways.♪

1213

01:21:11,266 --> 01:21:15,066 ♪I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests.♪

1214

01:21:18,166 --> 01:21:22,233 ♪I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans.♪

1215

01:21:24,600 --> 01:21:28,700 ♪I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard.♪

1216

01:21:31,166 --> 01:21:35,566 ♪And it’s a hard, It’s a hard,♪

1217

01:21:37,600 --> 01:21:42,200 ♪It’s a hard, It’s a hard,♪

1218

01:21:44,466 --> 01:21:47,800 ♪It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.♪

1219

01:21:47,800 --> 01:21:51,900 ♪Oh what did you see my blue-eyed son?♪

1220

01:21:51,900 --> 01:21:57,066 ♪And what did you see my darling young one?♪

1221

01:22:02,366 --> 01:22:06,633 ♪I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves a around it.♪

1222

01:22:09,100 --> 01:22:13,000 ♪I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it.♪

1223

01:22:15,833 --> 01:22:20,333 ♪I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin’.♪

1224

01:22:22,466 --> 01:22:26,333 ♪I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin’.♪

1225

01:22:29,300 --> 01:22:33,333 ♪I saw a white ladder all covered with water.♪

1226

01:22:35,933 --> 01:22:39,900 ♪I saw 10,000 talkers whose tongues were all broken.♪

1227

01:22:42,633 --> 01:22:46,300 ♪I saw guns with sharp swords in the hands of young children.♪

1228

01:22:49,200 --> 01:22:53,133 ♪And it’s a hard, It’s a hard,♪

1229

01:22:55,933 --> 01:23:00,966 ♪It’s a hard, and it’s a hard,♪

1230

01:23:00,966 --> 01:23:04,366 ♪It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.♪

1231

01:23:04,366 --> 01:23:08,233 ♪And it’s a hard, It’s a hard,♪

1232

01:23:08,233 --> 01:23:13,700 ♪It’s a hard, and it’s a hard,♪

1233

01:23:16,100 --> 01:23:19,733 ♪It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.♪

1234

01:23:19,733 --> 01:23:23,200 Captioned by Media Access Group at WGNH Access wgnh.org

1235

01:23:23,200 --> 01:23:28,433 ANNOUNCER: LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FILM

1236

01:23:34,633 --> 01:23:36,666 AND FIND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AT PBS.ORG/VIETNAMWAR

1237

01:23:42,100 --> 01:23:43,300 AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION USING HASHTAG VIETNAMWARPBS.

1238

01:23:43,300 --> 01:23:46,166 "THE VIETNAM WAR" IS AVAILABLE

1239

01:23:46,166 --> 01:23:50,100 ON BLU-RAY AND DVD.

1240

01:23:50,100 --> 01:23:51,566 THE COMPANION BOOK, SOUNDTRACK,

1241

01:23:51,566 --> 01:23:53,233 AND ORIGINAL SCORE FROM THE FILM

1242

01:23:53,233 --> 01:23:54,900 ARE ALSO AVAILABLE.

1243

01:23:54,900 --> 01:23:56,300 TO ORDER, VISIT SHOPPBS.ORG

1244

01:23:56,300 --> 01:23:57,433 OR CALL 1-800-PLAY-PBS.

1245

01:23:57,433 --> 01:23:59,533 EPISODES OF THIS SERIES ALSO

1246

01:23:59,533 --> 01:24:02,066 AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD

1247

01:24:02,066 --> 01:24:03,500 FROM iTUNES.

1248

01:24:03,500 --> 01:24:04,600 ANNOUNCER: BANK OF AMERICA PROUDLY SUPPORTS

1249

01:24:04,600 --> 01:24:05,700 KEN BURNS' AND LYNN NOVICK'S FILM "THE VIETNAM WAR"

1250

01:24:08,966 --> 01:24:11,100 BECAUSE FOSTERING DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES

1251

01:24:11,100 --> 01:24:16,000 AND CIVIL DISCOURSE AROUND IMPORTANT ISSUES

1252

01:24:16,000 --> 01:24:18,400 FURTHERS PROGRESS, EQUALITY,

1253

01:24:18,400 --> 01:24:21,000 AND A MORE CONNECTED SOCIETY.

1254

01:24:21,000 --> 01:24:23,300 GO TO BANKOFAMERICA.COM/ BETTERCONNECTED TO LEARN MORE.

1255

01:24:23,300 --> 01:24:25,300 ANNOUNCER: MAJOR SUPPORT FOR "THE VIETNAM WAR"

1256

01:24:29,766 --> 01:24:33,800 WAS PROVIDED BY MEMBERS OF THE BETTER ANGELS SOCIETY,

1257

01:24:37,266 --> 01:24:38,700 INCLUDING JONATHAN AND JEANNIE LAVINE,

1258

01:24:38,700 --> 01:24:42,200 DIANE AND HAL BRIERLEY,

1259

01:24:42,200 --> 01:24:46,166 AMY AND DAVID ABRAMS,

1260

01:24:46,166 --> 01:24:49,066 JOHN AND CATHERINE DEBS,

1261

01:24:49,066 --> 01:24:51,466 THE FULLERTON FAMILY CHARITABLE FUND,

1262

01:24:51,466 --> 01:24:53,966 THE MONTRONE FAMILY,

1263

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1264

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1265

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1266

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1267

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1268

01:25:05,100 --> 01:25:07,966 MAJOR FUNDING WAS ALSO PROVIDED

1269

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1270

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1271

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1272

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1273

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1274

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1275

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1276

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1277

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1278

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1279

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1280

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1281

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References

  1. See how well the Korean Truce is working today. [ed.]
  2. America's involvement in VN did not "end in failure." As long as US forces were in SVN, America's military involvement there was a tactical success, not a failure.
  3. The early academic characterizations of the war were written by far-left and left-liberal professors who were active members of anti-war protest movements. Their hostile view of U.S. foreign policy and the U.S. military in Vietnam was institutionalized as the consensus academic orthodoxy on the war by a new generation of leftist professors trained by those of the 1960s. The orthodox version of the U.S. Phase of the Second Indochina War from 1965 to 1972 is that it was an unnecessary, immoral, illegal, ineffective, unwinnable waste of lives and money in a shameful, militarily futile, neo-imperialist intrusion into an indigenous South Vietnamese insurgency and/or civil war against a corrupt and repressive regime. The Revisionist version of the war is that it was a nobly motivated, legally and morally justified, militarily winnable, and until 1974 militarily successful war against both the invading North Vietnamese Army and their indigenous Viet Cong subordinates. The sole purpose of the U.S. participation in the war was to defend the Republic of Viet Nam from Communist aggression until its own armed forces were able to do so.
  4. One of Ho Chi Minh's pseudonyms was "Nguyen O Phap" = Nguyen the French Hater. Like his idol, Lenin, his main lifetime motivation was hatred.
  5. FALSE: HCM had an official wife in China, but abandoned her when communists were being persecuted in China: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeng_Xueming He also had several affairs: with a married Russian woman, a French woman, and had an illegitimate child: https://www.questia.com/magazine/1G1-75122073/ho-chi-minh-s-love-child He also kept a mistress who was 40 years younger than he was, who was eventually clubbed to death in an effort to keep his reputation: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/vietnam/4307137/Ho-Chi-Minh-mistress-murdered-by-his-comrades.html
  6. He is also considered to be a founder of the French Communist Party.
  7. Ho Chi Minh spent a year and a half in Moscow learning to subvert Asian governments by planting spies and saboteuers; recruiting, organizing, and training covert and clandestine Communist cells; and propagandizing vulnerable targets.
  8. In Comintern’s training program (see link to come) criticism is an important part of recreating the student in the proper image. His actions as Head of State show that ideology rather than nationalism had the higher priority.
  9. The ultimate goal of the Indochinese Communist Party was not merely Communist hegemony in Vietnam, but in all of Indochina (including Laos & Cambodia) plus Thailand.
  10. This is Mao's Three Phase Doctrine of War. Giap did not "develop a distinctive theory of warfare." He merely adapted Mao's 3-phase model of revolutionary warfare with few changes. Giap was not a military genius and was only competent at logistics and organization, not at tactics, operations, or leadership.
  11. See Ho Chi Minh During WWII
  12. "... calculated to disguise his totalitarian Leninist ideology.
  13. "...hoped to spread their influence ...." = "planned to spread their hegemony ...."
  14. The narration is much concerned that the Americans didn’t speak Vietnamese, but acknowledges here that French was a lingua franca.
  15. The Viet Minh classification of this as a "mistake" should not be readily accepted.
  16. At least he acknowledges what Burns downplays.
  17. These letters appear in the State Department history, whether or not they made it to Truman, they were known.
  18. Insert link to paper citing Turner research.
  19. the estimated number of people killed by Giap in 1946 should be stated (not "hundreds," but thousands).
  20. the other categories of victims are here to draw your attention away form the execution of Ho's rival nationalists.
  21. Don't imagine this was done without Ho Chi Minh approval.
  22. How is this different than the US supporting the French or SVN?
  23. This supposes that the US had any interest in supporting a Communist regime.
  24. See Flags
  25. Standard communist propaganda tropes about "chemical" warfare
  26. Had it been up to Giap, there never would have been a DBP, see Giap's Generalship.
  27. Both North and South Vietnam were counted among the nine participants, suggesting equal legitimacy. Bao Dai appointed Ngo Dinh Diem as his Prime Minister as the opening of the sessions. Diem was not “chosen” by the U.S.
  28. "Ho had no option but to give in" to the partition of Vietnam. He did so over the strong objections of his followers, because he was a loyal, obedient Communist subordinate of the USSR, who always put the welfare of the Communist Party over his own or Vietnam's welfare.
  29. See Reunification Elections
  30. If there was so much confidence in the outcome of an election, why train guerrillas in the North?
  31. Choice of words: “Competent” or “Qualified” might be appropriate, but SVN’s “legitimacy” is equal to or greater than that of the Hanoi “regime”. See article on Legitimacy.
  32. He lived in a monastery
  33. Seems a reasonable basis for hatred. [ed.]
  34. A certain amount of backstabbing seems endemic to Vietnam. Ask any of Giap or Le Duan’s victims [ed.]
  35. See Battle of the Y- Bridge
  36. The word “regime” is a loaded word, used in reference to the French and to various SVN governments, but never in regard to the Communists. See article on “Legitimacy.”
  37. See Battle of the Y- Bridge.
  38. The referendum was a plebiscite on disbanding the monarchy and instituting a republic. It was held on October 23, 1955
  39. See Reunification Elections.
  40. When European merchants and missionaries arrived in Asia in the 17th century, they found two Vietnamese nations, one in the North, which they called Tonkin, and one in the South, which they called Cochinchina. The Southern nation was formed by Vietnamese who emigrated into the south after it was opened up by Vietnamese armies that conquered the Cham kingdom in the 1570s. For fifty years, from the 1620s to the 1670s, these two countries were constantly at war, with the Northerners seeking to conquer the Southerners, and with the Southerners fending off the Northerners by building a network of defensive walls extending from the mountains to the sea at the modern city of Đồng Hới. These two Vietnamese countries existed separately from the late 16th century until 1802 when the Southerners conquered the North and for the first time created the country of Vietnam as we now see it on maps. Southerners and Northerners continue to display their different heritages to the present time. See: Olga Dror and K. W. Taylor, Views of Seventeenth-Century Vietnam: Christoforo Borri on Cochinchina and Samuel Baron on Tonkin (Ithaca: Cornell University Southeast Asia Program Publications, 2006); K. W. Taylor, “The Vietnamese Civil War of 1955-1975 in Historical Perspective,” in Andrew Wiest and Michael J. Doidge, eds., Triumph Revisited: Historians Battle for the Vietnam War (New York: Routledge, 2010), pp. 17-28; K. W. Taylor, A History of the Vietnamese (Cambridge University Press, 2013), Chapters 6, 7 & 8.
  41. Many of whom were academics, e.g. Michigan State. When the anti-war fervor took to the USA, a reverse McCarthyism took place on the campuses at home.
  42. This is an argument brought up repeatedly. The ARVN was trained for war: specifically defense of their country from the ultimate invasion from the North. Parallel to this, General Williams had the few US counter-insurgency manuals translated into Vietnamese and Special Forces teams were brought in to conduct ranger training with specific units of ARVN. A parallel program training police and Civil Defense cadre was instituted under US Embassy control, using retired SF personnel to conduct the program. This was 1957-1961 period.
  43. c.f. Giap’s theory of warfare and Mao’s Three Phase Doctrine of War.
  44. In 1956, instead of negotiating an election with Diem, he was focused on the brutal land reform program and a rebellion in Nghe An province. He also began the precursor units to the 559 (May 1959) element that ran the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
  45. [tens of]
  46. Given the Land Reform and the Nghe An rebellion, the US did not appear to be a primary concern at this time.
  47. This seems tame in comparison to what was happening in the North and the placement here, in juxtaposition with the North’s land reform, seems designed to draw attention away from the former.
  48. Not all VC had guns at that time, but that did not stop them from assassinating their fellow villagers. Did they disembowel Soc’s wife? See article “Casualties” showing year by year assassinations and disappearances, compared to RVN arrests.
  49. The U.S apparently knew very little about anybody in Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh, as evidenced by the continued questions as to his being a communist of nationalist. See article “Flags.”
  50. Is this intended as a biblical allusion?
  51. Date?
  52. Date of Le Duan's accession?
  53. See article on troop movement dates. Also, HCM Trail is later known as Averill Harriman Memorial Highway.
  54. This assumes that the bullets that killed Peter Dewey were “friendly fire?”
  55. The National Liberation Front was just a deceptive sham, not a functional organization.
  56. Since we have already noted ARVN and PLAF, we should remind the viewer that the Northern soldiers were called PAVN or “People’s Army of Viet Nam,” an epithet that conveys no more popular merit than calling the Northern regime “Democratic Republic of Viet Nam.” PAVN stands for “People’s Army of Viet Nam.” “People’s” is a Marxist-Leninist euphemism for coercive central government collectivism. The term North Vietnamese Army (NVA) is more descriptive, because: 1) the Army of the Republic of Viet Nam (ARVN) was also composed of people; 2) all national armies belong to their political regimes, not to their entire population; and 3) all national armies are a percentage of their nation's population, not the entire population. The first U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Viet Nam in 1964 and the U.S. ambassador to the Paris Peace Talks in 1968 both used the more accurate term, North Vietnamese Army. – Email of GEN Andrew Goodpaster (ret.) to McLeroy, May 3, 1996. Westmoreland, William; A Soldier Reports; Doubleday; Garden City, NY; 1976; p.43.

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