THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT GUIDE™ TO THE VIETNAM WAR By Phillip Jennings
No chapter in American history is more shrouded in myth than the Vietnam War. And the biggest myth of all is that America lost that conflict.
We didn't. And now, Phillip Jennings — who fought in Vietnam as a Marine pilot and has spent his lifetime studying the war — shatters the media myths and politically correct lies that have obscured the truth for decades.
"I've written this book in order to set the record straight — and to settle scores with the pernicious mythmakers of the war," says Jennings. "I've written it for my fellow Vietnam veterans who have been so badly mistreated by the media and the cultural trendsetters of this country. And I've written it for those too young to remember the war but who have that built-in b.s. detector that tells them that the story they get from the media, and probably in school, is a crock. I can give them chapter and verse why it is." Phillip Jennings
Introduction by Human Events magazine
The Vietnam War was a tragic and dismal failure — if you believe what liberal historians and the media say about it.
But here's the politically incorrect truth: The Vietnam War was in fact the most important — and successful — campaign to defeat communism ever waged. Without the sacrifices made and the courage displayed by our military, the world might be a very different place today.
So argues Vietnam War expert (and veteran) Phillip Jennings — and in The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to the Vietnam War, he marshals all the facts and arguments to prove it.
Here is the true story of the Vietnam War, as it actually was, by someone who fought there as a Marine pilot and later as a pilot for the CIA's Air America, and who has spent much of his lifetime studying the war (and even written a satirical novel about its absurdities).
You think you know the Vietnam War. But did you know:
• Who won the war? The U.S. military lost more than 58,000 men in Vietnam; the North Vietnamese military lost more than 1.1 million dead.
• John F. Kennedy: How his "firm stand against Communist aggression" took the form of an unclear, waffling policy that led to the largest American blunder of the Vietnam War: the acquiescence to the coup against the only viable national leader in South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem.
• Lyndon Johnson: How he inherited Kennedy's mess and failed to clean it up Ñ and how, eight years and 350,000 U.S. casualties later, Nixon ended the war using exactly the same tactics that Johnson denigrated.
• The Tet Offensive: How most reporters, opposed to the war, ran with their prejudices instead of asking the right questions that would have put this incident into its true perspective as a debacle for North Vietnam.
• The men who served in Vietnam: The best educated, best trained, army that the United States had deployed up to that time.
• The POW camps of North Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and South Vietnam in which Communist jailers had ready recourse to unthinkable cruelty and brutality, solitary confinement, ritual humiliation, Cuban torture experts, and the withholding of medical treatment.
• Anti-war activists: How all, collectively, harmed the efforts to end the war and bring the troops safely home, and why they remain responsible for the loss of South Vietnam to the brutal rule of the Communist North.
• The geopolitical outcome of the war: How Communist Vietnam is dependent on Western aid and trying to adopt aspects of a capitalist economy.
• How Democrats continue to try, outrageously, to present our scuttling of South Vietnam as moral and political wisdom.
"No war in American history is in greater need of a politically incorrect — another word for honest — treatment than the Vietnam War," writes Jennings, "because the people who misreported the war, hammered vile lies about it into our national consciousness, and tout its supposed 'lessons' (really, the objectives of their myths) are the very same people who created 'political correctness' in the first place. Shame on them."
An American Paratrooper and the 1972 Battle for An Loc By Mike McDermott
Publication Date: February 2, 2012
True Faith and Allegiance: An American Paratrooper and the 1972 Battle for An Loc is an intimate and compelling account of the most brutal infantry warfare and is also a critique of the mishandling of America's departure from Indochina. An unintended consequence of Washington's stampede to get out of Indochina was an upsurge in combat on a scale not seen before in Vietnam, peaking with the Easter Offensive of 1972.
The battle for An Loc, a key component in the North Vietnamese attempt to overwhelm the South, swept Mike McDermott, then the senior advisor to an elite South Vietnamese paratrooper battalion, into some of the most horrific close-quarters fighting of the war. His in-the-trenches account is augmented by detailed descriptions of a user's perspective on the parachute resupply, tactical airpower, and B-52 strikes that allowed the An Loc garrison to survive.
True Faith and Allegiance is a riveting recounting of the prism through which a Vietnam veteran views the war as he continues to live with the aftereffects of life-altering experiences in the service of his country.
LIBERTY AND TYRANNY By Mark R. Levin
VIDEO: Unbelievable line at MARK LEVIN's booksigning at Tyson, VA.
AND LARGE TURNOUT AT MARK LEVIN BOOKSIGNING AT LONG ISLAND, NY, 3/21/'09
I didn't see any other posts reporting on this event, so figured I'd give a quick report.
My husband & I were at the Long Island book signing of Mark Levin's new book yesterday, and we were absolutely shocked at the turnout. This was the signing for Mark's book "Liberty and Tyranny - A Conservative Manifesto"; Sean Hannity was also there. Both Mark & Sean spoke before the signing began.
They couldn't fit everyone in the store - not even close - and this is a good sized bookstore. The event began at 5. By the time we had our book signed & were driving away (6:30), the line outside still wrapped around about at least 3 sides of the block (we didn't even see the actual end, so it could've gone even further).
Bear in mind, this was on Long Island, in NY - not exactly a "red" area.
We spoke to quite a few people, and I listened to the the other conversations all around me (okay, I evesdropped). I was very impressed with how well-informed - and energized - everyone was. We've been at other book signings at this store, including one by Sean Hannity a few years ago. But I have never seen a crowd like this one - wrapped around the block 1-1/2 hours after the event began. I looked closely at the people in line as we drove by, and they didn't even seem upset by the wait. They were talking in groups & seemed to be just as energized as the group we were with, inside.
The store did eventually run out of books, with the line still wrapped around outside. Mark still went through & met with everyone who had waited, and signed anything they had on hand. The store obviously had no idea that the turnout would be this large, and they were unprepared to deal with it.
About the Author:
Mark R. Levin is a nationally syndicated talk radio host and president of Landmark Legal Foundation. He has also worked as an attorney in the private sector and as a top adviser and administrator to several members of President Reagan's cabinet. The author of the New York Times bestselling books Rescuing Sprite and Men in Black: How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America, Mark holds a B.A. from Temple University and a J.D. from Temple University School of Law.
Review of LIBERTY AND TYRANNY
The louder someone complains, the closer you are to the truth. I anticipate a lot of ad hominum complaints from statists here. Do not let them talk you out of reading this book.
In any given generation, there are but a few authors and thinkers whose creations can survive the ravages of time and the shifting sands of societal evolution. It is rarer still when a key book is written, recognized, and celebrated contemporarily. This is one such book.
Mark R. Levin logically lays out what has made the United State of America different from all other nations in the history of humanity. He re-introduces us to the founders and framers, and those people who inspired them long ago. At its most basic elements, our country was founded on the ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...and that we have these rights conferred on us, not by man or government, but by the laws of nature. Mr. Levin puts us back in touch with our founding doctrines, which are the at the very heart of what conservatism is and has always been.
For too long, Conservatives have let themselves be defined by the media. Mr. Levin's book recasts what it is to be a proud Conservative, and gives voice to those who are often silent in the face of ideological slander. If you believe in this great country, if you believe in truth and honesty, if you believe in life and principles, if you believe in freedom and patriotism, if you believe that all people are created equal and it is up to the individual to succeed according to their talents and interests, and if you believe in a smaller efficient government then this book is for you. —Anna
What Mao's Little Red Book is to the Communists and Saul Olinski is to Comrade Obama, Liberty and Tyranny is to Americans and Capitalists. It truely is a Liberal-Socialist's worst nightmare: historically accurate, fact based, and direct on to what those who love our country and way of life must do to protect and preserve our way of life for all future generations. Levin exposes Statists like Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, Frank and the rest for what they truely are and the dire affects their attempts to destroy capitalism, the rights of the individual and our Constitution will bring. One thing I fully support is Levin's call to take back our media, culture and politics by confronting the Statists.
Levin's book is not only the moral boost Americans need now more than ever, but is also the blueprint for liberty to defeat the tyranny our country faces from within today. —Robert Scott
Finally, someone is able to encapsulate the current mess the US is in into a succinct, comprehensive thesis that explains not only where we are, how we got here but, most importantly, what to do about it.
An engrossing read that introduces new terminology in the use of the word 'Statist' instead of 'Liberal' to better pinpoint the mindset and agenda of the far left (as they have strayed so far from the path that to call them liberal is to insult true liberals everywhere). Mark Levine deserves two thumbs up, five stars, and a Medal of Honor for telling it like it is. —Rebecca Melvin
ONE PARTY CLASSROOM: The new anti-American training ground By David Horowitz
"Attention all Moms, Dad's, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Brother's, Sister's, anyone that really gives a damn what our children are being taught and how they are brainwashed. Questions:
Why was the biggest voting Block for Obama those under 40? ? ?
Do you suppose that parental neglect of what they were taught had anything to do with it? ? ?"
and LAST "WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT??".
How is it that our universities, once the envy of the world, have become staging grounds for demonstrations in support of Hezbollah and Hamas and against Israel and America?
"How have our classrooms become bizarre laboratories for radical feminists who insist that sex differences result from brutal male oppression, when neuroscience tells us they are "hardwired"? For Marxist ideology, when Marxism is dead and discredited everywhere other than on our campuses? For divisive propaganda about white racism when America has never been more color blind?
How, in short, did indoctrination replace education in our once-proud institutions of higher learning?
These are the questions I address in my new book, One Party Classroom: How Radical Liberals at America's Top College Indoctrinate Students and Undermine Our Democracy...."
Review of One Party Classroom
"A professor's job is not to tell students what to think; it is to help them to think carefully, critically, and for themselves. There is a legitimate place for the catechist, the preacher, the social activist, and the community organizer; but that place is not the university classroom. Professors who seek to indoctrinate their students violate a sacred trust. They should be forcefully challenged and publicly held to account. In One-Party Classroom, David Horowitz does just that. The book should provoke a discussion of the ethics of classroom instruction that is long overdue." —Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University
"Definitive proof that, whether they succeed or not, thousands of professors go to work every day with the intention of indoctrinating their students in their personal political prejudices." —Candace de Russy, former trustee, State University of New York
"One-Party Classroom shows how far American universities have drifted from academic principles. The politicized courses described here are indeed among the worst cases. What is truly shocking is the unwillingness of university authorities to do anything about them." —Stephen H. Balch, founder and president, National Association of Scholars
"Reveals how political activists masquerading as academics dominate our liberal arts colleges. Regents and trustees need to become engaged in this important battle to restore academic rigor, standards, and accountability to our institutions of higher learning."—Tom Lucero, regent, University of Colorado
"There is not a university leader in this country who would not be better for confronting the well-reported case studies in David Horowitz's book." —Frederick Mohs, former trustee, University of Wisconsin
WHITEWASH/BLACKWASH: Myths of the Vietnam War By Bill Laurie & R.J. Del Vecchio
This book debunks a variety of myths about the Vietnam War...using our CAP experience to debunk the myth that the Vietnamese people all hated US soldiers. Logically, were that true, a small squad of Marines could not have survived a village made up of thousands of Vietnamese civilians.
And here is more direct information from author, R.J. Del Vecchio: "We sell the book cheaply to vets ($8, includes S&H) and even cheaper in
quantity, and cheapest of all (FREE) to teachers, vet centers, libraries,
and the USO, also to all active duty soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It's not a profit-centered thing, it's about getting the truth out there
to as many people as possible."
For more information, contact: TechConsultServ@Juno.com
Review of Whitewash/Blackwash: Myths of the Vietnam War
By Nathan Alexander
Most scholarship on Vietnam has focused on American hubris and defeat, ignoring the role of the South Vietnamese armed services while overemphasizing the role of the North Vietnamese desire to unify their country. Recently, Vietnam Veterans are beginning to challenge this narrow view with their own written accounts of the Vietnam war.
The academic canon on the Vietnam war was essentially complete by 1972. David Halberstam's The Best and the Brightest would become the most well known of "Tet Scholarship," those books written in the wake of alleged US defeat during the Tet Offensive of 1968. Contemporary works such as Michael Herr's Dispatches and Francis Fitzgerald's Fire in the Lake would translate the complexity of the war into one of the more accommodating images conveyed to Americans on network television: the Vietnam war is the story of America's imperial hubris, its belief in the omnipotence of its military power and its gross ignorance of foreign culture. The argument was so quickly accepted by America's elites that it hardly occurred to anyone that the final word should not be said on a war that was still far from over.
The 1980's witnessed a renewal of interest in the Vietnam war, and the "Tet scholarship" of Halberstam and his colleagues began to be questioned. Large areas of the war had been neglected by the Tet Scholars who seem to have assumed it not relevant to establishing their conclusions. The entire history of the war from 1968 until 1975, for instance, had been ignored.What was the point in writing about the details of a defeat whose fate was determined by American failure at Tet? Even today there is little work that has been done on the ARVN, the South Vietnamese armed services, who were assumed to be incompetent and an unworthy object of research. The war, the Tet School had argued, was about American hubris and defeat. Insofar as it was about the Vietnamese, it was about Vietnamese nationalism – as defined by the North Vietnamese desire to unify "their" country. The story of the ARVN was linked to the story of American hubris and failure. In fact, their stories are the same. The same is true of the South Vietnamese themselves. If their story is merely the duplication of American pride, to write of America's defeat is to account for their failure as well. Unsurprisingly, the Tet School neglected telling the story of the ARVN and the South Vietnamese, dismissing them as corrupt and concealing the remains of both under the catastrophe of US defeat.
Today these lacuna are being addressed by several revisionist schools of thought on the war. Increasingly, Vietnam veterans are rewriting the accounts of the war which, until recently, have been dictated to them (and the American public) by the journalists who originally reported it.
It is in this context that Vietnam Veterans Bill Laurie and R.J. del Vecchio have written their short monograph Whitewash/Blackwash: Myths of the Vietnam War. Whitewash/Blackwash is a concise summary and refutation of the assumptions that underlie the "Tet" school of thought on the war. The book is intended to be an introduction to a much larger text on the war, to be published later in 2006 by Bill Laurie.
Whitewash/Blackwash lays out the claims of the revision school of thought on the war and challenges those of the Tet school. First, Laurie and del Vecchio believe the war had more to do with global and Vietnamese political considerations than ethnic nationalism. The authors correctly see American involvement in Vietnam as part of the larger containment strategy directed against communism. They criticize recent attempts to portray Ho Chi Minh as a simple nationalist, referencing his allegiance to dogmatic Marxism. They are sharply critical of attempts to portray the Viet Cong guerillas in the south as simple freedom fighters. The authors remind the reader that the stakes in the Vietnam war were not national solidarity but democracy or totalitarianism. The Tet school gloss that the war was a struggle for "ethnic independence" conceals the political realities for which the South Vietnamese and Americans fought.
In the second part of their book the authors address myths coming from the representation of the US war and the military in the American media. Here the significance of the Tet school's insistence that the war was "nationalist" becomes clear: Viet Cong and North Vietnamese atrocities are committed for the sake of resisting "historical domination," not imposing totalitarianism on the south. The New Left in particular was assiduous in translating the most embarrassing aspects of Ho Chi Minh's Marxism into something more savory to the liberal palate. By 1968 the war had been recast in the eyes of the media from the political "defense of democracy" to one of "national liberation." The focus of the American media on US atrocities reflected the media's (and America's) own ambivalence over the meaning of the war.
Part three of del Vecchio's and Laurie's book addresses myths surrounding the ARVN's integrity, the effectiveness of US military strategy, US POW treatment and the war's winnability, and the cultural stereotyping of the Vietnam veteran. The authors bring attention to the heroic ARVN stand at Xuan Loc in 1975. They point out recent North Vietnamese sources testifying to the success, among many, of the US military's Linebacker bombing of North Vietnam in 1972.
The book concludes appropriately with a discussion of what happened to the South Vietnamese who remained behind after the Saigon fell in 1975. The vicious retribution enacted by the Northern Communists against southerners(Bulldozing ARVN cemeteries for instance), the employment of concentration camps to "reeducate" (and execute) former supporters of the South Vietnamese Regime, and the tragedy of the "boat people" all expose the lie of the "ethnic jamboree" assumed by many of the war's opponents to take place upon American withdrawal. The myth today that Vietnam is now somehow "unified," may be the most perverse myth of all.
Whitewash/Blackwash is a long overdue gauntlet, thrown down at the feet of an academic establishment intent upon justifying the outcome of the Vietnam War. The authors have summarized recent revisionist scholarship on the war and it is to be presumed that their lengthier book will articulate in greater detail their conclusions. It is only now, over thirty five years after the ARVN and their American allies threw back the Communist offensive in Hue, along the DMZ, in Saigon and the Delta during Tet 1968, that scholarship is beginning to follow suit.
Order Whitewash/Blackwash: Myths of the Vietnam WarFor more information on the authors, see the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation review.
Nathan Alexander is a professor of history at Troy University.
THE GREEN BERETS AND THEIR VICTORIES By Joseph Patrick Meissner
This book celebrates the achievements in Viet Nam of the US Special Forces soldiers, popularly known as "The Green Berets." These are America's finest warriors, our elite force who fuse military and civil skills in a new form of victorious warfare. This book focuses on Viet Nam during 1968 and 1969, the two most crucial years of that conflict. The Berets learned many lessons in Viet Nam. Not only are these historically interesting, but they are the keys to success in our Global War on Terrorism.
The first lesson emphasizes the proper advisory relationships that must exist when our American military train and work with the military of other coalition nations. The second lesson stresses the need for the integration of the military and civilian sides of any war. Little is accomplished if bloody battles only result in producing more enemy. Rather our strategies must combine appropriate military measures with psychological operations and civic actions that win over nonaligned groups, and attract even hostile forces. The third lesson demands mutual and unwavering loyalty between America's forces and those they train and advise. An enemy has no greater weapon than to boast that Americans will eventually grow weary and desert their friends while the enemy will always endure. The fourth lesson calls for our American military to know how to work with others, not merely in spite of differences , but actually appreciating and building upon this diversity of races, religions, cultures, political views, and tribal backgrounds. I am positive that the reader will find many more lessons from the accomplishments of the Green Berets related in this book.
BUCK DANNY By Dupuis Co.
"Buck Danny!" Sound familiar to you? Not only so but also brings back the great adventure of childhood that was deep buried in the memories of some of you, especially of those who had learned French as their 2nd foreign language long ago. Recently a friend sent me one of the Buck Danny's book series. The sight of this comic book has really evoked pleasant memories of my long gone childhood, "the once upon a time, when we were so young and not yet a soldier!" It also brought back the other friendly names: Spirou, Lucky Luke, La Patrouille De Castor etc. All "copains" came in our lives at a time while war was raging around us until we left the enchanted world for the real war games. Along the paths to battle fields and then the rough life of an expatriate, we all dropped one by one the heavy sentimental baggage plus the...French language. But never mind, I don't suggest you to buy the book neither to "set the record straight" rather than just want to reinvent the spirit of aviation adventure and imagination in VNAF aircraft modeling.
If you are not familiar with this comic book, here is a short summary of it I found on Wikipedia. But there is a mysterious link between the three main characters in those endless adventures and their readers. Guess what? They have never gotten old. This is the secret source of your "youth fountain." :0) How about a VNAF adventure comic strip in the great fascinating backdrop of Vietnam war? With the aid of computer technology and in my own capacity, it can be done when we...retire!
"Buck Danny is a Belgian/French comic strip created by Jean-Michel Charlier and Victor Hubinon, which chronicles the adventures of a trio of pilots in the United States Navy.
The first half dozen albums recount Buck Danny's exploits in the Pacific war. He duels over Midway, parachutes into Burma, and fights the Japanese all over the Pacific ocean, while also advancing in rank. Buck was later joined by two other main characters, Jerry Tumbler and Sonny Tuckson, with the latter becoming the comic relief figure of the trio.
The adventures of the three mainstays continue to this day, and although Colonel Danny and his comrades have never aged, they and their stories have advanced with history, moving to various conflicts around the world. The series also remained faithful to the most recent technology, such as having its heroes now fly F-14 Tomcats on modern aircraft carriers."
Want to check out more about that aviation comic strip series? Here is the website:
• For Buck Danny at Amazon-FranceClick Here
• For Buck Danny at Amazon-Canada (fewer choice than Amazon-France)
"THE PERFECT SPY" By Larry Berman
Beware! Contrary to the other books in this section, this book "The Perfect Spy" is not recommended for everyone but the VN war expert only, because it has carried some sort of venom. Its title alone has glamorized the "Spy" more or less. Unlike what most Western journalist believed, to many Vietnamese intelligence personnel, Pham Xuan An is not a double spy, but merely a communist undercover agent. They all knew too well but couldn't arrested him because the guy had been protected by some "dark power," (CIA included). Sounds uncanny and ludicrous like a comic book! But don't ask me for proof. Another thing, he is not a spy, to be correct a MOLE!
The only spy who could gain fame and love from everyone was James Bond 007, but he was a fiction character. For a spy in the real world and due to the nature of his job, he would be forgotten after his mission was over, just like a slice of lemon that would be discarded after it had been used.
Pham Xuan An is not out of that precedent, unfortunately the guy didn't realize that fate, he has tried to hung on all the favor and endearment that he enjoyed during the war time while he was working for Time magazine in Saigon. But under Hanoi boss' watchful eyes, more or less Pham Xuan An had been corrupted by Western culture so the guy lived in bitter seclusion after all and died quietly. There were some praise from his colleague old-timers (the leftists of course), but someone else would also provide a better look on Pham Xuan An's accomplishment, exposing the true side of that "Perfect Spy." Please read on the below article.
THE SPY WHO LOVED US
By Ben Stein
If you wanted to see the perfect example of the ethical and moral collapse of the Mainstream Media, you could not do better than a long article in the New Yorker of May 23, 2005. The article is entitled, "The Spy Who Loved Us." Written by a teacher at the University of Albany, named Thomas Bass, it's about a man named Pham Xuan An. Now very old, An was -- among many other things -- a correspondent in Saigon during the Vietnam War for Time magazine. He was apparently considered a particularly brilliant and well-informed correspondent and very well liked by his colleagues in the Western press corps during the war.
He was also a Communist spy, working for the North Vietnamese, informing them of what he knew about American military plans, troop movements, political agendas.
He even helped the Communists win large battles by directing Vietcong and North Vietnamese troops against American and South Vietnamese forces. He helped plan the Tet Offensive of 1968, including helping the man who planned the attack on the U.S. Embassy. This was the offensive where thousands of innocent civilians were massacred by the Communists.
When the war ended, An offered to go to the U.S. and continue spying for the Communists there. The offer was denied and he lives quietly in Ho Chi Minh City, where, among other pets, he keeps fighting cocks -- a practice generally considered barbaric in the circles of New Yorker readers, but another sign of his cuteness to Professor Bass. In fact, the whole article is about how cute and smart and clever and brave a guy An is. A lovable, brilliant, brave man who sent Americans and innocent civilians to their deaths. Bass even explains that almost all of An's former colleagues in the Western press still love the guy after learning he was a spy for America's enemy in the Vietnam War. They even gave money to bring him here for an auld lang syne visit not long ago.
In this article, which I would guess to be about 8,000 words or more, there is not one hint, not one whisper, of sympathy for the American soldiers who fought and died or were maimed in Vietnam. Not one sliver of anger at a man who took American money and helped kill Americans. Not a word about the mass murder of civilians during Tet.
Prof. Bass, the perfect modern academic, obviously greatly admires this man, spent days with him, and has not one bad word to say about An's bosses, who, again, killed civilians without remorse by the thousands, who even sent An to be "re-educated" after the war because he had so much contact with Western ideas.
I am not sure how many mothers or fathers or children or widows of Vietnam war casualties read the New Yorker. I am not sure if anyone who edited the piece -- and it is edited well, although utterly without moral input -- had friends or family who fought there (such as my late father in law, Col. Dale Denman, Jr.). But how insulting, how insulting must an article like this be to them. How insulting it is to us all: to lavish praise on a man who helped kill our fellow Americans, to describe him in endearing terms, to try to make him seem like a kindly uncle.
If the New Yorker is one of the flagships of the Mainstream Media fleet, they are sailing in maddeningly disloyal, contemptuous waters and obviously have been for a while. Small wonder the media gloried in Mark Felt and Watergate last week. In those days, Americans actually trusted the Mainstream Media. The New Yorker piece by Prof. Bass makes it clear how wrong we were. He's a fine writer but a man whose piece lacks any moral compass at all. And what of the fellow journalists in Saigon cheering him on? Now we know a bit more about why the war turned out as it did.
Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer in Beverly Hills and Malibu, and author of "Ben Stein's Diary" each month in The American Spectator.
A Gift of Barbed Wire: America's Allies Abandoned in South Vietnam By Robert S. McKelvey
A Gift of Barbed Wire is a searing look at the lives of South Vietnamese officials and their families left behind in Vietnam after the fall of Saigon in 1975. A former Marine who served in Vietnam, Robert McKelvey went on to practice psychiatry and, through his work in refugee camps and U.S. social service organizations, met South Vietnamese men from all walks of life who had been imprisoned in re-education camps immediately after the war. McKelvey's interviews with these former political prisoners, their wives, and their children reveal the devastating, long-term impact of their incarceration.
From the early years in French colonial Vietnam through the Vietnam War, from postwar ordeals of re-education camps, social ostracism, and poverty, to escape or emigration to the United States, this collection of narratives provides broad and highly personal accounts of individuals and families evolving against the backdrop of war and vast social change.
All the people interviewed for the book eventually reached the United States, some by the desperate route of the boat people fleeing Vietnam in unsafe vessels, others, after rigorous screening, through U.S. Government-sponsored programs. But even in the safety of the United States they had to begin anew, devoting all their remaining energies to survival. While crediting the courage and resilience of these families, McKelvey holds a critical mirror up to our culture, exploring the nature of our responsibility to our allies as well as the attitudes that obscured the reality of war as "a grinding, brutal interplay of complex forces that often develops a sustaining energy and momentum of its own, driving us in directions that we neither anticipated nor desired."
"Despite the horrors portrayed, these are tales of courage and successful survival in the broader human tragedy of war and its aftermath. McKelvey's skills as an interviewer and his knowledge of the Vietnamese community, especially the survivors, and their willingness to trust him with stories which they usually hold closely, make A Gift of Barbed Wire both persuasive and cogent. They are also reasons why not many people in the world could undertake such a project."
• Charles Holzer, University of Texas Medical Branch
"A Gift of Barbed Wire is the only study of Vietnamese re-education camp experiences that includes in some detail the family members of those who were incarcerated and the effects--economic, social, and psychological--that imprisonment had on the whole family."
• James Freeman, author of Hearts of Sorrow: Vietnamese American Lives
By Pham Xuan Quang
The best book about postwar Vietnam's reeducation
McKelvey, a Marine veteran of Vietnam, penned a marvelous oral history of former reeducation camp survivors. The Introduction is personal and touching. The book contains four major sections dealing with interviews with former prisoners: a doctor, an engineer, a tailor, a pilot and a spy. Families of prisoners give their stories of carrying on while their loved ones were in captivity.
The author probes deeply into the postwar lives of these former public servants and officers of South Vietnam. From the initial reporting date in June 1975 until their release, the interviewees recall the brutal details of the camps, their captors and the communist indoctrination--basically hard labor and starvation. "Reeducation" is a misnomer.
Nixon and Kissinger's "Peace with Honor" never materialized. Ford took care of the refugees in the U.S. but didn't/couldn't intervene. Carter, well...he was busy with pardoning draft dodgers and Iran. The U.N. and Amnesty International finally took notice in 1979 when it was too late for the majority of those who had perished.
I give this book four stars only because it reeks of academia, its format of Q&A rather than an arcing narrative. It should be included in every Vietnam class, especially those professors and students who care to learn about America's defeated and abandoned allies.
By Author of ...Eye of the Tiger
I have returned to Vietnam many times...I speak the language and have known about the atrocities that occured after April 30, 1975. I have read and re-read this work and I compare it to another great book...Decent Interval by Frank Snepp. The stories are unique yet the same, reeking of betrayal and abandonment by a "friend".
The author reveals arduous research and the ability to place these anecdotes onto paper without losing emotion and perhaps color. As a previous reviewer has stated...better late than never. My congradulations and thanks to the author.
I would give this book more stars if possible.
I am the author of ...Eye of the Tiger and Thoughts Etched in Jade.
AN ENORMOUS CRIME: The Definitive Account of American POWs Abandoned in Southeast Asia By Bill Hendon & Alizabeth A. Stewart
Controversial former North Carolina congressman Hendon and attorney Stewart make the case that the U.S. knowingly left hundreds of POWs in Vietnam and Laos in 1973, and that every presidential administration since then has covered it up. The main reason for the secrecy, say the authors, is the billions in war reparations demanded by the Vietnamese and promised by Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon at the Paris Peace talks. Hendon and Stewart provide a mountain of evidence, mainly intelligence reports of live sightings of American prisoners in Vietnam and Laos that make for less-than-scintillating reading. But riveting sections describe Hendon's crusade on this issue in the early 1980s, including two meetings with President Reagan, pleading his case that the government free the live POWs. Hendon and Stewart directly accuse a long list of government officials of the coverup. Among the most culpable: Kissinger, President George H.W. Bush, Senators John McCain and John Kerry, Gen. Colin Powell, former secretary of state George Schultz and former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld. It's a chore wading through the live-sighting reports and the massive, detailed endnotes, but the descriptions of Hendon's unsuccessful personal mission provide an intriguing story – and carry the ring of truth. 36 b&w photos not seen by PW. (June 1)
E-mail blast to alert thousands of coming publication
By C.J. Raven (U.S. Veteran Dispatch)
A scathing indictment of U.S. government officials who first denied and then covered up facts about 600 American POWs and MIAs from the Vietnam War is set to hit book stores on Memorial Day weekend, and a former New York congressman is heralding its appearance.
John LeBoutillier hopes his e-mail announcing "An Enormous Crime - The Definitive Account of American POWs Abandoned in Southeast Asia" will reach hundreds of thousands of people and awaken them to facts that point clearly to the existence of American POWs still being held in Vietnam, Laos and Russia.
"Maybe this book will have some jarring effect in some way," the former U.S. congressman from New York said. "This is not just a book about history; it's also a current affairs book. The people responsible for the cover-up are still in government today.
Former President George H.W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Senator John McCain and Senator and former presidential candidate John Kerry "helped cover it up in the Senate Select Committee several years ago," LeBoutillier said.
Former N.C. Congressman Bill Hendon and Elizabeth Stewart wrote "An Enormous Crime." Hendon and LeBoutillier became friends while they were members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and it was there that they learned about America's missing and imprisoned military members.
On a day in February 1981, LeBoutillier overheard two fellow congressmen talking about a Pentagon briefing they had attended. The men learned that the military believed prisoners of war were alive in Laos. LeBoutillier's curiosity was pricked, and he told the men he and Hendon would like to get the briefing. No problem, they told him, since they were members of Congress.
"We got the briefing for a couple of hours," LeBoutillier said. "If you, or anybody else, had had the same briefing we had, not only would you be convinced that a lot of POWs are still being held over there, but that it is our duty to do whatever we can to get them back."
The Hendon-Stewart book is a project 11 years in the making. The pair dug through Washington archives, used the Freedom of Information requests and interviewed countless sources in their search for information. They provide meticulous documentation of every fact contained within the book's almost 500 pages of text and 74 pages of notes and citations. The authors are building a Web site to give readers access to each of 66,000 pages of information they uncovered.
"There is a thirst for this book," LeBoutillier said. "I think (people will) be ordering it and buying it, for sure. This book is a lot of work to read. It is so comprehensive. It's not the opinion of Hendon or Stewart. Everything stated in there comes from U.S. documents. Every document will be made public when the book comes out. Everyone can read it for themselves."
"Enormous Crime" can be ordered at Amazon.com before it becomes available on local bookshelves.
Although some readers may shrink at the idea of reading history and current events, Hendon and Stewart have created a highly readable and compelling story that will be difficult to put down. It reads like a political spy novel and will continually prompt readers to say, "Oh no, they didn't," all the time knowing, "Oh yes, they did."
"Enormous Crime" is already gathering favorable reviews. Publishers Weekly declares: "Controversial former North Carolina Congressman Hendon and attorney Stewart make the case that the U.S. knowingly left hundreds of POWs in Vietnam and Laos in 1973, and that every presidential administration since then has covered it up." Kirkus Reviews says it's a "convincing and compelling argument" for the fact that American POWs are still being held against their will.
Hendon took the name of his book from a 1993 television interview with Henry Kissinger, whom LeBoutillier says is the "first and most guilty American official." Kissinger at that time said it appeared that new evidence had surfaced proving that the North Vietnamese government kept more prisoners than it originally admitted. Kissinger, after acknowledging that the report (the Russian 1205 document) appeared to be true, said "I think an enormous crime has been committed."
LeBoutillier also has been active in trying to uncover the location of missing American servicemen. He attempts to induce government or military officials in Laos, Vietnam and Russia, by paying, hiring or convincing, to release prisoner information or turn over the prisoners themselves.
"It hasn't happened yet, but that doesn't mean it's not the way to do it," he said. "We've got to have some live men recovered because that's the only way the American people will really believe a terrible crime has occurred. They have to see some living victims recovered. Then the government would have to admit there was a cover-up."
The Pentagon continues to receive reports, as recently as this year, of live American POWs, and the U.S. government continues to keep those reports from the public, LeBoutillier says.
He scoffs at reports from government officials such as McCain, Kerry and others who claim the Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camps are empty, and that is proof that all POWs have been returned.
LeBoutillier believes American servicemen are being held primarily in the mountainous region of North Vietnam, near the Laos border, in small camps of 10, 12 or 15 men, and guarded by their heavily-armed captors.
"So we owe it to those brave American heroes to make one more concerted effort to get them home," he writes in his e-mail message.
His e-mail recommends these actions to help uncover the truth:
• "Some people will call for War Crimes Trials for former and current U.S. government officials who abandoned our men and covered up their fate;
• "Others will call for the impeachment and removal from the U.S. Senate of John McCain and John Kerry;
• "Some will agree with Hendon/Stewart's suggestion to urge a presidential-level delegation of all former presidents and high-level officials to go to Hanoi and Vientiane and "stay there and negotiate until they get the POWs released."
• "Some will join the current effort to create a new U.S. House Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. (Having served in the 1980s on the earlier version of that committee – and seeing two more since then – I can assure you nothing any good will ever come from a congressional committee; the CIA/DIA infiltrates the staff and 'rig' the investigations. So we'd be better off channeling our energies elsewhere.)
• "Some will want to return to the in-the-streets activism of the 1980s and 1990s – staging demonstrations aimed at making the media and the government pay attention to the Live POW issue.
• "Others will get on their computers and spread the word through the blogosphere in an effort to -- finally -- get the truth about our living POWs out there with thousands of supporting documents to back us up.
• "Some might write supportive letters-to-the-editors to their newspapers and magazines and urge them to cover the live POW issue – truthfully and fairly.
"Others will come up with other ideas and ways to get the Live POW issue back into our national consciousness.
• "Whatever you do, DO SOMETHING!
• "The POWs need our help, so it is up to us to do whatever we can do to help get this issue back on the front pages and back in the news. Please help our brothers!"
The live-POW issue needs to go back on the front pages of American newspapers, lead the evening news and return to the consciousness of every American citizen, LeBoutillier believes.
"It's not fair to abandon them," he said, "and it's not the American way."
TRIUMPH FORSAKEN By Mark Moyar
This book is not yet published (available from September 2006). It offers a different look on the Vietnam War between 1954-1965, when South Vietnam's ground forces without the Americans' "supervision" fought successfully against Viet Congs. Please read a following short summary of the book and its reviews.
Drawing on a wealth of new evidence from all sides, Triumph Forsaken overturns most of the historical orthodoxy on the Vietnam War. Through the analysis of international perceptions and power, it shows that South Vietnam was a vital interest of the United States. The book provides many new insights into the overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963 and demonstrates that the coup negated the South Vietnamese government's tremendous, and hitherto unappreciated, military and political gains between 1954 and 1963. After Diem's assassination, President Lyndon Johnson had at his disposal several aggressive policy options that could have enabled South Vietnam to continue the war without a massive US troop infusion, but he ruled out these options because of faulty assumptions and inadequate intelligence, making such an infusion the only means of saving the country.
GREETING FROM MARK MOYAR
I spent seven years writing Triumph Forsaken in order to correct the historical record on one of the most important episodes in U.S. history. In the course of writing my first book, Phoenix and the Birds of Prey, I had come to understand how the negative portrayals of the war hurt America's Vietnam veterans and their families. I also had gained a stronger appreciation of the ways, mostly negative, in which the historical accounts of the Vietnam War influenced American culture, society, and politics. By the time I had finished Phoenix and the Birds of Prey, I had determined that the conventional interpretations of the Phoenix program were fundamentally flawed, often because of the authors' determination to show that Vietnam was an unjustifiable and unwinnable war. I decided it was my duty as an American to go beyond the relatively narrow scope of my first book to see how much of the history of the whole war had been misrepresented by partisan journalists and historians.
When I began working on Triumph Forsaken, I planned to rely heavily on existing histories for information, but I soon discerned that those histories were far too flawed and incomplete to serve as the basis for the book. I chose instead to reconstruct the history from scratch on the basis of documents and other primary sources, which was why it took seven years. The end product is a drastically different account of the struggle for South Vietnam.
For more information on the origins and development of Triumph Forsaken, see the September/October issue of Historically Speaking, a publication of The Historical Society. Endorsements and additional information can be found on the book's official website at www.triumphforsaken.com.
Reviews On "Triumph Forsaken"
"Thoroughly researched and richly informative....A valuable appraisal."
"Mark Moyar has produced the best 'revisionist' study to date of the U.S.intervention in Vietnam. Engagingly written and broadly researched, this book establishes Moyar as the leading voice of a new generation of historians intent on challenging conventional wisdom."–William Stueck, author of Rethinking the Korean War.
"Mark Moyar tells how and why the United States did not win its first war in Vietnam, 1954 - 1965. Triumph Forsaken replaces its predecessors because it shows how the counterinsurgency campaign might have been won at acceptable cost, thus avoiding 'the big war' that followed."
–Allan R. Millett, Director, Eisenhower Center for American Studies, University of New Orleans.
"I know of no scholar more dedicated to bringing a thorough and accurate portrayal of America's involvement in Vietnam than Mark Moyar. Everyone who is interested in a full picture of that oftmisunderstood war should be grateful for his effort."
–James Webb, Marine combat veteran, author of Fields of Fire and Born Fighting.
"Numerous bits of conventional wisdom have accreted around the Vietnam War. It is commonly held that Ho Chi Minh was a Vietnamese nationalist above all, not a true communist, and that his victory was inevitable. That Ngo Dinh Diem was an unpopular and repressive reactionary. That the United States had no vital strategic interest in defending South Vietnam. That the 'domino theory' was a myth. That the U.S. was right not to invade North Vietnam or Laos for fear of triggering Chinese intervention. Mark Moyar, a young, bold, and iconoclastic historian, takes a sledge hammer to these hoary beliefs. It is 'revisionist' in the best sense of the word."
–Max Boot, author of The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power and War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Today.
"Triumph Forsaken is a remarkable book. Moyar's work is the most powerful challenge to the orthodox interpretation of the origins of America's war in Vietnam. In taking a fresh look at the primary sources, as well as exploiting new materials from the American and communist archives, Moyar has constructed an alternative explanation for the roots of the American commitment. Moyar's book compels historians to reopen the debate about the meaning of the Vietnam War."
–Thomas Alan Schwartz, Professor of History, Vanderbilt University.
WHEN I WAS A KID, THIS WAS A FREE COUNTRY By Gordon Liddy
G. Gordon Liddy
G. Gordon Liddy is the host of one of the country's top-rated radio programs and the author of three bestsellers, including his highly acclaimed autobiography, Will. Described by the Kansas City Star as"incredibly intelligent, verging on genius," he has over the years been an Army officer, FBI special agent, prosecutor, defense and appellant counsel, Treasury official, White House aide, defendant, convict, prisoner, lecturer, and actor in motion pictures and television. For his role in Watergate, and for refusing to implicate others, Liddy served nearly five years in prison, including 106 days of solitary confinement.
"When I was a kid, this was a free country." This sounds so absurd when you know that "this" means The United State of America. And how about the author of that book who was...a convict, a thief, a burglar! Holy macro, no wonder! The guy must be some sort of "than kinh thuong nho" (unstable mental illness). Yup, his name is Gordon Liddy (nicknamed "Plumber"), one of the burglars' group who got involved in the Watergate burglary scandal. But wait a minute, in the East there was an old famous saying: "Know your enemy, know yourself; for one hundred battles, you will never lose a single one." So to collect political information on your enemy by "breaking in" is just a "chuyen nho" (no big deal).
Gordon Liddy was true to say so. Today in America, to name just a few things:
-If you are a cigarette smoker, you are banned from any public buildings, public places, and even from some open air patios and the beaches!
-In the city, you are observed by cameras from any street corners or buildings. Beware of traffic cameras, they can "pickpocket" you too! (More than three hundred bucks for 3 cheap snapshots).
-If you see some sexy girls who are walking up and down on the street and behave just like a real "professional," please do not try to pick her up. The chance is you would run into the "real decoy." They will handcuff you right away like you are a dangerous criminal, throw you in jail for at least 24 hours, charge you a large sum of your hard earned money, and impound your car. Then you will be...famous after your name has been listed as Mr. "John" on your local newspaper for the whole world to read. (Use Bunny Ranch or Chicken Ranch in Nevada instead, the business is legal. Those girls are patriotic too! :0) They have 50% discount coupon for active military men).
-For some unknown reasons, you are absent minded and carry a knife while walking on the street like a nut; your vigilant, good neighbors will call the police and they would cut you down once you didn't give them a right response (real incident happened in Orange County).
And more you can name it...
So read the excerpt below you will be amazed to realize that: Once upon a time, when the Vietnamese had yet come to the United States of America as the war refugees, this country was a true free nation. :0)
"I am a member of the last generation to remember what this country was like when it was free. When I was a kid, my buddies and I could walk down the street carrying a rifle, a handgun, or a shotgun that our dad or uncle had bought for us at the local hardware store, or through the mail (the way Bat Masterson bought his Colt revolvers). In the fall, the air would be redolent with the delicious aroma of leaves burning in the gutter. The farmer might be filling in a swamp on his land to make it productive. A man with a home on riverbank might be cutting down a tree on his property because it blocked his view.
"People were free to speak their minds, even if what they had to say was contemptible; people who didn't like it were free to say so in no uncertain terms–anywhere, particularly in that bastion of ideas, the university. Property owners felt secure in the knowledge that their possessions could not be taken from them, and at the very least that they would be afforded due process of law.
"These freedoms and more are gone now..."
THE JAPAN THAT CAN SAY NO By Ishihara Shintaro & Akio Morita
"The Japan That Can Say No" is a best-selling book in Japan and a controversial book in the world of US businessmen and politicians in the 90s. If you have a chance to read some sections of that book, you would be shocked because it sounds like a "battle cry" of some "gung-ho samurai" who tries to rally Japanese nationalism for a cause against "American imperialist." But on the other hand, this book also offered some different perspectives on how the outside world had viewed the US in general, especially on the unanticipated effects of US practice both in foreign policy and business "jouer papa" (choi cha) handling.
But for most South Vietnamese military personnel and officials who had a chance to "deal" with many "the quiet Americans" during the Vietnam war, this book is no new stuff. "We" all knew that "S.O.S." but none dared to say "NO," for everyone in one way or another had learned the ill fate of a few good men who did stand up and say "NO." Enjoy the review!
Amazon Book Review (the book is currently out of print):
In The Japan That Can Say No, Ishihara outlines what Japan must do in order to be the mainspring of the new world order. Moreover, the author explains why Japan must use their technological lead to achieve a new consciousness if they are truly to become a mature society. Ishihara suggests that America should recognize that the modern era is at an end, that dedication to materialism, science, and progress has not lived up to expectations. Furthermore, the author details specific areas in which the U.S. needs improvement if it is to be competitive in the 21st century.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
The work alternates between essays written by Ishihara and Morita. The essays were based on various speeches given in the past. In general, Ishihara's essays argue that Japan is a world power to be respected, and that Japanese need to assert themselves more when dealing with the U.S. Morita's essays focus more on the tragic flaws of U.S. companies that will eventually lead to America's decline, and what Japan can do to improve its image and position.
Here is a sampling of points they make:
Japanese technological superiority
The world has come to depend on Japanese technology, especially in semiconductor production.
Japan must use its technological superiority as a negotiating weapon. He even advocated the threat of trading of secrets with the Soviet Union as a bargaining tool against the US.
The quality of American goods is low because the level of the workers is low, while the superior education of Japanese workers is a big advantage. Assertiveness
Japanese diplomats are not effective in dealing with westerners, and businessmen accustomed to dealing with foreigners should also take part in negotiations.
Japan should end the U.S.-Japan security pact and defend itself, because this would cost less and end reliance on the U.S. Prejudice
America believes that the Caucasian world is superior since this era is dominated by the western world, and this prejudice will hurt them in the end.
Americans and Christian missionaries try to erase local cultures and replace them with western culture. (See Cultural imperialism)
Former American colonies are full of problems, while former Japanese colonies are thriving.
It is not unusual that Morita, who lived in New York for some time and was one of the most successful and famous businessmen in Japanese history, would have many opinions on U.S. business culture.
American business focuses too much on money games like mergers and acquisitions, and not enough on creating real goods and manufacturing power.
American business focuses too much on short term profits while sacrificing long term overall livelihood, such as moving manufacturing overseas.
American company executives receive too much income, which hurts their companies.
Japanese companies are a tight community, so overall results are better.
The trade surplus with the U.S. is caused by the lack of desirable products made in the U.S.
U.S. businesses are strong in basic research, but not in product development and marketing.
It is natural for the Japanese government to protect Japanese businesses, as it relies on their tax revenue.
Japan's image and position
It is popular to bash Japan, and this is largely the fault of Japanese businessmen overseas who don't become part of the local community.
Japanese need to do more to adapt to western culture and language when dealing with Americans in order to be understood (pointing out that foreigners from other countries have become successful in the U.S.). (Note that this might contradict Ishihara's assertion that Americans are prejudiced against non-Caucasians.)
The U.S.'s failure to recognize Japan's importance will hurt the U.S. and the world economy
Japan must be conscious of its role as a world leader, and do its part to support the world economy.
Japan must help build up Asia to strengthen its position as a regional economic leader.
Japan must give more foreign aid if it wants to be a true world leader. He equates this with doing local community service.