Catch up on episodes of The Vietnam War

Episodes of this important series are available to freely watch on PBS online if you’ve missed any on TV.  You may have to register with PBS. If you have a laptop, you can pick closed captions, HD settings and screen sizes.   The first episode is called Deja Vu (1858-1961).

The program is not a strictly chronological accounting of the history leading up to American involvement but that’s okay. The narrative flows.  There are viewer warnings due to graphic violence, language, and content.  


In addition to the disturbing scenes you expect to see, are very brief glimpses of a decapitated head –the French used guillotines on the Vietnamese resisters–and other horrors like Buddhist self-immolation, famine in the North, napalm, interspersed with interviews of Vietnamese on both sides and Americans.  Particularly difficult to stomach are the political clips of the five US presidents who picked war, beginning with Truman who supported French colonialism with massive American tax dollars and led to 58,000 known deaths and countless post-war deaths and injuries.

So far, I think this is a worthwhile attempt to raise consciousness about the Vietnam War even though it jumps around a bit.  As we all review more episodes, information could be presented that may be useful in certain claims.  I strongly believe in the power of factual images and words to drive points home versus with words alone.  This is a potential quality resource.


About Laura

NW Vermont.
This entry was posted in Food for thought, General Messages, Guest authors, History, Uncategorized, Vietnam War history and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Catch up on episodes of The Vietnam War

  1. asknod says:

    What the hey. Obviously our presence in Vietnam was successful. Thailand and Malaysia didn’t fall to the Reds. We only lost Laos, Cambodia and RVN. Unfortunately, the price we paid- both financially and in human life – was too much to bear. I look at Afstan the same way. I can’t say I blame Bush 43. The guilt for this goes back to Clinton and Bush 41. Half measures in war to appease both the American public and to scare the enemy into backing down don’t work. Obama promised to make quick work of it and he, too, failed miserably.

    I’ve always preferred the B-52 technique- bomb them back into the stone age. It will be interesting to see how Trump proceeds with all these impending conflicts (Spain and NK). Drone capability will negate human loss and prisoners but what of World Opinion? Teddy Roosevelt had the right idea. Carry a big stick and don’t be afraid to wave it around. We are the premiere force on this planet. With that comes the responsibility of being Big Brother and the world’s policeman. Or… we can apologize profusely for our past excesses as the previous occupant of the WH did and bow from the waist to everyone who threatens us.
    I can remember us having to get permission from the US ambassador in Vientiane to drop nape every time we had TIC in the fall of 1970 in Laos. It took forever and often the Pathet Lao were long gone by the time that permission arrived. Micromanagement was (and always is) our downfall. Benghazi and Son Tay were classic examples on how NOT to do it.

  2. john king says:

    I watched the Vietnam episode and it was talking about my time in Vietnam. I was not liking it at all. I had zero political feelings about the war. I was there during Kent State and the Cambodian Invasion. Trump worries me about everything. He can’t even take care of Puerto Rico much less project power overseas. If Spain used military force against the Catalonians to repress them I bet Trump would come down on the wrong side as the US usually does in these situations. You know the Kurds want their own state and they have been major ally of the USA. I think Trump will sell them out which is bad since they have been essential to our war against ISIS. That episode about Vietnam got to me tonight being too close for comfort. I wonder if PBS will talk about drug epidemic in the last years of the US involvement in Vietnam. This was something the Army covered up as much as war crimes. Mommy and Daddy back home did not want their son coming home as a heroine addict.

  3. john king says:

    It is good that PBS is doing a series that reminds people under the age of 65 that there was a war that lasted for more than a decade that became “The Vietnam Syndrome” and a thing of shame that rubbed off on the veterans of this war. The vets did everything right, but it was our leaders that betrayed us and the people of S. E. Asia. The concept that five US presidents fueled and fought this war because none of them wanted to be the one to “lose” Vietnam as if we owned it. I do think from what I have read and listened to that most government officials and the joint chiefs believed in the Domino Theory and it was accepted wisdom that if Vietnam was allowed to become a communist state then all of S.E. Asia to include Indonesia and Thailand would follow and the Red Chinese would be landing in Australia and then the West Coast of the USA. Hind sight is 20/20 but after 1966 most of those who should have known better were on board the LBJ train to disaster and did not have the guts to get off the line. Nixon was negotiating an end to the war in 1968 before he was even president. He was committing treason at the highest level and he was worried about leaks. Perhaps this series will help to create a climate where Vietnam vets might get more understanding before they die. I know back in 1972 when I filed my first claim with the VA I was treated like a dog and I was not alone. I remember there was a book entitled “Fire in the Lake” that was a history of the Vietnam War going back to WW11. It is not even in print any more to show how little interest there was with a mistake that took millions of lives. To know that our government continuously lies to its citizens both then and recently to make war for reasons most of don’t even grasp is shocking and depressing to say the least. Imagine if the USA instituted a draft in this day and age? There would be open revolt and the draft would not last a week. For years and years the USA drafted 40,000 kids a month to fight that war. The numbers killed in combat during 68-69 astonished me. I knew but I did not “know” that we lost 2000 plus in just a couple of months during TET and the little tets that followed.

    • Kiedove says:

      Draft–yes, no way this generation would accept the draft. Yet only 1% or less of the citizens currently enlist. Therefore, the huge disconnect because the young have little experience with military issues, the good or the bad stuff.
      History repeats?
      I’m concerned about Trump’s involvement with Spain. The Spanish government is not going to allow Catalonians to conduct their independence vote on Sunday and are using military force against these people. Crazy. An ethnic group of 7 million who want freedom. I’ve read that this is a wealthy region and so they are stuck–but the US should be neutral.

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