Are PBS and Ken Burns about to Rewrite History Again?
[American Thinker] PBS is planning to run a new documentary series this September on the Vietnam War, produced and written by Ken Burns. Burns is a left-wing "historian" and documentary film producer with a history of having his politics shape the narrative of the story he is telling, with a number of resulting inaccuracies.
Ken Burns correctly identifies the Vietnam War as being the point at which our society split into two diametrically opposed camps. He is also correct in identifying a need for us to discuss this aspect of our history in a civil and reflective manner. The problem is that the radical political and cultural divisions of that war have created alternate perceptions of reality, if not alternate universes of discourse. The myths and propaganda of each side make rational discourse based on intellectual honesty and goodwill difficult or impossible. The smoothly impressive visual story Burns will undoubtedly deliver will likely increase that difficulty. He has done many popular works in the past, some of which have been seriously criticized for inaccuracies and significant omissions, but we welcome the chance of a balanced treatment of the full history of that conflict. We can only wait and watch closely when it goes public.
The term "Vietnam War" itself, although accepted in common parlance, would more accurately be called "The American Phase of the Second Indochina War" (1965 to 1973). The U.S. strategic objectives in Vietnam must also be accurately defined. There were two inter-related goals: 1) to counter the Soviet and Red Chinese strategy of fostering and supporting "Wars of National Liberation" (i.e., violent Communist takeovers) in third-world nations, and 2) to defend the government of the Republic of (South) Vietnam from the military aggression directed by its Communist neighbor, the Democratic Republic of (North) Vietnam.
Arguments offered by the so-called "anti-war" movement in the United States were predominantly derived from Communist propaganda. Most of them have been discredited by subsequent information, but they still influence the debate. They include the nonfactual claims that:
1) the war in South Vietnam was an indigenous civil war,
2) the U.S. effort in South Vietnam was a form of neo-colonialism, and
3) the real U.S. objective in South Vietnam was the economic exploitation of the region.
Posted by: Besoeker 2017-07-17