By Hai Tran
Editor’s Note: this entry is part of a series called “History in
Next in this series about the evolution of the history of the Vietnam war it’s time to tackle Ngo Dinh Diem, Ho Chi Minh’s counterpart in South Vietnam.
Again, the comparison will be between Stanley Karno“established” narrative in his book Vietnam, A History and Moyar’s “revisionist view from his book Triumph Forsaken.
The books are 25 years apart in time and show very clearly how our understanding of historical events changes over time (see the first essay in this series for a more thorough explanation of my ideas on the evolution of history).
In the early years of the War, American advisors assigned to Vietnamese Army units as individuals soon became de facto members of the unit. We spoke Vietnamese, or made a valiant try to master the tonal language – a goal beyond the reach of those of us with a tin ear. We ate Vietnamese chow out of rice bowls with chop sticks. We slept on the ground beside our Vietnamese comrades on combat operations. As our units received new equipment, we introduced the American weapons and tactics. We offered advice to our counterparts, as appropriate. When all else failed we led by example, especially in combat when time was of the essence and words failed to bridge barriers to understanding.
I joined the Army of the Republic of Vietnam’s First Cavalry Regiment in October 1962 as an Infantry Advisor to a mechanized infantry company equipped with newly fielded M-113s – the best armored personnel carrier on either side of the Iron Curtain. We operated across the length and breadth of the III Corps Tactical Zone, making forays into communist sanctuaries including War Zone D, War Zone C, and the Iron Triangle--the most dangerous Communist base area in the Corps and a thorn in our side because it occupied terrain adjacent to Highway 13, the main supply route in the region. Our mechanized infantry companies consequently made multiple raids into the Iron Triangle to disrupt enemy operations.
I read Tony Blankley’s lead Op-Ed column – “Long Live the New York Times” – in the May 2 edition of The Washington Times with great interest, but I was disappointed by his assessment.The recent scandal of plagiarism and prevarication at the New York Times is but one in a lengthy list of failures that reveals the need for wall-to-wall housecleaning that must include those responsible for misguided policy – the editorial staff – who are ultimately to blame for false reporting.
New York Times got it wrong, not once, but it got it wrong many, many times because editorial bias edited the topics, the stories assigned to reporters, the facts suitable for print, and the contents of the editorial page. It got it wrong on the Stalin Purges and the famine in the Ukraine in 1932 and 1933. It got it wrong on the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, the contemporary role of the U.N. jeopardizing world peace by protecting tyrants like Saddam Hussein, and recently the sniper story that gripped the nation’s capital. The bottom line is that Mr. Blankley missed the point, which is that politically correct bias shapes everything. It shapes the stories fit to print, the facts suitable for publication, as well as the internal hiring and promotion policies of the news organization itself. Didn’t he read “Bias” by Bernard Goldberg? (please click on title to read complete article)
French apologists shed alligator tears for urban rioters as if the plight of unemployed immigrants was somehow divorced from the larger crisis facing the nation. French explanations of the riots raise more questions than answers. The untold truth is that France could sustain the burden of unemployed immigrants as long as state run industries operate at full capacity. As arms contracts with client dictators have dried up and the lucrative oil contracts negotiated with Saddam Hussein for expansion of the Iraqi oil fields became worthless with the demise of the former Ba’athist Regime, the French economy has contracted. Production has slowed, workers have been laid off, and French unemployment has reached destabilizing levels. So what's the problem? Is it unemployed and unassimilated immigrants? Or is it something much larger? Is it the fact that the socialist state is dependent upon government owned and operated industries that are in turn dependent upon client dictators who are unable or unwilling to subsidize the French economy. And workers are laid off, while immigrant workers doing menial labor are taking the heaviest hits.
A spate of recent publications have exposed the corruption of the authoritarian French State, prompted by the French betrayal of America in the days leading up to the war in Iraq. The Conservative press has highlighted The French Betrayal of America by Kenneth Timmerman, Our Oldest Enemy by John Miller and Mark Molesky, and Vile France by Denis Boyles. All of which have illuminated the problems facing France.
More enlightening than the critiques of French diplomacy and corruption in government owned industries is Gertrude Himmelfarb's comparison of the British, French and American cultures: The Roads to Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments. Gertrude Himmelfarb’s book reveals the character of the core problems confronting France. The French Enlightenment evolved from faith in reason ...
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"The Vietnam War: Our Stolen History, from the files of Andy P. O'Meara Jr. "