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01 July 2017


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New Ken Burns 18 hour documentary on Vietnam war

“It was really profound to begin to appreciate the scale of tragedy there, the scale of loss. I think Americans understandably focus on the 58,000-plus Americans who lost their lives in the war, which was a tragedy for the families involved and there’s no way to make that up to them, but when you go to Vietnam you begin to understand that a country of 30 million lost as many as 3 million people; that’s 10% of the population. What that means is that everyone you meet knows somebody who died ... Every single person you ask says, ‘Oh, my uncle, my cousin, my neighbour, my niece’ – someone they knew personally died. So the weight of that for a country, for a people, is indescribable. Feeling it over time is a profound thing.”

“At every intersection, there was the explosion of myth, there was the humiliation of being just dead wrong about what we thought had happened.

“The Vietnam war drove a stake right into the heart of America.”



Trump's tweets might be cringe-worthy but they are also exposing the fake media's chronic phoniness.

Why does poor Mika get more attention then the millions of people who have been forced out of Syria due to Hillary's war?
Why is the media more concerned about psycho Joe than the Saudis attacks on Yemen?

It's not really a "media" at all, its a plaything for the rich to attack their enemies.


How about all the Vietnamese who died fighting the communists? you make it sound like we Americans killed all those who died. How about all the Vietnamese murdered by communist agitprop cadres to maintain control in villages? How about the millions who fled the country rather than live under communism. You are a true communist sympathizer. pl


The science of influence has progressed significantly in the last few decades. Big data mining has provided a great deal of information on how memes propagate and how to exploit them commercially and politically. Democrats have seized on the "Russians did it" but Trump also exploited the visceral, and correct, notion that the coastal elites were aligned against him. Had Trump lost there would now be foment about how the MSM elites stole the election.

The techie elites created the social media revolution and now look on the baby they created as a monster. Project Veritas, as partisan as it is, accurately captured and publicized the thinking of CNN and shows how dysfunctional things currently are. And DJT is playing into their hands. I suspect a significant component of DJT's behavior is learned from his experience in Reality TV programming. Reality shows emphasize voyeuristic and boorish behavior. DJT is not only intuitively using what worked in that stage of his career, and it has magnified his worst instincts.

My major concern is that DJT's traits make him highly manipulable.

robt wilmann

Here is an article by Robert Parry about the New York Times retraction which admitted that the so-called "report" about alleged Russian hacking of e-mails was not a product of all 16 or 17 intelligence departments--


SST looked in detail at the DNI report alluding to the FBI, CIA, and NSA back on 9 January 2017--



The AP also jsut admitted that the 17 agency claptrap was a lie:

Clarification: Trump-Russia stories
The Associated Press reported that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies have agreed that Russia tried to influence the 2016 election to benefit Donald Trump. That assessment was based on information collected by three agencies - the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency - and published by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which represents all U.S. intelligence agencies. Not all 17 intelligence agencies were involved in reaching the assessment.
At least AP got the 3 agency thing right. The NYT counts the DNI as an agency which is wrong.

Some of the "17 agencies" people then come up and say "But I mean that October thing the "whole intelligence community" put out through DHS. But that DHS paper was written by only 2 agencies.

Right now the irRussianal "resistance" is trying to make something up about an old Republican donor, now dead, who tried to find "hackers" who had the 30,000 emails from Clinton's email sever that were not published. He claimed that he knew General Flynn or at least his son. The WSJ has two pieces about it full of "Russia" stuff but there is no Russia at all in the factual case.
One of the involved persons describes here what it did. His piece mentions Russia 21(!) times including in the headline even though the person admits that it has no idea if Russia was involved at all. There is zero evidence that it had anything to do with the issue or the people involved.


Mika was appointed. We just don't have term limits or consent when it comes to news corps who can do what they like on a public license.


With all due respect, that was NOT my statement, that was a direct quote from Ken Burns, please read the linked story. Maybe you think Ken Burns is a "true communist sympathizer"?


Before it gives anybody ideas, let it be known that said donor died of lung cancer and it is not a suspicious death.



Ken Burns is a "precious" little s--t like you except he probably doesn't live in New York City. You think you are clever in claiming to merely quote Burns. Another tricky lefty heard from. You went out of your way to put this on the post abt the perfidious lying of people like you. Get lost. pl

Peter AU

Perhaps I am reading too much into these two articles, but it looks like Koch brothers have decided to back Trump in a big way.
Can this be linked to the run of retractions?


Richard Steven Hack

I may be wrong, but as I recall the NSA only had "moderate confidence" about RussiaGate - which since as Bill Binny points out they're the ones most likely to know if any of this was conducted over the Internet, if they only have "moderate confidence", they likely really mean they have "no confidence."

I've long thought that if Russia really wanted to do a serious hacking penetration of an organization here in the US, they wouldn't use the Internet at all, but actual in-country spies using a combination of physical and wireless penetration methods which the NSA couldn't detect at all.

As an aside, I'd love to see Anna Chapman back in the US for any reason. :-) Her crew of spies illustrate the point (except they got caught.)


The bulk of the MSM definitely has some explaining to do and retraction isn't enough. They owe an explanation. Then they can explain thir stories about the Russians hacking the French, Canadian, British and one of the North European states elections. A true story on the lead up and results of the Ukrainian election would be in order and they can also come clean on the last internationally monitored election in Syria. (Not holding my breath)

But I would still like to know what the FBI, CIA, NSA and DNI are saying and why they are saying it. If they don't stand by the hacking story lets know that. If they do lets know that as well.


Trump is a mad genius. A fool sent by Providence to take down the New World Order. With his antics, he is destroying the aura of the media, while at the same time destroying the aura of the presidency. He is emptying the reputation of the Deep State and making a mockery of American Exceptionalism. The idea that the American president has a God-given right to decide the fate of other countries (in the name of democracy) is no more. A humbled America is what the world needs.


..."Brevity is the soul of wit".. Well done. :).


Whether it was yours or Burns you quoted it which violates the sanctity of the American Soldier who served at that time. Ask any adult alive at that time and they can tell you the stories of the guy that sat next to them in home room, was on the same sports team, caddied for so and so' s son who went to West Point, the screwup down the street etc. who did not come home or the many times they went through the hundred bed gauntlet to find their friend or neighbor whose guts were pushed back in and sewn up. Never mind the mental anguish of those who returned like my buddy who got two Bronze Stars while assigned to graves detail or mortuary duty the man was never right again and left us early like many others. Me I didn't go nor was I called but that is my problem to dwell on.
Have not seen this Burns show but those losses are still skin deep.


Dear Colonel,

Hmmm not sure how I missed the vietnam war in your briefing, even though Ir ead it twice.

Perhaps consider not posting OT comments (or way OT topic).


Why does it matter whether it is one intelligence agency or 17? Should the Office of Naval Intelligence have to concur with a finding of Russian interference in an election for the finding to be credible?




Vladimir Putin: A Suitor Spurned
Oliver Stone’s The Putin Interviews reveals a pro-American Putin disdained by Washington

Old Microbiologist

IMHO the leftist leadership has finally realized this dog won't hunt anymore. So, they are quietly abandoning the Russiaphobia and now attacked from a new front by pushing the narrative Trump is insane and must be removed for psychological reasons using the 25th Amendment. These idiots fail to realize Pence would be an even worse disaster than Trump. If they remove Pence then they get Ryan who is even worse than Trump.

I believe the American people spoke loudly and clearly by electing Trump that Clinton was such a horrible candidate and even a bad choice like Trump was better than a demonstrable monster. However, he was an unknown and the voters rolled the dice figuring he can't be any worse than her. So far i is a wash but I suspect things would be far worse for the US if she was in office. But, the Democrats just can't accept that which is going to cost them the next 2 elections.

Old Microbiologist

To be fair, there has never been a true communist government anywhere yet. The closest anyone got was extreme autocratic socialism. They may call themselves communists but it is always unequal and no one has ever established a communist government that would meet Marx's definition (my Russian wife makes this point often and she is distantly related to Marx). I believe communism just like capitalism will never actually exist in the real sense nor can it because of the human nature for greed and power. They are merely philosophical mind experiments. It will always boil down to the few leading the many ( what we call the 0.1% now) regardless of the label used to define a given government style. Those in power are always loathe to leave. I suspect that democracy falls into the same problem and also doesn't exist anywhere.


The figures were worse for Russia in WWII. Far worse. They won the war for us at great cost.
A Serious Case of Mistaken Identity
The U.S. is not the 'indispensable nation,' as a growing WWII mythology would suggest.

BENJAMIN SCHWARZ, Editor, Atlantic Magazine
This was an LA Time Op-Ed.
Every year on May 9, millions of Russians take to the streets carrying pictures of those they lost. Including Putin. Sombre day.

Our soldiers aren’t trained to run therapy groups. They are trained to know who they are fighting, be better than them, smarter, more pragmatic, and kill them. Nothing less. That’s the nature of war.


except he probably doesn't live in New York City.

No, but he was born there. His ass is parked in Maine or New Hampshah I think.


My own view on why the Vietnam war ended as it did:

1) The hybrid Nationalist/Communist nature of North Vietnam:
Ho Chi Minh racked up some sizeable nationalist credentials on his own right.
Unifying Vietnam was a nationalist core tenet anyway.
Difference between ethnic Vietnamese in the North and the South existed, but were not sufficiently large to create distinct ethnic identities.
In addition, given that China was/is/will be the largest threat to Vietnamese statehood, the North offered both the capacity to deterr China via its alliance with the Soviet Union (whats not to like about a great power that borders your largest threat but is too far away to actually control you?) while also being able to engage with it diplomatically (where the Soviets could, play a role of Vietnams lawyer).
While Ho desired good relations with the USA, one could easily argue that the USSR was a better choice of ally for Vietnam.

One should note that the Soviets provided considerable support to Vietnam in Vietnams 1979 war with China, and well as to the Vietnamese liberation from Cambodia against the Khmer Rouge (imho one of the few just wars in the last centuries).

2: North Vietnam being able to play off China against the Soviet Union and thus being more able to maintain its agency.
Basically, the more independent an actor is, the more efficient he tends to be. North Vietnam had 2 foreign backers, and was able to play them against each other and thus avoided becoming overly dependent on one of them. This was quite important for the internal perception of legitimacy.
South Vietnam meanwhile was increasingly reliant on just the USA in all manner of ways, this lead to a point where currying favor with the USA was often a way forward in South Vietnamese politics. South Vietnam was a puppet/protectorate/vasall (its state oscillated considerably) while North Vietnam was a pretty independent client. Puppets fight worse then mostly independent states.

3: Luck of leadership:
Both Ho and Giap were surprisingly competent. While Diem was imho better then his reputation, South Vietnamese leadership was simply less able.

4: American mistakes and misconceptions:
The most prominent here were:
A) Failure to exploit ruptures within the communist camp. Treating USSR and China as a monolith was quite inept. Likewise, the US failed to exploit quite real tensions between the South Vietnamese Vietcong and the North Vietnamese regular units.
B) Failure to understand Vietnamese history, doctrine, cultural attitudes towards warfighting. Basically, launching massive surprise attacks at Tet is as Vietnamese as lets say moving Tanks through terrain considered as not tank permissable by the adversary is German (or Soviet). Vietcong even referred to itself as the new Tay Son (Vietnamese peasant uprising which turned into a short lived dynasty and won one of Vietnams greatest victories ever against the Chinese precisely by doing a massive surprise attack on Tet) in some of their internal PR. Any general who gets "surprised" by a Vietnamese Tet offensive should be shot for incompetence.
C) This is honestly just my opinion, but the increasing US (and earlier french) reliance on Montagnard or pretty special religious minorities was imho a mistake as well. In some ways, it abandoned the more decisive Kinh/Ehtnic Viet population to the Communists. In addition, while the Montagnards were pretty tough, they had some considerable issues with literacy which impeded their combat performance, especially if employed outside of their native areas.
D) Incidentaly, the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese were both pretty thorough with alphabetisation, and generally used this opportunity to indoctrinate as well. Meanwhile public education services werent exactly a priority for either the AVRN or the USA.

Compared the the Korean conflict, I think the following distinctions were noteworthy:

1: Due to Soviet bumbling mistakes, the US was not fighting alone, had international law on its side and had some (Turkey) quite combat capable allies.
2: The Kims lost their agency and military fairly early, turning it into "US puppet vs Soviet puppet" as opposed to "US puppet vs Soviet client".
3: DPRK forces fought conventionally, while the Vietnamese communists fought both conventionally and unconventionally. They also strived, with some success, to fight conventionally where their adversaries expected unconventional warfare and to fight unconventionally where their adversaries expected a conventional approach. This flexibility was missing from North Korean forces. Incidentally, North Korean militaries blamed their defeat on the failure to establish a guerillia movement in the South.
4: The Kims in general being considerably less competent then Vietnamese leadership. This was partly due to them starting out as Soviet puppets, rather then rising mostly on their own merits like the Vietnamese. Kim also purged leadership of those competent enough to threaten him, which further reduced North Korean competency. Ho by contrast had no great need of purges.


May we infer two thumbs down for his Civil War series?

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