This week, veterans of the Vietnam War sent a letter to PBS, high-profile documentarian Ken Burns, and documentary sponsor Bank of America in an attempt to set the record straight on the facts concerning “The Vietnam War,” a PBS documentary series that’s turning a lot of heads.
According to PJ Media, veterans argue that the documentary series fails to mention key aspects of the conflict, “including the communist connections of North Vietnamese dictator Ho Chi Minh and the brutal repression after the war.”
Although I personally have yet to see the series myself, that accusation does seem to hold at least some water.
In an interview with far-left publication Mother Jones, neither Burns, who co-produced the series with Lynn Novick, or his interviewer mentioned the words “communism” or “communist” — not once, and it was a fairly length interview.
Lewis Sorley, a Vietnam War veteran, historian, and director at Vietnam Veterans for Factual History, was quick to remind them that this was more than just some unjust blunder.
“The whole cause of all this agony and bloodshed was the aggressive North Vietnamese invasion of the South. If it hadn’t been for that, none of this ever would have happened,” he told PJ Media.
“Burns never seems to find that worth mentioning or condemning and I wonder why.”
Sorley claimed that Burns and his team “had clearly decided that they wanted to tell the standard left-wing narrative of an unwinnable, unjust war.”
PJ Media further reports that the documentary obscured the evil intrinsic to communism.
And that should be an outrage to every American interested in an honest appraisal of history.
As the letter from the Vietnam Veterans for Factual History noted, they had four major issues with the series:
1. They felt that the documentary showed “U.S. support for South Vietnam as blustering, blundering jingoism.”
2. They were outraged over the minimization of Ho Chi Minh’s communism.
3. They felt the series ignored South Vietnam’s valor.
4. They felt the documentary glossed over communist atrocities.
While I’ve not yet seen this documentary series myself, I have seen every other major series Burns has put out, and from that I can tell you — these veterans almost certainly have legitimate beef.
Ken Burns’ “The Civil War” documentary is still argued over, and that series was released in 1990.
The main difference between the “The Civil War” and “The Vietnam War” documentaries, as we can see here, is that Vietnam veterans still live, breathe, and contribute to society.
I’m glad to see themselves stand up for themselves over what appears to be a grievous misrepresentation of the most controversial war of the 20th Century.
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