Doug’s essay is moving and thoughtful, but he missed one of the most important facts about the war. It is the same basic truth that Burns and Novick ignored. It is the original sin from which so much immorality and depravity followed and it is the real reason for the war. Though the United States was deeply involved in support of the French effort to reimpose French colonialism on post WW2 Vietnam, it truly became America’s War when the Geneva Accords on SE Asia were signed to end the French War in Vietnam. The Geneva agreement called for democratic elections to be held in all of Viet Nam. There was no South and North Vietnam then. Before the ink was dry the United States made the fateful decision that initiated its ownership of all that followed. The US government decided that the Vietnamese People must not be able to choose their own government. That was it. Plain and simple. And sadly, neither faux documentary film makers Burns and Kovick nor their critics seem to recognize that all important fact. The United States wasn’t involved there to bring Democracy to Vietnam. The United States took over the war to prevent democratic elections. Americans need to know that basic truth of the American War in Vietnam.
173rd Airborne Brigade (Unattached)
US Army, Bien Hoa, Vietnam 1966
Member: Veterans for Peace