No sympathy at all for the political or geopolitical motivations for the war, no innocence at all for the political and military leadership responsible for designing and orchestrating the war. That's what i was referring to as the American side. i phrased it poorly as American soldiers clearly fall within that phrasing. Sloppy language that should have been more precise. The impetus for that statement however came from reading comments (elsewhere) from those critical of the documentary arguing that there is much cleansing going on and that it should have been sharper in its explanations of American motivations and actions.
For the young conscripts and even young volunteers, my natural impulse is to see them as victims themselves of the 'American side' in this war. So many times while watching i had to rewind because i got lost in thought and emotion imagining what it must have been like to have something like this forced into one's life, trying to imagine the fear and horrors felt by every one involved, the children, the villagers, the soldiers, everyone, wondering what i would've done but knowing that at 18 i didn't have the savvy to pierce through all the lies on my own and so in all likelihood would have gone to Vietnam to accept my fate.
I have sympathy that you were forced into it, you made sacrifices that i can only imagine but are only too real for you, i know and understand that you and your fellow conscripts were not driving this war and i apologize that what i said looked like more of the blaming bs and hate you faced when you got back.
I watched all 10 episodes and have them on my DVR and have watched some episodes a second time. It's embarrassing how little i actually knew about the Vietnam war (and to give weight to the critics--how little i still know). I was born in 1973, so coming into consciousness about Vietnam was a lot like walking into a movie with 10 minutes left after all the important events had happened. And that really was my knowledge of the war, movies that provided a bunch of sound bytes and images that are several degrees removed from the horror of it all. "It was a police action" "It was a political war" "They didn't want to win" and of course the girl with napalm on her skin.
After watching this documentary, i didn't come away feeling any sort of sympathy or innocence for the American side. Just a feeling of disgust and realizing we haven't learned a damned thing since, other than perhaps controlling the message "better".
The Crocker family story with Moghie telling his family that if he were Vietnamese he'd be fighting for the North. If American "leadership" had any sincerity about our professed ideals, how different our foreign policy would look and how much tragedy would never occur.
They kept bringing up Westmoreland's strategy of body count and crossover, the point where the number dying for the North was greater than the rate at which the NVA and NLF could replace those numbers. So morbid, but made clear to me the "logic" of what was going on in movies (and battles) like "Hamburger Hill." For the Americans, the war wasn't about real estate, it was all about making "contact" with the NVA to waste them. If that doesn't convince everyone that the American political class is populated by a bunch of ghouls, there is no hope for us.
If there was a protagonist at all at the top, he was Ho Chi Minh. That's the main takeaway for me from the documentary, that Ho Chi Minh was Vietnam's right and legitimate leader, a national hero. The rest of the documentary underscored how infantile Americans are with our Red Scare and the horrible things we do to make it all go away. We kill millions all because we can't stop pissing in our pants.
Emory Riddle, i didn't say anyone was pulling the strings of the Zionists, clearly they have their own agenda and they craft it to their liking. What i said is that the Zionists are not pulling the strings of the American elite. US strategy is one of seeking hegemony throughout the Middle East, throughout Eastern Europe, throughout Central Asia to counter Russian and Chinese power, and to prevent any autonomous, indigenous power in the Middle East from ever reaching the point where they can pose any serious threat to American power.
Specifically concerning the Middle East, the Israelis (and Saudis) are quite useful in this regard, indigenous threats are more threatening to them than they are to US power, and since their power rests on American power, they are not a threat to American dominance. You take away US patronage, Israel (and the Saudis) are significantly reduced in power.
Proof that the US is still in charge is in the Iran deal. Israelis and Saudis are strategic assets according to a certain US worldview. Change the worldview (as the Iran deal threatens to do) and you change the strategic importance of the Israeli and Saudi relationship to the US.
What this means is real solutions to Palestinian oppression (and all the other horrors going on in the MENA) will be found in changing the strategic orientation of the United States. But no, Israel and its American agents are not in charge. If you want the more academic arguments, read some old blog posts on goingtotehran.com. The Leveretts haven't posted anything in the last year, but the strategic goals of the US vis a vis the Middle East are well documented there.