hophmi, I never heard Angela Davis touting the Soviet Union, so that's a non-sequitur. She might have been a bit more pre-occupied with staying alive and not being assassinated by the police when they were and still are shooting Black people down in the streets in this country. Where is and was Israel when that was happening, being so gung-ho "self determination" bound? I participated in the anti-Soviet Boycott of the Moseyev Ballet here in L.A. That boycott was ok, right, because we were protecting Jews. Those same Jews who led that, Zev Yaroslavsky, retired L.A. County Board of Supervisors, for example, are arch-Zionists who will not even discuss Palestinian liberation. There is no objection to the weekly executions of unarmed Palestinian civilian protesters even allowed in Hillels, for one example, where these boycotts of the Soviet Union took root. Blatant hypocracy and cover for dispossession of a people and their land. Check out the U.N. Convention on genocide: The word can be spelled I-S-R-A-E-L.
'Let us begin in the year 1967, after a month of saber rattling (plus diplomacy) a war breaks out and israel conquers vast territories. " Your use of the passive tense here speaks volumes, as it does when you asset "Harris ends up being at the mercy of...."
War didn't "break out" Mr. Fredman, Israel launched a pre-emptive attack for the express purpose of acquiring land, and was not in any existential danger from Egypt, or other neighbors. This is well documented and revealed in Israeli military archives. So posing in both cases as a powerless victim, whether Israel in '67 or as with Harris, only serves to obfuscate the criminality of Israel's recurring war crimes and depravity, which will not get back one young dissenter, because it's B.S. If you demand the documentary evidence from the mouths of Begin, Rabin, Peled, etc., I'll be happy to deliver, but the point is let's get real about how this particular colonial settler state methodically crushes indigenous people, by design.
Pilger's piece is far superior in its depth and analysis than this one, sorry to say. See also Chuck O'Connell's piece in Counterpunch in which he points out several things that are "details" or "mistakes" like the whole U.S. invasion and utter destruction of Indo-China were "mistakes" by "men with good intentions" that Burns would have us believe. O'Connell points out that both the NLF , always referred to with the slur "Viet Cong", were fighting against a U.S. backed regime that represented peasant farmers against a rapacious landowner class that had served them up to the French and were ruthlessly exploiting them during this period.
So the Hanoi gov't and the NLF were very much about "land reform", which is the sine qua non of all revolutionary movements in agricultural societies. Burns in breathtakingly subtle in his propaganda (that is Exactly what it is) in the 2nd episode, describes an interviewee as someone whose mother was killed in the "vicious Viet Cong land reform", offering not a wit of evidence or further explanation. We'll let's say she was, but what did "land reform" mean to millions and millions of Vietnamese peasants? He never ever mentions land reform in his description of the NLFor the N. Vietnam government! How do you leave out the core political objective of a gov't which the CIA said in 1954 would have won 80% of the vote, and which also explains why the entire American invasion was doomed: the vast majority of Vietnamese were completely opposed to who the S. Vietnamese were. Not ever referring to this leaves Americans just as ignorant about this war as when they sat down to watch the doc.
Do you think Bank of America was uncomfortable with the U.S. atrocities? Sure. Do you think they were Thrilled that the fundamental questions were never laid bare, so that people have no better understanding of Iraq, Afghanistan, et al and will not be indignant at the slaughter, because they see the Viet Cong as just "the other guys", with no insight into why the U.S. was fighting Communism in Asia.
The euphemistic bromides that Burns indulges in are rampant, and the simple fact of "class", so profoundly important to this conflict, is absent. Again, as I've said in an earlier post, the tragic murder of 2-3 million souls and the betrayal of American men and women will remain a crime of greater proportion than this country realizes, but Burns has been paid well to obscure cause and effect.
Liberals in the '60's were often accused of "yes, but..." non-commital comments about civil rights and the Vietnam war, but I find myself with that kind of response to Phillip Weiss' comments. Disclosure: I (luckily) applied for and was granted a Conscientious Objector status at the beginning of the Vietnam war escalation in 1965. My conflicting feelings about the Burns' -Novick doc are that a) I agree with Phil that it does perform an important function, and b) as he points out, this is in the context of extreme paucity of other information coming out of mainstream/corporate media in the last decades on this subject, and therein lies a conundrum.
The Bank of America and other corporate funders underwrote this doc precisely because it blurs the understanding of cause and effect of the Vietnam war the way say, J-Street obscures the nature of Zionism and the Settler Colonial historical phenomena in favor of cosmetic makeovers, sentimentality, and false equivalences. The "Vietnam War" (Better named, "The American Invasion of Indo-China") was a direct result of a modern corporate Capitalist class warfare, i.e. a "world grab" that yes, is similar to past imperial impulses, but in its own contemporary form, and very unexamined in corp/popular media.
As O'connell correctly observes, the Burns doc obscures the fundamental class war that was the basis for American intervention and Vietnamese resistance and ultimately victory over imperialist forces. His piece in CounterPunch (https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/09/21/ideology-as-history-a-critical-commentary-on-burns-and-novicks-the-vietnam-war/) allows for an understanding that goes beyond (forgive me Phil) "catharsis" to an clear and deeper understanding that can both motivate and provide a more persuasive critique to opposition, now sorely lacking, to the current metastasizing wars the U.S. empire is now forcing on whole regions of the globe, and with less opposition here than ever. By producing this edgy but less than clarifying documentary, he has taken all the resources for any similar Vietnam war critiques that might have competed, off the table. That is the power of corporate media. Burns did the same thing with his Jazz doc; very very mediocre and more severely flawed and barely relevent, but....have you seen any other Jazz doc's since? Alas.