At minute 95:37 of Episode 10 of the PBS Vietnam War series, I captured this screenshot:
The preceding narration was:
In 1994, after the Vietnamese met the Americans’ demand, the United States lifted its trade embargo. Full normalization came the following year.
I hope the Vietnamese got something more than USA cancer sticks.
I’ve written several blog entries about the Burns & Novick PBS documentary The Vietnam War. I’ve also tweeted about it.
I’ve only watched the first 30 minutes of the first episode, so I can’t answer this question. I do say that these first 30 minutes leave me suspicious. The opening narration begins at 6:20 in the online video. Bob Dylan’s A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall plays in the background.
6:20 Narrator: America’s involvement in Vietnam began in secrecy. It ended, 30 years later, in failure, witnessed by the entire world. It was begun in good faith by decent people, out of fateful misunderstandings, American overconfidence and Cold War miscalculation. And it was prolonged because it seemed easier to muddle through than admit that it had been caused by tragic decisions, made by five American presidents, belonging to both political parties.
Updated July 18, 2017. Ask your representatives to support the Fair Representation Act (HR 3057).
This ugly example of the Democratic Party establishment genuflecting before health insurance companies prompted some advice for progressives who still think they can fix the Democratic Party.
- Green Party Platform Positions
- “Enact single-payer universal health insurance. Until single-payer is established, we support laws that act to make insurance policies transportable from job to job.”
- Greens call for an end to the “war on drugs”, legalization of drugs and for treating drug abuse as a health issue. The “war on drugs” has been an ill conceived program that has wasted billions of dollars misdirecting law enforcement resources away from apprehending and prosecuting violent criminals, while crowding our prisons with non-violent drug offenders and disproportionately criminalizing youth of color.
- Provide free college tuition to all qualified students at public universities and vocational schools. It’s time to forgive all student and parent loans taken out to finance post-secondary and vocational education.
- Election Reforms
I’ve been listening to Greg Grandin‘s The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom and Deception in the New World. The book is full of historical tidbits (and here), and I hope to write a review of it after I’ve finished.
As I was listening to the latter part of the book, after Amasa Delano has returned to Boston to face his creditors, I thought about how much he resembled today’s liberal class in the United States.
He did not favor slavery, but, when presented with an opportunity to make money by capturing the slave ship The Trial from the Senegambians who had taken it over, he didn’t hesitate to use great violence to subdue them and return them to Spanish captivity. When his debts mounted, he began taking shipments of salted cod to the slave-based economies of the Caribbean. In other words, he had a moral position against slavery but did not hold it strongly enough to desist from attempting to profit from it.
So far, based on Grandin’s book, the only regret Amasa Delano ever expresses regarding his takeover of The Trial was the failure of Spain and its colonists in the Americas to compensate him as much as he thought his right. He never considers the impact his actions had on the enslaved Africans.
In fact, it seems that Amasa Delano’s inner life centers around understanding a universe which permitted his failure to achieve the success he thought he deserved by virtue of his good (in his mind, for himself) intentions and his hard (self-reported) work (later undertaken by slaves, undocumented workers & laborers in unsafe conditions around the world).
Likewise, when I tell people today that the entire political class should be tried for the war crime of invading and occupying Iraq, they typically respond with some version of “We meant well” and “The US army is competent and did its best in a difficult situation.” Good intentions and hard work. Iraqis. Oh, them. I hadn’t thought about them.