Excuse me, but I see you have some dandruff on your collar. Here, let me blow it away.
A contemporary report, which was corroborated by the photographer at the time, states: "Nguyễn Văn Lém [the executed man] commanded a Viet Cong death squad, which on that day had murdered South Vietnamese National Police officers, or in their stead, the police officers' families; these sources said that Lém was captured near the site of a ditch holding as many as thirty-four bound and shot bodies of police and their relatives, some of whom were the families of General Nguyễn's deputy and close friend, and six of whom were Nguyễn's godchildren."
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself". John Stuart Mill.
Great and true quote but what the hell do I know? I'm just a guitar player. How many journalists does it take to research a photograph? Apparently an infinite number of ‘Press Professionals’ has the same effect as zero. Now how many of you know the photo above? Most everyone I’d say, except for the sadly and clueless victim of their own inertia AKA the MSM. After countless reproductions of this image, with it hanging around like an eternal Twilight Zone split second, almost nobody knows the story behind it at all. But these people do. Treppinwitz com and Neo Neocon and PaulinHouston.
As I was saying, the creep shot through the scone was Nguyen Van Leu, a VC [Viet Cong] killer who had just chopped and diced an entire family in the kitchen of their home, plus over thrity policemen and their relatives. The mother, father and children were sliced open with a machete by this turd. The Father of the children was a Police Major and close friend of the man who executed Van Leu: Brigadier General and Saigon Police Chief Nguyen Ngoc Loan, a tough old bird who was badly wounded in the last weeks of the war and ended his days in America. The VC concerned was found standing guard over the aformentioned pit that was filled with bound, gagged, slashed, mutilated, tortured and shot Vienamese people.
Gee, much of South Vietnam and whole sections of Saigon under attack by multiple battalions of vicious demons all eagerly committing as many murderous acts as possible is no reason to get upset, Chief. Er, pass me the pistol and I’ll do it. Hey, my Grandmother would be chomping at the bit to let off a few temple bound rounds if she could push to the front of the line that is.
Sadly for Van Leu, he was out of line with that crack about chopping up the family, Chief.
It all demonstrates how the third-rate Western press in Saigon that occasionally found the energy to leave the bars of the Caravelle and Continental Hotels, was indeed the prototype for today’s close to useless MSM. There were around 700 journalists in Vietnam and virtually none bothered to find out either this photo's background, the circumstances behind it or to do any follow up of this happy snap even after it became so well known, and eventually seen as one of the two pivotal images of the war in Vietnam. The other being the awful 'naked running napalmed girl'.
The first time I found actual background info on this proto photo, pre-Internet, was reading a great book on the Vietnam conflict by the groovy photo journalist Tim Page. Look him up folks. He’s a sometimes hip and on the money or scrip as the case may be, though sadly he's often just another asshole leftie. No, really.
Do you know what the biggest and real atrocity of the Tet Offensive was? The murder in the city of Hue of over 2,000 people including Catholics, Buddhists and others during what was known as 'The Siege of the Walled Citadel' in by the er, my, my, Viet Cong. The bodies were stacked like wood they say. Beyond the battle itself, this mass murder went largely unreported and there were no catchy pictures.
It's even worse today. They perfect their frauds. There are regularly few to zero journalistic standards applied in the cruddy old dying media now, if there ever was. Common is the mediocrity of an ideological and phony agenda that's well, largely entirely predictable. There's a negative side too.
In 1968 maybe the media merely pandered often out of sinc to the public or barely one step ahead, kinda like The Beatles did being in reality just in time or a little after the fact. The half-dead Beatles refined, packaged and did it better than most everyone else. Today, the MSM is so bad that the only ‘everyone else’ apart from the impotent, frustrated and enraged members of the public who see through the fraud, is the Internet. Each day I get down on my knees and thank Tim Berners-Lee.
The MSM don’t just pander but blatantly manipulate, obfuscate, blur, bias, lie and sin by relentless omission, warping the public mind, reinforcing delusions and playing to distractions. The MSM is not your friend but a kind of enemy of thinking skills to a clear understanding of almost everything.
Yep, the Tet Offensive was a huge failure for the North on every count except one. Much of the VC that took part in the “uprising” that virtually no one joined, were killed by US, South Vietnamese, Australian and Allied troops, local militias, the people of Saigon and throughout the South. And that’s the only part of the Communist North’s plan that worked out. The incompetent in Western Governments, military, press and Left radicals did the rest.
The North wanted to eliminate the VC to consolidate their own power. That’s the classic infighting, murderous rivalry and implosion of Communism, folks. They only change through murder, plot, lies, and inertia, outside pressures or collapse. Thirty-five battalions of VC attacking hundred of targets simultaneously, all ending with most VC killed or captured. Not one objective achieved. Some Communist success. What would be failure? The VC dying twice?
The VC captured the National Radio station to broadcast the signal to “general uprising” but the power was out. And there was no uprising. Gee, imagine if you staged a rebellion and nobody came?
Nope, most people in the South felt about a Communist future the same way as most sane people do with a working economy and some semblance of government do, no matter how corrupt. They don’t want it. People get that way with folks who cut off the heads of village elders and school teachers and leave them on pikes. They probably weren't too crazy about the napalm, either. The Vietnamese people sometimes got it from several sides at once, yet they never left on stick boats in their millions until the Commmies took over..
Yep, the war was often a hideous drag, but not as much as the ‘peace’was being a decades long hell virtually all unreported, undocumented and anonymous. Thus the biggest movement of refugees in history was of the Vietnamese after the fall of Saigon. Almost three million escaping, with around one million dying in the South China Sea.
During the war, you were free to leave or emigrate, but not a lot did. Though during the war, there was a continuous flow of refugees from North to South and not the other way. Now the Vietnamese love their country too. I have Vietnamese friends, often professionals in old Vietnam, who speak of how the local economy was similar to Victoria's at the time. A lot of life in Saigon was like anywhere else in Asia for good and bad. With Islamist bombings, murder's and intimidation spreading almost everywhere in South East Asia, it may even bring on a feeling of nostalgic nausea.
Why was the war lost?And because the Vietnamese people were not always represented in any medium clearly and fully and neither were the often very professional arms of the South Vietnamese military. Because the US and South Vietnamese military were not allowed to destroy the enemy supply lines feeding the insurgency, nor damage or seriously pressure enemy bases. Because while the US military blundered far less than they succeeded, they were serious and ever present flaws, including deliberately reckless, stupid and rotten policy but not as much as one imagines. Thus every movie allegedly about the Vietnam War is laughable junk.
As Ann Coulter empirically details in her great book 'Demonic: how the [left] Liberal mob is endangering America,' the Democrats cut off funding to South Vietnam and Cambodia leading to the collapse in close to twelve months of South Vietnam and then of Cambodia to the left's beloved totalitarian Communists, who then murdered thousands of South Vietnamese, forcing perhaps a million escaping souls to drown in the South China Sea, two million into refugee exile and the mass murder of over two million Cambodians by Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge who were praised by Noam Chomsky. Because the socialist one world government creep Walter Cronkite lied repeatedly to the American people. Because JFK murdered the crummy South Vietnamese President setting the stage for destabilisation and defeat. Because the affluent didn't want to fight for anything but drugs and their trust fund and maybe not even then.
The reasons for being in Vietnam happened rather slowly, inexorably, and were essentially strategic and often noble. The South Vietnamese government were like many Asian authorities of the time, and not always such decent or effective people when they desperately should have been and were regularly even fatally porous. But they were still far superior to the Communist totlaitarian North. This may be an inversion of how to win a war but is perfect for losing at poker.
After the main US withdrawal, the supply of material and support was cut off to the South and the US public were not informed clearly and honestly of what was at stake. The South Vietnamese Government like many a government could be stupid, corrupt and myopic but managed to run a state that was economically at the time, much like Victoria and socially dymnamic. It was hard for many to conceive that the Vietnamese may desire the same things as us like say, security and economic and political freedom.
After a while nothing good is deemed newsworthy, worth placing in perspective or factually right. No amount of infrastructure, purpose, professionalism, social progress and services and so on registered out of the relentless gloom of the war as least as perceived at home, as a war that just seemed to ‘drag on and on’. The lazy press fell into a group dynamic of “aloof, detached and uninvolved”, as Paul Ham has said in his new book ‘Vietnam the Australian War’.
Aah, the Aussie soldier was mostly professional, well liked, and successful and on return to Australia, treated badly to put it mildly, by the military, the peaceshit crowd, the government and especially the wonderful twerps of the media.
As Paul Hamm writes,
“the Australian digger’s contempt for the Saigon press corp deepened. In 1968, the soldiers were scathing about the quality of media coverage of the war. Journalists would return from operations and file stories that bore no resemblance to the soldier’s recollections of events”.What’s changed?
As the architect of much of the Communist victory General Giap has stated, the North was ready to negotiate after Tet. They were at that point a drastically reduced and utter shambles but after they saw that many people in the 'anti-war' movement, [especially career creeps like John 'Swift Boat' Kerry with his leftist treason, betrayal, lies and other propaganda showed clearly that they were going to help the North win again!] Giap said “We changed our mind”.
So, all the Communist North needed was five years to consolidate and renew, which they were astonishingly handed by the actual victors of Tet! Then the North would be ready again to press home their final assault.
Aah, the weakness of the oft easily manipulated focus of the public mind. It’s a sad thing that most people’s images of Vietnam come from dreary fake Hollywood movies. Some mildly entertaining fodder absolutely nothing to do with the reality of the war or any war. Their version of “in country” was and is invariably crap. Notice how these films are never really about the Vietnamese people? The Vietnamese end up as extras in their own tragedy. Hey, movie people. Like most middle-class old hippies they never really gave a damn about the Vietnamese. They were just a useful pet prop for other agendas.
Once Saigon fell no one cared at all cos’ they didn’t have to worry about maybe going. How many protesters who ‘cared’ so much went to Vietnam after 1975 just to you know, ‘help out?’ Er, zero. Gee, but wasn’t the whole premise of the anti-war movement that it was gonna be so much better after the US and it’s allies left and the Communist Party liberated the people of Vietnam? Well, yes or no? All a conveniently forgotten lie.
Any profoundly bankrupt movement like the anti-war left crowd that can comfortably ignore the endless flow of millions of refugees from the “hard won” hippie success of defeat in Vietnam, and subsequent Communist dictatorship, deserves nothing but utter contempt and ridicule. I think it was a guy from the Indoctrinate U group who asked Washington Jane Fond, just how does she feel about the millions who have fled Vietnam, and is she concerned that her serial attitude in pushing for the same tactic in Iraq, could have the same or worse effect? Er, gee, a real poser. The peculiarly arrogant and neurotically self-loathing Fonda just brushed it off.
Well, one can when one has a Bel Air mansion, pool and millions of dollars in the bank and lives smugly in the secure, free and affluent best parts of the West. Again, what’s changed? The same back slappin’ Hollywood freaks and celebrities are centre stage now with Baghdad Jane.
Now what were the true goals of the Communist North? To install a totalitarian Marxist Stalinist dictatorship controlling very aspect of life. Which is exactly what they did. It was not to "liberate" the people.
Gee, maybe they felt the people just didn't have enough opportunity to express themselves, do business, earn an independent living, see the world and have a few laughs. Those Commie creeps just wanted to help! Er, no. They didn't. And the leadership has oft come to regret their 'victory' as the hollow, pointless control freak failure it was.
What the anti-war movement were proposing, supported, championed and aided was Marxist totlaitarianism via their own all defining treason. That Jane Fonda was never charged shows entirely the naive and confused weakness of, as student activists laughably called the "US fascist state" etc.
The majority of protesters NEVER really cared about Vietnam per se or the Vietnamese. The way the peaceniks cloaked themselves in faux empathy is sickening. Say you don't want to go but why pretend you give a damn when clearly you don't?
Many activists utterly supported the tyrannical Communist North out right, wearing Communist paraphernalia and spouting and distributing its junk and propaganda. This NEVER really meant hippies leaving capitalist democracy's and moving to live entirely in North Vietnam. All clearly treasonable and ending in the majority of them eventually having very successful middle-class lives. Just not anywhere actually Marxist.
In 1975, the "Liberator's" of South Vietnam wasted no time being well, Communist's, and instantly began arresting, harassing, interrogating, re-educating, torturing, executing and totally controlling millions. For example, they corralled police and military into buildings and set the places on fire. In one incident, about 500 were burned alive. They systematically destroyed, beggared and bankrupted a naturally productive, innovative and independently proud people with the idiotic and wholly foreign ideologies of Communism and Socialism.
The Communist "Victory" was such an abject economic failure, that in the 1980's when officials at one branch of the local government met foreign VIP's, they had to literally take turns wearing the one available and shabby suit. This in a country ideal for textile production and once bursting with cut price tailors. Aah, but Saigon's version of Yves Saint Laurent was out in the field's shovelling mud. Makes perfect sense, yes? Er, no.
Er, maybe that's the why the million's who could, escaped. Not by plane or ship, but by crappy old boats and rafts. Because the first thing Communist regimes always do to create a "Workers Paradise", is to stop everyone leaving. Except Jane Fonda. The foreign press were ok as long as they said nice things and especially about Ho Chi Minh, and they usually did.
The war was flawed and unpleasant in a terrifying way, but for the left a shameful US defeat and a Communist victory were always their goals and to them a wonderful thing. Now they could just completely forget about it, while still having a handy ad nauseum cipher for the future as an endless source of self-congratulating, conceited and wholly undeserved point of pride and credit. And all this while ignoring the actual harsh reality of the Vietnamese people.
Closet socialist, one world government dreamer and sub-Commie Walter Cronkite, was often all dear old Dad style over substance, lost in his own unreflective and oddly staccato grand eloquent baloney. He was both professional and mediocre, shallow and unresearched and wrong about almost everything that he couldn't or wouldn't or secretly did comprehend. Much of the reporting on Vietnam was seemingly by the squares and side-burned faux swingers of the time, grooving with a self-imagined international hipness via Scotch and Coke spilled teletext machine.
“This just in from our bureau Chief in Saigon, Roger Safari suit”.
Some were good some were even great such as Michael Herr who wrote ‘Dispatches’. In many less pleasant parts of the world, the places where movie stars don’t live, being a journalist with standards is life threatening. In the end, if victory is not pressed relentlessly as it was by well, the North, defeat simply steps into the spaces left open by our own decadence.