Re: [sixties-l] Vietnam book Inquiry

From: drieux (
Date: Wed Dec 19 2001 - 11:29:00 EST

  • Next message: Jeffrey Blankfort: "Re: [sixties-l] Vietnam book Inquiry"

    On Tuesday, December 18, 2001, at 08:48 , Ted Morgan wrote:
    > So, I'm eager for suggestions at this point! Some time pressure, too,
    > as I'd need to get the bookstore on this right away.
    > Many thanks,

    The obvious first choice would be 'bright and shining lie' - Which
    would help put Sheehan's work on the wonder of it all back into a
    bit of context about which parts John Paul Vann had been 'open'
    about when they first covered his material... and he was just an
    'unNamed Source'. { there are bunches of used copies of this on the web}
    { I can not find any online references to the original quagmire books
    from the early days - but they may still be floating around in the local
    used book store. Hey, I was a student once and those books were the
    alternative to eating - so... not the world's brightest dieting programme.

    I would of course require them to go through Chomsky's "Rethinking
    Camelot: Jfk, the Vietnam War, and US Political Culture"
    ISBN - 0-89608-458-2(pbk) - In which Chomsky argues against the
    pop cultural fad that there was some super sinister konspirakii,
    a la Oliver Stoned's JFK mythos, that Majikally had we been able
    to Stop the Bad People, they would not have killed Kennedy, hence
    we would not have 'stumbled' into the vietnam quagmire.

    { Technically I would also toss in James Keegan's "the battle for
    history" - although technically that is about the technical issues
    related to WWII - the tie in of course is that the Real 'Vietnam War'
    is not the mud, the blood, and the Beer of 'life in country' or
    the 'Struggle in the Street' back on the block - but the ongoing efforts
    to correctly
    assign who 'owns' the "history" and which suite of "Johnny Rambo"
    Fantasies are the correct suite. Made unpleasantly complicated
    as americans are again shown the 'bloody shirt' of Pearl Harbor
    in the current crisis, and called upon to Rally to the Flag to
    'win one for the Gipper' and 'do our part'... Hey, at over
    M+90, most of us who 'knew' we were going in the M+60 batch
    of 'retreads' are still giggling at the gap between the rhetoric
    about this being a 'real war' and, well, the cleanly defined
    Mobilization Plans.... but hey, should we really complicate
    the debates with mere 'facts'???? but isn't this a part of
    the functional problem of any course aimed at:
            "The Vietnam War in Politics, Memory, and Media,"
    since the issue is less about what really happened, than the
    recycling of the image sets in the current context!

    Need we point fingers at Lynn Chaney, et al, and their current
    effort to provide aid and comfort to the Taliban/Al Queda, with
    their Spam about how the Academic world is one big Fifth Column
    of anti-americans....

    If you can find it - Dig out Corson's "The Betrayal" - about the USMC's
    CAP programme - and the failure of MACV to 'get it' about putting in
    small units to REALLY 'win the hearts and minds' of the indigenous
    population at the 'hamlet' level - by BEING 'their marine' - and
    conversely, turning the hamlet into the marine's 'our hamlet'.

    One of the Homeboys who came back from a visit during the nineties,
    still could NOT hear the 'language' problem. He was Totally Surprised
    that the people of his hamlet still thought of him as 'our marine' just
    as he was still talking about them as 'our hamlet'. You hear similar story'
    from the SF communities about their 'montangards' - and as we saw with
    the SF community swinging into action to help bring to the USA various
    H'Mong and other tribes, that bond was not merely the posturing of
    politicians about 'doing the right thing'.

    I would of course also Recommend Jonathan Shay's "Achilles in Vietnam:
    Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character" - since it presents an
    interesting argument about the problems and nature of PTSD - in the
    context of the classical lit - but I am Prejudicial here, having
    argued with the Man about 'where the fuck were YOU, when we were
    having to hold our own line, with no support from the APA!!!' or
    words to that effect. This book of course will toss grenades into
    the vet community with folks holding 'opinions' on PTSD, and some
    of the people cited in this work. The civilian community of course
    will spinLock on the problem of whether or not 'psychological problems'
    can be caused by combat. The interesting part of the problem is the
    underlying thesis of 'the Undoing of Character' - and how much of that
    is merely the 'delta' between the "Peace Time Progoganda" and the
    reality space of doing War. As the 'letters from vietnam' series pointed
    out, when one is raised in that Hop Along Cassidy world where 'bushwackers'
    are the bad guys - this is NOT the right mental framework to prep folks
    for setting up ambushes.... The fact that the internal political crisis
    of the time was Ugly Enough, and the ongoing Jihaud of defending the
    'draft dodgers' like Rush Limbaugh, Gnewt Gingrich, and the rest has,
    well Stirred the Soup a bit about who was on Who's Side - a pleasant
    little 'character debate' is Always a GOOD time for all.

    You might also get in touch with Dr. Lydia Fish
    ( Lydiafishbuffalo@AOL.COM )
    who has some of the Music from the Time Available on CD - as well as
    of the Ongoing War for the folklore of Vietnam.



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