The War in Vietnam

I’ve just finished watching a documentary on Netflix about the war in Vietnam. I won’t call it the Vietnam War, because the Vietnamese call it The American War which, if you think about it, makes a lot of sense!
Anyway, I learned a lot by watching the documentary which stretches over 10 episodes, each episode lasting between an hour and a half and two hours. Survivors from both sides are interviewed. Not only ex-combatants share their views and memories, but normal citizens, the families and friends of people who lost their lives, ex-CIA, political advisors and anti-war activists, journalists and authors.
There‘s a lot of original camera footage and photos of the fighting, so some of the images are very graphic and quite disturbing. But it’s a very balanced and non-biased view of what happened.
It was such a senseless war and so many people suffered on both sides. I learned many things. For example, that American troops fought to occupy many hills, only to leave them half an hour later because they had no strategic value. I also learned how much Nixon lied to the public during his presidency and made promises to the South Vietnamese that he didn’t keep. I learned that there’s a memorial wall in Washington with the names of the American soldiers who lost their lives. Around 50,000 US soldiers died, and some people claim that up to a million North Vietnamese and Viet Cong lost their lives, although numbers vary.
I definitely recommend this series, called The Vietnam War: a film by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick. Especially since wars continue to be fought in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. As George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

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