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Vietnam : A Television History
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1.

Interview With Bayard Rustin, 1982 [electronic resource]

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Bayard Rustin was a civil rights activist, and the main organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. He offers his interpretation of the historical meanings of the March on Washington and the Civil Rights Act of 1965. He comments on the link between the civil rights and anti-war movements, and elucidates the debates within those movements over whether or not they should be linked. Mr. Rustin discusses the attempted marginalization of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by various civil rights groups opposed to his anti-war stance on political grounds, and the role of the media on the radicalization of the civil rights movement.
Online
1983
2.

Interview With Abbott Low Moffat, 1982 [electronic resource]

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Abbot Low Moffat was the head of the Division of Southeast Asian Affairs in the United States Department of State from 1944-1947. He details Franklin Roosevelt's plans for a post-colonial Indochina, and notes that this direction was reversed under President Truman. He recalls the divisions within the State Department regarding French Indochina, and his opposition to the decision to back the French in their attempt to hold the colony. He briefly describes Ho Chi Minh, the presence of Japanese troops in Indochina, and the murder of OSS officer Peter Dewey.
Online
1983
3.

Interview With Archimedes L.A. Patti, 1981 [electronic resource]

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Archimedes Patti was an officer in the United States Army and, after World War Two, the Office of Strategic Services. Mr. Patti describes the U.S. position on Southeast Asia during World War Two, and the emerging Vietnamese Independence Movement. He describes his first meetings with Ho Chi Minh and details the assistance of the Viet Minh in the war effort. He recalls the scene in Hanoi after the war and the attempts by the French to recoup their colony. He details his talks with Ho, and notes that the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence was quite similar to that of the United States. He concludes with his views of the Vietnam War from the perspective of one who understood the roots of the conflict and knew how it could have been avoided.
Online
1983
4.

Interview With Bill D. Moyers, 1981 [electronic resource]

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Bill Moyers was Special Assistant to President Johnson for Legislative and Political Affairs and later become his Press Secretary. He describes a deep apprehension Johnson had about Southeast Asia immediately upon taking office - reinforced by advisers from the Kennedy administration who insisted he needed to deal with Vietnam. Nevertheless, he paid it little attention for his first year, particularly as he considered an escalation impossible in an election year. Moyers sources many of the failures in Vietnam not as a lack of American power and influence but as an inability for American leaders to understand what the North Vietnamese wanted. He closes by discussing the options presented to the president by Secretary McNamara, each of which reinforced Johnson's belief that there was n [...]
Online
1983
5.

Interview With Charles Sabatier, 1982 [electronic resource]

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Charles Sabatier served in the United States Army in the Vietnam War. Paralyzed by a bullet wound, he spent his post-war life as an activist for the disabled. He discusses his impressions of the Army at the time, and details the events surrounding his injury during the Tet Offensive. He describes his reintegration to American society and the struggles he faced as a veteran of an unpopular war and a disabled person. Mr. Sabatier tells of how his feelings toward the war changed, and how his paralysis changed his view of himself. He concludes with his thoughts on the anti-war movement, and expresses an understanding toward the Vietnamese against whom he fought.
Online
1983
6.

Interview With Bui Diem [electronic resource]

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Part 1: South Vietnam's Ambassador to the United States under President Nguyen Van Thieu, Bui Diem recounts the American arrival in March 1965, the troop build-up the following July, and the impact this had on South Vietnam. Part 2: Former South Vietnam ambassador to the United States, Bui Diem recalls the tension between South Vietnam and the United States post 1975. Bui Diem discusses President Nguyen Van Thieu's growing isolation from the United States and the trouble Bui Diem experienced as he tried to improve the image of South Vietnam.
Online
1983
7.

Interview With Chhang-Song [electronic resource]

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Chhang Song, former minister of information under the Lon Nol regime, recounts the impact of the bombing halt on the military situation in Cambodia in 1973. Chhang Song also recalls the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge and the policies enacted such as the plan to evacuate Phnom Penh and other major cities. He talks about the corruption occurring within the Lon Nol Government. Chhang Song lists some of the reasons why the government had low credibility, including mismanagement and the lack of professionalism.
Online
1983
8.

Interview With Carleton Swift [electronic resource]

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Carleton Swift, a CIA employee, replaced Archimedes Patti as head of the O.S.S. mission in Hanoi. Swift recounts why he got involved with Indochina and his experiences after he took the mission over from Patti. Swift recalls his impressions of Ho Chi Minh describing him as a slight man and Swift admits to not understanding how Ho Chi Minh gained so much power. Swift discusses the way the Americans dealt with the North Vietnamese and the friendships that developed.
Online
1983
9.

Interview With Carl F. Bernard, 1981 [electronic resource]

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Colonel Carl Bernard served in World War II, Korea, Laos, and Vietnam. He discusses the role of South Vietnam's regional forces in protecting villages against the Viet Cong and the difference between these local platoons and the larger Army of the Republic of Vietnam. He comments on the efficacy of the Phoenix Program in converting Viet Cong, and describes the conflicting objectives between the South Vietnamese and the Americans. Finally, he discusses his work in Laos in the early 1960s.
Online
1983
10.

Interview With David Halberstam, 1979 [electronic resource]

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David Halberstam was a New York Times reporter in Vietnam during the War. He describes American press as a threatening presence for both the American and Diem governments. He recalls a wealth of anonymous sources willing to share their stories and describes a tension between the anti-communist, Cold War attitudes of news editors and accurate reporting from Vietnam - which would change after the Tet Offensive. He recounts President Kennedy's attempt to have him removed from his post in Vietnam, and Ambassador Lodge's visit to Saigon. Finally, he discusses the evolution of war reporting from a focus on the Vietnamese to a focus on the Americans and the dramatic effect of television news.
Online
1983
11.

Interview With Clark M. Clifford, 1981 [electronic resource]

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Clark Clifford served as Lyndon Johnson's Secretary of Defense. He discusses the effects of Eisenhower's "domino theory" on his initial thinking about Vietnam and how this changed after he visited the country. He recalls behind-the-scenes efforts to convince the President to pursue peace after the Tet Offensive, and recalls Johnson's announcement that he would not run for re-election in March of 1968. Finally, he describes the attitudes of the South Vietnamese toward American involvement and characterizes the war as, in his opinion, a mistake.
Online
1983
12.

Interview With David Harris, 1982 [electronic resource]

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During the Vietnam War, David Harris was a noted draft resister and civil rights activist. He describes his transformation from "All-American boy" believing American leadership could do no wrong, to disillusioned adult. He recounts traveling to Mississippi to protest the use of violence against blacks fighting for desegregation and returning more radicalized. He describes the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee's transformation from a focus on black civil rights to a focus on the war, particularly the draft. He tells the story of October 16, 1967, when people - especially in San Francisco and Oakland, California - began to return draft cards to the government as tangible proof that they would not fight in the war.
Online
1983
13.

Interview With David T. Dellinger, 1982 [electronic resource]

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David Dellinger was a pacifist, anti-war activist, and a member of the Chicago 7 who was considered a stalwart in the non-violence activist movement during Vietnam. Born into a prominent Republican family in Massachusetts and educated at Yale, Dellinger recounts how he developed his political beliefs and the effect it had on those surrounding him. Dellinger also illustrates the power of the grassroots movement by using the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - that it was in fact, the movement at the grassroots level that changed the policy at the top. He talks about the reasons why he believes the United States got involved in Vietnam and why he marched on the Pentagon in 1967, as well as his feelings on why the march was successful. Dellinger also goes into detail about the disruption he help [...]
Online
1983
14.

Interview With Dean Rusk [electronic resource]

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Dean Rusk was the United States Secretary of State from 1961 - 1969. He details the events in Vietnam during 1964, when President Johnson was involved in an election campaign. Mr. Rusk gives an inside-the-administration perspective on the Tonkin Gulf Incidents, the debate over whether or not to bomb North Vietnam, and how to keep China and the U.S.S.R. out of the conflict. He discusses the escalation of American forces, the Tet offensive, the decline in public support for the war, and his view of the peace negotiations. He explains why the United States had to get involved in Laos, but could do little more than sporadic shelling in Cambodia. Mr. Rusk illustrates some personal and political qualities of President Johnson, and offers his analysis of the Vietnam War's lasting effect on [...]
Online
1983
15.

Interview With Douglas Kinnard, 1982 [electronic resource]

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A US Army Brigadier and General who completed two tours in Vietnam, Douglas Kinnard recalls his time in Cambodia and his discovery of what he believed was a common practice of secret bombing against the Cambodians. Kinnard also admits in retrospect that he did not fully understand his enemy or the objectives he set out to fulfill.
Online
1983
16.

Interview With Doidge Estcourt Taunton, 1982 [electronic resource]

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British Brigadier Doidge Estcourt Taunton arrived in Saigon in 1945. He recalls the challenge of facilitating a peaceful surrender of the Japanese, restoring power to the French and balancing Vietnamese control over some areas of the city. He describes the September 1945 coup d'etat that would result in French control and recounts the death of American O.S.S officer Peter Dewey.
Online
1983
17.

Interview With Douglas MacArthur, 1982 [electronic resource]

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A United States Ambassador to Japan from 1957-1961, Douglas MacArthur II recalls why the United States originally supported the French in Vietnam. MacArthur explains that at the time there was a belief that if Vietnam fell, soon after it would be followed by Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and therefore it would serve as a sign that anyone who resisted the Viet Minh would be supported. He was not convinced, however, that the United States could completely destroy the Viet Minh. MacArthur recounts being directly involved with an offer of aid that was made to the French Prime Minster, Laniel in 1953. The offer was refused, so the United States constructed the Navarre Plan that gave both financial as well as specific items of military aid to France in suppo [...]
Online
1983
18.

Interview With Elbridge Durbrow, 1979 [electronic resource]

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United States Ambassador to South Vietnam from 1957 to 1961, Elbridge Durbrow describes his first impressions of Saigon, comparing it to a southern French provincial town. Durbrow talks about his first meeting with Ngo Dinh Diem and the differences in personality between Diem and his brother Nhu. Durbrow supported the idea that the US should stand behind Diem and continues on to describe the 1960 attempted coup against Diem. Durbrow also recalls the role the Chinese played in the Vietnam conflict and the lessons learned from Vietnam.
Online
1983
19.

Interview With Edward Geary Lansdale, 1979 [electronic resource]

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General Edward Geary Lansdale was an advisor to French forces on special counter-guerrilla operations against the Viet Minh. From 1954 to 1957 he was in Saigon and served as an advisor to the American-backed government of South Vietnam. Lansdale recalls his experience fighting communist groups in the Philippines and credits that success for his being called to duty for Vietnam. Lansdale discusses the differences between fighting in the Philippines and Vietnam. He recalls that the Vietnamese had a strong distrust for foreigners and this resulted in a distrust of the government. However, Lansdale contends that it was not a mistake to support the French in Vietnam during 1950 as the French had been our allies in World War II and the United States had close cultural and economic ties wit [...]
Online
1983
20.

Interview With Edward J. Banks, 1982 [electronic resource]

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Edward J. Banks commanded a battalion of Marines in Vietnam. He recalls his first combat mission and discusses the challenges of distinguishing enemy Viet Cong from Vietnamese civilians. He outlines the strategy of "search and destroy" and describes a mission to clear the village of Thuy Bo, a mission later reported as a massacre by the civilians living there.
Online
1983