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For a program that bills itself as "50 years of the US at war" the show
is not history. This is a look at the mentality of generals in Viet
Nam, The First Gulf War and Iraq minus critical details and turning
points in each conflict.
The show leaps through Viet Nam with only the broadest of strokes. This
segment features General Colin Powell, a captain in Viet Nam at the
time, yet conspicuously fails to mention nationwide protests, Agent
Orange, POWs or the My Lai Massacre. All of these factors significantly
impacted the war in Viet Nam yet are not even mentioned.
To make things worse, Capt. Powell in 1968, reported of the My Lai
Massacre that the "soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent"
perpetuating the myth that the war was winnable for another 6 years and
covering up the slaughter of civilian women and children by the
When the first Gulf War is loosely explored there is no mention of SCUD
missiles, Saddam's pre-existing relationship with the US or Gulf War
syndrome to follow. In fact, the destruction of the Iraqi Army of
100,000 men (slaughtering 35,000 to less than 2000 total Coalition
casualties) is categorized as an unqualified victory with no harmful
In telling the story of the Iraq invasion in March of 2003, the reason
for the invasion is completely omitted - namely WMDs. Colin Powell (a
salesman of the traveling train theory of WMDs himself) and others tell
the stories of winning and holding cities like Mosul and Kirkuk in
upbeat tones. The problem there is that these cities soon fell back
into the hands of the local insurgents in a matter of days after US
The only valid point that this sanitized war "history" is that Iraq and
Viet Nam are nearly identical as quagmires. This is only mentioned in
terms of "I hope this ain't Viet Nam" by the interviewees.
Truly, this is an insult to veterans of all three conflicts for
presenting a backwards, spotty and deliberately misleading account of
US forces roles in each one of these undeclared wars.
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