History of Vietnam War As Controversial As Everby Michael Patrick Brewer on Aug. 03, 2013, under Veterans Benefits
For starters, there are never absolutes in war. Never.
As for revisionist history, they always make it sound like it is one revision. There is no such thing. Revisionists are a dynamic bunch and lean toward absolutism. You can lay all this historical tomes out side by side and still not capture the creature called Vietnam. I have not read as much as the true scholars, but slopping through the jungle as a grunt is not an academic affair. I have completed maybe 12 histories of the war in the past 20 years.
Now you have the release of some new documents pointing to Richard Nixon’s secret efforts to scuttle President Lyndon Johnson’s efforts toward a peace agreement just days before the 1968 election. I suggest you conduct your own research of this rather startling discovery. It appears Richard Nixon has a bit fond of wiretapping long before Watergate.
There was much good we did Vietnam. Did it stick? Nope, never does, never has. Enter Iraq 2013.
The item of current history that you will never find in all these pre-meditated revisionist treatises, is that we are in a very fine joint venture relationship with Vietnam for the exploration of oil. Some may say that may explain why France, China, Japan and Russia had so much interest in Vietnam. Sure was not the rice! I have an article that was published in the Wall Street Journal, twenty years ago, quoting John McCain, during the MIA travails and the lifting of the Trade Embargo, where is quoted as saying, “but it is said there is oil of the shores of the South China Sea.” Bingo! Was it slip? Or did he intend to couch it in a third party expression. Whichever way, it puzzles me to this day that we get so lathered up about socialism yet good old communism makes for good business partner. At least on one side of the equation all the people are controlled.
So here is the question for the revisionists. If we assisted Vietnam in achieving its own brand of nationalism, and they start supplying us with oil, than did we do good?
> Especially if you served in country, you need to know about this. The
Vietnam Center and Archive at Texas Tech University was founded by local
veterans of the war who wanted to establish a place to store and care for
memorabilia, documents and memories of the war. A substantial amount of its
funding has come from veterans who have happily supported its purpose and
donated material to it. Throughout the years, from its founding to the
present, the Center has held conferences and symposia to discuss the latest
scholarship about the war. The conferences and symposia have been attended
not only by scholars but also by Vietnam vets interested in preserving the
history of the war and correcting false information that has arisen over the
> This year, in September, the Center is hosting another conference. This
one is part of the official year long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of
the war, which, in the words of the DoD is to “honor and pay tribute to
Vietnam Veterans and their families during the 50th Anniversary of the war.”
The conference will be held in Washington, D.C. and is sponsored by the
National Archives and the DoD 50th Anniversary Commemoration Committee, so
it has the official imprimatur of the government. The theme of the
conference is 1963, a seminal year in the conflict and a crucial point in
the direction the war took. There is much disagreement among scholars as to
the significance and impact of the deposal of Ngo Diem and his later
assassination as well as Kennedy’s assassination.
> Unfortunately, the Center has recently changed Directors, and the new
Director, Dr. Steve Maxner, is taking the Center in a far left direction.
All 15 of the scholars invited to speak and serve on panels are far left
scholars who have consistently denigrated the war and its participants.
These scholars unanimously hold the view that the war was illegal, its
participants were criminals and the war had nothing to do with communism or
the domino theory.
> The foremost scholar of the so-called “revisionist” view, Dr. Mark Moyar,
had not only not been invited but is being told he can attend as a
participant but cannot speak or serve on a panel. This will be the first
time in the history of the Center that no views in opposition to the far
left interpretation of the war will be invited.
> Maxner has recently been deluged by letters of protest from Vietnam vets,
some of whom are recognized scholars on the war but has steadfastly refused
to include any revisionist scholars or even admit that the scholars that he
has invited have any bias at all. This conference, in its present makeup,
would be comparable to conducting a conference on American Black History and
only inviting white members of the KKK to “debate” the historical events.
Imagine discussing the seminal year of the Vietnam conflict with a room full
of hippies and not one single person who participated in the war or has a
different perspective on the war. The outcome is virtually guaranteed not to
“honor and pay tribute to” those of us who served.
> I may have further action items in the future. For now, there are some
things you can do:
> 1) Contact every Vietnam vet you know and point them to this exposition of
this travesty (or copy it and email it to them)
> 2) Contact Governor Perry and express your disapproval of the current
configuration of this conference
> 3) Contact your Texas Senator and Representative and voice your
> 4) Contact your Senators and Congressman regarding the conference and
express your displeasure that an event purporting to honor and respect you
will instead portray you as a war criminal and is being funded with your tax
> Please do not contact anyone at the Center or at Texas Tech. We are
already in contact with them on an academic level. The time for out and out
protest is not yet. If we cannot make changes in the conference while
working within the system, we may have to fill the conference with vets
opposing these views and turn the conference into a major news event.
> Thank you,
> James D. Thacker, PhD
> President & Chief Science Officer
> TherimuneX Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
> 3805 Old Easton Road
> Doylestown, PA 18902-8400
> Direct Dial: 215.589.6418
> DrexelMed Office: 215.991.8335
> Email: email@example.com
> URL: www.therimunex.com
In trying to verify this, I contacted Gary Roush at Vietnam Helicopter
Pilots Association (VHPA) and this was his reply:
This is the first I have heard of this. I used to be on Texas Tech’s
mailing list because I attended one of their annual symposiums
several years ago, but have dropped off the list for some
reason. That symposium had panelists from North Vietnam, South
Vietnam, ambassadors, a political cabinet member, military
commanders, veterans, journalists, historians, academics and students
even a Buddhist monk. I no longer remember the theme. It was very
balanced with a very wide variety of views. Other symposiums over
the years were similarly balanced in my view.
In reviewing the agenda on the Texas Tech web site, it appears nearly
all of the speakers and panelists are academics. No military
commanders, no ambassadors, no journalists, no political cabinet
members, no veterans and no foreign representation. In other words,
no one with any first hand information. That is very troubling to me.
I have known Steve Maxner for many years, but have not really worked
with him much. He was a guest speaker at the VHPA reunion in New
Orleans and did a really good job. No idea why he is taking a pure
academic approach to this subject. It seems to me to be ill advised
as this is how history gets revised by academics – by locking out
first person experience. Of course the academics will talk about
their research and maybe even interviews of some of the players, but
we will have to take their interpretation of that information and
interviews which may not match what the players would say directly.
Looks to me like Jim’s opinion below is true. It would be
interesting and helpful to have Steve Maxner’s view on this. I hope
Jim can “get it sorted out on an academic level.”
This is Texas Tech’s Vietnam Center website and below it is the Sept