05 March 2015

History & Statistics of the Vietnam War: Part V of VI

Mainly the sons, brothers, husbands, and friends of the working class fought the war in Vietnam. The nucleus for this was because the national structure at the time made it easy for large numbers of men to participate in draft deferment by going to college, getting married, feigning homosexuality, or faking a medical condition. As such, this privileged class were often the radical opposition to the war. They remained detached and impersonal because they personally didn’t know anyone that was fighting in the war. Protesting came easy for them.

Myth: Air America, the airline operated by the CIA in Southeast Asia, and its pilots were involved in drug trafficking. 

The 1990 unsuccessful movie “Air America” helped to establish the myth of a connection between Air America, the CIA, and the Laotian drug trade. The movie and a book the movie was based on contend that the CIA condoned a drug trade conducted by a Laotian client; both agree that Air America provided the essential transportation for the trade; and both view the pilots with sympathetic understanding. American-owned airlines never knowingly transported opium in or out of Laos, nor did their American pilots ever profit from its transport. Yet undoubtedly, every plane in Laos carried opium at some time, unknown to the pilot and his superiors. For more information see: http://www.air-america.org

Facts about the fall of Saigon

Myth: The American military was running for their lives during the fall of Saigon in April 1975. The picture of a Huey helicopter evacuating people from the top, of what was billed as being the U.S. Embassy in Saigon during the last week of April 1975 during the fall of Saigon helped to establish this myth.

Here are some facts to clear up that poor job of reporting by the news media. It was a “civilian” (Air America) Huey, not Army or Marines. It was NOT the U.S. Embassy. The building is the Pittman Apartments, a 10 story building where the CIA station chief and many of his officers lived, located at 22 Ly Tu Trong St. The U.S. Embassy and its helipad were much larger. 

The platform is the top of the elevator shaft for the building and was not designed as a helipad.  [People] The evacuees were Vietnamese not American military.  Two high ranking Vietnamese were among those taken that day to Tan Son Nhut airport, General Tran Van Don and the head of the secret police Tran Kim Tuyen.  Both immigrated to Europe and both have since died.  [People] 

It has been said that the Americans were the perpetrators of a famous photo taken of a nine year old Vietnamese girl running naked from the napalm strike where she was burned near Trang Bang.
This was a horrific event for the young girl, and the Americans were blamed for the incident by the protestors. 
Do believe the incident was the fault of the Americans? 
You will learn more about what happened on this day in Part VI of this series.

Take a look at Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV of the series.

Comment below or start the conversation here and connect within the military community.

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