The best evidence for the triumph of neoconservatism, including over PBS, is to compare the 1983 series, Vietnam: A Television History, with the Burns/Novick version. The former is more honest, more hard-hitting, and more complete on the facts of the war. In a very real way, that comparison tells us how the Nixon/Kissinger view of Vietnam and the world eventually eclipsed JFK's, concludes Jim DiEugenio.
How can one tell the story of American involvement in Vietnam without mentioning the Dulles brothers or General Edward Lansdale? With a full 18 hours at one’s disposal, I would have thought such a thing would be impossible. Yet with Burns and Novick, the impossible becomes the possible, writes Jim DiEugenio.
The following is the transcript of a talk Jim gave via remote connection for the seminar held at the Virginia Military Institute on Saturday, September 2, 2017.
Extralegal assassinations, unwarranted domestic surveillance, interventionist wars at the behest of corporate interests, torture or other activities of that stripe – these all have their roots in the Dulles era in which covert, corporate power developed into a well-oiled and unaccountable machine running roughshod. These dark forces have continued to operate regardless of who is elected president; and the refusal to face them has caused the Democratic Party to lose its way, writes Alex Sill.
Jim DiEugenio's ongoing investigation of Kennedy foreign policy continues here by emphasizing the importance of JFK's collaboration with Dag Hammarskjold in both Congo and Indonesia.
Jim DiEugenio calls this book "a provocative revisionist history of why the epochal coup in Indonesia happened as it did in 1965 ... [and which] has enlightened us on the crucial figures of Allen Dulles, Sukarno, Dag Hammarskjold and John Kennedy, how they played with and against each other and how this nexus led to a horrible tragedy."
An excerpt from Greg Poulgrain's book on United States policy toward Indonesia, reprinted here with the kind permission of the author.
Bridge of Spies is a well-made film. I just wish it had dispensed with a lot of the dramatic license, which I do not think was really necessary. It would also be nice to see these two men do something a little gutsy concerning American history, opines Jim DiEugenio.