A Bright Shining Lie

John Paul Vann became an adviser to the Saigon regime in the early 1960s. He was an ardent critic of how the war was fought, both on the part of the Saigon regime, which he viewed as corrupt and incompetent, and, as time went by, increasingly, on the part of the U.S. military. In particular, he was critical of the U.S. military command, especially under William Westmoreland, and its inability to adapt to the fact that it was facing a popular guerrilla movement while backing a corrupt regime. He argued that many of the tactics employed (for example the strategic hamlet relocation) further alienated the population and thus were counterproductive to U.S. objectives. He was often unable to influence the military command but used the Saigon press corps including Sheehan, David Halberstam and Malcolm Browne to disseminate his views.

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1 thought on “A Bright Shining Lie

  1. veteran

    i was in country 1969 13 months. no objective but body count. what bullshit it was.
    came back to the world and finished up. came home and joined the anti war movement. too bad we dont have the same movement today.
    this conflict only served one purpose and that was to the the benefit of the military industrial complex, and that includes the central bank and many other corporate entities that own washington.
    we lost over 60k boys for nothing.
    same thing is happening today. my message for the young is “dont buy into government and media bullshit” stay home and live your life !

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