February 12, 2009
Photo credit: Eddie Adams (AP)
(This is the first of a multi-part series debunking liberal media myths about the Vietnam War.)
The Photo That Lost the War?
It’s one of the most famous images of the 20th century. Eddie Adams’ Pulitzer Prize winning 1968 photograph of an execution on a Vietnam street has been reprinted and reenacted countless times. In the film Stardust Memories, Woody Allen’s depressed character decorates his kitchen with a colossal mural of the image, to illustrate his angst. A post-modern artist recreated the iconic image in Lego.
However, few know the true story behind the photograph, which some cultural critics claim, then and now, “helped America lose the war.”
While lecturing on college campuses to promote his book Stalking the Vietnam Myth, author H. Bruce Franklin discovered that most students “were convinced the original photo depicted a North Vietnamese or communist officer executing a South Vietnamese civilian prisoner.”
However, the executioner was the chief of the South Vietnamese Police — an American ally. The victim was a captured Vietcong insurgent whose comrades in arms had themselves been summarily executing anyone associated with the South Vietnamese and the Americans.
After killing the captured prisoner, the police chief told journalists, “Many Americans have been killed these last few days and many of my best Vietnamese friends. Now do you understand? Buddha will understand.”
The photograph helped make Eddie Adams famous, but he wished he’d never taken it. Due to its notoriety, the photo ruined the police chief’s life, turning him into an internationally hated (and misunderstood) villain for all time. Adams never forgave himself.
“The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them, but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths. What the photograph didn’t say was, ‘What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American soldiers?'”
The Girl In The Picture
An equally infamous photograph snapped during the Vietnam War depicts a little girl running, naked and terrified, from her bombed out village, her clothing burned from her body in the blast.
Most people believe her village was attacked by Americans. It was not.
In fact, the village was accidentally bombed by the Vietnamese Air Force, who were nearby targeting communist North Vietnamese fortifications. In other words, this was an “all-Vietnamese” fight. Even the photographer was Vietnamese. No Americans were involved.
Adding to the confusion: in 1996, a Methodist minister publicly approached Kim Phuc, the “girl in the picture” and asked her forgiveness for ordering the strike. The trouble is: this man had nothing to do with the bombing. He was a lowly soldier stationed miles away.
Whie such stories of reconciliation are undeniably moving, Kim’s public “forgiveness” of this confused man, “must be viewed with the realization that while she is free to insinuate anything she pleases about the countries which give her refuge and support, she cannot freely criticize the Communist government of her former homeland. Although a political refugee in Canada, her relatives still live in Viet Nam.”
The minister’s motives are less clear or noble, but seem to be a blend of self-loathing and self-promotion.
These and other phony tales of American “atrocities” mar the image of the United States at home and abroad. Since the Vietnam War is constantly held up by the anti-war Left as an example of a failed, “racist,” “imperialist” conflict which only ended thanks to the “peaceful” protests of “courageous” hippies, getting the facts right is tremendously important.
Stay tuned for the next installments in this series.
September 23, 2008
The first Vietnamese private aircraft will take to the skies next week, says its owner Doan Nguyen Duc, chairman of the Hoang Anh Gia Lai Joint Stock Company (HAGL), a well-known Vietnamese conglomerate.
Duc told Thanh Nien Wednesday that the Vietnam Air Services Co. has finished 95 percent of procedures permitting his Beechcraft King Air 350 to take off.
When the procedures get completed by next week, the plane will fly from Ho Chi Minh City to Pleiku Town, where HAGL is headquartered, in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, Duc said.
Duc bought the aircraft from the US for US$7 million in May this year.
Reported by Tran Hung
September 17, 2008
|www.chinaview.cn 2008-09-10 11:16:00|
HANOI, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — Some 2,800 Vietnamese women and children were trafficked to foreign countries, mainly neighboring ones, between 2005 and June 2008, many of whom have been forced to act as prostitutes, local newspaper Youth reported Wednesday.
Criminals often told women that they would help them tour or do business across borders, but in fact sold them to prostitution dens or foreign men in remote areas, said delegates to a national conference on human trafficking held in Hanoi on Tuesday.
Besides, a number of Vietnamese women and children have been trafficked via air and sea routes to farther countries such as South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and some European and American nations, Nguyen Quoc Nhat, vice director of the Social Order-Related Crime Investigation Department under the Ministry of Public Security, said, noting that they have been forced to work as either prostitutes or slaves.
The trafficking of Vietnamese infants, men and human viscera are showing embryonic signs, he said at the conference.
September 17, 2008
|Expatriates living in Vietnam are the stars of a popular new game show airing every Wednesday this month until the end of November.|
Titled “Say it if you dare,” the 30-minute game show – aired only in Vietnamese – features expat contestants who are taught Vietnamese words by two local celebrities. Contestants must then use the words in situations given by the judges such as bargaining at the markets or ordering at restaurants.
The judges will evaluate the contestants’ pronunciation and ability to use the words they have learnt.
The show, broadcast on VTC7 at 8 p.m. Wednesdays, is hoped to foster good relations between expats and Vietnamese citizens.
For information about the show, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (08) 830 4448.
Reported by Da Ly
July 13, 2008
June 26, 2008
March 27, 2008
|Awards flood Vietnamese artists|
|23:22′ 24/03/2008 (GMT+7)|
VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese artists are honoured by a lot of awards annually, but do these awards bring them fame and audience recognition?
The field that has the record for the number of awards is perhaps music, with Blue Wave of the HCM City People’s Voice Radio, Yellow Apricot of the Labourer Newspaper, Morning Star and Morning Star – Rendezvous of Vietnam Television (VTV), Sing on TV and TV Music Star of HCM City Television (HTV), Platinum Star of Screen – Stage Magazine, New Generation Diva of Movie – Stage Magazine, Dedication of Sports and Culture Newspaper, VTV – The Songs I Love, Vietnamese Song, Golden Album and others.
Meanwhile, movie awards include the Golden Lotus of the Vietnam Movie Agency, Golden Kite of the Vietnam Movie Association; and stage arts have the Tran Huu Trang Awards, the Awards of the Vietnam Stage Art Association, VTV’s Funny Gala, HTV Awards of HTV, etc.
Why are there so many awards? Because any agency can present awards. Most media agencies in Vietnam have their own awards. Big TV stations like VTV and HTV regularly organise music contests. Newspapers also hold music, art, and beauty contests.
However, is there any award that is internationally prestigious? Perhaps not.
There are many problems associated with the existing awards. For a very long time, organisers invited experts in each field to be jury members of awards. When award winners didn’t become famous after receiving awards, organisers invited journalists as jury members. Some organising boards give the audience the power to select the winners, hoping that the winners will be more famous and successful after receiving the audience’s support (by sending messages through mobile phones). But their expectations have failed.
Some artists say they cannot refuse to be nominees of some awards and these awards have no meaning for their career because the awards themselves are not prestigious. They also say art awards in Vietnam are spiritually meaningful, not materially.