For a program that bills itself as "50 years of the US at war" the show is not history. This is a look at the mentality of generals in Viet Nam, The First Gulf War and Iraq minus critical details and turning points in each conflict.
The show leaps through Viet Nam with only the broadest of strokes. This segment features General Colin Powell, a captain in Viet Nam at the time, yet conspicuously fails to mention nationwide protests, Agent Orange, POWs or the My Lai Massacre. All of these factors significantly impacted the war in Viet Nam yet are not even mentioned.
To make things worse, Capt. Powell in 1968, reported of the My Lai Massacre that the "soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent" perpetuating the myth that the war was winnable for another 6 years and covering up the slaughter of civilian women and children by the hundred.
When the first Gulf War is loosely explored there is no mention of SCUD missiles, Saddam's pre-existing relationship with the US or Gulf War syndrome to follow. In fact, the destruction of the Iraqi Army of 100,000 men (slaughtering 35,000 to less than 2000 total Coalition casualties) is categorized as an unqualified victory with no harmful after-effects.
In telling the story of the Iraq invasion in March of 2003, the reason for the invasion is completely omitted - namely WMDs. Colin Powell (a salesman of the traveling train theory of WMDs himself) and others tell the stories of winning and holding cities like Mosul and Kirkuk in upbeat tones. The problem there is that these cities soon fell back into the hands of the local insurgents in a matter of days after US forces left.
The only valid point that this sanitized war "history" is that Iraq and Viet Nam are nearly identical as quagmires. This is only mentioned in terms of "I hope this ain't Viet Nam" by the interviewees.
Truly, this is an insult to veterans of all three conflicts for presenting a backwards, spotty and deliberately misleading account of US forces roles in each one of these undeclared wars.
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