News Release

Vietnam War and “The Killing of History”


JOHN PILGER, [in London] jpilger2003 at yahoo.co.uk, @johnpilger
Available for a limited number of interviews, Pilger is an Australian-British journalist based in London. He covered the Vietnam War for a decade. His latest film is “The Coming War on China.” He recently wrote the piece “The Killing of History,” which states: “One of the most hyped ‘events’ of American television, ‘The Vietnam War,’ has started on the PBS network. … I watched the first episode in New York. It leaves you in no doubt of its intentions right from the start. The narrator says the war ‘was begun in good faith by decent people out of fateful misunderstandings, American overconfidence and Cold War misunderstandings.’

“The dishonesty of this statement is not surprising. The cynical fabrication of ‘false flags’ that led to the invasion of Vietnam is a matter of record — the Gulf of Tonkin ‘incident’ in 1964, which Burns promotes as true, was just one. The lies litter a multitude of official documents, notably the Pentagon Papers, which the great whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg released in 1971. …

“I thought about the ‘decency’ and ‘good faith’ when recalling my own first experiences as a young reporter in Vietnam: watching hypnotically as the skin fell off Napalmed peasant children like old parchment, and the ladders of bombs that left trees petrified and festooned with human flesh. General William Westmoreland, the American commander, referred to people as ‘termites.’ …

“The ‘meaning’ of the Vietnam War is no different from the meaning of the genocidal campaign against the Native Americans, the colonial massacres in the Philippines, the atomic bombings of Japan, the leveling of every city in North Korea. …

“Nothing has changed. When Donald Trump addressed the United Nations on Sept. 19 — a body established to spare humanity the ‘scourge of war’ — he declared he was ‘ready, willing and able’ to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea and its 25 million people. …

“His rival for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, had boasted she was prepared to ‘totally obliterate’ Iran, a nation of more than 80 million people. This is the American Way; only the euphemisms are missing now. …

“Returning to the U.S., I am struck by the silence and the absence of an opposition — on the streets, in journalism and the arts, as if dissent once tolerated in the ‘mainstream’ has regressed to a dissidence: a metaphoric underground.

“What is known in the U.S. as ‘the left’ has effectively allied with the darkest recesses of institutional power, notably the Pentagon and the CIA, to prevent a peace deal between Trump and Vladimir Putin and to reinstate Russia as an enemy, on the basis of no evidence of its alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“The true scandal is the insidious assumption of power by sinister war-making vested interests for which no American voted. The rapid ascendancy of the Pentagon and the surveillance agencies under Obama represented an historic shift of power in Washington. Daniel Ellsberg rightly called it a coup. The three generals running Trump are its witness.”