Monday, August 24, 2009

We're Doomed (a Continuing Series)

Film maker Oliver Stone is directing a 10-part series called the "Secret History of America," debuting in 2010. Surprisingly, the series isn't slated for "The Cartoon Network," but rather will be aired on Showtime:
Narrated by Stone, the new one-hour series will feature episodes that focus on human events, that at the time went under-reported, but crucially shaped America's unique and complex history over the last 60 years. Stone and a small group of historians and archivists have meticulously combed through the national archives of the U.S., Russia, South Africa, England, and Japan in search of papers, letters, memoranda, film, and photographs to assist in their documentation of unknown historical figures and events that have rarely, if ever, been revealed. Topics range from President Harry Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan to the origins and reasons for the Cold War with the Soviet Union, to the fierce struggle between war and peace in America’s national security complex. Newly discovered facts and accounts from the Kennedy administration, the Vietnam War, and the great changes in America’s role in the world since the fall of Communism in the 1980s will be presented.

Oliver Stone, who has worked on the series for almost 2 years, said today, "Through this epic 10-hour series, which I feel is the deepest contribution I could ever make in film to my children and the next generation, I can only hope a change in our thinking will result."
Given Stone's suck-up to Fidel Castro, not to mention his other "history" films, I can't wait for his take on the atomic bomb. Well, actually, I can--but email me if he portrays the present President as the Obamessiah. (Similarly, I skipped most of Ted Turner's absurd series on the Cold War--which was an apologia for the Soviet Union.)

The good news:
1) Stone's Showtime project could delay his planned hagiography, I mean, documentary on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

2) As Hugh Hewitt says, "I'd like to thank Oliver Stone in advance for enough material to fuel 50 radio shows."
(via Eric at Classical Values)


OBloodyHell said...

> Narrated by Stone, the new one-hour series will feature episodes that focus on human events, that at the time went under-reported, but crucially shaped America's unique and complex history over the last 60 years.

What, like Walter Cronkite's blatant abuse of journalistic privilege to make the Tet Offensive seem like a defeat for the USA when it was actually a catastrophe for North Vietnam... and Cronkite's report effectively snatched defeat from the jaws of victory for the South Vietnamese people?

Carl said...

I actually didn't mind Cronkite's editorializing, since it was his opinion. He was wrong in the sense you say, but right in another way: with rules of engagement preventing us from pursuing the NVA across the DMZ, the war could not be won.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

"...the origins and reasons for the Cold War..." yeah, I'm dying to hear what secret information he uncovered that is bigger than the fact that the Russians ate 20 countries.

As to Vietnam, I believe that more recent historians are suggesting that we could have won nonetheless. I admit I have no expertise in the area. Also, Cronkite was still regarded as a reporter of news rather than an opinion-offerer, and he traded on that credibility some.

suek said...

Actually, we _did_ win. Forget the "nonetheless".

The problem was that after we won, we promised the South Vietnamese government support, then Congress pulled it and refused to give the S. Vietnamese anything. Without US support, the N.Vietnamese - supported by Communist China - walked in and took over.

Sort of like this:

Same old same old...Democrats start wars, Republicans win them, and then Dems give away the victory.

Carl said...

OBH and AVI: On second thought, you may be right that Cronkite's editorializing went too far. suek is definately right about the Democratic Congress in '74. But, I still don't see how we could have won the war with the then-current rules of engagement.

suek said...

But we did. Until Congress pulled the rug out from under...

Carl said...


I agree that the Democrat Congress lost the war. But I still think that America's restrictive rules of engagement -- which virtually ruled-out troop incursions and close air support north of the DMZ -- made the war virtually impossible to win.