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tv   Washington Journal 1968 - Vietnam War  CSPAN  March 27, 2018 1:12pm-2:46pm EDT

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of teach spers to the profession and filling all of the positions necessary to provide our students the best classroom environment and qualified teacherings. especially in the areas of math and science and even technology. >> voices from the states. on c-span. now, the first program in our 9 week series, 1968 america in turmoil. we begin with the vietnam war. covering the major military, political and diplomatic developments in the war that year. our guests are veteran and former navy secretary, jim webb and author david march ra minus. we given with a video on the state of the war in 1967 produced by the photographic center.
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this is "american history tv." >> these marines return from the a tough battle in the north. now in a defensive perimeter. the weapons are cleaned and cared for. a matter of importance in the life of a professional fighting man. this is neither a clean or easy life for our men but they learn to accept the physical harp shippeds of battle as their fathers did before them. ♪ marines recount battles fight in every climb and place. here in vietnam, except for snow. they prove it. from the soft -- canals and streams. then, push forward into the jungle and the mountains where elephants and lions and giant trees cut off the sun.
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>> it is not just a matter of long walks in the tropical heat. each step must be cautious because the -- it only digs deeper as you fight to pull away. the traps. and sitting and waiting for the threat and you will never know which piece of grass has sharp bamboo spikes. marine engineers must sweep the roads and trails in search of killer mines. the troops must provide a screen of security, and the revolutionary rebuilding of their nation t. is necessary to constantly patrol the villages and country side to deny reentry
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to the -- throughout the area each week. one of the most difficult jobs in this war is to distinguish friend from foe. each person must be searched and identified. whether turned up by scrutiny or captured by combat, they are treated with fairness under the rules of convention. -- such treatment of a cruel enemy results in the -- information that reveals the whereabouts of the enemy. in possession of such knowledge, marines react quickly and plans are formulated and a striking force moves out quick.
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as they move in on the enemy position, they are met by intention small arms fire. the attack is carried to the enemy. and again, that film from 1967 and jack web as we begin our -- a year in turmoil, a special serryes and we are welcomi welcoming jim webb. author of "i heard my country calling." thank you for being with us. and david ma ra minus and let me
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begin with where we were in 1968. who was winning the vietnam war? >> no one was winning. everyone was losing. >> why? >> for a lot of different reasons. the united states government without telling the public nard to decide that they didn't know thousand win the war unless they wanted to win the war. the public -- more than 50% of the people still supported the war. it was completely unknown what was going to happen next. so i would say that everyone was losing at that point. >> you were at the naval academy in the 1960s, what was that like as you and your colleagues prepares to sever in combat. >> i got there in 1964 when the gulf of tonkin graduated in 1968 after the tet offensive and people seemed to understand
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clearly there were objectives. the best part to start with the question you asked david, what were we attempting to achieve and how can you measure that now. there's is latin cause, we saw now how the war ended but what was it looking like in 1968. there were valid strategic reasons to go into vietnam. if you look at the east asian region. torn apart by war and japan -- and the colonial powers left and governmental systems and economic systems in turmoil. we had the korean war and there was legitimate, international communist movement. we can smile about that now. but it was legitimate and -- trained in moscow for years. in an exchange between him and
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stalin back. and how do you fight the war and what was going on back here in terms of articulating -- >> -- >> when i was in vietnam, as any given day as a marine. we were fighting three different wars. a conventional war between north vietnamese -- and surgeon si war and terrorist war. which this country didn't understand at that time. that's the reason john kennedy decided to put american troops in vietnam in 1961. the communist assassination squad was killing 11 government officials a day. how do you say who is winning or losing in the middle of that sort of turmoil is hard to say. >> let me take senator webb'sen point about the objective. if you look at the documentary,
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it shifted through time of truman and -- was it a shifting objective by 1968? >> by 1967, late 1967, the policy had shifted, yes. and the defense secretary basically this hasn't come out yet, but they decided that they were not going to win the war and that the best they can do is a stalemate. that's what they were dealing with at the time. the war has to be dealt with in three ways, one is the military which jim was part of. one is the policy which is different and the third is society. and what was happening in united states at that time. >> that's outline in your back, "they marched into sun light." you have the antiwar demonstrations including madison, wisconsin and doubt chemical in the bombing s and
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the horrific deaths of so many people in vietnam. tie the three together. >> it wasn't just -- it was agent orange. and the protest at the university of wisconsin in october, 1967 was the first student protest that turned into a violent confrontation on a campus. and it was against our chemical company recruiting on the campus at a time when students were opposed to the war. there's an interesting connection that you can only make in retro spec which is that as much as the students were protesting the war for a combination of idealism that they didn't want to fight in the war. they were proposing two chemicals which had a profound negative effect on the soldiers and all of the people of vietnam. nay palm was destroying villages
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and working as a weapon in that war and eight arms had the affect on the people and soldiers. i've dealt with over the years who fought in 1967 and dying of bladder cancer in their 60s because of the effects of eight orange. >> did you see that? >> yeah. at the same time, let's again, take a look at the framework under which this war was being caught. i think it was the most complicated war that the united states has ever had to fight. it's not necessarily, a negative thing to say at this point. but maybe a stalemate given the strategic circumstances and the power of the antiwar movement here was an acceptable goal at a certain point. just like north korea versus
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south korea and east germany versus west germany. can you preserve a portion of a country and develop a democracy and over time have something different come out. south versus north korea is a great example. another thing that should be remembered. is that the third war, at the extreme left, there were people who had revolutionary goals in this country that didn't connect with vietnam at first. the great example of that is the students for democratic society, the sds, was at the vanguard of a lot of the violent protests. formed in 1962 with the port heron statement in michigan. the issue -- galvanizing american into change. the war affected everyone,
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potentially, every family and it folded into these other issue that is they were debating. you know, the north vietnamese, i spent a lot of time during the war and since the war. i've written 10 books several about vietnam. this was a memoir partly about vietnam. i met with the people who fought and one of the characters in the book about vietnam, he was the kernel who was on the palace grounds at the end of 1975 and later said that the rear-front of the economy in stafford was here to galvanize the antiwar movement and -- that folded into a lack of clarity on the political and strategic objectives.
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and the other thing that needs to be said because it is not talked about enough. is the policy of the communist government since 1958. it's a classic policy of communism to have assassination as a key element of a strategy. they would go after people who were apart of or anyway in the leadership of south yeet na-- vietnam. we didn't know how to do that. we h we had incidents that were regret full and disgusting. the result of emotional overload and people blowing it. they were obligations from the policy, legally or morally. that is not true from the other side. when you look at the way that it was talked about and you know,
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used as an example in a number of the recent documentaries. he kill 2,000 of south vietnamese. assassinated them. we don't hear them talking that. >> let me remind the audience. there's a number of ways to engage in the conversations. vietnam veteran, 202-748-8000. you can follow us on twitter. we have a pole on who is winning in 1968. and we would love to have you participate. david maraniss. >> i would like to respectly disagree. i think it is one thing but doesn't necessarily represent the ant war movement which is
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more diverse than just trying to have a revolution in the united states. >> i would agree with you on that. >> i think that was a little bit of a stretch to take it to that place. though, very valid reasons to oppose the war that have nothing to do with that. secondly, on the vietnamese side, i agree that the antiwar movement was naive thinking that it was just a civil war is and involved in the south is and north vietnamese and china helping controlling it. which they were. it doesn't make the war valid because of that and doesn't make the united states response valid as we will see in 1968. >> the tet offensive referring to the lunar new year, what was the objective by the military? >> there was a debate within the north vietnamese military on whether to do it yet.
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jap opposed it. there was a stronger side that repraled. this is the will you nar new year, january 31st, 1968. and what they decided is that would have a massive attack everywhere they could to try to discombobulate the americans in the south and have a publicity effect on everything. there was a debate on whether it would be worth it. they knew there would be a lot of casualties which, in fact, happened. and lost in terms of publicity. >> this is from the army explaining what happened at the tet offensive. runs about a minute 1/2. >> at the end of january, 1968, alive with -- for the people of the vietnam, tet is a joyful
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time of the year. the first spring of the second republic of vietnam. seemed to -- holiday. anxiety of war. paying respect to their an ses tors. -- ancestors. to their homeland. if you however, the traditional fire crackers began the fireworks of war. taking advantage of the noisy celebration launched an attack. the city became a bladesing -- blazing inferno. block after block of the capitol city burned with a fire.
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>> that film from the south vietnamese army and tet taking place, two months later president lyndon johnson announcing he would not seek another term and the speech was about vietnam and the tet offensive. here is what he said. >> their attack during the tet holidays failed to achieve its principle be objective. it did not collapse the e being elected government of south vietnam or shatter its army as the communist hoped. it did not produce a general uprising among the people of the cities as they predicted. the communist were unable to maintain control of any of the more than 30 cities that they attacked.
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and they took very heavy casualties. but they did compel the south vietnamese and their allis to move certain forces from the country side into the cities. they caused wide spread disruption and suffering. their attacks and the battles that followed made refugees of half a million human beings. -- they are it appears, trying to make 1968 the year of decision in south vietnam. the year that brings if not final victory or defeat, at least a turning point in the struggle. >> again, march 31, 1968 and jim webb, you were wrapping up your tenure at the naval academy. you heard this speech? >> i'm sure i did. i know what he said.
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>> so what was happening in the time frame. >> here is what i think we need to do. i know it is a show about 1968. it is difficult to talk about the vietnam war and freeze-frame it into one year or even a few months out of one year. >> certainly. >> and by the way my wife was born in vietnam in the tet offensive in 1968 and became refugees after the fall of cygone. one thing you will see is every presidential year, they were able to mobileize some sort of an offensive that would get the attention over here. and that is what happened in tet '68. it is kind of interesting. you showed a clip of a south vietnamese explanation and so many other documentaries you are getting straight propaganda footage about what the soldiers
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were doing and direct interviews with the american marines and soldiers reminiscing in a personal way and set next to each other and people can be lead to one conclusion or another. winning militarily, the 20th anniversary of the fall of cygone, 19 -- losing 1.4 million soldiers dead. we lost 58,000. the south vietnamese lost thousands also. we did our job. in terms of articulating the message. it was difficult because it was an evolving message and it was very unclear as to what goals were going to continue as the situation changed over there. but, you know, i can remember reading during tet '68, "the
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washington post." peter one of the greatest war correspondent during the war who is a marine and was injured. he spent three years over there. you can read the front page of "the washington post" and have straight up factual reporting on the battle of way and you get to the editorial pages and the political people and i've been a political person over there and it was okay, this is not working. it's time to do something else. so very difficult for the count tr -- country to process. what a win or loss was. david was saying, the tet offensive was a military failure. that's not what was being promoted at the time. >> one final point going to the comments, talking what is happening in the home front. you have the tet offensive in late january, 1968. >> february -- more americans killed in one week during the
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tet offensive than any time in the war. over 500. >> then you had president's johnson's speech? >> before that, march 12th the knew new hampshire primary. he does not win but gets 40% of the vote against lbj and then four days later robert f kennedy, two candidates running against johnson. about to lose the wisconsin primary and the next day 2kds not to run, march 31st. >> if it seems now more certain than ever that the experience of vietnam is to end in a stalemate. how significant was that? >> there were three networks that he was the voice of middle america or considered such. so that comment was vitally important. you know, lbj used to say that a
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post-editorial writer supporting the war was worth two divisions and probably walter was an entire army. >> our conversation with david maraniss, an author, and "the post" jim webb. let's get to the calls. >> thank you. half of our classroom, 21 boys, 12 of us are vietnam veterans. it was over 8,000 americans, nurses, soldiers, marines would volunteer for vietnam every year of the war. you cannot get none of the presidents to move on the backlog of playing over 400,000 people. people waiting two and three
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years. people like myself, cannot get out -- moved at the hospital year after year they cannot make our claims. >> that seems to be one of the legacies who served today and you dealt with that in the senate. >> i dealt with it at the full committee council in the congress back in 1977. i work on the veterans committee. i have been working it directly or pro bono, i appreciate you stepping forward and serving. and there's a great misunderstanding in this country about how proud the people who served at vietnam are. we did a survey when i was on a committee council in 1980. $6 million towards attitudes of veterans and 91% of the people were glad they served.
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74% said they enjoyed their time in the military and two out of three knowing the end result, they would go back again. in terms of the v.a., i got to the senate in '07. the v.a. backlog was 600,000 claims and when i left it was 900,000 claims. in difficulty with the system and attorneys involved in the way they haven't before in term offense litigation. a lot of it was plain leadership. they worked very hard on that. one of the other lessons from vietnam is that the g.i. bill for the people who served in vietnam was miniscule compared to the world war ii g.i. bill which enable the futures of 8 million of our 16 million world war ii soldiers.
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i wrote and passed, the post-9/11 g.i. bill. i'm proud of that. >> everything that happens with the v.a. is a reminder that wars don't end when the battles end. they go for the rest of their lives. >> joe is next. a vietnam veteran from silver spring, maryland. >> good morning. the question about winning the war to me, the people who won are the people who supplied the bombs and bullets in vietnam and any war there after. regarding of the incident of the gulf of tonkin. the united states had -- south
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vietnamese against the north at the time. so it was supposed to be a push back to them being run. presently i work for the v.a. and i see disability claims and they are just with incidents of undiagnosed illness, fatigue and phi bra myalgia -- brought to us and we don't see to get the message that we have to keep our young men and women safe and not put them in harms way. thank you very much and have a great day. >> so back to orange. >> so very much so. there are a lot of different aspects to that and definitely -- i mean, every war has a material aspect to it of people benefitting from the war. and you know, you can make the
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argument that the war is fought because of that. i disagree with that. i think it is bi-product of t. i think wars are fight because of policy not the economics for. >> it we are beginning a nine-part series here on c-span. we are pleased to join you as we look at 1968 and the vietnam war -- >> can i make a comment about what the gentlemen said about who won? >> sure. >> with respect to agent orange. i counseled three out of the five hearings trying to find the nexus. people think that when the trees went down, die ok -- creating m
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singapore was one of the most brilliant minds and he used to say that the united states effort in vietnam actually created a win for the region because it slowed down the sorts of revolutionary movements and allowed these countries to invigorate new governmental systems and economic systems. and i think when we put into the formula of the attempt that we made to preserve a democracy there that there were very strong positive long-term results out of that. >> there are also more than 1 million vietnamese deaths and 58,000 american deaths. >> was the u.s. wing the vietnam war, that's our question on twitter at c-span history. we appreciate your par t
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participation. we will go to michael joining us from virginia. another vietnam veteran, good morning. >> hello, washington and the world that is listening to this station. i have direct knowledge about why the vietnam war went on. it was -- goes back to the term of the century when the french went there and the economists went there to take charge of an -- it was called and they utilized it as a steppingstone for the economy of plantations and opium. >> david maraniss, is that correct? >> i would say if you go there, jim has gone there every year
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and i've been there for my book. you will see that in the perspective of the vietnamese today, the americans are the least -- the country they hate the least out of the french, chinese and americans. because the french colonized them and that's different than fighting a war. so i think the frefrnch aspect s economic and the plantations was a vital part. >> general william westmoreland. >> i think it is an important part of how we process the war. i hope more people in the country will talk to the vietnamese american community and will learn about a lot of the stakes that were in play during the war that we never talk about.
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yes, the french colonized them. i can get away from the translators, the japanese were the worst occupyiers of vietnam. they killed and starved about 1 million veet inietnamese. so they have a long cologne yol history. the question was how does vietnam move forward away from a colonial system? and there were a number of anti-french political groups and a great percentage got killed before we got there and they were taken over and solidified the communist system. a lot of the vietnamese we forget about. 245,000 died on our side.
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a million sent to reeducation camps after the war. some of my good friends, 13 1/2 years came here and rebuilt a life in a system that if it had been in place over there. you would see is a vigorous culture and explosion of an economy. i have been patient working with the vietnamese government today to open up the doors and recreate the bonds between the overseas vietnamese and the communist government. but there was a lot at stake for them in terms of how that future would play out. >> wouldn't it be better to say that the united states was on their side rather than they were on our side? >> i think both is true. i think both is true. i think there were common interests strategically for us and governmentally and politically for them. and they've been great americans.
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>> let me go to my earlier point about general westmoreland. how is his involvement in that? >> i don't want to sum that up. it is out of the area where i spent my time. i will say this for the united states marines who were in ve vietnam. 103,000 killed and wounded in vietnam. more than any other war in catch wa -- casualty it is. >> from mier and specktive. in october of 1967, westmoreland was pushing the hardest saying that this war can be won. find the enemy and kill them. >> lyndon johnson saying give me
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numbers that will reinforce that? >> johnson was buying into that even though he had no clue how to win the war. >> for it seems now more certain than ever for the bloody experience of the vietnam is to end in a stalemate. >> february 1968. you are about to graduate and sever our country. how significant was that np the home front? >> in a factual correction. walter made a different broadcast that i don't think was widely published. saying something when he was finishing up his time in vietnam. saying something more positive than that. in term s of a stalemate. here is what i was believing and i still believe when i went into
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vietnam. first of all, i was -- i was -- i just taken four years of education in the naval academy to learn to sevrve my country. on the political side, five or six years from now come back and i'll tell you what i think. one things i saw, we keep mocking veet in a myization. i was a company commander and we worked with some of the better -- and they were good. and the belief i had is that the young that were coming, my age and younger that were being trained and had learned different ways of military leadership were strong and over time perhaps in in the north and south korea.
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how long did we wait? some day they will reunite. i worked in europe as assistant secretary defense. nobody believed that germ any i >> but vietnam has united. it is not the style of state that it was in the 1990s. it is a very different place today. you would agree with that. >> there is no way you can wind back the clock, you know. i started working with the vietnamese inside vietnam and the vietnamese community here for many years. i say the same thing inside vietnam as i do here. sometimes it got me in trouble when i first started going back to vietnam because the mantra from the communists when they see the american veteran is shake hands, make peace, move into the future. i say, will you shake the hand of the arvin. will you shake the hand of those
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who you put in the concentration camp, great. >> are there physical remnants of the war as you travel back to vietnam? >> when i was first going back and, you know, '91, '92. '92 we drove the entriire leng of the country. >> which took how long? >> about a month. started in hanoi and drove highway 1, the national road all the way to cambodia. the agreement was let's treat veterans from both sides. let us help treat the amputees in the south vietnamese armies and bring it together. at that point there were a lot of what you would call remnants or reminders. some were deliberate. the communists are very smart.
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they would leave a remnant of a base so whenever you would drive -- american base. you drive by it, you would see the weeds grow up and you remember, those people left us, you know. but yeah. i went out to the battlefields. i think i was the first vietnam veteran to go to the arizona valley where we had fought and talked with the villagers and brought back stuff. >> was that surreal? especially early on when you went there? >> it was healthy, actual lly t talk to the people who had been under fire from both sides, to go out and see the places that i had spent a good bit of my life in. and then, you know, the -- the hanoi side, the communist side, built many, many cemeteries for their soldiers and victory monuments and those sorts of things. >> david maraniss, you were there in 2005, 2006. our colleague traveled with you. >> yes.
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>> it is available on our website at c-span.org. what do you see? >> we saw many remnants. we went to the site, the battlefield of the book which is near the creek of 44 miles northwest of saigon. and met a farmer there who had been -- who had fought with the vietcong in that battle. we went with the north vietnamese division commander and with clark welch, the commander of one of the companies of the first division's black lines who fought in that battle. when we met the farmer who had been there at that time and walked through his fields out to the exact site of the battle and met one of his sons who the year before had lost his arm when an american bomb exploded as he was working that field. so that's a remnant, to see this kid without the arm.
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we went to hanoi, and i am sure jim visited what they call the peace hospital up there. i don't think it's totally propaganda. when you see all of these descendants, young girls, 13, 14 years old, with mutated limbs, largely from the effects of some of the munitions. >> let me just say, in that context, i have done it dozens of times. without having to have a government handler come in and arranged, you know, the -- pre-brief the enemy on the other side so you can do the thing. i have stumbled, walk out in the arizona valley, a lot of these other areas, and bump into people who would start talking about what they did. i'll tell you one thing. there is an enormous respect for the american marines who fought out there. and from the other side. i have bumped into a veteran of a big battle we were in in may of 1969, who didn't know who --
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where i was coming from or what -- why i was there. i was looking at an area where some of my marines had died. we just stumbled into a conversation. those are healthy as long as everybody is allowed to participate. >> i would agree with that. the most profound experience i had during that visit was watching clark welch, the american, tremendous leader of the -- of one of the companies, walk arm in arm with the commander of the vietcong first division as they went through the battlefield together. two men who didn't speak the same language who had tried to kill each other some 40 years ago and were respecting each other as they walked through the battlefiel battlefield. >> 1968, the vietnam war. a nine-part series. you can follow it on our website at c-span.org and follow us on
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twitter @c-span history. to clyde from minnesota. another vietnam veteran. >> thank you for taking my call. i want to make a few quick points. i am very proud of the fact that my father, while he was quite old when i was born, served in world war i. i enlisted in the navy in 1967. i was proud to also have performed and achieved conscious objection after enlisting in the navy. yet i got orders to vietnam and served in the rivers over there for one year. i could have refused orders but i didn't. we hauled the napalm and ammunition up and down the river at night usually and the gun boats were our escorts. we need to be very, very careful who we elect as our leaders. the war was -- we pulled out finally in 1975, okay. nixon went to china when? who supplied the vietnamese with
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armament besides russia? china. thre these are my points. moral character, ethical character, very, very much matters. and the truth, and i mean the truth, we need to get back on track with these people we elect and the decisions they make that put so many people and families in harm's way. thank you very much for taking my points. thank you so much. >> clyde, thank you. there are a couple of things at play here. first of all, his service in vietnam and what he saw, and also the election of lyndon johnson in 1964 promising to let asian boys do that and not american soldiers. jim webb. >> first of all, i want to say how much i appreciate your call. i don't know if i am seeing you or not here with the camera in front of me. there are a couple important points that were made there. one is -- one of the things i learned during the vietnam period, not just during my service, was to respect anyone
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in this country who was operating within our legal system when it comes to whether you serve, whether you don't serve. and there were a lot of people who felt strongly on the other side about the war as david mentioned. no question about that. and the other is we need to respect the tradition of serving the country for those who do step forward. the vietnam war has been characterized as a draftees' war. if you look at data, i did a lot of work on this in the late '70s, to say who served, how does it compare to other wars. two-thirds of the people were volunteers. 73% of the people who died were volunteers. my family has a history of volunteering. when you asked me what was my political view in 1968. i was a marine. i wanted to lead people. that was my life. it was going to be my life. my son, during the iraq period,
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he and i both were very opposed to the strategy going into iraq. i wrote a piece in the "washington post" five months before the invasion saying this is going to empower iran and china. we should not be invading. my son dropped out of penn state, enlisted and fought in iraq. my father, like this gentleman, my father served. not career people like the mccain family, who i greatly admire and respect. but when the time comes, we serve. that needs to be on the table when we remember these things. >> let me get your reaction on another point. we did an interview with james jones, who was president lyndon johnson's ostensibly chief of staff. he said nixon undercut any efforts late in 1968 by president johnson to bring an end to the war.
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>> there is an excellent new biography of richard nixon by my friend john farrell, who found some notes at the nixon library of haldeman writing about the way that they were trying to undercut the efforts in the peace talks right before that election through some working with the south vietnamese at that time. i think it's pretty conclusive now that that was going on. >> can i make a larger point about the truth? because he mentioned the truth there. i think that if you -- you can argue about policy, but one thing it's hard to argue about during that period of the vietnam war is that the united states government was lying. they were lying. so was the military. in my book at that point they were lying about body counts. why? because they thought they wanted to make the argument they can win the war, through battles of attrition, and if they killed enough north vietnamese and
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vietcong that they would win the car. in this battle, which was a devastating loss for the black lines battalion, westmoreland himself personally lied about what happened in that battle and so did the general, the first division commander. >> why did president johnson simply not pull the plug? why not simply say, we are leaving, peace with honor, we're going to leave vietnam and let the vietnamese deal with this issue? >> that has got a long history to it. i would say it has to do with politics in the united states, the democratic party and the way the republican party had dominated the whole notion of patriotism, and the cold war through that whole period. >> well, just sort of to round this out, in terms of body counts, i mean, there are two things that can be said about body counts. first of all, it was a war of attrition. ho chi minh used to say, for every one of you we kill you'll
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kill ten of us and you will get tired. the body count by hanoi's admission came out pretty exact. when they admit 1.4 million soldiers dead, whether one battle or another was exaggerated, they were losing an awful lot of people. so, you know, i mean that just needs to be said. >> we'll go to frank from palm bay, florida, a lot of vietnam vets on this sunday. we appreciate it. go ahead, frank. >> hello. i have got a question for jim webb. i was with the fifth marines at the same time he was, and i know exactly where the village was where he got wounded at. and i am wanting to know if he remembers the frustration that we used to feel by going to the same places day in and day out and taking the same wounded and they knew kind of exactly when we were coming and going, and it was just the same thing day in,
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day out. it was -- we -- you got hit next to henderson hill, and we used to go there all the time. it was in and out, in and out. we felt such frustration because we weren't getting anywhere. >> frank, can you stay on the line, frank? we'll get a response, and if you want to follow up. >> thank you. it was good to hear from somebody who was in the fifth marines. actually, yeah, the first time i was wounded was off henderson hill. the second time was in the arizona valley. and one of the things that was frustrating as a rifle platoon and company commander was the lack of continuity of our intelligence. i was sitting with a very good friend of mine years ago. that's the reason i mentioned the second time. who got his eye shot out in the arizona valley. we were sitting in his back yard. i said, where were you wounded? he pulled out a map, and he said, right there. i said, are you kidding me.
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i was wounded like 800 meters away from where you were wounded, only two months later. that's just the inevitability of when you have these operations that are continually over the same areas, trying to make contact with the enemy. and to, you know, find, fix and destr destroy as the fifth marines used to say. that was our job, and we did it well. it was extremely frustrating. i agree with you. and the fifth marines took a lot of casualties out there. >> frank, did you want to follow up? >> no. thanks for taking my call. really appreciate it. and i really enjoy jim's books. and i hope, hopefully he can make a bigger impact on our veteran vets. >> semperfi. >> you mentioned john mccain. he was a prisoner of war in vietnam for five and a half
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years. here is part of that interview. >> one of the great things about being a fighter pilot is you are sure that everybody else is going to get shot down but not you. >> and when that happened, how many vietnamese were around you in the water in that lake? >> well, when i first went in, it's a long story, but i was barely able to get back to the surface. but then a bunch of them jumped in. and there is a picture which i am sure you'll show of them pulling me out of the lake. you can see my arm is broken and up high. then, of course, once they pulled me out they weren't very happy to see me. >> why not? >> because i had just finished bombing the place. and so that it got pretty rough. broke my shoulder. and all -- hurt my knee again. but, look, i don't blame them.
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i don't blame them. we are in a war. i don't -- didn't like it. but at the same time, when you are in a war and you're captured by the enemy, you can't expect, you know, to have tea. and so they pulled me out of the -- long story short, pulled me out of the lake, put me in a -- beat me up a little, or a lot, and then went to the now-famous hanoi hilton prison, which was just a short drive away. five-minute drive away. then it's a very long story about how they found out who my father was and they decided to give me treatment and two wonderful americans they moved me into finally, who thought that they had moved me in to die. and they took care of me, nursed me back to health. then, after they saw me in better health, they put me into
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solitary confinement. >> that full interview, by the way, is available on our website at c-span.org. 45 years ago this past week senator mccain releasing this video on his twitter page. his release from captivity. you can see him walking to freedom. senate webb. >> john mccain is a great friend. i have known him since 1978. and i tease him all the time because, when i go to hanoi, if you drive one little road out to what they call the west lake, you will see this plaque where that -- that memorializes where john mccain went into the lake. i like to tease john that he is the only american who has a memorial to him inside vietnam. >> except for morrison, the guy who tried to kill mcnamara also has a plaque there. >> that doesn't surprise me. but john's -- of john's getting shot down. i guess there are reasons they might put a plaque there.
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he did great service. you can tell he has a lot of grace in him about what the implications of war are. >> explain that story. >> well, i don't know too much about it, but i saw the plaque of that, of an american who was -- tried to kill mcnamara and that he is considered a hero in parts of vietnam. >> back to your phone calls. fred joins us from austin, texas. where and when did you serve, fred? >> i served in 1970-71 as an airborne combat infantryman in i-corps around the valleys and i carried the m-60 machine gun into the bush, the jungle, the mountains and the rice paddies. to the combat infantrymen who suffered through all that, there is one thing that irked me, and that was that the politicians were making the rules of
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engagement so that basically toward the end of my tour we could barely defend ourselves. then, when we come back to the mission to the rather for a couple of days, we would see that the civilians who were working there, in the mess halls that were hired, they were vietnamese. and, of course, we carried vietnamese scouts. these were the captured prisoners who were converted into scouts to come along with us, and they weren't the most trustworthy. we had our backs to the wall and we had no way to protect ourselves as the rules of engagement changed for political reasons. it is the same thing. if you weren't there, then you put down on paper these rules. and it would put the combat infantrymen in a dire situation, where they are risking their lives. that was the one thing that irked me. but i served, and i am glad i served. i am proud to have served. i just want to say airborne all
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the way. i was with the 81st airborne stateside. >> first of all, i want to say thank you. i was in the first marine division. the mountains separated us from the amerhical on the other side of the mountain. we used to see your flares overnight. appreciate what you did. it was a very bad area in terms of combat. big fights out there. one shout out here. there weren't many people from the professional sports world who went to vietnam. one was roger staubach, heisman trophy winner, who volunteered to spend a year. rocky bleier, notre dame, great blocking back for the pittsburgh steelers. he was -- he -- i think he accepted the draft. i can't remember exactly. he might have volunteered. but he was in the amerhical.
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he was wounded at the same time that all this stuff was going on for us. i have always had a tremendous regard for him. the rules of engagement were strict. they became more strict. the one thing i like to say about that, many times they were very frustrating. but, on the other hand, we are a nation of rules, and i want to emphasize this again. because one of the great failings on our side and actually bernard fall pointed this out in 1961 before we went in in his book "the two vietnams" was that we used artillery and supporting arms tactically. we would set up a perimeter. you would have your on-calls at night because the enemy would ingress, stage their stuff and attack you. but it was kind of random in the villages where they would see this stuff come out of the sky and civilians were often hurt.
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the communists used assassination as a tool of the policy. the worst thing i saw in the anwar basin where i fought was when the people would say, ah, the south vietnamese district chiefs are all corrupt. they stay in a villa in da nang. we made sure our company commander said, let's get out here, have a meeting with the villagers. we had 30 delegates. at the bottom of the perimeter. 30 people in a small room. they came in with three hitmen. killed 19 out of the 30 people, for having connected with the south vietnamese government. they need to own up. i say this to my friends in the government in vietnam. you need to own up that a lot of this stuff went on as a matter of policy. >> david -- one minute. i want to remind our audience that we are focusing on america, 1968. america in turmoil, the first of a nine-part series, part of
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c-span's american history tv. all available at c-span.org. former jim webb, formatter u.s. senator, navy veteran -- >> marine corps veteran. >> naval academy graduate. marine corps veteran. and david maraniss, associate editor at the "washington post," author of many books including "they marched into sunlight." >> since we are talking about 1968. it was march 16, 1968 when the melai happened. when you talk about rules of engagement, that's the worst that can happen when you don't follow rules of engagement, where hundreds of old people, kids, just civilians were literally slaughtered by american troops. if it wasn't for another heroic american helicopter pilot who landed in between them and stopped it, it could have gone
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on for longer. so, you know, of course there are -- there are wars -- war is awful in all respects, but there have to be certain ethical, moral rules of engagement standards or that can happen. >> the objective of melai was what? >> the objective was to destroy the village, basically. >> how many people died, how many civilians? >> several hundred. at least 500. >> going back to the earlier point of the caller and what was happening on the home front. there was more congressional oversight in 1968. we had the fullbright hearings in washington. how significant were they? >> every step of that was very significant. you have to understand that, in 1968, the war lasted for another seven years, but in terms of the turning point in terms of congressional approval over the next two or three years, it changed the war considerably. >> can i just, to finish this
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thought. i don't know the exact number of people who were killed at melai. whatever it was, it was atrocious. it was an atrocity. and we recognize that. this is the most important point i hope i can make today. we recognize that in our legal system and our system of morality. we declare this as an aberration. we still condemn it. two, three, four weeks before that, communist cadre lined up 2,000 vietnamese and killed them because they were connected to the south vietnamese government. it was a part of their policy. and we can't seem to get that into the history. i can accept -- you can see -- >> for ourselves. >> when we're talking about -- when we are allowing one side toert to sorted of cleanse their history, giving film footage that was basically their propaganda
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footage mixed into our documentaries and when we don't point it out, it seems like we were the evil source and that was all that was going on there. i accept that there is a different system in vietnam that i would have liked to have seen. i worked hard with it. i brought american companies into vietnam in the '90s after the trade embargo was lifted. we need an honest discussion about our history. >> johnson next from bedford, new hampshire. >> thank you very much for taking my call. first, senator webb, thank you for your service, both in the service and afterwards in congress and in the government. i was at west point from '68 to '72. a classmate of mine wrote a book about vietnam in retrospect, and he wrote -- he had a couple of
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thises. one was the general staff wanted to run the war on the same model that the european front was fought in world war ii. and that there were some pilot projects where what he called the ink blot approach of securing an area, providing 24-hour protection to the indigenous forces as well as our military, and then gradually expanding those so that people would see the benefits of peace and also of a change of government. but those projects, even though they had successes, they were abandoned because of higher-level priorities. also, senate webb, i do believe that if you had run as a republican i would be addressing you as president webb right now. and lastly, i felt during
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vietnam that people protested too much. in retrospect i have different feelings about that. and i now feel that because people don't have skin in the game, don't have family at risk, that people don't protest enough. and that if we still had the draft and if people still -- if service -- if military service was more widespread we would have different policies today in terms of iraq, afghanistan and elsewhere. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> those are excellent points. one thing that i went through when my son was in iraq. it's one thing to go and fight in a war. it's another thing to have your kid or your spouse over there. it is a totally different feeling. i used to say that if one-third of the congress had, you know,
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family members or close -- people they are close to at risk, they would wake up every morning, when you wake up every morning and wonder if your son is alive. you have a totally different feeling about how use of force is made in the country. there is absolutely nothing that this gentleman just said that i would disagree with other than that i am not sure i would have won as a republican. >> i have a couple of points there. >> certainly. >> i think the draft fueled the fire of the anti-war movement because it led the self-interest aspect to idealism. every young man of my age was debating what they'd do as well as their girlfriends and parents. it created the atmosphere that led to it. the second point is, i agree completely that you can't protest enough. dissent is a vital lifeblood of american democracy.
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>> you wrote about that in "first in his class" about bill clinton. >> this is an "associated press" photo called "turning point in the war" an iconic photograph from february of 1968. a south vietnamese brigadier general shooting a vietcong enlisted soldier. david maraniss. >> that was during the tet offensive that that happened. capturing the moment of death like that has a power beyond the reality of what was happening in terms of those two people. and i think that, just like the nightly broadcasts in vietnam which were showing much more than you ever saw in iraq in terms of what was -- of the brutality of war, affects people in a more visceral way. >> senator webb, would you agree with the "washington post," a grisly photo of a saigon
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execution 50 years ago shocked the world and helped end the war. agree or disagree? >> i would say first of all the facts of that -- i knew eddie adams. he passed away. he was a friend of mine. he did the photography in a number of journalistic stories i did for parade magazine. he was also a marine in korea. the facts of the story is the individual who was just shot killed family members of people and exactly what we are talking about in terms of just killing people. i am not sure that was a general. i know he was a police chief. maybe he was a general. but eddie adams said to me, and i have written about this, that when he -- he received an award for that photograph i think by the dutch, the dutch press organization. and when they read this sort of comment about his picture, he cried because that was -- that was not the intention of making a photograph like that. he was a professional
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photographer. >> and the cut line describes him as the south vietnamese brigadier general and chief of national police. >> right. >> brigadier general and national police. >> back to your phone calls. from athens, ohio, chester. go ahead, please. >> hello there. yes. in reference to that photo, that police chief, what he had done, he had killed several people in the village. so basically he was a terrorist is what he was. he deserved to be shot. my point is -- >> chester, stay on the line for a moment. you knew eddie adams. obviously -- did he have any sense that this was about to happen? do you know the story behind this picture? >> eddie adams was a great photographer. i think he saw on event and just started snapping and the photograph came out. the gentleman makes an excellent point because that's exactly one of the points i have been trying to make during this -- >> chester, thanks. i didn't mean to cut you off. go ahead, please. >> okay. my point is you're talking about the protest. i think we should be allowed to
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protest but you have to be careful with these protests because a lot of protesting going on back then, that foreign policy that controlled what we did over there -- by protesting all this, we couldn't expand the war or anything. it handcuffed our troops. we couldn't go to cambodia or laos and chase the people. they stayed right over there and used it as a buffer, and it handcuffed us. y you need to be careful when you are talking about protesting. i don't think i'll ever forget those people, what they did. >> i think it was the policy that handcuffed the policy. >> let's go to bonney from bellevue, washington. >> hello? >> go ahead, bonney. >> i am the wife of a vietnam veteran. the war affected us as home equally and in a different way from those serving abroad. the point i wanted to make was
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that in 1968, not only were the protests going on, we haven't gotten to april, may, june of that year when we had -- my husband and i were 1964 graduates of high school. 1968 graduates of college. i can -- i don't believe that most people were volunteers. i think my husband was a volunteer only because he was going to be drafted in three months, so he walked in and volunteered because he wanted to choose the time to go. he felt he had no choice. most of our class -- we had many who passed away, who were killed, ptsd, extreme cases of that from the class of '64. and the class of '68. '68, when my husband was in
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training, we had martin luther king killed, bobby kennedy killed. we had riots. it was a very tumultuous, unsettling, unhappy time. >> bonnie, thank you. i want to jump in and also remind you that we are focusing next week on those political events. thank you for adding that to the conversation. jim webb, did you want to respond? >> yes. first of all, i want to thank you and your husband and your friends for what they did during that period and for him having stepped forward and served. it was -- it was difficult for a lot of people making those decisions. there is no doubt about that. i remember -- i know you are going to talk about it in your next segment, but just in the
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months leading up before i graduated from the naval academy in 1968, martin luther king was killed i believe on april 7th. >> 4th. >> was it the 4th? robert kennedy was killed the night before we graduated on june the 5th. he was killed at 2:00 in the morning. it was a tremendous amount of turmoil in the country. you made a point which i think ought to be put on the table, and that is, as a family member of people who served. i grew up in the military. there was one point when i was young, i -- my dad was gone for three and a half years. he was able to come back for visits, but he was stationed overseas. my mom was 24 years old with four kids. and lived in a town with no support. now we have great support structures for our military people, but the price that families pay, the sacrifices that they make we don't often put into the formula. so thank you very much. >> you both studied this conflict, this war, probably more than anyone else.
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going back to 1968, was there a path to victory for the u.s.? >> i think we'll disagree about this. i think not. i think that, no matter what we had done in the end it wasn't going to be enough. i think fighting on someone else's turf like that is an impossible task. and that there was -- it depends on how you define "victory." if you define it as a stalemate like korea, then perhaps that could have lasted, but i don't think the american public had the patience for it. >> i think that, with the growth of the south vietnamese military leaders that -- it depends upon what your objective would have been by 1968 as opposed to 1963, let's say, when there were a total different set of circumstances. i do believe that, if we had
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lived up to our obligations, that there would -- we would have been able to have had, call it a stalemate, but, you know, we don't think in -- the chinese think in terms of hundreds of years. we think in terms of months and election cycles. but i think we discredit the -- what the younger south vietnamese leaders had brought to the table and we shouldn't forgot the way this war ended in 1975 when we really pulled the plug on them and left them hanging. i got a lot of friends who were out there who ended up in reeducation camps when they were down to like two artillery rounds, two per day. i used to fire 600 per day as a company commander. >> having talked to my brother who served two tours of duty in vietnam, has it left a scar on that generation? >> oh, absolutely. it's left a scar on this country. for all of these decades. yes. >> what about in vietnam? >> less so. vietnam is the youngest country in the world.
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and the -- so the vast majority of the people there consider the american war of aggression, as they call it, a speed bump in their history. >> that's because, when the communists took over, they -- there is only one thing that's really taught, and you have the vietnamese americans over here, two million american vietnamese -- >> that's different, yes. >> vietnamese american. americans of vietnamese descent, that is a scar that has to be healed. i have worked very hard on it over the years. if you are a south vietnamese army veteran in vietnam, you are not a veteran. you have no veteran status. that's one thing i started working on in the '90s. >> explain that. >> ironically it's a little bit like the confederate army after the civil war. that's how states rights got so
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big. you are not recognized as a veteran. they were getting no medical care, those sorts of things. and the cemeteries for the arvin, south vietnamese, were allowed to fall apart. there is a big cemetery outside of saigon where they put the word "traitor" over the cemeteries where these thousands of south vietnamese soldiers who had been killed. and that needs to be healed. we did this in this country after the civil war. it took a long time, but we did it. there is a confederate memorial in the arlington national cemetery that was put in there in 1912. when i have friends from hanoi visit me, i like to take them there. this is how you bring peace. we bring people together. >> that's still breaking up again, the confederate issue.
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>> we can do a whole show on that. >> that's another topic for american history tv. we are talking about james webb and david maraniss as we look back at 1968, a year in turmoil and the vietnam war. john from los angeles, vietnam war veteran. thank you for waiting. go ahead. >> yes. good morning, gentlemen. i find the conversation a little scary. i would like to focus my remarks to the senator, who i do believe falls in the category of those who experience things but forget the lessons they're supposed to learn from them. vietnam was a terrible war. we should have never been there. i don't know about the senator's recollection, but most of the people in the field were people who were drafted into the service. and most of those people came back with wounds that haven't been healed and probably can never be healed. my personal experience was i went over to vietnam
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volunteering, okay. after my experience of volunteering, i realized that i was doing the wrong thing, and most of the people around me was realizing the same thing. i came back, and i wasn't expecting a thank you for your service and i hope you, senator, don't say that to me. i came over here realizing i had made a mistake, and i was wondering what i could do about it. so i started on a quest of basically trying to figure out what the truth is. what's really going on. i was a seeker, i guess. i found out now that most people in this country never sought something. they forgot something. the wound you were talking about has healed. sometimes when people's wounds heal they forget the pain but the pain we had from those wounds have been torn open by the way we are conducting ourselves in this world today. to me, sir, what we are supporting, the hawkish attitudes that this program infers, is most dissettling and
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i hope americans are not buying into it. >> well, let me just give you some thoughts on that. first of all, in america everyone is entitled to their own opinion. and have their own reactions to things that they went through. i spent most of my life looking at this issue, the issue of service, and what this war was all about. i have spent time in vietnam looking at it. i worked on the veterans committee. i represented an individual who was wrongly convicted of homicide inside vietnam for six years, pro bono. there is room for lots of other opinions. i am sorry to say this to you but i'll say it again. if you look at the polling data of people who served in vietnam. 91% are glad they served their country. 9% are not. 74% said they enjoyed their time in the military to some extent and two out of three said they
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would do it again. so there are people who don't agree with that. and however you look at the views that i have been talking about today with respect to vietnam, i think you should take some time and look at the views that i have had on other different foreign policy situations in this country. i was the first, i think, major figure to say that the iraq -- invasion of iraq was going to be a strategic blunder, five months before the war, editorial pfor the "washington post." alt although my family has a tradition of service and my son fought in iraq. so, we are a big country. we had 300 million people. we have a lot of different viewpoints and, as david said, i think dissent and debate is a very healthy thing. so i appreciate what you said. >> i want to go back to the mylai massacre.
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from 1970, joseph strick interviewing those involved. >> we spoke to five of the american soldiers who were there on march 16, 1968. james berthold of niagara falls, new york, gary gruff lowe of north carolina. gary cross lee of del rio, texas, fernando simpson of jackson, mississippi, and michael burnhart of tarpon springs, florida. >> you know this is going to be a free for all. shoot anything you want. anything that moves. as long as it's not one of your own. >> shoot everything. man, woman, children. anything that could aid the vc. every living thing. that was the order. >> this is something a soldier has to do, take orders, carry them out. >> right around yelling, kill, kill, kill just to get it in our heads, to get that feeling that you can do it. >> that morning about 7:00, we
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boarded the choppers and went into the village. when we got off the chopper we started shooting. >> they were infants, in fact. it makes you think that even, even if they were considered beasts, that you would think that maybe a water buffalo calf or piglet would fare better than a child. >> we figured the kids when they grew up would be vc anyway, so why give them an opportunity to grow up. >> how did they look. >> they looked like they were having a good time. >> did you see anybody not? >> no. just about everybody was. >> what did you consider a war crime? >> being over there. just the idea of being there. >> again, david maraniss, as you brought this up earlier, infants, women, children, teenagers, civilians. >> you know, the lieutenant william kelly, who was the commander responsible for this
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massacre, was brought to justice through that. but people tend to forget that there were -- that the hugh thompson, american soldier who intervened, received hate mail from all over the country. and kelly got a lot of support. it was a very divisive argument even after this happened. but the last point of the young man who is saying the war crime was being there is an interesting one. >> james webb, shoot anything that moves. i mean, you talk about saluting and following orders. but at what point do you say, we can't do this? >> that should not have happened, clearly. as i say, we are, as a society, i think we understand that legally and morally. as opposed to some things that happened on the other side. in those kinds of situations, also, something should be said, and that is the leaders should be held accountable. i represented this individual,
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an african-american, 18 years old, 11 days in vietnam, and the squad leader said shoot, and he shot. and the person who gave the order had civilian counsel from the states and got off. and my guy had military counsel, and he got convicted of murder. i represented him for six years. he killed himself halfway through it. three years later i cleared his name. the whole question then was, he is 18 years old. he is category 3-b enlistee. the man says shoot. he had never been told, you're not supposed to obey an order. that's a -- that's one thing i would say -- about the only thing i would say about that. that's uncalled for. >> in my opinion that goes all the way up to the top. goes up to the president of the united states. >> terry, you get the last reaction. john joining us from chicago, you get the last word. go ahead, john. >> great conversation, guys. wish we had three more hours.
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grew up with the fellow who got the medal of honor. i want to say the names out loud. i ran through boot camp with a fellow named emilio de la garza. medal of honor. jim medal of honor. my wife's first cousin was on a hilltop with a fellow named kenny cays from southern illinois. i got the brother's blessing. i was smart enough to talk three of my grammar school buddies into joining the marine corps. we were there in 1970 and came back with all our fingers and toes. we got survivors' blessing. please talk about gratitude. it's been wonderful to see both ends of the seesaw with both of you guys talking. dave, i go to pts meetings with the fellows who served in the unit you write about in your book. what a wonderful conversation.
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talk about grace and gratitude. jim, we need you back in politics. semper fi. >> thank you. >> the last word. jim. >> punky durham, one of the soldiers in this battle, got the medal of honor too. but i like to think of all of the 61 men who were killed in this battle. and the reminder that wars don't end when the battles end. >> senator jim webb. >> i think this is a great conversation. this is what america is all about. >> the legacy and the lessons today, what are they? >> of the vietnam war? when i think of the vietnam war, first of all, i can't help but think about the omission in our conversation is the south vietnamese who were with us and how they were treated after the war. and the greatest mission, i think, for really healing the process is for the -- to reach
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across and have the vietnamese be together. that will eventually happen, i think. >> on the other side, martin luther king, on april 4, 1967, one year before he was assassinated at riverside church in new york said, if america's soul becomes totally poisoned part of the autopsy will be vietnam. >> david maraniss, associate editor and author of a dozen books including "they marched into sunlight." marine veteran and senator, james webb. "i heard my country calling." gentlemen, thank you both for being with us. there is more to see of our series, 1968, america in turmoil. tomorrow night when we focus on the 1968 presidential campaign. we will hear from former nixon white house special assistant and communications director pat buchanan who also worked on nixon's 1968 campaign and
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barbara perry, director ever presidential studies at the university of virginia's miller center. that's tomorrow night on american history tv starting at 8:00 eastern here on c-span3. on c-span, this week in primetime. tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern, perspectives on gun control, from the march for our lives rally. wednesday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, former white house communications director anthony scaramucci is interviewed by democratic political consultant bob shrum. >> when he got the job, just like building a condominium or just like building a golf course or just like developing a television show, he said, okay, i have got this job, i have got to go down to the swamp, i have to drain the swamp, i have got to hire people who understand the swamp. i think what he has learned is that you're not going to drain the swamp hiring swamp monsters. >> thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, embedded journalists on their experiences in mosul,
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iraq, documenting the fight against isis. trying to get you to care about someone speaking a different language. different color skin. born with different privileges. try to make you care about their life and understand the parallels between yours and theirs. >> former reagan adviser an advocate for what's called trickle-down economics. >> it's really, really true that there are consequences to taxation, and those consequences are the same across the whole spectrum. you cannot tax an economy into prosperity, period. >> this week in primetime. on c-span. monday, on landmark cases, griswold v connecticut. the challenge of the connecticut law banning the prescription and
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use of birth control. the supreme court ultimately ruled the statute to be unconstitutional and, in the process, established a right to privacy that is still evolving today. our guests law professor at george mason's university's law school and the associate dean for research and law professor at temple university. watch "landmark cases," monday. and join the conversation. our hash tag is landmarkcases. and follow us @c-span. we have resources on our website for background on each case. the "landmark cases" companion book, a link to interactive constitution and the podcast at c-span.org/landmarkcases. on march 16, 1968, u.s. army soldiers killed between 300 and 500 unarmed vietnamese civilians in and near the village of my
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lai. next on american history tv we look back at that moment during the vietnam war with military law experts and historians. they discuss what happened, the trials of the servicemen involved, and its impact on the u.s. army. from the center for strategic and international studies, this is just over two hours. let me welcome you here to csis. i am the interim director of the project on military and diplomatic history. we are conducting this event today jointly with the army center for military history, and we are pleased to welcome them here to csis. csis' project offn military diplomatic history endeavors to bring historians into the policy community and to give their craft more visibility than maybe it

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