September 20, 2017 Exclusive: The PBS 10-part Vietnam War series offers valuable insights into the horrific conflict but still treads lightly on U.S. leaders’ guilt as they lied and connived to start and extend the slaughter, as war correspondent Don North describes. By Don North Vietnamese-American author Viet Thanh Nguyen observed in his 2016 book, Nothing Ever … Continue reading PBS’ ‘Vietnam War’ Tells Some Truths
It was known to local missionaries as “the Hill of Angels,” but to the occupying Marines, Con Thien was a little piece of hell. Just two miles south of the Demilitarized Zone, it was a barren, bulldozed plateau of red dirt 525 feet high and ringed with barbed wire, studded with artillery revetments and crisscrossed … Continue reading A Little Piece of Hell
Exclusive: At a key juncture of the Vietnam War, the Battle of Hue shocked Americans with scenes of brutal urban warfare, offering lessons that reverberate to the present, reflects Don North in reviewing a book by Mark Bowden. By Don North *** The Battle of Hue in 1968 – the climactic clash of the Tet Offensive, … Continue reading Grim Lessons from a Faraway War
“I went in behind the lines and emerged as a kind of agent. I went in as a reporter and came out a kind of soldier. I sometimes wish I had never gone in at all.” -Paul Morton War correspondents have long entered combat zoned at great personal risk, determined to capture the conflict for … Continue reading Inappropriate Conduct: Mystery of a Disgraced War Correspondent
Exclusive: During the Vietnam War, American TV executives wanted the most graphic “bang bang” for their nightly news so they pushed their camera crews into danger, a culture described in a new book reviewed by Don North. *** In February 1967, Japanese cameraman Tony Hirashiki along with a Vietnamese soundman and myself – then an … Continue reading Life and Death in Vietnam’s ‘Television War’
Exclusive: The CIA’s covert war in Laos – in the 1950-60’s – has remained a model for U.S. proxy wars through today’s “war on terror,” but the forgotten lesson was the conflict’s destructive failure, recalls war correspondent Don North. *** In the first of many mistakes of the Vietnam War, President Dwight Eisenhower said in … Continue reading A Deadly Legacy: CIA’s Covert Laos War
26 years ago on the eve of New Years 1990 I put on a false beard to play the “old year”. Son Glen, then 2 years old, was the “Baby New Year”…but the kid always unpredictable and trying to upstage his Dad tried to snatch my beard. Now Glen is an aspiring actor in New … Continue reading Fasten Your Seat Belts!!!
originally published May 29, 2016 Exclusive: Veterans Day, November 11th is often exploited by politicians glorifying war and armed services recruiting new soldiers, but it should be a time to reflect on the ugly reality of our past wars and the tragic valor of the combatants. By Don North It was known to local missionaries as “the Hill of … Continue reading Tragic Valor of Marines at Con Thien
Dear friends abroad…and here at home. After writing a mocking and insulting letter about candidate Trump a few days ago I feel its necessary not to be silent on this the day after the election, a day that I consider the darkest day in modern history. There are two dates Americans will never forget…9/11 and … Continue reading A Day after the Election.
October 12, 2016 Exclusive: The death of Hanoi Hannah, the radio voice urging U.S. G.I.’s to turn against the Vietnam War, brought back memories of another time when propaganda often trumped truth, writes veteran war correspondent Don North. By Don North Her name was Trinh Thi Ngo. She called herself Thu Houng – the fragrance of Autumn. We … Continue reading The Life and Death of Hanoi Hannah