(SBTN) – Vào trưa ngày Thứ Sáu 16/3/2018, tại đài truyền hình SBTN, nhóm đang chuẩn bị thực hiện bộ phim tài liệu để giảng dạy về chiến tranh Việt Nam (Vietnam War Videos & Teaching Aid) đã có buổi nói chuyện với khán thính giả đài truyền hình SBTN. Mục đích của buổi nói chuyện này là thông báo với cộng đồng Người Việt Tự Do tại hải ngoại biết chi tiết về nội dung, cách thực hiện bộ phim. Nhóm cũng nói rõ về kinh phí dự trù để thực hiện bộ phim, và kêu gọi cộng đồng tham gia ủng hộ tài chính để thực hiện bộ phim này.
Hai vị khách mời người Mỹ, cũng là hai nhân vật chính thực hiện bộ phim. Thứ nhất là ông James McLeroy, một cựu chiến binh thuộc Lực Lượng Đặc Biệt Bộ Binh Hoa Kỳ, đã từng tham chiến tại Việt Nam trong giai đoạn 1967-1968. Ông cũng là đồng sáng lập viên của tổ chức phi lơi nhuận Vietnam Veterans for Factual History (VVFH – tạm dịch: Cựu Chiến Binh Việt Nam cho Sự Thật Lịch Sử), tập hợp những người cựu chiến binh quan tâm đến việc nói lên sự thật về cuộc chiến tranh Việt Nam. Thứ nhì là đạo diễn Fred Koster, người đã thực hiện bộ phim tài liệu “Ride the Thunder – A Vietnam War Story of Victory & Betrayal”, với một góc nhìn khác về cuộc chiến tranh Việt Nam. Fred Koster cũng sẽ là nhà đạo diễn cho cuốn phim tài liệu giảng dạy trong tương lai.
Những khách mời thuộc cộng đồng gốc Việt gồm có Đại tá Vũ Văn Lộc của tổ chức Immigrant Resettlement & Cultural Center (IRCC), một tổ chức chuyên giúp đỡ người Việt tỵ nạn từ năm 1976; ông Nam Pham của Massachusetts Office of Business Development, Travel and Tourism, International Trade & Investment; tiến sĩ bệnh học tâm thần Thục Nhi của U.C. Davis. (Một chi tiết thú vị về tiến sĩ trẻ tuổi Thục Nhi: cô là chị ruột của nữ luật sư Thục Minh, người đã trực tiếp tham gia vào quá trình đàm phán với chính quyền CSVN để nhạc sĩ Việt Khang đến được bến bờ tự do. Thục Nhi đóng vai trò điều phối viên trong dự án thực hiện bộ phim tài liệu).
Nói về lý do thực hiện bộ phim tài liệu giảng dạy về chiến tranh Việt Nam, mọi người đều cùng nhau nhắc đến cuốn phim “The Vietnam War” mới trình chiếu vào năm ngoái, của hai đạo diễn Ken Burns và Lynn Novick. Bộ phim này đã gây bất mãn cho nhiều cựu chiến binh Mỹ và Việt Nam Cộng Hòa, nạn nhân cộng sản, và cộng đồng người Việt tị nạn phải bỏ nước ra đi sau cuộc chiến. Bộ phim vẫn là cái nhìn phiếm diện của nhóm thiên tả, phản chiến Mỹ về chiến tranh Việt Nam, nhóm đã chi phối giới truyền thông dòng chính Hoa Kỳ trong suốt thời chiến tranh Việt Nam. Nhưng đã sau hơn 40 năm, bỏ ra 10 năm và hơn 30 triệu Mỹ Kim, mà “The Vietnam War” vẫn tiếp tục lập lại cái nhìn thành kiến về chiến tranh Việt Nam là điều không thể chấp nhận được! Họ đã tiếp tục bỏ qua, hoặc bóp méo tiếng nói của một trong những phe tham chiến quan trọng nhất: quân lực Việt Nam Cộng Hòa, người đồng minh bị bỏ rơi của chính phủ Hoa Kỳ.
Bộ phim tài liệu mới sẽ bao gồm tiếng nói của nhiều cựu chiến binh Hoa Kỳ, cũng như cựu chiến binh quân lực Việt Nam Cộng Hòa, để phản biện lại với góc nhìn phản chiến, thiên tả của “The Vietnam War”. Bộ phim mới sẽ trả lại công bằng, sự thực cho những người đã bỏ xương máu bảo vệ Miền Nam Việt Nam, cho an ninh của nước Mỹ và cả thế giới tự do trước làn sóng đỏ phương bắc.
Nói về cách thực hiện, đầu tiên bộ phim tài liệu để giảng dạy trong trường học (Vietnam War Videos & Teaching Aid) sẽ gồm hai tập, mỗi tập dài khoảng 45 phút. Tập Một bao gồm ý kiến của các cựu chiến binh Hoa Kỳ, sẽ chỉ ra những khiếm khuyết trong những bộ phim trước đây về chiến tranh Việt Nam của các nhóm phản chiến như “The Vietnam War”. Tập Hai bao gồm ý kiến của những chiến binh Việt Nam Cộng Hòa, những người đã từng sát cánh với những chiến binh Hoa Kỳ trong cuộc chiến. Cả những chiến binh Hoa Kỳ và Việt Nam Cộng Hòa này đều hãnh diện vì chính nghĩa của cuộc chiến mà mình tham gia, khác hẳn với cái nhìn bị bóp méo trước đây vì mục đích chính trị. Hai bộ phim được thực hiện với những phương tiện trợ giảng, để đưa vào giảng dạy tại các trường trung học, đại học tại Hoa Kỳ. Qua đó, thế hệ trẻ tại Hoa Kỳ – đặc biệt là thế hệ thứ hai, thứ ba của cộng đồng Người Việt Tỵ Nạn – có cái nhìn đa chiều, trung thực hơn về cuộc chiến tại Việt Nam.
Sau hai bộ phim này, các nhà làm phim sẽ thực hiện bộ phim tài liệu thứ ba dài hơn, khoảng 75 phút, để trình chiếu rộng rãi cho công chúng Mỹ.
Về kinh phí để thực hiện, đạo diễn Fred Koster cho biết ông dự trù khoảng 100,000 USD. Để giải thích cho mức kinh phí quá khiêm tốn này so với con số 30 triệu USD của “The Vietnam War”, ông Koster nói rằng ông muốn có một con số khả thi, thực tế, để cộng đồng có thể đóng góp cho việc thực hiện bộ phim. Kinh phí này là đủ để thực hiện những phần căn bản nhất, vơi những dữ kiện sự thật, nhân chứng tham gia trong bộ phim đã có sẵn. Một chi tiết quan trọng hơn nữa, đó là những người tham gia vào việc thực hiện đều làm việc với tinh thần thiện nguyện. Nếu kết quả của việc quyên góp được dồi dào hơn mức dự kiến, bộ phim có thể thực hiện thêm những chi tiết mở rộng.
Về thời gian, nhóm làm phim dự trù thực hiện trong ba tháng. Nếu quyên góp đủ kinh phí trong thời gian sớm nhất, bộ phim tài liệu “Voice of South Vietnam” có thể đưa ngay vào trong trường học để giảng dạy trong mùa thu sắp tới.
Thay mặt cho đài truyền hình và quí khán thính giả của SBTN, nhạc sĩ Trúc Hồ đã nói lời cảm ơn đến với nhóm làm phim. Nhạc sĩ Trúc Hồ kêu gọi cộng đồng cùng tham gia đóng góp, để dự án đầy ý nghĩa này trở thành hiện thực. Đây là ước mơ của cộng đồng Người Việt Tự Do tại hải ngoại đã từ lâu. Mỗi người góp một bàn tay, chúng ta sẽ thực hiện được Trách Nhiệm- Chính Nghĩa – Sự Thật – Công Bằng cho chính cộng đồng chúng ta.
Để có thể đóng góp cho việc thực hiện bộ phim:
– Thực hiện online, bằng cách nhấp vào trang mạng dưới đây: https://www.gofundme.com/vn-war-videos-teaching-aid
– Đối với quí khán thính giả của SBTN không quen với việc đóng góp online, có thể gởi ngân phiếu tới địa chỉ của Đài Truyền Hình SBTN:
SBTN – PO BOX 127 GARDEN GROVE, CA 92842
Trên ngân phiếu, ghi rõ chi cho (Pay to the order of) VVFH, dưới phần Memo ghi: Tài trợ cho dự án phim tài liệu chiến tranh Việt Nam.
VOICE OF SOUTH VIETNAM PROJECT
Having watched the 15 hour documentary by Ken Burns, we were disappointed, distressed, heart-broken, horrified, and outraged. Mr. Burns, a well-known producer of historical documentaries, has admitted in many interviews that before he started working on this project, knew very little about the Vietnam War, and what he did know was wrong. Burns has done nothing but rehash a one-sided version that the War was unnecessary, immoral, illegal, unwinnable, and a waste of lives and money. Ken Burns’ in his “sole” discretion not only selectively choose people to be interviewed but also selectively “edited” the interviews, highlighting North Vietnam’s “heroic” actions. South Vietnam’s struggle for freedom and independence from the North’s invasion, and the stories of the American soldiers who understood what was at stake for the Republic of Vietnam, were once again brushed aside. Ken Burns merely validated the Western myth. The voice of the Republic of Vietnam, an independent nation, and her 20 million citizens, has yet to be heard. Even Mr. Huy Duc, one of the movie’s advisers and a former North Vietnamese military officer and journalist, concluded that “This (movie) is still about the American War. Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, have dug into the inner causes of America’s involvement and defeat, but have still only scratched the surface from the Vietnamese side, especially the Communist side of Vietnam; there still is another opportunity for another film, the real Vietnam War”.
WE COULD NOT AGREE MORE.
Most documentaries and films on the Vietnam War portray the Western perspective of producers who are primarily interested in how the war has affected Americans and Western history. Our production, supported with interviews and historical footage, will provide a fresh perspective and help America better understand what happened in Vietnam. Our production will present the war and its aftermath from a South Vietnamese and American Vietnam Veterans’ perspective, and how it has affected the lives of those people and will continue to affect them for many years to come. The Republic of Vietnam, its people, its military, and their struggle to stand as an independent nation, free from invasion by the Communist North and Chinese allies, was every bit as real.
Your support will go toward producing:
(1) a FREE teaching aid with classroom-ready lesson plans, online exhibits, multimedia activities, classroom discussions, quizzes, and tests.
(2) TWO 45 minute videos available to all schools throughout America, and
(3) TWO extended versions of the school videos will be publicly released.
(4) A VIRTUAL VIETNAM WAR WALL that will be displayed on the School Teaching Aid website and included with all teaching materials to be distributed to schools nationwide. People who want to honor those who sacrificed, died and suffered during the Vietnam War can submit these names and a written message about this person to be included on this wall.
To submit names to be on the wall, donate and go to the comment box and put in their name in along with a message.
- TEACHING AID PROJECT
In 2018, for the first time ever, a powerful lesson plan unlike any other will be JOINTLY released to the American school system and the general public by the Vietnam Veterans for Factual History (VVFH), a (501) (c) (3) non-profit organization, the Immigrant Resettlement and Cultural Center (IRCC), a non-profit organization, and Saigon Broadcasting Television Network (SBTN), a 24-hour international Vietnamese language broadcasting channel.
The Vietnam War Era created a tremendous amount of controversy that still resonates throughout America today, and regardless of people’s political opinions and beliefs, most are in agreement that the War was a turning point in American history. It was a time of a great awakening as we questioned who we are and what we want to become. Was America fighting the brutal expansionism of communism throughout the world or was America simply another imperialist power looking to profit from the world’s ills? Was America the shining beacon of hope for the oppressed in the world or just another colonial power?
The school teaching aid addresses these issues and more while emphasizing open discussion among students that will develop their “critical thinking” skills. Students will not only experience the Vietnam War through the eyes of those Americans who lived through it but also, for the first time, through the eyes of the South Vietnamese people. Students are encouraged to base their opinions on the war “not” on a single source of information but many sources including Americans, the Vietnamese people, the US Media, along with the Republic of Vietnam’s government and military leaders.
There are a number of factors that makes the Teaching Aid both important and unique. The lesson plans on the Vietnam War are segmented into two different phases: (1) perspectives of Americans who personally experienced the war, and (2) those that America has not heard from before, the South Vietnamese people and Republic of Vietnam soldiers.
Lesson Plan1 (accompanied by a 45 minute video)
Vietnam Veterans for Factual History (VVFH) will present to the students, how the Vietnam Veterans experiences during the war differed from what was being reported by the USA media and our government, both back during the war and in today’s media. This will be a lesson in “critical thinking” as students will be urged to gather information from different sources and then through open discussion develop their opinions on the war.
Lesson Plan 2 (accompanied by a 45 minute video)
The Immigrant Resettlement and Cultural Center (IRCC) and SBTN will present to students the “unfiltered” experiences and perspective of the war by the South Vietnamese people. The students will learn firsthand what the Vietnamese people had to endure during the war, their opinions on America’s involvement, then after the war, as they had to transition from a capitalist system to a communist one. Then finally their dangerous and risky journeys to America along with their resettlement as immigrants in a new land.
- VIDEOS OUTLINE (subject to change)
Abbreviated history of communism’s brutal expansion throughout the world during the 20th century. For the audience to fully understand the plight of the Vietnamese people, they must understand the concept, origin, rise and worldwide expansion of communism preceding the Vietnam War.
Abbreviated history of Vietnam to 1954. Americans for the most part do not know the true heritage or the culture of Vietnam. Through the media and Hollywood they have a distorted view. People like John Kerry stating that “all the Vietnamese want to do is grow rice” are far from the truth and condescending. We will present the rich and diverse history of Vietnam emphasizing the culture, democratic ideals, and their continual struggle for independence that has existed for more than 1,000 years.
The contrasting economic and political progression between North Vietnam and South Vietnam from 1954 to 1964 including the Geneva Conference and the SEATO Treaty. In 1954 a million or more North Vietnamese fled to the South. The Communists closed their borders and then repeatedly committed brutal purges of their own people resulting in widespread famines. Meanwhile the South began to prosper. Under President Diem, the economy of the South began doing so well that they started to export rice and other products throughout the world. In the late 1950s, the North, with the intention of conquering the South, silently infiltrated the South with communist agents intent on undermining the economy and terrorizing the people. President Diem, repeatedly refused to allow American troops into Vietnam, only wanting American military aid and advisers. After President Diem was assassinated, American ground troops entered the war.
1965 to 1969 – Entry of American Ground Troops into the War including the start of America‘s Vietnamization Program. American troops led the fight against North Vietnam’s invasion. South Vietnamese troops were armed by the US but only with World War II-issue weapons, while the VC and NVA were equipped with modern weapons by the USSR and China. Also, examined are the effects on troop and civilian morale of a military strategy that only allowed fighting a defensive war against the communist invaders. Being unable to carry the fight into North Vietnam, Laos, or Cambodia resulted in a prolonged war that turned into a US occupation, giving the Communists opportunities to infiltrate South Vietnam’s military, government, and media. These agents were devastating to the South Vietnamese people. For example, the enemy often knew about military plans before the start of combat operations resulting in failures and unnecessary casualties.
1970 to 1975 – South Vietnam assumes lead in war as American withdraws troops and aid. Paris Peace Accords and broken promises lead to South Vietnam’s defeat. As America pulled back from the war, the full burden fell to South Vietnam as they had to fight not only North Vietnam but also their Chinese and Soviet allies. Highlighted is the 1972 major NVA invasion that resulted in a great South Vietnamese victory. Due to North Vietnam committing nearly all of its military resources to this invasion, the North was left virtually defenseless. This could have been the end of the war if it was followed up by an attack on the North. The tragedy of the Paris Peace Accords and broken promises are also examined.
Post 1975 South Vietnamese life in the aftermath of the war. While South Vietnamese lives were devastated by defeat and the loss of their country, in New York’s Central Park, more than 50,000 people celebrated the communist victory. The media downplayed or ignored the great tragedy of the millions of refugees, the re-education camps and the executions taking place in Vietnam. Through firsthand accounts, the audience will learn of the drastic changes in the South Vietnamese schools, economy and everyday life after the war.
US Media portrayal of the War and South Vietnamese. The reporting of the US Media is closely examined for it’s biases and inaccuracies that greatly affected the outcome of the war and the perception of the Vietnamese people. People like John Kerry stating that “all the Vietnamese want to do is grow rice” are far from the truth and condescending.
Today’s Vietnamese American Community. We will highlight the successes of the Vietnamese in the USA and showcase their love for America and respect for the Americans who fought with them in the war.
The other main players. There were more than just three main players in the Vietnam War — the US, North Vietnam, and South Vietnam. North Vietnam invaded the Republic of Vietnam with consistent help from China, the Soviet Union and other Communist Bloc nations. In the end, it was South Vietnam against the Communist Bloc. South Vietnam lost its support due to the US Congress cutting off all aid, in violation of the Paris Agreement and US Presidents’ written promises. On April 30, 1975, it was a Soviet T-54 tank that crushed the gate of South Vietnam’s Independence Palace.
Winning the war. In 1968 & 1972, with American support, South Vietnamese soldiers were able to defeat massive invasions by the North. It was only when the US cut off the material support that it had promised in the 1973 Paris Agreements that the ARVN, out of resources, crumbled against Soviet tanks, Chinese machine guns and heavy artillery, and other Soviet/Chinese resources.
The ARVN inaccurately portrayed by the Western media. The South Vietnamese troops were depicted as incompetent or cowardly, when in fact the ARVN suffered more than 250,000 deaths, 1.2 million wounded, and tens of thousands missing in action. After all US troop had left in 1972, the South, alone, continued to fight against Communist invasion for three more years, until it ran out of ammunition, supplies, and air support in 1975.
The Communist plot. Ho Chi Minh (HCM) and his Vietnamese Communist Party instigated the Second Indochina War and later the invasion of South Vietnam. On March 1946, six months AFTER Vietnam had declared independence from France, HCM went to France, signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau, allowing the French to return to Vietnam and giving the Communists an interval to purge the real Nationalists from their ranks. Bringing back the French provided a motive for the Vietnam War later.
Ho Chi Minh–Stalin’s agent. HCM was not a Vietnamese nationalist, but a communist agent from Moscow. New revelations from the KGB archive show that he spent at least 10 years being trained under Stalin. On his deathbed, according to Hanoi documents, he asked his nurse to sing a Chinese folk song, and his last statement was “I’m going to meet my ancestors, Karl Marx and Lenin”.
Geneva Treaty of 1954: A mistaken idea of democratic elections. South Vietnam did not sign the Geneva Treaty in 1954 which divided Vietnam and called for an election in 1956 to reunify the country, and had no obligation to abide by it. Further, in the North, HCM had instituted a terror campaign (Land Reform) which killed hundreds of thousands of people and established a totalitarian regime. This is not a valid foundation for free, fair, and democratic elections, even under “International Supervision”.
North Vietnam’s strategy was terror. North Vietnam indiscriminately shelled civilian homes, used women and children as human shields, placed bombs in restaurants, churches, and even schools, and assassinated South Vietnamese civic and political leaders, including village teachers and mayors. The most obvious evidence of this terrorist strategy was the mass execution of between 5,000 and 50,000 of South Vietnamese civilians in the city of Hue during the North’s short occupation in the Tet Offensive, 1978. During Hanoi’s 1972 Spring Offensive, the NVA shelled and machine-gunned fleeing refugees on Highway I south of the DMZ, killing over one hundred thousand, and branding the highway as “The Avenue of Horror”.
A terrorist was executed. The image of General Loan shooting a “prisoner” on the street during the Tet Offensive was a gross distortion of the truth. The photographer, Eddie Adams, regretted having taken the photo. This was not an ordinary civilian or even a VC POW. He was an Illegal Combatant who just prior to his capture, had murdered half a dozen civilians, including a young mother and her children.
- PUBLIC RELEASE VIDEOS
Extended versions of both videos will be released to the public via multiple international outlets including Amazon Prime Video. These extended versions will be modified to reach a wider and more diverse audience.
The production is a JOINT effort between Vietnam Veterans for Factual History (VVFH), Immigrant Refugee Cultural Center (IRCC), and Saigon Broadcasting Television Network (SBTN). Everyone is a volunteer, and donations go solely to the actual projects themselves.
Vietnam Veterans for Factual History (VVFH) is an American educational group dedicated to promoting a balanced, factual history of the Vietnam War. Founded in 2014, the group is a not-for-profit project of the Radix Foundation, a 501(c) (3) organization based in Texas. Members of VVFH include World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and recent war veterans, former officers, noncommissioned officers, enlisted personnel, and employees of the Marine Corps, Navy, Army, Air Force, CIA, Special Forces, U.S.A.I.D. as well as non-veteran civilians with a serious intellectual interest in the factual history of the Vietnam War. Among its distinguished members is Army Major General Patrick Brady, a Medal of Honor recipient, and the author of several books on various aspects of the war. VVFH has published an annual history of the war for the past four years and continues to produce annual volumes for each year of the war from 1964 to 1975. VVFH is currently involved in producing this teaching aid is to educate students and the public of the objective facts and truth of the Vietnam War that the mainstream media have largely ignored, distorted, or misinterpreted. The factual history of the Vietnam war is extremely important in the present world because it was a critical turning point in the evolution of what America is today. This teaching aid is intended to inform both students and the general public of the most relevant facts of the Second Indochina War (1959 to 1975) and develop students’ critical thinking skills about America’s role in that complex and still controversial conflict. Through open discussion and critical thinking, students will not only gain a different perspective of the war but will also develop analytical skills that they can use throughout their lives.
Immigrant Resettlement & Cultural Center‘s (IRCC) primary mission is to build a stronger community through providing social, cultural, and civic services that promote community inclusivity for Vietnamese immigrants/ refugees and other disadvantaged ethnicities. Established in 1976, IRCC is the very first community-based organization to serve Vietnamese immigrants/refugees in resettlement, providing access to resettlement services, such as ESL classes, job training programs, housing assistance, U.S. citizenship application assistance, and voter registration information. In 2008, IRCC established the Republic of South Vietnam & Boat People Museum in the US, focusing on the experience of Vietnamese Americans and their journey from Vietnam to the United States. Its goal is to preserve a unique history of an era that is now part of our city, our state and our country, and ensure that the courageous stories from the Vietnamese Exodus are never forgotten, especially by the Vietnamese younger generation and people in the mainstream community.
Saigon Broadcasting Television Network (SBTN) is the only 24-hour international Vietnamese language channel broadcasting on major cable and satellite providers (e.g. Direct TV, Comcast). Founded in January 2002, SBTN targets and primarily serves the Vietnamese community in the US and abroad with extensive news about both the US and Vietnam, as well as covering educational programming and daily entertainment for the whole family. SBTN has the greatest reach for all segments of the Vietnamese population and attracts audiences from first generation refugees to younger audiences born or raised in the US. Most of SBTN’s programs is produced in Garden Grove, CA. SBTN also has local affiliates in Boston, Dallas, Denver, and Washington DC.
KosterFilms, LLC. Fred Koster has been a Screen Actors Guild member since 1985 and has gone behind the camera in producing, writing, and directing nationally released projects on the Super Bowl, US Open (USTA), MLBPA, NFL, NASCAR, NCAA Football and MLB. Fred has conducted over 100 one-on-one interviews that have included over 50 professional athletes, including many Hall of Famers. Fred Koster is the Director and Screenwriter of “Ride the Thunder – A Vietnam War Story of Victory & Betrayal”. In its premiere weekend, Ride the Thunder was #1 at the box office in the nation (on a per theater basis) and throughout its theatrical release, has earned high scores at IMDB (8.0), Fandango (4.5 out of 5) and Rotten Tomatoes (90%). Ride the Thunder has just recently been released through Amazon Prime and has already been watched by more than 300,000 people with an audience rating of 4.3 out of 5.