Sunday, October 19, 2014

Anthony Bourdain visits Hue, Vietnam, site of Tet Offensive and American bombings during the days of my own draft

Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” paid a visit to Hue, Vietnam.  That city was a focus in the 1968 Tet Offensive by the North Vietnamese, which actually occurred shortly before my own induction into the Army in 1968.  Bourdain, visiting a woman who had survived it, pointed out that the North Vietnamese imprisoned, executed, or even buried alive citizens whom they believes had been cooperating with the South Vietnamese. US Marines captured it but the city was practically destroyed.  

Later, Bourdain visits a network of tunnels south of the DMZ, extending from the coast well inland. Many families lived in them for six years, with children born.  They were like the tunnels that the Jews used in Ukraine in WWII (like the film “No Place on Earth”, Movies blog. Feb. 14, 2014).  The tunnels provided a refuge largely from American bombing.  On family, in a scene shot on the coast, depicted what it was like to be able to live outdoors and fish again after six years underground.

All of this bears on the issue of “whether we should have been there”, for those of us who went through the military draft.
The show did give some attention to the rather eclectic light food.  

Update: April 8, 2017

Bourdain visited Hanoi (Ho Chi Minh City) and Barack Obama paid a surprise visit. The war is largely forgotten. He toured an area of mountain cliffs on the beach by French steam;  it looked like Pandora on :Avatar". 

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