Frances FitzGerald

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Frances FitzGerald...

Fitzgerald and Vietnam

Fitzgerald won at least one writing award for her book on the Vietnam war entitled "Fire in the Lake" which was very critical of the United States involvement there. However, in 1979, she made a statement on a television show that cast serious doubt on her "objectivity" re facts on the war. [The original source was only identified as "Special Edition, WNET/13" and excerpted in the Communist Party USA newspaper "Daily World" on May 11, 1979, Page 13, in a collation article of reviews of the movie "The Deer Hunter".

This collation article was entitled "More on The Deer Hunter" and contained several excerpts or comments about it, including that of Fitzgerald. While some of her observations about the more ridiculous parts of the film are valid, but her comments that the Communists didn't massacre "country people en masse" reveals either her naiveness or her true ideological leanings (favoring the communist version of the war). She wrote the following (about both the setting of the film in Vietnam and what it tried to show about the "enemy" and their actions):

"In this country the young Americans witness enemy troops massacring the inhabitants of a village. No thing like this reverse My Lai ever occurred in the recorded history of the war. And it is wholly implausible. The guerrillas often assassinated individuals, but they did not massacre country people en masse. The villagers were, after all, their people and their base of political support..."

This statement is so historical false as to call into dispute Fitzgerald's knowledge of communist strategy and tactics used during the Vietnam War, and to a lesser extent in both Cambodia and Laos (where the PAVN/NVA wiped out many Meo Tribe villages on the Plain of Jars, at the Meo's Long Chen base, and in the surrounding mountains).

Major examples of both Viet Cong and North Vietnamese massacres of unarmed civilians which appeared in the major newspapers and magazines during the war, including TIME magazine and the Washington Post, included the infamous killings of hundreds of Montagnards at Dak Son in the Central Highlands, the Bon Son massacre, the Duc Duc massacre in I Corps, the attacks on the Buddhist orphanage at An Hoi outside of Danang, and the wiping out of villages on the outskirts of the Imperial city of Hue during the Tet Offensive in 1968 (which included the deliberate murder of between 6-8,000 So. Vietnamese military POWS, government officials, foreign medical workers, and citizens of that city).

Sources for the Tet Massacre and battle include [[Douglas Pike, "The Viet Cong Strategy of Terror", 1970; Stephan Hosmer's RAND Study on Communist terrorism, " ", Don Orbendorfer's book "Tet" and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee's Staff Compendium Study "The Human Cost of Communism in Vietnam", 1972.

Wiping out pro-government villages was always a Communist tactic that they used in South Vietnam since the mid-1950's but many such events were never reported in the western press.

The Nation

In 2009, the Editorial board of The Nation[1] included Frances FitzGerald, Richard Falk, Deepak Bhargava, Norman Birnbaum, Barbara Ehrenreich, Eric Foner, Philip Green, Lani Guinier, Tom Hayden, Tony Kushner, Elinor Langer, Deborah Meier, Toni Morrison, Walter Mosley, Victor Navasky, Pedro Antonio Noguera, Richard Parker, Michael Pertschuk, Elizabeth Pochoda, Marcus Raskin, Kristina Rizga, Andrea Batista Schlesinger, David Weir and Roger Wilkins.

References