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Thank the fighter-bomber and rotor-head egomaniacs. He becomes a civilian AID worker and he then goes about taking apart the VC infrastructure in the villages by Civic Action and fighting corruption. Vann networksfinds allies and leading-by-example makes it happen. After the Tet offensive gamble decimates the VC to nothing, the provinces are secure, though back home in America public support for the war has collapsed.
Which is what they do in The Army and marine generals now had a "WW2" type fight they longed for. Be careful for what you wish for Before the collapse, in his finest hour, Vann gets in a helicopter and single-handedly directs air strikes and U. One man can and did make a difference! Sadly, Vann dies shortly thereafter in a helicopter crash.
Our conjecture is that had Vann lived, the South would not have been lost to the Communists in He would have seen to it that people in Washington D.
His loss was the turning point in the Vietnam War. Neil Sheehan in an extensive interview describing how he wrote his book said: After all of this experience, both there and here, you chose this Colonel to focus on as a metaphor for American involvement.
When he was killed, I went to his funeral at Arlington in , and it was like an extraordinary class reunion. Here were all the figures of Vietnam in this chapel. General Westmoreland was his chief pallbearer, and a few minutes before the ceremony started, Edward Kennedy, the last of the Kennedy brothers, came in. Sitting with the family was Daniel Ellsberg , who was about to go on trial for copying the Pentagon Papers.
He and Vann had remained best friends, despite going in totally opposite directions on the war.
It was very moving. I realized that we were burying more than John Vann. We were burying the whole era of the war. We were burying the era of boundless self-confidence that led us to Vietnam.
By that time, John had come to personify the war. And I realized that if I wrote a book about him, I could write a history of the war. I could put the two together, and people might be able to understand the war because they would be reading about it in human terms, though the story of a man whose life turned out to be like a novel.
He had influenced that band of war correspondents who first clued America in to what was going on in Vietnam during the last period of the Kennedy administration.
Vann had an extraordinary mind. He had an incredible capacity to relate to human beings. He was a wonderful actor. He could manipulate people.
He could sense human issues. At the same time, he had a capacity to deal with hard facts, like statistics. He was a statistician. So in that first year, we were faced with the problem of covering a war where the advisors in the field were telling us we were losing the war.
We could see that as well when we went out on operations, which was pretty frequent. The General in Saigon, a man named Paul Harkins, always saw the world through rose-colored glasses and kept seeing it through them. He would maintain we were winning the war. You were caught between the two. It was an adversarial relationship. He would work down on a tactical level, and he could apply what he saw down there at the strategic level.
We thought that whatever we wanted to do was right and good, simply because we were Americans, and we would succeed at it because we were Americans. And Vann embodied that, and so did the reporters. We wanted to see this country win the war just as much as those advisors did. We felt we would help to do that by reporting the truth.
And so there was the moral outrage over this General and the ambassador in Saigon who kept denying the truth we would see. I discovered later on that they believed these delusions. We thought they were lying to us; I discovered later on they believed what they were saying.
They were really deluded men.
The Doctor Keeps A Promise - Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre S02E23 | TVmaze
And then there was the moral outrage over the way the war was being conducted. Vann had the keen sense of honor as a Soldier and he was enraged at the bombing and shelling of peasant hamlets , which was routinely done by the Vietnamese and American Generals. He thought, first of all, this was terrible. And he felt that, first of all, this was wrong, and secondly, it was stupid, because it was going to turn the population against us, and of course he was quite right.
So a sense of moral outrage was conveyed on several levels, yes. The best weapon in killing is a knife. The Generals were fighting another war, they were still fighting World War II, and it made no sense in the Vietnam context.
Zane Grey Theatre - Season 2 Episode 23: The Doctor Keeps A Promise | TVBuzer
I mean, they thought that they could -- you know, Mao Zedong described guerrillas as fish swimming in the sea; well, they were going to empty the sea. And the Vietnamese Generals on the Saigon side thought that they could terrify their peasantry into ceasing to support the guerrillas. I think the American Generals, as it turned out later on, deliberately wanted to empty these areas of population".
Vann is the model of the leader we need today who can network and orchestrate a victory on complex, Non-Linear Battlefields NLBs. More recently, a relatively minor military power that defeated a great modern power--the combined forces of North Vietnam and the Viet Cong--operated in many respects more like a network than an institution; it even extended political- support networks abroad.
In both cases, the Mongols and the Vietnamese, their defeated opponents were large institutions whose forces were designed to fight set-piece attritional battles. To this may be added a further set of observations drawn from current events. Most adversaries that the United States and its allies face in the realm of low-intensity conflict, such as international terrorists, guerrilla insurgents, drug smuggling cartels, ethnic factions, as well as racial and tribal gangs, are all organized like networks although their leadership may be quite hierarchical.
"Zane Grey Theater" The Doctor Keeps a Promise (TV Episode 1958) - Full Cast & Crew - IMDb
Perhaps a reason that military and police institutions have difficulty engaging in low-intensity conflicts is because they are not meant to be fought by institutions. Institutions can be defeated by networks, and it may take networks to counter networks. The future may belong to whoever masters the network form. It could have won out sooner at less human cost--had the U.
Within a year, Vietnam was exporting rice, and the currency had stabilized. They are under-equipped and cannot afford to stock antibiotics or basic vaccines. In Saigon, Western influence is strongest, ready for the moment when the American embargo drops and Vietnam becomes the economic powerhouse everyone is anticipating.
Already the BMWs proliferate. The men who fought in Vietnam need to know that their sacrifices did count-just ask the people of Thailand. I would change the word to "Hope" that was lost that we need to rekindle by reading this fine book.
Congressman Charlie Wilson was to Afghanistan what Vann was to Vietnam; but note both men did not get the chance to do the job right. You may kill some of the enemy, but you will alienate the people you are there trying to help, and they will turn against you. And to do that effectively, you need local Soldiers from the area to assist you. If the locals are properly led and equipped, they will do the job. There were mobile advisory teams made up of five U. Army personnel two officers and three NCOs.
As a young lieutenant, I served with a number of Popular Force platoons and Regional Force companies while a member of Advisor Terms 49 and Very little has been written about this little known aspect of the Vietnam War. Most of the book deals with the South Vietnamese Army and the advisory effort up to the Tet Offensive in , and very little if any detail or mention is given to the many years afterward where the Regional Forces and Popular Forces gave quite a good accounting of themselves against the enemy.
Sheehan spends the first pages of his book detailing how bad the South Vietnamese Army was up to the end of parts of which are true , then spends several pages on the Tet Offensive in early , in which he fails to emphasize that the main fighting units of the Viet Cong army including their commanders and NCOs were eliminated, never again to become a viable fighting force.
Some interpret this sound defeat of the Viet Cong as a deliberate attempt by the Hanoi Leaders to eliminate their comrades in the south. Then he picks up again with the Easter Offensive where Vann was killed, not by enemy contact, but by a helicopter crash during the monsoon rains. I spent almost nine months with these little guys as a lieutenant taking the fight to the VC at the hamlet and village level. The Soldiers either had their families living with them, or in the nearby village.
Who better to know when the enemy was coming into a village than those who lived there? There were many times when I knew when the Vietcong were coming into the village at night to recruit or create havoc. And then instead of being ambushed, I and my little band of Popular Force Soldiers became the ambusher.
We beat the guerrillas at their own game. We took the night away from them. We no longer patrolled endlessly and aimlessly looking for a needle in a haystack, waiting for the enemy to initiate contact. We waited for them in the darkness of the night, and kicked hell out of them. I cringe now watching news clips on TV as young American Soldiers in Iraq are ambushed by snipers and blown up with the new version of the command-controlled booby trap, the IED improvised explosive device.
But how would the young American Soldiers be able to distinguish the al-Qaida terrorist from a local Iraqi civilization? And how do they find the IED?