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View Diary: NY Times Explains Propaganda in Its Guantanamo Stories (128 comments)

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  •  Not just Arabs (5+ / 0-)

    It was foreigners in general. Some were African, some from China, some perhaps from Mindanao or Indonesia, some from Europe of different ethnic backgrounds (but all Muslim), an Australia (they let him go back to Australia, and don't forget John Walker Lindh. Oh, and a number of Afghanis of different tribes. People turning in people they owed money to and that sort of thing.

    I think the only criterion was that they seemed suspicious to someone and they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  As far as I know, they were all Muslim men.Details here:

    (BTW, I used to live in the Tay Nguyen. Is that what the truong son refers to? I've traveled there.)

    •  Tay Nguyen (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eikyu Saha, David L, noe44

      in the north, north of Ha Noi? I'd be most interested in learning more about your experience and travels.

      The screen name came to me at the time a fellow VN vet buddy of mine and I were talking about taking a motorbike ride down the HCM trail, or as it's known in VN, the Truong Son Road. This was happening about the time I signed up here at DKos.

      Ill health and other circumstances came to pass so that we never did the trip. I'd still like to try it before too many more years pass.

      Actually I have walked a few peace-time kilos on one leg of the former Truong Son Road on the Laos side of the VN-Lao border, near Ban Dang.

      East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet ... Kipling

      by truong son traveler on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:36:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tay Nguyen is the 'central highlands' of SVN (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        truong son traveler

        I used to live and work in DaLat where the Koho tribe is.  It was a lovely city where the Vietnamese came to honeymoon. It had a big lake in the center of town called the Lake of Sighs and a legend of a Lover's Leap to go along with it. I was there in the late '60s. I tried to go back to visit in 1990 but it was still off limits to Americans due to a tribal insurgency. The montagnards were still resistance the takeover. So, I heard about it from the Japanese, German, Norwegian, Swedish, British, and Italian tourists who could all go. No Americans, though.  They said they had drained the lake and cut down all the wispy pine trees around it. Maybe it was just as well I couldn't see that.  

        •  Thanks for your reply (0+ / 0-)

          I've never been to the central highlands. Many years ago I had a VHS version of a Vietnamese war era movie which was filmed in the Dalat area. I can no longer remember the name of it, thinking the English translation of the title was "Shadow by the Road" but don't quote me on that. There should be no problem visiting now.

          Our times during late 60's probably had some overlap. I was there in '67-'68 and then again '69-'70 after signing a wavier to return. Most of my time was spent with RFs/PFs in the countryside in the lowlands of what was I Corps, in Quang Nam and Thua Thien Provinces.

          I first returned with a small group in 1989. Went back to a couple of the villages where I had been during the war and received a nice welcome in one, even met two former VC soldiers I had help capture, and in the other was detained and questioned for about a half day. Several later trips were no hassle and then I moved to TP HCM in '94.

          East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet ... Kipling

          by truong son traveler on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 02:08:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, there was overlap. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            truong son traveler

            I was in MyTho from '66 until the Tet Offensive. I returned to DaLat to teach at the university there '68 to'71.  Some friends took a little trip driving from DaLat to the DMZ and looked across the river to the North.  I was with a delegation in early '90 working for reconciliation and ending the embargo. In Hue, we were treated to a banquet hosted by the former commander of the VC in Thua Thien/Hue. Some of us went up to where the DMZ had been and sat on the rocks by the river and had a picnic. It was quite a contrast.

            I hope you get to make you trip along the Truong Son.  I notice there are bicycle trips advertised. Are you still in  TP HCM ? Hay qua! Lam gi do?

            •  Cam on nhieu lam - So pleased to meet you here (0+ / 0-)

              I'm no longer in VN. Taught English and a few other odd jobs to support myself and then happened on to an opportunity to work for a US company and shortly afterward was transferred to Thailand after having spent a little over 1 year in VN. I'm still in Thailand in Bangkok.

              During the Christmas - New Year period of '94-95 I traveled by motorbike from Saigon to near My Tho but turned up-river and went to Cai Be where one of the students I was traveling with lived. Her family had a large farm on an island in the Mekong there. My only experience in the delta region.

              Hue is my favorite place in VN. In 69 - 70 I "worked" in combined USMC - PF units in the sand barrens area about 15 clicks due east of Hue.

              I have written some diaries about some of my return to VN experiences. If you're interested you can read them here.

              Conversations With the Enemy - Part I

              Part 2

              Part 3

              Part 4

              Back in Saigon - 1994

              also these one might be of interest to you

              40 Years - Remembering Tet 1968

              The Poem Hats of Viet Nam

              The Corpsman and the Nurse

              East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet ... Kipling

              by truong son traveler on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 07:13:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for the links. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                truong son traveler

                I read the one about Tet and will read the others later.  So, you were out there humping the boonies while I was sweltering in a classroom packed with 70 schoolgirls in their white ao dais. I remember well what those RF outposts looked like.  Pretty gritty duty, I'd say.

                I agree with you about all the revisionary history. I have been in a few heated discussions with people who weren't there and were convinced it was the all fault of the hippies and Walter Cronkheit that we had to withdraw. I didn't want to leave in '71, but I saw how things were going  and I did not want to end up in a prison camp.  My replacement was held in one for 9 months in Dalat in '75. I expected it to happen earlier.

                I just found out not too long ago that one of my students from 7th form in My Tho was from a well-connected VC family and is now the Minister of Ecomomics. She invites her old classmates up to Hanoi for vacation every year. Under the surface, things were very different, certainly nothing like the reported version.

                Yes, nice meeting you here, too.

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