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Sir! No Sir!
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  • Very very important story
    An important reminder that the story of the Vietnam war is, above all, the story f the yung men who were sent to fight in it.

    As others have said, we need to remember and thank the vets who spoke out against the war. But more then that, we need to remember and thank ALL of the Vietnam vets. Those who went and then chose to protest, as well as those who tried their best to do an impossible and morally difficult job. They all showed immense bravery, one and all, and performed a service to this country at the expense of their own lives, limbs and sometimes sanity.

    This move is terribly important today, however, as it puts the lie to myths and distortions of the true history of the vietnam protest. And it is those myths and lies that have allowed our government to lead us into another such conflict....more info
  • What the books, MSM and the Government wants us to forget..
    I was too young to be drafted during the Vietnam War, but I vaguely remembered the tail end of the War, and the end of Nixon's term as U.S. President. What I didn't know back then, and didn't until almost 35 years later, is how divisive this War was to the whole U.S., including the Military. Another fact that I noticed is the fact that many in the service were soldiers drafted while people like Clinton and Cheney avoided going over there.

    If anyone doubts the accuracy of this film, look up in the Library or the Internet information on Colonel Robert Heinl, who later founded the Heritage Foundation. Heinl is no flaming liberal, and if he states how fractured and divided the Military was back in the late 1960's-early 1970's, then there was a major crisis going on with the Armed Forces which the Vietnam War made much worse.

    Sir! No Sir! could be seen as looking from the ground level, the people that were there, the soldiers, many that thought the War was wrong, and that the politicians and the Military brass lied from the neck up. It seems like the current mess in Iraq right now. The more things change, the more that they stay the same....more info
  • An angle we're not familiar with
    We all--even those too young to have participated in it--recall the demonstrations that took place during the Vietnam war. Some of them had upwards of a million people at them. They represent what most of us remember as "the 60s."

    But a movement of which we don't hear much is the movement within the services of men--mostly men as women didn't serve too many combat roles in those day--who opposed the war.

    As informed as I claim to be, I knew little of this movement until I saw this fine film.

    There were "underground" newspapers at the bases. Of course, law enforcement did its best to stop that. In one case, a troop was accused of having some marijuana in his car and was arrested thereby stopping his newspaper.

    The army in that era tried to make themselves look like the "new army," just a bunch of wonderful guys preparing for a career and getting job training. (Their slogan at the time was FTA for "Fun, Travel and Adventure. The movements changed those words, and Jane Fonda and her fellow showpeople eased THOSE words a little to make them. "free the army.) But the Marines continued to "build men." But even the Marines had movements to end the war.

    I liked the interviews with Fonda. The military did their best to keep the Fonda show off the road, but they had an audience, even among Marines! They loved it!

    There's some great material in here. There's interviews with guys now in their 60s, and the things they did, the way they came around. Just lots of information of which I was unaware before. Great stuff.

    But for the last portion of the film, the story concludes that the history has been rewritten. Not only do you not hear of these movements. But from clips in the films from "Rambo" and "Hamburger Hill" (the former of which I never saw and the latter I've never been able to figure out!), the public got the impression that there were demonstrators waiting for the returning troops at the airport when they returned from Vietman just waiting to spit on them.

    First, I was a demonstrator for years and I never saw anything like that. I've talked with countless Vietnam vets, even Marines, to whom nothing of the kind ever happened. And veterans in the film not only state that they never witnessed anything like that, but the stories didn't jibe with reality. Like they didn't fly into airports but into air bases. So it couldn't have happened.

    Well, that rewritten history portion of the film is important in these days of public relations fiascoes in which history is constantly rewritten.

    I strongly recommend this fine documentary. If your interest is in the 60s especially the Vietman era, you'll see things of which you knew little before. It'll also give you a perspective on some of what seems to be taking place in today's military. ...more info
  • SUPERB !!
    This is essential viewing for all. The DVD is excellent (view in interlace, switch off progressive scan in your DVD player) and the extras are very good. The documentary is compelling throughout. The official Amazon reviewer seems to suffer from a short attention-span. Great subject, well done and great value too....more info
  • a must see!
    really great. an exciting journey through the vietnam anti-war movement that may mean more today than ever. you must see this movie!...more info
  • We need to thank the resisters for their service.
    This film revives the history of war resistance by veterans of the U.S. assualt on Vietnam. There are excellent books on this movement Home to War : A History of the Vietnam Veterans' Movement, a movement that the war complex has tried to erase from our consciousness. If more people were to see this film, they would begin to question their obedience to militarist narratives about the need to kill others for our "security" and "democracy" and "duty." Our troops are not being ordered around to serve our country, they are serving corporate elites in the boardrooms of Exxon, Dow Chemical and Lockheed Martin.
    Why We Fight

    Organizations like "Books for Soldiers" enable concerned citizens to send media items to U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and other outposts of the empire. As a scene in "Sir, No Sir" reveals, there are many critically-thinking people in the military, and they need assistance in combating all the propaganda they're inundated with. War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death

    I saw this film on Link TV, and have purchased several copies to share with others, and donated some to a second-hand store.
    See also:
    The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives
    The Ground Truth
    What We Say Goes: Conversations on U.S. Power in a Changing World
    An Army of None: Strategies to Counter Military Recruitment, End War, and Build a Better World
    The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community (BK Currents)
    The Human Potential for Peace: An Anthropological Challenge to Assumptions about War and Violence
    ...more info
  • Necessary.
    See this film, as an antidote to the disappearance of any discussion of the brave GI resistance movement to the Vietnam War. As someone who was somewhat familiar with that movement, I was still moved beyond words by the testimony of the many brave veterans interviewed here who comprised that movement. Their heart-rending re-telling of the horrors they witnessed and then resisted might both break and steel your heart. This film, far from being a stale document of a bygone era, feels vibrant and alive, thanks to the dynamic storytelling and editing, and elicits questions like: is there such a movement brewing now? If not, why not? What can we do to help it, to stand in solidarity with it? As a civilian who feels very far away from military service, I was especially inspired by the FTA group featured in the film, of which Jane Fonda was a part. Their joyous and gutsy solidarity with the soldiers assisted those men and women in their fight and let them know, through joke and song, that they were not alone. We love you, soldier -- now come home! ...more info
  • bravery at its best
    Talk about brave soldiers. This documentary film tells the stories of the thousands of active duty GIs and retired veterans, both at home and in Vietnam, who agitated to end the war in Southeast Asia. Their means were many-- a network of coffee houses, a full-page ad in the NY Times signed by 1400 active duty soldiers, 300 underground newspapers, sits-ins, public marches, pirate radio, petitions, refusal to go on patrols, and even "fragging" (killing their superior officers with fragment grenades). Many of these people of conscience spent considerable time in prison. The original film footage of the Vietnam war and personal interviews with veterans who explain why they did what they did are deeply moving. These firsthand witnesses knew the truth of war-- the degradation, propaganda, government lies, cynicism, torture, and how war might turn some boys into men but it turns far more people into animals. I watched this film with a deep sense of gratitude. Popular history makes fun of Jane Fonda but consider this--in this film you'll see that her audiences included not just leftie hippies but 60,000 active duty soldiers who agreed with her. According to this film the Pentagon documented 503,926 "incidents of desertion." After watching this film read the book by Chris Hedges, War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning....more info
  • Truly Inspiring
    This is one of those movies you wish everyone in the whole world could see. It is a shame that peoples' knowledge of the Vietnam War and the social turmoil surrounding it often leave out the inspiring work of these amazing veterans. Certainly the actions of these brave and moral people is one of the first things that should come to mind when thinking of that time. Governments may always commit atrocities, but this movie is a testament to the fact that conscious people don't have to perpetuate them....more info
  • The Anti-War Movement that History Mysteriously Forgot.
    In "Sir! No Sir!", director David Zeiger revives a perspective on the Vietnam War that was seemingly forgotten, or perhaps even deliberately squelched, since the 1970s: that of the anti-war movement within the U.S. military. Zeiger was among the civilian staff at "The Oleo Strut", an anti-war G.I. coffeehouse in Killeen, Texas, during the Vietnam War, so he is personally familiar with the movement. Through archival news footage and interviews with about 2 dozen former servicemen and officers who actively opposed the war in Vietnam, as well as some of their civilian supporters, "Sir! No Sir!" tells the story of the anti-war movement within the U.S. armed forces from 1966 to 1975, when American military involvement in Vietnam ceased.

    David Zeiger's purpose in "Sir! No Sir!" is not only to remind people that the Vietnam War was very unpopular even with many of those who fought it, but to make the point that being anti-war is not anti-soldier and never has been. According to the Pentagon, there were a half a million "incidents of desertion" during the Vietnam War. There were nearly 300 anti-war G.I. underground newspapers. In Vietnam, there were a disturbing number of mutinies and violent attacks on officers -so many that they may have played a part in the shift to an air war. In the U.S., there were anti-war G.I. coffeehouses, sit-ins, boycotts, and stockades full of servicemen who refused their orders to Vietnam or had attended protests.

    The public knew that there was significant dissent within the military. It was all over newspapers and television news programs at the time. And people knew that anti-war protesters sympathized with the soldiers, wanting nothing more than to bring the troops home safely. Yet at some point, rumors began to abound that anti-war activists had scorned returning soldiers and treated them badly. "Sir! No Sir!" points out that this view of the anti-war movement originated in the 1980s and claims that the stories of mistreatment of returning soldiers by anti-war protesters have no basis. It further asserts that this erroneous image of anti-war activists may have been deliberately promulgated in popular entertainment for the purpose of discrediting past and future anti-war protesters.

    That may sound far-fetched on the face of it, but I remember when the idea that the anti-war movement had turned against Vietnam vets emerged in the 1980s, so this comment on the issue got my attention. The fact is that the rhetoric and actions of anti-war protesters of the Vietnam era were well-documented and widely disseminated at the time. So how did the popular conception of the anti-war movement become so separated from the facts? "Sir! No Sir!" leaves us with that provocative question.

    The DVD (Docurama 2006): There is a huge amount of supplementary material on this DVD, mostly additional interview footage with people who were featured in the film. I found these particularly interesting because they presented info not in the film: "Joe Urgo: Behind the Winter Soldier Investigation" (7 min), "Michael Wong: In Vietnam, We Were Doing what the Japanese did to the Chinese in WWII" (3 min), "Pioneer Private Radio DJ Dave Rabbit Speaks" (8 min). For interviews about the stockades: "The American Serviceman's Union and Fort Dix Stockade Rebellion" (12 min), "Randy Rowland: Life in the Presidio Stockade" (7 min), "Keith Mather's Escape" (3 min), "The 9 for Peace" (1 min), "Keith's Scrapbook from 9 for Peace to Presidio Stockade" (7 min). About the black G.I. experience: "Carl Dix: From Protest to Federal Prison to Revolution" (12 min), "Elder Halim Gullahbemi: Learning from the Vietnamese" (5 min). "Jeff Sharlet and Vietnam G.I." (4 min) is about the first underground G.I. newspaper. "Only the Beginning -Vietnam Vets Return Their Medals" (4 min) is footage from the 1971 Dewey Canyon III demonstration in Washington, D.C.. "Newsreel: Summer of '68 -The Oleo Strut" (7 min) is old footage not in the movie. "Director David Zeiger and Sgt. Giacomozzi at The Oleo Strut" (6 min) reunites 2 people in 2005 who were on opposite sides of the law in 1970. "Rita Mortinson's 'Soldier, We Love You'" (4 min) is footage of her performing a song she wrote for a soldier. In the present day: "The Court Martial of Camilo Mejia: Iraq War Resister" (2 min), "Cindy Sheehan and Jane Fonda on 'Sir! No Sir!'" (12 min) shows the 2 women speaking at a fundraiser for this film. And there is a mini biography for director David Zeiger (text). ...more info