Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What you DON'T Know about this picture.

Tom's Journal.

Hi Friends and Readers,
    I only have a few minutes today, right now to write, and I need to come back to this subject matter latter.   I just want to say from the onset that 'civilians' can NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND what real war and combat are !!   I compare it to a man never truly understanding what it's like to bear/ give birth to a baby.   One woman said:  'Try pulling your lower lip over the top of your head...' referring to the traumatic pain.   
      It's true that many combat Veterans have different opinions about the war in Vietnam,  but they reserve that sacred privilege to their own tight knit company or real warriors, and not to someone who has never been there.   And the old adage:   "For those who fight for it,  Freedom has a flavor the Protected will NEVER taste."   And ....  if the Congress and Senate had to do the actual fighting --- there would be no wars.... Ha!   Get the pun ?   And some folks say that it was Obama that killed Osama bin Laden!  Ha!  Never happen,  buddy !    If anything that 'man' has totally messed up our Armed Forces to where they are much less than before WW-2 !   His Socialist Liberal experiments have demoralized our troops, and now we have women in combat Infantry  positions.  Now, how is that going to work....  duh ?    And the beat goes on.

Thanks to  Bob C., a fine helicopter pilot in my old Army [Vietnam] outfit, for forwarding this to me.     IMHO,  Bob is a very fine gentleman and a great warrior.  

OK,  I could write a book on this subject  [and even tried to do just that in 1995...  but got writer's block after my first 150 pages, and I also had a pro -- proof reader,  but Chrysler just called me back to work after 6 years on the street without any insurance, although I was a good welder and always had a job somewhere....].   But when you are working for Chrysler,  they want your heart, soul, mind and everyday hard work, so some of my hobbies and past times had to take a back seat.  A man has to earn his living....  to support all the welfare frauds that Obama let's suck on the public breast.    But those dynamics WILL SOON CHANGE, and most bible students see some very dark clouds in the horizon....  although,  by and large true Christians are happy people who 'know where they are going,'  because they have placed their main trust in Jesus Christ, the Savior.      You see, dear friends,  that is the "paradox" !   Christians know that the financial/ economic bubble will burst and probably soon.    But we can still be happy and joyful,  because all of these "Signs" Harold the coming of Christ, to "remove all REAL Christians from this dangerous place-- Earth,  BEFORE the stink hits the fan,  before the great Tribulation, mentioned in Matthew 24, and other places like:   First Thessalonians, Chapter 4, and verses 14 ---18.  Please take the important time to read that rich scripture, and sound it into your heart.    And don't forget that part in Chapter 5: 3,  "For when they shall say,  Peace and safety;   then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child,  and they shall not escape."    So then,  verse 17, says:  "Pray without ceasing."   But why not read that whole book of 1st Thessalonians, written by the apostle Paul, to that Greek congregation ? ? It will all make more sense instead of just cherry picking something out of context...  I promise.   This important reading and study NEVER gets old with me.   And Hey!  If it took learning another language to get to heaven [instead of hell] would we not just do it ???   Ha!   Most combat Veterans know and agree, that our time in real combat, was just a walk in the park compared to eternity in HELL !   That's the Hotel that you enter --- but can never leave/  get out !   Seek the Lord, now,  while He can still be found, friends.

Have a great day.  More latter.

Warm Regards,\
Tommy Schuckman


First I've read about this one; will never forget the pic, just didn't know the 'back-story'...
What You Don't Know About This Photograph Has the Power To Change Opinions
What You            Don't Know About This Photograph Has the Power To Change            Opinions
This gruesome photograph became pivotal anti-war propaganda that drastically shaped public opinion.  The horrific frozen frame
depicts a baptismal moment of unwavering distinction, a moment in a time that could not be undone, an elevated wartime tension
that could not be unraveled.  In this sense, the photograph was successful.  It was shocking and characteristic in its ability to drive
the anti-war movement, protesting against brutality of the Vietnam conflict.  But, what you can't see, is enough to change your perspective completely.
The common adage, "a photo is worth a thousand words," is true.
 You've heard it, as a photographer you live by it, you incorporate
it into your work mantra.  But what happens when the story a photo tells is different from reality?  The image, "Saigon Execution" is an example of this misrepresented story.
This iconic war photo was immediately popularized and used as valuable anti-war propaganda to depict the horrors of war.
 "Saigon Execution" clearly illustrates a violent moment frozen in time, but the context behind the image is not what it seems.  The iconic image won Associated Press photographer, Eddie Adams, a Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for Spot News Photography.  The image depicts the execution of Viet Cong prisoner, Nguyễn Văn Lém.  With a caption of merely "General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong prisoner in Saigon," the scene seems to depict the ruthless execution of a civilian, on a whim, in the streets of Saigon.  Greater than an image,
is the context.  Context is the single driving force of truth past the immediate surface elements of a photograph.
                                 AP Photojournalist, Eddie Adams
Despite assumable context, the "victim" in the photo, is not a civilian.  The man being executed is Viet Cong prisoner Nguyễn Văn Lém (also known as Captain Bay Lop).  Van Lem, or Bay Lop, was an assassin, the leader of a VC death squad who was targeting South Vietnamese officials.  Early on the morning of the photograph, Bay Lop had led a unit of VC tanks to attack the Armor Camp in Go Vap. After taking control of the camp, Bay Lop arrested Lt.Col Tuan along with his family.  In an effort to gain intelligence from Tuan, Bay Lop tortured, and eventually executed, Tuan. Bay Lop then went on to kill all the members of Tuan's family, to include his 80-year-old mother. Captain Bay Lop was then captured near a mass grave of 34 innocent civilian bodies, leaving little doubt to his involvement in the atrocity.  Upon proudly admitting his participation in the horrific war crime, Bay Lop was brought in and promptly executed with the
.38 side arm in front of AP photographer Eddie Adams.

I just followed the three of them as they walked towards us, making an occasional picture.  When they were close – maybe five feet away – the soldiers stopped and backed away.  I saw a man walk into my camera viewfinder from the left.  He took a pistol out of his holster and raised it.  I had no idea he would shoot.  It was common to hold a pistol to
the head of prisoners during questioning.  So I prepared to make that picture – the threat, the interrogation.  But it didn’t happen.  The man just pulled a pistol out of his holster, raised it to the VC’s head and shot him in the temple.  I made a picture at the same time… Eddie Adams, behind his 1969 Pulitzer Image "Saigon Execution"
Adams later commented on his regret of the image.  It was immediately adopted to depict ruthless violence and incivility of the South Vietnamese; however, the image, is absolutely contrary.  While war is violent and horrific, the actions carried out by Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, Chief of the National Police, were reasonably just.  Adams later said in an article in Time, "The general killed the Viet Cong;
I killed the general with my camera."
Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world.  People believe them, but photographs do lie, even without manipulation.  They are only half-truths.  What the photograph didn’t say was, What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two, or three American soldiers? 
Eddie Adams, Pulitzer Prize Winner, AP Photographer

Adams continues to explain his remorse for how the image impacted Loan and his family.
 When Loan died of cancer in his Virginia home, Adams stated, "The guy was a Hero.  America should be crying.  I just hate to see him go this way, without people knowing anything about him."
Following the incident, General Nguyen Loan was injured by machine gun fire leading to the amputation of his leg.
 Seriously injured
and crippled by war, Loan left South Vietnam.  During the fall of Saigon in 1975, Loan fled to the United States.  Putting the plights of
war behind him, starting a new life, Loan opened a pizzeria outside of Washington D.C.  In Rolling Valley Mall in Burke, Virginia suburbia, Loan worked until his retirement in 1991 having never fully escaped the reputation of Adam's photograph.  Adams recalls a bit of bathroom graffiti on one of his last visits to Loan's pizzeria, "we know who you are f****r," a clear message of a misinformed individual.
Loan and his wife at their Pizzeria in Burke, VA

The power of an image can shape minds, change lives and alter political climates.
 The brutality of war is depicted no matter the
context of "Saigon Execution."  But if the proper story was represented, would the image have had the impact it did?  The story should continue beyond the grainy black and white exposure.  According to Adams, photographs are half truths.  With only half of the story publicly revealed, there grows an element of moral ambiguity in its propaganda.  We continue to see this misuse of media today in the social realm.  We continue to see groups use imagery at face value to represent a cause.  As consumers, we immediately take, share, like, and promote the media to support our agendas.  Maybe, taking a pause could help us learn more about the way the world works. Perhaps a little more research and understanding of the whole story might shape our opinions of the situation completely.
A Veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check payable to The United States of America, 
for an unknown amount, but up to, and including, his life.

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