Monday, April 30, 2012

THE Problem of His-story

Hi Greg!

Well, not that our slightly different versions of the events in the Gulf of Tonkin that led up to the illegal murder of something like three million Vietnamese men, women and children -- and the needless deaths of approx 58,000 U.S. soldiers -- are terribly important, but as a matter of form, I thought I'd address the general problem the differences reveal.
Since in August 1964, I'm pretty sure neither of us was actually anywhere near the Gulf of Tonkin, we're both "back seat drivers" when it comes to what actually happened there. That means we both have to rely on someone else's reports. Perhaps even a report of report(s) etc. In fact, all so-called historians suffer this same handicap in creating their particular synopses, their particular version of his-story.
How to resolve the unavoidable differences? The answer I favor is to provide the reports that were used as the basis of each version and let each reader decide for themselves which one -- or which amalgam -- makes the most sense to them. And, perhaps, write their own version.
In the interest of that approach, you can find my main sources for what was happening in and around the Gulf of Tonkin in the summer of 1964 here:
N+N FEATURE: Standard Operating Procedure?
Among them, you can find the particular source that, I believe, best addresses the events that seem to interest you most here:
"The Secret Side of the Tonkin Gulf Incident," by Dale Andrade and Kenneth Conboy," Naval History Magazine

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