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tv   War Hotels Saigon - Caravelle  Al Jazeera  August 4, 2022 6:30am-7:01am AST

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so they both focus on economy, they both focus on agriculture, they both focus on social welfare. they might use different methods or avenues. but a lot of them mean we need a lot of money. so a lot of youth are concerned about where you're going to get those resources to pull suggested to presidential frontrunners opposition leader i lo, dinger and the deputy president william router who have made promises to the youth in the past. so our politics is not delivering to people is not putting money in their pockets. it's not giving them a sense of security about their future. ah, the, and they don't believe the politicians before that there's a game being bullied by these big gazoomba helicopters and bridles up there. and that's not all is a healthy thing. ah, people we have talked to said they want to leaders who will make their life easier, but they also express doubt. it will happen. catherine sawyer,
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al jazeera nairobi. now officials in iceland have activated emergency plans after volcano erupted just southwest of the capitol, reykjavik, it's the 1st time that volcanoes erupted since september. please have advise people to avoid the site. the area is sparsely populated, but there is a major airport nearby, and it handles almost all of islands and traffic. ah, hello there. this is al jazeera and these are the headlines. iraq's influential sheer politician walked out. asada is demanding an early election and says dialogue with the government has proven futile. in a televised address, he urged his supporters to continue their sit in parliament until their demands on that side of block one, the most seats in last year's parliamentary election. but has been a political deadlock ever since. i'll give up a shot. but so you macbook on hard humor, most of the people are tired of the ruling class, the whole of it,
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including some of those who belong to our block. therefore, take advantage of my presence to and corruption, god willing, there will be no place for the old guard regardless of their affiliations. this will happen 1st through a peaceful, revolutionary democratic process. and 2nd, an early democratic election should take place. after dissolving the current parliament, tyler has been conducting military exercises around ty, one. the drills began on wednesday when you as how speaker nancy pelosi met with leaders on the island. beijing had warned the u. s. of serious consequences if that visit went ahead. while in the wake of polite policies, trip, foreign ministers from the association of southeast asian nations have expressed concern about the possibility of open conflict between major powers minister say their concerns that volatility could lead to miscalculations and the region and their aging maximum restraint. u. s. president joe biden has signed a new executive order aimed at making it easier for women to travel between states
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to get an abortion. in june, the supreme court overturned a landmark ruling that guaranteed a woman's right to the procedure. the fast grain cargo ships to leave ukraine, since the russian invasion has now sales through turkey is the bus was straight on its way to lebanon. that ship is being monitored by a joint coordination center. in istanbul, talks to revive the 2015 around nuclear dale are due to resume in vienna on thursday. we'll have more on that for you here on out of there. next, it's war hotels stay with us out. his ear is investigative unit, goes under cover in the caribbean. we don't use the word bribe. we'll give you a token of appreciation, exposing trade of diplomatic passports today. it's $250.00 unless you're hot, then the price will go over a $1000000.00 involving from other regions, highest officials with well out
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there investigations, diplomats for sale. ready ah, caravel, saigon was built during the time of a very turbulent era. with caravel was the great vantage point. from the roof of the caravel hotel, we could see very clearly the evacuation. this was sort of the front row seat if you will, on the top of the caravel to the final stages of the war. it qualified in my mind as the perfect war. oh tell who ah. ah, ah.
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aah . holcombe in the city in vietnam? once saigon, the old capital of south vietnam at its heart islam soon square, where journalists, diplomats, military st. off and spies, rub shoulders in its famous hotels during the vietnam war. the area around loves filed square. you've got the caravel on one side, the continental on the other, the old passage, a den where the a p office was in my office, the nbc office, and the vision use office. all of these agencies were there and then down the other end of the square, the wrecks hotel. this was the nucleus of the life that we led as war
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correspondence. at that time. this is the sy gone that we knew a very small but very pivotal area of shy god where we sort of made our home for a number of years. 2 0, the caravel was built shortly after the 1st into china war in 1954. at 10 stories. it was the tallest building in the city. and it became a significant base for reporters who arrived in saigon and the early 19 sixty's to cover the vietnam war. joan gardner once a general manager of the caravel, remembers those war reporters from his childhood. the famous journalist for that i recall were david held mister him, peter arnett. neil she in molly cypher. tim page. they were names that i grew up with as a teenager watching the vietnam ward on tv every night. fellow new zealander
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peter arnett, is credited as being the only western journalist to covered a 20 year war from start to finish. i was assigned to vietnam by the associated press as a correspondent with their saigon bureau and i arrived there in saigon and june of 1962 at that time, saigon still had the atmosphere of the french colonial city. when i arrived in saigon, i checked and at the caravel hotel, that was a residence where a peas start, those who were in and out of the country always stayed the war then was between north and south vietnam. but as it intensified,
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american presence in saigon grew. the 1st 400 u. s. military advisors checked in to the rex hotel. but some stayed at the caravel enough to interest the journalists there. what was interesting to me as a journalist, that in the hotel the caravel were staying there were crew cut, young americans in the bar, and walking around. and the restaurant of it turned out that they were american soldiers on leave, from the, from being military advisors in the country side. clearly things were moving along for me as a journalist to indicate that there was a real story at that time in saigon. arnett, journalistic intuition was spot on. in 1963 south vietnam was in
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disarray. the unpopular and autocratic president was deposed in a qu, backed by the u. s. and the caravel was at the center of the war reporting action. the caravel hotel proved its usefulness and burst under the headlines. november 1 of 963. that was when those a military coup, a tar, against the covenant of president node, and c m, which led to the assassination of the president. and his brother, in the course of that action of our 24 hour period, the center of saigon was, was zone. the press retreated in effect to the caravel hotel, and that was when many of the stories were basically if not date one the caravel. we certainly mention that a lot of the, what we were saying was from the caravel,
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the u. s. military officially joined the war in 1964 and hundreds of reporters, camera crews and photographers descended on saigon. hotels quickly filled up the passage in building the hotel continental, the majestic and of course, the caravel. it became a desirable location for journalists, particularly the american networks, c, b, s and a b, c. not only did they have correspondence, like dan rather morally safer and others out in the field covering the actual war. but they had an administrative staff that occupied the sweets on the corners of the building lodge sweets and also where it was meant dozens of brooms
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they rented permanently, ah, for locals. these press hotels was something of a spectacle. as a boy hung vanco lived in a small traditional house behind the caravel. from where he watched the news crews come and go, hung will become a war photographer, himself. cash i got, i ran our talk on the man that the one going shall be getting food on a junk dory. like on your name, can you do your name? the math only that they should some need to see more go bad and yeah, i will go back my mouth and to get all my nice show of our boat, the co and got her in the shower need lamarche to me thought cook lane soon
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and got an end you me but soon the hotels themselves became targets. a huge explosion shook the caravel in 1900. 64 after a bomb was planted on the 5th floor, where many journalists state. it's all. yeah, not a good day in my yet an old acting latin, you know, call kind all those law long pe last going, i think one, no one but got new guy nor been thought new rocks all bad though. he whom mom note like and one looked longer thing. mom natalie. wow. you go back now guys like linda, shaun p. king. my we really didn't want no rooms were damaged. the windows of several cars in to door street were blown out,
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and some passes by were injured. most of the journalists were out in assignment, so there were no casualties amongst them that day. the caravel was not a safe haven. in the sense that there was no protective environment around it though or no security people were no bunkers in front of that. it was just open. it was an open hotel just for civilian hotel. no place in saigon was said through the war escalated and by 965, there were around 200000 american soldiers in the region. when the 1st marines landed in south vietnam, they were accompanied by more news cruise. this 967 photograph of the a, b c. news crew in the camera vows rooftop restaurant has become an icon of
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vietnam's news coverage. caravel hotel was built with bulletproof glass. it also had a backup generator for in those days, there were many blackouts of electricity's. it was also the only building in the city that had air conditioning. and the communication was one of the few buildings in the, in the city that had a fax machine. so the journalists considered it a good communication center. first of all, that was a well run, modern residency, excellent staff. it had a very supportive management that catered to the needs of journalists, keeping the bar open most of the night. for example, making sure communications systems existed,
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so the caravel became no one as the price. so towel in 1967, half a 1000000 us troops were in vietnam, and side guns. hotels were again packed. the western media presence w that year, including bbc, cameraman, eric data. my 1st trip to vietnam was with a real wonderful veteran correspondence with ddc, anthony lawrence, and the counter man who subsequently taught me everything. i know modest man feel baghlan we were sent off. seemed a long way away we had now. i know i'd never been to asia. and there we were in a country with a war. 1968 was the bloodiest year of the war. and the extensive coverage of the infamous tet offensive rock to the us and started turning american public opinion against the war. again,
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the war came to the count of al, from the evening of january, 31 through several months. the saigon itself was subject to frequent battles. the american embassy was, was attacked the palace. again, the caravel was a, a refuge for journalists, so figured it was too dangerous to live in houses and would check into the caravel . and again, from the roof top, you could get a sense of the mayhem and difficulties being faced by the by the american vietnamese military and by the civilian population. came our morgan kinda show me that molten thought. ne, loud dan,
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warm. none. it always got, we got mad now we're doing whitening, catching all the t la fung. you didn't, you eat my them from being doing new are way feed my new a new men. me. both sides suffered heavy losses, but the offensive heralded shifts and the war. richard nixon became us president in 1969 and began withdrawing troops and started secret lagossi asians with hon. but then in 1970, he bombed neighboring cambodia. a new wave of correspondence had to shuttle between vietnam and combo dia to cover the spreading story. jim laurie was one of them. i arrived and shy gun in april of 1978,
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22. not knowing very much about vietnam, nor about the war. i was a backpack or turned freelancer, and in those days, the places to stay where the caravel, the continental, maybe the majestic on the waterfront. but i didn't have the money for that. so i stayed at basically a $5.00 a night run down hotel. it was called the royal hotel. there was nothing royal about it at all. but i simply, you know, given the money that i had, that was the place that i 1st stayed in 1970 the last war years were intense on all sides. for those fighting it, and those reporting it in 19731 year after america, the most brutal bombing of north vietnam. the paris peace accords ended us direct involvement in vietnam. but the war was not over with in
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1975 events in cambodia shook the us on the 17th of april. the cambodian capital tell pen fell to the communist. come out roofs and the americans had to walk straight, a sudden evacuation. it was clear, the united states was about to lose sophia. now to so the war, reporters shuttled back to side gongs hotels. when cambodia fell to the command rouge i came over to vietnam. i arrived with a brilliant and very experienced australian camera man named niel davis. we arrived in saigon and tried to decide where to stay. we thought about the continental, we thought about the majestic, we thought about other hotels. and we felt that maybe the caravel might afford a bit more security. it was a sturdy or hotel we felt than the older continental. so on the 26th of april,
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we checked in to the caravel hotel. i was in the car of was a handful of other journalists who decided to stay behind to see what happened when the communists took over the settings. mm. on the 29th of april, the communists closed in on. so i go. the americans ordered their 2nd regional evacuation in 2 weeks. most of the dramatic footage and photographs of the withdrawal were taken from the caravel hotel. for many of the reporters were here in saigon from april 29, april 30th of 975. this was sort of the front row seat, if you will, on the top of the caravel to the final stages of the war. from the roof of the caravel hotel,
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we could see very clearly the evacuation at the american embassy. it was just 2 or 3 blocks away. so all of the network cameraman set up. so a lot of people were fighting to get into the embassy over the war, whatever. ah, nearly a 100 journalists chose to stay inside on the carnival was a frenzy of activity in the last hours before the city finally fell. in the early as of april 30, i was awakened in my room with thundering air strikes and attacks. i quickly got dressed and went to the roof. i could see a bit amaze, transport plane take off from the airport and start climbing into the sky. it
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exploded in flames as breached just a few 1000 feet. and it was clearly indicated that just a matter of time before they communist forces barinello vicinity, neil davis, and i only morning of the 30th had a very nice breakfast. and then we went to the embassy itself. we happened to get there around 7 o'clock in the morning of the 30th of april, 75, and we watched the last helicopter leave the roof of the embassy. as a last american headache halter lifted off from the u. s. embassy, rooftop, hundreds of north vietnamese tanks, packed with soldiers, advanced into sag gone plan. van combe was assigned to cover the advance name jap. got the wrong bout. not bout. now. cato take online. you defend my pay not make those. those kind of those similar hart a get
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a case hallowed off to. so you take a 113 and why the mall? no shot tomor tomorrow. the guy bocce man, hiking and going i don't l toll now t shirts into bowie. and i auto stop thought, all the good one panel, dante hall, yo yos, kato, oh, from me, and from my g, g la, you satellite home. oh, i walked up to the american embassy, then it was being ransacked by vietnam agents. many of them angry because they hadn't been able to leave in the, in the helicopter l. o. many of them taking the opportunity to grab anything, could value me roughly an hour or so after the chaos at the u. s. embassy and after we photograph that, we decided to split up. neil,
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i went with neil initially over to the the palace. he felt as i did that soon. the north vietnamese force would be arriving. so i made my way back to the n b. c. news office and then we heard on saigon radio, the unconditional surrender of general min, who was the provisional leader of south vietnam at the time. around noon, the north vietnamese change reached the presidential palace gates. the 1st north vietnamese tag came through failed at 1st to break down the gate and then backed up tried again and crashed through the gate of the palace and deal got that classic shot with the flag of the national liberation front, waving from the top, the tank board up to you know man come those. can
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you come go, come to josh and the guy and you more a lot more and they towed up long it more. come go high. totally 40 feet loud mockingly. oh, phone me anyway. oh, laugh and new navy. now, me, i came back to the caravel hotel and i was very much in this location, came out to the balcony and spotted in this direction, north vietnamese tanks. this area which is now a subway construction area, had a passable road. the road took the north vietnamese tanks out to the square. they made a right turn, which in those days was freedom st. heading down toward the saigon river, me returning to the count of cameras on eric, tighter and corresponded. brian baron filmed the rousing victory scenes. this
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photograph taken from the count of el hotel, shows eric on top of an american car advancing ahead of a communist tank. we found a convoy of tanks fact heading towards the street where the caravel hotel in the continental palace hotel. ah, so we followed it and then one of them overtook us. and then another one came behind us and i said to brian, well why don't we just get out on to take some great roads trying. we can help to a tracking shot. wonderful. and we got some great images of the welcoming crowds on today's street. on one of the interesting moments for me, i looked over the caravel and there was a large, con minutes flag hanging from the middle windows of the
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hotel. that full store 4 rooms wide and 3 or 4 deep that they stop at the hotel. clearly had to prepare written in advance. the caravan would be regarded favorably by the new communist occupiers, ah, in april 30th, 1975 marks of the official end of the vietnam war. with heavy loss of life on both sides, nearly a 100 journalists were killed. all went missing during that war on his roof overlooking the cover of l hotel. while van combe built a memorial to the journalists killed into 2 indo china wars. for some lamp. look now to whom very don't know who read. i
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didn't feel at all. my 2 boys looked now she is a good i have been in the carnival hotel, continue to prosper and thrive. in the postwar years to day, it remains a landmark in the city and the repository of the treasured memories of those journalists who made this war hotel, their headquarters, their sanctuary, and their home in we're speaking about half a century ago. in terms of being a war hotel for correspondence delivered, it was what the ward, in a sense, really never ended for me. ah. the 1st impressions that you have when you are
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a young person, are the deepest impressions you have when you show up at a war zone in a place. cambodia, vietnam at age 22. that sticks with you for the rest of your life. ah, when the war action ever came to saigon life, be overthrown, node and z, and the military code the tet offensive. and now the fall of saigon, the caravel was the great vantage point. and i and because the hotel continued to operate and provide food and lodgings, it qualified in my mind as the perfect war. oh, tell and does to this day when i think about it, ah, ah, ah,
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fascination is just a destabilizing the democratic process. you will, you will lose it. it will be a loss for holding a documentary explorer. how autocratic leaders undermine democracy to consolidate their power through the eyes of those who dare to stand and defy it. our country deserves so much better than being ruled by a cleft aquatic dictatorship, opposing autocracy. democracy may be on al jazeera. on the 9th of august, canyons will head to the polls. the country is brave for a closely contested general election will determine it's future presidents. i mean growing political and economic pension who will be announced the widow and can vote as expect a free and fair election join us for special coverage on al jazeera. ah.


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