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View Diary: Nick Turse: Chuck Hagel and Murder in Vietnam (28 comments)

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  •  I was around then, too (1+ / 0-)
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    WattleBreakfast

    The Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 was the military's attempt to "lobby"  LBJ and Congress by creating a scenario  that would justify moving beyond an advisory role.

    LBJ/McNamara had opportunities then to pull out without political repercussions.  LBJ successfully won re-election against Goldwater, a much more hawkish politician.  It wasn't that long after the Cuban Missile Crisis and people were more afraid of nuclear annihilation than they were of commies invading our shores.  For that reason, public opinion then was more toward avoiding escalation of any military conflict.  

    LBJ/McNamara could have pulled out of Vietnam without political blowback any time between 1964 and 1968.  McNamara chose not to simply because he wanted to triangulate and finesse the mess by micromanaging it and engaging in PR and damage control.  

    In the end, even McNamara didn't know why he did it and admitted it was a mistake.  Corporate "groupthink", short term planning and hubris.  Typical problems with "savvy businessmen" trying to run governments.

    Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

    by Betty Pinson on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:18:37 AM PST

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    •  And yes, I was around back then (1+ / 0-)
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      WattleBreakfast

      The arc of Vietnam occurred during my adolescence and young adulthood.  Since we didn't have a big variety of media sources, we had to watch and read the news about it every day as well as discussing it in class during the early part of the war.

      Though I'll never forgive LBJ when, on a Saturday morning I was eagerly waiting to see The Young Rascals on American Bandstand, the show was interrupted for LBJ's announcement that he would not run for re-election.  ;-)

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 10:23:13 AM PST

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