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View Diary: Vietnam a Half Century after the Gulf of Tonkin (4 comments)

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  •  I Have a Hypothesis That At Least Fits Macro Hist- (0+ / 0-)


    This much we all know:

    Ike runs for President promising to call off the Pentagon dogs in Korea, wins office, shuts down the war with no win for the Pentagon.

    JFK wins a squeaker campaigning for strong defense, but immediately balks withholding military support for Nixon's Bay of Pigs invasion which fails.

    2 years later JFK stares down the Pentagon's desire to launch against the USSR as Kruschev does the same to the Kremlin, avoiding nuclear war over Cuban missile crisis. No shooting war. Next year JFK drafts a memo of intention to withdraw military adviser support from S. Vietnam and avoid being drawn into shooting war there, but is assassinated before he can act on it.

    Months later new President Johnson is advised of Gulf of Tonkin attack, and he escalates Vietnam into a shooting war. WH tapes recorded before he leaves office show him lamenting the hopelessness of the war as either a cause or as any kind of possible US victory.

    LBJ withdraws from re-election campaign to be free to negotiate truce in Vietnam. Meanwhile Nixon privately negotiates illegally, committing as tapes reveal LBJ terming it "treason" to the agreement of Republicans in phone conversation about it, and the truce talks collapse. Nixon wins office with his secret plan to end the war, which turns out all along to have been to continue escalating it and keep it as a re-election campaign issue for 1972.

    What I think is The Empire got knocked to the mat 3 times by civilian leadership, told itself "that's 3 strikes" and vowed Never Again to be pushed around by civilian leadership.

    I think the President of the United States has been the tail on the empire's dog ever since. I think Presidents began to wag in the summer of 1964.

    It's just me, I've got no inside information, and I can be persuaded by better information. But for now I have a plausible fish carcass to explain half a century of stink.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 10:28:24 AM PDT

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