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View Diary: Finally, Someone Acknowledged LBJ! (218 comments)

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  •  LBJ is such the double-edged sword (6+ / 0-)

    He was able to finish what JFK could not in civil rights (propelled by millions of marchers, rioting, murders of activists - you had to be there to have a sense of the mess we were in over this), and he knew it was the right thing to do, that without it our nation would continue to deteriorate, and that it would cost the dem's the south. He does deserve credit.

    He bombed southeast asians into the stone age and widened that conflict into the bloodiest disaster in US history, Iraq included. The damage done to the US in the eyes of the world, to our treasury, and to the credibility of he who prosecuted it left his social agenda weakened and never completed, IMO.

    At the time I despised LBJ for the destruction he unleashed. Despite what he was able to do domestically, that legacy is indeed dripping with Vietnamese and American blood. It still dominates my take on his time in office.

    Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

    by p gorden lippy on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:20:13 AM PST

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    •  Having been there, I understand what... (10+ / 0-)'re reminding us of and, while I don't want to sugarcoat his responsibility for enlarging that war, I do want to remember all he accomplished (not just "finished", but accomplished) that helped us to reach this particular joyous day.

      39 Years Of Yellow-Dogging And Then 1 Year Of WTF

      by Larry Bailey on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:30:12 AM PST

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    •  It will take the passing of those who were (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1, enhydra lutris

      will always personally remember the Viet Nam war's overshadowing of nearly everything else of that era before LBJ is raised to the level his domestic accomplishments entitles him.  Those who lived through those times will never feel comfortable considering him a hero because of the memories of the bloodshed he was such a large part of.  In the decades to come, his standing will rise considerably.  But it will not happen until there are no longer those who personally remember.

    •  not perfect, but LBJ was also not master (0+ / 0-)

      of the situation into which he was sworn as President on 11/22/63, or at least not its architect.

      MacNamara was massively at fault in Viet Nam, as well; LBJ might have replaced him as SecWar, but who, in that time and place, would have given LBJ better advice on the war?

      Who would have had better (and less cooked) intel?

      John Edwards:"One America does the work, another America reaps the rewards. One America pays the taxes, another America gets the tax breaks."

      by BlackSheep1 on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 08:12:22 AM PST

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      •  As none less than Douglas MacArthur advised (0+ / 0-)

        JFK, "never get in a land war in Asia." The view was there and it was available.

        Besides, the buck stops at the president's desk. End of story. Bush notwithstanding.

        The palpable hatred that LBJ engendered over Vietnam undercut his ability to govern, it severely undercut the credibility of the democratic party, and it set the stage for Nixon's election. And, of course, Nixon brought us Cheney and Rummy, the first go round of the Swiftboaters, and all their friends.

        That set back our foreign and domestic policies back a generation.

        Despite his aggressively progressive domestic agenda, a whole lot of blame lies at the feet of LBJ, whose ego knew no bounds.

        Just saying that Nixon made it worse in Vietnam does not absolve LBJ of the blood on his hands, of the lies he told to get us in there (Gulf of Tonkin "incident"), or of the greedy global domination schemes that drove that mission.

        Passing civil rights legislation was critically important, it was difficult to do, but it could be argued that it was perhaps even more difficult not to do given the incredible mess the country was in at the time.

        Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

        by p gorden lippy on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:09:34 AM PST

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