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#1 Greg Burnham

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 09:18 PM

LBJ's War: Vietnam 50 Years Ago

Greg Burnham



"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- JFK

"It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."  -- Farewell America (1968) 

“The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence."  -- JFK

"A wise man can act a fool, but a foolish man can never act wise."  -- Unknown



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#2 Phil Dragoo

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 01:54 AM

LBJ’s War: Vietnam — 50 Years Ago This Day


As a point of fact, the Viet Cong were not comprised of “North Vietnamese” natives nor were they “operatives” from Hanoi nor did they “take orders” from the “Government” of North Vietnam. Perhaps even more significant was the Viet Cong’s lack of interest in Communist Ideology. The Viet Cong’s only shared goal with the Communist Government of Hanoi went no further than their mutual desire to rid their country of foreign invaders.


* * *


Phil's footnote:  Greg's article and conversation with Len Osanic develops the stunning revelation of Fletcher Prouty.


JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy


Jim DiEugenio and James Douglass have pointed out JFK visited with Gullion in Vietnam in 1951 when the congressman and his younger brother learned firsthand of the trap of the French by the Viet Minh.


In the radio talk Greg references this JFK speech:


John F. Kennedy Speeches
Remarks of Senator John F. Kennedy on Indochina before the Senate, Washington, D.C., April 6, 1954


My favorite line from this is:


I am frankly of the belief that no amount of American military assistance in Indochina can conquer an enemy which is everywhere and at the same time nowhere, "an enemy of the people" which has the sympathy and covert support of the people.


Reading now in John Newman, JFK and Vietnam second edition, Laos is falling, the Soviet Union is running air resupply to an insurgency.


JFK tries to negotiate a coalition government in Laos as the Pathet Lao overruns the country. 


JFK alone resists combat troops, while one by one every one of his advisors, every military and intelligence official lobbies for intervention.


Dien Bien Phu was a triumph of mismanagement, arrogance and ignorance falls to native persistence.


Bui Tin said the Ho Chi Minh Trail was not shut down--ascribes victory to this.


The chiefs went to Johnson November, 1965, for permission to mine Haiphong and bomb Hanoi.


Johnson cursed them and raved about Soviet-Chicom intervention--something Ho and Friends laughed about watching U.S. news.


The Day It Became the Longest War


I received this article in the May 1996 Proceedings of the US Naval Institute and found it shocking.


Consider the times.  Moyers' Daisy Girl painted Goldwater as a warmonger yet it was Johnson who pushed intervention and jumped on the Northwoods nothingburger of Tonkin.


And it soon became clear, as he sanitized target lists, he was there to promote defense industry interests, not to win hearts and minds.


The nation always supports an underdog and perceived such in Vietnam--yet the political manipulation destroyed the effort.


Diem would not reform.  The enemy would use all surrounding countries yet the U.S. was to eschew coloring outside the lines.


The Landsdale transference of one million one hundred thousand was fatally destablizling.


At the last Democrats in Congress cut off the funds and Saigon was overrun.


Vietnam suffered as did Russia and China--Lenin, Stalin, Mao killed tens of millions.


Much as Ayers called for in a 1971 meeting of radicals.


As we see on campuses and in the streets, cries of Fascism! come from the lips of those smashing opposing opinion.


Now Vietnam finds its primary challenge is China.


History is nothing if not ironic.



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