War President

Posted in Undogegorized by chamblee54 on June 13, 2012

To this day, there is confusion about why the United States fought a war in Vietnam. There is talk about communism. There was a dominoes theory. (The delivery took more than thirty minutes.) The one which aroused PG’s curiosity was the urge to “nail that coonskin to the wall.”

According to the History News Network , President Lyndon B. Johnson made three trips to Vietnam.
“In 1961 Johnson, then vice president, visited Saigon. He assured the South Vietnamese the United States would stand by them … LBJ called South Vietnamese leader Diem the “Churchill of Asia.”
On October 26, 1966 Johnson visited Vietnam on his first trip as president. The week before anti-war protests had been held in 40 cities in the United States. At the end of December 1967 LBJ worked in another trip to Vietnam while traveling to Australia for the funeral of Prime Minister Harold Holt, who had died in a drowning accident. Visiting Cam Ranh Bay, LBJ urged the soldiers to”nail that coonskin to the wall.”

While researching this post, PG found a feature comparing BHO in Afghanistan to LBJ in Vietnam. (Lebron James is not taking his talents to Hanoi.) The story is that LBJ had serious doubts about whether we could win in Vietnam, but did not want to appear weak. (He may also have been influenced by the fate of JFK, who had started to withdraw troops from Vietnam.) There is a pungent paragraph:
“In this narrative, Johnson sent up to 1,000 Americans a month to their deaths because he didn’t “want the political fallout that would come from not fighting” Vietnam. Others have argued that, contrary to Blankney’s assertion, LBJ really wanted “to nail that coonskin to the wall” in Southeast Asia; that he fought it from strategic principle not political expediency. But many will concede that whether LBJ wanted to win it or not, he fought it with one eye to the public relations polls and the reactions of his own left wing. He imposed so many restrictions, introduced so many rules that perhaps whether LBJ ‘wanted to win’ or not, his objective strategic behavior was in the end indistinguishable from someone who wanted to lose. And he lost.”
Many of the soldiers in Vietnam were drafted. This means that the government told you that you were going into the service, or going to jail. (Young readers might be unfamiliar with the concept. When you ask your elders about communism, you can ask them about Selective Service.) While the government was dithering in it’s approach to the war, the men who were sent to fight were ordered to make a total commitment. Many did not come home alive.

Another online feature about Obama’s challenging war options shows up a difference in attitudes about war today.
“Publicly, Johnson said it was a war we had to fight and that we would win it. Now, of course, we know that he believed we couldn’t win even before he sent the first of those 57,992 American boys over there to die.”
Whether you agree or disagree with a war, it is preposterous to say that the soldiers are boys. If anyone deserves to be called a man, it is those troops. Today, we have more women in our armed forces than we did in Vietnam. (This page of statistics lists, by name, eight American service women who died in Vietnam.) It simply isn’t said, of this war, that the soldiers are our boys and girls. While the dirty business of war goes on, it is an improvement to not call our soldiers boys.

At the seven minute mark of his speech on Afghanistan , BHO starts a paragraph with the phrase “my fellow americans”. Those of a certain age will remember another democratic warpotus, Lyndon Johnson, who was fond of saying MFA. Whatever rude things were said about lightbulb Lyndon, no one ever asked to see his birth certificate. Perhaps that is what BHO meant by that phrase.

The paragraph that BHO starts with this bit of sixties nostalgia ( four year old Barry probably did not see the SOU message linked above) caught PG’s eye when reading the transcript . “My fellow Americans, this has been a difficult decade for our country. We have learned anew the profound cost of war — a cost that has been paid by the nearly 4,500 Americans who have given their lives in Iraq, and the over 1,500 who have done so in Afghanistan — men and women who will not live to enjoy the freedom that they defended.”

Are you sure, Barry? Over a million Iraqis live in exile in Syria as we speak. They may have jumped out of the frying pan, and into the fire. The reason they left was to escape the civil war that our “liberation” of Babylon set off. They have paid a price for our “mission accomplished”.

Are you sure Sean Hannity? Every day, you say to make the Bush tax cuts permanent. ( At least you were the last time PG was brave enough to listen to your show.) Historically, the profound cost of war has been paid, at least partially, by higher taxes. In world war two, people sold war bonds, and encouraged each other to invest in the defeat of the Nazis. In this war, the right wing wants to pay for it by lowering taxes. The result is a national debt that is going to burden our economy for decades.

Getting back to the message by BHO (It was made in an empty hall, with gilt edged chairs replacing the Seal of the Presidency. Not to worry, BHO was wearing a flag pin on his lapel.) … there was another Vietnam flashback at 7:53. “And even as there will be dark days ahead in Afghanistan, the light of a secure peace can be seen in the distance.” Is this light at the end of a tunnel?

At 8:58 comes this gem:“When innocents are being slaughtered and global security endangered, we don’t have to choose between standing idly by or acting on our own.” Since BHO has taken over as warpotus, the drone strikes over the third world have dramatically increased. This is air slaughter, against a helpless population, directed by remote control from a cave in Nevada. Many of the people killed in these raids are women and children, who are not members of Al Qaeda. (To be fair, some of the children would have been terrorists if they had been able to grow up.) We don’t have to choose, because the decision was made by warpotus BHO…we will use our high tech weapons to KILL, KILL, KILL.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a double repost

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