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"We seek no wider war"
Topic Started: Mar 26 2017, 09:04 AM (149 Views)
Laughing Gravy
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Six very sad and anger-inducing minutes. I'm reading "Dereliction of Duty" by H.R. McMaster, how lies and mistakes and misjudgment got us into the Vietnam war. Here is President Johnson on Aug. 6, 1964, declaring "we seek no wider war" while making every plan to do so as soon as the election was over. Virtually every sentence of this short speech is a lie, an exaggeration, and a death sentence for 58,000 American armed forces and a million Vietnamese.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dv1hZIPT2mA

"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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Frank Hale
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How are you liking the book?
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Laughing Gravy
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I'm only up to August 1964 (pg. 137) but it's fascinating, yet as mentioned sad. It's easy to say this guy or that guy lied, but reality is complicated - lies absolutely were told, but also perception was colored by various factors, the Joint Chiefs were on the outs because they weren't trusted after the Bay of Pigs fiasco (and inter-service rivalries prevented them from agreeing on a course of action), and Johnson was the kind of guy who didn't want differing opinions, he wanted loyalty. McMaster tells the story well.

So far, McNamara is the book's villain, such as it is.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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Frank Hale
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An article in my 2003 Encyclopaedia Britannica that I read some years ago suggested the US was apparently committed to a policy of national suicide.

I think that about sums up everything I have ever read on the subject, or, indeed, what I felt I was undergoing at the time.

Re: Mr. McNamara: Donít forget to watch "The Fog of War", as I suggested earlier on the reading thread.
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The Batman
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I've been meaning to watch that, thanks for the reminder, Mr Hale. Wasn't aware of this book, it sounds fascinating.

Always be yourself! Unless you can be Batman...then always be Batman!
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Frank Hale
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I don't recommend anyone buying the film, but if you get a chance to rent or stream it, or borrow it from the library, I think it's worth a look.

Without giving too much of the plot away [joke], Mr. McNamara, 30 or 40 years removed from the scene of the crime, is quite willing to admit many mistakes, but finally unable to admit guilt. He wrote a book also (I didn't read it).

The NYT's obituary on him was relatively neutral, IIRC, but they published a subsequent scathing editorial in which I took a great deal of satisfaction.

I have to say that when I look around currently, I am similarly bewildered.

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The Batman
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Thanks, no intention of buying it, once will be enough.

As for currently, I still shake my head in disbelief at a recent world event. Some days I think I must be dreaming (or having a nightmare).

Always be yourself! Unless you can be Batman...then always be Batman!
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