The POTUS, LBJ.,Moyers, Nam and Afgan.
((Sweet, sweet memories you gave-a meyou can't beat the memories you gave-a me
Some grief, some joyMemories are made of this.."Dean Martin, Memories are Made of This-----POTUS Obama will shortly make a decision and speech on strategy for Afgan.
The Pentagon favors a big COIN move. Thousands more NATO (US) troops and a nation-building thrust. This could include a “neighborhood watch” for 40K villages. That’s a lot of nation-building.
Hopefully the POTUS will describe an exit strategy..displaying a get-out of Afgan.card. It has been 9 years since we went into Afgan.
Last night’s Bill Moyers Journal drew a parallel between Obama’s Afgan. mess and LBJ’s Nam mess.
Moyers was a bright 30-yr. neophyte in the Johnson entourage. Not a heavyweight, but a consensus builder.
Last night, Moyers used audio tapes of LBJ’s Nam conumdrum.We hear LBJ lamenting to Georgia Sen. Dick Russell. Russell had no useful guidance or knowledge.
We hear JBJ talking to Sen. Bill Fulbright. Ol’ Bill says go into Nam full-time. This was 1964, and Fulbright was in his half-bright stage.
We hear LBJ cutting-off McGeorge Bundy. LBJ had no use for the Harvards.
We hear McNamara’s gunho silly support for a ground war.
We DON’t hear Sec.St. Rusk. He was always an inscrutable Budda, but a hard-liner. JFK always said Rusk never gave him anything to chew on.
We hear LBJ’s fear of the Goldwater right.
We DON’T hear Humbert Humphrey, who was marginalized by 1964.
And we DON’T hear LBJ quoting from George Ball’s prescient anti-Nam memo.
LBJ went for the ground troops-500K +.As a result, he lost over 40 House seats in 1966. And he was forced to retire in 1968.
He fractured our politics by 1968. In 1968, there were peace candidates everywhere. RFK and McCarthy. HHH, after his Salt Lake City bombing halt speech. Nixon, who had a secret plan to end the war. But Nixon also had Kissinger sabatoge the Paris peace talks. And then there was Wallace and his VP candidate, Curtis LaMay. They were peace candidates who would have brought peace to Hanoi thru nuclear attacks.
LBJ was wrong on a ground war in Nam. Let’s hope our POTUS is not an LBJ.
November 21, 2009 10:00 AM