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James DiEugenio

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  1. Let me add another point on this. People like Sheehan and Halberstam were early critics of Kennedy from the right. That is they wanted more American involvement in the war since they were advocates of Major Jean Paul Vann. Vann realized in 1963 that the ARVN could not win on their own. And he was trying to spread the word through the Pentagon, which is why Kennedy did not want him addressing any generals or politicians. Halberstam tried to cover up this aspect of his career. And that he was also a critic of Kennedy's Congo policy. That he became a liberal darling later shows you what you need to know about the liberal establshment and their values, and what they knew about JFK. BTW, the people at Daily Kos still think The Best and the Brightest is a good book. So does Steve Bannon. I show how bad it is in my PP slideshow.
  2. If you read what Chomsky wrote on the subject at the time that Stone's film came out, it was pretty clear that he had done little or nothing on Vietnam since the Pentagon Papers were published. That he did not have NSAM 263, and had not interviewed Prouty or Krulak. And he was not aware that there were two sets of books concerning the intelligence reports on how the Saigon regime was doing in 1963. As Newman's book points out, LBJ knew about this double booking through his military aide Howard Burris. And he had access to the real documents which showed how bad the war was going. (Jim DiEugenio, Reclaiming Parkland, p. 188) Kennedy was basing his withdrawal plan on the phony numbers, plus the fact that McNamara had been informed that Kennedy's intent was to withdraw since 1962. OTOH, LBJ was willing to commit USA combat troops since 1961! (ibid) Indeed he had told Diem to ask Kennedy for troops in that year, even though he knew JFK did not want to hear this. This information is crucial. That is, the two sets of books, and the difference between JFK and LBJ. Because Johnson then used the the second set of books to start a set of military plans to expand the war with American air power, and then combat troops. This was done by March of 1964. (ibid, p. 189) If you don't know this, then you cannot be informed about why the policy changed so radically in just a few months, and why LBJ reacted as he did to the Tonkin Gulf incident. Which consisted of one bullet through one hull. He looked at it as a way to begin his air assault against Hanoi, which he did. Now compare that to what Kennedy did during the Missile Crisis when Castro shot down a defenseless U2 and killed the pilot. That is why I say that anyone who tries to declare that there was no difference between LBJ and JFK on foreign policy is either an axe grinder or an ignoramous.
  3. I don't know what you mean by me not naming names. I guess no one reads my books here. I don't know how I could be more specific than I was in the second edition of Destiny Betrayed. I think that my essay explains why Chomsky did as he did through his pal Selwyn Bromberger. At least that is how I took it. The work of Ray Marcus was stunning in this regard. And apparently Chomsky forgot it happened. He and his pals decided that the forces that took out Kennedy were simply too powerful to take on. And were also too secret and covert. Whereas, by 1969, when Ray's visit happened, the resistance to Vietnam was getting very widespread and even soame MSM figures had turned against it like Cronkite. Remember this was after Tet. If you read McNamara's book, even Dick Helms thought we should withdraw by then. As per Hitchens, this guy ended up being for the Iraq war, and helped the special prosecutor in the Clinton case. He had nothing but idiotic remarks on the JFK case and it was clear that he did not know anything about the circumstances of the murder or the specifics of JFK's presidency. I mean anyone who could blame JFK for the demise of Diem and his brother deserves no attention at all. It was clear that none of these guys--him, Cockburn, or Chomsky-- knew what on earth they were talking about either in Vietnam or about the Warren Commission. And its incredible that they condoned the likes of what Hoover, McCloy, Ford and Dulles had done with the Commission.
  4. I agree about what it did to this country. But man, what about Vietnam? Those poor people had just fought the French for eight years. They finally won, and then the Dulles brothers, Nixon and Ike decided that they really had not won. So they switch out Bao Dai for Ngo DInh Diem, and have him cancel the 1956 unification elections. Nineteen years later, after about three million civilian casualties (and another 1.7 million if you throw in Cambodia) then the country is finally independent. And BTW, it did not take that long after for us to establish relations with them. Aas C Wright Mills once said, American foreign policy during the Cold War was really crackpot realism.
  5. Thanks Paul. I also tuned out from Chomsky a long time ago. Funny you should mention Pacifica. In tracing Chomsky's career, he actually got a big boost there from David Barasamian, who runs Alternative Radio, and who supplied Pacifica with programming for a long time. Pacifica operates in about five major cities, and used to have a bigger imprint. The highlight of the piece I think is the whole exposure done by Ray Marcus of how intrigued Chomsky was for by his case for conspiracy with JFK, to the point he cancelled all meetings and then rescheduled another with Ray. And to my knowledge he has never admitted this in any of his writings or interviews. In fact, he does the opposite. On the whole JFK thing, his lack of honesty is kind of stunning. If he simply said nothing, then fine. But to deliberately mislead people, that is inexcusable. And what to make of his association with Faurisson? And his plea that the Holocaust happened without any gassings? And the whole thing with the Khmer Rouge and his denial at first, and his lowballing of the fatalities to this day. I think he has been a disaster for the Left myself. And its partly why there is no Left in America.
  6. If you don't know very much about Chomsky, this will be a real eye opener. Startling how his backers, like Amy Goodman and David Barsamian, cover up his past. I wouldn't go across the street to see him. Anyway, he is in John Barbour's new film, ask I decided to put this piece together about him. https://kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-articles/the-deceptions-and-disguises-of-noam-chomsky
  7. First of all, I am glad Ramon got mentioned in the article. But I think the real point of it is lost. I thought the main aim of Ramon's work, and what he will be writing about for us, isa that the official number of documents being withheld is wrong. The real number is almost three times what the Archives has given out. Which is a key discovery.
  8. Martin, that reads like some really hardcore CFR propaganda around 1965? When they were endorsing Johnson' buildup?
  9. And to show you how divisive and simplistic this sloganism about stopping the Reds in Vietnam was, I am embarrassed to say that way back in the sixties I actually made a speech about the subject. In junior high school, I think it was the 8th or 9th grade, I was in a speech class. I made a speech about why we had to win in Vietnam. I recall reciting all that warmed over, jingoism about, "Our legacy is on the line in Vietnam", to this day I cringe when I recall the episode. But that is how hard up most young people were for information as to why we were there. And that is the crap Nixon was selling with his Silent Majority, "pitiful helpless giant" baloney in 1969. When, in fact, as I showed in my PP, he knew the war could not be won at that time. Just an utter and complete debacle, that did untold damage to the social and economic underpinnings of the USA. Let alone Vietnam.
  10. Just a horrible war. From every aspect. There was simply never any good reason to send combat troops there. And to think Nixon wanted to do that in 1954! And that Foster Dulles wanted to use atomic weapons there, when in fact, there were no Americans on the ground there at the time. That shows you how crazy this Cold War staff was back then. BTW, in the long piece I am working on which traces the destruction of Kennedy's policies through Johnson and Nixon, Nixon and Kissinger are such dyed in the wool Cold Warriors, its almost funny--if it were not tragic for their victims. Nixon was actually comparing Vietnam to World War II ! Does that mean Ho Chi Minh was the equivalent of Adolf HItler? And the Hanoi war machine was going to roll over the entire continent with their equivalent of the Blitzkrieg?
  11. Ron: its pretty apparent that there were some CIA and military guys in Vietnam that were doing black operations in order to exacerbate the tensions between the north and south. The 1958 movie of Graham Greene's The Quiet American was based on this, and was adulterated by Ed Lansdale to cover up what many considered his own covert activities in that regard. The whole Dulles/Eisenhower six years from 1954-60 was simply an exercise in nation building by any possible means--including covert action. And it was doomed to failure since Lansdale had chosen so poorly in Ngo DInh Diem and his brother, and also Nhu's nutty wife. As those years went on, more and more CIA activity was necessary to prop up Diem. But it was on a basis of quicksand. Because Diem could not inspire any allegiance in the countryside. Therefore more and more people were imprisoned, many of them in the infamous tiger cages. The estimates on that range up to 50,000 by the time Kennedy was inaugurated. And many of Nhu's security forces were trained in the USA by CIA officers. By the time Kennedy came in, he was faced with a very bad situation which was getting worse. This is why both Rostow and Lansdale recommended US combat troops in 1961, even before the long two week debate in November.
  12. That was really god Ron. First question was about McNamara's role in escalating the war! This is what I mean about secrecy and the pernicious influence of Halberstam's book. Poor guy. He was so screwed over by Johnson.
  13. Agent orange, pellet bombs, anti personnel projectiles, onward and downward. Vietnam was just hopeless. I will never forget Jane Fonda coming to my town with some veterans and showing the public these kinds of awful weapons. As Ted Draper once said about Nixon's slogan, Peace with Honor, "How do you end a dishonorable war honorably?" BTW, please note in the AV essay, the two guys i credit at the end. Its one thing to declassify tapes and documents. Its another to have someone go to a library and sit down and read them or listen to them. That is not easy work. Jeff Kimball and Ken Hughes actually did that on the Nixon side, and then wrote about it. And they exposed the Decent Interval concept in writing. A guy who does that kind of work in the JFK case, and does not get enough credit is Malcolm Blunt. But its people like that who do the actual excavation. And help us understand what happened. Unfortunately its usually 20-30 years later. Which is why I made that card about secrecy being the enemy of not just truth, but democracy.
  14. Vietnam was just such a bad war. In every way I can think of. And for Nixon and Kissinger to continue it as long as they did, knowing they could not win, but only to maintain a Decent Interval, that is more than a bit sickening. That is why I say that if all this info had been out there, the war would not have been sustained. Ron, yes that is true about Nixon and Onasis. And thanks for noting that Nixon was involved from beginning to the end. And this is the man who the MSM praised as being such a foreign policy guru. My butt.
  15. Thanks Larry. I have that book and its next on my list.