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James DiEugenio

Max Boot gets Booted on Lansdale in Vietnam

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I really did not want to read this book by Max Boot.    After watching that completely forgettable Burns Novick pastiche, I had enough of this stuff.

So thanks to Tom Bass at Mekong Review.  It is really hard to comprehend, but there really are people who think that war could have and should have been "won". Even when a fruitcake like Nixon admitted it could not be won.

https://mekongreview.com/lansdales-ghost/

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To see what these people are all about, and how they utterly decimated Kennedy's idea about the great powers and Third World colonialism, please watch this double interview with Boot and Ralph Peters with, of all people, Tucker Carlson.  Carlson is no savant on foreign policy, but he is honest enough to see what a disaster the invasion of Iraq was.  The Neocons never learn from previous disasters.  Their aim is perpetual war.  Especially in the Third world.  Contrary to what JFK was stating in his two great speeches about Algeria in 1957 and Russia in 1963.  

 

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Max Boot is of course a neo con.  As is most of the Republican Party, and also a good part of the Democratic Party. For example,  I have little doubt that Hillary Clinton can be termed that also.

The Neocons today essentially rule Washington and they also are very strong in the MSM.  The editorial page chief at the Washington Post is Fred Hiatt, clearly a neo con.

What many people do not understand though is the Neocon movement which is so pervasive and pernicious today began with Jerry Ford. Yep, Mr Warren Commission cover up artist.

How?  Its kind of  a startling tale and you have to do a lot of reading to understand it.  Which I have been doing for the last five years.

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Posted (edited)

When Kennedy was killed, as we know, several of his foreign  policy endeavors were deliberately overturned.  

For example, in Congo, Indonesia and in Vietnam and also in the Middle East.

 In the latter, LBJ began to break away from Nasser who Kennedy had befriended and tilt strongly toward Israel.

These ended up being very bad for the people in these areas.  But when Nixon came in, he did something that may be worse.

 

Edited by James DiEugenio

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5 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

LBJ began to break away from Nasser who Kennedy had befriended and tilt strongly toward Israel.

Yes

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Good, glad someone knows about that.

In fact, when Kennedy was killed, Nasser played the film of his state funeral four times on national TV and he went into a mild depression.

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Posted (edited)

How much of our aggression against Russia, North Korea and China is a put-on, a political show manufactured among the leadership of the four countries?  Would this be even above the heads and pay grades of its televised advocates?

The creation of chaos, conflict and even war for profit never goes away, of course - ask Saddam and Khaddafy.  But is regime change in North Korea really on the table?  Reformation of Syria by the US and Ukraine by Russia would seem the real prizes here, with US action against Iran perhaps unattainable on our wishlist.  US bridgeheads - military or political - in Central Asia would seem desirable, but perhaps not in the present decade or under the current action plan.  Perhaps that's a bridge too far, a hot-war issue not to be approached.

I'm just wondering what Jim and the membership think is the end goal of the predominating bluster among the superpowers and North Korea.  Do the players even have one?

Edited by David Andrews

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Posted (edited)

The Neocons will take anything they can get.

 I mean who would have thought twenty years ago that they would have been choosing the leaders of Ukraine out of the American consulate?

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/02/13/a-documentary-youll-likely-never-see/

IMO, they really wanted to overthrow Assad. Their ambitions have gotten so crazy that they have actually united Israel with Saudi Arabia.

BTW, one of the recurrent ploys by these Neocon fruitcakes is the whole Munich scenario.  Which, if you watch that clip with Carlson and Boot, at the beginning the Pentagon guy, Peters, tried to use it with Carlson.  This is the way they disarm people who do not agree with them, by using comparisons to the Third Reich.

Edited by James DiEugenio

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13 minutes ago, David Andrews said:

I'm just wondering what Jim and the membership think is the end goal of the predominating bluster among the superpowers

Oligarchy is the aim. I despise Dynastic power, and don't care for Assad for that reason, but it has never been our aim to depose kings and queens. Enemies of the entrenched worldwide Oligarchic power structures are the target; and that included Iran, at 10:06 ET on May 19 2018. Iran could fall into the lovey-dovey arms of the Oligarchs with a simple coup.

Likewise, South Korea is more a problem to the powers that be than North Korea. NK can and will be turned around overnight by appealing to the ruling elite; SK, not so much.

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Posted (edited)

Before this thread disappears under the weight of MH telling us we are a bunch of cultists who have accomplished zilch, let me conclude with what happened to Kennedy's overall foreign policy.

As outlined elsewhere, LBJ and RMN made significant alterations to it in places like Indochina and the Middle East. And they both combined to put an end to the Alliance for Progress in Latin America.

But in 1972, Nixon visited both Moscow and Bejing in what many thought to be an election year ploy to distract from his failure to end the Vietnam War.

Nixon won the election handily, but the Watergate scandal forced him to resign.  When Warren Commissioner Jerry Ford took office, he brought with him two young, relatively unknown rightwing firebrands named Rumsfeld and Cheney. They decided to do an end run around Kissinger.  Why? Because they thought that the attempt at detente was too moderate.  At the behest of a private group led by Paul Nitze, called the Committee on the Present Danger, they enlisted both the White House and CIA Director Bush to let their analysts go head to head with the CIA in order to demonstrate that the Russians were ahead of the USA in both conventional and atomic weapons.  This was called Team B.  

This was important for not just putting the stall to any kind of detente, but more significantly, it was the beginning of the creation of the Neoconservative movement and the rise to power of men like Richard Perle.  They did much to undermine Carter, and then seized power under Reagan.  

So we can say that Jerry Ford first buried the facts about the JFK case. A decade later he fostered the movement that spelled the end to Kennedy's foreign policy forever. And that is what brought us well paid charlatans like Max Boot.

As Stephen Dedalus says in Ulysses, "History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awaken." For those who admired what Kennedy was trying to do, its probably even worse than that.

 

Edited by James DiEugenio

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Posted (edited)

This isn't new. We saw this clip before only a couple of months ago. These 2 guys were once 2 peas in a pod. Both Boot and Carlson were quite pro the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Neocons are a problem. But Jim calls anybody who disagrees with him a Neocon,or a Mc Carthyite, as he called me and Hancock. Just yesterday in his "What is the Kennedy cult anyway" Jim in his paranoia, imagines the stealthy neocon presence on this forum. Total irrational BS! He himself, starts the thread, and retreats into dark accusations when the thread doesn't produce the hegemony he wants.

Jim was pretty enthusiastic about the Royal Wedding of Putin and Assad a couple of years ago. Yeah that really turned out well, Jim.

I have some really fine imported pieces for sale for your rubble garden  if you're interested..

It's being done on all sides now, and the people to suffer are the real people.  Now we're propping up the "Strong Man' in Saudi Arabia,Iraq, and Afghanistan, and now that Putin's gotten in the act. It's  noble to Jim. I wish it were that simple. And of course, his expressed fear now, is that the U.S. will hijack Syria from his beloved Putin, as if that's such a prize.  Now that him and Assad have bombed every major city North of Damascus  back into the Stone Age. The everyday people are just pawns in a global Super Power game.

 

 

 

Edited by Kirk Gallaway

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Posted (edited)

Kirk: run out of pills or something?

I am describing a historical contour.  If you do not believe what I just described, or that people like Nitze and Rumsfeld and Cheney were the people who ushered in the neocon movement, then please show me where what i wrote was incorrect. Ford and Bush did let the CPD go head to head with the CIA.  And they did constitute a far right intellectual stance that was even worse in some aspects than Kissinger.  There are several good sources on this point like Peddlers of Crisis and Rise of the Vulcans.  Read either one of them?  

I don't appreciate being called paranoid.  And I don't know where you get that.  I disagree with Larry on the Russiagate issue. Isn't that terrible. But I  like much of his work on the JFK case, especially Nexus. And he just invited me to his Lancer Conference for this year.  I don't think he invites paranoid cases, do you?  By the way are you speaking there?

I am still in favor of what Assad did with Putin.  Because if that would not have happened, you would have had the same thing occur in Syria as what happened in Libya.  That was the goal of Saudi Arabia, and to a lesser extent Israel.  But for different reasons.  Saudi Arabia resents any secular states like Syria, and Israel would like to see the region radicalized so they can be the only stable partner left.  So if you like what happened in Libya, then good, cheer on the Saudis. A good book to read on the subject is called The  Devil's Game by Robert Dreyfuss.  Sure you read that one also.

 

 

Edited by James DiEugenio

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Posted (edited)

What was the genesis of Boot's book on Lansdale?  Did he pick the subject, or was it commissioned by a publisher or agent?

Does writing a neocon book on Lansdale as hero express someone's wish for another Lansdale to rise from the ranks?  And - by extension - the wish for another Oliver North, who consulted with Lansdale on the Contra War?  Is someone asking for another over-the-top, Lawrence of Arabia type figurehead to get a job done and endure the liberal brickbats hurled afterward?

Maybe they should be giving a digital copy of Boot's book away with every e-reader purchased and every e-pub subscription.  Maybe there ought to be a movie deal.  Lansdale as a freewheeling loony out of Catch-22, the original Charlie Wilson, in Vietnam.  Bombs exploding all around him - this big galoot don't care!  He knows Vietnamese folklore and plays their reed pipes along with a good ol' American harmonica.  That makes him invulnerable - until The Powers That Be tear him down.  It's too bad Tom Hanks isn't young enough for the role.

Edited by David Andrews

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11 hours ago, Kirk Gallaway said:

This isn't new. We saw this clip before only a couple of months ago. These 2 guys were once 2 peas in a pod. Both Boot and Carlson were quite pro the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Neocons are a problem. But Jim calls anybody who disagrees with him a Neocon,or a Mc Carthyite, as he called me and Hancock. Just yesterday in his "What is the Kennedy cult anyway" Jim in his paranoia, imagines the stealthy neocon presence on this forum. Total irrational BS! He himself, starts the thread, and retreats into dark accusations when the thread doesn't produce the hegemony he wants.

Jim was pretty enthusiastic about the Royal Wedding of Putin and Assad a couple of years ago. Yeah that really turned out well, Jim.

I have some really fine imported pieces for sale for your rubble garden  if you're interested..

It's being done on all sides now, and the people to suffer are the real people.  Now we're propping up the "Strong Man' in Saudi Arabia,Iraq, and Afghanistan, and now that Putin's gotten in the act. It's  noble to Jim. I wish it were that simple. And of course, his expressed fear now, is that the U.S. will hijack Syria from his beloved Putin, as if that's such a prize.  Now that him and Assad have bombed every major city North of Damascus  back into the Stone Age. The everyday people are just pawns in a global Super Power game.

 

 

 

Kirk - in regards to Syria, what course of history would you prefer? In your view, what caused the tragic destabilization of Syria? What was your point of view on the first, or second, US and allied wars in Iraq? Just curious. I’m pretty sure all of us would prefer a world without despots. What’s the solution? 

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Posted (edited)

David:

IMO, the Boot volume on Lansdale in Vietnam is part of an effort to somehow rewrite the history of that war.  There are other people who have done this.  Like Lewis Sorley and also Michael Lind.  Its the whole "noble cause" syndrome combined with a debate about the tactics involved.  And I should add there was also some of this in the Burns/Novick series.

To me, or to anyone who has studied the history of Indochina after the war, this is simply fatuous. It tries to cover up two bad errors in judgment by the State Department and the White House.  The first one was the error of backing up France and ignoring Ho Chi Minh in 1950.  That mistake all but guaranteed that the USA would end up fitting the bill for the first Indochina war.  SImply because France could not afford to after World War II, but the USA at that time was a creditor nation.

The second mistake was reneging on the Geneva Accords and making sure that Bao Dai chose Diem as premier.  What this did was it guaranteed that the USA would now end up propping up this fabricated country of South Vietnam.  And since Diem was no match for Ho Chi Minh, it meant we would now have to be the arsenal for Diem.

This was one of the worst parts of the Burns/Novick series.  It completely ignored these errors and it discounted the roles of Nixon, the Dulles brothers, and Lansdale in creating the whole Saigon government. In my opinion, no real historian could do such a thing by accident. But beyond that, how the heck can you tell the story of American involvement if you never mention either Bao Dai or Dean Acheson?  That is not telling history.  Its really a form of propaganda by censorship.

The bottom line is what Henry Kissinger revealed the night the last helicopter left the American Embassy in 1975.  He called up an old academic friend and said, "We should have never been there."  And that is what all these guys--Lind, Sorley, and now Boot--are trying to conceal.  

The obvious parallel is the Bush invasion of Iraq--which was also completely unmerited.  And has had disastrous results.  And in that way, I do not think that Boot supporting that terrible error and then writing this book is a coincidence. As Gore Vidal once said, what the Neocon slogan should be is "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace."  Which is not far off from Orwell.

If you missed my four part review of Burns/Novick , here it is

https://kennedysandking.com/reviews/ken-burns-lynn-novick-the-vietnam-war-part-one

Edited by James DiEugenio

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