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Neil Sheehan: At the Bloody Dawn of the Vietnam War

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Good that you posted this.

Two footnotes and a comment.

FN 1: A guy from my high school, Charles Heriaud, died 11-17-65 in the Ia Drang Valley.

FN 2: The U.S. survivors of the LZ xray battle were ambushed and decimated as they trekked to their departure at LZ Albany. The battle at xray is a tale of courage and good leadership. The tale of LZ xray has been told often. The tale of LZ Albany has been told less often. It is a tale of disaster, poor planning, and poor leadership.

COMMENT: JFK would have had to fish or cut bait in Viet Nam if he had been re-elected in 1964. Some here believe he was committed to withdrawing completely from Viet Nam by the end of 1965. The reality is, South Viet Nam would have fallen quickly to the North without the aid of U.S. mainline combat units like the First Cav. In retrospect, that would have saved a lot of lives. At the time, however, any American president would have come under withering attack for allowing "communist aggression" to succeed. My take is JFK would have wanted to avoid such a domestic wave of criticism.

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