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New York Times lies about JFK. Again.


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12 hours ago, Larry Hancock said:

Yep, there will never be a shortage of reasons for foreign intervention - strategic, humanitarian, security.  And that will generally come to include cultural intervention (projecting our system of democracy and equal rights overseas), regime change, nation building, and all the opportunities that go along with it.  

After all, its worked so well for us....

When I first became interested in politics in the 1960s the most important issue was the Vietnam War.  In 1965 I read Robert Taber's The War of the Flea. Taber is an interesting character and is slightly connected to the JFK assassination. He was one of the founders of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPFCC). 

The book should be read by all politicians. Taber points out that Germany was able to invade and conquer Denmark, Norway, France, Belgium and the Netherlands in six weeks in 1940. In April 1941 Germany tried the same tactic in Yugoslavia. The government of Prince Paul surrendered in ten days, but the people of Yugoslavia decided to carry on the fight. As a result the country was never conquered and the leader of the partisans, Tito, formed the new government in 1945. 

Taber argues that this example shows that however powerful you maybe, if the people decide not to be conquered and are willing to use guerrilla warfare, they will eventually win. This is why he predicted defeat for the US in Vietnam. He also predicted the same result if the US decided to invade Cuba. 

Afghanistan is only the latest example of a superpower being defeated by a smaller nation. At last a US politician has accepted this reality. Of course withdrawal has been done very badly and has been very embarrassing for all concerned (the UK government has also taken a terrible hammering over  Afghanistan - our press still thinks the UK is a world power). There is only one superpower left and that is China. They will now take control over the country. Not by sending in troops, but by economic investment. 

 

Afghanistan holds an estimated 1.4 million tons of rare earth elements (REEs), minerals crucial for the production of renewable energy technology. America needs rare earths, and China controls 90% of processing capacity.

 

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Strange how the U.S. used to be respected (and loathed a bit - in as "shrewd as a Yankee trader") for its economic and trade prowess and now we are perceived only in terms of our military - you might think a capitalist country would be sort of embarrassed not to be able to out trade, out deal, or generally compete economically with communist China.

Hint - we really should be able to acquire, and process the raw materials we need four our economy without building artificial regimes or funding surrogate governments....

 

 

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Mills called it crackpot realism.  Great example being Walt Rostow.

In Vietnam, it was fear of letting the country go over to Ho Chi Minh.

In Afghanistan, it was really Reagan/Bush who created the war the first time.  And they decided to get in bed with the devil i.e. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in order to defeat the USSR.  When Gorbachev decided to withdraw, he offered a perfectly reasonable resolution: a coalition government that would marginalize the radical Moslems, the mujahideen and the like. America turned it down. And this is what caused the country to descend into a horrible civil war.

 

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27 minutes ago, James DiEugenio said:

Mills called it crackpot realism.  Great example being Walt Rostow.

In Vietnam, it was fear of letting the country go over to Ho Chi Minh.

In Afghanistan, it was really Reagan/Bush who created the war the first time.  And they decided to get in bed with the devil i.e. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in order to defeat the USSR.  When Gorbachev decided to withdraw, he offered a perfectly reasonable resolution: a coalition government that would marginalize the radical Moslems, the mujahideen and the like. America turned it down. And this is what caused the country to descend into a horrible civil war.

 

The Taliban offered to surrender in 2002. The Bush administration rejected the offer. 

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That is correct Mr. Burrows.  In other words the US turned down two reasonable offers that would have saved a lot of later blood and treasure.

But I should add, not only did Reagan/Bush turn down Gorby's offer, they ended up backing the fundamentalists like Haqqani and Hekmatyar.  And in a reversal of Gorbachev they marginalized the moderate, Massoud. The combination of Najibullah and Massoud fought the crazies for years on end in a horrendous civil war. Until finally, Pakistan sent in their guys, and both men were murdered. All the time Benazir Bhutto told Bush I that he was creating a a Frankenstein monster.

The Republicans and the media don't like talking about any of this. Just like they don't like talking about how W campaigned against Nation building against Gore, and then did just that in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

IMO, W was the worst president ever.

Edited by James DiEugenio
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15 hours ago, Larry Hancock said:

Yep, there will never be a shortage of reasons for foreign intervention - strategic, humanitarian, security.  And that will generally come to include cultural intervention (projecting our system of democracy and equal rights overseas), regime change, nation building, and all the opportunities that go along with it.  

After all, its worked so well for us....

1 hour ago, James DiEugenio said:

Mills called it crackpot realism.  Great example being Walt Rostow.

In Vietnam, it was fear of letting the country go over to Ho Chi Minh.

In Afghanistan, it was really Reagan/Bush who created the war the first time.  And they decided to get in bed with the devil i.e. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in order to defeat the USSR.  When Gorbachev decided to withdraw, he offered a perfectly reasonable resolution: a coalition government that would marginalize the radical Moslems, the mujahideen and the like. America turned it down. And this is what caused the country to descend into a horrible civil war.

 

To justify his support for South Vietnam, President Dwight Eisenhower and Vice-President Richard Nixon put forward the "domino theory". It was argued that if the first domino is knocked over then the rest topple in turn. Applying this to South-east Asia he argued that if South Vietnam was taken by communists, then the other countries in the region such as Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, Malaysia and Indonesia, would follow. 

Lyndon Johnson was another strong supporter of the Domino Theory and believed that the prevention of an National Liberation Front (NLF) victory in South Vietnam was vital to the defence of the United States: "If we quit Vietnam, tomorrow we'll be fighting in Hawaii and next week we'll have to fight in San Francisco." 

That was the same reason why the CIA wanted the overthrow of Castro. However, as JFK said just before he was assassinated: 
"I believe there is no country in the world . . . where economic colonisation, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, partly as a consequence of U.S. policy during the Batista regime. I believe that, without being aware of it, we conceived and created the Castro movement, starting from scratch. I also believe that this accumulation of errors has put all Latin America in danger. The whole purpose of the 'Alliance for Progress' (an economic aid programme for Latin America) is to reverse this fatal policy."

As Theodore Draper pointed out in his great book, Abuse of Power (1967): "The Latin American dominoes did not fall after Castro's victory (in Cuba) because the world is far more complex and unpredictable than the theory gives it credit for being. Castro's growing force immediately set in motion counter-forces throughout Latin America, not sponsored by the United States alone, which was most ineffective, but in the domestic policies of each Latin American country... The Cuban experience does not prove that the Latin American dominoes could not have fallen; it merely proves that Castro's victory by itself was not enough for them to fall." 

The same was true of Vietnam. It remained a communist country but it did not export its revolution. In fact, the US has developed a good economic relationship with the country.

However, I am not sure Larry is right when he says a capitalist country should be able to compete economically with communist China. It would be true if China was a communist country. However, it is more accurately described as "state capitalist". This is the most effective economic system ever and very difficult to compete with. Most importantly, the government controls "labor costs" and major investment in the economy (it also controls outside investment). 

 

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Actually John, I would agree that it is exceedingly difficult at preset for any nation to compete with China in the broad sense, simply because as a quasi dictatorship it can organize all its resources including its economy around very tightly crafted strategies.  On the other hand, certain of its cultural habits and related practices may present a few speed bumps on its Silk Road Strategy, especially in Africa where its "debt trap" approach is a matter of considerable debate.  What is certain is that it is using investment as an organized tactic and putting huge amounts of loans  behind it.  From one perspective that guarantees access to natural resources, the question is whether it makes friends in the longer term - the Chinese are going to have to do a better job at winning local hearts and minds than American corporations did in the 20th Century.

However I wasn't really thinking of broad economic competition, I was thinking very specifically about the tactics used in acquiring specific resources, legal or otherwise. That can be something entirely different if here is enough money involved and enough third parties available.  The term Yankee Trader came into being in the Pacific trade out of Boston and was often applied to highly profitable but often "sharp" practices not properly discussed in Boston society. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

That is correct Mr. Burrows.  In other words the US turned down two reasonable offers that would have saved a lot of later blood and treasure.

But I should add, not only did Reagan/Bush turn down Gorby's offer, they ended up backing the fundamentalists like Haqqani and Hekmatyar.  And in a reversal of Gorbachev they marginalized the moderate, Massoud. The combination of Najibullah and Massoud fought the crazies for years on end in a horrendous civil war. Until finally, Pakistan sent in their guys, and both men were murdered. All the time Benazir Bhutto told Bush I that he was creating a a Frankenstein monster.

The Republicans and the media don't like talking about any of this. Just like they don't like talking about how W campaigned against Nation building against Gore, and then did just that in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

 

      If I recall correctly, Oliver Stone used this film clip from the 2000 Bush v. Gore debates at the beginning of his Untold History series.  Looking back on our 20 year, multi-trillion dollar debacle in Afghanistan, (and Iraq, Libya, and Syria) was there ever a more damning commentary by a future POTUS in American history?

      (Dubya around the 1:00 minute mark...)

 

 

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7 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

Mills called it crackpot realism.  Great example being Walt Rostow.

In Vietnam, it was fear of letting the country go over to Ho Chi Minh.

In Afghanistan, it was really Reagan/Bush who created the war the first time.  And they decided to get in bed with the devil i.e. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in order to defeat the USSR.  When Gorbachev decided to withdraw, he offered a perfectly reasonable resolution: a coalition government that would marginalize the radical Moslems, the mujahideen and the like. America turned it down. And this is what caused the country to descend into a horrible civil war.

 

"Crackpot realism"---what an expressive phrase. 

 

Edited by Benjamin Cole
typo
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2 hours ago, Robert Burrows said:

Agreed. 

Agreed, but maybe LBJ-Nixon. Remember, perhaps six million people perished in the SE Asian wars and troubles. People are still stepping on cluster bombs in Laos. Who really knows what Agent Orange did? 

Vietnam set the tone that foreign wars had to be fantastically cruel and expensive, but counterproductive.   

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2 hours ago, W. Niederhut said:

      If I recall correctly, Oliver Stone used this film clip from the 2000 Bush v. Gore debates at the beginning of his Untold History series.  Looking back on our 20 year, multi-trillion dollar debacle in Afghanistan, (and Iraq, Libya, and Syria) was there ever a more damning commentary by a future POTUS in American history?

      (Dubya around the 1:00 minute mark...)

 

 

Do you think that the events of September 11, 2001 would have happened if Al Gore had been allowed to become President?

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4 hours ago, Larry Hancock said:

Actually John, I would agree that it is exceedingly difficult at preset for any nation to compete with China in the broad sense, simply because as a quasi dictatorship it can organize all its resources including its economy around very tightly crafted strategies.  On the other hand, certain of its cultural habits and related practices may present a few speed bumps on its Silk Road Strategy, especially in Africa where its "debt trap" approach is a matter of considerable debate.  What is certain is that it is using investment as an organized tactic and putting huge amounts of loans  behind it.  From one perspective that guarantees access to natural resources, the question is whether it makes friends in the longer term - the Chinese are going to have to do a better job at winning local hearts and minds than American corporations did in the 20th Century.

However I wasn't really thinking of broad economic competition, I was thinking very specifically about the tactics used in acquiring specific resources, legal or otherwise. That can be something entirely different if here is enough money involved and enough third parties available.  The term Yankee Trader came into being in the Pacific trade out of Boston and was often applied to highly profitable but often "sharp" practices not properly discussed in Boston society. 

 

 

This thread has become quite informative to me. I guess that's why this is the education forum.  Thanks to you, Mr. Simkin, Jim and Joseph McBride in particular.

I try to think positive but often my own sarcasm overwhelms me.  All too often it seems well founded. 

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8 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

That is correct Mr. Burrows.  In other words the US turned down two reasonable offers that would have saved a lot of later blood and treasure.

But I should add, not only did Reagan/Bush turn down Gorby's offer, they ended up backing the fundamentalists like Haqqani and Hekmatyar.  And in a reversal of Gorbachev they marginalized the moderate, Massoud. The combination of Najibullah and Massoud fought the crazies for years on end in a horrendous civil war. Until finally, Pakistan sent in their guys, and both men were murdered. All the time Benazir Bhutto told Bush I that he was creating a a Frankenstein monster.

The Republicans and the media don't like talking about any of this. Just like they don't like talking about how W campaigned against Nation building against Gore, and then did just that in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

IMO, W was the worst president ever.

Jim, we had this discussion, maybe a year ago. Didn't you argue that Nixon was the worst for the reasons that Ben stated. The overall loss of life during Nixon's administration was the greatest and he and Kissinger knew early on the war was unwinnable. It's a persuasive argument, the overall loss of life. But anyway, welcome aboard!  I agree of the two, W. is worse because he chose to enter a completely elective war, and was under no real pressure from the MIC, and the extent of both his and Nixon's actions were both very far reaching. But you can always argue Nixon inherited the Vietnam War, though his role in history shows a sinister influence before he ever became President.

As for Trump, I'd say, he was the least fit for President, and the extent of the damage he's caused to the Nation itself, isn't fully known and can't really be assessed  truly for  probably the decade. Though it's a good argument to say the loss of life under Trump because of the pandemic will always be hard to determine, but will at least contained to the country, that he was President.

And I notice W's chief partner in crime, Tony Blair has now called Biden's actions "imbecilic".

Edited by Kirk Gallaway
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