Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Deja Vu: Lies for the Sake of War

President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent the first group of U.S. personnel to Vietnam on a peace-keeping mission in 1955. By the following year U.S. troops were training the South Vietnamese to fight the communist insurgents from the North. Four years later the first U.S. troops were killed.

It wouldn't be until the USS Maddox and the USS Turner Joy were allegedly attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964 that Congress, at the request of President Lyndon B. Johnson, passed a resolution which granted the president the authority to assist any Southeast Asian country whose government was considered to be jeopardized by "communist aggression".

This war wouldn't end until 1975 -- outlasting four presidents: Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson. It ended during Gerald Ford's first and only term.

Because of a lie, a "Cold War military conflict" became a hot all-out war, lasting 20 years from the time Eisenhower sent in the first "peace-keeping" troops until 1975. Because of a lie, 58,209 American troops died and 200,000 were wounded; a total of 1.5 millian Vietnamese were killed or wounded.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has just released previously classified transcripts from the Vietnam War era which document senators who questioned whether "they had been deceived by the White House and the Pentagon over the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident."

“If this country has been misled, if this committee, this Congress, has been misled by pretext into a war in which thousands of young men have died, and many more thousands have been crippled for life, and out of which their country has lost prestige, moral position in the world, the consequences are very great,” Senator Albert Gore Sr. of Tennessee, the father of the future vice president, said in March 1968 in a closed session of the Foreign Relations Committee.
The documents cover 1968 when committee members were becoming increasingly distressed about the war and were worried about their deteriorating relationship with the Johnson White House. Historians claim the transcript provides nothing new to the record. There was already widespread skepticism as to whether or not the North Vietnamese attacked the American destroyers on Aug. 2 and 4.

President Johnson cited the attacks to persuade Congress to authorize broad military action in Vietnam, but historians in recent years have concluded that the attacks never happened.
Still, the transcripts show the outrage the senators were expressing behind closed doors. “In a democracy you cannot expect the people, whose sons are being killed and who will be killed, to exercise their judgment if the truth is concealed from them,” Senator Frank Church, Democrat of Idaho, said in an executive session in February 1968.
But the senators also worried that releasing a committee staff investigation that raised doubts about the Tonkin incident would only inflame the country more. As Senator Mike Mansfield, Democrat of Montana, put it, “You will give people who are not interested in facts a chance to exploit them and to magnify them out of all proportion.”
At another point, the committee’s chairman, Senator William Fulbright, Democrat of Arkansas, raised concerns that if the senators did not take a stand on the war, “We are just a useless appendix on the governmental structure.”
The current chairman of the committee, Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, said Wednesday in an interview that the transcripts were especially revealing to him. In February 1968, when some of the most intense debates of the committee were occurring, Mr. Kerry was on a ship headed for Vietnam.
The release of documents, he said, “shows these guys wrestling with the complexity of it when our generation was living it out in a very personal way.”

In the end, however, the senators did not further pursue their doubts. As Mr. Church said in one session that was focused on the staff report into the episode, if the committee came up with proof that an attack never occurred, “we have a case that will discredit the military in the United States, and discredit and quite possibly destroy the president.”
He added that unless the committee had the evidence to substantiate the charges, “The big forces in this country that have most of the influence and run most of the newspapers and are oriented toward the presidency will lose no opportunity to thoroughly discredit this committee.”

8:45 a.m. on the morning of September 11, 2001: the nation watched horrified as a "hijacked passenger jet, American Airlines Flight 11 out of Boston, Massachusetts, crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center . . ."

9:03 a.m.: A second hijacked airliner, United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston, crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center and explodes. Both buildings are burning.

9:43 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon, sending up a huge plume of smoke. Evacuation begins immediately.

10:10 a.m.: United Airlines Flight 93, also hijacked, crashes in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, southeast of Pittsburgh.

Fatalities: 2,976.

September 12, 2001: President George W. Bush declares war on terror.

October 7, 2001: U.S. launches airstrikes against the Taleban.

March 19,2003: Bush shifts gears and declares war on Iraq.

The triumvirate - George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld - deliberately lie to the American people to scare them into supporting a war that the country has no business fighting, just like the war in Vietnam. There were no weapons of mass destruction and Sadam Hussein had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Length - so far: nine years
Casualties - so far:
     Afghanistan: 1,946 coalition troops
     Iraq: 4,412 (184 since Obama's inauguration)
     Total: 6,358
Iraqi death toll: 1,366,350

Lies for the sake of war.


  1. Like I've been saying, we just don't learn.
    I have no doubt Vietnam was over lies and so is Iraq and Afghanistan. I still don't believe a plane flew into the Pentagon. Even the world trade center had bits of planes in the ruble. Not so for the pentagon. Not even a witness. We have been involved in over 42 wars and conflicts since the end of WWII.
    As far as I'm concerned, all were based on lies.

  2. eye-opening. Great work Leslie and lots to absorb.

  3. Excellent work Leslie, and striking parallels. Both Dems and Reps subscribe to the culture of war, Americans suffer but the "enemy" suffers far worse and because in most cases they are blameless we lurch unchallenged into what justice Jackson called the supreme international crime, the waging of aggressive war.

    Great job,again.

  4. I sometimes wonder if we'll ever recover from Vietnam. Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, and now Obama have all felt the need to flex military muscle, the first three at least to prove something. To his credit, Bill Clinton was extremely reluctant to resort to force, although even he says that he should have been less so when it came to the Balkans.

  5. Tim: I guess I don't understand how the Pentagon got so damaged. This is the most chilling timeline of 9/11 I've seen.

    Thanks, Sue.

    Oso: I'm not saying that in a case where we have deliberately been attacked - Pearl Harbor - we shouldn't go to war. Infact I think the US was remiss in not getting involved in WWII sooner. But Vietnam and the current wars? There's just no reason for them. We were not attacked and all of this horse shit about defending democracy is just that - horse shit.

    K: As I implied in the above comment, it's almost like we're seeking ways to begin wars. In the end, what do we accomplish?

  6. And we call other people terrorists! We need to clean up our own shit first.

  7. K: I forgot to mention that here in the South, we're still fighting the War Between the States!

  8. The casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan are just as much victims of terror as those who lost their lives on 9/11. The U.S. Government was an accomplice to Al Queda and the Taliban in their injuries and deaths.

    "Honor?" as seen through the eyes of Dick Cheney is not a cause worth the lives of our men and women who chose to serve in our armed forces.

  9. From John Kerry's speech to Congress on the Winter Soldier Investigation by Vietnam Veterans Against The War In Vietnam, April 23, 1971:

    "In our opinion and from our experience, there is nothing in South Vietnam which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America. And to attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom, which those misfits supposedly abuse, is to us the height of criminal hypocrisy, and it is that kind of hypocrisy which we feel has torn this country apart."

    I believe the lies told to justify war in Iraq (and, in some respects, in Afghanistan) and the people who told them bear significant responsibility for our ruptured economy and our fractured government. These aren't just interesting parallels; you are right, Leslie, to say that this is deja vu. Those of us who rallied with the VVAW know this feeling well.

  10. What a great posting Ms.Leslie! As far as I'm concerned, or have wrote .... most of our so called war's are "manufactured", that's just my opinion ... and I personally believe that large corporate folk's along with defense contract's also have their paw's in this, for year's! Dont get me wrong, I'm not some peacenik with a sign, I strongly believe in defending this country, but when it "actually" need's defending is all. And I sure as Hell wouldnt want to take our finest defender's, tie one hand behind their back like we do, give them a rule book on how they have to fight an enemy who frankly dont give a rat's ass about thing's like the Geneva Convention ... and tell them to fight an enemy such as a terror group in some country, when the damn enemy isnt even territorial at that. I better shut the Hell up now, cause I'm cooking. But again Leslie .... great posting, Thanx!

  11. The baby boomers not only protested Vietnam, but started a social change within the country while doing so.
    Seems very few of the younger generation was protesting invading Iraq. The protests I heard were coming from now middle aged boomers.
    That says something about how young people see the government, and what they are willing to do, to make their government respond to them.
    The only way this government responds to citizens, is if people are active citizens. That goes for all issues, not just war.
    Yet, there is a big difference between the true beliefs of the majority of the American people, and the made up beliefs of a small minority whipped up to make it look like a majority-teabaggers and in the past, the moral majority.

  12. The big difference between Vietnam and Iraq is the draft. During Vietnam the young might have to go to Vietnam. They were not faced with that possibility with Iraq.

    Vietnam taught the government to wage war without a draft.

  13. Truth: You're right about Cheney. Wonder if his thinking would be any different if he had sons. Probably not.

    Nance: I remember that speech by Kerry. I wish more people did. A friend of mine was a gung-ho Marine recruit. One of his arms was blown off and he came back a very embittered young man. He joined up with us on our anti-war protests and became active in the VVAW. I often wonder how he's doing.

    RC: While I don't feel we can just let some other country come in and invade our shores, I don't believe that's happened since WWII. We seem to be the aggressor. Here's an interesting piece on Smedley Butler, a retired WWII major general in the Marines and outspoken pacifist.

    Tom: I so agree. When the youth joined together to protest the VN war, eventually older citizens became involved and the will of the people could no longer be involved. I'm afraid the youth today are more focused on getting a high paying job than they are on what's best for the country.

    JC: Which, of course, means the pampered elite (that they're always denouncing) don't have to fight - only the less well off who are hoping for a decent job when they get out, if they survive.

  14. Lyndon Johnson's presidency, that did so much good for so many Americans, in so many ways, was a casualty of the Vietnam War, and I'm convinced he utlimately was as well. I think he died heartbroken over what turned out to be a blunder of epic proportions.

    Why did Johnson do it? I've done quite a bit of reading about him and the war over the years. I'm convinced he believed that unless he acted decisively to secure South Vietnam, draw a line in the sand, he and Democrats in Congress would get the same reaming Harry Truman and congressional Democrats got in the late '40s and early '50s.

    That was when Republicans -- not just Sen. Eugene McCarthy -- had conducted a scorched-earth campaign against Truman and the Democrats for supposedly "losing" China to the communists, for "letting" the Soviets get the A-bomb and then the H-bomb, for being too soft on communism, lax about communist spies -- you name it.

    How can we keep from becoming enmired in wars the way we were in Vietnam and Iraq? I think Congress must require presidents to formally present whatever case they have for war and ask for a formal declaration of war, just as Roosevelt did on Dec. 8, 1941.

    Obviously, if the country was under attack, missiles headed our way, there would be no time for that. But that situation wouldn't be at all like those that led to our involvement in Vietnam and Iraq.

  15. RC: Guess that should be "doesn't" have to fight.

    SW: I think you mean Joe McCarthy don't you? ; )

    I campaigned so, so hard in the Houston barrios for LBJ - and I don't regret a minute of it or the 10 lbs. I lost. He was a real enigma though. One minute I loved him; the next minute I hated him. One minute I thought he was a visionary; the next I thought he was just another good ole boy. I firmly believed - and still do - that he and not JFK - is the only one who could have gotten the Civil Rights Legislation passed. When he announced he wouldn't run again I cheered. And then I cried and I still cry.

    "I think he died heartbroken over what turned out to be a blunder of epic proportions."

    I have to emphatically agree. I've read several biographies and am driven to dig more. I just feel there is a link missing and that we don't really know the whys and wherefores. PBS has had several excellent programs about LBJ on American Experience.

    I agree that the president should go before Congress to declare war, but all of them tend to be such hawks when a conflict begins, I'm not sure it would do much good.

  16. tnlib, you're right; I got my McCarthys mixed up. Sen. Eugene McCarthy ran for president in '68 as a peace candidate. At least I didn't refer to Charlie.

  17. Ms.Leslie: Thank You for the link/read to your posting "War is a Racket" ... it wa such a great read ... I only which it was even longer than you made it! No .... I knew nothing of this book, nor of Mr.Butler for that matter (actually havent hardly read any type of book's like that for that matter, as far as war's or such) But I most definitely agree with what little I read here this man say's. It's sad that the masses cant even see this Ms.Leslie, I mean ... it is "SO OBVIOUS", without even having to be told. Throughout my posting's on my opinion on war ... I have stressed how we nose into other's business too much ... and we all know damn well it's because of corporate manuevering .... How? ... all you have to do is look at the "contract's" and such, and everytime we go in and destroy a nation, we have our big boy's like Halliburton rebuild it ... and the reason these folk's such as that company get the contract's is because there are no other companies big enough to handle such a task ... it's an informal monopoly of sort I reckon. Even in the invasion of Iraq ... what many American's didnt know ... was Iraq was sitting on 30% of the global arena's oil reserve's, and saddam was only doing black market deal's for a couple billion a year, and threatening not only major oil player's, but the American dollar as well through his investment endeavor's. Yet when you asked the average person on the street, Why we were in Iraq? ... they would say thing's like "9/11" ... "for American Freedom" ... or because "Saddam was evil". My nephew Daniel (US Marine Sargeant) done two tour's in Iraq, and was just given his next call to Afghanistan .... it sadden's me, but it is his choice, and he love's the action actually. My niece Rebecca ... just enlisted in the US Army at the beginning of the year, and just graduated High School, and got her duty for Afghanistan, she joined actually, just to get a college education, cause her mom is low income, and a single mother. It sicken's me!

    We also spend more on contracted private military peacekeeper's such as Blackwater than we spend on our own military is what is also sad!

  18. Ms.Leslie: I would like to link and use your posting "War is a Racket" in conjunction with some other stuff I want to post. If you have any problemo with using/ linking to your post, feel free to tell me and I can delete/ exclude it at your request .... but simply to link to as I did with this posting ... Thank You

  19. SW: If you'd said Charlie, I would have fallen on the floor laughing. : )

    RC: Feel free.

  20. We knew that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was a lie even in the 1960s. One of thise destroyers was not attacked, becayse it was not even in the Gulf of Tonkin. The other was attacked, but it was not peacefully cruising as claimed. It was peacefully shelling a Viet Cong position in support of Diem's troops at the time.