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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 07:50 PM
Original message
Lyndon Johnson Struggled with VietNam....like Obama Struggles with AF/Pak
Edited on Sun Nov-22-09 07:58 PM by KoKo
It's interesting to hear the "voice from the past" deal with the struggles a NEW President FACES...and to realize WE ARE GOING DOWN THE SAME ROAD...WE'VE BEEN DOWN BEFORE! We have to hope that Bill Moyers words to our New President will reach him. If any of you here have an "IN" to Obama PLEASE MAKE SURE HE LISTENS TO "JOHNSON TAPES" on the WAR! If you work for a Think Tank or have any INFLUENCE...Please grab OBAMA's EAR TO THIS! Bill Moyers is leaving us in April/'10. There won't be any other voices out there who will be speaking with the insight Moyers had. Only the RW Think Tanks/Wall St. will be putting out spokespersons. PLEASE! Listen to this TWO-Parter of Bill's... It's a History Lesson that Obama needs to hear.....PASS ALONG...if you can...
---------

November 20, 2009

BILL MOYERS: Welcome to the Journal.


Our country wonders this weekend what is on President Obama's mind. He is apparently, about to bring months of deliberation to a close and answer General Stanley McChrystal's request for more troops in Afghanistan. When he finally announces how many, why, and at what cost, he will most likely have defined his presidency, for the consequences will be far-reaching and unpredictable. As I read and listen and wait with all of you for answers, I have been thinking about the mind of another president, Lyndon B. Johnson.

I was 30 years old, a White House Assistant, working on politics and domestic policy. I watched and listened as LBJ made his fateful decisions about Vietnam. He had been thrust into office by the murder of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963-- 46 years ago this weekend. And within hours of taking the oath of office was told that the situation in South Vietnam was far worse than he knew.

Less than four weeks before Kennedy's death, the South Vietnamese president had himself been assassinated in a coup by his generals, a coup the Kennedy Administration had encouraged.

South Vietnam was in chaos, and even as President Johnson tried to calm our own grieving country, in those first weeks in office, he received one briefing after another about the deteriorating situation in Southeast Asia.

Lyndon Johnson secretly recorded many of the phone calls and conversations he had in the White House. In this broadcast, you're going to hear excerpts that reveal how he wrestled over what to do in Vietnam. There are hours of tapes and the audio quality is not the best, but I've chosen a few to give you an insight into the mind of one president facing the choice of whether or not to send more and more American soldiers to fight in a far-away and strange place.

Granted, Barack Obama is not Lyndon Johnson, Afghanistan is not Vietnam and this is now, not then. But listen and you will hear echoes and refrains that resonate today.


MALE VOICE: The President is coming right on�

BILL MOYERS: There were no BlackBerries or e-mail then. Lyndon Johnson relied on the telephone and seemed always to have at least one in hand. He consulted not just within the government but far and wide, with everyone on everything. Here, in office a little over two months, with bad news arriving daily from Vietnam, he reaches out for commiseration to an old friend, the newspaper publisher John Knight.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: What do you think we ought to do in Vietnam?

JOHN S. KNIGHT: I never thought we belonged there. Now that's a real tough one now, and I think President Kennedy thought at one time we should never, that we were overcommitted in that area.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: Well, I opposed it in '54. But we're there now, and there's only one of three things you can do. One is run and let the dominoes start falling over. And God Almighty, what they said about us leaving China would just be warming up, compared to what they'd say now. I see Nixon is raising hell about it today. Goldwater too. You can run or you can fight, as we are doing. Or you can sit down and agree to neutralize all of it.

BILL MOYERS: Neutralizing South Vietnam would have meant an international agreement, declaring the nation off-limits to all outside influence, ending efforts by North Vietnam to re-unite the two countries divided since 1954.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: But nobody is going to neutralize North Vietnam, so that's totally impractical. And so it really boils down to one of two decisions-getting out or getting in <...>

JOHN S. KNIGHT: Long-range over there, the odds are certainly against us.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: Yes, there is no question about that. Anytime you got that many people against you that far away from your home base, it's bad.

BILL MOYERS: LBJ shares the prevailing Cold War mentality that Communism is an aggressive menace that, like today's War on Terror, had to be opposed, no matter what or where. That's why John F. Kennedy had sent several thousand military advisers to South Vietnam. Like Kennedy, Johnson hopes to keep our presence there to a low profile.

As Republicans like former Vice President Richard Nixon and presidential hopeful Barry Goldwater call for an escalation of military force in Vietnam, LBJ wants to keep the situation on hold while he struggles to figure out the options with secretary of defense Robert McNamara.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON:I would say that we have a commitment to Vietnamese freedom. Now we, we could pull out of there, the dominoes would fall, and that part of the world would go to the Communists. We could send our Marines in there, and we could get tied down in a Third World War or another Korean action. The other alternative is to advise them and hope that they stand up and fight <...> Now this nation has made no commitment to go in there to fight as yet. We're in there to train them and advise them, and that's what we're doing. Nobody really understands what it is out there and they don't know, and they're getting to where they're confused. And they're asking questions and they're saying why, why don't we do more? Well, I think this, you can have more war or you can have more appeasement. But we don't want more of either <...> But we do have a commitment to help the Vietnamese defend themselves.

BILL MOYERS: Johnson is about to send McNamara on a fact-finding mission to Saigon the capitol of South Vietnam, but some in the Press interpret the trip as laying the groundwork for a vast land war in Asia. The President wants McNamara to knock those rumors down.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: I'd like for you to say that there are several courses that could be followed. We could send our own divisions in there and our own Marines in there and they could start attacking the Vietcong and the results would likely flow from that.

ROBERT MCNAMARA: Uh hmm.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: We could come out of there and say we're willing to neutralize. And let'em neutralize South Vietnam and let the Communists take North Vietnam. And as soon as we get out, they could swallow up South Vietnam and that would go. Or we could pull out and say, to hell with you, we're going to have Fortress America. We're going home <...> Or we can say this is the Vietnamese war and they've got 200,000 men, and they're untrained, and we've got to bring their morale up, and they have nothing really to fight for because of the type of government they've had. We can put in socially conscious people and try to get 'em to improve their, their own government and then what the people get out of their own government and we can train them how to fight <...> And that, after considering all of these, it seems that the latter offers the best alternative for America to follow.

BILL MOYERS: That same day, March 2, 1964, McNamara shares with Johnson an urgent memo from the Joint Chiefs of Staff insisting that "preventing the loss of South Vietnam was of 'overriding importance to the United States."

Johnson says to some aides, "Don't they think I know that?" That same evening, he tests talking points he has devised with McNamara on one of his old colleagues, the influential Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. No matter what choice he makes, LBJ will need the support of Senator J. William Fulbright.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: So maybe if we can just get our foreign policy straightened out, now, of course-

J. WILLIAM FULBRIGHT: Yeah, get that damn Vietnam straightened out. Any hope on that? <...> That's the most difficult one, I think at the moment <...>

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: I want to take one minute here to read you what I think is the best summary of it we have <...> We can withdraw from South Vietnam. Without our support <...> Vietnam will collapse and the ripple effect will be felt throughout Southeast Asia, endangering independent governments from Thailand, Malaysia and extending as far as India on the west, Indonesia on the south and the Philippines on the east <...> Number two, we can seek a formula that will neutralize South Vietnam <...> but any such formula will only lead in the end to the same results of withdrawing support <...> Three, we can send the Marines, a la Goldwater <...> but if we do our men may well be bogged down in a long war against numerically superior North Vietnamese and Chi Com forces 10,000 miles from home. Four, we continue our present policy of providing training and logistical support for the South Vietnam forces. This policy has not failed. We propose to continue it. Secretary McNamara's trip to South Vietnam will provide us with an opportunity to again appraise the future prospects of this policy, and the further alternatives that may be available to us <...>

J. WILLIAM FULBRIGHT: That's exactly what I'd arrive at under these circumstances, at least for the foreseeable future.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: All right. Now, when he comes back, though, and we're losing what we're doing, we got to decide whether to send them in or whether to come out and let the dominoes fall. That's where the tough one's going to be. And you do some heavy thinking <...> Do some heavy thinking, and let's decide what we do.

BILL MOYERS: The President meets with the Joint Chiefs to hear their arguments. What they say is disturbing. Their options are stark. He wants some middle ground, as he says in this call to his White House Assistant for National Security McGeorge Bundy, who had famously kept his cool at John Kennedy's side during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: I spent a lot of time with the Joint Chiefs. You ought to have been up here, I didn't think of it-

MCGEORGE BUNDY: Well I was over at the Pentagon. They love to be private, Mr. President.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: All right. Well, anyway, remind me in the morning to go over all-

MCGEORGE BUNDY: I would like to catch up with you, yes sir.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: The net of it is though, that they say, get in or get out.

MCGEORGE BUNDY: Yeah.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: And I told them, let's try to find an amendment that will-we haven't got any Congress that will go with us and we haven't got any mothers that will go with us in a war. And nine months I'm just an inherited-I'm a trustee. I've got to win an election. Or Nixon or somebody else has. And then you can make a decision. But in the meantime, let's see if we can't find enough things to do to keep them off base, and to stop these shipments that are coming in from Laos, and pick a few selected targets to upset them a little bit, without getting another Korean operation started.

BILL MOYERS: To stop supplies coming south from Hanoi through Laos, the President approves the secret bombing of the Ho Chi Minh Trail by mercenaries flying old American fighters.

There's been another military coup in Saigon. Hoping to bolster the new government, McNamara goes there to make what seems to be an open-ended commitment, promising the South Vietnamese that, quote, "We'll stay for as long as it takes. We shall provide whatever help is required to win the battle against the communist insurgents."
Bill Moyers considers a President's decision to escalate troop levels in a military conflict. Through LBJ's taped phone conversations and his own remembrances, Bill Moyers looks at Johnson's deliberations as he stepped up America's role in Vietnam. Explore a multimedia timeline.

LEARN MORE...it's a TWO PARTER...PART ONE: Johnson AGONIZED about VIETNAM and called on his buddies in Texas to help him decide...as he wrestled with the DEVIL...and REPUBLICANS

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/11202009/watch.html
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. I hope those of you who have no history with this will download and watch
this "TWO Part" of the Johnson Tapes that Bill Moyers is giving us. It's really worth the listen on a Sunday Night to both parts and how relevant it is to our NEW PRESIDENT...STRUGGLING...

Please watch.
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alcibiades_mystery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 08:07 PM
Response to Original message
2. I thought the show was excellent
I did not gain any more respect for Johnson, who actually comes off a bit like a psychopath, but it was interesting.
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katandmoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
3. Does Obama agonize about anything? He seems utterly detached.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
4. Lyndon Johnson's Achievements for Social Dem Causes...He was an FDR New Dealer...
The Great Society was a large legislative program and idea formed by Lyndon Johnson during the nineteen-sixties shortly after Kennedys assassination in his effort to continue the work of the slain president. The Great Society was an idea that was based on conservative values and instituted many government funded programs to aid, assist, and better the lives of many Americans, especially those who lived in poverty with little or no education, but it also reached into many other aspects of American life such as health care, the environment, and the arts.


The Creation of The Great Society

What helped make the Great Society possible were several factors beginning with the boost in the American economy caused by Johnsons passage of Kennedys proposed tax cut. The tax cut caused an increase in spending and revenue, which helped illustrate the gap between the wealthy and the poor. This increase in spending along with the popularity of Michael Harringtons book, The Other America, brought poverty to the forefront of domestic issues.

The strong economy, coupled with the idea that the government could actually win the war on poverty made the Great Society appear as though it could be turned into reality. The prosperity of the nation and strength of the American economy made it believable that if things continued as they did that no one would have to live in poverty in the future and that the Great Society programs would have enough funding to achieve their goals. The idealism of the sixties also contributed to the growing belief in the Great Society and gave people the belief that the programs would actually be successful.

The Great Society was also the successor of Franklin Roosevelts New Deal and even Harry Trumans Fair Deal. It was made possible through the support of the political liberal consensus.
Great Society Programs and Initiatives

The programs, organizations and institutions created by the Great Society were widely varied and far-reaching. Some were successful but many others failed. The arts programs started under Johnsons Great Society were largely successful:


* The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
* The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
* The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)
* National Public Radio (NPR)

Another program which did not deal with the arts but which was also successful dealt with the needs of employees in urban cities, the Urban Mass Transit Act which saw the creation of public transit in many large cities throughout America including Atlanta and Washington DC. This Act paved the way for subway systems to be built, including the Metro, which provides transportation to the District of Columbia and its suburbs.
--------------------
Other Achievements of The Great Society

Arts and improved public transportation were not the only achievements of the Great Society. Great Society programs also created many successes in the arena of education. It supported higher education through expanded student loan programs and helped create and fund programs for more basic education as well.

Head Start was begun under the Great Society in cities to help prepare children from poor families for kindergarten in public schools. Head Start not only educated the children, but also improved the education of some parents as they learned with their children.

The school breakfast program was also developed under the umbrella of Great Society. This program provided free or low-cost meals to children before school started in the mornings and also emphasized the importance of better nutrition in school lunches. It also provided free or low-cost lunches to students who needed them as well.



Read more: http://modern-us-history.suite101.com/article.cfm/lyndo...
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. More Johnson Achievements............GOOD ONES...AGAINST ALL ODDS!
Administration Achievements

Barely pausing, the President, reinforced by this clear mandate, began a legislative program which was rivaled in scope and form only by Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal a generation earlier. Between 1965 and 1968 more than 207 landmark bills were passed by the Congress.

In education, Johnson's administration tripled expenditures. By the end of 1968, 1.5 million students were receiving Federal aid to help them gain their college degrees; over 10 million people learned new skills through vocational education; and 19,000 school districts received special help under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. More than 600,000 disabled citizens were trained through vocational rehabilitation programs. Head Start and other pre-school programs brought specific assistance to more than 2 million children.

-----------------

In the area of health, Johnson's administration increased Federal expenditures from $4 billion to $14 billion in 4 years. More than 20 million Americans were covered by Medicare, and more than 7 million received its benefits. About 31 million children were vaccinated against four severe diseases, reducing by 50 percent the number of children who suffered from these diseases, and more than 3 million children received health care under Medicaid in one year. Some 286 community mental health centers were built. More than 390,000 mothers and 680,000 infants received care through the Maternal and Child Health programs. Some 460,000 handicapped children were treated under the Crippled Children's Program.

Fighting poverty, the Johnson administration lifted more than 6,000,000 Americans out of the poverty depths. Over 100,000 young men and women completed Job Corps training; 2.2 million needy Americans were helped under the Food Stamp Program; school children benefited from the School Milk and School Lunch programs.

In the area of human and civil rights, the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965, and within 3 years nearly 1 million Negroes registered to vote in the South. More than 98 percent of all the nation's hospitals agreed to provide services without discrimination. More than 28 percent of all Negro families by 1968 earned about $7,000 a year, doubling the 1960 figure. Some 35 percent more Negroes found professional, technical, and managerial jobs between 1964 and 1968.

In housing, in 4 years the Johnson administration generated the construction of 5.5 million new homes. Direct Federal expenditures for housing and community development increased from $635 million to nearly $3 billion. Two million families received Federal Housing Administration improvement loans. Federal assistance provided housing for 215,000 families earning less than $7,000 a year. Nearly $427 million was spent for water and sewage facilities in small towns. More than 3.5 million rural citizens benefited from economic opportunity loans, farm operation and emergency loans, and watershed and rural housing loans.

Most importantly, the Johnson administration presided over the longest upward curve of prosperity in the history of the nation. More than 85 months of unrivaled economic growth marked this as the strongest era of national prosperity. The average weekly wage of factory workers rose 18 percent in 4 years. Over 9 million additional workers were brought under minimum-wage protection. Total employment, increased by 7.5 million workers, added up to 75 million; the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point in more than a decade.

In foreign affairs, where risk and confrontation stretched a perilous tightrope throughout the Johnson years, the President made significant achievements. In the Western Hemisphere, at Punta del Este, Uruguay, the Latin American nations agreed to a common market for the continent. Normal relations with Panama were restored and a new canal treaty negotiated. In Cyprus, at the brink of war, the President's special emissaries knitted a settlement that staved off conflict. A rebellion in the Congo, which would have had ugly repercussions throughout the continent, was put down with American aid in the form of transport planes. In the Dominican Republic, an incipient Communist threat was challenged by an overwhelming show of American force, with Latin American allies. Amid tangled criticism from sections of the press and some Latin American nations, the President persevered in the Dominican Republic, where democratic government and free elections were restored and U.S. troops promptly withdrawn.

An outer-space treaty was negotiated with the Soviet Union and a nuclear nonproliferation treaty was formulated and agreed to in Geneva. In June 1967 the President met with Premier Alexei Kosygin of the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was successfully realigned after France withdrew, and the vast Western European alliance was restructured and strengthened.


It was the troubled Southeast Asian problem in South Vietnam to which Johnson devoted long, tormented hours. Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy had declared that the security of the United States was involved in deterring aggression in South Vietnam from an intruding Communist government from the North. However, there was much disagreement in the United States over this venture; some critics claimed the Vietnam war was a civil one, an insurrection, and not an invasion. When Johnson first became chief executive, 16,000 American troops were in Vietnam as advisers and combat instructors. In 1965 the United States decided to increase its military support of South Vietnam and authorized commitment of more American troops. By 1968 there was considerable disaffection over the Asian policy, and many critics in and out of the Congress determined to force the Johnson administration to shrink its commitment and withdraw U.S. troops.

Beginning in April 1965 with the President's speech at Johns Hopkins University, in which he set forth the American policy of reconstruction of the area and the promulgation of the Asian Development Bank as an instrument of peace building, the Johnson administration attempted to negotiate with a seemingly intransigent North Vietnam, whose troops were infiltrating into the South in increasing numbers. A 37-day bombing pause in December 1965 raised hopes for negotiation, but lack of response from the North Vietnamese blotted this out, and the bombing resumed.

Assaulted by fierce and growing criticism, yet determined to fix some course of action which would diminish the war and commence serious peace talks, the President startled the nation and the world on March 31, 1968, by renouncing his claim to renomination for the presidency. Johnson said that he believed that the necessity for finding a structure of peaceful negotiation was so important that even his own political fortunes must not be allowed to stand in its way. Therefore, he stated, he would not seek renomination, so he could spend the rest of his days in the presidency searching for negotiation without any political taint marring a possible response from the enemy.

On May 11, 1968, it was announced that peace talks would indeed begin in Paris, and in November 1968 the President declared that all bombing of North Vietnam would cease.

Johnson retired to his ranch near San Antonio, Texas, where he took a keen interest in the care and sale of his cattle, while nursing a serious heart ailment.



Johnson's Influence

While historians search the record and evaluate its significance, there seems little doubt that Lyndon Johnson's impress on the form and quality of life in the United States will be seen to be large. In the fields of health, education, civil rights, conservation, and the problem of the elderly, his legislative achievements have left their clear mark. His insistence that the pledges of the four preceding presidents be upheld in Southeast Asia is a subject for debate. But it must be argued that his peace-keeping efforts in the Middle East, in the Near East, in Africa, and in Latin America were forceful, remedial, and worthy of praise; the results have proved his policies' merits.

Johnson belongs in the tradition of the "strong president" he dominated the government with his energy and personality and invested his office with intimate knowledge of all government business. He was the target of intense and sometimes virulent criticism, just as all strong American presidents have found themselves ceaselessly and bitterly attacked.


Further Reading

Johnson's The Vantage Point (1971) presents his own perspectives on his White House years. There is not yet an authoritative or comprehensive biography of Johnson. Boothe Mooney, The Lyndon Johnson Story (1956; rev. ed. 1964); and Clarke Newlon, LBJ: The Man from Johnson City (1964; rev. ed. 1966), are journalistic; Sam Houston Johnson, My Brother Lyndon, edited by Enrique Hank Lopez, is a superficial and undocumented account by the President's brother.
Aspects of Johnson's life and presidency are treated in William S.White, Citadel: The Story of the U.S. Senate (1957); and The Professional: Lyndon B Johnson (1964); Michael Amrine, This Awesome Challenge: A Hundred Days of Lyndon Johnson (1964); Rebekah Baines Johnson, A Family Album, edited by John S. Moursund (1965); Charles Roberts, LBJ's Inner Circle (1965); Theodore H. White, The Making of the President (1965); Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, Lyndon B. Johnson, The Exercise of Power: A Political Biography (1966); Philip Geyelin, Lyndon B. Johnson and the World (1966); Jim Bishop, A Day in the Life of President Johnson (1967)
--------------------------------------------------

What had Johnson actually achieved? He played an important role in ending de jure segregation. His 1965 Voting Rights Act transformed Southern politics and gave African Americans the chance to vote without fear; it also saw more African Americans enter politics. Johnsons Education Acts sped up the process of school desegregation, which had lagged after the initial BROWN decision and also helped African American colleges. Johnson had not only passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act but had also been instrumental in the 1957 and 1960 Acts, all three had given African Americans more political and economic opportunities. Black unemployment had decreased by 34% and in that way he had contributed to his dream of a "Great Society".


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CTLawGuy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 05:46 AM
Response to Reply #6
16. Against all odds?
I'll let my sig speak for itself.
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rateyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 08:51 PM
Response to Original message
5. Too fucking bad that Johnson didn't agonize a little longer...perhaps
he wouldn't have lied about the Gulf of Tonkin to get us deeper into that fucking mess. I love Johnson for his stance on Civil Rights (handing the "south to the Republicans"), but he fucking lied his ass off in order to get the country to agree to send more troops. He set a precedent for the idiot-in-chief who got us into Afghanistan in the first damned place.

IMHO, Obama should pull out every last troop from Iraq and Afghanistan, now. We are making the same damned mistakes the Soviets did. When the fuck will this country ever learn from its mistakes?? :shrug:
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Go back and read the links I gave to the Good Stuff he did..that helped us all until the Reagan/Bush
Edited on Sun Nov-22-09 09:05 PM by KoKo
folks took over.

See what you think after reading the snips I posted. ...and see how Obama might be trying to do good...while having that "other side" that would bog us down.

I think Moyers was trying to point out how Obama may get into the same "trap" that Johnson did. And, if you read the links...you would see that Lyndon Johnson was a man with "good intentions" just like Obama...but got caught in the "Big Muddy." Where have we Dems seen that before? If it isn't WAR it's a Girl in a Thong.

Anyway...many here don't realize that social programs we take for granted these days and are fighting to KEEP come from Lyndon Johnson..down from FDR. Lyndon in his early days was a "Community Activist in the South" in the 30's for FDR...like Obama was in his time when there was no war...Johnson knew poverty...grew up with it.. he was an early Texas FDR'er. But, he was also brought along by corrupt Texas Politics...just as Obama was groomed by corrupt Chicago gang...but is GIVEN THE CHANCE!

Moyers has touched on a very interesting point we Dems who are out here "hanging in" need to know the background of. Just saying...Please read...
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 07:57 AM
Response to Reply #7
17. I agree with you that Moyers and others are using Vietnam as a caution
The problem Johnson faced was difficult, but less difficult than the problem Obama faces. Obama comes into this 8 years into a war where we have far more serious commitments than 16,000 advisers. In addition, there is Pakistan next door. It is interesting reading Fullbright's comments as he became the most serious opponent to the war. Here, he sounds a lot like what Senator Levin has been recommending training more of their troops.

My only objection to your post here is that you equate the genuinely difficult choices that had (and have) to be made in these two wars with an incredibly easy choice - that Clinton got very wrong. There would have been no downside to ignoring Monica or better yet asking whomever was in charge to fire her for unacceptable behavior. (One thing that always mystified me is how she thought flashing was acceptable behavior in the White House.)
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Certainly the 36,000 Americans Killed, 200,000 wounded
and maybe a million or two Vietnames killed, wounded, or missing would have wished he would have agonized a little longer too.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I will NEVER get OVER VIETNAM...lived through it...but WATCh Moyers Video...read my links
and then comment..and read what Lyndon managed to get through. This was our HOPE for OBAMA...

Please read...........
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. I hope President Obama is successful
I had hoped Lyndon Johnson would be tried for war crimes. Guess I will have to be content that he is rotting in hell for what he caused in Vietnam.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Bush/Cheney did NOTHING GOOD for American People...Johnson did Good..got bogged down...and that's
what's this post is about. Either you didn't read it...don't want to read it or are just not able to differ from your opinion.

I hope you will read what I posted in the links to understand the difference between Bush/Cheney..who SHOULD BE IMPEACHED for grinding Americans DOWN TO BAIL OUTS OF OUR WHOLE ECONOMY...FOR WAR...and Johnson who towers over them on the other side..in spite of Vietnam...what he managed to achieve.

What we hope for Obama is that he will learn and end these Senseless Bush/Cheney Wars and do what Johnson did on "the Other Front."

Please READ!!!!
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 05:42 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. I have read
still does not change my opinion. I laud LBJ's domestic successes. They have made the country better, no doubt. But IMO that Johnson is a bigger war criminal than bush. More Americans Killed, More Americans wounded More Vietnames killed or wounded that in Iraq. Launched a major war based on no more evidence that Bush.
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
10. obama needs to leave afghanistan
the carter -reagan doctrines has cost our nation to many lives,our treasury,and our soul.

there is no more blood and money to sacrifice.
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Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-22-09 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
12. Obama is NOT struggling
he got handed this mess on a plate from his predecessor. It is a complex situation. There are plenty of other countries such as China that have a stake in Afghanistan. Let them figure it out.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 12:09 AM
Response to Original message
14. Johnson escalated because he was scared of Goldwater, not dominoes
Edited on Mon Nov-23-09 12:10 AM by Hippo_Tron
Obama will escalate (if he does) because he's scared of the Republicans and possibly of Pakistan and its nukes, but mostly the Republicans. In a democracy people get the government that they deserve and as long as people are dumb enough to believe the Republicans when they say that the Democrats are "weak on security" we will get more wars started/continued/escalated by Democratic Presidents.
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Peacetrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-23-09 08:10 AM
Response to Original message
18. I lived Vietnam.. this is no where near Vietnam.. We do not have a draft
Edited on Mon Nov-23-09 08:13 AM by Peacetrain
that had ever senior in my class going to war who could not make it to college. There are over 58,000 names on the Wall in Washington.

I am kicking and recing this thread though.. I love Bill Moyers.. He was a lone voice in the wilderness during Bush.. I give him a LOT of creds

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