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Reply #26: LBJ tried to make ours a better country for ALL Americans. [View All]

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-02-05 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
26. LBJ tried to make ours a better country for ALL Americans.
Certainly, LBJ gave a damn about the United States. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, LBJ offered key advice that helped defuse the situation:

The Cuban Missile Crisis, October 18-29, 1962


JFK reopens the discussion of trading the missiles in Turkey. McNamara insists that the case should be made that this is not so much a trade as a way of preventing a Soviet military attack on a NATO member nation. (52:58)

McNamara says that if reconnaissance flights are fired upon tomorrow that means air strikes and "almost certainly an invasion." (59:03)

(Apparently JFK is no longer in the room at this point in the discussion.)

Vice President Lyndon Johnson responds: "If you're willing to give up your missiles in Turkey - why don't you...make the trade there and save all the invasion, lives and everything else?" (1:02:10)

George Ball also argues for making the trade openly with the USSR to avoid "enormous casualties and a great, great risk of escalation." (1:03:35)

McNamara: "Max is going back to work out the surveillance plan for tomorrow with the Chiefs as to how much cover we need and so on. We're just going to get shot up sure as hell. There's no question about it. We're going to have to go in and shoot." (1:07:15)

McCone responds: "I'd take these Turkish things out right now" but also tell Khrushchev firmly that if they fire at our planes again "in we come." (1:08:22)

McNamara denounces Khrushchev's Oct 26 letter: "Hell, that's no offer. There's not a damned thing in it that's an offer. You read that message carefully. He didn't propose to take the missiles out....It's twelve pages of fluff." (1:09:30)

LBJ questions the value of the surveillance flights: "I've been afraid of these damned flyers ever since they mentioned them...some crazy Russian captain...might just pull a trigger. Looks like we 're playing Fourth of July over there. I'm scared of that and I don't see what you get for that photograph. ... Psychologically you scare them. Well hell, its like the fellow always telling me in Congress, 'Go on and put the monkey on his back.' Every time I tried to put a monkey on somebody's else's back, I got one. If you're going to try to psychologically scare're liable to get your bottom shot at." (1:33:00)


My point is, later, during the Gulf of Tonkin episode, Johnson DID go with the advice of McNamara, Bundy and Rusk.

The record shows JFK wasn't going to.
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