Re: political elites?!

Fri, 22 Nov 1996 20:07:14 -0500

Date: Fri, 8 Nov 1996 22:46:03 -0500
From: "JAR2"<"JAR2">
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: political elites?!

>>>>> I was also referring to the "professionals" in the State
Department of whom more and better could/should have been expected.

Remember, though, that the State Department had been purged of its most
respected experts on Asia during the McCarthy years. They were operating
in a knowledge vacuum that was compounded by a host of other problems,
issues, and conflicts.

>>>>> I remain convinced that JFK had made the decision to withdraw from
Vietnam and had said to begin withdrawing troops. I don't feel this had
anything to do with the assassination of JFK. I really do not believe that
Vietnam loomed that large in 1963.

You'll get no argument from me on the first point. Why else would it have
been reported on the front page of the Stars and Stripes and by McNamara
himself in early October 1963.

On the other hand, I believe this event (withdrawal) had much to do with
the assassination. It, along with Diem's assassination and the coup in
early November may have served as some sort of trigger or straw that broke
the camel's back. Let's reconstruct the context of the Kennedy presidency
in the months before the assassination and factor in other considerations
such as RFK's war on organized crime, which was about to be extended into
Las Vegas itself; the JCS disapproval of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty;
moves toward rapprochement with Castro; the continued ire of anti-Castro
Cubans; rumored defense budget cuts; Kennedy's struggle with the Eastern
economic establishment in the form of Rockefeller/Morgan interests over
who would control economic planning for the country; problems with the
Federal Reserve Board over who would print money; intense conflict with
the CIA; intense conflict with J. Edgar Hoover; conflict with Texas oil
over ending the depletion allowancer and the way foreign
profits/investments by American companies were to be taxed; and so on.

One almost gets a picture of a president standing alone for the people and
how a secret veto against his presidency could have become the consensus
along the corridors of power in this country. Do I deify JFK in conjuring
up this pict ure? I think not. I think we must begin to strike blows
against the conventional wisdom and myth of hte Kennedy
presidency/assassination and see it for what it really was. It is time
for our paradigm of the 60s to change.

vietnam itself may not have loomed tha tlarge in 1963 but certain forces
even at that time could see how large it could loom in terms of raw
materials, markets, and government contracts.

>>>>>(it still seems to me most logical that
organized crime was behind the assassination, the best guess explanation)

Curious as to why you believe this to be so. I would say the mob had some
role in the event and through their connections with CIA, Cubans, etc.,
but really many aspects of the case such as the cover-up, etc., were
beyond the mob's capabilities.

>>>>>>And, frankly, my view is that someone got to LBJ with rationale that
"we" (U.S.) could turn the corner in Vietnam and produce some kind of
victory. It may be that LBJ was more inclined to use force with fewer
fetters on it and willing to commit ground troops where JFK felt military
solutions for political problems not workable.

I don't think anyone had to convince LBJ. He, along with Kennedy's other
advisers, had been for intervention all along. In fact, LBJ was involved
in some dubious back channel reporting that was designed to lead JFK to
elect intervention on a scale and of a nature vastly different than
Kennedy chose. LBJ was put where he was (in the presidency) precisely
because he was known to hold the views he did and was known to be
controllable. If they got to LBJ they got to him pretty quick because
within four days of the assassination NSAM 273 was changing our intent in

>>>>> It was not entirely illogical in 1963 or
1964 to believe that bombing North Vietnam and adding American ground forces
into the southern equation might convince Hanoi to back off. It would have
been and was a misreading of Hanoi's commitment.

It was if you were aware -- as officials were -- of the strategic bombing
surveys of World War II that showed our bombing of Germany (a heavily
industrialized country) to have been ineffective in curbing war production
or negatively affecting morale. North Vietnam was hardly an industrial
giant; so really what was there to bomb on a continuous basis? Could it
ever have been a cost-effective exercise?

>>>>>> History exists and history is the product of those who research
and write it. There is no such thing as totally objective and neutral
history. Whoever writes history has some bias, some interest, declared or
undeclared. If the reader can discern that bias, he takes this into
account. There is no such thing as "History" in terms of objectified or
deified moving force or fate. That was dealt with by Nicolo Chiaromonte in
The Paradox of History.

this is just common sense, really!

vic flick

the only alternative (and his other possibilities)