Re: political elites 2

Juan Jewell (jewell@GATEWAY.US.SIDWELL.EDU)
Sat, 30 Nov 1996 23:10:57 -0500

JFK showed intelligence and a willingness to adapt and change. He also,
however, was very much a product of his age. In considering what he might
have done in Vietnam, the key is trying to determine how quickly the
realities there would have caused him to reexamine his assumptions. He
may well have cut his losses sooner, but his willingness to go along with
the assassination of Diem suggests to me that he was still looking for
some sort of democratic option in S. Vietnam that would have enabled them
to resist the Viet Cong. And I suspect he would have thrown in a couple
of hundred thousand men before coming to the conclusion that it wasn't
going to work.

Juan Jewell Sidwell Friends School Washington, DC

jfk's position on combat troops in vietnam never varied or wavered -- he was
as gainst it on the day of his death as he was at the beginning of the
formulation of his vietnam policy. one need only examine the record to see
tha this is so.

let us look at what he, in fact, was doing in vietnam at the time of his death
and in the face of what was rapidly truning into very negative reporting from
the battlefield (now that the previsouly (false) optimistic reports it seemed
were to be used as justification for pulling out) was to order 1,00 men out by
the end of 1963 and to announce that all should be able to be pulled out by
the end of 1965 (a fact reported in the stars and stripes of all places).

remember jfk saw the mission not as ensuring victory but putting the south
vietnamese in a positon where they could conduct the training that
americans were responsible for. lbj changed this in NSAM 273 to an objective
of winning.

remember also these were advisors and not combat units.

curious as to what evidence you use to support the fact that jfk condoned the
assassination of diem; it may be that at that point he wasn't even in favor of a
coup because a new government might create the argument that we
needed to stay longer to help. maybe it was other forces behind the coup
and the assassination trying to force jfk's hand. what i have read indicates
that jfk had offered an escape to diem and nhu, which they chose not to use,
ands they were probably killed by vietnamese troops under the control of
rogue cia elements.

my suspicion is that had he lived the advisors would have been out by the
end of 1965 and combat troops would have never been introduced.

vic flick

the only alternative (and his other possibilities)

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