[sixties-l] David Frum NYTimes op-ed

From: sixties@lists.village.virginia.edu
Date: Mon Jun 26 2000 - 21:14:45 CUT

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    Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2000 18:21:56 -0400
    Subject: David Frum NYTimes op-ed
    From: "Elmer Lightman" <lightman@frontiernet.net>

    I sent the following letter to the editor of the New York Times the day the
    article by David Frum appeared. Due to the brevity required (the Times
    doesn't publish letters over 175 words upper maximum, or rarely does) a lot
    was left out leaving only the essential sore point to be addressed.
    With more space it would be worth pointing out that it was the Reagan
    administration that was wrong about how to confront the Soviets. The CIA
    managed to not tell them that the Soviet system was on it's way out. Could
    it have lasted another ten years as it was going economically, etc? Instead
    the Reagan U.S. government took the country into debt and onto the brink of
    destruction with it's enforcement of it's ideology.
    Think of this contradiction: the right always railed about how the "evil
    Soviets" would start a world war if their system was in danger. So they
    went and put it in danger with a massive nuclear build up. And,
    fortunately, the right was wrong again. Rather than fight, the Soviets
    switched.
    Of course Frum's throw away attacks regarding drugs (it was marijuania not
    all drugs that people saw was harmless compared to the established drugs,
    alcohol and cigarettes) and Freshman composition (does anyone know what
    he's talking about?) are no less equally erroneous.
    Is someone going to jawbone the NYT editors into publishing a decent
    rebuttal?
    Here's my letter, not published as of 6/23.
    6/22/00
    New York Times
    via fax

    To the editor:

    David Frum has no credibility on "How we got here" when he accuses (op-ed,
    June 22) 1960's radicals of being "wrong about practically everything." The
    opposite has proven true.

    Then Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara admits that the government knew
    by 1968, (the year Frum cites in defense of George W. Bush looking at the
    wrong score card), that the U.S. could not win the Vietnam War. How was
    the "radical" U.S. Congress wrong about cutting off aid to a South
    Vietnamese regime whose people would have voted for Ho Chi Minh-- the reason
    the U.S. reneged on elections when the French withdrew after seeing the
    facts.

    Those such as Bill Clinton should be awarded for arguing for the truth then,
     rather than denigrated by those who won't even see it now. Those 1968
    "radical" insights would have saved 58,000 American and 2,000,000 Vietnamese
    lives. But the right would rather be wrong as long as their ideology is
    being pursued.

    Elmer Brunsman



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