X-Post: MiWSR: Zellers on Brigham, "Reckless: Henry Kissinger and the Tragedy of Vietnam"
3 RepliesReply to this post
Do think the author's conclusions on Prof. K's importance to the overall success of US withdrawal from Vietnam are somewhat overdone.
Would further suggest Pres. Nixon played a more central role in this moving of the US away from Vietnam and involvement in that tragically turned 'limited war'; even as early as the Johnson years, it become obvious the US time in Vietnam was more 'limited' than many realized. Large scale protests began well before the 1968 election brought Nixon and Kissinger into their critical roles. Far more heavily would indicate weighed, as Nixon found, American public opinion whose protests contributed very much to the political divisions making withdrawal possible. Both Tet, Johnson's refusal to seek a second term were exceptionally strong evidence against continuing the war; then, the question became on what terms and conditions could the US remove itself. This fact helped propel Nixon's election by publicly calling for an end to US presence with his 'secret plan' for that US withdrawal. K's design or implementation in its details may well have been as the author and Review suggest but far from determining an outcome without the US.
Wyatt, Had Nixon actually cared about Vietnam or its people he would not of sabotaged LBJ's efforts to negotiate a peace. But had the truth been told about Henry Cabot Lodge' Jr, 's role in the murder of the President of South Vietnam , I don't think LBJ would have committed combat troops to Vietnam in the first place . I do agree that Henry Kissinger has a history of war crimes. I was in the Embassy in Athens in 1983 on the 10th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus when over a million Greeks marched from Constitution Square to the U.S. Embassy denoucing Kissinger as a war criminal .
Fomer Chief Vietnam Operation , CIA
Interesting. Walt, you certainly have had a varied career with the USG and life. By the time, the 80s rolled around had turned away from Govt. as career service and been involved in domestic, private interests. Govt. career and awareness were not on the radar then.
Prof. K's involvement had long since been of no concerns.
The other two matters you raise are certainly worthy of some sustained efforts, would think, as possible book ? How much or little Nixon cared about Vietnamese, could not speak to that subject. Will observe the Viets who left, settled in community area of Westminister, Orange County , California and have developed a fairly Vietnamese version of Chinatown there near the coastline, in one of the better areas of Orange County.
As to LBJ, think, whatever culpability Lodge has or had in sanctions on the then leader of S. Vietnam, he would still have taken his 'No More Munichs' stance and committed troops to So. Vietnam after the Feb. 68 Commie attack on Pleiku in the Central Highlands, then considered a most deliberate attempt by the North to split South Vietnam in half. That attack was the turning point for LBJ am convinced and hence US intervention. He just wasn't going to back down in the face of Communist assault. Does make one wonder what some others might have done or will in similar circumstances of such events.