|"When the Left was victorious in it's fight against America's involvement in Vietnam, the United states withdrew and left the Vietnamese without our protection. The Communists proceeded to slaughter two and a half million poor peasants in Indo-China and there was not a single protest from the Left. And I realized the Left was never an anti-war movement, it was an anti-American movement and it has remained so to this day. That's what motivates it. It hates America."--David Horowitz|
Ed Driscoll has an interesting post, linked here.
'WAS VIETNAM WINNABLE?
Yes. Next question?
(NYT)“If history indicts us for Vietnam,” Johnson admitted in the fall, “it will be for fighting a war without trying to stir up patriotism.”
In the absence of presidential cheerleading, American public support for the war declined over the course of 1967. As administration officials had feared, the apparent weakening of American resolve hardened the determination of the North Vietnamese to persist. Hanoi rebuffed every American overture for peace negotiations, anticipating that the coming Tet offensive would destroy what remained of America’s will.".......
"There was another factor as well. When the buildup in Vietnam was led by the handsome young charismatic JFK, DC elites were happy to go along; they only began to sour on the war when it was led by someone who was “not our class, dear.” As Jeffrey Lord wrote in the American Spectator in 2012:
Slowly, and then not so slowly, these elitist, arrogant and if not outright snotty attitudes sought out a new target during the years when LBJ was sitting in the White House — when, in the view of these people, “Uncle Cornpone and his Little Pork Chop” had replaced the King and Queen of Camelot.But in a horrifying flash, JFK was gone. And the elitist tide spread.
That new target?
The American people themselves. They had, after all, elected LBJ in a landslide in 1964. Now Uncle Cornpone was the elected President of the United States. To make matters more unbearable, LBJ was using his newfound power and popularity to actually pass the liberal agenda of the day, which Johnson labeled “The Great Society.” Uncle Cornpone, it seemed, wasn’t such a ridiculous figure after all when it came to getting the liberal wish list through the Congress.
No one better than JFK would have known instantly what a huge mistake this elitist attitude would be. Discussing the relationship of a presidential candidate with the American people, JFK had told historian and friend Theodore H. White, author of The Making of the President series, that, in White’s re-telling, “a man running for the Presidency must talk up, way up there.” It was a principle Kennedy surely would have applied to his own party — and did so while he was president. Not from JFK was there a drop of elitist contempt — from a man who unarguably could claim the title in a blink — for his fellow countrymen.
In Driscoll's comments, The Sanity Inspector:
John Updike back in the 1960s had the perfect putaway shot for these people, as he declined to join them in their groupthink:
"The protest, from my perspective, was in large part a snobbishMr. Driscoll also features this video by Bruce Herschenshon explaining how Vietnam was won by Nixon's "Surge". South Vietnam only fell two years after we withdrew, when Watergate Democrats cut off weapons to our South Vietnamese allies, condemning millions.
dismissal of [Lyndon] Johnson by the Eastern establishment: Cambridge
professors and Manhattan lawyers and their guitar-strumming children
thought they could run the country and the world better than this
lugubrious bohunk from Texas.
"These privileged members of a privileged nation believed that their
pleasant position could be maintained without anything visibly ugly
happening in the world. They were full of aesthetic disdain for their
own defenders, the business-suited hirelings drearily pondering
geopolitics and its bloody necessities down in Washington.
"The protesters were spitting on the cops who were trying to keep
their property—-the USA and its many amenities—-intact. A common
report in this riotous era was of slum-dwellers throwing rocks and
bottles at the firemen come to put out fires; the peace marchers, the
upper-middle-class housewives pushing baby carriages along in
candlelit processions, seemed to me to be behaving identically,
without the excuse of being slum-dwellers."
-- John Updike, "On Not Being A Dove"
But putting 'Nam aside, what strikes me are the attitudes of the Democrats and Elites described in the NYT piece, the Updike quote and by Mr. Lord.
"We're being condescended to by our inferiors."--Peggy Noonan. They look down on Trump and the Deplorables in the exact same way today. And seem to be losing it again:
From Ace of Spades: How to Survive In the Age of Rage
"Americans experienced the shock of sudden almost-inconceivable horror on 9/11, but progressives experienced something even worse: The feeling that they'd been wrong their whole lives.
We lost two towers and 3000 people that day; they lost their comfortable fictions and pretenses. They had it worse, actually.
And I'll keep saying this until the day I die: They weren't really all that bothered by the loss of life as they were by the loss of certainty. The loss of that feeling of superiority.
They got it back soon enough. Within a year they were back to being very confident about all their fictions and very superior about all of them.
Within a year, they were certain of the progressive cause again, and were back to fighting against the Colonialist White Power Structure.
But the Trump Terrorist Event -- the fact of Trump's victory -- hit them much more deeply than 9/11 did. They didn't just lose two towers and 3000 people on Election Day.
On Election Day, most knew Trump had won, but still held out hope that Hilary wouldn't concede or that Detroit would suddenly "find" 100,000 uncounted votes.
November 9, 2016 was when the actual SMOD -- reality -- hit.
They lost their feeling of control and power over America. And believe me, after 8 years of Obama, and with the social and cultural winds at their back, able to gin up social media hate-mobs against anyone who even said something they didn't like, and able to sic the IRS on conservative groups and get away with it scot-free -- they felt like they were in total control.
And they were right to feel that way: They were in total control.
And now that's gone.".......
All of which brings to mind this classic from years gone by:
"...[H]atred and bitterness...has been injected into the life of our nation by bigots.”--Supreme Court Chief Justice & Philosopher-King Earl Warren, blaming conservatives for what a Communist did.
Ed Driscoll's brilliant review of James Piereson's brilliant new book, Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism.
"What happens to a nation when a world-changing event occurs of such tremendous magnitude that half the population can't process who caused it?
September 11? Try the November 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. As James Piereson recently told me, "If Kennedy had been killed by a right winger with the same evidence that condemned Oswald, there never would have been any talk about conspiracies. It would have fit neatly into the moral framework of 1950s and '60s-style liberalism. And the liberals would have been off and running with it, and no one would have talked about conspiracies."
That's the subject of Piereson's new book...in which he argues both that Kennedy was a victim of the Cold War, and that the repression of his killer's ideology caused tremendous psychological damage to the collective health of the nation.
It was during the 1950s and early '60s that that liberal elites declared America's nascent and disparate conservative movements to be a greater threat to the nation than the Soviet Union, as illustrated by films of the day such as Dr. Strangelove and The Manchurian Candidate. And the subtext of those films was very much based upon "a vast literature that developed in the '50s and early '60s about the threat from the far right," Piereson says, specifically mentioning Richard Hofstadter's The Paranoid Style In American Politics, and Daniel Bell's The Radical Right.
As Piereson writes, leading up to Kennedy's fateful trip to Dallas, there was a remarkable amount of violence in the south, caused by a backlash against the civil rights movement. In October of 1963, Adlai Stevenson, the Democrats' presidential candidate in the 1950s who had been appointed the ambassador to the UN by Kennedy, traveled to Dallas for a speech on United Nations Day. Stevenson is heckled, booed, spat upon, and hit over the head with a cardboard sign. Stevenson says publicly, there's a "spirit of madness" in Texas. And Kennedy's White House staffers believe that he should cancel his already announced November visit to Dallas.
Thus, at the beginning of November 1963 a framework has been established that the far right is the threat to American democracy, "and that they've moved from heated rhetoric to violent act," Piereson says.
"So when the news spreads that Kennedy has been killed, the immediate response is that it must be a right winger who's done it," Piereson notes. And while the Birch-era right definitely had severe issues, JFK's assassin on November 22, 1963 had, of course, a polar opposite ideology. "When the word is now spread that Oswald has been captured, and that he has a communist past, and they start running film of him demonstrating for Castro in the previous summer, there is a tremendous disorientation at this."
The shock that Kennedy was in reality a victim of the Cold War simply did not compute on a national level. This was in stark contrast to the narrative that framed the death of Abraham Lincoln a century prior.
In contrast, "Liberals had great difficulty assimilating this idea that a communist would kill Kennedy. It made sense to them that an anti-civil rights person might do it, or an anti-communist might do it, but not a communist."
But that's exactly who Oswald was, having defected to the Soviet Union in 1959 and then spending two and a half years there, and attempting to denounce his American citizenship along the way. Piereson says that his April 1963 attempt to kill Edwin Walker, former army general, anti-civil rights leader, and head of the John Birch Society in Texas says much about Oswald as well. In addition to his anti-civil rights action, Walker also gave frequent speeches calling for the overthrow of Castro. Piereson believes that Oswald's attempt to kill Walker sheds light on why he killed Kennedy: his policies towards Cuba and his leading the nation's other Cold War actions of the time.
"However, that is not how the Kennedy assassination was interpreted," Piereson says, with enormous understatement. Instead, a sense of collective guilt is imposed on the nation through its liberal elites and media. "And this is really the first time that you get on the liberal-left this idea that America is guilty. But this however now becomes a metaphor for the left for everything that happens moving on in the 1960s."
"So how do you get, really, from this place in 1963, where Kennedy is shot by a communist, to '68 where communists like Castro are heroes to the left?"
Piereson believes this could have only happened due to the cultural disorientation caused by the airbrushing of Kennedy's assassination and the attempt to "view it as a civil rights event, instead of a Cold War event."
The conspiracy theories were also fueled by propaganda generated by the Soviet Union and Cuba, Piereson adds. The Soviet Union itself "was very quickly out of the box on November 23, 1963. TASS claimed that Oswald was being setup; and that the real assassins were Klansmen, rightists and 'Birchists' as they called them. They all claimed that it was a right wing conspiracy which brought Kennedy down. And some of them said that Barry Goldwater was responsible."
Which seems to neatly foreshadow the wild conspiracy theories that reached their zenith in Oliver Stone's 1991 film JFK, which paints Oswald as a near-completely innocent victim and pins Kennedy's assassination on virtually everyone from the mafia to LBJ. Stone's 1995 follow-up, Nixon, would, not surprisingly, also implicate its title character in Kennedy's assassination as well.
But such conspiracy theories actually began almost immediately after the Warren Commission report was issued in 1964. As Piereson writes in Camelot and the Cultural Revolution, conspiracy theorists used the Warren Commission as their guide to understanding the assassination, even while simultaneously concocting reasons why everything in the report was in error. Pierson places this into context by noting that a sort of flip-over had begun to occur in the mid-1960s, with the left increasingly sounding like the paranoid Birchers of the 1950s.
This was a trait that a few journalists had spotted even before the far left's recent attempts had gotten started to conflate 9/11 into a conspiracy theory involving President Bush, the Pentagon, and presumably everyone in the federal and local governments.
Similarly, the overheated language of the modern left, such as Al Gore's attempt to demonize his critics as "Digital Brownshirts" begins to grow out of this mid-1960s period. "Just as the Birch Society had accused Eisenhower of being a communist," Piereson says, "by the late sixties, the liberals and leftists were accusing everyone else with being Nazis and fascists. That, and anti-Americanism. These now became features of the left."
The psychological discord in the wake of JFK's assassination also destroyed the line that had previously separated New Deal-style liberals with the more extreme hard left. "The anti-Americanism and the conspiracy theorizing and the rough political language characterized by the left now enters into liberalism," Piereson says.
"Oswald turned out to be one of the most consequential assassins in history," Piereson says. "He's a communist who shoots the president of the United States. You would think that there would be a reaction against communism. But there is no reaction against communism in the United States after Kennedy's killed. In fact, communism is the vogue," particularly on college campuses.
Which may be the most curious element of Kennedy's death: Oswald may have been the ultimate "liberal in a hurry," as communists were often called during the Cold War. But Kennedy's death and the left's reaction to it caused many sixties and seventies liberal ideas to become seemingly frozen in amber. Which is the final remarkable paradox for a group that likes to call itself "progressive" these days.".......
For them, Trump's election--and Bribe-Me Granny's defeat--is 9/11, the Reagan Revolution and the Kennedy Assassination all rolled into one. With some Weather-Worship Hysteria sprinkled on top--partly cloudy with a 100% chance of Trumphausen Syndrome.
Now, blaming Trump with the Russians, they're as crazy as bedbugs. Again.
Tucker Carlson: "Extremism in the pursuit of Trump is no vice."
Neither is the pursuit of sanity. Try it for a change.
|"...and the surveillance photos clearly show Mike Flynn ordering two scoops of vanilla at the Kiev Baskin Robbins..."|