Monday, April 05, 2004

Our Vietnam

It has been a long-held understanding on the Internet that introduction of "Hitler" or "Nazis" into an on-line discussion means both the death of the discussion as well as the undeniable fact that the person introducing said terms lost the argument. (See Godwin's Law in the Wikipedia, for example.) I hope the same is not true of "Vietnam", because while reading "Our Vietnam" by A. J. Langguth, the following paragraph describing the aftermath of the big late 1967 march on the Pentagon really struck me:

"To Rusk, it was obvious that the Communists were behind the demonstration. Johnson tended to agree and directed Helms to prove it. Helms's report drew on CIA sources and the rest of the country's security apparatus - the FBI, the National Security Agency, the many military agents. They found "no significant evidence that would prove Communist control or direction of the U. S. peace movement or its leaders." Rusk called the report naive and said the CIA had not looked hard enough."

Any comments about those not learning from the past just seem pat after that...

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