We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Wednesday, November 4. 2009
The Associated Press screwed the pooch*, in multiple ways, in its reporting of the release by the JFK Presidential Library of previously classified recordings of President Kennedy's meetings in 1963 with advisors about Vietnam. The discussions involve the unauthorized cable from the State Department lending support to a coup against
1. The JFK Presidential Library, administered by the National Archives, expressly admonishes in its press release: “Members of the media are cautioned against making historical conclusions based on the sound clips and transcript alone.”
The AP’s report, instead, leads with, “Newly released White House tapes from the Vietnam War era portray President John F. Kennedy wrestling over the fate of
2. The AP report concludes with a sheer ignorance by its reporter, Barry Schweid: “The battlefield situation gradually worsened for
In fact, the battlefield situation, after the governing and combat chaos spawned by the US backed 1963 coup against Diem, stabilized and, indeed, markedly improved after the almost total decimation of the Viet Cong during and after Tet ’68, then under President Nixon’s turning command over to General Abrams (see here) whose direction reduced the North Vietnamese forces to barely subsisting across the borders in sanctuaries, then with US logistics and airpower backing it up the South Vietnamese Army roundly defeating the North Vietnamese invasion of 1972. It was the post-Watergate abandonment of US pledges to supply airpower and arms to
3. In between, the AP doesn’t bother to mention that JFK’s Ambassador to
4. President Kennedy, in the period in these tapes, is not in favor of the coup unleashed by his State Department. In effect, though, he at least ultimately acquiesced.
In no substantive way does the situation in Vietnam during the 1960’s parallel that in Afghanistan today, except in the muddled thinking within our White House and Congress, poor MSM reporting, and the American people’s declining confidence in and tolerance for unsuccessful half-way measures.