Tag Archives: Halliburton

Will Stephen King’s 11-22-63 Get It Right? I Have Low Expectations

I’ll watch Hulu’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s time-travel fantasy, 11-22-63, with an open mind, but I have no reason to believe that King has done any serious research into the JFK assassination. And without doing so, one cannot expect to come close to grasping the diabolic, complex, yet flawed, covert operation which took Kennedy’s life…much less the enormous consequences of the murder of the century. I confess I haven’t read King’s book, but I’ve been told that he grapples with the universal question: what would America have been like had JFK survived Dallas? Well, for starters, there would have been no Vietnam War. This is not conjecture on my part. This is fact, despite what establishment liars (and LBJ apologists) like Doris Goodwin and Robert Dallek say. Just days before Kennedy died, he told close associates that he intended to withdraw all American military personnel (mostly advisory staff in 1963) from Vietnam. JFK’s assistant press secretary Malcolm Kilduff told author James Douglass that, “There is no question that he [JFK] was taking us out of Vietnam. I was in his office just before he went to Dallas and he said that Vietnam was not worth another American life. There is no question about it. I know that firsthand.”

Kennedy signed National Security Action Memo 263 just one month before his death. It laid out plans for complete withdrawal of American military presence in southeast Asia by 1965. Just days after JFK was murdered, Lyndon Johnson signed NSAM 273 which, in essence, reversed Kennedy’s NSAM 263. The war lasted a decade and cost America a fortune in lives, money and prestige.

Without Vietnam, there would have been no student protest and campus unrest in the 1960s. It’s possible that an American counterculture would have never arisen. Imagine a decade of peace and progressiveness instead of turbulence and violence. For that matter, imagine peace being the overriding principle around which our society is constructed. Instead of war. If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that we have been at war or under the threat of war, since 11/22/63. War means profit, and in the half-century since Kennedy’s death war profiteering has been unabated. We have become so inured to it, that it seems unnatural to not be ruled by the oligarchs who have profited from war: Halliburton, alone, has poisoned and corrupted our democracy for more than 50 years. Its own executive, Dick Cheney, was the driving force behind the unsanctioned, illegal and immoral Iraq War. But more than this, the very fabric of American democracy has been shredded by the new oligarchy which has arisen from the obscene and bloody profits of war. It is hard to find an unsullied politician (especially Republicans, for whom greed and self-interest are practically requirements for membership); every ordinary citizen knows that the country is being run for the sake of the rich. The fix is in, and apathy is widespread.

The roots of distrust in our government and in our way of life can be traced back to Dallas and that bloody day. So when King, or anyone, tries to fairly represent that period, the stakes are enormous. It is easy for the unthinking and the dishonest to dismiss Kennedy’s death as an accident of history. Devoid of historical significance. But the truth is, it was the turning point of America. We cannot shrink from its ugly truth and its profound meaning, and this requires artists and historians of courage and knowledge.

For it is not just that American democracy was overthrown on 11-22-63; war and war profiteering became our way of life. But it’s deeper than that. There are two Americas now: both equally despicable and abhorrent. There’s the official government and the secret government, each equally culpable and invested in protecting the other’s closeted skeletons. There’s the official media and the new “home-brewed” social media; suspicious of one another, and each willing to spin a lazy narrative of lies. There’s official history and real history…never the time traveler shall meet. There’s the official version of JFK’s assassination and the real version. The former espoused by the uninformed or the complicit; the latter infiltrated by co-conspirators and disinformationists. The oligarchy which oversees this mess reaps the benefits of dividing and conquering. Much of the damage done at the behest of the oligarchs was accomplished by CIA agents infiltrating every realm of American life.

From “JFK and the Unspeakable” page 197: “The consequences in the early 1960s, when Kennedy became president was that the CIA had placed a secret team of its own employees through the entire U.S. government. It was accountable to no one except the CIA, headed by Allen Dulles. After Dulles was fired by Kennedy, the CIA’s Deputy Director Richard Helms became this invisible government’s commander. No one except a tight inner circle of the CIA even knew of the existence of this top-secret intelligence network…[it] constituted a powerful, unseen government within the government.”

The CIA didn’t stop there. We now know that its agents infiltrated the fields of rocket science, the military, the media, drug experimentation and sales, war operations, foreign governments, and publishing. It is part of the secret cabal whose purpose is to keep the truth from us, for the truth is dangerous.

I predict that King’s film will, in the end, become another pillar in the house of lies that prevents us all from seeing who we are and from where we came.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/dp/098882907X

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JFK—Gone 52 Years But Not Forgotten

The last real President (read: not beholden to the corrupting influence of the Pentagon, wealthy defense contractors and corporate overlords) we had was brutally murdered 52 years ago today, and those responsible for the crime never will be brought to justice.  But on this day, I’d rather remember JFK for his courageous stand against the shadow government which has ruled America ever since, rather than be bitter about the treasonous culprits who got away with the coup d’etat on November 22, 1963.

In the first months of his presidency, Jack Kennedy was trapped into foolishly permitting an ill-fated CIA-planned invasion of Cuba.  The Bay of Pigs fiasco taught him two important lessons: the CIA under Eisenhower had become a secret government unto its own, accountable to no one, and responsible for overthrowing democratic governments across the globe; and the Joints Chiefs’ military advice could not be trusted.  Subsequently, Kennedy, acting on his own, refused to succumb to the nuclear-holocaust dreams of his psychopathic generals.  He bravely and shrewdly kept us out of World War III with the Soviet Union during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  He cut CIA’s budget.  He vowed to remove all American military presence from Vietnam in his second term.  He was determined to make peace with the Russians rather than enter into a deadly exchange of atomic weapons which would have annihilated all life on Earth.  He signed a nuclear test ban treaty.  He suggested that peace, rather than war, become America’s way of life.

Since his death, we have constantly been at war, or under the threat of war, and, thus, have been a people under siege for the last half century.  Concomitantly, we have seen the rise of the military-industrial complex to the point where we have become, truly, JFK’s worst nightmare: a war-based economy.  It is estimated that 65% of our national budget is devoted to military spending, and not one candidate currently running for high office dares to suggest that we cut military spending.  Terrorism and the threat of terrorism is the new ploy to empty our pockets.  We remain the world’s policemen, cleaning up incidents that happen thousands of miles from our shores.  All so that Lockheed, the Carlyle Group, and Halliburton can profit mightily.  It is not an overstatement to say that these war profiteers secretly control America.  For with their billions they are able finance the campaigns of candidates who hold the purse strings on military spending.  These candidates’ nationalistic and jingoistic rhetoric inflame the population and create enemies across the globe.  It is good for business.  The policies of the war state are most profitable when the nation lives in a perpetual state of fear.  And the merchants of military build-ups–in our Congress, in the Pentagon, and in our Executive branch—make sure we are always in a state of fear.

The novel idea of peaceful co-existence with sovereign states, whose cultures, religions, and political systems, are different from ours, died with JFK in Dallas 52 years ago today.  Consider what might have been had he not been killed.  These are his words from a speech delivered on June 10, 1963, when he urged Americans to consider peaceful coexistence with the Soviet Union:

“What kind of a peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace – the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living – the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children – not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women – not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.”

 

 

Jeb is dead wrong; W was responsible for 9/11 Attacks. His advisors ignored warnings.

Recently Donald Trump has taken much criticism for blaming the 9/11 attacks on George W. Bush. Bush’s brother Jeb has been particularly incensed.  Jeb’s outrage has gone unchallenged by the major media, of course, because they has a hard time remembering what happened yesterday much less 14 years ago.  Since no real fact-checking  of Trump’s claim is taking place, I have done a little research myself, and it turns out Trump is absolutely correct.  Trump has shoveled a lot of political manure the last few months, but putting the blame for 9/11 on the George W. Bush administration is absolutely justified.

According to a New York Times article written by Kurt Eichenwald and published on Sept. 10, 2012, W and his cabinet had ample warning of the impending terrorist attacks. Eichenwald wrote, “On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda. That morning’s presidential daily brief — the top-secret document prepared by America’s intelligence agencies — featured the now-infamous heading: ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.’ A few weeks later, on 9/11, Al Qaeda accomplished that goal.”

And this was not the only briefing on Al Qaeda ignored by W’s administration. Eichenwald reported that “…the daily briefs preceding Aug. 6, the ones the Bush administration would not release [are even worse]. While those documents are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: the administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it. The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that ‘a group presently in the United States’ was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be imminent.”

So, yes, it is irrefutable that W and his bungling advisors stood by and did nothing as Al Qaeda planned its attack. No administration has ever been so negligent or culpable in failing to protect U.S. soil.  But it doesn’t stop there.  Bush’s incompetence wrought catastrophic devastation in the days and years after 9/11:

  1. He squandered the surplus left him by Bill Clinton when wasted trillions on an unnecessary war and enriched his crony defense contractors (Halliburton, Carlyle, Blackwater, etc.) for shoddy work.
  2. Hundreds of thousands of innocent lives slaughtered.
  3. Destabilized the Middle East, which led to the formation of ISIS.
  4. Plunged U.S. into debt to the tune of $3 trillion.
  5. Officially sanctioned torture as American foreign policy.
  6. Invaded the wrong country.
  7. Let the real terrorists get away.
  8. Gave safe sanctuary to the Bin Ladens.
  9. Alienated the rest of the world; created hatred for America that lasts to this day.
  10. Destroyed Iran’s number one enemy.

So go ahead and flame away, Donald. You finally got one right.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/dp/098882907X

The Permanent War State And The Debasement Of The American Political System, Or How I Learned To Endure Trump And The Other Imbeciles

Amid the childish squabbling and juvenile name calling of the recent Republican debates, there was little discussion of what ails us as a nation and how to fix it. God’s name was invoked repeatedly, illegal Mexicans were demonized as usual, and all the obligatory Obamacare denunciations were uttered. It was a predictable and boring charade. The same empty platitudes, constructed to draw huge applause from the red-faced, red-voting, white-haired haters, polluted the arena. Meanwhile, huge debt and massive wealth inequality plague us, and the bully Trump and his cowardly subjugates made no mention of possible solutions. Indeed, there was no mention that these things were problems.

These snake-oil peddlers know better than to open the vipers’ nest. While they rage against big government and indolent takers, they refuse to acknowledge that the biggest takers are the richest among us. And the richest among us buy and sell these same gutless politicians like they’re banal commodities (which they are). Fittingly, then, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee and the rest of the jackals propose to lower taxes on the wealthy and further burden the middle class with our national debt. This policy will exacerbate income inequality, and they know it. But they couldn’t care less, because to be a Republican today means to do what benefits oneself and not the greater good. Rapacious sociopaths like Scott Walker will say and do anything to advance their own ends.

The rest of us are schmucks for letting them get away with it, but the American media are culpable too. Now fully owned and operated by multinational corporations, CBS, NBC, and ABC (I don’t even include the trash dump called FOX) are consistently silent on the source of inequality and debt. To wit, they do not tell us who pays taxes in this country and where that tax money goes. In short, since Bush and his cronies stole the White House in 2000, large corporations and super-wealthy individuals have paid less and less tax, while middle class tax rates have remained relatively level. Concomitantly, six of every ten tax dollars paid by all Americans goes to defense spending—to the Pentagon, to defense contractors, to war profiteers of all stripes. This pack of hawks includes the corporations who own major broadcast media. They, in turn, with their bloody profits, buy politicians who fund massive military spending projects like Iraq War II(at last count Halliburton made $39 billion on that one) and the F-35 fighter jet ($1 trillion and counting)…both of which were colossal wastes of treasure.

To justify this corrupt system, our leaders must invent and re-invent enemies. For 45 years it was the Soviet Union and the spread of godless communism around the globe. Before the dust had settled from the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and the USSR was no more, our leaders decided the new boogeymen were oil-rich Mideastern Muslims. George Sr. invaded Iraq in 1991; George Jr. twelve years after.  A decade on, radical Islam, to the great relief of the military-industrial complex, is still terrorizing the region.

We are in what writer Andrew Bacevich calls a permanent war state. In his book, Washington Rules, Bacevich writes of an “American credo” which he says calls upon the United States – and the United States alone – to “lead, save, liberate, and ultimately transform the world…which requires America to: to maintain a global military presence, to configure its forces for global power projection, and to counter existing or anticipated threats by relying on a policy of global interventionism.”

Australian writer Greg Maybury argues that this American war-state monolith unleashed its hell-hounds in the run-up to Vietnam. In 1963 the American military-intelligence-security state (AMISS) came to a crossroads. Faced with a President who dared to propose a permanent peace state, which would turn the economic construct of the country on its head, AMISS decided it was best to remove its commander-in-chief.

Maybury writes in “Pox Amerikana,” “Although it may not have been widely recognised at the time, in June 1963, just a few months shy of the Big Event [JFK’s assassination], President Kennedy in his American University commencement address delivered what is arguably the most significant oration of his short-lived, ill-fated tenure as commander-in-chief.

“In fact, it may well have been the most pivotal in American foreign policy in that era. Forget the unforgettable ‘[the] torch has been passed to a new generation….ask not what your country can do for you’ schtick; disregard the indelible ‘we choose to go to the moon because it is hard’…spiel!

“In this address, it appeared Kennedy was attempting to re-define the accepted notion of Pax Americana, to articulate a more inclusive, collaborative version, one that would bring folk with them willingly rather than dragging them kicking and screaming to the position. In almost all respects this wasn’t just a redefinition; he was attempting to turn the notion on its head. ‘Peaceful co-existence’ was decidedly the sub-text of his message. It appeared the baptism of fire he experienced in his on-the-job training as president thus far had changed him significantly.

“But as James Douglass has observed, when Kennedy uttered these words, ‘the priests of our national security state saw him as a heretic.’…from the Brass Asses in the Pentagon bunkers to the winkle-pickered wolf-pack down on the Langley Farm to the righteous, pointy-headed foreign policy and national security wonks in the Beltway think-tanks and the hallowed halls of Ivy League academia and even a few within his own administration, [JFK’s peace state] came across as touchy-feely, appeasement-sounding – indeed naïve, unadulterated – nonsense. This was not in the brochure, and quite a few would’ve been spitting hollow points at the wall.

“Whereas Kennedy at least openly contemplated a path to presidential greatness via a Grand Peace, Bush like many presidents before him saw the only path to a glorious presidential legacy [was] through war, one he ‘knew’ the American people would support him in. As impaired as Bush’s vision may have been, one is tempted – at least with hindsight – to suggest that his was the more pragmatic and realistic, and the one most in sync with America’s true ‘manifest destiny’. Jack’s didn’t stand a ‘snowball’s’!”

Like many other American black plagues, the permanent war state can trace its origins to the streets of Dallas, November 22, 1963. Within three days of the brutal murder, LBJ reversed his predecessor’s National Security Action Memo 263 which laid out Kennedy’s bold plan to withdraw America completely from Vietnam in his second term. Even establishment-approved historians (read lying toadies), like Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robert Caro, and Robert Dallek, grudgingly admit that LBJ’s NSAM 273 wiped out JFK’s peace-state dream, opened the door to a decade of war in southeast Asia, and ushered in the permanent war state.

In the three-card monty game run by the American capitalist war state, we are the suckers. Despite what the traveling Republican clown show tells us, it is not social welfare programs that have busted the budget. It is not spending on education that needs to be cut. And it is not Planned Parenthood which is sucking the federal teat dry. It is the trillions we spend on needless, murderous war and its weaponry and its installations and its co-conspirators—the Pentagon and its blood-sucking contractors—that is holding us hostage at gunpoint. As right-wing blowhards try to convince us that welfare cheats and minority takers and do-gooders and public schools and infrastructure rebuilding are keeping us in debt, remember this: if we cut military spending and corporate welfare by just one-half, we could build all the new roads and bridges we need; provide free education to every student; feed the hungry; subsidize the jobless; fund Social Security and Medicare for good; and provide free health care for all citizens.

When someone in the Republican circus speaks to this truth, maybe I’ll sit up and listen.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming/dp/098882907X

Here’s Why America Is Broken: $1.5 Trillion Spent For Useless Plane

Now that the holidays are over and I no longer have to quarrel with my crazy conservative relatives, I’ve had time to reflect on some of their outrageous, FOX-fed lies and wild misconceptions. Their most absurd claims were that America is going broke because of social welfare programs (though none of them want Social Security or Medicare cut). The fact is that relatively very little of the country’s spending is allocated to food stamp recipients, unemployment compensation, and other Republican bugaboos. The majority of spending goes to sacred Republican corporate cash cows–defense contractors.

Figures for 2014 aren’t available yet, but in 2013 alone nearly half of taxpayers’ money, over $1 trillion, was spent on defense. Defense is a large umbrella under which falls categories like Operations and Maintenance, Procurement, Personnel Salaries and Housing, Construction, and Research, Testing and Evaluation. That last nebulous category is responsible for the biggest boondoggle is US history: the F35 fighter jet. The F-35 was designed to do everything except perform oral sex on its pilots; instead it has been a useless project that has wasted $1.5 trillion over many years of research and development. That’s more than the entire defense budget of 2013. And yet, according to defense industry critic James Fallows, “…the aircraft can barely do anything: it has trouble flying at night, its engines have exploded during takeoff, and early models suffered structural cracks. There’s no end in sight, either.” This is great news for no one except Lockheed Martin, manufacturer of the defective plane, which has profited immensely at taxpayers’ expense.

But Lockheed is not the only corporate pig feeding at the public trough. The list of US defense contractors includes nearly every major corporation in America. The obvious culprits are Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Halliburton, the Carlyle Group, Bechtel Corporation, Exxon, Shell Oil, General Dynamics, Remington Arms, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, KBR (Kellogg, Brown & Root), Rockwell Collins, and General Electric. But also on the list are companies one might not suspect: IBM, Johns Hopkins University, Carnegie-Mellon, MIT, Nextel, Ernst & Young, Motorola, Mitsubishi, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Humana, Israeli Aerospace, and the University of Texas are all receiving lucrative government handouts. The entire list of organizations receiving government money for defense projects runs into the thousands, and you can bet that each one of these entities is cajoling, financing, and schmoozing its favorite congressmen to ensure that the money keeps flowing. That’s how our system works. Those who have money and power have a voice in government and how it spends our money. Those without a voice–the old, the poor, the weak–have very little say; thus, they are the ones whose funds are constantly imperiled. The right-wing, corporate propaganda machine called FOX News disseminates its lying filth long enough and loud enough to make even the most intelligent conservatives believe that social welfare programs are bankrupting the country. But you won’t hear a peep out of them about defense contractor waste and corruption, like that surrounding the F-35.

Despite the fact that America is not at war anywhere in the world, defense spending continues to rise. That’s because the system itself is too powerful to stop. Those who get rich from the defense cash grab have the wherewithal to spend freely on their preferred political candidates. Once in office these candidates continue to publicly rail against the poor, the frail, the defenseless, the “takers,”; all the while, behind the scenes, these politicians keep directing our dollars to their corporate benefactors. But there’s more to this charade; the threat of war, terror, and impending doom must convince the citizens that defense spending is necessary. The tactic of scaring us into turning over our tax dollars to corporate greed is as old as US wars themselves. And we are alone in the world in wasting our treasure on worthless military spending.

The 2012 American defense budget was 6–7 times larger than the $106 billion military budget of China, the next closest military spender. The United States and its close allies are responsible for two-thirds to three-quarters of the world’s military spending (of which, in turn, the U.S. is responsible for the majority). The US also maintains the largest number of military bases on foreign soil across the world. Why do we have bases and outsized military presences in far-flung places across the globe? If you don’t know the answer to that, you haven’t been paying attention.

So next holiday season, when your crazy conservative relatives try to convince you that social welfare is killing America, knock them over with the facts. The story of the F-35 alone will probably do the trick.

http://www.amazon.com/Presidents-Mortician-Tim-Fleming-ebook/dp/B00I6GNPD4

What Do Midterm Results Mean? Right-Wing Extremists Are Good Liars

Recently a secret recording was made of a Republican lobbyist, named Richard Berman, addressing a meeting of energy-industry executives. What the lobbyist revealed is at the core of the right-wing strategy for getting Americans to vote against their own interests. “We exploit their basest emotions. We prey on their fear, greed and anger. The truth never matters. Because if we hit them in their gut, they don’t care what the truth is.” With these “inspiring” words Berman elicited millions in donations for Republican political candidates from a quasi-fascist group called Western Energy Alliance, whose members include Halliburton, Devon Energy, and Anadarko Petroleum. And because the Supreme Court has removed limits on corporate spending, right-wing billionaire groups like Western Energy can literally buy elections with their money. That’s the right-wing playbook. That’s how it works. That’s America in 2014. The richest, greediest, most conservative people in the country can hire paid liars to do their bidding to get what they want.

Climate change is real, but liars like Louis Gohmert can convince voters it’s not by pointing out that it’s a black man who has the audacity to tell us it’s real. Obamacare is working, but Mitch McConnell can exploit racist Kentuckians to believe otherwise. Scott Walker can convince working class Wisconsinites that their taxes will go up if they don’t elect him; in reality, it is only the super-rich whose taxes will rise. The rise of lower and middle class families makes America better, but when white bigots see blacks and Latinos getting opportunities, they become jealous, angry and fearful. Limbaugh and FOX News exploit this fear with dire warnings of brown people swarming into America spreading disease, going on welfare, and voting for minority candidates. The colored hordes are coming, is the message.

To fend off these lies, one must be educated and well-read. Sadly, most of white, rural America is woefully unlearned. They can’t afford higher education, and they have limited access to the truth. They will believe the most bellicose, incendiary, and hateful voices they hear. That’s how Republicans want them—stupid, poor, and pissed-off. The way they will always be under Republican rule.
http://neverlandpublishing.com/tpm.html

JFK Conspiracy Fact #8: Part Two of Discussion on JFK, LBJ and Vietnam

In Part One, I engaged writer Jack Durish in a debate over the causes and effects of Vietnam.  In Part Two, another writer, Arthur Frank, challenges my assertions. (Note: I have neither edited nor proofed other writers’ comments; they appear here unvarnished, with typos and faulty grammar.)

Arthur Frank, Novelist: “Timothy: It is not the dead that should concern you. There were 2 categories, black plastic bags, blown to bits in the theater of operations, and aluminum boxes, died later in field hospitals. One went out in a flash, the other went out over tie in great pain. They knew they were dying, it was only a matter of time.

“The ones that you should cry about are the wounded, dismembered, disoriented , permanently scarred to smaller or larger degrees. I got out of it pretty much unscathed, but not a lot of others. A friend of mine who is still screwed up all these years later used to fly medivac helicopters, He doesn’t remember much because he used to fly stoned. I asked him how he flew a chopper , which is all hands and feet, constant motion, when he was stoned. He said it was simple. If he wasn’t stoned, he was too scared shitless to fly, when he was stoned, basic instincts operated the chopper, he had little to do with it.
“If you really want to know. ask someone who was on the ground over there. If they like you , they might tell you, all these years later. Or maybe not. It wasn’t Bell, it was Sikorsky who made the Huey.If you had a Bell, it was on;ly good for reconnaoisance and if you were in one, you wwerre probably dead, They were easily shot down and fell out of the sky like a stone.

“It wasn’t Ling Temco Voight, it was Ling Temco Vine, which was basically a holding company . They bought out all kinds of smaller manufacturing firms, many of whom made civlian and military supplies. I used to work for LTV in Labor Relations after I got out of yhere service. They went bely up.It was a long time ago, and now we buy all kinds of stuff from people that we used to shoot at. Look in Home Depot.Go figure. Everybody gives JFK a pass on Viet Nam. It was Jack who sent all kinds of advisors to the Arvn, shipped them all kinds of militray supplies and started drafting Americans into the Army and Navy . Ity was LBJ wjho escalated it further, and It was RMN who gave it an all time , make it or break it push. It failed and he pulled pout in response to political pressure. I was back home by then.

“I was there for every belessed minute of it.It is a brutal business, and if you can’t follow the Marine addage, “kill them all and let God sort it out.” then you shouldnt be there at all.”

Fleming: “Lots of misinformation in your posts, Arthur. If you’re civil, we can discuss. Cronkite interviewed JFK on Sept. 2, 1963, the evening of the first half-hour news broadcast in history. When asked about Vietnam, JFK said, “It’s their war (meaning the South Vietnamese); they’re the ones who have to win it.” Shortly afterwards, he issued National Security Action Memo 263, calling for complete withdrawal of all advisors and military assistance by 1965. LBJ reversed this the very week he took office.

“The owner of Ling-Temco-VOUGHT was one David Harold Byrd. He is a prominent character in my book. Byrd was a wealthy Dallas businessman who hated JFK. His oil cronies were H.L. Hunt, Murchison, and Richardson. Byrd just happened to own the Texas School Book Depository building, and he was the founder of the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol. That’s right, incredibly enough, Byrd provided the first and last places of employment for Lee Harvey Oswald. This is no coincidence. Byrd, Hunt and Murchison were LBJ’s guardian angels and benefactors. As were Brown & Root and Halliburton. When LBJ ramped Vietnam, his cronies got huge defense contracts. (Bell Helicopter of Dallas/Fort Worth made a fortune off the Huey too.) Rewards for services rendered getting him to the White House.

“It is not the dead that should concern you.” Really? You’re saying it was better to die than live the rest of your life wounded? Okay. You seem to have a great deal of bitterness about the whole thing, and you resent those who did not go there and yet write about it like they were experts. Be that as it may, I knew plenty of people who were on the ground over there; some came back, some not. The ones who came back are grateful to be alive. I wrote about survivors of the Battle for Hill 875 near Dak To in the Central Highlands, November 1967. You should read it, then maybe I’ll have some cred with you. “The Barefoot Hero” appears in the anthology Writers On The Wrong Side Of The Road.

“To recap: JFK wanted out of Vietnam entirely by 1965; LBJ: massive escalation by 1965. JFK murdered in LBJ’s home state, and in city ruled by LBJ’s cronies who made a fortune off the war. If you can’t connect the dots, Arthur, well…”

Frank: “The whole Viet Nam thing is totally fubar. It goes back to the 1800;s with the French colony of French Indo China, which included territories of Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam.
After WW 2 m the Big One, the French had trouble with their colonies, as did everybody else more or less. The US didn’t have colonies, so we didn’t have the trouble.There were uprisings and the French put troops in there to contain it. They ran a poor campaign and Eisenhower started to send them help. Ike liked the French for some unknown reason. He treateed De Gaulle like the Pope. Eisenhower escalated the troop support. You didn’t see much in the papers.The French pulled out altogether, Kennedy escalated the troops to fill the vacuum. Foriegn campaigns benefit officers, especially 1 st Looies and Captains, it is the patthway to Field Grade- Light Col and Bird, maywe even Brigagier Foriegn wars kill grunts, elevate the officers.
In fact , if JFK wanted the troops out , he could have puklled them – He was the President, Even if the Pentagon got pissed at him, it would not have hurt him. He was the Golden Boy. He could do no wrong.The idea that he wanted them out is just bushwah. Regarding the dead, any soldier will tell you that you kind of distance yourself emotioanlly from others in hot zones.because you feel like crap if your buddy buys the farm. Feeling like crap is a good way to get killed yourself. You are also tickled silly that you are glad it was somebody else amnd not you, which also makes you feel like crap, but not enough to get you killed too.. If anybody tells you different, they are either lying to you or they were a clerk, not a grunt.

“The bottom line in Viet Nam is that NOBODY was determined to win it and get ouit. If they were serious, they would have pattern bombed the border for a 10 mile stretch, pulled concertina wire, set up guard posts along the border, identified the enemy, and when they caught them, hung them and let them swing in the breeze as an example to others.. The military doesn’t think that way anymore, not since Black Jack Pershing , Douglas Mac Arthur and George Patton…kill the enemy, preserve the peace.Simple.
Basically, that is the way it is, once you scrub out all the politically correct crap. War sucks. You do your best to win it, because if you lose you are screwed. You bury the dead, you do what you can for the injured and you pray that some field grade asshole who is sitting fat and happy far behind the lines doesn’t get you back into the crap you just got out of.
Winston Churchill said that ‘Total extasy is having been shot at and missed.’ The man had a point.”

Fleming: Arthur: “Completely missed my point, or evaded it. The truth of Vietnam is ugly, I grant you. And it may be painful, and it may hard to face. But it is the truth nonetheless. Defense contractors, the CIA, and every other scourge of the 20th century were making barrels of cash. From p. 184 of Barry & The Boys: The CIA, the Mob and America’s Secret History: ‘Do you want to know why the Vietnam War lasted so long? Because too many people were making too much money.’ If JFK had lived, America would have been out of Vietnam in his second term. Oh, what’s the use…that’s the problem with America. Too many people believing whatever they damn well please, regardless of the facts. Bye Arthur, and bye to your peculiar version of history.”
“War is just a racket.  A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to be to the majority of people.  Only a small inside group knows what it is about.  It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.” –Major General Smedley Butler, USMC
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