Vietnam, Iraq, And How We Can’t Trust What We See

I am still trying to process what I learned in the segment below, put together by Rachel Maddow.

If you have read anything about Richard Nixon, you know it is entirely believable that he helped prolong the Vietnam War in order to first win the presidency in 1968. But even knowing something about the strange and cynical mind of Richard Nixon didn’t prepare me for the following. It is a must watch:

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Finally, here is the segment that followed, featuring Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Secretary of State Colin Powell’s former chief of staff:

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8 Comments

  1. And when will we apply the same level of rage that Wilkerson recommends to Saint Ronald Reagan’s manipulation of the Iranian government prior to the 1980 US Presidential election related to the US hostages? I’m damned sick of these crassly corrupt, traitorous Republicans and the mindless fools who follow them.

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    • General,

      As far as I know, we have some evidence of the October Surprise in 1980, but no proof. There have been numerous allegations and claims, many of them now tainted, and numerous investigations, most of them finding that there wasn’t a conspiracy or that the evidence is mostly faulty and unpersuasive. I wish I knew the truth because it would totally discredit Ronald Reagan and his presidency for all time, much the same way that this revelation about Richard Nixon should forever doom him to be one of the most cynical bastards to ever grace the White’s House.

      Duane

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  2. I too saw this last night but I’m glad to view it again, Duane. It is so amazing, it’s hard to absorb in only one viewing. If I had my way Rachel’s excellent presentation would be firmly embedded in the front of the appropriate volume of all future history ebooks from now forward. It is wisdom for the ages and, unfortunately, will always be needed.

    All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. – George Orwell

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    • I still can’t get over how little attention the mainstream press paid to this revelation, Jim. Shows us how far we have fallen into trivial pursuits.

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  3. And then, I found this:

    In most communities it is illegal to cry “fire” in a crowded assembly. Should it not be considered serious international misconduct to manufacture a general war scare in an effort to achieve local political aims? – Dwight D. Eisenhower

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  4. Disturbing. I’m not sure Johnson comes out smelling like a rose though, if he delayed starting the talks to maximize their political impacts only to find Nixon had outflanked him.

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    • Bruce, I think Johnson deserves blame for not “leaking” this to the press. I understand his motivation not to let it out directly, but there were other ways to get out the story. Shame on him for that, and for escalating the war in the first place, when he admitted in private that it was unwinnable. Disgraceful, is what it was.

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