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JFK 1954: The Truth About Indochina

The Truth About Indochina - Senator John F. Kennedy, 
US Senate, April 6, 1954:

Mr. President, the time has come for the American people to be told the blunt truth about Indochina.

I am reluctant to make any statement which may be misinterpreted as unappreciative of the gallant French struggle at Dien Bien Phu and elsewhere; or as partisan criticism of our Secretary of State just prior to his participation in the delicate deliberations in Geneva. Nor, as one who is not a member of those committees of the Congress which have been briefed--if not consulted--on this matter, do I wish to appear impetuous or alarmist in my evaluation of the situation.

But to pour money, material, and men into the jungles of Indochina without at least a remote prospect of victory would be dangerously futile and self-destructive. Of course, all discussion of “united action” assumes the inevitability of such victory; but such assumptions are not unlike similar predictions of confidence which have lulled the American people for many years and which, if continued, would present an improper basis for determining the extent of American participation.

Despite this series of optimistic reports about eventual victory, every member of the Senate knows that such victory today appears to be desperately remote, to say the least, despite tremendous amounts of economic and materiel aid from the United States, and despite a deplorable loss of French Union manpower. The call for either negotiations or additional participation by other nations underscores the remoteness of such a final victory today, regardless of the outcome at Dien Bien Phu. It is, of course, for these reasons that many French are reluctant to continue the struggle without greater assistance; for to record the sapping effect which time and the enemy have had on their will and strength in that area is not to disparage their valor. If “united action” can achieve the necessary victory over the forces of communism, and thus preserve the security and freedom of all Southeast Asia, then such united action is clearly called for. But if, on the other hand, the increase in our aid and the utilization of our troops would only result in further statements of confidence without ultimate victory over aggression, then now is the time when we must evaluate the conditions under which that pledge is made.

I am frankly of the belief that no amount of American military assistance in Indochina can conquer an enemy which is everywhere and at the same time nowhere, “an enemy of the people” which has the sympathy and covert support of the people.

Moreover, without political independence for the Associated States, the other Asiatic nations have made it clear that they regard this as a war of colonialism; and the “united action” which is said to be so desperately needed for victory in that area is likely to end up as unilateral action by our own country. Such intervention, without participation by the armed forces of the other nations of Asia, without the support of the great masses of the people of the Associated States, with increasing reluctance and discouragement on the part of the French--and, I might add, with hordes of Chinese Communist troops poised just across the border in anticipation of our unilateral entry into their kind of battleground--such intervention, Mr. President, would be virtually impossible in the type of military situation which prevails in Indochina.

This is not a new point, of course. In November of 1951, I reported upon my return from the Far East as follows:

“In Indochina we have allied ourselves to the desperate effort of a French regime to hang on to the remnants of empire. There is no broad, general support of the native Vietnam government among the people of that area. To check the southern drive of communism makes sense but not only through reliance on the force of arms. The task is rather to build strong native non-Communist sentiment within these areas and rely on that as a spearhead of defense rather than upon the legions of General de Lattre. To do this apart from and in defiance of innately nationalistic aims spells foredoomed failure.”

In June of last year, I sought an amendment to the Mutual Security Act which would have provided for the distribution of American aid, to the extent feasible, in such a way as to encourage the freedom and independence desired by the people of the Associated States My amendment was soundly defeated on the grounds that we should not pressure France into taking action on this delicate situation; and that the new French government could be expected to make “a decision which would obviate the necessity of this kind of amendment or resolution.” The distinguished majority leader [Mr. Knowland] assured us that “We will all work, in conjunction with our great ally, France, toward the freedom of the people of those states.”

Every year we are given three sets of assurances: First, that the independence of the Associated States is now complete; second, that the independence of the Associated States will soon be completed under steps “now” being undertaken; and, third, that military victory for the French Union forces in Indochina is assured, or is just around the corner, or lies two years off. But the stringent limitations upon the status of the Associated States as sovereign states remain; and the fact that military victory has not yet been achieved is largely the result of these limitations. Repeated failure of these prophecies has, however, in no way diminished the frequency of their reiteration, and they have caused this nation to delay definitive action until now the opportunity for any desirable solution may well be past. 

It is time, therefore, for us to face the stark reality of the difficult situation before us without the false hopes which predictions of military victory and assurances of complete independence have given us in the past. The hard truth of the matter is, first, that without the wholehearted support of the peoples of the Associated States, without a reliable and crusading native army with a dependable officer corps, a military victory, even with American support, in that area is difficult if not impossible, of achievement; and, second, that the support of the people of that area cannot be obtained without a change in the contractual relationships which presently exist between the Associated States and the French Union

If the French persist in their refusal to grant the legitimate independence and freedom desired by the peoples of the Associated States; and if those peoples and the other peoples of Asia remain aloof from the conflict, as they have in the past, then it is my hope that Secretary Dulles, before pledging our assistance at Geneva, will recognize the futility of channeling American men and machines into that hopeless internecine struggle. 

The facts and alternatives before us are unpleasant, Mr. President. But in a nation such as ours, it is only through the fullest and frankest appreciation of such facts and alternatives that any foreign policy can be effectively maintained. In an era of supersonic attack and atomic retaliation, extended public debate and education are of no avail, once such a policy must be implemented. The time to study, to doubt, to review, and revise is now, for upon our decisions now may well rest the peace and security of the world, and, indeed, the very continued existence of mankind. And if we cannot entrust this decision to the people, then, as Thomas Jefferson once said: “If we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education.”

The Truth About Indochina appears courtesy of Utah County Veterans Council

Between  Dulles, Harriman, Meyer - JFK was foobar...

They originally wanted the UN Building on the west coast at Moraga - I'm trying to remember who owned all the land back then, it wasn't Rockefeller but another early Bilderberger. Possibly  Crown- Zellerbach ( now International Paper IP )

Moraga now has many gated communities and many Government types living there....
Update - No it was a Standard Oil Crony  Donald Rheem , so yes Rockefeller owned the Moraga California - UN intended Land.....
Moraga's History
While the Moraga Land Association, Hooper and lastly the Moraga Company had been actively buying and developing most of the rancho over all these years, the only parcel that Carpentier never owned, the Williams parcel, had undergone a number of changes. It had changed hands twice -- first to the Lucas family and then to two young women who had a proposed residence for homeless children built upon it.

It was purchased in 1934 by Donald Rheem, the son of a former President of Standard Oil of California. He added to the estate and ultimately bought 1,650 acres of rancho land which he developed into the Rheem center in 1954 and surrounding subdivisions. The estate, now known as the Hacienda de las Flores, was bought by the Christian Brothers in 1961, the Moraga Park and Recreation Authority in 1973, and the Town of Moraga in 1977.

for background:
Bilderberger's in the Kennedy Administration

JFK Addresses UN

Alger Hiss at UN conference (San Francisco) 1945

John F. Kennedy attended the San Francisco conference at which fifty founding ... plus Poland — signed the Charter of the United Nations on June 26, 1945

Interesting Facts About John F Kennedy
... An author before being elected President, he wrote the book 'Profiles in Courage' for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. JFK, an avid reader, was a big fan of James Bond and read Ian Fleming's books. ... . After he retired from the military service as a full lieutenant in March 1945, he worked for a newspaper for several months writing about the United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco, the Potsdam Conference and the British elections of 1945.

The Sequoia Seminars - 1954 - LSD Therapy - History

Mary and Cord Meyer on their wedding day (1945)

Cord Meyer
On 21st July, 1944, a Japanese grenade was thrown into his foxhole. He was so badly injured that when he was found he was initially declared to be dead. In fact, his commanding officer sent a telegram to his parents announcing he had died. Although he lost his left eye he was eventually well enough to be sent home. Soon afterwards his twin brother, Quentin, was killed at Okinawa.

While recovered in New York City Meyer met the journalist, Mary Pinchot. The couple married on 19th April, 1945. The couple then went to San Francisco to attend the conference that established the United Nations. Cord went as an aide to Harold Stassen, whereas Mary, who was working for the North American Newspaper Alliance at the time, was one of the reporters sent to cover this important event.,_California
Rheem (also, Rheem Valley and Rheem Center) is an unincorporated community in Contra Costa County, California. It is located 7.5 miles (12 km) north-northwest of Danville,[2] at an elevation of 587 feet (179 m).

The place was named after its developer, Donald I. Rheem, the son of William Rheem, President of Standard Oil Company
William S. Rheem (1862 – April 19, 1919), aka W.S. Rheem, was an important civic figure in the politics of early Richmond, California in addition to being president of Standard Oil.[1]
Rheem arrived in Richmond after finding a spot for a new refinery to replace an existing and unexpandable location in Alameda.[2] He picked a spot in the Point Richmond District along the Potrero Hills and the Marshlands

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They never tell people that we were fighting the RUSSIANS!
Where did the ZERO GDP North Vietnam get all the ordinance for years? TANKS and SAM sites? millions of AK's?

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VF-32 Outlaw's Bandits  (Est 1 Jun 1943, Dis 13 Nov 1945) (F6F-3/5)

WWII Ace - Navy Cross - Cinqpaq Rear Admiral Ed Cobb Outlaw - tells the truth about Vietnam:

Carriers in combat the air war at sea - Vietnam - By Chester G. Hearn

Rolling Thunder - Cambodian supply depots off limits - SOVIET SA-2 SAM sites shot down 115 american planes
"We were restrained to carrying out a campaign which seemed designed NOT to win" because RUSSIAN technicians might be killed.
McNamara did not allow pilots to attack any installation where MIG's were based.

Soviet SA-2 SAM
The S-75 Dvina (Russian: С-75; NATO reporting name SA-2 Guideline) is a Soviet-designed, high-altitude, command guided, surface-to-air missile (SAM) system. Since its first deployment in 1957, it has become the most widely-deployed and -used air defense missile in history

This system first gained fame when an S-75 battery shot down a U-2 overflying the Soviet Union in 1960. Later, North Vietnamese forces used the S-75 extensively during the Vietnam War to defend Hanoi and Haiphong
In 1965 North Vietnam asked for some assistance against the US's airpower, which they were essentially defenseless against at the time. After some discussion it was agreed to supply the PAVN with the S-75. The decision was not made lightly, because it greatly increased the chances that one would fall into US hands for study. Site preparation started early in the year, and the US detected the program almost immediately on April 5, 1965. While military planners pressed for the sites to be attacked before they could become operational, their political leaders refused, fearing that Soviet technical staff might be killed.[citation needed]
On July 24, 1965, a USAF F-4C aircraft was shot down by an SA-2.[3] Three days later, the US responded with Operation Iron Hand to attack the other sites before they could become operational. Most of the S-75 were deployed around the Hanoi-Haiphong area and were off-limits to attack (as were local airfields) for political reasons. President Lyndon Johnson announced on public TV that one of the other sites would be attacked the next week. The Vietnamese removed the missiles and replaced them with decoys, while moving every available anti-aircraft gun into the approach routes. The tactic worked, causing American casualties.
  It should be noticed that the ARVN ground forces at An Loc have been armed with the "humble" M-72s (no good for firing at Soviet heavy battle Tanks, it works only when firing at the right spot and with luck) and home-made, modified anti-tank "mines." Why? Because at this difficult phase of Vietnam war, Uncle Sam was in the process of pulling out. No more Yankee ground troops around, but only the advisory teams. And now, brace yourselves, you are descending into hell: Battle of An Loc.  April 1972


A North Vietnamese tank crashes through the gates of the Presidential Palace in Saigon on April 30, 1975

A U.S. Army M.P. inspects a Soviet AK-47 recovered in Vietnam in 1968.
Outlaw, Edward C., Cdr., VF-32, USS Langley (CVL-27), CO USS Intrepid (CVA-11) - 6
Born 1914 in Greenville, NC; Public Schools, Goldboro, NC.; USNA '35, Retired, Durham, NC '69.

Flight Training, Pensacola '37-'38. USS Enterprise, Scouting Squadron 6.  '42 deployed to Pacific as XO (VC-11) flying F4F (Wildcats).  
Led flight of 54 from Fiji to Guadalcanal to re-enforce Marine Corps.  He served there as leader of the Navy Fighter Group.  
'43 formed VF-32 as CO.  Deployed on USS Langley .  
April 29, '44, he led a flight of 8 Hellcats on a pre-dawn fighter sweep over Truk atoll; at dawn sighted a flight of aout 36 Japanese Zeroes flying at 10,000 ft in column of V's; first pass his flight flamed 8; then, exercising perfect discipline "Holly" Hills (4 kills) led his division to "high cover" where they accounted for seven of the enemy.  
Cdr. Outlaw shot down 5 and 1 probable, fellow Ace, Dick May got 3 and Outlaw's wingman 4.  
Total for this brief action was 22 victories and 6 probables.  

The action took place in less than ten minutes and was declared by COMNAVAIRPAC to be "a perfect example of air combat and air discipline."

Subsequently, he served three times in Pentagon; as CO of USS Duxbury Bay and USS Intrepid; as CO Air Group Six (Coral Sea);
CO Heavy Attack Squadron five (NucWpns).
Selected to rank of Rear Admiral and served as Commander Naval Aviation Safety Center;
Commander Carrier Division One and Task Force 77 of Vietnam '64-'65 where he directed first sustained attacks;
Commander CARDIVS 16 and 20 and Commander Hunter-Killer Force, Atlantic Fleet.

His last assignment was as Commander Fleet Aircraft Mediterranean/CTF-67/ and Maritime Air Mediterranean (a NATO orgnization of which he was the first commander).  
Decorations: Navy Cross, Legion of Merit (3), DFC (3)'s_Air_Force

1964-1974 (North Vietnam)
The North Vietnamese Air Force (NVAF) received its first jet fighter aircraft, the MiG-17 in February 1964, but they were initially stationed at air bases in Communist China, while their pilots were being trained. On February 3, 1964, the first fighter regiment No. 921 "Sao Do" was formed (Trung Đoŕn Không Quân Tięm Kích 921), and on August 6 it arrived from China in North Vietnam with its MiG-17s.[2] On September 7, the No. 923 fighter regiment "Yen The", led by Lt. Binh Bui, was formed. In May 1965, No. 929 bomber squadron (Đại Đội Không Quân Ném Bom 929) was formed with Il-28 twin engine bombers. Only one Il-28 sortie was flown in 1972 against Laotian forces.

The North Vietnamese Air Force's first jet air-to-air engagement with U.S. aircraft was on April 3, 1965. The NVAF claimed the shooting down of one US Navy F-8 Crusader, which was not confirmed by US sources, although they acknowledged having encountered MiGs.[2] Consequently, April 3 became "North Vietnamese Air Force Day". On April 4 the VPAF (NVAF) scored the first confirmed victories to be acknowledged by both sides. The US fighter community was shocked when relatively slow, post-Korean era MiG-17 fighters shot down advanced F-105 Thunderchief fighters-bombers attacking the Thanh Hoa Bridge. The two downed F-105s were carrying their normal heavy bomb load, and were not able to react to their attackers.[2]

In 1965, the NVAF were supplied with supersonic MiG-21s by the USSR which were used for high speed GCI controlled hit and run intercepts against USAF strike groups. The MiG-21 tactics became so effective, that by late 1966, an operation was mounted to especially deal with the MiG-21 threat. Led by Colonel Robin Olds on January 2, 1967, Operation Bolo lured MiG-21s into the air, thinking they were intercepting a F-105 strike group, but instead found a sky full of missile armed F-4 Phantom II Phantoms set for aerial combat. The result was a loss of almost half the inventory of MiG-21 interceptors, at a cost of no US losses. The VPAF (NVAF) stood down for additional training after this setback.
Jane Fonda sitting on an NVA anti-aircraft gun were really her
The best enemy Money can Buy - Antony Sutton

Americans killed by US made weapons in the Korea and the Vietnam war

“In Korea we have direct killing of Americans with Soviet weapons. The American casualty roll in the Korean War was 33,730 killed and 103,284 wounded… The 130,000-man North Korean Army, which crossed the South Korean border in June 1950, was trained, supported, and equipped by the Soviet Union, and included a brigade of Soviet T-34 medium tanks (with U.S. Christie suspensions). The artillery tractors were direct metric copies of Caterpillar tractors. The trucks came from the Henry Ford-Gorki plant or the ZIL plant. The North Korean Air Force has 180 Yak planes built in plants with U.S. Lend-Lease equipment. These Yaks were later replaced by MiG-15s powered by Russian copies of Rolls-Royce jet engines sold to the Soviet Union in 1947.”
“Who were the government officials responsible for this transfer of known military technology? The concept originally came from National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, who reportedly sold President Nixon on the idea that giving military techno­logy to the Soviets would temper their global territorial ambitions. How Henry arrived at this gigantic non sequitur is not known. Sufficient to state that he aroused considerable concern over his motivations. Not least that Henry [Ford] had been a paid family employee of the Rockefellers since 1958 and has served as International Advisory Committee Chairman of the Chase Manhattan Bank, a Rockefeller concern.”

“Some years ago research strongly suggested that the Soviets had no indigenous military transport technology: neither motor vehicles nor marine diesel engines. Yet about 80 percent of the weapons and supplies for the North Vietnamese were transported by some means from the Soviet Union. The greater part of these Soviet weapons went to Vietnam by Soviet freighter and then along the Ho Chi Minh trail on Soviet-built trucks…

Update: Forgot the Soviet RPG
Operating principle: Gas-operated launcher that can fire 6mm BB shot shells, 40mm airsoft/movie prop grenades, nerf-rockets and other types of gaming suited harmless "soft projectiles".

RPG-7 History
Soviet RPG-7 (or Chicom copy Type-69)was a common multi-purpose heavy weapon system for NVA and Vietcong who used it in direct firesupport, anti-armour, anti-helicopter and bunker busting roles.

Soviet RPG-7 was used by VC and NVA from 1967 onwards and was particularly effective against aluminum hullled M113 APCs. It's main role was, however, anti-personnel. Easy-to-use, lightweight and powerful RPG-7 and it's variants are still used world-wide.

All of these weapons were 40mm and capable of penetrating up to 6" of armour at ranges of 100 - 500 meters. Sights consisted of simple iron sights or optional more sophisticated range finding optical sight.

Oh before the RPG-7 was the RPG-2:
The RPG-2 was the first rocket-propelled grenade launcher designed in the Soviet Union.

North Vietnamese troops with RPG-2 (B-40), 1968.

More Soviet tech - Soviet MIG's in North Vietnam

Soviet MIG-17 NVAF


Mig-17 / NVAF - This deadly Russian fighter earned the respect of U.S. pilots in the war-torn skies over Vietnam. Flown by North Vietnamese pilots, the MiG-17 boasted excellent maneuverability and a heavy cannon armament.

 So, Rolling Thunder began again and U.S. aircrews not only had to attack the new targets, but also those they had already destroyed which had been rebuilt or repaired. On Sep. 3, 1966, North Vietnam sent up its MiG-21s in force for the first time from five air bases which had not previously been attacked because of U.S. policy. By the end of the year, Rolling Thunder had progressed northward, reaching the Hanoi area.
...most of their weapons, uniforms, and equipment were provided by the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China...
The Soviet MiG-21 served as the primary high-altitude fighter in the North Vietnamese arsenal

T-54/55 Tank
The N.V.A. relied on the Soviet-made T-54/55 as one of their main battle tanks.

DP 7.62mm Light Machine Gun
Based on a Soviet design, the DP 7.62 was provided by both China and the Soviet Union

SA7 Grail Anti-Aircraft Missile
In North Vietnam, American pilots faced a deadly barrage of radar-guided, base-stationed anti-aircraft fire

It was later observed in action in Vietnam where it met with more success. The SA-7 is a 9.2 kg missile powered by a solid fuel, three-stage rocket motor and guided by a passive infra-red guidance system
The SA-7 was the first generation of Soviet man portable surface-to-air missiles

Rifle - SK-47
Both the Chinese and the Russians provided variations on the SK-47 rifle in quantity to Communist forces.

Grenades and Anti-Personnel Devices
In addition to standard mines provided by their backers in China and the Soviet Union, Communist troops used a variety of anti-personnel devices,

BTR 60 Armored Personnel Carrier
The Soviet-made BTR armored personnel carrier served as the Vietnamese counterpart of the M113

By Sea, Air, and Land: An Illustrated History of the U.S. Navy and the War in Southeast Asia  

Without the material support from the Soviets the Vietnam war would have been over in a year, instead the ships continued into Haiphong harbour for the next ten years till "they" decided that the U.S.A. had been beaten into submission .... Years later the Soviets would get the same treatment in Afghanistan.... Making China relatively stronger (with the tech transfers for ICBM's from Loral Corp...)  so that today China appears the military equal to the U.S.A. ....

Loral pleaded no contest to a long list of U.S. national security violations, including the unauthorized transfer of missile guidance technology to the Chinese army.

Notice here also how they always include China with the Soviets like it was equal amounts, when 90 percent of the war materials were from the Soviets.
I have tried to document the amount of real support China gave to Vietnam and it seems to boil down to the "threat" of their troops pouring south like they did in Korea....

Historical dictionary of the 1970s By James Stuart Olson

Haiphong harbour

During the Vietnam War Large volumes of military supplies from the Soviet Union and the Peoples Republic of China arrived through Haiphong...
Both LBJ and Nixon refused to mine Haiphong Harbor ... [ that would end the material supply line from the Soviets] ... .... USA  risked injuring Soviet or Chinese civilians AND Miltary personnel.....

Some interesting photos:
James B. McGovern, transport pilot, Civil Air Transport, CIA, Vietnam, 1950s.

Ho Chi Minh (noted by red arrow) receives American secret servicemen in a special unit nicknamed "The Deer"
Without going too deeply into this fascinating history,

the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor to CIA, had sent agents into China during WWII.

Among many other things, while there,
they befriended a Vietnamese communist guerrilla, Ho Chi Minh. Ho became a strong ally of the US in the fight against the Japanese,

and against the French Vichy government that was running Indochina.
Indeed, Ho's Viet Minh army was helping downed US pilots in Indochina.

In 1945, President Truman gave France his approval to resume colonial authority over Indochina.
The Japanese had thrown the French out in 1945. But, the Japanese surrendered in September 1945. Ho declared independence.

French prisoners being marched by Viet Minh out of Dien Bien Phu, May 7, 1954.

David Milne. America's Rasputin: Walt Rostow and the Vietnam War. New York: Hill and Wang, 2008. 336 pp. $26.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-374-10386-6.
Reviewed by Richard Verrone (Texas Tech University)
Published on H-War (March, 2009)
Commissioned by Janet G. Valentine

JFK's and LBJ’s True Believer

Of all the advisors that graced the West Wing of the White House during the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson years, Walt Whitman Rostow was, according to author David Milne, the truest and most fervent hawk.  He was also  a reverent Cold War ideologue who believed in the power of the U.S. military in spreading American-style democracy.  Milne, a lecturer in American politics and foreign policy at the University of East Anglia, casts longtime national security advisor to JFK and LBJ, Walt Rostow, as a man of great intellect and powerful persuasiveness who was able to gain the ear of his boss, the president of the United States, particularly LBJ. Because of this, Rostow had  his version of how to counter the Soviet Union, defeat the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and win the war in Vietnam implemented.  In the insightful America’s Rasputin, Milne explains Rostow's diplomatic and military ideology when it came to fighting communism around the world, particularly in the third world, and lays at his feet much of the direct responsibility for the U.S. debacle in Southeast Asia..

America’s Rasputin is essentially a brief biography of Rostow that traces his roots from Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York to Washington, D.C.  The book is organized into eight chapters and an epilogue, and presents a chronological rendering of Rostow's life.  The majority of the book is dedicated to his Washington and White House years, first as Kennedy's deputy assistant for national security affairs (1961-62), and then as Johnson's national security advisor from 1966 to 1969 (replacing McGeorge Bundy and Robert Komer).  In between, Rostow did time as a member of the State Department's Policy Planning Council, but still had immediate access to the president.

The title of Milne's book comes from a comment made about Rostow by Averell Harriman, one of America's most celebrated diplomats.  Harriman described Rostow as "America's Rasputin," comparing him to the Russian mystic who advised Russian czar Nicholas II, for the powerful and sometimes unsavory influence Rostow exerted on JFK and LBJ's presidential decision making.  Despite this label, Rostow brought to the table tremendous intellectual capability.  He was a product of the best of academia--Yale, Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar), and MIT (as a professor of economic history). But, Rostow also brought a strict, immovable ideology of anti-communism that was honed through his early years in academia and the McCarthy era, the Korean War, and the Eisenhower administration.  He believed that capitalism would eclipse communism in the battle for economic supremacy, and that the ultimate defeat of the Soviet Union would begin from the successful battle for the third world, although not necessarily in a direct confrontation between the two powers.  Rostow's 1960 book, The Stages of Economic Growth:  A Non-Communist Manifesto, was to him a complete refutation of Marxian ideology.  In it, he stated that underdeveloped nations needed significant assistance from the United States to reach a prosperous and effective capitalist democracy.  That assistance could come in the economic form, as well as the diplomatic and military form.  The emphasis, however, was on economic aid.  After Kennedy's assassination, and Johnson's ascendency to the presidency, Rostow became increasingly influential in national security policymaking, particularly in decisions about the Vietnam War.

 Milne leaves the reader  with the distinct impression that Rostow not only had far too much influence on West Wing decisions, but that the influence he exerted came from beliefs about how the United States should interact with the Cold War world that were far from a consensus ideology.  As "the most hawkish civilian member of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations," Rostow was the first to advise Kennedy to send U.S. combat troops to South Vietnam, and the first to recommend the bombing of North Vietnam (p. 6).  This was but one example put forth by Milne of Rostow as a man full of contradictions.  His work outside of government before becoming a member of Kennedy’s national security team argued that the United States needed to assist developing nations economically, not militarily, and that this was the best path to eventual democracy and alliance with the United States.  To this end, Kennedy formed two large-scale aid programs which were in line with the Rostowian ideology of American assistance to developing nations, the Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Alliance for Progress (directed at Latin America).  Yet,over time, he became the framer of the largest American military escalation in a developing country (Vietnam) which the United States hoped to bring to its side in the Cold War.  To Rostow, if a country (or part of one in Vietnam's case) was communist, then that country would be shown no mercy if it engaged the U.S. militarily.  He believed that eliminating the enemy's capability to wage war by destroying factories, power plants, and logistical networks was the best avenue to victory.  Thus, he championed massive escalatory strategic bombing of North Vietnam, much like the bombing of the Axis powers in World War II, to bring quicker resolution to the conflict.  In Kennedy, Rostow did not have a president who would fully unleash the American arsenal on its enemies, but in Johnson, he had a president who put most all options on the table, and who ultimately endorsed Rostow's strategy.  In order to get that accomplished, Milne states that because of his ability to persuade as well as his extreme confidence in himself and his beliefs, Rostow had Johnson’s ear.  Rostow said what Johnson wanted to hear, and said it at the right time.  According to the author, Rostow's two biggest contributions to the war in Vietnam, were: first, that he persuaded LBJ to implement, and then continue, the graduated bombing of North Vietnam; and second, that he advised LBJ against pursuing a compromise peace with North Vietnam, thus extending the war's duration

Milne gives the reader a good view of Rostow's strengths (his intelligence, persuasiveness, and governmental experience) and weaknesses (his overconfidence and refusal to compromise).  Rostow's unwavering belief in his own polemics and his incredible overconfidence, coupled with his refusal to modify his ideas based on alternative perspectives, were, in Milne's estimation, not just self-deluding, but reckless at best, and outright dangerous at worst.  Milne skillfully demonstrates that Rostow had very little understanding of Southeast Asian political or cultural history, and was analytically deficient in perceiving the conflict as a nationalist civil war first, and a war between communism and a fledgling democracy second.  The fact that Rostow could consistently convince LBJ to follow a certain policy path, when others could not, made Rostow one of the most important individuals associated with the Vietnam War and the ultimate American defeat.  His influence and contribution, the author believes, was easily as important as  that of McGeorge Bundy, Robert McNamara, or Dean Rusk.  As for being "America's Rasputin," Milne ultimately finds that Harriman's view on Rostow was correct, that his advice was an overwhelmingly negative factor in American foreign policy decisions concerning Vietnam between 1960 and 1969.  However, one also has to fault LBJ for allowing a person with Rostow's personality to have so much sway in policy making.  By the same token, Milne contends in chapter 6 that LBJ appointed Rostow as national security advisor in 1966 partly because he wanted to send an unambiguous message, both at home and abroad, that a harder American military approach was necessary in Vietnam, and that the United States intended to win in Southeast Asia

Milne's prose is very readable, and absent of jargon.  He takes what could be a complicated subject, and presents it clearly.  The work is well documented; Milne's 33 pages of notes complement 256 pages of text.  The notes are divided equally between primary sources (mainly personal papers from the JFK and LBJ Presidential Libraries) and secondary sources (primarily monographs and memoirs written by the key players in Washington).  One of the notable strengths of the work is the author's use of no fewer than thirty-one oral history interviews conducted with a variety of people who had access to, or knew Rostow.  Milne's bibliography is thorough, and demonstrates a good knowledge of the existing literature on Rostow, Washington, and American foreign policy in the 1960s, as well as the important individuals who made, or influenced, American policy in Southeast Asia.  America's Rasputin belongs on the shelf of all university libraries, as well as any scholar or instructor of the period, especially those who teach the Vietnam War.

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The above author compares that warmonger to Wolfowitz exposing another similarity to the illegal warpath we are still on...


Milne, David (2010) America's Intellectual Diplomacy. International Affairs, 86(1).
Milne, David (2009) Wilson Agonistes: The Battle for Woodrow Wilson. The Nation.
Milne, David (2008) Which Hotshots Will Head to DC? Los Angeles Times.
Milne, David (2007) Intellectualism in American Diplomacy: Paul Wolfowitz and his Predecessors. International Journal.
Milne, David (2007) The Paul Wolfowitz of the 1960s. Los Angeles Times.
Milne, David (2007) The Peculiar Career of Walt Whitman Rostow. Vietnam Magazine.
Milne, David (2007) Our Equivalent of Guerrilla Warfare: Walt Rostow and the Bombing of North Vietnam, 1961-1968. Journal of Military History, 71.

The Pentagon Papers ...
A 1996 article in the New York Times said that the Pentagon Papers "demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance
In February 1971 Ellsberg discussed the study with New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan, and gave 43 of the volumes to him in March. The Times began publishing excerpts on June 13, 1971; the first article in the series was titled "Vietnam Archive: Pentagon Study Traces Three Decades of Growing US Involvement". The name "Pentagon Papers" for the study arose during the resulting media publicity.[3][4] Street protests, political controversy and lawsuits followed.
The Papers revealed that the U.S. had deliberately expanded its war with bombing of Cambodia and Laos, coastal raids on North Vietnam, and Marine Corps attacks, none of which had been reported by media in the US.[7]

The most damaging revelations in the papers revealed that four administrations, from Truman to Johnson, had misled the public regarding their intentions. For example, the John F. Kennedy administration had planned to overthrow South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem before his death in a November 1963 coup. President Johnson had decided to expand the war while promising "we seek no wider war" during his 1964 presidential campaign,[3] including plans to bomb North Vietnam well before the 1964 Election. President Johnson had been outspoken against doing so during the election and claimed that his opponent Barry Goldwater was the one that wanted to bomb North Vietnam.[8]

September 16, 2011
COMPLETE PENTAGON PAPERS AT LAST! All Three Versions Posted, Allowing Side-by-Side Comparison

for reference:
Mao was a Yale Man - A Yali for Skull and Bones
China Spying - Technology Transfers
Former US diplomat exposes how US actually helped communist China instead of KMT  
THE FORTY YEARS WAR - Nixon gave up Vietnam

Genocide against the Serbs
The Good News and Bad News about ‘Sneakers on the Ground’ Posted by Justin Logan

There is good news and bad news about the report that the Obama administration authorized CIA teams to go into Libya to liaise with the Libyan opposition before instituting a no-fly zone over that country. (The phrase “sneakers on the ground” has emerged in response to the administration’s firm insistence that there are no US boots on the ground there.)
Published: March 31, 2011 at 2:30am  The New York Times
Published: March 30, 2011

WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency has inserted clandestine operatives into Libya to gather intelligence for military airstrikes and contact rebels battling Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces, according to American officials.

While President Obama has insisted that no American military ground troops participate in the Libyan campaign, small groups of C.I.A. operatives have been working in Libya for several weeks as part of a shadow force of Westerners that the Obama administration hopes can help bleed Colonel Qaddafi’s military, the officials said.

In addition to the C.I.A. presence, composed of an unknown number of Americans who had worked at the spy agency’s station in Tripoli and others who arrived more recently, current and former British officials said that dozens of British special forces and MI6 intelligence officers are working inside Libya. The British operatives have been directing airstrikes from British jets and gathering intelligence about the whereabouts of Libyan government tank columns, artillery pieces and missile installations, the officials said.

United States officials hope that similar information gathered by American intelligence officers — from the location of Colonel Qaddafi’s munitions depots to the clusters of government troops inside towns — might help weaken Libya’s military enough to encourage defections within its ranks.

In addition, the American spies are meeting with rebels to try to fill in gaps in understanding who their leaders are and the allegiances of the groups opposed to Colonel Qaddafi, according to United States government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the classified nature of the activities. American officials cautioned, though, that the Western operatives
Earthquake McGoon - OSS - CIA - James B. McGovern Jr.

"His 300 pounds shake the earth when he walks, Yet he soars with the grace of a loon;
The legend makes claim that this beast from the East. Is known as Earthquake McGoon."

The first American to die in combat in Vietnam - James B. McGovern Jr. - May 6, 1954,

Notice he is "identified" Sept 11'th  - 9/11:
Earthquake McGoon’ finally flying home  - 10/19/2006
Remains of legendary pilot killed 52 years ago being returned to family

NEW YORK  — More than half a century after he died in the flaming crash of a CIA-owned cargo plane and became one of the first two Americans to die in combat in Vietnam, a legendary soldier of fortune known as “Earthquake McGoon” is finally coming home.

The skeletal remains of James B. McGovern Jr., discovered in an unmarked grave in remote northern Laos in 2002, were positively identified on Sept. 11 by laboratory experts at the U.S. military’s Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii
Six feet and 260 pounds — huge for a fighter pilot — McGovern carved out a flying career during and after World War II that made him a legend in Asia. An American saloon owner in China dubbed him “Earthquake McGoon,” after a hulking hillbilly character in the comic strip “Li’l Abner.”

He died on May 6, 1954, when his C-119 Flying Boxcar cargo plane was hit by ground fire while parachuting a howitzer to the besieged French garrison at Dien Bien Phu. “Looks like this is it, son,” McGovern radioed another pilot as his crippled plane staggered 75 miles into Laos, where it cartwheeled into a hillside.

Killed along with “McGoon,” 31, were his co-pilot, Wallace Buford, 28, and a French crew chief. Two cargo handlers, a Frenchman and a Thai, were thrown clear and survived.

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Notice the comparison to John Belushi in the film "1941" in character as Captain "Wild Bill Kelso"