-- by John Sugg
"Never has so much military and economic and diplomatic power been used so ineffectively, and if after all this time, and all of this sacrifice, and of all this support, there is no end in sight, then I say for the American people to turn to new leadership not tied to the mistakes and policies of the past."-- Richard Nixon, 1968
In August 1939, German soldiers dressed as Poles seized a German radio station and broadcast an inflammatory message. It was the justification the Nazis cited for launching what would become World War II.
Six years later, what began as a "false flag" provocation ended after the deaths of 48 million people.
In August 1964, the United States claimed North Vietnamese boats had attacked two of our destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. The uncritical press -- practicing "war enabling" that would be the norm by the time George W. Bush became president -- trumpeted the administration spin. The New York Times, for example, reported: "President Johnson has ordered retaliatory action against gunboats and 'certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam' after renewed attacks against American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin."
Decades later, a book by investigative author Tom Wells, The War Within: America's Battle Over Vietnam, detailed elements of Johnson's lie. Rather than a "response" to provocation, LBJ's escalation really "reflected plans the administration had already drawn up for gradually increasing" attacks on North Vietnam. We wanted all-out war and we got it, based on a lie, at the cost of 50,000 American lives and 2 million, maybe 3 million, Vietnamese.
And, so now in August 2006, we learn -- if we're diligent because newspapers such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution are burying the story or not printing it at all -- that the destruction of a democracy, Lebanon, was not mere "tit for tat" by Israel.
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