Tag Archives: Lyndon Johnson

American Pravda: the JFK Assassination, Part II – Who Did It? by Ron Unz

Ron Unz proposes a new potential suspect in the Kennedy assassination. From Unz at unz.com:

Part 1

A strong dam may hold back an immense quantity of water, but once it breaks the resulting flood may sweep aside everything in its path. I had spent nearly my entire life never doubting that a lone gunman named Lee Harvey Oswald killed President John F. Kennedy nor that a different lone gunman took the life of his younger brother Robert a few years later. Once I came to accept that these were merely fairy tales widely disbelieved by many of the same political elites who publicly maintained them, I began considering other aspects of this important history, the most obvious being who was behind the conspiracy and what were their motives.

On these questions, the passage of a half-century and the deaths, natural or otherwise, of nearly all the contemporary witnesses drastically reduces any hope of coming to a firm conclusion. At best, we can evaluate possibilities and plausibilities rather than high likelihoods let alone near certainties. And given the total absence of any hard evidence, our exploration of the origins of the assassination must necessarily rely upon cautious speculation.

From such a considerable distance in time, a bird’s-eye view may be a reasonable starting point, allowing us to focus on the few elements of the apparent conspiracy that seem reasonably well established. The most basic of these is the background of the individuals who appear to have been associated with the assassination, and the recent books by David Talbot and James W. Douglass effectively summarize much of the evidence accumulated over the decades by an army of diligent assassination researchers. Most of the apparent conspirators seem to have had strong ties to organized crime, the CIA, or various anti-Castro activist groups, with considerable overlap across these categories. Oswald himself certainly fit this same profile although he was very likely the mere “patsy” that he claimed to be, as did Jack Ruby, the man who quickly silenced him and whose ties to the criminal underworld were long and extensive.

To continue reading: American Pravda: the JFK Assassination, Part II – Who Did It?

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Paternalistic Follies of the 1960s, by Richard M. Ebeling

For lovers of freedom and individualism in America, the 1960s were almost as bad as the 1930s. From Richard M. Ebeling at fff.com:

Fifty years separate us, now, from 1968 and the two momentous legacies of the then soon to ending failed presidency of Lyndon Johnson: The declaring of war on America’s supposed domestic ills in the form of the “Great Society” programs, and the aggressive military intervention in a real war in Vietnam. Both of these “wars” reflected the arrogance and hubris of the social engineer who believes that he has the power and ability to remake and direct society in his own preferred image.

The Vietnam War still leaves a searing memory of a military conflict ten thousand miles away from the United States, which went on for more than a decade, and at the cost of 55,000 American lives and at least one million casualties among the Vietnamese people. It was a war that tore the United States apart unlike any other armed conflict in American history other than the Civil War of the 1860s.

Hundreds of thousands of young men, not fortunate enough to have a college deferment, were conscripted into the U.S. Armed Forces and sent off to fight a war that at least half of the American people either did not support or did not understand, and which finally ended with one of the most humiliating defeats in American military history.

Vietnam: The Hubris of War Planning and Conflict Fine-Tuning

A part of the Vietnam War tragedy was due to the fact that it was managed by “the best and the brightest,” as David Halberstam called them in his well-known book with that title. These were the people within the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who orchestrated and escalated the war as the conflict progressed through the 1960s.

Halberstam referred to these war managers as the “whiz kids.” They believed that they had the theoretical and quantitative knowledge and ability to fine-tune a military conflict. By incremental “escalation,” they could bring to bear just enough pressure at vital points considered crucial to the enemy in North Vietnam. This would compel the appropriate response from the communist regime in Hanoi to assure that the conflict ended in an “acceptable” outcome.

To continue reading: Paternalistic Follies of the 1960s

The best thing Lyndon Johnson ever said, 10/31/1968:

Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.