[Marxism] The shot that killed Kennedy escalated the Vietnam War

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Fri Nov 22 10:35:19 MST 2013

I have Clay's excellent dvd on Vietnam but this is the one point where I
strongly disagree. Kennedy's hope of getting out of Vietnam was completely
predicated upon "winning" - crushing the revolution in the South. But in
June of 1963 when a 66 year old Buddhist monk set himself on fire as a
protest against the Diem dictatorship, an act that had no precedent in
Vietnamese history, the political climate changed drastically. The city
people who had for years remained passive, terrified before Diem’s secret
police, crowded into the pagodas to weep and then burst out into streets
demanding the end of Diem and his family. Their fear had disappeared.

The entire world could see how hated the US client was. The idea that Diem
could defeat the revolution was now exposed as fantasy. After Kennedy gave
the green light to overthrow and murder Diem on November 2, the Saigon
puppet regime was plagued by instability bordering on anarchy - coups every
few months for the next three years.

Johnson, like Kennedy before him, hoped against hope that more military aid
and more American advisers would be enough to prevent the defeat of Saigon
- “Asian boys must fight Asian wars” - but this was not to be and he
finally opted for major US intervention. Faced with the same unfavorable
set of circumstances – accused in the upcoming 1964 election by the
right-wing of “losing” South Vietnam as they accused the Democrats of
“losing” China in 1949 - there can be no doubt that Kennedy - just as much
an anti-communist crusader as any American politician - would've reacted as
Johnson did - half a million troops and genocidal bombing (“Rolling

On Fri, Nov 22, 2013 at 11:58 AM, Clay Claiborne <clayclai at gmail.com> wrote:

> ============================================================
> 50 years ago today, they marched us all into the high school assembly to
> give us the somber news. Today I published this to my blog:
>       The shot that killed Kennedy escalated the Vietnam War
>       <
> http://claysbeach.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-shot-that-killed-kennedy-escalated.html
> >

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