Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
JFK, RFK and Some Myths About American Foreign Policy
OH MY...

Weekend Edition February 7-9, 2014

Kennedy Had No Intention of Withdrawing From Vietnam

JFK, RFK and Some Myths About American Foreign Policy


On April 30, 1964, five months after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, his brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, was interviewed by John B. Martin in one of a series of oral history sessions with RFK. Part of the interview appears in the book "JFK Conservative" by Ira Stoll, published three months ago. (pages 192-3)

RFK: The president … had a strong, overwhelming reason for being in Vietnam and that we should win the war in Vietnam.

MARTIN: What was the overwhelming reason?

RFK: Just the loss of all of Southeast Asia if you lost Vietnam. I think everybody was quite clear that the rest of Southeast Asia would fall.

MARTIN: What if it did?

RFK: Just have profound effects as far as our position throughout the world, and our position in a rather vital part of the world. Also it would affect what happened in India, of course, which in turn has an effect on the Middle East. Just as it would have, everybody felt, a very adverse effect. It would have an effect on Indonesia, hundred million population. All of those countries would be affected by the fall of Vietnam to the Communists. MARTIN: There was never any consideration given to pulling out?

RFK: No.

MARTIN: … The president was convinced that we had to keep, had to stay in there …

RFK: Yes.

MARTIN: … And couldn't lose it.

RFK: Yes. These remarks are rather instructive from several points of view:

1. Robert Kennedy contradicts the many people who are convinced that, had he lived, JFK would have brought the US involvement in Vietnam to a fairly prompt end, instead of it continuing for ten more terrible years. The author, Stoll, quotes a few of these people. And these other statements are just as convincing as RFK's statements presented here. And if that is not confusing enough, Stoll then quotes RFK himself in 1967 speaking unmistakably in support of the war. It appears that we'll never know with any kind of certainty what would have happened if JFK had not been assassinated, but I still go by his Cold War record in concluding that US foreign policy would have continued along its imperial, anti-communist path. In Kennedy's short time in office the United States unleashed many different types of hostility, from attempts to overthrow governments and suppress political movements to assassination attempts against leaders and actual military combat; with one or more of these occurring in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, British Guiana, Iraq, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba and Brazil.

2. "Just have profound effects as far as our position throughout the world, and our position in a rather vital part of the world." Ah yes, a vital part of the world. Has there ever been any part of the world, or any country, that the US has intervened in that was not vital? Vital to American interests? Vital to our national security? Of great strategic importance? Here's President Carter in his 1980 State of the Union Address: "An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America". "What a country calls its vital economic interests are not the things which enable its citizens to live, but the things which enable it to make war." Simone Weil (1909-1943), French philosopher

3. If the US lost Vietnam "everybody was quite clear that the rest of Southeast Asia would fall." As I once wrote: Thus it was that the worst of Washington's fears had come to pass: All of Indochina Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos had fallen to the Communists. During the initial period of US involvement in Indochina in the 1950s, John Foster Dulles, Dwight Eisenhower and other American officials regularly issued doomsday pronouncements of the type known as the "Domino Theory", warning that if Indochina should fall, other nations in Asia would topple over as well.

In one instance, President Eisenhower listed no less than Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and Indonesia amongst the anticipated "falling dominos". 
(New York Times, April 8, 1954) Such warnings were repeated periodically over the next decade by succeeding administrations and other supporters of US policy in Indochina as a key argument in defense of such policy. The fact that these ominous predictions turned out to have no basis in reality did not deter Washington officialdom from promulgating the same dogma up until the 1990s about almost each new world "trouble-spot", testimony to their unshakable faith in the existence and inter-workings of the International Communist Conspiracy.

William Blum is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, Rogue State: a guide to the World's Only Super Power . His latest book is: America's Deadliest Export: Democracy. He can be reached at: [EMAIL=""]
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Buckminster Fuller
William Blum's taking this interview at face value without addressing all the contradictory evidence situates him as the Bill O'Reilly of the left. IMO.
"We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

"We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl
RFK's statements are no different than JFK's Cold War saber rattling prior to getting elected. The Kennedy's were not stupid. They knew what was needed to get elected. It's a do as I do and not as I say situation. Meanwhile once in a position to effect a withdrawal in Viet Nam both brothers proceeded to do so and both were assassinated for it.

Like Chomsky, the false left needs to paint Kennedy as a hawk in Viet Nam in order to justify their present wimpy capitulation to the status quo.
I really like William Blum's books, but on this subject it's another example of the Laziness of the Left. Paint all US Presidents with the same broad brush - it's certainly easier.
This MUST be responded to so that Counterpunch readers and the policed-left get a chance to see it. There is a REASON WHY all the worst lies and distortions are aimed at the left.

I cant post into the left all by myself. Thats all I do all week but I have a job a wife and kid and I am exhausted People need to COUNTERPUNCH COUNTERPUNCH because there is a reason why the worst lies are aimed at the left. Sorry Im exhausted and anyone who cares at all about history will counter this bs. The last two days alone I did nothing but post threads into 120 groups of left and dems and left liberals.

The CIA strategy is to separate the policies from the assassination so the left says who cares there were no policy implications.

Problem is THAT IS THE ONLY THING of the lefts that the rest of the media picks up on.


You have to respond to the eyeballs who are seeing the worst shit because it gets recycled into scrambling the whole spectrum and it is because we allow this left (not really left) bs to go unresponded to FOR THOSE readers that we have been spinning our wheels for so long.
Talk about a myth....

This was a done deal. JFK's policies were spelled out in this letter and in NSAM263... The Taylor recommendation referred to are at the right from the report

Below are the specific changes to NSAM263 - by BUNDY - prior to the assassination, knowing full well that JFK would NEVER agree to NSAM273 given what he had already ordered...


4. The President expects that all senior officers of the Government will move energetically to insure the full unity of support for established U.S. policy in South Vietnam. Both in Washington and in the field, it is essential that the Government be unified. It is of particular importance that express or implied criticism of officers of other branches be scrupulously avoided in all contacts with the Vietnamese Government and with the press. More specifically, the President approves the following lines of action developed in the discussions of the Honolulu meeting, of November 20. The offices of the Government to which central responsibility is assigned are indicated in each case.

263: (The change to "established US policy in South Vietnam" had nothing at all to do with established policy but a POLICY CHANGE with the new pres.... yet BUNDY jumped the gun)
4. It is of the highest importance that the United States Government avoid either the appearance or the reality of public recrimination from one part of it against another, and the President expects that all senior officers of the Government will take energetic steps to insure that they and their subordinates go out of their way to maintain and to defend the unity of the United States Government both here and in the field. More specifically, the President approves the following lines of action developed in the discussions of the Honolulu meeting of November 20. The office or offices of the Government to which central responsibility is assigned is indicated in each case.

7. Planning should include different levels of possible increased activity, and in each instance there should be estimates of such factors as:

A. Resulting damage to North Vietnam;
B. The plausibility of denial;
C. Possible North Vietnamese retaliation;
D. Other international reaction.
Plans should be submitted promptly for approval by higher authority.
(Action: State, DOD, and CIA. )

263: (removed entirely and replace with text above)
7. With respect to action against North Vietnam, there should be a detailed plan for the development of additional Government of Vietnam resources, especially for sea-going activity, and such planning should indicate the time and investment necessary to achieve a wholly new level of effectiveness in this field of action.

(Action: DOD, and CIA. )

273 simply removes the lined out text:
9. It was agreed in Honolulu that the situation in Cambodia is of the first importance for South Vietnam, and it is therefore urgent that we should lose no opportunity to exercise a favorable influence upon that country. In particular, measures should be undertaken to satisfy ourselves completely that recent charges from Cambodia are groundless, and we should put ourselves in a position to offer to the Cambodian a full opportunity to satisfy themselves on this same point

Attached Files
.jpg   JFK asks NOT to announce 1000 men home for xmas 63.jpg (Size: 40.23 KB / Downloads: 40)
.jpg   Taylor-McNamara Report Section IB1-3.jpg (Size: 243.5 KB / Downloads: 40)
Once in a while you get shown the light
in the strangest of places if you look at it right.....
R. Hunter
I recall a video taped interview, I believe from '63, with Walter Cronkite enterviewing President John Kennedy. And, as I recall, when referring to the VietNam War, Mr Kennedy, speaking of South VietNam, said something along the lines of "in the final analysis, it's their war, they're the ones who have to win it". So, I'll try to be nice, and say that I believe the gentleman is mistaken about President Kennedy's plans for the civil war in VietNam. Having spent many years studying the assassination research, which gave me a lot of information about JFK and his words and deeds, I just don't believe the US would have suffered the losses of the VietNam War had JFK served two terms as president, instead his 3/4 term. All I am saying is that I believe JFK would have taken a different approach.




The interview was on CBS, September 2, 1963. Cronkite interviewed
JFK on the lawn of his home in Hyannis Port. This was the first half-hour
news broadcast on CBS-TV.

Kennedy says, "In the final analysis, it's their war," etc.
RFK was perfectly capable of lying through his teeth for political reasons. Find the reasons, and you find the 1964 lies.
Yes, I had noticed this, as I subscribe to Bill Blum's newsletters. I know Bill and I was shocked. He's a very good guy and this is just ignorance on his part....I'll send him an email and try to set him straight on this. He has not done JFK research and is obviously being misinformed by the Borg here..... Sad, as he gets almost everything else correctly. However, the damage is done.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass

Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Jim DiEugenio Critiques CNN's American Dynasties Jim DiEugenio 0 13,173 20-07-2018, 09:40 PM
Last Post: Jim DiEugenio
  Edmund Gullion, JFK and the Shaping of a Foreign Policy in Vietnam Jim DiEugenio 1 6,010 14-05-2018, 06:00 PM
Last Post: Alan Ford
  JFK Foreign Policy (on Twitter, at least) Mark Russo 2 2,933 18-02-2018, 08:55 PM
Last Post: Jim DiEugenio
  Did Dillard film American-born LEE Oswald on sixth floor? Jim Hargrove 9 6,519 12-04-2017, 05:02 AM
Last Post: Jim DiEugenio
  Howard Willens and The American Scholar Jim DiEugenio 2 2,566 22-10-2016, 02:25 AM
Last Post: Jim DiEugenio
  Allen L. Rolan writes a provocative article The First American Coup / JFK Assassination Bernice Moore 0 2,387 05-09-2011, 12:37 AM
Last Post: Bernice Moore
  The Real Reason Behind American Foreign Policy Bernice Moore 1 2,198 26-07-2011, 02:35 AM
Last Post: Gary Severson
  Official story falacies, lies, untruths, fudges, myths etc Magda Hassan 9 4,787 10-03-2010, 10:12 AM
Last Post: Phil Dragoo
  "Was JFK Developing an 'Industrial Policy?', and/or Was He perceived as Such by His Enemies?" Charles Drago 5 4,461 17-01-2010, 03:41 AM
Last Post: Nathaniel Heidenheimer
  Wickliffe Draper funded the MissSovComm, Sen. James Eastland, American Mercury and the IAAEE John Bevilaqua 0 16,543 Less than 1 minute ago
Last Post:

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)