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Thread: John Kenneth Galbraith: A Hero in our Time

  1. Default John Kenneth Galbraith: A Hero in our Time

    Just up at Kennedysandking.com is my reevaluation of John Kenneth Galbraith's role in the Kennedy administration, especially in regards to Indochina.

    It shows again just how bad David Halberstam's book The Best and the Brightest was. He says that Galbraith was on the periphery of Kennedy's policymaking on the Vietnam issue. It turns out that, as with McNamara, he was dead wrong.

    It can now be said just how wrong he was. Galbraith was at the center of the story. He was in the middle of two peace plans, the second one which JFK was enacting at the time of his death. NOt even John Newman realized how key he was.

    Anyway, with the help of Richard Parker, we can now set the record straight about an amazing figure:

    https://kennedysandking.com/articles...ro-in-our-time

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    Great stuff Jim - will put that book on my reading list.

    Kind of ironic that Nixon ending up doing all the stuff Kennedy wanted to do: recognition Red China, detente with the USSR, withdrawal from Vietnam (of course Kennedy would never have engaged in the futile bombing campaign of North Vietnam and expansion of the war to Cambodia).

    The Chomsky disciples often cite the Agent Orange business as evidence that Kennedy was no different than LBJ or NIxon vis-a-vis Vietnam. But according to what I've read the program was very small until LBJ's escalation of the overall war and the toxic effects of dioxin were not known until the seventies. You allude to Rusk misleading Kennedy about the nature of the herbicide program. Is that from the Parker book or do you have another source?

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    Its in the Parker book.

    In reading that book, you can see just what a poor choice Rusk was.

    JFK wanted Fulbright, who would have been better. But RFK vetoed him because of his ciivl rights ideas.

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    Interesting stuff.

    In more dispiriting news - UK writer Chris Lightbown's forthcoming JFK book has reached the publication date and is now listed as 'currently unavailable' on Amazon, BookDepository and so on. It hasn't been published anywhere. This is the second listing it's had in the past few years - the first was five years ago - that appeared and ultimately went nowhere.

    Lightbown was a working journalist from the 70's onwards. He's not on social media but a Twitter conversation between UK writers a couple of years back noted 'I'm still in touch with him.. the grumpy old sod is working on a book... give him my regards' etc, so the book was underway at some point.

    Either Lightbown hasn't finished it yet, and it's still coming, or he'll never finish it. Who knows? If it does ever appear I'll post about it.

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    So it does not look like its coming out then does it Anthony? Got any ideas why?

    Phil, that thing about Agent Orange is almost funny. If you compare the figures on that to LBJ and Nixon,its sort of like comparing the fatalities between the three or the bomb tonnage. It is so minuscule under Kennedy that the comparison it ridiculous. And now Parker says that Rusk misrepresented it to JFK in the first place.

    The professional leftists, like Paul Street, are always out to lunch on this.

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    So it does not look like its coming out then does it Anthony? Got any ideas why?
    Either Lightbown is still writing it, or the book - or the writing of it - has hit a hurdle. Lightbown is not young. That said the whole volume is a bit of a mystery. When I get some spare time I might try to ask around a bit more deeply. I reached Lightbown's editor last time, but he's no longer contactable.

    I wonder whether the book was solicited because all involved thought it was close to being wrapped up, but final delays are dragging things out. That's the best case scenario.

  7. #7

    Default Jfk, lbj, nixon, vietnam

    It always amazes me when phrases like "professional leftists" are tossed around when analyzing (or attempting to analyze) things like the Vietnam War, or even the JFK Assassination itself.

    I, personally, don't feel that it's that hard to analyze even a person like Donald Trump without trying to fit him or his friends into a mold of "true Republican" or "progressive" or "leftist" or "rightist".

    Sadly, I know all too many people, even in my extended family who view EVERYTHING through Red State Glasses or Blue State Glasses. They look at political loyalties like some people look at rooting for the Bears or the Packers. They are born Democrats or Republicans because their grandfather was, etc. etc. Or their military service or religious affiliation requires it (the most bizarre reasons of all).

    Needless to say, it's hard to say whether George Washington was a "professional leftist" or a "professional rightist" etc. Maybe someone could safely classify FDR as a professional leftist. But what about Dick Nixon? He was deposed by extreme reactionary forces like E Howard Hunt and Hunt's best friend William F. Buckley.

    How can one say that the Vietnam War was "leftist" or "rightist" or anything else based on the political divisions of 2018.? These fanatical defenses of or criticisms of JFK based entirely on 2018 political passions represent IMO mental time travelling. This does not lend itself to the search for the truth, be it the truth about Vietnam or the truth about the JFK murder.

    There seems to be more outrage stemming from 2018 political prejudice and dogma than outrage about the undeniable fact the Nazis murdered JFK (and were implicitly involved in US-Vietnam Policy).

    For the historian, Hitler and Stalin were basically murderers and troublemakers and their personal beliefs and behaviors probably don't fit very well into a discussion about Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders.

    In my research and writing effort, I really did not start with any 2018 political agenda at the front of my mind. And my conclusion that Nazis were his killers only convinced me that the Nazis were extremely bad bad people and not because they were either "leftists" or "rightists". They were just plain criminals and that, to me, tells enough of the entire story.

    James Lateer

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    By "professional leftists", I was not referring to any particular historical figure.

    I was talking about political commentators like Paul Street and Noam Chomsky. And I have written about both of them more than once and you can find what I wrote easily by doing a name search.

    As per not looking back at the past with newly discovered information, I do not understand that at all. The more info one has the better since it helps one rebuild the past. For a long time, no one talked about NSAM 263 or NSAM 273. Or about Kennedy's withdrawal plan. It was not until the Pentagon Papers that we had any evidence of them. And then not until Newman's book that someone used them both in tandem. But yet they were both around back then in 1963-64.

    Same with this info on Galbraith. David Halberstam completely mangled to the point of obfuscation what Galbraith was doing with and for Kennedy in 1961 and 1962, We had to wait decades to find out what was really going on. But now we do know what was happening back then.

    I am all for having the most information we can get so we can be informed about the past in a complete way. The memoir and journalistic hacks like Halberstam simply do not cut it.
    Last edited by Jim DiEugenio; 10-17-2018 at 03:38 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DiEugenio View Post
    So it does not look like its coming out then does it Anthony? Got any ideas why?

    Phil, that thing about Agent Orange is almost funny. If you compare the figures on that to LBJ and Nixon,its sort of like comparing the fatalities between the three or the bomb tonnage. It is so minuscule under Kennedy that the comparison it ridiculous. And now Parker says that Rusk misrepresented it to JFK in the first place.

    The professional leftists, like Paul Street, are always out to lunch on this.
    I'm pretty sure they can do the arithmetic. Their counter argument would be that JFK would have done the same as LBJ and escalated the war so the result would have been the same. We, of course, know that this is complete nonsense but I've found it impossible to break through their denial on that point.

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    OMG. In this day and age? That is just crazy.

    This is what I mean, the damage done by professional leftists like Cockburn, Chomsky and Paul Street. Who will never admit they are wrong, no matter how much evidence you produce.

    Because its not about evidence. Its about status and ideology.

    Reminds me of Cockburn trotting out Wesley Liebeler in order to revivify the Single Bullet Fantasy.
    Last edited by Jim DiEugenio; 10-19-2018 at 05:26 AM.

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