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Obama's LBJ Moment

By       Message Harvey Wasserman     Permalink
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Today's right-wingers like Condolezza Rice shout that "losing Afghanistan" will mean more terror attacks. It's utter nonsense. But the warning, carried by the screaming Foxist media, is that unless he drags us all into Southwest Asia, Obama will be held personally responsible for all future mayhem.

Some White House advisors could well be saying the same thing, just as JFK's "Best and Brightest" warned LBJ not to pull out of Vietnam.

Today General Stanley McChrystal plays the role of William Westmoreland, the prime architect of Vietnam's military catastrophe. As did Westmoreland, McChrystal is telling the public an Afghan war can be won if only we "stay the course."

In the 1980s I debated Westmoreland on two college campuses. He told me, with a poker face, that we actually "won the war" by "buying time" for a set of non-communist Southeast Asian dictators (including Singapore's Lee Kwan Yew, Indonesia's Suharto and Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, all of whom brutalized their people and stuffed billions of dollars into their personal Swiss bank accounts).

If he prevails, General McChrystal may someday have similar things to say.

But we cannot let this happen. Afghanistan cannot be controlled any more than Vietnam could. Effectively fighting terror demands an intelligent, coordinated international effort, not a blundering unilateral plunge into yet another hopeless overseas quagmire.

It also requires a revived prosperity, a winning agenda for social justice, and a Bill of Rights that is honored and in tact.

All of this is in Obama's reach. But ONLY if he stays out of Aghanistan, and any other military quagmire that might beckon. That would include Iran, where the crisis has internationalized, and is of a very different sort.

Afghanistan, should Obama choose to go there, will be ours and ours alone, with no victory possible and no way out that does not resemble the one from Saigon.

If we had known enough to do it, we should have begun marching against the Vietnam War in 1961, when John Kennedy first committed 11,000 troops there. With a full-blown anti-war movement, perhaps we could have stopped LBJ from committing personal and national suicide in 1965.

Today we have no excuse. This administration is teetering on the edge of catastrophe. A military plunge into Afghanistan would doom Barack Obama and the rest of us to tragedy and impoverishment beyond even LBJ's worst nightmares.

The moment is now. Health care, yes! Energy and the climate, yes!

But first and foremost: STOP THIS WAR!!!

--
Harvey Wasserman's SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH is at www.harveywasserman.com, as is HARVEY WASSERMAN'S HISTORY OF THE US. This article was originally published by http://freepress.org.

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Harvey Wasserman edits  www.nukefree.org . His SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH is at  www.solartopia.org . The Solartopia Green Power & Wellness Show airs at  www.progressiveradionetwork.com .

HARVEY WASSERMAN'S HISTORY OF THE US is available at (more...)
 

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