Monday, October 27, 2008

'68 & '08

I just watched the LBJ Presidency on PBS/AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and I am struck by the similarities between the years 1968 & 2008.


1968 was also an Election year and the US had a lame duck President from Texas in the White House who was emptying the coffers of the US Treasury in order to fight an unpopular, unwinnable, War in a foreign land.

Even back then, the Generals of the most powerful nation on Earth did not have a plan or any idea how to win a War against an enemy who, "refused to come out and fight".

The Pentagon strategists realised in '68 that the US could have Nuked the North Vietnamese back into the Stone Age and America would have still lost.
The Viet Cong knew that the US would have to leave one day.

1968 was a political watershed year and will always be remembered as the year that Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. were assassinated. In '68 the Viet Cong stormed into South Viet Nam during the infamous TET Offensive and dispelled any notion that the War was under control while race riots continued to light up the night skies of American cities.

Richard Nixon was the Republican Candidate who promised to win the War and restore Law & Order and squeaked by with 43.4% of the vote vs. the 42.7% for Democrat Hubert Humphrey.

The Governor of Alabama and redneck-racist-son-of-a-bitch George Wallace was a third party candidate who actually won FIVE Southern States! Wallace got 9 million votes, that's 14% of the popular vote! Forty years ago..just two generations.

Now in 2008 a captivating, young, Black, Senator is poised to win the White House and America may get another chance to focus on their own domestic issues instead of trying to fight unwinnable wars in foreign countries.


On the program Martin Luther King Jr. is seen delivering a speech in which he states that "it cost the US Government over $300,000 to kill one Viet Cong soldier.. and they spent about $52 per US Citizen to fight the War On Poverty."

Sound familiar?

The recent Market implosion and subsequent Government rescue of the Financial Terrorists was bad enough, but don't forget about the other War...
which we don't seem to hear much about anymore?
Iraq War Cost

25 comments:

  1. you're not that old, surely

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  2. It's funny that in this picture of similarity, the Democratic candidates are so radically different. Let's hope the election outcome is just as different.

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  3. Ya know. I can't help but think that old Georgie is sitting back and taking a big sigh of relief that the focus is no longer on his little endevour in Iraq so much as it is on these asshats fighting to take his place.

    In all honesty, a group of highschoolers running for class office have more class than the two we're about to have to choose from do.

    Heaven help us.

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  4. What’s really a disgrace is that in 1968, “Honey” by Bobby Goldsboro was in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top Pop List.

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  5. Perfect time to draw this historical parallel the way you have...I wonder if any writers in the mainstream U.S. media have too?

    Just finished reading Plan of Attack by Bob Woodward, the book you let me borrow.

    It paints Dubya in a more favourable light than I thought it would, he was much kinder on George than I thought he'd be, but of course he talked for the most part only to Bush's inner circle.

    Aside from Colin Powell and a few others, they all come off as people of conviction, just all the wrong convictions.

    There still are no WMDs, nothing has changed, that cost graphic of the Iraq war is incredible...

    That Bush and his administration aren't being roasted for being one of the worst in U.S. history is ridiculous, but maybe that'll happen after Obama's elected and before Bush leaves...in shame.

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  6. ILTV
    I was only ten in '68 but I remember watching all of these terrible events on TV and wondering if the world was going to explode before I learned how to drive.

    CITIZEN MONDO
    Yes thankfully there has been some progress made in the race category but it is still far from being copacetic. Atleast LBJ had passed mountains of legislation to try and create his Great Society...Bush has done nothing.
    Like Bush, LBJ got some really bad advice and the Cold War mentality permeated the realm of rational thought.

    SCRATCHY
    Georgie has always just sort of stumbled through his life thanks to his silver spoonage. I agree with the assessment that he was born on third base but thinks that he hit a triple.

    You could do a lot worse than having Obama as President. I've never seen a more genuine candidate..I mean really? Who would ever want that job?

    MJ
    ribbit! I refuse to let that earworm ruin my day..D'OH!

    WW
    I'm sure that this comparison is being made somewhere out there. The fact that US policy wonks and neocons never learned a f*cking thing from Viet Nam is very scary.

    Rumsfeld, Cheney, & Rove deserve most of the credit for this disastrous War but the buck stops on Dubya's desk.

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  7. She was always young at heart
    Kinda dumb and kinda smart
    and I loved her so

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  8. pray to all possible gods we don't end up like we did back then....with NIXON.

    is anyone seeing the parallels between how WE brought down the former soviet union and how 'big oil' (run by....who? guess.) is attempting to use the EXACT SAME STRATEGY TO BRING US DOWN?
    ANYBODY?
    ANYBODY?
    HELLO?

    *goes off ranting and kicking over garbage cans*

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  9. ...yes i know nixons dead. i was speaking figuratively.

    not that a zombie nixon shouldn't be a possibility you need to keep in the back of your mind, kiddies *loads shotgun, practices head shots, avoids shopping malls*

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  10. Now he's starting wars with Pakistan and Syria...can't we just bomb Cambodia instead?

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  11. Too many parrallels popping up like ducks in a shooting gallery.
    (Oh, yeah...MJ,go away with that damn' thing!Or swap it for Hendrix or someone)

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  12. I have just discovered your blog. Love it! If I may add to your comparison, in 1964, Johnson used the Tonken Bay incident (his WMD lie) as the excuse to escalate the war. However, it is also important to remember that some American people were also enlightened enough at the time to elect Shirley Chisholm as the first black woman in the United States Congress. In 1972 she also ran for the Democratic Presidential nomination Though she failed, she gave them a run for their money and paved the way for both Obama and Hillary to get to where they are today.

    Yes, Americans are reliving their painful past. A sign that we haven't learned a thing, I suppose. Impeachment action should have been taken against Bush and Cheney, as it was against Nixon. But, we are coming around, you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

    Alice

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  13. Lucky for Bush and I guess McCain to a degree, no one cares about the Iraq War. And I haven't heard Bush speak in public for a long long time. Doesn't seem to be helping McCain's numbers though.

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  14. erm... is it just me, or are other people seeing circles everywhere!!?!?

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  15. JFK, RFK, MLK and soon it will be BHO. The last I read as HBO a strange sign of the times.

    Yep Nam is the same for sure the only way to win is like in WWII to out resource the enemy in man power and money. Then again the Yanks played guerrilla tactics during the revolutionary war which pissed off the Brits. You play it to win not to hurt feelings.
    Everyone now is so PC and too lazy to fight.

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  16. except those poor savages who are fighting for survival and have no playstations to live for.

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  17. Hasn't Barack Obama promised to increase military spending?

    He reminds me of ex-British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. A great orator who inspires people. But when it came down to it - higher taxes, more state control, civil liberties squashed.

    Looking at your choice of candidates I don't think you have a choice at all.

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  18. MJ
    Stop it Stop it Stop It!

    FIRST NATIONS
    You are going to frighten the women and children with all of your Nixon Zombie talk.

    Now I see the parrallel between the former USSR and the American Consumer. So they were planning to make us go broke, by trying to get us to outspend The Jones next door. That's quite brilliant.
    Now the government has to bail them out and the Consumer has to foot the bill. Wow.

    ALLAN
    I find your suggestion refreshing. However it isn't very green to destroy Cambodian Jungle and Primitive Villagers because of the whole Environmental thingamabob.

    Therefore it's much greener to eliminate Cities in the middle of the f*cking desert because they waste so much water! How rude!

    DINAHMOW
    Former Texas Governors in the White House waging expensive Wars abroad is just the tip of the iceberg..but it's enough to support my flimsy evidence.

    MJ is out of control and I can hear her giggling...atleast it wasn't Honey I Miss You...
    ribbbitt!

    ALICE
    Welcome here oh learned one. Yes Tonken was also a completely fabricated excuse to enter the War..there is a conspiratory movement to add Pearl Harbor too.

    Cheney, Rove, Rummy & Dubya will all be properly villified for the rest of History but it would have been nice if there had been a crazyass hub-bub made like they fabricated for Clinton..
    who after all did not start a $500 Billion War he only got a few hummers in the White House..
    since when is that an Impeachable Offence?
    Sheesh

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  19. ANONHIPPOPOTAMUSBLOGGER
    The Media isn't paying enough attention to THE WAR because of the American's outrageous and excessive 3 year Presidential campaign..what an incredible waste of money. How many times do you need to hear the same f*cking speeches?
    You need two weeks to decide...tops!

    ANGEL
    Round and round and round and round and round and round and round they go.

    OLD KNUDSEN
    You are correct the Yankee Revolutionaries fought the same way. What makes the Middle East so pathetic is that in 80 years when the last drop of Oil is pumped out of the ground they'll have nothing that the West wants...
    we won't even talk to them. They'll go back to choppin each other's heads off and we'll be watching TV.

    FROBISHER
    I am delighted to see you Sir.
    Modern politics is all about name recognition and image. Photogenic candidates have a huge advantage, especially in countries that have more than one channel on the telly where the great unwashed are exposed to millions of adverts.

    As a Canadian I am forced to follow American politics because our countries are joined at the hip...
    when they sneeze, we get a cold.

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  20. The biggest salary in the world, I mean comfort living to the maxxxx, wouldn't sway me to be interested in the job of Asshat Supreme.EVER.

    It's like being a janitor who cleans up no less than a 4 year mess made by a poo infested overflowing toilet.

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  21. You surely know what the cost of the Iraq War was in my country:

    After the 03/11/04 terrorist attack in Madrid (3 days before the general elections),the electorate punished the government: they lost the elections and for the moment they have no prospects of being re-elected, no matter how stupid the present winners may get (and that's a record hard to break) .

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  22. Tricky Dick "I am not a crook" is right up there with dear dumb Dubya who has screwed everything up beyond anyone's imagination. And the Iraq War is nothing but another Vietnam. Really, the only weapon of mass destruction is the one that's inside Dubya's head. Bleh!

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  23. I was having an e-mail conversation with someone in the States about this election last week and some people are indeed aware of the strange parallel.

    Let's hope our neighbors vote for change.

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  24. The plan is that when the middle east runs out of oil the US will then start to use their own. Its a beauty.

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  25. It is a historical and significant race! I don't trust the polls just yet. We'll have to wait for next Tuesday to see if Americans can see past the color lines and embrace change. I'm hoping Obama wins, because America needs a whole new direction and a drastic change in policies. I feel like I'm living in a momentous time. Will young people finally step up and vote? Will old prejudices fall aside? Can we rise above the fear and cling to hope? I hope so. I know I'm voting for change. I hope the rest of the electorate knows that change requires us to take action and participate. It's time to make the dream a reality, take the first step on that long journey to a better life, a better future.

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