Paul’s Perambulations

March 15, 2012

Paul enters the political foray with a letter published in the Philadelphia Bulletin during the Vietnam War.

Filed under: Education,Peace,Politics — admin @ 2:50 pm

One of my first forays into the public arena in support of truth and justice was my Letter to the Editor published in the Philadelphia Bulletin. My letter called for a Court Martial of General Curtis LeMay, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, for wanton disobeying of orders. General LeMay was said to have independently conducted his own secret bombing campaign upon a neutral foreign country (Laos) against enemy troop supplies, while at the same time the United States government was officially denying any such action to representatives of Laos and representatives of North Vietnam during peace negotiations.   This campaign was no small thing – sending dozens of huge B-52 bombers on multiply bombing missions – clearly in defiance of orders and undermining the President’s peace process. So why was nothing being done about his disobeying orders?

Well, duh…of course. As was later revealed, this was all done under the orders of the President, with the requirement that there be “plausible denial” when the truth was revealed.  This was when I realized that Presidents not only can lie as much as anyone, but that, in order to become President, it helps to be an effective liar. And that’s when I began to lose confidence in what had become of our “American Way” of government.  This, in conjunction with My Lai (pronounced My Lie) –and the lies told Congress regarding the Gulf of Tonkin Incident that justified the start of the Vietnam War, led me to understand that , in war, the first casualty is truth. And today we have a state of permanent war and thus a government of lies that includes spying on those who might reveal these lies in the service of truth. Government by the people is impossible without the truth – voting becomes simply a sham.

Incidentally, when Nixon later bombed North Vietnam prior to the 1973 Peace Settlement, he justified the bombing by saying that it showed resolve and brought the North Vietnamese back to the negotiating table in Paris. Well, yes, except that the negotiations continued with no significant concessions offered by the North Vietnamese and that we accepted the Paris Peace Settlements under essentially the same terms that had been offered prior to the bombing. The bombing was for the United States public, to show that we could act tough (ah, the American Way, again), and contributed nothing significant to the final settlement. But that’s not how Nixon would spin it.

References available.

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