Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Running Naked

It's often said that history has a not so funny way of repeating itself.

A friend sent me this link to President Eisenhower's News Conference, April 7, 1954

"Mr. President, would you mind commenting on the strategic importance of Indochina to the free world? I think there has been, across the country, some lack of understanding on just what it means to us."

THE PRESIDENT: "You have, of course, both the specific and the general when you talk about such things.

"First of all, you have the specific value of a locality in its production of materials that the world needs.

"Then you have the possibility that many human beings pass under a dictatorship that is inimical to the free world.

"Finally, you have broader considerations that might follow what you would call the 'falling domino' principle. You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly.

So you could have a beginning of a disintegration that would have the most profound influences.

"Now, with respect to the first one, two of the items from this particular area that the world uses are tin and tungsten. They are very important. There are others, of course, the rubber plantations and so on.

"But when we come to the possible sequence of events, the loss of Indochina, of Burma, of Thailand, of the Peninsula, and Indonesia following, now you begin to talk about areas that not only multiply the disadvantages that you would suffer through loss of materials, sources of materials, but now you are talking really about millions and millions and millions of people.

"Finally, the geographical position achieved thereby does many things. It turns the so-called island defensive chain of Japan, Formosa, of the Philippines and to the southward; it moves in to threaten Australia and New Zealand.

"It takes away, in its economic aspects, that region that Japan must have as a trading area or Japan, in turn, will have only one place in the world to go- that is, toward the Communist areas in order to live.

"So, the possible consequences of the loss are just incalculable to the free world."

And then there is this report from the the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, Washington, June 1, 1956,

"Viet-Nam today, in mid-1956, progressing rapidly to the establishment of democratic institutions by elective processes, its people resuming peaceful pursuits, its army growing in effectiveness, sense of mission, and morale, the puppet Vietnamese politicians discredited, the refugees well on the way to permanent resettlement, the countryside generally orderly and calm, the predatory sects eliminated and their venal leaders exiled or destroyed.

"Perhaps no more eloquent testimony to the new state of affairs in Viet-Nam could be cited than the voice of the people themselves as expressed in their free election of last March. At that time the last possible question as to the feeling of the people was erased by an overwhelming majority for President Diem's leadership.

The fact that the Viet Minh was unable to carry out its open threats to sabotage these elections is impressive evidence of the stability and prestige of the government.

"Our efforts are directed first of all toward helping to sustain the internal security forces consisting of a regular army of about 150,000 men, a mobile civil guard of some 45,000, and local defense units which are being formed to give protection against subversion on the village level.

We are providing budgetary support and equipment for these forces and have a mission assisting the training of the army. We are also helping to organize, train, and equip the Vietnamese police force.

For our part we believe in free elections, and we support President Diem fully in his position that if elections are to be held, there first must be conditions which preclude intimidation or coercion of the electorate. Unless such conditions exist there can be no free choice."

And, there is another hurricane gaining strength in the gulf as it passes over the super heated gulf waters that are a resultant of climate change. This one is headed for Texas.

Maybe the Christians are right.

Maybe God is unhappy with this great nation that (s)he has so favored.

Maybe He is tired of our silly stupid little ways.

But probably, the gulf is just really really warm from climate change.

Perhaps the real gulf war is in our own backyard.

That war would have us all running naked.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was the picture that represented the turning point of the war in Vietnam with the American people. MS

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hurrican Rita is now a class four, and still heading for Galveston

6:58 AM  
Blogger oZ said...

I know, I know. These days are significant moments in which powerful things happen..

Perhaps teaching moments?

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this post is particularly effective OZ. very moving and strangely to the point.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, it is time to change our wicked ways. We have such a long history of taking what we want and pushing our fellow humans around. And, as you said, it could just be climate change. Either way - time to take a harder look.

The image moves me every time.

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As near as I can figure, the trick to pulling it all off is to get the rich fighting themselves, and then step in and finish off the survivor, who should be weakened by the fight.

I've been watching and waiting, and I think the right words at the right time could be enough to start the snowball rolling.

Perhaps after Texas, a deeply red state, feels the brunt of a cat 5 hurricane, we'll finally have enough leverage to toss the corporatists and their slave monkeys in congress.

9:37 PM  

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