Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pants on Fire

There is a section in the Boston Globe which lists "what happened this day" I don't read it everyday, but today I did. The column also lists famous people birthdays. It is humbling to note that nearly everyone under 40 is someone I have never heard of.

But what caught my eye today, perhaps in the light of today's news about deaths in Afghanistan, was that today is the date that congress passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which allowed President Johnson to escalate the war in Vietnam.

The Tonkin Gulf Resolution was a reaction to what President Johnson referred to as the Tonkin Gulf incident--an event he described revealing the sinister behaviors of our enemies in North Vietnam, an event he suggested that compelled the United States to increase military activity in South East Asia.

Most, if not all, historians agree that the Tonkin Gulf Incident never occurred. That it was a contrivance by the President to persuade Americans and their representatives to give Johnson the authority to increase our involvement in the war.

Nobody with a pulse who visits the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial in Washington is unmoved. And so many of the names on that Memorial died because we escalated our activity based on a lie. Today is the anniversary of the vote that was taken based on that lie. How many of our soldiers and all the worlds' soldiers have died because they assumed that government was telling the truth.

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