One of my favorite columnists, editor Greg Mitchell with Editor & Publisher magazine, gives us the deeper background behind "a chilling 1964 phone conversation" linked to then president Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ, as in "LBJ, LBJ, how many kids have you killed today?") at a time when documentarian and returned PBS host (what a mistake they made in pushing him out) Bill Moyers was LBJ's press secretary.
This chat transcript, between LBJ and a top aide, occurred not long after JFK's assassination, and sounds more reminiscent than some may find comfortable re: parallels between today's Iraq and the '60s' Vietnam. I started to cry when I read this remark, finding it way past tragic and pathetic that Johnson could ask these questions at that particular point in time because LBJ did have a conscience.
Johnson: I will tell you the more, I just stayed awake last night thinking of this thing, and the more that I think of it I don't know what in the hell, it looks like to me that we're getting into another Korea. It just worries the hell out of me. I don't see what we can ever hope to get out of there with once we're committed. I believe the Chinese Communists are coming into it. I don't think that we can fight them 10,000 miles away from home and ever get anywhere in that area. I don't think it's worth fighting for and I don't think we can get out. And it's just the biggest damn mess that I ever saw.(Note Jurassic Pork's question regarding that Iraq could turn into another 50-year police action/occupation as it has with South Korea while it continues to wage tactics which have NEVER produced a positive result.) Bush, on the other hand, seems incapable of taking responsibility for any action, operates in delusional mode so often I wonder if he's ever known the truth about anything, and like just about all sociopaths, demonstrates he is without conscience.
Bundy: It is an awful mess.
Johnson: And we just got to think about it. I'm looking at this Sergeant of mine this morning and he's got 6 little old kids over there, and he's getting out my things, and bringing me in my night reading, and all that kind of stuff, and I just thought about ordering all those kids in there. And what in the hell am I ordering them out there for? What in the hell is Vietnam worth to me? What is Laos worth to me? What is it worth to this country? We've got a treaty but hell, everybody else has got a treaty out there, and they're not doing a thing about it.