October 9, 2009

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(Secretary of State Dean Rusk, 1968 - Up to his eyeballs in it)

With the current situation in Afghanistan getting to the confrontation point, I was reminded of another situation the U.S. got into with Vietnam. Some four years after the infamous Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, questions were started to be raised over what was our plan there and how long was it going to take before we got out of there.

When an Aid request came along with a rumored increase of troop strength by 100,000-200,000, the Senate was starting to wane in their support, with J. William Fulbright being the most vocal during his questioning of Secretary of State Dean Rusk.

J. William Fulbright: “I do not mean to suggest of course, that I now agree with the course of action we are following in Vietnam. On the contrary, my doubts about the wisdom of this course of action have grown, and I am more than ever convinced that it is wrong, and that our present policies in Vietnam have had, and will have effects both abroad and at home that are nothing short of disastrous. Some members of this committee share my opinion. Others do not. But as I have said Mister Secretary, that while those of us who do not agree with our present policies in Vietnam, believe that it is our duty as United States Senators to give voice to the objections we feel in our minds and in our hearts.”

Unfortunately, it would grind on for another seven years before it came to an end.

Do the words deja-vu come to mind?

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