TOO BAD LIBYAN AMBASSADOR WASN’T ALLOWED THE SAME OPPORTUNITY AS THE SAIGON FOREIGN OFFICE ….

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The Vietnam terrain, the nature of guerrilla warfare, the exis­tence of sanctuaries, all combined to make it impossible for [General] West­moreland to wear down his adversary as he sought. Instead, the North Vietnamese hiding in the population and able to choose their moment for attack wore us down. And then the 1968 Tet offensive, though a massive North Vietnamese military defeat, turned into a psychological triumph [for the Viet Cong] by starting us on the road to withdrawal. – Henry Kissinger

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He lost both the War on Poverty
and the Vietnam War

General William C. Westmoreland, the U.S. commander in Vietnam, made enormous demands for troops; the pres­ident gave him part of what he asked. By mid-1966, West­moreland had 600,000 American troops with immense firepower, a huge air force, and a giant infrastructure. President Johnson controlled their use, particularly the air war. The bombing had little military effect. Westmoreland waited for major battles where his firepower would prevail, but they seldom took place. Meantime the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong imposed a heavy toll in U.S. and South Vietnamese ‘casualties.

Support for the war at home, strong at the outset, eroded steadily. Mounting casualties, lack of victory, and increasingly skeptical television coverage fed opposition. Opponents of the war staged massive demonstrations, and the Johnson administration started to crack internally.

The Tet Offensive, launched by the Viet Cong at the end of January 1968, caught Westmoreland by surprise. There were attacks on cities and towns throughout the country with many initial successes. Though American forces recap­tured these places, it was at heavy cost to both sides.

Following the path of Johnson …

Tet convinced the American people that the war could go on for years and might never be won. The Johnson administration was shredded, the ‘peace and antiwar movements grew dramatically, conservatives in Congress ran roughshod over the Great Society, and the Demo­cratic Party split. Johnson withdrew from the presidential race in 1968 and there were riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Richard M. ‘Nixon pre­vailed over Johnson’s vice president, Hubert Humphrey, in the 1968 election, with a promise to end the war with honor, Nixon came through on his pledge.

In 1969, Democrat Lyndon Johnson returned to his ranch to spend his few remaining years with his memories. He had been a bold president on domestic issues and a misguided one on the Vietnam War.

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One Comment on “TOO BAD LIBYAN AMBASSADOR WASN’T ALLOWED THE SAME OPPORTUNITY AS THE SAIGON FOREIGN OFFICE ….”

  1. Mantle Raman April 22, 2013 at 1:13 PM #

    Hello, Neat post.

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