Friday, March 14, 2008

When The Blue Chips Are Down

Recall a pivotal moment in the Vietnam War, courtesy of Halberstam in The Best and the Brightest:

In late March, Johnson summoned his Senior Advisory Group on Vietnam, a blue-chip Establishment group. These were the great names of the Cold War: McCloy, Acheson, Arthur Dean, Mac Bundy, Douglas Dillon, Robert Murphy. And over a period of two days they quietly let him know that the Establishment -- yes, Wall Street -- had turned on the war; it was hurting us more than it was helping us, it had all gotten out of hand, and it was time to bring it back to proportion. It was hurting the economy, dividing the country, turning the youth against the country's best traditions. Great universities, their universities, were being destroyed. It was time to turn it around, to restore some balance....and the switch in this group, which was saying in effect that the war had to be de-escalated, had a profound effect on the President...Events, and pressure, it was clear, were closing in. He was cornered now...He had in late March given particularly belligerent speeches, but now he was caught and he knew it. The Wise Men, as they were called, were telling him what the polls and the newspapers had told him; that the country had turned on the war.

Friday's New York Times:

President Bush on Thursday held an unannounced meeting at the White House with four dozen executives from the Business Roundtable, a group representing the nation’s largest companies. Along with some of his senior economic aides — including the United States trade representative, Susan C. Schwab, and Carlos M. Gutierrez, the commerce secretary — Mr. Bush made remarks and answered questions, a spokesman, Tony Fratto, said. He described the meeting as a routine opportunity to discuss the economy with business leaders.

Of course, it was anything but routine. But were there any latter-day Wise Men at that hastily scheduled meeting? Was anyone brave enough to bring up Iraq, or even think about it? How many of those executives really understand why their businesses and stocks are cratering?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

in the end it might be irrelevant whether or not they understand - i think whats to be factored is the proportion that are open/ closet neocons and that are Israeli firsters (of the N Podhoretz variety) and thus have an interest in a wider war

besides it'll just be a quick expansive airstrike on Iran with mini-nukes right? it'll all be over in a few days since God speaks to Bush about his role in history

these are at least 2 factors that differ from Johnson's era: a delusional president and influence by a foreign interests entity (be they citizens or not)

anon muslim

3/14/2008 9:36 AM  
Blogger Dave S. said...

Answers to your questions:

1) No
2) No
(guest list vetted to preclude the possibility of either)
3) Agree with anon muslim, it's irrelevant. Their golden parachutes are firmly in place and you can bet they never take their hand off the ripcord.

3/14/2008 10:32 AM  
Anonymous viagra online said...

I think that the Vietnam war was the biggest lie in the army's history in the USA, so I think that these names are great but I do not is are important to me.

1/18/2011 10:22 AM  

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