Tuesday, December 01, 2009


All it took was for [U.S. Ambassador] Max Taylor to hold the line in Saigon to keep the Vietnamese military in line, to get the surface stability which Washington required. And once again [in 1965] the Vietnamese had blown it; they aided their enemies in Washington who said they were not worth American lives, and who said they were not a government, and not a nation and not worth fighting for. ...

Although they were warned that America would stand for no more, that they could not toy with a great power like this, that American support was becoming more difficult, they did not believe it. They had already learned that the worse things got and the more the Americans threatened them with disengagement, the more the Americans coughed up; that they had sunk the hook deeper into the Americans than the Americans had sunk it into them.

David Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest


Anonymous outlaw josey wales said...

That, in a nutshell, is what's wrong with Obama's Afghanistan policy.

I cannot for the life of me understand why we are afraid of al Qaeda. They are not SPECTRE. They have no budget. The Pentagon probably loses more money in a week than they have to spend in a year.

9/11 did not happen because they were diabolically clever. 9/11 was a failure of priority and bureaucracy. Not a single advanced weapon in our arsenal would have been of any use.

We spend $600B+ on defense, but that is insufficient to defend our homeland? We have to invade some other country and kill them there? It's all just too absurd.

12/02/2009 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al Qaeda is as necessary as Emmanuel Goldstein.
-- sglover

12/02/2009 6:22 PM  
Blogger mrmetrowest said...

I always like to note that on 9/11, the detachment of state police normally stationed at Logan Airport would have been more than enough to stop most of the hijackings. The problem has never been lack of force. The problem, as shown by the 9/11 commission, was a lack of intelligence caused by incompetence.

War is making certain economic segments of the US loads of money, just as Wall Street's dubious products are making another segment wealthy. It appears at this time that both defence and financial interests are so pre-eminent in 2009 America as to make reform of our political and economic systems impossible. Maintaining our current trajectory will eventually lead the US to become a Banana Republic, a type of country we used to scorn.

12/02/2009 7:45 PM  
Anonymous writing an essay said...

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