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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Vietnam & Iraq; More Parallels

Recently, Brig. Gen. John Johns (Ret.) appeared on C-SPAN and drew parallels between the U.S. involvement in Vietnam & the current quagmire in Iraq. The general has been teaching National Security Strategy for the last 14 years. I paraphrase...

"70% of the reason the U.S. continued its involvement in Vietnam was simply to avoid the embarassment of defeat."

And Lt. Gen. Robert Gard (Ret.) noted ...

"By the Spring of 1965, the Johnson Administration knew that the war was unwinnable. Nevertheless, in March 1965, the President ordered a 'surge' of 20,000 more troops."

"There had been 24,000 U.S.deaths in Vietnam by 1965. Five years later, 34,000 additional battle fatalities had been recorded."

"President Johnson simply did not want to go down in history as the first U.S. president to lose a war."

As I wrote in this blog on 10/04/06, "Maureen Dowd - Dr. Strangelove's Second Chance",

'As recently released tapes, diaries and notes clearly indicate, Kissinger and Nixon purposely delayed any U.S. pullout from Vietnam until after the 1972 elections. Nixon knew all along that the war was unwinnable and knowingly sent young Americans to their deaths for purely political motives. On one tape Nixon says to Kissinger, "The U.S. cannot win this war. The South Vietnam regime is too corrupt" (Tapes played on CSPAN several months ago--How many Americans listened, I wonder?).'

And, yet again, American lives are being sacrificed on the altar of arrogance, vanity, and the stubborn, idiot Emperor, Bush II.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

"It Didn't End Well Last Time"

Excerpts from the Editorial Page of the New York Times, Wednesday April 4, 2007.

"It Didn't End Well Last Time"

"Not since the Roaring Twenties have the rich been so much richer than everyone else. In 2005, the latest year for which figures are available, the top 1 per cent of Americans--whose average income was 1.1 million a year--received 21.8 per cent of the nation's income, their largest share since 1929."

"Over all, the top 10 per cent of Americans--those making more than about $100,000 a year--collected 48.5 per cent,also a share last seen before the Great Depression..."

"...government policies do matter. Part of the reason for the shared prosperity of the late 1990s was an increase in the minimum wage and a big expansion of the earned income credit. During the same increases, spending cuts and binding budget rules--conquered budget deficits and furthered job growth while providing a foundation for reasonably adequate social spending..."

"In contrast, the economic policies of the Bush years have failed to benefit most Americans. The tax cuts have overwhelmingly benefited the richest...At the same time, important social spending has been cut. That exacerbates disparities, because middle-class and poor Americans use government services more than affluent Americans."

"The nation needs an administration that will offer solutions for the scourge of income inequality."

MrKen observes that the Times paints an overly rosy picture of the Clinton Administration's contribution toward mitigating 'income disparity'. Clinton of course also signed the infamous & punitive "Welfare Reform Bill of 1996."
This transferred welfare to a block grant system, i.e. one in which the federal government gives states "blocks" of money, which the states then distribute under their own legislation and criteria. Some states, like New York, simply took the money and used it for non-welfare purposes. This is why the "cash grants" for single adults have not been raised in 20 years ($68.50 2x month)in New York State!


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