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VIEWPOINT: McGovern Warns Obama of LBJ Legacy

In 1964, President Johnson said of Vietnam that "I don't think it's worth fighting for, and I don't think that we can get out. It's just the biggest damn mess I ever saw.'' Yet Johnson escalated the conflict and America became bogged down in Southeast Asia for more than a decade. Former Senator George McGovern recently sat down with ANP and said that President Obama runs the risk, like Johnson with his Great Society program, of hobbling his ambitious domestic goals if he continues to send troops into Afghanistan.

 

Comments

The embed was broken for me. Direct link.

Thanks Frenetic. While I do think McGovern is right that we can't do both (wage 2 wars in the middle east and take care of the social programs) well, there are different interpretations of LBJ on Vietnam. He may have had misgivings, but I know a MLK scholar that has listened to the tapes from Johnson's administration. Transcripts don't allow for word emphasis, and apparently LBJ was emphatic with Martin Luther King to support the war cause.

As much as I worry that Obama will be too moderate and do the things he considers safe, I think I see the congress being more the obstacle to any real change. News of democrats opposing closing offshore tax loopholes turns my stomach.

In terms of afganiztan, I think there is some chance that a success is possible because there seems to be news of Afganis and Pakistanis that are sick of the ultra conservatives and the violence they bring. I think we can help them marginalize and disarm their right. What will be left will be undemocratic, anti American and growing heroin, but probably won't be training and exporting terrorism. But then again it could blow up in our face.

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