Saturday 14 November 2009
When discussing the Vietnam War or comparing it to
And much like President Barack Obama, who inherited the hostilities in
In a speech in 1965, Johnson said that "impressive power" was not the guns and bombs, the rockets and the warships, for they are all symbols of human failure and a witness to human folly. Instead, what is impressive is a dam built across a great river, or providing electricity, or a rich harvest in a hungry land, or the sight of healthy children.(2)
President Johnson had actually grown up in the "hill country" of central
It was also one of the reasons that, as president, he declared an "unconditional war on poverty in
President Johnson wanted to expand this vision to include
Johnson referred to it as his Open Arms Program, or the "Other War," and counseled with economic and agricultural experts on how to develop rice farming, irrigation techniques, schools, clinics and improved nutrition and health programs. He also wanted it to be a grassroots movement, something the Vietnamese would initiate.(4)
Unfortunately, like some of the Great Society programs, the Open Arms Program, or the "Other War," faltered. Pacification - militarily forcing people from their homes and putting them in controlled hamlets with checkpoints, won out over the Marshall Plan for
Recently, it was reported that President Obama has narrowed down his
President Obama might want to consider more funding for the "other war" in
It costs approximately $500,000 each year to train, equip, feed, house and transport one
One thing was certain in
(1) Miller, Merle. Lyndon, "An Oral Biography."
(2) Ibid., p. 565.
(3) Ibid., p. 566.
(4) Ibid., p. 566.
(5) Ibid., p. 565.
Dallas Darling is the author of "Politics 501: An A-Z Reading on Conscientious Political Thought and Action," "Some Nations Above God: 52 Weekly Reflections on Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, and Consumerism in the Context of John's Apocalyptic Vision," and "The Other Side Of Christianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace." He is a correspondent for www.worldnews.com. You can read more of
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs