American military personnel in South Vietnam in August 1963. (AP Photo)
The Washington Post has just published an Op Ed piece I wrote concerning the arbitrary choice of March 1965 as the start of the Vietnam War – when 3,500 Marines landed in Da Nang. We already had 23,000 so-called ‘advisers’ in Vietnam before that.
Until we acknowledge how the conflict really started, we can’t come to terms with the origins or our nation’s involvement. Read more here – and be sure to comment, like and share. Thanks!
Secretary of State John Kerry went to Egypt last weekend to renew US-Eqypt ties and to offer its new president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, swift restoration of military aid. Unfortunately in less than 24 hours of Egypt’s aid being restored, a judge on Monday convicted three journalists from Al Jazeera’s English-language network of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood to broadcast ‘false reports’. One was sentenced to at least seven years.
A long time nemesis of the West has died, Vietnamese Gen. No Nguyen Giap. During the siege of Khe Sanh, Ford Jennings, one of the main characters in The Five O’Clock Follies, insisted that the U.S. Marine outpost there was going to fall on the same day in the same that the French had been defeated at Dien Bien Phu 14 years earlier.
The correspondent’s thinking: General Vo Nguyen Giap, the mastermind of the French rout, was thought to be calling the shots in Khe Sanh.
It’s interesting to note that with all the concern about Mali as a haven for terrorists, the New York Times doesn’t even seem to have a correspondent there. A page one story on March 18, talking about possible U.S. involvement is datelined Mauritania, which is on Mali’s northwest border. The French made headlines by sending in troops in January to push back Al Qaeda forces from the cities of Gao and Timbuktu. There were stories of grateful citizens thanking the arriving French troops, but beyond that nothing much except puffery about how President Francois Hollande’s poll numbers have shot up. Paris Match reported that Monsieur Flan had become Mr. Big after the lightening fast and unexpected move. There is such a lid on battlefield reports that Reporters Sans Frontieres claims that at one point, 50 journalists were rounded up and flown out of the country. No one else seems to have reported that or confirmed that, but with no one there to report on it, who knows? The French weekly, Le Point says “the French Army has confirmed its nickname of ‘grand mute’ by locking up information on its operations.”