A TIMELY RERUN: LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON IN VIETNAM 1967, by GARRY ARMSTRONG

Definitely worth a reblog!

Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

WHEN OUR PRESIDENT WAS A HERO


Location: A campfire in Vietnam near Saigon.

Year: 1967.

1967 and 1968 were very intense years for me. I had jumped directly from college and small time commercial radio, to ABC Network News. The time was right and the opportunity was there, but I was a kid thrust suddenly into the big leagues. My journalistic baptism started with the 6-day war in the Middle East which began on my first day at ABC. My professional life continued with the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, the volatile 1968 Presidential campaigns and a long visit to Vietnam, the first of several.

At headquarters in New York, my assignment was to receive reports from ABC’s field correspondents. I’d speak with them over static-riddled phone lines. Difficult to hear for anyone, harder for me. The daily MACV — or war front reports — were often significantly different from what the Pentagon reported. It was disturbing, worrying. Then, they sent me to Vietnam.

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Categories: American history, Garry Armstrong, History, Military, News, Politics

Tags: , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. On the subject of people I admire, LBJ is one of them. Yes, the man had many flaws. He was a power player, but he wasn’t corrupt, at least not in the sense of money. Did he extort “favors” from members of Congress? Yup. And he got a lot of really important work done that NO ONE had done before. If it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t be arguing about Medicare or Medicaid because we wouldn’t have them. We would not have the Civil Right Amendment to fight about either.

    He let himself be dragged into the Vietnam mess … and he knew, by the time Garry wrote met him in Vietnam, that it was a disaster. Rather than try to fight that battle to the end, he took himself OUT of the political arena.

    Who does that? And anyway, having fallen on his sword to get the Civil Rights amendment pushed through, he had no more favors to ask. On many levels, he was politically finished. He had put everything he had into “the Great Society,” Medicare, Medicaid, the Civil Rights Amendment. He had done much of what he felt needed doing and he was done. I don’t remember how long he lived after that, but I don’t think it was very long. I’ll have to look it up.

    I know plenty of presidents who weren’t elected for a second term, but he is the only one I know of who chose to not run rather than make the state of the nation worse. Pity about that, too, because after that, we got Nixon and we all know how THAT went.

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