“What difference does it make if it’s true? If it’s a story and it breaks, they’re gonna run with it.” —Wag the Dog
Upset by the Energizer Oil Spill, the healthcare bill or our economic ills? Don’t worry; you might not have to fret much longer. Not because anybody is going to fix these problems. Rather because President Barack Obama might be seeding a much bigger problem.
Last week Obama announced United States troops stationed in the Korean Peninsula were going to a war footing. The move came as South Korea announced it was cutting off all trade with the North in retaliation for what it claims is the deliberate sinking of its warship the Cheonan in March. The government in Seoul vowed “immediate” retaliation if North Korea attempted further provocations.
According to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, “U.S. support for South Korea’s defense is unequivocal, and the President has directed his military commanders to coordinate closely with their [South Korean] counterparts to ensure readiness and to deter future aggression.”
It has even been “leaked” that because of the urgency of the “crisis”, the U.S. has deployed its most advanced air-superiority fighter, the Raptor F-22, to the Korean Peninsula.
Excuse this writer for thinking it all sounds a bit too much like the movie Wag the Dog. In that film a spin doctor sees his President’s polls falling so he employs a Hollywood director to construct a fake war with Albania. It is all an attempt to distract the media and the people.
Of course what is happening in Korea may have nothing to do with growing dissatisfaction over Obama’s handling of the oil spill, the recent 10 percent decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the European debt crisis. North Korea may in fact be a clear and present danger to our national security. But we should consider that the “crisis” with North Korea is a diversion from growing success for the Tea Party and growing criticism of the President. In fact there is precedent.
Gulf Of Tonkin
Pyongyang has denied it torpedoed the Cheonan near the Korean maritime border killing 46 sailors. And it has accused South Korea of trespassing in its waters, saying that the South has sent “dozens of warships” into its waters these past few weeks in "a deliberate provocation aimed to spark off another military conflict."
I am not stupid enough to believe what comes from this reckless government and its midget dictator Kim Jong-il. Then again I am not stupid enough to believe everything the Federal government tells me either. If you are my age or older you might remember President Johnson and the Gulf of Tonkin.
That military crisis was ushered to an unsuspecting public on Aug. 5, 1964, with a headline in The Washington Post that read: “American Planes Hit North Vietnam After Second Attack on Our Destroyers; Move Taken to Halt New Aggression.” That same day The New York Times reported: “President Johnson has ordered retaliatory action against gunboats and ‘certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam’ after renewed attacks against American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.”
According to Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, There never was a “second attack” by North Vietnam. No “renewed attacks against American destroyers.” Instead these official lies told from the President on down took hold and opened the floodgates for the bloody and useless Vietnam war; a conflict that originally had a huge backing by the American public and swept LBJ into office with the greatest percentage of the total popular vote (61 percent) ever attained by a Presidential candidate.
The same LBJ who just three months before the election had ordered U.S. bombers to "retaliate" for a North Vietnamese torpedo attack; and attack that never happened. In fact a year later LBJ joked: “For all I know, our Navy was shooting at whales out there.” All very funny except for the terrible cost in blood and money that the Vietnam conflict inflicted. You notice I don’t use the word “war” because the U.S. didn’t declare war, not then and not in the nearly half century since.
Instead Congress passed the Southeast Asia Resolution (the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution) backing the President in taking “all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.” On Aug. 10—less than a week after the fabricated fight—Johnson signed the resolution. There were only two dissenting votes in the Senate and not one in the House.
The Uncensored War, a book by Daniel Hallin, indicts the press over Vietnam.* Hallin points out that the media had “a great deal of information available which contradicted the official account of Tonkin Gulf events; it simply wasn’t used.” Just the day before the first incident Hanoi had protested the attacks on its territory by Laotian aircraft and South Vietnamese gunboats.
What’s more, wrote Hallin, “It was generally known that ‘covert’ operations against North Vietnam, carried out by South Vietnamese forces with U.S. support and direction, had been going on for some time.”
Ancient history you say? Not if you count Saddam Hussein and those weapons of mass destruction that never did turn up. That fairy tale gave us $1 trillion conflict with Iraq and a resounding re-election of another incumbent President.
The bottom line is I won’t be surprised if this fearless President stirs the nation into action and gets many of us ready at the ramparts in the face of a foreign horde. It is what General Douglas MacArthur warned us of.
“Talk of imminent threat to our national security through the application of external force is pure nonsense,” said the General in 1951 adding: “Our threat is from the insidious forces working from within which have already so drastically altered the character of our free institutions—those institutions we proudly called the American way of life.”
MacArthur knew what it took to wage and win a real war. He also learned the hard way the politics and economics involved in a modern “conflict”… the kind of conflicts the U.S. invariably falls into when the nation’s economic or political woes grow out of control.
Yours for real wealth and good health,
Myers’ Energy and Gold Report
*Footnote: The Uncensored War: The Media and Vietnam, Daniel C. Hallin, New York, Oxford University Press, 1986.