DE> What comment do you have regarding one of Kennedy's last orders to start a withdrawal of 'advisors' from Vietnam?<<<
JP> IF,IF,IF, that is the case, then I submit that JFK could tell that the Vietnam policy that JFK had supported for several years was a failure.<<<<<
DE> Part of being a student of history is analyzing trends .......
DE> ..... - not to myoptically fold one's arms and say, "Well, since it DIDN'T happen I WON'T accept it!" <<<
JP> Elaborate please.
DE> Well, you seem to be disregarding the trend and direction that Kennedy was taking late in his presidency - focusing only on his earlier comments and actions. I think it is prudent of any historian to consider those trends when posed with the question, "What if ...?" <<<<
Fine. I'll play a bit of 'what IF'.
However, I'm not forgetting "what WAS .....".
DE> In this case, the question is, "WHAT IF Kennedy had lived? In what direction would the Vietnam situation MOST LIKELY have turned?" The Roman Catholic versus Buddhists conflict which visibly escalated during the summer of 1963 was a mere blip on the consciousness of the American public.<<<
However, it was a BIG DEAL to the S.Vietnamese and their army.
And, it was a BIG DEAL to Roman Catholic elites [US & Vatican] who could not allow the religious aspects of the war in Vietnam become focused on by the American public.
Above all, RC elites could not allow the war in Vietnam to become commonly known as a war to support an explicitly Roman Catholic regime. Which it was.
It was a BIG DEAL to the S.Vietnamese and their army because, most of the enlisted were Buddhists, and most of the officers were Roman Catholic.
The RC v. Buddhist conflict weakened the S.V. army's ability to fight, leaving the American elites only two options -
get out & 'lose Vietnam' or escalate US troop level.
Heads rolled for 'losing' China.
Had JFK 'lost' Vietnam, the reaction would have dwarfed his 'bay of pigs' failure to provide air support.
Especially, since for a decade, JFK had been AMONG THOSE who told the American public that Vietnam was crucial to the survival of 'Democracy' and 'Freedom' world wide.
Pulling out of Vietnam, allowing a communist victory, would have been contrary to his own rhetoric,.... yet, I'll speculate that JFK MIGHT have pulled out.
Had JFK done so, I further speculate that he would have been politically destroyed, and would have reduced Roman Catholic political clout for a century.
You think RC elites like Cardinal Spellman were oblivious to the religious aspects of the war and to the FACT that Roman Catholic JFK's connection to the war in Vietnam could have significant reprecussions upon future Roman Catholic political prospects ?
Vietnam was looking bad in 1963. Real bad.
Had JFK continued as president, and escalated, then the S.Vietnam war would now be totally tied to Roman Catholic JFK.
NO MATTER what R. C. JFK could have done regarding Vietnam, it threatened to have severe, negative reprecussion upon all Roman Catholic political clout in the USA. RC elites, such as Cardinal Spellman, understand the value of a martyr. IMHO, the most likely candidate for the persons who at the highest level, masterminded and gave the 'green light' for the shooting of JFK, was Cardinal Spellman and-or the pope.
IMHO, they rightly reasoned that as an assassinated martyr, JFK was conducive to the growth-strength of RC political clout.
OTHO, in light of the war in Vietnam, they rightly reasoned that if JFK continued as president, then JFK was a disaster to the growth-strength of RC clout.
[An often used nickname of the war in Vietnam was
'Cardinal Spellman's war']
Joel> John, although a number of the facts that you list happen to be true,
"Happen" to be true ? Are you insinuating that of all the "facts" I could have presented, I just happened to randomly pick some true ones ? I don't see you contesting the factual accuracy of anything I've posted.
Joel> ... you have also managed to excise things that conflict with your view.
Now you accuse me of doing what you did when you originally blamed the war on the American people in general.
YOU excise [and hate to see] facts that conflict with YOUR POV.
Joel> This blind and unreasoning hatred that you have
Here you dishonestly slander me. Actually, you wish I was blind. Your basic problem is that you don't have the ability to objectively evaluate facts that are unflattering to the Roman cult.
Joel> ........ of "the Roman Catholic cult" (whatever that is)
It's a worldwide religious group, headed by a man in Rome called the pope, that for centuries, spiritually blind people have claimed is the "one true holy, apostolic, sho-nuff real McCoy Church" of Jesus Christ.
Joel> ....... leads you to ignore some pretty obvious facts, for example: Some of the most potent opposition to involvement in Vietnam was by Roman Catholics, including Senator Eugene McCarthy and Daniel Berrigan. <<
AFTER Cardinal Spellman and other Roman Catholic elites adroitly maneuvered the USA into the war,
AFTER the USA was committed to the war,
AFTER it was clear that the USA would not be able to save the Roman Catholic ruling class of S.Vietnam,
AFTER it was clear that the war in Vietnam would become unpopular,
AFTER the Roman Catholic president was out of the picture
AFTER pope Paul's 1965 "peacenik" speech at the United Nations
AFTER pope Paul gave the greenlight to opposition to the war in Vietnam,
AFTER pope Paul achieved detente with communism and allowed the emergence of a strong left wing within R.Catholicism,......
THEN anti-war Roman Catholics became dime a dozen.
Joel> The strongest prosecution of the war was by non-Catholics Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. <<
Yep. LBJ had to escalate or "lose" Vietnam.
Same choice that JFK had been facing.
In hindsight, we all think we're so wise and virtuous that we would have chosen pulling out. But at the time, the president who let the RC ruling class in Vietnam fall to the Godless Commies would have been CRUCIFIED by the press in general, and by the Roman Catholic press in particular.
The RC hierarchy isn't composed of idiots. The last thing they wanted was for the war to look like it's purpose was to support the RC ruling class. In the summer of 1963, in front of Western media, Buddhist monks began to burn themselves to death to protest the Roman Catholic bias of Diem's S.Vietnamese government. The religious aspects of the war threatened to become COMMON KNOWLEDGE.
It became clear that the war in Vietnam was going to be an unpopular loser. Therefore, in order to protect the image of Roman Catholicism, JOHN F. KENNEDY had to be removed. Had the RC establishment allowed JFK to remain president, then the war in Vietnam would be incontrovertibly tied to a Roman Catholic president, and Roman Catholic political influence would have been significantly diminished for decades.
The Roman Catholic establishment could not allow the war in Vietnam to be tied to a Roman Catholic president. JFK became worth far more to the RC establishment as a slain martyr than as the president who aided the initiation and who then presided over an unwinnable war.
Therefore Dallas, 1963,.......
To protect the image of Roman Catholicism.
Joel> There are serious strains between the Catholic church in Rome and the American Catholic church, and those date back a long way. <<
"Strains" within Roman Catholicism are normal. Some say there presently exists a defacto schism within RC. But RC muddles on.
Joel> Was Vietnam a largely Catholic country? Yes.
Vietnam was estimated to be about 10 percent RC and 80 percent Buddhist. With a clearly Roman Catholic dominated ruling class and government that, especially under Diem, went out of it's way to antagonize the Buddhists. Which in turn weakened the S.Vietnamese Army, which had a mostly Buddhist enlisted corps, and a mostly Roman Catholic officer corps.
Joel> Were the ruling families, as a result of French colonialism, Catholic? Yes. Did that mean that the Catholic church was interested in events in Vietnam? Yes. Was there a large-scale relocation of northerners to the south, stimulated in part by hysteria about the anti-religious nature of communism? Yes. Does that mean that any of the events were directed by a conspiracy? No.<<<
About all they do at the Vatican IS "conspire."
Joel> You call honest evaluations of what you say by disinterested parties "slander" and deliberate self-deception. I think it is you who is deceiving yourself.<<<