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Vietnam. What if Kennedy Lived??

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  • #16
    less american troops in vietnam which would have stopped the death toll rising
    Oh Sure The Old Man's Off His Rocker If Grampa Says He's Dead He Must Be Alive
    Grampa Simpson


    • #17
      Most of the conventional wisdom of what JFK would do had he not been assassinated is based on the lack of knowledge of JFK's actual foreign policy record, his own known thinking, the established policies that his advisors have consistently advocated, and the reality of the situation.

      To put it simply, given the exact same set of circumstances LBJ faced, JFK, too, would escalate. Given his record, he too would have obfuscated.


      • #18
        The idea that the Vietnam War would have been prevente if only Kennedy had lived is based on a lot of wishfull thinking. Kennedy was responsible for the major escalation of US forces beginning in 1961. It is difficult to believe that he would have stood by while South Vietnam was overrun in 1965 or shortly thereafter. We have the example of what happened in China in 1949 when the US stood by while communist insurgents took over a country. There was much recrimination and a wave of anti-communist paranoia in the country. Kennedy would have a lot to answer for if he had allowed S. Vietnam to fall, particularly after having invested so much in his first term. The Republicans would have crucified him politically.

        Furthermore, the communist take-over in China encouraged some to believe that the U.S. would do nothing to stop them. A miscalculation that led to the invasion of S. Korea. I believe a similar conclusion would have been reached if the US had allowed Vietnam to fall in the 1960s. What of the insurgency in Laos that was going on at the same time? Or the smaller insurgency in Thailand? The struggle might simply have shifted to another country, where Kennedy would have had to make a stand to "demonstrate his resolve."


        • #19
          Ditto to Magister. Kennedy ran on a strong anti-communist platform. With the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis appearing by 1963 to have been a "defeat" for the US, I don't think JFK would have backed down in Viet Nam before 1968 when he could have left the White House a hero.


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