Nixon Cover-Ups Revisited

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Dress For Success   nixon-dress-cotton.jpg

America’s closets continue to disgorge their treasures, or at the least their oddities. The Detroit News reports on a Michigan woman who has a cotton Nixon dress left over from the 1960 campaign.

The News also digs up   nixon-paper-dress.jpg    a more menacing looking dress in the holdings of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Gerald R. Ford, Pantless To Serve You Better

Short Term   ford-boy-scout-statue.jpg

Gerry Ford has provided so many Presidential Firsts: first to take office without benefit of election, first to pardon his predecessor,  and now first to be portrayed wearing shorts.

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What was once only gazed upon by Grand Rapids area Scouts is now to be shared with the nation, as an existing Ford statue owned by the local Scout Gerald R. Ford Council has been copied for the Ford Museum.

Disaster Recovery: Reagan Spared Us One War At Least

Oh, To Be In Beirut!  beirut-bomb.JPG

The New York Times recently turned over a substantial chunk of it’s op/ed page to exploring the murky Reagan administration intervention in Beirut, where hundreds of Marines died.

The lesson learned?   It was terrorism, and the giant who tumbled the Berlin Wall with a single breath  turned and ran.

But some hold fast to the mythical decisiveness they associate with Ronald Reagan.

marines-beirut-stamp.png  The preferred Marines in Lebanon image is “peacekeepers,” perhaps because pulling-Isreael’s-chestnuts-out-of-the-fire-then-sitting-at-the-airport-until-people-we-were-attacking-blew-us-up-ists don’t roll off the tongue.

Randy Gaddo was there, and does the Shiite Sunni shape shift seamlessly:

“Had we stood our ground 25 years ago instead of pulling out after the bombing, it is possible that 9/11 would not have happened. Likewise, anyone who thinks we can pull back into a shell now and hope terrorism will go away simply isn’t looking at the lessons history offers.”

The apparent lesson being that shelling Muslims is its own reward. 

Joining the Age of Reagan nostalgia is former Reagan National Security Advisor Robert “Bud” McFarlane.

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McFarlane portrays himself as quite the go-getter back in the day, urging the President before the bombing to send the Marines into the hills above Beirut to get a jump start on Middle East quagmiring. Left unsaid is McFarlane’s starring role in the Iran/Contra affair, his travel to Tehran with a bible and a cake to deal arms to the Ayatollahs,  the profits going to our off the books war on Nicaragua.

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He presents a spectacularly passive Ronald Reagan. The man who wasn’t there got into the loop on invading Grenada after McFarlane, who himself was briefed on the scheme by Vice President George H.W.Bush. McFarlane’s Reagan let the Marines sit at the Beirut airport until blown up, and then let Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger prevent massive retaliation.

McFarlane plead guilty to charges growing out of Iran Contra, Weinberger lied about it and hid his notes on the crime. President George H.W. Bush was to be a Weinberger trial witness, but both were providentially pardoned by Bush on his way out of office,  Christmas Eve 1992.

McFarlane joins the chorus lumping the Sha we were then fighting in Lebanon with the Sunni we were then arming against the Reds inAfghanistan, and extracts the lesson that we missed the early bus to the Clash of Civilizations:

“missing an early opportunity to counter the Islamist terrorist threat in its infancy”

So unlike Grenada, where our bold invasion of an island with the population of Trenton  showed, um, something.

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Bud McFarlane, innocent at home:

“Just after midnight on Friday, Oct. 21, I was awakened by a call from Vice President George H. W. Bush, who reported that several East Caribbean states had asked the United States to send forces to the Caribbean island of Grenada to prevent the Soviet Union and Cuba from establishing a base there. I called the president and Secretary of State George Shultz, who were on a golfing trip in Augusta, Ga., and received approval to have our forces prepare to land within 72 hours.” 


McCain: Nixon Stabbed Self In Back?

 Substitutes For Victory  




The Boston Globe
surveys John McCain’s version of the Vietnam War, and lordy, “Bomb, Bomb Iran” isn’t the beginning of his breezy confidence in airpower and death from above.

McCain’s father was commander of Pacific forces for much of the Vietnam war. In McCain’s version, dad was unhappy Richard Nixon wouldn’t unleash the bombing campaign against North Vietnam. His father quit quietly, and McCain feels he should have gone noisily in protest.

In Happier Times    nixon-mccain.jpg

What didn’t Nixon unleash?  Nixon escalated Lyndon Johnson’s bombing, and  flirted with using atomic weapons against the North, telling old softy Henry Kissinger:

“The only place where you and I disagree … is with regard to the bombing…You’re so god-damned concerned about the civilians and I don’t give a damn. I don’t care.”

The notion the US might have won, that the military fought only a limited war, is an old false claim, and belied by the 8 million tons of bombs we dropped, and the millions we killed.

We were bombing the crap out of a peasant economy, and there wasn’t much to hit even after dumbing down target lists early on.

When NVN was first targeted the JCS found only 8 industrial installations worth listing on a par with airfields, military supply dumps, barracks complexes, port facilities, bridges, and oil tanks. Even by the end of 1965, after the JCS had lowered the standards and more than doubled the number of important targets, the list included only 24 industrial installations, 18 of them power plants which were as important for such humble uses as lighting streets and pumping water as for operating any real factories.”

Eisenhower: The Trouble With Kansas

From Action to Proximity  john-brown-mural.jpg

The Kansas City Star’s Brian Burnes is digging deep in the Eisenhower archives, and oh the treasures he’s found.

little-rock-norman-rockwell.jpg  The Kansas native who reluctantly sent federal troops to integrate Little Rock schools is held up as a civil rights pioneer. The evidence:  Ike wrote letters, and location, location,location!

1. Eisenhower stormed the margins of polite opinion.

“Correspondence also indicated that Eisenhower wrote to Billy Graham and asked him to provide feedback about current and future race relations.”

And who better than Billy “Stranglehold” Graham to discuss prejudice?

2. As a child, Eisenhower was, once, sometime, somewhere near “minorities” of unknown derivation.

“A picture of Eisenhower from his 1909 graduating class shows two minorities, which Burnes said is an indication that Ike, even at an early age, did seem to have a feeling about other races.”

Feeling is healing!