Sunday, September 4, 2022

This and That: JFK and Vietnam


This and That: JFK and Vietnam

Peter Schultz


            To understand what was going on during the Kennedy presidency with regard to Vietnam, you have to forget about Vietnam. The war in Vietnam and America’s role in it was nothing more than a battle between imperialists, those who wanted to impose an American hegemony on the world, and those who were opposed to such a hegemony. JFK was in the latter group and, as a result, he was quoted as saying that were he to win the 1964 presidential election he would break up the CIA into a thousand pieces. His positions on the war in Vietnam and America’s role in it reflected his rejection of the imperialistic agenda of others, including even several of his advisers.


            Hence, if it were true that Kennedy was assassinated by a conspiracy operating within the US and even within the US government, this would make sense insofar as Kennedy was correctly perceived as a threat to the imperialistic project embraced by many in the government and other US elites. Insofar as this is true, then it is fair to say that JFK “died” when he made it official that he would be pulling out of Vietnam, that is, in October, 1963. His death was absolutely necessary in order to ensure that he would not be able to win the 1964 presidential election and carry out his plans to leave Vietnam and pursue policies that the imperialists were opposed to. The imperialists knew that Kennedy’s agenda was acceptable to the American people, who didn’t understand why the US was making war in Vietnam, a place many of them couldn’t locate on a map. His re-election had to be prevented at almost any cost.


            Kennedy facilitated his own death because, like the imperialists, he was practicing a politics of deception. While his deceptions were geared toward avoiding war in Vietnam, the imperialists’ deceptions were geared toward Americanizing the war in Vietnam. Because both were practicing a politics of deception, the most important issue – whether the US was justified in making war for the sake of US hegemony – was never addressed in the political arena. So even if Kennedy had been able to win in 1964 and had pulled American troops out of Vietnam, the imperialists and the imperialistic agenda would not have been defeated. It would only have been postponed.

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