If Kennedy was not assassinated, the Vietnam War would have ended in 1965. The comm

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Feb 2013
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If Kennedy was not assassinated, the Vietnam War would have ended in 1965.

The common myth is that Eisenhower kept involvement in Vietnam low whereas Kennedy escalated America's commitment to over 16,000.

A simple statistical analysis, of the sort that McNamara used to project optimism about the prosecution of the Vietnam War is absolutely meaningless. Colonel Fletcher Prouty, former liaison between the CIA and the Pentagon, explains the numbers game charade that superficial analysts use to distort history, in the following words:

"Don't get trapped into the numbers game. JFK had about 16,000 US military in Vietnam. He emphasized that they were not in combat slots, but this does not count all the guys with the CIA, etc... But this was true of the Eisenhower days. I and my whole squadron were in and out of Vietnam all the time in 1952, 1953 and 1954 and I am sure that the people who followed me in that job were there even more. My brother was with a group in Hanoi in 1954 and 1955. We had alot of guys helping at Dien Bien Phu ...aerial work mostly. We had naval units and plenty of army people. On top of that, the CIA had large units from Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines in Vietnam and they had been there a long time. They began to go with Lansdale in '54. It is not the numbers that matter. It is what the President intended. JFK let things roll along...things that had been started by Eisenhower, and some of them grew. But he was going to get out of there by 1965 and wanted a record of bringing men home during 1963 and 1964. When I was working on NSAM 263 [Taylor/McNamara Report] I was very well briefed on this plan of Kennedy's. He was getting out and he wanted that on the record. That is why he was shot."

There are no shortage of references citing Kennedy's commitment to pull out of Vietnam by 1965. As a matter of fact, Kennedy was so absolutely committed to withdrawal, he actually believed that anyone who suggested otherwise was a blundering idiot. In his own words, Kennedy defined the political and the moral challenges he faced over the war in Vietnam when he said:

"If I tried to pull out completely now from Vietnam, we would have another Joe McCarthy red scare on our hands, but I can do it after I am reelected... In 1965, I'll become one of the most unpopular Presidents in history. I'll be damned everywhere, but I don't care."

Partisan and ideological bickering has obscured the simple, undeniable fact that Vietnam would have ended in 1965 had Kennedy lived, and Canadians are probably in the best position to resolve the controversial quagmire of hostile disagreement. When Kennedy asked Canadian Prime Minister Pearson about what he would do in Vietnam, Pearson told him that he would pull out and Kennedy matter-of-factly said, "Any damn fool knows that. The question is, HOW?"

And so, in the final analysis, if Kennedy was not assassinated, "any damn fool knows" that win, draw or lose, Kennedy would have ended America's involvement in the Vietnam war by 1965 as promised and Lyndon Johnson would have been denied the opportunity to reverse his plans.
 

GogLais

Ad Honorem
Sep 2013
5,491
Wirral
I've just read JFK's Last Hundred Days. I don't know how much of a Kennedy apologist the author is or if he is one at all but that's certainly how it seems.
 

diddyriddick

Historum Emeritas
May 2009
14,692
A tiny hamlet in the Carolina Sandhills
RFK thought otherwise.

" I, the president felt that the. . . . He had a strong, overwhelming reason for being in Vietnam and that we should win the war in Vietnam."

Later in the same interview:

Martin:There was never any consideration given to pulling out?
Kennedy:No.

Somebody's been watching too much Oliver Stone.

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/vietnam.htm
 

unclefred

Ad Honorem
Dec 2010
6,731
Oregon coastal mountains
To go along with Col. Prouty and former Canadian Prime minister Pearson's statements from the OP ,These are the actual documents that show Kennedy's intent circa Oct 11, 1963:

It remains a point of some controversy among historians whether or not Vietnam would have escalated to the point it did had Kennedy served out his full term and been re-elected in 1964. Fueling the debate are statements made by Kennedy and Johnson's Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara that Kennedy was strongly considering pulling out of Vietnam after the 1964 election.

In the film "The Fog of War", former Defense Secretary under both Presidents, Robert McNamara states this for the record, and in the LBJ white house tapes a telephone recording of Lyndon Johnson confirms that Kennedy told him he was planning to withdraw from Vietnam, a position Johnson states he strongly disapproved of.

Additional evidence is Kennedy's National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) 263, dated October 11, 1963, which ordered withdrawal of 1,000 military personnel by the end of 1963.

President Kennedy Issues NSAM 263, Ordering the Withdrawl of 1,000 Military Personnel from Vietnam by the End of 1963 | World History Project

After Kennedy's assassination, new President Lyndon B. Johnson immediately reversed his predecessor's order to withdraw 1,000 military personnel by the end of 1963 with his own NSAM 273 on November 26, 1963.

Although I doubt Kennedy would have flown the staged false flag at Tonkin, like LBJ did to gain leverage for an escalation, from what we know now in hindsight, I'm not certain he would have made a complete withdrawal.

So, to sum up, the fist hand testimony of his Defense Secretary and VP say that he was planning to withdraw. So, I think it is reasonable to state that he may have but it's not a certainty.

For additional reading:

http://www.bostonreview.net/us/galbraith-exit-strategy-vietnam
 
Last edited:

GogLais

Ad Honorem
Sep 2013
5,491
Wirral
RFK thought otherwise.

" I, the president felt that the. . . . He had a strong, overwhelming reason for being in Vietnam and that we should win the war in Vietnam."

Later in the same interview:

Martin:There was never any consideration given to pulling out?
Kennedy:No.

Somebody's been watching too much Oliver Stone.

Was John Kennedy Going to Pull Out of Vietnam?
That interview was in early 64 so it's quite possible that RFK felt inhibited in what he could say.
 

unclefred

Ad Honorem
Dec 2010
6,731
Oregon coastal mountains
Some audio clips that are an interesting look at the discussions:

1,000 Troop Withdrawal from South Vietnam
Transcript+Audio Clip
Date:
Participants: John Kennedy, Robert McNamara, Maxwell Taylor, et al.
Introduction:
Having returned to Washington earlier that morning from their fact-finding mission to South Vietnam, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Maxwell Taylor brief President Kennedy on the status of the U.S. military advisory effort. On the table is a recommendation to begin the process of withdrawing American troops from Vietnam, some of which are to leave by the end of the year, with the bulk of U.S. forces to return home by the end of 1965.

1,000 Troop Withdrawal from South Vietnam?Presidential Recordings Program?Miller Center

The Kennedy Withdrawal
Transcript+Audio Clip
Date:
Participants:
Introduction:
Over the course of several meetings, from October 2 through October 5, 1963, President Kennedy and his advisers debated the merits of a plan to withdraw the bulk of U.S. troops from Vietnam by the end of 1965. Segments from two of those meetings, from the morning and evening of October 2, reveal Kennedy's concerns about that plan and the language with which it was to be explained to the American public.

The Kennedy Withdrawal?Presidential Recordings Program?Miller Center
 
Feb 2013
68
RFK thought otherwise.

" I, the president felt that the. . . . He had a strong, overwhelming reason for being in Vietnam and that we should win the war in Vietnam."

Later in the same interview:

Martin:There was never any consideration given to pulling out?
Kennedy:No.

Somebody's been watching too much Oliver Stone.

Was John Kennedy Going to Pull Out of Vietnam?

McAdams is a cover up artist:

The decline of American Scholarship.

Whenever he wants to misrepresent something, he uses Robert Kennedy.


That's his modus operandi.


Even Oliver Stone got the fact that Kennedy was murdered because he planned to end the Vietnam war, right.

Many of the details were wrong, but that's because Oliver Stone was conned by people like McAdams/Garrison.

The coverup continues through people like McAdams -Garrison is dead.
 

Belloc

Ad Honorem
Mar 2010
5,418
USA
If Kennedy was not assassinated, nobody would never know what a "grassy knoll" even means. Furthermore, we would never have to hear the words "Back and to the left" repeated ad nauseam.

It's a sad world we live in.
 
Feb 2013
68
If Kennedy was not assassinated, nobody would never know what a "grassy knoll" even means. Furthermore, we would never have to hear the words "Back and to the left" repeated ad nauseam.

It's a sad world we live in.
Indeed it is. Very tragic and all so unecessary.
 
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