Tonkin Resolution

This post is about something that is near to my heart…..

Ever wonder what it was that got the US ass deep on the Vietnam War?

Well August is a busy month….we have had bombs and Marilyn and in 1964 Pres. Johnson got his wish and the US was thrust into the armed conflict in Southeast Asia…..

It was 56 years ago today that a joint session of Congress approved the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, an act that led to the Vietnam War’s escalation and the eventual passage of another measure seeking to curb presidential powers.

The incident between the USS Maddox and several North Vietnamese torpedo boats remains hazy today. On August 4, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson told a national audience that the North Vietnamese had engaged the U.S. Navy in the Gulf of Tonkin. He then asked Congress to approve retaliatory attacks on North Vietnam.

“After consultation with the leaders of both parties in the Congress, I further announced a decision to ask the Congress for a resolution expressing the unity and determination of the United States in supporting freedom and in protecting peace in southeast Asia,” Johnson said the next day.

“As I have repeatedly made clear, the United States intends no rashness, and seeks no wider war. We must make it clear to all that the United States is united in its determination to bring about the end of Communist subversion and aggression in the area,” Johnson added.

On August 7, 1964, Congress approved a resolution that soon became the legal rationalization for the Vietnam War.

https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/the-gulf-of-tonkin-and-the-limits-of-presidential-power

This resolution sent many Americans like myself into a meat grinder…..a situation that took years to work through.

It took 5 days from the incident to the resolution….and then war comes to us all….

On 2 August 1964, North Vietnamese patrol torpedo boats attacked the USS Maddox (DD-731) while the destroyer was in international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin. There is no doubting that fact. But what happened in the Gulf during the late hours of 4 August—and the consequential actions taken by U.S. officials in Washington—has been seemingly cloaked in confusion and mystery ever since that night.

Nearly 200 documents the National Security Agency (NSA) declassified and released in 2005 and 2006, however, have helped shed light on what transpired in the Gulf of Tonkin on 4 August. The papers, more than 140 of them classified top secret, include phone transcripts, oral-history interviews, signals intelligence (SIGINT) messages, and chronologies of the Tonkin events developed by Department of Defense and NSA officials. Combined with recently declassified tapes of phone calls from White House officials involved with the events and previously uncovered facts about Tonkin, these documents provide compelling evidence about the subsequent decisions that led to the full commitment of U.S. armed forces to the Vietnam War.

https://www.usni.org/magazines/naval-history-magazine/2008/february/truth-about-tonkin

As usual for those that are allergic to the printed word I present a short video that will help in the understanding of this situation.

 

 

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The Death Of A Pin-Up

58 year ago this month, August of 1962 the death of Marilyn Monroe shocked Hollywood and the world.

There has been a wealth of conspiracies around her death….was she killed? Did she really commit suicide? We may never know for sure but there is a lot of evidence around her death….

On the evening of August 4 1962, Marilyn Monroe telephoned Peter Lawford, the British actor who was also the husband of John F Kennedy’s sister, Pat. Monroe’s voice was strangely slurred, and she ended their conversation ominously. “Say goodbye to Pat,” she told Lawford drowsily. “Say goodbye to the president and say goodbye to yourself because you’re a nice guy.”

Hours later, the most enduring sex symbol ever to grace the American screen was found dead in her Los Angeles mansion, her graceful body lying face down and naked on her bed.

Eunice Murray, Monroe’s housekeeper claimed that she noticed a light on in the bedroom around 3.30 am; troubled, she called Monroe’s psychologist, Dr Ralph Greenson and her personal physician, Dr Hyman Engelberg. Greenson arrived around 3.40 and found Monroe’s body; when Engleberg arrived a few minutes later, he pronounced her dead. The coroner’s report subsequently listed the cause of her death as “acute barbiturate poisoning, ingestion of overdose,” and “probable suicide”.

https://www.readersdigest.co.uk/inspire/life/intriguing-mysteries-the-death-of-marilyn-monroe

In case you would like more then here is a good piece….

Ever since Monroe’s death, there have been prevalent and unrelenting theories saying she was murdered in reality. The rumors were so compelling that the Los Angeles District Attorney reopened the case in 1982. However, the case was quickly shut again with the same conclusions made in ‘62.

Of course, conspiracies take on a life of their own, and people still whisper about the death of Marilyn Monroe to this day. Here are some of the most interesting theories about what may have actually happened to Marilyn Monroe.

Death in Hollywood: Was Marilyn Monroe murdered?

Whatcha think?

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The Sixth Of August

On this day in history, and it was a busy one, many historic events took place……

1888–Martha Turner is murdered by Jack the Ripper

1904–Japanese army in Korea surrounds the Russian army

Then there was 1945……

But one of the biggest events was the first A-bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Even by the heightened standards of a nation’s capital during wartime, the gathering of generals, admirals, and high government officials in the White House Cabinet Room on the afternoon of Monday, June 18, 1945, was impressive. Only one, however, could claim resident status—the newly sworn in president of the United States, Harry S. Truman.

A veteran of the First World War and a long-serving Democratic senator from the state of Missouri, Truman was an unlikely candidate for the job he now held. A compromise candidate for the office of vice president in 1944, Truman was no close confidant of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Indeed, he had little insight into Roosevelt’s thinking about postwar relations with the Soviet Union and no knowledge of the existence of a major program—the Manhattan Project—to produce an atomic bomb.

In a series of meetings conducted shortly after being sworn in as president, Truman overcame this deficit, maintaining a pledge to adhere as closely as possible to the policy directions set forth by President Roosevelt. But some decisions would have to be taken by the new president, which is why he had convened the Cabinet Room meeting.

ATOMIC BOMBINGS AT 75: The Decision to Drop the Bomb on Japan and the Genesis of the Cold War

More on this event in previous post……

But for the US it was the passing and signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965…..that gave alienated Americans free use of the ballot.

Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which aimed to increase the number of people registered to vote in areas where there was a record of previous discrimination. The legislation outlawed literacy tests and provided for the appointment of Federal examiners (with the power to register qualified citizens to vote) in certain jurisdictions with a history of voting discrimination. In addition, these jurisdictions could not change voting practices or procedures without “preclearance” from either the U.S. Attorney General or the District Court for Washington, DC. This act shifted the power to register voters from state and local officials to the federal government.

Because the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was the most significant statutory change in the relationship between the Federal and state governments in the area of voting since the Reconstruction era, it was immediately challenged in the courts. Between 1965 and 1969, the Supreme Court issued several key decisions upholding the constitutionality of the law [See South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 383 U.S. 301, 327-28 (1966) and Allen v. State Board of Elections, 393 U.S. 544 (1969)].

https://www.archives.gov/legislative/features/voting-rights-1965

More information…..https://www.justice.gov/crt/history-federal-voting-rights-laws

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04 August 1914–Guns Of August–Part One

On this day in history…….Germany invades Belgium causing Great Britain to declare war on Germany. Germany had declared war on France the day before.

This became known as the Guns Of August……

What could drive a world mad to the point of wasting so many lives?

We’ll start with the facts and work back: it may make it all the easier to understand how World War One actually happened.  The events of July and early August 1914 are a classic case of “one thing led to another” – otherwise known as the treaty alliance system.

The explosive that was World War One had been long in the stockpiling; the spark was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914.  (Click here to view film footage of Ferdinand arriving at Sarajevo’s Town Hall on 28 June 1914.)

Ferdinand’s death at the hands of the Black Hand, a Serbian nationalist secret society, set in train a mindlessly mechanical series of events that culminated in the world’s first global war.

Austria-Hungary’s Reaction

Austria-Hungary’s reaction to the death of their heir (who was in any case not greatly beloved by the Emperor, Franz Josef, or his government) was three weeks in coming.  Arguing that the Serbian government was implicated in the machinations of the Black Hand (whether she was or not remains unclear, but it appears unlikely), the Austro-Hungarians opted to take the opportunity to stamp its authority upon the Serbians, crushing the nationalist movement there and cementing Austria-Hungary’s influence in the Balkans.

It did so by issuing an ultimatum to Serbia which, in the extent of its demand that the assassins be brought to justice effectively nullified Serbia’s sovereignty.  Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary, was moved to comment that he had “never before seen one State address to another independent State a document of so formidable a character.”

Austria-Hungary’s expectation was that Serbia would reject the remarkably severe terms of the ultimatum, thereby giving her a pretext for launching a limited war against Serbia.

https://www.firstworldwar.com/origins/causes.htm

A war that cost so many lives and accomplished very little in the end.

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03 August 1807

History on this day……1882 the Immigration Act that banned Chinese immigrants for ten years (sounds familiar for some reason)

1908–Allan Allensworth filed for the first Afro-American city…..Allensworth, California

But the big situation was in the early years of the republic.

On this day in 1807, Aaron Burr,  the former VP of the United States and presidential candidate goes on trial for treason.

Burr was arrested in the Mississippi Territory in 1807……my post on this situation……https://lobotero.com/2019/02/19/the-arrest-of-aaron-burr-1807/

The synopsis…..

What was the nature of the plot that had seen Burr charged with treason? Even today, many details of the scheme remain hazy. “Too many people told too many different stories, and too many people had things to hide,” historian Buckner F. Melton has written. What is known is that Burr worked to raise a small army on the American frontier. He may have hoped to lead an independent campaign against Spanish-held territories in Texas and Mexico, but it’s also possible that he planned to wrest a portion of the newly acquired frontier from the United States. According to some contemporaries, Burr had designs on founding a new western nation with himself as its emperor.

https://www.history.com/news/aaron-burrs-notorious-treason-case

A very good account of the trial……

Click to access burrtrial.pdf

For those too lazy to read…..this video will help……

I have studied this incident….and I think that it was Jefferson being petty that caused the acquittal…..Jefferson had made promises that he did not keep and Burr wanted revenge on Tommie…..for his lies and manipulations.

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Passchendaele: A Worthless Exercise

On this day over 100 years ago the Third Battle For Ypres was commencing…..the date is 31July1917……this battle will go down in history as a massive waste of human life.

A description of the battle from the BBC…….

Officially known as the Third Battle of Ypres, Passchendaele became infamous not only for the scale of casualties, but also for the mud.

Ypres was the principal town within a salient (or bulge) in the British lines and the site of two previous battles: First Ypres (October-November 1914) and Second Ypres (April-May 1915). Haig had long wanted a British offensive in Flanders and, following a warning that the German blockade would soon cripple the British war effort, wanted to reach the Belgian coast to destroy the German submarine bases there. On top of this, the possibility of a Russian withdrawal from the war threatened German redeployment from the Eastern front to increase their reserve strength dramatically.

The British were further encouraged by the success of the attack on Messines Ridge on 7 June 1917. Nineteen huge mines were exploded simultaneously after they had been placed at the end of long tunnels under the German front lines. The capture of the ridge inflated Haig’s confidence and preparations began. Yet the flatness of the plain made stealth impossible: as with the Somme, the Germans knew an attack was imminent and the initial bombardment served as final warning. It lasted two weeks, with 4.5 million shells fired from 3,000 guns, but again failed to destroy the heavily fortified German positions.

The infantry attack began on 31 July. Constant shelling had churned the clay soil and smashed the drainage systems. The left wing of the attack achieved its objectives but the right wing failed completely. Within a few days, the heaviest rain for 30 years had turned the soil into a quagmire, producing thick mud that clogged up rifles and immobilised tanks. It eventually became so deep that men and horses drowned in it.

On 16 August the attack was resumed, to little effect. Stalemate reigned for another month until an improvement in the weather prompted another attack on 20 September. The Battle of Menin Road Ridge, along with the Battle of Polygon Wood on 26 September and the Battle of Broodseinde on 4 October, established British possession of the ridge east of Ypres.

Further attacks in October failed to make much progress. The eventual capture of what little remained of Passchendaele village by British and Canadian forces on 6 November finally gave Haig an excuse to call off the offensive and claim success.

However, Passchendaele village lay barely five miles beyond the starting point of his offensive. Having prophesied a decisive success, it had taken over three months, 325,000 Allied and 260,000 German casualties to do little more than make the bump of the Ypres salient somewhat larger. In Haig’s defence, the rationale for an offensive was clear and many agreed that the Germans could afford the casualties less than the Allies, who were being reinforced by America’s entry into the war. Yet Haig’s decision to continue into November remains deeply controversial and the arguments, like the battle, seem destined to go on and on.

(BBC)

If graphs and such do more to inform you then maybe this article will be more along the lines that you need……https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/happened-battle-passchendaele/

Then there are those that have given up the power to read for those I have a short video that could assist in their knowledge…..

As I stated earlier….a worthless loss of human life that accomplished NOTHING.

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The Cult Of Robert E. Lee

These days of re-thinking the Civil War there is one that seems to have this whole cult around him….that is Gen. Robert E. Lee, commanding general of the Confederate Forces.

It is fascinating, at least to me, that a traitor like Benedict Arnold is hated and a traitor like Lee is deified…..and believe me….in the South Lee is deified.

How did this whole cult spring up around Lee?

The reason the South fought the American Civil War has been contested ever since the Confederacy surrendered in 1865. An odd turn of events, considering that when 11 Southern states seceded from the Union at the war’s outset, they were very clear about why they were doing it.

In declaration after declaration, Confederate states explicitly said that they had seceded in order to preserve slavery.

South Carolina, the first to secede, cited “an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery” in its declaration of secession. Mississippi’s declaration argued “There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union.” 

It was only after the war that many former Confederates changed course, creating an alternative narrative that historians refer to as the “Lost Cause.”

https://www.history.com/news/how-the-cult-of-robert-e-lee-was-born

Lost Cause….something I have also written about…..read it for yourself…….

Did Lee commit treason?

Led an armed rebellion against the government and person of the United States of America……then YES HE WAS!

In case you are interested…..https://athenaeumreview.org/essay/did-robert-e-lee-commit-treason/

More on the actions of Lee……

Robert E. Lee was a great “American” general, who attended West Point, led American soldiers to victory as a commander in the Mexican War and was beloved by his men

Until 1862, that is, when he turned traitor and gave up his commission in the US Army for a stint as commanding general of the “Confederate States of America” after South Carolina fired on Fort Sumter, South Carolina in April 1861, as an act of war. A devoted son of Virginia, Lee returned home and took up arms against the United States of America whose Constitution he had sworn to protect and defend.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trumps-great-general-robert-e-lee-was-a-traitor-and-a-bad-person

To be fair I offer this short video that tries to refute the idea…..

Lee IMO was a bigger traitor than Arnold…..but that is the post for a rainy day.

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A Necessary Evil?

I have often heard the statement that something is a necessary evil…..I may sure that you have as well…..but what does the statement actually mean?

A Necessary Evil…….something bad or unpleasant that you have to accept in order to achieve what you want…..

There are few things that I could say are necessary evils…..

I, for one, consider yard work to be a necessary evil.Mr Waldegrave’s shambolic performance in the press conference was a necessary evil.We do not look at government as a necessary evil.It may be a necessary evil, but it is surely an evil.However, the authors, like most others then and now, saw those shortcomings as a necessary evil in maintaining control.They’re a necessary evil, like the woman who sawed off all my lovely hair.Lawyers are a necessary evil that I try to use as little as possible due to their cost.Bureaucracy was also a necessary evil to cope with the ravages of war.They viewed such methods as a necessary evil, unavoidable yet somehow beneath their dignity.

All this confusion is from something the “Mouth Of The South”, Tom Cotton, had to say about slavery….

“As the Founding Fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built.” That’s how Sen. Tom Cotton described slavery in an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Friday. The Republican was speaking out against the 1619 Project at the time, a New York Times-based curriculum examining the history of slavery in the US. Cotton has introduced a bill that would reduce federal funding for any school that uses it, the Hill reports, but he’s now facing criticism for his comments on it. In context:

  • “We have to study the history of slavery and its role and impact on the development of our country because otherwise we can’t understand our country. As the Founding Fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built, but the union was built in a way, as Lincoln said, to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction.”
  • Cotton also said that the US should not be portrayed as “an irredeemably corrupt, rotten and racist country,” but “as an imperfect and flawed land, but the greatest and noblest country in the history of mankind.” He added, “The entire premise of the New York Times’ factually, historically flawed 1619 Project … is that America is at root, a systemically racist country to the core and irredeemable. I reject that root and branch. America is a great and noble country founded on the proposition that all mankind is created equal. We have always struggled to live up to that promise, but no country has ever done more to achieve it.” A director of the project was among those criticizing Cotton, but Cotton’s response to her got retweeted by the president himself: “Describing the *views of the Founders* and how they put the evil institution on a path to extinction, a point frequently made by Lincoln, is not endorsing or justifying slavery.”

I do not agree with “whatsisname”…….it was only necessary for the owners of plantations to get rich….

Any thoughts?

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That “Lost Cause Myth”

Any historians out there?

Any American Civil War buffs out there?

I have never been a fan of the American Civil War……I preferred to study on the time between 1760 and 1812……to me there was far more stuff happening that needs more study…..especially the years between 1800 and 1811…..

But the renewed situation with the statues and flag and a deeper issue of racism has got me to thinking about  the whole ball of wax.

Especially the so-called “Lost Cause Myth” pertaining to the South……..

The Lost Cause of the Confederacy, or simply the Lost Cause, is an American pseudo-historical, negationist ideology which advocates the belief that the cause of the Confederate States during the American Civil War was a just and heroic one.

This is the so-called history that has been taught in the South for many decades. For those that cannot read or understand a couple of short videos can assist.

These statues that are just now coming down helps to explain the BS behind the Lost Cause Myth…..

For the most part, the statues, now being stashed in the back rooms of museums in the South, are anachronistic, leftover artifacts of a mythology that spread throughout Southern states in the early 20th Century, and which historians refer to as the “Mythology of the Lost Cause.” 

The myth grew out of attempts by a few Confederate army officers to justify their failures and ultimately humiliating defeats in the Civil War. It holds that instead of a doomed insurgency launched by racists in order to prolong slavery, the Civil War was, in fact, a romantic tragedy similar to the Hollywood fable portrayed by Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind

The Confederacy, according to this fictional account, fought to defend itself against Northern aggression and to preserve the rights of the besieged Southern states. Proponents insist that the people kidnapped and forced into bondage in the 17th and 18th centuries were most likely better off than they would have been had they remained in Africa. Some may even have preferred slavery, they argue.

Setting the Record Straight

Now ask…how could a defeat been seen as something positive?

Well we can thank Woodrow Wilson for he made the Lost Cause Myth more palatable…..he started naming military bases after defeat Confederate generals…..but why?

Born and raised in Virginia, Wilson was the first American president to hail from the South since the Civil War. He was 8 years old when Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House. Though Wilson grew up to become a northeastern Ivy League academic, the president of Princeton, and later governor of New Jersey, his southern political base saw him as a champion of the Lost Cause. And he didn’t let them down.

As president, Wilson imposed Jim Crow–style segregation on the federal civil service and the Navy, which had been integrated for the previous century, and when he hosted the first-ever screening of a feature film in the White House, the honor went to The Birth of a Nation. An adaptation of the Thomas Dixon Jr. novel The Clansman, the film brought the myth of the Lost Cause to the silver screen in a racist paean to the defeat of Reconstruction through the terrorist violence of the KKK.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/the-lost-causes-long-legacy/613288/

Here for your education are some of the tenets of the “Lost Cause Myth”……

  • Confederate generals such as Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson represented the virtues of Southern nobility. This nobility was contrast most significantly in comparisons between U.S. Grant and Lee. The Northern generals, were characterized as men with low moral standards who engaged in vicious campaigns against Southern civilians such as Sherman’s March to the Sea and Philip Sheridan’s burning of the Shenandoah Valley in the Valley Campaigns of 1864.
  • Losses on the battlefield were inevitable and were blamed on Northern superiority in resources and manpower.
  • Losses were also the result of betrayal and incompetence on the part of certain subordinates of General Lee, such as General James Longstreet.  Longstreet was the object of blame because of his association with Grant, conversion to the Republican Party, and other actions during Reconstruction.
  • While states’ rights was not emphasized in the declarations of secession, the Lost Cause focused on the defense of states’ rights, rather than preservation of slavery as the primary cause that led eleven Southern states to secede.
  • Secession was seen as a justifiable constitutional response to Northern cultural and economic aggressions against the Southern way of life.
  • Slavery was fictionally presented as a benign institution, and the slaves were treated well and cared for and loyal and faithful to their benevolent masters.

https://civil-war-journeys.org/the_lost_cause.htm

As an amateur historian this situation forces me to look closer at this part of American history……for me it is any excuse for research.

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Pandemics Helped Build Mega-Corporations

Yes I know another one of the professor’s historic posts……history is where it is at people.

I read an interesting article about pandemics and how they helped build the mega-corporations….but first a little background from earlier posts here on IST……

https://lobotero.com/2020/03/28/pandemics-in-history/

https://lobotero.com/2020/04/01/more-plague-history/

There have been many pandemics through history and each time someone dies and others profit……

In June 1348, people in England began reporting mysterious symptoms. They started off as mild and vague: headaches, aches, and nausea. This was followed by painful black lumps, or buboes, growing in the armpits and groin, which gave the disease its name: bubonic plague. The last stage was a high fever, and then death.

Originating in Central Asia, soldiers and caravans had brought bubonic plague – Yersina pestis, a bacterium carried on fleas that lived on rats – to ports on the Black Sea. The highly commercialised world of the Mediterranean ensured the plague’s swift transfer on merchant ships to Italy, and then across Europe. The Black Death killed between a third and a half of the population of Europe and the Near East.

This huge number of deaths was accompanied by general economic devastation. With a third of the workforce dead, the crops could not be harvested and communities fell apart. One in ten villages in England (and in Tuscany and other regions) were lost and never re-founded. Houses fell into the ground and were covered by grass and earth, leaving only the church behind. If you ever see a church or chapel all alone in a field, you are probably looking at the last remains of one of Europe’s lost villages.

https://theconversation.com/how-pandemics-past-and-present-fuel-the-rise-of-mega-corporations-137732

Throughout history there are winners and losers……usually it is the working stiffs that lose out and those with the money that make out like bandits…..

Think this is not the case?

Let’s look at Bezos……in one day during this pandemic…..

How do you treat yourself when you make $13 billion in one day? We’ll have to ask Jeff Bezos, who, per Bloomberg, saw that amount added to his net worth Monday, the largest single-day boost to one person’s wealth since the Bloomberg Billionaires Index began in 2012. A big part of his newfound windfall: Amazon shares rising 7.9% Monday (they’ve been up 73% so far this year). The 56-year-old Amazon founder has made $74 billion in 2020, bringing his overall fortune up to nearly $190 billion—more than what Nike or McDonald’s is worth. Earlier this year, Business Insider reported

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