For Historical Accuracy
I am not a republicrat or a demonublican. I am an American, sad at the state of our country.
I have lived through about a quarter of USA history, and I figure a note or two on how history is re-written is in order.
On this day in 1961 We entered Viet Nam under JFK, a Democratic president. I knew a wonderful fellow in the Military who was part of a fact finding mission in Nam prior to JFK ordering in 18,000 American soldiers as "advisors." This fellow advised against entry, the French had just had their butts kicked there, and Ho was an admirer of the USA; we could have talked first.
That fine fellow was forced to retire from the army - everyone else wanted to show off American power.
The war in Nam peaked during the Johnson presidency, another Democrat, Those scenes of student unrest you see on TV were probably at the Democratic National convention prior to the elections. Nixon, a Republican, was elected to get us out of the war. Nixon did get us out of Nam, after his ego delayed exit while he tried his tricks for a quick victory.
We lost a lot of good boys, and horribly injured a bunch more, before we joined the French and ran. It was not the soldiers fault we were in the war, or lost the war; that was politicians and generals responsibility.
You will not see this story on TV or at the Movies; or read it in a text book. If you do it is likely Nixon that will be blamed for the war. Bush got us into the present war; in a decade or two we will have another story of why, and other people may get the blame or credit.
The old saw is that history is written by the winners.
No, history is written by journalists and writers; and they all have an agenda.
And history is often rewritten and simplified for easy consumption and indoctrination.
Historians write based on their own world view, no matter how skewed. Just read a few current blogs on the war on terror and you will see how far afield world views can lie.
Just a few talking points, perhaps skewed by me, perhaps as biased as current history reads:
The Civil War was not primarily about slavery, Lincoln did not issue his limited (only some states were effected) emancipation proclamation until the North was losing the war. It was a move borne of desperation. Other countries eliminated slavery without war, the US was headed that way also. The civil war was primarily the end of the Federalist debate. A nation that had been formed with a weak union of 13 separate nation states had become a strong centralized government; a new American nation was created with far more power vested in government.
In the Spanish American war we helped the rebels against Spain in places like the Philippines, then took their country.
The French started WWI, not the Germans; the combatants were at a stalemate and probably close to negotiated peace when we entered. We gave France a victory that destroyed democratic Germany with reparations, and set the stage for Hitler.
The destroyed economies of the world were one element that set the stage for the great depression and the resultant emergence of a new socialist America, a new nation based increasingly on re-distribution and ever increasing government power.
We set back and watched as Japan, Germany, and Russia rampaged at the start of WWII. The USA didn't start to cut off and harass Japan, and look for entry into the war, until Hitler attacked FDRs socialist buddy "Uncle Joe Stalin."
In spite of what you were taught, Hitler and Stalin were socialist allies early on, and we were isolationistic. In his defense FDR probably did not know that Uncle Joe Stalin would kill more of his own countrymen than Adolf Hitler had; both were murdering psychopaths.
The founding fathers of the USA favored isolation from world conflicts. Political leaders however love the power they accrue from a nation at war, and that is leaders of all stripes. The only president worth leading us is one that does not want the job, George Washington was the last one.
America was founded based on independent States competing for citizens; with an agreed union to fight aggression against any. Secession as a state's right was eliminated with the civil war. Secession will become a larger issue within the next few decades, but that is a future post.
In any case, this is not the nation it was at my birth, and the history of what has happened in just my life has been remade.
All of the history we learn has likewise been remade.
All of our knowledge is massaged in a similar manner, but that was a prior post.
"Words ought to be slightly wild for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking" - John Keynes
Think about what I said rather than react with your bureaucratic trained anger at other viewpoints.
You may find some merit in at least one of those talking points.
Labels: American History