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Question: Do you honestly believe that John F. Kennedy, had he lived, would have pulled out of Vietnam?
Yes   -4 (25%)
No   -12 (75%)
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Total Voters: 16

Author Topic: JFK and Vietnam  (Read 1904 times)
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Senator Conor Flynn
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« on: May 09, 2008, 03:45:39 am »
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I was talking about this with my Dad, prior to my Debate on Tuesday night. We both came to the conclusion that had John F. Kennedy had of lived past November 22, 1963, that he would have kept American "military advisors" in Vietnam. He probably would have signed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in August 1964 and he would have taken similar actions to what Lyndon Johnson did in Vietnam in RL.

Now I call upon you all, to discuss your answer, regarding the following question:

Do you honestly believe that John F. Kennedy, had he lived, would have pulled out of Vietnam?

Discuss.
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Senator Polnut
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2008, 04:07:08 am »
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I think it's a difficult thing to really guess.

Kennedy was a cold warrior, he wasn't soft on communism - he just had the inteligence to know that prevention was better than cure.

He showed a willingness to consider the military option, but certainly wasn't a hawk to the degree of Johnson.

I think he did show an unwillingness to commit large-scale military forces - circumstances may have forced his hand, but I think Kennedy wouldn't have been as eager to go as far.
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Old Europe
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2008, 05:32:05 am »
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I have no idea.

And I'm pretty sure Kennedy himself didn't really know either at the time of his death. I think at the end of the day, Kennedy was as much of a foreign policy hawk as he was a Detente diplomat. He often wanted to keep himself all options open and the decision which of those two parts he wanted to play was basically made on a case-to-case basis.

That said, at the time of his death he was in a process of "thinking it over"... but no decision had already been made either way.
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jeron
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2008, 06:18:42 am »
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No. Kennedy was just as prepared to fight communism as Johnson was. The Bay of Pigs invasion proves it. Kennedy wanting to withdraw from Vietnam is just a myth told by his supporters.
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2008, 06:58:23 am »
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Another fact I just remembered from reading a book about Kennedy's foreign policy once:

I think Kennedy's closest circle of adivsors was actually pretty much divided on Vietnam. One side didn't really see much point in continuing with the current strategy and favored exploring a number of alternatives to a military engagement, the other side wanted to continue or even expand the U.S. military involvement.

At the time of Kennedy's death neither side had gained the upper hand and the internal discussion hadn't really come to a conclusion. When Johnson become president, he fired almost all of those "Vietnam doves", while he kept the "hawks" in his administration.

The bottom line is... a continued Kennedy administration had made a withdrawal a bit more likely, but there is no guarantee that it actually would have happened.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2008, 07:02:00 am by Old Europe »Logged
JSojourner
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2008, 11:14:54 am »
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Unquestionably.  The title of this thread is the title of a book that documents, beyond any doubt, that Kennedy was already in the process of initiating a pullout when he was assassinated.  The book is JFK and Vietnam and the author is John M. Newman.  I highly recommend it.

Aside from the tortured imaginings of Hollywood movie producers, I'm not sure there's any substantive evidence that this got Kennedy killed.  But he absolutely WAS in the process of getting us out of Vietnam.  He knew a clusterphuck when he saw it.
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2008, 02:18:05 pm »
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Yes.  I do not think Kennedy was the hawk that LBJ was, and I think he would have realized that nothing could be gained.
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2008, 03:59:49 pm »
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"Do you honestly believe that John F. Kennedy, had he lived, would have pulled out of Vietnam?"

isn't it pretty to think so?
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2008, 01:26:18 am »
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JFK was obsessed with 'saving face' and appearing as a tough leader. He would have worried that a pull-out from Vietnam would look like another Bay of Pigs. No, I don't think he would have pulled out at all.
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GPORTER
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2008, 01:41:04 pm »
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I know what Kennedy wanted to do. He wanted to make peace. He wanted to not have to send troops to Vietnam. Yes, he and Ike had sent military advisors to Vietnam but, they both did not send troops.

I think that Johnson gave into public pressure from the foreign advisors to send troops to Vietnam. I think that this is one area where Kennedy and Johnson differed. Kennedy would have stuck with what he wanted to do no matter what the costs and Johnson would try to do the same, but would eventually give into pressure from those around him.

Therefore, yes, Kennedy would leave the military advisors there. But, he would not send troops there.
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the birth of modern america & onward timeline(http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=195483.new#new)results of four most previous elections.....
election 1912
Underwood: 267 Cutchens: 264 Lafolette: 0 Debs: 0 266 to win
election 1916
Underwood (i): 224 Curtis: 254 Johnson: 53 266 to win
House Underwood (i): 26 Curtis: 12 Johnson: 10 25 to win
election 1920
Roosevelt: 260 Lowden: 271 McAdoo: 0 266 to win
election 1924
Thomas: 262 Lowden (i): 269 266 to win
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Senator Conor Flynn
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2008, 04:54:04 pm »
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I think that Johnson gave into public pressure from the foreign advisors to send troops to Vietnam.

But Lyndon Johnson never gave into pressue from his team of foreign advisers regarding the War in Vietnam. He was a staunch believer in the Domino Theory likewise with President's Eisenhower and Kennedy before him and President Johnson would do anything to stop South East Asia from falling under Communist influence. Why do you think then within weeks of succeeding President Kennedy in the White House that Johnson granted the South Vietnamese Government an extra $500 million in military aide to fight off the North Vietnamese? Lyndon Johnson never gave into pressure my friend, he was still afraid of Cold War hysteria that is all.
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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2008, 07:25:34 pm »
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Loaded with factual inaccuracies, I'm sure, but interesting and entertaining nonetheless:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROqXzHq09IY
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MasterJedi
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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2008, 10:57:25 am »
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More than likely not.
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