Historians partial to Kennedy see matters differently from those partial to L.B.J. Vietnam has become a point of contention in defending and criticizing J.F.K.
Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America – not on the battlefields of Vietnam.
Richard Nixon as a 12-year-old was given a portrait of Lincoln that he hung over his bed. Nixon also justified what would later be seen as abuses of power by comparing America in the Vietnam era to the country during the Civil War.
Within days of Richard Nixon’s inauguration in January 1969, national-security adviser Kissinger asked the Pentagon to lay out his bombing options in Indochina. The previous president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, had suspended his own bombing campaign against North Vietnam in hopes of negotiating a broader cease-fire.
Ronald Reagan, who led the larger New Right project of re-sanctifying U.S. foreign policy after its Vietnam disaccreditation, felt compelled to drape his support for Central American death squads in the rhetoric of American exceptionalism.
I don’t claim to know Israel. I don’t speak Hebrew; my contacts are pretty limited. But I didn’t know Vietnam; I didn’t know Nicaragua, El Salvador or Honduras. It doesn’t mean you can’t reach your conclusions.
The Vietnam War and the Iraq war, in different ways, both made me feel like I could not not address them. I’m very doubtful about the usefulness of poetry to do that.
I served two tours of duty in Vietnam. I won the Bronze Star. I won the Purple Heart.
Kennedy is remembered as a success mainly because of what came after: Johnson and Vietnam. Nixon and Watergate.
The object of my relationship with Vietnam has been to heal the wounds that exist, particularly among our veterans, and to move forward with a positive relationship,… Apparently some in the Vietnamese government don’t want to do that and that’s their decision.