Robert Spero: David Brooks Overlooked President Nixon
David Brooks omits an entire presidency in his column "The Party of Kennedy, or Carter?" (Feb. 17) which makes it appear that Republicans had no hand in the making of the Vietnam quagmire. In fact Republicans took the American military and public even deeper into Vietnam and the Indochina peninsula.
After Lyndon Johnson surrendered his presidency in 1968 because of his failed policies in Vietnam, his Republican successor, Richard Nixon, not only pursued many of the same policies but kicked them up a notch or two. Many Americans attempted to counter Nixon's war policies. Peace demonstrations were held throughout the United States on Oct. 15, 1969 and on Nov. 15 over 300,000 people demonstrated against the war in a Washington guarded by tanks and bayonets. In April of 1970 U.S. and South Vietnamese soldiers invaded Cambodia. In 1971 South Vietnamese soldiers invaded Laos supported by U..S air and artillery. And on and on it went until the cease fire in 1973, the beginning of Nixon's second term and five bloody years after he took office.
Mr. Brooks calls the Democrats naive. The truth is that the Republicans were no less naive and Americans of every political strip, beginning with the 56,000 U.S. troops who died and the more than 300,000 who were wounded, paid the price for that misguided war. We are still paying the price and if we are not careful our grandchildren will, too.
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