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Your Views: Columnist King played loose with the facts on Vietnam War
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Wasn’t it brilliant to hear Joan King state in her Dec. 15 column, "The U.S. isn’t going to "win" in Afghanistan," just as Sen. Harry Reid did toward the surge in Iraq.

OK, Joan, the terrain has many challenges, but drones and bombing raids can overcome that. But her statement that, "Afghanistan has had centuries of war that nobody won" is lame since you can go back in history and see that throughout the world. But to state "nobody won" is a false statement that depends on who you are backing since we helped them defeat the Soviets.

Joan lost me completely as she rewrote military history during three past U.S. presidents connected to the Vietnam War. Starting with her statement during the debates of the 1960 election that "Vice President Nixon had a plan for getting out of Vietnam, but he lost the debate over how to do it to John F. Kennedy." It was TV’s first debate and he didn’t wear much makeup; Kennedy was tan, sexy and younger, the first rock star candidate.

You can’t rewrite history and get away with it, since it was Kennedy who got us into the Vietnam War after he was elected president by increasing troop levels in July of 1963 from 800 advisors to 16,300 troops. It was not Nixon’s war yet.

Again Joan tried to rewrite history by stating, "President Johnson finally declared ‘victory’ and brought our troops home, but critics still say America blinked. If we had just sent more troops, spent more money, had a little more courage and perseverance, we could have ‘won.’"

Joan, what book or Web site did you find this garbage in? It was Nixon who set in motion for the resolution of the Vietnam War when first elected president in 1969. Yes, he did escalate so we would have more strength at the peace talks, as Nixon reduced troop levels by 25,000 in 1969 and a total of a 405,000 reduction by 1972. By the 1973 Paris Peace Treaty, he had reduced levels from a strength of 543,000 to zero. He also ended the military draft in 1973, which Johnson had implemented during his term to build troop levels for the war.

I’m not trying to say Kennedy, Johnson or Nixon are better or worse, but Joan just can’t get away with rewriting history to make her column read better for her political slant. Joan should be dropped by The Times for this blatant breach of facts.

Jane Browder
Gainesville

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