Sunday, November 09, 2003

Gabriel Kolko: The Vietnam War Reconsidered: "The land and peasant question in Vietnam, scarcely mentioned in the Allen memoir, was studied in detail by Robert L. Sansom and Jeffrey Race, both of whom had official sponsorship and published books well before the war ended. Both asserted that the land question was critical to the successful pursuit of an anti-Communist political mobilization in the South, and both were ignored. Race described how Washington's 'policy was founded on and protected by deception and outrageous lies,' and how a general told him that to identify America's errors in Vietnam was off bounds and the Pentagon 'cannot permit such subjects to be discussed.' That there were structural reasons for peasant supported the Communists 'simply couldn't get through' to the men at the top."

"The large technical and ideological cadres that purvey intelligence, rather than becoming a source of rationality and clarity, burden the already insupportable complexity of foreign policy formulation with worthless data, and accurate information becomes worthless as soon as it fails to reinforce what America's political and military leaders wish to hear... Intelligence's pretension to being objective is a hoax because those parts of it that do not reconfirm the power structure's interests and predetermined policies are ignored and discarded."

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