Nixon didn't start war but he escalated it

April 19, 2004

Dear Editor:

Mr. Gil Russell's letter in the Advocate on the issue of former President Richard Nixon's credibility on Vietnam was way wrong.

Mr. Nixon won the election in 1968 on the premise that he would end the war in Vietnam. What did Mr. Nixon do? He escalated the war, and in the process brought on his own downfall.

Mr. Russell was correct that John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson got the United States into Vietnam. However, John Kennedy on Oct. 11,1963, approved National Security Action Memorandum No. 263, which called for the withdrawal of U.S. military personnel by the end of 1963. This was done a little more than a month before he was assassinated.


Mr. Russell wants to blame Democrats for Vietnam. We can also blame Republicans for Iraq. It was former President Ronald Reagan that supported and supplied the Iraqi regime with the war machine it became.

Current President Bush also has a bad credibility rating because he has lied to the American people time and again. Not once has the Bush administration supplied one shred of evidence on Iraq's involvement with the tragedy of Sept. 11. The Bush team also has not supplied one tiny thread of WMDs that our troops were sent to Iraq to destroy. He has done very little on the domestic front and has put all of his efforts into a failed foreign policy issue that has ran up a massive deficit with very little hope for a peaceful ending.

Vietnam was a terrible war for our troops. They may never be fully given the credit they are really due. There are those who say history repeats itself. If we continue to stay in Iraq with no clear plan for ending our stay, we may just see our next Vietnam.

Ken Griffin


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