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Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam Paperback – September 20, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Review by Phillip Butler, PhD
"Perils of Dominance" takes a topic of mind-boggling complexity, weaves a clear and consistent narrative from all the elements, and presents a picture staggering in its basic indictment of back-stabbing, endless lying, high crimes and misdemeanors, and outright treason. The traitors were the Hawk extremists who did all they could to drag John F. Kennedy(who successfully resisted until his execution) and Lyndon Johnson(whose resistance weakened under his huge domestic goals) into the war that killed 60,000 American soldiers and 3,000,000 Southeast Asians. Perhaps the most surprising and moving part of "Perils" is the picture of Lyndon Johnson, a strong opponent of expansion from Dallas through his defeat of Goldwater. We know of Tonkin Gulf, of course. And LBJ has been crucified for 40 years because of the deceptions involved. Porter shows us that it was Johnson himself who was most skeptical of the torpedo lies. And it was Johnson himself who trashed the attempts of the Hawks following the initial incident to fabricate more Tonkin Gulf-type phony attacks to justify the bombing of the North and takeover of the war by the U.S. military. Once elected, of course, LBJ gave up the ghost and the rest is genocidal history.
The real hero of the book is John F. Kennedy.Read more ›
How could the disastrous consequences of the exercise of power be taken on so blindly? I think of another folly now openly admitted, which was exposed by the same methods of investigation. "I did it just because I could" is the simple reason President Bill Clinton gave Larry King as to why he went at it with Monica - and he called his rationale the worst of all reasons humans can use for immoral conduct.
Thanks to Kenneth Starr, we even know which senator Clinton was on the phone with during one of his assignations, because mundane documents were meticulously interrelated until no one could hide much of anything.
To a much higher purpose, Gareth Porter has sifted through day by day logs of the Kennedy & Johnson era White House and examined relevant notes, memoirs and meeting transcripts kept by the players and staff. His investigation is no less meticulous, and we see how both JFK and LBJ tried to be more in tune with larger political issues and more worthwhile national agendas as they sought viable alternatives. But Perils also reveals how `the Whiz Kids' were able to throw in more and more firepower and destruction through a series of short term, dispassionate maneuverings of their `Commander in Chief.Read more ›
that has been known for some time in a very different light,
casting doubts not only as to how we have viewed the conflicts
in Southeast Asia, but the entire Cold War as well, right up to
the "perils" of the present American dominance
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gareth Porter was one of those legendary characters of the peace movement; operating out of Vietnam, sending dispatches from the field, trying to correct the pro-war propaganda at... Read morePublished on October 1, 2013 by Brenda Teese
This book makes structural what too many on the fake left like Chomsky Hersh Cockburn mock with namecalling when the same point is actually brought up with the JFK assassination:... Read morePublished on March 14, 2010 by Boyce Hart
Do you believe the President sits atop the government as an independent judge of what should be done by the executive branch - a final point at which group-think might be turned... Read morePublished on January 11, 2010 by C. Brown
Gave four stars only because book ends with the big build up of 1965. Excellent on the behind the scenes political activity that got us into the full scale war. Read morePublished on March 8, 2009 by J. B. McCulloch
Porter's latest piece of revisionism fails for the same reason most others do: Construct a theory based off of prejudices, find information to validate, ignore information that... Read morePublished on February 14, 2006 by Mike