Author Topic: Oliver Stone Talks to Jacobin About JFKs Killing  (Read 1178 times)

Offline Jon Banks

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Oliver Stone Talks to Jacobin About JFKs Killing
« on: November 24, 2021, 06:09:01 PM »
Jacobin: Oliver Stone Talks to Jacobin About JFKs Killing

Jacobin: Why is finding out the truth about who shot JFK so important in 2021 and beyond?

Stone:

Because in 1963, our so-called democracy went down the drain. After Kennedy was killed, theres been no American president none! who has been able to challenge the authority of intelligence agencies or the military. Their budgets keep growing, and they have carte blanche. In other words, no one can change what theyre doing, and theyre on a course to protect our national security which, of course, they define in the most unrealistic terms. So, under that aegis, you can do pretty much whatever you want. You cannot touch national security as president its a third rail in politics.

I think the media has no desire to bring this back as a subject. Its a memory hole. But its very important because you have to behold American foreign policy, what weve been doing. Weve been in forever wars we never stop. Thats what Kennedy was fighting about he was a warrior for peace, for peace. And he saw the problem of Pax Americana his speech at American University, his desire for dtente with the Soviet Union, and Cuba, too. He was a man whod been to war, he knew war, he didnt believe in the generals anymore. He thought they were old men whod lost contact with reality.

Operation Northwoods, all the crazy schemes they devised to invade Cuba, shocked him, horrified him. Thats what he was dealing with a war-state mentality that came out of the 1950s. Its actually true, the Pentagon wanted war with Russia, they wanted to go for it now because they figured in the future Russia would build up its nuclear arms. And they wanted to get them now. This was the Curtis LeMay point of view.

https://jacobinmag.com/2021/11/oliver-stone-talks-to-jacobin-about-jfks-killing/

Offline Charles Collins

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Re: Oliver Stone Talks to Jacobin About JFKs Killing
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2021, 10:43:15 PM »
Jacobin: Oliver Stone Talks to Jacobin About JFKs Killing

Jacobin: Why is finding out the truth about who shot JFK so important in 2021 and beyond?

Stone:

Because in 1963, our so-called democracy went down the drain. After Kennedy was killed, theres been no American president none! who has been able to challenge the authority of intelligence agencies or the military. Their budgets keep growing, and they have carte blanche. In other words, no one can change what theyre doing, and theyre on a course to protect our national security which, of course, they define in the most unrealistic terms. So, under that aegis, you can do pretty much whatever you want. You cannot touch national security as president its a third rail in politics.

I think the media has no desire to bring this back as a subject. Its a memory hole. But its very important because you have to behold American foreign policy, what weve been doing. Weve been in forever wars we never stop. Thats what Kennedy was fighting about he was a warrior for peace, for peace. And he saw the problem of Pax Americana his speech at American University, his desire for dtente with the Soviet Union, and Cuba, too. He was a man whod been to war, he knew war, he didnt believe in the generals anymore. He thought they were old men whod lost contact with reality.

Operation Northwoods, all the crazy schemes they devised to invade Cuba, shocked him, horrified him. Thats what he was dealing with a war-state mentality that came out of the 1950s. Its actually true, the Pentagon wanted war with Russia, they wanted to go for it now because they figured in the future Russia would build up its nuclear arms. And they wanted to get them now. This was the Curtis LeMay point of view.

https://jacobinmag.com/2021/11/oliver-stone-talks-to-jacobin-about-jfks-killing/


So, if he is correct (about his words that I bolded) then why didnt we go to war with Russia right after JFK was assassinated?

I tend to believe that JFK did want peaceful solutions. And that the brink of nuclear war that happened during the Cuban Missle Crisis affected JFK (and those of us who were old enough to understand that situation) profoundly. But I dont believe that no other President since JFK has been able to effectively challenge the authority of the intelligence agencies or military. Thats just paranoid nonsense!

Offline Jon Banks

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Re: Oliver Stone Talks to Jacobin About JFKs Killing
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2021, 11:20:09 PM »
So, if he is correct (about his words that I bolded) then why didnt we go to war with Russia right after JFK was assassinated?

I tend to believe that JFK did want peaceful solutions. And that the brink of nuclear war that happened during the Cuban Missle Crisis affected JFK (and those of us who were old enough to understand that situation) profoundly. But I dont believe that no other President since JFK has been able to effectively challenge the authority of the intelligence agencies or military. Thats just paranoid nonsense!

Good question. I can't speak for him but I don't think Stone was talking about the 1960s.

In the early 1950s, before the Soviets caught up to our number of nuclear weapons, there were some within the US MIC that wanted to go to war against Russia. And from recently declassified records, we know that some of those same generals wanted to Nuke China in the 1950s. There was a belief that we could win a nuclear confrontation back in the 50s.

What grew out of President Eisenhower's reluctance to use military force all over the world was the growth of Covert Operations. In other words, rather than just observe and report intelligence, the CIA and Defense Intel agencies became more proactive at trying to influence or control events abroad. Covert Ops became a different way to wage war.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2021, 11:21:01 PM by Jon Banks »

Offline Charles Collins

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Re: Oliver Stone Talks to Jacobin About JFKs Killing
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2021, 03:21:26 AM »
Good question. I can't speak for him but I don't think Stone was talking about the 1960s.

In the early 1950s, before the Soviets caught up to our number of nuclear weapons, there were some within the US MIC that wanted to go to war against Russia. And from recently declassified records, we know that some of those same generals wanted to Nuke China in the 1950s. There was a belief that we could win a nuclear confrontation back in the 50s.

What grew out of President Eisenhower's reluctance to use military force all over the world was the growth of Covert Operations. In other words, rather than just observe and report intelligence, the CIA and Defense Intel agencies became more proactive at trying to influence or control events abroad. Covert Ops became a different way to wage war.

Oftentimes, movies reflect a societys attitudes and opinions. Dr. Strangelove premiered in 1964. I saw it before I was legally old enough to get in. And it was pretty intense for a young lad. Especially the last scene. Heres a synopsis from google:

A film about what could happen if the wrong person pushed the wrong button -- and it played the situation for laughs. U.S. Air Force General Jack Ripper goes completely insane, and sends his bomber wing to destroy the U.S.S.R. He thinks that the communists are conspiring to pollute the "precious bodily fluids" of the American people.

Yes, covert Ops are what triggered the Gulf of Tonkin incident which caused the US congress to fund and authorize LBJ to have a war without actually declaring war. But LBJ certainly still had the authority to control the intelligence agencies and the military. It was LBJs decision to make, if he had decided differently then the military would have had to comply. Oliver Stone is spouting nonsense.

Offline Steve M. Galbraith

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Re: Oliver Stone Talks to Jacobin About JFKs Killing
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2021, 04:50:03 PM »
Oftentimes, movies reflect a societys attitudes and opinions. Dr. Strangelove premiered in 1964. I saw it before I was legally old enough to get in. And it was pretty intense for a young lad. Especially the last scene. Heres a synopsis from google:

A film about what could happen if the wrong person pushed the wrong button -- and it played the situation for laughs. U.S. Air Force General Jack Ripper goes completely insane, and sends his bomber wing to destroy the U.S.S.R. He thinks that the communists are conspiring to pollute the "precious bodily fluids" of the American people.

Yes, covert Ops are what triggered the Gulf of Tonkin incident which caused the US congress to fund and authorize LBJ to have a war without actually declaring war. But LBJ certainly still had the authority to control the intelligence agencies and the military. It was LBJs decision to make, if he had decided differently then the military would have had to comply. Oliver Stone is spouting nonsense.
Jon is embracing the Oliver Stone/Jim Garrison history of the Cold War. That is, the US wanted to do this, the US did that, the US planned another thing. The MIC wanted this, the CIA that. That is, essentially, that this covert, all powerful "war state" hijacked American policy after WWII and created mythical threats to justify that power. Stone actually says that if Henry Wallace had been elected president in 1948 instead of Truman that no cold war would have followed. I would think one Josef Stalin would have had something to say about that.

Footnote: one of the top advisers to Henry Wallace during his campaign was one John Abt. Yes, the same John Abt that Oswald wanted as his lawyer.

All of that history ignores the actions of the Soviets, of China, of North Korea et cetera, during this conflict. The actions of Moscow or Beijing or Hanoi doesn't excuse whatever we did, doesn't justify all of the policies. I'm not saying that at all. But you can't look at what the US (and our allies who supported these efforts; how did the MIC get the UK and France and other western European nations to go with these policies?) did in a vacuum.

Garrison and Stone and DiEugenio put forward this vision of the Cold War to explain why JFK was killed. It was because JFK was going to dismantle the "war state", end the Cold War, pull out of Vietnam, normalize relations with Castro, et cetera. And it was for that that they had to kill him.

I'll repeat again: all of this conspiracy history is a sort of reverse engineering. Conspiracists think JFK couldn't have been killed by this pathetic Oswald with a cheap rifle; it had to be more. So who could have done it? And how could they pull it off? It had to be this secret military "deep state". Only they had the power and resources and motive to do so.

As to the Gulf of Tonkin: I think the whole discussion about the event - and it did happen; the North did attack US ships in the Gulf that first day; but NOT the second - is meaningless really. The North was intent on attacking the South and taking it over. For good or bad, the US was determined not to let that happen. So the conflict was bound to happen. Either initiated by that event or something else down the line.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2021, 06:24:21 PM by Steve M. Galbraith »

Offline Charles Collins

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Re: Oliver Stone Talks to Jacobin About JFKs Killing
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2021, 10:15:09 PM »
Jon is embracing the Oliver Stone/Jim Garrison history of the Cold War. That is, the US wanted to do this, the US did that, the US planned another thing. The MIC wanted this, the CIA that. That is, essentially, that this covert, all powerful "war state" hijacked American policy after WWII and created mythical threats to justify that power. Stone actually says that if Henry Wallace had been elected president in 1948 instead of Truman that no cold war would have followed. I would think one Josef Stalin would have had something to say about that.

Footnote: one of the top advisers to Henry Wallace during his campaign was one John Abt. Yes, the same John Abt that Oswald wanted as his lawyer.

All of that history ignores the actions of the Soviets, of China, of North Korea et cetera, during this conflict. The actions of Moscow or Beijing or Hanoi doesn't excuse whatever we did, doesn't justify all of the policies. I'm not saying that at all. But you can't look at what the US (and our allies who supported these efforts; how did the MIC get the UK and France and other western European nations to go with these policies?) did in a vacuum.

Garrison and Stone and DiEugenio put forward this vision of the Cold War to explain why JFK was killed. It was because JFK was going to dismantle the "war state", end the Cold War, pull out of Vietnam, normalize relations with Castro, et cetera. And it was for that that they had to kill him.

I'll repeat again: all of this conspiracy history is a sort of reverse engineering. Conspiracists think JFK couldn't have been killed by this pathetic Oswald with a cheap rifle; it had to be more. So who could have done it? And how could they pull it off? It had to be this secret military "deep state". Only they had the power and resources and motive to do so.

As to the Gulf of Tonkin: I think the whole discussion about the event - and it did happen; the North did attack US ships in the Gulf that first day; but NOT the second - is meaningless really. The North was intent on attacking the South and taking it over. For good or bad, the US was determined not to let that happen. So the conflict was bound to happen. Either initiated by that event or something else down the line.

JFK had been gone for a while before the Gulf of Tonkin events happened. LBJs mindset regarding Vietnam was different than JFKs mindset. No one can say with certainty what JFK might have done regarding Vietnam if he had not been assassinated. But he never strayed from his opinion that the conflict was one that the Vietnamese had to resolve. He believed that the U.S.s role should be to assist the South Vietnamese, not to fight the war for them with American combat forces. LBJ, on the other hand, let his ego and insecurities get in the way of good judgment. He said that HE wasnt going to be the first U.S. President to loose a war. The conflict was Vietnams war until LBJ decided to Americanize it by sending U.S. combat forces. Once Nixon became President, he began to re-Vietnamize the war by reducing U.S. forces and training Vietnamese forces to take the place of them. This, by the way, was exactly what JFK was doing when he was assassinated.

Offline Jon Banks

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Re: Oliver Stone Talks to Jacobin About JFKs Killing
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2021, 07:06:06 AM »
Jon is embracing the Oliver Stone/Jim Garrison history of the Cold War. That is, the US wanted to do this, the US did that, the US planned another thing. The MIC wanted this, the CIA that. That is, essentially, that this covert, all powerful "war state" hijacked American policy after WWII and created mythical threats to justify that power. Stone actually says that if Henry Wallace had been elected president in 1948 instead of Truman that no cold war would have followed. I would think one Josef Stalin would have had something to say about that.

Footnote: one of the top advisers to Henry Wallace during his campaign was one John Abt. Yes, the same John Abt that Oswald wanted as his lawyer.

All of that history ignores the actions of the Soviets, of China, of North Korea et cetera, during this conflict. The actions of Moscow or Beijing or Hanoi doesn't excuse whatever we did, doesn't justify all of the policies. I'm not saying that at all. But you can't look at what the US (and our allies who supported these efforts; how did the MIC get the UK and France and other western European nations to go with these policies?) did in a vacuum.

Garrison and Stone and DiEugenio put forward this vision of the Cold War to explain why JFK was killed. It was because JFK was going to dismantle the "war state", end the Cold War, pull out of Vietnam, normalize relations with Castro, et cetera. And it was for that that they had to kill him.

Oliver Stone is entitled to his own opinions, I'm entitled to my own, and you're entitled to your own.

Here's my opinion:

I don't agree with Stone's thesis that 'JFK was killed for refusing to escalate in Vietnam'. My opinion is, if there was a conspiracy plot against JFK, I suspect it had more to do with Cuba and the Mafia, than Vietnam.

However, in the bigger picture, Stone isn't wrong about the Military Industrial Complex and the Cold War. Like most great artists, his work appeals to such a wide range of people because there's a lot of truth in it even if some specific details are wrong. For example, Stone's 1991 film, 'JFK', is heavily dramatized and shows lots of things that didn't really happen but Stone nailed the broader narrative of how many Americans 'feel' about the JFK assassination. The film works as a political thriller because of the feelings (and an all-star cast), not the facts. 'JFK', 'Platoon', 'Wall Street', and 'The Doors' were great and iconic films because of the compelling stories, not the fact that they accurately portrayed the subjects. Unlike Stone's feature films, 'JFK Revisited' is a documentary and while there are a few things in the film that I don't agree with, it's a solid documentary in terms of facts and accuracy.

I don't know as much about Jim Garrison's political views but I know that both Stone and DiEugenio have far-left political opinions outside of the JFK topic as do I. So for that reason I'm sympathetic to how they attach the Kennedy assassination to the broader cultural war against the Left in the 1960s. What I mean is, many on the Left don't view the political assassinations of Liberal/Left leaders in the 1960s as isolated events. The Leftwing narrative on the JFK/Malcolm X/MLK/RFK murders is that villains like J Edgar Hoover and the CIA conspired to destroy the most charismatic Liberal/Left leaders of the 60s in order to destroy the Progressive movement in the US. No, I don't know for a fact that all those assassinations had "Deep State" conspiracies behind them but we know a great deal about the COINTELPRO operations that went on in the 60s and 70s. I feel that it's broadly true that people like Hoover in fact were very proactive in their efforts to take down Leftist leaders and Leftist movements in the US (and the CIA did the same abroad).

If you're not politically on the Left, I doubt that you spend much time thinking about COINTELPRO. I'm just bringing this up to explain that our contemporary political views affect how we interpret history.

As for the Cold War, I think the truth is in the middle but the paranoia and threat inflation within the US national security State likely did extend the Cold War longer than it needed to last. And I'm fully aware that I'm speaking with 20/20 hindsight. Back when the Cold War was happening, it was difficult to see it for what it was so I'm not arguing that the decision makers in those times intentionally made mistakes. Just acknowledging that mistakes were made and noting the patterns of behavior which led to those mistakes. 

I'll repeat again: all of this conspiracy history is a sort of reverse engineering.

It's not reverse engineering. The vast majority of Americans accepted the conclusions of the Warren Report until researchers began to actually READ the entire 26 volumes and take a closer look at the evidence. And the problem back then as well as today is that there was a rush to judgement by investigators, not a good faith effort to figure out if others were involved.

So we're left with only two plausible conclusions:

A) The Warren Commission got it right in spite of the flawed evidence, cover-ups, and omissions of relevant information.

or

B) There was a conspiracy plot and we may never know the whole truth about it due to the botched investigations and government secrecy.

Conspiracists think JFK couldn't have been killed by this pathetic Oswald with a cheap rifle; it had to be more. So who could have done it? And how could they pull it off? It had to be this secret military "deep state". Only they had the power and resources and motive to do so.

Not me. I think it's plausible that Oswald alone did it. I'm just not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt due to the mountain of questionable and inconclusive stuff in the case. Once you see certain things, you just can't unsee them and the LN side doesn't have answers for every inconclusive piece of evidence.

« Last Edit: November 26, 2021, 07:10:26 AM by Jon Banks »

Offline Richard Smith

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Re: Oliver Stone Talks to Jacobin About JFKs Killing
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2021, 04:41:56 PM »
Oliver Stone is entitled to his own opinions, I'm entitled to my own, and you're entitled to your own.

Here's my opinion:

I don't agree with Stone's thesis that 'JFK was killed for refusing to escalate in Vietnam'. My opinion is, if there was a conspiracy plot against JFK, I suspect it had more to do with Cuba and the Mafia, than Vietnam.

However, in the bigger picture, Stone isn't wrong about the Military Industrial Complex and the Cold War. Like most great artists, his work appeals to such a wide range of people because there's a lot of truth in it even if some specific details are wrong. For example, Stone's 1991 film, 'JFK', is heavily dramatized and shows lots of things that didn't really happen but Stone nailed the broader narrative of how many Americans 'feel' about the JFK assassination. The film works as a political thriller because of the feelings (and an all-star cast), not the facts. 'JFK', 'Platoon', 'Wall Street', and 'The Doors' were great and iconic films because of the compelling stories, not the fact that they accurately portrayed the subjects. Unlike Stone's feature films, 'JFK Revisited' is a documentary and while there are a few things in the film that I don't agree with, it's a solid documentary in terms of facts and accuracy.

I don't know as much about Jim Garrison's political views but I know that both Stone and DiEugenio have far-left political opinions outside of the JFK topic as do I. So for that reason I'm sympathetic to how they attach the Kennedy assassination to the broader cultural war against the Left in the 1960s. What I mean is, many on the Left don't view the political assassinations of Liberal/Left leaders in the 1960s as isolated events. The Leftwing narrative on the JFK/Malcolm X/MLK/RFK murders is that villains like J Edgar Hoover and the CIA conspired to destroy the most charismatic Liberal/Left leaders of the 60s in order to destroy the Progressive movement in the US. No, I don't know for a fact that all those assassinations had "Deep State" conspiracies behind them but we know a great deal about the COINTELPRO operations that went on in the 60s and 70s. I feel that it's broadly true that people like Hoover in fact were very proactive in their efforts to take down Leftist leaders and Leftist movements in the US (and the CIA did the same abroad).

If you're not politically on the Left, I doubt that you spend much time thinking about COINTELPRO. I'm just bringing this up to explain that our contemporary political views affect how we interpret history.

As for the Cold War, I think the truth is in the middle but the paranoia and threat inflation within the US national security State likely did extend the Cold War longer than it needed to last. And I'm fully aware that I'm speaking with 20/20 hindsight. Back when the Cold War was happening, it was difficult to see it for what it was so I'm not arguing that the decision makers in those times intentionally made mistakes. Just acknowledging that mistakes were made and noting the patterns of behavior which led to those mistakes. 

It's not reverse engineering. The vast majority of Americans accepted the conclusions of the Warren Report until researchers began to actually READ the entire 26 volumes and take a closer look at the evidence. And the problem back then as well as today is that there was a rush to judgement by investigators, not a good faith effort to figure out if others were involved.

So we're left with only two plausible conclusions:

A) The Warren Commission got it right in spite of the flawed evidence, cover-ups, and omissions of relevant information.

or

B) There was a conspiracy plot and we may never know the whole truth about it due to the botched investigations and government secrecy.

Not me. I think it's plausible that Oswald alone did it. I'm just not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt due to the mountain of questionable and inconclusive stuff in the case. Once you see certain things, you just can't unsee them and the LN side doesn't have answers for every inconclusive piece of evidence.

The starting and ending point of this case is the rifle.  Do you accept that Oswald owned the MC rifle found on the 6th floor of the TSBD?  The evidence of that fact is substantial.  There are order forms, PO Box, use of a known alias, prints, photos, and other circumstances that link Oswald to that particular rifle beyond any reasonable doubt.  Once you accept the fact that it was Oswald's rifle left at the crime scene, you have arrived at the simplicity that lies on the far side of CTer complexity.  Oswald had an opportunity to explain the presence of his rifle there, but instead he lied about his ownership of any rifle.  His rifle was not in the place where his own wife indicated that he stored it when the DPD searched the Paine's garage.  And there is no accounting for any other rifle ever belonging to Oswald EXCEPT for the one found on the 6th floor.  Oswald's rifle was found at the crime scene.  He had no explanation for it being there or alibi for the moment of the assassination.  Witnesses confirm that they saw a rifle in the 6th floor window at the moment of the assassination.  Fired bullet casings from Oswald's rifle were found by that window.  His prints are on the very SN boxes and bag by that window.  The basic evidence convicts him a million times over.  The prisons are full of criminals convicted with much less evidence.

Offline Steve M. Galbraith

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Re: Oliver Stone Talks to Jacobin About JFKs Killing
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2021, 04:44:49 PM »
JFK had been gone for a while before the Gulf of Tonkin events happened. LBJs mindset regarding Vietnam was different than JFKs mindset. No one can say with certainty what JFK might have done regarding Vietnam if he had not been assassinated. But he never strayed from his opinion that the conflict was one that the Vietnamese had to resolve. He believed that the U.S.s role should be to assist the South Vietnamese, not to fight the war for them with American combat forces. LBJ, on the other hand, let his ego and insecurities get in the way of good judgment. He said that HE wasnt going to be the first U.S. President to loose a war. The conflict was Vietnams war until LBJ decided to Americanize it by sending U.S. combat forces. Once Nixon became President, he began to re-Vietnamize the war by reducing U.S. forces and training Vietnamese forces to take the place of them. This, by the way, was exactly what JFK was doing when he was assassinated.
Well, we've gone round-and-round on JFK and Vietnam. JFK's top advisers all wrote books about their experiences. McNamara, Bundy, Rusk. Even RFK talked about it. All said that there were no plans, none, to simply leave the conflict. That's what they all said. In November of 1963 they still thought the war was winnable. The Pentagon Papers, the top secret history of the war, also said the same thing.

At what point does a JFK recognize that it wasn't? Who knows? What does he do? Leave? Or try to find a way out? As the people above said: that idea wasn't even considered since at that time they thought it was still possible to keep the South from being overrun. If JFK decides to leave, the South falls, in a year? six months?, and the entire region is likely thrown into disarray. Refugees pour out of the South (as they did in 1975) and destabilize Laos and Cambodia. Those governments fall to the communists. So all of SE Asia "dominoes" into communist control. Can JFK allow that to happen? Politically? He's not up for re-election but he wants, probably, RFK to follow him. Or a Democrat. Can he throw his party overboard? What happens in the rest of the world? Again, we're all guessing about what he'd do if he decided it was unwinnable without putting ground troops there.

I insist on one thing though: If you asked JFK on November 22, 1963 what he was going to do if the South couldn't defend itself, it his policy of building a self-sustaining government after removing Diem failed, what would you do? He would say, "I don't know."

In any case, Stone's thesis that JFK was going to leave and it was that, in large part, that he was killed is a flat out wrong. I won't say lie because I'm sure Stone believes it. But he's a ridiculously misinformed person.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2021, 07:23:32 PM by Steve M. Galbraith »

Offline Charles Collins

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Re: Oliver Stone Talks to Jacobin About JFKs Killing
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2021, 06:18:52 PM »
Well, we've gone round-and-round on JFK and Vietnam. JFK's top advisers all wrote books about their experiences. McNamara, Bundy, Rusk. Even RFK talked about it. All said that there were no plans, none, to simply leave the conflict. That's what they all said. In November of 1963 they still thought the war was winnable. The Pentagon Papers, the top secret history of the war, also said the same thing.

At what point does a JFK recognize that it wasn't? Who knows? What does he do? Leave? Or try to find a way out? As the people above said: that idea wasn't even considered since at that time they thought it was still possible to keep the South from being overrun. If JFK leaves the South falls and the entire region is thrown into disarray. Refugees pour out of the South and destabilize Laos and Cambodia. Those governments fall to the communists. Can JFK allow that to happen? He's not up for re-election but he wants, probably, RFK to follow him. Or a Democrat. Can he throw his party overboard? Again, we're all guessing.

I insist on one thing though: If you asked JFK on November 22, 1963 what he was going to do if the South couldn't defend itself, it his policy of building a self-sustaining government after removing Diem failed, what would you do? He would say, "I don't know."

In any case, Stone's thesis that JFK was going to leave and it was that, in large part, that he was killed is a flat out wrong. I won't say lie because I'm sure Stone believes it. But he's a ridiculously misinformed person.

I think that Oliver Stones belief in the Vietnam situation being the reason that JFK was assassinated is nonsense. I dont believe it whatsoever. My point is simply that I believe that JFK would not have sent U.S. combat troops to Vietnam. The plan at the time of his death was to reduce the number of U.S. military advisers back to the level it was before he took office. I think JFK probably would have been willing to negotiate a settlement after the 1964 elections. Sadly, LBJ had a different viewpoint. He took the situation personally. And he was willing to send hundreds of thousands of soldiers to fight so that HE wouldnt be the first U.S. President to loose a war.

 

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