939 – President Johnson was played like a fiddle

President Lyndon B. Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

President Lyndon B. Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara

Robert K. Brigham, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Robert K. Brigham is a professor of history and international relations at Vassar College.

In this episode 939 of the Vietnam Veteran News a lost chance for peace in that war will be the featured topic. That still born opportunity for peace occurred in the summer of 1967. It was described in an opinion piece in The New York Times titled: A Lost Chance for Peace in Vietnam. The piece was submitted by Robert K. Brigham a professor of history and international relations at Vassar College located at Poughkeepsie, NY.

Most all Vietnam Veterans remember the summer of 1967. Fighting was raging in the war. Back home the country was being racked by opposition to the war. President Johnson who was the architect of that terrible overseas contingency was desperate to end it so he could continue with the building of his “Great Society” back home.

Despite drilling many dry holes in the search for a gusher of solutions for the war, the president at the urging of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara reluctantly decided to try a solution from an unlikely source – Henry Kissinger. At the time Mr. Kissinger was a professor at Harvard and had a friend in France, Raymond Aubrac, who just happened to be a good friend of Ho Chi Minh.

Raymond Aubrac, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Raymond Aubrac

Aubrac was a Jewish member of the French Communist Party. During World War II he had been pursued and persecuted by Klaus Barbie, a leader of the Gestapo in Lyon, France. Fast forward to the summer1967, he offered his services as a go between the US and his old friend Ho.

It sounded too good to be true after Aubrac and his fellow scientist associate Herbert Marcovitch traveled to Hanoi and met with Ho Chi Minh himself along with Prime Minister Pham Van Dong. The proposal was accepted in principle. Unfortunately subsequent events doomed it to failure.

Discover what doomed the peace proposal in episode 939 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast.

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