Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sunday Television

Sunday has come around and by habit I turn on Channel 9 to watch the McLaughlin Group. A great discussion from the digestion of the week's news, happenings and more. But I think they replaced Channel 9 with some sort of home shopping network. I think they may have some time share that every three weeks they give a week to this alarmed sounding home shopping network. Thank goodness I can regularly watch an un-preempted McLaughlin Group online.

So I begin to peruse the other stations and I settle to get the stuff straight from C-span. It was hotter than Spike TV. There was a forum called Vietnam and the Presidency: White House Perspectives made up of very interesting people: The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Theodore Sorenson,
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Jimmy Carter,
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Alexander Haig,
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Henry Kissinger and a few other institutional types. Brian Williams of NBC sort of hosted this panel which was being held at the JFK Library. It was rather intersting. Everyone seemed relatively calm and collected. But for more than a few moments, Kissinger, while still relatively well spoken, did have more than some uneasy moments. He seemed on his heels when he was pressed to admit if the US had made any mistakes in Vietnam. He got through it, and I wish there was streaming archive or transcripts. Sorenson seemed conflicted, but frank and calm. It was still sad. The talk reminded me of the frank speech of Robert McNamara on the Fog of War.

There was a discussion with this bunch about Vietnam and the Iraq war. It was very interesting, for these are the real players from much of the Vietnam War. I know of these guys through history classes, books and such. Most of these policies and decisions were made well before I was born. To see that these guys, who still are all pretty sharp, speak about this comparison in a forum is amazing. The closest I have heard in this context is at a Great Issues or something, but those are not as revealing. This was telling and actually very hot. I think the candidates vying for the Presidency in 2008 would be well served in studying what happened and what these guys speak when approaching the office of the Presidency. We are in a very tight spot, and Iraq, Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, nukes in Iran and North Korea and overall terrorism is not going to go away with the election of another President. We will inherit a hot situation internationally that cannot be ignored. We will be living with the consequenses of our decisions for decades regardless, so we must adjust smartly so we can keep our heads up, stay ahead and sharpen our competetive edge. We need to get back to leading the world instead of trying to run the world.


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