BOOKS & THE CULTURE SERVICE LEADERS SUFFERED, TO QUOTE BUZZANCO, “FROM THE HUBRIS ENDEMIC TO HEGEMONIC POWERS AND WERE SEDUCED BY THE PROSPECTS OF WAGING TECHNOLOGICAL WARFARE AGAINST ASIAN GUERRILLAS.” Lyndon Johnson, however, is the U.S. president most closely associated with the Vietnam conflict, and a good part of Masters of War examines the man’s relationship with both his military and political advisors and his actions regarding Vietnam. The war seemed to broaden, despite Johnson’s every move to check it; every setback was matched by a call from the Joint Chiefs for more men. For his part, Johnson was determined to not “lose” the war and service leaders suffered, to quote Buzzanco, “from the hubris endemic to hegemonic powers and were seduced by the prospects of waging technological warfare against Asian guerrillas.” The combination of military hubris and presidential determination inevitably proved to be catastrophic. Johnson was never able to de-escalate the war, nor was the military ever able to offer any alternative except to increase the number of American soldiers fighting in Vietnam. Among themselves, the military were often at loggerheads: the Army dominated military strategy for example, and this increased inter-service dissension. The Marines never accepted the Army’s strategy of heavy firepower and attrition because they thought it inappropriate for what they saw as guerrilla warfare. In January of 1966, LBJ asked the Joint Chiefs what they wanted most, in order to win. The Army Chief of Staff replied, “More troops.” Buzzanco believes that after 1967 the call for more troops was as much a move by the Joint Chiefs to immunize themselves from responsibility as it was any military neces sity. He writes that by 1968, “civilian, and military, leaders had already established patterns of behavior that had more to do with avoiding blame for failure than finding a solution to the war.” In the end, the author’s summary is quite stark: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, and the U.S. military didn’t cause America’s defeat in Vietnam. The Vietnamese Communists did. Robert Buzzanco teaches history at the University of Houston. Masters of War is his first book, but it is one to be read by anyone wishing to understand, or learn from, the Vietnam conflict. Writer James W. Kunetka is the author of five novels. CLASSIFIEDS ORGANIZATIONS WORK for single-payer National Health Care. Join GRAY PANTHERS, intergenerational advocates against ageism and for progressive policies promoting social and economic justice. $20 individual, $35 family. 3710 Cedar, Austin, TEXAS AIDS NETWORK dedicated to improving HIV/AIDS policy and funding in Texas. Individual membership $25, P.O. Box 2395, Austin, TX LESBIAN/GAY DEMOCRATS of Texas Our Voice in the Party. Membership $15, P.O. Box 190933, Dallas, 75219. SICK OF KILLING? Join the Amnesty International Campaign Against the WORK FOR OPEN, responsible government in Texas. Join Common Cause/Texas, 1615 Guadalupe, #204, TEXAS TENANTS’ UNION. Member ship $18/year, $10/six months, $30 or more/sponsor. Receive handbook on tenants’ rights, newsletter, and more. 5405 East Grand, Dallas, TX 75223. CENTRAL TEXAS CHAPTER of the ACLU invites you to our noon Forum, the last Friday of every month, at Furr’s Cafeteria Banquet Room in Northcross Mall, Austin. For information call HELP STOP CLEARCUTTING and protect roadless areas in our National Forests!! Join the largest nationwide coalition of groups, businesses, and individuals united to protect and restore America’s wild and natural forests. For a free brochure contact Save America’s Forests, 4 Library Court SE, Washington, D.C. 20003. 202-544-9219. LIBERTARIAN PARTY Liberal on personal freedoms, but conservative in ecoNATIONAL WRITERS UNION. We give working writers a fighting chance. Col lective bargaining. Grievance proce dures. Health insurance. Journalists, authors, poets, commercial writers. Forming Austin local. Noelle McAfee, 4500705; Bill Adler, 443-8961. PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS. Join The Texas Civil Rights Project, 227 Congress #340, Austin, Texas 78701. $20/year. Volunteers also needed. Contact Jim Harrington or Fara Sloan. PROTECT TEXASJoin Sierra P.O. Box 1931 Austin, TX 78767 512-477-1729. MILE HIGH POETRY SOCIETY’S SPRINGFEST CONTEST. $500 in prizes. Deadline: June 30. For rules, Mile High Poetry Society, PO Box 21116, Denver, CO 80221. EMPLOYMENT EXPERIENCED CANVASS DIRECTOR and/or organizers wanted for new, in novative campaign to give progressives a way to be heard! Positions starting in California, offices opening across the country. Send resumes to: 3303 Pico Blvd. #C, Santa Monica CA 90405 or COALITION FOR JUSTICE in the MaquiladorasBillingual Program Director needed. Call 210/732-8957 in San Antonio. SERVICES MARY NELL MATHIS, CPA, 20 years experience in tax, litigation support, and other analyses. 901 Rio Grande, HIV ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION HOUSEBUYERS, The Consumer’s Agent. Specialists in representing central Austin residential buyers. WORLDWISE DESIGN, awardwinning graphic design studio. For creative, effective and professional designs for your educational and promoCLASSIFIED RATES: Minimum ten words. One time, 50 cents per word; three times, 45 cents per word; six times, 40 cents per word; 12 times, 35 cents per word; 25 times, 30 cents per word. Telephone and box numbers count as two words, abbreviations and zip codes as one. Payment must accompany order for all classified ads. Deadline is three weeks before cover date. Address orders and inquiries to Advertising Director, The Texas Observer, 307 West 7th, Austin, TX JUNE 14, 1996 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19
You May Also Like
The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.