The Long March of the Neocons

“All men are created equal. They are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

— Ho Chi Minh, Sept. 2, 1945

Addison WigginDear Reader,

Forty-nine years ago today, the last U.S. soldiers left South Vietnam — leaving the country’s defense to its own people. Two years later, Saigon would fall and South Vietnam would be no more.

All told, the war had lasted 17 years, 9 months… racked up 58,220 U.S. military deaths… and cost approximately $843.62 billion in 2020 dollars.

Bill Bonner and I devoted a full chapter to Robert McNamara’s war in Empire of Debt. More recently, I discussed the forgotten lessons of Vietnam in light of disastrous U.S. military withdrawal in Afghanistan.

Both those conflicts were the result of dubious casus belli — the stories our government told to make killing folks in another country more palatable.

Afghanistan, of course, was full of terrorists that we were told needed to be killed — no matter how many innocent civilians got in the way. The Vietnam war was justified by the much more nebulous domino theory.

A few years back, my family and I toured a few Asian countries, including Vietnam. While visiting one of our writers living in Saigon, er, Ho Chi Minh City, we made a point of visiting its War Remnants Museum. Naturally, it focuses on the Vietnamese side of the conflict.

In fact, an earlier version of the museum had been called the Exhibition House for U.S. and Puppet Crimes. It was the Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes until 1990.

Inside, you’ll find a copy of the speech Ho Chi Minh gave in 1945, declaring independence from France. Perhaps not surprisingly, he cribbed some words from another such declaration written 169 years prior on another continent.

Fast-forward to today’s conflict in Ukraine. There is propaganda on both sides. Leading up to the invasion, as we’ve documented several times in these missives, it was next to impossible to pierce the Western narrative of why Putin wanted Ukraine so badly.

“We have neocons, just as Russia does, that would love to have war with the United States,” Martin Armstrong says, offering another provocative answer to the conundrum of war and the lies that go with it. “We have the same problem on our side. They were there pushing for the Bay of Pigs with Kennedy. They were the ones that came up with weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”

“Even [President] Johnson — you can Google it; I think it’s even in Wikipedia — stood up and said Vietnam never attacked us [in the Gulf of Tonkin]. Johnson said, ‘For all I know, [our Navy] were shooting at whales that night.’ Virtually every war has been propagated on some sort of propaganda really that was not true.” After a short search, we found it in the Baltimore Sun. Armstrong goes on to speculate on the cause and nature of modern wars:

The guy that really created the Second Amendment was the Prince of Savoy, who was a very famous general. Even Napoleon said he was one of the greatest. He had worked for many different kings. He had told Montesquieu that basically that the problem with war is that kings have these armies. They pay a lot of money for them but they’re not doing anything, so they create war just to use them. That was his view. So the idea behind the Second Amendment was that we didn’t have a standing army but everybody had the right to go get arms and defend the country. More or less like Switzerland. So this has been going around for hundreds of years. You have just people that want to wage war upon somebody else. Kind of like two drunks in a bar, but just on a grander scale.

Granted, Putin’s motives still seem perverse as the Western media focus on missiles hitting nursing homes and theaters packed with mothers and their children.

“As long as we have people that just want to play war,” Martin concludes, “that’s our curse, I suppose.”

Follow your bliss,

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin
Founder, The Wiggin Sessions

P.S. If you haven’t done so yet, you can view the complete Wiggin Session with Martin Armstrong, right here. The transcript is also available if you’re inclined to read instead. Also, for a more boots-on-the-ground look at the Ukraine before the war, take a gander at this Session.

P.P.S. “Do the world a favor,” writes a thoughtful reader. “Move to Russia!”

Why? It’s too cold.

Besides, Russia has their fair share of numb-nuts in power. At least from my high horse here in the United States, I can criticize them.

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin is founder and executive publisher of Agora Financial LLC, an independent economic forecasting and financial research firm. He and Bill Bonner began writing the firm’s flagship Daily Reckoning in the midst of the tech boom and bust. It was one of the first widely distributed email newsletters on the Internet. The publication’s critical eye on finance and economics continues today. He’s also creator and editorial director of Agora Financial’s daily missive The 5 Min. Forecast.

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