China, empire watch, Europe, featured, media watch, Russia, USA
Comments 29

A World War Has Begun: Break the Silence

by John Pilger, reposted from teleSUR

I have been filming in the Marshall Islands, which lie north of Australia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Whenever I tell people where I have been, they ask, “Where is that?” If I offer a clue by referring to “Bikini”, they say, “You mean the swimsuit. Few seem aware that the bikini swimsuit was named to celebrate the nuclear explosions that destroyed Bikini island. Sixty-six nuclear devices were exploded by the United States in the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958 — the equivalent of 1.6 Hiroshima bombs every day for twelve years.

Bikini is silent today, mutated and contaminated. Palm trees grow in a strange grid formation. Nothing moves. There are no birds. The headstones in the old cemetery are alive with radiation. My shoes registered “unsafe” on a Geiger counter.

Standing on the beach, I watched the emerald green of the Pacific fall away into a vast black hole. This was the crater left by the hydrogen bomb they called “Bravo”. The explosion poisoned people and their environment for hundreds of miles, perhaps forever.

On my return journey, I stopped at Honolulu airport and noticed an American magazine called Women’s Health. On the cover was a smiling woman in a bikini swimsuit, and the headline: “You, too, can have a bikini body. A few days earlier, in the Marshall Islands, I had interviewed women who had very different “bikini bodies” — each had suffered thyroid cancer and other life-threatening cancers.

Unlike the smiling woman in the magazine, all of them were impoverished: the victims and guinea pigs of a rapacious superpower that is today more dangerous than ever.

I relate this experience as a warning and to interrupt a distraction that has consumed so many of us. The founder of modern propaganda, Edward Bernays, described this phenomenon as “the conscious and intelligent manipulation of the habits and opinions” of democratic societies. He called it an “invisible government.”

How many people are aware that a world war has begun? At present, it is a war of propaganda, of lies and distraction, but this can change instantaneously with the first mistaken order, the first missile.

In 2009, President Obama stood before an adoring crowd in the center of Prague, in the heart of Europe. He pledged himself to make “the world free from nuclear weapons.” People cheered and some cried. A torrent of platitudes flowed from the media. Obama was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

It was all fake. He was lying.

The Obama administration has built more nuclear weapons, more nuclear warheads, more nuclear delivery systems, more nuclear factories. Nuclear warhead spending alone rose higher under Obama than under any American president. The cost over thirty years is more than $1 trillion.

A mini nuclear bomb is planned. It is known as the B61 Model 12. There has never been anything like it. General James Cartwright, a former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said, “Going smaller [makes using this nuclear] weapon more thinkable.”

In the last 18 months, the greatest build-up of military forces since World War Two — led by the United States — is taking place along Russia’s western frontier. Not since Hitler invaded the Soviet Union have foreign troops presented such a demonstrable threat to Russia.

Ukraine — once part of the Soviet Union — has become a CIA theme park. Having orchestrated a coup in Kiev, Washington effectively controls a regime that is next door and hostile to Russia: a regime rotten with Nazis, literally. Prominent parliamentary figures in Ukraine are the political descendants of the notorious OUN and UPA fascists. They openly praise Hitler and call for the persecution and expulsion of the Russian speaking minority.

This is seldom news in the West, or it is inverted to suppress the truth.

In Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia — next door to Russia — the U.S. military is deploying combat troops, tanks, heavy weapons. This extreme provocation of the world’s second nuclear power is met with silence in the West.

What makes the prospect of nuclear war even more dangerous is a parallel campaign against China.

Seldom a day passes when China is not elevated to the status of a “threat.” According to Admiral Harry Harris, the U.S. Pacific commander, China is “building a great wall of sand in the South China Sea.”

What he is referring to is China building airstrips in the Spratly Islands, which are the subject of a dispute with the Philippines — a dispute without priority until Washington pressured and bribed the government in Manila and the Pentagon launched a propaganda campaign called “freedom of navigation.”

What does this really mean? It means freedom for American warships to patrol and dominate the coastal waters of China. Try to imagine the American reaction if Chinese warships did the same off the coast of California.

I made a film called, “The War You Don’t See,” in which I interviewed distinguished journalists in America and Britain: reporters such as Dan Rather of CBS, Rageh Omar of the BBC, David Rose of the Observer.

All of them said that had journalists and broadcasters done their job and questioned the propaganda that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction; had the lies of George W. Bush and Tony Blair not been amplified and echoed by journalists, the 2003 invasion of Iraq might not have happened, and hundreds of thousands of men, women and children would be alive today.

The propaganda laying the ground for a war against Russia and/or China is no different in principle. To my knowledge, no journalist in the Western “mainstream” — a Dan Rather equivalent, say — asks why China is building airstrips in the South China Sea.

The answer ought to be glaringly obvious. The United States is encircling China with a network of bases, with ballistic missiles, battle groups, nuclear-armed bombers.

This lethal arc extends from Australia to the islands of the Pacific, the Marianas and the Marshalls and Guam, to the Philippines, Thailand, Okinawa, Korea and across Eurasia to Afghanistan and India. America has hung a noose around the neck of China. This is not news. Silence by media; war by media.

In 2015, in high secrecy, the U.S. and Australia staged the biggest single air-sea military exercise in recent history, known as Talisman Sabre. Its aim was to rehearse an Air-Sea Battle Plan, blocking sea lanes, such as the Straits of Malacca and the Lombok Straits, that cut off China’s access to oil, gas and other vital raw materials from the Middle East and Africa.

In the circus known as the American presidential campaign, Donald Trump is being presented as a lunatic, a fascist. He is certainly odious; but he is also a media hate figure. That alone should arouse our skepticism.

Trump’s views on migration are grotesque, but no more grotesque than those of David Cameron. It is not Trump who is the Great Deporter from the United States, but the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama.

According to one prodigious liberal commentator, Trump is “unleashing the dark forces of violence” in the United States. Unleashing them?

This is the country where toddlers shoot their mothers and the police wage a murderous war against black Americans. This is the country that has attacked and sought to overthrow more than 50 governments, many of them democracies, and bombed from Asia to the Middle East, causing the deaths and dispossession of millions of people.

No country can equal this systemic record of violence. Most of America’s wars (almost all of them against defenseless countries) have been launched not by Republican presidents but by liberal Democrats: Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama.

In 1947, a series of National Security Council directives described the paramount aim of American foreign policy as a world substantially made over in America’s own image. The ideology was messianic Americanism. We were all Americans. Or else. Heretics would be converted, subverted, bribed, smeared or crushed.

Donald Trump is a symptom of this, but he is also a maverick. He says the invasion of Iraq was a crime; he doesn’t want to go to war with Russia and China. The danger to the rest of us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton. She is no maverick. She embodies the resilience and violence of a system whose vaunted exceptionalism is totalitarian with an occasional liberal face.

As presidential election day draws near, Clinton will be hailed as the first female president, regardless of her crimes and lies — just as Barack Obama was lauded as the first black president and liberals swallowed his nonsense about “hope.” And the drool goes on.

Described by the Guardian columnist Owen Jones as “funny, charming, with a coolness that eludes practically every other politician,” Obama the other day sent drones to slaughter 150 people in Somalia. He kills people usually on Tuesdays, according to the New York Times, when he is handed a list of candidates for death by drone. So cool.

In the 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton threatened to “totally obliterate” Iran with nuclear weapons. As Secretary of State under Obama, she participated in the overthrow of the democratic government of Honduras. Her contribution to the destruction of Libya in 2011 was almost gleeful. When the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi, was publicly sodomized with a knife — a murder made possible by American logistics — Clinton gloated over his death: “We came, we saw, he died.”

One of Clinton’s closest allies is Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state, who has attacked young women for not supporting Hillary. This is the same Madeleine Albright who infamously celebrated on TV the death of half a million Iraqi children as “worth it.”

Among Clinton’s biggest backers are the Israel lobby and the arms companies that fuel the violence in the Middle East. She and her husband have received a fortune from Wall Street. And yet, she is about to be ordained the women’s candidate, to see off the evil Trump, the official demon. Her supporters include distinguished feminists: the likes of Gloria Steinem in the U.S. and Anne Summers in Australia.

A generation ago, a post-modern cult now known as “identity politics” stopped many intelligent, liberal-minded people examining the causes and individuals they supported — such as the fakery of Obama and Clinton; such as bogus progressive movements like Syriza in Greece, which betrayed the people of that country and allied with their enemies.

Self-absorption, a kind of “me-ism,” became the new zeitgeist in privileged western societies and signaled the demise of great collective movements against war, social injustice, inequality, racism and sexism.

Today, the long sleep may be over. The young are stirring again. Gradually. The thousands in Britain who supported Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader are part of this awakening — as are those who rallied to support Senator Bernie Sanders.

In Britain last week, Jeremy Corbyn’s closest ally, his shadow treasurer John McDonnell, committed a Labour government to pay off the debts of piratical banks and, in effect, to continue so-called austerity.

In the U.S., Bernie Sanders has promised to support Clinton if or when she’s nominated. He, too, has voted for America’s use of violence against countries when he thinks it’s “right.” He says Obama has done “a great job.”

In Australia, there is a kind of mortuary politics, in which tedious parliamentary games are played out in the media while refugees and Indigenous people are persecuted and inequality grows, along with the danger of war. The government of Malcolm Turnbull has just announced a so-called defense budget of $195 billion that is a drive to war. There was no debate. Silence.

What has happened to the great tradition of popular direct action, unfettered to parties? Where is the courage, imagination and commitment required to begin the long journey to a better, just and peaceful world? Where are the dissidents in art, film, the theatre, literature?

Where are those who will shatter the silence? Or do we wait until the first nuclear missile is fired?


This is an edited version of an address by John Pilger at the University of Sydney, entitled A World War Has Begun.

29 Comments

  1. Lucas white says

    Also before I forget…the nuclear option doesn’t just include the hydrogen bomb which obviously causes long term radioactive pollution, it also includes the neutron bomb.
    You hear little to no mainstream discussion on the difference between the two but when Putin suggested using tactical nukes against Isis a few months ago I did some research…as I ought it unthinkable to use such weapons of mass destruction on his allie Syria.
    Of corse when I did look up what tactical nukes were I was shocked to find that neutron bombs can be fired from tanks on the battlefield…because they don’t contaminate the surrounding area with radioactive fallout. Much like a fusion reactor is vastly different from a fission reactor a neutron bomb is as different to a hydrogen bomb. In short modern nukes can wipe out people without damaging the environment or infastructure. So the unthinkable nuclear war isn’t unthinkable at all.
    Get ready for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lucas white says

    This is a good piece and I largely agree with it. However I see another possibility as to what might be playing out here. Yes we have the bullshit mainstream media and it’s narrative but it is foolish to ignore the Internet and its impact. We know platforms such as YouTube are just another snake in the head of medusa as it too is corporately owned.
    So we have an outpouring of mass dissatisfaction as a reaction to the same old bough and paid for politics, but it’s a predictable outpouring. Whenever an opponent can predict your next move, you should rethink your position.
    It is naive to think the power brokers are not using circumstances to their advantage and have simply positioned and even more extreme dictatorial Trump to win.
    The point is, it is now a majority opinion that the MSM is full of shit and not to trust it..the problem is that if I know this is now a mainstream belief then those pulling the strings also know it.
    The fact the crude billionaire Trump, can even appeal to me, compared to the sycophants in his own party or the sociopath Clinton or the PC naive and minority pandering, Israel supporting sanders, tells me something is seriously rotten.
    The mass tidal wave of dissatisfaction has simply been channled straight at what previously would be the most unelectable and unthinkable candidate, a pompous narscssistic billionaire that qouates Mussolini.

    “This is the country where toddlers shoot their mothers and the police wage a murderous war against black Americans”…perhaps? But where did you hear about all these persecuted black people? Wasn’t it all on the MSM and primarily the guardian? But nobody asks why the police suddenly, around 3 years ago, started killing “innocent” black folks,” exclusively”??? Nope, everyone just swallowed it without question.
    Look if this PC madness is going to infect even an outlet that supposedly has nothing but contempt for the guardian then what hope is there?
    African Americans commit a disproportionate amount of crime, your gonna have to deal with reality. Sure there are no doubt societal reasons behind much of this, mainly social deprivation which the black community have not been able to graduate from, in the large part. Some blacks blame the Democratic Party for a culture of dependence on the sate and the impact that has had on destroying the black family and community. Whatever he root cause your gonna have to recognise a problem before you can fix it. Yes the police kill innocent black people but they also kill plenty of innocent white ones and Latino ones etc. Check the Internet for proof.
    However due to higher crime rates within the predominantly deprived black community I’d guess the cops end up policing black people in those communities more than a white middle class community. Is it that hard to figure out? Really?

    The more the cops interact with one community than another, the higher the incidence of police brutality etc, it’s basic statistics, rather than blatant racism. The actual racism is the racism that enables the ghettoisation of generations of any group of people. Yet I didn’t see any rise in the black middle class under Obama, did you? So let’s put the blame where is should be. But let’s also not dismiss a police force that can and does kill innocent people without a second thought. But “black lives matter” Trumping (see what I did there) “all lives matter” has been designed to infuriate the 12% black minority, in hopes of them rioting so as to roll Out the tanks (remember all that military hardware the police now have)…but more significantly the racial fault line which has been hammered by the MSM, for everything they have thrown at it, it has infuriated the White majority that will not be guilt tripped (bar a tiny percent of brain washed social justice types, who can be seen screaming outside trump rallies), especially when many of them have also been either criminalised for little to nothing (marijuana or jay walking) or had family members beaten or shot by police and see that it’s only the blacks that are at the mercy of the police, according to the MSM. And let’s not forget about the sizeable Latino community and Asian community that have also been cut out of victim status..because it’s a total taboo to say “all lives matter”, it supposedly borders on racism the idea of equality…if that isn’t designed to infuriate the majority of the American public, I dunno what is.

    Under the circumstances it’s obvious trump will trounce Clinton.. And I’m pretty sure it’s been set up for this to happen. I’m sure Clinton was the original plan but the people pulling the stings don’t care about the individual face in charge as long as that puppet toes the line. Who better than trump.

    Another example of the mainstream media manipulation game is “islamaphobia”. Again putting political correctness aside, what religion is the only religion you associate with terrorism? And why do you associate that one religion in particular with terrorism and oppression of women etc? Would it be because that’s all we ever hear about Islam in the MSM…obliviously.. But the same MSM then have the plausible deniability, that after years of Islamic terror…on a daily basis…brought to us by the media… That the public are supposedly behaving irrationally by being islamaphobic.
    It’s complete bullshit. The media know exactly what it’s been prepping he public for since 9/11. If your not terrified of Islam at this point your either a Muslim or your someone who hasn’t read a paper since the year 2000.

    As I said against this well orchestrated brainwash and social engineering it’s not a shock at trumps popularity..and that popularity is being magnified by an MSM the outwardly disavow him, the same MSM that not only created him but actually created all his bogeymen. To believe this is all accidental is naive. As I said everyone knows the media is rotten so the rational is anything the media is anti must be legit.

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    • antirepublocrat says

      However due to higher crime rates within the predominantly deprived black community I’d guess the cops end up policing black people in those communities more than a white middle class community.

      Actually, low economic and poor areas are both over-policed and under-policed. The clearance rate for homicides where the victim is a minority is a fraction of the clearance rate for homicides where the victim is white. This is largely due to how resources are allocated. For example, there are well over twice as many homicide detectives assigned per homicide to Manhattan South as are assigned to any other command: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/detectives-needed-outer-boro-slays-pols-article-1.1567094

      At the same time, poor and minority communities are harassed with “broken windows” over-policing, and blacks are in prison for drug-related offenses at a rate far higher than whites even though studies show that drug use is about the same for blacks as for whites. Instead of harassing young black men “hanging out” (taking a smoke break?) on street corners, why don’t police harass the out of place white drivers cruising through minority areas looking for illegal substances or services?

      This over-policing/under-policing phenomenon is one of the causes of greater violence within our minority and especially black communities. It really shouldn’t take a formal study to show the common sense that the homicide clearance rate in a community will directly affect the level of violence in a community, but here’s one anyway: http://www.columbia.edu/~rs328/Homicide.pdf

      Whites use the election of a black President to justify their own denial of the very real racism that persists and under which minorities, and especially blacks, suffer in this country. As with other social and psychological pathologies, the denial is itself a symptom of the disease.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Even the neocons (that gave us 911 AND WWIII) have held the statement aloft, as a shield, and acknowledged that WWIII has begun. If anybody can’t see it, too bad. You got it anyway. Denial can be deadly here. Just keep denying (some of the commenters), though, and maybe the bad old boogey man will just “go away.”

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  4. Even the neocons (that gave us 911 AND WWIII) have held the statement aloft, as a shield, and acknowledged that WWIII has begun. If anybody can’t see it, too bad. You got it anyway. Denial can be deadly here. Just keep denying (some the commenters), though, and maybe the bad old boogey man will just “go away.”

    Like

  5. Todd Millions says

    Apparently the Kennedies were pushing things(further) with the missile deployment the Soviets had being objecting to for 5 years(As they were too close and Lemay of SAC had being overflying with armed bombers for at least that long, purely by accident of course.),because they had being assured that the long rang satellite launching rockets-took 24 hours too trundle out and launch-True. But-the bomber crews, if the Soviet Union was attacked first, had a suicide pact-one way missions with a crash-landing in Mexico. The Americans were unaware of this arrangement apparently. As everyone forgot the un- recalled short range rockets with atomic warhead left in Cuba. For months.
    I don’t know if the president had being advised that NORAD war gams tests had shown(starting in 1958.) that-80% of Russian bombers coming over the pole, would win through to their targets. If he was -Did he care?
    As few as 4-7 of the standard 20 MT Russian H bombs would have taken out all electrical, transport and communications in N. America. Urban enough even then that starvation with breakdown would have finished any industrial society.
    We are all-After this.
    Which means we are even more -immeasurably Stupid.

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  6. Deschutes says

    While I always enjoy Pilger’s articles, I also find them a bit too much ‘the sky is falling’. WWIII has begun? Really? Catchy title, and yes there has been some redeploying of men and materiel to surround China and Russia, to say this is the beginning of WWIII is unconvincing. I really doubt the USA would ever start a war with either Russia or China. USA prefers having wars with small nations that it can easily pulverize, occupy, and exploit for political or material gain. Still like Pilger all in all though🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Delusional. For a good many people WWIII has started and is unmistakeably hot and deadly already. The fact that the USA and friends are responsible for this may not have affected their citizens comfort much yet but the first wave of effects have begun and the show has hardly even begun. Actions have been taken and treaties breached in ways that have set the USA on a collision course with both Russia and China and if you belong to that nation or any of its minions you wan t to take that very seriously. Your quaint belief that the men you see are the power there is or that nations are run by or for the interests of their people or the nations themselves more often than not, are useless here.

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    • Judith L. Osterman says

      An arms race worked before, why not weaken your big power rivals, whilst enriching your prime industry, & providing employment for the thug-minded.

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  7. Glad I’m not the only one who sees through Owen Jones. He’s like a ready made lefty for those who don’t want to find out what’s really going on; always ready to jump on the latest liberal bandwaggon. I think the Guerrdian once called him a man in the street – I think boy in a cul-de-sac is a more fitting epitaph.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, that little squirt who thinks you can be a socialist and an imperialist at the same time. These NATO socialists of course dominate the Guardian columns and the division in UK politics goes way back to the South African war around the turn of the 19th-20th century. There were some among the Fabian Society, and G.B.Shaw was one, to whom social-imperialism was a civilizing force. As he stated: ”Good government is better than self-government.” There were others, however, who were aware that imperialism and socialism were opposed and utterly irreconcilable. J.A.Hobson for one, author of ‘Imperialism: A Study: a work which was to influence Lenin, bemoaned the fact of the obscene spectacle of much ‘progressive’ opinion to support the war against the Boers and yielding to gutter jingoism and machtpolitik of fashionable at the time.

      When it comes to the pinch the ‘progressive’ types tend to make the adaptations required of them. As Orwell put it: ”In a prosperous country, above all in an imperialist country, left-wing politics is always partly humbug … they are red hot revolutionaries when all goes well, but every emergency reveals instantly that they are shamming. One threat to the Suez Canal and ‘defence of British interests’ are discovered to be identical.”

      Now this may not be true of all socialists, but it is certainly true of the ‘progressive’ Atlanticist clique which dominates both right and left in the UK media.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. John says

    While I think John Pilger is right in everything he says, I also think he is targeting the wrong target.
    A better target would be the Saudi mafia gangsters and their fellow Wahbabist baboons.
    Following on from the latest attacks on Brussels, the west should now be firmly warning the Saudi gangsters that any further attacks against western capital cities will be responded to with a fully destructive attack on Mecca so that the entire area is fully leveled to the ground, using the dirtiest possible nuclear devices so that Mecca and the Arabian peninsular ends up as Carthage did after the Romans had finished with them, i.e. utter desolation and an inability to support human habitation for more than a thousand years.
    This will mean having to do without the oil currently being produced in the area but it is inevitable that this will occur anyway over time. Why not embrace this inevitable end for the Arabian peninsular if that brings about an end to the religious conflict, mayhem and destruction the Wahhabist baboons have initiated?

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    • The Saudi regime is 100% owned, controlled & directed by Washington of this a slight investigation will leave you in no doubt.

      Saudi is sitting on $8Trillion of US elite reserves & in January as ordered they sold off $1Trillion of stocks in the Chinese market to show power to China by collapsing their stock-market in January.

      Read Pepe Escobar who is very well researched for additional facts on this.

      http://emergingequity.org/2016/01/31/pepe-escobar-saudi-arabia-is-playing-russian-roulette/

      Liked by 2 people

      • rabbitnexus says

        Not so. Tsk tsk…I am sure that Colonel Lawrence the Fairy of Arabia would be most offended to hear you giving his acquisition and life’s work to the colonials. The Saudis are owned by the Rothschild’s who sit in their throne in the City of London. It was they who brought that rat al-Wahhab in from the desert from whence he’d been banished by all other Muslim sects as being not of us with his intolerant, misogynistic views and joined the Wahhabis at the hip with the sand pirates of the house of Saud. They gave them a bit of land with huge oil deposits they wanted caretakers for and the holy sites of Mecca and Medina effectively hamstring Muslims from evicting this vicious woman hating, blaspheming bunch of pretenders from our midst. They also gave them ten thousand Lee Enfield rifles (the AK-47 of their day) and a sizeable monetary stipend with which to ensure they retained control of what is known as Saudi Arabia, but is as entitled as Israel to the title of “Rothschildlandia” in reality.

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        • rabbitnexus says

          Oh and allow me to explain the confusion. The apparent connections between the various players, in this case the backwards and retarded Saudis and the bunch of morons in Washington is that they BOTH belong to the families in the City of London.

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  9. bill says

    JFK was seeking to end the Cold War,for a reconciliation with Cuba and to withdraw the ist 1000 personnel from Vietnam when he died. President Carter didnt wage any open wars as such. .Bernie Sanders was vociferously opposed to the Iraq War and is misrepresented over Libya. John McDonnells return to economic liberalism through his new fiscal rules may well be totally half-baked but dont amount to buying out piratical banks

    Like

    • Seamus Padraig says

      Hi, John. Thanks for posting.

      “JFK was seeking to end the Cold War,for a reconciliation with Cuba and to withdraw the ist 1000 personnel from Vietnam when he died.”

      Do you have any good sources handy on that? What evidence exists that JFK was getting ready to pull out of Viet Nam? Hadn’t he authorized the assassination of Diem just a few weeks before his own death?

      Liked by 2 people

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