Friday, October 16, 2015

Death Can't Stop The Awful


Bob Woodward has a new book out, about Nixon, culled from the recently available files of Andrew Butterfield; best known, to me anyway, as the guy who broke the news of the White House tapes during the Watergate hearings. Here's a bit of an interview with Amazon Book Review...

ABR: You took periodic trips from Washington to California, spent hours and hours going through these papers. What did you find that was most surprising?
BW: The "zilch memo" where Nixon writes this memo--hand-written, on the Top Secret January 3, '72 memo that Kissinger sent him--where he just says to Kissinger, "We've had 10 years of total control of the air in Laos and Vietnam. The result equals zilch." His whole policy was built around Vietnamization, around getting the U.S. troops out, and they were almost out at this point, [but he's still] bombing. He dropped nearly three million tons of bombs in Southeast Asia: North Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia. That's more than were dropped in all of WWII, I think. He says [the value was] "zilch."
It's early '72, an election year. Does he stop the bombing? No, he intensifies it. ...  And then he talks with Kissinger about how the polling shows how popular the bombing is. ... So he's talking with Kissinger, and they recall May 8 and the massive bombing that day. Kissinger says "May 8, you won the election that day." And you see this is the other side of Watergate: It's not about the war, it's all about winning reelection. As I started to look at this, I thought, My God, help us...
...
ABR: All of this happened over 40 years ago. Why should it matter to us now?
BW: This couldn't be more relevant now as we're going into a presidential election. Who are these people running for president? What really drives them? How do they really decide things? What are their real values? I think all of the candidates are going to get a full-field inquiry and biographical study--and I think they should. What about Hillary? What about Trump? We're in this era where the message managers have so much control and influence. Well, what's really there? Who are these people? We'd better know that.
I sorta think Woodward has become a tool in the past few years; and why is he, of all people, surprised that for Nixon it was all about winning elections? And he mentions Hillary and Trump, but not the rest of the R candidates, huffing in unison, about how tough they'll be, starting wars on call? What, that's not about winning elections?

Still, it sounds like an entertaining read for us confirmed (and reality-based) Nixon-haters.

[Image source]

1 comment:

dan said...

As thoroughly rotten and corrupt as Nixon was I think it is important to examine him to better understand where we are as a nation. So much venom was spewed by the Silent Majority during the Iraq debacle I honestly wondered what the hell had happened to America. Oh yeah , the Tricky Dick redux and a good dose of FEAR.

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