Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Bush and Echoes of the Past

The discussions of what W would do if reelected in Iraq relates directly to a striking conversation between Nixon and his advisors that I have seen floating about the Internet. I doubt that many people believed it was a real coversation -- it's too bizaare. This is from "Bombing of Vietnam's Dikes" in freeglossary.com

The following transcript between Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger on the subject was recorded in 1972; it has since been published in "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers" by journalist and publisher of The Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg.

Nixon: We've got to quit thinking in terms of a three-day strike [in the Hanoi-Haiphong area]. We've got to be thinking in terms of an all-out bombing attack - which will continue until they - Now by all-out bombing attack, I am thinking about things that go far beyond. I'm thinking of the dikes, I'm thinking of the railroad, I'm thinking, of course, the docks.

Kissinger: I agree with you.

President Nixon: We've got to use massive force.

Two hours later at noon, H. R. Haldeman and Ron Ziegler joined Kissinger and Nixon:
President: How many did we kill in Laos?

Ziegler: Maybe ten thousand - fifteen?

Kissinger: In the Laotian thing, we killed about ten, fifteen.

President: See, the attack in the North that we have in mind, power plants, whatever's left - POL [petroleum], the docks. And, I still think we ought to take the dikes out now. Will that drown people?

Kissinger: About two hundred thousand people.

President: No, no, no, I'd rather use the nuclear bomb. Have you got that, Henry?

Kissinger: That, I think, would just be too much.

President: The nuclear bomb, does that bother you?...I just want you to think big, Henry, for Christsakes. (Ellsberg p. 418, ellipses original).

With his strange messianic complex, anyone think Bush will be afraid of "thinking big?"

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