“Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs Of Staff and the Lies that led to Vietnam”; 145 pages of footnotes.

Doctoral dissertation of three-star Gen. H.R. McMaster.

Now finally required reading at West Point.

If only they’d read this before Afghanistan and Iraq.

My favorite part of the above book:

Top generals and admirals commanding the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force each tried to maneuver and manipulate the Vietnam War strategy so that their own branch of the military got the glory.

This cynical, old, ex-enlisted man wonders if we’ll eventually find that a version of this insanity also happened in our 21st century losing and lost wars.

On the home front — “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together”; 102 pages of end notes.

Highly praised bestseller by Heather McGhee.

I’ll never be in her league as a writer and researcher, despite covering some of the same ground in a column titled “All of us benefit when freedom is expanded,” published July 17, 2019, by the Watertown Daily Times.

Some of her examples among dozens:

Sweltering Southern summers made municipal swimming pools literal lifesavers for young children and senior citizens.

Ordered by courts to racially integrate in the 1960s, most Southern towns simply destroyed their swimming pools so nobody could swim.

Also, after Democrat Lyndon Johnson signed the 1960s civil rights laws, many white people have since voted GOP.

More recently, many GOP governors and state legislatures hated Barack Obama and the Affordable Care Act, rejecting one of its key provisions, the expansion of Medicaid.

This resulted in hundreds of small rural hospitals going out of business.

Now nationwide outside the big cities, health care in many states is very hard to get, no matter what color you are.

Among the rich nations worldwide, the United States is ranked 11th in health care.

Sheer genius during pandemics.

Roland Van Deusen


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(1) comment


Amen to your comments. I’m convinced at this point that our population will never learn. I find that few hold high regard for the study of history, and, as the old saying goes….

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