Wheels set in motion by a GOP power grab in 1968 have come full term to endanger America’s role in World politics today.
One of the better non-fiction books I have read recently is Robert Parry’s, America’s Stolen Narrative. An insightful account that exposes the ruthless efforts of GOP politicians and their operatives to conceal their illegal actions which led to a pattern of behavior centered around deceiving the American public to attain personal agendas. From Nixon to George W. Bush energies were expended to twist events that satisfied their lust for power and to fulfill misguided ideologies that violated their Constitutional mandates.
It all starts with Nixon’s 1968 Nixon campaign to win the election that year by working stealthily behind the Johnson administration’s efforts to wind down the war in Vietnam, sabotaging them to prevent the Democrats from having an ace in the hole just prior to the November elections. Had the Paris Peace talks provided political fruit for the Democrats Hubert Humphrey might have won the election and history might look a lot different today.
Had this scenario happened, Parry points out, then President Johnson would likely have been able to complete “the peace deal he envisioned.” Something that Hubert Humphrey would have pursued rather than extending the war like Nixon did. Had this war ended shortly after Humphrey’s election then there would have been far fewer American deaths, “millions of people in Indochina might be alive today and the bitter recriminations from the Vietnam War might have been substantially less at home” Parry concludes in his book. “The United States might have had greater opportunities to deal with its many challenges.”
“Further, if Nixon’s campaign had been called on its 1968 gambit, the GOP might have rejected the Nixonian DNA of winning by any means necessary. Instead of spending the last several decades entrenching itself in Nixon’s crypto-racist Southern Strategy and mastering the dark arts of political dirty tricks, the Republicans mights still be the responsible, business-oriented alternative that many of us remember from our youth.
“Similarly, the 1980 election, which appears to have included a reprise of Nixon’s 1968 scheme, elevated a hard-line conservative in Ronald Reagan who preached a dangerous gospel that “government is the problem.” Reagan’s hostility toward what government can do in a democratic Republic has weakened the ability of the United States to address structural threats to the common good. His contempt for environmental rules, for instance, contributed to America’s distrust of the science of global warming, a head-in-the-sand approach that threatens the future existence of the human species” – America’s Stolen Narrative by Robert Parry
Besides looking deeper into the 1980 “October Surprise”, Parry’s investigations also revealed the Reagan administration’s involvement with Iraqgate and the Iran-Contra scandal, aided by two younger up and coming Party loyalists, Colin Powell and Robert Gates.
Reagan’s staunch anti-communists views aided by an eager-to-please Gates as Deputy Director of the CIA “forced ideological glasses on everyone”, missing the signals of a crumbling USSR and “obscured emerging threats” in Afghanistan like the evolution of the Taliban and Osama bin Laden’s contribution to the mujahideen which aided in his creation of Al-Qaeda.
“The failure to get the narratives right on various scandals of the Reagan-Bush-41 era contributed to the disasters of the past decade too. If the full story of George H.W. Bush’s involvement in October Surprise, Iraqgate and Iran-Contra had been told in real time, the prospects would have been slim to none that his son, George W. Bush, could have made a serious run for the presidency. Without George W. Bush’s arrogance and inexperience, the 9/11 attacks might never have happened – and even if they had – a President Al Gore would not have been inclined to invade Iraq, a country that had no connections to 9/11.
Though no one can chart an alternative history – an surely other unanticipated problems would have asserted themselves – it appears likely that honest narratives about these events, if known early enough, could have spared the world much suffering, enabled a more productive allocation of the world’s resources, and put the planet on a far more sustainable path.” – America’s Stolen Narrative
… and carried through some 32 years later