Monday, January 22, 2007

Dead Presidents #5

They say it’s necessary in order to restore confidence and maintain morale. But … the troops will march in; the bands will play; the crowds will cheer; and in four days everyone will have forgotten. Then we will be told we have to send in more troops. It’s like taking a drink. The effect wears off, and you have to take another.

John F. Kennedy to Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., shortly following General Maxwell Taylor's statement that there was "no limit to our possible commitment" in Southeast Asia after Kennedy November 1961's authorization of 7,000 U.S. troops as "base security" for South Vietnam.

(Schlesinger in bow tie in background in May 5, 1961 photograph)