Friday, February 08, 2008

40 Years Ago Today

Robert F. Kennedy's Most Important Speech on the Vietnam War

by Joseph A. Palermo

Concluding his February 8 address, Kennedy reiterated his call for disengagement, and expressed a deep empathy with the American troops: "the best way to save our most precious stake in Vietnam -- the lives of our soldiers -- is to stop the enlargement of the war," and "the best way to end casualties is to end the war. This is a great nation and a strong people," he said, "[a]ny who seek to comfort rather than speak plainly, reassure rather than instruct, promise satisfaction rather than reveal frustration -- they deny that greatness and drain that strength. For today as it was in the beginning, it is the truth that makes us free." With that, Kennedy finished his remarks and members of the press and his Democratic colleagues broke into sustained applause. Those present sensed that a burden had been lifted from Kennedy's shoulders; he had crossed the Rubicon with his denunciation of Johnson's war.

Read about that speech after the click. The parallels with today's circumstances will take your breath away.

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