Vietnam 1969 Progress of Pacification, Prospects for Vietnamization by James G. Lowenstein & Richard M. Moose
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In their report to the Senate Foreign Relatons Committee in 1969, Lowenstein and Moose wrote about their interviews with the senior political and military leadership in Vietnam and also with villagers in the countryside. They complain in the report of often receiving contradictory answers to the same questions depending on whom they are asking. And they complain that briefings are rarely objective.
“In sum, whether inadvertently or deliberately, briefings do not objectively present the pros and cons but rather emphasize progress and accomplishment. Being briefed in Vietnam is somewhat like being told to buy product X without being told what is wrong with it or why to buy product Y.”
The New York Times called thieir report “a bombshell.”
“They interviewed all the major figures — Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker, Gen. Creighton Abrams, Vietnamese politicians — but also midlevel officers. They read volumes of field reports and traveled the length of South Vietnam, meeting with village elders.
“Their report, released in a redacted version to the public in early 1970, was a bombshell. The administration’s plans, they wrote, ‘seem to rest on far more ambiguous, confusing and contradictory evidence than pronouncements from Washington and Saigon indicate.’”
“The war, they concluded, ‘appears to be not only far from won but far from over.’”
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