Do you remember how we became ensnared in the Vietnam War? The rationale behind our involvement was called the Gulf of Tonkin. President Lyndon Johnson claimed America had authority to attack North Vietnam because North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked two American destroyers over two days in the Gulf of Tonkin.
Johnson immediately asked for a resolution of Congress (not a declaration of war) to respond to these attacks. The resolution was duly passed. Soon after, the president sent a small contingent of American troops to land in Vietnam; these troops eventually were increased to more than 500,000!
Many years later, intelligence archives were released which showed the American destroyer had fired the first shot at the North Vietnamese torpedo boat in the first instance and that no North Vietnamese boats were present in the second alleged incident. Yet we committed 500,000 troops.
When Johnson had run for president against Barry Goldwater, Johnson attacked Goldwater as an irrational cowboy type that would get us into a war!
A comic once said: "I was told that if I voted for Goldwater, we would be involved in a land war in Asia within six months." The comic continued, "I did vote for Goldwater, and my friend was right - we were in a land war in Asia within six months!"
How will committing an act of war in Syria advance the best interests of the United States?
Henry Temple, a British statesman, in a speech to the House of Representatives on March 1, 1848, said: "We have no eternal allies and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual and those interests it is our duty to follow."
Very truly yours,
Michael B. Lange,