Path to War Reviews
The parallels come easily to mind. Johnson led a whole bipartisan Washington consensus that mistakenly believed Vietnam a vital Cold War front. Communist rule of Vietnam would imperil the US ... not at all, in fact. And the whole military engagement began with possibly trumped-up reports about naval conflict in the Gulf of Tonkin.
When Path to War aired on HBO, another Texan president forged a mistaken Washington consensus that Iraq represented a vital front in a global War on Terrorism. Cherry-picked intelligence mistakenly suggested that members the anti-US terrorist group Al Qaeda sheltered in Iraq, that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. A myth persisted that Iraq had something to do with 9/11.
In each case, the subsequent war extended beyond the president's term, was ruinously expensive and deadly, and handed territory to the very forces the US feared. Voices of warning George Ball and Clark Clifford go unheeded, like Richard Clarke, Joseph Wilson, and Valerie Plame, in 2002.
Oh, but the differences are so telling: Michael Gambon's Lyndon Johnson burns to build his Great Society, to extend Civil and Voting Rights. He shines most when talking down the racist George Wallace, and when the confused president confides in his partner, Ladybird.
By contrast, George W. Bush sought to be something called a "compassionate conservative", but he was a child of privilege and faith.
In Path to War, the Vietnam War is driven above all by Robert McNamara's single-minded focus on the lessons of Munich. But the horror in Alec Baldwin's eyes as a war protestor immolates himself ... You will never see doubt like that in the eyes of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, or Condaleeza Rice.
At the remove of fourteen years, I have one question: why do we keep making the same mistakes over and over?
-- Watch Someday If Free!
John Frankenheimer a chippĂ© la recette miracle d'Oliver Stone sur "JFK" et l'applique cette fois sur Lyndon B. Johnson et l'intensification de la guerre du Viet-Nam. C'est presque une suite non avouĂ©e du film d'Oliver Stone. Un film passionant, qu'il faut dĂ©couvrir !