Saturday, August 5, 2017

On this date in 1964...

the Tonkin Gulf Incident occurred and was soon transformed into an excuse for massive escalation of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. When President Lyndon Johnson took the matter to the Senate to get a resolution authorizing him to take whatever action “necessary” in Southeast Asia, only two senators, Wayne Morse (D-OR) and Ernest Gruening (D-AK) opposed it. Eventual outcome: 58,318 American military personnel killed, Total estimates of all those killed in the 1955-75 war in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, vary widely, from a low of 1.45 million to a high of 3.95 million. This does not include the millions killed in the Khmer Rouge genocide. Other consequences include estimates that up to 1 million Vietnamese are disabled or have health problems due to contact with the chemical defoliant Agent Orange. Americans who handled the chemical also have suffered in large numbers.

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