I have recently read several books regarding JFK and his presidency. JFK did not get us into Vietnam. US involvement in Vietnam started back in the early 1950's trying to help the French to keep their colony. There is a clip on You Tube from a speech by LBJ where he states that US involvement started then. Before his death, JFK was in fact quoted by several members of his staff as having plans to withdraw all US troops after the 1964 election (if he had won in '64).. He had also reportedly signed an Executive Order withdrawing 1000 troops before he died. Another book I read states that after the assassination, RFK was asked about the Vietnam troop escalation as well. The book states that RFK became extremely angry at the person that asked the question and emphatically denied that JFK was going to increase troop levels. RFK stated that as a US Senator in the early 1950's, his brother had gone to South Viet Nam on a fact finding trip. During this trip he became extremely close friends with one of the French officials in South Viet Nam. The book goes on to state that during this trip JFK learned that the French were losing their war, (and that JFK came to the conclusion that the war was in fact unwinnable), that the people of South Viet Nam hated the presence of foreign troops from any country and wanted their independence above anything else. The book goes on to say that RFK said that trip was when JFK decided that it would not be a good idea to not commit any more US troops into what JFK came to consider as a "quagmire." Shortly before his death, Kennedy himself said that the war was the responsibility of the people of South Viet Nam to either "win of lose."
You ask in your post "FOR WHAT." Truly a great question. As I read in a book regarding Viet Nam, the author asked the reader to "FOLLOW THE MONEY." Who made the decisions and who made the money?
and yes, everyone thought America had learned a LESSON from the Vietnam debacle -- until Dubya couldn't wait to play War President.
where were YOU in 2003, cheerleading for the bush war?
or warning about the lesson of Vietnam?
Now Bush spends his days painting dog portraits.
lazio: I guess you weren't alive back prior to Viet Nam. It was Eisenhower that sent military advisors to Viet Nam. That was the start of this Countries involvement. Unfortunately, LBJ listened to the anti communist crazies and that was led this Country to get involved in Vietnams Civil war. Now, thanks to a Republican President, Vietnam is a favored trading partner of the U.S. and the Country is still run by Communists.