Is "Petraeus" Dutch for "Westmoreland"
By JORGE MARISCAL
"In early November of 1967, the administration of President Lyndon Johnson ratcheted up a media campaign designed to convince the American people that victory in Vietnam was possible. Dubbed the "Success Offensive," it began with coordinated leaks to the press of cherry picked reports in order to manufacture the most positive spin possible.
On Meet the Press, Vice President Humphrey asserted that "there has been progress on every front in Vietnam," and Ambassador Bunker reported that the Saigon government was increasing its territorial control. Most notably, it was LBJ himself who at his November 17 press conference hinted at the complexity of the problem: "We have a lot to do yet. A great many mistakes have been made. We take two steps forward, and we slip back one. It is not all perfect by any means. There are a good many days when we get a C-minus instead of an A-plus. But overall, we are making progress. We are satisfied with that progress."
Ironically, one of the chief architects of the war did not participate in the public relations blitz. Robert McNamara already had concluded that the U.S. public simply would not tolerate a prolonged war. The last word, however, would belong to the commanding officer of U.S. forces.
General William Westmoreland could not have been more optimistic. For over three years, he had been preoccupied with what he called a "laboratory experiment in pacification" designed to establish security in Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, and the surrounding area. On November 21, at the National Press Club he conceded that the fighting would continue but argued "we have reached an important point where the end begins to come into view.".......
Almost forty years later, the administration of George W. Bush has initiated its own propaganda war. Ranging from speeches authored by neoconservative revisionists and delivered by Bush at veterans' forums to Vice President Cheney doing the talk show circuit to a sleazy radio/TV ad campaign headed by former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, this psychological blitz is designed to soften up the citizenry for the main act-the appearance next month of the military commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus."