Phantoms in the Gulf of Tonkin

10 False Flags that Changed the World: #2

2Until 1964, Vietnam was not a U.S. war.

Monk sets himself on fireSure, the U.S. had sent 400 special forces to train South Vietnamese troops in 1961. And more troops were sent to police the country in 1963. And every now and again U.S. newspapers printed photos of Buddhist monks setting themselves on fire in public.

But, even the threat of Communism toppling regimes like dominoes wasn’t good enough to sell a full-blown war. Until August 2…

The Rush to War

On August 2, 1964, three North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked a U.S. destroyer, the USS Maddox. The boats reportedly fired torpedoes at the U.S. ship in international waters in the Gulf of Tonkin, about thirty miles off the Vietnam coast.

USS MaddoxOn August 4, the U.S. Navy reported another unprovoked attack on the USS Maddox and the USS Turner Joy.

Within hours, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered a retaliatory strike. As the bases for North Vietnamese torpedo boats were bombed, Johnson went on TV and told America: “Repeated acts of violence against the armed forces of the United States must be met not only with alert defense, but with a positive reply. That reply is being given as I speak tonight.”

Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara lying his butt off.The next day, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara testified. He assured Capital Hill that the Maddox had only been “carrying out a routine mission of the type we carry out all over the world at all times.” McNamara said the two boats were in no way involved with recent South Vietnamese boat raids against North Vietnamese targets.

President Lyndon B. JohnsonAt Johnson’s request, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. The resolution preapproved any military actions Johnson would take. It gave Johnson a free ticket to wage war in Vietnam as large as the President wanted. And, true to his large Texas roots, Johnson got a big war: by 1969, over half a million U.S. troops were fighting in Indochina.

The Phantom Attack

Despite McNamara’s testimony to the contrary, the USS Maddox had been providing intelligence support to South Vietnamese boats carrying out raids against North Vietnam. McNamara had also testified that there was “unequivocable proof” of an “unprovoked” second attack against the USS Maddox. In fact, the second attack never occurred at all.

At the time of the second incident, the two U.S. destroyers misinterpreted radar and radio signals as attacks by the North Vietnamese navy. It’s now known that no North Vietnamese boats were in the area. So, for two hours, the two U.S. destroyers blasted away at nonexistent radar targets, and vigorously maneuvered to avoid phantom North Vietnamese ships.

Even though the second “attack” only involved two U.S. ships defending themselves against a nonexistent enemy, the President and Secretary of Defense used it to coerce Congress and the American people to start a war they neither wanted or needed.

The War Powers Resolution

President Lyndon B. JohnsonAfter the Vietnam War turned into a quagmire for the U.S., Congress decided to put limits on the President’s authority to unilaterally wage war. Thus, on November 7, 1973, Congress overturned President Nixon’s veto and passed the War Powers Resolution.

The resolution requires the President to consult with Congress before making any decisions that engage the U.S. military in hostilities. It’s still in effect to this day.

“If we quit Vietnam, tomorrow we’ll be fighting in Hawaii and next week we’ll have to fight in San Francisco.” ~Lyndon B. Johnson.

“We are fighting these terrorists with our military in Afghanistan and Iraq and beyond so we do not have to face them in the streets of our own cities.” ~President George W. Bush.

Same tune, different song…

* * *

Go to the next article in this series:
The September 11, 2001 Attacks.

Go to the previous article in this series:
U.S.-Sponsored Terrorism: Operation Northwoods.

Go to the original article in this series:
10 False Flags that Changed the World.

This entry was posted in History, Politics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Phantoms in the Gulf of Tonkin

  1. kill yankee says:

    nice of you to peddle yankee propaganda……….amerikkka never declared war on vietnam,EVEN AFTER CONSCRIPTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!the upper house wouldn’t let them……AmeriKKKa set up ‘democratic’ elections in 1963.When the Vietnamese people elected the nationalist party led by Vietnamese Nationalist: HO CHI MINH, ameriKKKa simply escalated ‘the coflict’,gulf of tomkin was part of this plan,and go their arses whooped by ho chi minh(DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE…….THIS GUY LOVED HIS COUNTRY,WANTED INDEPENDANCE,FOUGHT FOR IT,AND GAINED IT……HE ALSO INSTILLED ENOUGH NATIONAL PRIDE IN HIS FELLOW CITIZENS THAT THEY FOUGHT JAPAN/VIETNAM/U.S OCCUPATION AND BEAT THEM ALL.)
    (a republican politician on nbc today just said that iran wants to nuke israel,this fucking nazi also said if the invasion fails that all other middle east nations will quickly follow(that’s Domino Theory)and a lot of other shit…….)that leaving is giving up,a timetable for Al-Qaeda,blah blah blah.

    kill yankee
    international slave

  2. JoeC says:

    Ask a vet on either side if it wasn’t a war…

  3. Mark Dice says:

    It is already reported in declassified documents that this incident was a flase flag operation. Why don’t you just attache some of the documents or provide some more links about this. At least it is better documented than the 911 flase flag operation.

  4. JoeC says:

    Mark: Here ya’ go, from the George Washington University’s National Security Archive: Gulf of Tonkin Incident

    Also this from the National Security Agency: Gulf of Tonkin Documents

  5. Andrew Milner says:

    You could do worse than view the motion picture, “The Fog of War” which is a documentary of interviews with Robert McNamara. When he met the former North Vietnamese Minister in 1995, they jointly realised that the entire Viet Nam (American) War was unnecessary and the result of mutual misunderstanding. North Viet Nam believed the US wanted to enslave Viet Nam, continuing where the colonising French had left off. The US would have agreed to independence and reunification from Day 1. America wrongly assumed that a North Vietnamese victory would allow the Chinese to spread Communism throughout the region, essentially the Domino Theory. Viet Nam had been fighting China for the last 1,000 years. No way would they allow the Chinese in. The irony was that both sides thought they were fighting for freedom. So some 5.5 million deaths (Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia) as a result of misunderstanding and the inability of America to communicate and grasp the historical process. Or were the reasons even more sinister? And now history is repeating itself in Iraq. Next time it is suggested that the US pursue an isolationist policy, let’s all support the proposal.

  6. Greg says:

    Phantoms in the Persian Gulf!!

    I just finished watching CNN where they said that three Iranian ships headed towards our US warships in a provacative manner. The U.S. were about to fire on the Iranians when they suddenly turned off.
    The Gulf of Tonkin Incident worked so well for Vietnam, why not re-hash it for the Iranians!

  7. Pingback: Sandy Hook A Hoax?... - Page 136 - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

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