Kennedy wanted to end the Vietnam war. Conspiracy theorists on both sides point to National Security Memo #263 as the smoking gun in Kennedy’s secret plan to get our troops out of Vietnam; and, also Memo #273 as proof the warmonger Johnson wanted to escalate the war. Both accounts are demonstrably false. Memo #263 simply states that Kennedy wanted to follow the recommendations of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and General Maxwell Taylor following their visit to South Vietnam(withdrawal was not one of them.) The second memo was drafted November 21, 1963 and is clearly a Kennedy document approved by Johnson. In an interview given on the Huntley-Brinkley Report Kennedy reaffirmed our commitment to South Vietnam and his belief in the “domino theory.” Kennedy did not want to end the war in South Vietnam and Johnson did not personally choose to escalate it.
Far too many amateurs historians have duped… suspicious Americans for academic credibility and financial gain. Oliver Stone lends his tarnished credibility to the misreading of a complicated series of policy decisions. Stone does not deal in complexities- as a film maker, he prefers stories with heroes, villains, and tidy plots. For reasons unknown, Stone and his acolytes refuse to accept Jack Kennedy for what he was- a Conservative Democrat committed to the policy of containment as laid down by his Democratic predecessor, Harry Truman. Vietnam was a national tragedy and a painful scar on our history- trying to make John Kennedy the martyr of it is a fraudulent endeavor.