The sages of the Torah say that one does not really understand an experience until after 40 years. That would make today opportune time for reviewing the April 28, 1965 airlift of 400 U.S. Marines into the riot-torn capital of the Dominican Republic. If the “before” era of American tranquility really ended at that more notorious demarcation on November 22, 1963, then you could say that “after” era began here, fifteen months later.
The Dominican situation was an abrupt, volatile crisis that President Lyndon Johnson knew he could not afford to lose. The CIA had again ill-served the President by not anticipating that the impending local coup could deteriorate in a single day into widespread rioting, looting, and civil war. Immediately, Johnson was responsible for the contingent of civilians and diplomats. Even more ominously, he was at risk of being the next president to lose a Caribbean island to the Communists, making his global foreign policy infinitely more complex and his political prospects at home downright poisonous.
The successful American intervention proved instantly unpopular. Assailed for recklessness by fellow OAS members, the American press and important members of Congress, LBJ knew he had to act quickly. Micromanaged, our armed forces still managed in a matter of weeks to defuse the situation and restore a semblance of order.
On the American campus, JFK’s cold warrior persona was forgotten, while Johnson’s actions defined him as a different (bad) kind of Democrat. At Berkeley, where the “Free Speech Movement” was barely a year old, the invasion provided living proof of the ominous military-industrial establishment. Troubadours like Joan Baez and Phil Ochs journeyed there in its wake, employing the medium of folk music to define not just an alternative political point of view, but an alternative culture.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?