Episode 3 focuses mainly on the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown vs The Board of Education, the1960s civil rights movement and President Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 Civil Rights Act.
This episode begins by exploring the role of Thurgood Marshall (eventually appointed to the Supreme Court) and other black lawyers in championing a number of “separate but equal” court challenges. Their work would culminate in the 1954 SCOTUS decision that “separate but equal” Black schools violated the 14th Amendment.
The film then looks at the large Black vote that helped John Kennedy win a narrow victory against Richard Nixon in 1960. As with Barack Obama, this was followed by years of backpedaling on civil rights issues. In 1962, Martin Luther King drafted a second Emancipation Proclamation outlawing segregation for Kennedy to sign as an executive order. When the president refused, King launched a nonviolent protest campaign in Birmingham Alabama, a city with the most brutally racist police force in the US. He hoped the crisis and media attention it garnered would force Kennedy’s hand.
After writing Kennedy from Birmingham jail, King launched the Children’s Crusade, which involved children as young as seven. When newspapers all over the world carried front page photos of children being sprayed with fire hoses and attacked by dogs, Kennedy finally ordered the Alabama National Guard to escort two Black students seeking to register at the University of Alabama.
After Kennedy was assassinated, it fell to Johnson to introduce the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The latter specifically acknowledged (for the first time) the federal government’s role in forcing states to uphold the 14th amendment (guaranteeing African Americans equal protection under the law).
In one of his better lectures, Stoler debunks a number of myths about the Vietnam War.
He traces the history of the war to the reversal of Franklin Roosevelt’s policy opposing continued French colonization of Indochina. With Truman’s initiation of the Cold War, the US sought to strengthen France’s suppression of colonial independence movements as a defense against communist expansion into Eastern Europe. Truman also saw Western control of Indochina as essential to guaranteeing US-occupied Japan’s access Indonesia’s and Malaysia’s rubber, oil and mineral resources in Indonesia and Malaysia.
In 1954, a major defeat at Dien Bien Phu led the French military to withdraw from Vietnam. Under the 1954 Geneva Accord (which the US refused to sign), Laos and Cambodia were awarded independence, while Vietnam was temporarily split at 17th parallel (pending reunification elections in 1956). The southern Republic of Vietnam was ruled by a French puppet government under King Bao Dai, and the northern Democratic Republic of Vietnam by Ho Chi Minh.
According to Stoler, the US government made their first major blunder in 1918, when President Woodrow Wilson refused to meet with Ho Chi Minh (seeking US support for Vietnam’s independence struggle) during the Versailles treaty negotiations. So he met with the Soviets. However the biggest biggest blunder was misperceiving the independence struggle (supported by the majority of both North and South Vietnames) ar in Vietnam as a Cold War proxy war sponsored by the Soviet Union and China. Stoler blames this mistake on Senator Joseph McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee and their successful purge of all major Asian experts from the US State Department.
Refusing to hold elections in 1956 (because they knew Ho Chi Minh would win), the Eisenhower administration replaced the king with a Vietnamese exile living in the US named Ngo Dinh Diem. They also massively ramped up military and economic aid to South Vietnam, emboldening Diem to begin a ruthless purge of Vietnam’s freedom fighters. Most went underground to join the Viet Minh (national independence cadres) Ho Chi Minh started in 1941. Calling themselves the National Liberation Front, they were known in the West as the Viet Cong.
Under Kennedy, the US responded to continuing Vietnamese unrest by sending in special forces (Green Berets) and allowing the CIA to assassinate Diem. The number of US “advisors” (to the South Vietnamese arm) in South Vietnam increased from 900 in 1961 to 17,000 in 1963.
By 1964, North Vietnam was on the verge of defeating the US puppet government in the South. Facing conservative hawk Barry Goldwater in the November election, President Lyndon Johnson (determined not to be blamed for losing Vietnam) increased troop numbers to 500,000.
Directed by Barry Alexander Brown and Glenn Silber (1979)
This documentary traces the history of the student antiwar movement at the University of Wisconsin during the sixties and seventies. In 1968, Playboy magazine described the Madison campus as the most radical university in the country. The topic holds particular interest for me as I attended medical school there between June 1969 and June 1971.
A staunch Goldwater Republican at the time, there was no question my Madison experiences politicized me. It was there I learned how Dow Chemical (which manufactured the napalm the US dropped on Vietnamese civilians) and other big corporations controlled Congress by financing their political campaigns. Although I participated in no street protests, I cut class during the National Moratorium on November 15, 1969 to join 15,000 other students at a teach-in at the UW Field House.
UW-Madison held their first antiwar protest (consisting of 200-300 students) a month before the 1963 Kennedy assassinations. As at universities across the US, the protests grew exponentially in February 1965, after Lyndon Johnson broke his campaign promise (not to expand the Vietnam War) and began bombing North Vietnam.
Protests further escalated in 1966, following a police riot during a sit-in at the UW administration building, in which brutal clubbing of nonviolent protestors resulted in 65 hospitalizations. Protests reached their peak during the summer of 1969, with the governor ordering deployment of the National Guard to assist police. There were literal riots on Mifflin Street, largely in response to police brutality, which I directly witnessed.
Rioters engaged in running battles with police, as well as throwing fire bombs, overturning vehicles, and setting up barricades. Prior to 1969, I had only read about barricades in history books.
Anyone with a public library card can view the film free at Kanopy. Type Kanopy and the name of your library into the search engine.
An Introduction to Skull and Bones and Other Secret Societies
Kris Millegan (2012)
Millegan is the founder of TrineDay, a small Oregon publishing house dedicated to publishing suppressed books that mainstream publishers refuse to print. Titles include John Potash’s Drugs as Weapons Against Us, Judith Vary Baker’s Me and Lee: How I Came to Know, Love and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald and Dr. Mary’s Monkey: How the Unsolved Murder of a Doctor, a Secret Laboratory in New Orleans and Cancer-Causing Monkey Viruses are Linked to Lee Harvey Oswald, the JFK Assassination and Emerging Global Epidemics
I suspect most people will balk at watching the entire video summarizing Millegan’s 30 years of research into what many commentators refer to as the Deep State. For this reason, I have highlighted the two best sections. I have also attached a reading list Millegan recommends for people seeking a deeper understanding of the oligarchs who rule the US via their secret societies.
00.21 For me the best part of the talk concerns Millegan’s father, who worked for the State Department, OSS and later for the CIA and military intelligence. Lloyd Millegan was in charge of the Philippines desk for OSS and in this role he trained Philippine guerillas resisting Japanese occupation and later spied on General Douglas MacCarthur. MacCarthur’s father MacCarthur was the first military governor of the American-occupied Philippines in 1900. Douglas, who was raised in the Philippines, was suspected of supporting the Philippines oligarchy, who were collaborating with the Japanese.
In 1956, the CIA transferred Lloyd to Vietnam, where he worked with Edward Lansdale, who orchestrated a shoot out between US and French intelligence over control of Southeast Asia’s opium trade.
Lloyd eventually left the CIA to become a junior high school teacher. He tried to explain some of his intelligence work to Kris when turned 20. Very little of it made sense until Kris began researching some of Lloyd’s more outlandish statements (eg that the Vietnam War was all about drugs, that secret societies were behind it, that communism was also a sham created by secret societies, that the Vietnam War was part of a conspiracy to opiate the entire baby boom generation, and that CIA analysts informed Eisenhower in 1954 that US victory in Vietnam was impossible).
1.00 The other really interesting part of the talk directly relates to the history of Skull and Bones, a secret undergraduate fraternity started at Yale University in 1832 by William Huntington Russell and Alfonso Taft. Russell was the head of the largest opium smuggling network in the world. Taft was attorney general in the corrupt Ulysses S Grant administration and would be sent to Philippines as the first civilian governor after Arthur MacArthur was dismissed. Teddy Roosevelt’s family owed their wealth to opium smuggling and Warren Delano, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s grandfather was chief of operations for Russell & Co, a trading company that did big business in opium smuggling in Canton. Numerous members of the Rockefeller family belonged to Skull and Bones, both before and after they founded Standard Oil. Opium smuggling also enabled Skull and Bones members to gain control of the global steel industry and American railroads.
Millegan has a good summary of the corporate elite families who have belonged to Skull and Bones at Skull and Bones families
Perfectabilists: The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati by Terry Melanson – According to Millegan, this is one of the few historically accurate books in English about the Illuminati. Most of the material available in English is disinformation.
Devious Elites by Sterling Seagrave
Gold Warriors: the Covert History of Yamashita’s Gold by Steling Seagrave – refers to gold Japanese looting during World War II and allegedly hid in caves in the Philippines, how Washington secretly recovered it to set up giant Cold War slush funds and manipulate foreign governments
America’s Secret Establishment: An Introduction to the Order of Skull and Bones by Anthony Sutton – describes the battle between French and US intelligence over Southeast Asia’s opium trade.
Unholy Alliance: A History of Nazi Involvement with the Occult by Peter Lavenda
Unfriendly Skies : Saga of Corruption by Rodney Stich, Former FAA investigator
Defrauding America: Trojan Horse Corruption by Rodney Stitch – about a “deep-cover CIA officer” assigned to a counter-intelligence unit, code-named Pegasus. This unit had tape-recordings of plans to assassinate Kennedy” from a tap on the phone of J. Edgar Hoover. The voices on the tapes belonged to were Nelson Rockefeller, Allen Dulles, Lyndon Johnson, George H W Bush and J Edgar Hoover.
Last night, Maori TV showed Episode 7 of the Vietnam War series, covering the second half of 1968. 1968 was a year of global revolution, when working and oppressed people all over the world revolted against their governments. This happened even in countries like Mexico, Czechoslovakia, Nigeria, Ecuador, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay that had nothing to do with the Vietnam War. See 1968
This episode incorporates excellent footage of the antiwar protests at the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention and the bloody police riot that ensued. Esteemed CBS journalist Walter Cronkite referred to Chicago as a “police state.”
By mid-1968 the new Secretary of Defense Clifford Clark was begging President Johnson to stop bombing North Vietnam. Clark no longer believed the US could win the war, and this was a North Vietnamese condition to begin Paris peace negotiations.
1968 also marked the start of the CIA’s controversial Phoenix program, in which US and South Vietnamese intelligence murdered 20,000 South Vietnamese in an effort to root out the Viet Cong (a secret South Vietnamese revolutionary group) and their supporters.
In the lead-up to elections, Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey also called for an end to the bombing. When Johnson finally halted the bombing on October 31, Humphrey’s poll numbers surged ahead of Nixon’s.
A few days before the election, Nixon sent a secret envoy to South Vietnam promising President Thieu a “better peace deal” if he withdrew from the peace talks – which he did. Because the CIA had caught the conversation on a secret bug in Thieu’s office, Johnson confronted Nixon, who denied it. Viewing it as treason, Johnson chose not to make the incident public. He didn’t want the South Vietnamese government (or the American public) to know how he obtained the information.
Immediately after Nixon’s 1969 inauguration in January, he began secretly (and illegally) bombing Laos and Cambodia. Parts of the Ho Chi Minh trail (which North Vietnam used to send troops, weapons and food south) snaked through Laos, and Cambodia was known to offer sanctuary to North Vietnamese troops.
Last night Maori TV showed episode six of the PBS Vietnam War series, covering the first half of 1968. Most of this episode deals with the January 31 Tet Offensive from the North Vietnamese standpoint. Although it was a failure militarily for North Vietnam, it was a public relations disaster for the US. It was the first time the North Vietnamese Army/Viet Cong had entered Saigon (they nearly capture the US Embassy.
After watching the nightly coverage of bloody conflict on US TV, the American people realized that Johnson had been lying when he claimed the US was winning the war. Esteemed TV journalist Walter Cronkite covered the Tet Offensive on the ground and came out against the war when he returned to the US.
When Johnson nearly lost the New Hampshire primary to anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy (on March 30), he announced his decision not to seek a second term.
On April 4, Martin Luther King was assassinated (after coming out against the war a year earlier). Later that month, Bobby Kennedy entered the Democratic primary on a pledge to end the war. He seemed poised to win the Democratic nomination when he was assassinated in June.
Maori TV showed Episode 4 of the Vietnam War series this week. 1966, Lyndon Johnson’s second year in office, saw a massive escalation of US forces in Vietnam – increasing from 200,000 in January to 500,000 in June 1967. Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and South Korea also sent troops to serve in Vietnam. Because both Australia and New Zealand had compulsory conscription until the early 1970s, there was a sizeable anti-Vietnam War movement in both countries.
The UK and Europe, in contrast, opposed the Vietnam War and called for the withdrawal of foreign troops.
Johnson also substantially escalated bombing campaigns against North Korea, Laos and Cambodia (the North Vietnamese used a network of jungle roads in Laos and Cambodia to transport arms and personnel to South Vietnam). North Vietnamese civilians, most of them women, worked day and night restoring the so-called “Ho Chi Minh trail following US bombing raids.
Because the US was incapable of gaining territory in Vietnam, it used body counts to measure its success. The latter frequently included civilians and were always exaggerated. The US goal was to reach a “crossover point” – where the US killed more North Vietnamese soldiers than North Vietnam could replace. This never happened.
In May 1966, the US puppet government in South Vietnam nearly collapsed owing to mass demonstrations in Saigon demanding representative democracy and a negotiated settlement to the war.
As US forces swelled in Vietnam, the Pentagon was forced to begin drafting college students, which massively fueled the antiwar movement. It was common for well-to-do families (like the Bushes) to arrange deferments tor their kids. As the saying went, “If you’ve got dough, you don’t have to go.”
In Vietnam, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, a disproportionate number of draftees and casualties were African American.
Last night Maori TV showed Part 3 of the Vietnam War series. The title refers to the river dead people cross in Roman mythology to reach the Underworld.
The third episode covers the period 1964-1965 under President Lyndon Johnson. The latter reversed Kennedy’s initiative to withdraw US military “advisors” from Vietnam. Within days of the assassination, the new president increased the number of forces “advising” the South Vietnamese Army to 16,000. He also began secretly bombing and shelling North Vietnam (which was supplying arms to the South Vietnamese Army of Liberation). He concealed the bombing from the US public because 1964 was an election year.
By January 1965, the South Vietnamese Army of Liberation had nearly wiped out the South Vietnamese Army, and Johnson was forced to introduce “conventional” troops. In August 1964, Congress had passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted Johnson the authority to militarily “assist any Southeast Asian country which was being threatened by Communist aggression.” The Resolution was passed in response to an alleged unprovoked North Vietnamese attack on a US spy ship that, according to declassified documents, never happened.
The introduction of US ground forces would draw the North Vietnamese Army into the war, in support of the South Vietnamese Liberation Army. It would also lead France, Vietnam’s former colonial oppressor, to call for an end to all foreign intervention in Vietnam.
By May, Johnson had sent 50,000 GIs to Vietnam and pledged another 50,00 by the end of 1965. From the outset US troops deliberately waged a “counterinsurgency” war, ie one that clearly targeted civilians. The anger this provoked among the South Vietnamese population greatly enhanced recruitment efforts by the South Vietnamese Liberation Army.
On the domestic front, the introduction of ground troops (via a compulsory draft) would fuel a growing anti-Vietnam War protest movement by mid-1965.
At the end of 1965, General Westmoreland, who commanded US forces during the Vietnam War, requested an additional 200,000 troops. Johnson would comply, even though by that point, he and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara realized the Vietnam War was unwinnable.
Part 9 of Oliver Stones Untold History of the United States covers the Bush senior and Clinton presidency
Bush Senior Presidency
Stone begins by exploring the role of Bush’s father Prescott Bush and other Wall street figures in supporting the rise of Hitler and the Nazi war machine. The list of Wall Street corporations that supplied money, weapons, chemicals, tanks, aircraft and other material support to the Third Reich is a long one: Ford, IBM, GM, Hearst, Standard Oil, Dupont, Kodak, United Fruit, Westinghouse, Douglas Aircraft, ITT, GE, Singer, International Harvester, Union Bank, Chase Manhattan Bank, JP Morgan and the Bank of International Settlements.
Many of these companies demanded (and received) reparations when the Allies bombed their German factories.
Stone devotes much of this episode to the fall of totalitarian rule in Eastern Europe (1989-91), which he describes as the largest peaceful revolution in history. He also discusses the military coup by Boris Yeltsin that shut down parliamentary rule in the Russian Federation and the role of Wall Street, the World Bank, IMF and a handful of Russian oligarchs in systematically stripping the Russian people of their industrial wealth. During this period, many Russians died of malnutrition and medically preventable illness. The life expectancy would drop from 67 to 57 for men and from 76 to 70 for women.
Bush senior, surrounded by anti-Soviet hawks (eg Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld who would go on to found Project for a New American Century) rebuffed all Gorbachev’s overtures for world peace. Stone maintains Gorbachev would never have been forced out of office if Bush had supported him.
The Clinton Presidency
Instead of delivering the promised “peace dividend” when the Cold War ended, Clinton initiated a new wave of defense spending and multiple military interventions overseas. Among them
He launched a war on Yugoslavia to gain access to Caspian Sea oil for US oil companies.
He authorized numerous bombing raids on Iraq, supposedly as enforcement of the no-fly zone in regions controlled by Kurds and Shiite rebels.
He began expanding NATO to former Eastern Bloc countries to enable US oil companies to build pipelines to transport Russian oil to Europe.
He ordered 75 cruise missiles (at $750,000 each) to be fired on a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory and Zawhar Kili Camp in Afghanistan to distract public attention from the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Bush and Clinton: Squandered Peace – New World Order
The American Future: A History from the Founding Fathers to Barack Obama.
Random House (2008)
Written for a British audience, The American Future attempts to define the quintessential American national character by tracing historical movements that have shaped US society. The five political movements Schama considers most important are 1) the gradual rise of a professional military officer class, 2) the role of evangelical religion in the movement to abolish slavery, 3) the brutal imperialist war against Mexico and the Philippines, 4) the forced displacement of the Cherokee and four other Native American nations under Andrew Jackson, and 5) the development of large scale irrigation in to open the Southwest desert area to agriculture.
For me the primary value of this book is all the historical gems Schama includes that you never learn about in high school. For example:
• The founding of West Point military academy with its Jeffersonian emphasis on philosophy and civil engineering, as opposed to military tactics. Jefferson believed a sound liberal education for US military officers would help ensure the US never went to war except to defend liberty. Congress consistently refused to fund a US military or naval academy until an undeclared war with France broke out in 1796.* Over a period of ten months, the French seized 300 US merchant vessels. When Congress eventually authorized funding for West Point, its primary purpose was to train the Army Corps of Engineers, who built the levees, bridges, damns, dykes and forts that enabled westward expansion. They also drained the swamp in Washington DC and built the Capitol and other important federal buildings.
• President Lyndon Johnson’s role, in 1964, in blocking the credentialing of Mississippi’s Freedom Democratic Party, led by Fannie Lou Hamer, after the Mississippi Democratic Party declared their support for the Republican candidate Barry Goldwater. This blatant white cronyism would provide major impetus to the growing black power movement.
• The profound religious intolerance that persisted in the US even after the 1780 adoption of the Bill of Rights guaranteeing separation of church and state. ** In Massachusetts, Sunday church attendance was compulsory until 1833 – until 1840, blasphemy could be punished by one year in prison, public whipping or the pillory. In Maryland Jews weren’t allowed to vote or hold office until the state passed the Jew Bill in 1820.
• Anti-immigrant feelings, especially against Germans, Irish, Mexicans and Chinese were so intense during the 19th century that there were frequent riots in which immigrants were lynched or had their homes set on fire. An 1855 riot in Louisville would have affected my great grandfather, whose family arrived in the area after immigrating from Germany in 1840.
• President Teddy Roosevelt’s 1902 National Reclamation Act, which led to the construction of 600 dams (including Grand Coulee and Hoover Dam) in thirty years. These would provide irrigation to millions of acres of desert in California and the Southwest. This project would include the diversion of the Colorado River to supply Southern California’s Imperial Valley, which supplies nearly half the fresh fruit and vegetables consumed by Americans, as well as Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and parts of Mexico.
*Prior to reading this book, I had no idea the US and France had been at war (with each other).
**The early view of the Bill of Rights was that it only pertained to the federal government and didn’t apply to state law.