It looks like we are mostly ignorant of history, and so, about to repeat it. Or, looking at it another way, Syria is more likely to become Obama’s Vietnam than his Iraq.
The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (officially, the Southeast Asia Resolution, Public Law 88-408) was a joint resolution that the United States Congress passed on August 7, 1964, in response to the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.
It is of historical significance because it gave U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson authorization, without a formal declaration of war by Congress, for the use of “conventional” military force in Southeast Asia. Specifically, the resolution authorized the President to do whatever necessary in order to assist “any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty”. This included involving armed forces.
This is officially when quagmire began signifying military operations.
I can’t say it any better than Senator Ernest Gruening (D-AK)…
Senator Gruening objected to “sending our American boys into combat in a war in which we have no business, which is not our war, into which we have been misguidedly drawn, which is steadily being escalated.”
So we are not sending in ground troops. Yet. What happens if Iran gets involved? What happens if Iran gets involved by bombing Israel?
NPR – as part of the show “The Takeaway” – was playing a tape of Lyndon Johnson discussing the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, and how it passed overwhelmingly, but later was viewed by many – not Johnson – as a mistake. How far off the reservation does a Democratic President have to be for NPR to bring up Vietnam, and the Democratic President who made it what we remember it to be?