When presidents lie to make a war

theguardianDD Guttenplan – Sat 2 Aug 2014 10.00 BST

Fifty years on we know the trigger for war with Vietnam was a fiction. Will it be another 50 before we know the truth about Iraq?

Lyndon Johnson in 1964
Lyndon Johnson’s repeated accusation that the Gulf of Tonkin attacks were unprovoked was the beginning of a disillusion that would lead Daniel Ellsberg to leak the Pentagon Papers. Photograph: Yoichi R Okamoto/AP Photograph: Yoichi R Okamoto/AP

Once there was a president who warned the world about conduct his government would not tolerate. And when this “red line” was crossed, or seemed to be, he took the US to war. Though this might sound like America’s involvement in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Belgrade, or Libya, and what may yet become a wider war in Syria, this story began 50 years ago, on 4 August 1964.

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How the US created a world of endless war – podcast

In 2008, many of Barack Obama’s supporters hoped he would bring the global war on terror to a close. Instead, he expanded it – and his successors have done nothing to change course. By Samuel Moyn

A US Reaper drone at a base in Nevada.

A US Reaper drone at a base in Nevada. Photograph: Josh Smith/Reuters

 theguardian – Fri 17 Sep 2021 12.00 BST

Written by Samuel Moyn, read by Christopher Ragland and produced by Esther Opoku-Gyeni

Listen here

Read the text version here

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