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letters | LBJ’s legacy

Fear drove LBJ to escalate war

To ALL admirers of Lyndon Baines Johnson, please don’t bother. (“LBJ’s admirers work to rescue his legacy from shadow of war,” Feb. 16) .

The historical record, including taped conversations with Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, is unambiguous. LBJ escalated our involvement in Vietnam for political reasons because he was afraid of attacks from anti-Communists who would blame him for losing Vietnam like President Truman lost China.

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I was in college when the war escalated. Classmates and friends died there. I was fortunate enough to be exempt from the draft.

I am grateful for the Medicare that I now receive because of LBJ. He did support and sign the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. African-Americans, who benefited most from this legislation, were far more likely to be drafted to fight in the war.

A. Eric Rosen


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