Donald W. Duncan, Ex-Green Beret

Donald W. Duncan, 79, Ex-Green Beret and Early Critic of Vietnam War, is Dead

by Steve Wagner
May 7, 2016

I loved this Donald Duncan guy! He came through Seattle in February 1967, the same day I got my reminder letter from Selective Service that I needed to register for the draft. I talked with him briefly after his talk. I showed him the SS letter, & asked what he thought I should do. Duncan replied, "Son, go to Canada! Go to jail! Go underground! Go anywhere you want, but DON'T go to Viet Nam! We have no business being there." That and the Xmas card I'd received from a friend of mine in Viet Nam that said "I only have 3 words for you: DODGE THE DRAFT!" both hardened my resolve to resist the draft, like my brother David was doing.

When Robert McNamara returned from Viet Nam after a "fact-finding tour" in 1963 he warned JFK & LBJ: "We cannot win in Viet Nam", he said, and recommended that the United States start "drawing down" troops right away, with the goal of withdrawing completely. Later LBJ castigated McNamara for that warning. LBJ said he was "not going to be the first president to lose a war on his watch!", expanding the war instead.

Donald Duncan's warning came a few years later. In 1963 he was still a gung-ho "anticommunist."

Nixon became the 1st president to lose a war on his watch several years later -- with an additional 50,000 officially dead as a result of the war. 50,000 that would not have died if LBJ had ended the war as McNamara, &, later, Donald Duncan, recommended.

Lake Merritt Neighbors Organized for Peace (LMNOP)
two2049 [AT]

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Donald W. Duncan, Ex-Green Beret