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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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Well, in the Vietnam case? I don't think it did anything more than intensify my already held position that we simply could not win this war that we were, by this time, very deeply in. And we simply had to do everything possible, and a lot more than we actually, in my view, were doing to negotiate a withdrawal with the North Vietnamese. Not that I ever advocated or would have advocated a declare-victory-and-pull-out policy, which some people were. I just didn't think that was feasible or even really a very honorable thing to do, as long as we were so deeply in there already -- which, of course, I didn't think we should have been in the first place. But I did feel, and it only intensified my feeling, that we had to negotiate our way out of this, even though it obviously would not be a victory for us. But we had to get out of Vietnam because it was a war we shouldn't have been in, but that we couldn't win now that we were in. That was pretty much the policy the Times did follow editorially.

But, on the other things -- I guess I started this by trying to answer questions about the virtue of travel. So I encouraged my own associates, right from the beginning, to get out and travel as much as possible, as I said a moment ago. One of them I sent out to Vietnam -- this was several years before I went out myself. And, as far as Washington goes, I went often, to simply have discussions, to meet and get a personal feeling from political people, visiting Kennedy and Johnson both before and after they became presidents and many, many others. And I encouraged others on my staff to do that. In fact, one of the most valuable and important members of the editorial board during my regime, who came on halfway -- I don't remember what year -- but came on sometime in the middle 60s, Bill Shannon, actually moved from New York to Washington because his specialty was writing on political affairs, national political affairs, and he actually did it from Washington. As far

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