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Anh Le

Richard Nixon and the Vietnam War

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Anh Le   

I am a high school student at Benjamin Banneker High School in Washington DC, USA. I am in the IB Program and thus I need to write an "internal assessment" (similar to a research paper) for my IB History class. I chose to research the Vietnam War, I further narrow down my focus into "During the Vietnam War, did the American make any promise to the Vietnamese, if yes, what? And did they break this/these promises? I have done research outside already, and I have some basic background of the events. I came across this forum and wanted to join in order to ask for expert help.

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Guest Stephen Turner   
Guest Stephen Turner
I am a high school student at Benjamin Banneker High School in Washington DC, USA. I am in the IB Program and thus I need to write an "internal assessment" (similar to a research paper) for my IB History class. I chose to research the Vietnam War, I further narrow down my focus into "During the Vietnam War, did the American make any promise to the Vietnamese, if yes, what? And did they break this/these promises? I have done research outside already, and I have some basic background of the events. I came across this forum and wanted to join in order to ask for expert help.

Welcome to the Forum Anh.

Nixon had promised South Vietnam that he would provide military support to them, in the event of a worsening situation, or an offensive from the North, this was to help convince the Thieu regime to sign up to the peace agreement. But Nixon was heavily embroiled in the growing Watergate scandal at the time, and facing an increasingly hostile Congress, who held the power of economic aid to South Vietnam, and an angry public, sick of the war. Thus Nixon broke his promises to South Vietnam, its called "real politic" Steve.

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Anh Le   

oh thank you Steve, that really gave me a start. i want to ask are there written sources to back up that? I found this while reading the books: "The next day Kenedy inaugurated his administration bypromising to "pay any price, bear any brden, ... support any friends, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty.""

-from "inaugural Address," January 20, 1961, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: john F. Kenedy, 1961 (Government Printing Office, 1962)

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Richard Nixon told the American people during the 1968 presidential election that he fully supported Lyndon Johnson’s peace talks.

However, at the same time he used Anna Chennault (a Chinese born Republican) to carry secret messages to President Thieu. Nixon persuaded Thieu not to go along with these peace talks. In return, Nixon promised to send South Vietnam enough US troops to “win the war”. This is why Thieu refused to take part in the peace talks (he announced this on 2nd November, three days before the election).

Nixon knew the American people would not accept an escalation of the war. He therefore continued Lyndon Johnson’s policy of talking to the North Vietnamese government. Nixon eventually accepted the peace terms available in 1968. By that time another 20,763 American soldiers had died. So had 109,230 South Vietnamese soldiers, 496,260 combatants from the North and an unknown number of civilians.

This information appears in several books. Probably the best account appears in Anthony Summers’s book, The Arrogance of Power (298-306).

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I am a high school student at Benjamin Banneker High School in Washington DC, USA. I am in the IB Program and thus I need to write an "internal assessment" (similar to a research paper) for my IB History class. I chose to research the Vietnam War, I further narrow down my focus into "During the Vietnam War, did the American make any promise to the Vietnamese, if yes, what? And did they break this/these promises? I have done research outside already, and I have some basic background of the events. I came across this forum and wanted to join in order to ask for expert help.

I'd like to think about this for a day or so-- although I can't cite chapter and verse the US government 'official' position regarding Vietnam - I do have a few personal observations, about ther early day's 1963-65

David Healy

US Army MAAG-Vietnam

1963-64

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Nixon had promised South Vietnam that he would provide military support to them, in the event of a worsening situation, or an offensive from the North, this was to help convince the Thieu regime to sign up to the peace agreement. But Nixon was heavily embroiled in the growing Watergate scandal at the time, and facing an increasingly hostile Congress, who held the power of economic aid to South Vietnam, and an angry public, sick of the war. Thus Nixon broke his promises to South Vietnam, its called "real politic" Steve.

Steven Turner - I would like you to have a copy of my book "Expendable Elite - One Soldier's Journey Into Covert Warfare" and would want you to read it and then give it to your high school library. Any who has sufficient on-the-ground experience in the Vietnam confllict in a position of responsibility at a level needed to properly judge the impact of differing methods of operation (conduct of war, civic action and government building) and who has read my book has thus far agreed that the conflict, if fought the way we did it in An Phu District, would have resulted in there still being a South Vietnam. You must read my epilogue - as it tells and quotes those who betrayed your nation. I have jusr received an e-mail from Tom Polgar - the last CIA Station Chief in South Vietnam who states unequivocally that "The betrayal of South Vietnam was the bitterest and most traumatic experiences of my life." He goes on to explain how he and Ambassador Martin were also betrayed and will be writing me more regaridng that matter in the future. Tom Polgar is 83 years old and still a brave man!. If you would like to lead your high school in a program to bring out the truth of the betrayal of South Vietnam by this nation - I will be glad to help but would need both an e-mail and a snail mail address. If this is the case I will send two signed books - one made out to you and the other signed to your high school. Let me know and ask John Simpkin (an outstanding man) to get the Education Forum Involved with your high school. Be wise and tough while staying the course to achieve success!

Dangerous Dan

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On 12/29/2005 at 1:06 PM, John Simkin said:

Richard Nixon told the American people during the 1968 presidential election that he fully supported Lyndon Johnson’s peace talks.

However, at the same time he used Anna Chennault (a Chinese born Republican) to carry secret messages to President Thieu. Nixon persuaded Thieu not to go along with these peace talks. In return, Nixon promised to send South Vietnam enough US troops to “win the war”. This is why Thieu refused to take part in the peace talks (he announced this on 2nd November, three days before the election).

...............

This information appears in several books. Probably the best account appears in Anthony Summers’s book, The Arrogance of Power (298-306).

 

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