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The Cold War - The Vietnam War

The Search for an Honorable Exit (Pageant Magazine, 1970)

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Using a public forum, retired U.S. Air Force General Edward Lansdale (1908 – 1987) proposed a plan for the withdrawal of American and Allied Forces from Vietnam - a plan that came to be known as "Vietnamization".


1963: A Pivotal Year (United States News, 1963)

The 1963 struggle in Vietnam was important for a number of reasons: as the year began the world saw the first major defeat for the Army of the Republic of Vietnam at the hands of the Viet Cong guerrillas at Ap Bac. Five months later Buddhist clergymen revealed their deep distaste for the war effort which quickly resulted in the Diem administration putting numerous Buddhist pagodas to the torch. Ngo Dinh Diem himself would be put to the torch in November when he and his brother would be overthrown in an American-backed coup. Historians have long maintained that by meddling in the internal political affairs of South Vietnam, JFK had unwittingly doomed any chance for their self-reliance; following the November coup, that country became more and more reliant upon the United States - and when the U.S. abandoned the cause of a free and independent South Vietnam, their fate was sealed.


Ho Chi-Minh on the March... (Collier's Magazine, 1947)

A 1947 article reporting on the French desire to maintain their colonies in Indo-China, and their conflict with a Moscow-trained revolutionary Marxist (and Paris-trained pastry chef) named Ho Chi-Minh (1890 – 1969).

Click here to read about American communists and their Soviet overlords.


Vietminh Power Struggle? (The New Leader Magazine, 1951)

During the earliest days of 1951 many journalists and intelligence analysts in the West thought Ho Chi Minh's prolonged absence from public view meant a coup d'état had taken place within the Viet Minh hierarchy. These same minds held that the most likely candidate to launch such a power play was Ho's number two: Dang Xuan Khu (1907 - 1988). This article goes into some detail explaining who he was and what he'd been up to for the past forty years.


President Eisenhower's Thoughts on Vietnam (Why Vietnam, 1965)

Here is a segment of the letter many historians tend to agree was the one document that lead to the American involvement in the Vietnam War. Written in the Spring of 1954 when the French military was in the throes of losing the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ, President Eisenhower reached out to the former British Prime Minister to express his concerns regarding the place of Vietnam within the strategic structure of the Pacific and openly wondered what a Communist Vietnam would mean in the balance of power.

"If I may refer again to history; we failed to halt Hirohito, Mussolini and Hitler by not acting in unity and in time. That marked the beginning of many years of stark tragedy and desperate peril. May it not be that our nations have learned something from that lesson?..."

Click here to read an article about American public opinion during the early Cold War years


President Eisenhower's Letter to President Diem
(Why Vietnam, 1965)

In the Fall of 1954, following the French withdraw from Vietnam, President Eisenhower wrote the following letter to the president of the newly established nation of South Vietnam, Ngô Đ́nh Diệm (1901 – 1963) pledging to provide both funding and military aid in their fight against the Communists.

"The purpose of this offer is to assist the Government of Vietnam in developing and maintaining a strong, viable state, capable of resisting attempted subversion or aggression through military means. The Government of the United States expects that this aid will be met by performance on the part of the Government of Vietnam in undertaking needed reforms. It is hoped that such aid, combined with your own continuing efforts, will contribute effectively toward an independent Vietnam endowed with a strong government. Such government would, I hope, be responsive to the nationalist aspirations of its people, so enlightened in purpose and effective performance, that it will be respected both at home and abroad..."


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