In 1951, N.Y. Governor Thomas Dewey (1902 – 1971) made a fact-finding trip to French Indochina (Vietnam), and as impressed as he was with the French command, he wrote urgently in this Collier's article of his belief in the "Domino Theory" - Indochina, Thailand and Burma were the Rice Bowl of Southeast Asia:
"The Rice Bowl of Southeast Asia is the cornerstone of our Pacific defenses. And Indochina is the cornerstone of the cornerstone."
"The U.S. is going to shoulder the job of saving what is left of Indo-China from the Communists...Congress is unlikely to approve additional funds. South Vietnam isn't a good-enough risk to be worth much bigger American investment. Everything may go down the drain in 19 months."
"It's a dirty, vicious war that Americans are [waging] in the swamps of South Vietnam. Men forget about the politics of Saigon when they stand gun to gun with the Communist guerrillas..."
A highly quotable article from 1963 that articulates precisely how deeply organized the Communist guerrillas were in the Vietnam War.
"The Reds fight a fluid war that may last for years. They do not make the mistake of saying the war will be won in three, five or ten years."
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.
"One terrible and overwhelming fact must be faced: Our soldiers and our pilots are being maimed and killed fighting a war that they are not being allowed to win. The Johnson Administration is not keeping faith with the men who must fight this war, with the half-million super-patriots, the half-million anti-Communists, who are fighting and dying in action against the forces of the International Communist Conspiracy."