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A Personally Selected and Subjectively Annotated Bibliography, Lawrence C. Jorgensen, 1972.


"A people without history is like the wind on the buffalo grass." -- from an Indian historian


Be reminded that, as always, you read at your own risk! If you have not been, nor are yet, in the habit of exposing yourself to scholarship and views which differ from those pushed by your government, the newspapers, the television networks and commentators, most of your elementary, secondary and college instructors, perhaps this is not the place to start.

Be on guard for brainwashing, indoctrination, propaganda, subversion, perversion and truth. Feel free to report examples of same to your local office of the FBI, LAPD, Professors Watchers of America, or your neighborhood anti-intellectual church group – all of which, no doubt, have campus representatives, just ask around.

Also, remember those words of that great American patriot: Bolshevism is knocking at our gates. We can’t afford to let it in. We have got to organize against it and put our shoulders together and hold fast. We must keep America whole and safe and unspoiled (mine). We must keep the worker away from Red literature and Red ruses; we must see to it that his mind remains healthy. -- Al Capone, in a letter from Alcatraz Prison, 1935. From The Bootleggers. Kenneth Allsop, Hutchison (London, 1961), 337.

And lastly, the United States’ war in Vietnam will never make any sense if studied in isolation. Presidents simply do not wake up one morning and say "Let’s go to war today." The Vietnam war makes sense only in relation to American foreign policy in general, especially the fifty-year struggle called the "cold war." And a great power’s foreign policy makes sense only in relation to the society of which it is a symptom. Win, lose or draw, in Vietnam – in Greece – in Latin America (or wherever), we will continue to be the same sort of people, with the same sort of government, doing the same sort of things wherever and whenever we are able.

The essential question, therefore, is not "How did the United States get involved in Vietnam." Rather, the important inquiry concerns the determination of how the American people get to be the way they are ... and how to get them to change. An understanding of history, consequently, remains a prerequisite for that determination. So start reading ...’cause that’s where it’s at.

Burchett, Wilfred G. Vietnam: Inside Story of the Guerilla War. New York: International Publishers, 1965.

This well known and well traveled Australia correspondent has spent much time in Vietnam with the National Liberation Front. In 1963 and in 1964, Burchett was the only western newspaperman to be allowed to move freely through those areas of South Vietnam then in the hands of the "Viet Cong." For an "inside story" of the philosophy, tactics and goals of the National Liberation Front – and how they viewed the American effort to defeat them, do not be frightened off by this "leftist" writer. After all, how much can words harm you? And, who knows, you may learn something!

Carver, George A. "The Real Revolution in South Viet Nam." Foreign Affairs. Vol. 43. No. 3 (April, 1965). 387-408

While possessing certain obvious defects, this article is still about the best available on the history and the role of Vietnamese Catholicism – in regard to the French period of occupation; opposition by many of the Roman Catholics to the Communists; and the role of the Catholics from Northern Vietnam, after 1954, in the particularly to non-Catholics, no doubt, will be the detailed account of the Diem regime’s militant Catholicism in a country not only overwhelmingly non-Catholic, but in a country where for many decades Catholicism was identified with the foreign occupier – the French. Obviously, Diem was not pro-French and the United States mistook this anti-French sentiment for a legitimate Vietnamese nationalism. However, Diem – and his American created and supported regime – was too Roman Catholic to be truly representative of the aspirations of the millions of Vietnamese Buddhists, animists and others for whom he claimed to speak. How do you suppose the American people would like a militant Hindu for president?

Corson, William Lt. Colonel, United States Marine Corp. The Betrayal. Norton, 1969.

After twenty-five years in the Marine Corps, Corson was probably the Vietnam War’s most prestigious intellectual defector. Arguing that "for more than twenty years we have been on the emotional jag of messianic anti-communism," this book details the brutality of the American "pacification" program, which more than once he calls "genocide." Corson is no longer a member of the Marines, needless to say.

Fall, Bernard B. The Two Viet-Nams: A Political and Military Analysis. (Revised Edition) New York: Praeger, 1964.

Dedicated to "The Valiant and Long-Suffering Vietnamese – North and South," Bernard Fall devoted the last fifteen years of his life in the vain attempt to tell Americans (among others) of the realities of the Vietnamese struggle. While hardly a partisan of the Communists, as even a cursory reading of The Two Viet-Nams will disclose, only the most obdurate could read this book and continue to accept United States statements of intentions in Indo China without qualms of conscience – always assuming, of course, that an American conscience continues to exist.

I suppose that if you have time to read but one book on the background to the current American effort in Vietnam, then Fall’s account of Vietnamese history, with special emphasis upon the period of the Second World War to 1962, ought to be your choice.

Gettleman, Marvin E. Viet Nam: History, Documents and Opinions on a Major Crisis. Fawcett Premier Book, 1965.

Includes many of the primary sources, documents, etc., of the period through 1964, as well as comments and observations by various world (including U.S.) figures.

Goodwin, Richard N. Triumph or Tragedy: Reflections on Viet Nam. Vintage, 1966.

Includes some of the important documents, including the Geneva Accords of 1954; the United States Fourteen Points for Peace; Hanoi’s Four Points; and others.

Halberstam, David. The Making of a Quagmire. New York: Random House, 1964.

Halberstam, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter, so offended John F. Kennedy’s illusions that the president attempted to have the New York Times publisher transfer Halberstam out of Vietnam. Almost alone of the Vietnam correspondence, David Halberstam struggled against the increasing management of the press and the news pioneered, in our time, by the Kennedy administration – led, incidentally, by Pierre Salinger, the head of the Kennedy press staff.

Halberstam, David. "Mistakes and Illusions – the U.S. Impalement in Vietnam." Los Angeles Times. "Opinion" Section, May 21, 1972. 7.

For a most recent comment and observation from the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter (the one that Kennedy tried to have silenced), do not miss this brief but most pertinent article. Halberstam goes directly to the fundamental mistakes of judgment that the current, Nixon-Kissenger, Vietnam policy is based upon. The current batch of errors, curiously enough, are really not so different from those which motivated the Kennedy-Johnson policy. Consequently, the results are running just about the same – disastrous. Oh well ... "different bottles, but the same old wine," someone once said concerning the alleged distinctions between our two political parties.

Hammer, Ellen J. The Struggle for Indo China, 1940-1955: Viet Nam and the French Experience. Stanford, California: Stanford U. Press, 1966.

As the title indicates, this is an extensive account of the years of French struggle with Vietnamese independence. Even an anti-communist writer like Ellen Hammer was forced to admit, after her exhaustive study of these years, that only the communist – led Viet Minh provided the anti-French nationalist movement with honest and consistent leadership. The author’s account of the negotiations at Geneva, in 1954, and the eventual failure of the agreements reached there ought to provide some instruction for those among you who wonder why the Hanoi government "just doesn’t trust us."

Horowitz, David. The Free World Colossus: A Critique of America Foreign Policy in the Cold War. New York: Hill and Wang, 1971.

One of the first comprehensive studies of the cold war from a revisionist point of view, the value of this work lies in its over-all perspective. Chapter nine, "Intervention in Vietnam," though briefly treated, does place the American war in Vietnam in the global framework of American policy considerations – where, or course, it belongs.

For those among you who have yet to be exposed to a radical interpretation of American foreign policy – and I suspect that means most of you, LIVE A LITTLE. The life you save may be mine!

Johnson, Lyndon. "Address to the American Bar Association, August 12, 1964." Department of State Bulletin, LI (August 31, 1964), 299.

For the then president’s statement that "For the years, through the Eisenhower Administration, the Kennedy Administration, and this Administration, we have had one consistent aim – observance of the 1954 Geneva Agreements..." And in the same speech, that these "Agreements guaranteed the independence of South Vietnam."

You know, it would be a most simple matter, for those of you who simply cannot bring yourselves to believe that the president of the United States would out-and-out lie to the American people, to check this out for yourselves. Did the 1954 Geneva Agreement provide for an independent South Vietnam ... or did it not?

Johnson, Lyndon. "White House Statement, March 25, 1965." Department of State Bulletin, LII (April 12, 1965), 527.

For the then president’s statement that praised the Geneva Agreements of 1954, calling them a "reliable agreement to guarantee the independence and security of all ... Southeast Asia."

Kahin, George and Lewis, John W. "The United States in Vietnam." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. June, 1965.

This closely packed, seven-page article argues most persuasively that U.S. policy in Vietnam closely parallels that of the French – who were, of course, also unsuccessful. Documented from Vietnamese and Chinese sources, as well as the more conventional western, the authors analyze explicit and implicit American objectives and their likelihood of realization, regardless of the military power the United States chooses (in 1965) to utilize. Particular emphasis is placed upon the chances of a negotiated settlement (and the chances have not altered much during the intervening years), with the readers’ attention directed to the Geneva Agreements and Accords of 1954 and the United States’ unwillingness to abide by them. "Tis a pity that no one in authority in 1965 – or 1972 – apparently bothered to read this. Well, "you can lead a horse to water..." and all that!

Kolko, Gabriel. The Roots of American Foreign Policy. Boston: Beacon Press, 1969.

While this entire, brief, book deserves careful consideration, chapter four, "The United States in Vietnam, 1944-1966," is of particular interest. Kolko has the rare ability (rare for historians and political scientists) to place the specific in its proper, general, framework. That is, the American involvement in Vietnam, from 1944 onward, is discussed from the United States’ global – and particularly European – foreign policy needs and objectives. The United States began assisting the French in Vietnam in order to enable France to play a more meaningful role in the United States’ North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Back to Truman, again!

Kolko, Gabriel. The Politics of War: The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1943-1945. New York: Random House, 1969.

In his most meticulous and massive study, this American historian amply demonstrates that the United States, from as early as 1943 and continuing through the concluding years of the Second World War, consciously plotted and acted to deprive European and Asian leftist movements of any meaningful role in the governments of their respective countries. As long as the war-time needs to defeat the Axis powers of Germany, Italy and Japan were paramount, these various movements were supported by the allied governments of Great Britain and the United States. However, as soon as their aid was no longer required for the defeat of the Axis, these groups became obstacles to the establishment of an Anglo-American hegemony.

The significance of this work lies in the comparison of American policy in regard to the resistance movements of Italy, Belgium, France, Netherlands, and Denmark, with Asian resistance movements in countries such as Vietnam. United States policy makes sense – to the perverse, perhaps, but sense nonetheless – only when viewed in its global context. And herein is the great value of this work.

La Feber, Walter. America, Russia and the Cold War, 1945-1966. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1968.

For an excellent survey of the years 1945-1966 from the point of view of one of the new "revisionist" American historians, this entire book deserves attention. Chapters nine and ten are directed to the Vietnam policies of the United States; but these policies are kept in their global, "cold war" perspective.

Linton, Ralph. The Study of Man. New York. 1945.

Useful anthropology for an understanding of the various peoples of Southeast Asia – who they are and from whence they came.

Morrock, Richard. "Revolution and Intervention in Vietnam." Containment and Revolution. Horowitz, David. (ed.) Boston: Beacon Press, 1967. 218-249.

This brief monograph covers the years 1941 to 1964 and the so-called "Gulf of Tonkin Incident." Written from a "radical" (whatever that means, nowadays) point of view, Morrock argues that the United States intervention in Vietnam has, from the beginning, been consistently opposed to the Vietnamese attempt to create a socialist country closed to western, or capitalist, or American (and to them, all three look alike – and I wonder why?) control.

For a brief record of western, or capitalist or American duplicity and hypocrisy (that is, the distance between what we "say" and what we "do"), take a chance ... expose yourself. You can always burn the silly book later in righteous indignation – if you are "in" to book-burning.

One caution: written over six years ago, much more information concerning these years has since become available; consequently, Morrock’s essential argument could be stated, and supported, with considerably more strength today.

McNamare, Robert. "New Conference, December 21, 1963." Documents on American Foreign Relations, 1963. Richard Stebbins, editor. New York, 1964. 298.

For the then Secretary of Defense (the Republican president of the Ford Company appointed to the Cabinet by John Kennedy) statement that the Geneva Agreements of 1954 provided for the emergence of an "independent entity" – the state of South Vietnam.

Nixon, Richard. "Needed in Vietnam: The Will to Win." Reader’s Digest. August, 1964. 37-43.

In which is contained the charge that the United States was responsible for the murder of Diem in November, 1963. Surely, you are not afraid to look into the Reader’s Digest ...? And would a future president lie?

Osborne, Milton E. The French Presence in Cochinchina and Cambodia: Rule and Response, 1859-1905. Ithica: Cornell U. Press, 1969.

The author makes use of English, French, Cambodian and Vietamese sources, including archival material. Mostly a history of the French conquest, the author describes the beginnings of French political rule – and the "native" response – Cochin China and Cambodia, southern Indochina.

Of special interest is the description of the way in which many of the Vietnamese embraced French culture (and Catholicism) in order to satisfy the ego needs of the conquerors – and not out of any sincere convictions. Many other Vietnamese embraced the white man’s ways as the most expedient manner by which to eventually liberate their country from his control.

Roberts, Charles. L.B.J.’s Inner Circle. Delacorte, 1965.

Written by the acting chief of Newsweek’s Washington Bureau, and White House correspondent since 1954, the charge is here made that ol’ Lyndon Johnson (remember him? He was the president that made famous those words, "My fellow Americans," and who we were urged by the Democrats of 1963-1968 to support: "After all, he is the president"), told Roberts that he, the president, made the decision to bomb North Vietnam in October, 1964 – right in the middle of the presidential campaign. For those of you who were too young to remember, in the 1964 presidential campaign, those of you who were too young to remember, in the 1964 presidential campaign, Lyndon Johnson pinned the label of "trigger happy" on his opponent, Barry Goldwater.

Also, one month before the so-called "Gulf of Tonkin incidents," the Joint Chiefs of Staff had been arguing for an extension of the war into the north because we were losing in the south. All this was kept secret until after the election so that people like this author could be led to believe that Johnson was the "peace candidate." Oh Boy!

Roberts, Chalmers M. "The Day We Didn’t Go to War." The Reporter. CI (September 14, 1954), 31-35.

Written by the then Chief for the National News Bureau of the Washington Post, herein is contained an account of the famous meeting in Washington at which John Foster Dulles, the then Secretary of State, attempted to convince key Congressional leaders (among whom were Senator Knowland of California and somebody called Johnson from a place called Texas) that the United States ought to send massive aid (including troops, and even nuclear weapons) to the embattled French in Vietnam. "The Day We Didn’t Go to War" was postponed for the time, because the "key" Congressional leaders opposed a unilateral American commitment.

Rusk, Dean. "Commencement Address: Williams College, June 14, 1964." Department of State Bulletin, LI (July 6, 1964), 5.

For the then Secretary of State’s statement that "all that is needed (to bring peace to Vietnam) is compliance with the agreements" of 1954.

Scheer, Robert. "How the United States Got Involved in Vietnam." A Report to the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, Santa Barbara, California, 1965.

For a detailed account of how certain leading Roman Catholics in the United States, a Cardinal and a future president included, teamed up with anti-Communists "leftists" and liberals, in a covert grouping financed by the C.I.A. through Michigan State University to place the Diem regime in power in southern Vietnam, Read This small pamphlet.

Also for those of you too young to remember the "snow job" put forward by the United States government in the early 60s about the great democratic changes being instituted in southern Vietnam by "our boy" Diem. Read This small pamphlet.

Snow, Edgar. China, Russia and the U.S.A.: Changing Relations in a Changing World. New York: Margani and Munsell, 1962.

Reproduced from his book The Other Side of the River: Red China Today (1961), the late Edgar Snow ably demonstrates why he must be ranked as America’s greatest China reporter (though actually, he was also almost our only one).

In Vietnam in 1945, when the country was united for a brief time, Snow witnessed the attempts by the Vietnamese to establish and maintain and independent and viable nation. His account of those days – and the relation of the Vietnamese to the Chinese, Communist and anti-Communist, has a most saddening ring today. The Snows of the World cared for those about whom they wrote; if only the French, to 1954, and the Americans since had cared a tenth as much. If only ... if only ... if only.

Starobin, Joseph R. Eyewitness in Indo-China. New York: Greenwood Press, 1954.

The author made extensive travels throughout Northern Vietnam in 1952, interviewing Ho Chi Minh and General Giap – the first interviews granted an American during the French-Viet Minh War (1946-1954). In addition, Starobin describes the day-to-day existence of the Viet Minh guerrilla, and the "unique strategy they employed in their struggle with the French." Being an expert, Starobin warned, in 1954, against United States involvement in the Vietnamese struggle. Needless to say (especially to the over 50,000 dead Americans), his advice went unheeded.

Walton, Richard J. Cold War and Counter-Revolution: The Foreign Policy of John F. Kennedy. New York: The Viking Press, 1972.

The ever growing Kennedy legend will no doubt require more than one factual analysis before the man and his policies will be reduced to something approximating reality. However, Walton’s account is a most excellent place to start – particularly for those of you already somewhat enticed by the rhetoric, the style, the image, of those years in comparison to the boorishness, the crassness, the obsceneness, of those which have followed.

The United States government’s policies of the early 60s – Laos, the Boy of Pigs, the Berlin Crisis of 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and of course, Vietnam – are all critically examined by one neither impressed by the image, nor excited by the substance.

Chapter nine details the responsibility of President Kennedy and his chief advisors for the war in Vietnam that his successor later escalated. But to understand that decision – the reasoning and the frame of reference behind it – it is necessary to view the Kennedy administration and the formulation of foreign policy as a whole. Walton’s most persuasive argument (and as well documented as the public record will permit in a country where secrecy and suppression of documentation is becoming increasingly the rule) is that John F. Kennedy’s policies logically evolved from his fundamental commitment to a world-wide status quo in which American values and American considerations would be paramount. In other words, J.F. K. was every much the "cold war warrior" as was John Foster Dulles – though Kennedy was perhaps less dogmatic in the implementation of the policies designed to insure the continued reign of pax americana.

The 1964 "Gulf of Tonkin Incidents":

For those of you interested in what did and what did not happen in the Gulf of Tonkin in August, 1964, and for those of you interested in how the United States government deliberately lied to the American people about what did and did not happen, any one and all of the following will prove most instructive.

From an American Constitutional point of view, the deliberate fabrication of the Gulf of Tonkin incidents and the subsequent joint resolution by the two Houses of the United States congress (the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution) illustrate how much of a mockery the "separation of powers" and the checks and balances" (allegedly inherent in our constitutional form of government) has become. Read: and laugh, if you will.

"Nation Misled?" Los Angeles Times. "Opinion" section. February 2, 1968. P.4.

"McNamara and Tonkin Bay: The Unanswered Questions." I.F. Stone. New York Review. March 28, 1968.

"The Supineness of the Senate." I.F. Stone. New York Review. February 13, 1969.

"Tonkin Bay: Was There a Conspiracy?" Peter Dale Scott. New York Review. January 29, 1970. This is a lengthy review essay of "Truth Is the First Casualty: The Gulf of Tonkin Affair – Illusion and Reality." Written by Joseph C. Goulden (New York: Rand McNally, 1970).


"The Pentagon Papers" (as published by the New York Times). New York: New York Times Co -- Bantam Books, 1971.

No serious student of the United States involvement in Indochina should neglect "The Pentagon Papers." Indeed, no serious student of American foreign policy -- the why’s and how’s of that policy, can afford to not look into this recent disclosure. While Beacon Press of Boston ha published the complete "Papers," this six-hundred page sampler of United States government machinations, duplicity, deliberate misleading of the American press and American people, will no doubt do the job.

Of course, "The Pentagon Papers" does not disclose anything that many critics of American policy in general, and Vietnam in particular, have not been stating for some years. The United States government has a long record of news management, public opinion manipulation, distortion, duplicity, and out-right fabrication. "The Pentagon Papers" simply brings all of these practices into sharp focus in relation to the Vietnam War.

Begun in June, 1967, as an official (though classified) history of American involvement in Vietnam, the Pentagon study ran to some 47 volumes. Officially entitled "History of U.S. Decision-Making Process on Vietnam Policy," a team of 36 government authors -- civilian and military -- wrote over 1.5 million words, to accompany the almost one million words of documents; 2.5 million words in all!

Only fifteen copies of this report were made, and the American people owe to Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo a debt of gratitude for making these documents public. These two men now face 150 years in prison on several charges of theft and espionage. No doubt the United States government probably does consider the people the enemy. After all, the theft of 42 volumes from the library hardly warrants 150 years ... in the old days, they simply cut off a person’s hand. Good thing we don’t live in the "old days," isn’t it?

Russo, Anthony. "Inside the RAND Corporation and Out: My Story." Ramparts. April, 1972. 45-55.

The title is self-explanatory. The importance of this article, I feel, lies in the description of how a white boy from the South, educated in the best establishment schools, went to work for the Rand Corporation, looked into Vietnam, interviewed numerous captured Vietnamese members of the NLF, and got "his head straight." There is hope, after all.


National Security Study Memorandum No. 1: The Situation in Vietnam. Anonymous Xerox Publication.

The National Security Study Memorandum No. 1 was drawn up at the very beginning of the Nixon Administration as its basic guide to future policy on Vietnam. In April, 1972, this document, numbering some 548 pages, was leaked to the press and to the United States Senate. Senator Gravel of Alaska attempted to read the entire document into the pages of the Congressional Record, but was prevented. He was able, however to get certain portions inserted – which have since been reprinted widely.

For that portion of the Memorandum dealing with the current Nixon policy of complete interdiction of supplies to North Vietnam (the mining of Haiphong harbor and an intensification of the air war against the land routes from China), as anticipated back in 1969 when the president asked advice from his military and intelligence experts, see "Nixon’s War Gamble and Why It Won’t Wok," I.F. Stone, New York Review, June 1, 1972, pp. 11-17.

The Department of Defense (including the Joint Chiefs of Staff), the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency were asked the following question by the president (back in 1969):

Question 28d

What are current views on the proportion of war-essential imports that could come into North Vietnam over the rail road lines from China, even if all imports by sea were denied and a strong effort even made to interdict ground transport? What is the evidence?

The complete answer from the three government departments is included in the above cited article in the New York Review. What is demonstrated by their answers is that none of the three departments – the highest ranking in the United States government, in these matters – believed that the North Vietnamese could be successfully deprived of military supplies. In addition, they all point out the risks (increased escalation, increased world criticism, increased chance of direct confrontation with the Soviet Union and China, and increased costs to the United States in lives, captures and money) involved. Obviously, the president did not take this advice too seriously – unless, of course, a "deal" had already been made with both The People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union, and we have "bought them off" until after the 1972 presidential election. But, really, no American president could be that callous ... that cynical ... that monstrous. But if a deal has not been made, when comes the confrontation?

Perhaps, you – the listener, reader, student, voter – ought to check it out for yourself; you might start here, with "Nixon’s War Gamble and Why It Won’t Work."




This agreement consists of a total of 47 articles, agreed to by the two signators –the two participants in the First Indochina War, 1946-1954, which this cease-fire ended.

Commander in Chief of the French Union forces in Indochina;

Vice-Minister of National Defense of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (representing the Vietminh):


Article 1: "A provisional military line shall be fixed on either side of which the forces of the two parties shall be regrouped after their withdrawal, the forces of the People’s Army of Vietnam to the north of the line and the forces of the French Union to the south..." (goes on to designate this line as the seventeenth parallel)

Article 14: "(a)Pending the general elections which will bring about the unification of Vietnam, the conduct of civil administration in each regrouping zone shall be in the hands of the party whose forces are to be regrouped there ... (my emphasis)

Article 16: bans the introduction into Vietnam of troop reinforcements;

Article 17: bans the introduction into Vietnam of new arms, planes, etc.;

Article 18: bans the establishment of new military bases;

Article 19: "... no military base under the control of a foreign state may be established in the regrouping zone of either party; the two parties shall ensure that the zones assigned to them do not adhere to any military alliances and are not used for the resumption of hostilities or to further an aggressive policy."

Article 27: "The signatories of the present Agreement and their successors in their functions shall be responsible for ensuring the observance and enforcement of the terms and provisions thereof."

Articles 28-47: creates and defines responsibilities of the International Control Commission-India, Poland, Canada.


Lyndon Johnson: "For ten years, through the Eisenhower administration, the Kennedy administration, and this administration, we have had one consistent aim – observance of the 1954 Geneva Agreements." 8/12/64

Lyndon Johnson: "Our purpose in Viet-Nam is to join in the defense and protection of the freedom of a brave people who are under attack that is controlled and that is directed from outside their country." 2/17/65

Lyndon Johnson: "The first reality is that North Vietnam has attacked the independent nation of south Vietnam." April, 1965




While two political entities signed the "Agreement on the cessation of Hostilities in Vietnam" (July 20, 1954), France – in the name of the French Union Forces in Indochina—and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam – the Vietminh, nine participants took part in the "Final Declaration of the Geneva Conference."

These nine were Great Britain (chairman), Soviet Russian, United States, the Poeples’ Republic of China, Cambodia, Laos, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and an entity calling itself "Vietnam" – representing the French puppet emperor, the Bao Dai.

This final "Declaration" consists of thirteen paragraphs – it was not signed by any nation, but rather agreed to by a voice vote – with no negative voice votes recorded. Later, in a prepared statement, the United States representative stated that the United States "takes note of the Agreements ... and of paragraphs 1 to 12 of the Declaration..." Whatever all that implied – this exception of paragraph thirteen (in which the members agree to consult with one another on problems brought up by the International Supervisory Commission – composed of India, Poland and Canada).


Paragraph 4: "The Conference takes note of the clauses in the agreement ... prohibiting the introduction into Vietnam of foreign troops ... as well as all kinds of arms and munitions."

Paragraph 6: "The Conference takes note of the clauses in the agreement that the military demarcation line is provisional and should not in any way be interpreted as constituting a political or territorial boundary..." (my emphasis)

Paragraph 7: "... the principles of independence, unity and territorial integrity, shall permit the Vietnamese people to enjoy the fundamental freedoms, guaranteed by democratic institutions established as a result of free general elections by a secret ballot. In order to insure that sufficient progress in the restoration of peace has been made, and that all necessary conditions for free expression of the national will, general elections shall be held in July, 1956, under the supervision of an international commission composed of representatives of the Member States of the International Supervisory Commission ... Consultations will be held on this subject between the competent representative authorities of the two zones from July 20, 1955, onward." (emphasis mine)

Paragraph 11: "... the French government will proceed from the principle of respect for the independence and sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam."

Further Documents Relating to the Discussion of Indochina at the Geneva Conference. (Miscellaneous no. 20, 1954, Command Paper, 9239). London: Great Britain Parliamentary Sessional Papers, XXXI (1953/54), pp. 9-11

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