The Vietnam Wars Mr. Daniel Lazar. Lecture Outline. Imperial Roots On the Back of a Tiger The Arrogance of Power Opposition Peace with Honor Legacies. The Mission to Uplift and Civilize. The Mission to Uplift and Civilize. A foot in the door for gains in the future The China Market
The Vietnam Wars
Mr. Daniel Lazar
A foot in the door for gains in the future
The China Market
French influence in Indochina (Nam, Laos & Cambodia)
Reform: government, education, land and economic
No free speech
No self-determination nor nationalistic sentiments
1919-1923, while living in France, Ho Chí Minh (born Nguyen Sinh Cung) embraced communism
Following WWI, under the name of Nguyễn Ái Quoc (Nguyen the Patriot), he petitioned for civil rights for Vietnamese people in French Indochina to the Western powers at Versailles
Citing the language and the spirit of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, Ho petitioned Woodrow Wilson for help to remove the French from Vietnam and replace it with a new, nationalist government. His request was ignored.
Ho persuaded Bao Dại to abdicate on 25 August 1945, handing power over to the Viet Minh
Bao Dại was appointed "supreme advisor" to the new government in Hanoi
He explained his abdication in 1945 saying "I would prefer to be a citizen of an independent country rather than Emperor of an enslaved one."
No foreign involvement in internal Indochinese affairs
No 1956 Elections
No Land Reform
His most trusted official was his brother, Ngo DinhNhu, an opium addict and admirer of Hitler. He modeled the military wing of his political party, Can Lao, marching and torture styles on Nazi methods
Used Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) to work on his personal construction projects.
Democrats accused of being “soft” on communism
JFK deploys “advisors” and “flood crews”
The Strategic Hamlet Program
Diem Coup (11/2/63)
likely by ARVN soldiers
Kennedy assassinated three weeks later
The Johnson Administration: The Tonkin Gulf “Incident”
US was carrying out covert naval commando attacks against NVN with Johnson’s support since January 1964.
There was fighting during the day of 4 August. But the "second attack“ is uncertain at best.
No physical evidence for the August 4 attack claims. No wreckage nor bodies of dead sailors. No photographs. Radar and sonar sightings provided an exceedingly confusing set of data at best.
‘It is not simply that there is a different story as to what happened; it is that no attack happened that night. In truth, Hanoi's navy was engaged in nothing that night.’
To bolster the sagging morale of the Saigon regime in the Republic of Vietnam
To convince North Vietnam to cease its support for the communist insurgency in South Vietnam
To destroy North Vietnam's transportation system, industrial base, and air defenses
To interrupt the flow of men and material into South Vietnam.
Robert MacNamara—Secretary of Defense
Dean Rusk—Secretary of State
William Westmoreland—Commander of ARVN forces
John McNaughton—Assistant Secretary of Defense
George Ball—Undersec. of State
William Fulbright—Senator on Foreign Relations Committee
LBJ between Rusk & Mac