Tag Archives: Vietnam War

Vietnam Notebook: The Living Room War – Nightly News Broadcasts

U.S. television journalist Walter Cronkite in ...

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On February 27, 1968, upon returning from a trip to Vietnam after the Tet Offensive, Walter Cronkite closed his CBS News broadcast with Report from Vietnam: Who, What, When, Where, Why?” :

“We have been too often disappointed by the optimism of the American leaders, both in Vietnam and Washington, to have faith any longer in the silver linings they find in the darkest clouds. They may be right, that Hanoi’s winter-spring offensive has been forced by the Communist realization that they could not win the longer war of attrition, and that the Communists hope that any success in the offensive will improve their position for eventual negotiations. It would improve their position, and it would also require our realization, that we should have had all along, that any negotiations must be that — negotiations, not the dictation of peace terms. For it seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. This summer’s almost certain standoff will either end in real give-and-take negotiations or terrible escalation; and for every means we have to escalate, the enemy can match us, and that applies to invasion of the North, the use of nuclear weapons, or the mere commitment of one hundred, or two hundred, or three hundred thousand more American troops to the battle. And with each escalation, the world comes closer to the brink of cosmic disaster. To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion. On the off chance that military and political analysts are right, in the next few months we must test the enemy’s intentions, in case this is indeed his last big gasp before negotiations. But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.”

Following Cronkite’s editorial report, President Lyndon Johnson is reported to have said, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.”… WATCH VIDEOS OF THE NIGHTLY NEWS FROM THROUGHOUT THE VIETNAM WAR>>

Vietnam Notebook: The OSS and Ho Chi Minh, 1945

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum at Ba Dinh Square.

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The French underground in Indochina assisted in rescuing downed Allied pilots. A solid spy network had been constructed in Vietnam that was actively transmitting good intelligence on the Japanese. As time passed the OSS gained increasing access to the output of the underground. Pilots were rescued. Then suddenly in spring 1945 the flow of information ceased without warning. The Japanese had launched their coupe de main in Vietnam. Grasping for a new strategy, OSS colonel Paul Helliwell turned to Major Archimedes Patti… MORE>>

Vietnam Notebook: Early 20th Century Vietnam: The Rise of Communism, Nationalism, and Ho Chi Minh

the national french motto

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No more than ten percent of Vietnamese received any formal schooling at all. But some of those who received western-based schooling were to have enormous political impact. The schools were filled with the sons of government officials and merchants, both French and Vietnamese. They became versed in the French concept of Liberté, Égalité and Fraternité. So it isn’t surprising that some of these students would become oppositional to a colonial system that looked down on and exploited the native population. These were young people for the most part, and many felt that their elders had debased themselves for French favors. The result was the emergence of a strong strain of Vietnamese self-awareness with a powerful anti-French edge. And it was the better educated who would drive the virulent anti-French sentiments as time went on…. MORE>>

Vietnam Notebook: – The Easter Offensive 1972

U.S. Marines move through the ruins of the ham...

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The 1972 Eastertide Offensive was Giap’s third try at Mao’s third stage conventional warfare, the first being his General Offensive near Hanoi in 1951, the second being Tet in 1968…<MORE>