Sunday, March 14, 2010

Eisenhower on Vietnam

In my blog Revisionist History I mentioned that the U.S. unilaterally defied the Geneva agreements which called for elections in Viet Nam. This lawlessness was the work of John Foster Dulles, Sec. of State for President Dwight Eisenhower. My friend Bob K. writes:

"My recollection is that Eisenhower in his Mandate for Change conceded that had the elections been held as planned at Geneva Ho Chi Minh would have won in a landslide. Hence our repudiation of the elections and hence our invasion of the south"

Bob is right; on page 337 of Mandate for Change, Eisenhower writes (italics are mine):

"Delay or equivocation in implementing complete independence could only serve to bolster the Communist claim that this was in reality a war to preserve colonialism. To American ears the first French pronouncements, soon made to the world, were a distinct step forward, but it was almost impossible to make the average Vietnamese peasant realize that the French, under whose rule his people had lived for some eighty years, were really fighting in the cause of freedom, while the Vietminh, people of their own ethnic origins, were fighting on the side of slavery. It was generally conceded that had an election been held, Ho Chi Minh would have been elected Premier. Unhappily, the situation was exacerbated by the almost total lack of leadership displayed by the Vietnamese Chief of State, Bao Dai, who, while nominally the head of that nation, chose to spend the bulk of his time in the spas of Europe rather than in his own land leading his armies against those of Communism."

Of course, Bao Dai was not really the head of Viet Nam, but only the corrupt head of the southern part of the country.

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