tv 1966 Fulbright Vietnam Hearings Dean Rusk CSPAN February 27, 2016 10:08pm-11:42pm EST
parts of the country that we still control. and not try to take back everything in the process. general taylor talking about why the realities of the government in south vietnam. none of them know what we know. in fact, some of the books that were written by historians, as we now know, because now they know the end. and even mcnamara went back in the 1990's to meet with the people who had been his opponents. and he had to rethink his policies and came to the conclusion that the war had been a mistake. so, this takes us back to that time, giving us a chance to see the people who were involved as they try to grapple with creating the policy and the senators who had to decide whether or not they could support or should oppose the policy. >> so here is dean rusk from february 18, 1966.
[chatter] i guess that's your water. i don't know. i drink more water than you. sen. fulbright: would the committee come to order. we are very pleased this morning to have our distinguished secretary of state dean rusk. he's one of the most dedicated and hard-working public servants as i have ever known. sen. fulbright: i am also personally pleased to have a mr. -- you mr. secretary and i enjoy our meetings, even though on occasion we have had different views on affairs. as everyone knows, you appeared in public session already. about two weeks ago and as much as i like listening to you, i was hopeful that we might have cooperation with the administration to the point where we could have at least two official witnesses who might help us develop for the american
people, and the congress, the facts and policies of the -- about vietnam. as you know, the vietnamese war has become a major affair. and the secretary of defense has declined to appear in public session, according to the washington post, which is sometimes reliable, the vice president has declined to appear. it says he will not appear bit like tor and i would ask you before your opening statement, is a confirmed decision of this administration that you are to be the only official spokesman in these hearings? dean rusk: the administrator of aid, mr. bell, and i have both appeared. i am, of course, here today. if the committee wishes to continue these hearings and have other spokesmen from the administration, i am sure that there would be others who could appear, certainly my department.
i am sure that the committee is the issue raised, a matter of certain military information in open session. but, i am not innocent in saying that i am the only witness available today. sen. fulbright: i want to clear that up. i requested secretary ball to appear last week and he informed me that he was instructed not to appear. i assume from that that you are the only spokesman that they wished to appear for the administration. dean rusk: as you know, i was away at the time. i wished myself to make the first and major presentation for the administration for the department of state on these larger aspects. sen. fulbright: mr. secretary, i am to understand that if the committee has not taken the decision, it will meet on monday, i believe, to discuss this. the other official witnesses from the executive might be available. dean rusk: that is my understanding. but we will have a chance to discuss that with you and members of the committee in due
course. sen. fulbright: mr. secretary, since our last meeting, which i believe was two weeks ago, you gave us a very thorough fill in on the vietnamese situation, in particular. there are three developments which i hope you will address in your opening remarks, if you'll be so kind as to do so. first, we would like very much to know how far our commitments to general keen have gone in honolulu. hellfire they go back with his hisow far they go back with determination never to negotiate with the deliberation front. how many troops we have promised him and how much money. two, i would like to know what kind of commitments the administration authorized the vice president to make in his extended trip to the nation. especially whether in return for the $100 million loan, the indians will be required to send troops to vietnam and the same
with regard to the other countries in which he is apparently authorized to make and extend loans. three, i would like to know what general degaulle really said in his letter to our government about the war in vietnam. as recorded again in the washington post this morning. to be more specific, i would what general degaulle actually said that the vietnamese war is leading nowhere and that is absurd. -- that it is absurd. this was stated in the washington post. it seems to me that we in the public are entitled to know if that is true. somebody leaked it or give it to the press, and i understand that this is a private letter, but nonetheless it is appearing in public that this is what he said. i hope that you will enlighten the committee in your opening remarks about these matters which have developed since you thoroughly briefed us two weeks ago. with that introduction, mr. secretary, will you proceed -- do you have a prepared
statement? dean rusk: yes, i do mr. chairman. sen. fulbright: memorize it or read it. dean rusk: members of the committee, i should like to make my statement. i may have to come to one or two of the questions you have raised after i finish my prepared statement, because i did not cover those in what i planned to say at the beginning. sen. fulbright: i mention them because they are the only thing that has happened since you last testified. dean rusk: there has been a good deal of discussion since i last testified and other issues have been raised on which i want to -- sen. fulbright: i would be pleased to have your comment on other issues. i was only trying to suggest that we need not cover the same testimony because you made those in public. dean rusk: right.
mr. chairman, the immediate occasion for these hearings was a request by the president for a supplemental appropriation of $415 million, of which sum was -- of which a part was for south vietnam. mr. david bell, the administrator of aid, and i both already testified on this particular request. but these hearings, as the chairman has pointed out, also entered into the largest and most far-reaching aspects of our interest and involvement in southeast asia. for my part, i welcome this opportunity to appear before the committee to discuss with you these larger issues. since world war ii, which projected the united states in the role of a major world power, we americans have had to face a series of difficult tasks and trials. on the whole, we have faced them very well. today we are facing another ordeal in southeast asia, which again is costing us lives and treasure. south vietnam is a long way from the united states. and the issues posed, they seem remote from our daily experience
and our immediate interests. it is essential that we clearly understand and so far as possible agree on our mission and purpose in that faraway land. why are we in vietnam? certainly we are not there merely because we have power and like to use it. we do not regard ourselves as the policemen of the universe. we do not go around the world looking for quarrels in which we can intervene. quite the contrary. we have recognized that as we are not the armed forces of the universe, neither are we a magistrate of the universe. if other governments, other institutions, or other regional organizations can find solutions to the quarrels which disturb this present scene, we are anxious to have this occur.
but we are in vietnam because the issues they are very deeply intertwined with our own security. and because the outcome of the struggle can profoundly affect the nature of the world in which we and our children will live. the situation we face in southeast asia is complex. but in my view, the underlying issues are simple and are utterly fundamental. i am confident that americans who have a deep and material understanding of world responsibility are fully capable of cutting through the underbrush of complexity and finding the simple issues which involve our largest interest and the deepest purposes. i regard it a privilege to discuss these problems with the committee this morning, to consult with you, and try to clarify for the american people the issues we must face. i do not approach this task on
the assumption that anybody, anywhere, has all the answers. or that all wisdom belongs to the executive branch of the government, or even to the government itself. the question at issue affects the well-being of all americans and i am confident that all americans will make up their own mind in the tradition of a free and independent people. yet those of us who have special responsibilities for the conduct of our foreign policy have had to think deeply about these problems for a very long time. the president, his cabinet colleagues, and the congress, who share the weightiest responsibilities under the constitutional system, have come to conclusions that form the basis for the policies we are pursuing. perhaps it is worth pointing out that those who are officially responsible for the conduct of foreign affairs must make decisions and must make decisions among existing alternatives.
none of us in the executive or legislative branch has fulfilled a responsibilities mainly by forming an opinion. we are required to decide what this nation shall do and shall not do. and are required to accept consequences of our determinations. what are our world security interests involved in the security of the anon -- vietnam? they cannot be seen clearly in terms of southeast asia only. or merely in terms of the events of the past few months. we must view the problem in perspective. we must recognize that what we are seeking to achieve in south vietnam is part of a process that has continued for a long time. a process of preventing the expansion and extension of communist domination by the use of force against the weaker nations on the perimeter of communist power. this is the problem as it looks to us. nor do the communist themselves see the problem in isolation.
they see the struggle in south vietnam as part of a larger eadygn for the study -- st extension of communist power through force and threat. i have observed in the course of the hearings that some objection has been raised for the use of the term communist aggression. it seems to me that we should not confuse ourselves or the people, by turning our eyes away from what that phrase means. the underlying crisis of this postwar period turned about a major struggle on the major nature of the political world. before the guns were silent in world war ii, many governments sat down and thought long and hard about the structure of international lines. the kind of world in which we to try and build and wrote the ideas into the united nations charter. that charter establishes an international society of independent states, large and small, entitled to their own
national existence, entitled to be free from aggression, cooperating freely across national frontiers and common interests, and resolving disputes by peaceful means. but the communist world returned to its demand for what it calls a world revolution. of collection -- cohercian against the charter of united nations. there may be differences within the communist world about methods and techniques, and leadership within the world itself, but they share a common attachment to their world revolution. and to the support, through what they call wars of liberation. what we face in vietnam is what we have faced before. the need to check the extension of communist power in order to maintain a reasonable stability in a precarious world. that stability was achieved in
the years after the war, by the valor of free nations defending the integrity of postwar territorial arrangements. and we have achieved stability for the last decade and a half. it must not be overthrown now. like so many of our problems today, the struggle in south vietnam stems from the disruption of two world wars. the second world war completed a process begun by the first. it ripped apart a structure of power that existed for 100 years. it is set in train new forces and energies that have remade the map of the world. not only did it weaken the nations actively engaged in to fighting, but it had far-reaching secondary effects. it undermined the foundations of the colonial structures to which a handful of powers controlled one third of the world 's population. and the winds of change and progress that have blown
fiercely during the last 20 years, have toppled those structures almost completely. meanwhile, the communist nations have exploited the turmoil of the time of transition in an effort to extend communist control into other areas of the world. the united states first faced the menace of communist ambition in europe, when one after another the nations on the boundaries of the soviet union fell under the dominion of moscow through the presence of the red army. to check this title wave, the -- tidal wave, the united states provided the marshall plan to strengthen the nations of western europe. then moved to organize with those nations a collective security system through nato. as a result, the advances of soviet power was stopped and the soviet union gradually adjusted policies to the situation. but within a year after the establishment of nato, the communists took over china. this posed a new and serious threat. particularly, for those new nations of the far east that had
been formed out of colonial empires. the problem in asia were different from those in europe. but the result was much the same, instability and uncertainty and vulnerability to both the bully and the aggressor. western europe, with established governmental and socialist institutions, recovered quickly. but new nations of asia, particularly those who have not known self-government for a century or more, continue to face a formidable problem which they still face. the first test came in korea, when the united nations forces , predominantly american, stopped the drive of communist north korea, supported by material aid from the soviet union. it stopped the chinese army that followed. it brought to a halt the communist effort to push out the line that had been drawn and to
establish communist control over the korean peninsula. we fought the korean war, which like the struggle in vietnam, occurred in a remote area thousands of miles away to sustain the principles vital to the freedom and security of america. the principle that the communist world should not be permitted to expand by overrunning one after another, the arrangements bill during and since the war, to mark the outer limits of communist expansion by force. before the korean war had ended, the united states, under president truman moved to settle and consolidate the situation in the pacific through a peace treaty with japan and through bilateral security treaties with the philippines and japan, and celiah the treaty with a -- australia and new zealand.
hardly had the war been finished when fighting happened in , indochina, decided to really question presence in southeast asia. after a brief negotiation, he came to terms with communist forces that had captured the nationalist movement. the result was the division of indochina into four parts, a kingdom of cambodia, laos, vietnam divided into two at the 17th parallel, between the communist forces in the north and non-communist forces in the south. recognizing that the communist s ambitions, the united states government under president eisenhower took steps to secure the situation by further alliances. bilateral treaties were concluded with the republic of korea and the republic of china. in the middle east the so-called northern tier of countries lined to the south of the soviet union
entered into the baghdad pact, which established the central treaty organization. the united states did not become a formal member of the alliance, which is comprised of turkey and great britain, iran and pakistan, but we are closely associated with them and have bilateral and military assistance agreements with regional members, concluded by the eisenhower administration. in order to give support to the nations of southeast asia, the united states took the lead in the creation of an alliance embodied in a treaty and reinforced by collective security systems, the southeast asia treaty organization. in this alliance, the united states joined with great britain, france, australia, new zealand, thailand, pakistan and the philippines to give security to the nations, but also to come to the aid of certain protocol states and territories if they so requested. south vietnam was included in this protocol.
the united states had not been a party to the agreement made in geneva in 1954, which france had concluded where the communist vietnamese forces were known as the vietnam. but the undersecretary of state stated under instructions that the u.s. would not disturb the agreements and it would view the renewal of the aggression with grave concern and as seriously international peace and security. under secretary smiths statement was a unilateral declaration, but in joining cito, the united states took a treaty engagement of far-reaching effect. article four, paragraph one, provides that each party recognizes that aggression by means of armed attack would in -- endanger its own peace and safety, and agrees that it will in that event, act to meet the common danger in accordance with
the constitutional processes. it is this fundamental obligation that has from the outset guided our actions in south vietnam. the language of the treaty is worth attention paid obligation it imposes is not only joint, but several, not collective, but individual. the finding that an armed attack has occurred does not have to be made by collective determination , before the obligation of each member comes into play. nor does it require collective organization to meet the common danger. if the u.s. determines that an armed attack has occurred on any nation to him the treaty applies -- whom the treaty applies, then it is obligated to meet the common danger without regard to the views and actions of other tree members -- treaty members.
the far-reaching implications of this were well understood by the committee when it recommended that the senate consent to the ratification of the treaty. the report states in its conclusion the committee is not an purpose to the risks with which this treaty entails. it appreciates that acceptance of these additional obligations commits the u.s. to a course of action over a vast expanse of the pacific. yet these risks are consistent with our own highest interests. note are greater risks in advising potential enemy of what he can expect of us. isllowing th recommendation, the senate gave
its advice and consent to the treaty. had beenation reinforced by a series of commitments to the government of south vietnam. president eisenhower wrote to the president offering to assist the government of vietnam in developing and maintaining a strong and viable state attempt able to resist intrusion by military means. noting that the republic of vietnam is covered by article four of the collective defense treaty, president eisenhower
agreed this would endanger peace and stability. president kennedy declared the united states is determined the republic of vietnam shall not be lost to becoming us -- to the communists. president kennedy wrote to declaring the end of the geneva conference in 1954. stated heent further was willing to protect the republic of vietnam. we have sent american forces to fight in the jungles of that country.
because south vietnam has under the language of the treaty the aggression by armed attacks,ome in -- there can be no confusion about the origin of the attacks. -- this isietnamese familiar communist practice. impeded in their efforts to extend their power by the use of classical forms of force such as the invasion of korea, the communists have developed a doctrine for so-called wars of national liberation to cloak their aggression and ambiguity. a war of national liberation
depends on the tactics of terror and sabotage, subversion. , --as a particular utility at the same time, the coming of seven of the reason for favoring this. in spite of communist efforts to confuse the issue of the nature of the conflict is clear. let me review the facts. with the benefit of hindsight, no one can doubt if agreeing to accord, they expected the south vietnamese would fall into their control.
the south seemed overburdened with problems. ofing seen the true face coming is him, many fled south. the north had concealed resources in the south. at the time of the accords, many coming tests had been directed to stay iny in hanoi the south. to hide their arms and devote their efforts to undermining the south mutinies government. were efforts at subversion initially quite unsuccessful. vietnam made substantial progress despite the probloems it faced. the leaders in north vietnam were forced to conclude more
active measures were necessary if the subversion of south vietnam were to succeed. during the years following the regime developed a secret political military organization based on those who had been ordered to stay in town. many of these were directed towards of civilians. more than 1000 civilians were ordered or kidnapped 1957-1959. in 1960 alone, terrorists assassinated 1400 and local government officials. 2200.e guerrillas killed the party, the communist party and north vietnam, held its third party congress in hanoi. it called for the creation of a to undertakeation
the subversion of south vietnam. the nationallater, liberation front was established to provide a political facade for the conduct of an active guerrilla war. regimeng in 1960, the begin to infiltrate in south vietnam. in the intervening time, these men had been trained in the arts of sabotage and subversion. conscriptordered to young men from the villages and to form cadres around which guerrilla units could be built. as documented by the legal committee. that body is composed of indian, polish, and canadian members.
1962, there isn evidence to show armed emissions -- munitions and other supplies have been sent with the objective to supporting, organizing, and carrying out hostile activity against the armed forces and administration of the south. the armyevidence that forallowed this to be used encouraging and supporting hostile activities in the south and at the overthrow of the administration. that is the end of the quotation. the north vietnam regime infiltrated 10,000 men into the south. in 1962, 13,000 additional personnel were infiltrated. north vietnam may well have
moved guerrillas into south vietnam. communists exhausted their reservoir of southerners who had gone south. most recently, hanoi has begun to them. infilitrate parts of the regular army in larger numbers. today there are evidence -- there is evidence there are regiments of the regular army in the south. these facts demonstrate the question that the war in vietnam is as much of an act of outside the hanoi as though had sent an army across. since itt is important
goes to the heart of our own involvement. much of the confusion has arisen over a failure to understand this aspect of the conflict. vietnam --rn south if the war were merely in indigenous revolt, the u.s. would not have their troops there. but the evidence is overwhelming it is different. a systematic aggression by an against the people of south vietnam. to takefurther effort over the people of the other half at the point of a gun and against their will. this point, i have tried to describe the nature of our commitments in south vietnam and why we have made them. i have sought to put them within the framework of our larger effort, to prevent the communists from upsetting the
arrangements which have been the basis for our security. bese policies have sometimes en attacked. it has been argued they do not take into account the changes in the world. it speaks to the best degree of security necessary, if change -- progress are to take movement is occurring on both sides of the iron curtain.
clearly one of the major political facts of our time. there has been change in -- thesewithin the have not been maintained. the have taken place because of internal developments as well. because the communist regime has recognized that the western alliance cannot permit it to extend its dominion by force. willtime, the same process hopefully work in the far east. cannotst learn they redraw the boundaries of the world by force. is not are pursuing a static concept. we do believe in social revolution and not merely as power cloaked as revolution.
in meeting our commitments, we are using substantial military force. we are making it clear to north vietnam and the world that our forces are being employed for a limited and well-defined objective. vietnam ask in south to bring about a restoration of the condition contemplated in 1954. to restore the integrity of the settlement made between the french government in the communist forces under ho chi minh. settlement joined in by the united kingdom, china, cambodia, and laos.
unfortunately, the limited is foreignur purpose to the philosophies of the communist world. it may be hard for them to realize the u.s. seeks no territorial advantage. which to maintain our troops there. we want no permanent military bases in no traded vintages. we are not asking that the government ally itself with us or be beholden to us. we wish only that the people of south vietnam should have the ability to determine their future and freedom without corpsmen version or threat from the outside. everything possible to make clear to the regime in hanoi that a political solution is the proper course. regime were prepared to
call up the aggression, peace would come in a matter of hours. vietnamle of north would be able to go about their business. we do not seek to destroy the regime or force the people of north vietnam to accept any other government. under conditions of peace, we would be prepared for the north vietnamese people to share with the other people in southeast asia economic and technical help that we are extending on a regional basis to that area. this is a simple message that we have tried to convey to annoy. we have sought in every way to impress upon the coming this which peacese at could be obtained if only annoy were willing. i know of no occasion were so
much attention has been devoted in an effort to bring about a political solution to a costly and dangerous war. i know you are generally familiar with that. the sounds have been harsh and negative. the regime has been unwilling to accept any of the possibilities open to it. all we have heard is the constant insistence that they will not negotiate unless we accept in advance therefore points. a.m. point.r yet the effect would be to give away the purposes for which we are fighting. to deliver the people of south vietnam against their will to the domination of a communist regime. to understand the situation realistically, we should not underestimate the harshness of the coming at side.
or the ease of a political solution. from time to time, we have heard it suggested we should seek the geneva conference or enlist the conference cochairman or take the problem to the united states -- nations. we have done all these things. in most cases, we have done them repeatedly with no results. we have heard it suggested that soernments and individuals long as american planes were flying bombing missions, no peace was possible. but it might be possible at bombing was discontinued. we did that also. not once but twice. the last pause lasted more and with no response. we will do everything consistent with national objectives to seek a solution.
there is no doubt for the elements of a honorable peace. we have made them clear again and again. the geneva agreements are an adequate basis for peace in southeast asia. a conference on southeast asia or any part thereof. welcome preconditions without negotiations before unconditional discussions as an president johnson push it. a cessation of hostilities could be the first order of business. annoy's four points could be discussed along with other points which others might wish to propose. bases ino u.s. southeast asia.
we do not wish to retain troops after peace. we support elections to allow the south vietnamese to give themselves a government of their choice. the countries of southeast asia can be nonaligned or neutral if that be their option. she could participate in a regional effort to which we would be prepared to put his -- contribute at least $1 billion. the viet cong would not have trouble getting their views represented.
there is not been the slightest suggestion from the other side as to what they would do if the bombing stopped. these 14 points are and have been on the public record. our government has made clear what kind of peace we are prepared to accept. one wish guarantees the security of south vietnam. this is the position we have made known to the other side, both directly and through intermediaries. how does this compare with the position of the hanoi regime? they have repeatedly rejected discussion. they have insisted instead before any discussions can take place, our side must agree in advance to the four points of hanoi's program. the words are different from formulation to formulation.
sometimes they have said the sole basis.are the other times, the correct basis. what they are insisting upon his we accept in advance their position and then discuss only the ways in which it shall be given effect. demandingque of agreement in advance is a familiar communist tactic. does not mean that the basic points are open for discussion. it means just what it says. have subjects of these points to scrutiny. what do they reveal? the first point calls for the recognition of the fundamental national rights of the vietnamese people. sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity. it also calls for the withdrawal of u.s. forces, dismantling military bases, and abolishing alliance with the
south vietnamese. the u.s. has made clear we are support ao restoration of the geneva agreements and are prepared to withdraw troops once there is compliance with the court by all parties. m we have said also we would not expect or require a military alliance with a free south vietnam. the second point relates to the military aspects of the agreement. the fourth point provides the -- ifof peacefull conditions must first be created in the north and south that would make it possible for free elections to be held. it is in the third point that the core of the communist position is disclosed. it provides the eternal and fares of south vietnam must be settled by the people themselves
in accordance with the program of the national liberation front. to understand the significance of this point, it is necessary not only to examine what is meant by the program of the national liberation front but to the character of the front it self and the purpose it serves. let's turn first to the front itself. it clear again and again and joined by other communist powers that negotiations will be possible only when the united states recognizes the national liberation front as the sole representative of the south vietnamese people. what are the implications of this proposal? why are the coming this urging it? the evidence is overwhelming that the national liberation front is exactly what its name
implies. a communist front organization intended to give support to the fiction that the war in vietnam is an indigenous revolt. the noted earlier, after thetary leader announced -- individuals are not widely known to the vietnamese people either in the north or south. suggest they represent the aspirations of the viennese people is absurd. is at noficant fact time has any single individual or political significance it here to the front or its policies. vietnamese leaders
and groups may differ on how the country is to be led, none of them differs on the fact that the front does not speak for them. 1961, hanoi sought to strengthen the story of the indigenous origins by creating a seemingly independent communist party. if therefore established the people's revolutionary party. it advised party members that the people's revolutionary party has only the appearance of an independent existence. our party is nothing but the party of north vietnam unified from north to south under the second it -- executive committee. takeg these explanations, care to keep this secret, especially in south vietnam so the and does not perceive our purpose. the people's revolutionary party has not concealed its role.
it has stated it is the dominant element. the viet cong went even further, stating in time the communist party would act overtly to leave the revolution in south vietnam. in other words, they have told their followers at the proper moment it would emerge from cover and cast off the disguise of the national liberation front. and so they have a clear purpose insisting we recognize the national liberation front as the sole representative of the south vietnamese people. them, this is not a procedural question but a major question of substance. ofy insist on a recognition the front as the sole spokesman for the people of south vietnam. since our acceptance of the front in that capacity, would in effect me are citizens of the communist position, and thus our acceptance of a settlement on
hanoi's terms, which would mean delivering south vietnam into the control of the coming this north. we have not asserted nor do we assert an unreasoning attitude with regard to the front. the president said we will meet at any conference table and discuss any proposals. we will consider the views of any group. to the extent that the front has any validity, the views of that group can be heard in the issue of the liberation front. prove an not insurmountable problem. the significance of this issue is clearly seen when one as it was announced.
onised and amplified february 11 that same year. the first point of this program discloses the full communist intentions. it calls for the over throw of the south vietnam me's government and the establishment from which saigon would be excluded. they are demanding the following preconditions to which the u.s. must agree. first, that the south vietnamese government be overthrown. second, that the liberation sole be accepted as the bargaining representative of the people. and that south vietnam be put under the control of a communist government from which the government would be excluded.
i conclude, therefore, with certain simple point which are at the heart of the problem and u.s. policy in south vietnam. the elementary fact is there is an aggression in the form of an armed attack by north vietnam against south vietnam. second, the u.s. has commitments to assist south vietnam to the pelvis aggression. our commitments were not taken in isolation. they are part of a systematic effort in the postwar time to ensure a stable peace. the issue he comes worldwide because we must make clear the u.s. keeps it's a word wherever it is pledged. fifth, no nation is more interested in peace in southeast asia or anywhere else than the u.s.. attack is brought to an end, the piece can come very
quickly. every channel or forum or active in noremain possibility for peace will be overlooked. i will be glad to turn to those. >> one question, the situation that resulted in the honolulu meeting. the attitude, i believe i have quotes in the paper with regard qui's attitude negotiating. ?ow do you reconcile that
that particular statement was of severalesult to forceby a news man and to answer that question. honolulu, the prime minister was freshly aware of the fact that ho chi minh in a letter to the heads of communist governments had declared the recognition of the front as the sole representative of the people of south vietnam was a prerequisite to any political solution. he is leading a nation at war. all of his people are the front line. the villagers as well as the soldiers.
the local officials as well as high officials in saigon are subject to terror and intimidation. he felt and i think we can understand it that he could not indicate to his people he thought there was a prospect for an early peace through negotiation on the basis of experiences he and we had had it during this period.. what we have said has been discussed early with him and his government. i do not believe myself this is a difference of substance if hanoi shows itself capable of andping its aggression
showing some interest in peace. attitude that he would under no circumstances negotiate with the front is not accepted by our government? >> we ought to note, although when he was he said pressed on this question six times and was trying to point was ms.liberation front named, it was not a liberation front but what he called in enslavement front, when pressed, categorical answer. the circumstances would be changed if hanoi indicated an
interest in peace. those circumstances would be reviewed by everybody concerned if they developed in that direction. >> how can you expect any development when we appear to have taken such an adamant attitude? i don't see how any development can come about. chairman, ank: mr. adamant attitude has to do with one particular and specific and limited point. we are not asking anything from hanoi except to stop shooting their neighbors in laos and south vietnam. we're not asking them to give up an acre of territory. we are not asking them to surrender a single individual or to change their form of government. all we are asking them to do is sending armed men and arms,
contrary to specific agreements and international law, into south vietnam for the purpose of shooting somebody. i have seen in certain columns that toarked that -- ask them to stop shooting is to ask them to surrender unconditionally. asking them to surrender anything except their appetite to take over south vietnam by force. on that, i would suggest somebody had better be adamant. of alliances -- >> maybe i don't make myself clear. us is tose of some of try to get this matter to a conference table. we go about doing that? we haven't made much progress. if this is a sticking point about whether or not they should be admitted to the conference,
everything we have had in testimony is the viet cong constitutes a major fighting force and south vietnam. you recognize that, i think. the undergone of 236,000 troops which is a major force. the only thing we are interested if this can be brought to some sort of negotiating table. if this is a sticking point, the -- there is made by would seem to be one obstacle. i would not minimize the difficulty of giving order this obstacle. this is why wish to bring it up. secretary rusk: i commented on
that point. for us to negotiate the details , even here in this , if hanoi would come to the conference table, that is the kind of thing that could be discussed. we see a double standard widespread in the world which affects this problem of the effort made to bring this to a political solution. exhausted almost
every procedure, every idea we have traveled all over the world . we have tried to get the assistance of the neutral .ations the secretary general of the u.n.. the president of india and ghana. we made unilateral declarations. we have had private contacts with noise. what we have been saying is, why don't you come to the table and let's see if there is a basis for peace. not unless you recognize the liberation front as the spokesman for the south vietnamese people. we can do that. >> they said the sole spokesman. are you quite certain they said if you have a negotiation, it will only be with the representatives of the national liberation front. in the ho chi:
minh letter, they call on the viet cong as the sole representative of the south vietnamese people. >> and did with no one else of the conference? these thingsk: have been explored in many ways. i can assure you we have had nothing else from the other side except that idea. >> the other two points, i wondered if you could tell us about the degaulle letter. it was in the paper this morning. secretary rusk: mr. chairman, i think that was from paris. i read it in the morning post. the dispatch was from paris, that suggests it was not us. they use adjectives i did not recognize.
the attitude of friends in the situation is pretty well-known. they think there ought to be a settlement on the basis of the geneva accords. so do we. they think problems should be solved by political means. we would prefer that. they do not leave the time is right for such discussions, or at least they did not see any steps which they themselves can take at this moment to bring this matter to the conference table. not find anything in the letter that justified this word severe used. if my memory serves me right, it said this war is leading nowhere. colonial power.
we support them to maintain the colonial origin. you are in the department when this took place. you know all about that. the french if anyone should be qualified to make a judgment about the character of these people, having an intimate relationship with them as colonial masters. in government circles in washington, they can compare reply to ho chi minh with that of mr. johnson. not only for having ordered the receptions of the raids against the north that rather persisting with an intervention that for which there is nothing to be
helped. the vietnamese alone been qualified to solve their problems. that story is highly inaccurate. it is not my privilege to prove my statement by putting intodent degaulle's letter public record. that bears no resemblance to the letter i have seen. mythe last paragraph says, analysis is different from that of your leaders. this war is absurd. it is leading to nothing. but i know the responsibilities of anyone at the head of a great state. i can understand president johnson's problems of conscious. -- conscience. i said the post is only sometimes accurate. question, vice
president kennedy. i mean humphrey, i'm sorry. traveling into a number of countries. the paper also this morning said he made an authorized loan i believe of $100 million. to india. rather out of channels, it is not the usual responsibility of the president of the senate and the vice president to go about making such commitments. would you explain this? secretary rusk: two loans to india and pakistan, announced on the occasion of the visit, or allotments loans under funds for this year. certain activities in the
economic assistance field began to mark time at the time of the india pakistan fighting. annce then, there has been agreement between those two countries. we have been in touch with both india and pakistan. the negotiations on these particular loans will continue in the usual channels. primarily ats and facilitating the import of certain spare parts and other goods to get the industrial sector going full speed again. the vice president himself to not undertake the negotiation. the release was announced well he was there. >> are there any conditions that are not public with regard to the loans? secretary rusk: no, sir.
they are those that your committee -- wasne of the components approval by congress each year of the eight program. in a speechd this on wednesday. we have reports on supplemental request for authorization. we are makingr commitments to all 53 countries to which we are making military aid? as far asrusk: vietnam is concerned, they are centered on the seato treaty. the commitment was there. president eisenhower began in to provide5
assistance to south vietnam to assist it building a viable state. aid was inral reinforcement of the purposes of the sedo treaty. the attitude of the country and government has been consistent throughout this time. the most recent formal affirmation of the same policy was of course the resolution of the congress in 1964. i would think the economic and military assistance we have given to south vietnam has been consistent with the purposes stated oath in the preamble and the resolution itself. crocs in case i do not approve of the policies in vietnam, i'm forced to vote against this authorization if i accept that as a proper interpretation.
secretary rusk: mr. chairman, i the declaration of policy which the congress itself by a photo 542 made in august, 1964. section two of that resolution says the u.s. regards as a to its national interest and world international peace and security in southeast asia. it indicated the u.s. is prepared to take all necessary forces touding armed assist nations requiring assistance. that resolution is entirely consistent with the southeast asia treaty on the same treaty passed after an overwhelming vote in the senate.
the policy lines are simple and have been reaffirmed. by presidents and the congress. he would take into account the continuity of policy and the problem of turning aside from that policy under present conditions. >> i wish these things appear as simple to me as a do to you. i'm sure it is true to my own obtuse meant. we will pursue this later. the senator from alabama. >> first, i want to commend you for the very fine statement you made. i think it is the clearest statement i have seen made during the course of the discussion of the vietnam situation. i think it is good for the american people to have this statement. believe these hearings
have a useful purpose to serve? and acquainting the american people with the facts? books i am always glad to be with this committee. can clarify an good many issues. >> you have done that this morning in your statement. you have made certain specific points that i want to emphasize. that is the nature of the vietcong. i think you have given us the fullest explanation we have had yet of the connection of the vietcong with north vietnam. the direction under which they are operating. we are hearing more and more about this being simply a civil war.
we have been intervening in it. it is clearly not a civil war, is it? it clearly is: not. been for thet infiltration of men and arms from north vietnam into south i do not believe there would be any american forces in south vietnam today. constantildup has been and consistent, hasn't it? secretary rusk: begin with several thousand hard-core behind agents they left in 1954. andou have emphasized elaborated on the willingness of our country to negotiate. of people great deal
talking about this matter. saying we negotiate, settle this thing. --tried we are continuing to try. none of the channels have been closed. other governments as well as ours are continually act. the security council. the problem of negotiations key point.very that is whether or not annoy is prepared to drawback from its to take over vietnam by force. if it decides it is, it might do so either in fact, stop doing
what it is doing, or come to a conference table. i see relatively little chance they are going to come to the until they decide -- we have heard this should be referred to the united nations. have we tried? >> it is before the united nations at the present time. been a number of other occasions on which it was before the u.n.. may, 1954. they requested that the --mission investigate the
this came again before the security council in 1959. a mission.hed members requested -- that was investigated because our friends and people walk rate when this sort of thing comes about. the security council took no action when cambodia rejected the report. in august, 1964, we ourselves took it to the security council. the security -- soviet representative moved that the representatives of hanoi as well as saigon be invited to come to the table. we supported that invitation. hanoi refused to come.
if i could mention two other points. something connected to that, was communist china invited under the russian proposal? secretary rusk: i don't think they were. in february 1965, we reported with respect to the era tax that were launched on north vietnam. year, and weast transmitted our white paper. the president invited the secretary general to coordinat d regional and economic programs. we transmitted the text of that address. throw the summer of 1965, we tried to engage members to find ways of engaging members.
suggestion has been made many times, chiefly from our side. the other side has been unwilling to come to such a conference. we indicated, and it was one of our 14 points, we would welcome a conference on southeast asia or any part of it. we were ready for such a conference but something happened to that after the meeting broke up in moscow. those conferences were not held. happy to see a conference on vietnam, laos,
cambodia. >> do you know of any other channels that you can follow toward bringing about a negotiation? a conference? secretary rusk: let me say isply that the problem here not that of technique or channel or contact. the ability to be in touch with the other side. the problem is, with contact, we see no basis for peace. the other side apparently is not prepared to hold its hand. the problem is not contact and procedure, it is substance. the appetite in hanoi. we have heard nothing that suggests anything else. the actions taken by hanoi indicate the are still
persisting with their efforts to take over south vietnam by force. >> is our support for south vietnam both military and economic in accord with the spirit of the geneva conference when it more or less set up the guardianship of the indochina states? secretary rusk: the attempted by one part of vietnam to take over the other part by sending armed men and arms across the demarcate in line is a violation of the accords. from the first day of those records to look at the chain of circumstances about who did what that was not in compliance with those records. is, wencipal thing do providese accords
an adequate basis for peace in southeast asia. we are prepared to talk about it and the side is not. there is a long history of charge and counter charge about those accords. they should be at the conference table and not elsewhere. argument, come to the conference table and talk about it. by't go out and sell it force. secretary rusk, i think the
testimony you have given here is a comprehensive and informative review of circumstances involved in this situation in which we find ourselves in today. i could say that i would -- had hoped you might discuss a little more extensively the domino theory of the effect of our defeat in south vietnam were a complete amendment -- abandonment of south vietnam on other nations and areas in that part of the world. i will ask you a question about that a little later. the regard to peace,
should iment of peace, assume that in effect the geneva accords of 1954 were violated practically from their inception? through the subversive by the north vietnamese? subversion, this applies to the so-called men and so on. the firstrusk: serious violation was a failure of the coming aside to regroup to the north, as the conversation was. all of their elements.
>> as a matter of fact, i would at least gather the impression from your testimony that the failure of the north vietnamese to regroup and withdraw their forces, make any attempt whatsoever to carry out the ,pirit of the geneva accord made it practically impossible as one major element to because ofhat accord , --r presence there acretary rusk: or has been good deal of evidence sense then. toy did so in prospect --
have the entire country. begin to unfold after the accords were signed. >> that is correct. >> do i understand you are saying to us that the viet cong are sustained and bolstered and encouraged and prodded, if you please, by not only logistical help from the north but by and a strong units of the north vietnamese army so they are completely dependent upon north vietnam for continuing this struggle? secretary rusk: that is correct.
>> therefore, if we get down to and went of a conference and the south vietnamese did have a conference with them, would anyey are agreement with the guerrilla ,ighters or the vietnam whatever their reference might be, wood in the agreement be worth anything at all? in fact, would it be completely unreliable unless hanoi were one of the sustaining parties to that agreement? they might agree to something, but if hanoi did not, there
might be a temporary lull but they would return to the fray? this is anusk: important point, we have said primarily to a good many governments the key issue of peace is with hanoi. the infiltration of men and arms not occurred, we would not have had a combat forces in south vietnam. as far as the u.s. is concerned, hanoi is the problem. doing what iter andoing by way of launching armed attack, we haven't solved our problem. if they do stop, the other problems would fall into place quickly. beyond a mere
stopping temporarily. uponuld have to be based the realization by hanoi these ventures are unprofitable and disastrous if they continue. i would hope, the assurances which would come out of any such agreement would be stronger than those we had in laos. we had categorical agreements not worth anything. >> before my time expires, could
a short outline of the possible nature of the expansion of communism in south should the united states abandon south vietnam by getting out? i don't think we are going to come of that is a hypothetical. but if we should, leave south devices andts own its own fate without our presence and assistance, could whative us any outline for we might reasonably expect from other wars of liberation? coming is power into other countries.
this problem has sometimes been referred to as the domino theory. i myself have not used that expression. i feel it is somewhat sleeting. we are not dealing with little blocks of wood. the theory is that of a world hanoi and followed by other elements in the communist world. you don't have to go to dominoes. how does it work in action? inn vietnam was divided 1964, north vietnam was organized as a communist country, infiltration of men and .rms and subversion started and
givehave refused to cambodia a solid commitment with regard to the territorial integrity career they have announced thailand is next. this past year, the announced the formation of a thailand liberation front. -- alreadyalways the stepping up activities. in doesn't have to speculate theory about whether dominoes have to fall. they fall in both directions and that sort of thing. when they get to the continent
africaca and announces is ripe for revolution, the african leaders understood he wasn't talking about decolonization. knockinglking about over most of the present governments of africa. some of them expelled some chinese because of some of the activities of chinese in africa. a difference within the coming east world perhaps on the subject of a militancy with which they press the communist world revolution. in the real meaning of what they call peaceful coexistence in the rest of the world. i have no doubt that the primitive marxists, the veterans of the long march in
peking, have a very militant view. discover their militancy has no future, and they must reconsider, it may be that they could turn more toward what people call peaceful coexistence. the lines were getting to be more sort of drawn. it was more of a rationale for the people that supported the war. rusk articulate it with the johnson administration was trying to say. -- newspapers came out in defense of what he said. it became part of the defense that appeared in other speeches and editorials. also critics. the nerk