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Response to emmaverybo (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 18, 2019, 06:07 PM

4. De Gaulle's Warning to Kennedy: An 'Endless Entanglement' in Vietnam

Last edited Tue Jun 18, 2019, 07:06 PM - Edit history (1)

Something important that has been lost to my memory:

De Gaulle's Warning to Kennedy: An ‘Endless Entanglement’ in Vietnam

Charles De Gaulle
New York Times
March 15, 1972


When the President reverted to the question of the Congo where, at the instigation of the United States, the U.N. Secretary‐General, Dag Hamrnarskjold, was setting up a government to replace ‐that of Patrice Lumumba, I declined to have anything to do with the operation. But it was above all on the subject of Indochina that I pointed out to Kennedy how far apait our policies were. He made no secret of the fact that the United States was planning to intervene. In Siam, thanks to the Virtually exclusive influence they exercised over the Government of Marshal Sarit, they were setting up air bases. In Laos, whose neutrality was about to be reaffirmed at a conference in Geneva, they were nonetheless introducing their “military advisers” in collusion with some of the local chiefs, in spite of the reservations of Prince Souvanna Phouma and the neutralist party. In South Vietnam, after having encouraged the seizure of dictatorial power by Ngo Dinh Diem and hastened the departure of the French advisers, they, were beginning to install the first element of an expeditionary corps under cover of economic aid. John Kennedy gave me to understand that the American aim was to establish a bulwark against the Soviets in the Indochinese peninsula. But instead of giving him the approval he wanted, I told the President that he was taking the wrong road.

“You will find,” I said to him, “that intervention in this area will be an endless entanglement. Once a nation has been aroused, no foreign power, however strong, can impose its will upon it. You will discover this for yourselves. For even if you find local.leaders who in their own interests are prepared to obey you, the people will not agree to it, and indeed do not want you. The ideology which you invoke will make no difference. Indeed, in the eyes of the masses it will become identified with your will to power. That is why the more you become involved out there against Communism, the more the Communists will appear as the champions of national independence, and the more support they will receive, if only from despair.

“We French have had experience of it. Yott Americans wanted to take our place in Indochina. Now you want to take over where we left off and revive a war which we brought to an end. I predict that you will sink step by step into a bottomless military and political quagmire, hOwever much you spend in men and money. What you, we and others ought to do for unhappy Asia is not to take over the running of these States ourselves, but to provide them with the means to escape from the misery and humiliation which, there as elsewhere, are the causes of totalitarian regimes. I tell you this in the name of the West.”

Kennedy listened to me. But events were to prove that I had failed to convince (TEXT ENDS).


Geez, what might have been. And what is.

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Kid Berwyn Jun 2019 OP
emmaverybo Jun 2019 #1
LineLineReply De Gaulle's Warning to Kennedy: An 'Endless Entanglement' in Vietnam
Kid Berwyn Jun 2019 #4
emmaverybo Jun 2019 #11
Karadeniz Jun 2019 #2
Kid Berwyn Jun 2019 #8
sop Jun 2019 #3
True Blue American Jun 2019 #7
Kid Berwyn Jun 2019 #10
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Chin music Jun 2019 #9
emmaverybo Jun 2019 #13
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Rhiannon12866 Jun 2019 #20
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sop Jun 2019 #12
Chin music Jun 2019 #18
emmaverybo Jun 2019 #22
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