Fwd: [utepprogressives] President Urges Patience in War
- --- Julie Keller <jakeller@...> wrote:
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/columns/pressingissues_display
> From: "Julie Keller" <jakeller@...>
> Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 15:25:52 -0000
> Subject: [utepprogressives] President Urges Patience
> in War
> ... But its LBJ and its 1965.
> "To abandon this small and brave nation to its
> enemies, and to the
> terror that must follow, would be an unforgivable
> wrong," Johnson
> said. "To withdraw from one battlefield means only
> to prepare for the
> next." At that moment, only 400 American boys had
> died in the rice
> paddies. Here's the complete text.
> By Greg Mitchell
> (June 29, 2005) -- As the press continues to argue
> over what
> President Bush said, didn't say or should have said
> about the war in
> Iraq on Tuesday night, I'll take this opportunity to
> simply roll out,
> as food for thought, the words of another president
> caught up in a
> difficult conflict not quite in its final throes.
> Here is a speech
> delivered by Lyndon B. Johnson on April 7, 1965.
> Make of it what you
> Tonight Americans and Asians are dying for a world
> where each people
> may choose its own path to change. This is the
> principle for which
> our ancestors fought in the valleys of Pennsylvania.
> It is the
> principle for which our sons fight tonight in the
> jungles of Viet-Nam.
> Viet-Nam is far away from this quiet campus. We have
> no territory
> there, nor do we seek any. The war is dirty and
> brutal and difficult.
> And some 400 young men, born into an America that is
> bursting with
> opportunity and promise, have ended their lives on
> steaming soil.
> Why must we take this painful road? Why must this
> nation hazard its
> ease, its interest, and its power for the sake of a
> people so far
> We fight because we must fight if we are to live in
> a world where
> every country can shape its own destiny, and only in
> such a world
> will our own freedom be finally secure.
> This kind of world will never be built by bombs or
> bullets. Yet the
> infirmities of man are such that force must often
> precede reason and
> the waste of war, the works of peace.
> We wish this were not so. But we must deal with the
> world as it is,
> if it is ever to be as we wish.
> The world as it is in Asia is not a serene or
> peaceful place.
> Of course, some of the people of South Viet-Nam are
> participating in
> attack on their own government. But trained men and
> supplies, orders
> and arms, flow in a constant stream from North to
> South. This support
> is the heartbeat of the war.
> And it is a war of unparalleled brutality. Simple
> farmers are the
> targets of assassination and kidnapping. Women and
> children are
> strangled in the night because their men are loyal
> to the government.
> And helpless villagers are ravaged by sneak attacks.
> raids are conducted on towns, and terror strikes in
> the heart of
> The confused nature of this conflict cannot mask the
> fact that it is
> the new face of an old enemy. The contest in
> Viet-Nam is part of a
> wider pattern of aggressive purposes.
> Why are these realities our concern? Why are we in
> South Viet-Nam?
> We are there because we have a promise to keep. Over
> many years, we
> have made a national pledge to help South Viet-Nam
> defend its
> independence. And I intend to keep that promise.
> To dishonour that pledge, to abandon this small and
> brave nation to
> its enemies, and to the terror that must follow,
> would be an
> unforgivable wrong.
> We are also there to strengthen world order. Around
> the globe from
> Berlin to Thailand are people whose well being rests
> in part on the
> belief that they can count on us if they are
> attacked. To leave Viet-
> Nam to its fate would shake the confidence of all
> these people in the
> value of an American commitment and in the value of
> America's word.
> The result would be increased unrest and
> instability, even wide war.
> We are also there because there are great stakes in
> the balance. Let
> no one think for a minute that retreat from Viet-Nam
> would bring an
> end to the conflict. The battle would be renewed in
> one country and
> then another. The central lesson of our time is that
> the appetite of
> aggression is never satisfied. To withdraw from one
> battlefield means
> only to prepare for the next. We must say in
> Southeast Asia--as we
> did in Europe--in the words of the Bible: "Hitherto
> shalt thou come,
> but no further."
> Our objective is the independence of South Viet-Nam,
> and its freedom
> from attack. We want nothing for ourselves-only that
> the people of
> South Viet-Nam be allowed to guide their own country
> in their own way.
> We will do everything necessary to reach that
> objective. And we will
> do only what is absolutely necessary.
> We do this in order to slow down aggression.
> We do this to increase the confidence of the brave
> people of South
> Viet-Nam who have bravely borne this brutal battle
> for so many years
> with so many casualties.
> We will not be defeated. We will not grow tired.
> We will not withdraw, either openly or under the
> cloak of a
> meaningless agreement.
> We hope that peace will come swiftly. But that is in
> the hands of
> others besides ourselves. And we must be prepared
> for a long
> continued conflict. It will require patience as well
> as bravery, the
> will to endure as well as the will to resist.
> I wish it were possible to convince others with
> words of what we now
> find it necessary to say with guns and planes: Armed
> hostility is
> futile. Our resources are equal to the challenge.
> Because we fight for values and we fight for
> principles, rather than
> territory or colonies, our patience and our
> determination are
> [LBJ, at least, had a genuine Texas accent, and
> could speak, read and
> write English fluently, despite being a genuine