“The Johnson Treatment”• “overpowering and intimidating”• Invaded personal space• “persuasive and personable rather than elegant and charming”
“[Richard Goodwin, aformer speechwriter andaide to L.B.J.] experiencedthe standard Johnsonoutrages: an interviewwith L.B.J. as thePresident sat on the toilet,a nude policy council inthe superheated WhiteHouse swimming pool.”Sidey, Hugh. "Was Lyndon Johnson Unstable?"Time. 05 Sept. 1988.
"Let Us Continue"• November 22, 1963: JFK assassinated• LBJ promised to continue JFK programs• LBJ ultimately exceeded JFK’s record on economic, racial equality
“The Great Society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice.” • Medicare • Higher Education Act • Medicaid • Economic Opportunity • Corp. for Public Broad- Act (Job Corps) casting (PBS & NPR) • National Foundation for • National Traffic & Motor the Arts and the Vehicle Safety (Nader) Humanities • Economic Opportunity • Clean Air Act Act (Head Start) • Elementary and • Civil Rights Act of 1964 Secondary Education Act • Voting Rights Act of • Truth in Packaging 1965 • Water Quality Act
LBJ on the Economy: War on Poverty
1964 Election:LBJ (D) versus Barry Goldwater (R) The Daisy Ad
SE Asia and the Vietnam War Late 1800s: France controlled “Indochina” (Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia) 1940-1945: Japanese control during WWII 1945: France fights to regain control with US financial aid
1954: French lose to Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh at Dien Bien Phu
Vietnam divided at 17th parallel O North O Ho Chi Minh O communist dictatorship O support from Soviet Union O South O Ngo Dinh Diem O right-wing anti-communist dictatorship O support from US - 675 U.S. Army advisors sent by Eisenhower
U.S. Military Involvement Begins Viet Cong attack S. Vietnam 1960: JFK increases to 16,000 “advisors” Nov 2, 1963: JFK supports a Vietnamese military coup d’etat – Diem and his brother are murdered JFK assassinated Nov 22
LBJ SendsGround Forces 1964: Saigon on verge of collapse LBJ remembers Truman’s “loss” of China Domino I’m not going to be the Theory president who saw Southeast Asia go the Tonkin Gulf Incident way China went.” -LBJ 1964 Tonkin Gulf Resolution
The Ground War 1965-1968 General Westmoreland, late 1967: We can see the “light at the end of the tunnel.”
Who Is the Enemy? Vietcong: S. Vietnamese communists Farmers by day; guerillas at night.The guerilla wins if he does notlose, the conventional army losesif it does not win. - Mao Zedong
Who Is the Enemy?
The Ground War, 1965-1968 No territorial goals – defense only On TV (first “living room” war) N Vietnam supplies Viet Cong over the Ho Chi Minh Trail
U.S. Troop Levels in Vietnam 600,000 500,000 400,000U.S. Troops 300,000 200,000 100,000 01961 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968
The Air War 1965-1968 1965: Sustained bombing of North Vietnam Operation Rolling Thunder Carpet Bombing Napalm Agent Orange – defoliant
The Air War:A Napalm Attack
Birth defect victims of Agent Orange:Warning: Images are disturbing.
The TetOffensive, Januar y 1968 Massive N. Vietnamese & Vietcong attack in South U.S. retaliates BUT… seen as an American defeat by the media
Impact of the Tet Offensive Domestic U.S. Reaction: disbelief, anger, dist rust of LBJ Admin Hey, Hey LBJ! How many kids did you kill today?
March, 1968: Johnson announces “…I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.”
American Morale Begins to Dip Disproportionate representation of poor people and minorities. Officers in combat 6 mo.; in rear 6 mo. Enlisted men in combat for 12 mo.; fighting 240/365 days a year
American Morale Begins to Dip By 1970: 65,643 Army deserters; 52.3/1000 Fragging: 3% of officer deaths Major drug problems: ~ 80% of the troops used drugs; by 1971 over 30% of combat troops were on heroin Anti-war underground newspapers Sabotage and mutiny in Navy
Are We Becoming the Enemy? My Lai Massacre, 1968 200-500 unarmed villagers Lt. William Calley, Platoon Leader
The Student Revolt• 1964: Student protest movement launched at Berkeley• Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)• October, 1967: 100,000 protesters besieged the Pentagon
Theres something happening hereWhat it is aint exactly clearTheres a man with a gun over thereTelling me I got to beware Columbia University, 1967
Theres battle lines being drawnNobodys right if everybodys wrongYoung people speaking their mindsGetting so much resistance from behind
What a field-day for the heatA thousand people in the streetSinging songs and they carrying signsMostly say, hooray for our side Hell no, we won’t go!
Paranoia strikes deepInto your life it will creepIt starts when youre always afraidYou step out of line, the man come and take you away Democratic Convention in Student Protestors Chicago, 1968 at Univ. of CA in Berkeley, 1968
Kent State University Massacre May 4, 1970 4 students shot dead. 11 students wounded Jackson State University May 10, 1970 2 dead; 12 wounded
Nixon on Vietnam Nixon’s 1968 Campaign: Peace with Honor “Silent Majority” Vietnamization Expansion of war The “Secret War” Cambodia Laos
The War In Cambodia • 1970: US dropped over 500,000 tons of ordinance on Cambodia • ~ 600,000 Cambodians killed • Led to rise Khmer Rouge and Cambodian genocide, 1975-1979; 1.4- 2.2 million (20-30% of pop.)
“Pentagon Papers,” 1971 Daniel Ellsberg leaked LBJ era docs to the NY Times Docs LBJ admin misled Congress & American people Reason for fighting not to eliminate communism, but to avoid humiliating defeat. New York Times v. United States (1971) *
The Ceasefire, 1973 Peace is at hand Henry Kissinger, 1972 N. Vietnam attacks Most Massive U.S. bombing commences 1973: Ceasefire signed
Peace Negotiations US & Vietnamese argue for 5 months over the size of the conference table!Dr. Henry Kissinger & Le Duc Tho
The Ceasefire, 1973 Conditions: 1. U.S. to remove all troops 2. N. Vietnam troops already in S. Vietnam remain 3. N. Vietnam would resume war 4. No provision for American POWs or MIAs Last American troops left South Vietnam on March 29, 1973 1975: North Vietnam defeats South Vietnam Saigon renamed Ho Chi Minh City
The Fall of Saigon South Vietnamese Attempt to Flee the Country
The Fall of Saigon April 30, 1975America Abandons Its Embassy
The Fall of Saigon North Vietnameseat the Presidential Palace
The Costs1. 3,000,000 Vietnamese killed2. 58,000 Americans killed; 300,000 wounded3. Under-funding of Great Society programs4. $150,000,000,000 in U.S. spending5. U.S. morale, self-confidence, and trust of government decimated
The Impact 26th Amendment: 18-year-olds vote Nixon abolished the draft all-volunteer army War Powers Act, 1973 President must notify Congress within 48 hrs of deploying military force President must withdraw forces unless he gains Congressional approval within 90 days Disregard for Veterans seen as “baby killers” POW/MIA issue lingered
Some American POWs Returned from the “Hanoi Hilton”Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
2,583 American POWs / MIAsstill unaccounted for today.
And in the End…. Ho Chi Minh: “If we have to fight, we will fight. You will kill ten of our men and we will kill one of yours, and in the end it will be you who tires of it.”
Lessons for American Presidents (Until 9/11)1. Wars must be short.2. Wars must yield few American casualties.3. Restrict media access to battlefields.4. Develop and maintain Congressional and public support.5. Set clear, winnable goals.6. Set deadline for troop withdrawals.