Lbj and vietnam


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Lbj and vietnam

  1. 1. LBJ:The Great Society and Vietnam
  2. 2. “The Johnson Treatment”• “overpowering and intimidating”• Invaded personal space• “persuasive and personable rather than elegant and charming”
  3. 3. “[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.
  4. 4. "Let Us Continue"• November 22, 1963: JFK assassinated• LBJ promised to continue JFK programs• LBJ ultimately exceeded JFK’s record on economic, racial equality
  5. 5. “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
  6. 6. LBJ on the Economy: War on Poverty
  7. 7. 1964 Election:LBJ (D) versus Barry Goldwater (R) The Daisy Ad
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9.  1954: French lose to Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh at Dien Bien Phu
  10. 10.  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
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. The Ground War 1965-1968 General Westmoreland, late 1967: We can see the “light at the end of the tunnel.”
  14. 14. 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
  15. 15. Who Is the Enemy?
  16. 16. 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
  17. 17. 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
  18. 18. The Air War 1965-1968 1965: Sustained bombing of North Vietnam Operation Rolling Thunder Carpet Bombing Napalm Agent Orange – defoliant
  19. 19. The Air War:A Napalm Attack
  20. 20. Birth defect victims of Agent Orange:Warning: Images are disturbing.
  21. 21. The TetOffensive, Januar y 1968 Massive N. Vietnamese & Vietcong attack in South U.S. retaliates BUT… seen as an American defeat by the media
  22. 22. 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?
  23. 23. March, 1968: Johnson announces “…I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.”
  24. 24. 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
  25. 25. 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
  26. 26. Are We Becoming the Enemy?  My Lai Massacre, 1968  200-500 unarmed villagers Lt. William Calley, Platoon Leader
  27. 27. The Student Revolt• 1964: Student protest movement launched at Berkeley• Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)• October, 1967: 100,000 protesters besieged the Pentagon
  28. 28. Theres something happening hereWhat it is aint exactly clearTheres a man with a gun over thereTelling me I got to beware Columbia University, 1967
  29. 29. Theres battle lines being drawnNobodys right if everybodys wrongYoung people speaking their mindsGetting so much resistance from behind
  30. 30. 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!
  31. 31. 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
  32. 32. Kent State University Massacre  May 4, 1970  4 students shot dead.  11 students wounded  Jackson State University  May 10, 1970  2 dead; 12 wounded
  33. 33. Nixon on Vietnam Nixon’s 1968 Campaign: Peace with Honor  “Silent Majority” Vietnamization Expansion of war  The “Secret War”  Cambodia  Laos
  34. 34. 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.)
  35. 35. “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) *
  36. 36. The Ceasefire, 1973 Peace is at hand  Henry Kissinger, 1972  N. Vietnam attacks  Most Massive U.S. bombing commences 1973: Ceasefire signed
  37. 37. Peace Negotiations  US & Vietnamese argue for 5 months over the size of the conference table!Dr. Henry Kissinger & Le Duc Tho
  38. 38. 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
  39. 39. The Fall of Saigon South Vietnamese Attempt to Flee the Country
  40. 40. The Fall of Saigon April 30, 1975America Abandons Its Embassy
  41. 41. The Fall of Saigon North Vietnameseat the Presidential Palace
  42. 42. 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
  43. 43. 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
  44. 44. Some American POWs Returned from the “Hanoi Hilton”Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
  45. 45. 2,583 American POWs / MIAsstill unaccounted for today.
  46. 46. 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.”
  47. 47. 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.