Origin of the Vietnam “Conﬂict” What Happened Before U.S. Involvement
History of Imperialism• China (independence in 1000 C.E.)• French in the 1600s • Creation of Indochina• Japan 1940-45• China and England 1945• French Part Deux! (1946-1954) • in hindsight....What if???
Viet Minh: Friend or Foe?• were nationalists and communists (formed 1940 or 41)• led by Ho Chi Minh (“He who enlightens”)• fought against the French and the Japanese• conﬂicted U.S. perspective
Fork in the Road• Ho Chi Minh declared independence in 1945• US DOS was divided• France asks for the return of its colonies• Viet Minh’s response• golden opportunity missed! What if?
Fear of Communism! (1950)• Success of Chinese Revolution• Truman’s Speech “cause of freedom is being challenged”• Outbreak of the Korean War• Commies are going to take over Asia!• Uncle Sam’s wallet opens up
Foreshadowing of escalation • “...the resources of the United States would be deployed topreserve Indochina and Southeast Asia from further Communist encroachment.” Dean Rusk, Undersecretary of State • U.S. provides 80% of the funding for the French
We Like Ike!• Eisenhower Presidency• continues aid to France until Dienbienphu• Geneva Accords 1954: division and election
And the U.S. picks... Ngo Dinh Diem!• Catholic• Friend of the French• Torturer• Corrupt• Boycotts Elections 1956