Proponent of the Vietnam War
"A President's hardest task is not to do what is
right, but to know what is right."-Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson was elected as the United States President for
the term November 22, 1963 at the assasination of President Kennedy. After Kennedy's death
the problem of deciding how to proceed in Vietnam fell onto the shoulders of Johnson.
Faced with the crisis of Diem's government being overthrown in 1963, Johnson's
administration made the decision to increase the USA's participation in the war.
An excerpt from a meeting on July 21st 1965:
"Ball: We cannont
win, Mr. President. This war will be long and protracted. The most we can hope for is a
messy concludion. There remains a great danger of intrusion by the Chinese. But the
biggest problem is the strike at the very jugular of Northvietnam will become very
great. I am concerned about world opinion... IF th ewar is long and protracted, I believe
it will be, then we will suffer because the world's greatest power cannot defeat guerillas
Johnson: But George, wouldn't all these countries say that Uncle
Sam was a paper tiger, wouldn't we lose credibility breaking the word of three
In the election of 1964 President Johnson was relelected after
defeating Goldwater. Ironically during re-election Johnson's slogan was geared toward the
de-escalation of the war.
For more insight into the feelings of President Johnson toward
the Vietnam in 1964 go to this audio where "Johnson speaks with Stone about a variety
of issues, including policy in Panama and Vietnam"
"The test before us as a people is not whether our
commitments match our will and our courage; but whether we have the will and courage to
match our commitments."- Johnson
Interesting Links for
Lyndon B. Johnson: