Excerpts from "Freedom in the Postwar World," by Secretary Rusk before American Veterans of WW 11 and Korea, Philadelphia, 29 August 1964, Department of State Bulletin, 14 September 1964


Source: Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 3, pp. 722-723


"Freedom in the Postwar World," by Secretary Rusk before American Veterans of WW 11 and Korea, Philadelphia, 29 August 1964, Department of State Bulletin, 14 September 1964, p. 365:

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"In Southeast Asia the free world suffered a setback in 1954 when, after the defeat at Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam was divided and a communist regime was consolidated in Hanoi. We helped South Vietnam to get on its feet and to build its military defenses. It made remarkable progress for a few years-which is
perhaps why Communist North Vietnam, with the backing of Communist China, renewed its aggression against South Vietnam in 1959. In 1961 President Kennedy reviewed the situation, concluded that the assault from the north had been underestimated, and substantially increased our assistance to the Government and people of South Vietnam."

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"Hanoi and Peiping have not yet learned that they must leave their neighbors alone. But this is a decision which they must reach. We and our SEATO allies have declared that the communist aggressions in Southeast Asia must be defeated. As you said, Commander Gulewicz, in your statement to the platform committees of the two major parties, '. . . we cannot afford to abandon the free people of Vietnam. The world watches because South Vietnam is a critical test-case for new communist strategy.'"

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