Excerpts from "Some Fundamentals of American Policy," Address by Secretary Rusk Before the U.S. Council of the International Chamber of Commerce at New York, March 4, 1965


Source: Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 3, pp. 729


"Some Fundamentals of American Policy," Address by Secretary Rusk Before the U.S. Council of the International Chamber of Commerce at New York, March 4, 1965, Department of State Bulletin, March 22, 1965, p. 401.

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The defeat of these aggressions is not only essential if Laos and South VietNam are to remain independent; it is important to the security of Southeast Asia as a whole. You will recall that Thailand has already been proclaimed as the next target by Peiping. This is not something up in the clouds called the domino theory. You don't need that. Listen to the proclamation of militant, world revolution by Peiping, proclaimed with a harshness which has caused deep division within the Communist world itself, quite apart from the issues posed for the free world.

The U.S. Stake in Viet-Nam

So what is our stake? What is our commitment in that situation? Can those of us in this room forget the lesson that we had in this issue of war and peace when it was only 10 years from the seizure of Manchuria to Pearl Harbor; about 2 years from the seizure of Czechoslovakia to the outbreak of World War II in Western Europe? Don't you remember the hopes expressed in those days: that perhaps the aggressor will be satisfied by this next bite, and perhaps he will be quiet? Remember that? You remember that we thought that we could put our Military Establishment on short rations and somehow we needn't concern ourselves with peace in the rest of the world. But we found that ambition and appetite fed upon success and the next bite generated the appetite for the following bite. And we learned that, by postponing the issue, we made the result more terrible, the holocaust more dreadful. We cannot forget that experience.

We have a course of aggression proclaimed in Peiping, very clear for all to see, and proclaimed with a militancy which says that their type of revolution must be supported by force and that much of the world is ripe for that kind of revolution. We have very specific commitments-the Manila Pact, ratified by the Senate by a vote of 82 to 1, a pact to which South Viet-Nam is a protocol state. We have the decision of President Eisenhower in 1954 to extend aid. . . "

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