"Laos and Viet-Nam--A Prescription for Peace," Address by Secretary Rusk before the American Law Institute, Washington, D.C., 22 May 1964, Department of State Bulletin, 8 June 1964


Source: Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 3, pp. 717-718


"Laos and Viet-Nam--A Prescription for Peace," Address by Secretary Rusk before the American Law Institute, Washington, D.C., 22 May 1964, Department of State Bulletin, 8 June 1964, p. 890:

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Four Alternatives in Vietnam:

You are all aware of the four principal alternatives in South Vietnam which have been referred to in recent discussion. The first would be to withdraw and forget about Southeast Asia. That would mean not only grievous losses to the free world in Southeast and southern Asia but a drastic loss of confidence in the will and capacity of the free world to oppose aggression. It would also bring us much closer to a major conflagration. Surely we have learned, in the course of the last 35 years, that a course of aggression means war and that the place to stop it is at its beginning.

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At the meeing of the Council of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization in Manila last month, seven of the eight members joined in declaring the defeat of the aggression against South Vietnam to be "essential not only to the security of the Republic of Vietnam, but to that of Southeast Asia." And, they said, its defeat will also be convincing proof that communist expansion by such tactics will not be permitted.

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