Address by President Johnson at a Freedom House Dinner at New York, February 23, 1966, "Viet-Nam: The Struggle to Be Free," Department of State Bulletin, March 14, 1966, p. 390.


Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 4, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971), pp. 644


* * *

"Our purpose in Viet-Nam is to prevent the success of aggression. It is not conquest; it is not empire; it is not foreign bases; it is not domination. It is, simply put, just to prevent the forceful conquest of South Viet-Nam by North Viet-Nam."

* * *

"The contest in Viet-Nam is confused and hard, and many of its forms are new. Yet our American purpose and policy are unchanged. Our men in VietNam are there. They are there, as Secretary Dillon [former Secretary of the Treasury Douglas Dillon] told you, to keep a promise that was made 12 years ago. The Southeast Asia Treaty promised, as Secretary John Foster Dulles said for the United States, that 'an attack upon the treaty area would occasion a reaction so united, so strong, and so well placed that the aggressor would lose more than it could hope to gain.'

". . . . But we keep more than a specific treaty promise in Viet-Nam tonight. We keep the faith for freedom.

"Four Presidents have pledged to keep that faith."

* * *


Return to Vinnie's Home Page

Return to Vietnam War Page