Statement by Arthur J. Goldberg before the U.N. General Assembly on September 22, 1966, "Initiative for Peace"; Department of State Bulletin, October 10, 1966, p. 518.


Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 4, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971), pp. 659-660.


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OUR AFFIRMATIVE AIMS IN VIET-NAM

"It is because of the attempt to upset by violence the situation in Viet-Nam, and its far-reaching implications elsewhere, that the United States and other countries have responded to appeals from South Viet-Nam for military assistance.

"Our aims in giving this assistance are strictly limited.

"We are not engaged in a 'holy war' against communism.

"We do not seek to establish an American empire or a sphere of influence in Asia.

"We seek no permanent military bases, no permanent establishment of troops, no permanent alliances, no permanent American presence of any kind in South Viet-Nam.

"We do not seek to impose a policy of alinement on South Viet-Nam.

"We do not seek to overthrow the Government of North Viet-Nam.

"We do not seek to do any injury to mainland China nor to threaten any of its legitimate interests.

"We do not ask of North Viet-Nam an unconditional surrender or indeed the surrender of anything that belongs to it.

"Nor do we seek to exclude any segment of the South Vietnamese people from peaceful participation in their country's future.

"Let me state affirmatively and succinctly what our aims are.

"We want a political solution, not a military solution, to this conflict. By the same token, we reject the idea that North Viet-Nam has the right to impose a military solution.

"We seek to assure for the people of South Viet-Nam the same right of self-determination--to decide its own political destiny, free of force--that the United Nations Charter affirms for all.

"And we believe that reunification of Viet-Nam should be decided upon through a free choice by the peoples of both the North and the South without outside interference, the results of which choice we are fully prepared to support."

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