Statement by President Johnson, U.S. and South Vietnamese Leaders Meet at Honolulu, February 6, 1966; Department of State Bulletin, February 28, 1966, p. 303.


Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Volume 4, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971), pp. 640


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". . . We cannot accept their logic that tyranny 10,000 miles away is not tyranny to concern us, or that subjugation by an armed minority in Asia is different from subjugation by an armed minority in Europe. Were we to follow their course, how many nations might fall before the aggressor? Where would our treaties be respected, our word honored, and our commitment believed?

"In the forties and fifties we took our stand in Europe to protect the freedom of those threatened by aggression. If we had not then acted, what kind of Europe might there be today? Now the center of attention has shifted to another part of the world where aggression is on the march and enslavement of free men is its goal.

"Our stand must be as firm as ever. If we allow the Communists to win in Viet-Nam, it will become easier and more appetizing for them to take over other countries in other parts of the world. We will have to fight again someplace else--at what cost no one knows. That is why it is vitally important to every American that we stop the Communists in South Viet-Nam."

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