I am not going to lose Vietnam.

I am not going to lose Vietnam. I am not going to be the president who saw Southeast Asia go the way China went.

Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1963

We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.

President Lyndon Johnson, 1964

We do this [escalating U.S. military involvement in Vietnam] in order to slow down aggression. We do this to increase the confidence of the brave people of South Vietnam who have bravely born this brutal battle for so many years with so many casualties. And we do this to convince the leaders of North Vietnam—and all who seek to share their conquest—of a simple fact: We will not be defeated. We will not grow tired. We will not withdraw either openly or under the cloak of a meaningless agreement.

President Lyndon Johnson, 1965

We seem bent upon saving the Vietnamese from Ho Chi Minh, even if we have to kill them and demolish their country to do it. I do not intend to remain silent in the face of what I regard as a policy of madness which, sooner or later, will envelop my son and American youth by the millions for years to come.

Senator George McGovern, 1967

Hey, Hey LBJ, How many kids did you kill today?

Anti-war protestors, late 1967.

It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.

AP correspondent Peter Arnett quoting a U.S. major on the decision to bomb and shell Ben Tre after Viet Cong forces overran the city in the Mekong Delta during the Tet Offensive, 1968

For it seems now more certain than ever, that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past.

Newscaster Walter Cronkite, 1968, reporting on what he had learned on a trip to Vietnam in the aftermath of the Tet Offensive.

I shall not seek and I will not accept the nomination of my party as your President.

President Lyndon Johnson, 1968

I refuse to believe that a little fourth-rate power like North Vietnam doesn’t have a breaking point.

Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, 1969

This war has already stretched the generation gap so wide that it threatens to pull the country apart.

Senator Frank Church, 1970

I have asked for this radio and television time tonight for the purpose of announcing that we today have concluded an agreement to end the war and bring peace with honor in Vietnam and in Southeast Asia.

President Richard Nixon, 1973

During the day on Monday, Washington time, the airport at Saigon came under persistent rocket as well as artillery fire and was effectively closed. The military situation in the area deteriorated rapidly. I therefore ordered the evacuation of all American personnel remaining in South Vietnam.

Gerald Ford, (who, as Vice-President, succeeded Richard Nixon when Nixon resigned 1974), in 1975

3 thoughts on “I am not going to lose Vietnam.”

  1. Hindsight is a wonderful thing that illustrates the fog of war. The iron triangle came within three days of being bombed out of existence (everyone dead) – a bit like how the RAF was within a couple of days of being defeated by the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain. Ain’t history great!?

    The there’s the Tet Offensive, seen as a loss, but which again was a total victory for American forces, reducing the North Vietnamese main force so much as make them no longer combat effective for the rest of the war.

    The problem is that American forces should’ve supported Ho Chi Minh, because he was a better bet, and supporting him would’ve brought the North into the American zone of influence, but hindsight is a wonderful thing, but none of us have the necessary foresight to see what the end will look like before it happens.

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