Johnson: The Agony of Vietnam
- France tries to reclaim some old Imperial glory by recolonizing Vietnam, much to the dismay and anger of said country. They fight back. US supports the French.
–The Viet Minh—led by northern communist Ho Chi Minh
- Geneva and the Two Vietnams: Vietnam split on 17th parallel. N—communist; S—westernized
- Ngo Dinh Diem favored because he was anti-communist. Assassinated when the US let slip that they thought he was getting out of hand.
- Johnson escalates Vietnam to a war when he decides to take advantage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution: “take all necessary measures.”
- The Quagmire (two conflicting strategies)
- “attrition”—strategy based on the belief that the US could inflict so much damage that the other side would give up. Viet Minh has nothing to lose, so :\
- “pacification”—winning the “hearts and minds” of the Viet Cong and everyone. Failed.
- The Tet Offensive: On New Year’s the Vietnamese attacked. The carnage brought a startling new insight on the brutalities of the war. Boosts morale to end the war. Fast.
- LBJ does not dare run again
Nixon introduces “Vietnamization” and “peace with honor”