tv 1966 Fulbright Vietnam Hearings Dean Rusk CSPAN February 28, 2016 4:08pm-5:42pm EST
create enclaves and defend the parts of the country that we still control. and not try to take back everything in the process. general taylor talking about why the realities of the government in south vietnam. none of them know what we know. in fact, some of the books that were written by historians, as we now know, because now they know the end. and even mcnamara went back in the 1990's to meet with the people who had been his opponents, had to confront many of these issues, and he had to rethink his policies and came to the conclusion that the war had been a mistake. so, this takes us back to that time, giving us a chance to see the people who were involved as they try to grapple with creating the policy and the senators who had to decide whether or not they could support or should oppose the policy. >> so here is dean rusk from february 18, 1966. [chatter]
>> i guess that's your water. i don't know. i drink more water than you. senator fulbright: would the committee come to order. we are very pleased this morning to have our distinguished secretary of state dean rusk. he's one of the most dedicated and hard-working public servants as i have ever known. i am also personally pleased to have you mr. secretary and i enjoy our meetings, even though on occasion we have had different views on affairs. as everyone knows, you appeared in public session already. about two weeks ago, and as much as i like listening to you, i was hopeful that we might have cooperation with the administration to the point where we could have at least two official witnesses who might
help us develop for the american people, and the congress, the facts and policies about vietnam. as you know, the vietnamese war has become a major affair. the secretary of defense has declined to appear in public session, according to the washington post, which is sometimes reliable, the vice president has declined to appear. it says he will not appear. i would like to ask you before your opening statement, is a confirmed decision of this administration that you are to be the only official spokesman in these hearings? dean rusk: the administrator of aid, mr. bell, and i have both appeared. i am, of course, here today. if the committee wishes to continue these hearings and have other spokesmen from the administration, i am sure that there would be others who could appear, certainly my department.
i think the committee is familiar with the issue raised, a matter of certain military information in open session. but, i am not innocent in saying that i am the only witness available today. sen. fulbright: i want to clear that up. i requested secretary ball to appear last week and he informed me that he was instructed not to appear. i assume from that that you are the only spokesman that they wished to appear for the administration. dean rusk: as you know, i was away at the time. i wished myself to make the first and major presentation for the administration for the department of state on these larger aspects. sen. fulbright: mr. secretary, i am to understand that if the committee has not taken the decision, it will meet on monday, i believe, to discuss this. the other official witnesses from the executive might be available? dean rusk: that is my understanding, mr. chairman.
but we will have a chance to discuss that with you and members of the committee in due course. sen. fulbright: mr. secretary, since our last meeting, which i believe was two weeks ago, you gave us a very thorough fill in on the vietnamese situation, in particular. there are three developments which i hope you will address in your opening remarks, if you'll be so kind as to do so. first, we would like very much to know how far our commitments to general keen have gone in honolulu. how firm they are with his determination never to negotiate the national liberation front. how many troops we have promised him and how much money. two, i would like to know what kind of commitments the administration authorized the vice president to make in his extended trip to the nation. especially whether in return for the $100 million loan, the indians will be required to send troops to vietnam and the same with regard to the other countries in which he is apparently authorized to make
and extend loans. three, i would like to know what general degaulle really said in his letter to our government about the war in vietnam. as recorded again in the washington post this morning. to be more specific, i would like to know what general degaulle actually said that the vietnamese war is leading nowhere and that it is absurd. this was stated in the washington post. it seems to me that we in the public are entitled to know if that is true. if somebody leaked it or give it to the press, and i understand that this is a private letter, but nonetheless it is appearing in public that this is what he said. i hope that you will enlighten the committee in your opening remarks about these matters which have developed since you thoroughly briefed us two weeks ago.
with that introduction, mr. secretary, will you proceed -- do you have a prepared statement? dean rusk: yes, i do, mr. chairman. sen. fulbright: memorize it or read it. >> i may have to come to one or two of the questions you raised after i finish my prepared statement because i did not cover does and what i plan to say at the beginning. >> i mentioned them only because they are the only things you have last testified. sen. fulbright: i would be pleased to have your comment on other issues. i was only trying to suggest that we need not cover the same testimony because you made those in public. suggest only trying to we not cover the same testimony because the other information was not public. mr. chairman, the immediate occasion for these hearings was a request by the president for a supplemental appropriation of $415 million, of which sum was
-- of which a part was for south vietnam. mr. david bell, the administrator of aid, and i both already testified on this particular request. but these hearings, as the chairman has pointed out, also entered into the largest and most far-reaching aspects of our interest and involvement in southeast asia. for my part, i welcome this opportunity to appear before the committee to discuss with you these larger issues. since world war ii, which projected the united states in the role of a major world power, we americans have had to face a series of difficult tasks and trials. on the whole, we have faced them very well. today, we are facing another ordeal in southeast asia, which again is costing us lives and treasure. south vietnam is a long way from the united states. and the issues posed, they seem
remote from our daily experience and our immediate interests. it is essential that we clearly understand and so far as possible agree on our mission and purpose in that faraway land. why are we in vietnam? certainly we are not there merely because we have power and like to use it. we do not regard ourselves as the policemen of the universe. we do not go around the world looking for quarrels in which we can intervene. quite the contrary. we have recognized that as we are not the armed forces of the universe, neither are we a magistrate of the universe. if other governments, other institutions, or other regional organizations can find solutions to the quarrels which disturb this present scene, we are anxious to have this occur. but we are in vietnam because the issues they are very deeply intertwined with our own security. and because the outcome of the
struggle can profoundly affect the nature of the world in which we and our children will live. the situation we face in southeast asia is complex. but in my view, the underlying issues are simple and are utterly fundamental. i am confident that americans who have a deep and material understanding of world responsibility are fully capable of cutting through the underbrush of complexity and finding the simple issues which involve our largest interest and the deepest purposes. i regard it a privilege to discuss these problems with the committee this morning, to consult with you, and try to clarify for the american people the issues we must squarely face. i do not approach this task on the assumption that anybody, anywhere, has all the answers. or that all wisdom belongs to the executive branch of the government, or even to the
government itself. the questions at issue affects the well-being of all americans and i am confident that all americans will make up their own mind in the tradition of a free and independent people. yet those of us who have special responsibilities for the conduct of our foreign policy have had to think hard and deeply about these problems for a very long time. the president, his cabinet colleagues, and the congress, who share the weightiest responsibilities under the constitutional system, have come to certain conclusions that form the basis for the policies we are pursuing. perhaps it is worth pointing out that those who are officially responsible for the conduct of our public affairs must make decisions and must make decisions among existing alternatives. none of us in the executive or legislative branch has fulfilled
merely bysibilities forming an opinion. we are required to decide what this nation shall do and shall not do. and are required to accept consequences of our determinations. what are our world security interests involved in the security of vietnam? they cannot be seen clearly in terms of southeast asia only. or merely in terms of the events of the past few months. we must view the problem in perspective. we must recognize that what we are seeking to achieve in south vietnam is part of a process that has continued for a long time. a process of preventing the expansion and extension of communist domination by the use of force against the weaker nations on the perimeter of communist power. this is the problem as it looks to us. nor do the communist themselves see the problem in isolation. they see the struggle in south vietnam as part of a larger
design for the steady extension of communist power through force and threat. i have observed in the course of the hearings that some objection has been raised for the use of the term communist aggression. it seems to me that we should not confuse ourselves or the people, by turning our eyes away from what that phrase means. the underlying crisis of this postwar period turned about a major struggle on the major very nature of the political world. before the guns were silent in world war ii, many governments sat down and thought long and hard about the structure of international lines. the kind of world in which we to try and build and wrote the ideas into the united nations charter. that charter establishes an international society of independent states, large and small, entitled to their own national existence, entitled to
be free from aggression, cooperating freely across national frontiers and common interests, and resolving disputes by peaceful means. but the communist world returned to its demand for what it calls a world revolution. a world of coercion against the charter of united nations. there may be differences within the communist world about methods and techniques, and leadership within the world itself, but they share a common attachment to their world revolution. and to its support, through what they call wars of liberation. what we face in vietnam is what we have faced before. the need to check the extension of communist power in order to maintain a reasonable stability in a precarious world. that stability was achieved in the years after the war, by the valor of free nations defending the integrity of postwar
territorial arrangements. and we have achieved stability for the last decade and a half. it must not be overthrown now. like so many of our problems today, the struggle in south vietnam stems from the disruption of two world wars. the second world war completed a process begun by the first. it ripped apart a structure of power that existed for 100 years. it set in train new forces and energies that have remade the map of the world. not only did it weaken the nations actively engaged into fighting, but it had far-reaching secondary effects. it undermined the foundations of the colonial structures through which a handful of powers controlled one third of the world's population. and the winds of change and progress that have blown fiercely during the last 20 years, have toppled those structures almost completely.
meanwhile, the communist nations have exploited the turmoil of a time of transition in an effort to extend communist control into other areas of the world. the united states first faced the menace of communist ambition in europe, when one after another the nations on the boundaries of the soviet union fell under the dominion of moscow through the presence of the red army. --check this title wave, tidal wave, the united states provided the marshall plan to strengthen the nations of western europe. then moved to organize with those nations a collective security system through nato. as a result, the advances of soviet power was stopped and the soviet union gradually adjusted policies to the situation. but within a year after the establishment of nato, the communists took over china. this posed a new and serious threat.
particularly, for those new nations of the far east that had been formed out of colonial empires. the problem in asia were different from those in europe. but the result was much the same, instability and uncertainty and vulnerability to both the bully and the aggressor. western europe, with established governmental and socialist institutions, recovered quickly. but new nations of asia, particularly those who have not known self-government for a century or more, continue to face a far more formidable problem which they still face. the first test came in korea, when the united nations forces, predominantly american, stopped the drive of communist north korea, supported by material aid from the soviet union. it stopped the chinese army that followed. it brought to a halt the communist effort to push out the line that had been drawn and to
establish communist control over the korean peninsula. we fought the korean war, which like the struggle in vietnam, occurred in a remote area thousands of miles away to -- principalsible vital to the freedom and security of america. the principle that the communist world should not be permitted to expand by overrunning one after another, the arrangements bill during and since the war, to mark the outer limits of communist expansion by force. before the korean war had ended, the united states, under president truman moved to settle and consolidate the situation in the pacific through a peace treaty with japan and through bilateral security treaties with japan and the philippines and through the treaty with australia and new zealand.
hardly had the war been finished, when fighting happened in indochina, decided to really question presence in southeast asia. after a brief negotiation, he came to terms with communist forces that had captured the nationalist movement. the result was the division of indochina into four parts, a kingdom of cambodia, laos, vietnam divided into two at the 17th parallel, between the communist forces in the north and non-communist forces in the south. recognizing that the communists theirt abandoned ambitions, the united states government under president eisenhower took steps to secure the situation by further alliances. bilateral treaties were concluded with the republic of korea and the republic of china. in the middle east the so-called northern tier of countries lined to the south of the soviet union entered into the baghdad pact, which established the central treaty organization.
the united states did not become a formal member of the alliance, which is comprised of turkey and great britain, iran and pakistan, but we are closely associated with them and have bilateral and military assistance agreements with regional members, concluded by the eisenhower administration. in order to give support to the nations of southeast asia, the united states took the lead in the creation of an alliance embodied in a treaty and reinforced by collective security systems, the southeast asia treaty organization. in this alliance, the united states joined with great britain, france, australia, new zealand, thailand, pakistan and the philippines to give security to the member nations, but also to come to the aid of certain protocol states and territories if they so requested. south vietnam was included in this protocol. the united states had not been a party to the agreement made in
geneva in 1954, which france had concluded where the communist vietnamese forces were known as the vietnam. but the undersecretary of state stated under instructions that the u.s. would not disturb the agreements and it would view the renewal of the aggression with grave concern and as seriously threatening international peace and security. undersecretary smith's statement was a unilateral declaration, but in joining seato, the united states took a treaty engagement of far-reaching effect. article four, paragraph one, provides that each party recognizes that aggression by means of armed attack would endanger its own peace and safety, and agrees that it will in that event, act to meet the common danger in accordance with the constitutional processes. it is this fundamental
obligation, that has from the outset, guided our actions in south vietnam. the language of the treaty is worth careful attention. the obligation it imposes is not only joint, but several, not only collective, but individual. the finding that an armed attack has occurred does not have to be made by collective determination, before the obligation of each member becomes operative. nor does it require collective organization to meet the common danger. if the u.s. determines that an armed attack has occurred on any nation to whom the treaty applies, then it is obligated to meet the common danger without regard to the views and actions of other treaty members. the far-reaching implications of this commitment were well understood by the committee when
it recommended that the senate consent to the ratification of the treaty. the report states in its conclusion the committee is not an purpose to the risks with which this treaty entails. it fully appreciates that acceptance of these additional obligations commits the u.s. to a course of action over a vast expanse of the pacific. yet these risks are consistent with our own highest interests. there are greater risks in not advising potential enemy of what he can expect of us. also failing to disabuse them of assumptions. following this recommendation, the senate gave its advice and consent to the treaty. it was a vote of 82-1. our obligation had been reinforced by a series of
commitments to the government of south vietnam. in october of 1954, president eisenhower wrote to the president offering to assist the government of vietnam in developing and maintaining a strong and viable state attempt capable of resisting subversion or aggression by military means. 1957, they issued a joint statement which called attention to the large buildup of vietnamese courses -- forces and stated, noting that the republic of vietnam is covered by article four of the collective defense treaty, president eisenhower agreed this would endanger peace and stability.
in august of 1961, president kennedy declared the united states is determined the republic of vietnam shall not be lost to the communists. president kennedy wrote to the president, declaring the end of the geneva conference in 1954. the president further stated he was willing to protect the republic of vietnam. this commitment has been reaffirmed many times sense. these of the commitments we have taken to protect self vietnam. -- south vietnam. we have sent american forces to fight in the jungles of that country. because south vietnam has under the language of the treaty the victim of aggression by armed attacks, there can be no
serious question about the existence and nature of this aggression. it is an attack against the people of south vietnam. regime hasietnamese saw to confuse the issue by making their oppression seem an indigenous revolt. this is a familiar communist practice. impeded in their efforts to extend their power by the use of classical forms of force such as the invasion of korea, the communists have developed a doctrine for so-called wars of national liberation to cloak their aggression and ambiguity. a war of national liberation in the communists lexicon, depends on the tactics of terror and sabotage, subversion.
it has a particular utility for them since it gives advantage to a ruthless minority. at the same time, the communists have a more subtle recent for favoring this type of aggression. ambiguity a defensive and exploit their own advantage. yet in spite of communist efforts to confuse the issue of the nature of the conflict in south vietnam, it is very clear. let me review the facts. with the benefit of hindsight, no one can doubt if agreeing to the accord, they expected the regime expected in a relatively short. period, the south vietnamese would fall into their control.
the south seemed overburdened with problems. having seen the true face of coming is him, many fled south. the north had concealed resources in the south. at the time of the accords, many communists fighting the vietnam had been directed by the party in hanoi to stay in the south. to hide their arms and devote their efforts to undermining the south mutinies government. these efforts of subversion were initially quite unsuccessful. much to the dismay of the hanoi regime, south vietnam made substantial progress despite the with the problems that faced while north vietnam lacked behind. communist leaders in north vietnam were forced to conclude that more active measures were necessary if they subversion of south vietnam were to succeed.
during the five years following the geneva conference, the hanoi regime developed a secret political military organization inside south vietnam based on , those who had been ordered to stay in the south. and many of these were directed towards of civilians. more than 1000 civilians were murdered or kidnapped from 1957-1959. in 1960 alone, terrorists assassinated 1400 and local government officials. they kidnapped 700 others, while armed guerrillas killed 2200. in september of 1960, the party, the communist party of north vietnam held its third party congress in hanoi. that congress called for the creation of a front organization to undertake the subversion of south vietnam.
the nationalafter, liberation front was established to provide a political facade for the conduct of an active guerrilla war. beginning in 1960, the regime begin to infiltrate in south vietnam. in the intervening time, these men had been trained in the arts of sabotage and subversion. they were ordered to conscript young men from the villages and to form cadres around which guerrilla units could be built. all of this was documented by the legal committee. that body is composed of indian, polish, and canadian members. the legal committee reported in show there is evidence to
that armed munitions and other supplies have been sent from the zone in the north to the zone in the south with the objective to supporting, organizing and carrying out hostile activities including armed attacks against the armed forces and administrations of the south. there is evidence that the army has allowed this to be used for inciting, encouraging and supporting hostile activities in the south aimed to overthrow the administration of the south. that is the end of the quotation. to 1961,hree-year time the north vietnam regime infiltrated 10,000 men into the south. in 1962, 13,000 additional personnel were infiltrated. by the end of 1964, north vietnam may well have moved unarmed000 armed and guerrillas into south vietnam.
the communists exhausted their reservoir of southerners who had gone south. north. most recently, hanoi has begun to infiltrate parts of the army in large numbers. today, there is evidence there are regiments of the regular army in the south. packs --viewed these facts which are familiar to most of you. these facts demonstrate the question that the war in vietnam is as much of an act of outside aggression as though the hanoi had sent an army across. this point is important since it goes to the heart of our own involvement. much of the confusion over the
south of vietnam has arisen over a failure to understand this aspect of the conflict. if the war were merely in indigenous revolt, the u.s. would not have their troops in south vietnam. but the evidence is overwhelming it is different. a systematic aggression by an hanoi against the people of south vietnam. it is a further effort to take over the people of the other half at the point of a gun and against their will. up to this point, i have tried to describe the nature of our commitments in south vietnam and why we have made them. i have sought to put them within the framework of our larger effort, to prevent the communists from upsetting the arrangements which have been the basis for our security. these policies have sometimes been attacked.
they have been attacked as static and sterile. it has been argued they do not take into account the changes in the world. these contentions seem to miss the point. the line of policy we are following involves far more than a defense of the status quo. it speaks to the best degree of security necessary, if change and progress are to take -- consentce and not through coercion. movement is occurring on both sides of the iron curtain. -- communismday today is to longer monolithic, wears more than one face. clearly one of the major political facts of our time. there has been substantial
change in movement within the soviet union as well as. perhaps even more in the countries of eastern europe. these changes have not been inhibited because of our efforts to maintain the postwar arrangements by organizing the western alliance. they have taken place because of internal developments as well, and because the communist regime in moscow has recognized the western alliance cannot permit it to extend its dominance by force. over time, the same process will hopefully work in the far east. they must learn they cannot redraw the boundaries of the world by force. what we are pursuing is not a static concept. unlike the communists, we do believe in social revolution and not merely as power cloaked as revolution. we believe in constructive change and imperatives, that was the meaning of president johnson's conference, to
encourage the south vietnamese government to transform the country to bring about a better life for all of the people. in meeting our commitments to south vietnam, using substantial military force, at the same time we are making it quite clear to north vietnam into the world that our forces are being employed for a limited and well-defined objectives. vietnam isk in south to bring about a restoration of the conditions contemplated by the accords of 1954. we seek to restore the integrity of the agreement that was made between the french government and the communist forces, a settlement that was joined in by the united kingdom, communist china, the soviet union and cambodia. unfortunately, the limited nature of our purpose is foreign to the philosophies of the communist world.
it may be hard for them to realize the u.s. seeks no territorial advantage. we do not wish to maintain our troops in that area, and as long as that is necessary to support the south vietnamese people, we want no permanent military bases. we are not asking that the government ally itself with us or be beholden to us. we wish only that the people of south vietnam should have the right and ability to determine their future and freedom without coercion or threat from the outside. four months we have done everything possible to make clear to the regime and hanoi that a political solution is the proper course. regime and prepare to call off the aggression in the south, peace would common in
almost a matter of hours. when that occurs, the people of north vietnam can safely go about their business, for we do not seek to destroy the hanoi regime or force the people of except anyam to force an other forms of government. under conditions of peace, we would be prepared for the north vietnamese people to share with the other people in southeast asia economic and technical help that we are extending on a regional basis to that area. this is a simple message that we have tried to convey to annoy. -- the hanoiany regime within many channels. we have sought in every way to impress upon the coming this world the ease at which peace could be obtained if only hanoi were willing. i know of no occasion were so much attention has been devoted in an effort to bring about a political solution to a costly
and dangerous war. i know you and members of the committee are generally familiar with that record. to this point, the sounds of the other side have been harsh and negative. the regime and hanoi has been unwilling to accept any of the possibilities open to it for discussion. all we have heard is the constant insistence that they will not negotiate unless we accept in advance their four points. ,et the effect of those points would be to give away the very purposes for which we are fighting and to deliver the people of south vietnam against their will to the domination of a communist regime. to understand the situation realistically, we shell not underestimate the harshness of the communist side or overestimate the ease and political solution.
from time to time, we have suggested that we should seek the geneva conference or enlist the officers of the cochairman take the problem to the united nations. we have done all of these things, and in most cases we have done them repeatedly with no resolve. we have heard it suggested also by governments and individuals on both sides of the iron curtain, that no peace was possible so long as american planes were flying bombing missions over north vietnam, but that negotiations might be possible if the bombing was discontinued. we did this twice. it more than 37 days and again came with no response. certainly, we should do everything consistent with our national objectives to seek a solution through diplomacy. thee is no doubt for
elements of an honorable peace as we see it. most recently, we have summarized it with 14 points. the geneva agreements are an adequate basis for peace in southeast asia. we would welcome a conference on southeast asia or any part thereof. we would welcome negotiations without preconditions. we would welcome unconditional discussions as president johnson put it. a cessation of hostilities could be the first order of business. hanoi's four points could be discussed along with other points which others might wish to propose. we want no u.s. bases in southeast asia. we do not wish to retain troops after peace. we support free elections in
south vietnam to get the south vietnamese government of their own choice. the question of the reunification of vietnam should be just -- should be determined by their own decision. the countries of southeast asia can be nonaligned or neutral if that be their option. we would much prefer to use our resources for the economic reconstruction of southeast asia rather than war. amounte is peace, the could participate in a regional effort where we be prepared to get at least $1 billion. the viet cong would not have trouble getting their views represented. there is not been the slightest suggestion from the other side as to what they would do if the bombing stopped.
there has not been the slightest hint of suggestion of this however. these 14 points are and have been on the public record. our government has made clear what kind of peace we are prepared to accept. a piece that will guarantee the security of south vietnam. a piece that will stop aggression and violate national agreements and international law. this is the position we have made known to the other side, both directly and through intermediaries. how does this compare with the position of the hanoi regime? they have repeatedly rejected our proposed discussion. they have insisted instead, before any discussions can take place, our side must agree in advance to the four points of hanoi's program. the words they have used our different from formulation to formulation. sometimes they have said that their points are the sole basis for negotiations to sometimes, basis.st correct asu
what they are insisting on, is that we take their position and then discuss only the ways in which it shall be given effect. the technique of demanding agreement in advance is a familiar communist tactic. it does not mean that the basic points are open for discussion. or that they can be loosely interpreted. it means just what it says. we have subjects of these points to scrutiny. what do they reveal? the first point calls for the recognition of the fundamental national rights of the vietnamese people. sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity. it also calls for the withdrawal of u.s. forces, dismantling military bases, and abolishing our military alliance with the south vietnamese. the u.s. has made clear we are prepared to support a restoration of the geneva agreements and are prepared to
withdraw troops once there is compliance with the accords by all parties. we said we do not expect will require a military alliance with the free south vietnam. the second point relates to the military clause of the geneva agreement. point provides the issue of peaceful reunification should be settled by the vietnamese people without our intervention. this we can accept if it is clearly understood that conditions must be created both for the north and south that would make it possible for truly free elections to be held. it is in the third point that the core of the communist position is as close. affairsdes the internal of south vietnam must be settled by the people themselves in accordance with the program of the national liberation front.
to understand the significance of this point, it is necessary not only to examine what is meant by the program of the national liberation front but to explore the character of the front itself and the purpose it serves for the north vietnamese regime. let's turn first to the front itself. both regimes have made it clear again and again and joined by other communist powers that negotiations will be possible only when the united states recognizes the national liberation front as the sole , genuine representative of the south vietnamese people. what are the implications of this proposal? why are the communists urging it so insistently? the evidence is overwhelming that the national liberation front is exactly what its name implies. a communist front organization intended to give support to the deliberate fiction that the war
in vietnam is an indigenous revolt. this is an invention of the communist party of north vietnam, to serve as a political cloak for its activity in the south. as a noted earlier, after the military leader announced -- the individuals are not widely known to the vietnamese people either in the north or south. to suggest they represent the aspirations of the vietnamese people is absurd. the significant fact is at no time has any single individual or political significance it vietnam, adhere to the front of its policies. while south vietnamese leaders and groups may differ on how the country is to be led, none of them differs on the fact that the front does not speak for them.
in 1961, hanoi sought to ction of thehe fis indigenous origins by creating a seemingly independent communist party. if therefore established the people's revolutionary party. it advised party members that the people's revolutionary party has only the appearance of an independent existence. actually, our party is nothing but the party of north vietnam unified from north to south by the central executive committee. during these explanations, take care to keep this secret, especially in south vietnam so the enemy does not perceive our purpose. the people's revolutionary party has not concealed its role. stated it is the dominant element.
committeehe vietnam of the south went even further, stating in time the communist party would act overtly to leave the revolution in south vietnam. in other words, they have told their followers, that at the proper moment, then the cast off the disguise of the national liberation front. and so they have a clear purpose insisting we recognize the national liberation front as the sole representative of the south vietnamese people. for them, this is not a procedural question but a major question of substance. they insist on a recognition of the front as the sole spokesman for the people of south vietnam. since our acceptance of the front in that capacity, would in effect it mean our acceptance of of thenist position indigenous nature of the conflict, and thus our acceptance of a settlement on hanoi's terms, which would mean delivering south vietnam into
the control of the coming this communist north. we have not asserted nor do we assert an unreasoning attitude with regard to the front. the president said we will meet at any conference table and discuss any proposals. we will consider the views of any group. that includes the front along with other groups. to the extent that the front has any validity as a group, the views of that group can be heard in the issues of the liberation front. it should not prove an insurmountable problem. it remains a problem because hanoi insists on using it to establish its own substantive issue. the significance of this issue is clearly seen when one examines the program of the national liberation front as it was announced on january 29,
a61 and revise and amplified second time on february 11 of that same year. the first point of this program discloses the full communist intention. it calls for the overthrow of the south vietnamese government and the establishment of a coalition government for which the government in saigon would be overthrown. the hanoi regime is demanding the following preconditions to which the united states must agree before the coming us will, to negotiations. -- will come to negotiations. first, that the south vietnamese government be overthrown. second, that the liberation front be accepted as the sole bargaining representative of the people. and that south vietnam be put under the control of a communist government from which the government would be excluded. may i conclude, therefore, with certain simple point which are
at the heart of the problem and u.s. policy in south vietnam. first, the elementary fact is there is an aggression in the form of an armed attack by north vietnam against south vietnam. second, the united states has commitments to assist south vietnam to repel this aggression. third, our commitments to south vietnam were not taken in isolation but are a part of a systematic effort in a postwar time to assure a state of peace. fourth, the issue in southeast asia becomes more wide because it must keep his word wherever it has pledged. nation is more interested in it vietnam then the united states. peace could come quickly. from every channel or forum or contact or discussion for
mr. chairman, you asked me to,e s, if you in question would be good enough to repeat them, sir? there was one question that i might comment upon, and that is the situation as a result of the honolulu meeting the announced attitude, i believe i have quotes from the paper of general attituderegards to his nlfrds negotiating with the , that was one question you recall. how do you reconcile that with the statements you have made with our willingness to negotiate with them and if they would be willing to?
mr. chairman, that particular statement was made as aresult of several attempts him answer aake categorical question. ministernolulu, prime keane was keenly aware of the fact that ho chi minh and the communist government had cleared that the recognition of the front as a sole representative of the people of south vietnam was a prerequisite to any political solution. prime minster keane is leading a nation at war. all of his people are at the front line. the villagers as well as the soldiers, the local officials as well as high officials in saigon are subject to assassination.
he has the subject of which he cannot promise the piece next week or next month. iti think we can understand that he could not indicate to his own people that he felt that there was a prospect for early peace through negotiation of the experience that he and we had had during this bit of a pause. set on this has been discussed thoroughly with him and his government. the present offer was discussed back in april with the selfie in his government. i do not believe myself that this is a difference of substance if hanoi shows itself capable of stopping its aggression and showing some interest in peace.
mi to understand that attitude would be under no circumstances to negotiate with the national liberation front is not accepted by our government? sec. rusk: i think that we ought isnote that although this whenprime minister ky said he was pressed on this exact same question six times, and he was trying to point out that the liberation front was misnamed and that it was not a liberation front. when he was pressed on it, he gave that categorical answer. now the circumstances would be drastically changed if hanoi indicated an interest in peace and i have no doubt that those
circumstances would be reviewed by everybody concerned if they developed in that direction and we would see where they would go on that point. chairman: how can you expect any development in any direction when we appear to have taken such an attitude? i don't see how any developer and can come about. sec. rusk: mr. chairman, i am adamant that the attitude has to do with one particular and specific, limited point. we are not asking anything from shootingept to stop their neighbors in laos and selfie and him -- and south vietnam. we are not asking them to give of an acre of territory or give up a single individual nor to change their form of government. all we are asking to do is that they stopped sending armed men and guards contrary to
international agreement and international law into self -- into south vietnam. i have asked them to stop shooting and -- i have seen remarks saying is that asking them to stop shooting is asking them to surrender unconditionally. we are not asking them to do such a thing. that, i wouldn suggest that somebody better be adamant. we have a series of -- chairman: i don't make myself clear. i don't wish to interrupt you. the purpose of some of us is to get this matter to a conference table. sec. rusk: that is our purpose, mr. chairman. chairman: we certainly haven't made much progress and if this is a sticking point as to whether or not they should be admitted to the conference, everything we have had in testimony of the viet cong
institute the major fighting force in south vietnam. sec. rusk: the combined viet cong the enemies forces -- viet cong vietnamese forces. chairman: the only thing we are interested in is seeing if this can be brought to some kind of negotiating table. if this is a sticking point, may be one obstacle. we have to get over this obstacle. itt is why i wish to bring up and if he could clarify whether we would change our position with regard to being willing to sit at a conference representative of the viet cong. sec. rusk: mr. chairman, may i comment on that point? chairman: yes.
sec. rusk: what the president thatlast line indicated the viet cong and its views should not present a super obstacle. for us to negotiate the details of that point, even here in this room or with the press or with other governments who have no capability of stopping the shooting is somewhat beside the point. if hanoi had come to the conference table, that is the kind of thing that could be discussed among other things. standarde see a double , pretty widespread in the world , which affects this problem of the effort made to bring this effort to a political solution. exhausted states has almost every procedure, every
idea. we have traveled all over the world. we have tried to get the assistance of 17 neutral nations. the secretary of the u.n., the secretary of wealth, the president of india, the president of ghana, we made decisions, we made private contacts with hanoi. in other words, what we have been saying is, why don't you come to the table and we could see if there is a basis for peace. not unless you recognize that the liberation front has a soul spokesman for the south vietnamese people. chairman: i never understood what they said with the sole spokesman. are you quite certain that they said if you have a negotiation, it will only be with a representative of the national liberation front? in a ho chi minh letter to the head of the economy nist government, they represent -- they recognize the
-- letter to the head of the vietnamese government, they recognize the head as the sole representative. chairman: the other two points, i wonder if you could tell us about this letter. it was in the paper this morning. whatever you can tell us about it. chairman, i am not sure. i think that is a dispatch from paris. chairman: well i read it in "the morning post." sec. rusk: that was a dispatch from paris and that tends to suggest it was not us for a change, it was a leaking. if he is some adjectives in that dispatch, i did not recognize them, it would not be for me to disclose the specific contents of the communication, but the situation in france is pretty well-known.
they think a settlement on the basis of the geneva accord, so do we, they think that the problems ought to be solved by political means, we certainly prefer that, they do not think that the time is right and the time for such political discussions, or they do not see any particular steps that they themselves can take at this particular moment to bring this matter to the conference table. did not find anything in the letter that justified this word severe. chairman: if my memory serves me right, we can get it, it's's "this war is leading nowhere and this war is absurd." are really the culprits in this, they were of a origin, power, in our our original involvement came in response to their request that -- that weort them
support them to maintain their colonial influence. you testified before it and you were in the department at the time that this took place. is that correct? sec. rusk: yes sir -- yes, sir. is to be so if anyone qualified to make a judgment about the character of these people, and if anyone is to have any intimate relation with them in their colonial capacity for, years, well, we can compare the text with ho chi minh. his reply to mr. johnson says that the goal is beyond reproach , "not only for having rigged the results against the north, but also in assisting in an intervention. the vietnamese alone are qualified to find a resolution to their problems." chairman, that
story is highly inaccurate -- chairman: well, that is what i wanted to know. sec. rusk: it is not my privilege to prove my statement 's putting president de gaulle letter in the paper here. that story doesn't bear any resemblance to the letter that i have seen. chairman: the last paragraph with"that an american met mr. degaulle a short time ago" and "this war is absurd, it is leading to nothing, but i know the responsibilities of anyone at the head of great state. i can imagine and i can understand president johnson's problem." i wanted to know, is it inaccurate and untrue? sec. rusk: it is inaccurate and it is untrue. chairman: what about the third vice president
kennedy, i mean humphrey, i am sorry. vice president humphrey who is traveling into a number of countries. saidaper also this morning that he has made an authorized a loan, i believe, of $100 million to india. me rather out of channels. it isn't the usual responsibility of the president of the senate and the vice president of the united states to go about making such commitments. would you explain this? sec. rusk: mr. chairman, these two loans that were announced on the vice president's visit were allotments,loans, and the funds provided for this fiscal year. as you know, certain activities and economic assistance field began to mark time at the time
of the india-pakistan fighting. since then, there has been the cashmere agreement and -- the agreement and we have been in both india and pakistan and the negotiations on these particular loans will continue on the usual channels. but these loans are to aid primarily to facilitate the import of certain spare parts and other goods to get the industrial sector of the onomies's -- ec going full beat again. the vice president, the release of these funds, were announced while he was there. chairman: are there any conditions that are not public in regards to these loans? sec. rusk: no, sir, the loans are of the type of which this committee are fully familiar. chairman: you had said that one
of the components in the commitment to vietnam was to approve by congress each year the aid program. you repeated this in a speech in las vegas on wednesday. we have before us supplemental request for authorization. do you consider that we are making similar commitments to all 53 countries for which we provide military aid? sec. rusk: no, sir, i do not. the commitments are, as far as vietnam is concerned, center on the treaty in which i discussed in my opening statements. chairman: you did state that in regards to the aid program. sec. rusk: no, the cabinet was there and president eisenhower began in 1954 and '55 to provide assistance to self -- to south vietnam to create a viable state
outside aggression. that bilateral aid was a reinforcement of purposes of the treaty and the general attitude of the country and of the government has been consistent throughout this period. the most recent, formal affirmation of the same policy was, of course, the resolution of the congress in 1964. and i would think that the economic and military assistance that we have given to south vietnam over the years has been consistent with the purposes stated both in the preamble of our resolution and the resolution itself. chairman: then in case i do not the policies being followed in vietnam, then i am forced to vote against this authorization if i accept that as a proper interpretation, wouldn't it? sec. rusk: mr. chairman, i believe --
chairman: [indiscernible] others wouldknow consider very seriously the declaration of congress made in august of 1964. section ii of that resolution vital to it is the united states the international peace in southeast asia. and it indicated that the united to take allepared necessary steps, including the use of armed force, any member or protocol state of the southeast asia defense treaty in defense of its freedom. in 1964 and is entirely consistent with southeast asia's treaty on the same subject that was passed after an overwhelming vote in the senate and ratified in 1955. simpleicy lines are very
and repeatedly affirmed by presidents and by the congress. so i would hope that you would take into full account the continuity of policy and the problem of turning aside from that policy under present conditions. secretary, i wish these things were fairly simple to me as they are to you. it must be to my own obtuseness. we will discuss this later. the senator from alabama. >> secretary, first i want to commend you for the statements you have made. i think it is the clearest statement that i have seen made during the whole course of the discussion of this vietnam situation. i think it is good for the american people to have this statement. by the way, do you believe that these hearings have a useful purpose to serve and clear the
american people of the facts? sec. rusk: i have always met with the committee and i believe this question could clarify many issues here. mr. sparkman: i think you have done that this morning in your statement. you have made certain, specific emphasizet i want to and that is the nature of the viet cong. i think you have given us the fullest explanation we have had yet of the connection of the viet cong with north vietnam and the direction under which they are operating. because we are hearing more and more about this being simply a civil war and that we have been intervening in it.
it is clearly is not civilly a civil war, is it? sec. rusk: it is certainly not, senator, and may i say that had it not been for the infiltration of large numbers of men and large quantities of arms from vietnam,nan into south i do not believe there would be any combat forces in south vietnam today. mr. sparkman: the buildup has been rather constant and consistent, hasn't it? sec. rusk: beginning with the several thousand hard-core, trained agents left behind, rather than regroup to the north as the agreements call for in 1954. mr. sparkman: i think you also have certainly emphasized and elaborated on the willingness of our country to negotiate. of peoplegreat deal talking about this matter,
saying we ought to negotiate, we ought to settle this thing, we ought to get to the conference table. haven't we try just about everything that we can think of to get to the conference table? sec. rusk: we have, senator, and we are continuing to try. none of the channels have been closed. other governments as well as we are continuing to be active in this as well as the security council and are now consulting on what may be done in this direction. the problem of negotiation verybly turns on a very, key point, and that is whether or not hanoi is prepared to drawback from its desire to take over south vietnam by force. is if it decides that it prepared to drawback, it might decide to drawback and simply stop doing what it is doing or come to a conference table. but i have seen relatively
little chance that they are going to come to the conference table until they do decide that they will drawback by trying to take over by force. mr. sparkman: we hear from time to time that this ought to be referred to the united nations. have we tried that channel? sec. rusk: the matter is before the united nations at the present time. mr. sparkman: and this was once before, too, wasn't it? sec. rusk: there have been a number of other occasions in which the question was before the u.n.. -- the u.n. vetoy of 1954, there was a of the thailand resolution by the security council that rejected a he's commission to investigate a threat in cambodia by vietnamese troops in those country -- that country. this game again in front of the security council in 1959.
the security council dispatched an investigative mission but the security council took no other action. assembly vote an on human rights and that was investigated the cousin our friends and our people cooperate when this sort of a thing comes about. cambodia complaint to the security council in may of 1964. but the security council took no action when cambodia rejected the report. ourselvesof 1964, we took it to the security council, and at that time, you recall, the soviet representative moved that the representatives of hanoi as well as saigon be invited to come to the table. we supported that invitation. hanoi refused to come. then we asked, if i could just mention two other points, senator, then when --
mr. sparkman: i want to ask something in connection to that. too, undernvited, the russian meeting? sec. rusk: i don't think they were, sir, i don't think that they were. then there was an attack launched in north vietnam and then on for more he 27 of last onr -- then once more february twice seven of last year -- february 27 last year. transmitted the text of another address and throughout the summer of 1969, we tried to engage in the interest of u.n. members collectively and individually to try to find ways to restore peace and restore the situation from the battlefield to the conference table.
year, wey of this again put the matter to the security council, and gave them a summary of the peace offensive. in an effortre now to find out whether the security council can be of some assistance in moving this away from violence to negotiation and discussion. beenparkman: it has also , is it a 14at nation conference? sec. rusk: the geneva conference of laos was 14. there was fewer in 1954. are you referring to that group? mr. sparkman: there was a proposal to reconvene the conference, the geneva conference. sec. rusk: that suggestion has been -- excuse me -- mr. sparkman: go ahead. sec. rusk: that suggestion has
been made many times, chiefly from our side. the other side has been unwilling to come to such a conference. we have indicated that it was one of our 14 points that we would welcome a conference on southeast asia or on any part of it. thought seven or nine months ago that there was a nibble on this direction from the other side. a delegation to moscow and in their joint givenique, they seemed to approval on a drink medication with hanoi and laos. something happened with that -- approval on a joint communication with hanoi and laos. something happened with that and those conferences were not held. we will be glad to see a conference on vietnam or allow us or cambodia or all three or cambodiaor laos
or all three together. mr. sparkman: do you know of any channel that you can follow that would bring a conference? sec. rusk: senator, let me say very simply that the problem here is not that of technique or challenge -- technique or channel or contact, the problem see noith contact, we basis for peace because the other side, apparently, is not prepared to hold its hand from the attempt to take over south vietnam by force. procedural,isn't the problem is substance and the appetite of hanoi. mr. sparkman: and that appetite is to devour south vietnam's government? sec. rusk: we have heard nothing else and the actions taken by hanoi indicates they are still resisting and they have efforts to take over south vietnam by
force. on sparkman: is our report -- support of south vietnam both in military and economic in the spirit of the geneva conference when it more or less set up the guardianship of the indochina states? sec. rusk: the attempt by one part of vietnam to take over the other part by sending armed men in arms across the demarcation elementaryajor and infraction of those geneva accords. now we could go back to the first day of those accords to look at the chain of circumstances about who did what that was not in compliance with those accords. is thatprincipal thing we believe that those accords do provide an adequate basis for peace in southeast asia, and we
are prepared to come to the conference table and talk about that proposition. and the other side is not. the other side is not. now there is a long history of charge and counter charge about those accords. we say they are an adequate basis for peace. differences, they should be settled at the conference table through a discussion and not on the battleground. this is the way that we had better handle most problems around the world if we are not going to have great violence. argument about an agreement of that sort, come to the conference table and talk about it, and not to go out and try to settle it i forced. mr. sparkman: thank you -- settle it by force. mr. sparkman: thank you, mr. secretary, my time is up. secretary rusk, i
think that the testimony that you have given here today in your prepared paper, while admittedly somewhat lengthy is a most comprehensive and oformative review circumstances involved in this situation in which we find ourselves today. if i have any criticism of your paper, i could say that i had discuss a you might little more extensively the domino theory of the effect of h vietnamt in sout or our complete abandonment of south vietnam or other areas or nations in that part of the world. i will ask you a question about that a little later, but with regard to peace and the establishment of peace, is it
fair for me to assume from all of the testimony that we have heard that in effect the werea accords of 1954 violated practically from their inception through the subversive activities increasing all the vietnamese?north subversion and the furnishing of supplies and so on from the north? sec. rusk: at a point in time, the first serious violation was the failure of the communist side to regroup to the north, as the expression than was, all of their elements. mr. hickenlooper: i think you pointed that out in your testimony. sec. rusk: they left behind several thousands of them in the south. mr. hickenlooper: as a matter of
fact, i would at least gather from your impression -- from your testimony that the failure of the north vietnamese to regroup, to withdraw their to make any attempt whatsoever to carry out the madet of the geneva accord it practically impossible, that is one major element, to accordnt that 1954 because of their presence there with the armed forces and their secret cadres. sec. rusk: that was a major part of the problem, senator, and i think there has been a good problem since that time that the authorities in hanoi were extremely reluctant to sign the agreement. however, in prospect of them being able to accomplish their real purpose, which was to have an entire
country. mr. hickenlooper: and that began to unfold shortly after the accords were signed? sec. rusk: that is correct. mr. hickenlooper: now do i understand that you are saying cong andt the viet south vietnam are sustained and encouraged and prodded, if you please, by not only logistical help from the north, but from military directional help and in fact by strong units of the north vietnamese army so that the viet vietnam areth really completely independent of north vietnam for continuing this struggle? sec. rusk: that is correct. mr. hickenlooper: therefore, if we get down to the point of a
conference and if we in the south the enemies -- south vietnamese did have a conference of whoever they are in north , would any agreement orh the guerrilla fighters the vietnam or whatever they put their unitary reference might be, would any reference -- would any meeting down there he any good at all or would it be completely unreliable unless were one of the sustaining parties to that agreement on a reliable basis? in other words, the viet cong might agreed to something, but if hanoi did not agree, there might be a temporary lull, but hanoi would probably return to
the fray with increased figure vigor in -- increased a very short time? sec. rusk: that is a very good point because we have said privately too many governments that as far as the united states is concerned, the key issue of peace is with hanoi. i have said this morning that had that infiltration of men and arms not occur, we wouldn't have combat forces in south vietnam. so as far as the united states is concerned, hanoi is the problem. now unless hanoi stops doing what it's doing by launching an armed attack against the south, then we haven't solved our problems. now if they do stop, then i think these other problems would fall in place very quickly. beyond aould go mere stopping temporarily -- mr. hickenlooper: but it should
go beyond a mere stopping temporarily, should it not? sec. rusk: absolutely. mr. hickenlooper: beyond a realization by hanoi that its intentions are unprofitable and, in fact, disastrous to them if they continue them? sec. rusk: that is correct, senator, and i would hope, and i don't want to emphasize this point is i would be undoubtedly charge for raising a new precondition by some foreigners, but i would hope that the -- that the assurances are far stronger than those we had in laos, for example, where we had categorical agreements that weren't worth anything because they were not complied with by the other side and the machinery that was supposed to comply with cooperate.d not mr. hickenlooper: could you give a short outline of the
expansionature of the of communism in south asia if the united states should abandon south vietnam by getting out? i don't think we are going to, but then, that is a hypothetical, but if we should to its own vietnam devices and its own fate there without our presence in the systems, could you give us an outline of what we might expect forexcept -- the expansion of the communist power into other countries and the encouragement or discouragement that they would have? this problemnator,
has sometimes been referred to as the domino theory. myself have not used that expression and feel that it is somewhat misleading because we are not dealing here with little blocks of wood with dots on them. the theory is the theory of a militant world revolution. it would be followed by hanoi and other elements in the communist world. that is the theory. you don't have to go to domino's. -- dominos. it. have proclaimed in 1954, when north vietnam was proclaimed a communist country, immediately, infiltration of men and arms and subversion and pressures started against their two closest neighbors, laos and south vietnam.
they refused to give the prince cambodia a solid commitment to the respect of the territorial area of cambodia. they announce that thailand is next on the program and they announced the formation of a thailand liberation front. agents are already stepping up activities in northeast thailand. no one has to speculate just in theory about whether domino's have to fall or whether they fall in both directions or that nos have tong -- domi fall or whether they fall in both directions or that sort of thing. even in the communist world, they must get on with their world revolution and by militant means. when they get to the continent thatrica and announce
africa is ripe for resolution -- revolution, the african leaders understood that they are not talking about decolonization, he was talking about most of the present governments of africa and two or three of them expelled some of the chinese this last year because of the activities of some of the chinese in africa. so we have here a difference within the communist world, perhaps, on the subject of a militancy of which they have pressed the communist world revolution and the real meaning in what they call the western part of the coming's world they call peaceful existence. i have no doubt myself, sir, that these primitive marxist, the veterans of the long march, have a very militant few of these matters and that if they could convince themselves that their view is the successful
, that we are in for great dangers in the future. if they can discover that their militancy has no future and they must reconsider, it may then it will move towards what some people call a peaceful existence. rusk testified and the lines were getting more drawn. it was a rationale of people who supported the war and this is what the johnson administration was trying to say. the newspaper editorials which supported him, which was in "the they were also," great critics and were really becoming more and more skeptical. "the new york times's