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after he had refused to accept the draft brought about by Dr. Kissinger at the end of 1972, but in practical terms Enhance Plus Program didn't represent as much in terms of military value to the South Vietnamese because it was, it was quite a kind of heterogeneous equipment brought from Iran, brought, . Can you describe what happened in March 1965 and how the Americans arrived without any consultation or prior knowledge of the South Vietnamese government? Phone rings in background. Take it off. Camera roll. Mark it. Slate 2. Take 1, ...July when another, when there was another big American buildup? Yes, in July 1965 I remember that ah, President Johnson by this time decided to send to South Vietnam more than 150,000 troops. I was at this time, ah, Special Assistant to Prime
Summary
South Vietnam’s Ambassador to the United States under President Nguyen Van Thieu, Bui Diem recounts the American arrival in March 1965, the troop build up the following July, and the impact this had on South Vietnam.
Date Created
06/03/1981
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Vietnam: A Television History / Vietnamizing the War (1968 - 1973)
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. If Watergate had not occurred, I still believe that there would have been Congressional action to preclude the kind of military support which was necessary to help South Vietnam. Watergate may have had an impact, but there was still this tremendous anti-Vietnam war reaction that was reflected in the Congress, went down to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue and opposed the War Powers Resolution because it was impractical on the one hand and, I think, unconstitutional on the other. I still believe today that Congress ought to either repeal the War Powers Resolution or significantly, in August of 1974, I wrote the heads of state or the heads of government of all of our allies, including President Thieu of Vietnam. In the particular case of the letter to President Thieu, I reaffirmed US support for the South Vietnamese in a very general way, but I specifically indicated that I
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Gerald R. Ford had been president of the United States for nine months when in 1975, Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, fell to the North Vietnamese, effectively ending US military involvement in Vietnam. He frames the closing of the war in terms of diplomacy—both between the United States and the South Vietnam and between the executive branch and Congress... more
Date Created
04/29/1982
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Vietnam: A Television History / End of the Tunnel, The (1973 - 1975)
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the cease fire, we believed that the South Vietnamese had a bit the better of it in the final jockeying for position and that ah and that the outlook for them was ah was ah a hopeful one. However, we caveated it and we said in the end things will still seem to turn on the Americans, it by themselves they could do a lot? But, but in the end, in the end, they would need to count on the Americans. Uh, why couldn't they do it? Uh, the North had, had nothing like the resources at its disposition that we gave to the South. Uh, and I think the answers, as close as I can get, fire, we said we thought the South Vietnamese had a little bit the better of it, ah, in the positioning that had gone one but that ah in the long run, it was still going to depend on ah on on the Americans and ah that this is what the South Vietnamese believed. And, that if, if, if things went badly
Summary
Richard Moose was on the staff of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1969 – 1975. He describes his mission in Vietnam after the ceasefire in 1974 to assess the situation of how the South Vietnamese were positioned in terms of military equipment provided by the Americans and the possibilities of South Vietnam’s survival... more
Date Created
10/23/1981
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of them, that while the enemy had shown that he could hit a number of South Vietnamese cities, hard, even after years of bombing, and...of search and destroy missions and all the rest of it, that he could still come out...that...that, that was terribly depressing uh, to me, at any rate. But the word came back from the embassy that, in fact, it had been a great victory for our side. The, the enemy had lost these assets, the South Vietnamese, . The cables flowed through from the military headquarters and from the Embassy in Saigon saying that we’re, we have survived, the South Vietnamese have survived, the enemy has suffered a terrible defeat, he made a great
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Harry McPherson served as Special Counsel to LBJ from 1965 to 1969 and was Johnson’s chief speechwriter from 1966 to 1969. McPherson begins the interview by recalling the conflicted mood at the White House following the Tet Offensive. The optimism found in military cables and official information clashed with televised images showing the nation that the war was resulting in massive loss of human life and that a prisoner could be shot at point-blank range... more
Date Created
04/23/1981
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Vietnam: A Television History / Tet, 1968
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VIETNAM PROJECT FINAL DAYS Col. Le Gro SR 454 This is the 13th of November, 1981 and we’re in the Presidio in San Francisco for the Vietnam Project for WGBH in Boston. I have been told the correct way to slate for this is the Vietnam Project TVP013. Elizabeth Deane producer, Final Days, . I really believe that the Secretary did the best possible job, but leaving large North Vietnamese regular formations in the South was a situation that the South could not contend with. They couldn't defeat those major formations, and those major formations had the capability, from the very beginning, furthermore denied the South Vietnamese, because they had no capability essentially, any means to counter North Vietnamese continued buildup in the North. In other words, the territory North of the Demilitarized Zone was sacrosanct. The United States agreed not to continue any military action against
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William E. Le Gro was a colonel in Vietnam and author of "Vietnam from Cease-Fire to Capitulation." Le Gro reports that he felt the Paris Peace Accord was doomed from the start, at least in terms of maintaining a cease fire, but that its purpose for the United States—to disengage the US from Vietnam and to ensure the return of American prisoners of war—was a success... more
Date Created
11/03/1981
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Vietnam: A Television History / End of the Tunnel, The (1973 - 1975)
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and to eventually end their aggressive war against South Vietnam. The objective of the strategic offensive in the spring of 1968 was to create severe losses to the enemy in their very nerve centers. It can be stated that virtually all towns and cities under the enemy's control were attacked, realized that victory was close at hand. On April 30, 1975, when we climbed out of our bomb shelter we were met with one of the many contingents of our liberation forces and were glad that our job at the Joint Military Commission was now ended, ended with the liberation of Saigon and of all of South, For the Resistance fighters who went up North, what happened to their families which remained in the South under the Diem regime? The Geneva Agreements of 1954 recognized the complete liberation of one half of Vietnam, from the 17th parallel up north
Summary
Anh Tuan was a North Vietnamese Major General, born in Hue under the French. He recalls the failed Geneva Agreements, which had aimed at elections in 1956, soon to be followed by unification of the country. He argues the failure to unify the county was a failure of the South Vietnamese leadership. He recounts his impressions of the American escalation starting in 1965, only ending with the 1968 Tet Offensive... more
Date Created
02/09/1981
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, who made up the South Vietnamese opposition at the end of the Vietnam War? A certain number of people, some of whom were extremely sympathetic, extremely brilliant, honest, patriotic, yet who along with the rest, was that the Republic of Vietnam, South Vietnam- given the position of Thieu's government- was bound to suffer progressive disintegration. Little by little, bit by bit, towards what it was difficult to predict. And in a corner lay, reaction, snowball, which would lead to rapid crumbling of the regime. It was an hypothesis that I always had in mind, because without going too far back into the history of South Vietnam, in 1972 there was a communist
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French Diplomat Pierre Brochand served in Saigon and describes the last days of the American presence there. He discusses the failed opposition movement in South Vietnam, and recalls chaotic scenes during the fall of Saigon and the American evacuation.
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the right and wrong of the US commitment in Vietnam for more than indicated between the '65 and til the end in '75. But, eh, I would like to stress the point of view of a Vietnamese who look at the problem and who happen to have ah participated here in Washington in many of the developments at this time. Let us put aside the problem of right and wrong of the US commitment in South Vietnam. But, from the point of view of the Vietnamese, we would say that we think the US in terms of a responsible great nation whether it was wrong or right, we hoped and we believe strongly by then that the United States would believe as a respectable nation. Suppose that you are wrong by this time, you cannot say after committing the more than half a million troops in South Vietnam and well, putting the whole house in shambles and say that well, we are wrong. Let us ah call it quits and you leave
Summary
Former South Vietnam ambassador to the United States, Bui Diem recalls the tension between South Vietnam and the United States post 1975. Bui Diem discusses President Nguyen Van Thieu’s growing isolation from the United States and the trouble Bui Diem experienced as he tried to improve the image of South Vietnam.
Date Created
10/23/1981
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Vietnam: A Television History / End of the Tunnel, The (1973 - 1975)
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SR 2040 Beep tone. Roll 40 of Vietnam Project, 7860 328. Interview with MAJ. GEN. TRAN DO Clapstick Could you tell us how you went South in 1965? When in 1965 did you join COSVN? And could you describe COSVN, what it was like, where it was located and how life was? As I have just told you, by 1964 the Americans already carried out an extremely fierce Special War in the South. The population in the South suffered heavy casualties as they themselves had to organize armed units in order to resist the American aggressors. In face of this situation, the Central Committee of our Party decided that it was necessary to give support to the people in the South and help them to organize their armed struggles against the Americans. To this end, it was necessary
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Major General Tran Do describes the organization and location of the Central Office for South Vietnam (COSVN), which helped direct Viet Cong and People’s Army of Vietnam efforts in South Vietnam. He recalls the American Operation Junction City, which failed to destroy the COSVN and the Viet Cong’s successful strategy of close combat fighting. Finally, he discusses the objectives and outcomes of the Tet Offensive in 1968.
Date Created
02/17/1981
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Vietnam: A Television History / Tet, 1968
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definitely and distinctly on the defensive. That's it. Cut. Turning. Mark it. Slate nine. Clap sticks. The realization that the South Vietnamese forces... Excuse me. I think we better start... The realization that the South Vietnamese forces were not doing well in this particular area of South Vietnam concerned me particularly because, when I had been fighting with the 21st ARVN Division in the '67-68 time frame, one of the distinctive features I thought of the success of that division was that they were operating
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Kenneth Moorefield was an adviser to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) in 1967 and 1968, and then returned to Vietnam as an assistant to the ambassador from 1973 until the end of the war. He discusses the challenges faced by the Americans in Saigon after the Paris Agreement was signed, but aggression from North Vietnam continued... more
Date Created
10/22/1981
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Vietnam: A Television History / End of the Tunnel, The (1973 - 1975)