Well, don't you want a lead into it because we haven't talked about recently about intervention in Viet...in Bien Phu...Stop for...
No, that would...
Sync 11 coming up. Sync 11. Beep.
Before Dien Bien Phu fell, the French did request ah us to give them air support ah to ah help ah prevent ah ah the Viet Minh from winning a victory there. I happened to be present at a breakfast in the White House, a very small breakfast,; ah Secretary of State Dulles, the president, Secretary of State, Dulles; Admiral Radford, myself, one or two others in which this request was discussed.
I recall very vividly that ah Admiral Radford mentioned that he had two carriers standing a couple of hundred miles off the coast in international waters and that he could deliver ah air strikes for those carriers in support of the French in Dien Bien Phu. Ah. The president ah took strong exception to this, explaining that, if we intervened with military ah aircraft in support of the French, in his best judgment that intervention would not succeed at all in preventing the the Viet Minh from ah winning a victory there because they would simply withdraw into the jungle. You couldn't see what you were bombing. You would be bombing a perimeter that was a lot of
trees and leaves, and that ah as soon as the planes went away, the Viet Minh would be right back.
Now, if we did that, we would then have only two choices ah left open to us. Two alternatives. One would be to go in then French with ground troops which he said he would never do as long as he was president. Ah. The United states going in alone. And, secondly, he would, we would if we did not intervene, we would have committed our military strength, it would have been shown to be ah ineffective and we would then have to withdraw with our tails between our legs leaving a spectacle for all our other friends and allies of a great power which had intervened uselessly and was really not, not a very dependable partner. And, these are the reasons why he opposed very strongly ah any commitment of ah American military forces alone to Vietnam.