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Mr. Dunn has misrepresented the facts post Geneva 1954. The election Mr. Dunn refers to seems to be that which no one signed on to in the waning days of Geneva 1954. It was detailed in a hastily composed document known as the _Final Declaration_. Not even Hanoi signed this document. No one did. It was legally worthless. Both the US and SVN wanted the UN to observe all Vietnam elections. The UN did not. For this reason, and because in Cold War terms China and Russia refused to reciprocate with all Korea and all German elections, the US agreed with Diem that all Vietnam elections would be a farce. It would be a farce because of two glaring reasons; 1) the communists of NVN would not allow free elections; 2) This in turn would result in an automatic win for NVN because NVN outnumbered the population of SVN--it would be a "joke," essentially handing non-communist SVN over to the North. Mr. Dunn says the USSR and China did not have significant influence over the North Vietnamese. This is not accurate. Had both China and Russia stopped feeding supplies to North Vietnam the war would not have continued. Hanoi was incapable of conquering a US supported SVN without communist bloc aid. I believe this because Nixon approached both China and Russia on this score. Hanoi had a fit because they felt they were at risk of being restrained should supplies end. Hanoi felt betrayed. While the US aided Saigon but there was no design or attempt to allow SVN to conquer North Vietnam. Soviet and Chinese control over Hanoi, in terms of the aid they supplied, was significant. Rob MacNichol Irvine Valley College H-DIPLO [Ball] wrote: >From: Paul Dunn <firstname.lastname@example.org> > > From 1950-1954 the Viet-Minh tried to promote the idea of an >Indochinese Communist Party which had geopolitical implications among >which was Vietnamese hegemony over Laos and Cambodia. Those dreams died >after the Geneva Conference in 1954 when the principal task for North >Vietnam was building socialism and anticipating elections which never were >implemented. > Professor Kaiser, however, is wrong when he states that the USSR was >not competing for influence with China. The area of competition was not just >Vietnam, but the Third World. The mistake U.S. policy makers made >(especially Kissinger & Nixon) was in assuming that both China and the >Soviet Union had siginificant influnce over Vietnamese policy, at least >certainly not in the long term. The question of Soviet-Chinese competition >concerned which of the two countries was a better model for developing >nations.Donald Zagoria's Vietnam Triangle discusses many of these disputes >and places the Sino-Soviet split in the context of Vietnam. > As to the clairvoyance or lack of same on the part of Bundy, Ball, >Morse, et al, it maybe obvious in the documents cited by Kaiser but it was >hardly in the public domain in 1964 (an election year) nor much in evidence >in 1965. > Paul Dunn > > > > > >>From: David Kaiser <KaiserD2@cox.net> >> >> Mark Safranski seems to think it would have required extroardinary >>clairvoyance to realize that the defense of South Vietnam might be either >>hopeless or much too costly to be worth it in 1964-5. But it didn't. As >>readers of my book, American Tragedy, will discover, leading Americans who >>had reached that conclusion included Senators Mike Mansfield (Majority >>Leader), J. William Fulbright (Chairman of Foreign Relations), Wayne >>Morse, Gaylord Nelson, and virtually the entire Southern Democratic bloc >>(including Richard Russell and George Smathers) from the Legislative >>branch. They also included Undersecretary of State George Ball, Assistant >>Secretary for the Far East William Bundy, Assistant Secretary of Defense >>John McNaughton, and Ambassador to the UN Adlai Stevenson in the Executive >>branch--as well as a recently deceased President, John F. Kennedy, who as >>I showed spoke frequently about how fighting a major war in Southeast Asia >>would be a very bad idea. General David Shoup, who stepped down as Marine >>Corps Commandant in 1963, also opposed such a war. >> >> Regarding Robert MacNichol's scenario of a North Vietnamese empire, >>the Soviet Union certainly was not competing for influence with China in >>North Vietnam in 1964-5 in the sense of also egging the North Vietnamese >>on. And if there had been no American involvement, the North Vietnamese >>army would never have gotten as large or well-equipped as it did. In >>fact, it probably wouldn't have had to undertake major operations in South >>Vietnam at all, much less embark on the conquest of the rest of Indochina >>and Southeast Asia. Remembre, after its victory in South Vietnam in 1975, >>the North Vietnamese army was preoccupied with two other tasks--first, the >>overthrow of a Chinese-supported regime in Cambodia, and then, a bloody >>war with China, which tried to retaliate! Hardly the unified Communist >>phalanx that MacNichol still wants to fighten us with, it seems to me. >> >> David Kaiser >> >> >> > > >