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View Diary: U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote (NYT 9/4/1967) (274 comments)

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  •  thanks (4.00)
    great service... and we'll need the Nixon speeches to refer to.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 06:06:12 AM PST

    •  Dem... (none)
      That would be Johnson's presidency. Nixon was elected in 1968..

      Im looking for quotes right now...

      •  What Ive found... (4.00)
        271. Memorandum Prepared by the Board of National Estimates, Central Intelligence Agency/1/

        Special Memorandum No. 7-67

        Washington, August 8, 1967.

        /1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Vietnam, IG(1) Elections. Secret.

        The September Presidential Election in South Vietnam

        [Here follow material on the Thieu-Ky merger, an analysis of the civilian contenders, and a discussion of the pre-election period.]


        1. As things now stand, the military slate has to be the favorite in the coming election because of its large and relatively united organization, the finances available to it, and its control of the government. However, it is not unbeatable, and the civilian candidates will in any event play a key role in the election process. Even if the civilians do not unite, there is just enough uncertainty about the strength of military unity and enough uncommitted groups of votes to make for some fluidity.

        2. The chances that the election will be held on schedule appear fairly good. The generals would probably consider postponing the election only if they felt their chances at the polls were so poor that even extralegal pressures would not tip the voting in their favor. It is conceivable that such a situation might develop, but not likely.

        3. We can be less confident about the chances for fair elections. If the leading civilians continue to pursue their individual candidacies and no crisis develops, the military slate should be able to win honestly. However, an attempt by the civilian candidates to unite would probably cause the military to react by exerting questionable pressures. If unfair tactics by the military began to affect campaigning seriously, the civilian contenders might withdraw in protest, thus rendering the election largely meaningless. If illegal tactics were employed on election day or immediately prior to it, the civilians could refuse to acknowledge the results, and instead charge fraud. Even if the civilians do not unite, the generals may tend to underestimate their own prospects and thus feel compelled to exert unnecessary pressures. Additionally, some province chiefs and other local government officials may independently become overzealous and ultimately do more damage than good. Further complicating the general issue is the possibility that the elections may be widely regarded as having been unfair even though the military leaders make no deliberate efforts in this direction.

        4. Whether or not it were well-founded, a general belief that the elections were rigged would thwart the major purpose of constitutional development--that of establishing a legitimate mandate for the government which in turn would improve its prospects for rallying popular participation and support. To dispell such suspicions, the civilian contenders at a minimum would have to acknowledge tacitly that the elections were fair, and the constituent assembly--now acting as a provisional legislature--would have to ratify the election results without reflecting much doubt. Even more effective would be the appointment of the candidate who runs second as prime minister since it would considerably strengthen the government's claim to legitimacy. There are, however, many problems--including the question of military rivalries after the election--which are standing in the way of such a development, and it constitutes little more than a possibility at this point.

        For the Board of National Estimates:
        Abbot Smith
        Acting Chairman


        Loads of good inside information on how to get "fair" yet Pro-American results from the Vietnamees elections. Just do a "find" for "election" and you should get to the good stuff pertaining to the election.

        •  More info (4.00)
          On September 8 the President wrote to Thieu:

          "I extend my warm regards to you and to Prime Minister Ky on your victory in the election of a President and Vice President. I have just received a detailed and most moving account of your election from the distinguished Americans whom you invited to Viet-Nam as observers. They returned believing in the fairness of the procedures and observed the intense interest of the Vietnamese people in this major step toward creating your own popularly chosen and constitutionally based government. Their individual reports were a testimonial to the courage and determination of the Vietnamese people to remain free and to create their own political institutions in their own way. The election was a milestone along the path toward the goal you have set for yourselves--a free, secure and peaceful Viet-Nam. But it is not the end of the journey. Many hard tasks remain. Not the least of these now is the creation of a strong, effective and broadly based government that will help you and your country achieve the objectives you set forth in your campaign. The American government and I, personally, look forward to continued close cooperation with you and your colleagues in the days and months ahead. I am confident that our efforts--joined with those of our allies--will be crowned with success and that under your leadership, a peaceful, democratic, strong and prosperous Viet-Nam will emerge."

          This letter was sent to Saigon in telegram 34017, September 8. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 15-1 VIET S) Thieu, who received the letter on September 9 from Bunker, acknowledged the President's communication in his own letter of thanks dated September 26 but received from the Vietnamese Embassy by the Department of State on October 10 and then forwarded to the White House. (Ibid.)


        •  Even More info (4.00)
          305. Memorandum From the President's Assistant (Jones) to President Johnson/1/

          Washington, September 5, 1967, 1:05-2:40 p.m.

          1/Source: Johnson Library, Meeting Notes File, Folder #4, 1/67-11/67. No classification marking. The notation "L" on the memorandum indicates that the President saw it.

          Weekly meeting with Secretaries Rusk and McNamara, Walt Rostow, George Christian, Dick Helms and General Harold K. Johnson

          The meeting opened with the discussion of the Vietnam elections observers. The President asked if Lodge could be contacted to see if he could stay an extra day or two to talk to the news media for backgrounders. He also hoped Senator Hickenlooper could talk to CBS. The President commented that he would be meeting with Labor leaders next week.

          Rusk said he had talked to Tom Wicker concerning the factual errors in this morning's article in the New York Times on the Vietnam elections. Rusk said Wicker failed to recognize that about half the Vietnam population is under voting age. Rusk told Wicker there is no bar to voting as long as they were registered. It was agreed that Bill Bundy would write a corrective letter promptly to the New York Times.

          McNamara pointed out that fourteen targets have been authorized but have been delayed because of bad weather. Also four are inside the 10 mile circle and are being held. These total 18. Of the 51 remaining, 9 have been removed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff after careful examination. Some of them have been removed because they have not been repaired such as bridges, etc., and others which were authorized or linked to targets which have been authorized.

          McNamara and Rusk agreed that of the 42 remaining, they are ready to recommend 10. Of these, two are being held out for further technical examination. One requires further photography and the other requires fresh intelligence./2

          /2/In a telephone call to Rostow on August 31, the President said: "Whatever real bombing we are going to do will be done between now and September 11. Get Dean Rusk to look over those 49 left and give me order in which they should be hit. Then we will go back and re-hit those bridges, power plant, etc." (Note on telephone call from the President, August 31; ibid., National Security File, Files of Walt Rostow, Bombing)


          •  you have to fast forward to Nixon's (none)
            "Vietnamization speech".

            It's like Iraqification now. The Bushies aren't that creative. Most of their conduct of the war is out of the Nixon playbook.

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 08:53:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  See: "winning their hearts and minds" (none)
              and "light at the end of the tunnel"

              and "we had to destroy the village in order to save it"

              Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey

              by willyr on Mon Jan 31, 2005 at 09:02:38 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I agree (none)
              But I wanted to give some perspective to the administration who gave Vietnam the right to vote, and what their reaction to it was. Johnson was the guy who got us into that war full scale, and his administration was the one to implement the voting process. Nixon just took over for the man and had to deal with the policies that Johnson put in place. (and no, im not defending Nixon.. Lol)

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