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Vietnam Primary Source Collection Project

Vietnam Primary Source Collection Project - Stephanie Pham...

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Stephanie Pham K. Napoleon IB History February 24, 2010 Vietnam Primary Source Collection Project American Policy in Vietnam The contest in Vietnam is part of a wider pattern of aggressive purposes. Why are these realities our concern? Why are we in South Vietnam? We are there because we have a promise to keep. Since 1954 every American president has offered support to the people of South Vietnam. We have helped to build, and we have helped to defend. Thus, over many years, we have made a national pledge to help South Vietnam defend its independence. And I intend to keep that promise. To dishonor that pledge, to abandon this small and brave nation to its enemies, and to the terror that must follow, would be an unforgivable wrong… There are those who wonder why we have a responsibility there. Well, we have a responsibility there for the same reason that we have a responsibility for the defense of Europe. World War II was fought in both Europe and Asia and when it ended we found ourselves with continued responsibility for the defense of freedom. President Lyndon B. Johnson, April 7, 1965 O- The excerpt is from the official policy of Johnson in regards to the Vietnam War. It was written in 1965, which is about a year after the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave Johnson the power to do what was necessary in Vietnam. P- Johnson’s purpose is to justify the reasons for American involvement in Vietnam. He explains that it is the US’s duty to preserve democracy and fight communism. V- The value of the source is that it offers a unique perspective of the time period that could not otherwise be obtained. To a historian studying the Vietnamese struggle for independence, it would be somewhat valuable because it describes how America is helping the Vietnamese fight. L- However, the source is very limited because it is only from an American perspective. It would not offer any insight into Vietnam’s point of view.
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O- The source is from the Chicago Sun Times , and was printed in 1966 during the Vietnam War.
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