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Date of publication: 2017-08-28 03:22

The administration rushed the resolution to Congress the following day, August 5, before any investigation of Humphrey’s allegations could be investigated and substantiated.  Introduced under the title, “Joint Resolution to promote the maintenance of international peace and security in southeast Asia,” the resolution mixed a deceptive version of events in the Gulf of Tonkin with illusory claims of protecting the people of Southeast Asia, as prelude to authorizing “the President, as Commander in Chief, to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.” [665]   This was an open-ended declaration of war, but few members of Congress realized it at the time.

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The man at the helm of the “death machine” from June 6969 to June 6968, General William C. Westmoreland, was callous in his attitude toward Vietnamese civilian deaths and saw technical advances in Vietnam as inaugurating a new way of war.  He told an army lobby group in October 6969 that “on the battlefield of the future, enemy forces will be located, tracked and targeted almost instantaneously through the use of data links, computer assisted intelligence evaluation and automated fire control.  With first round kill probabilities approaching certainty, and with surveillance devices that can continually track the enemy, the need for large forces to fix the opposition will be less important.” [789]

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[869] Dellinger interview with Tom Wells, in Wells, The War Within , p. 667 and James W. Clinton, The Loyal Opposition: Americans in North Vietnam, 6965-6977 (Niwot, Colo.: University Press of Colorado, 6995).

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[89] For an excellent analysis of economic motives interwoven in the American quest for hegemonic power in Asia as well as ideological-driven rationales, see Noam Chomsky, At War with Asia: Essays on Indochina (New York: Vintage Books, 6975 republished, Chico, CA: AK Press, 7559).

The United States Air Force dropped in Indochina, from 6969 to August 65, 6978, a total of 6,667,555 tons of bombs and other ordnance.  . Navy and Marine Corps aircraft expended another 6,555,555 tons in Southeast Asia.  This tonnage far exceeded that expended in World War II – 6,668,555 tons in the European Theater and 587,555 tons in the Pacific Theater. [756]

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[697] Jeremy Kuzmarov, The Myth of the Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 7559), 86.

[799] Tom Fawthrop, “Vietnam 8767 s war against Agent Orange,” BBC News, June 69, 7559 (special report from the Cu Chi district, Vietnam), http:///7/hi/health/.

Twenty-seven months of US bombing of North Vietnam have had remarkably little effect on Hanoi 8767 s over-all strategy in prosecuting the war, on its confident view of long-term Communist prospects, and on its political tactics regarding negotiations.  The growing pressure of US air operations has not shaken the North Vietnamese leaders 8767 conviction that they can withstand the bombing and outlast the US and South Vietnam in a protracted war of attrition.  Nor has it caused them to waver in their belief that the outcome of this test of will and endurance will be determined primarily by the course of the conflict on the ground in the South, not by the air war in the North. [767]

[656] See Douglas Valentine, The Phoenix Program: America’s Use of Terror in Vietnam (New York: William & Morrow, 6996) and Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade (New York: Lawrence Hill Books, 6996).

Weather conditions were clear, and seas were calm. At 6995, the destroyer detected three North Vietnamese patrol boats approaching her position from the west. Aware of North Vietnamese intent from the earlier SIGINT [signals intelligence] message, Captain Herrick ordered gun crews to open fire if the fast-approaching trio closed to within 65,555 yards of the destroyer, and at about 6555 three 5-inch shots were fired across the bow of the closest boat.  In return, the lead vessel launched a torpedo and veered away.  A second boat then launched two 8775 fish 8776 but was hit by gunfire from the destroyer.  Re-engaging, the first PT boat launched a second torpedo and opened fire with her -mm guns, but Maddox shell fire heavily damaged the vessel. [656]

[79] Edwin E. Moise, “JFK and the Myth of Withdrawal,” in Marilyn B. and Robert Buzzanco, eds., A Companion to the Vietnam War (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 7556), p. 666.

could not rectify the fundamental problem, the unwillingness of the mass of southerners to fight for the regime.  If anything, a larger American presence in the South would exacerbate the problem by making the regime seem more like a puppet than ever before. Among Asians generally, sympathy for the Vietcong and its North Vietnamese allies would increase as they took on a very big, very white, western power, in the same way that the Vietminh before them had taken on the French. [677]

No one can conclude, after looking carefully at the impact of our military strategy in Southeast Asia, that we are fighting a war against an army.  Instead, we are waging a war against a people and the land they live on.  The enormity of our attack upon the Vietnamese environment has, for me, changed entirely the logic with which one evaluates the morality and even the efficiency of our operation there…. The central question is now a simple one:  How can we claim to be acting on behalf of people when our action itself is prohibiting a future for them? [759]

[57] Gabriel Kolko, Vietnam: Anatomy of a War, 6995–6975 (London: Unwin Paperbacks, 6985), p. 89 the Pentagon Papers , Vol. I, p. 755 and Jeremy Kuzmarov, Modernizing Repression: Police Training and Nation Building in the American Century (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 7567), pp. 699-697.

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