Johnson Administration's Big Conspiracy
Johnson Administration's Big Conspiracy
Johnson Administration's Big Conspiracy
Johnson Administration's Big Conspiracy
Source: Peking Review, No. 3, January 14, 1966
A GIGANTIC fraud, a carefully planned big conspiracy around the question of Vietnam, is being feverishly perpetrated.
Recently, the Johnson Administration played two cards. The first was the "pause in the bombing" of north Vietnam, which has continued for many days. The second was the "14-point" proposition, made allegedly "in the search for a peaceful settlement" of the-Vietnam question.
Thereupon, Washington bigwigs have been rushing around, dashing from one capital to another or plotting behind closed doors. Quite a number of people have been openly echoing their words or secretly working in co-ordination with them. Associated Press said that "what appears to be the most intense and wide ranging U.S. peace offensive on Vietnam in months is now under way."
The Johnson Administration has presented its "14 points" in the most glowing terms and to the generous applause of its claque. But what kind of stuff is this "14-point" proposition made of?
It seems to be very high-sounding and impressive. But a careful study shows that it contains nothing new at all from beginning to end. Each one of the "14 points" has already been talked about by the Johnson Administration in almost the same words on different occasions. The only difference is that this time they have been thrown together, embellished and served up on one platter.
U.S. Tore Up Geneva Agreements Long Ago
First of all, the Johnson Administration has put up a signboard professing that it upholds the Geneva agreements. Point One of the "14 points" says with tongue in cheek: "The Geneva accords of 1954 and 1962 would provide an adequate basis for peace in Southeast Asia." There is nothing wrong with the statement itself, but coming from the mouth of the Government of the United States it is a fantastic lie.
True, the Geneva accords should have served as the "basis" for peace in Indo-China. But the United States has blasted this "basis" long ago with aircraft and guns. Instead of stopping its aggression against Vietnam and withdrawing all its forces of aggression from south Vietnam, the United States now brazenly declares that it is in favour of taking the Geneva agreements as a "basis." This is plain deception, and not worth a cent.
The painstakingly refurbished "14 points" of the Johnson Administration try to create the impression that the United States is willing to respect the Geneva agreements from now on. Is this really the case? No? A brief analysis of the "14 points" proves that the United States does not have the least sincerity to return to the Geneva agreements and take them as the "basis."
Point One of the "14 points" contradicts the other 13 points. The latter negate the former.
Point Two says that the United States "would welcome a conference on Southeast Asia as a whole or on any part of it." Point Three says that it "would engage in negotiations with no pre-conditions whatsoever," and Point Four states that it "would engage in unconditional discussions outside the framework of a formal conference." It should be noted that since Point One agrees to take the Geneva agreements as the "basis" for a settlement of the issues of Southeast Asia, "negotiations" on these issues cannot be unconditional, but should be on the condition that the Geneva agreements shall be fulfilled. The reason why the Johnson Administration insists on "unconditional discussions" is that it is actually laying down the condition that it will not fulfil the Geneva agreements. While it talks about agreeing to take these agreements as the "basis," in actual fact it wants others to come to the conference table for "negotiations" on the "basis" that its troops will continue to hang on in south Vietnam and carry out aggression against Vietnam.
Real Meaning of "Cessation of Hostilities"
Point Five says: "A cessation of hostilities would be a suitable first order of business in any negotiations or discussions." It is true that "hostilities" are actually going on in south Vietnam. But how did they break out? France pulled out from Vietnam in compliance with the Geneva agreements, but the United States stepped in to replace the French colonialists. The United States tore up the Geneva agreements and dispatched large forces of aggression to invade south Vietnam, kill the people there and burn down their homes. Naturally, the south Vietnamese people have every right to fight back. If the United States really has any sincerity about upholding the Geneva agreements and withdraws its armed forces, how could there be "hostilities" between Vietnam and the United States which are separated by a vast ocean? But the Johnson Administration does not have the slightest intention of taking this course. On the contrary, it is carrying on a war of aggression against Vietnam and at the same time it is raising a great noise about "cessation of hostilities" and talking about making this the "first order of business" in "negotiations." What does this mean? It means that if the United States has its way, the day "negotiations" begin will be the day the Vietnamese people are bound hand and foot The U.S. armed forces will then be able to stay on in south Vietnam while the south Vietnamese people will not be allowed to drive these aggressors out Can this be termed taking the Geneva agreements as the "basis"? Which article or which paragraph in the Geneva agreements gives the United States the special right to commit aggression against Vietnam?
Point Six says: "Hanoi's four point6 could be discussed." This is a gesture by the Johnson Administration to mislead people. In fact, it is a sinister plot. What is the Democratic Republic of Vietnam's four-point proposition? It is, in short, that the U.S. troops must be completely withdrawn from south Vietnam, that U.S. aggression against the whole of Vietnam must be stopped, and that the Vietnamese people must be allowed to settle their own affairs. The basic spirit of this proposition is also the basic spirit of the Geneva agreements. If the Johnson Administration is really in favour of upholding the Geneva agreements, it should completely accept the four-point proposition of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and act accordingly. However, it is not willing to do so. Instead, full of guile and cunning, it says that the proposition "could be discussed." What is more, it puts its own "14 points" on a par with the four-point proposition. This amounts to replacing the latter with the former. To put it bluntly, Washington's aim is to lure the Vietnamese people to agree to negotiate and turn the four-point proposition and the Geneva agreements into something which can be bargained over, so that negotiations will drag on indefinitely and the U.S. troops can hang on in south Vietnam.
All Empty Promises
Point Seven says: "It [the United States] wants no bases in Southeast Asia." Point Eight says: "It wants no, continuing U.S. military presence in south Vietnam." Point Nine says: "It has expressed its support for free elections in Vietnam." Point Ten says: "Reunification should be arranged through free discussions among the peoples concerned." Point Eleven says: "The nations of Southeast Asia should be neutral if that is their option." These five points have been brought up by the Johnson Administration in one mouthful in an obvious attempt to show that the United States not only respects the Geneva agreements in principle but intends to abide by their provisions and carry them out on almost all important questions.
All this sounds like a solemn vow! Anyone hearing it might think that the Johnson Administration is not only sincere but magnanimous: Bases will be abandoned, troops withdrawn, elections held, reunification arranged. It looks as if a peaceful settlement of the Vietnam question is just round the corner.
As a matter of fact, these are all empty promises handed out freely by the Johnson Administration. It is committed to nothing on any of these points. It costs nothing to talk in such fine words.
Is the United States really willing to pull out its troops? The Johnson Administration says yes, but on one condition, that is, Hanoi should stop "conquering" south Vietnam. The plain fact, however, is that the United States is committing aggression while the people of south Vietnam are resisting, and the people of north Vietnam are helping them. How can anyone talk of "conquest" by Hanoi? U.S. aggression is the cause and the Vietnamese people's resistance is the effect The only solution is for the United States to withdraw all its troops and stop its aggression against the whole of Vietnam. The Vietnamese people will not cease their struggle as long as the United States continues aggression. Reversing cause and effect, the John son Administration wants the Vietnamese people to stop their resistance first and demands that Hanoi stop its "conquest" as a condition for the withdrawal of U.S. troops. This actually means that it is not prepared to withdraw its troops.
Sending In Large Reinforcements
The fact now is that the United States has not withdrawn a single soldier; instead, it is sending in large reinforcements. Two days after the publication of the "14 points," advance elements of the U.S. 25th Division arrived in south Vietnam. Far from dismantling any base, the United States is energetically expanding its military bases in south Vietnam and other places in Southeast Asia. All this proves that the United States has not the slightest intention of withdrawing its troops, but is preparing to send still more U.S. troops to south Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia.
The withdrawal of all troops and war material by the United States from south Vietnam is the prerequisite for a political settlement of the Vietnam question and the key to upholding the Geneva agreements. Since the Johnson Administration is not withdrawing its troops and has no intention of doing so, how can there be "free elections" and "reunification" in Vietnam? And since the Johnson Administration is extending its aggressive war in Southeast Asia, is it not making a great laughing-stock of itself by saying that "the nations of Southeast -Asia should be neutral"?
Calculations of Marauders
Point Twelve says: The United States "much prefers to use its resources for economic and social construction in Southeast Asia and that if there were peace, north Vietnam could take part in that regional effort." As for the Johnson Administration's "development" programme, the Vietnamese people have long ago pointed it out as being "the calculations" of "stupid marauders." No attempt to buy over the heroic Vietnamese people will ever succeed. And now the Johnson Administration is coming up again with the same old poppycock! This is a great insult to the Vietnamese people.
Point Thirteen says: "The Viet Cong would have no trouble having its views heard if Hanoi ended aggression to the south."
This worn-out theme about "if Hanoi ended aggression to the south" has been repeated ad nauseam. The implication is that the people in the south must stop their struggle to resist U.S. aggression and save the country, and that the people in the north must stop helping their compatriots in the south.
So long as U.S. imperialism does not change its policy of aggression against south Vietnam and does not withdraw all its troops, the people in the south will never give up their just struggle. In these circumstances, it stands to reason that the people in the north should help their brethren in the south. The people all over the world have the right to help the south Vietnamese people in their struggle against aggression; why should the people in north Vietnam be singled out and denied this right?
Helping the South Is the Sacred Right of the People in North Vietnam
The Geneva agreements confirm that the Vietnamese nation is an entity and in black and white undertake to respect Vietnam's "sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity, and to refrain from any interference in its internal affairs*" and declare that the provisional military demarcation line "should not in any way be interpreted as constituting a political or territorial boundary." The U.S. imperialists instructed the puppet clique in south Vietnam to sabotage the nationwide elections which should have been held in 1956 according to the Geneva agreements, and thus brought about the division of the country. They then blatantly extended the war from the south to the north, and thus destroyed the military demarcation line. U.S. imperialism has wilfully and perfidiously torn the Geneva agreements to shreds. It has no right whatever to take this or that article of the agreements and distort them to bind the Vietnamese people. In the present circumstances, the 31 million Vietnamese people naturally must unite as one in a common struggle to smash the U.S. imperialist aggression and drive out all the U.S. troops, so as to liberate the south, defend the north and thus achieve the reunification of their fatherland. This the Vietnamese people are doing precisely because they want to uphold the Geneva agreements. Let it be said in unequivocal terms that the north Vietnamese people have the inalienable and sacred right to help the south Vietnamese people in any form and on any scale in their struggle to resist U.S. aggression and save the country.
The Johnson Administration says that if the people in the north cease supporting the people in the south, then "the Viet Cong would have no trouble having its views heard." This is preposterous! Why does the right of the south Vietnamese people to express their own views need the approval of the United States and, moreover, why should they have to offer the United States anything in exchange for this right? Nothing could be more ridiculous.
The South Vietnam National Front for Liberation is the leader of the south Vietnamese people in their struggle to resist U.S. aggression and save the country, .and it is the sole representative of the south Vietnamese people. The programme of the South Vietnam National Front for Liberation and its five-part statement of March 22 last year express in concentrated form the will of the 14 million people of south Vietnam. Since the Johnson Administration does not accept this five--part statement, how then can there be any talk of a political settlement of the Vietnamese question?
So-Called Stop-the-Bombing "Offer" Is Outright Blackmail
The Last Point says: The United States "could stop bombing the north if it could get an indication of what such a cessation would bring about." Here we have the essence of the "14-point" proposition.
The so-called stop-the-bombing "offer" is outright blackmail. For ten months, in flagrant violation of the 17th Parallel, U.S. imperialism has been bombing a sovereign state. In doing so it has not only thrown the Geneva accords overboard, but has ruthlessly trampled on all principles of international law. It has not yet paid for the serious crimes it has committed in north Vietnam and the heavy blood-debts it has incurred there; now it wants something more — it wants to gain something in exchange for "stopping the bombing." If one were to accept this kind of reasoning, wouldn't it mean that the aggressor must not be punished but, instead, be rewarded? If such logic were to prevail, the United States could commit aggression against one country today and bomb another tomorrow, and then issue a statement to the effect: We may stop for a while, but you, the victims of aggression, must give us something in exchange. Thus, the question arises: What would the world be like if U.S. imperialism is allowed to go on in this lawless way?
An Old Dodge Repeated
The "pause in bombing" is simply a repetition of the Johnson Administration's old dodge. Last May, it suspended bombing for a few days and in conjunction with that sent a message to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam saying, in effect: Since we have suspended the bombing you must stop supporting south Vietnam, otherwise we'll resume. Of course this is not acceptable to the Vietnamese people. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam justly exposed this villainous blackmail, and that particular "suspension of bombing" .trick was soon discredited. Subsequently, widespread comments were heard from the ruling circles in the United States, and murmurs among the modern revisionists too, that the trick had not been very well played. In the first place, they said, the United States should not have spoken so bluntly, and in the second place, the suspension should not have been so short. This time, the Johnson Administration appears to be taking the advice of-these people — its present pause in bombing is longer than it was on the previous occasion. Significantly, after the "14 points" were published on last December 27 by the United States Information "Service, the Johnson Administration made a noticeable revision in the fourteenth point. Originally, it said that the United States could stop the bombing if it could get an indication of what such a cessation would "bring about." The revised version said that the United States could stop the bombing even without the slightest "hint or suggestion" from the other side. What all this reveals is that the Johnson Administration is racking its brains over the question, and it is growing more and more crafty in its tricks.
At present, U.S. imperialism and its partners are pinning their hopes of achieving their "peace talks" scheme on the "pause in bombing." What the Johnson Administration is saying in fact is: I may refrain from bombing the north; I will go on fighting in the south as before; but it is impermissible for the north to aid the south. There is something utterly vicious about this. It amounts to telling the people in the north that they must tolerate U.S. imperialism's aggression an* devastation of the south, and accept the permanent division of their fatherland. It amounts to telling the people in the north to give up their right to help their kith and kin and telling the entire Vietnamese people to renounce their national aspirations for the reunification of their fatherland. In essence, it amounts to telling the people in the north to leave in the lurch their people in the south who are heroically fighting to resist U.S. aggression and save the country. This is of course absolutely unacceptable both to the people of the north, who regard it as their sacred duty to aid the south, and to the people of the south, who regard it as their glorious duty to liberate the south and defend the north.
"14-Point" Proposition Is Revised Version of "Unconditional Discussions”
In short, by offering this "14-point" proposition, the Johnson Administration wants to continue the old game of "unconditional discussions" which it started on April 7 last year. It is only because this stale nonsense is a stench in everyone's nostrils that the Johnson Administration now finds it necessary to dish it up in a new form. However, no discerning person will fail to recognize that stripped of its trimmings the "14-point" proposition is Johnson's same old malodorous "unconditional discussions" proposal, the same Johnson war blackmail that the United States "could stop bombing the north" if "Hanoi ended aggression to the south." That is what it all adds up to.
Yet the Johnson Administration is peddling this same old trash as though it were something new. As soon as the "14 points" were published, Washington sent droves of high officials out to various parts of the world. Ambassador-at-large Harriman, well known as an "able negotiator," flew to Warsaw, Belgrade, New Delhi, Teheran and Cairo. Goldberg, described as "a peace envoy," hurried to the Vatican, Rome, Paris and London. Humphrey went off to Tokyo. McGeorge Bundy visited Ottawa. G. Mennen Williams rushed to Africa. Thomas Mann went to Mexico. In Washington, Rusk histrionically declared that if others "turn up at Geneva tomorrow," "I'll be there." All this indicates Washington's desperate hurry!
At the same time, through various political channels, unusually intensive activities around the "14 points" are being carried on by a bunch of followers of the United States, who are using the "pause in bombing" as "capital." In the role of political broker for the United States, the British Labour government is going about it with great zeal. Using the United Nations as his base of operations, U Thant is working hand in glove with the United States and serving as its go-between. Senior Indian officials, who hate to be outdone, are actively probing in all directions. In Rome, the Pope has been terribly busy, issuing an "appeal" and writing letters left and right.
Special Hope Put on Khrushchov Revisionists and Followers
In putting its "peace talks" hoax into operation, the Johnson Administration places special hope on the Khrushchov revisionists and their followers. It began the "pause in bombing" on December 24, and on the same day its ambassador in Moscow, Kohler, called on Soviet Vice-Foreign Minister V.V. Kuznetsov. Three days later, Washington published its "14-point" proposition; the very next day, the Soviet Union announced that a delegation headed by A.N. Shelepin would visit Vietnam. Then on December 29, senior U.S. officials began their travels overseas as salesmen for the "peace talks" scheme. On the same day, Kohler called on N.V. Podgorny, President of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. Comments in American and other Western newspapers indicated that the United States and the Soviet Union "seem to take, each on its part, an action which will perhaps have many common features" and that "before taking the decision that Shelepin should visit Hanoi, the Soviet Union obviously was tipped off in one form or another by the United States about the pause in its bombing. The United States hopes that the Soviet Union will exert its influence to persuade Hanoi to sit down at the conference table."
Why is the Johnson Administration in such a hurry to sell its "14-point" proposition?
The United States now finds itself fighting a war in south Vietnam which- it cannot win, but it does not want to withdraw. At home, the anti-war movement is rapidly spreading among different strata of the people, and among the ruling circles there is endless bickering; abroad, the Johnson Administration's policy of aggression against Vietnam is under attack on all sides, and very few of its allies are willing to lend a hand. In short, both at home and abroad the Johnson Administration is in dire straits. It is going through a most trying time.
Groping in a Blind Alley
Battered on the battlefield, the Johnson Administration seeks "a way out" through its "peace talks" swindle. Still seeking "a way out" when the swindle fails, it reverts to war expansion. For a year now, the Johnson- Administration has been groping in this blind alley. This has become its law of motion. Now it is engaged in a still greater military buildup in Vietnam and Indo-China as a whole, while in the United States itself it is carrying on war mobilization on a still larger scale. The whole course of events proves that the gigantic U.S. "peace talks" fraud is the overture to wider war. As the spokesman of the Foreign Ministry of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam pointed out in a statement on January 4, the Johnson Administration wants "to call black white and pose itself as a peace-lover, to slander the Vietnamese people, and thus to create a pretext for taking new steps in implementation of its scheme to intensify and expand the war."
An Intense Struggle
At present, an intense struggle is being waged around the big "peace talks" fraud and conspiracy which the Johnson Administration is trying to put across, a struggle which has a vital bearing on the vital interests of the Vietnamese people and world peace.
The U.S. aggressors have been badly pummelled in south Vietnam. Nevertheless they are far from admitting defeat. Therefore, the question in Vietnam now is not so-called "peace talks" but to deal the U.S. aggressors further and still heavier blows. President Ho Chi Minh recently reiterated: "Our people are determined to persevere in the fight and to undergo sacrifices for 10 or 20 years or a longer time, till complete victory." His statement expresses the firm resolve of the 31 million people of Vietnam. So long as the U.S. aggressors refuse to admit defeat and withdraw, the Vietnamese people will fight resolutely, until their struggle to resist U.S. aggression and save their country is crowned with complete victory.
Together with all peace-loving countries and people all over the world, the Chinese Government and people are determined to thoroughly expose and frustrate the gigantic "peace talks" fraud and conspiracy of the Johnson Administration, resolutely support the Vietnamese people's struggle to resist U.S. aggression and save their country, and smash the criminal U.S. imperialist plans to extend the war.
("Renmin Ribao," January 7, 1966.)
Source: Peking Review, No. 3, January 14, 1966
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