First Published: The Vanguard April 18, 1968
Reprinted: World Revolution [journal of the U.S. Progressive Labor Party] Vol. 1, No. 3, Summer 1968
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The fraud of Johnson’s “peace” proposal in Vietnam grows daily more apparent. Likewise the fraud of the Soviet revisionist clique in supporting “peace” negotiations grows more and more apparent.
Johnson has continued to bomb the northern part of Vietnam, despite his so-called de-escalation. He has continued to wage war on the territory of the southern part of Vietnam and is desperately trying to extend it.
He has held a meeting of members of the aggressive SEATO in Wellington.
The simple fact is that Johnson is not able immediately to extend his aggression on the vast scale proposed by the dismissed General Westmoreland. So badly have the U. S. aggressors been mauled that it is impossible to supply the existing troops. Though Johnson has not complied with Westmoreland’s demand for 200,000 troops, nonetheless he has increased the number of U.S. troops in Vietnam. The only limitation has been forced on him by practical necessity. Does this show any change of heart?
Really all Johnson is doing is manoeuvring to improve the position of the U.S. aggressors. He is trying to appease opposition in the U.S. to his aggression, to calm the alarm of his “allies” at aggression. But it is all done in order to intensify aggression.
He is using the time-honored politician’s trick of making virtue out of necessity.
The U.S. aggressors badly need a breathing space. Military defeat, economic crisis, internal conflict, international quarrelling have all compelled Johnson to manoeuvre.
Actually it all reveals the desperation and desperate weakness of his position.
Yet there are elements in north Vietnam who, under the influence of the Soviet Khrushchevites, feed the illusion that negotiations can get somewhere. Who ever heard of negotiating with a defeated murderer? Yet that is what is happening. It arises directly from the Soviet Khrushchevites’ activities. It is they who have done all the work to give the U.S. aggressors time to renew their aggression. It is they who are doing the real negotiations that are aimed at selling out the Vietnamese people.
Let us assume for argument’s sake the “negotiations” are successful. U.S. Imperialism and its puppets will remain in Vietnam (because the Soviet Khrushchevites do not demand U.S. withdrawal: they demand only cessation of the bombing). That means that U.S. and U.S. puppet killing and exploitation of the local people will go on.
All the great victories of the Vietnamese people will have gone for nothing.
That is what is at stake. That is what Soviet Khrushchevite treachery means.
All the toiling people should repudiate these so-called “negotiations” and should support the south Vietnamese people in their struggle right to the end so that no single U.S. or puppet soldier is left on Vietnam’s soil.