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inspiration of the French support for Bao Dai as a nationalist alternative to the Viet Minh. In his Life article Bullitt concentrated on the thesis that communists under Ho Chi Minh had “captured” the leadership of the independence movement. Having defined Ho as a communist, Bullitt ruled out any possibility of his independence of action or genuine dedication to the cause of Vietnamese independence. Any promises Ho made “would be broken as soon as he should receive orders from Moscow to break them . . . ” Ho’s movement was designed to “add another finger to the hand that Stalin is closing around China.” The chief action, of course, was the deveolpment of a nationalist alternative communists.” Bullitt’s thesis translated Vietnam’s political struggles into cold war terminology. Bao Dai was the first of a series of native anti-communists demanded by the script; later, he would be denounced as a “puppet” and Ngo Dinh Diem would be proposed as the alternative; and then Khan, and so on. Bullitt’s interpretation of events overlooked the internal history of Vietnam; nonetheless, his view was the basis of US .plans to create a. “nationalist” government by fiat of a foreign nation. It was a program based primarily on the needs of America’s anti-communist foreign policy. A revolution to rival successfully that of the communists would have had to respond to the felt needs of the Vietnamese people. But the preoccupations of US policy were never those of a majority of Vietnamese. This has been at the root of America’s failure in Vietnam. The bipartisan cold war consensus had come into being in the United States in the late 1940’s and the Bullitt thesis was considered only in the most grandiose terms of East-West ideological confrontation. In March, 1949, the so-called Elysee Accords, under which the French recognized Bao Dai as chief of state, granted his government minimal responsibilities within an over-all pattern of French control through the French Union. The accords left matters of defense and foreign relations under French control. French nationals were still to be tried under French law, and business and property that belonged to French citizens could not be tampered with without the consent of the French government. The US State Department announced that Bao Dai was “making sincere efforts to, unite all truly nationalist elements within Vietnam,” and it hoped that the Elysee agreements “will form the basis for the progressive realization of the legitimate aspirations of the Vietnamese people.” Thus, on February 7, 1950, the United States recognized the Bao Dai government. On June 27, 1950, President Truman announced that he had “directed acceleration in the furnishing of military assistance to the forces of France and the Associated States in Indochina and the dispatch of a military mission to provide close working relations with those forces.” This step-up came after the start of the war in Korea and was undoubtedly viewed by the administration as an operation, on another flank, against the same enemy. Between 1950 and 1954, the United States sent $2.6 billion worth of military and economic aid to the French in Vietmillion during 1950-52 but $1.8 billion in 1953. and 1954 in response to the imminent French collapse. Senator Mike Mansfield’s Subcommittee on State Department Organization and Public Affairs reported in 1954 that French forces outnumbered those of the Viet Minh by a factor of 5 to 3 and “as a result largely of American assistance . . . the non-communist forces possessed great superiorityestimated as high as 10-1 in armaments, and the flow of American aid was constant and increasingly heavy.” ,T HE IDEA OF A mass attack had been entertained. “Operation Vulture,” a joint French-American plan, called for the obliteration of the Viet Minh through the onslaught of 300 carrierbased fighter bombers and sixty heavy bombers from the Philippines. At the request of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, US Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorported the State Week and Austin ForumAdvocate. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth fo serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Editor, Greg Olds. Partner, Mrs. R. D. Randolph. Editor-at-large, Ronnie Dugger. Business Manager, Sarah Payne. Associate Manager, C. R. Olofson. Contributing Editors, Elroy Bode, Winston Bode, Bill Brammer, Sue Horn Estes, Larry Goodwyn, Harris Green, Bill Helmer, Dave Hickey, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Larry L. King, Georgia Earnest Klipple, Al Melinger, Robert L. Montgomery, Willie Morris, James Presley, Charles Ramsdell, John Rogers, Mary Beth Rogers, Roger Shattuck, Robert Sherrill, Dan Strawn, Tom Sutherland, Charles Alan Wright. Contributing Photographer, Russell Lee. The Observer publishes articles, essuys, and creative work of the shorter forms having to do in various ways with this area. The pay depends: at present it is token. Unsolicited manuscripts /bust be accompanied by return postage. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. None of the other people who are associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility aircraft carriers had been sent to the Indochinese coast. Two of the aircraft were rumored at the time to be loaded with atomic bombs, and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles is reported to have hinted in Paris that the United States might launch an atomic attack. President Eisenhower, however, was reluctant to allow Americans to be dragged further into the war. This was due in part to the opposition of our allies, particularly England, and to American exhaustion with war following Korea. But there was also the President’s belief that a military victory was not possible because of Vietnam’s internal political situation: the people supported the Viet Minh and identified Ho Chi Minh as the leader of their independence movement. As Eisenhower stated some years later in his memoirs, Mandate for Change, The enemy had much popular sympathy, and many civilians aided them by providing both shelter and information. The French still had sufficient forces to win if they could induce the regular Vietnamese soldiers to fight vigorously with them and the populace to support them. But guerrilla warfare cannot work two ways; normally only one side can enjoy reliable citizen help. In other words, Bao Dai, the anti-communist nationalist alternative, whom the Truman and Eisenhower Administrations with him. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor does not necessarily imply that he agrees with them, because this is a journal of free voices. Unsigned articles are the editor’s. Subscription Representatives: Arlington, George N. Green, 300 E. South College St., CR 70080; Austin, Mrs. Helen C. Spear, 2615 Pecos, HO 5-1805; Corpus Christi, Penny Dudley, 12241,!. Second St., TU 4-1460; Dallas, Mrs. Cordye Hall, 5835 Ellsworth, TA 1-1205; Ft. Worth, Dolores Jacobsen, 3025 Greene Ave., WA 4 -9655; Houston, Mrs. Kitty Peacock, 718 Capital National Bank Building, CA 8-7956; Lubbock, Doris Blaisdell, 2515 24th St., Midland, Eva Dennis, 4306 Douglas, OX 4-2825; Snyder, Enid Turner, 2210 30th St., HI 3-9497 or HI 3-6061; San Antonio, Mrs. Mae B. Tuggle, 531 Elmhurst, TA 6-3583. The Observer is published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd., biweekly from Austin, Texas. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $6.0d a year; two years, $11.00; three years, $15.00. Foreign rates on request. Single copies 25c: prices for ten or more for students, or bulk orders, on request. Editorial and Business Offices: The Texas Observer, 504 West 24th St.. Austin, Texas 78705. Telephone GR 7-0746. Houston office: 718 Capital National Bank Building, Houston, Texas 77002, Telephone CA 8-7956. Change of Address: Please give old and new address and allow three weeks. Form 3579 regarding undelivered copies: Send to Texas Observer, 504 W. 24th, Austin, Texas 78705. THE TEXAS OBSERVER @ Texas Observer Co., Ltd. 1967 A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South 61st YEARESTABLISHED 1906 Vol. LIX, No. 22 ?AO. Nov. 10, 1967