King devoted a large part of his speech to reviewing the history of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. He recounted how the U.S. turned its back on Ho Chi Minh, supported “France in its reconquest of her former colony,” undermined the Geneva accords of 1954, and implanted in the south “one of the most vicious modern dictators, our chosen man, Premier Diem.” Having established this factual history, still unknown to many Americans at the time, he called on Americans to atone for their government’s misdeeds as a prelude to changing course.
Having spoken from his conscience, King was labeled an enemy of the state by his government, and derided as a dupe of the communists by the press. He was not alone in this. Both the Johnson and Nixon administrations besmirched antiwar activism as support for the communist cause, if not actually being controlled by communists. Using an expansive definition of “subversion,” they employed the FBI and CIA to conduct surveillance and sabotage of antiwar groups, including King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). As for the mainstream media, its denunciations of antiwar activism decreased over time as more Americans joined the antiwar movement and the costs of the war increased.
In the sociological and ideological analyses of totalitarianism qua novel contemporary phenomenon (Hannah Arendt, Talmon, C. J. Friedrich, Brzezinski) a dialectical moment may be discerned in the evolution of terminology. If the concept of totality is not merely quantitative but instead consists of a specific intensity of organised power, then it is not the state, but strictly a party that constitutes the subject and protagonist of totalitarianism. In these circumstances, part of the erstwhile totality confronts the latter as a new totality and demotes the state to a mere quantitative totality. Accordingly, the historical dialectic brings about a negation of the erstwhile totality by a part thereof, whereas the latter asserts its status as something more than the pre-existing totality. In this sense, there are no totalitarian states, only totalitarian parties. (*) (Schmitt 1973: 366f)
Anti-individualistic, the Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with those of the State, which stands for the conscience and the universal, will of man as a historic entity . It is opposed to classical liberalism which arose as a reaction to absolutism and exhausted its historical function when the State became the expression of the conscience and will of the people. Liberalism denied the State in the name of the individual; Fascism reasserts the rights of the State as expressing the real essence of the individual . And if liberty is to he the attribute of living men and not of abstract dummies invented by individualistic liberalism, then Fascism stands for liberty, and for the only liberty worth having, the liberty of the State and of the individual within the State . The Fascist conception of the State is all embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism, is totalitarian, and the Fascist - a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values - interprets, develops, and potentates the whole life of a people .
Kitsch is a product of the industrial revolution which urbanizedthe masses of Western Europe and America and established whatis called universal literacy.
Taking a longer view, the American attempt to create and protect a separate, noncommunist state in southern Vietnam went through four phases over the course of twenty-one years.
It was also possible that the U.S. would achieve its goals in South Vietnam. Judging by other U.S. policies, superior power coupled with convincing propaganda usually came out on top. Such was the case with the Dominican Republic in the spring of 1965. U.S. military forces invaded the country in order to secure a rightist military junta that had ousted the democratically elected government of Juan Bosch. The American people were told that the 20,000 U.S. troops dispatched were sent to save American lives and prevent a communist takeover. Daniel Ellsberg, a Pentagon analyst who was privy to the inside story, reflected, “We were 100 percent lying about what we were doing in the Dominican Republic.” The Dominican Republic, said Ellsberg, was “one of the few communist-free environments in the whole world.” The Johnson administration got away with its lies and Washington added the country to its list of client-states. As in Vietnam, internal developments in the Dominican Republic were touted as a threat to the United States, when in fact there was no threat whatsoever, only a desire on the part of U.S. leaders to establish another pro-U.S. regime.
To some degree, Johnson administration officials also deceived themselves, predicting that massive bombing of the north and the introduction of U.S. combat troops in the south would boost the morale of the ARVN, increase GVN stability, and buoy American “credibility.” Yet this “stepped-up American military effort,” writes Logevall:
The American War in Vietnam was mainly fought in the South. The U.S. bombed North Vietnam heavily but did not send in U.S. troops, as this would likely have triggered Chinese intervention and a wider war, as noted in a CIA estimate in July 1965. Moreover, writes the international relations scholar John W. Garver, “A Sino-American war fought on the Southeast Asian peninsula would probably have facilitated the growth of communist power in Thailand, Burma, the Philippines, and Malaysia. China would have spared no efforts to outflank the United States by supporting insurgencies elsewhere in Southeast Asia.”
America’s ally, the GVN, garnered little loyalty from the people during its two decades of existence. It remained from beginning to end, an authoritarian, repressive, and corrupt client-state of the United States. It was also constantly in turmoil. On February 19, 1965, General Nguyen Khanh was ousted in a coup d’état, tacitly approved by U.S. Ambassador Maxwell Taylor and General William Westmoreland. Khanh left the country and power was transferred to a triumvirate of generals, Nguyen Cao Ky, Nguyen Chanh Thi, and Nguyen Van Thieu. To please the U.S., the new government pledged on March 1 not to negotiate with the enemy. Thi was soon banished to the U.S., while Ky and Thieu became the key leaders for the remainder of South Vietnam’s existence. Ky was born in Hanoi and had been trained as a pilot by the French in Algeria. He was described by Ambassador Taylor as having all the qualities of a successful juvenile gang leader. Thieu, also northern-born, had fought with the French against the Viet Minh, graduated from the United States Command and General Staff College in 1957, and became president of South Vietnam in 1967. Thieu’s top power broker, General Dang Van Quang, was heavily involved in the narcotics trade, controlling the Vietnamese Navy which harbored an elaborate smuggling organization.
I am sure the great American people, if only they knew the true facts and background to the developments in South Vietnam, will agree with me that further bloodshed is unnecessary. And that the political and diplomatic methods of discussions and negotiations alone can create conditions which will enable the United States to withdraw gracefully from that part of the world. As you know, in times of war and hostilities, the first casualty is truth.