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Vietnam’s Second FrontDomestic Politics, the Republican Party, and the War$
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Andrew L. Johns

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125725

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125725.001.0001

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The Cassandra Conundrum

The Cassandra Conundrum

GOP Opposition to LBJ’s Vietnam Policy, 1963–1965

Chapter:
(p.42) (p.43) CHAPTER 2 The Cassandra Conundrum
Source:
Vietnam’s Second Front
Author(s):

Andrew L. Johns

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813125725.003.0003

Lyndon Johnson saw communism as an enemy that had to be defeated. He came into office as a strong believer in the necessity of standing firm in Vietnam as a bulwark against communism in Asia and in supporting the Saigon regime fully. This stance also reflected his belief that Kennedy's complicity in the coup that toppled Diem linked the fate of South Vietnam to the American commitment. Yet Johnson was also driven by a notion he shared with his predecessor—that should South Vietnam fall, he would face a domestic political backlash which would fracture the support he required to implement his nascent Great Society programs. This sentiment would play a major role in every choice Johnson made leading up to the Americanization of the war.

Keywords:   Lyndon Johnson, communism, Vietnam, Asia, Saigon, Kennedy, Diem

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