U.S. President Lyndon Johnson pledged to keep the United States in Vietnam "until aggression has?
U.S. President Lyndon Johnson pledged to keep the United States in Vietnam "until aggression has stopped". He promised also to continue and expand his domestic programmes - known as the Great Society - despite the financial demands of the Vietnam war.
The President spoke to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night (12 January) delivering his annual State of the Union message.
He proposed a variety of domestic reforms including four-year terms for members of the House of Representatives and additional guarantees of equal rights for Negros. He called for sweeping new foreign aid programmes, liberlised trade with Eastern Europe and a speed-up in the war on poverty.
He discussed the recent Vietnam "peace offensive" and told Congress there was no indication yet how it was being received in Hanoi. He described the war in Vietnam as a struggle against aggression and said the U.S. would stay there until the people of Vietnam could settle their own problems by themselves.
Our film shows two excerpts from his speech: "I do not come her tonight to ask for pleasant luxuries and idle pleasures. I am here to recommend that you - the representatives of the richest nation on earth - the elected servants of a people who live in abundance unwatched on this globe - bring the most urgent decencies of life to all Americans. There are men who cry out: We must sacrifice. Let us rather ask them: whom will they sacrifice? Will they sacrifice the children who seek learning - the sick who need care - the families who dwell in squalor now brightened by the hope of home? Will they sacrifice opportunity for the distressed - the beauty of our land - the hope of our poor. Time may require further sacrifices. If so, we will make them. But we will not heed those who wring it from the hopes of the unfortunate in a land of plenty."
"Until peace comes, or if it does not come, our course is clear. we will act as we must to help protect the independence of the valiant people of South Vietnam. We will strive to limit conflict, for we wish neither increased destruction nor increased danger. But we will give our fighting men what they must have: every gun, every dollar, and every decision - whatever the cost and whatever the challenge."
(The U.S. Constitution requires that the president "shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient". By custom, the State of the Union message is delivered to the Congress annually, near the beginning of each session.)