Chapter

The Cassandra Conundrum

Andrew L. Johns

in Vietnam’s Second Front

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780813125725
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135427 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813125725.003.0003
The Cassandra Conundrum

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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

Chapter.  16350 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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