HIST-UA 757 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Marshall Plan, Pentagon Papers, Watergate Complex

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20 Feb 2017
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Lecture Notes for 02/08/17
Post Japanese surrender, Ho was worried about the arms that flew to the Chinese
Nationalists
So he turns to negotiating w/ the French; he wanted to be an independent nation in
the French Union
Within the French Foreign Legion the majority of the soldiers fighting in Vietnam were
German ex-Nazis and Vietnamese
Early on in the battle, Ho’s forces were incredibly isolated, so there were very few large
standing battles
At the beginning of the Indochinese conflict there was no real consensus by the French
people of the War
The left, liberal, and socialist groups opposed it and said that they would end up
fighting the “American’s War”
Most of the money that came from the Marshall Plan went into Europe to fund the French
War in Indochina
Early on in the war, Stalin snubs Ho Chi Minh in order to keep open channels w/ the
French
One of the main reasons that France stayed in Vietnam after they saw the futility of the
war was the fear that the message of rebellion/freedom would reach French African
colonies
After the Geneva Conference, the French left Southern Vietnam with the outbreak of the
Algerian War
Bao Dai was a puppet propped up by both the French and the Vietnamese
He was constantly in the French Rivera and never actually in Vietnam
The US was caught between ending colonialism in Vietnam and the fear that France
would not support US policy of German reintegration and remilitarization
In 1948 the Viet Minh control 50% of Vietnam and have 250,000 members
The Pentagon Papers were kept a secret from President Lyndon B. Johnson
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara wanted all of the documents (minus the
White House Papers) kept in one place
The US saw Ho Chi Minh (and all Communists) as dependent upon China/Russia, and
thus could not be a true Nationalist
Therefore they delegitimized their cause
“The French were fighting for a colony, but the US was fighting for a domino”
The US believed that there was a Kremlin led initiative to spread Communism all over
the world, even though there was no evidence to support this theory
The US really didn’t need evidence for any of its claims tbh
Dean Acheson said that Korea saved the US by allowing them to raise the defense budget
500%, even though most of the money was funneled into Europe
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