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FDL Book Salon Welcomes John White, The Gulf of Tonkin Events – Fifty Years Later: A Footnote to the History of the Vietnam War

Welcome John White (Institute of Noetic Sciences) and Host Deborah Nelson (Univ of Maryland) (Newshawk) (Twitter)

The Gulf of Tonkin Events – Fifty Years Later: A Footnote to the History of the Vietnam War

The war in Vietnam essentially began in 1964 in response to what the American government claimed was an unprovoked attack upon two U.S. naval ships, the destroyers USS Maddox (DD-731) and USS Turner Joy (DD-951), while they were steaming peacefully on the high seas in the Gulf of Tonkin off Vietnam. Although there was a U.S. military presence in Vietnam before that, the Tonkin events led to congressional action which allowed President Lyndon Johnson (and, later, President Richard Nixon) to escalate our military presence enormously and to wage war not only in Vietnam but also covertly in Southeast Asia. Among the many books written on the Vietnamese war, half a dozen note a 1967 letter to the editor of a Connecticut newspaper which was instrumental in pressuring the Johnson administration to tell the truth about how the war was started. The letter was mine. It became, in the words of one author, “a national sensation.” Actually, that was an understatement. It became an international sensation. On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin events, this is an account of my role and its aftermath, both personal and political. – From the Foreword

JOHN WHITE is an internationally known author who writes about the human mind and spirituality and their relationship to social and political affairs. He has published 16 books, including The Meeting of Science and Spirit, What Is Enlightenment?, A Practical Guide to Death and Dying and (for children) The Christmas Mice. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, Esquire, Woman’s Day and many other newspapers and magazines. His books have been translated into ten languages. Mr. White was born in 1939. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College (1961) and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Yale University (1969). He has taught English and journalism on the secondary and college levels. After college, Mr. White served four years in the U.S. military as a naval officer, primarily in antisubmarine warfare and nuclear weaponry. In 1972, Mr. White worked with Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell to begin The Institute of Noetic Sciences, a research organization founded by Dr. Mitchell to study the human potential for personal and planetary transformation. Now retired, Mr. White lives in Cheshire, Connecticut.
 
 
The Resolution:

Eighty-eighth Congress of the United States of America
AT THE SECOND SESSION

Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the seventh day of January, one thousand nine hundred and sixty-four

Joint Resolution
To promote the maintenance of international peace and security in southeast Asia.

Whereas naval units of the Communist regime in Vietnam, in violation of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and of international law, have deliberately and repeatedly attacked United Stated naval vessels lawfully present in international waters, and have thereby created a serious threat to international peace; and

Whereas these attackers are part of deliberate and systematic campaign of aggression that the Communist regime in North Vietnam has been waging against its neighbors and the nations joined with them in the collective defense of their freedom; and

Whereas the United States is assisting the peoples of southeast Asia to protest their freedom and has no territorial, military or political ambitions in that area, but desires only that these people should be left in peace to work out their destinies in their own way: Now, therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Congress approves and supports the determination of the President, as Commander in Chief, to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.

Section 2. The United States regards as vital to its national interest and to world peace the maintenance of international peace and security in southeast Asia. Consonant with the Constitution of the United States and the Charter of the United Nations and in accordance with its obligations under the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty, the United States is, therefore, prepared, as the President determines, to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed force, to assist any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty requesting assistance in defense of its freedom.

Section 3. This resolution shall expire when the President shall determine that the peace and security of the area is reasonably assured by international conditions created by action of the United Nations or otherwise, except that it may be terminated earlier by concurrent resolution of the Congress.

[endorsements]

Transcription courtesy of the Avalon Project at Yale Law School.

 

[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book and be respectful of dissenting opinions.  Please take other conversations to a previous thread. – bev]

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Deborah Nelson

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