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November 29, 1972, Memcon South Vietnam

November 29, 1972, Memcon South Vietnam

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Published by Fatal Politics
President Richard M. Nixon personally delivers an ultimatum to Nguyen Phu Duc, special adviser to South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu: Accept Nixon's settlement terms or face a cutoff of American military and economic aid.
President Richard M. Nixon personally delivers an ultimatum to Nguyen Phu Duc, special adviser to South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu: Accept Nixon's settlement terms or face a cutoff of American military and economic aid.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Fatal Politics on Jun 17, 2009
Copyright:Public Domain

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02/23/2014

 
MEMORANDUM
THEWHITE
HOUSE
WASHINGTON
DECLASSIFIEDE.O.
12958,
Sect.
3.6
__________
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MEMORANDUM
F
CONVERSATION
PARTICIPANTS:
The
President
Dr.Henry
A.
Kissinger,
Special
Assistant
to
the
Presidentfor
NationalSecurityAffairsGeneralAlexander
M.
Haig,
Jr.,
Deputy
Special
Assistant
to
the
President
forNationalSecurityAffairs
NguyenPhu
Duc,
Special
Advisor
to
President
Thieu
Tran
Kim
Phuong,
Ambassador
to
the
United
States
TIME
&
DATE:
3:05
P.M.
to
5:10
P.M.November
29,
1972
PLACE:
The
Oval
Office
Following
an
initial
greeting
and
press
photographic
coverage,
President
Nixon
welcomedMr.
Duc
to
Washington
for
a
frank
exchange
of
viewsbetween
himself
and
President
Thieu’s
personal
representative.
The
President
pointed
out
that,
as
Dr.
Kissinger
had
stated,
the
negotiations
with
the
NorthVietnamese
in
search
of
a
negotiatedsettlement
of
theconflict
in
SoutheastAsia
wereata
critical
point.
It
was
importantthat
the
U.S.
and
South
Vietnam
now
go
forward
as
allies.
For
four
years,President
Nixon
had
carried
the
minority
view
againstthousands
of
demon
strators
here
at
theWhiteHouse
itself,
against
a
strong
and
at
times
majority
consensus
in
the
Congress
and
against
a
wave
of
popular
opinionwhich
favoredconclusion
of
the
conflict.
The
President
hadcontinued
the
fightboth
politically
and
militarilyfor
the
right
of
thepeople
of
South
Vietnam
to
be
free
of
the
threat
of
an
imposedgovernment,
but
also
to
achieveother
peripheral
goals,
including
the
return
ofU.S.
prisoners
of
war.
However,both
South
Vietnam
andtheUnited
States
wereata
tLASSIFIED
BYJ1’
V
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C
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critical
juncture.
The
President
was
therefore
anxious
tohave
President
Thieu’s
current
views.
He
would
meet
withDr.
Kissinger
in
Florida
on
Saturdaymorning
preparatory
to
the
meeting
on
December
4
in
Paris,
a
meeting
which
wouldbethe
last
meeting.
It
was
recognized
that
there
were
differences
between
WashingtonandSaigon,
the
President
continued.
It
was
recognized
that
the
interests
of
both
countriesdiverged
insome
particulars
and
that
on
the
South
Viet
namese
sidetheproblem
was
most
difficult.
Therefore,
a
frank
talk
was
important.
But
then
bothsides
should
agree
to
agree.
Disagreement
provideddividends
only
toHanoi
and
to
the
left
wing
of
the
United
States.
Expressions
of
betrayal
from
Saigon
that
Dr.
Kissinger
had
been
exceed
ing
his
instructions
must
stop,
or
it
would
destroy
all
that
both
nations
had
workedfor.It
was
essential
that
the
United
States
retain
public
support
for
South
Vietnam.It
wasfine
tospeak
frankly
when
we
werein
an
intimate
context,
but
it
was
disastrous
to
air
disagreements
tbio
ugh
the
radio
and
themedia.
President
Nixon
had
stood
personally
for
Saigonand
forPresident
Thieu.
The
consensus
of
the
Americai
press
was
against
South
Vietnam.
Therefore,
criticism
from
Saigononly
helped
Saigontsenemies
in
the
United
States.It
wouldbe
helpfultohaveMr.
Duc’s
views
so
thatthey
could
be
considered
as
instructions
were
prepared
for
Dr.
Kissinger.
Mr.
uc
stated
that
he
wishedtoconvey
the
warm
greetings
of
President
Thieu
and
thepeople
of
South
Vietnam
and
to
emphasize
their
gratitude
for
all
President
had
done.
Vietnamization
had
brought
South
Vietnam
toa
position
of
greater
strength
than
ever
before.
When
theenemy
offensive
was
launched
on
March
30,
the
South
Vietnameseproved
the
success
of
Vietnamization.
Now,it
was
clear
that
a
crucial
stage
had
been
reached.
Theenemy
apparently
wishedto
settle.President
Thieu
badasked
that
Mr.
Duc
explain
the
whys
and
wherefors
of
his
position.
President
Thieu
did
not
believe
Mr.
Kissinger
wentbeyond
President
Nixon’s
instructions.
President
Thieu
andMr.
Duc
didnot
acceptthe
press
attacks
on
Dr.
Kissinger.
From
Paris,
Mr.
Duc
wired
Saigon
expressinghis
distressat
these
reports,
and
Saigon
had
assured
Mr.
Duc
that
the
Government
wasnot
thesource
of
theseattacks.
The
reporting
of
these
attacks
on
SaigonRadiowasnotan
expression
of
the
South
VietnameseGovernment
but
rather
a
reporting
of
theflow
of
news.
President
ixon
said
hewas
sure
Mr.
Duc
was
cognizant
of
the
attitude
of
the
U.S.
pressreports
in
Saigon.
Most
wereunfriendly,
and
it
was
essential
that
they
notbe
providedwith
ammunition.
Many
wanted
TOP
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President
Thieuto
fail.
The
fact
was
that
manyhad
predicted
this
failure
foryears,
as
hadmany
on
the
leftin
the
United
States.
President
Nixon
was
surprised
that
President
Thieuhad
not
made
a
clear
statementthat
he
hadconfidencein
President
Nixon.
This
very
fact
provided
the
left
withweaponstheycoulduse
againstus.Whetherit
was
Dr.
Kissinger
or
General
Haig,the
outcome
was
the
same.
Privately,there
could
be
differences;
publicly
there
must
be
none.
Mr.
uc
said
that
the
sequence
of
events
was
launchedwith
Radio
Hanoi’shaving
gone
public.
Then,Saigon
could
not
remain
silent.
It
was
neces
sary
to
prepare
thepeople
of
South
Vietnam.
So
it
wasnot
the
intentionto
go
public
but
rather
a
necessity.
The
resident
statedthat
it
was
evident
that
Saigon
had
done
well
in
pre
paringfor
the
ceasefire.
This
he
welcomed.
But
ifthe
impression
was
created
that
Hanoihad
won
and
was
gaining
more
fromthe
settlement,
then
it
posed
the
United
States
with
great
problems.Certainly,
President
Thieu
had
provenhis
great
public
relationssense
in
the
past.
It
was
im
portant
that
henotbe
negativeor
defensive
atthis
time.
It
was
the
Presi
dent’s
task
to
go
to
the
U.S.
Congress
to
get
the
bullets
buthe
would
notbe
ableto
do
so
iftheattacks
continue.
Mr.
uc
stated
thatthe
Saigon
free
press
would
play
thefielddespite
the
Government’s
best
efforts.
He
had
beensent
toWashington
because
President
Thieu
wanted
President
Nixon
to
havehisposition
fully.
He
wanted
President
Nixon
tohave
the
reasons
for
these
positions.For
thatreason,
he
carried
a
letter
from
President
Thieu
and
was
prepared
to
answerwhateverquestions
the
President
might
havewith
respect
to
the
letter.
[The
President
read
the
23-page
double
spaced
letter
from
President
Thieu,
at
TabA,
marking
key
portions
of
it
with
his
fountain
pen.
I
The
resident
remarkedthat
President
Thieu’s
letter
setforthhis
viewswith
clarity
and
force,
and
that
it
needed
no
elaboration
sinceit
was
totallyconsistent
with
the
viewsgiven
by
Mr.
Duc
toDr.
Kissinger
in
Paris.
Much
of
it
President
Nixon
agreed
with.
No
one
was
more
sus
picious
of
the
Communists.
The
President
bad
known
the
misery
thathas
beenimposed
on
the
people
of
North
Vietnam.
He
observed
it
first
hand
in
1956.The
traffic
in
this
respect
bad
been
all
one
way.
The
T.IXP
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