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Ann Richards:Democratic National Convention Keynote Addressdelivered19July1988, AtlantaGAAUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED:Textversion belowtranscribeddirectlyfromaudioThank you. Thank you. Thank you, very much.Good evening,ladies and gentlemen. Buenas noches, mis amigos.Im delighted to be here withyouthis evening,because after listening to George Bush allthese years, Ifigured youneededto know what a real Texas accentsounds like.Twelve years agoBarbara Jordan, another Texas woman, Barbara made the keynote addressto this convention, and two womenin a hundred and sixty years is about par for the course.Butif you give us a chance, we can perform. After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that FredAstaire did. She just did it backwards and in highheels.I wantto announce to this Nation that in a little more than100 days, the ReaganMeeseDeaverNofzigerPoindexterNorthWeinbergerWattGorsuchLavelleStockmanHaigBorkNoriegaGeorgeBush [era] will be over!You know, tonight I feel a little like I did when Iplayed basketballinthe 8th grade. Ithought Ilooked realcute in my uniform. And then I heard a boy yellfrom the bleachers, ;Make thatbasket, Birdlegs.; And my greatestfear is that same guy is somewhere outthere in theaudience tonight, and hes going to cutme downto size, because where I grewup there reallywasnrsquo;t muchtolerance for selfimportance,people who put on airs.I was born during the Depressionin a little community just outside Waco, and I grewuplistening to Franklin Roosevelt onthe radio. Well, it was back thenthatI came tounderstandthe smalltruths and the hardships that bind neighbors together. Those were real people withreal problems and they hadreal dreams about getting out of the Depression. I can remembersummer nights when wersquo;d put down what we called the Baptist pallet, and we listened tothegrownupstalk. I can stillhear the sound of the dominoes clicking on the marble slab mydaddy had found for a tabletop.I can still hear the laughter of the men telling jokes youwerenrsquo;t supposed tohear talkinabouthow big that old buck deer was, laughin aboutmama puttin Clorox in the well whenthe frog fellin.They talked about war andWashington and what this country needed. They talked straighttalk. And it came from people who were living their lives as best they could.And thatrsquo;s whatwersquo;re gonna dotonight. Wersquo;re gonna tellhow the cow ate the cabbage.Transcription byMichaelE. Eidenmuller. Copyright Status: Restricted, seek permission.Page1AmericanRhetoric.comI got a letter last week from a young mother in Lorena, Texas, and I wanna part of it toyou. She writes,;Our worries go from pay day to pay day, justlike millions of others. And we have twofairlydecentincomes, butI worry how Irsquo;m going to pay the rising car insurance and food. I pray mykids donrsquo;thave a growthspurtfrom August toDecember, soI donrsquo;thave to buy newjeans. We buy clothes atthe budget stores andwe have them fray and fade and stretch in thefirst wash. We ponder and try to figure out howwere gonna pay for college and braces andtennis shoes. We donrsquo;ttake vacations and we donrsquo;t go out to eat. Please donrsquo;t thinkmeungrateful. We have jobs and a nice place tolive, and wersquo;re healthy. Were the people you seeevery day inthe grocery stores, and we obey the laws. We pay our taxes. We fly our flags onholidays and we plod along trying to make it better for ourselves and our children and ourparents. We arenrsquo;tvocal any more. Ithink maybe wersquo;re too tired.I believe that people like usare forgottenin America.;Well of course you believe yoursquo;re forgotten, because youhave been.This Republican Administrationtreats us as if we were pieces of a puzzle that canrsquo;t fittogether. Theyve tried to put us into compartments and separate us from each other. Theirpoliticaltheory is ;divide and conquer.;Theyrsquo;ve suggested time and time again that whatis ofinterest to one group of Americans is not of interest to any one else. Wersquo;ve beenisolated.Wersquo;ve beenlumped intothatsad phraseology called ;special interests.;Theyrsquo;ve told farmersthatthey were selfish, thatthey would drive up food prices if they asked the government tointervene on behalf of the family farm, and we watched farms go on the auction block whilewe boughtfood from foreign countries. Well, thatrsquo;s wrong!They told working mothers itrsquo;s alltheir faulttheirfamilies are falling apart because they hadto go to work to keep their kids in jeans and tennis shoes and college.And theyrsquo;re wrong!!They told Americanlabor they were trying to ruin free enterprise by asking for 60 daysrsquo; noticeof plant closings, and thatrsquo;s wrong.And they told the autoindustry and the steelindustry andthe timber industry and the oil industry, companies being threatened by foreign productsflooding this country, thatyoursquo;re ;protectionist;if youthink the government should enforceour trade laws. And thatis wrong.Whenthey belittle us for demanding clean air and cleanwater for trying tosave the oceans and the ozone layer, thatrsquo;s wrong.No wonder wefeelisolated and confused.We want answers and their answer is that;something is wrong with you.;Wellnothings wrong with you. Nothingrsquo;s wrong withyouthatyou canrsquo;t fix in November!Wersquo;ve beentold Wersquo;vebeentold thatthe interests of the South and the Southwest are notthe same interests as the North and the Northeast. They pit one group against theother. Theyve divided this country and in our isolation we think governmentisnrsquo;t gonna helpus, and were alone in our feelings. We feel forgotten. Well, the fact is that we are not anisolated piece of their puzzle.We are one nation. We are the ed States of America.Transcription byMichaelE. Eidenmuller. Copyright Status: Restricted, seek permission.Page2AmericanRhetoric.comNow we Democrats believe that America is still the county of fair play, that we can come outof a smalltown or a poor neighborhood and have the same chance as anyone else. and itdoesnrsquo;t matter whether we are black or Hispanic or disabled or a women [sic]. We believe thatAmerica is a country where small business owners mustsucceed, because they are thebedrock, backbone of our economy.We believe that our kids deserve good daycareand public schools. We believe our kidsdeserve public schools where students can learn and teachers canteach. And we wannabelieve that our parents will have a good retirement and that we will too. We Democratsbelieve that socialsecurity is a pact that cannot be broken.We wanna believe that we canlive out our liveswithoutthe terrible fear that an illness isgoing to bankrupt us and our children. We Democrats believe thatAmerica can overcome anyproblem, including the ded disease called AIDS. We believe that America is still a countrywhere there is more tolife than just a constantstruggle for money. And we believe thatAmerica musthave leaders who show us that our struggles amountto something andcontribute tosomething larger leaderswho want us tobe all that we can be.We want leaders like Jesse Jackson. Jesse Jackson is a leader and a teacher who can open ourhearts and open our minds and stir our very souls. And he has taughtus that we are as goodas our capacity for caring, caring aboutthe drug problem, caring aboutcrime, caring abouteducation, and caring about each other.Now, incontrast, the greatestnation of the free world has had a leader for eight straightyears that has pretendedthathe can nothear our questions over the noise of the helicopters.And we knowhe doesnrsquo;t wanna answer. But we have a lot of questions. And when we get ourquestions asked, or there is a leak, or an investigation the only answer we getis, ;I donrsquo;tknow,; or ;I forgot.;But you wouldnrsquo;t acceptthat answer from your children. I wouldnrsquo;t. Donrsquo;t tell me ;youdonrsquo;tknow; or ;you forgot.;Were not going to have the America that we wantuntil we electleaders who are gonna tell the truth. not most days but every day. leaders whodonrsquo;t forgetwhat they donrsquo;t wantto remember. And for eight straightyears George Bushhasnrsquo;t displayedthe slightest interestin anything we care about. And now that hes after a job that he canrsquo;tget appointed to, hes like Columbus discovering America. Hersquo;s found child care.Hersquo;s foundeducation. Poor George.He canrsquo;t help it. He was born with a silver footin his mouth.Well, no wonder. No wonder we canrsquo;t figure it out. Because the leadership of this nationistelling us one thing on TV and doing something entirely different. They tellus Theytellusthattheyre fighting a war againstterrorists. And then we find outthat the White House isselling arms tothe Ayatollah. They Theytell us that theyrsquo;re fighting a war on drugs andthen people come on TV and testify that the CIAand the DEA and the FBI knewthey wereflying drugs intoAmerica all along.And theyrsquo;re negotiating with a dictator who is shovelingcocaine into this country like crazy.I guess thatrsquo;s their Central American strategy.Transcription byMichaelE. Eidenmuller. Copyright Status: Restricted, seek permission.Page3AmericanRhetoric.comNow they tellus that employment rates are great, and that theyrsquo;re for equal opportunity. Butwe knowit takes two paychecks to make ends meet today, whenitused totake one.And theopportunity theyrsquo;re so proud of is lowwage,deadendjobs.And there is no major city inAmerica where you cannotsee homeless men sitting in parking lots holding signs that say, ;Iwill work for food.;Now my friends, we really are at a crucial pointinAmericanhistory. Under this Administrationwe have devoted our resources into making this country a military colossus. But wersquo;ve let oureconomic lines of defense fallinto disrepair. The debt of this nation is greater thanit has everbeen in our history. We fought a world war on less debtthanthe Republicans have builtup inthe last eight years. Youknow, itrsquo;s kind of like that brotherinlawwho drives a flashy newcar, buthersquo;s always borrowing money from youto make the payments.Well, butletrsquo;s take what they are most proudest of thatis their stand of defense. WeDemocrats are committed to a strong America,and, quite frankly, when our leaders say tous,;We need a new weapons system,; our inclination is to say, ;Well, they must be right.;Butwhen we pay billions for planes that wonrsquo;t fly, billions for tanks that wonrsquo;t fire, and billions forsystems that wonrsquo;t work, ;that old dog wonrsquo;thunt.;And you donrsquo;thave to be from Wacotoknowthat when the Pentagon makes crooks rich and doesnrsquo;t make America strong, that itrsquo;s abum deal.Now Irsquo;m going totellyou, Im really gladthat our young people missed the Depression andmissed the greatBigWar. But I do regret that they missed the leaders that Iknew, leaderswho told us when things were tough, and that wersquo;d have to sacrifice, and that thesedifficulties mightlast for a while. They didnrsquo;t tell us things were hard for us because we weredifferent, or isolated, or specialinterests. They broughtus together and they gave us a senseof national purpose. They gave us Social Security and they told us they were setting up asystem where we could pay our ownmoney in, and when the time came for our retirement wecould take the money out. People in the rural areas were told that we deserved tohaveelectric lights, and they were gonna harness the energy that was necessary to give uselectricity somy grandmamma didnrsquo;thave to carry that old coal oillamp around. And theytold us that they were gonna guarant[ee] whenwe put our money in the bank, thatthemoney was going to be there, and it was going to be insured.They did not lie tous.And Ithink one of the saving graces of Democrats is that we are candid. We talk straighttalk. We tell people what we think. And thattradition and those values live today in MichaelDukakis from Massachusetts.Michael Dukakis knows thatthis country is on the edge of a great new era, that wersquo;re notafraid of change, that wersquo;re for thoughtful, truthful, strong leadership.Behind his calm therersquo;san impatience tounifythis country and to get on withthe future. His instincts are deeplyAmerican. Theyrsquo;re tough and theyrsquo;re generous.And personally, Ihave totell you that I havenever met a man whohad a more remarkable sense about what is really importantin life.Transcription byMichaelE. Eidenmuller. Copyright Status: Restricted, seek permission.Page4AmericanRhetoric.comAnd thentherersquo;s my friend and my teacher for many years, Senator Lloyd Bentsen. And Icouldnrsquo;t be prouder,both as a Texan and as a Democrat, because Lloyd Bentsen understandsAmerica.From the barrioto the boardroom, he knows how to bring us together, by regions,by economics, and by example. And hersquo;s aly beaten George Bush once.So, whenit comes right downto it, this electionis a contest betweenthose who are satisfiedwith what they have and those who know we can do better. Thatrsquo;s what this electionis reallyall about. Itrsquo;s aboutthe American dream thosewho want tokeep it for the few and thosewho know it must be nurtured and passed along.Irsquo;m a grandmother now. And Ihave one nearly perfect granddaughter named Lily. And whenIhold that grandbaby, I feelthe continuity of lifethatunites us, that binds generation togeneration, thatties us witheach other. And sometimes I spthatBaptist pallet out on thefloor, and Lily and I roll a ball back and forth. And I think of all the families like mine,like theone in Lorena,Texas, like the ones that nurture children all across America.And as I look atLily, Iknowthatit is withinfamilies that we learn boththe need to respectindividual humandignity and to work together for our common good.Within our families, within our nation, itis the same.And as I sit there, I wonder if shersquo;llever grasp the changes Irsquo;ve seenin my life ifshersquo;lleverbelieve that there was a time whenblacks could not drink from public water fountains, whenHispanic children were punished for speaking Spanishinthe public schools, and womencouldnrsquo;t vote.I think of all the political fights Irsquo;ve fought, and allthe compromises Irsquo;ve hadto accept as partpayment. And I think of all the small victories that have added up to national triumphs and allthe things that would never have happened andallthe people who wouldrsquo;ve been left behindif we had not reasoned and fought and won those battles together. And I will tell Lily thatthose triumphs were Democratic Party triumphs.I wantso muchto tell Lily howfar wersquo;ve come,you and I. And as the ball rolls back and forth,I wanttotellher howvery lucky she is that forall our difference, we are still the greatestnation onthis good earth. And our strengthlies in the men and women who goto work everyday, who struggle to balance their family and their jobs, and who should never, ever beforgotten.I justhope that like her grandparents and her greatgrandparentsbefore that Lily goes on toraise her kids with the promise thatechoes in homes all across America: that we can dobetter, and thatrsquo;s what this electionis all about.Thank youvery much. /201205/182141【Speech Video】President Obama speaks about the progress made during his 16 months in office to restore the economy and lays out his continuing vision to continue economic growth and create new American jobs in remarks at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.Download Video: mp4 (375MB) | mp3 (36MB) 201006/105332In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger.在世界的悠久历史中,只有很少几个世代的人赋有这种在自由遭遇最大危机时保卫自由的任务。I do not shrink from this responsibility I welcome it.我决不在这责任之前退缩;我欢迎它。I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation.我不相信我们中间会有人愿意跟别人及别的世代交换地位。The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it.我们在这场努力中所献出的精力、信念与虔诚、将照亮我们的国家以及所有为国家务的人。And the glow from that fire can truly light the world.而从这一火焰所聚出的光辉必能照明全世界。And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.所以,同胞们:不要问你们的国家能为你们做些什么,而要问你们能为国家做些什么。My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man全世界的公民:不要问美国愿为你们做些什么,而应问我们在一起能为人类的自由做些什么。Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you.最后,不管你是美国的公民或世界它国的公民,请将我们所要求于你们的有关力量与牺牲的高标准拿来要求我们。With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love,我们唯一可靠的报酬是问心无愧,我们行为的最后裁判者是历史,让我们向前引导我们所挚爱的国土,asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth Gods work must truly be our own.企求上帝的保佑与扶携,但我们知道,在这个世界上,上帝的任务肯定就是我们自己所应肩负的任务。02/437806

Here's the from President Obama's appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. Talk of foreign policy, economic recovery, and health insurance reform is punctuated by a special gift of produce. Check it out: 09/84877

President Bush Celebrates Hispanic Heritage MonthTHE PRESIDENT: Hola! Siéntese. Bienvenidos a la Casa Blanca. (Laughter.) Eacute;ste es el último "Mes de la Hispanidad" que paso como presidente -- y por eso, le dije a mi personal que hoy quería hablarles sólo en espantilde;ol. (Applause.) Me contestaron: "Sentilde;or presidente, antes de dar un discurso en espantilde;ol, iquest;por qué no llega primero a dominar el inglés?" (Applause and laughter.) I am proud to be with you. I am proud to be with current and former Latino members of my administration. (Applause.) I want to thank the ambassadors from the Diplomatic Corps for joining us today. We're proud to be your friends. I want to thank the members of the ed States Armed Forces who have joined us. I want to thank my friend Emilio Estefan, President of Estefan Enterprises. (Applause.) And I want to thank Andrés Cabas, from Colombia, who is going to sing a couple of songs for us. Thank you and your band for joining us. (Applause.) Every year at this time, we recognize the great contributions Hispanic Americans make to our country. And we should. From coast to coast, people of Hispanic descent enrich our culture and make our nation a better place. They serve in top positions throughout business and government. They bring their strong values of faith and family to our communities. My family is proud to have Latino blood -- mi cuntilde;ada. (Applause.) Jeb and I both married very well. (Laughter.) Hispanic Americans cherish the limitless promise of our nation. During the past eight years, I've been proud to work with you to ensure que -- ensure que todos puedan alcanzar las promesas de los Estados Unidos. (Applause.) One promise is good education. I mean, you can't have a hopeful nation unless you've got a good education system. So we worked with Congress to pass the No Child Left Behind Act. This act raises standards and accountability across schools in the country, and I'm pleased to report Hispanic students are scoring at all-time highs on tests, and therefore an achievement gap is narrowing. For hundreds of thousands of Hispanic children, the best hope for good education is found in America's faith-based schools. Earlier this year, I proposed a new program called Pell Grants for Kids, which would help low-income children in underperforming public schools attend a private, a parochial, or out-of-district public school of their choice. (Applause.) Earlier this year I met a very interesting young woman at the White House Summit on Inner-City Children and Faith-Based Schools. The whole purpose was to help these schools realize a comeback and make sure our communities were able to have these schools as a part of their future. The woman I met is a woman named Katrina [sic] Ramírez. She grew up in a Chicago neighborhood. It was plagued by gang violence, and she had a tough time in school because she didn't speak English. But at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Karina received a top-notch education. She received real work experience, and she got herself a ticket to college. Karina says, "My dad went from garbage picking in Mexico to having a daughter going to Georgetown." Karina, thank you for coming. (Applause.) She is proof that el Suentilde;o Americano es para todos. (Applause.) Economic opportunity is a promise of our country. And the truth of the matter is, for generations people have found opportunities in this country that would have been impossible in the places where they were born, and that has made us a vibrant country and it's encouraged entrepreneurship. Today, the economy obviously is going through a very tough stretch, and that's why the administration will work with Congress to pass a financial rescue plan. The goal of this plan is to free up the flow of capital to help all Americans get the capital and loans necessary to help weather these difficult times. Part of the plan is to free up capital for small businesses. After all, small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and interestingly enough, according to the most recent data, more than 1.5 million small businesses are owned by Hispanic owners. (Applause.) In times of economic uncertainty, we need to be promoting free trade, particularly with friends in our neighborhood. During my time as President, we've opened up trade agreements with a lot of nations, including nations in Central America and in South America. But there's a couple of them that need to be approved by the ed States Congress. We approved the free trade agreement with Peru, but waiting on Congress to approve the free trade agreements with Panama and Colombia. (Applause.) I'm confident in our economy's long-term prospects. We'll get through this deal. And the reason why I'm confident is because we got the most talented and productive workers in the world. And many are Hispanic men and women who work hard every single day to support their families. (Applause.) One promise of America is the compassion of our people. During my time in office I've been proud to work with Hispanic Americans to lift up nuestros hermanos y hermanas in need. I established the USA Freedom Corps to foster a culture of citizenship and responsibility and service. And today nearly 61 million Americans volunteer their time to help our fellow citizens -- many of them Hispanics. Through our Faith-Based and Community Initiative, we are harnessing the compassion of religious groups to reduce homelessness and break the chains of addiction, give prisoners a second chance, and alleviate suffering at home and abroad. Recently I met a woman from San Diego whose life has been transformed by America's armies of compassion. Edith Espinoza suffered terrible abuse from her husband. She turned to "El Nido" program, an interfaith shelter network supported by the Faith-Based and Community Initiative. "El Nido" is a place where Edith received counseling and learned how to get a job and save money. She and her daughters now live in an apartment that she pays on her own. Her goal is to become a social worker so she can help other families like hers. She is showing that because of the good hearts of our citizens, el suentilde;o Americano es por todos. (Applause.) One promise of America's freedom -- freedom for all. Hispanic Americans are extending this country's promise of freedom and liberty to others. Hispanics serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, to help those young democracies realize the blessings of freedom. I particularly want to thank those who are working to hasten the day of freedom for the Cuban people. (Applause.) I'm especially proud to be the Commander-In-Chief of a military in which there's 225,000 Hispanic men and women. (Applause.) One of these hispanos is an Army Lieutenant Colonel named Enrique Guerra. Listen to his story. Enrique fled Cuba with his parents when he was an infant. They wanted their young child to grow up in a society that was free and hopeful. He spent more than 22 years in the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve. Today, he is a battalion commander at Camp Cropper in Iraq, helping the people in the Middle East secure their own freedom and therefore lay the foundation of peace for generations to come. Enrique puts it this way: "As a Cuban America [sic], I was born with a strong sense of patriotism, and that is why I serve." And today I'm proud to honor his service, and the service of all Hispanic Americans, who ensure that freedom is available to all. Enrique, bienvenidos. Thank you for coming. (Applause.) Thank you, sir. And so today we celebrate the many contributions that generations of Hispanics have made to the American Dream. Their creativity and determination help our country to live up to its promise of opportunity and prosperity and freedom for all our citizens. During Hispanic Heritage Month we give thanks for these blessings and we ask for God's continued blessings on you and your families, y los Estados Unidos. And now it's my honor to welcome one of Latin America's most popular young vocalists, Colombia's Andrés Cabas. (Applause.) 200810/52397

Richard M. Nixon: "The Great Silent Majority""So tonight, to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans, I ask for your support. I pledged in my campaign for the Presidency to end the war in a way that we could win the peace." [AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio.]Good evening, my fellow Americans.Tonight I want to talk to you on a subject of deep concern to all Americans and to many people in all parts of the world, the war in Vietnam.I believe that one of the reasons for the deep division about Vietnam is that many Americans have lost confidence in what their Government has told them about our policy. The American people cannot and should not be asked to support a policy which involves the overriding issues of war and peace unless they know the truth about that policy.Tonight, therefore, I would like to answer some of the questions that I know are on the minds of many of you listening to me.How and why did America get involved in Vietnam in the first place?How has this administration changed the policy of the previous Administration?What has really happened in the negotiations in Paris and on the battlefront in Vietnam?What choices do we have if we are to end the war?What are the prospects for peace?Now let me begin by describing the situation I found when I was inaugurated on January 20: The war had been going on for four years. Thirty-one thousand Americans had been killed in action. The training program for the South Vietnamese was beyond [behind] schedule. Five hundred and forty-thousand Americans were in Vietnam with no plans to reduce the number. No progress had been made at the negotiations in Paris and the ed States had not put forth a comprehensive peace proposal.The war was causing deep division at home and criticism from many of our friends, as well as our enemies, abroad.In view of these circumstances, there were some who urged that I end the war at once by ordering the immediate withdrawal of all American forces. From a political standpoint, this would have been a popular and easy course to follow. After all, we became involved in the war while my predecessor was in office. I could blame the defeat, which would be the result of my action, on him -- and come out as the peacemaker. Some put it to me quite bluntly: This was the only way to avoid allowing Johnson’s war to become Nixon’s war.But I had a greater obligation than to think only of the years of my Administration, and of the next election. I had to think of the effect of my decision on the next generation, and on the future of peace and freedom in America, and in the world.Let us all understand that the question before us is not whether some Americans are for peace and some Americans are against peace. The question at issue is not whether Johnson’s war becomes Nixon’s war. The great question is: How can we win America’s peace?Well, let us turn now to the fundamental issue: Why and how did the ed States become involved in Vietnam in the first place? Fifteen years ago North Vietnam, with the logistical support of Communist China and the Soviet Union, launched a campaign to impose a Communist government on South Vietnam by instigating and supporting a revolution.In response to the request of the Government of South Vietnam, President Eisenhower sent economic aid and military equipment to assist the people of South Vietnam in their efforts to prevent a Communist takeover. Seven years ago, President Kennedy sent 16,000 military personnel to Vietnam as combat advisers. Four years ago, President Johnson sent American combat forces to South Vietnam.Now many believe that President Johnson’s decision to send American combat forces to South Vietnam was wrong. And many others, I among them, have been strongly critical of the way the war has been conducted.But the question facing us today is: Now that we are in the war, what is the best way to end it?In January I could only conclude that the precipitate withdrawal of all American forces from Vietnam would be a disaster not only for South Vietnam but for the ed States and for the cause of peace.For the South Vietnamese, our precipitate withdrawal would inevitably allow the Communists to repeat the massacres which followed their takeover in the North 15 years before. They then murdered more than 50,000 people and hundreds of thousands more died in slave labor camps.We saw a prelude of what would happen in South Vietnam when the Communists entered the city of Hue last year. During their brief rule there, there was a bloody reign of terror in which 3,000 civilians were clubbed, shot to death, and buried in mass graves.With the sudden collapse of our support, these atrocities at Hue would become the nightmare of the entire nation and particularly for the million-and-a half Catholic refugees who fled to South Vietnam when the Communists took over in the North.For the ed States this first defeat in our nation’s history would result in a collapse of confidence in American leadership not only in Asia but throughout the world.Three American Presidents have recognized the great stakes involved in Vietnam and understood what had to be done.In 1963 President Kennedy with his characteristic eloquence and clarity said,"We want to see a stable Government there," carrying on the [a] struggle to maintain its national independence." We believe strongly in that. We are not going to withdraw from that effort. In my opinion, for us to withdraw from that effort would mean a collapse not only of South Vietnam but Southeast Asia. So we’re going to stay there."sup1;President Eisenhower and President Johnson expressed the same conclusion during their terms of office.For the future of peace, precipitate withdrawal would be a disaster of immense magnitude. A nation cannot remain great if it betrays its allies and lets down its friends. Our defeat and humiliation in South Vietnam without question would promote recklessness in the councils of those great powers who have not yet abandoned their goals of worlds conquest. This would spark violence wherever our commitments help maintain the peace -- in the Middle East, in Berlin, eventually even in the Western Hemisphere. Ultimately, this would cost more lives. It would not bring peace. It would bring more war.For these reasons I rejected the recommendation that I should end the war by immediately withdrawing all of our forces. I chose instead to change American policy on both the negotiating front and the battle front in order to end the war fought on many fronts. I initiated a pursuit for peace on many fronts. In a television speech on May 14, in a speech before the ed Nations, on a number of other occasions, I set forth our peace proposals in great detail. We have offered the complete withdrawal of all outside forces within one year. We have proposed a cease fire under international supervision. We have offered free elections under international supervision with the Communists participating in the organization and conduct of the elections as an organized political force. And the Saigon government has pledged to accept the result of the election.We have not put forth our proposals on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. We have indicated that we’re willing to discuss the proposals that have been put forth by the other side. We have declared that anything is negotiable, except the right of the people of South Vietnam to determine their own future.At the Paris peace conference Ambassador Lodge has demonstrated our flexibility and good faith in 40 public meetings. Hanoi has refused even to discuss our proposals. They demand our unconditional acceptance of their terms which are that we withdraw all American forces immediately and unconditionally and that we overthrow the government of South Vietnam as we leave.We have not limited our peace initiatives to public forums and public statements. I recognized in January that a long and bitter war like this usually cannot be settled in a public forum. That is why in addition to the public statements and negotiations, I have explored every possible private avenue that might lead to a settlement.Tonight, I am taking the unprecedented step of disclosing to you some of our other initiatives for peace, initiatives we undertook privately and secretly because we thought we thereby might open a door which publicly would be closed.I did not wait for my inauguration to begin my quest for peace. Soon after my election, through an individual who was directly in contact on a personal basis with the leaders of North Vietnam, I made two private offers for a rapid, comprehensive settlement. Hanoi’s replies called in effect for our surrender before negotiations. Since the Soviet Union furnishes most of the military equipment for North Vietnam, Secretary of State Rogers, my assistant for national security affairs, Dr. Kissinger, Ambassador Lodge and I personally have met on a number of occasions with representatives of the Soviet Government to enlist their assistance in getting meaningful negotiations started. In addition, we have had extended discussions directed toward that same end with representatives of other governments which have diplomatic relations with North Vietnam.None of these initiatives have to date produced results. In mid-July I became convinced that it was necessary to make a major move to break the deadlock in the Paris talks. I spoke directly in this office, where I’m now sitting, with an individual who had known Ho Chi Minh on a personal basis for 25 years. Through him I sent a letter to Ho Chi Minh. I did this outside of the usual diplomatic channels with the hope that with the necessity of making statements for propaganda removed, there might be constructive progress toward bringing the war to an end.Let me from that letter to you now: “Dear Mr. President: I realize that it is difficult to communicate meaningfully across the gulf of four years of war. But precisely because of this gulf I wanted to take this opportunity to reaffirm in all solemnity my desire to work for a just peace. I deeply believe that the war in Vietnam has gone on too long and delay in bringing it to an end can benefit no one, least of all the people of Vietnam. The time has come to move forward at the conference table toward an early resolution of this tragic war. You will find us forthcoming and open-minded in a common effort to bring the blessings of peace to the brave people of Vietnam. Let history record that at this critical juncture both sides turned their face toward peace rather than toward conflict and war."I received Ho Chi Minh’s reply on August 30, three days before his death. It simply reiterated the public position North Vietnam had taken at Paris and flatly rejected my initiative. The full text of both letters is being released to the press.In addition to the public meetings that I have referred to, Ambassador Lodge has met with Vietnam’s chief negotiator in Paris in 11 private sessions. And we have taken other significant initiatives which must remain secret to keep open some channels of communications which may still prove to be productive.But the effect of all the public, private, and secret negotiations which have been undertaken since the bombing halt a year ago, and since this Administration came into office on January 20th, can be summed up in one sentence: No progress whatever has been made except agreement on the shape of the bargaining table.Well, now, who’s at fault? It’s become clear that the obstacle in negotiating an end to the war is not the President of the ed States. It is not the South Vietnamese Government. The obstacle is the other side’s absolute refusal to show the least willingness to join us in seeking a just peace. And it will not do so while it is convinced that all it has to do is to wait for our next concession, and our next concession after that one, until it gets everything it wants.There can now be no longer any question that progress in negotiation depends only on Hanoi ’s deciding to negotiate -- to negotiate seriously. I realize that this report on our efforts on the diplomatic front is discouraging to the American people, but the American people are entitled to know the truth -- the bad news as well as the good news -- where the lives of our young men are involved.Now let me turn, however, to a more encouraging report on another front. At the time we launched our search for peace, I recognized we might not succeed in bringing an end to the war through negotiations. I therefore put into effect another plan to bring peace -- a plan which will bring the war to an end regardless of what happens on the negotiating front. It is in line with the major shift in U. S. foreign policy which I described in my press conference at Guam on July 25. Let me briefly explain what has been described as the Nixon Doctrine -- a policy which not only will help end the war in Vietnam but which is an essential element of our program to prevent future Vietnams.We Americans are a do-it-yourself people -- we’re an impatient people. Instead of teaching someone else to do a job, we like to do it ourselves. And this trait has been carried over into our foreign policy. In Korea, and again in Vietnam, the ed States furnished most of the money, most of the arms, and most of the men to help the people of those countries defend their freedom against Communist aggression.Before any American troops were committed to Vietnam, a leader of another Asian country expressed this opinion to me when I was traveling in Asia as a private citizen. He said: “When you are trying to assist another nation defend its freedom, U.S. policy should be to help them fight the war, but not to fight the war for them.”Well in accordance with this wise counsel, I laid down in Guam three principles as guidelines for future American policy toward Asia. First, the ed States will keep all of its treaty commitments. Second, we shall provide a shield if a nuclear power threatens the freedom of a nation allied with us, or of a nation whose survival we consider vital to our security. Third, in cases involving other types of aggression we shall furnish military and economic assistance when requested in accordance with our treaty commitments. But we shall look to the nation directly threatened to assume the primary responsibility of providing the manpower for its defense.After I announced this policy, I found that the leaders of the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, other nations which might be threatened by Communist aggression, welcomed this new direction in American foreign policy.The defense of freedom is everybody’s business -- not just America’s business. And it is particularly the responsibility of the people whose freedom is threatened. In the previous Administration, we Americanized the war in Vietnam. In this Administration, we are Vietnamizing the search for peace.The policy of the previous Administration not only resulted in our assuming the primary responsibility for fighting the war, but even more significant did not adequately stress the goal of strengthening the South Vietnamese so that they could defend themselves when we left.The Vietnamization plan was launched following Secretary Laird’s visit to Vietnam in March. Under the plan, I ordered first a substantial increase in the training and equipment of South Vietnamese forces. In July, on my visit to Vietnam, I changed General Abrams’s orders, so that they were consistent with the objectives of our new policies. Under the new orders, the primary mission of our troops is to enable the South Vietnamese forces to assume the full responsibility for the security of South Vietnam. Our air operations have been reduced by over 20 per cent.And now we have begun to see the results of this long-overdue change in American policy in Vietnam. After five years of Americans going into Vietnam we are finally bringing American men home. By December 15 over 60,000 men will have been withdrawn from South Vietnam, including 20 percent of all of our combat forces. The South Vietnamese have continued to gain in strength. As a result, they've been able to take over combat responsibilities from our American troops.Two other significant developments have occurred since this Administration took office. Enemy infiltration, infiltration which is essential if they are to launch a major attack over the last three months, is less than 20 percent of what it was over the same period last year. And most important, ed States casualties have declined during the last two months to the lowest point in three years.Let me now turn to our program for the future. We have adopted a plan which we have worked out in cooperation with the South Vietnamese for the complete withdrawal of all U.S. combat ground forces and their replacement by South Vietnamese forces on an orderly scheduled timetable. This withdrawal will be made from strength and not from weakness. As South Vietnamese forces become stronger, the rate of American withdrawal can become greater.I have not, and do not, intend to announce the timetable for our program, and there are obvious reasons for this decision which I’m sure you will understand. As I’ve indicated on several occasions, the rate of withdrawal will depend on developments on three fronts. One of these is the progress which can be, or might be, made in the Paris talks. An announcement of a fixed timetable for our withdrawal would completely remove any incentive for the enemy to negotiate an agreement. They would simply wait until our forces had withdrawn and then move in.The other two factors on which we will base our withdrawal decisions are the level of enemy activity and the progress of the training programs of the South Vietnamese forces. And I am glad to be able to report tonight progress on both of these fronts has been greater than we anticipated when we started the program in June for withdrawal. As a result, our timetable for withdrawal is more optimistic now than when we made our first estimates in June.Now this clearly demonstrates why it is not wise to be frozen in on a fixed timetable. We must retain the flexibility to base each withdrawal decision on the situation as it is at that time, rather than on estimates that are no longer valid. Along with this optimistic estimate, I must in all candor leave one note of caution. If the level of enemy activity significantly increases, we might have to adjust our timetable accordingly. However, I want the record to be completely clear on one point. At the time of the bombing halt just a year ago there was some confusion as to whether there was an understanding on the part of the enemy that if we stopped the bombing of North Vietnam, they would stop the shelling of cities in South Vietnam.I want to be sure that there is no misunderstanding on the part of the enemy with regard to our withdrawal program. We have noted the reduced level of infiltration, the reduction of our casualties and are basing our withdrawal decisions partially on those factors. If the level of infiltration or our casualties increase while we are trying to scale down the fighting, it will be the result of a conscious decision by the enemy. Hanoi could make no greater mistake than to assume that an increase in violence will be to its advantage.If I conclude that increased enemy action jeopardizes our remaining forces in Vietnam, I shall not hesitate to take strong and effective measures to deal with that situation. This is not a threat. This is a statement of policy which as Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces I am making and meeting my responsibility for the protection of American fighting men wherever they may be.My fellow Americans, I am sure you can recognize from what I have said that we really only have two choices open to us if we want to end this war. I can order an immediate precipitate withdrawal of all Americans from Vietnam without regard to the effects of that action. Or we can persist in our search for a just peace through a negotiated settlement, if possible, or through continued implementation of our plan for Vietnamization, if necessary -- a plan in which we will withdraw all of our forces from Vietnam on a schedule in accordance with our program as the South Vietnamese become strong enough to defend their own freedom.I have chosen this second course. It is not the easy way. It is the right way. It is a plan which will end the war and serve the cause of peace, not just in Vietnam but in the Pacific and in the world.In speaking of the consequences of a precipitous withdrawal, I mentioned that our allies would lose confidence in America. Far more dangerous, we would lose confidence in ourselves. Oh, the immediate reaction would be a sense of relief that our men were coming home. But as we saw the consequences of what we had done, inevitable remorse and divisive recrimination would scar our spirit as a people.We have faced other crises in our history and we have become stronger by rejecting the easy way out and taking the right way in meeting our challenges. Our greatness as a nation has been our capacity to do what has to be done when we knew our course was right. I recognize that some of my fellow citizens disagree with the plan for peace I have chosen. Honest and patriotic Americans have reached different conclusions as to how peace should be achieved. In San Francisco a few weeks ago, I saw demonstrators carrying signs ing, “Lose in Vietnam, bring the boys home.” Well, one of the strengths of our free society is that any American has a right to reach that conclusion and to advocate that point of view.But as President of the ed States, I would be untrue to my oath of office if I allowed the policy of this nation to be dictated by the minority who hold that point of view and who try to impose it on the nation by mounting demonstrations in the street. For almost 200 years, the policy of this nation has been made under our Constitution by those leaders in the Congress and the White House elected by all the people. If a vocal minority, however fervent its cause, prevails over reason and the will of the majority, this nation has no future as a free society.And now, I would like to address a word, if I may, to the young people of this nation who are particularly concerned, and I understand why they are concerned, about this war. I respect your idealism. I share your concern for peace. I want peace as much as you do. There are powerful personal reasons I want to end this war. This week I will have to sign 83 letters to mothers, fathers, wives, and loved ones of men who have given their lives for America in Vietnam. It's very little satisfaction to me that this is only one-third as many letters as I signed the first week in office. There is nothing I want more than to see the day come when I do not have to write any of those letters.I want to end the war to save the lives of those brave young men in Vietnam. But I want to end it in a way which will increase the chance that their younger brothers and their sons will not have to fight in some future Vietnam some place in the world.And I want to end the war for another reason. I want to end it so that the energy and dedication of you, our young people, now too often directed into bitter hatred against those responsible for the war, can be turned to the great challenges of peace, a better life for all Americans, a better life for all people on this earth.I have chosen a plan for peace. I believe it will succeed. If it does not succeed, what the critics say now won’t matter. Or if it does succeed, what the critics say now won’t matter. If it does not succeed, anything I say then won’t matter.I know it may not be fashionable to speak of patriotism or national destiny these days, but I feel it is appropriate to do so on this occasion. Two hundred years ago this nation was weak and poor. But even then, America was the hope of millions in the world. Today we have become the strongest and richest nation in the world, and the wheel of destiny has turned so that any hope the world has for the survival of peace and freedom will be determined by whether the American people have the moral stamina and the courage to meet the challenge of free-world leadership.Let historians not record that, when America was the most powerful nation in the world, we passed on the other side of the road and allowed the last hopes for peace and freedom of millions of people to be suffocated by the forces of totalitarianism.So tonight, to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans, I ask for your support. I pledged in my campaign for the Presidency to end the war in a way that we could win the peace. I have initiated a plan of action which will enable me to keep that pledge. The more support I can have from the American people, the sooner that pledge can be redeemed. For the more divided we are at home, the less likely the enemy is to negotiate at Paris.Let us be united for peace. Let us also be united against defeat. Because let us understand -- North Vietnam cannot defeat or humiliate the ed States. Only Americans can do that.Fifty years ago, in this room, and at this very desk, President Woodrow Wilson spoke words which caught the imagination of a war-weary world. He said: “This is the war to end wars.” His dream for peace after World War I was shattered on the hard reality of great power politics. And Woodrow Wilson died a broken man.Tonight, I do not tell you that the war in Vietnam is the war to end wars, but I do say this: I have initiated a plan which will end this war in a way that will bring us closer to that great goal to which -- to which Woodrow Wilson and every American President in our history has been dedicated -- the goal of a just and lasting peace.As President I hold the responsibility for choosing the best path for that goal and then leading the nation along it.I pledge to you tonight that I shall meet this responsibility with all of the strength and wisdom I can command, in accordance with your hopes, mindful of your concerns, sustained by your prayers.Thank you and good night.200606/7540

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