FOR RELEASE ON DELIVERY
Thursday, January 1973
STATEMENT BY SENATOR J. W. FULBRIGHT
END THE WAR
The time for debate on the merits of the war in Vietnam
is past. The war has been debated for the last seven years
and has been shown to be without merit from the standpoint
of American security and. national interest.
By the time of the 1972 election, only two months ago,
Mr. Nixon seemed to have accepted the war’s futility. He
assured us, through his closest adviser, that peace was "at
hand." The President himself told Garnett Horner of The Star
in an interview given on November 5 and published on November 9:
“Let me tell you this on Vietnam -- when I tell you I am
completely confident that we are going to have a settlement, you
can bank on it." On election eve, November 6, 1972, President
Nixon assured the American people that, despite remaining
"details," "I can say to you with complete confidence tonight
that we will soon reach agreement on all the issues and bring
this long and difficult war to an end," Once again Mr. Nixon
has betrayed the promise of peace, just as he betrayed it after
his election in 1968, and just as it was betrayed after the
election of 1964.
Owing to the secretiveness of the Administration, we do
not know exactly what went wrong with the October agreement.
But by available evidence the President, after the election,
changed his terms of peace, which had been agreed upon in
October, not just in technical detail but in the very substance
of the agreement. He did this, apparently, by demanding
North Vietnam’s recognition in some form of the Thieu Regime’s
"sovereignty" in South Vietnam. This in effect would require
North Vietnam to disown the Vietcong, which also claims
"sovereignty" in South Vietnam. That indeed is what the war
has been about: who is to be sovereign in South Vietnam.
The October agreement left this undetermined, just as the
war itself had left it undetermined* That very imprecision
made agreement possible. Now Mr. Nixon seeks to pin down
in an agreement what has not been won in the war: the right
of the Thieu regime to perpetuate its rule in South Vietnam.
In order to compel North Vietnam to acquiesce in these
substantially -- radically -- altered demands, as against the
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