Magazine article Monthly Review

MONTHLY REVIEW Fifty Years Ago

Magazine article Monthly Review

MONTHLY REVIEW Fifty Years Ago

Article excerpt

Anyone who takes the trouble to read the Geneva Agreements [of 1954] cannot fail to understand that the whole purpose was to solve the problem of Vietnam by unifying the country under a popularly elected government. The division of the country at the 17th parallel was envisaged as a purely temporary measure to facilitate the disengagement and demobilization or withdrawal of the fighting forces. It would be terminated by nation-wide elections to be held not later than the summer of 1956. In the meantime, all foreign forces were to be withdrawn and no additional arms were to be sent in from abroad. By flatly refusing even to discuss the prescribed elections, Dulles and Diem not only violated the Agreements; they repudiated the whole conception on which the Agreements were based The Agreements absolutely did not sanction the division of Vietnam, nor did they provide that North Vietnamese should stay out of South Vietnam. They endorsed the unity of the whole country and provided that foreigners should get out and stay out of the whole country. …

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