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Posted: 2/28/2002 9:57:51 AM EDT
I dont much agree with that option. But more infuriating was his decision to not bomb dikes along the coast and in the Red River Valley.
Nixon Tapes Include Debate on Nuclear Bomb President Considered Using Weapon in Vietnam By DEB RIECHMANN .c The Associated Press COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Feb. 28) - A few weeks before ordering an escalation of the Vietnam War, President Nixon matter-of-factly raised the idea of using a nuclear bomb. The notion was quickly shot down by national security adviser Henry Kissinger. Nixon's abrupt suggestion, buried in 500 hours of tapes released Thursday at the National Archives, came after Kissinger laid out a variety of options for stepping up the war effort, such as attacking power plants and docks, in an April 25, 1972, conversation in the Executive Office Building. ''I'd rather use the nuclear bomb,'' Nixon responded. ''That, I think, would just be too much,'' Kissinger replied. ''The nuclear bomb. Does that bother you?'' Nixon asked. ''I just want you to think big.'' The following month, Nixon ordered the biggest escalation of the war since 1968. In a 1985 interview, Nixon acknowledged that he had considered ''the nuclear option.'' He told Time magazine then: ''I rejected the bombing of the dikes, which would have drowned 1 million people, for the same reason that I rejected the nuclear option. Because the targets presented were not military targets.'' Nixon showed less regard for the North Vietnamese in his 1972 taped conversations. In a conversation from June, he told domestic adviser Charles Colson, ''We want to decimate that goddamned place.'' He added: ''North Vietnam is going to get reordered. ... It's about time, it's what should have been done long ago.'' The conversations were in the archives' largest-ever release of Nixon tapes. The material covers mostly the first six months of 1972, including everything from Nixon's groundbreaking trip to China to the early days after the Watergate break-in. With this release, historians and researchers for the first time are being allowed to use their own recording equipment to copy the Nixon tapes. ''The sheer volume and contents of the tapes will give historians and others plenty of research opportunities,'' said Karl Weissenbach, director of the Nixon Presidential Materials staff at the archives. The archives now has made public roughly 1,700 of the 3,700 hours of conversations Nixon taped. Most of the segments related to Watergate had been previously released, but the new tapes contain a few additional conversations, and include full conversations where previously only excerpts had been available. The public now can hear what was said before and after the infamous 18 1/2-minute gap in the Watergate tapes three days after the break-in, and hear the full context of the ''smoking gun'' snippet, which revealed that the president was interested in using the CIA to derail the FBI's investigation of the break-in. ''This time, you're getting the total historical perspective and complete context surrounding the Watergate break-in,'' Weissenbach said. AP-NY-02-28-02 1118EST
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Link Posted: 2/28/2002 10:07:17 AM EDT
This is what is so frustraiting about the Vietnam war. Bombing the dikes would have flooded out Hanoi and Haiphong, and flooded or drained much of the Norths rice growning land. Both however were within the United States's ability to fix and thereby minimise loss of life if the North capitulated. We had plenty of wheat and grain we could have sent them- free. The Army Corps of Engineers could of repaired the dykes BETTER than they were before and drawn off the flood water in about eighteen months. The Johnson Administration had known about this option from the very begining in 1965 and had also disregarded it... the missed opportunities make me sick. Oh, also, more than half the dikes they wanted to destroy, would have not required the risk of a single US airman. They were within range of battleship gunfire. The [i]Iowas[/i] could not only have taken them out, but made it impossible to repair, since A BB can revisit the same area 24/7/365 if it has to.
Link Posted: 2/28/2002 11:26:20 AM EDT
This is news?? One of my earliest memories is listening to Walter Cronkite intone, "The president has decided against the use of nuclear weapons in Vietnam."
Link Posted: 2/28/2002 11:41:59 AM EDT
I could have sworn I heard about this as an 11 year-old in 1973.
Link Posted: 2/28/2002 1:23:47 PM EDT
By 1972 the Vietnam War was was already 'lost' if not on the battlefield, then at home on TV. People were sick of a war with no real strategy, body counts on TV every nite, along with the daily films of stuff getting blown up and soldiers being killed.
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