— Lyndon B. Johnson American politician, 36th president of the United States (in office from 1963 to 1969) 1908 - 1973
1960s, State of the Union Address (1966)
Kontext: Last year the nature of the war in Vietnam changed again. Swiftly increasing numbers of armed men from the North crossed the borders to join forces that were already in the South. Attack and terror increased, spurred and encouraged by the belief that the United States lacked the will to continue and that their victory was near. Despite our desire to limit conflict, it was necessary to act: to hold back the mounting aggression, to give courage to the people of the South, and to make our firmness clear to the North. Thus. we began limited air action against military targets in North Vietnam. We increased our fighting force to its present strength tonight of 190,000 men. These moves have not ended the aggression but they have prevented its success. The aims of the enemy have been put out of reach by the skill and the bravery of Americans and their allies—and by the enduring courage of the South Vietnamese who, I can tell you, have lost eight men last year for every one of ours. The enemy is no longer close to victory. Time is no longer on his side. There is no cause to doubt the American commitment. Our decision to stand firm has been matched by our desire for peace.