Tags: Presidential History | lyndon johnson | peacetime | address | quotes | speech

Lyndon Johnson Peacetime Address Highlights: 10 Quotes From Speech

By    |   Monday, 01 Jun 2015 02:57 PM

Lyndon B. Johnson offered up his “Peace Without Conquest” address at Johns Hopkins University on April 7, 1965 in an effort to explain why it was imperative for the U.S. to support South Vietnam.

Considering the Vietnam War lasted for nearly 20 years between 1955 and 1975, there was not a president in office during that period who could truly deliver a peacetime speech.

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Here are 10 highlights from that speech:

1. “Last week 17 nations sent their views to some two dozen countries having an interest in southeast Asia. We are joining those 17 countries and stating our American policy tonight which we believe will contribute toward peace in this area of the world.”

2. “Tonight Americans and Asians are dying for a world where each people may choose its own path to change. This is the principle for which our ancestors fought in the valleys of Pennsylvania. It is the principle for which our sons fight tonight in the jungles of Viet-Nam.”

3. “We fight because we must fight if we are to live in a world where every country can shape its own destiny. And only in such a world will our own freedom be finally secure. This kind of world will never be built by bombs or bullets. Yet the infirmities of man are such that force must often precede reason, and the waste of war, the works of peace. We wish that this were not so. But we must deal with the world as it is, if it is ever to be as we wish.”

4. “We are there because we have a promise to keep. Since 1954 every American President has offered support to the people of South Viet-Nam. We have helped to build, and we have helped to defend. Thus, over many years, we have made a national pledge to he!p South Viet-Nam defend its independence. And I intend to keep that promise.”

5. “There are those who wonder why we have a responsibility there. Well, we have it there for the same reason that we have a responsibility for the defense of Europe. World War II was fought in both Europe and Asia, and when it ended we found ourselves with continued responsibility for the defense of freedom.”

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6. “I wish it were possible to convince others with words of what we now find it necessary to say with guns and planes: Armed hostility is futile. Our resources are equal to any challenge. Because we fight for values and we fight for principles, rather than territory or colonies, our patience and our determination are unending.”

7. “This war, like most wars, is filled with terrible irony. For what do the people of North Viet-Nam want? They want what their neighbors also desire: food for their hunger; health for their bodies; a chance to learn; progress for their country; and an end to the bondage of material misery. And they would find all these things far more readily in peaceful association with others than in the endless course of battle.”

8. “This will be a disorderly planet for a long time. In Asia, as elsewhere, the forces of the modern world are shaking old ways and uprooting ancient civilizations. There will be turbulence and struggle and even violence. Great social change — as we see in our own country now — does not always come without conflict.”

9. “For centuries nations have struggled among each other. But we dream of a world where disputes are settled by law and reason. And we will try to make it so. For most of history men have hated and killed one another in battle. But we dream of an end to war. And we will try to make it so. For all existence most men have lived in poverty, threatened by hunger. But we dream of a world where all are fed and charged with hope. And we will help to make it so.”

10. “Every night before I turn out the lights to sleep I ask myself this question: Have I done everything that I can do to unite this country? Have I done everything I can to help unite the world, to try to bring peace and hope to all the peoples of the world? Have I done enough? Ask yourselves that question in your homes--and in this hall tonight. Have we, each of us, all done all we could? Have we done enough?”

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Lyndon B. Johnson offered up his "Peace Without Conquest" address at Johns Hopkins University on April 7, 1965 in an effort to explain why it was imperative for the U.S. to support South Vietnam.
lyndon johnson, peacetime, address, quotes, speech
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2015-57-01
Monday, 01 Jun 2015 02:57 PM
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