William Fulbright Of Arkansas, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Opposes American Military Involvement in Vietnam
The United States is now involved in a sizable and "open-ended" war against communism n the only country in the world which won freedom from colonial rule under communist leadership. In South Vietnam as in North Vietnam, the communists remain today the only solidly organized political force. That fact is both the measure of our failure and the key to its possible redemption.
So-called "wars of national liberation" are political wars, whose outcomes depend on a combination of political and military factors. The communist guerillas in Malaya could not have been beaten without hard fighting, but neither, in all probability, could they have been beaten had Malaya not been given its independence . . . . The major reason for the success of the Viet Cong in South Vietnam has not been aid from the North but the absence of a cohesive alternative nationalist movement in the South. Both the success of the communists in South Vietnam and their failure in India, Burma, Malaya, Indonesia, and the Philippines strongly suggest that "wars of national liberation" depend for their success more on the weakness of the regime under attack than on the strength of support from outside.
Our search for a solution to the Vietnamese war must begin with the general fact that nationalism is the strongest single political force in the world today and the specific fact . . . that in Vietnam the most effective nationalist movement is communist-controlled. We are compelled, therefore, once again to choose between opposition to communism and support of nationalism. I strongly recommend that for once we give priority to the latter. . . . I strongly recommend . . . that we seek to come to terms with both Hanoi and the Viet Cong, not, to be sure, by "turning tail and running," as the saying goes, but by conceding the Viet Cong a part in the government of South Vietnam.