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Guy I think he's the most dangerous man that this woman has ever paid in to save us so that I think he's done the country more harm than any other one may. And he's nice live a lot of people they think he's brilliant. Yes he possesses a type of man that can go to the president tell them how many tanks and how many small rifles how many machine guns and hand in figures in stages day when it comes to J1 impact of sandstone and military knowledge in my judgment here is Shelob sided and lacking in this ability. The voice you just heard was that of United States senator Strom Thurmond Republican of South Carolina and our guest this week on the NBER Washington forum a weekly program concerned with the significant issues before us as a nation. This week the Hawks view of the war in Vietnam. I'm an E.R. public affairs director Bill Greenwood with me as any our Washington Correspondent Jim Clark our guest Senator Strom Thurmond has been one of the most outspoken advocates of
military efforts in Vietnam. Today we question him about that advocacy for a first question here is Jim Clark. Senator you have been pictured as more of an eagle than a hawk. Why is this. Well. I don't know exactly what illegal means but I'm wearing the Eagle Rock Yeah I guess as opposed I did try to stand for a mask in the center of the hawk might be super an eagle rather might be a super hawk would you describe yourself that's what made this so on this Vietnam War. I guess I was that in the past. OK maybe a soup I hope a good laugh a wedding is flowing again through in getting out the rain and I from boy's home. I don't see his inspiration his war I though five or ten years along we could want it three years ago two years ago one year ago. We can win now if we go into it and put everything we've got into it just like we did in World War 2. Senator Thurman the administration has pretty much gone on
record saying they don't want to another world war type spirit within the United States toward Vietnam. Why do you feel this might be BOR advantageous. Well I think they are following their co-existence with communism and I explained it this way in Korea we didn't win we didn't lose either. We have a stalemate and I have and I have been asked why we didn't win that. In a commencement address I made limestone collars an icy 2:54 I answer that question as to why we didn't win in Korea. My answer was that a defeat of communism van would have been a setback for socialism here in the United States and socialism has been rejected by all of the future of the United States on the part of a great many prominent leaders in and out of government I think that there in lies your answer now or you are using the term socialism synonymous with communism Hell no I'm not.
I'm using the term socialism they are partially that type of socialism in there then just drive by my office last year he said we should go to democratic socialism. Another was not completely too cognizant but as he described it it would be attacked of government in which the people would retain a measure of freedom. I don't favor interstates tackle gun I favor the people taking all the freedoms I have now. I favor the proud enterprise system. And I thought it was the incentive system failed. People use nack talents to achieve and accomplish and develop in every way that God made it possible for him to do so and that kind of system we have now and that's the kind of system I think we ought to retain. We become their might is to Greatest the richest nation on the face of the way back when the present system of government as provided in our constitutional republic. What specific action would you recommend that our troops follow in Vietnam in order to bring
this war to an immediate conclusion. Well first I will lift their strictures on bombing the military men that will win this war if they are allowed to do so. But you gotta give them some flexibility. Right now they have had restrictions mag marriage had restrictions on those policies for a long time though they couldn't they couldn't bomb a bridge a second time the same day in other words that Mr. Bridges but it's time to have to wait. Put it on a list and good try two weeks later and meantime while maybe hundreds of trucks with endless supplies of gold that bridge all over the bridge that a train would play a sold thousands of cars made to bring in supplies. So surely if there are stakes in Obama I think is a Bush win and the next thing I think we are close of course to which any supplies come to hop on our own. It brings in about 85 percent of the supplies for the enemy and
most of the supplies go to come from some of the Soviet Union from a day to 5 percent come from they are about to go for a charity. Some from some of the Bloc countries like Czechoslovakia and others going to find their AK raid channel is producing small arms and machine ammunition and some machine guns but so a union is brainy and all of the complex equipment like an aircraft guns said this day and the systems and communications systems and made planes radar trucks helicopters everything of a complex nature of practice coming from the Soviet Union. So I think if we can close it the socialists who wish to come and they come to be cheaper through the poems they weaken drama they've got to have this equipment to fight with. They don't have it they can't continue to fight.
How would you suggest we close the ports of the thermos. Well I think I believe that if you have two people three ways you can do it one you can bomb the ports and one you can blockade the ports one you can mind oppose I think Nader suggested that mining would be preferable you might run into a few complications that probably would be truth. You mentioned bombing are you calling for an all out bombing against North Vietnam calling for jest unless a bombing is necessary to win this war and save American lives. What about attacks on population centers where civilians might be killed. Well I think they ought to be notified when you've got a bomb so they move back they want to if they stay away out in protest parade in New Orleans but then I don't see where the lack of a civilian is isn't it in a move valuable in the life of a soldier an American soldier on the other side. You mention warning the citizens some say that to warn them gives away the American attack plans and puts our pilots in jeopardy. Do you feel that's
valid. Well that might be out of what I had in mind we could do would be to warn them from now on. So you get in we generally want to ahead of time don't tell them when you want to tag. But from this home that that all military targets all key targets GTD Ptolemy's steady to attack and that would give them a chance to move some whales. Those tallies could be listed at stages that steel plants to power plants in the lives of plants. The cement factories and the dikes could be bombed into the other big part of cuts if necessary and many things can be down it have not been done all that have been done it should be done again. You can't just bomb once like a stronger power plants and do the job Spanish. There will be a little place and you gotta keep bombing. You've got to do whatever is necessary to destroy the reputation of the wage wall. Senator how do you view the threat of Red China Red China's
tone from within. He's having a lot of trouble. You got your mouth crowd and you've got your pro-Soviet crab and they're fighting each other at the close of a crowd wins out I think. Then there are people in the Kremlin will control all of Red China. So problem from the standpoint of the American dream was that of them not to win out. It's better for him to keep biting with our mind and that attention be drawn to each other rather than to be drawn to the pre-conscious of the world and I don't consider it China in a serious threat this time. As years go by if she becomes well powerful and strong and then out on that issue it will be good by then you may have revolutions that will camouflage still follow the thread today is a Soviet Union. Senator Thurman if we start sinking ships in the port area new estimate most of the supplies come from the Soviet Union Don't you feel this might
force Russia to take a more active role militarily. No I don't think so. And the military experts don't think so awkward planted that very question too are they. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to each member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff nominated have forced to have command in the Pacific Admiral Shah and various other witnesses who appeared before the preparedness subcommittee and that pinion is that it would not rain rush in. They should be notified that we're going to mine the port. So so that and then if they go in they go in at their own risk but is it we put them on notice that we've got to do this. In my judgment they will abide by their going as far as they can without having old role play. They will bluff and propagandize and and that's what they've done and and we have backed off and backed off and and whatever town we stood up to and they have backed down in Baghdad in Lebanon that bag
an increase of Baghdad in taking because we stood up. And if we stand up over here in my judgment they will not pursue the matter. Well Senator when this whole bombing episode began we were we were told that to begin a bombing of North Vietnam would shorten the war considerably. And there's been nothing to indicate to this point at least publicly that that has been the case. Or use what you're saying we asked Oh no I bomb in here. That's was Deborah Voigt it toggles I said yeah always tricky and on top of this that the military man decides when a bomb hot of bomb and all are bad that they make it to save. Do you not admit it's less tougher now three years ago I had a kid this year when they didn't shove it all in a wall where they don't belong go in my good mood. If it had been done in that town they didn't have any aircraft guns in there they didn't have made planes and that they didn't have said to stay on missiles and they now they've got all three. It makes it makes
unlaced tougher just like the situation in Cuba. If we go in in that bagged up the Bay of Pigs invasion by the Cubans always we go in and inspection and in cleaning thing added timeless to true Shia and this candidate with a each other's throats in 1963. Now we've got a bastion in Cuba leave that up for strong and fortified for that. He said Russians have that we don't have and he's going to make it tough and it's tough right now and Vietnam with those who didn't do it soon I don't think we are delayed in a fog of though in my judgment we're going to go ahead and win this war we can win it we should do a very related subject is that of hot pursuit. It's a subject the State Department has been very ambiguous in commenting on and that involves our planes which may receive own become engaged in dog fights near the Chinese border particularly some say that
they should be allowed to pursue these planes into Red China. How do you feel about that Senator Thurmond. I think if the plaintiff ran rage they could be pursued where they come from. I don't favor going at it in tag and I think. Rage on unnecessary low in the other country. But if they had good they are harboring the enemy planes again protection I think we could pursue that. The planes where they go to have I don't look put too many on to go back to the red channel. I think they would go back to no Vietnam. I don't measure a John is going to run the risk of having planes come back to raid Sharon acted bit in a tussle with American politics. Senator your views are held by many of your colleagues on Capitol Hill. Why do you feel the administration is hesitant to adopt this policy of an all out effort to win this war.
Well it's the same policy we follow in Korea. The State Department did yesterday conducting a holding action hoping their reds their calmness will evolve into peaceful people and they go on that theory that that what they're doing now yes stopping Communist aggression and again they come this time in which to evolve into peaceful people in the West going on the theory that. We've got to go further to the left from private enterprise to socialism hoping that Congress will come from communism or socialism and then we can meet out in the future in the utopia of socialism and avoiding all I knew the whole culture. That's more or less a theory. We can't trust the communists they will not do what they say but we know what we don't want to go from private enterprise to socialism in a way private enterprise has made this richest and the greatest nation on the face of the way from a material standpoint and
some of these leaders own State Department feel that we've got to do it I think a lot of sense am I think the humanitarians I think they're visionary I think the impractical and I think they're willing to appease economists hoping is they feel toward an all out well. But my my opinion is you've got to remain strong militarily and strong economically and strong spiritually. NATO own three NSA and we have got to be the strongest nation that we're from military standpoint this and that's the way to go out a lot. Senator you know something you just said Iran. Want to be very clear on. Are you saying the State Department either wants or thinks this country should devolve into a socialist state. They are leaders and they have been after year Jelnik often told me about these people in 1961 he said in the second and third day salons of the State Department. I went and talked with him he said Dad they're in larger trouble
and history from studies I made in what some of these people stood for and they shipped them here and you and I could even call them names I'm not going to do that of these people that hold this line of thought. And and they did and they feel honestly they're not communists but they feel that we've got to reach a meeting ground with the calm and they feel the only place we can do that is socialism. In other words we would deal with private enterprise to socialism. The Congress would you know open calmness under socialism and then we'll reach that meeting right. And if you go back and read what was censored from Nocera speech used in 1961 when I spearheaded this investigation we went through fifteen hundred speeches. I think you get some idea of they are after the situation and they are made a finding of what our foreign policy was and you find in so many words. I can probably
give you one paragraph before you leave today. They will describe what I concluded was the foreign policy of this country with regard to conduct a question from Jim Clark. Senator there is great opposition to the war in Vietnam in the Senate. How do you view this opposition among your colleagues. Well as they give could understand because we have a lot of colleagues in the state who where level and we have a lot of it a lot of them who if you want to call a humanitarian people they feel like you don't see anybody here well I guess no one will see that but they just take a different view. They feel that we gather that they. Contrast economy as well as some of those who made a study of this bank for many many years in depth and who we know and have said and we lead economists cannot be trusted. I don't think some of them understand. I don't think they
really give this study to know how to do it and delved into a deep enough to see how. Come Those them operate the goals of it their mission it technique and strategy and for that reason I'm. I simply don't think they understand whole situation. Then in some cases you've got. Senators who are getting a lot of mail from pressure groups speak peace groups and all those preachers and teachers college teachers and all of the inspiring some of this and the cause of this melee getting They may feel that that all of their stations you have to feel that way when it's only a bare small percent. I'm confident the American people will win this wall. I'm confident they want to wind up these guests who are not still there five years long senator and it's been proposed that there be an open debate in the Senate on this question. Vietnam would you support this debate was going to have an open debate how
Havelock think this every time you have a debate they reprint a debate every time you have demonstrations like tacking to the Pentagon and it read great pages and everything that happens I am. It goes back to the harm his ability back in all Vietnam. They reproduce it in pampered ball and then that is easy and I just believe we get a divide when as a matter of fact we are not getting the divide we have divided some but it is a very small to stand in line to get some authority on what effect do you think the loss of Defense Secretary McNamara will have on our war effort. While I think it ought to improve the wall at the SEC Gary Mack now is a man who escaped in the bombing. He's a man who we're not willing to close a boat he bought enemy goods. He's a man who is mostly military he is a man who is refusing to go ball and build a number of weapons and to do the research that I feel should be done.
Are you getting on said he now we jack in make up talk alone for about that if I want to manage if you want to hear. I'd like to hear a little more of the reasoning you feel on this way about the secretary of defense the president of course has come out in strong support I would expect you as a Republican obviously not to be too much in support with the president but I'm sure from what you've said you're in support with the international goal. Why do you feel the secretary of defense singlehandedly has stymied this all out intensification. Well I'll tell you some days about nagging that I take this gavel and the other night he states it's really nightmare our cancellation of this gavel and the grand less room which would enable our bombs to strike in mid-August so that line will be in a style over the range of animated aircraft weapons. Takedown yourself down as though all digital
spacecraft had this valuable weapon design of a color still 400 million dollars to carry nuclear weapons into all that and glide back to it though and it followed control to land on airfields was canceled by McNamara 10 days after Lyndon Johnson became president. Taken Pluto supersonic missile now in the US was designed to fly around the world 10 times it 2000 miles per hour at an altitude low enough to avoid an aircraft and then a ballistic missile defenses. This to Belem one was cancelled by a magma date than those less of these missiles capable of carrying powerful nuclear warheads being scrapped by McNamara. That's a pro-Israeli one with the Minuteman missile can carry warhead only one six as powerful as Atlas did demand manned mobile missile bases. McNamara canceled the play in the admin man in a car now missiles mounted on mobile launching sites so as to
be saved from ending attack the only man and man that we have a friend of those exposed to attack by more powerful so when most of the take the Koran Laraque Grail Magna Marah any skew with delayed production of this airplane designed for global support of ground troops inspired repeated requests for military leaders starting as far back as 1962. Lack of in airplane design. This clip was as cold needless loss of life among American troops in Vietnam. They could be Santa Barbara this was developed after 10 years of hard wake at a cost the one that had a billion dollars and this bomber would have been three time space to the new Be it get to this was cancelled by magma. Will take your brain existing bombs that were definitely stopped on the BDA DNA if needed to do the 47 bombs and no new bombers are under development all construction now. And he granted
that strategic gap command he into this strategic air command they have on our leg which is get kinda that it will send about a nuclear bomb the folks in the A on a 24 hour basis. He did this in the face of a unanimous joint chiefs of staff recommendation that the avg Orlaith be continue then phasing out of this treaty. Yeah I mean he is not satisfied with reducing the SEC's effect in this but he plans to make it to phase it out and cowered by 1972. Now take advantage of nesting Russell nest something I've been working on for 10 years an arm says his committee. His spy was back at the Soviet Union has a pattern to develop in an affected and a ballistic missile. McNamara reveals it to permit the development of an American and a ballistic missile which could save standard 80 million American lives in the event of us of a nuclear attack. By refusing to give out the advance snacky exist I'm nagging
Maranatha polders to waste 5 billion dollars on a limited AVM system which even he admits would be useless in the face of Soviet attack. Now he's going on with the air that Sharon is out winning when in reality this sort of B.S. are we in this probably will help some made in this limited as he calls it. What we need to develop the ABM that would've been us against the Soviets. They are that powerful country today and their goal is to take they would now have taken all of the chemical and bacteriological weapons just in the words of Admiral Cecil Coggins pharma chief of atomic bacteriological and Jim Crow roll back of the native. Secretary McNamara had neglected to develop an argumentative people built in chemical role and has no defense rather than name in biological roleplay. We at me they are pains in our deep beds of capability in my judgment this is extremely
important in a nuclear powered please in spite of the repeated demands from Congress and from neighbor legs bugs so I do that more harm than Rigaud McNamara has blocked the construction of violent needed nuclear powered submarines and act craft care and as a result vessels present of being constructed sake as USS John F. Kennedy obsolete almost before putting in a day it saves. We're living in a modern age and we need new good ships. Not your conventional type ships and of course you know about the skull you know this about McNamara's desk where they're attempting to deactivate a nuclear power failure snowman built at a cost of a hundred million dollars even though the cost of operating it is less than that of maintaining it in Moscow and it is beta needed check to trash still applies to me at not. And I could go on like many other things. Closing of the shipyards brass the West drawl a missile bases which was done in Turkey and
down in Great Britain and done in Italy in here and in India Reserve both says they have completely lost faith in McNamara Secretary McNamara scepter reserve the National Guard Corps and the state of confusion for seven years. His refusal to cooperate with Congress has been got through their reserve forces get these bonuses drastically short of equipment lower on the rail and on ready for combat and then also the regular army reserve strength is weak. He has led the regular army strategic reserve strength in the continental United States deteriorate to the lowest level since the early days of the Korean well. So a larger portion of the army is in the NBL Naam or engaged in training replacements for the fall of Vietnam that only one forward division remained in the United States ready to meet and will use it which may develop elsewhere in the world. What you're really saying Senator Brown is that in your opinion he hasn't done too much
right militarily sads exactly correct I think he's a most dangerous man that this government has ever had in the service of the government. I think he done the country more harm than any other one may and his mess led a lot of people they think he's brilliant. Yes well he he possesses a type of man that can go to the president tell them how many tanks and how many small rifles how many machine guns and hand in figures and sages that when it comes to Jade when in practical sense and military knowledge in my judgment he is Shell excited and lacking in this ability and to give has been a tremendous ways redzone Etienne begs he let the contract to build that plane just been staying in tact is that bid the highest price for it and the military men said they didn't have the best plane. I believe that Danny and why he stayed put in the lowest need any good in that vein A.J. People wanted but yet that mad then you take it out of center there in our time is up.
Thank you for being with us. Play it the way that was United States senator Strom Thurmond Republican of South Carolina. Our guest this week on the end he are a Washington forum. This program was produced for national educational radio by W am you FM American University Radio in Washington D.C. I'm an E.R. public affairs director Bill Greenwood with me has been any our Washington Correspondent Jim Clark. We invite you to listen again next week for another edition of the NBER Washington forum a weekly program concerned with the significant issues before us as a nation this is the national educational radio network.
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NER Washington forum
Strom Thurmond
Producing Organization
WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
National Association of Educational Broadcasters, WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
United States Senatory Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., with a "hawk's view." Part 3 of 4: War in Vietnam
Series Description
Discussion series featuring a prominent figure affecting federal government policy.
Public Affairs
Media type
Host: Greenwood, Bill
Producing Organization: WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters, WAMU-FM (Radio station : Washington, D.C.)
Speaker: Thurmond, Strom, 1902-2003
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-24-42 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:59
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Chicago: “NER Washington forum; Strom Thurmond,” 1968-01-03, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 21, 2024,
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APA: NER Washington forum; Strom Thurmond. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from