111. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1
- Response from Ho Chi Minh
Attached is a translation of the response from Ho Chi Minh, received in Paris on August 30, 1969.
It is a very tough, almost insolent, message. It states only what the U.S. must do. It makes demands but no concessions. Although addressed to the President of the United States, it refers to “American governing circles.” If one wished to look for silver linings, one could find some hope in the fact that this is the first communication we have received that has not linked the word “unconditional” with the call for our withdrawal from Vietnam. The last paragraph is rather conciliatory, although probably for the sake of symmetry.
The letter is disappointing in content, but does have the virtue that it can help demonstrate the necessity of whatever actions are taken in November.
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 106, Country Files, Vietnam, “S” Mister, Vol. I. Top Secret; Eyes Only; Nodis. A handwritten note on the memorandum reads: “President has seen.”↩
- See footnote 4, Document 97.↩
- Nixon underlined the phrases “intensify military operations” and “the B–52 bombings.”↩
- Nixon underlined the words “They are determined to fight to the end” and “fearing the sacri-, to defend, country, rights” in this sentence.↩
- Nixon underlined this sentence with the exception of “For this”.↩