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RFK: We Will Win in Vietnam

Feb. 18, 1962 - Robert F. Kennedy said today that U.S. troops would stay in South Vietnam until Communist aggression was defeated. The Attorney General said at a brief news conference at Saigon Airport: “We are going to win in Vietnam. We will remain here until we do win.” Mr. Kennedy did not leave the heavily guarded field during a two-hour stop on his flight from Jakarta to Bangkok. He said he wished he could have stayed in Vietnam longer. Asked whether the U.S. was involved in a “war” in Vietnam, Mr. Kennedy asserted: “We are involved in a struggle.” “American boys are dying out here,” a British correspondent said. “Do the American people understand and approve of what is going on?” “I think the American people understand and fully support this struggle,” Mr. Kennedy replied. “Americans have great affection for the people of Vietnam. I think the United States will do what is necessary to help a country that is trying to repel aggression with its own blood, sweat and tears. This is a new kind of war, but war it is in a very real sense of the word. It is war fought not by massive divisions but secretly by terror, assassination, ambush and infiltration. Hanoi may deny its responsibility, but the guilt is clear. In a flagrant violation of its signed pledge at Geneva in 1954, the North Vietnamese regime has launched on a course to destroy the Republic of Vietnam.”

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