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NYT 11/04/1967: "US Encouraged By Vietnam Vote"

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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 03:54 AM
Original message
NYT 11/04/1967: "US Encouraged By Vietnam Vote"
Edited on Mon Jan-31-05 03:54 AM by liberalpragmatist
First of all, let me state my own thoughts about the Iraqi election. It could have been a lot worse and I'm heartened to see the Iraqis going to the polls. I'm glad those who showed up showed up and I sincerely hope things work out for the best. Nor do I think the vote was a disaster - it could have been a lot worse and turnout does appear to have been very high in Shiite and Kurd areas.

But we do need to keep perspective on this. This election in and of itself does not justify all the costs of this war or make it more morally sound. I sincerely hope for the best, but we should be realistic. While the elections haven't been a disaster, they were far from perfect and there are serious issues that need to be resolved. This is far from over and I hope beyond hope that things work out alright. But we shouldn't get drawn in by false optimism. Much can still go wrong and what appears alright right now may not be alright later on.

With that I point to an exhibit unearthed on DailyKos by one of the diarists. I have no independent confirmation if the contents of the article he posted in his thread are correct - but there is a link to a page on the NYT archives with an article for sale with the same heading and author.

http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/nytimes/results.html?st=adv...

Here is what has been posted on Daily Kos:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/1/31/2335/87390

***

U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote:
Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror


by Peter Grose, Special to the New York Times (9/4/1967: p. 2)

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3-- United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting.

According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.

The size of the popular vote and the inability of the Vietcong to destroy the election machinery were the two salient facts in a preliminary assessment of the nation election based on the incomplete returns reaching here.

<snip>

Pending more detailed reports, neither the State Department nor the White House would comment on the balloting or the victory of the military candidates, Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Van Thieu, who was running for president, and Premier Nguyen Cao Ky, the candidate for vice president.

A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President Johnson's policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in South Vietnam. The election was the culmination of a constitutional development that began in January, 1966, to which President Johnson gave his personal commitment when he met Premier Ky and General Thieu, the chief of state, in Honolulu in February.

The purpose of the voting was to give legitimacy to the Saigon Government, which has been founded only on coups and power plays since November, 1963, when President Ngo Dinh Deim was overthrown by a military junta.

Few members of that junta are still around, most having been ousted or exiled in subsequent shifts of power.

Significance Not Diminished

The fact that the backing of the electorate has gone to the generals who have been ruling South Vietnam for the last two years does not, in the Administration's view, diminish the significance of the constitutional step that has been taken.

The hope here is that the new government will be able to maneuver with a confidence and legitimacy long lacking in South Vietnamese politics. That hope could have been dashed either by a small turnout, indicating widespread scorn or a lack of interest in constitutional development, or by the Vietcong's disruption of the balloting.

American officials had hoped for an 80 per cent turnout. That was the figure in the election in September for the Constituent Assembly. Seventy-eight per cent of the registered voters went to the polls in elections for local officials last spring.

Before the results of the presidential election started to come in, the American officials warned that the turnout might be less than 80 per cent because the polling place would be open for two or three hours less than in the election a year ago. The turnout of 83 per cent was a welcome surprise. The turnout in the 1964 United States Presidential election was 62 per cent.

Captured documents and interrogations indicated in the last week a serious concern among Vietcong leaders that a major effort would be required to render the election meaningless. This effort has not succeeded, judging from the reports from Saigon.

<end of article>

Let's keep a little perspective here, right?
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 03:57 AM
Response to Original message
1. Now, THAT'S just spooky.............. n/t
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cthrumatrix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #1
29. our media will not bring up this govt PR spin from long ago
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BikeWriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 04:10 AM
Response to Original message
2. Our last two elections were rigged. The Iraqis know it. I see no peace...
...in the near future.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #2
23. It's true. BushCo behaves as though the world is trapped in the giant
propaganda machine the GOP has created. They rest of the world has a less biased press and they KNOW what's going on here as opposed to Americans who remain blissfully ignorant.
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BikeWriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. I don't know about blissfully, but they're ignorant. n/t
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Azathoth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 04:10 AM
Response to Original message
3. Excellent find
Between the fanatically jingoistic adulation on cable news and the knee-jerk "this election is a conspiracy and a sham!" doom and gloom espoused by many here on DU, it's good to see that there are at least a few people who are keeping this entire thing in perspective.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #3
24. This pretty much jives with the latter. This election is a sham.
Your perspective is a little cloudy, ain't it?
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Azathoth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #24
35. There's no sense arguing with someone who's made up their mind
You've decided this election is a "sham" -- for whatever reason -- and there's nothing I can say to change that. I don't see it that way. I think this election was an honest, though deeply flawed, attempt at getting some type of democratic process to take root in Iraq. Which is why I hope, unlike many DUers apparently, that the elections succeed. The fact that many Iraqis made the effort to vote at all implies that they too are hopeful the elections will be successful.

I see nothing in this article to suggest that the Iraq election was a sham. In fact, I think that given the circumstances, the Iraq vote has at least the potential to be more legitimate and successful than the South Vietnam vote ever could have been. What I do see in this article, however, is that there is more than enough parallel between the two situations to suggest that history could very well repeat itself. These elections don't have to be a sham in order for them to fail.
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merwin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 03:31 AM
Response to Reply #35
39. Here's four things that should hint at the 'sham' fact
1. Almost no Sunni participation, although, the Shia have said that the Sunni population will be represented. Now, how can that be if none of them voted? Honestly, it makes no sense.
2. Voting was equated to food rations. Iraqi's have gone on record saying that they were told that they would get their food rations AFTER they voted.
3. Reporters were allowed to be at and take pictures 5 polling locations.
4. NO INTERNATIONAL OBSERVATION OF THE VOTE COUNTING

I think it'll be REALLY funny when the vote ends up showing that either an enormous amount of Sunni's voted, or that the Sunni ticket received many votes in general.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 04:11 AM
Response to Original message
4. I should have guessed that they had tried this in Vietnam. (nt)
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theresistance Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 04:27 AM
Response to Original message
5. Great find, get this on the homepage
It really puts it in perspective.
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illflem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 05:09 AM
Response to Original message
6. Another parallel
is that the US spent it's first five years in Vietnam financing and training the South Vietnamese Army so they could fight their own battle and the US could pull out.
History proves how that panned out.
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 05:14 AM
Response to Original message
7. Shams and Triumphs-Vietnam "Election"
However, in the Dominican Republic in 1966 and Vietnam in 1967, where elections were U.S.-sponsored, U.S. media presented large voter turnout as a democratic triumph. The massive presence of U.S. and indigenous security forces was not seen as a coercive threat-despite considerable violence against the local population before or during the elections.

In the case of Vietnam, the New York Times (9/4/67) claimed that the thousands of villagers who were "willing to risk participating in elections held by the Saigon regime" demonstrated the government's "popular support"; the editors emphasized that "most observers believe that on the whole the voting was fairly conducted." The exclusion of the main opposition, the National Liberation Front (along with all "neutralists"), and the presence of vast numbers of foreign troops, did not reduce the value of this election for the Times-here flawed elections were better than none.

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Media/Shams_NYTimes.h...

History repeating itself, yep. And this fake "election" in Iraq will be as relevant as the fake "election" in 'Nam was.
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 05:22 AM
Response to Original message
8. interesting, they call the resistance "terrorists" back then...
I thought that was a post 2001 term for everyone anti-bush**.
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LynnTheDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 05:30 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. King George called the Americans "terrorists".
We're not the brightest species, are we. :eyes:
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Nile Donating Member (354 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 05:47 AM
Response to Original message
10. Big difference between Vietnam vote and Iraq vote.
In Vietnam only half of the country voted. The south voted and the north did not. Iraq is not divided like Vietnam was.

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cap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 07:20 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. yup... sunni/shia/kurd not real divisions after all...
eom
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #10
17. They were two countries at the time. EOM
They shouldnt have been, but thanks the the US they were.
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merwin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 03:33 AM
Response to Reply #10
40. What have you been smoking? Iraq is even more divided than Vietnam!
Sunni, Shia, Kurd, along with factions of each group
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killbotfactory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 05:53 AM
Response to Original message
11. LOL
That's just perfect
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 06:34 AM
Response to Original message
12. That's, uh, very sobering. Very sobering.
Same message, same language, same over-enthusiasm,...the propaganda machine has simply gotten more polished.

*sigh* I wonder if this aggressive effort to deliver democracy by gunpoint is going to drag on for another five years. :cry: God, I hope not.
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southernleftylady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
14. wow... im speechless... nt
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DemonFighterLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 08:01 AM
Response to Original message
15. Give Dubby a break
He borrowed a page from history. Afterall, it worked so well then.
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
16. kick
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TacticalPeek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
18. And in 1971, as the only candidate, General Thieu was "reelected".
So that's how that works.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nguyen_Van_Thieu

Thieu's regime was accused of being far more corrupt than his predecessor. Unlike Ky, Thieu created a political party and greatly centralized political power in the executive branch at the expense of the elected congress. Close allies were placed in key ministerial and military posts in order to prevent threats to the president's leadership from emerging.

In 1971, Thieu ran for re-election, but his reputation for corruption made his political opponents believe the race would be fixed, and declined to run. As the only candidate Thieu was thus easily re-elected.


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blackspade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #18
31. Lets do some work substitution..
Shall we?

Bush's regime was far more corrupt than his predecessor. Unlike Clinton, Bush high jacked a political party and greatly centralized political power in the executive branch at the expense of the elected congress. Close allies were placed in key ministerial and military posts in order to prevent threats to the president's leadership from emerging.

In 2004, Bush ran for re-election, but his reputation for corruption made his political opponents believe the race would be fixed. As the only beneficiary of election fraud Bush was thus easily re-elected.

Well, had to alter to fit a little but similar, No?
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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
19. Kick
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
20. Well wouldn't that be a buzzkiller for *
It's a good thing he doesn't read.
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goobergunch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
21. I'll verify this
My school has access to the ProQuest database of historical NY Times articles. I don't know whether this link will work, but try http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=1&did=82602711&Src...

There's another story from the day before, incidentally:

U.S. Expects Peace Bid After Voting

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 -- United States officials believe that a fair election in South Vietnam tomorrow would put the new Government into a position far stronger than those of regimes for years past to make a peace approach to North Vietnam.

Such a peace approach is widely expected by policymakers here, whether the military or civilian candidates win.

Senior United States officials have curtailed their holiday weekend plans to be at their desks to scrutinize the running results as closely as they would an American election.

more....http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=0&did=90590809&Src...
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #21
25. Thanks for the links, but one still needs password to access
I appreciate it anyway. :hi:

What an article - history repeats itself and not the good stuff either!
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robbedvoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
22. Some truth was creeping in that article though - maybe because
there was a democrat in the WH ....
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cthrumatrix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #22
27. the truth is this is SOP for the Global ELite -- elections=freedom (NOT)
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SeveneightyWhoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #22
36. LOL, nah, I think it has more to do with the fact..
..that the media was actually "liberal" way back then.
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Rapcw Donating Member (567 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
28. kick n/t
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Willy Lee Donating Member (925 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
30. kickin for relevance. nt
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
32. Kick. Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.
:kick:

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DUBYASCREWEDUS Donating Member (195 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
33. ONE OF THEIR OWN
Edited on Mon Jan-31-05 04:03 PM by DUBYASCREWEDUS
One of my favorite posts - I don't know if it was on this site or another was a congratulatory message to the Republicans: "Congratulations, you now have your very own Vietnam."

I love when Republicans are quick to say that Iraq is not like Vietnam. Let's see .. the dead and injured are mounting; the destruction is escalating; the cost is astronomical; - nope, no similarities there. Dumbya was never a student of history but he sure is doing his damnedest to earn a special place in history!
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spooked911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-31-05 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
34. Great find, and amazingly eerie too.
I have to think the Iraq elections are just the beginning of even worse problems for Iraq.
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 12:49 AM
Response to Original message
37. Kick.
January 1968, a mere four months after the election, marked the beginning of the Tet offensive and a rapid escalation of the war.
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rfrrfrrfr Donating Member (163 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 03:09 AM
Response to Reply #37
38. Yuppers
Its the first step towards a Fundamentalist islamic run theocracy,Complete Iraqi Civil War, or both.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-01-05 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
41. Missed this before.
:kick: for anyone else that missed it.
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