Nixon And The Paris Peace Accords

1979 Words8 Pages
From humble beginnings, Richard Milhous Nixon accomplished what many could only wish to do; he became the 37th president of the United States. Having inherited the Vietnam War, President Nixon was determined to make the most of the situation and end the war with peace and honor. President Nixon received his peace through an honorable agreement, the Paris Peace Accords which were signed on January 17, 1973 (Berman 3). Even though the Paris Peace Accords brought a ceasefire, honor was lost when Saigon was taken by the North Vietnam on April 30th, 1975. This is because the Paris Peace Accords could never have worked as intended by President Nixon. The first reason is because the Paris Peace Accords were inherently faulty. In fact, President Nixon doubted the capabilities of the treaty, and hoped for an “indefinite inclement” stalemate with the North Vietnam (Berman 9). Even Henry Kissinger, President Nixon’s Secretary of State during his second term, also played a key role in the negotiations, believed that the South Vietnamese would only be able to survive for a year (Dallek 455). Kissinger also believed that the conflict was caused by Congress, which refused to let President Nixon deal with the communist aggressors (Kimball 293). Moreover, a Gallup poll from 1973 indicated that 54% of Americans didn’t believe that South Vietnam wouldn’t last either (Berman 262). Because President Nixon and Le Duc Tho both had different ideas of what an “honorable peace” was, only one politician could have their way. In his speeches, President Nixon stressed that the only way for the U.S. to end the war with honor was to secure South Vietnam’s independence by removing North Vietnamese troops (Tucker 526). On the other hand, Tho insisted that removing North Vietnamese was a blow to their honor, which they had worked hard to maintain since gaining their independence from France on
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