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Distributed by: Students for a Democratic Society
and Inter-University Committee for

Debate on Foreign Policy

Instructions: This examination has been prepared to allow you to check your understanding of the war in Vietnam. For each question, indicate the correct answer or correct answers in the space provided. We believe in the importance in a democracy of putting facts in the hands of every citizen to enable him to participate in decision-making. This is particularly true where the question is war and peace, and where the citizens are the young men who are called upon to fight.

(For answers, click here)

The following statements were made by leading figures involved in the Vietnamese conflict. Match the quotations below with the author (more than one quotation can be attributed to the same individual.)

A) "I would like to see American students develop as much fanaticism about the U.S. political system as young Nazis did about their system during the war."

B) "For years now in Southeast Asia, the only people who have been doing anything about the little man at the grass roots -- to lift him up -- have been the Communists."

C) "The C.I.A. has employed some South Vietnamese and they have been instructed to claim they are Vietcong and to work accordingly... Several of these executed two village leaders and raped some women."

D) "Do you think those (American) demonstrations were organized by some fine little social club? They were organized by an international apparatus; 95 per cent of the demonstrators are no more Communists than you and I, but the International Communist movement organized it and masterminded it."

E) "The fever chart of every successful revolution… reveals a rising temperature of terrorism and counter-terrorism, but this does not of itself Invalidate the legitimate goals that fired the original revolution. Most political revolutions -- including our own -- have been buoyed by outside aid in men, weapons and ideas."

F) " ...The Communists are closer to the people's yearning for social justice and an independent life than (my) own government."

G) "The major part of the U.S. military task can be completed by the end of 1965, although there may be a continuing requirement for a limited number of U.S. training personnel."

H) "I have only one (hero): Hitler."

1) John F Kennedy
) Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge
Premier Nguyen Cao Ky
Barry Goldwater
5) Senator Stephen Young of Ohio

Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara
Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey

President Lyndon B. Johnson
Ho Chi Minh

 2. Free elections are a major issue in South Vietnam today. The earliest time at which free elections were (are) supposed to take place was (is):

(A) August 1945
July 1956
January 1959
November 1963
sometime in 1966

3. Which of the following accurately describe(s) the cause(s) of unrest in South Vietnam after 1956?

(A) Saigon dissolved elected village councils and replaced them with appointed, often corrupt officials, many of whom were not from the villages they administered.

(B) Saigon took land from farmers who had seized it during the war with the French (1946-54), and returned it to the former landlords who restored land rents.

(C) Saigon cracked down on political dissidents.

(D) From 1954 to 1956, the Saigon government gained substantial support and restored the economy to prosperity. Seeing no other way to gain control of South Vietnam, the North Vietnamese government ordered its agents in the South to begin a campaign of terror.

4. Which of the following statements about military operations in Vietnam is (are) true?

(A) American counter-insurgency forces arrived in South Vietnam as early as 1955.

(B) South Vietnamese and American soldiers have infiltrated North Vietnam.

(C) About three-quarters of the infiltrators from North Vietnam into South Vietnam from 1959 through 1964 were native Southerners.

(D) In South Vietnam "anti-Diem guerrillas were active long before infiltrated North Vietnamese elements joined the fray."

5. According to Mike Mansfield, majority leader of the Senate, there are 230,000 Viet Cong troops inside South Viet Nam -- of whom 73,000 are main force regulars including 14,000 North Vietnamese people’s army men. Using these figures, what percentage of the total Viet Cong force is made up of North Vietnamese People's Army men?

(A) 2%

6. There were approximately 540,000 South Vietnamese in all branches of the Saigon government's fighting forces in 1965. About how many South Vietnamese deserted during 1965?

(A) 57
(B) 500

7. The statement below is part of an editorial entitled "What Kind of War is This?":

"It is hard to disagree with President Johnson's announced aims in Vietnam. He has proclaimed those traditional goals for which Americans have always been prepared to fight ... yet something new and ugly is happening in the way we fight for those goals. It began, perhaps, with the decision to drop bombs and napalm on communist-dominated peasant villages, killing and maiming the people we profess to defend from aggression … A Buddhist monastery wrecked by bombs ... at least two monks killed, 10 injured ... South Vietnamese troops beat and torture prisoners ... U.S. Marines, under sniper attack, set a number of peasant villages afire with grenades and flame throwers … In one case, a woman and four children are found burned to death in the wreckage ... It used to be axiomatic that there could be no victory in Vietnam without the support of the Vietnamese people ...Our commitment to the people of South Vietnam is a commitment to protect them, not to destroy them in the name of the 'Free World.’”

This statement appeared on the editorial pages of:

(A) The Communist "Worker";
"The Marine Reservist";
The Students for a Democratic Society "New Left Notes";
"The Saturday Evening Post"

8. American planes on bombing missions in South Vietnam are sometimes unable to drop their bombs on specified targets. However, before returning to base, they must jettison their bomb loads. They are authorized to drop these bombs in a "Free Bomb Zone." A free bomb zone is:

(A) Sufficiently far out in the ocean so that noncombatants will not be injured;

(B) An unpopulated jungle area where ample warnings have been posted;

(C) An area in which any structure or movement can be bombed because the population is presumed to be "hostile" and therefore destroyable. 

9. The number of South Vietnamese civilian deaths caused by American and South Vietnamese military operations is:

(A) 109 (from August 1, 1965 through March 1, 1966);
about 14,000 in January-February 1966 alone;

(C) none since only "hard-core Vietcong" are killed by American military operations;

(D) probably twice the number of Vietcong killed.

10. Chemical crop destruction will have the following predictable effects on enemy-held territories:

(A) Enemy military operations will be severely hampered by logistic shortages;

(B) Death from starvation will occur -- first of all in young children and the elderly;

(C) Adult men are the least likely and last to suffer disease and death.

11. The war in South Vietnam is supposed to be part of our policy to contain Communist Chinese aggression. How many Communist Chinese troops are actively engaged in combat in Vietnam?

(A) None;

12. The American Government claims that a main legal basis for fighting in Vietnam is our obligation under the mutual security clause of the South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). The co-signees of the SEATO Pact are France, Pakistan, Philippines, New Zealand, Britain, Thailand, and Australia.
Of the approximately 850,000 troops fighting on the side of the Saigon government, how many come from SEATO countries other than the U.S.?

(A) More than 100,000;
About 75,000;
About 45,000;
Less than 5.000;

13. The American government often denounces Communist terrorism. This terrorism is given as a reason why the U.S. must never accept a Communist government in South Vietnam.

In recent months, three hundred thousand persons have been slaughtered in one of the following countries, yet the U.S. has failed to make a public statement opposing this violence. Which country?

(A) North Vietnam;

(C) Soviet Union;

(D) Communist China;

14. Which of the following American military heroes have, in the past, warned against committing a large number of American troops to a land war on the Asian mainland:

(A) Gen. Douglas McArthur;

(B) Pres Dwight D. Eisenhower;

(C) Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway;

(D) Gen. Maxwell Taylor;

(E) Gen. James Gavin;

(F) Gen. Omar Bradley.

15. One of the main obstacles to negotiations has been the American disagreement with Hanoi's insistence that the Vietnamese settle their internal affairs "in accordance with the program of the National Liberation Front of South Viet Nam (Viet Cong)." Which of the following points are contained in the NLF program?

(A) The establishment of "a government of national and democratic union ... composed of representatives of all social classes, of all nationalities, of all religions ..."
"Implement essential democratic liberties: freedom of opinion, of press, of assembly, of movement, of trade unionism; freedom of religion without discrimination; and the right of all patriotic organizations of whatever political tendency to carry on normal activities."

(C) "Elect a new National Assembly through universal suffrage."

(D) "Support the national bourgeoisie in the reconstruction and development of crafts and industry."

(E) "By negotiation and on the basis of fair prices, repurchase for distribution to landless peasants or peasants with insufficient land, those surplus lands that the owners of large estates will be made to relinquish if their domain exceeds a certain limit, to be determined according to regional particularities."

(F) "Overthrow the camouflaged colonial regime of the American imperialists ..."

16. Which of the following statements about the willingness of the North Vietnamese to negotiate are accurate?

(A) The North Vietnamese only began to show some interest in negotiation after we began bombing them;
(B) There have been seven documented offers to negotiate by the North Vietnamese since September 1964;
"I must say that candor compels me to tell you that there has not been the slightest indication that the other side is interested in negotiations or in unconditional discussion although the United States has made some dozen separate attempts to bring them about." (President Johnson's speech. July 13, 1965)
The North Vietnamese have maintained that any negotiations must include the prior recognition of the Communist Chinese regime by the American government;
The North Vietnamese and the National Liberation Front have maintained that the ultimate withdrawal of foreign troops be accepted as the basis of negotiation, but that such withdrawal does not have to precede negotiations.

17. If the approximately $13 billion the U. S. is expending this year to prosecute the war in Viet Nam were distributed equally among the South Vietnamese people, how much would each receive?

(A) $85;

(D) $850.

18. In order to be a conscientious objector (C.O.) to military service in the United States, you must.

(A) Believe in God;
Belong to a recognized church;
Be against the use of force in any situation;
Serve two years in a civilian hospital;
None of the above.

(For answers, click here)


This examination was prepared by Students for a Democratic Society, 1103 East 63rd Street, Chicago, Illinois … Vietnam Exam Committee: Michael Locker, Todd Gitlin, Paul Booth.

By the Inter-University Committee for Debate on Foreign Policy … Executive Board: Douglas Dowd, Julian Gendell, Thompson Bradley, Robert Browne, Stanley Diamond, Charles Haynie, Arnold Kaufman.

And the following authorities on Vietnam: Carol Brightman, Robert Browne, Donald Duncan, Marvin Gettleman, Christopher Koch, Staughton Lynd, Carl Oglesby, Marcus Raskin, Marshall Sahlins, Robert Scheer, Howard Schomer, Stanley Sheinbaum.

And other consultants: Richard Barnet, Julian Bond, Kenneth Boulding, William Sloane Coffin, Jr., James Dixon, W. H. Ferry, D. F. Fleming, Edgar Z. Friedenberg, Paul Goodman, Michael Harrington, H. Stuart Hughes, Abraham Heschel, Irving Howe, Edward Keating, Denise Levertov, Stewart Meacham, Barrington Moore, Linus Pauling, Anatol Rapoport, Benjamin Spock, Arthur Waskow, Howard Zinn.

For a scanned image of the original document, click here.

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