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thing...."37 This viewpoint was shared by information regarding the requests and of- and advising that the DRV leadership take the entire WPV top leadership.

fers of U.S. representatives, conveyed dur- steps to snatch the diplomatic initiative. In That is why the Soviet Embassy's re- ing meetings with Soviet diplomats, and order to convince Hanoi to change its intracport for 1966 included very cautious fore- delivered messages between the two sides. table stand on talks with Washington, the casts about possible changes in the DRV For instance, on 24 April 1967, “Vietnamese Soviet Embassy advised Moscow to inform stand. The embassy, in the belief that it was comrades” were informed about a request of the North Vietnamese at their next summit necessary to “exert and broaden, with the the U.S. Embassy in Moscow that the Soviet with Soviet leaders that the USSR could not support of all peace-loving forces and the government take the necessary steps for the afford to pursue a policy of brinkmanship socialist countries, strong political and dip- DRV government to give access to represen- with respect to the United States by getting lomatic efforts in order to bring the matter to tatives of the international commission of more deeply involved in the Vietnam conthe settlement of the conflict in the current the Red Cross to American POWs then held flict, and that therefore the best plan for both year,” suggested that the USSR might even- in North Vietnam. And on April 28, the the Soviet Union and Vietnam would be if tually have to elaborate and present its own DRV leaders learned that Johnson envoy the hostilities drew to a close in 1968.43 peace plan to the Vietnamese comrades. Averell Harriman had handed over a U.S. The fact that talks on the settlement of That supposition was made on the basis of statement on the withdrawal of U.S. troops the Vietnam issue in fact finally started in what the embassy viewed as a certain coin- from the demilitarized zone to the Soviet 1968 may be regarded as a matter of pure cidence of the CPSU and WPV "assessment charge d'affaires in the United States.41 coincidence. At the same time, the Soviet of the situation and active promotion of There is no doubt that Hanoi also received Embassy in Hanoi was farsighted in its aspolitico-diplomatic struggle for Vietnam.”38 exhaustive information about the June 1967 sessments—what mattered was not that its

In that contest, the USSR sought to Glassboro summit between Kosygin and forecasts had proved correct but rather the evade the issue of acting as a formal media- Johnson.

factors on which those forecasts were based. tor at the U.S.-DRV talks (which was what In 1967, too, the Soviet Union failed to And in this respect, the Soviet Embassy had the USA sought). The only role the Soviet convince the Vietnamese leaders to hold every reason to hope that the pressure exUnion was then prepared to play was that of talks with the USA on a peaceful settlement. erted by Moscow on the Vietnamese leaders a “postman,” who would carry both sides? The Soviet Embassy in Hanoi believed that to accept a political rather than military messages, and that of“a night watchman” by the DRV leadership would accept the idea of solution, would finally bear fruit. offering an opportunity for unofficial meet- such a settlements only under the following Preliminary U.S.-North Vietnamese ings between U.S. and North Vietnamese conditions: a worsening of the military situ- talks opened on 13 May 1968, followed on embassy officials in Moscow.39 At the same ation; U.S. acceptance of North Vietnam's 18 January 1969 by the official quadripartite time, Moscow spared no effort to convince main demands; a change in China's attitude (U.S.-South Vietnam-North Vietnam-NLF) its “Vietnamese friends” of the need to switch to the Vietnam War; and finally, the socialist Paris negotiations. Soviet diplomats justififrom military to political-diplomatic meth- countries' clear declaration to the North ably regarded the event as their own success, ods to attain a settlement.

Vietnamese that they could not afford to at least in part. “Without acting as an official The USSR undertook the mission of “a bear the ever growing burden of that war for mediator,” the Soviet Embassy in the DRV postman” and “a night watchman” very re- reasons of an international nature or for fear pointed out, “the Soviet Union rendered an luctantly, probably for fear of being turned of its protracted nature. So in assessing the important service for the two sides to sit into an official mediator. At least it did not results of the Soviet-Vietnamese talks in down at the negotiating table and open offiwish to perform those functions on a perma- April 1967 and the subsequent DRV policy, cial talks. The USSR spared no effort to nent basis. So the United States had to use the Soviet Embassy drew the conclusion that convince world opinion and national govthe services of other countries, in particular, at that juncture, “not a single [one] of the ernments to support an end to bombing raids Poland, Canada, India, etc. However, early above-mentioned situations makes the Viet- on the DRV, and exerted pressure on the in 1967 a new flurry of activity was observed namese comrades take the road of active USA. At the same time it emphasized to the in Moscow. In Jan.-Feb., DRV Foreign searching for ways to a peaceful settle.


Vietnamese comrades that the year 1968 Minister Nguyen Duy Trinh received

was most favorable for a number of reasons

a Shcherbakov and familiarized him with the Nevertheless, summing up the results for launching the process of the political gist of President Johnson's letter to Ho Chi of 1967, Soviet diplomats in Hanoi reached settlement of the Vietnam issue.”:44 Minh, handed over at a regular meeting in the optimistic conclusion that the year 1968 The USSR did much to organize the Moscow of representatives of the DRV and would be the most favorable for starting the Paris meeting, including influencing the the US embassies. And Ho Chi Minh's process of settlement. They strongly de- choice of venue. The record of a conversareply, according to Trinh, was to be sent nounced Hanoi's rejection of Johnson's San tion between V. Chivilev, Soviet acting along the same channels. 40 Those facts Antonio formula—so-named after a speech charge d'affaires, and Le Duan, First Secremake it possible for us to suppose that by in the Texas city on 29 September 1967 in tary of the WPV CC, held on 2 May 1968, 1967, meetings of diplomats of the two war- which LBJ declared that Washington would suggests that on the eve of the opening of ring parties were held in Moscow on a regu- stop bombing North Vietnam when assured U.S.-DRV peace talks, the Vietnamese side lar basis.

that this would “lead promptly to productive offered Paris as the venue with due regard As to its function of “a postman,” in discussions”—pointing out that that formula for the Soviet opinion. By that time Soviet 1967 Moscow regularly supplied Hanoi with could not be regarded as “insurmountable” diplomacy had already performed “a certain



amount of work with the French.” The main reasonably conclude that the USSR did its States Anatoly F. Dobrynin reported to Mosfactor behind Hanoi's choice of the French utmost to ensure a favorable outcome of the cow: “All indications are that his [Nixon's] capital, Le Duan told Chivilev, was “the talks, naturally with due account of its own attempts to convince the USSR to help the opportunity to maintain contacts with Mos- interests.

USA in the settlement of the [Vietnam) cow from it.”:45

Moscow continued to play an important conflict, will be repeated in the future, and The same factor was taken into account role at the Paris talks after Nixon came to this will probably be felt in the course of our by Moscow, which faced the task of keeping power in 1969. The Soviet leaders kept talks with this administration on other interthe sides at the negotiating table. With this abreast of the latest developments and did national issues, if not directly, then at least in aim in mind, the Kremlin exerted constant their best to influence the Vietnamese posi- the form of procrastination in the course of pressure on North Vietnam not to disrupt tion through the services of the USSR em- such talks or in decision-making on other the

process. On 13 June 1968, the CPSU CC bassies in Hanoi and Paris. At his regular issues.”50 and Soviet government sent a letter to the meetings with the leaders of the DRV and In this respect, however, former CIA WPV CC and DRV government stressing NLF delegations, the Soviet Ambassador in chief William Colby was probably right that the Paris talks were vitally important France, V.Zorin, asked the Vietnamese what when he wrote in his memoirs about his deep for achieving a settlement of the Vietnam questions they considered it necessary for skepticism with respect to the Soviet Union's issue. The Soviet leaders also emphasized him to raise in his conversations with the ability to exert pressure on its friends, who that they were living through an important U.S. delegation. At the same time, Zorin were “stubborn and full of determination."51 period from the viewpoint of opportunities expressed his “desire” for the Vietnamese Nevertheless, in spite of its limited opportufor diplomatic struggle, offering to put the side to put forward some specific proposals nities, the USSR managed to make a consid

a entire weight of Soviet authority in the world on military issues and for the NLF to elabo- erable contribution to the peaceful settlein order to triumph in the political and rate a specific diplomatic program. Simulta- ment of the Vietnam conflict. So the signing diplomatic contest.46 In an effort to influ- neously, the Soviet ambassador in the DRV, of the bilateral agreement by the DRV and ence the North Vietnamese side and as a Shcherbakov, warned “the Vietnamese USA, on 27 January 1973, on the end of hedge against the DRV's sometimes unpre- friends” against following an extremist path, hostilities and restoration of peace in Vietdictable behavior, the Soviet Embassy in such as the temptation to pursue a purely nam, irrespective of all its weak points, was Hanoi offered to send experts on Vietnam- propagandist policy or to resort exclusively an important result of the efforts of Soviet ese affairs to the Soviet Embassy in Paris.47 to military methods in relations with the diplomacy as well. Moreover, Moscow reached an agreement USA.49

In conclusion, in assessing Soviet policy with the DRV leadership for the Vietnam- Richard Nixon's victory in the 1968 toward the Vietnam War in the 1964-1973 ese regularly to inform Moscow on the elections marked a turning point in U.S. period, including in the sphere of Sovietsituation at the talks and their future strat- policy toward the USSR, as the incoming American ties, it may be asserted that in spite egy, tactics, and plans. In turn, the USSR administration made every effort to obtain of all the difficulties, complications, and gave the Vietnamese exhaustive informa- greater Soviet involvement and cooperation human costs associated with the conflict in tion about U.S. intentions.

in the process of achieving a peaceful settle- Southeast Asia, the superpowers avoided Nevertheless, despite its promises, ment in Vietnam. The newly elected U.S. grave crises, upheavals, or direct confrontaHanoi on several occasions confronted Mos- president and his national security adviser, tions in their bilateral relations—thus precow with a fait accompli. Yet, having Henry A. Kissinger, decided that all prob- serving a degree of general international “forgotten” to inform its ally about a planned lems in Soviet-American relations were stability and paving the

stability and paving the way toward the action, the Vietnamese leadership neverthe- linked to the Soviet stand on the Vietnam U.S.-Soviet détente of the early-mid-1970s. less insisted on Moscow's immediate sup- issue. And if efforts in Moscow did not port. This happened, for instance, when the quickly or sufficiently pay dividends, Nixon 1. Space precludes a full listing of relevant titles here: NLF published its program of ten points and and Kissinger were prepared not to miss an

for detailed references see Ilya V. Gaiduk, The Soviet

Union and the Vietnam War (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, established the Provisional Revolutionary opportunity to play “the Chinese card” to

forthcoming [1996]). Government of South Vietnam (RSV PRG). make the Soviet leaders more tractable. 2. According to data of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Although Le Duc Tho met with Kosygin on Like his predecessors, Nixon was con- Affairs, in the period from 1961 to 1966 the Soviet

Union supplied the NLF via the DRV as disinterested the eve of the program's publication (during vinced that the USSR had unlimited control

assistance 130 recoilless weapons and mortars, 1400 a stopover in Moscow on his way to Paris), over Hanoi's policy and that as soon as it

machine guns, and 54,500 fire-arms with ammunition. the leading DRV negotiator never men- issued the appropriate orders, the Vietnam- Prior to 1965 the USSR supplied to North Vietnam tioned the planned steps.48

ese leaders would be ready, willing, and German models of arms. (Top Secret Memorandum of However, in attempting to convince obliged to conclude the talks. As a result,

the Southeast Asia Department, USSR Foreign Minis

try, “Soviet Moral and Political Support of and Material Soviet leaders to exert greater pressure on each time the Paris talks reached a blind

Aid to the South Vietnam Patriots,” 24 March 1966, Vietnam to achieve progress in the talks, alley, the White House turned to Moscow to SCCD, fond (f.) 5, opis (op.) 50, delo (d.) 777, listy (ll.) U.S. officials often forced an open door. help find an acceptable escape route. After a 58-59.) This aid supplemented the economic assistance Assessing the steps taken by Moscow for meeting with Kissinger on 12 June 1969,

Moscow rendered to the DRV. China, in turn, in the

period from 1955 to 1965, supplied the DRV with the settlement of the Vietnam conflict along- when the American openly asked the USSR

economic assistance to the total value of 511.8 million side the difficulties it encountered in deal- for assistance to overcome the latest crisis in

rubles, including 302.5 million rubles as gift. (Memoing with Hanoi's foreign policy, one may the talks, Soviet Ambassador in the United randum of the Ministry of Foreign Trade, “CPR's


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[Chinese People's Republic's] Economic Assistance to the Socialist Countries,” 30 March 1966, SCCD, f. 5, op. 58, d. 254, 1. 172.) 3. Telegram to the Soviet Ambassador to France, SCCD, f. 4, op. 18, d. 582, St.-95/462 g., 14 February 1964. 4. International Department of the CPSU CC to the CC, 25 July 1964, SCCD, f. 4, op. 50, d. 631, 1. 163-164. 5. Memorandum from USSR Ministry of Defense to the CPSU CC, 14 July 1967, SCCD, f. 4, op. 59, d. 416, 1. 119-120. 6. Top Secret Memorandum from the Soviet Embassy in the DRV, "On the Political Situation in South Vietnam and the Position of the DRV," 19 November 1964, SCCD, f. 4, op. 50, d. 631, 1. 253. 7. See, e.g, Gabriel Kolko, Anatomy of a War: Vietnam, the United States and the Modern Historical Experience (New York: Pantheon, 1986), 157. 8. For further analysis of the impact of Khrushchev's overthrow on Soviet policy toward Vietnam, see the paper presented by Ilya V. Gaiduk to the conference on the Vietnam War held in October 1993 at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library, Austin, Texas. 9. A memo, sent to the CPSU CC by I. Shchedrov, a Pravda correspondent in Southeast Asia, may serve as an indirect basis for such suppositions. In it Shchedrov analyzes the situation in the region in the first half of the 1960s from the viewpoint of Soviet and Chinese influence on the events in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. He not only criticizes the Soviet Union's restraint, shown before the end of 1964, and expresses concern in view of stepped-up activities by the PRC in those countries, but also offers a series of measures to improve the situation. In their time the top CPSU leadership familiarized themselves with that memo, and the following note by Boris Ponomarev testifies to this: "Please read this memo and submit proposals and measures on issues which call for them." (SCCD, f. 5, op. 58, d. 264.) 10. Political Report of the Soviet Embassy in Hanoi for 1966, SCCD, f. 5, op. 58, d. 263, 1. 148. 11. Memorandum, "Soviet Moral and Political Support," SCCD, f.5, op. 50, d. 773, 1. 59; Soviet Embassy in Hanoi Political Report for 1966, SCCD, f. 5, op. 58, d. 263, 1. 148. 12. Soviet Embassy in Hanoi, Political Report for 1967, SCCD, f. 5, op. 59, d. 331, 1. 26. 13. Shchedrov Memorandum, SCCD, f. 5, op. 58, d. 264, 1. 96. 14. Soviet Embassy in Hanoi, Political Report for 1966, SCCD, f. 5, op. 58, d. 263, 1. 130. 15. Memorandum of Conversation between Soviet Embassy in Hanoi interpreter M. Isaev and Ho Hai Thuy, 25 October 1966, SCCD, f. 5, op. 58, d. 261, 1. 167. 16. Memorandum from USSR Ministry of Commercial Shipping for the CPSU CC, 18 July 1966, SCCD, f. 5, op. 58, d. 263, 1. 38-41. The report by the Ministry of Commercial Shipping was a source of concern by the Soviet leadership. It was decided to make use of the information contained in it, in the course of talks with the DRV party and government delegation to be held in Moscow (SCCD, f. 5, op. 58, d. 263, 1. 43). 17. Soviet Embassy in Hanoi, Political Report for 1970, SCCD, f. 5, op. 62, d. 495, 1. 109. 18. Memorandum from Izvestia correspondent M. Ilyinskii for CPSU CC, 29 January 1968, SCCD, f. 5., op. 60, d. 368, 1. 19. 19. Memorandum from Committee of State Security (KGB), 21 February 1966, SCCD, f. 5, op. 6, d. 511. Regrettably, this document is kept in a “special dossier," so we have had no opportunity as yet to study it. 20. Soviet Embassy in Hanoi, Political Report for 1966,

SCCD, f. 5, op. 58, d. 263, 1. 141, 259. 21. Soviet Embassy in Hanoi, Political Report for 1970, SCCD, f. 5, op. 62, d. 495, 1. 104. 22. A memo by Defense Minister Grechko to Brezhnev serves as testimony to this fact. Grechko wrote that on 30 March 1968 a U.S. F-111 A plane was brought down by an anti-aircraft Dvina complex in the area of Hanoi. He also mentioned measures, adopted by Soviet experts to improve the anti-aircraft complexes after they had obtained information about the use of high-speed aircraft (up to 3700 km per hour) by the US air forces (SCCD, f. 5, op. 60, d. 232, 11. 9-10). 23. Memorandum of Conversation between Deputy Chief of the USSR Foreign Ministry Southeast Asia Department S. Nemchina and Head of the NFLSV Permanent Mission in Moscow Dang Cuong Minh, 2 September 1967, SCCD, f. 5, op. 59, d. 416, 1. 139. 24. Memorandum from the Soviet Embassy in the DRV, 14 March 1967, SCCD, f. 5, op. 59, d. 329,1. 43. 25. Memorandum from the State Committee on the Economic Relations (GKES), “On the Economic and Technical Assistance to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam,” 29 July 1966, SCCD, f. 5, op. 58, d. 263, 11. 54-55; Soviet Embassy in the DRV, Political Report for 1968, SCCD, f. 5, op. 60, d. 375, 1. 48; Soviet Embassy in the DRV, Political Report for 1969, SCCD, f. 5, op. 61, d. 459,1. 123; Soviet Embassy in the DRV, Political Report for 1970, SCCD, f. 5, op. 62, d. 495, 1. 104. 26. Washington's first attempts to reach agreement with the DRV leaders were made back in 1962, under President Kennedy's administration, so we can only suppose what could be the results of those contacts, had President Kennedy been alive. A. Goodman, for instance, believes that as a result of President Kennedy's assassination, the USA lost an opportunity to reach agreement with Hanoi. (A.E. Goodman, The Lost Peace: America's Search for a Negotiated Settlement of the Vietnam War (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1978), 14.) 27. To this testifies the KGB information of President Johnson's talks with Italian Foreign Minister A. Fanfani (SCCD, f. 5, op. 50, d. 690, 1. 93). 28. KGB Memorandum, 11 December 1969, SCCD, f. 5, op. 61, d. 558, 1. 178-179. 29. Main Intelligence Administration (GRU), USSR Ministry of Defense, to CPSU CC, 23 August 1966, SCCD, f. 5, op. 58, d. 262, 11. 237-238. (For an English translation of this document, see CWIHP Bulletin 3 (Fall 1993) 61-62.) 30. The most complete records of these and other secret Vietnam peace efforts during the period 1964-68, based on classified U.S. government records, can be found in George C. Herring, ed., The Secret Diplomacy of the Vietnam War: The Negotiating Volumes of the Pentagon Papers (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1983). MARIGOLD and SUNFLOWER are covered in greater detail, using additional Soviet and U.S. sources, in Gaiduk, The Soviet Union and the Vietnam War (forthcoming). 31. KGB Memoranda, 5 and 21 July 1965 and 7 October 1966, SCCD, f. 5, op. 6, d. 379, 389, 533. 32. Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. 33. Political letters from Soviet embassies were in fact detailed reports of the situation in the respective countries, their domestic and foreign policy, and usually written in connection with particular events. 34. Political Letter, "Soviet-North Vietnamese Relations after the April 1968 Talks," 1 September 1968, SCCD, f. 5, op. 60, d. 369, 1. 114; see also SCCD, f. 5, op. 60, d. 369, 11. 129, 131-132, 133.

35. Memorandum from B. Ponomarev for the CPSU CC, "On a Proposal to the Vietnamese Friends," attached to resolution of the CPSU CC Secretariat, SCCD, f.4, op. 22, d. 1240, Art. No. 113/10, 12 February 1974. 36. Sometimes the situation looked simply ridiculous. Mentioned in the list of materials, included in “special dossiers," is the draft decision on the reply to Le Duan's personal message to Brezhnev, presented by the CC Department and the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 24 December 1974. There is the following note on the card of that document, written by Brezhnev's aide, Alexandrov: “to C-de K.U. Chernenko. Leonid Ilyich asked to hold a vote on this proposal (he has not read the text).” It turns out that top Soviet leaders signed documents either having learned the gist of the document at best, or having read only its title. 37. Memorandum of Conversation between Soviet Charge d'Affaires in Hanoi P. Privalov and Chairman of the Lao Dong Party's Committee on the Unification of the Country Nguyen Van Minh, 23 August 1966, SCCD, f. 5, op. 58, d. 264, 11. 173-174. 38. Soviet Embassy to the DRV, Political Report for 1966, SCCD, f. 5, op. 58, d. 263, 1. 259. 39. For details, see Herring, ed., The Secret Diplomacy of the Vietnam War, and Gaiduk, The Soviet Union and the Vietnam War (forthcoming). 40. KGB Memorandum, 28 January 1967, SCCD, f. 5, op. 60, d. 680; Memorandum of Conversation between Soviet Ambassador Shcherbakov and DRV Foreign Minister Nguyen Duy Trinh, 15 February 1967, SCCD, f. 5, op. 59, d. 327, 1. 145. 41. USSR Foreign Ministry, list of questions on which the Vietnamese comrades were informed, SCCD, f. 5, op. 60, d. 369, 1. 15. 42. Soviet Embassy to the DRV, Political Letter, “Soviet-North Vietnamese Talks of April 1967 and the Policy of the PTV [Workers' Party of Vietnam) on the Settlement of the Vietnamese Problem,” August 1967, SCCD, f. 5, op. 59, d. 327, 1. 263. 43. Soviet Embassy to the DRV, Political Report for 1967, SCCD, f. 5, op. 59, d. 332, 1. 133-138. 44. Soviet Embassy to the DRV, Political Report for 1968, SCCD, f. 5, op. 60, d. 375, 1. 30-31. 45. Memorandum of Conversation between Soviet Charge d'Affaires in the DRV V. Chivilev and Le Duan, 2 May 1968, SCCD, f. 5, op. 60, d. 376, 1. 47. 46. Soviet Embassy to the DRV, Political Letter, “Soviet-North Vietnamese Relations After the April 1968 Talks," SCCD, f. 5, op. 60, d. 369, 1. 109. 47. Soviet Embassy to the DRV, Political Report for 1968, SCCD, f. 5, op. 60, d. 375, 1. 31. 48. Soviet Embassy to the DRV, Political Report for 1969, SCCD, f. 5, op. 61, d. 459, 1. 117. 49. Memorandum of Conversation between Soviet Ambassador V. Zorin and Xuan Thuy and Tranh Byu Khiem, 21 February 1969, SCCD, f. 5, op. 61, d. 460, 11. 56-60, 131-134. (For an English translation, see CWIHP Bulletin 3 (Fall 1993), 62-63. 50. Memorandum of Conversation between A. Dobrynin and H. Kissinger, 12 June 1969, SCCD, f. 5, op. 61, d. 558, 1. 103. (For an English translation of this document, see CWIHP Bulletin 3 (Fall 1993), 63-67.) The contents of this conversation, as the note on the document testifies, were reported to Brezhnev, so the top Soviet leadership had been informed about Washington's intentions. 51. William Colby and James McCargar, Lost Victory: A Firsthand Account of America's Sixteen-Year Involvement in Vietnam (Chicago, N.Y., 1989), 335.


Ilya V. Gaiduk, a research scholar at the Institute


Michalowski was hopeful that the Vietnamof Universal History (IUH), Russian Academy of

continued from page 241

ese would eventually express a willingness Sciences, Moscow, is the author of the Soviet

to negotiate. Union and the Vietnam War (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, forthcoming). A recipient of fellowships Operation Lumbago

After returning to Warsaw, Michalowski .

joined his chief Adam Rapacki in efforts to from CWIHP and the Norwegian Nobel Institute, he originally presented the findings in this ar

persuade the Vietnamese that a positive sigticle to the January 1993 Conference on New

In the early morning of 29 December nal of some kind was in their best interests. Soviet Evidence on Cold War History in Mos

1965, Jerzy Michalowski was awakened by Working through U.S. Ambassador John cow, organized by CWIHP and IUH. The author Polish military authorities, who informed Gronouski, they made it clear that a resumpgratefully acknowledges the assistance of Oganez him that U.S. Air Force One, with ambassa

tion of bombing raids in the North would V. Marinin, then a staff archivist at SCCD (now dor Averell Harriman on board, was request- eliminate any chance for peace. Norman at the State Archive of the Russian Federation

ing permission to land in Warsaw. Harriman's Cousins, a personal friend of Lyndon [GARF]), in locating archival documents for

peace mission was part of a broad diplomatic Johnson, tried to play the role of intermedithis article. offensive that coincided with the Christmas

ary in this process, but to no avail. To the bombing halt of 1965. A 14-point peace dismay of the Polish diplomats, the United plan, including immediate face-to-face ne- States resumed bombing raids on January gotiations, was presented to the Poles, with 31, and Operation Lumbago came to an the request that it be passed on to the North unsuccessful end. Vietnamese government. A meeting with

Communist Party Secretary Wladislaw Operation Marigoldl RESEARCH IN MOSCOW

Gomulka followed (Michalowski was not

present, but he could hear Gomulka harangu- This was another attempt to bring the Scholars needing research performed

ing Harriman through a thick oak door). The United States and North Vietnam together in in the Russian archives may contract

next day, Michalowski departed for Hanoi, secrecy and with a minimum of precondiwith scholars at the Russian Center“Ar

with intermediate stops in Moscow and tions. This time, Polish diplomats worked chival Conversation at the Historical

Beijing. Friends and co-workers were told closely with their colleagues from Italy. Archives Institute (HAI) of the Russian

that his absence was due to a severe bout of Michalowski worked on the Warsaw end of State University for the Humanities in lumbago.

the operation. Poland's representative to the Moscow. For further information please

In Moscow, Michalowski met with For- International Control Commission, Janusz direct inquiries to:

eign Minister Andrei Gromyko, who ex- Lewandowski, Italy's ambassador to South

pressed support for the mission, but pre- Vietnam, Giovanni Orlandi, and U.S. AmProf. Alexander B. Bezborodov

dicted (correctly) that Chinese leaders would bassador Henry Cabot Lodge were the main Historical Archives Institute (HAI)

try to sabotage it in any way they could. In protagonists in Saigon. Russian State University for the Hu

Beijing, Deputy Foreign Minister Wang Phase I of Marigold developed from a manities

Bingnan angrily denounced any offers of discussion between Lewandowski and PreMoscow, Russian Federation

peace and condemned Poland's participa- mier Phan Van Dong in June of 1966 in Fax: (7-095) 432-2506 or (7-095) 964

tion in the American scheme. Michalowski Hanoi. Lewandowski learned that the North 3534

decided to terminate the meeting when Wang Vietnamese would be willing to begin peace Telephone: (7-095) 921-4169 or

became abusive. This stormy session was negotiations, provided the U.S. suspended (7-095) 925-5019

followed by a lavish banquet, with many the bombing campaign. He relayed this

cordial toasts and remarks. Arriving in Hanoi information to Orlandi who, in turn, notified Scholars may also address inquiries

on January 4, Michalowski was met by For- U.S. ambassador Lodge. The American side regarding possible collaboration for re

eign Minister Nguyen Duy Trinh, whose was anxious to know whether Hanoi would search in Russian archives to:

initial response to the American offers was make any overt sign of accommodation (such

unenthusiastic. The Vietnamese, he claimed, as refraining from offensive military operaProf. Alexander 0. Chubarian

were doing well on the battlefield, and the tions in the South, or reducing traffic along Director

time had not yet come to exploit these suc- the Ho Chi Minh Trail) in return for a bombInstitute of Universal History

cesses at the negotiating table. The same ing halt. In spite of their best efforts, Polish Leninsky prospekt 32a

sentiments were echoed during the next two diplomats could obtain no assurances from 117334 Moscow, Russian Federation

days by Prime Minister Phan Van Dong (less Hanoi, and the U.S. withdrew its inquiries. Fax: (7-095) 938-2288

emphatically) and Party Secretary Ho Chi Phase II was a lengthier and more comTelephone: (7-095) 938-1009

Minh (in much stronger

stronger terms). plex operation that began when ambassador Michalowski's account of these discussions Lodge requested that Lewandowski present makes clear that the Poles were acting as a 10-point peace plan to the North Vietnamstrong advocates of the peace process, pre- ese. This time, an unconditional bombing senting the American plan in as favorable a halt would precede the substantive negotialight as possible. As he left Hanoi, tions. Rapacki and Michalowski under



stood the importance of this new develop- conveyed to Phan Van Dong by Poland's building. Following the toasts and ment, and flew to Bulgaria to brief Leonid ambassador Siedlecki. The Vietnamese, sentimental speeches I was preparBrezhnev, who encouraged them to pro- still smarting from the bombing raids of ing to leave, when Dean Rusk's ceed. Vietnamese diplomat Le Duan went to early December, and under intense pressure secretary informed me that he would Beijing at about the same time, where he from China, refused to discuss the matter like to have a few words with me in received contradictory advice from Mao any further. Operation Marigold had failed. private. Zedong and Zhou Enlai. The great hopes that were raised by

Rusk was subdued as he spoke Phan Van Dong's reply to Lewandowski Marigold, and its dramatic collapse, gave at length about his upcoming acagenerated considerable excitement since it rise to many commentaries, explanations, demic work, and his retirement contained a request to arrange an unprec- and to some finger-pointing. In his report, plans. Then he said: “During my edented face-to-face meeting, in Warsaw, Jerzy Michalowski provides a detailed re- long tenure as Secretary of State, between the Americans and the North Viet- buttal of certain claims made by Henry Cabot I'm sure I made many erroneous namese. Rapacki and Michalowski began a Lodge in his memoirs. Michalowski had the judgments and bad decisions. But series of consultations with John Gronouski, opportunity to discuss Marigold with Presi- my intentions were always pure, to set the stage for these critical talks. From dent Johnson in September of 1967. LBJ did and I acted according to the dictates the beginning, however, difficulties emerged. not accept Michalowski's interpretation of of my conscience. Thus, I have no First, the American side began to express the events, nor would he acknowledge the regrets. Except for one thing—that doubts about certain unspecified details of continuing determination of the North Viet- in 1966 we did not take advantage the 10-point plan as it had been recorded by namese to keep fighting. In time, he would of the opportunities and your role Lewandowski. Secondly, the Chinese gov- change his views.

as go-between. We should have ernment, opposed to any talks, increased its After personally witnessing some of the begun a negotiating process that, pressure on the Vietnamese. Worst of all,

unsuccessful attempts to end America's en- with your help, could have ended a the tempo and brutality of American bomb- tanglement in Vietnam, after discussing the conflict that has cost us so much ing raids in the Hanoi area were stepped up. events with many of the participants, and blood and treasure, and that now On December 13 and 14, the center of the after studying many of the relevant docu- has cost us the election. I wanted to city was hit for the first time. Stunned by ments, Michalowski closes his report with a say this to you today, to thank you these attacks, the North Vietnamese with- strong indictment of U.S. policy. He is for your efforts, and to ask that you drew their offer to meet. In a dramatic convinced that Lyndon Johnson and his circle convey my words to Minister confrontation on December 19, when of hawkish advisors never understood how Rapacki.” Gronouski accused the Poles of acting in bad diplomatic efforts could lead to the resolufaith, Rapacki's frustration overflowed: he tion of what they saw as an essentially mili- 1. [Ed. note: For the declassified U.S. account of Operasmashed his glasses down on the table, and tary crisis. Thus, the President's half-hearted tion Marigold, see George C. Herring, ed., The Secret they flew into the American ambassador's attempts to seek non-military solutions (such Diplomacy of the Vietnam War: The Negotiating Vol

umes of the Pentagon Papers (Austin, TX: University face. Operation Marigold appeared to be as Marigold) were doomed, mocking the

of Texas Press, 1983), 209-370.] dead.

hard work and good will of dozens of comThe Poles continued to hope that a basis mitted professional diplomats all around the for face-to-face talks still existed, however. world. They briefed UN General Secretary U Thant, Here is what Michalowski writes on the who promised to do whatever he could. last page of his report: They also contacted Pope Paul VI (using Italian Premier Fanfani as an intermediary).

Based on newly-revealed The pontiff sent a letter to Hanoi and to documents and memoirs, we now Washington, begging both sides to save the know that Secretary of State Dean peace process. Gronouski left Warsaw to Rusk was one of the chief "hawks” consult with President Johnson, while in the ornithological roster of PresiRapacki drafted an urgent appeal from mem- dent Johnson's advisors. Thus, the bers of the Polish Politburo to their counter- surprising nature of the event that I parts in Hanoi, calling for a reconsideration now relate in closing this account of the American proposals. As snowstorms of Polish peace initiatives in Vietclosed down airports all over Europe, Gronouski returned to Warsaw unexpect

January 19, 1969 was the eve edly, and requested a meeting with Rapacki of the inauguration of President on Christmas Eve. He announced that all Richard Nixon. The departing Secbombing with 10 miles of the center of retary of State met with the WashHanoi had been suspended, and that he was ington diplomatic corps in a sad, ready to meet with a Vietnamese representa- but formal, ceremony on the sevtive in Warsaw. This message was promptly

enth floor of the State Department


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