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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 13, 1974


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    The Politburo issues a resolution addressing Nixon's resignation of the U.S. Presidency and laying out a number of urgent Party tasks.
    "Politburo Resolution No. 236-NQ/TW," August 13, 1974, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Dang Cong san Viet Nam, Van Kien Dang Toan tap [Party Documents Complete Series], vol. 35 (Hanoi: Nha xuat ban Chinh tri quoc gia, 2004), 116-123. Translated by Merle Pribbenow.
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On Nixon’s Resignation of the Presidency of the United States and a Number of Urgent Party Tasks

I-Reason for and Significance of Nixon’s Forced Resignation of the Presidency of the United States

Nixon’s resignation as President of the United States is an important political event that signals the weakness and defeat of the American imperialists. The American imperialists have sought to spread distortions and lies about the true reasons for this event in order to deceive public opinion and to limit the negative consequences of this event for the United States. Around the world, many different nations have explained the reasons for Nixon’s fall in ways that reflect their own private interests.

We must analyze both the underlying reasons and the direct reasons for Nixon’s resignation of the office of President, and from that draw the necessary conclusions.

For many years, the three world revolutionary tides have been constantly on the offensive in attacking the imperialists, and these tides have pushed the American imperialists into an increasingly difficult position. Although they always employ devious plots and constantly counterattack and try to destroy the world revolutionary movement, every time the American imperialists shift the direction of or alter their world-wide strategy, it is because the U.S. has suffered defeats and has run into difficulties.

All such changes and shifts of direction display imperialist weakness and demonstrate that the world balance of forces is shifting increasingly in favor of socialism, national independence, democracy, and peace.

This time, the state monopoly capitalist clique in the U.S. has been forced to replace the individual who leads the U.S. in order to deceive the American people and the people of the world so that the U.S. can, after making some slight adjustments, continue to implement the American world counter-revolutionary strategy that bears the name, “The Nixon Doctrine.”

Nixon was not forced to resign from the office of President of the United States solely because of the crimes committed in the Watergate affair. The Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives accused Nixon of the crimes of violating the Constitution, obstructing justice, abusing his power, contempt of Congress, and contempt for the courts. However, the Watergate affair was just a chance opportunity that set off an explosion of the U.S.’s social contradictions and of the internal contradictions within the American monopoly capitalist class. In fact, the primary cause of these contradictions is the U.S. war of aggression in Vietnam. This war has been so costly, in lives, property, and dollars, that it has caused the crisis of the American imperialists on the economic, political, and military fronts to develop rapidly and to grow more serious with each passing day.

a) The war of aggression in Vietnam has killed and wounded hundreds of thousands of American troops and has wasted hundreds of billions of dollars. The morale of the American armed forces has deteriorated and has virtually disintegrated. This is the first major defeat the U.S. has suffered in its entire history.

b) The war of aggression in Vietnam has not only failed to rescue the American economy from recession; it has sent the United States into a deep crisis which is revealed in the U.S.’s high rate of inflation, in its rising cost of living, and in its steadily rising unemployment rate. At the same time, the war has awakened the American people and has increasingly destabilized the political situation inside the United States. Contradictions within American society and social vices in the United States are growing.

c) The historic victory won by the Vietnamese people has made an important contribution to a change in the world balance of forces between the revolution and the counter-revolution in favor of the revolution. The posture and the prestige of the United States has declined around the world, the American imperialists are becoming weaker, the socialist nations are becoming stronger, the forces of socialism are growing quickly, the national liberation movement has grown stronger than ever before, and the peace and democracy movement is developing quickly in the capitalist nations. The balance of forces between the American imperialists and the other imperialist countries is also changing in a direction unfavorable to the U.S. The countries of the third world are increasingly taking an attitude of opposition to imperialism and colonialism, and especially to U.S. neocolonialism. One very significant point is that the Vietnamese people’s resistance war against the Americans to save the nation has had a powerful effect in awakening the nations and peoples of the world, and it has stimulated the formation of a broad front of the world’s people opposed to American imperialist aggression.

d) During the final days of the Johnson Administration, the American public in general wanted the U.S. to quickly end its war of aggression in Vietnam. Instead, however, under the Nixon Administration the war was prolonged, expanded, and waged even more savagely.

The serious crisis involving all aspects of American domestic affairs and the weakening position of the United States in the international community were urgent problems that needed to be addressed and solved as far back as the last days of the Johnson Administration. However, throughout his five long years in power, Nixon demonstrated that he was incapable of resolving these problems. After the Paris Agreement on Vietnam was signed, the U.S.’s problems grew even greater.

As a result of this situation, under the Nixon Administration the contradictions between the American people and the American ruling clique grew steadily more serious.

The American military, economic, and political failures are failures of the policies of the American ruling class and represent an across-the-board crisis for American imperialism. In this situation, American monopoly capitalist cliques struggled for power against one another and attacked one another. In the Watergate affair, their disputes and struggles for power grew extremely bitter. However, in light of the desperate situation facing the United States, for their own interests the American ruling class made Nixon its sacrificial lamb in order to trick the U.S. public and the people of the world. That is the real reason that, in the end, both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party agreed to force Nixon to resign.

For that reason, we can see that the most basic reason for Nixon’s forced resignation was the heavy defeat the U.S. suffered in Vietnam, while the direct, the ulterior reason was the Watergate affair.

Nixon’s fall demonstrates the failure of America’s world strategy, the crisis and weakness of the American imperialists, and the corruption of the U.S. capitalist regime. This event is a stern warning to all pro-American dictatorial, reactionary, and war-mongering forces that have become accustomed to clinging to life through American military involvement and economic assistance. This was a powerful political and spiritual blow to the Nguyen Van Thieu puppet government, the lackeys of the Americans, who are now shocked, frightened, and wavering because of Nixon’s collapse.

G. Ford replaced Nixon as President in the midst of a deep crisis in America, a crisis of unprecedented proportions. First of all, G. Ford will have to solve that crisis in American society. At the same time, he will also have to deal with a world revolutionary situation that is now growing rapidly because of the U.S.’s weakened position. G. Ford announced that he would continue Nixon’s foreign policies and that he would retain Kissinger as Secretary of state. We have no illusions about the replacement of the U.S. President. This is just a trick by the American monopoly capitalist clique, changing horses in mid-stream to try to redeem its desperate situation. G. Ford is still stubbornly carrying out the American imperialist world counter-revolutionary strategy, even though the state of the world is changing rapidly to America’s detriment. G. Ford will continue the Nixon Doctrine without Nixon, he will continue the evil “Vietnamization” policy, and he will continue to sabotage the Paris Agreement on Vietnam. He may use a few more demagogic tricks than Nixon did, but America’s basic policies, both domestic and foreign, remain unchanged. For that reason, it is certain that G. Ford will not be able to reverse the direction of America’s difficult situation, neither domestically nor abroad. By stubbornly following in Nixon’s tire tracks, G. Ford will lead the United States down to even greater defeats.

II-A Number of Urgent Party Tasks

In order to further exacerbate the contradictions, to add to the difficulties of the American imperialists, and to win victory for our people in both North and South Vietnam, we must properly implement the following measures:

1. In both North and South Vietnam, we must launch a continuous and wide-ranging propaganda campaign aimed at both domestic public opinion and world opinion.

-Clearly understand that the deep, true reason for Nixon’s fall was that the U.S.’s heavy defeat in Vietnam caused the across-the-board crisis in the U.S. to become extremely serious.

-Correctly and fully assess the significance of Nixon’s resignation in order to see the new advantages for our side so that we step up our work on all fronts and so that we do not hesitate or miss an opportunity to further confuse and shake the already shaken and confused U.S. and puppet clique.

-Avoid any illusion that Nixon’s fall means that the Nixon Doctrine has totally failed or that G. Ford will inevitably have to change American policy. We must clearly understand that, although the American imperialists have been weakened and are in a serious crisis, they still have many resources and great potential, and they will continue to stubbornly implement America’s world-wide counter-revolutionary strategy.

-Reject America’s deceptive claims about America’s broad-based democratic system and clearly expose the true reason for Nixon’s fall and the corruption and rottenness of the political system in the United States.

2. In South Vietnam, we need to exploit Nixon’s fall to step up our struggle against the U.S. and the Saigon Government on all fronts - political, military, and diplomatic.

We must link the corruption, the rottenness, the failures, and the stagnation of the Nixon Administration to the corruption, the rottenness, the failures, and the stagnation of the Nguyen Van Thieu Government.

We must stress the fact that Nguyen Van Thieu was Nixon’s lackey and that only by overthrowing Nguyen Van Thieu will our nation be able to have peace and national reconciliation.

We need to form a broad-based front against Thieu, a front that demands that Thieu be thrown out, that a government be formed that truly supports the implementation of the Paris Agreement, that this new government implements the exercise of freedom and democracy in the areas controlled by the Saigon government, that it frees political prisoners, and that it implements peace and national reconciliation.

We need to exacerbate the internal contradictions within the puppet ranks and to increase the confusion and fear that is already sweeping the ranks of the puppet army and puppet government.

Militarily, we must step up combat operations, shatter the enemy’s pacification and land-grabbing military sweep operations, kill enemy troops and erode the enemy’s manpower strength, recover those areas that the enemy has seized from us, protect our liberated zones, protect our base areas, and work to implement our policy of mounting a three-pronged attack [military, political, military proselyting] in order to win even greater victories.

In the diplomatic struggle, when the time is right the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam may launch a diplomatic offensive to push the Americans and their puppets back up against the wall and to win widespread sympathy and support, both at home and abroad.

3. In North Vietnam, step up the labor and production emulation movement, work industriously to build socialism, restore and expand our economy, develop our culture, consolidate and strengthen national defense, and fully carry out our responsibilities to our brothers and sisters in South Vietnam. Step up the “Determined-to-Win Emulation Movement” in the people’s armed forces by using slogans calling for increased vigilance, combat readiness, and determination to win victory in battle. Do everything possible to support and assist South Vietnam to defeat the puppet army, which is controlled and fed by the Americans.


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The Party Secretariat and the Central Office for South Vietnam will prepare a plan to disseminate, direct, and push the implementation of this resolution.

For the Politburo

[signed] Truong Chinh