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"Don't Tread On Us" editorial in The Greenfield Recorder-Gazette newspaper

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The subject of this August 6, 1964 editorial from "The Greenfield Recorder" is the Gulf of Tonkin Incident which occurred on August 2nd and 4th. The tone of the article and the assertions made by its author broadly reflect the sentiments shared by many in United States at the time. Ever since Dwight D. Eisenhower had been in office in the 1950s, American Presidents and foreign policymakers had claimed that Communist governments were aggressive. The editorial illustrates the extent to which United States citizens believed that the Vietnam War was actually a conflict between Communist countries headed by China and the Soviet Union and the United States. The author assumes that the North Vietnamese were acting under the influence of China when they attacked United States' destroyers in the international waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. The author asserts that "if the Communist leaders of the Chinese People's republic were merely testing Washington's reactions-they know now retaliation will be swift and certain". The United States' increasing participation in the Vietnam War was widely seen as insurance against the "domino theory". Many Americans believed that if South Vietnam became a Communist-led country, that other nations in Southeast Asia would soon follow.


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