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"Giant U.S. Air, Naval Task Force Begins Mining Entrances To Haiphong, Other Ports" article from Greenfield Recorder newspaper
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On Monday, May 8, 1972, President Nixon announced that North Vietnamese harbors would be mined in order to cut off supplies. Foreign ships would have three day to leave the ports before the mines were set to activate. In addition to the mining, rail lines and highways would be bombed. He took this action without first consulting Congress. Nixon warned that these actions would stop only when all U.S. prisoners of war were returned and an internationally supervised cease-fire was initiated. If these conditions were met, the United States would "stop all acts of force throughout Indochina and proceed with the complete withdrawal of all forces within four months." This announcement triggered antiwar protests which led to 1,800 arrests on college campuses. Republicans generally supported the measures, while Democrats denounced it as dangerous. "A dangerous flirtation with World War III," said Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota. Fellow Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Edmund Muskie said Nixon was "jeopardizing the major security interests of the United States."
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