Changing Course



When 1954 began it was clear to dispassionate observers that French efforts to crush the Vietminh insurrection were destined to early failure. Dispassionate, however, was no word to use of the principal actors. For months to come Dulles, Malcolm Macdonald, intermittently even General Navarre would continue to express unreal hopes of eventual victory. Bidault remained schizophrenic to the end. Conscious, as a politician, that the French people would no longer support the war; he could not, as a patriot, consistently draw the logical conclusion. He was not alone, nor were his countrymen. The evidence that lends intellectual credibility to an unwelcome prediction is often insufficient to make it politically acceptable.


Foreign Minister French Government Negotiate Settlement French People Favourable Solution 
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© Sir James Cable 2000

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