(LBJ at The UN - selling The Great Society was one thing - Selling Vietnam was something else)
When President Johnson addressed the United Nations General Assembly on the occasion of its 20th anniversary in June 1965, he had very little trouble selling his concept of The Great Society to the rest of the world. It was when the subject of Vietnam and Southeast Asia came up that ears suddenly turned deaf and support dwindled. Support for the war was rapidly fading in the U.S. and protests were mounting in intensity on an almost daily basis as the war escalated to no seeming end.
So it was with mixed results that President Johnson made his case to the world body.
LBJ: “ We in this country are committing ourselves to great tasks in our own Great Society. We’re committed to narrowing the gap between promise and performance. Between equality and law and equality in fact. Between opportunity for the numerous well to do and the still too numerous poor. Between education for the successful and education for all of the people. It is no longer a community or a nation or a continent. But a whole generation of mankind for whom our promises must be kept and kept within the next two decades. And if those promises are not kept, it will be less and less possible to keep them for any. And that is why, on this anniversary I would call upon all member nations to rededicate themselves to wage together an international war on poverty.
War on Poverty sounded good - War in Southeast Asia - not good.