UNITED STATES: Nixon: 'Nuke Vietnam'

Issue 

In 1972, US President Richard Nixon suggested that Washington drop nuclear bombs on North Vietnam, just-released tapes of conversations between Nixon and then US secretary of state Henry Kissinger have revealed.

Nixon's suggestion was found in 500 hours of tapes released to the US National Archives on February 28. It was made in response to various options for escalating the Vietnam War proposed by Kissinger, such as attacking power plants and ports. The conversation took place on April 25, 1972.

"I'd rather use the nuclear bomb", Nixon said. "That, I think, would just be too much", Kissinger replied. "The nuclear bomb. Does that bother you?", Nixon asked. "I just want you to think big."

In March, Nixon ordered the biggest escalation of the war since 1968.

In a June 1972 conversation, Nixon stated: "We want to decimate that goddamned place... North Vietnam is going to get reordered... It's about time, it's what should have been done long ago."

The US National Archives web site is at <http://www.nara.gov>.

From Green Left Weekly, March 6, 2002.

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