[Marxism] From the archives: LBJ on the 1965 invasion of the Dominican Republic
brian_shannon at verizon.net
Wed Aug 23 18:39:04 MDT 2006
This is from my standing Google search for Andy Biemiller, one of the
leaders of The Militant caucus of the Socialist Party, which the SWP
entered in order to win over its left wing. Not much about Biemiller,
but this is rich stuff about the 1965 U.S. invasion of the Dominican
LBJ refers to the OAS, the charter of which had a detailed provision
against invasion for any purpose whatsoever. As we know, "might makes
President Lyndon B. Johnson
Remarks to the 10th National Legislative Conference, Building and
Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO.
May 3rd, 1965
. . .
I knew you were meeting today and I wanted very much to come over and
drop in and give you a word of welcome and say howdy and thank you.
But when I looked at my schedule and saw the cables that were being
brought to my desk I did not see how in the world I could make it.
Then I got a telegram. It wasn't about repealing 14b, although I know
that is important to you, and it is important to me. It wasn't about
the various legislative proposals which you are interested in,
important as they are. It was about the most vital issues in this
country, and for that matter, in the whole world, which are peace and
So I have stolen these few minutes to come over here just to say,
thank you. Thank you for saying to the world that this Nation of
ours, the United States of America, speaks in unity with one voice
from one heart. Thanks to you for saying that we believe in freedom
and we believe in peace. Thanks to you for saying that we will not
buy peace at the price of losing freedom anywhere, any time, in the
world. Thanks to you for saying that American labor, the champions of
freedom here at home, knows that freedom's frontiers are today in
Viet-Nam and the Dominican Republic, where both are under attack.
. . .
Last Saturday, a week ago, our Ambassador from the Dominican Republic
was here in Washington. He had been called back here to report on
very disturbing developments in that little nation of 3 1/2 million
off our shores in this hemisphere.
While he was talking to us, the government was overthrown. We rushed
him back to his post of duty. Since that time certain undesirable
elements have stepped in and tried to take control of that nation.
Today, there are between 1,000 and 1,500 dead people whose bodies are
in the streets of Santo Domingo, threatening an extreme epidemic.
There were 8,000 American and foreign nationals in that country whose
lives were in danger.
At approximately 3:30, our Ambassador wired me on--well, he was here
Saturday, we rushed him back--on Tuesday we went before the OAS Peace
Council and discussed that serious problem. On Wednesday, the
Organization of American States met and they talked about the gravity
of the situation, discussed it thoroughly, and adjourned.
On Wednesday afternoon we were meeting there with what I thought was
the greatest problem that we had on our hands-Viet-Nam.
Mr. Rayburn used to say, when these Congressmen poured into his
office every day, the fellow would say, "I have the most important
problem in the world." He said, "That's what that fellow said that
you met going out of here."
I thought this was the most important until I got a cable at 3:16
saying the chief of police and the governmental authorities tell us
that American lives are in danger and we can no longer offer them any
protection. We notified the appropriate people to stand in readiness
and we went ahead to conclude our conference on Viet-Nam.
By 5:16 we had another cable that said, "You must land troops
immediately or blood will run in the streets, American blood will run
in the streets."
And that is the unanimous decision of every man on the American team.
There are nine of them, one from the Army, one from the Air Force,
one from the Navy, the Ambassador, one from the USIA, and so forth--
what we call a country team, the board of directors in that specific
Well, I said I have a meeting on balance of payments with a bunch of
bankers and big businessmen in the next room. You get the troops on
the way, and you ask the Congressmen, the leadership, to come to the
White House and we'll meet at 7 o'clock. That was about 6 o'clock, a
little before. I went on with my meeting without discussing it. When
we met at 7, talking to the leaders, while I was talking to them, I
was handed a note by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff which
said the Marines have landed. That's a great tribute to Bob McNamara
and to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for competence and efficiency, that
within an hour they can put men ashore without the loss of a single
No President ever has a problem of doing what is right. I have never
known one to occupy this office--and I have worked with five of them--
that did not want to do what is right. The big problem is knowing
what is right. But I knew this: This was no time for indecision, or
procrastination, or vacillation. The American people hadn't elected
their President to dodge and duck and refuse to face up to the
Since that time we have evacuated 2,500 Americans. The Michigan State
University jazz band was down there. We got them home. The brewers--
the brewery people--I guess they didn't know you all were meeting
here in Washington, they were having their convention down there, and
we got them home.
. . .
We believe the Organization of American States will make such a
recommendation. We are not the intervenors in the Dominican Republic.
The people that intervened in the Dominican Republic were the people
who had been trained outside of the Dominican Republic in guerrilla
warfare and came in there to help overthrow that government and to
have a Communist seizure of that country. We are there to protect
those people and we propose to protect them.
More information about the Marxism