If Harold Holt was alive today, there is little doubt he would proclaim as his greatest regret (besides swimming at Portsea beach of course) his statement in 1966 that ‘we’ would “go all the way with LBJ”. It was a phrase eagerly seized upon by his political enemies, to denigrate him and his party as fawning pawns, willing to do America’s bidding. In the end in fact, both nations didn’t ‘go all the way’ at all … because they were swayed by political considerations on the home front!
“Australia ... will ‘go all the way’ ... with L.B.J.!” - Australian Prime Minister, Harold Holt, 1966.
“You have my absolute assurance that if Hanoi fails to abide by the terms
of this agreement [Paris Peace Accords of January 1973] it is my intention
to take swift and severe retaliatory action! ... You have my assurance of
continued assistance in the post settlement period and that we will respond
with full force should the settlement be violated by North Vietnam!”
- Nixon’s letter to Thieu, quoted in The White House Years by Henry Kissenger, p. 1435.
♪♪ That was a … wonder-ful re-mark ! You had your eyes closed in the dark !
We sighed … a million sighs! You told … a million lies ! … To yourself … to yourself ! ♪♪
- from the song Wonderful Remark - by Van Morrison.
All the Way
“ And we’ll be with you … ‘all the way’! ”
Claimed ‘Fawning Harold’ ... to L.B.J.
’Twas a haunting tune those pipers blew;
Whilst beating ‘anti-commie’ drums,
“Right up until final victory comes!”
In a reversal … of Dien Bien Phu.
With vested interests, selfish ploys,
Misguided protesters’ relentless noise;
Concrete commitments, soon showed cracks.
Old ‘pollies’ taking mental notes,
Guaranteeing their own future votes;
As reluctant allies, we turned our backs.
Avoiding hints ... of humiliation,
A new proposal ...‘Vietnamisation’,
An ‘honourable’ way to withdraw.
’Twas mere rhetoric, a euphemism,
Left our ‘mates’ to cruel Communism;
Abandoned them, at the close of that war.
Prophetic writing flashed on the wall,
Back here at home with each protest call;
Our ‘pollies’ reneged, in a shameful act.
A contract made of full support,
Gave them not what we promised, what we ought;
And now that’s an historical fact!
All hearts and minds, left disenchanted,
Here and there, deadly minefields planted;
Changed their landscape, to resemble the Moon’s.
Destruction widespread of fauna and flora,
Peasants becoming even poorer,
’Twas a legacy of festering wounds.
Political intrigues, like Watergate,
Combined to seal Vietnam’s fate;
Treaties by Kissinger, secretly signed.
Rooftop ‘choppers’, panic, traumatic scenes,
Chaos exposed on television screens;
Thousands perished when left behind.
And later on, some military ‘brass’,
In a self-indulgent, post-war farce,
Many remaining, through ranks they rose.
Justifying their personal role, Gaining comfort in denial, their main goal;
Blatant hypocrisy, on the nose.
Revenge of course, is oh so sweet,
In order to avenge perceived defeat,
Economic aid withheld, until today.
And migrants here, from Hell’s fires,
Escaped to a vicious racial bias;
Again the innocent suffered … ‘all the way’.
All the Way