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Article Analysis; Peace without conquest by DROR

Introduction

The article “Peace without conquest” is an analysis of the former US president Johnson’s speech released in April 1965. The article by Dror Yuravlivker published in 2006, analyzes what led to the speech, the speech itself, and how the public reacted to the speech[1]. Dror is currently a teacher of government or politics and history in London. That said, the article was written to expound on the use of rhetoric in politics. By exploring the former US president Lyndon Johnson’s speech, the readers especially political science and history students, will be able to understand the impacts of rhetoric in an individual’s political life. According to Dror, though the speech was unable to bring peace as anticipated but did well in placating critics allowing the administration to continue with the war.

Peace without conquest was one of the most speeches of the 20th century. In reviewing the speech, Dror’s main purpose was to project the idea that the speech was unable to bring peace but was effective in dispelling critics of the war, allowing the administration to develop it further. For instance, the speech responded to a number of critics regarding Americans military intensity in Vietnam. The critics of US Vietnam involvement resulted in continuous public pressure demanding for peace. According to Dror, the main intention of the speech was to calm down the political temperature that would otherwise hinder their progress in Vietnam. The speech was not for peace impressive to end the war in Vietnam, but to end, the escalation of critics in the US. 

Immediately after the speech, there was a positive public reception which supports the argument that the intention of the speech was to get rid of the criticism about US involvement in Vietnam. From the article, the newspapers, together with the leaders of NATO, praised the speech. Moreover, in the US, the editors, and columnist, hailed Johnson’s new direction whereas the mail delivered to the White House was full of support. In regards to this, the political temperatures criticizing the US involvement in Vietnam went down, allowing the President and administration to continue with their plans to escalate the war. In this article, Dror used primary sources to support his idea of the perceived success of the speech. After the speech, the degree of support was felt from within and outside the US. 

In this article, the author used sources capturing the events to support the argument that the main intention of the speech was to allow for the administration to develop the war. According to Dror, in less than four months, there was a press conference where Johnson publicly addressed the devotion of the US to war in Southeast Asia. To support this, Dror also used a response of some US leaders at that time. For instance, Senator Eugene said that watching the Presidents; it is evident that their rhetoric turns back to them. The oratory skills of President Johnson could not bring Hanoi in a negotiating table to end the war[2]. Therefore, looking at the events after the speech, an individual is able to notice that there was a new turn as opposed to the directive of the speech.

From the footnotes, it is evident that Dror used both the primary and secondary sources to support the argument. Primary sources are documents or images that give first-hand information regarding a historical topic being studied while secondary sources are documents that were created later by people who did not experience the events or situation. To begin with, Dror uses primary sources such as public papers of the President, Washington Post, and the New York Times, among others to support his argument. The public papers of the President were important in acquiring the actual content of the speech while the New York Times was to provide information on the public reception to the speech. On the other hand, Dror used secondary sources such as Aristotle on rhetoric to assist in understanding the term rhetoric which was being used in politics.

The sources that were used in this article had strengths and weaknesses. First, I think the strengths of the sources used is that they gave the actual content of the speech by the former US president. For instance, a source such as public papers of the President was used by the President at that time. Due to this, it was an excellent source of un-edited information. Also, the sources provided information about the public reception before and after the speech. A source such as the New York Times was necessary for this purpose. However, the main weakness of these sources is that they failed to expound on the involvement of the US but majored on the policy of an individual, which in this case is the President.

Yes, the argument by Dror in the article is fully convincing because of the evidence provided to support it. Dror argument was that the speech was unable to culminate to peace but succeeded in reducing the critics allowing the administration to plan for the Vietnam War. The first evidence was the positive public reception as many people began to support the objectives of the President calming the political temperature[3]. The evidence supports the argument that the speech succeeded in dispelling critics, allowing the President to escalate for the war. The second evidence was the press conference that came in less than four months after the speech. The press conference was to inform the public of full involvement of the US in the Vietnam War.

In conclusion, it is true that the speech was a rhetoric that was used for political gain by President Johnson. In the article, Dror explained using the sources that the main purpose of the speech was to end the critics on the US involvement in the Vietnam War. In light of this, the events after the speech supported the argument fully indicating the power of rhetoric. There was growing support for President Johnson, which created a platform for his administration to plan on how they were going to escalate the war. Therefore, the press conference released by the Johnson confirmed the whole rhetoric through the speech.

Bibliographies

Berry, Mary Frances. History Teaches Us to Resist: How Progressive Movements Have Succeeded in Challenging Times. Beacon Press, 2018.

Yuravlivker, Dror. “Peace without Conquest”: Lyndon Johnson’s Speech of April 7, 1965.” Presidential Studies Quarterly 36, no. 3 (2006): 457-481.


[1] Yuravlivker, Dror. “Peace without Conquest”: Lyndon Johnson’s Speech of April 7, 1965.” Presidential Studies Quarterly 36, no. 3 (2006): 457-481.

[2] Berry, Mary Frances. History Teaches Us to Resist: How Progressive Movements Have Succeeded in Challenging Times. Beacon Press, 2018.

[3] Berry, Mary Frances. History Teaches Us to Resist: How Progressive Movements Have Succeeded in Challenging Times. Beacon Press, 2018.

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