COLD WAR: The Price of Crumbs

The talks at Geneva hobbled along at a pace somewhere between a balk and a breakdown. The Communists planned it that way.

Their obvious tactic was to stall until the Viet Minh could mount an offensive against the Red River Delta or drive westward into Laos. Whenever the West showed signs of impatience, they could throw another crumb on the table. If the West finally got disgusted and moved toward intervention, the Communists could always accept the half-loaf that France was all too willing to give them.

Last week the Communists threw a crumb. Viet Minh's Pham Van Dong* suggested an immediate...

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