“Let no one think for a moment that retreat from Viet-Nam would bring an end to conflict. The battle…”

“Let no one think for a moment that retreat from Viet-Nam would bring an end to conflict. The battle would be renewed in one country and then another. The central lesson of our time is that the appetite of aggression is never satisfied. To withdraw from one battlefield means only to prepare for the next.”

President Lyndon B. Johnson in his address at Johns Hopkins University: “Peace Without Conquest.” 7 April 1965.

This quote, specifically the words “appetite of aggression” are meant to call to mind the aggression exhibited by Germany and Japan during the opening acts of World War II. If a policy of appeasement is followed in this situation, it will encourage aggressors. This was the lesson of WWII and immediate action must be taken in Vietnam to avoid this, so argues Johnson. 

In this speech, Johnson also touches upon the rhetoric of Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King, Jr. The president also outlines the desire, even the plan, to spread his War on Poverty to Southeast Asia. He wanted his Great Society to be global, and evidence of that is seen in this speech.