In the professor's defense, he was not being disingenuous. He was asked a question from the perspective of being a George Kennan scholar. Kennan was against this happening. "Containment" started being replaced by the policy of "Annihilation" as early as 1949.
The story of how America got involved in Vietnam begins in 1951, when Stepan Bandera took over the leadership of the world's nationalist governments in exile. He had already consolidated Eastern Europe to the point that even Wikipedia makes the links between all the Eastern European and Baltic States to their SS Nazi origins in the Captive Nations article. By making it a world encompassing effort, Bandera knew even his OUN would eventually gain support.
In 1951, Bandera set the agenda for what would eventually become "The Captive Nations."
It was reported in the January 1952 Ukrainian Weekly. On November'30, 1951 the representatives of the peoples of Eastern Europe and Asia (comprising the countries of Azerbaijan, Byelorussia, Georgia, Idel-Ural Cossackia , Crimea, North Caucasus, Turkestan and Ukraine) gathered in Munich and issued a joint appeal to the free world asking for help and support for their liberation from Soviet Russian tyranny. (Link from George Mazni, former UCCA Arizona president and Ukrainian Nationalist extraordinaire)
Notice in the article that even at that date "Russian" and "Soviet" were interchangeable and had to be destroyed.
By this time the emigres had become the darlings of the cold war. They stood behind Joe McCarthy and the China Lobby. In America by the mid-1950s, if you didn't agree with the China Lobby's foreign policy, you were unelectable. Among the leadership of the China Lobby were Marv Liebman and Yaroslav Stetsko.
Causal Factors: Vietnam -- Public Law 86-90 and the Foundation for War
In 1954, Ngo Dim Diem became South Vietnam's firstPresident. He, along with Chiang Kai Shek (Taiwan), and Syngman Rhee (South Korea) was among Stepan Bandera and Stetsko's closest friends and supporters. Ngo Dim Diem, true nationalist that he was, killed over 12,000 people he found disagreeable in one year.
By 1958 Stetsko (Bandera's emigre foreign minister), who had sworn allegiance to Hitler, forever promised to commit Nationalist (Nazi) states all over the world to the destruction of the Soviet Union for the United States. He was even able to make petulant threats to CIA director Dulles based on his relationship with Joseph McCarthy. Dulles didn't want to meet with the nazi . In a letter petitioning Dulles for a meeting, Stetsko closed with- "I am on and off in Washington, testifying before the House of Un-American Activities Committee and the House Committee for Foreign Affairs, and I feel assured that you, sir, will find the time to give me an audience."
The combined emigre community turned out to be McCarthyism's ultimate political foot soldiers. They wrote the questions and provided the testimony for Senator Joe McCarthy's Un-American Committee crusade. These were SS Nazis deciding who was a good American.
I wonder how much satisfaction the Ukrainian nationalists got out of labeling Jewish professionals "damn commies" and ruining countless lives, just after World War II . Only a few short years before this they were murdering, raping, and throwing people into gas chambers at concentration camps. I guess they cooled their fire a bit to become more palatable in American society. These were the people America trusted to provide most of the intel (which was disastrous) for the Cold War.
In 1959 the Captive Nations Resolution described by Bandera in 1951 was passed by a unanimous vote in Congress. Stepan Bandera lived to see this, his crowning achievement before he was assassinated.
In July 1960, the nationalist emigre groups gained their first major victory in the fight to establish nationalism in America. New York City hosted the Stars and Stripes Gala Affair that punctuated the Captive Nations Week celebration. At the parade on the podium were every prominent Jewish leader, 87+ US Senators and US Congressman, New York's mayor, the Governor, and the captive nations leaders, which included at least seven former Third Reich SS officers. The nationalist Ukrainians marching in the parade were from Bandera's WWII army.
By this time the China Lobby in Congress was primed for war. The McCarthy years and the threat of being accused a communist sympathizer had done their work. The threat of a threat from across the world in addition to all the provocative and embellished intelligence Congress was supplied took America to the brink of an ultra-nationalism it had not known since the "Business Plot" of the 1930's.
By 1960, this ultra-nationalism was so rampant in American politics that Nationalism (Nazism) was once again discussed openly as a virtue. It became the litmus test for electability.
"And we have also been brainwashed with another Communist basic tenet. They insist that love of country, the pride of a people in their history, their ideals and their accomplishments is wicked nationalism. Ever since the war, the Communist fronts, and the beatniks and the eggheads, have conducted a national chorus of denunciation of this wicked nationalism. Manifestly, our religious organizations and our agencies for character-building in our youth are giving devoted service to halt this slump in morals. These agencies have need of every assistance.