Ho spent the summer in Paris trying to lock in the agreement, but the French government was purposely evasive, as it was conspiring to undermine Vietnamese independence. Ho was nevertheless well received in the French media. A French reporter who met him noted his “engaging manner and extraordinary gift for making contact,” which “at once brought a warm and direct exchange of views and gave a startlingly fresh ring to commonplace words.”  Ho returned to Vietnam in October and appealed to the Vietnamese people for patience. The French, however, showed their hand on November 22, 1946. Using a dispute over control of customs in Haiphong as a pretext, French warships bombarded the unprotected port city, killing at least 6,000 and wounding some 25,000. On December 19, Ho issued a call for “nationwide resistance”:
Control Libya… Sounds easy, but as we have seen, these fourth generation conflicts can be an unwinnable nightmare… I suppose if terrorism is the national new shinny new tool of governance as it seems to be, and have been since nine 11… Any wonder that they would choose the path most likely to cause deadly blowback…. & convently just after Gadaffr’s heir apparent was released and disappeared into the wilds of the Eastern sector… Let’s keep our eyes on this 1 even after the MSM losses interest or is instructed to forget.. Mo would have wanted it so….
That same month, Kennedy himself was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. His successor, Lyndon Baines Johnson, inherited the Vietnam situation. Johnson wanted to focus on instituting “Great Society” programs at home, but Vietnam was a snake he did not dare let go of. His political party, the Democrats, had been blamed for China falling to communism; withdrawing from Vietnam could hurt them in the 1964 elections. On the other hand, Congress had never declared war and so the president was limited in what he could do in Southeast Asia.