Adopted from Roger Canfield’s Comrades in Arms: How the Americong Won the War in Vietnam Against the Common Enemy—America.
24-year-old Robert Sam Anson, a Time Magazine reporter who arrived in Vietnam in early 1970 was an experienced war protester who already believed the war was colonial, immoral, illegal and unwinnable.[1. Robert Sam Anson, War News, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989, 26, 40, 69]
Upon release by North Vietnamese Anson said, “They weren’t…my enemy. I never considered the people of Vietnam or Cambodia or Laos to be my enemy. I believed in peace...and so they treated me like a friend. …We really got to be brothers.” Press conference after a recording over Radio Hanoi.[2. Robert Sam Anson, War News, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989, 280-1, 283-5.]
Fred Branfman head of Project Air War, along with Howard Zinn and Tom Hayden, visited Hanoi. On November 12, 1972 he “We hope the war will end soon…if the war continues we hope you will grow up and become valiant combatants and will be able to down U.S. planes.”[3. “Antiwar Delegation Visits Northern Region of DRV,” Hanoi Domestic Service, 0430 GMT, November 4, 1972, 10, TTU Archive cited in Rothrock 172n32, 472.] He authored “Air War the New Totalitarians.”[4. FBI, Denver, Memo, “VVAW National Steering Committee Meeting, Denver, Colorado, February 18-21, Internal Security-new Left,” March 17, 1972, 58-59.]
Branfman later said, “I was naïve and wrong in my belief that [the Communists] would usher in a better world. Communism is obviously no better than capitalism. But I certainly have no regrets that I tried to stop the bombing.”[5. Fred Branfman, “What would it be like to hide in a cave day after day for five years?” Christian G. Appy, Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered From All Sides, New York: Penguin Books, 2003, 219.]
Rennie Davis, planner of the disruption of democratic convention[6. Davis-Hayden Paper: Plans for the Protest in Chicago, http://www.dhr.history.vt.edu/modules/eu/mod05_1968/pdfs/25.pdf], said, “Chicago was really conceived coming out of Vietnam." The Davis and Tom Hayden plan of March 23, 1968 described, “imperialistic role of the United States in the world.” Anti-War Union, a Rennie Davis organization,[7. FBI, Washington Field to Acting Director, VVAW-IS, TELETYPE, June 27, 1972.] met the North Vietnamese in Paris where “The Vietnamese...stated they would be interested in having any information…concerning development of new weapons by the US.... Such information would be especially helpful…before such weapons were used on the battlefield.”[8. FBI, FOIA, Weather Underground, p. 28 or 361 C]
Rep. Ron Dellums (D-Berkeley) authored a joint resolution on the “terrible realities of war atrocities as an integral component of our illegal, insane and immoral adventurism in Southeast Asia.”[9. National Veterans Inquiry on U.S. War Crimes in Vietnam, Washington D.C., Congressional Record, March 1, 1971, 4238.] On October 18, 1971, Radio Hanoi lauded Dellums and others for protests “condemning the Vietnam war as immoral.”[10. “Commentary Applauds U.S. Antiwar Fall Offensive: The American People Warn the Nixon Administration,” Hanoi Domestic service in Vietnamese 1430 18 Oct 71, cited in Rothrock, Divided… 292-3n75]
“We understood the reason the Vietnamese called the meeting was to get us moving against the war again. The Viet Cong was giving us a kick in the ass….” Bernardine Dohrn appreciated Ba’s advice, “look for the one who fights hardest against the cops.” Now the “only way we’re going to build a fighting force is if we become one ourselves.”[11. Bernardine Dohrn, notes, captured at a Chicago bomb factory cited in FBI, FOIA, Weather Underground. The primary source is Acting SAC Chicago to Director, memo, “Foreign Influence-Weather Underground Organization,” August 20, 1976, 106; See also: AP, “Chicago Officials Drop Charge in ‘Bomb Factory,” New York Times, June 17, 1970.] Havana 1969
At Kent State on April 28, 1969, Dohrn told Kent students to arm for revolution.[12. Alan Stang, “Kent State,” American Opinion, June 1974, 2,4,10.]
The August 23, 1969 issue of New Left Notes, Dohrn, Ayers and others wrote, their National Action is “a movement that allies with and proposed material aid to the people of Vietnam. …Its primary task the establishment of another front in the international class war –not only to defeat the imperialists in Vietnam but to BRING THE WAR HOME! [13. Kathy Boudin, Bernardine Dohrn, Terry Robbins, “Bringing the War Back Home,” cited in FBI, FOIA, Weather Underground. The primary source is Acting SAC Chicago to Director, memo, “Foreign Influence-Weather Underground Organization,” August 20, 1976, 111-113.]
Travels with Bernardine. In 1967 Bernardine Dohrn[14. Kirkpatrick Sale, SDS, 357] attended a celebration in Moscow of the fiftieth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution.[15. New Left Notes, July 10, 1967: 8; Sale, SDS, 348-9.] In August 1968 Bernardine Dohrn attended a conference on “Anti-Imperialists and Anti-Capitalist Struggle” in communist Ljubljana, Yugoslavia, well attended by proclaimed communist members of SDS including. In 1969 in Cuba Vietnamese given her a ring of comradeship made from the debris of an American aircraft. [16. Sale, SDS, 316; Swinney talk at University of Wisconsin, Madison, October 29, 1968; cited in FBI, FOIA, Weather Underground. The primary source is Acting SAC Chicago to Director, memo, “Foreign Influence-Weather Underground Organization,” August 20, 1976, 93.] In March 1969 in Austin, Texas Dohrn and Bergman “star-chambered” Carl Oglesby for rejecting Marxist-Leninism and cavorting with the neo-imperialist camp. [17. Carl Oglesby, Ravens in the Storm: A Personal History of the 1970s Antiwar Movement, New York: Scribner, 2008, 215.] In Budapest she talks with five NLF members. Two NLF told her they worked with American GIs in Saigon—“attempting to obtain information.” Military intelligence. Vernon Grizzard said, “North Vietnamese give no directions… but were pleased and interested in ‘our’ plans.”[18. “US War Foes Meet with Hanoi Group,” Washington Post, September 21, 1968 cited in FBI, FOIA, Weather Underground. The primary source is Acting SAC Chicago to Director, memo, “Foreign Influence-Weather Underground Organization,” August 20, 1976, 269; “Declassified U.S. Government intelligence information regarding the communist and foreign connections of the Weather Underground. Presented as evidence, on the agreement of the prosecution and defense counsel, in the trial of W. Mark Felt and Edward S, Miller,” 2 at www.usasurvival.org.] A German SDS conference Dohrn and comrades were demonstrating international solidarity not only on Vietnam, but also anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism.[19. Martin Klimke, The Other Alliance: Student Protest in West Germany & the United States in the Global Sixties, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010, 3-5, 8.]
Bernardine Dohrn Notes of July 13-15, 1969 outline Viet Cong concerns about GI’s, their motivation, morale and involvement in antiwar movement and the objective of “work w/GIs” to “weaken the enemy.” (U.S. forces).[20. Senate, Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws, The Weather Underground, Committee Print, January 1975, 145-146.] U.S. troops were not very good: they were “not trained for close-in fighting,” and “140,000 U.S. troops (were) wiped out.”
At a Flint Michigan “War Conference” about the Charles “Manson family” who butchered the pregnant actress Sharon Tate, her unborn child and her houseguests, Dohrn said, “Dig it. First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they even shoved a fork into a victim’s stomach. Wild.”[21. “Weatherman Goes for Weapons,” Combat: a National Review inc. publication, Vol. 2, No. 3, February 1, 1970 Lawrence V. Cott, editor.] Mark Rudd who was there says a four-finger fork salute became a Weather trademark.[22. Mark Rudd, Underground: My Life With the SDS and the Weathermen, New York: Harper Collins, 2009, 189.] At a secret leadership meeting in Flint, “Part of armed struggle, as Dohrn and others laid it down, is terrorism. Political assassination… and… violence…were put forward as legitimate forms of armed struggle.”[23. Liberation News Service cited in “The Weather Underground Organization,” Information Digest, Vol. XIV, #22, November 13, 1981, 340.]
Larry Grathwohl testified before the Senate that Bill Ayers said Dohrn had to “plan, develop and carryout the bombing of the police station in San Francisco (all by herself) and he [Ayers] specifically named her as the person committing the act.” Matthew Landy Steen and Karen Latimer attended two meetings in which the bombing of the Park Station was planned. Dohrn was the ringleader. Howard Machtinger was the bomb builder. Latimer had herself cased the police station and handled the bomb,[24. Peter Jamison, “Time Bomb: Weather Underground leaders claimed their bombings were devised to avoid bloodshed. But FBI agents suspect the radical ‘70s group killed a S.F. cop in the name of revolution,” SF Weekly, September 16, 2009.]
“We weren't on the wrong side. We are the wrong side.”[25. Daniel Ellsberg, Hearts and Minds (1974), a documentary of the Vietnam War.]
RICHARD FALKAdopting the Hanoi view Richard Falk said, “We urge…the end of combat operations by a date certain prior to June 1, 1972... [There is] no other way to secure prisoner release.”[26. Richard Falk to Dear friends, COLIFAM, January 17, 1972. ] Ending US air and naval power and stopping all aid to Saigon.[27. Richard Falk, “Mr. Nixon and the Prisoner Smoke screen, New York Times, June 29, 1971.] Later he would say the victims of 9 11 got what they deserved.
Falk defended Karleton Armstrong, who bombed the Army Mathematics Research Center, University of Wisconsin, killing a researcher and injuring four. The New York Times reported that Falk "appealed for full amnesty for all resistors, including those who use violent tactics to oppose the war in Vietnam." Falk "cited the Nuremberg Trials as precedent …to actively oppose the war by any means.
Falk said "free fire" zones, authorized pilots and soldiers to kill whatever moved, even farm animals and most of the victims of illegal methods being on the Vietnamese side. “I remember listening in my living room… to tear-filled stories told by returning GIs about their role … involve[ing] the deliberate killing of Vietnamese peasant women and children. … [R]ecognition of the criminality of the war policies in Vietnam cannot bring the victims back to life.” Falk cited “journalistic accounts of crimes associated with US military…[28. 'Richard Falk, “The Vietnam Syndrome,” The Nation, July 9, 2001.]
JANE FONDA—one quote out of hundreds.
We have a common enemy---U.S. imperialism. JANE FONDA, July 1972
Todd Gitlin revised a “Freedom Song,” “And before I’ll be fenced in, I’ll vote for Ho Chi Minh, or go back to the North and be free.”[29. Studies on the Left, Vol. 5, No. 2, Spring 1965.]
Todd Gitlin, whose wife Nanci Gitlin was with the North Vietnamese and the WSP in Indonesia in July 1965, proposed an SDS sponsored trip to North Vietnam: “"The proposal is to send a mission ... to North Vietnam to help rebuild a hospital or school destroyed by American bombing…and to serve as American hostages against further bombing in their vicinity.”[30. Todd Gitlin, "SDS Aid to North Vietnam? A Proposal for a Mission to North Vietnam." SDS Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2-4. (August 1965).]
After a 30 minute visit Tom Harkin described S. Vietnam’s “tiger cages,”, “They were never let out, the food was minimal …little water. … forced to drink their own urine. Most…could not stand up, their legs having been paralyzed by beatings and by being shackled to a bar. …There were buckets of lime dust …above the cages… [to] throw down on the prisoners when they beg for food and water.”[31. Patsy Truxaw, “House Committee Staffer Sees ‘Tiger Cages’ at Con Son, Quits When Committee Produces Whitewash Report,” Liberation News Service, July 22, 1970, 5.]
Tom Harkin, claiming falsely, to having been a combat fighter pilot in Vietnam, was elected to Congress (1974) and the US Senate (1984). [32. Tom Harkin, Congressional Record, May 23, 2007, S6560; “Senator returns to South Vietnam’s ‘tiger cages,” Knight-Ridder, July 5, 1995.] Senator Tom Harkin, visiting Vietnam in July 1995, claimed the communist regime was “not allowing freedoms it should, But it [is] better than the ousted South Vietnamese regime.”[33. “Senator returns to South Vietnam’s ‘tiger cages,” Knight-Ridder, July 5, 1995.]
After the 1969 SDS convention Weathermen—Mark Rudd, Jeff Jones, and Bill Ayers—sent a letter to Mao’s sycophant Anna Louise Strong.[34. FBI, FOIA, Weather Underground. The primary source is Acting SAC Chicago to Director, memo, “Foreign Influence-Weather Underground Organization,” August 20, 1976, 65.] “Our…convention… was highly honored to hear greetings from our best-loved revolutionary writer and champion of People’s China and the thought of Mao Tse Tung. …Long life to comrade Mao Tse Tung….”[35. FBI, FOIA, Weather Underground. The primary source is Acting SAC Chicago to Director, memo, “Foreign Influence-Weather Underground Organization,” August 20, 1976, 144-45.]
“In August 1969 (Cuban UN) mission intelligence personnel…counseled Mark Rudd and Jeff Jones of SDS concerning slogans to be used in demonstrations planned that fall.”[36. Georgie Anne Geyer and Keyes Beech, “Cuba: School for US Radicals,” Chicago Sun Times, October 1970 cited in FBI, FOIA, Weather Underground. The primary source is Acting SAC Chicago to Director, memo, “Foreign Influence-Weather Underground Organization,” August 20, 1976, 42.]
Clark Kissinger, SDS leader, now active in the Revolutionary Communist Party USA:
“I think that the largest single failing that we made during that whole period of time was not sending a contingent to North Vietnam to fight on the North Vietnamese side. For example, to man antiaircraft gun emplacements around Hanoi. …I felt it was significantly important for the movement to take on a more treasonous edge.[37. Tom Wells, The War Within]
On June 5, 1971, Larry Levin, Tom Hayden and others attended the Soviet funded, CP-USSR and KGB, Stockholm Conference on Vietnam.[38. Photo on Levin Website; On the conference see Papers of Jack Askins, Anti-Vietnam War Movement, Ref. Code MSS.189/V/1/12/6 cited at http://dscalm.warwick.ac.uk/DServe/dserve.exe?dsqIni=Dserve.ini&dsqApp=Archive&dsqCmd=NaviTree.tcl&dsqDb=Catalog&dsqItem=ASV/1/12&dsqField=RefNo, firstname.lastname@example.org
In Washington, Larry Levin, was Hayden-Fonda’s Indochina Peace Campaign full time lobbyist, using an office of Rep. Ron Dellums (D-CA) where they lectured 60 House staff on “American Imperialism”
Visiting Hanoi Larry Levin, staff director of the U.S. Coalition to Stop Funding the War, interviewed Paris negotiator Xuan Thuy 14 days before the fall of Saigon, broadcast on April 16, 1975. Observing thousands of South Vietnamese choosing to flee their homeland, Thuy condemns “the forcible evacuation… (the U.S. Government) …refers to as rescue of ‘evacuees.’ This is a mere U.S. hoax aimed at upsetting world public opinion and providing itself with a pretext to intervene in Vietnam.”[39. Xuan Thuy Interview With (Larry) Levin (IPC), Hanoi VNA in English 1544 GMT 16 Apr 75 BK]
The Viet Cong’s official South Vietnam in Struggle, published letters of Don Luce and women prisoners [40. “A letter from Don Luce,” South Vietnam in Struggle, No 77, October 20, 1970.] claiming “The women were stripped naked, transported naked, and loaded on the planes naked.” It hadn’t happened, but Don Luce believed what the Viet Cong women told him and no one else.[41. Luce to Shirley Bordenkircher; McPhee to Berkeley, “Transfer of Female Prisoners to Con Son, December 28, 1969; Berkeley to Colby, “Transfer of Female Prisoners to Con Son,” November 28, 1969 cited in D.E, Bordenkircher, S.A. Bordenkircher, Tiger Cage: Untold Story, Abby Publishing, 1998, 107-113.]
Led efforts to propagandize “torturous [and brutal] conditions in the Tiger cages” at Con Son, South Vietnam. He interviewed and translated the stories of Viet Cong prisoners making claims of being doused with lime and urine, beaten and shackled, denied food and water; fed rice with sand, live lizards and beetles, and suffered paralysis from cramped quarters.[42. “The Cages of Con Son island,” Time, Jul. 20, 1970;] During 1972-4 Luce’s Mobile Education Project[43. Indochina Mobile Education Project, 1973, Catholic Peace Fellowship Records, University of Notre Dame Archives, CCPF 3/24 Folder.] toured the U.S. with mock prisoners shackled in cramped mock, bamboo, tiger cages, which in fact only existed in Vietnam as VC cells for American POWs, not at Con Son.
Gareth Porter used word for word English translations[44. Hoang Van Chi answers to questions of Daniel Teoduro, National Student Coordinating Committee, December 20, 1972, printed as Appendix III, a supplement to Testimony of Daniel E. Teodoru, U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Judiciary, The Human Cost of Communism in Vietnam-II, Washington; U.S. Government Printing Office, January 5, 1973, 41-42.] of North Vietnamese propaganda tracts.[45. Testimony of Daniel E. Teodoru, U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Judiciary, The Human Cost of Communism in Vietnam, Washington; U.S. Government Printing Office, January 5, 1973, 6-7.] He dismissed Hanoi’s slaughter of no less than 50,000 or more during their 1954 “land reforms” as a myth.[46. D. Gareth Porter, “The Myth of the Bloodbath: North Vietnam’s Land Reform Reconsidered,” Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, Vol. 5, 1973; Testimony of Daniel E. Teodoru, U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Judiciary, The Human Cost of Communism in Vietnam-II, Washington; U.S. Government Printing Office, January 5, 1973. ] The slaughter at Hue of perhaps 5,800 during Tet 1968 was a fabrication.[47. D. Gareth Porter, “The 1968 ‘Hue Massacre,” Indochina Chronicle, No. 33, June 24, 1974, 2-13.] Gareth Porter and Edward Herman wrote, “And there is no evidence in documents, graves, or from individual witnesses which suggests any large and indiscriminate slaughter of civilians by the NLF at Hue.”[48. Edward Herman and D. Gareth Porter, “The Myth of the Hue Massacre,” Ramparts, 13:8 (May-June 1975), 10.] Also a myth was Pol Pot’s “killing fields” genocide in Cambodia.[49. D. Gareth Porter, “The Myth of the Bloodbath: North Vietnam’s Land Reform Reconsidered,” Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, Vol. 5, 1973; Gareth Porter, “The 1968 ‘Hue Massacre’ Indochina Chronicle, Issue 33, June 24, 1974.] In several articles and his 1976 book Cambodia. Starvation and Revolution, Porter denied the Khmer Rouge holocaust.[50. Stephen Morris, National Review, Oct 31, 2004]
In 1975 Ambassador Dinh Ba Thi, Cora Weiss, Gareth Porter opposing the evacuation of people and evacuating orphans from South Vietnam.”[51. “Dinh Ba Thi Receives Antiwar Activists Delegation 7 Apr,” Liberation Radio (Clandestine] in Vietnamese 1000 GMT 9 Apr 75, SG, IV. 10Apr 75 L 13, South Vietnam.]
Gareth Porter denounced peace activist Joan Baez’s Appeal to expose oppression after the fall. Baez aimed to “impugn the good faith” of the Vietnamese. Hard core Hanoi defenders signed a “A Time For Healing and Compassion,” in the New York Times praising “the present government of Vietnam…for its moderation and its extraordinary efforts to achieve reconciliation among its many signators were Richard A. Falk, Don Luce, Cora Weiss, Friendshipment.[52. “To the American People, the Carter Administration and the Congress, “Vietnam: A Time for Healing and Compassion,” The New York Times, January 30, 1977; James Finn, “Fighting Among the Doves,” Worldview, April 1977.] Porter "spent days campaigning against the [Baez] letter. He spent literally hours on the phone haranguing Daniel Ellsberg…” [53. James L. Tyson, Target America: The Influence of Communist Propaganda on U.S. Media, 115.]
Barry Romo, long-time leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, VVAW said that in Vietnam prisoners were tossed out of helicopters, pregnant women kicked in the gut. “The military is constructed to…instruct individual soldiers to conduct…(abuse and torture of …prisoners).”[54. Dave Curry and Barry Romo, “VIETNAM VETERANS SAY TORTURE POLICY NOT AN ABERATION-DATES BACK TO VIETNAM WAR,” News Release of VVAW, May 26, 2004; Robert Dunn, “Veteran at Urbana High School: Soldier No More,” The Veteran (VVAW), Spring/Summer 1999, Volume 29, Number 1.] Barry Romo, claimed at a “Winter Soldier” conference that the racist military dehumanized the enemy and made it easy and normal to kill civilians.[55. Vietnam Vets, “John Kerry and VVAW (Vietnam Veterans Against the War)”, Bella Ciao, Sunday August 29, 2004 - 22:36, http://bellaciao.org/en/spip.php?article3093]
While in Hanoi VVAW’s Barry Romo claimed the “Christmas” bombing in 1972 was never to destroy military targets, but to terrorize and demoralize the Vietnamese people. Bombs falling on nonmilitary targets were not errors. The same homes and shops were hit several times.[56. FBI, Legat Rome to Acting Director, VVAW, IS-RA, Hilev, TELETYPE 4:30 PM January 30, 1973.]
Mark Rudd remembers a February 6, 1968, Cuba paid[57. “Declassified U.S. Government intelligence information regarding the communist and foreign connections of the Weather Underground. Presented as evidence, on the agreement of the prosecution and defense counsel, in the trial of W. Mark Felt and Edward S. Miller,” 12 at www.usasurvival.org.; Mark Rudd remembers paying his way by selling “opiated hashish” brought back from Vietnam. Mark Rudd, Underground: My Life With the SDS and the Weathermen, New York: Harper Collins, 2009, 38-9] and Soviet KGB subsidized[58. Frank J. Rafalko, MH/CHAOS: The CIA’s Campaign Against the Radical Left and the Black Panthers, Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2011, 134.] visit of some 22 SDS members to Havana, “to talk with …the National Liberation Front…” The group received “souvenir rings made of extremely lightweight titanium. The number 2017 was stamped inside to indicate that each ring had been made from debris from the 2017th American plane shot down in Vietnam. I wore mine proudly for years afterwards.”[59. Mark Rudd, Underground: My Life With the SDS and the Weathermen, New York: Harper Collins, 2009, 40.] Rudd says, “I passionately wanted to be a revolutionary like Che, no matter what the costs. …Our goal was…ending the capitalist system that caused the war.” Mark Rudd bragged to his Havana comrade Huynh Van Ba that New Left Notes of August 29, 1969 declared “Vietnam has Won.”
During the Columbia University protest led by Mark Rudd, tThe Viet Cong flew over the Math building at Broadway and 117th Street from on April 23-30, 1968.[60. Mark Rudd, Underground: My Life With the SDS and the Weathermen, New York: Harper Collins, 2009, 55-77; “Declassified U.S. Government intelligence information regarding the communist and foreign connections of the Weather Underground. Presented as evidence, on the agreement of the prosecution and defense counsel, in the trial of W. Mark Felt and Edward S, Miller,” 2 at www.usasurvival.org; Senate, Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws, The Weather Underground, Committee Print, January 1975.]
In 1969 Weathermen—Mark Rudd, Jeff Jones, and Bill Ayers-- sent a letter to Mao’s sycophant Anna Louise Strong.[61. FBI, FOIA, Weather Underground. The primary source is Acting SAC Chicago to Director, memo, “Foreign Influence-Weather Underground Organization,” August 20, 1976, 65.] “Our…convention… was highly honored to hear greetings from our best-loved revolutionary writer and champion of People’s China and the thought of Mao Tse Tung. …Long life to comrade Mao Tse Tung….”[62. FBI, FOIA, Weather Underground. The primary source is Acting SAC Chicago to Director, memo, “Foreign Influence-Weather Underground Organization,” August 20, 1976, 144-45.]
About the burning of Cam Ne, a fortified and bunkered Vietcong[63. Peter Brush, “What Really Happened at Cam Ne, Vietnam magazine, June 12, 2006; Andrew Finlayson to Roger Canfield June 26, 2014.] village, Morley Safer wrote,
“conjured up not America, but some brutal power — Germany. …To see young G.I.s, big guys in flak jackets, lighting up thatched roofs, and women holding babies running away, wailing… . Soldiers aren’t innocent….It was so shocking…it’s not how we do things…seen to be doing it. …There was a realization…that the rules had changed,” Morley Safer.[64. From Reporting America at War: An Oral History, compiled by Michelle Ferrari, with commentary by James Tobin, published by Hyperion, 2003. Copyright ©, 2003 Goodhue Pictures.]
In 1965 Robert Scheer claimed the Viet Cong were patriotic nationalists free of Hanoi and that Catholics, spies and hawks had dragged the U.S. into a civil war[65. Peter Collier, “Life Along the ‘Ramparts,” New Criterion, January 2010 comments on Scheer’s How the U.S. Got Involved in Vietnam, Santa Barbara: Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, 196x.] and that Diem was a puppet of Americans rather than a genuine Vietnamese nationalist and patriot.
In a 1966 Radio Hanoi broadcast Robert Scheer said the Vietnam War was untenable, violates “all the norms and decent values of this society.”[66. “Antiwar Rally Speeches by [Donald] Duncan, [Robert] Scheer,” Hanoi in English to American Servicemen in South Vietnam 1300 GMT 26 February 1966—S.]
An August 8, 1970 article of The Black Panther has a Scheer statement,
Since the peoples of the world have a common enemy, we must begin to think of revolution as an international struggle against U.S. imperialism. …Understanding the [North] Korean people's struggle and communicating this to the American movement is a crucial step in developing this internationalist perspective."[67. August 8, 1970, The Black Panther cited in David Horowitz, FrontpageMagazine.com on May 6, 2003.]
Robert Scheer made a broadcast on Radio Hanoi on September 5, 1970.[68. Hanoi in English to American Servicemen in S. Vietnam 0830 GMT 5 Sep 70. Robert Scheer talks about his visit to both zones of Vietnam.] Robert Scheer said, “The US government is a criminal government that got those pilots [to] perform the highest war crimes…”
Pham Van Dong, General Giap[69. Photo with General Giap is at “U.S. Anti-imperialism Delegation,” Journeys Toward Peace: Internationalism and Radical Orientalism During the U.S. War in Vietnam, http://digitalunion.osu.edu/r2/summer09/caldwell/Pages/eldridgecleaver.html] received Robert Scheer quite well: “Our delegation moved …met openly with the peoples governments and were received as comrades-in-arms. We are fellow combatant against US imperialism.”
September 16, 1970 FBI agents watched Customs inspect literature and films mostly from North Korea written by Kim IL Sung and V.I. Lenin. Robert Scheer later sang the praises of the thoughts of North Korea’s Kim IL Sung in Tom Hayden’s Red Family commune at Berkeley and at Ramparts magazine.[70. Collier and Horowitz, Destructive Generation, 226; Armstrong, Trumpet, 165, 188.]
Sheehan’s Bright Shining Lie accepted Ho Chi Minh’s murders of Vietnamese nationalists as a necessity, called Hanoi’s butchery of 50,000 in 1956 “an unfortunate mistake” performed by Ho’s renegade underlings, dismissed the communist massacre at as a “stupid mistake” and a public relations problem. As late as July 2002 Sheehan told CSPAN that Hanoi’s “reeducation camps” were not so bad (no less than 10% died there) and, falsely, that Hanoi “didn’t shoot anyone.”[71. Bill Laurie, review of Neil Sheehan’s A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam lcounterparts.net/message3_NEW.cfm?threaded=120&messages=6]
“In some countries a Communist government may be the best government. …“Anticommunism [is] as destructive as Stalinism.”[72. Alice Widener, “The Coo of the Doves: From Waldorf to Hilton, 1949-1969,” U.S.A. Vol. XV, No. 26,March 14, 1969.] March 1969, NEIL SHEEHAN at First National Convocation on the Challenge of Building Peace. Neil Sheehan said that North Vietnam was a “modern dynamic society” and South Vietnam was a “dying post-feudal order.”[73. Thomas B. Morgan, “Reporters of the Lost War,” Esquire, July 1984, 52 cited in Berman, The Perfect Spy: The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An, Time Magazine Reporter & Vietnamese Communist Agent, New York: Harper Collins, 2007, 146.]
After the exposure of Pham Xuan An, Hanoi’s master spy, Neil Sheehan remained a gushing fan: “My friend, who served the cause of journalism and the cause of his country with honor and distinction—fondest regards.”[74. Larry Berman, A Perfect Spy: The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An, Time Magazine Reporter & Vietnamese Communist Agent, New York: Harper Collins, 2007, 10.] In late 1974 Neil Sheehan would tell his audience at the Army War College “The idea of fairness and objectivity is specious.”[75. Lewis Sorley, A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America’s Last Years in Vietnam, New York: Harcourt, 1999, 427-8n8.]
Oliver Stone's error laden film "Born on the 4th of July" in 1988 portrayed Ron Kovic attacked and thrown from his wheel chair by Republicans, which he was not. Films such as Oliver Stone’s Apocalypse Now or Platoon, showing barbarous soldiers largely formed early public opinion about the Vietnam War and all its participants.
“I will come out with my interpretation. If I'm wrong, fine. It will become part of the debris of history, part of the give and take.[76. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/o/oliver_stone.html#2f51ruCxtQ4PJrqY.99]
In Hanoi Cathy Wilkerson, SDS Weather, remembers,” I absorbed the optimistic Vietnamese belief that most people deep down did not want to live by aggression and manipulation… They could ...reject leadership based on brutality.” She believed Ho Chi Minh taught his people to resist “the corrosive powers of hatred and revenge.”[77. Cathy Wilkerson, Flying Close to the Sun, New York: Seven Stories Press, 2007,162, 295.]
Dagmar Wilson, on a tour of North Vietnam for Women's Strike for Peace, said, “We knew the Vietnamese were going to win.”[78. Wells interview of Dagmar Wilson, Wells, The War Within, 163]
Dagmar Wilson, Women Strike for Peace, was a member of “The Wilfred Burchett 60th Birthday Committee,”[79. Guardian, February 27, 1971, 9.] Burchett was a Soviet agent. Dagmar Wilson, said, “the Russians want to disarm.… They won’t have… vested interests profiting from the arms race.” After a flyover, Wilson said, “Vietnamese presence in Cambodia left no military or political marks in Cambodia.”[80. Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore, We Were Soldiers once...and young, New York; Harper Torch, 1994, 438.]
Wilson described antiwar activity in the U.S. as a ‘Second front’ in …Vietnam’s fight against ‘American aggression.’…’The Vietnamese are resisting violence on their side and we resist in our way here. …We are a second front in the same war. We need each other’s support. [81. Laurence Feinberg, “Dissent Called 2nd War Front,” Washington Post, Oct. 25, 1967, 1 Texas Tech.]
“The communists were behind organizing all of these rallies and things. … We didn’t want to believe in evil so we just hid from it.[82. Jon Voight, op ed. Washington Times, July 28, 2008, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/jul/28/voight/; Scott Holleran, “Interview: Actor Jon Voight,” boxofficemojo.com.]
“[T]he Vietminh acted to alleviate the famine then raging in the North by opening local granaries and distributing rice.” Marilyn Young26
The Sixties…centrally about the recognition, on the part of an ever growing number of Americans, that the country in which they thought they lived – peaceful, generous, honourable, just – did not exist and never had. The emergence of a more nuanced history of the US as opposed to the patriotic meta-narrative taught in grade school…[83. Marilyn B. Young, “Reflections on the Anti-war Movement, Then and Now,” 31 March 2003.]
Marilyn B. Young, member of the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars and a well-read orthodox historian of the war developed a more nuanced rationalization of the Hue massacre. “A]ll the accounts agree that NLF rather than North Vietnamese units were responsible for the executions (in Hue),” [84. Marilyn B. Young, The Vietnam Wars, 1945-1990 (New York: HarperPerennial, 1991, 217-19.]
The central mechanism of US policy in the 1940s, as today, the pivot around which all the rest rotates, is the conviction that the particular national interests of the United States are identical with the transcendent, universal interests of humanity. The increasingly evident falsehood of this claim produces what Che Guevara once hoped for, "two, three, many Vietnams." Thank you. Marilyn Young.
“There was no conceivable justification for the horrors daily inflicted on and suffered in Vietnam.”[85. (Preface, xi) Marilyn Young. Vietnam Wars, 1945-1990. New York: Harper Perennial, 2004. Pp. 329]