The Vietnam War (Almost 60 Years Later

The Vietnam War cuts through much of the consciousness of American society. We have mixed emotions about the war to this day in the twenty first century. It was an event that signified the height of the Cold War. Some people exploited the Cold War in order for them to characterize Communism as this monolithic block that was hell bent on controlling the whole world. Yet, when you look at sources and historical analysis, you witness the inherit fact that Communism is not monolithic. Stalin and Trostsky didn’t agree with each other on various points. Stalin’s state abuses and totalitarianism doesn’t represent socialism, liberalism, conservative thinking, or any other rational political philosophy. Certainly, it was cartel-capitalism that was responsible for the extermination of Native Americans in the Western Hemisphere and the huge death tolls from the slave trades. I don’t agree with Communism philosophically, but in a free society, you have to allow

nations to peacefully adopt their own system of government (or their own attributes of its economic disposition). The Vietnam War was wrong at every turn when you conclusively investigate its old history. It is immoral to burn huts in a village and to promote the lie that Vietnam was somehow a direct threat to American soil. A negotiated peaceful settlement is far superior to end the Vietnam War than basically the expression of ultimate, militaristic violence. Also, the establishment tried to test new equipment and exploit the region economically in the Indochina Peninsula. The Cold War pitted America and the Soviet Union in competition. NATO was in the West and the Warsaw Pact was in the corner of the Soviet Union. It was a long war that began since the end of World War II. About 58,167 Americans were killed in the Vietnam War. These people didn't have to die. About 365,000 Americans were wounded in this unjust war and there are about 2,000 MIAs (or Missing in Action human beings). The West funded both sides of Communism and Capitalism as this source proves:

“…All Soviet truck technology and a large part of Soviet truck-manufacturing equipment have come from the West, mainly from the United States…Many major American companies have been prominent in building up the Soviet truck industry. The Ford Motor Company, the A.J. Brandt Company, the Austin Company, General Electric, Swindell-Dressler, and others supplied the technical assistance, design work, and equipment of the original giant plants." -Professor Antony C. Sutton (author of the book The Best Enemy Money Can Buy)

Over two million Vietnamese human beings died as a product of the Vietnam War. The legacy of Vietnam influenced our foreign policy thinking, our social structure, and our views of governmental power (even during the Persian Gulf War era of 1990-1991. I was in elementary school when the Persian Gulf War transpired. Some of the youngbloods weren’t even born back during the Persian Gulf War). A lot of Vietnam veterans then and now are treated real bad. Some are homeless and experience mental illness. Therefore, we should express compassion and empathy for any human being suffering negative straits. I do agree with programs that assist veterans and any human being to be enabled or given the just opportunity to experience work. My father (he’s from Cape Charles, Virginia) was drafted in that time period during the late 1960’s. He never went into Vietnam, but he was stationed in Germany. Back in those days, millions upon millions of Americans were drafted. If I lived back then, 9 times out of 10, I could have been drafted. My father told us stories about going into Germany (with the Autobahn where there no speed limits in some sections of it. You can drive over 100 mph in that road system), traveling into the Deep South, and his other travels in Albuquerque, New Mexico (where he worked at various locations), San Antonio, Cape Charles, etc. He said that he was trained to shoot and finished up basic training back in the 1960’s. He was a part of the Air Force and he was honorably discharged under the late President Richard Nixon. That time period was interesting and controversial, which is undoubtedly similar to our time in 2012. We live in a controversial era with the 2012 election, with issues of poverty, issues of economic inequality, and other relevant topics that spin our circumference. The most important thing though is that we should advance the tenets of justice,

righteousness, and true tolerance for our fellow human beings. In times, we come up short because of our imperfections, but in the future, we should be more moral, more attuned to human concerns, and more willing to sacrifice our time to improve the longstanding conditions in our communities. Today, Vietnamese people are all over the world. Back in 2000-2001, I knew a very sweet, short Vietnamese female then teenager in my art class. The teacher in my art class is named Mr. Hanson. Mr. Hanson is an articulate, sensitive man. He enjoyed theater and loved the whole panorama of the subject of art in general. This was when I was in high school. She (or the young Vietnamese American female in my art class. She is a couple of years younger than me) was inquisitive, tolerant, and nice. She even used my face as a mold in order for me to complete an art assignment (that dealt with using clay, a kiln, etc. in order for me to create a creative image or sculpture). I love art and I love the creative aspects of human expression. She congratulated me when I graduated from my high school in June of 2001. She is a great human being. Yes, friends, I know wonderful sisters in the art class too. One sister was short and the sister was from the same neighborhood that I was from. The sister rode on my bus and her father was a preacher. She was full of energy and full of personality. In the class, she asked me basic questions about my life and so forth. The sister worked with another student in terms of them finishing up art assignments. The sister is another great human being as well. I was like the brother that got along with everybody regardless of someone’s background. So, simple stories from kind people went a long way in developing my own consciousness. When you get older, we realize the beauty and the great value of cultures in the four corners of the world. While I am approaching thirty years old, I am getting more mature about the facets of my longevity or life. I can’t believe I am becoming 30 soon. Time is going fast, but I am excited about it. It represents an ending of an era and a new beginning in my life. So, as a brother, I will take my life into another level of improvements. The truth is unadulterated, without any additives (or preservatives), and it’s full of long lasting soul.

An Introduction and Outline of the Vietnam War
The Chinese Kingdoms once ruled Vietnam in the ancient times. The Vietnamese people didn’t want the Chinese or any people to dominate them socially or politically. Even in the 1600's, Roman Catholic missionaries begun to arrive in Vietnam. The Vietnam War had many realities or real events. Professor Antony C. Sutton proved that Henry Ford back in the 1930's built the Soviet Union's first modern automobile plant as found in Gorki. These same plants (as found in Russia) produced the trucks that were used by the North Vietnamese to carry weapons and munitions for use against Americans. So, both sides of the war were directly or indirectly funded by Western corporate giants. What was strange was that LBJ said that we were fighting against Communism when the global elite funded both the Capitalists and the Communists during the Cold War. Wars for thousands of years have cause misery and many strange happenings have been a part of them. Vietnam should be explained fully in the world. America was involved in Vietnam since 1954, but U.S. troops were seriously overtly involved in the Vietnam War (via military strikes) in 1962. We know that the French imperialists controlled Vietnam from the late 1800's to the end of WWII. The Vietnamese wanted to be free from French domination. The Vietnamese were right in that oppression against a people is never justified or moral at any circumstance. During WWII, the Japanese empire temporarily controlled the area of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh defeated the Japanese forces and took Hanoi by August 19, 1945. On September 2, 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared independence and the Vietnam nation started. He even quoted form the American Declaration of Independence to justify the existence of his country. Ho Chi Minh wanted American support since the Americans assisted him during WWII. Soon, South Vietnam was ruled by the British and the British gave control of it to the French. Unfortunately, Dr. King was premature in stating that colonial peoples were "…free to move toward the promised land of economic security and cultural development." In other words, the colonists still oppressed human beings from the Third World even after WWII. On December 19, 1946 the Vietminh Communist forces attacked French military forces in Hanoi. The Vietnam War between the French and Communist forces was on! This war (between the French imperialists and the Vietnamese people) ended in 1954 with the defeat of the French forces at Dien Bien Phu. The Geneva Accords divided Vietnam War up into Northern and Southern parts on the 17th parallel. Elections were called for a positive unification of both sections, but this never took place.

About 10 percent of the population in former South Vietnam is Roman Catholic. In 1956, South Vietnam declared itself a "Republic." Ngo Dinh Diem was named President of South Vietnam in 1956 (after the elections). The Ngo Dinh brothers were dictators. Diem's brother Ngo Dinh Nhu was the head of the secret policy (and Diem's third brother Ngo Dinh Thuc was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of the city of Hue). So, the Diem brothers organized the immoral repression of the overwhelming Buddhist population in South Vietnam. Buddhists were religiously persecuted. President Diem formed a Catholic dictatorship where he crushed the religious and political rights of the non-Catholics (especially Buddhists) in that nation. Buddhists were tortured, harassed, killed and arrested in Diem's reign (before Diem, there was Bao Dai that supported the French. To his credit, he later wanted the Vietnam War to end and desire all political factions to form a free, neutral peace loving government that could end the tensions in Vietnam). Diem's reign and tax structure was so oppressive to the Buddhists that a mass exodus came about. This exodus caused the Buddhists to travel into North Vietnam (while Roman Catholics traveled into South Vietnam during the 1950's and the 1960's). Such massacres of Buddhists transpired under the dictator Diem (according to Avro Manhattan) in Mocay, Thanhphu, Scotrang, Cangiuoc, Dailoc, Duyxuyen and other locations. Diem was trained by Cardinal Spellman in New York City. The oppression created by Diem (a traitor to his own people) was so evil that one man named Thich Quang Duc (which grabbed international attention) protested in June 11, 1963 by setting himself on fire in Saigon. As early as 1957, the Vietminh Communist forces came in South Vietnam to attack South Vietnamese government forces. These communists were later called the Vietcong. The Vietcong opposed the reactionary policies from Diem during the 1960’s. A civil war existed in Vietnam, because of Diem’s repressive policies. The civil war was North Vietnam vs. South Vietnam for the control of the peninsula. The West supported an evil named General Nguyen Cao Ky. He said that:

“..We need four or five Hitlers in Vietnam.”

Even U. S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson in a tape recorded conversation admitted privately back then that:

“I’ll tell you, the more I just stayed awake last night, thinking about this thing [Vietnam War], the more I think it…it looks like to me we’re getting into another Korea. It worries the h___ out of me…and I don’t think it’s worth fighting for and I don’t think we can get out and it’s just the biggest d___ mess.”
The USSR, China, and other Communist nations gave military equipment and support to North Vietnam plus her communist allies in South Vietnam. When people talk about the National Liberation Front, they are talking about when the Vietcong in South Vietnam organized itself into a National Liberation Front (back in 1960). So, it is obvious that slick actions were going on among both sides during the Vietnam War. Although, some of the VC wanted a more tolerable government without influence from America nor the Soviets or Chinese people. The West built up the Communist power structure and then they fight them during the Cold War period. The Vietnamese people deserve independence without imperial domination by the West or total control by the international Communists either. They should control their own destiny and decide for themselves what order of government that they wish for. In 1962, 9,700 U.S. military so-called "advisers) and many CIA agents tried to support the corrupt reactionary regime of Diem. Diem was a true traitor to his people indeed. He ruled Saigon and now in 2012 Saigon is called Ho Chi Minh City. In that time period (or the early 1960’s), President Kennedy's Defense Secretary Robert McNamara said that America was winning the war at the time. Diem was killed by opposition forces in November 2, 1963. LBJ admitted on tape that he and the U.S. generals allowed a group of thugs to killed Diem (and that Vietnam became much more unstable after that incident). Even President John F. Kennedy had second thoughts about the Vietnam conflict. He wanted a withdrawal policy. JFK wanted to act cautiously in the Vietnam War. By 1963, he decided to slowly get rid of American G.I.s and by 1965; he wanted to get rid of all U.S. troops from Vietnam. He was assassinated before having his wish on November 22, 1963. Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson escalated the war massively. The Pentagon allowed the South Vietnamese government to torture or even killed suspected enemies of Saigon.

After JFK was assassinated, the Gulf of Tonkin incident came about. It was a very controversial occurrence in American history. The 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident shaped the Vietnam War forever. Today, we have a fuller picture of what occurred. The Gulf of Tonkin event is divided up into many events. The first of the two major events involve the real battle between American and North Vietnam forces. The second event was a phantom or it didn't occur. Now, even before the Tonkin event, the U.S. government covertly fought the North Vietnamese government in various programs. There was a 1961 program was called Operation Plan 34-Alpha. This program allowed the CIA to use agent team insertions, aerial reconnaissance missions, and naval sabotage operations in order for North Vietnam to be defeated basically. This occurred in conjunction with the DESOTO operation. What is DESOTO? DESOTO was when the government used U.S. Navy destroyers to electronically monitor North Vietnamese military travels. Then, the Navy would give this information to South Vietnamese Army forces. It's all about reconnaissance. So, the CIA and other intelligence agencies tried to provoke a greater conflict in the Vietnam peninsula for years. This is the foundation of the Gulf of Tonkin event. This program was sent into the US Department by 1964 and it was executed by the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observations Group (or SOG). Now, the DESOTO program was still under way in 1964. On July 31, 1964, South Vietnamese naval units attacked the North Vietnamese island of Hon Me. (Hon Me is located about 10 miles off the coast of North Vietnam.) Several U.S. ships had been performing surveillance missions off the coast of North Vietnam during the same general time frame. On July 31, 1944, the USS Maddox began its intelligence collection mission in the gulf. The first attack came about in August 2, 1964. The USS Maddox radioed that 3 North Vietnamese Navy P-4 torpedo boats were attacking them. The USS Maddox said that it was 28 miles from the North Vietnamese coast in international waters. According to James Bradford, the USS Maddox was in North Vietnamese territorial waters. The North Vietnamese ships fired upon the USS Maddox. The USS Maddox fired back and it wasn't damaged heavily without any casualties. Four North Vietnamese sailors were killed and six were wounded. The second Tonkin Gulf incident according to the National Security Agency happened in August 4, 1964. There were no actual NVN torpedo boat attacks at all. On August 4, 1964, on President Lyndon B. Johnson's (LBJ) orders, more U.S. ships were sent to the same general area off the coast of North Vietnam. Two United States Navy destroyers (the USS Maddox [still performing its SIGINT mission] and the USS C. Turner Joy [escorting the Maddox]) reported being "fired upon" by North Vietnamese patrol boats. Bamford tells us: "But in the end, no damage was sustained, and serious questions arose as to whether any attack actually took place." LBJ took these events as a means to justification a more strong military response against North Vietnam. Even the then Secretary of State George Ball (according to the author James Bradford) said that the incidents were used as a provocation to promote the Vietnam War. During many wars, incidents and provocations transpire in order for those in power to justify extending military actions. The Gulf of Tonkin incident is no exception. Soon, President Lyndon B. Johnson passed (with the support of Congress), the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which gave the President the authority to assist any Southeast Asian nation whose government was considered jeopardized by "communist aggression." This gave President Johnson the means to have U.S. military forces to openly fight in North Vietnam (before that time, it was heavily covert to the public). Declassified NSA documents from 2005 found that the USS Maddox at first fired three rounds (before the Vietnamese responded back) to warn off the Communist boats. This was about the first incident. The document said that there was no attack on U.S. boats during the second incident. The truth will always come out sooner or later.

Now, President Lyndon Baines Johnson began to send U.S. Marine combat units to Vietnam in March of 1965. In the middle of 1965, U.S. troop strength in Vietnam was about 60,000. In January of 1965, Malcolm X said the following words on the Vietnam War before he was assassinated in February 1965: “…The same thing. It shows the real ignorance of those who control the American power structure. If France, with all types of heavy arms, as deeply entrenched as she was in what then was called Indochina, couldn’t stay there, I don’t see how anybody in their right mind can think the U.S. can get in there—it’s impossible. So it shows her ignorance, her blindness, her lack of foresight and hindsight; and her complete defeat in South Vietnam is only a matter of time. ..”

From 1965 to 1968, a huge amount of historical events transpired in the Vietnam War. In February of 1965, Operation Rolling Thunder was enacted. This was a program where LBJ issued sustained American bombing raids of North Vietnam. The air raids would continue for three years. The Marines would arrive in Danang in 1965 as well. This was the first American combat troops or the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade would arrive in Vietnam. Their mission primarily was to defend the U.S. airfield at Danang. There is some Vietcong gunfire reported, but no Marines are injured. The first conventional battle of the Vietnam War would occur at the Ia Drang Valley in 1965 too. The U.S. forces clash with North Vietnamese units in the Ia Drang Valley. Later, the U.S. 1st Air Cavalry Division employs its newly enhanced technique of aerial reconnaissance to defeat the NVA. Still, heavy casualties are reported on both sides. Troop levels rose to 200,000 in the middle of the 1960's. Anti-war protestors are famous for the Vietnam "Teach in" among the nation's universities. This policy of anti-war leaders going into colleges and universities becomes widespread. The teach ins at first would feature seminars, rallies, and speeches. It began in the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in March. In May of 1965, there was a national broadcast of a "teach in" that reached students plus faculty in over 100 campuses. 1966 saw the further escalation of the Vietnam War. In that year, B-52s bomb North Vietnam. This was done in an effort to disrupt the movement of VC along the Mugia Pass (or the main route used by the NVAto send personnel plus supplies through Laos into South Vietnam). This was the first time where American B-52s bomb North Vietnam for

the first time. The South Vietnamese government troops take Hue and Danaag in 1966. In 1966, U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson meets with the South Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Cao Ky (and his military advisors) in Honolulu. LBJ wanted to support the South Vietnamese against North Vietnamese aggression. Yet, Johnson wanted the U.S. to monitor or watch South Vietnam in order for South Vietnam to improve economic condition and democracy in that nation. A great 1966 antiwar rally existed in NYC. Veterans from WWI, WWII, and the Korean War made up many of the protesters. Discharge and separation papers were burned in public as a means to protest the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. In 1966, we have the Congress of Racial Equality (or CORE) report. This report proved that the U.S. military draft places "a heavy discriminatory burden on minority groups and the poor." The group also called for a withdrawal of all US troops from Vietnam. It is easy to see that African Americans play a huge role in the Vietnam War. A disproportionate amount of black Americans were drafted into that conflict. Even Whitney Young condemned the Vietnam War.

This building is the Continental Palace Hotel in Saigon, South Vietnam back from 1966. In the far right area, the building housed many of the famous war correspondents of the time. The open air ground level patio bar and restaurant served drinks, meals, and drugs in Saigon. Numerous interesting people visited the location. The Continental Palace is still in operation today near 2013.

By 1968, there were about 535,040 troops in Vietnam. The early 1968 Tet Offensive was a pivotal point during the Vietnam War era. The Tet Offensive was when the North Vietnam executed a massive frontal assault against American forces during the Vietnamese holiday season. American forces soon gathered themselves to defeat the North Vietnamese troops in that battle. Yet, the American public was shocked by the vulnerability of the U.S. forces and the more controversial nature of the Vietnam War. U.S. support for the war decreased rapidly after the Tet Offensive. It's a historical fact that Richard Nixon wrecked early peace talks in Vietnam. If those peace talks materialized for real, the Vietnam War would have ended much earlier than it did. This occurred in 1968. Richard Nixon (according to writer Martin Kettle) secretly worked with the South Vietnamese government. This was done in order for the all-party Vietnam peace talks to end. This caused more

than 20,000 Americans to further die including thousands of Vietnamese and Cambodian human beings. The President Lyndon Johnson administration accused the Nixon team of stopping further peace talks in 1968. Nixon didn't want the peace efforts to allow Hubert Humphrey to become the next President of America. So, he used the go between named Ann Chennault to urge the then South Vietnam's President Nguyen van Thieu to resist efforts to force them to the peace table. Ann was a reactionary. On March 31, 1968, Lyndon Johnson said on national television that the bombing north of the 20th parallel will stop. He said that he will not seek re-election in the fall. Hanoi deescalated its insurgency efforts. By October of 1968, Johnson orders total halts to bombing. America and Hanoi once agreed to preliminary peace talks in Paris. By October 31, 1968, LBJ ordered a complete halt to the bombing of North Vietnam and the precondition for getting the North and their Vietcong allies to join the talks. 2 days later, (from intense secret urgings from Nixon and his lieutenants like his campaign manager John Mitchell), Thieu announced his government would not take part in peace talks on November 2, 1968. Lyndon Johnson knew about this. He told Humphrey what was going on. LBJ threatened to denounce Thieu and denounce Nixon, but he never did publicly. Less than a week later, Richard Nixon was elected President with less than an one point margin in the popular vote over Humphrey. In the five weeks leading up to the election of 1968, 960 Americans were killed in Vietnam. In the years to come, under Nixon, 20,763 more US soldiers would die. "What the Nixon people did," the US diplomat Richard Holbrooke, then attached to the advance US guard to the Paris talks, tells Vanity Fair, "was perhaps even a violation of the law. "They massively, directly and covertly interfered in a major diplomatic negotiation, probably one of the most important negotiations in American diplomatic history. If Hubert Humphrey was President, this country will be much different and possibly better than it is today. Nixon constantly denied that he was conspiring with Thieu against the US government, but the release of previously classified FBI files used by the authors show this was exactly what he was doing. By 1969, there were 543,000 troops in Vietnam and then the troop numbers gradually declined.

One of the most tragic parts of the Vietnam War era was Operation Phoenix. These crimes against human life came about in the late 1960's and early 1970's. The CIA was involved with this program. This program killed a lot of South Vietnamese Buddhists again. It was a like a modern-day Inquisition. The Phoenix Program involved even local communities with operatives. There were the PRU or the Provincial Reconnaissance Units that operated their war crimes with impunity. The PRU collected intelligence. They sweeped communities and allowed people to be indefinitely detained in CIA interrogation centers. This was decades before the war on terror that began in 2001. They interrogated suspects according to the "CIA Manual For Interrogation and Elimination." These acts were standard policy. Many people who were killed were VC. The PRU killed people. There were active lists for VC/Buddhist assassination. The Phoenix Program for 1969 called for "neutralizing" 1800 a month. In this program, the suspected "enemies" were not allowed trial, preliminary hearing, legal representation, this program prevented them from confronting accusers, and plead in own behalf or present evidence in their defense, etc. The 1975 issue of Counter spy magazine described the "Phoenix Program" as the "...most indiscriminate and massive program of political murder since the Nazi death camps of WWII." The United Buddhist Church (or a non-Communist resistance force) has been harmed too by imperialists. CIA

head William Colby was involved in Operation Phoenix along with others. This program wanted to gather intelligence, but war crimes came about as a product of this program. It lasted from 1965 to 1972. About 26,369 human beings at least were killed as a product of Operation Phoenix. CIA's Saigon station chief Peer DeSilva developed the interrogation centers and the PRUs. Rape, gang rape, use of eels, use of snakes, electric shock, sexual abuse, starvation, and many sick acts were used by military operatives in Operation Phoenix. In 1970, Ed Murphy publicly criticized Operation Phoenix. It was closed and finished once public pressure existed and Congressional investigation proved the damaging nature of the program. Similar programs of Operation Phoenix executed by the CIA would occur in Iran-Contra inside of Latin America, in Indonesia, and in other places of the world. CIA leader William Colby admitted that the program of genocide in Indonesia and the Phoenix Program were one and the same. The schools of training for government funded terrorists exist in the Western Hemisphere Institute For Security Cooperation, formerly The School of The Americas (Ft. Benning Ga.) and The Counter-Insurgency Training Center (Ft. Bragg, Fayetteville, N.C.). Also, many American soldiers were abused and mistreated by North Vietnamese forces too. I don’t agree with that and that is wrong too. Two wrongs don’t make it right. Operation Phoenix is one of the great sins of America to be honest with you. I love America as I was born here, but America ought to publicly repent for its sins. I do apologize to God and the inhabitants of the world for the sins of America. I am sorry to Almighty God, because Operation Phoenix should of never occurred in the first place.

The New Deal came at a response of the depression and WWII continued its legacy to this very day. Some of the old liberals like LBJ, JFK, Humphrey, etc. knew about the Great Depression first hand. Even Humphrey said that his wife sold sandwiches on campus during the depression to help pay the bills. So, all of us are tied together in the world. The New Deal caused many social programs to help the poor and the elderly like Social Security. Social Security is a blessing to the elderly and most of the elderly can attest to that. Our progress has been great in America. The Civil Rights Act is law. The minimum wage has increased and women have increased of their rights. We still have a long

way to go since the dream isn't fulfilled yet. The dream won't die, but we are still fighting for the real dream. We are out of the desert, but we aren't in the Promised Land yet. We may never see the Promised Land in another 20 years or so, but we can make our journey to see it much sooner if we keep on fight for social and economic justice. Now, the situation now is that we have got to mentor the younger generation about the truth and about real values of tolerance, civil liberties, religious freedom, and love of humanity plus the advancement of equality. Also, we should reinvigorate the anti-war movement. Just because a Democrat is President, doesn't mean that the anti-war movement should be weakened. Anti-war people are still strong here, so that reality ought to be acknowledged greatly. An anti-poverty plan should be made available. It's hypocritical for both parties to talk about the middle class, but refuse to talk about a huge plan to assist the interests of the poor. More folks who were once middle class are now poor presently. Operation Chaos, COINTELPRO, and other programs tried to harm dissent decades ago. They targeted African Americans, Native Americans, labor, and other protesters in society. The FBI used domestic spying and they organized distrust of real movements for social change. We are important and Kennedy spoke about the poor deserving of just treatment. Even Johnson spoke about poverty and he was wrong on the Vietnam War question. Richard Nixon didn't respect a lot of the anti-war movement and that is exemplified in history. Far too often, the fascists of today use the tool of division in trying to demonize those that disagree with progressive principles. Richard Nixon criticized communism for decades and then by 1971, he publicly recognized China. He followed the policy of triangulation. That means that Nixon wanted to drive a wedge between China and Russia in order for them to be at each other’s throat while America can increase its political hegemony in the world, especially in the Third World. Nixon and his administration supported the assassination covertly of Allende in Chile. He was replaced by the dictator Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet in 17 years enacted torture against his political opponents. He created a reign of terror in Chile along with a huge list of human rights abuses. This act of covertly funding Pinochet had nothing to do with fighting communism or spreading freedom. It has to do with imperialism and spreading corporate interests in South America. In today's society, we have done a massive redistribution of wealth from the poor to corporate America under the guise of false patriotism. Richard Nixon wasn't all the way reactionary. Some of his policies were non-conservative like price controls, reducing the speed limit, the invention of the EPA, etc. Although, Watergate wasn't the only mistake that Nixon committed. He was involved in ending the primary campaign of Ed Muskie. Nixon wanted to face McGovern since he believed that McGovern would be an easier opponent during the 1972 Presidential election. He established CREEP, the Committee to reelect the President in his reelection bid. CREEP took in over $60 million much of it in violations of campaign funding laws.

By the late 1960's to the early 1970's, over 60% of Americans opposed the Vietnam War. Towns, cities, and even the capitol of America were the numerous locations were active anti-war demonstrations commenced. The peace movement wanted the world to witness the error of America fighting the Vietnam War, because the war is essential a civil war. The dropping of bombs in a foreign land with no direct threat to America is wrong. Also, a peaceful negotiation among all sides is one out of many solutions to nonviolently ending that catastrophic conflict in Vietnam. The war crimes, the dropping of napalm, the killing of children, and the death of the U.S. military people needlessly are all negative occurrences during the Vietnam War. Even Republican President Richard Nixon bombed massively Vietnam and Cambodia. An estimated 40,000 "Vietcong" (suspected members or supporters of the NLF) were murdered during the long-running "Operation Phoenix" assassination campaign conducted by the CIA, Special Forces and killer units of the Saigon forces. U.S. involvement in Vietnam ended by 1973. March of 1973 was when the last U.S. combat unit left the Vietnam War theatre. The Vietnam War finally ended in 1975 when Saigon was taken over by the Communist forces. The two facts of Vietnam were that it was an immoral war for one. The war was a civil war and the nation of Vietnam wasn't a direct threat to American soil. Both sides committed atrocities and war crimes against each other. Also, some scholars believe that the rules of engagement restricted some U.S. military actions in Vietnam. This caused a protracted war where the American military people and the Vietnamese people died needlessly (instead of factions forming a legitimate negotiated settlement to end that conflict).

The Kent State Massacre
One of the tragic events during the Vietnam War era was the Kent State massacre. It happened in May 4, 1970. The police shot unarmed student protesters in Kent State University inside of northeast Ohio. The Ohio National Guard killed 4 students and wounded 9 others. These protesters disagreed with the Nixon's administration's escalation of the war. Nixon started to invade the neighboring nation of Cambodia. He announced this action publicly in his April 30 television address. The imperialist war of Vietnam would continue for another 5 years after 1970. The invasion of Cambodia caused new protests against the war all across the world. In Nixon's mind, he was trying to stop a supply line to the North Vietnamese, but this policy was a violation of the national sovereignty of Cambodia. The four students who died were Allison Krause and Jeffrey Miller, who had participated in the antiwar protest, and two bystanders, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder, who were walking between classes when the troops opened fire. Miller was killed instantly. Scheuer died within minutes. Hours later, Krause and Schroeder succumbed to their wounds. Dean Kahler was 20 years old during the incident. He was an onlooker. A bullet caused him to use a wheelchair to this very day. There were at least 67 bullets firing around the area in the span of 13 seconds. The Kent State Massacre was during a time of massive state repression of legitimate dissent in America. Richard Nixon used the FBI and other intelligence agencies to spy, and even harm the Black Panthers and any progressive movement that was dedicated to great reforms in American society.The deaths continued in other locations. A week after Kent State, National Guard troops and state police shoot to death 6 black students and wounded dozens of others in Augusta, Georgia. People were protesting the murder of a mentally disabled 16 year old black youth named Charles Oatman. He was beaten to death in the county jail. The troops and the police were ordered into the city by the Democratic Governor Lester Maddox. Yes, Lester

Maddox was another Freemason and a notorious segregationist. Even 3 days later, the police and state highway patrolmen fired automatic weapons into a dormitory at Jackson State University (a historically black college in the Mississippi state capital). It killed 2 students and wounded 9 others. The following were shot dead: Phillip Lafayette Gibbs, a 21-year-old junior at the school, and James Earl Green, a 17-year-old student at a nearby high school. So, the Kent State event occurred in the midst of an anti-war protest. 500 students gathered for it in an area 50 miles south of Cleveland. On May 2, the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) building on the campus was burned to the ground. I don't agree with that, because you can dissent without vandalism. Later, Kent mayor Lerory Staron declared a state of emergency. The National Guard was in the area as requested by Ohio Governor James A. Rhodes. The National Guard troops confronted the protesters. The 900 troops firing rounds of tea gas and threatened the crowd with bayonets. It wounded one student. On Monday, May 4, campus officials tried to ban the scheduled noontime rally, but about 2,000 students gathered anyway. The Guard was ordered to disperse the students, who defied tear gas and threats of arrest. Hundreds of students continued to confront the soldiers, and at 12:24 p.m. the guardsmen took aim and opened fire. After the massacre, millions of students protested the incident. A nationwide student strike occurred in over 900 college campuses nationwide. 100,000 people demonstration at Washington, D.C. The White House initially blamed the students for the massacre. Nixon went down to the Lincoln Memorial about 4 a.m. on the morning of May 9, the morning of the demonstration, and spoke with 30 students conducting an antiwar vigil, attempting to convince them of the correctness of his decision to invade Cambodia. Afterwards, Nixon asked his top aide, H. R. Haldeman, to reactivate the Huston Plan, a proposal for systematic wiretapping, break-ins and other illegal surveillance and harassment of antiwar groups, the forerunner of the “plumbers” group of ex-CIA operatives that conducted the 1972 Watergate break-in. Nixon had no choice, but to withdraw troops from Cambodia and cause more troop withdrawals from Vietnam. Even the whitewashed September 1970 campus report admitted that the National Guard shooting of May 4 was unjustified, but it drew no other conclusions. No judicial punishment was given to the police and the National Guard murders at Kent State, Augusta, or Jackson State. 8 of the Ohio guardsmen were indicted by a grand jury, but an U.S. District Judge dismissed charges against them, claiming the prosecution's case was too weak to put before a court. One leader of the Kent May 4 Center is named Alan Canfora. He was wounded in the massacre. He said that he discovered a recently discovered copy of a tape recording, archived at Yale University, shows that there was an order to fire given before the shootings, and he has called for the government to reopen the investigation into a cover up of the incident. The event marked the end of an era. It was the beginning of the end of the postwar boom. Strikes occurred all over America and issues of poverty were being discussed. The revolutionary change should occur where not only the working people are respected, but the homeless and struggling too are received justice plus decency. Today, imperialism by the West is done in Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Africa, etc.

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” “All great questions must be raised by great voices, and the greatest voice is the voice of the people speaking out – in prose, or painting or poetry or music; speaking out – in homes and halls, streets and farms, courts and cafes – let that voice speak and the stillness you hear will be the gratitude of mankind.” “What we require is not the self-indulgence of resignation from the world but the hard effort to work out new ways of fulfilling our personal concern and our personal responsibility.” -Robert Francis Kennedy

RFK and Vietnam
Robert Kennedy was a famous figure in history. He appealed to people from across the political spectrum. The reason is that many of his words and statements appealed to people who are liberals, conservatives, libertarians, and independents. He worked with the late President John F. Kennedy on domestic and foreign matters as the U.S. Attorney General (or America's most powerful lawyer in America). He know of him winning the U.S. Senate seat from New York. Later, he opposed the Vietnam War publicly and decided to run for the office of President of the United States by March of 1968. He was a man that gradually became more progressive as time went on his life (yet, he held to other nuisance positions too). He led a crusade against Organized crime and the Mafia. He and Jimmy Hoffa didn't get along, because he accused Hoffa of financial corruption. By 1968, he had strong support to a bill then under consideration for the abolition of the death penalty. For a time, the death penalty was banned in America until a few decades ago. RFK opposed apartheid in South Africa as a negation of human rights. He made the famous Annual Day of Affirmation speech in June of 1966. He organized a successful re-development project in the neighborhood of BedfordStuyvesant, Brooklyn in NYC. So, Robert Kennedy greatly loved the ground up, grassroots like community programs that fought against poverty, crime, and other debilitating conditions of

certain communities. He reviewed the effectiveness of the War on Poverty when he visited the Mississippi Delta. He wanted the advancement of freedom among immigrants, Native Americans, African Americans, and other human beings. So, he believed in health care for Americans, employment opportunities, integration, and the desegregation of busing in the world. He is famous for allying with Cesar Chavez in order to promote labor rights and equality for Hispanic Americans. Robert Kennedy agreed with JFK's Alliance for Progress that believed that when you deal with U.S. foreign policy, human rights must be placed in a high emphasis. Senator Kennedy had cautioned President Johnson against commitment of U.S. ground troops as early as 1965, but Lyndon Johnson chose to commit ground troops on recommendation of the rest of President Kennedy's still intact staff of advisers. Robert Kennedy did not strongly advocate withdrawal from Vietnam until 1967, within a week of Martin Luther King taking the same public stand. He rejected the glamorization of violence in the world and he call for the improvement of the quality of education in the USA today. Robert Kennedy's campaign extended the agenda of President John F. Kennedy. Yet, JFK wasn't some hawkish neo-con before he died. JFK woke up a great deal. JFK signed a test ban treaty with the Soviets, he wanted normalization possibly with Cuba, he wanted an end to extensive U.S. military involvement in Vietnam by 1965, he didn't want a proliferation of nuclear weapons in the globe, and he supported Third World nationalist movements. He wasn't a neo-con since he rejected the concept of a Pax Americana that would enforce U.S. interests via the weapons of war. Kennedy also supported Lummumba of the Congo and praised Algerian independence after its suffering of imperialism. John F. Kennedy wanted to visit Indonesia to support that nation by the spring of 1964. So, JFK was not a Cold Warrior before he died. JFK believed in world peace and rejected war via his American University speech from 1963. His American University speech outlined his views clearly on foreign policy matters. John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy were close brothers. Robert Kennedy and John F. Kennedy complemented each other's personalities and thinking. He was died in June 5, 1968 by an assassin's bullet.

He once said these powerful, accurate words: “…It was once said that the moral test of Government is how that Government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped…”

Hubert Humphrey
One of the greatest leaders of promoting human rights was Hubert Humphrey. He certainly inspired many people then and now, especially in the state of Minnesota. Minnesota is where he was raised. I admire a lot of his views, except his views on the Vietnam War. Although, he certainly and forthrightly agreed with the concept of human rights without exception. He lived during the time of transition from much of hardcore traditionalism of the past to the modern society that we witness today in the 21st century. He specifically articulated measures of reform in order to enhance the community of the world without strident oppression against fellow human beings. He was one of the greatest legislators in American history. He was responsible for us drinking some fresh water, breathing clean air, and promoting foreign aid to nations that legitimately need assistance. Back in July of 1948, Hubert Humphrey promoted human rights and civil rights for all people during the Democratic Convention. He spoke out against lynching, discrimination in voting, employment, and the armed services in 1948. He believed that human rights are beyond states’ rights, which is true. The civil rights plank was later passed in the Democratic Party platform and the bigoted Dixiecrats walked out. As we become older, we realize that we must respect people. We shouldn't advocate discrimination as some way to dominate a person savagely. All people are created equal and all human beings deserve equality. If a person genuinely needs help, I will help that person out free of charge. He was born in May of 1911. The social contract of the government relates to the government executing its duty to provide the general welfare of society. Hubert Humphrey wanted a national health care program as well. Ironically, President John F. Kennedy was influenced by Humphrey. They debated each other before JFK was elected President. Later, JFK's Peace Corps plan was inspired by Humphrey's avocation of foreign aid into foreign lands. Humphrey wanted Kennedy to promote civil rights legislation. The Kennedy administration was hesitant at first until 1963. In 1963, JFK started to

wake up about civil rights issues for real. Republicans and Democrats worked to pass civil rights and voting rights legislation (in 1964 and 1965). Humphrey refused to attack a place in North Vietnam, and LBJ shunned him to promote the Great Society programs. Humphrey was tied to the war since he was the Vice President. He campaigned in 1968 and lost to Nixon in a very close election. During the 1968 Presidential race, Humphrey promoted a campaign of peace and an end to the war in Vietnam. He called for a withdrawal of troops and an end of bombing in Vietnam. Scholars said that if he would have of spoken about a peace platform earlier in the race, he might of beat Richard Nixon during the 1968 election. The Paris Peace talks was about to occur, but the Nixon campaign prevented it causing the war to continue for more years. Hubert Humphrey died of cancer, but he was remembered in many ways. He promoted the caring for the young, the old, the oppressed, and the disinherited among the whole world.

Coretta Scott King marched with George McGovern including other anti-war activists (in the image to the left). They protested the Vietnam War in November 15, 1969 inside of Washington, D.C. The image to the right shows Coretta Scott King in 1972 supporting the Presidential campaign of George McGovern.

George McGovern
George McGovern recently passed away. He was famous for his opposition to the Vietnam War. He was a famous politician. He fought in WWII. He worked inside of the government in order to help society. To reactionaries, he was a radical and controversial man. To the rest of us, he was a man that was dedicated to freedom for all people. He served South Dakota in the American Senate. He passed away at the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was named special assistant to the President and director of the Food for Peace Program (which was led by President John F. Kennedy). In his 1972 Presidential campaign, he believed that all American troops should be withdrawn from Vietnam. "Let us resolve that never again will we send the precious young blood of this country to die trying to prop up a corrupt military dictatorship abroad," he said, to applause, at the Democratic convention in Miami Beach, Florida. He was defeated by Richard Nixon and he only won 17 electoral votes. George McGovern lost the election because of many reasons. His running mate Senator Thomas Eagleton of Missouri was treated for mental illness. This was found out and forced Eagleton to withdraw. It's a shame that people with mental illness are treated badly, but back in the day, people were ignorant about mental illness. Now, McGovern chosen his new Vice Presidential candidate by the name of Sargent Shriver, who is of course the brother in law of JFK and he was an ambassador to France. He spoke about fighting

against the unemployment problems in America. That is why he said that George McGovern wanted every American to have the opportunity to work inside of American society. He tried to use legislation to end the Vietnam War in 1970 and in 1971. McGovern even said that the blood was on the hands of Congress because of the war back in 1970. Alex Wagner brought up a quote of his on her television show on MSNBC. He was unsuccessful to end the Vietnam War earlier, but the Vietnam War finally ended by 1975. As early as September 1963, Senator McGovern questioned the growing U.S. military involvement in the Vietnam War. He was concerned about the religious persecution of the Buddhists in Vietnam. He regretted voting for the Gulf of Tonkin resolution since that policy accelerated to escalate the American military involvement in the Vietnam military conflict. Also, he additionally called for a fair, just tax system and for national health insurance. One of his greatest legacies what that sometimes he can outline an unpopular position that is readily accepted today. George McGovern was instrumental in promotion nutrition in the world population. The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program provided school meals for millions of children globally since 2000. He was right to say that we are our brother's keeper. He said a speech on that subject entitled, "My Brother's Keeper." That speech was selected by the National Council of Churches as one of the nation's twelve best orations of 1942. He expressed those words during his sophomore year of college and he won the statewide intercollegiate South Dakota Peace Oratory Contest. He was a very intelligent man by having a Ph.D. and he received magna cum laude from Dakota Wesleyan University. So, he was right on many things. If McGovern was President in 1972 instead of Richard Nixon, could you imagine how America would have changed? You could have seen real universal health care, the immediate end to the Vietnam War, and other reforms in America. Since 1972, the country has changed. Some things are better and some things are worse. Republicans once called its critics as McGovernites. Now, that he has passed, people realize more than he wasn't a super radical, but he wasn't a reactionary either. He represented the end of an era and a beginning of a new one. Since 1973, the war hawks became embolden and the people for common sense suffer and rose up again. He was right to promote help to the hungry, an end to unjust wars, and compassion for the poor or helpless. We know about the American Dream. There are many parts to it. One aspect of the American dream is the opportunity to allow ordinary human beings to achieve extraordinary accomplishments such as legitimately changing society. George McGovern lost the Presidential election, but he won many battles for human rights. There is no sin in real change if this change wants to give more real rights to people, if it's the change that can inspire minds, and if it's change that believes in equality for all peoples of the world. John Jay is right to outline justifications that some promote as an excuse to execute war:

“…But the safety of the people of America against dangers from foreign force depends not only on their forbearing to give just causes of war to other nations, but also on their placing and continuing themselves in such a situation as not to invite hostility or insult; for it need not be observed that there are pretended as well as just causes for war. It is too true, however disgraceful it may be to human nature, that nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect of getting anything by it; nay, absolute monarchs will often make war when their nations are to get nothing by it, but for the purposes and objects merely personal, such as thirst for military glory revenge for personal affronts, ambition, or private compacts to aggrandize or support their particular families or partisans .These and a variety of other motives, which affect only the mind of the sovereign, often lead him to engage in wars not sanctified by justice or the voice and interests of his people..” (John Jay, Federalist No. 4).

POWs and MIAs
One of the most emotion issues of the Vietnam War pertains to the POW/MIA issue. Over 30,000 POWs/MIAs were left behind after WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War in general. Many American officials left these men behind. Some of these were tortured and some of th4ese men were rescued. Some of these men ended up in slave labor camps. Others were used in human guinea pig experiments via radiation, chemical, and sick biological experiments. Numerous American servicemen disappeared after various wars. Joseph D. Douglass Jr. is one of the many authors and researchers who wrote about this issue for years. To this day, veteran organizations promote the interests of POWs and MIAs. Some of the American prisoners that were tortured were held in a prison called the Hanoi Hilton. The American forces were treated badly there. I don’t agree with the Vietnam War, but a human being ought not to be tortured, abused, or disemboweled because of their military status point blank period. All of our neighbors should be treated with dignity and respect. The military are very much exploit and treated by disrespect by the power elite. For example, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein are famous authors. They wrote a book entitled, “The Final Days.” In that book, Henry Kissinger called the military dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy in the presence of Alexander Haig (or the White House chief of staff) back in 1973. Now, Kissinger to this day never denied the quote that he had made. This proves the opinion of a lot of the 1 percent’s opinion of the military. Even I won’t say stuff like that and I am a controversial man.

“…What is the use of physicians like myself trying to help parents to bring up children healthy and happy, to have them killed in such numbers for a cause that is ignoble?...” -Dr. Benjamin Spock

The Anti-War Movement
*The anti-war movement was strong during the Vietnam War. As far back as 1945, Marine sailors protested America funding French forces that were trying to dominate the Vietnamese people. In 1954, Malcolm X opposed the Vietnam War. The peace movement was huge during the Vietnam War era. The anti-war movement consisted of a huge eclectic display of activists, college campus organizers, civil rights leaders, human rights advocates, anti-establishment hippies, blue collar workers, white collar workers, educators, lawyers, physicians, and a large number of courageous, dedicated individuals. The first anti-war rally dealing with Vietnam was in 1962. Famous anti-war activists are Joan Baez, Dr. Benjamin Spock, Carol Oglesby, Muhammad Ali, James Bevel, Malcolm X, Jan Barry Crumb, Eartha Kitt, Eugene McCarthy, Justin Newlan, Robert Kennedy, a lot of veterans, and of course Coretta Scott King & Dr. Martin Luther King. Even in 1964, people began to burn their draft cards in New York City. During the time of December 1964, Joan Baez led about 600 people in an antiwar demonstration in San Francisco. Joan Baez is of course the famous folk singer and activist for freedom in America. Joan Baez She worked with Dr. Martin Luther King as well. Anti-war activists collectively were peaceful, very intelligence, and reasonable in their opposition to the unjust war in Vietnam. In 1964, peace activist & Buddhist Thich Nhat Nanh wrote these words about the Vietnam War in 1965 (in a letter to Dr. Martin Luther King in order to inspire him to overtly oppose the war in Vietnam. The letter is entitled, “…In Search of the Enemy of Man…”: “…I believe with all my heart that the monks who burned themselves did not aim at the death of the oppressors but only at a change in their policy. Their enemies are not man. They are

intolerance, fanaticism, dictatorship, cupidity, hatred and discrimination which lie within the heart of man. I also believe with all my being that the struggle for equality and freedom you lead in Birmingham, Alabama... is not aimed at the whites but only at intolerance, hatred and discrimination. These are real enemies of man — not man himself. In our unfortunate father land we are trying to yield desperately: do not kill man, even in man's name. Please kill the real enemies of man which are present everywhere, in our very hearts and minds. …Now in the confrontation of the big powers occurring in our country, hundreds and perhaps thousands of Vietnamese peasants and children lose their lives every day, and our land is unmercifully and tragically torn by a war which is already twenty years old. I am sure that since you have been engaged in one of the hardest struggles for equality and human rights, you are among those who understand fully, and who share with all their hearts, the indescribable suffering of the Vietnamese people. The world's greatest humanists would not remain silent. You yourself can not remain silent. America is said to have a strong religious foundation and spiritual leaders would not allow American political and economic doctrines to be deprived of the spiritual element…”

“…There is no reason why a nation as rich as ours should be blighted by poverty, disease, and illiteracy. It is plain that we don't care about our poor people except to exploit them as cheap labor and victimize them through excessive rents and consumer prices. Our Congress passes laws which subsidize corporation farms, oil companies, airlines, and houses for suburbia. But when they turn their attention to the poor, they suddenly become concerned about balancing the budget and cut back on the funds for Head Start, Medicare, and mental health appropriations…I would now like to address myself to the women. The woman power of this nation can be the power which makes us whole and heals the rotten community, now so shattered by war and poverty and racism. I have great faith in the power of women who will dedicate themselves whole-heartedly to the task of remaking our society. I believe that the women of this nation and of the world are the best and last hope for a world of peace and brotherhood…With this determination, with this faith, we will be able to create new homes, new communities, new cities, a new nation. Yea, a new world, which we desperately need!..” -Coretta Scott King on April 27, 1968 in Central Park, New York City

April 17, 1965 was the time when the civil rights organization SNCC (or the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and the SDS (or the Students for a Democratic Society) led anti-war marches in Washington, D.C. There were about 25,000 protesters in D.C. inside of the city of Washington, D.C. The protest had a great speech made by Paul Potter. He described the reason for the world and the American society causing a malaise in its initial response to it. He wanted a revolutionary of American culture in order for more American to have a legitimate concern and identification to the revolutionary movements of the Third World (like Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, etc.). Potter said these words in 1965:
“…But in recent years, the withdrawal from the hysteria of the Cold War era and the development of a more aggressive, activist foreign policy have done much to force many of us to rethink attitudes that were deep and basic sentiments about our country. The incredible war in Vietnam has provided the razor, the terrifying sharp cutting edge that has finally severed the last vestige of illusion that morality and democracy are the guiding principles of American foreign policy. The saccharine self-righteous moralism that promises the Vietnamese a billion dollars of economic aid at the very moment we are delivering billions for economic and social destruction and political repression is rapidly losing what power it might ever have had to reassure us about the decency of our foreign policy. The further we explore the reality of what this country is doing and planning in Vietnam the more we are driven toward the conclusion of Senator Morse that the United States may well be the greatest threat to peace in the world today. That is a terrible and bitter insight for people who grew up as we did—and our revulsion at that insight, our refusal to accept it as inevitable or necessary, is one of the reasons that so many people have come here today…The President mocks freedom if he insists that the war in Vietnam is a defense of American freedom. Perhaps the only freedom that this war protects is the freedom of the warhawks in the Pentagon and the State Department to experiment with counter-insurgency and guerilla warfare in Vietnam…But that means that we build a movement that works not simply in Washington but in communities and with the problems that face people throughout the society. That means that we build a movement that understands Vietnam in all its horror as but a symptom of a deeper malaise, that we build a movement that makes possible the implementation of the values that would have prevented Vietnam, a movement based on the integrity of man and a belief in man's capacity to tolerate all the weird formulations of society that men may choose to strive for; a movement that will build on the new and creative forms of protest that are beginning to emerge, such as the teach-in, and extend their efforts and intensify them; that we will build a movement that will find ways to support the increasing numbers of young men who are unwilling to and will not fight in Vietnam; a movement that will not tolerate the escalation or prolongation of this war but will, if necessary, respond to the administration war effort with massive civil disobedience all over the country, that will wrench the country into a confrontation with the issues of the war; a movement that must of necessity reach out to all these people in Vietnam or elsewhere who are struggling to find decency and control for their lives….For in a strange way the people of Vietnam and the people on this demonstration are united in much more than a common concern that the war be ended. In both countries there are people struggling to build a movement that has the power to change their condition. The system that frustrates these movements is the same. All our lives, our destinies, our very hopes to live, depend on our ability to overcome that system…”

In November 27, 1965, Coretta Scott King, SDS President Carl Oglesby, Dr. Benjamin Spock, and other spoke at an anti-war rally of about 30,000 in D.C. In 1966, Muhammad Ali (or the then heavyweight boxing champion) declared himself a conscientious objector. He refused to fight in

Vietnam, because it caused destruction in a Third World nation and it was an unjust war. On March 25, 1967, the civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led 5,000 people down State Street in Chicago in order to protest the war. He worked with Senators, Dr. Spock, and others to disagree with the unjust war of Vietnam. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said the following in the Chicago protest: “...Poverty, urban problems and social progress generally are ignored when the guns of war become a national obsession. When it is not our security that is at stake, but questionable and vague commitments to reactionary regimes, values disintegrate into foolish and adolescent slogans. America is a great nation,... [b]ut honesty impels me to admit that our power has often made us arrogant. We feel that our money can do anything. We arrogantly feel that we have some divine, messianic mission to police the whole world. We are arrogant in not allowing young nations to go through the same growing pains, turbulence and revolution that characterizes our history... We arm Negro soldiers to kill on foreign battlefields but offer little protection for their relatives from beatings and killings in our own South.... All of this reveals that our nation has not yet used its vast resources of power to end the long night of poverty, racism and man's inhumanity to man. Enlarged power means enlarged peril if there is not concomitant growth of the soul. Genuine power is the right use of strength. If our nation's strength is not used responsibly and with restraint, it will be, following Acton's dictum, power that tends to corrupt and absolute power that corrupts absolutely. Our arrogance can be our doom. It can bring the curtains down on our national drama. Ultimately, a great nation is a compassionate nation. We are challenged in these turbulent days to use our power to speed up the day when "every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain." Let me say finally that I oppose the war in Viet Nam because I love America. I speak out against it not in anger but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart, and above all with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as the moral example of the world. I speak out against this war because I am disappointed with America. There can be no great disappointment where there is no great love. I am disappointed with our failure to deal positively and forthrightly with the triple evils of racism, extreme materialism and militarism. We are presently moving down a dead-end road which can lead to national disaster... Those of us who love peace must organize as effectively as the war hawks. As they spread the propaganda of war, we must spread the propaganda of peace. We must combine the fervor of the civil rights movement with the peace movement. We must demonstrate, teach and preach, until the very foundations of our nation are shaken. We must work unceasingly to lift this nation that we love to a higher destiny, to a new plateau of compassion, to a more noble expression of humaneness…”

By November of 1969, the organization called MOBE organized as many as 500,000 people to protest the Vietnam War. MOBE stands for the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam. They were made up of anti-war activists that sought to end American involvement in the heavily violent Vietnam War.

Even American G.I.s firmly expressed anti-war sentiments. Historian Howard Zinn included this paragraph on the opposition to the Vietnam War by American soldiers in his "People's History of the United States": "The capacity for independent judgment among ordinary Americans is probably best shown by the swift development of antiwar feeling among American GIs — volunteers and draftees who came mostly from lower-income groups. There had been, earlier in American history, instances of soldiers' disaffection from the war: isolated mutinies in the Revolutionary War, refusal of reenlistment in the midst of hostilities in the Mexican war, desertion and conscientious objection in World War I and World War II. But Vietnam produced opposition by soldiers and veterans on a scale, and with a fervor, never seen before." According to the Washington Peace Center: "During the Vietnam War, the military ranks carried out mass resistance on bases and ships in Southeast Asia, the Pacific, U.S. and Europe. Military resistance was instrumental in ending the war by making the ranks politically unreliable. This history is well documented in 'Soldiers in Revolt' by David Cortright and the recent film 'Sir! No Sir!'" *Vietnam was hit with an unprecedented amount of bombs and artillery. The Pentagon detonated about 15,500,000 tons of ground and air munitions on the three countries of Indochina. There were 12,000,000 tons of explosives exploded in South Vietnam in order for them to try to defeat the National Liberation Front (backed by the North Vietnamese army). They didn't defeat the National Liberation Front. The Pentagon dumped 18,000,000 gallons of herbicides to defoliate several million acres of farmland and forests. Millions of Vietnamese suffered illness, birth defects, and deaths from these poisonous chemicals. The AP even recently reported that millions of Vietnamese suffered illnesses, birth defects, and deaths from these poisonous chemicals. Land mines and abandoned explosives since the Vietnam War killed more than 100,000 Vietnamese people. So, the Vietnam War was brutal and it involved a lot of destruction. According to Marshall Douglas Smith's Black Gold Hot Gold from 2001, the Vietnam area had oil resources. Standard Oil began a 10 year survey of the seabed off of Vietnam to see if it had extensive oil resources decades ago. The American taxpayers had to pay for such an action. Now, I understand why the anti-war movement acted so vehemently against the Vietnam War. It involved the total destruction of a nation and a people without a firm negotiated settlement into existence (until years later). Now, today, we have issues. The progressive movements are all over the Third World and the Western world too. We are certainly tied up together in advocating a fighting for environmental reform, social reforms, and developing a culture of civil liberties. Now, being anti-war is also being anti-imperialism too. For imperialism uses war as one out of many instruments in dominating basically the world population. The actions of evil are multifaceted. Yet, the good news is that people are still fighting against injustice.

*Today, it is the 40th year anniversary of the Watergate scandal. This was when President Richard Nixon allowed his allies to rob the Watergate building (as supported by the Democrats). Nixon wanted to find incriminating information about the Democrats and any of President Richard Nixon's opponents. Nixon resigned, because he could have been tried and jailed if all of the facts of Watergate were presented to the public. Richard Nixon was a paradox. He made many legitimate

advances in society, but Watergate and his other errors marked his legacy to this day. He wasn’t the Devil, but he wasn’t a saint either. That sums the man up. Richard Nixon ought not to be romanticized either. He allied with other in suppressing the revolutionary, progressive movements in the 1960’s and the 1970’s. Nixon’s acts of suppression involve infiltration of even peaceful organizations, allowing the police to raid locations, allow the government to illegally spy on American citizens, and to have blatant disruption of lawful protests in American society. At his or the late President Richard Nixon’s instigation, the modern War on Drugs flourished. As we now realize, the war on Drugs created a demonstrably evil effect in communities across America (not just communities of color). For example, non-violent drug offenders are in jail sometimes with more lengthy sentences than murderers, assaulters, & rapists. There are social disparities in the judicial system and the stripping of basic human rights from those who paid their debt to society. A hypocritical nation that was involved in the Maafa and is involved in neo-imperialism has some nerve to lecture folks on democratic principles. Then, a hypocritical culture lectures on peace when they support violence via militarism overseas. It doesn’t make sense. That is why we should be consistent. If criminals terrorizing people in America is wrong, then terrorism against innocent men, women, children, and babies is wrong too. If you want peace, then promote peace conflict resolutions in foreign countries without subterfuge. No one gave me my freedom except my Creator. As Kwame Ture said: “…But now what you have to get crystal clear in your minds is that
nobody gives anybody their freedom. People can only deny somebody their freedom. It's very important. We are all born free….”

The Modern Age in 2012 plus Beyond
The fight against the Vietnam War relates to our fight today for real social reforms. We have an unfair tax code, so tax fairness in a more progressive fashion is vital in enhancing American society. For example, when we experienced the great financial boon of 1945 to 1975, our tax system was much more progressive than it is today in 2012. Today, we experience record low taxation and that’s a historical fact. It is just for the beloved community to include the whole of humanity not just a select group of human beings. When there is a crisis of economic inequality, then the solution of radical redistribution is in order, because the super wealthy benefits enormously from a corrupt system. Also, we should continue to learn about different cultures and histories. It is important to learn real African history (whose history extends not just in Africa, but in the stories of Denmark Vesey, the Black Panther Party of Seale and Newton, etc.), real Mexican/Chicano history, real European history, real Native American culture plus its history, real Asian culture and history, etc. Why? It is precisely clear that we must learn about our other brothers and sisters in the world in order for us to learn valuable lessons on how to live together as people. It is important to stand against fascism as well. To use force to dominate people's individual freedoms and their right to choice their own destinies is fascism. The prison industrial complex is real. Many prisons are privatized. Some prisoners are made to create manufacturing equipment. Prisoners are paid next to nothing for creating materials and these materials are sold to the corporations to make huge profits. The taxpayers pay for the corrupt prison system. Even in Louisiana, some prisons have been called institutional slavery. Many people in the Farm of Angola pick cotton and make sweaters in horrible conditions. This system exists in Georgia and nationwide not just in the Deep South. Even now, innocent human beings are enslaved in prisons the world over. That is why our brothers and our sisters call for the freedom of all political prisoners. They should be freed.

Today, the reactionaries are trying to bring feudalism back with a vengeance. Humanity fought against aristocracy, monarchy, feudalism, slavery, etc. in order for us to have human rights, independence politically, and other liberties. The same people that dominated us are trying to bring feudalism back into the mainstream. Even Ronald Reagan tried his best to eliminate the legitimate social programs created by FDR. Reaganomics harmed the working poor and the middle class by redistributing wealth from the poor to the super wealthy. I lived under Reaganomics as a child. Reaganomics caused the poor to be beggars in some cases. There was the crack epidemic and wide spread violence (in many instances, worse violence than today). The era of Reagan in some cases domestically was worse than some parts of the Bush Jr. years. This obscene agenda didn't stop when Reagan was out of office. Now, it's fine to give people food stamps and welfare if they need it. Yet, long term as Dr. Martin Luther King said, we have to use structural alterations to allow the poor to have a job via a living wage, have investments, and grow our educational system. It takes progressive and revolutionary changes in the world society in order for us to witness the Promised Land that we all seek. In the end, we will win in spite of the odds. I am living proof of overcoming the odds. I graduated from college, helped my own people out, and I came out and made huge accomplishments in my life. I am never ashamed of where I come from. I will continue to do better for humanity in general. Yet, all of my accomplishments individually don’t mean a thing if I refuse to help my neighbors. If I don’t love, then my achievements mean zero. I have to love. I am human, so I will love. What is most important isn’t my accomplishments personally. It’s how I serve humanity and assist the poor. It’s how I advocate the interests of the oppressed, the outcasts, and all other minorities in the road of life. That’s most important. We are all dependent on others. We never achieved anytime massive in life totally on our own all of the time. Wealth is always a product of the common wealth. It is the communal spirit that is found in ancient man and modern man. Life is more than to eat, drink, or be merry. Life is a great opportunity for us to give our time and sacrifice to give food to the hungry, to be active in building up society (we must not support nihilistic nor theocratic authoritarianism, but true tolerance & love), to preach the real Gospel to all people, and to advocate equality for all human beings. So, we should

strong like iron, wise like an owl, and flow our souls like the river of the Nile on the real. Once you proceed with the realness, then your life can succeed amidst the rain. Fundamentally in the final analysis, we ought to never give up.
People know a lot about Mitt Romney. Many people in his cabinet are people from the Bush administration and many of them are neo-con extremists. Some in Team Romney were instrument in the authoring of the Project for a New American Century (this reactionary report wanted a "new Pearl Harbor" that would facilitate their military industrial complex to dominate multiple nations all before 9/11 occurred. The document called for genotype specific viruses to target folks in the world). Former CIA Director Michael Hayden is one the foreign policy team of Mitt Romney. Michael Chertoff, Dov Zakheim, neo-con Dan Senor, Pierre Prosper, and others are in the Romney camp. Mitt Romney is rather clear of what his agenda his. He wants to ramp up military spending and expand U.S. military influence all across the Earth. He still wants more of a military commitment in Afghanistan when we have been there for over 10 years. Also, if America cut half of its defense spending, that defense cash will still outspend every other country in the world. Now, this doesn't mean that the other side is a paragon of virtue. The White House continues to promote so-called 'clean coal, so-called "nuclear power," warrantless wiretapping, the USA

Patriot Act, etc. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Both parties have received support from Wall Street financiers and each are in league in the AIPAC clique. Imperialism under the current administration is slicker, but it's nevertheless just as brutal as previous administrations. The Democrats are known for what they stand for. They endorse preventive detention. They support war without borders. This means that they endorse the drone attacks and the covert operations in foreign countries, which violate international law carry onward. These bombs in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are war crimes and a disgrace. The President wrongly feels that he has the right to strike against any non-state target globally even if they are not a threat to American soil. We experienced the record rescue of finance capital via trillions of dollars without the record recovery of the poor and suffering. To this day, real prosecutors of the bankers involved in the predatory lending practices have not been prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law. We should be independent politically. I can't be a man and support imperialism and unbridled capitalism. One source shows the truth on the issue of international bankers:

"I would like to introduce you, the reader, to some realities of our global banking system, resting on the rhetoric of free markets, but functioning, in actuality, as a global cartel, a 'super-entity' in which the world's major banks all own each other and own the controlling shares in the world's largest multinational corporations, influence governments and policy with politicians in their back pockets, routinely engaging in fraud and bribery, and launder hundreds of billions of dollars in drug money, not to mention arms dealing and terrorist financing. These are the 'too big to fail' and 'too big to jail' banks, the centre of our global economy, what we call a 'free market,' implying that the global banks-and corporations--have 'free reign' to do anything they please, engage in blatantly criminal activities, steal trillions in wealth which is hidden offshore, and never get more than a slap on the wrist. This is the real 'free market,' a highly profitable global banking cartel, functioning as a worldwide financial Mafia." -Andrew Gavin Marshall, "The Global Banking 'Super-Entity' Drug Cartel: The 'Free Market' of Finance Capital"2
It's easy to expose the Republicans and they should be exposed, yet the Democrats never originated as a progressive party. The modern Democratic Party existed from slave traders. Both major parties were infiltrated by Dixiecrats back in the day and corporate plutocrats today. Today, the Democrats merge the Wall Street corporatism of Bill Clinton and the police state policies from the Bush administration in this contrived war on terror. To this day, the Democratic establishment & the Republican establishment refuse to advocate a major raise in the minimum wage or a living wage, a massive government jobs bill, and a peace platform.

NSA Warrantless wiretapping and Other News
Human civil liberties are constantly under threat in our day and age. Phone calls, Facebook, Emails, etc. can be influenced or monitored by the extension of the warrantless spying bill. On September 12, the House passed HR 5949 or the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2012. The measure carried 301-118. Seventy four Democrats joined 227 Republicans. Shocking to some, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Howard Berman, Brad Sherman, Gary Ackerman, Nita Lowey, and Marcy Kaptur voted Yea to this bill. Now, it is clear that even some Democrats don't care about human civil liberties just like some the Republicans. This is evidently clear on how both parties have advanced the agenda of war for centuries. It is true that some liberals feign piety, but they use a progressive mantra as a means to contain or strife revolutionary changes in society. The Senate executed a similar support of the bad warrantless wiretapping bill too. The Senate overwhelmingly renewed warrantless spying 73-23. Thirty Democrats and even Independent Joe Lieberman joined 42 Republicans. There was little debate on how the Senate passed the bill. There was little courage from political figures in Congress in opposing such a nefarious bill. The future Secretary of State John Kerry voted Yea. The Democrats Reid, Levin, Conrad, Cardin, Mikulski, Feinstein, Stabenow, and Schumer voted Yea. The President may sign the bill into law. He called the measure a national security priority. A year ago, indefinite detention under certain circumstances became law on December 31, 2011. That was a disgrace. Even U.S. citizens and permanent residents had their rights violated since when the rights of one man is threaten, then all of our rights are threatened. On many weekends and holidays, the government regularly attempt to pass unjust laws since on most days, human beings will be more vigilant against these evils. If warrantless spying is extended another five years, then overseas phone calls, emails, and other communications of US citizens and permanent residents may be monitored without court authorization. Probable cause isn’t needed according to the supporters of this legislation. Electronic eavesdropping will look for “foreign intelligence information.” Virtually anything qualifies. Vague language is all-embracing. The EFF or the Electronic Frontier Foundation is one of the greatest groups out there disagreeing with warrantless spying & violations to our human privacy in general. Now, key FISA Amendments Act provisions were challenged before the Supreme Court in the Clapper v. Amnesty International case. Months after 9/11, George W. Bush secretly authorized the NSA to eavesdrop on Americans lawlessly. Some of these surveillance policies came about without court approved warrants. Times are worse now than then even with our violations of constitutional protections. The Supreme Court, in October 29, 2012, witnessed oral arguments about warrantless spying. The Supreme Court will decide if lawyers, journalists, labor, media, human rights organizations, and other entities may challenge the constitutionality of warrantless spying. One victory came about in March 2011 according to ACLU spokeswoman Rachel Myers. The victory was about when the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled they and others the law affects have legal standing to challenge. The ruling said that parties do not have to prove that they have been spied upon in order for folks to challenge an unlawful spy act. The proponents of warrantless spying believe that emails and other communications can be monitored without corroborating evidence. That is why political and human rights activists are opposed to this injurious policy. Even the Senate rejected stricter transparency and oversight

amendments. Even the Senate rejected Senator Ron Wyden's (D-OR) amendment would force intelligence agencies to report on how their actions would affect ordinary Americans. Even Senator Jeff Merkley from Oregon wanted the Attorney General to declassify some of the secret FISA court opinions. It failed. The current President is continuing national security spying as the previous administration did. Everyone knows that NSA spying blatantly violates the concept of being against unreasonable searches and seizures. Even ACLU legal director Jameel Jaffer said: "...If the government is engaged in surveillance that violated the Fourth Amendment, that is something that ought to be disturbing to not just legislators, but to the American public more generally..." Wyden wants constitutional protections of human liberties and oversight of these laws. Even Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is correct to say that the Fourth Amendment and our independence go hand and hand. He wants personal emails to be protected from warrantless searches and seizures. We have to see how the Supreme Court will rule on this issue. We have to have accountability for our government. We need oversight of the government without warrantless wiretapping at all. Carte blanche spying is immoral point blank period.

There are the threats to the social safety net. Both parties want to cut social programs not just the GOP. After the November election, both parties want to make a budget deal. The only difference is the different degree of those cuts by both parties. Yet, each major party wants cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. They want to increase the Medicare and Social Security eligibility age, etc. The bipartisan compromise will damage many of our programs. Some support this agenda, because the cuts are small and are necessary because of the deficit. They are willing to cut resources from human lives, because they are more concerned with money than human life. It's blunt and that's the truth. This Simpson/Bowles agenda is the plan to harm society. The supporters of this agenda try to lecture people that the deficit threatens our grandchildren. They are not showing the complete truth. The reality is that the transfer of wealth from public funds and the rest of us to the super rich is a real threat. To handle the debt and deficit, first there must be better growth in the economy and much lower unemployment. This process is a long term approach not a short term austerity approach. This transfer of wealth deals with the theft of Medicare and Social Security resources. Even some cuts to Social Security can be very harmful. Even a small decrease in the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment will make an increasing downward push on benefit. Corporations will continue to threaten secure pensions by turning them into lumps sums that will fade within the stock market. Raising the Medicare age to 67 is bad. Also, the centrist Affordable Care Act is not comprehensive enough to handle all of the premium charges (since the law is right to not discriminate on pre-existing conditions. On the other hand, private insurance companies can charge premiums three times higher based on age). The ACA though is better than nothing and it's a first step in the right direction. Single payer health care is a better reform policy. That single payer system can save 1 trillion dollars year as even said by Bill Clinton. Congressman John Conyers' universal health care plan and a Medicare for All plan can handle the deficit long term. We can do better than our health being only number 37 in the world. Republicans are not responsible for this alone. Blue Dog Democrats are in some cases are worst since they claim to be for the people, but they want to advocate war, austerity, and oppressive anti-civil liberty laws. The DLC is another group acting as Republicans. The corporate Democrat Bill Clinton signed NAFTA, ended GlassSteagall, forced single mothers to get low wage jobs without adequate child care, and harbored a reactionary foreign policy. He wasn't as worst as Bush Jr. in many cases, but Clinton wasn't a saint either. He even passed anti-civil liberty laws after the OKC Bombing including the Crime Bill (which permitted the racist War on Drugs). The duopoly of the Rs and the Ds have been battling each other seamlessly, but they are puppets of the oligarchy period. In our election, we have a flip flopping liar being an adherent to Mormonism and the President (who believes that drone attacks and the

audacity of the military industrial complex. Is this the audacity of hope?) debating each other. Yet, it's bigger than President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney though. What a choice indeed. It's about an oppressive, racist system (or white supremacy) harming all of humanity beyond the President. I disagree with the brother President on some issues, but the brother President Barack Obama didn't cause slums, he didn't cause the prison industrial complex, and he didn't create the war on terror. The system of oppression existed long before the brother was born in the Earth. We have to put things into context without the hatred from the reactionaries (who slander unfairly the President as a socialist, a Muslim, a communist, etc.). He isn't God, but he isn't the Devil either. So, what we should do is to respect the President as a man. We should allow him to be made accountable for his record, voice our concerns with him on some issues (like war, civil liberties, foreign policy, austerity, etc.). We should make legitimate demands on him to do better (and we ought to continue to promote justice, jobs, and peace irrespective of who wins the 2012 Presidential election). Other voices are correct to point out that the Presidential debates have been controlled by both parties. That is why major third Party candidates aren't in these major debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates is a private corporation headed by the former chairmen of the Republican and Democratic parties. The CPD handles which questions are presented to the candidates, the time, the order of the debates, etc. It is important to vote too. I will vote as I have during the past. You can vote for President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, or a Third Party candidate if you want to. Nevertheless, VOTE.

Reflections on the Vietnam War
People know the truth about the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War influenced me since my father was drafted during that era of time. If the draft wasn't eliminated, I could have been drafted a few years ago. As time went on, the vast majority of the public opposed the imperialist adventure of Vietnam. Much of the government used covertly and overtly unconstitutional methods in trying to handle dissent against the war of Vietnam. The war tried to prevent the reunification of North and South Vietnam via peaceful means. War could have been advocated if the West allowed nationwide free elections to occur in Vietnam in 1956 as outlined by the 1956 Geneva Agreement (which ended the French colonialism of Indochina or Asia). United States involvement in Vietnam existed long before the Presidency of John F. Kennedy. It happened way back in the 1950's. Cardinal Spellman opposed Ho Chi Minh's Revolution. That is why he allied with Ngo Dinh Diem. Cardinal Spellman had met Diem in New York in 1950, when the

Vietnamese had been at the Maryknoll Seminary in Ossining, New York. A staunch [Roman] Catholic from a patrician family, Diem was at the seminary at the intercession of his brother, Ngo Din Thuc, a

Roman Catholic bishop. Some in the Papacy played the role of "peacemaker" after getting USA into the
war in Vietnam on the side of the Roman Catholic ruling class. Former OSS chief Wild Bill Donovan and General Iron Mike O'Daniel advanced this radical anti-Communist extremism in terms of their policy positions on Vietnam. President Dwight D. Eisenhower supported reactionary forces in Vietnam as a means to prevent a unification of Vietnam (since Ho Chi Minh was a popular leader in that time period). The guerilla forces of the South Vietnamese National Liberation Front or the NLF and the regular forces of the North Vietnam were outgunned by the U.S. Armed Forces. Yet, the U.S. didn't defeat these forces. Some veterans were disrespected when they came home from Vietnam. Of course, I don't agree with that since no human being should be unfairly disrespected. The anti-war protesters back then realized the truth that a person can support the troops by bringing them home as soon as possible (not supporting the interests of the military industrial complex). Typically, we don't see the history of the war resisters in America (among civilian and military populations). U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War last from 1954 to 1975. America once even supported the once restoration of French colonial control over Vietnam plus the rest of Indochina (after the Vietnamese people heroically defeated Japanese imperialism in 1945. Japan earlier displaced French rule). By 1954, Washington not only supplied money and advisers but sent 352 Americans to Vietnam in a “Military Assistance Advisory group” supporting the French against liberation forces led by the Vietnamese Communist Party. The liberators defeated the French army at the historic battle of Dien Bien Phu that same year. By 1968, when the number of U.S. troops attained their apogee of 535,040, Washington was obviously losing to its tenacious opponent. This is when Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson decided not to seek reelection rather than face the humiliation of defeat.

The Vietnam War is etched in American consciousness. It’s a war that stirs debate. I will never forget the war. In our time, we have the unjust war of terror. The struggle is still here now in 2012. Grifted with unparalleled technological advancement is a great thing, but we still experience record economic inequality and huge health care complications (not just inside of the USA, but worldwide). We have unjust U.S. policies of drone attacks in sovereign nations and targeted assassination of potentially American citizens. The corrosive actions of stop & frisk and profiling are still abundant. The good news is that we can do something about it. Voting is fine, but voting shouldn’t be made into a crutch. Voting alone will never make a magnificent progressive change in the world society. There ought to be mobilization and organization of real political and social groups to help the poor, the oppressed, and any human being. Active, mobilized political forces were one of the keys to end overt social apartheid in America & South Africa. Independent organizations can create urban renewal, fight against poverty, enhance crime prevention techniques, and advocate a more rational foreign policy (not the reactionary foreign policies of the Republicans & the Democrats too). People have the right to execute a sense of self-determination in order for areas to witness radical justice & peace. Fundamentally, is about the right of people having to have power. You cannot be neutral to oppression. You have to look collectively not just individually. We need to both be held accountable as individuals and we need to act in the community collectively. The truth is indestructible. All human beings are created equal. The spirit of truth is also indestructible. In my life, sometimes, we should forgive others and allow people to express forgiveness to us. I will never lose my faith and hope. When you have hope and faith, monumental, gracious, and tangible blessings will flow about.

By Timothy

Peace and Blessings to All Goodbye for now.

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