Re: academia/draft/antiwar

Sun, 17 Aug 1997 03:46:51 -0400 (EDT)

I must be naive; I'm really surprised by Kevin Cole's post disagreeing with
Ted Morgan's comment that the war on Vietnam was 100% wrong. I mean, I can't
even think of one or two % extenuating...well, yes, obviously, there WERE
"excesses" (i.e., murders, lives destroyed) after "our" side's defeat. . .but
certainly the war's continuance was no way to prevent that, quite the
I also do not recall any reality behind the FICTION that the end of the
draft led to the end of the antiwar movement. In fact, the movement faded as
overt US involvement waned and repressive measures grew more
sophisticated--not just the dramatic sort that could unintendedly help BUILD
a movement, that is, but things like constant little harassments of people,
"pacification monies" enabling petty countercultural entrepreneurship,
limitations on television coverage--and as other issues/movements came to
The antiwar movement did not help open up class issues very much at all
(unfortunately). The class warfare that left student protestors deferred and
poor youth drafted was not, indeed, affected by the movement much--in spite
of those few brave spirits who left their safe privilege to fight (fight
whom?) by the sides of the working class "over there" (why not here?)
What seems most relevant is that the draft ended when those working class
draftees became so greatly antiwar.
I've a very clear recollection of the day in the summer of 1967 when four
of us went down to leaflet the Enterprise, which was docking after a stint
off Vietnam. People kept warning us we'd get killed, but in fact the sailors
coming off the ship would walk through the gate and come over to us and take
our leaflets and AGREE with us. NO, it didn't make anyone think hey it's
1917 again but it certainly gave us some hope the war might end.
Paula Friedman