Re: [sixties-l] Re:Vietnam War

From: William Mandel (
Date: Wed Jun 14 2000 - 22:12:35 CUT

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    If not for the anti-Vietnam-War movement, Washington could have
    escalated to nukes, and simply obliterated life there.
        Many have forgotten the extraordinary impact of opposition to
    the war upon even our court system. Permit a very personal
       "The one thing I didn't find time to do that year was to
    attend the eleven-week trial of my son Bob and the other Oakland
    Seven defendants who had organized the week-long roving
    demonstrations of some ten thousand people that sought to shut
    down the U.S. Army Induction Center. Those demonstrations were
    the climax of five years of protests against the Vietnam War,
    which, in our area, began with the mass attempt to stop troop
    trains. Our Bob had quit an accelerated Ph.D.-track program in
    History that U.C. [Berkeley] had put him on, to become a
    full-time anti-war activist. Both my father, then seventy-five,
    and my wife, took part in the demonstrations outside the
    induction center. I was out of town on a lecture tour organized
    through the contacts established by my public activism.
        "The defendants, their friends, associates, and families,
    including myself, were convinced that the Seven would be
    convicted. Only two people thought differently: defense attorney
    Charles Garry and my father. Garry, now deceased, was a marbvel
    at the questioning of prospective jurors, which is always helped
    by advance scouting of the persons summoned to be on the panel
    from which the jury is selected. My father retained a faith in
    the fairness of Americans that I thought was misplaced given the
        "When the jury was selected, I thought the defendants were
    finished. There was a retired U.S. Marines colonel, who at one
    time had been second-in-command of the Corps. In his time the
    Marines were very sparing with the rank of genral. The jury
    forepeson was a young man with top security clearance at Lawrence
    Livermore Laboratory, where nuclear bombs are designed and
    laboratory-tested. But Garry called a stunning array of character
    witnesses to present the defendants' motivations. Garry actually
    convinced that jury that assembling massive crowds to block
    access to the induction center was a legitimate exercise of
    freedom of speech under the First Amendment! Hatred for that war
    certainly ran deep."
       "The jury announced 'not guilty"....Judge Phillips...had been
    very much against them in his early rulings, but Garry's
    brilliant line of defense, and the clergy and professors called
    as character witnesses changed his mind." (Saying No To Power,
    pp. 415-417)
    Tony Edmonds wrote:
    > David Horowitz wrote:

    > ---because losing it cost the lives
    > >of two and a half million poor people in Indo-China whose blood is on your
    > hands Mike,
    > >along with all the rest of us who forced America's withdrawal.
    > Are you saying that the antiwar movement forced U.S. withdrawal? If so, I'd
    > be interested in your evidence. Can you come up with a reasonable scenario
    > by which America could have "won" the war? Do you believe that the U.S.
    > should have intervened in all nations where evil was being done? Is it not
    > possible that had we withdrawn in 1965 that millions who died between
    > 1965-1975 would in fact not have? I realize these questions cannot be
    > answered easily, but I'd appreciate some brief thoughts.
    > Tony Edmonds
    > History, Ball State University

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