Re: [sixties-l] Re: Vietnam War

From: Jerry West (
Date: Wed Jun 14 2000 - 22:52:05 CUT

  • Next message: David Horowitz: "Re: [sixties-l] Re: sixties-l-The Black Panthers"

    I am not sure what David Horowitz's experiences were with the Vietnam
    War but mine included 18 months in the field with the Marines in I Corps
    during 1965-67 and later in Japan as a communications supervisor and
    cryptographer dealing with highly sensitive information on the war,
    among other things.

    At the end of the day I was active against the war because:

    1. It was justified by the lie that we were there to support democracy
    in South Vietnam when in fact the RVN government was probably more
    corrupt and less interested in the welfare of its people than that of
    the North.

    2. The war was unwinnable unless we were willing to absorb vastly more
    causualties than we did and inflict far more damage on the civilian
    population of both the North and South and there was nothing at stake in
    Vietnam that justified that degree of slaughter.

    3. The military and US political system itself was rotting from the top
    down with personal interests taking precedence over commitment to the
    constitution and the founding principles of the United States.

    When I became very active against the war in while in Japan in 1970 I
    did so out of my duty to stand by my oath to uphold and defend the
    Constitution, something that the military and political leadership of
    the country had abandoned for other agendas.

    There were a number of us stationed in Japan at this time who became
    active against the war at a time when anti-war activities were sweeping
    through the military. It was this resistance from within that brought
    the military to its knees as an effective fighting force and no doubt
    played a major role in forcing a negotiated peace.

    As for the thread on the Black Panthers, even in 1970 in the progressive
    circles that I was in there were heated debates on whether they were
    revolutionary or just mostly criminal. Personally I could never see how
    we could make truly revolutionary advances through glorifying
    organizations that engaged in counter-revolutionary criminal acts. The
    same can be said for the IRA and other factions in Northern Ireland
    which it seems have evolved into drug rings.

    Unlike Mr. Horowitz, I remain a progressive with more faith in
    social-democratic forms of governance and economics than in the tyranny
    of the market place and glorification of greed that drives the corporate

    Jerry West
    On line news from Nootka Sound & Canada's West Coast
    An independent, progressive regional publication

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