Skip to main content

tv   Vietnam War and Historical Context of 1967 Peace Movement  CSPAN  November 11, 2017 2:30pm-3:50pm EST

2:30 pm
>> this veterans day weekend, american history tv looks back to the vietnam war. showing archival footage and first-person accounts from vietnam war veterans and antiwar protesters. to join the conversation, like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. tv, allamerican history weekend, every weekend only on c-span3. 50 years ago on october 21, 1967 estimated 100,000 protesters rallied in washington dc. mother and 35,000 demonstrators marched to the pentagon and pennsylvania. many of them remained overnight. more than 600 protesters were arrested. next, a vietnam peace commission jose panel discussion on the historical context of the 1967 peace movement.
2:31 pm
we will hear from many activists who participated in the protest 50 years ago. this is about one hour and 15 minutes. >> i just want to say three things about the program. i will give it to you and terms of numbers. the first number is 1967. you know that we are here because of the demonstration at the pentagon and the draft resistance. because of the resistance of the vietnamese, the growing opinion of the war. johnson, mcnamara and west -- all-new that the work could not be one. it dragged on for another eight years. public opinion with the work itself could have convinced them to stop it if johnson and company had stopped it in 1967
2:32 pm
the massacre would not have happened. the democrats would have been elected. kent state would not have happened. behold what of history -- ebola of history would not have happened. of to mention the millions lives that were killed after 1967. it is a shame, 14,000 u.s. soldiers who died in 1967 had public opinion taken seriously by johnson. this work that have been over and history could have been change. remember 1967 for that. and two are going to talk about the context of the history and purchase of nation of the antiwar movement that could have make it a lot
2:33 pm
different. the second number is 50. here we are 50 years later and love is on the center of the cover. this is a cultural change. if you listen to npr they said if you remember this you were not there. assume that means too much drinking, drugs or sex did that we are 70 years old i think i have a different appreciation for memory. there is a effort right now, tries to getseries us to rethink the war or put it behind us. at not over united states still has responsibility in southeast asia. they still have responsibility for unexploded devices in indochina. are still reparations responsibility for the government and people of vietnam. it does not take care of veterans the way they should be.
2:34 pm
even though it is 50 years later and let us not behind us did this lesson and what this war has done are still vital. that is what panel three is about. finally, 11. we are here to write the 11th episode of the pbs series. it was so interested in revealing the lie of the government and military it forgot their own line with they went on tv. it was not a civil war. the parties did not anticipate the same thing. the military strategy was much different than the vietnamese. the massacre that the united states committed or much worse than anything the vietnamese did. we are here to record and produce how strong the antiwar movement and why it is important for us to remember that. in addition, debunking what the pentagon and pbs said.
2:35 pm
was the worst part for may. that was episode 10. episode 11 is so important. the only antiwar spokesperson who was part of that series was not asked, what do you think of that the war is over? the u.s. government, the politicians, the journalists, the vietnamese, military people, people were asked how the you feel now that the war is over? we did not get a chance to say what we felt when the war was over. is thest thing we think killing is over and i am so glad that people do not have to suffer from all of them. we're are so glad that diana is over. secondly it is not over because of the reparations and abilities. the thing that we would have said that was emphatically said by anyone else is that the
2:36 pm
journalists lied, the military light, the government lied, we did not like, we were right in demanding a and to that war. that is what we have been saying with the u.s. policy today. we did not lie to you. we told you the truth about the war. that is why the people's movement are so vital and hopefully we will be inspired by what we are doing to date with episode 11. when i get on a pulpit i get a little heated. our video isthat not to be shown right now. what we have, i am so glad to see is. . peter paul and marion sank at the demonstration and 1967. we would love to hear you sing.
2:37 pm
[applause] >> i just said to him, i love you. i think -- this is good. sorry. i think this is fine. so, last night i was with most of you. songgoing to sing you a that springs from the feeling , of course, being -- therelast night was was so many failings. afterwards at the restaurant awareness because
2:38 pm
people were telling the stories of the extraordinary experiences that we shared at that time. those of you who were there. i was so keenly aware of the fact that the spirit in which we pursued our efforts at the time the authoritywith of our belief and the rightness of our position. also believe in our eventual success, that we would prevail. we are beleaguered now by the there is some amongst us as we have seen what is happening around us. share we that is grave doubt
2:39 pm
perhaps the forces that oppose or the forcesiew that we oppose our enveloping us. thinkeatest challenge i absolutely reconnect with that authority we have been. realize that we have been in this for a long time. i need it now more than ever. sense ite of 79 in a is a pity that we are needed. the reality is our convictions and our sense of history
2:40 pm
empowers us to be important at this moment. this gathering has more people than the group of people who started the civil rights movement. enough and we are enough to feel that their is a small group compared to what we would have been so many years ago. .hat we are not empowered that iso you is a song instructions to myself and i share it with you. ♪ you have asked me why the days fly by so quickly.
2:41 pm
each one feels no different than the last. you say that you are fearful. for the future. you have grown suspicious of the past. and you wonder if the dreams we shared together. us or wedoned abandoned them. you cast about and try to find new meaning. so that you can find the closeness once again.
2:42 pm
on my sweet survivor. carry on my only friend. don't give up your dream. don't you let it end. carry on my sweet survivor. you know that something is gone. mattersything that carry on. this is very apt now. felt thater when you each person mattered. that we all had to care for all
2:43 pm
that was lost. now you see believers turn to cynics. wonder was the struggle worth the cost. someone too young to know the difference. the veil of isolation in their eyes. know you have got to leave them something. or they hope for something better slowly dies. carry on my sweet survivor.
2:44 pm
my lonely friend. dreams.ive up your don't you let it end. carry on my sweet survivor. it so long.ried , carry on. again i know that it shall come again. it shall surely come again. so we will carry on. we will carry on. carry on. we carry on. carry on. ♪
2:45 pm
[applause] >> peter, i think i can speak for all of us. you bring back such melancholy moments and feelings it is always it was sure. so much things we offer to you. [applause] we are still having a technical problem. it was the sound working so well. when it comes time to show -- what we are going to do is email you the link's or you can see it back at home. you can still be part of that. that is a 20 minute interview. we are going to make sure they see it.
2:46 pm
thank you for taping that. we may try a lunchtime to see if we can work it out. i just want to remind people that there are books and literature on the second floor. there are stairways here. that should help you get upstairs. or i am going to introduce have them come up to the panel. mandy, myra and if you are interested in what she is doing. of her five free copies book to give away. take it away.
2:47 pm
>> for his question, can you hear me? can you hear me now? should i shout? these don't amplify, oh dear.
2:48 pm
is this working? havee been warned that i half a minute to introduce these people. because of the timeframe. give a minute to talk about the book i wrote. how many of you ever read his weekly? wonderful. my friend has read the book. the most important thing when terry was talking about 1967. all of you who read this new a historian and knew
2:49 pm
what was going on. 1964 just two weeks after lbj used a excuse to escalate the war. he read the documents and the after reports, he said where is the debris? if we had, or we revoke in it? we all love that was exactly right. my great anger at the mainstream media is that they look at him as a lefty who would not recognize his ability. .e would not have had the war if people have listened to him. i have one quick story. that she saw him sitting alone in the senate.
2:50 pm
there was a gold mine of pentagon papers. he was telling me this story. he set down because that was his hero. he started to tell him what he had and how he had not been able to get any senator to pay attention to him. and hestarted to cry says we have no way to win this. it is 1971 and we have been so discouraged. so, ellsberg said to you want to peddle this? turned on the scope of the century because you need a larger audience. so, he gave up that one moment. anyway, it was a lovely story.
2:51 pm
now i am going to introduce very very sorry about that. these people are wonderfully smart and everything. starting with -- where will i start? she is going to speak and aspects of the war. she taught courses on the vietnam war and blood study abroad courses. today she leads a women's empowerment program and organization that provides scholarships to educate poor girls and assist women in the delta. are you listening everybody? are giving aert panoramic view of the antiwar movement. is a southern social justice activist with a justiceof racial
2:52 pm
organizing since 1967. her resistance led to many armrests. -- arrests. robert was a draft dodger who organizer.time or his biography goes on and on. he is working on a book now about nonviolence did last but we will address how antiwar protest contributed to the vietnam unification and independence. she was a member of the national assembly and was the vietnamese ambassador to belgium and luxembourg. she is now president of the ho chi minh city development foundation working to further relations between the united states and vietnam. thank you, here they are. [applause]
2:53 pm
>> such a pleasure to be introduced. a central piece of my teaching resources at the university of maryland or i talked for many years about the vietnam war. good morning, it is a pleasure to be here. much. thank you so john, i have so much to thank you for over the years. and creating 1967 brushstrokes -- to
2:54 pm
understand how the war was escalating along with everything else. the peace movement, the atrocities in vietnam, the lies and the escalating lies of our foreign policymakers, especially the president. scene on theng american home front. i want to start by first saying 1967 was not the only foreign power in vietnam. statesies of the united work in south vietnam and those included several countries. they provided a total of about 400,000 troops. for that year alone. of the north included
2:55 pm
the soviet union, china, north korea, and cuba. union after 1967 would become north vietnam's most prominent ally. china, because of their rift with the soviet union would have -- they would and their role. in 1967.ess when thet late 1967 chinese pursuing their own war with the soviet union took sides against the north vietnamese. north korea provided airpower and troops. , cuba provided
2:56 pm
several thousand engineers. internationally the united nations was not a force at all. international or the scentay regional the nato countries. europe especially. can i would be the only nato country that would supply weapons and assistance to the south vietnamese. -- and theericans totality of the war. as we talked earlier 1967 the war was stalemated not only for the united states but also for the north vietnamese. said, the american knew that the war
2:57 pm
could not be won militarily. and his advisers aunched in february of 1967 year-long public relations campaign to convince the american public and their allies that the war was not stalemated and the united states was in a position to win the war. what johnson did was unprecedented for u.s. political history. he called the field commander back to washington three times in 1967. to make major speeches before congress and other important elite public opinion troops. -- keyince decision-makers and that the u.s. could prevail in vietnam
2:58 pm
with more military support. bringingent so far as out so many of his cabinet members, particularly dean rusk to appear before congress and convince the congress that the cold war in asia would only escalate if united states got out of vietnam. a public in 1967 that no longer give him a strong approval rating. in 1966 his approval rating was at 77%. by the time westmoreland makes his first trip his approval rating has plummeted to 40%. reason tore accelerate and escalate the
2:59 pm
public relations war to promote his policies in vietnam. vietnam did acknowledge in the public bureau that the war was stalemated in 1967. they would plan the tet offensive that would begin first is a diversion and then it became the most shocking battle of the vietnam war. 1967 was the era of big battles in vietnam. thethe united states it was search and destroy missions. the united states was trying to but alsoot only saigon secure the central highlands of vietnam because that was seen as
3:00 pm
the key to winning the war and -- ratchetingm on up the body count war was intense. many atrocities in 1967 were covered up and still are being covered up today by the pentagon. there is not even a footnote in the national archives. the tiger force atrocities that occurred in the central inhlands may have resulted many more casualties. we have no idea of how many casualties. an elite troop known as the tiger force that was part of the 10 first airborne was part of missionsh and destroy
3:01 pm
throughout the central highlands , the othern months massacre was four and a half hours. over seven months, the tiger -- notilled out early only killed elderly, children, pregnant woman, but also were responsible for torching so many villages in that area. the casualties are unknown, but there are accounts from witnesses that include both u.s. soldiers as well as vietnamese that dozens of mass ug by the locals that survived and by that ye of the seven-month period, another
3:02 pm
327 atrocities occurred. may have resulted in a thousand innocent deaths in 1967. the pentagon squash to this and had to squash it because of the larger public relations campaign. who knows? had this been addressed, had this been known, how the tiger force atrocities been known, perhaps my lai also may not have happened. quickly about the air, ground, and chemical wars in 1967. rolling thunder continued, it was a gradual escalation of bombing north vietnam in an effort to break the will of the hanoi government. it was a colossal failure. thinke so full hearty to
3:03 pm
we would convince the southern , they couldthe nls not win. nor did we halt the flow of aserials to south vietnam evidenced by the sheer magnitude , the shear forces that were part of the tet offensive in january of 1968 that hit five out of the six major cities in the south, 100 districts, and many hamlets. the era of free fire zones in 1967, which was another reason why the casualties mounted. , oneber in the book talking about the ratcheting up of the body counts, particularly
3:04 pm
during these large search and destroy missions, he mentioned there were probably 50% inflation, at least 50% inflation of the body counts because so many of the civilians were counted in that number of squashilled, again to any further investigation into these civilian atrocities. peaking -- 1967 -- of the chemical war in vietnam, operation ranch hand was the signature program. would only be a minor part. there was growing domestic dissent in the united states in
3:05 pm
1967. the media began paying greater attention to the critics of the war in vietnam. 1966,tarts beginning in when the late senator william fulbright began his hearings as the chair of the senate relations committee that examined the core arguments of johnson's war in vietnam. hearings and those i can remember those hearings like it was yesterday because my younger brother missed captain kangaroo, they even preempted captain kangaroo back then. was alsoas a whole beginning to question the costs of the war. lbj asked for an increase in war
3:06 pm
spending and with congressional approval, imposed a 6% surcharge on those personal as well as corporate income taxes. as you know in american politics, if it hits the wall, that is when certain things -- if it hits the wall at, that is when certain people start -- if it hits the wallet, that is when certain people start paying attention. mentioned, the 90% speech by martin luther king at -- theerside church magnificent speech by martin luther king at the riverside church and other leaders that were speaking out throughout the united states. likeress cap using words quagmire and stamina -- the press kept using words like quagmire and stalemate. the antiwar movement started to
3:07 pm
become more established as people like fulbright and king came to the moral leadership of that movement. let me add, it was 1967 -- it was the time that many of my generation woke up to the injustices of the war. 67 changed my life and i am doing what i am doing because of how 1967 affected me. it still does. thank you. [applause] >> hello. i just want to warn the rest of
3:08 pm
the panel that it has to be between 10 and 15 minutes during i'm not doing this because i want to but because they want to keep it moving. robert, do you want to come up? you do not have to keep it supershort, 10 or 15 minutes. you.ank hard to believe 50 years. what i would like to point out is historical context about dr. king's april 4 speech at riverside. there is a whole generation of us, when thinking of the civil rights movement, that was the big thing at the time. 1963 iber an august 28, had not a clue of what the implications of that would be. of us, becausen king gave his famous beyond vietnam, breaking the silence
3:09 pm
speech in 1967, that was the moment that was fortuitous in terms of who was opposed to the war in vietnam, those working in the civil rights movement, but than a generation of us where that became the context of how we got engaged, not just in vietnam but this whole notion of militarism and how you can use nonviolent direct action. 1967, which was the official stop the draft week and oakland caliph -- in oakland, california at the oakland army induction center. there was a massive civil disobedience action organized. i was 19. walkedlot of people, i along that building before deciding should i sit in today, thinking about if i get arrested, what would that mean? so on and so forth.
3:10 pm
by the 15th time i walked around that building, i said it is time to do this. i remember saying where do you need me? someone said here's a spot, sit right here. i sat down and did not realize it was in front of the paddy wagon. to jail, we were on the tradition of jail, no bail. i get up there and they said madeleine carter, that is my said -- whoever told me to sit their new why that was important to do. here is what i was so struck by. at that time, i think there were 70 of us women at the present. 99% of the women in that jail were black. what they did to try
3:11 pm
to distinguish the political prisoners from the regular prisoners -- we had blue denim dresses and they had a different color blue, thinking that might be easy enough. not because they did not have enough close -- not because they do not have enough clothes, being the only black women in there, one of the sisters came up and said what are you doing in here? protesting the war in vietnam. son,sband, my brother, my these two words, vietnam or jail. think about the reality of that for anyone opposed to that war. they are doing it to this day. that divident, between the political prisoners and the regular prisoners, that wall came down. there is another thing i want to say about the pace of that war -- there is a great book that talks about the african-american
3:12 pm
experience. one of the comments martin luther king made when he gave , despitech in 1967 whatever the rowdy of that case was, he asked a simple question. how can you ask black men to go 8000 miles away to kill other people of color in the name of democracy, but they do not have it when they laughed and they do not have it when they came back? what is all that about? when asked about women who served their. -- women who served their bank -- women who served there. women who served did not want anyone to know. women gave their lives as well. i asked that we think about what was happening around other people's lives. for someone to say i served, some lost their lives, i do not want anyone to know, i want everyone to think about that.
3:13 pm
i want to think about randy keeler. this whole notion of the power of one. randy was a draft resistor and went off to jail. he talked about giving a speech one day, and gave the speech, and had no idea the impact he would have on daniel ellsberg. i wonder each one of us going through our daily lives have a -- that wast we can just one of those stories. it is now 2017. we are all still here. it took me 20 years to go see that wall. 20. i have to get back to another program, a lot of my friends are on that wall. i want to say as a moment of gratitude, it makes a difference how we make a difference. about thatincere possibility, and not having to
3:14 pm
lose lives because some governments have not figured out how to get along and make a difference. thank you. [applause] >> one thing terry said that is true -- had we been asked in episode 10 what we thought, we would have said we were right. the other thing we would have said in the ken burns film is that we do not have any regrets. if you watch that episode, you would have seen the soldiers had regrets because almost all of them said what they were doing was wrong. because we know that what we did , we do not have those regrets. i know for myself, i have never
3:15 pm
had any regrets spending the time i did fighting against the war. probably screwed up my vocational opportunities and so on like a lot of the rest of you , but i've no regrets about it. i believe the peace movement helped to end the war. like a lot of other activists, i was not sure about it. whether we really had that much of an impact or we were just a sideshow or even prolonged the war. earlier this year, i got involved with christopher jones y and some other people in a film about draft resisters are it i do not know we will build a show a segment of it today. that got me interested in looking back at that era because
3:16 pm
after the war was over i went on to another episodes of my life. i started looking back and what aboutovered was my fears affective not we were or a sideshow were completely misplaced. we did indeed have an impact. i got that from doing a lot of research. i have read dozens of books about the era and there are three books in particular that looked at that. one i know a lot of people know about by tom wells called the war within. called johnson, nixon, and anothers, called "american ordeal." three -- you will see we
3:17 pm
did have a huge impact. over, the onewas career that seemed possible for me was journalism. i do not need to have a resume. a resume with a dozen arrests was not too good of a resume. and iinto journalism spent 40 years as a journalist and wrote a bunch of books, mostly about business and the workplace. is ai decided is this story that i would like to get beyond academia. i want to do what tom hayden with his book about the power of the vietnam peace movement. i think this is an important thing that more and more people learn about the effectiveness
3:18 pm
that we had and the power of nonviolence. specifically about what i have learned about this october 21 event i wanted to share. first, what an amazing cast of characters were involved in the october 21 event. for one thing, i would say it was one of the last times the antiwar movement was fairly unified. there were about 40 different cosponsors, there was the old left, the cp, the socialist workers party. there were veterans. there is one picture of the march across the bridge where the abraham lincoln brigade, their banner is right there. i read a book about the vietnam veterans against the war.
3:19 pm
formed and been about two dozen of them participated. they became very important later in the war, especially when that and was trying to smear everyone as being a dirty hippie. the radical pacifists were there in force. the w rl, a ffc, the liberal peace groups represented by dr. concernsergy and laity , which sponsored dr. king's speech in new york the previous peace,men's strike for business executives for peace. fds, which came around at the
3:20 pm
end. most everybody that showed up was not directly affiliated with any of the groups. there was a huge cross-section of people -- students were the largest group. lots of teachers and workers, business people, social workers. there was a huge -- you do not get a hundred thousand people unless you have a huge cross-section. individual people, i had not read norman mailer's armies of the night. i not realize that gnome chomsky was one of those that was arrested. -- i have read a bunch of memoirs and some of the memoirs i have read are by people here today.
3:21 pm
cathy wilkerson, one of my classmates from college. bill zimmerman is right over here. he has a terrific book called "troublemaker." jerry, who burned a lot of draft files. frank joyce has a good book. it is a terrific book about their trip to vietnam. bruce with a book called "the resistor." atwas the head of fds cornell. story --reat adventure he was arrested at some demonstration in brooklyn and at break he, at the lunch
3:22 pm
went off and joined abbie hoffman to throw the dollar bills on the new york stock exchange. it just gives you a flavor. the second thing i want to say is about the event itself. -- lots of times we forget about the day before october 21. on the 20th was a very significant action at the department of justice. that action, where a thousand draft cards were turned in really helped to cripple the draft system. that is because, like nonviolence, one of the concepts is moral jiu-jitsu. you put the opponent in the
3:23 pm
place of dammed if you do, dammed if you don't. the johnson administration did not know what to do. off about itissed and he wanted both the department of justice and the selective service to nail these people. the department of justice decided what they were going to do was that they were going to do a show trial. toch, as we know, turned out backfire fantastically because there were so many people that signed the resist calls and so on. they lost legally. also the general, taking his cues from johnson and wanted to declare everyone to link went wherecreated a situation
3:24 pm
he violated all his own rules. that led to a bunch of supreme court cases that made a lot of draft resisters cases not successful. system,ctive service and this is something a lot of people do not know, i certainly do not know it. last night at dinner, there were four us off the table, all of us were draft resisters grade only one of us went to prison. that is because the draft system was overwhelmed. the justice department was overwhelmed -- there were 200,000 guys that were referred by the selective service to the justice department for prosecution. .nly 20,000 were indicted of that, only 8000 were found
3:25 pm
guilty. of those, only 4000 went to prison. the point is there is a good book on that. confronting the war machine. it describes the collapse of the draft system. more the october 21 march on the pentagon, that had great short-term affect that we did not realize. the book "johnson, neck cincom -- the doves" describes this doves"n, nixon, and the describes this. the tet offensive was so impact because johnson had west
3:26 pm
moreland come to the u.s. in the fall of 1967 in order to counter us. there are a couple of different people that were interviewed. the assistant secretary of defense and so on, who said that is why johnson brought them here. ,y overselling the war effort that made it so when the tet offensive happened, the american public was completely shocked because here you have been telling us that we were winning, and we are obviously not winning. there is a lot more that i cannot do in 22 seconds. about the impact. with isant to finish that i think the main lesson i am learning, looking at the effectiveness that we had, is that resisters today should
3:27 pm
learn two things. e andnts, -- patienc persistence. there is no march that is going to dump trump. there is no anything that is going to have an immediate effect and there is going to be everything done on the other side to its cure the power we are having. we are having that power. patience isvery -- very important and the other one is persistence. the real effectiveness is not any one thing. hadt of the fights we amongst ourselves about whether we should do this or that was not as important as if we just -- we were everywhere. -- for instance, johnson cannot go out anywhere or go for military bases,
3:28 pm
in places where he was not announced in advance. just one of many it -- just one of many examples. we made it hard for these people. mcnamara's family was affected by it. the march against death in 1969, 1 of the top than -- one of the top then -- one of the top nixon aides talked about it. he actually threw up. we had tremendous power. the reason was exactly what terry said before -- we were right. [applause]
3:29 pm
>> friends, good morning from vietnam. my first words will be to say thank you. thank you for what you did in those years back then. polite to sayg you did contribute to end the war and bring back piece and help us -- and bring back peace and help us reunify the country and survive as an independent nation. organizers fore inviting me. i'm not the only vietnamese here, but i am the only one saigon joined with
3:30 pm
you. i join you as a mother and an antiwar activist. i was an antiwar activists from saigon but based in paris in those 60's. i'm going to make four points because there is so much to share. with in the 10 to 15 minutes of , i wouldto each of us like to make four points. is to put your movement in the broader context of the international context of the 1960's from the standpoint of france and paris. in those years, you need to decade ofit was the self-determination for colonized people. it was the decade of the
3:31 pm
merchants of the awareness -- of the emergence of the awareness of the third world, the oppressed nations struggling for their liberation, emancipation, and their right to self determine their fate and their lives. emergence of the antiwar movement, apart from the , there isie mention that international dimon -- there is that international die mention -- there is that international dimension. you are part of that global movement to push back against wrongful wars. this is what i want to say. there is a tendency, especially ware days, to justify any
3:32 pm
because it is supposed to be patriotic to support your government in any kind of war. not to supportic or join in the war effort of your government. you are the real patriots. [applause] when i think of my time in paris as a young student, joining the antiwar protests there, it was the very natural thing to do. i, coming from saigon, i was from a traditional family. all the south vietnamese in students all came from
3:33 pm
middle-class, wealthy and fortunate families. supported the arv and -- -- arvn but many supported what does that tell you? it tells you that to us, there is only one vietnam. i want to combat the idea that now,ing peddled again, that this was a civil war. [applause] you did have a civil war, you did have a foreign power telling the southerners to fight on. andas called the civil war from my modern understanding of american history, it was a real civil war.
3:34 pm
what i am saying is the war would not have happened if the u.s. had not intervened. there is a rewriting of the war, a whitewashing of the war going on now in the united states, trying to push up the idea of civil war as if the u.s. came only after it had all started and you were helping one side. the u.s. government was helping one side, the side of freedom and so on and so forth. let me tell you, when i joined the antiwar movement in paris, nlf to go backthe home and do clandestine work in saigon, nobody was telling me communism or socialism. i joined because i wanted a just peace for my people so that at
3:35 pm
last they could be reunited after that artificial division and at last we could be independent, just as we fought the chinese to gain back our independence after 10 centuries of subjugation. for those of us who read the history of vietnam, you understand what was at stake and therefore, we together need to prevent, push back the rewriting of history, the whitewashing of the war policy. the political perspective. i would like to go into the moral perspective. your movement had a strong impact. , knew the heroes of
3:36 pm
andai because they resisted to say stop it and to save a few civilians. we never defined the enemy is being you, just by virtue of being americans. those who wered the warmongers, who pushed the war effort, the u.s. administration and so on and so forth. groups civil society that fought against the war, that supported our liberation
3:37 pm
efforts, we did not see them as enemies. theses why, when some of war resisters, progressive journalists went to paris during , she was talks to meet not meeting with the enemy. nobody should be saying to you that you were meeting the enemy. you were not at war with us, were you? who was at war with us -- the u.s. government of the time, the leadership of the military of the time, and not even the draftees. only the draftees who came over and did terrible things. it would be difficult for us to be very honest, to look at them as brothers and sisters. it was not difficult for us to see members of the u.s. antiwar movement as our brothers and sisters in peace and for peace.
3:38 pm
i also see here and there that in recent years some academics are trying to rewrite the war in a way that -- this was hanoi's war, hanoi was pushing the war, it had nothing to do with the people of the south. let's go back to history. , the resistance in the french against the south. there was resistance against french colonial rule everywhere. those in the south, some state stayed onme -- some and some regrouped in hanoi. my aunt was left to raise five kids on her own. the resistance to the u.s. war
3:39 pm
effort involved the southerners right from the beginning. that is why you cannot call it a civil war. of the warption being prolonged because of hanoi , because of the secretary-general at the time, is a total distortion of the historical truth. mythird point will be to say reading of what has been going on vis-a-vis vietnam and after of an expression insularity or exceptionalism.
3:40 pm
insularity comes from your geography, just the size of your country, which means you can live unto yourselves and remain ignorant or inattentive to the rest. your years and hearts and minds not open to the rest of the world. that insularity and exceptionalism, i think, is an even more danger and -- even more dangerous threat today. years, in the vietnam the war was on the screens of television sets at home. thewar was brought home by vision of those coffins. 2004, when i was in the
3:41 pm
national assembly, i was a lawmaker, i visited the hill and i happened to be passing that corridor. itave to find out whether was 2003 or 2004. i visited the u.s. several times. saying screen, it was that the senate was discussing coffinsing the view of from the rack -- from iraq to be shown. i thought to myself, they learned one lesson from vietnam, but not the right one. they are trying to sanitize the difference, to the of vietnam, where the war was there every day, every night for people to see and to make people think. now it was sanitized.
3:42 pm
death ofvisions of u.s. servicemen. today, this snow boots on the ground, it is terrible what is happening today. -- this no boots on the ground, it is terrible what is happening today. only,rones, with bombing very few military casualties on the ground, people can go back to their daily chores. not much to bother about. it is completely different with war. most of those wars are unwarranted. that is why i am glad to see a few young faces here today. the young have to care. you.with
3:43 pm
back home, that is what i am doing. starting a culture of peace youth education program. this is the important thing we need to do. you have an uphill job because .f what i just said finally, do i regret having joined -- i am concluding. theve any regrets joining antiwar movement in paris and going back home to join the nls? no. just as my predecessors said, there is no way we have any regrets. i think the u.s. peace movement was the right, legitimate, and moral thing to do. you and us need to stand firm in the conviction of having done the right thing, ethically,
3:44 pm
morally, and for the good of our respective countries and peoples. in solidarity, i am here with and a lot ofluck andage, patience perseverance given the current context you are facing. thank you. [applause] >> that was powerful. we do not have time for q&a, which i was looking forward to. they're going to show a five-minute video. theook, which i wrote in 1980's, i said this war asked
3:45 pm
everything of a few and nothing of most. we all know the cynics who hid behind the draft deferments in college. the man i refuse to call president had five deferments. there was this situation, and it was such a class war. i am so happy to see the coming together between veterans and youpeace movement because all participated in a way that most of america do not. i salute all of you. .e are going to do this panel i have to give you one moment -- in 1982 when i was working on the book i went to prison from the white house with a group of protesters, all wonderful church people. we got in the paddy wagon and we
3:46 pm
got to the central cellblock, they open the door and one of the guys said, what to they do, raida tupperware party -- a tupperware party? >> let's think this panel. >> 50 years ago, the united states was at war in vietnam, weekend,veterans day american history tv looks back with 48 hours of coverage. 4:00, a 1967 cbs news vietnam war special report. >> whether it is due to the enemy's tactics, the weather, or the terrain, it seems clear that the american military offensive along the dmz has bogged down, like the marines in the mud. then at 6:00, on american artifacts, we will tour the national archives exhibit, remembering vietnam.
3:47 pm
at 8:00 on the presidency, the 1967 president lyndon johnson vietnam war press conference. >> we made our statement to the world on what we would do if we had communist aggression in that part of the world in 1954. we said we would stand with those people in the face of common danger and the time came when we had to put up or shut up and we put up and we are there. watch the vietnam war, 50 years later, this weekend on american history tv on c-span3. >> thousands of demonstrators opposed to the vietnam war
3:48 pm
assembled in the nation's capital for a mass protest. minor scuffles did occur between the demonstrators and hecklers. takes theur parade demonstrators across the potomac on their way to the pentagon. aboutowd estimated at 50,000 persons was a loose confederation of some 150 groups and included adults, children, even students. it is at the pentagon with the first test of strength comes. military police contain the crowd, but clashes still break out. federal marshals arrest several who attempt to break through the line. mpsforcing the marshals, move into position. demonstrators are arrested, tear gas is used. six break into a pentagon side door but are quickly apprehended in a daylong disturbance.
3:49 pm
the next day, campfires are lighted to hold off the autumn chill. the same weekend sans nationwide demonstrations supporting american gis in vietnam. the two day protests ends with over 600 arrests and the widespread opinion that the demonstration made everyone a loser. on october 21,, 1967, 100,000 vietnam war protesters rallied in washington, d.c. they marched to the pentagon in arlington, virginia worried more than 600, including author norman mailer were arrested. peacethe vietnam commemoration committee hosts a panel discussion on the march on the pentagon. we will hear from activists who participated in 1967. this i


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on