by jay janson
During the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate, earlier this week, millions of simple-minded Americans listened to the now time worn touting of various candidates as heroes, for having “fought for their country in Vietnam.”
Here is what former Democratic candidate for President and present Secretary of State John Kerry testified about the American war in Vietnam before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971.
“I am here as one member of the group of 1,000 veterans … and were it possible for all of them to sit at this table, they would be here and have the same kind of testimony….
…several months ago… over 150 honorably discharged, and many very highly decorated veterans, testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia – not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command….
They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages … shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country….. there is nothing in South Vietnam, nothing which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America. And to attempt to justify the loss of life in Vietnam, Cambodia, or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom, … is to us the height of criminal hypocrisy,
We found most people didn’t even know the difference between communism and democracy. They only wanted to work in rice paddies without helicopters strafing them and bombs with napalm burning their villages and tearing their country apart. They wanted everything to do with the war, particularly with this foreign presence of the United States of America, to leave them alone on peace …
We saw Vietnam ravaged equally by American bombs as well as by search and destroy missions… while this country tried to blame all of the havoc on the Viet Cong.
We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them. We saw America lose her sense of morality as she accepted very coolly a My Lai and refused to give up the image of American soldiers who hand out chocolate bars and chewing gum.
We learned the meaning of free fire zones, shooting anything that moves, and we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of orientals.
We watched the U.S. falsification of body counts, in fact the glorification of body counts.”
John Kerry, himself, was no slouch during his years as an enlisted officer commanding a so called ‘Swift Boat” patrolling the rivers of South Vietnam. He gained hero status for having jumped off his boat to chase down a Vietnam freedom fighter defending his country from US invasion and bombing, who had been aiming a rocket launcher at Kerry’s boat. Kerry caught up with the Vietnamese patriot and shot him to death while the Vietnamese was unarmed.
However, to the contrary, during Kerry’s 2004 acceptance speech as Democratic candidate for the Presidency, he had had saluted a flag bearing parade of Vietnam veterans marching across the stage in front of him and had praised the very Vietnam veterans he had thirty-two years earlier described as war criminals. [see Kerry testimony quoted above]
On the other hand Kerry was honest enough in 2006, when he cautioned college students at Pasadena City College, California, “if … you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
If the reader has little trust in the words Kerry, for his having being tagged as ‘Mr. Flip Flop during his 2004 unsuccessful campaign for the presidency as the candidate of the Democratic Party, please read Martin Luther King’s 1967 sermon. It is even more damning of America and Americans than Kerry was and includes the best short history of American crimes against Vietnam beginning 1945 when the US brought back the French Colonial Army and for fifteen years paid for its war of reconquest of its colony. (Imagine! It was the French, of then fascist Vichy France, that had run Vietnam for the co-fascist Japanese and had caused a million Vietnamese to stave by confiscating much of the rice crop to feed the Japanese army.)
There has been a tight unrelenting BLACKOUT of King’s condemnation of his country’s government as the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world,” and King having held himself and his fellow Americans responsible for “atrocity wars and covert violence on three continents since 1945 in order to maintain unjust predatory investments.”
Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark suggests Americans read and discuss King’s world shaking 1967 sermon Beyond Vietnam – a Time to Break Silence. Below are some powerful phrases one can quote:
“The Vietnamese people proclaimed their independence in 1945, after a combined French and Japanese occupation … we decided to support France in its reconquest of her former colony. For nine years we vigorously supported the French in their abortive effort to recolonize Vietnam. … After the French were defeated, we supported one of the most vicious modern dictators, our chosen man. Now they languish under our bombs and consider us, not their fellow Vietnamese, the real enemy. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move on or be destroyed by our bombs.
So they go, primarily women and children and the aged. They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops, as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. They wander into the towns and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals, children degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers…we ally ourselves with the landlords…we test out our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe? We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed their land, their crops. We have corrupted their women and children and killed their men. So far we may have killed a million of them, mostly children.”
“Look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the country. This is a role our nation has taken, ” refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that comes from the immense profits of overseas investments. This is not just.”
Your author and in the name of former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark asks the reader with all mankind’s current social media power, how much longer are Americans going to sit back and let criminal media smother King’s devastating blow against the genocidal wars of US NATO imperialism this year too? allow the media of a still racist society sucker our eyes and ears and use King’s 1963 “I have Dream’ to erase his 1967 ‘That dream won’t come true unless we stop the Nightmare that is Vietnam and the rest of the atrocity wars and covert violence meant to maintain unjust predatory investments overseas.’
Dear readers, if we can kick up enough awareness, someone capable of prime time coverage like Putin or Evo Morales, Rafael Correa, Nícolas Maduro, Daniel Ortega, Cristina Fernández or even Kim Jong-un or the a tough talking foreign minister of Venezuela, who this year called Kerry a murderer, might just decide to lower the boom on this preposterous forty-eight year old media blackout, and make a statement honoring King on his birthday for his bravery in condemning his government as the greatest purveyor of violence in the world for its atrocity wars and covert violence on three continents for to maintain its unjust predatory investments.
Some years ago, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark co-founded the King Condemned US Wars International Awareness Campaign, created on the initiative of beloved peoples historian Howard Zinn and supported by Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. Ramsey Clark is also co-founder of the educational and stimulus website Prosecute US Crimes Against Humanity Now Campaign, which contains the pertinent laws and a color coder country by country history of US crimes in nineteen nations.
Respect Vietnamese Patriots Gunned Down by “Beloved” Swift Boats
By Jay Janson
Ryan, Andrew (October 31, 2006). “Kerry says he “botched joke” and lashes out at GOP”. The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 11, 2007.
Martin Luther King sermon Beyond Vietnam – a Time to Break Silence, 4/4/1967, Riverside Church, New York City