This post originally appeared at Counterpunch.org By Michael Yates More than forty years after the end of hostilities, the War in Vietnam
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This article originally appeared at The New York Times. By Christopher Mele Photo: Credit Stephanie Keith/Reuters As many as 2,000
This obituary originally appeared at The News & Observer.com John Heuer December 11, 1946 – November 16, 2016
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December 2 The U.S. Air Force loses five aircraft and the Navy loses three aircraft to surface to air missiles or anti-aircraft gun fire. Air Force losses included three F-4Cs, one RF-4C, and an F-105. The Navy loses one F-4B and two Douglas A-4C Skyhawks.
December 2-14 Efforts at peace negotiations: US Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge meet on December 2 and 3 with the Polish representative on the International Control Commission, Ambassador Janusz Lewandowski in Saigon. As reported by Robert H. Estabrook in the Washington Post, Lodge asked Lewandowski to set up “contacts” with Hanoi. On or about December 4, Polish Foreign Minister Adam Rapacki sent back word that Hanoi had agreed to unconditional talks on the ambassadorial level in Warsaw, and Washington was asked to send a special representative. Before the talks could be held, the American bombing offensive is suddenly stepped up. On December 13 and 14, a railway yard only six miles from the heart of Hanoi and a trucking depot only five miles are heavily attacked—the first time President Johnson had permitted the bombing of targets so close to the city limits of the North Vietnamese capital. The bombings had abruptly cut short the peace approach. (See Marigold: The Lost Chance for Peace in Vietnam, by James G. Hershberg for more details.)
December 5 The US Supreme Court in Bond v. Floyd rules that Julian Bond’s right to free speech was violated by the refusal to seat him in the Georgia State legislature. He takes his seat in January 1967.
December 13-14 US resumes bombing Hanoi. The village of Cau Dat near Hanoi is leveled by U.S. bombers resulting in harsh criticism from the international community.
December 25 New York Times reporter Harrison Salisbury reports from Hanoi that contrary to US government reports, US bombing had killed civilians, destroyed churches, schools, factories in Hanoi and other cities in the DRV.
December 26 Facing increased scrutiny from journalists over mounting civilian causalities in North Vietnam, the U.S. Defense Department now admits civilians may have been bombed accidentally.
December 27 The U.S. mounts a large-scale air assault against suspected NLF positions in the Mekong Delta using napalm and hundreds of tons of bombs
Late December Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (Student Mobe) formed in a meeting at the University of Chicago called by Bettina Aptheker; its initial goal is to support the April 15, 1967 Spring Mobilization; an office is set up in NYC headed by Linda Dannenberg.
December 28 Capt. Howard Levy charged with promoting “disloyalty and disaffection” among soldiers at Ft. Jackson for refusing to teach dermatology to Special Forces airmen scheduled to fight in Vietnam.
By year’s end, U.S. troop levels reach [range of estimates included): 383,500-389,000 with 5008-6143 combat deaths and 30,000-30,093 wounded. South Vietnamese soldiers (ARVN) number 735,900. American Allies fighting in Vietnam include 25,570-45,000 soldiers from South Korea, 4530-7000 Australians, 2060 Filipinos, 240 Thais, and 160 New Zealanders. US estimates NLF strength at 280,000+. Estimates of Vietnamese deaths (North and South, military and civilian) are harder to come by though a 2008 study by the British Medical Journal estates total deaths from 1954-75 at 3.8 million (higher than most western estimates and the official estimate by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (the postwar government) of 3.1 million.
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