Proposal for a VFP Campaign for an Alternative Commemoration of the American War in Viet Nam
Goal: To mount a national campaign to present to the American people an accurate history of the Viet Nam war. We do this for the sake of historical accuracy, to take into account the impact of the war on the Vietnamese and American people – including the service men and women and their families – and most importantly, to prevent future unnecessary, brutal acts of intervention.
This campaign could consist of the following:
- Tours by national speakers such as Nick Turse (whose book, Kill Anything That Moves, is out in paperback).
- VFP members speaking out on days such as Veterans Day, Xmas events (the anniversary of the Xmas bombing in 1972), or aligned with school curriculums (usually at the end of the semester or school year). This would include the development of a curriculum (perhaps with the help of Rethinking Schools).
- Coordinated actions in at least four locations on the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin “incident” and resolution (in August/September 2014). This will occur immediately following the national VFP convention. Our aim will be to highlight the phony “created” casus belli (e.g. Remember the Maine, weapons of mass destruction, etc.)
- Teach-ins during the spring of 2015 — the 50th anniversary of the original teach-ins focusing on what really happened in Viet Nam, the nature of modern warfare, the dangers to civilians, etc.
- Developing materials to celebrate a pantheon of heroes such as Hugh Thompson, Ron Ridenour, Muhammad Ali, Donald Duncan, Daniel Ellsberg, Susan Schnall, and many others.
- Development of mobile exhibits of art and photography on Viet Nam and modern warfare.
- Academic forums on issues including chemical warfare, attacks on civilians, the fantasies of automated, robotic war, the legacies of war (particularly Agent Orange ).
- Development of a data base of organizing resources.
9/01/1963: US-backed coup against President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Viet Nam.
8/04-8/1964: The largely fabricated Gulf of Tonkin incident.
8/07/1964: US Congress passes Gulf of Tonkin resolution giving the President a free hand with no declaration of war.
3-6/1965: Antiwar teach-ins on US campuses.
3/02/1965: US begins bombing of North Viet Nam (Operation Rolling Thunder)
3/08/1965: US marines land in Da Nang marking a major escalation in US military involvement