The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 28, 2001- 9
AN OPEN LEITER TO "ANTI-WAR" DEMONSTRATORS:
THINK TWICE BEFORE YOU BRING THE WAR HOME
I am a former anti-war activist who helped to organize the first campus demonstration
against the war in Vietnam at the University of California, Berkeley in 1962. I have written this
pamphlet as an appeal to young college students not to join so-called "anti-war" demonstrations
and protests during the coming battle with international terrorism. The hindsight of history has
shown that our efforts in the I960s to end the war inVietnam had two practical effects. The first
was to prolong the war itself. Testimony by North Vietnamese generals such as Vo Nguyen Giap
and Bui Tin in the postwar years has affirmed that they knew they could not defeat the United
States on the battlefield, and that they counted on the division of our people at home to win the
war for them. The Vietcong forces we were fighting in South Vietnam were destroyed in I968.
In other words, as the testimonies of Giap and Tin most of the war and most of the casualties in
the war occurred because the dictatorship of North Vietnam counted on the fact Americans
would give up the battle rather than pay the price necessary to win it. This is what happened.
The blood of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, and tens of thousands of Americans, is on the
hands of the anti-war activists who prolonged the struggle and gave victory to the Communists.
The second effect of the war was to surrender South Vietnam to the forces of Communism.
This resulted in the imposition of a monstrous police state, the murder of hundreds of thousands
of innocent South Vietnamese, the incarceration in "re-education camps" of hundreds of thou-
sands more, and a quarter of a century of abject poverty imposed by crackpot Marxist economic
plans, which continue to this day. This, too, is the responsibility of the so-called anti-war move-
ment of the 1960s.
I say "so-called anti-war movement," because while many Americans were sincerely troubled
by America's war effort, the organizers of this movement were Marxists and radicals who sup
ported a Communist victory and an American defeat-a fact that I've documented in my books
Radical Son and Destructive Generation. Today the same people and their youthful followers are
organizing the campus demonstrations against America's effort to defend its citizens against the
forces of international terrorism and anti-American hatred, responsible for the September
I know, better than most, the importance of protecting freedom of speech and the right of
citizens to dissent. But I also know better than most, that there is a difference between honest
dissent and malevolent hate, between criticism of national policy, and sabotage of the nation's
defenses. In the 1960s and 1970s, the tolerance of anti-American hatreds was so high, that the
line between dissent and treason was eventually erased. Along with thousands of other New
Leftists, I was one who crossed the line between dissent and actral treason. I did so for what I
thought were the noblest of reasons: to advance the cause of "social justice" and "peace." I have
lived to see how wrong I was and how much damage we did -especially to those whose cause
we claimed to embrace, the peasants of Indo-China who suffered grievously from our support for
the Communist enemy. I came to see how precious are the freedoms and opportunities afforded
by America to the poorest and most humble of its citizens, and how rare its virtues are in the
world at large.
If I have one regret from my radical years, it is that this country was too tolerant towards
the treason of its enemies within. If patriotic Americans had been more vigilant in the defense of
their country, if they had called things by their right names, if they had confronted us with the
seriousness of our attacks, they might have caught the attention of those of us who were well
meaning but utterly misguided. And they might have stopped us in our tracks.
This pamphlet is written for those of you out there who today are full of your own self-right-
eousness, but who one day might also live to regret what you have done.
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