R. Michael Pearce, “Evolution of a Vietnamese Village – Part II: Duc Lap Since November 1964 and Some Comments on Village Pacification,” RAND, February 1967, p. 3, cited in Young, The Vietnam Wars, p. 147-48.
“Interesting Statistics of the Vietnam War,” 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment website, ; Olga Gruhzit-Hoyt, A Time Remembered: American Women in the Vietnam War (Novato, CA: Presido Press, 1999), p. xi; and David Cortright, Soldiers in Revolt: GI Resistance During the Vietnam War (Chicago: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1975), p. 264.
Noam Chomsky, professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the son of an émigré Hebrew scholar, addressed the issue of the moral responsibility of intellectuals in a special supplement in the New York Review of Books in February 1967. Based on a thorough examination of U.S. policy in Vietnam, he judged that it was genocidal in conduct and imperialist in intent. Like other intellectuals on the left, he viewed U.S. involvement in Vietnam as neither an aberration nor a simple mistake but rather as part of a larger design to extend American hegemony. Chomsky examined the role of the intellectuals in World War II, particularly those in Germany and Japan who failed to speak out against the atrocities committed by their respective governments. Considering the relative freedom of Western societies, he argued that academics and intellectuals had a responsibility to “seek the truth hidden behind the veil of distortion and misrepresentation, ideology and class interest, through which the events of current history are presented to us.”
Criticism of imperious U.S. policies in Vietnam began long before U.S. troops were deployed. During the 1950s, insightful critiques were proffered by investigative journalists Bernard Fall and I. F. Stone, political scientist Hans Morgenthau, economist John Kenneth Galbraith, and peace leaders A. J. Muste and Sidney Lens, to name a few; and in publications such as I. F. Stone’s Weekly, The Christian Century, The New Republic, The Nation, Dissent, Monthly Review, and Liberation. In the November 1952 issue of The Christian Century, for example, the editors castigated the U.S. for supporting French imperialism in Vietnam and ominously warned, “American boys are not dying in Indo-China – yet. But American policy is getting into a deeper and deeper morass there.” In the June 1954 issue of Monthly Review, following the defeat of the French, Marxist scholars Paul Sweezy and Leo Huberman issued another warning:
The American people, by and large, are against colonialism and aggression, and believe in the right of every country to manage its own affairs free from outside interference. Rarely have these simple principles been so clearly and grossly violated as in the present United States policy towards Indochina…. Are we going to take the position that anti-Communism justifies anything, including colonialism, interference in the affairs of other countries and aggression? That way, let us be perfectly clear about it, lies war and more war leading ultimately to full-scale disaster.
Jeremi Suri, Review of Jessica Elkind, “Aid under Fire: Nation building and the Vietnam War,” American Historical Review, February 2017, p. 204.
Interview with Tom Wells, in Tom Wells, The War Within: America’s Battle over Vietnam (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1994), pp. 559-60.
George Kahin, unpublished paper, November 1988, p. 6, cited in Young, The Vietnam Wars, p. 264. George and Audrey Kain were in Hanoi at the behest of Senator J. William Fulbright who wanted to clarify the Vietnamese position on negotiations. Ellsworth quoted in David F. Schmitz, Richard Nixon and the Vietnam War: The End of the American Century (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), p. 118.
See Bernard J. Firestone, “Failed Mediation: U Thant, the Johnson Administration, and the Vietnam War,” Diplomatic History, Vol. 37, No. 5 (November 2013): 1060-1089.
Robert Mann, A Grand Delusion: America’s Descent into Vietnam (New York: Basic Books, 2001), pp. 512, 594, 682; “Gallup Poll Reports 49% Believe Involvement in Vietnam an Error,” New York Times, March 10, 1968, p. 4; and Charles DeBenedetti, with Charles Chatfield, assisting author, An American Ordeal: The Antiwar Movement of the Vietnam Era (Syracuse University press,1990), p. 310.
Fred Wilcox, Waiting for an Army to Die: The Tragedy of Agent Orange (New York: Vintage Books, 1983), pp. 4, 51; Fred Wilcox, Scorched Earth: Legacies of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2011); “Effects of Chemical Warfare in South Vietnam,” in Frank Browning and Dorothy Forman, eds., The Wasted Nations: Report of the International Commission of Enquiry Into United States Crimes in Indochina (New York: Harper & Row, 1972), 117; and Duffet, ed., Against the Crime of Silence, p. 335.
See H. Bruce Franklin, War Stars: The Super-Weapon and the American Imagination (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, rev ed., 2008); and Larry Berman, No Peace, No Honor: Nixon, Kissinger and Betrayal in Vietnam (New York: Free Press, 1999).
See Greiner, War Without Fronts; Deborah Nelson, The War Behind Me: Vietnam Veterans Confront the Truth About U.S. War Crimes (New York: Public Affairs, 2009); and Duffet, ed., Against the Crime of Silence, which includes testimony by international legal experts at the Stockholm (Sweden) War Crimes Trials sponsored by the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation in 1968. Russell, the 94-year-old philosopher who convened the hearings and whose antiwar activism extended back to World War I, wrote in the introduction: “war crimes are the actions of powers whose arrogance leads them to believe that they are above the law. Might they argue is right.” (Duffet, p. 4).
Young, The Vietnam Wars, p. 177; Eric Norden, “American Atrocities in Vietnam,” in Richard Falk, Gabriel Kolko, and Robert Jay Lifton, eds., Crimes of War (New York: Vintage Books, 1971), pp. 265-284; Herr, Dispatches; and Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drugs Trade, rev ed. (New York: Lawrence Hill Books, 1991).