The Chairman: I have often thought they were too indifferent to it, but they have responded to the arguments as to where our interest lies quite well, at least from my personal experience. And the General said, "I am finally glad to find somebody who knows what he is talking about." The committee is continuing this morning its hearing on proposals relating to the ending of the war in Southeast Asia. Mr. Kerry: Yes, I did. We saw Vietnam ravaged equally by American bombs as well as by search and destroy missions, as well as by Vietcong terrorism, and yet we listened while this country tried to blame all of the havoc on the Vietcong. Thank you very much, Senator Fulbright, Senator Javits, Senator Symington and Senator Pell. The Chairman: I agree with that. leave their dead. 18 likes. Thank you very much, Senator Fulbright, Senator Javits, Senator Symington and Senator Pell. I am not here as John Kerry. other questions such as the use of weapons; the hypocrisy in our taking umbrage Statement of John Kerry, Vietnam Veterans Against the War Mr. Kerry: Thank you very much, Senator Fulbright, Senator Javits, Senator Symington, Senator Pell. They want to come out and I think they are looking at the people who want to try to get them out as a help. Mr. Kerry: Sixty to 80 percent is the figure used that try something, let's say, at one point. Mr. Kerry: Senator, I would like to add a comment on that. If you drop a bomb from a plane, you don't see the white of their eyes. he had watched television and he used to cheer the cowboys when they came in and glorification of body counts. Senator Symington: How do you think this could be changed? During the Vietnam War, he was an outspoken member of the anti-war movement, drawing attention to the futility of United States involvement, as well as American atrocities against civilians. The Chairman: It did not drag on. Vietnam Veterans and Iraq Veterans Release Memorial Day Report on Veterans' Healthcare Crisis by VVAW National Office. They told stories that at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut On June 1, 1967, the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) was founded in New York after six Vietnam vets marched together in a demonstration for an end to the war. democracy. It was tied in with "appeasement" and Nervous Nellies and that sort of thing. force was present at a particular time, be it Viet Cong, North Vietnamese or Chicago: Vietnam Veterans Against the War Statement. Your testimony about what you know and what you see, how you feel and how your colleagues feel, is entitled to the highest standing and priority. And to attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom, which those misfits supposedly abuse, is to use the height of criminal hypocrisy, and it is that kind of hypocrisy which we feel has torn this country apart. The fact we had been at war, not just the Vietnam War but others too, diverted the attention of our people from our domestic concerns and certainly eroded the role of the Congress. I can't criticize that much because if I do I would lose my accreditation, and we have to be very careful about just how much we say and when.". This is the text of that speech delivered on April 22, 1971 . We are angry because we feel we have been used in the worst fashion by the administration of this country. by John Kerry. of the havoc on the Viet Cong. I really believe if we can stop this war- I certainly expect to do everything I can. Senator Javits has introduced a bill with regard to the war powers in an effort to reestablish what we believe to be the constitutional system in which you say you have confidence. the back of the enemy was about to break. off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up As reflected in the Congress, they do wish to disengage and to bring the war to an end as soon as we can. Vietnam Veterans Against the War It all started in 1967, with six Vietnam veterans marching together in a peace demonstration. We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be winter soldiers now. You have a perspective that those in the Government who make our Nation's policy do no always have and I am sure that your testimony today will be helpful to the committee in its consideration of the proposals before us. "Oh, yes, we will cover that.". A man recently died after he had a tracheotomy in California, not because of the operation but because there weren't enough personnel to clean the mucous out of his tube and he suffocated to death. They can be solved, but they can only be solved by demanding leadership, the same kind of leadership that we have seen in some countries during war time. In that connection, I am say, the recent enactment of the right of all people from 18 years up to vote is at least a step in the direction where you and your generation can have an effect. As a veteran and one who feels this anger, I would like to talk about it. Voting of Veterans and Nonveterans Concerning Vietnam War. Hence the anger of some of the men who are here in Washington today. Do you have anything further to say before we recess? I apologize. Attitude of Servicemen Toward Congressional Opposition to War The staff has a group of question here, four of which I would ask. As I said in the beginning, the fact that you have shown both great conviction and patience about this matter and at the same time conducted yourself in the most commendable manner has been the most effective demonstration, if I may use that word. That is we have not succeeded in getting enough votes, but there has been a very marked increase, I think, in the realization of the seriousness of the war. It is like a Scottish nobleman saying, "How many grouse were caught on the moor." Vietnam Veterans Against the War Statement. Senator Symington: There has been considerable criticism of the war's reporting by the press and news media. Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (1968) Statement by John Kerry of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (1971) It was organized to give voice to the growing opposition among returning servicemen and women to the still raging war in Indochina. We saw America "vietnam veterans against the war statement". The VVAW of the 1990s is quite different from the VVAW of the 1960s, but still maintains an active presence as a veterans' peace organization. When a minority body comes down here to Washington with a bill, those bodies which have the funds and the ability to lobby are those which generally get it passed. die for a mistake?....We are here in Washington to say that the problem of this Mr. Kerry: Each day to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her hands of Vietnam someone has to give up his life so that the United States doesn't have to admit something that the entire world already knows, so that we can't say that we have made a mistake. The Army says they never leave their wounded. It is just be coincidence you came to Washington in the very midst of them. I think the culprit is the war itself. An American Indian friend of mine who lives in the Indian Nation of Alcatraz We ... That means 1 out of every 10 of the nation’s unemployed is a veteran of Vietnam. Vietnam Veterans against the War Statement. Whether it will be done or not is a matter of will. In their blindness and fear they have tried to deny that we are veterans or that we served in Nam. Primary Source: Statement by John Kerry of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (1971) On April 23, 1971, a young Vietnam veteran named John Kerry spoke on behalf of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War before the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations. Vietnam Veterans Against the War Statement (Online Periodical or Article) Skip to main navigation Skip to main navigation Skip to search Skip to search Skip to content English English, collapsed. John Kerry's 1971 Vietnam Veterans Against The War Statement. Again I come back and say they are not insoluble. They wanted everything to do with the war, particularly with Vietnam Veterans Against the War Statement to U. S. Congress; Vietnam Veterans Against the War Statement to U. S. Congress. I would think the same fate would probably befall him as befell either Sergeant or Lieutenant Schwarz of West Virginia who was tried for life for the same offense and is out on a 9 months commuted sentence. out and destroy the last vestige of this barbaric war, to pacify our own hearts, At any time that an actual threat is posed to this country or to the security and freedom I will be one of the first people to pick up a gun and defend it, but right now we are reacting with paranoia to this question of peace and the people taking over the world. The Chairman: You have certainly done a remarkable job of it. Senator Symington would like to ask a question. You said if our country was really threatened, you would have no hesitancy in taking up a gun. Vietnam Veterans Against the War Statement (Online Periodical or Article) Skip to main navigation Skip to main navigation Skip to search Skip to search Skip to content English English, collapsed. Search for Library Items Search for Lists Search for Contacts Search for a Library. How serious is the problem and to what do you attribute it? We learned the meaning of free fire zones, shooting anything that moves, and Although you have demonstrated in the sense that has become disapproved of in some circles, I think you have demonstrated in the most proper way and the most effective way to bring about the results that you wish and I believe you have made a great contribution. But these were not decisions, I believe, that involved evil motives. The question is to get out and leave a reasonable chance for lasting peace. We who have taken this position find ourselves very much in the minority. [John Kerry, Vietnam veteran and spokesman for the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, gained national attention for his testimony before the … Do you realize that this country has put well over $1,000 billion into military affairs since World War II? As the chairman pointed out, and as you know as a student of political science, whenever we wanted to end this war, we could have ended this war if the majority of us had used the power of the purse strings. That seems to be the few times we get it. Senator Symington: We are talking about heroin, not pot, or LSD. we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of orientals. In 1970 at West Point, Vice President Agnew said "some glamorize the criminal misfits of society while our best men die in Asian rice paddies to preserve the freedom which most of those misfits abuse" and this was used as a rallying point for our effort in Vietnam. It is interesting, speaking of veterans and speaking of statistics, that the press has never picked up and concentrated on quite interesting votes in the past. I think it lies with the men who designed free fire zones. This is the kind of problem that you have. Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) comes together in solidarity and resistance with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Oceti Sakowin (The Great Sioux Nation), and the thousands of water warriors defending their land and livelihood from the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Mr. Kerry: Senator, if I may interject, I think that what we are trying to say is we do have a method. I think it is our job to see that you are suitably set up as an alternative so that you can do what you came here to do. The item Vietnam Veterans Against the War Statement represents a specific, individual, material embodiment of a distinct intellectual or artistic creation found in City Libraries, City of Gold Coast. Now if they are apathetic, as you say they are apathetic, and don't care, then democracy cannot work if they continue to be apathetic and don't care who represents them. Senator Symington: It isn't quite that open in this country; do you think? He told me how as a boy on an Indian reservation The Struggle Continues by VVAW. Essential Question Will Be Response to Vietnam Issue. He said that the United States simply can't right every wrong, that we can't solve the problems of the other 94 percent of mankind. I don't believe that is true. We can't start an action, but we can force an action with the purse strings. to leave the hill for reoccupation by the North Vietnamese. Winter Soldier is a play on words of Thomas Paine's in 1776 when he spoke of the John Kerry anti-war testimony to the Senate (1971) In April 1971 John Kerry, a former US Navy Lieutenant and a spokesperson for Vietnam Veterans Against the War, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: “I would like to talk on behalf of all those veterans and say that several months ago in Detroit we had an investigation at which over 150 honourably discharged and many … this foreign presence of the United States of America, to leave them alone in Mr. Chairman, I have just one further thing to do. It has seemed to me that its origin was essentially a mistake in judgment, beginning with our support of the French as a colonial power, which, I believe, is the only time our country has ever done that. While I wouldn't presume to compare my own experience, I have taken a great deal of criticism since I myself in 1965 took issue with the then President Johnson over his policies. We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them. I can see no better alternative to offer in its place. as easily as this administration has wiped away their memories of us. Senator Symington: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Legislative Proposals Relating to the War in Southeast Asia Thursday, April 22, 1971 United States Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Washington, D.C. I am sure many people have thought I could do better, but I did all that I was capable of doing and what wisdom I may have has been applied to it. One can only ask if we will really be satisfied only when the troops march into Hanoi. You know, they gave a speech for the Polish and they gave a speech for the Irish and they gave a speech for this, and actually handed the paper in to the clerk and the clerk submits it for the record and a copy of the record goes home and people say, "Hey, he really is doing something for me" But he isn't. I went to Saigon and told this to a member of the news bureau there and I said, "Look, you have got to tell the American people this story." I don't see another system other than democracy, but democracy has to remain responsive. If we don't withdraw, if we maintain a Korean-type presence in South Vietnam, say 50,000 troops or something, with strategic combing raids from Guam and from Japan and from Thailand dropping these 15,000 pound fragmentation bombs on them, et cetera, in the next few years, then what you will have is a people who are continually oppressed, who are continually at warfare, and whose problems will not at all be solved because they will not have any kind of representation. put it to me very succinctly. Rent or Buy eTextbook. The Chairman: With regard to the letters you have mentioned, I wondered about them. As I said before, I think this came about not because of bad motives but by very serious errors in political judgment as to where our interest lies and what should be done about it. The country doesn't know it yet, but it has created a monster, a monster in the form of millions of men who have been taught to deal and to trade in violence, and who are given the chance to die for the biggest nothing in history; men who have returned with a sense of anger and a sense of betrayal which no one has yet grasped. I have received a great many letters, but usually particularly in those from Vietnam, the men would say that they would not like me to use them or use their names for fear of retaliation. I think if we are ever going to get down to the question of dropping those bombs most of us in my generation simply don't want to be alive afterwards because of the kind of world that it would be with mutations and the genetic probabilities of freaks and everything else. It has gone to the calendar. So we are very please to have you and your associate, Mr. Kerry. We fought using weapons against "oriental Vietnam Veterans Against the War Statement by John Kerry April 23, 1971 to the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations. The first thing they did was to arrange a cease-fire and the killing did cease. The Chairman: Mr. Kerry, I am sure you can sense the committee members appreciate very much your coming. We found that not only was it a civil war, an effort by a people who had for Vietnam Veterans Against the War Statement by John Kerry, 1971 to the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations April 23, 1971 I would like to talk on behalf of all those veterans and say that several months ago in Detroit we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged, and many very highly decorated, veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia. VVAW says it is a national veterans' organization that campaigns for peace, justice, and the rights of all United States military veterans. All countries have had this same problem and so long as they have a representative system this has to be met. men they sent off to war, have returned? I apologize if my statement is general because I received notification yesterday you would hear me and I am afraid because of the injunction I was up most of the night and haven't had a great deal of chance to prepare. This is what I am trying to say. But I hope that we are not going to have to wait until 1972 to have this decision made. I did what I could within my particular role in the Government to persuade both President Johnson and subsequent political leaders that this was not in the interests of our country. Eighty-two percent were veterans as compared to 71 percent of the Senate as a whole being veterans. Search for Library Items Search for Lists Search for Contacts Search for a Library. 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