Welcome to my Vietnam War Page!

(To view a large-scale map of Vietnam, click here. You can download it or print it, too. It shows the unified Socialist Republic of Vietnam as of 1985. I haven't put it here because it takes awhile to load, slowing down access to the page.)


Articles from The Montclarion on the Vietnam War and related topics


Although this page is a supplement to my course, ENGL 275 "The Vietnam War and American Culture," I hope it will be much more than that, and will be generally useful for anyone interested in the Vietnam War

Neil Sheehan, "Should We Have War Crimes Trials?" New York Times Book Review, March 28 1971. Important, factual and very objective article reviewing many books on the war, faces the factual issue that the US was indeed guilty of massive war crimes in Vietnam. (Copyright permission requested and pending, 08.07)

Interview with Nguyen Cao Key, BBC Radio 3, 1977 (from The Listener 24 November 1977).
In this important -- and utterly ignored -- interview, the former Vice-President of South Vietnam admits: 1. US made all decisions, informed South Vietnamese government later; 2. Ho Chi Minh a "true leader"; 3. "We" were "not nationalists but puppets and lackeys of America."
No wonder apologists for US imperialism ignore this interview! (Thanks to Peter Brush, who informed the VWAR-L list of this article on May 21 2000).

  Michael Bilton and Kevin Sim, "My Lai: A Half-Told Story", from London Sunday Times Magazine, April 23, 1989.
A student whose mother was living in England brought this back to me in 1989. It gives details left out of the mass-media accounts in the US -- most noticeably, the fact that American soldiers raped a number of the women before murdering them. Some of the same material was used in the prize-winning book Four Hours at My Lai, by the same two authors.

Guenter Lewy, "Some Political-Military Lessons of the Vietnam War", from Parameters: Journal of the US Army War College, 1984.
A conservative anti-communist supporter of the US war in Vietnam, Lewy argues that the US could not have won the war, and that military violence simply made "victory" for the US more impossible. Without naming him, Lewy refutes those like Col. Harry Summers who believe that the US military "was not allowed to win."

November 10, 2001: An article of mine on the criminal war against Afghanistan from the student newspaper, The Montclarion. Also in Counterpunch, the on-line muckraking journal.

May 8, 2001: Michael Norman's powerful comment on the Bob Kerrey 'atrocity' case: "In war, there is only human judgment and accountability," from the Sunday Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), May 6, 2001, with permission.

December 21, 2000: Ralph McGehee's incredible lecture "Deadly Deceits: The C.I.A. In Vietnam", in Streaming Audio (.rm) format. Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5: Part 6; Part 7; Part 8.
Many thanks to Alternative Radio for permission to digitize this lecture and make it available to you. Visit their site -- they have other great programs on the Vietnam War and many other subjects on audio cassette.
Ralph McGehee also published CIABASE, a database on CIA activities and crimes around the world for IBM and Macintosh computers.

Articles by Doug Valentine

TDY, Douglas Valentine's new book, is featured in this Dec. 12, 2000 article.
Valentine writes the story of Richard Finkle, Army photographer who volunteers for "temporary duty" to find his job is to photograph, for the U.S. Army, CIA drug dealing. Discovered by the CIA and its Montagnard co-conspirators before they can escape, sixteen of the 22 members of Finkle's group are killed. CIA men later threaten Finkle, who keeps his story secret for several decades, only revealing it now.
Streaming Audio two-hour interview of Richard Finkle, from the "Expert Witness" show on WBAI radio, New York.
                                        * Part One
                                        * Part Two

Fragging Bob: Bob Kerrey, CIA War Crimes, And The Need For A War Crimes Trial, Doug Valentine's article in the May 17, 2001 issue of Alexander Cockburn's and Jeffrey St. Clair's muck-raking journal Counterpunch.

"The Spook Who Went to Washington: New U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons' cold-blooded past.", from The New Haven Advocate of Feb. 8, 2001.

The Phoenix Program, My Lai and the "Tiger Cages", an excerpt from Valentine's authoritative book The Phoenix Program, available from iUniverse.com.
NOTE: This is a new location. The article was removed from the previous site at www.humboldt1.com by the site owner because he did not agree with it. So much for "free speech on line"!

What's In This Page

I have three kinds of materials on this page:

You can "jump" directly to each section from the Table of Contents above, At the end of each section -- and, in the "Texts" section, at the end of each text file as well -- there is a "jump" back to the Table of Contents marked (TOC), so you don't have t o scroll through the whole page to find what you want.

I need your FEEDBACK to make this page better and more useful to everyone who consults it. Please let me know your suggestions and criticisms.


I. Pages on the Vietnam War

SHWV Home Page, the home site for the excellent Usenet Newsgroup soc.history.war.vietnam, founded and moderated by John Tegtmeier.
This is the single most complete, most extensive Internet site for the Vietnam War. It has links to virtually everything else on the Net related to the war, and is kept up-to-date. Enough superlatives -- check here first.

Vietnam War History Page The best page I've found on the Vietnam War! Lots of good links, great graphics too. Compiled by an unnamed student in Prof. Ron Nurse's course at Virgi nia Tech.
Like virtually all American pages, it focuses too much on the U.S. involvement in the war, but attempts to include other perspectives. ** dead link sometime after 1 June 99!! If you find it's moved somewhere, please let me know!

VietnamWar.net: A Portal To Information About The Vietnam War. A good metasite with lots of links from many perspectives. The History page is especially good.

Investigating the Vietnam War, from the Spartacus Educational group in England. A very rich page of Vietnam War links and materials! This group also has other educational pages and links on many historical, social, and political subjects here -- definitely worth exploring!

Vietnam War Literary Links A rich site with many links I have not seen before. But it is not annotated -- you have to look at the sites to see what they are.

Vietnam Veterans Home Page. The major WWW page for and about Vietnam Veterans, maintained by Bill McBride. This address is an "echo" of the original Viet Vets Home Page in Texas -- connect to either one.

Ed Moise's Vietnam War Bibliography. Moise, at Clemson University, is arguably one of the foremost authorities on Vietnam in the U.S. This is the comprehensive bibliography he compiled some time ago o n the subject of the war.

The next few sites do not have much, but they are the best of the secondary WWW sites with Vietnam War materials that I have found.

There are a number of other sites that catalog a few documents of the Vietnam War, but I have found no others that are not either (a) simple lists of documents, often unavailable or on Microfilm; (b) repetitions of the links available through the first two sites above.

PLEASE let me know of any other substantial pages on the War which contain materials not listed here or in the links above, and I will add them to this page.

Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Inc., and VVAW-NET
VVAW-NET is an informal communications network of folks involved and interested in the activities of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Inc. To participate in the network, VVAW requires that an individual supply a snail mail address and a very brief statement of his or her interest in or connection to the organization. Communications are distributed by "core" members through blind-copy electronic mail. Postings to the net are addressed to one of the core members. The current distributors are Joe Miller from the National Office (jtmiller@uiuc.edu) and Ben Chitty from the New York chapter (abcqc@cunyvm.cuny.edu). The network serves mainly to broadcast news about VVAW and about issues in which the organization has taken an interest. Responses to postings are encouraged, but have not been common. Either distributor can redistribute information (or answer questions) submitted by any participant in the network. Names and addresses (electronic or otherwise) of network participants are not public information.

Vietnam Veterans Against the War Home Page. Be sure to check it out -- brand new as of Dec. 6, 1996!

The Rise and Fall of the Anti-Vietnam War Movement in the U.S. This essay explores the history of the anti-Vietnam War movement from the perspective of an activist in it -- a former member of Students for a Democratic Society, the Worker-Student Alliance Caucus of SDS, and of the Progressive Labor Party, which did so much to reintroduce Marxism-Leninism and the ideals of communism to the US during the 1960s, and which is still very active.

Some Bibliographies of interest to students of the Vietnam War are kept here at the archive of "The Sixties", an excellent mailing list, or "listser ver", moderated by Kali Tal, who also publishes the fascinating journal Vietnam Generation.

Bibliographies up so far include:
"GI Resistance", by Skip Delano, one of the founders of VVAW, "Vietnam Veterans Against the War";
"Minority Veterans"; and
"Sixties Political Films".

The whole 'Sixties' Home Page is one of the very best collections of Vietnam War-related materials on the Web. Check it out!

Lessons of the Vietnam War -- A Curriculum from the Center for Social Studies Education headed by Jerry Starr. Good curriculum, aimed at High School teachers (and students).

(TOC)


II. Korean War and Other Related Pages

These pages help put the Vietnam War into the framework of U.S. imperialist expansion in the Pacific area after World War II. This perspective, perfectly acceptable when applied to the other major imperialist powers, such as England, France, Germany or Ja pan, is "unacceptable" and rigidly censored from the mainstream media and textbooks -- in fact, from discussion at all -- in the U.S.

But I'm convinced that looking at the Vietnam War from an anti-imperialist perspective is the only way to understand it accurately, and the same goes for the rest of U.S. foreign policy.

Here are some pages that help to put the Korean War in perspective.

Korean War Eyewitness. A rather brief account of life in Korea just after World War II, under "benign" American occupation.
Remember that the Soviets withdrew from North Korea in 1948. The U.S., however, refused to withdraw from South Korea, fearing a pro-peasant, pro-communist takeover, and supported fascist Korean politicians who had collaborated with the Japanese imperialis t occupiers. The U.S. would act in a very similar way in Vietnam a few years later!

Korea Solidarity.
This is an anti-imperialist, though nationalist, South Korean page. The view expressed -- not at all pro-communist, but resolutely opposing the presence of U.S. occupation forces in South Korea -- is held by many or most South Koreans, though you'd never guess it from the American mass media!

Course on U.S. Imperialism. Syllabus of a course taught at M.I.T. by Political Science Professor Stephen Van Evera, which exposes students to the viewpoint that U.S. foreign policy has been motivated by imperialist aims -- in other words, of domination and exploitation, rather than "supporting freedom." It didn't start with Vietnam!
Check out another of Van Evera's courses, through the syllabus in his course on American Foreign Policy here.
If you read it carefully, you'll note that -- for example -- George F. Kennan, one of the chief designers of American imperialist policy after World War II, believed that women, blacks and immigrants should be denied the right to vote! What a freedom- loving guy!

Short Biography of Ho Chi Minh, from The Marxism Page. Good photograph, and generous appreciation of Ho, from a liberal Marxist viewpoint.

(TOC)


III. Texts Relating to the Vietnam War and Imperialism

Here are some texts that I like and use for understanding the Vietnam War. I'm very interested in putting up more texts, and in providing links to others that come onto the Web. If you find any, please email me to let me know! Also, give me feedback about these texts. Thanks!

VVA's Electronic Library: Vietnam War and Vietnam Era Resources From Assorted
Web Sites.
Excellent list of Vietnam War-related sites, the most extensive I know of, including from this page.

Villagers at War: The National Liberation Front In My Tho Province, 1965-1967, by David Hunt. One of the two or three foremost American experts on Vietnam, Hunt published this book as a special issue of Radical America in 1974. It has been long out of print and unavailable.
Ever since I read it some years ago, I've found this work very inspiring -- in fact, matched by few if any other works I can think of. It's based upon RAND Corp. interrogations of Vietnamese peasants -- POWs (i.e. members of the NLF), Communist Party members, 'deserters' who fled to the US/South Vietnamese side, and just plain villagers. The quotations from these interrogations are wonderful! They show how the Communist movement won tremendous respect from the Vietnamese peasants, by standing up for the poor and middle peasants; opposing the landlords and their murderous government; fought sexism; and organized young and old, male and female, to build communist relations while in the midst of a horrendously murderous military assault by American forces.

The COINTELPRO Papers: Documents from the FBI's Secret Wars Against Dissent in the United States "Cointelpro was the FBI's secret program to undermine the popular upsurge which swept the country during the 1960s. Though the name stands for "Counterintelligence Program," the targets were not enemy spies. The FBI set out to eliminate "radical" political opposition inside the US. When traditional modes of repression (exposure, blatant harassment, and prosecution for political crimes) failed to counter the growing insurgency, and even helped to fuel it, the Bureau took the law into its own hands and secretly used fraud and force to sabotage constitutionally - protected political activity. Its methods ranged far beyond surveillance, and amounted to a domestic version of the covert action for which the CIA has become infamous throughout the world."
   This is the complete text of the book by Ward Churchill & Jim Vander Wall

Vietnam: Defeat U.S. Imperialism. This pamphlet from 1971, by the Progressive Labor Party, taught me a lot at the time. It is the best, and one of the few, detailed analyses of the Vietnam War, and of American imperialism, from a Marxist-Leninist viewpoint. The Vietnamese Communist Party itself, as well as the Soviets and Chinese, avoided strict class analysis of the war (assuming they were capable of them) because they wished to build a "united front" of all those oppposed to it. Some important subsections include:

"Pacification's Deadly Price", Newsweek June 19, 1972, pages 42-43.
Newsweek's editors held this story for almost three years, and then distanced themselves from it by quoting it as their reporter's, Kevin Buckley's, "report", instead of as a regular news article (Newsweek articles were never by-lined in 1972). By 1972 the majority of the U.S. political and governmental elite, or ruling class, had decided that the Vietnam War had to be ended. This, as well as widespread revulsion against the war both within the U.S. and worldwide, created the possibility for some criticism of U.S. war conduct in the American press. Kevin Buckley's report, reproduced here, was one of the strongest to appear in the mainstream press.

"Collapse of the Armed Forces", by Col. Robert D. Heinl, Jr., Armed Forces Journal, 7 June 1971, pages 30-38. This powerful article showed the powerful anti-war movement within the U.S. military, dissatisfaction by GIs with obeying authority in a war many of them disagreed with, and the results of the anti-racist movement of the '60s as black GIs refused to knuckle under to racist treatment. Here is a PDF version of the same article.

"I was a racketeer for capitalism!" declared Marine Corps General Smedley T. Butler, the most decorated man in American uniform, with two Congressional Medals of Honor, in one of the most quoted "underground" articles on the net. Here it is in a PDF version as well.

"Gulf of Tonkin" Lie.
This article, by Norman Solomon and Jeff Cohen of F.A.I.R. (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, a liberal media-watch group) gives a succinct summary about the phony casus belli, or pretext, used by President Johnson to get a "blank check" from Con gress and begin large-scale US aggression in Vietnam.

Gareth Porter

Gareth Porter on the "Myth of the Hue Massacre".
In 1974 Gareth Porter published this bombshell article in Indochina Chronicle, No. 33 of June 24, 1974. Porter's in-depth analysis revealed how the U.S. and South Vietnamese propaganda agencies had concocted the story of the "massacre" of tho usands of civilians in Hue, supposedly by the Communist forces, in order to distract attention from the My Lai massacre, which had just come to light. This is the link to Part I; there is a link to Part II of the article at the end of this file. Posted by permission.

John Spragens, Jr., "1974 'Communist Atrocities', also from Indochina Chronicle 33 (June 24, 1974), 14-17. PDF file

Gareth Porter on "The Myth of the Bloodbath: North Vietnam's Land Reform Reconsidered."
From Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, September 1973. The first article to explode the CIA-concocted lie about land reform in North Vietnam in 1956. Edwin Moise's article "Land Reform and Land Reform Errors in North Vietnam," from Pacific Affairs, 49 (1976), is available on JSTOR at many academic institutions, and is the latest word on this subject.

Gareth Porter, "Distorting History". Excellent article from the conservative journal Transaction/SOCIETY in 1983, refuting Col. Harry Summers' views and outlining what really went on. (PDF)

Michael Parenti, on "The Cost of Empire".
Parenti points out succinctly that imperialism not only robs its direct victims -- those in the colonized countries -- but also robs the working class and many others in the imperialist country as well!. Understanding of this point should be mo re widespread. From Parenti, The Sword and the Dollar.

Jeffrey Race, "The Unlearned Lessons of Vietnam," from The Yale Review, 1976. The military paid for Race's research, but didn't want to hear what he had to say. A valuable article.

Essays by Peter Brush

Peter Brush's Home Page -- new September 30, 2004. A great page, well laid out. I have changed all links to Peter' own Home Page.

Two NEW essays by Peter Brush:

And here are some selections from among Peter Brush's essays:

A page from President Eisenhower's memoires, Mandate for Change, in which the President admits that, had there been a free election in Vietnam in 1954 -- the Geneva Convention of 1954 called for an election in 1956, which the U.S. refused to permit -- Ho Ch i Minh would have won. Naturally the U.S. could not permit the Vietnamese people to make such an error!

Imperialism and the Vietnam War, a short statement taken from a listserver in 1994. It sets forth a view of how imperialism, far from profiting the working people of the imperialist country, actually exploits them as well!

Here is the text of a letter to the campus newspaper in 1994 outlining my view of U.S. imperialist motives and actions in Vietnam, and here is a follow-up letter with more analysis and some references.
Here is an essay I published in The Montclarion, the campus newspaper, in 1984, to answer the most common questions my students were asking me about the Vietnam War. And here is an article I wrote in April, 1999 for the MSU student newspaper, reflecting on the bombing of Yugoslavia in the light of the Vietnam War.

"The U.S. Is Just As Guilty As Pol Pot", an article I wrote for The Montclarion, April 24 1998. At Pol Pot's death the U.S. media repeated the lie that he had been a Communist, while omitting completely the fact that the U.S. had financially backed him and the Khmer Rouge for 15 years, while denouncing them as "Communists" guilty of "genocide". Here is the link to my "Politics and Social Issues Page, where I link several other detailed, documented articles on this question.

"Vietnam Returns to Capitalism", an essay by British journalist Jeremy Seabrook, points out how the abandonment of communism and embrace of capitalism has led to a return to exploitation, poverty and misery, as wel l as a profound sense of betrayal, in Vietnam today.

The Winter Soldier Hearings, from the 1971 Congressional Record, the whole text of the famous testimony by Vietnam Veterans about the war crimes, atrocities, and injustices of the American military in Vietnam, has been put on the Web here by Kali Tal, editor of Vietnam Generation.

The Phoenix Campaign, a summary by Ralph McGehee, former CIA analyst, of US and US-sponsored atrocities in the notorious "Phoenix Program" of assassinations during the Vietnam War; with citations from McGehee's notes.

Doug Valentine's Home Page. Doug Valentine wrote The Phoenix Program, an excellent and hard-hitting book about the C.I.A.'s murder and assassination program (see the McGehee entry above), and now back in print from iUniverse, Books-A-Million, Amazon.com, and elsewhere. I highly recommend it.

Jane Fonda in Hanoi, transcript of part of a broadcast.
I have no interest in Jane Fonda whatsoever. But those who attack her are defending US imperialism in Vietnam. Here is an example of what Fonda said while in Hanoi, as American bombs were dropping on the civilian population.

Lies About Fonda's Activities in No. Vietnam. Here is a link exposing some lies spread widely over the Internet beginning in 1999 accusing Fonda of aiding North Vietnamese officials in mistreating and torturing American POWs. Evidently some who defend the US role in the war think that Fonda didn't do anything most people would consider very bad, and felt obliged to fabricate some horror stories. From About.com.

John McCain Admits To War Crimes? This strongly pro-war and anti-McCain page claims the former Senator and Republican presidential hopeful (in 2000) stated in a Mike Wallace "Sixty Minutes" interview in October, 1997.
Peter Brush sent me the transcript of the Wallace interview (5.1.02). The page takes McCain's statement way out of context. McCain admitted that he confessed to deliberately bombing women and children, but claims that he "broke" under torture. Here is the relevant text from the interview, taken from the transcript.

President Ho Chi Minh's Letter to President Lyndon Johnson of February 15, 1967, is the classic brief and noble statement of Ho's anti-imperialist determination. Significantly, he says nothing at all about communism. The Vietnamese Communist Party was not in fact fighting for communism, but for "national liberation". It's clear that, in Vietnam as elsewhere, it was nationalism, not communism, which the communist movement had become most deeply loyal to.

Literature of the Vietnam War

Private Joker's Homepage: Gustav Hasford (1947-1993). Hasford wrote two of the very best novels about the Vietnam War: The Short-Timers and The Phantom Blooper. This page, by his nephew, has links to many articles and reviews, and -- most important, perhaps -- you can download the complete text of The Short-Timers and The Phantom Blooper. A sterling resource!

Tim O'Brien Resources on the Web. I prepared this page for a talk I gave at the Belleville (NJ) Library in March '99. It has links to the major Tim O'Brien resources on the web. If you find any more of them, let me know! Perhaps the best-known Vietnam War novelist, O'Brien wrote Going After Cacciato, The Things They Carried, and In the Lake of the Woods, as well as many essays and stories.

(TOC)

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furrgATmail.montclair.edu | last modified 3 December 2010