First Published: Progressive Labor Vol. 3, Nos. 8-9, July-August 1964
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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Since 1954, when American imperialism attempted to replace French imperialism in Southeast Asia, the government of the United States has been carrying on a war of oppression against the people of Vietnam. Hundreds of young Americans have senselessly died as a result of this war and thousands more may well give up their lives in the jungles of Vietnam before the American troops are finally defeated and driven out of the whole Southeast Asia.
The most serious incident to date has now taken place in Vietnam American planes, armed with napalm and explosive bombs, have attacked the Republic of north Vietnam without provocation. These air strikes are not unique–American planes have been bombing north Vietnam for months– but they are the most publicized of the American led attacks against the people of north Vietnam. The phony issue of north Vietnamese patrol boats attacking American destroyers is reminiscent of the American sinking of its own ship, the Maine, which it then used to create the impetus for the Spanish-American War of 1898.
Our unilateral attack against north Vietnam shows how desperate the government has become Over the losses it suffers daily in Southeast Asia. Eighty per cent of south Vietnam is now controlled by the South Vietnamese National Liberation Front (Viet Cong). The U.S. backed puppet, General Khanh, fears a coup will overthrow him at any moment–he never sleeps in the same bed more than one night he is so fearful of his life. The revolutionary forces in south Vietnam have even attacked the suburbs of Saigon. American influence in Southeast Asia has reached its lowest ebb.
The American government launched armed attacks against north Vietnam in an attempt to bolster up the ragged regime of Khanh. Johnson authorized the aggressions as a vote gathering gimmick and an attempt to immobilize the critics of his Vietnamese policy with a call for “bi-partisanship.” The attacks were also meant to provoke the Vietnamese and/or Chinese into retaliating so that Johnson and his cronies could launch a full scale war against the socialist governments of Asia.
Lyndon Baines Johnson may very well be guilty of treason. He has unilaterally declared “war” on Vietnam. He has violated the Geneva Agreements of 1954. He has violated the charter of the United Nations and the precepts of the American Constitution. Lyndon Johnson is attempting to use his position as President to ride roughshod over the people of this country and to impose a war, of his own choosing, on all of us.
The government in Washington is guilty of the murder of all of the American servicemen that have died in Vietnam. The government in Washington is guilty of the murders of thousands of Vietnamese fighting for their freedom from American colonialism. The government of the United States stands before the bar of world justice and has been found “guilty” of murder.
The war in Vietnam must be stopped. American troops must refuse to fight in Vietnam American young people must refuse to serve in the armed forces that are fighting in Vietnam. The American people must refuse to support a government that wages war in Vietnam. We must not allow our consciences to be bought off by the inane phrases of the bi-partisan crowd shadowing events in the White House.
The war in Vietnam must be stopped, the role of the United States government in Vietnam must be exposed, the lies perpetrated by the mass media and the State Department must be countered. We intend to continue to place the blame for the Vietnamese war where it belongs–on the American government. We intend to point out the true facts until the American people see the truth and refuse to support the illegal actions of the government in Washington.
– the Editors