John Kerry, Statement of Vietnam Veterans Against the War to the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations, April 22, 1971. But there is no reason why it cannot be met. (As of the date of publication the information referred to had not been received.). I am not here as John Kerry. (Applause) I want also to congratulate Mr. Kerry, you, and your associates upon the restraint that you have shown, certainly in the hearing the other day when there were a great many of your people here. Someone has to die so that President Senator Symington: Yes. So you are reduced to a position where the only way you can get your ideas out is to stage events, because had we not staged the events, will all due respect, Senator, and I really appreciate the fact that I am here obviously, and I know you are committed to this, but with all due respect I probably wouldn't be sitting at this table. Senator Javits: It has gone to the calendar but I think the point has been very well made by, I think, the total number of sponsors. pious shield of public rectitude. (Laughter), Saigon Government's Attitude Toward Complete Withdrawal Date. It included Al Hubbard, who had served in the Air Force and had lied about being in Vietnam, and Jan Barry, who was a radio mechanic in Vietnam prior to the 1965 troop buildup. Congressman insert so often. We found that not only was it a civil war, an effort by a people who had for Summarize Us entry into the vietnam war and the rise of the anti-war movement. own image were hard put to take up the fight against the threat we were by coffy: Thu Apr 05 2001 at 23:08:12: In 1971, veteran John Kerry testified before the U.S. Foreign Relations Committee concerning American involvement in the Vietnam War. North Vietnamese and VC Attitude Toward Definite Withdrawal Date. But what I would like to know now is if we, as we complete our withdrawal and, say, get down to 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 or even 50,000 troops there, would there be any effort on the part of the South Vietnamese government of the South Vietnamese army, in your opinion, to impede their withdrawal? You don't have a chance for peace when you arm the people of another country and tell them they can fight a war. country - the question of racism which is rampant in the military, and so many It is not reliable; everybody is feeding each other double intelligence, and I think that is what comes back to this country. 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. Are you familiar with some of the proposals before this committee? supposedly abuse, is to us the height of criminal hypocrisy, and it is that kind This is the kind of problem that you have. That means 1 out of every 10 of the Nation's unemployed is a veteran of Vietnam. (Applause). how did the war itself fit within US cold war policy in general? We would go in with two quarter-inch aluminum hull boats and get shot at and never secure territory or anything except to quote Admiral Zumwalt to show the American flag and prove to the Vietcong they don't own the rivers. I wanted you to have a chance to respond to the question of Indochina in a large context. When they have a war to fight, they are just as happy in a sense, and I am sure that these men feel they are being stabbed in the back. I am here as one member of the group of one thousand, which is a small representation of a very much larger group of veterans in this country, and were it possible for all of them to sit at this table they would be here and have the same kind of testimony. clear than ever our own determination to undertake one last mission - to search They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do. They have attempted to disown us and the sacrifice we made for this country. Then one thing led to another. This effort is being made. I hope that you won't lose faith in it. The country seems to have lain down and shrugged off something as serious as Laos, just as we calmly shrugged off the loss of 700,000 lives in Pakistan, the so-called greatest disaster of all times. Senator Aiken: I am not telling you what I think. The Chairman: I know in my own state, our Governor started without any money or with just himself and came from nowhere and defeated a Rockefeller. Thank you very much, Senator Fulbright, Senator Javits, Senator Symington and Senator Pell. Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom, which those misfits I would like to say for the record, and also for the men behind me who are also wearing the uniforms and their medals, that my sitting here is really symbolic. We didn't go into East Pakistan; we didn't go into Czechoslovakia. Resolution Concerning Vietnam Veterans' Encampment. We are here to ask where are McNamara, Rostow, Bundy, Gilpatric and so many others. Indeed, a group of Vietnam veterans formed the organization Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW). In our opinion and from our experience, there is nothing in South Vietnam I have personally advocated that this is the best procedure. Mr. Chairman, I was down there to the veterans' camp yesterday and saw the New York group and I would like to say I am very proud of the deportment and general attitude of the group. Kerry was born in Colorado, the son of a military officer and public servant. But I think that unless we can respond on as a great a question as the war, I seriously question how we are going to find the kind of response needed to meet questions such as poverty and hunger and questions such as birth control and so many of the things that face our society today from low income housing to schooling, to recent reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on busing. Constitutional Balance the Chairman: mr. Chairman, Request for letters sent to Veterans. 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