VIETNAM VETERANS FOR ACADEMIC REFORM

The University of Kansas Student Auxiliary

 

V.V.A.R.: Leading the student revolt on campus against speech codes, political correctness, multiculturalism, gender feminism, dormitory re-education, lying about Vietnam, and other instruments of academic oppression.

 

Leonard Magruder - Founder/President

Former professor of psychology - Suffolk College, N.Y.

Member: National Association of Scholars

 

CONTACT: Magruder44@aol.com - Phone: 785-312-9303

 

 

STUDENT GROUP SAYS AMERICAN MEDIA COVERING UP GROWING POLLS THAT SHOW VIETNAM VETS DON’T WANT KERRY AS COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. SEEK TO EXPOSE THIS THROUGH FILM PLUS VET PANELS ON PUBLIC ACCESS TV, AND S.O.S. TO WORLD MEDIA.

 

Leonard Magruder, President of Vietnam Veterans for Academic Reform, the student auxiliary at the University of Kansas, today sent out 28 copies of a special edition of his documentary, How the Campus Lied About Vietnam, to Vietnam vet leaders requesting it from all over the country. The film, reduced to forty minutes, allows for 20 minutes of live commentary about Kerry by vet groups who plan to show the film on local Public Access TV.

 

The film is a representative sample from 62 interviews Mr. Magruder did with Vietnam vets at national parades during the mid-80’s. The subject is the damage that was done to returning vets by antiwar groups such as Kerry’s Vietnam Veterans Against the War. In addition, he announced he had also just sent out copies of his latest article to major media in the capitals of Europe detailing both Kerry’s weakness in the area of national security and the growing opposition to him as Commander-in-Chief by Vietnam veterans. The American media, he said, was not mentioning any of these issues. His article may be seen at the group’s website, v-v-a-r.org. Other Vietnam vet groups against Kerry are wintersoldier.com and nojohnkerry.org. Excerpts from the interviews with the veterans who appear in the film may be seen later in this article.

 

Following is the material that went out with the film on all of these issues:

 

“The Kerry statement to Congress in 1971, shown recently on C-SPAN, was more than what he now claims, just an anguished cry from those who had seen horror and wanted it ended. There was an agenda involved, an ideology, very similar to the one argued by people like Jane Fonda, Jerry Rubin, and Ramsey Clark. Kerry was probably more moderate than these three, but still, he did emphasize “atrocities,” “immorality,” and “out now” with no regard for the fate of the South Vietnamese, major themes of the protestors. Kerry told Congress the whole war rested on “atrocities,” that South Vietnam was a “nothing,” that the idea of Communist involvement was “mystical,” that it was a “civil war” between freedom fighters and an oppressive government being helped by America. He fed the falsehoods that those who fought the war were the young and poor, that minorities were disproportionately represented, that the Vietnam veteran is ashamed of his service, and that the government had used them. Kerry said the U.S. was “the criminal element” in Vietnam, not the Communist North. Craig Gordon of Newsday’s Washington Bureau wrote of Kerry’s testimony in an article on Feb 21, “It is considered by many to be one of the peace movement’s defining moments. Kerry’s speech helped galvanize the protests and turn popular opinion against the war.”

 

Kerry has made a few statements recently about this ’71 testimony. But he misrepresents it. The Winter Soldier charges were not “highly documented”; they are totally unsubstantiated. He didn’t “help people understand what was going on”; he helped to publicize lies. He didn’t “honor” the service of vets; he charged them and their officers with daily atrocities. This desperate posturing on his past radicalism tells us a lot. He tries to turn every questioning into an attack on his patriotism, a transparent and ineffective dodge.

 

Mackubin Thomas Owens, a Vietnam combat veteran, now professor of strategy at the Naval War College, put the issue best in an article recently in The National Review: “Kerry invokes his Vietnam veteran service at every turn. But an honest, enterprising reporter should ask him, ‘Were you lying in 1971 or are you lying now?’ If he believes his 1971 indictment of his country and his fellow veterans was true, then he couldn’t possibly be proud of his Vietnam service. But if he is proud of his service today then he should apologize to every veteran of that war for slandering them to advance his political ambitions.”

 

Stephen B. Young in an article commenting on celebrations of the thirtieth anniversary of the Vietnam War said, “A generation congratulates itself once again for doing what the North Vietnamese never could have done—defeat the United States. History, as they say, is written by the victors, and the victor in this conflict was the American anti-war movement. It is no wonder, then, that our national recollection of the war matches that of the New Left.”

 

It is this recollection, rising to the surface in this debate over Kerry’s 1971 testimony, that is really at stake, with media and campus clearly trying to keep the issue from surfacing. For thirty years the media and the university have institutionalized the Big Lie of the campus war protestors and gotten away with it by simply refusing to debate the issue with veterans, which now they may have to do. (see my article, “Kerry Too Naive” at v-v-a-r.org)

 

Here is an example of the Big Lie, taken from Mutiny Does not Happen Lightly: the Literature of the American Resistance to the Vietnam War.

 

“The May 2nd movement is launching an anti-induction campaign on the campuses. ...based on the refusal to fight against the people of Vietnam. Some chapters of May 2 plan to campaign to donate blood and other medical aid to the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (Viet Cong) to concretely show our support for national liberation struggles. Receiving blood from U.S. college students will be a terrific morale booster for the Vietnamese people.”

—May 2nd Movement - Sept. 8, 1965

 

This is a typical example of 60’s campus rhetoric. Aid and comfort to the Viet Cong, who, they were assured by faculty, were simply “indigenous freedom fighters” being attacked by American forces, the Big Lie that even today lives on in teaching students about the war, and clearly influenced the thoughts of Kerry when he testified to Congress.

 

The American soldier, with few exceptions, fought bravely and honorably. He did what the nation asked of him and in no sense was the war lost on the battlefield. Even though American resolve fell short in the end, few nations in history have ever engaged in such sacrifices for others, and no gain, or attempted gain for human freedom can be discounted.Those who fought for freedom for the South Vietnamese not only deserve to be honored, they deserve that the nation start facing the truth.

 

The aspects of the war that most need clarifying, in TV documentaries, movies, books, debates, courses, etc., are: The idealistic motives for our involvement, the subversive nature of the campus war protests, the true intentions of Communist North Vietnam to conquor all Indochina, the barbaric tactics of the Viet Cong, the Bie Lie of the war protestors about “indigenous freedom fighters,” the use of the media to influence public opinion, the manipulation of American media journalists and intellectuals by Hanoi propaganda, the true bravery and victorious record of our fighting men, the genuine thrust for freedom of the South Vietnamese, and the truth about antiwar members in Congress in their final abandonment of South Vietnam.

 

No nation can allow a tissue of lies this great to remain in the history of its wars for long. It too easily becomes the basis for a dangerous polarization in time of war.

 

To tell the truth about the Vietnam War at this time would necessarily involve challenging the reigning leftist philosophy on our campuses. But out of this would come, not only freedom for the Vietnam veteran from an image that is still all too often false, but a strong challenge to the other leftist tyrannies on campus that came out of the 60’s: multiculturalism, political correctness, radical feminism, dormitory re-education, and speech codes. And now two new leftist horrors on campus, a virulent anti-Semitism and sugar-coated nonsense about Islam, are making the campus the weakest link in our war on terrorism.

 

We can honor Kerry’s service in Vietnam, but his slander of the American soldier in his ’71 testimony must be challenged. Furthermore, bravery shown in war, shown also by tens of thousands of others in Vietnam, is no guarantee of “credibility on national security issues.” No president has to go out with an M-16 and shoot enemies personally. What counts in this area of national security is the method one uses to handle conflict, and Kerry has a long history of favoring negotiation, dialogue, compromise, and even appeasement, the typical tools of a liberal, 20th century diplomat in dealing with reasonably civilized nations, but useless in light of 9/11 and an enemy that has repeatedly said:

 

“We will offer no chance for America to come to an agreement with the righteous warriors, no possibility for compromise, no hope for a treaty, no attempt for solution. The war will be waged until the United States remains a memory.”

 

We have a slogan at headquarters, “A vote for Kerry is a vote for national suicide.”

 

Chuck Lawrence, Vietnam vet and author, recently wrote, “The conduct by Kerry and his friends played a significant part and role in Vietnam veterans being ostracized by our society.” That is what this film, How the Campus Lied About Vietnam, is about, the disgraceful treatment of vets when they returned home, as a result of the lies of antiwar groups, including Kerry’s group, Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Lawrence went on to ask, “Do we really want a president who organized and led anti-war and anti-American protests and demonstrations under the flag of the enemy we were fighting?” Good question.

 

Right now what the public wants to hear is how the Vietnam veteran community really feels about Kerry as Commander-in-Chief. From all the data I have seen from Vietnam vets all over the country, there appears to be a significant majority opposed to Kerry becoming president. This, however, is not being mentioned by the mainstream media. So if you are among those who want this to be known, How the Campus Lied About Vietnam may be of some use to you in communicating this. But even if you do not wish to use this film in this connection, how the antiwar movement misled the public, and how universities still mislead students about the war are issues in themselves so you could have a discussion about these instead of current political issues. Now is the time to raise any of these issues.

 

There was time in the 40-minute edition of the film to present the views of ten of those interviewed in response to the question, “How do you feel about the war protestors?” Here are some short excerpts from what each said, although all the rest said essentially the same thing.

 

Veteran A: Now that hurt me a lot. They yelled at us, “Nixon’s hired guns!” Does one need a college education to do that?

 

Veteran B: All they cared about was themselves, and those who served in Vietnam they didn’t give jack---- about and that stinks. When a country turns its mind and body against a veteran who fought a war for that country, that stinks.

 

Veteran C: When I returned I could only keep going if I forgot my Vietnam service, shut it out of my life. But I don’t feel that way any more. I have every reason to be proud of what I did in Vietnam.

 

Veteran D: Humiliating, insulting, degrading. It hurt, what the protestors did.

 

Veteran E: They protested the fact that the American soldier was in Vietnam, but when we came back they treated us like dirt. They didn’t care.

 

Veteran F: When we came home we wanted to fit back into society as soon as possible. But it didn’t work out that way. They kept saying, “You must be one of those baby killers, one of the psychopathic killers of Vietnam.” When you start living with something like that you start telling people you were not over in Vietnam, just out of the country.

 

Veteran G: They were idots...we came home alone, straight into the jaws of insensitive idiots. The peace movement was very diverse, from Vietnam Veterans Against the War to mother and fathers who couldn’t understand.

 

Veteran H: Because of them we were portrayed as people that we were not, as “baby killers” and all of that. If they could make those returning feel they had done something wrong it added credibility to their arguments. It was a tack taken so they would not have to go.

 

Veteran I: Oh boy, do I remember that, spitting at us at the airport and saying we were rapists, that we raped babies, and they left a mark on us making people think that we were no good.

 

Veteran J: When they got back they were blacklisted as very uncomfortable reminders to those people who opposed the war, and many of them felt the arrogant need to isolate many of those who tried to come home and re-penetrate those peer groups—they were ordered to the closet. It was especially difficult for disabled veterans, who were told their sacrifice was a stupid and unnessary act of patriotism.

 

UPDATE OF A STORY: A V.V.A.R. SPECIAL

The Los Angeles Times recently reported that selected leaders of Kerry’s Vietnam Veterans Against the War met with representatives of Hanoi who told these leaders which senators they wanted assassinated, and that Kerry participated in a “closed-door discussion” on November of 1971 on whether to do this. Kerry denies this, saying he resigned the organization in July of 1971. But there is a problem. Reporter Thomas H. Lipscomb in an article in The New York Sun wrote:

 

“A Vietnam veteran who said he remembers John Kerry participating in a November 1971 Kansas City meeting at which an assassination plot was discussed says an official with the Kerry presidential campaign called him this month and pressured him to change his story. The veteran, John Musgrave, says he was called twice by the head of Veterans for Kerry, John Hurley, who told him,”Why don’t you refresh your memory and call that reporter back ?” Musgrave said, “I told Hurley it was my first meeting as an state officer of VVAW and I remember Kerry being there. I remember what I remember.”

 

By then, the recollections of six witnesses, along with minutes and FBI records, placed Kerry at the Kansas City meeting, but the story has since then been sanitized until it simply disappeared. However, John Musgrave is a friend of Mr. Magruder and lives in the same area in Kansas. He was one of 62 Vietnam vets Mr. Magruder interviewed in Houston for this film. He appears in a photo with Mr. Magruder and General William Westmoreland at the end of the film. At that time Musgrave was running for President of Vietnam Veterans of America. Said Mr. Magruder, “Musgrave once autographed a book of his for me, On Snipers, Laughter, and Death:Vietnam Poems, as follows: “To Len - a true friend of the Vietnam veteran and a friend of mine - your buddy- John.” Said Mr. Magruder, “I have great admiration for John Musgrave. He is a man of great integrity and courage. He was very badly wounded in Vietnam and earned three Purple Hearts. He is very highly regarded in this community . He got out of VVAW when he saw how it was being used by the Left. If he says Kerry was at that meeting in Kansas City, then Kerry was at that meeting, period. I think Kerry has a problem here that has been buried by a media that is campaigning for Kerry.”

 

This article may be reproduced in any form.

 

Leonard Magruder

Founder/President, V.V.A.R.

Phone: 785-312-9303

Magruder44@aol.com

 

Other new films we recommend are Silent Victory(silent victory.com), and the 4-volume Long Way Home Project (longwayhome.net).

 

 

Website design and management courtesy of Annette R. Hall. Hosted by www.i-served.com.

 

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