The Wednesday Report
Group Limited 1986
rights reserved. Reproduction in part or in whole, in any manner whatsoever,
is strictly forbidden
Soviet Espionage Effort Within the 70's Anti-War Movement
The early 1970s anti-war movement gave U.S. draft dodgers in
Canada both mystique and approval among left-wing radicals. It also
provided the Soviet Union's GRU and KGB with an extraordinary opportunity
to infiltrate NATO-member states.
Among the groups targeted in Canada and in the United States was
the Viet Nam Veterans Against The War (VVAW) which was the subject of
numerous FBI and CIA investigations for plots against U.S. leaders.
The Soviet strategy for penetrating the peace movement's many
elements primarily boiled down to money or resources supplied indirectly
through unwitting zealots. Offering somewhat benign assistance in the form
of printed literature, printing press time, signs, flags, banners and
other paraphernalia for demonstrations and propaganda, Soviet operatives
penetrated organizations whose members were in many cases the wayward
sons and daughters of the North American elite.
Political/cultural penetration of the United States was a
prioritized goal of the Soviet Union after its 1968 invasion of
Czechoslovakia. The emergence of the “Brezhnev doctrine,” which was
somewhat of a paradox asserting that the USSR could intervene in the
domestic affairs of any Soviet bloc nation if Communist rule were
threatened was paralleled with an effort to placate the United States by
inviting detente and influencing America in this direction by any means.
The USSR was behind the defence-industrial technology curve and
it needed time to catch up, some strategists have surmised. Lulling the
United States into peaceful relations while at the same time stealing its
military secrets seemed like a good plan. It was.
In the speeches and writings of some of the anti-war movement's more
visible proponents (the sons and daughters of the U.S. elite) there
are clear traces of Soviet doctrinal input.
Nikita Khrushchev once said, "We cannot expect the American
people to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their
elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism until they awaken
one day to find they have Communism".
"I am not here as John Kerry [speaker's name], but as one member of a group of one thousand, which in turn is a small representation of a very much larger group..."
Announced one such person in a Congressional hearing into wrongdoing by
American soldiers in Viet Nam. The speaker anoints himself as part of a
socialistic collective, a movement he says grows exponentially for
the overthrow of a concept: capitalism and the so-called
The speakers' father, a left-leaning (pro-world
government/global Soviet rule) member
of the elitist middle-ranking career diplomats, works for the U.S. State
Department. Many of the members and leaders of these fringe
anti-establishment uprisings were the children of high-ranking or
Soviet-Compromised Peace Groups Published Propaganda
Through direct or indirect funding from the Soviet Union,
several "anti-establishment" publications were issued by obscure
publishers in an effort to ingratiate Soviet agents within targeted peace
movement elements and to promote antipathy toward sitting U.S.
The American Viet Nam war effort was allegedly aimed at preventing
another step in the global influence of Soviet Communism.
The Soviets on the other hand sought to convince the world of the
benefit of communism and how its virtues included strong social
benefits for families, women and children.
According to Soviet propaganda statements broadcast through
compromised peace groups, "
We [American soldiers] were sent to Vietnam to kill Communism. But we found instead that we were killing women and
children..." (J. Kerry, President of a Veterans' anti-war activist
Soviet complicity in North Viet Nam's illegal detainment of American
Prisoner's of War (POW) and unaccounted MIAs has long been suspected.
Prompted by the recent-past construction of a commemorative wall in Washington
DC, there has been a new spate of rumours about ranking POW's being taken
into Russia for 'intelligence debriefings', interrogation experimentation
and eventual death (to facilitate plausible deniability).
North Viet Nam denied Red Cross and U.S. access to a large number of
MIA/POWs claiming that in fact those persons it has chosen to detain indefinitely
are war criminals who violated and or killed non-combatants and therefore
fall under a unique purview and will not be returned.
Concomitantly the Soviet Union promoted statements from within
compromised U.S. anti-war groups to affirm the allegations of the
North Vietnamese government and set out that American soldiers were indeed
war criminals and therefore those captured would not have the benefit of
Geneva POW rules.
VVAW-Leader (John Kerry) Makes Statement to U.S. Senate's
Foreign Relations Committee
22 April 1971
...I would like to say for the record, and for the men behind me who are also wearing the uniform and their medals, that my being here is really symbolic. I am not here as John Kerry, but as one member of a group of one thousand, which in turn is a small representation of a very much larger group of veterans in this country. Were it possible for all of them to sit at this table they would be here and present the same kind of testimony.
I would like to talk about the feelings these men carry with them after coming back from Vietnam. The country doesn't realize it yet but it has created a monster in the form of thousands 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 of betrayal that no one so far has been able to grasp. We are angry because we feel we have been used in the worst fashion by the administration of this country.
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. But for us, as boys in Asia whom the country was supposed to support, his statement is a terrible distortion from which we can only draw a very deep sense of revulsion, and hence the anger of some of the men who are here in Washington today. It is a distortion because we in no way consider ourselves the best men of this country; because those he calls misfits were standing up for us in a way that nobody else in this country dared to; because so many who have died would have returned to this country to join the misfits in their efforts to ask for an immediate withdrawal from South Vietnam; because so many of those best men have returned as quadriplegics and amputees -- and they lie forgotten in Veterans Administration hospitals in this country which fly the flag which so many have chosen as their own personal symbol -- and we cannot consider ourselves America's best men when we are ashamed of and hated for what we were called on to do in Southeast Asia.
In our opinion, and from our experience, there is nothing in South Vietnam which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America. 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 us the height of criminal hypocrisy.
We are probably angriest about all that we were told about Vietnam and about the mystical war against communism. We found that not only was it a civil war, an effort by a people who had for years been seeking their liberation from any colonial influence whatsoever, but also we found that the Vietnamese whom we had enthusiastically
melded after our own image were hard put to take up the fight against the threat we were supposedly saving them from. We found most people didn't even know the difference between communism and democracy. They only wanted to work in rice paddies without helicopters strafing them and bombs with napalm burning their villages and tearing their country apart. . . . They practiced the art of survival by siding with whichever military force was present at a particular time, be it Viet Cong, North Vietnamese, or American.
We found that all too often American men were dying in those rice paddies for want of support from their allies. We saw firsthand how monies from American taxes were used for a corrupt dictatorial regime. We saw that many people in this country had a one-sided idea of who was kept free by our flag, and blacks provided the highest percentage of casualties. We saw Vietnam ravaged equally by American bombs and search-and-destroy missions, as well as by Viet Cong terrorism, and yet we listened while this country tried to blame all of the havoc on the Viet Cong. We rationalized destroying villages in order to save them. We saw America lose her sense of morality as she accepted very coolly a My Lai and refused to give up the image of American
soldiers who hand out chocolate bars and chewing gum. We learned the meaning of free-fire zones, shooting anything that moves, and we watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of Orientals.
We watched the United States' falsification of body counts, in fact the glorification of body counts. We listened while month after month we were told the back of the enemy was about to break. We fought [with] weapons against those people which I do not
believe this country would dream of using were we fighting in the European
theatre. We watched while men charged up hills because a general said that hill has to be taken, and after losing one platoon or two platoons, they marched away to leave the hill for reoccupation by the North Vietnamese. We watched pride allow the most unimportant battles to be blown into extravaganzas, because we couldn't lose, and we couldn't retreat, and because it didn't matter how many American bodies were lost to prove that point, and so there were Hamburger Hills and Khesahns and Hil181s and Fire Base 6s, and so many others.
And now we are told that the men who fought there must watch quietly while American lives are lost so that we can exercise the incredible arrogance of Vietnamizing the Vietnamese. 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. Someone has to die so that President Nixon won't be, and these are his words, "the first President to lose a war."
We are asking Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake? But we are trying to do that, and we are doing it with thousands of rationalizations, and if you read carefully the President's last speech to the people of this country, you can see that he says, and says clearly, "but the issue, gentlemen, the issue is communism, and the question is whether or not we will leave that country to the Communists or whether or not we will try to give it hope to be a free people." But the point is they are not a free people now, and we cannot fight communism all over the world. I think we should have learned that lesson by now.
Suddenly we are faced with a very sickening situation in this country, because there is no moral indignation and, if there is, it comes from people who are almost exhausted by their past indignations. . . . 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. But we are here as veterans to say we think we are in the midst of the greatest disaster of all times now, because they are still dying over there -- not just Americans, but Vietnamese -- and we are rationalizing leaving that country so that those people can go on killing each other for years to come.
Americans seem to have accepted the idea that the war is winding down, at least for Americans, and they have also allowed the bodies which were once used by a President for statistics to prove that we were winning that war, to be used as evidence against a man who followed orders and who interpreted those orders no differently than hundreds of other men in Vietnam.
We veterans can only look with amazement on the fact that this country has been unable to see there is absolutely no difference between ground troops and a helicopter crew, and yet people have accepted a differentiation fed them by the Administration. No ground troops are in Laos, so it is all right to kill Laotians by remote control. But believe me the helicopter crews fill the same body bags and they wreak the same kind of damage on the Vietnamese and Laotian countryside as anybody else, and the President is talking about allowing that to go on for many years to come. One can only ask if we will really be satisfied only when the troops march into Hanoi.
We are asking here in Washington for some action, action from the Congress of the United States of America, which has the power to raise and maintain armies, and which by the Constitution also has the power to declare war. We have come here, not to the President, because we believe that this body can be responsive to the will of the people, and we believe that the will of the people says that we should be out of Vietnam now.
We are here in Washington also to say that the problem of this war is not just a question of war and diplomacy. It is part and parcel of everything that we are trying as human beings to communicate to people in this country -- the question of racism, which is rampant in the military, and so many other questions such as the use of weapons; the hypocrisy in our taking umbrage in the Geneva Conventions and using that as justification for a continuation of this war when we are more guilty than any other body of violations of those Geneva Conventions; in the use of free-fire zones, harassment interdiction fire, search-and-destroy missions, the bombings, the torture of prisoners, the killing of prisoners, all accepted policy by many units in South Vietnam. That is what we are trying to say. We are also here to ask, and we are here to ask vehemently, where are the leaders of our country? Where is the leadership? We are here to ask where are McNamara, Rostow, Bundy, Johnson, and so many others? Where are they now that we, the men whom they sent off to war, have returned? These are commanders who have deserted their troops, and there is no more serious crime in the law of war. The Army says they never leave their wounded. The Marines say they never leave even their dead. These men have left all the casualties and retreated behind a pious shield of public rectitude. They have left the real stuff of their reputations bleaching behind them in the sun.
Finally, this Administration has done us the ultimate dishonour. They have attempted to disown us and the sacrifices we made for this country. In their blindness and fear they have tried to deny that we are veterans or that we served in Nam. We do not need their testimony. Our own scars and stumps of limbs are witness enough for others and for ourselves.
We wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that service as easily as this Administration has wiped away their memories of us. But all that they have done and all that they can do by this denial is to make more clear than ever our own determination to undertake one last mission -- to search out and destroy the last vestige of this barbaric war, to pacify our own hearts, to conquer the hate and the fear that have driven this country these last ten years and more, so when thirty years from now our brothers go down the street without a leg, without an arm, or a face, and small boys ask why, we will be able to say "Vietnam" and not mean a desert, not a filthy obscene memory, but mean instead the place where America finally turned and where soldiers like us helped it in the turning."
-- Excerpted from John Kerry (VVAW) evidence provided to the United States
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, April 22, 1971.
Published Propaganda of VVAW in "The New Soldier"
"...And so a New Soldier has returned to America, to a nation torn apart by the killing we were asked to do. But, unlike veterans of other wars and some of this one, the New Soldier does not accept the old myths.
We will not quickly join those who march on Veterans' Day waving small flags, calling to memory those thousands who died for the "greater glory of the United States." We will not accept the rhetoric. We will not readily join the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars-in fact, we will find it hard to join anything at all and when we do, we will demand relevancy such as other organizations have recently been unable to provide. We will not take solace from the creation of monuments or the naming of parks after a select few of the thousands of dead Americans and Vietnamese. We will not uphold traditions which decorously memorialize that which was base and grim.
It is from these things the New Soldier is asking America to turn. We are asking America to turn from false glory, hollow victory, fabricated foreign threats, fear which threatens us as a nation, shallow pride which feeds off fear, and mostly from the promises which have proven so deceiving these past ten years.
For many of us there is little to remember but the promises and, most poignantly, the loss of the symbols of those promises -- of John and Robert Kennedy, of Martin Luther King, Jr., of Medgar Evers, of Fred Hampton and Malcolm X, of Allison Krause, Sandy Scheuer, Jeffrey Miller, and William Schroeder from Kent State and Philip Gibbs and James Green from Jackson State; the loss, too, of friends, of Richard Pershing, Peter Johnson, Johnny White, Don Droz, and the other 53,000 Americans who have lost their lives in this degrading and immoral war. The promises of peace candidates who were not peacemakers; of civil rights laws which were not enforced; of educational and medical aid which was downgraded in priority below bombs and guns; of equal opportunity while Mexican-Americans and blacks were drafted in numbers disproportionate to their representation in this country and then made up casualties in even greater disproportion.
I think that, more than anything, the New Soldier is trying to point out how there are two Americas -- the one the speeches are about and the one we really are. Rhetoric has blinded us so much that we are unable to see the realities which exist in this country.
We were sent to Vietnam to kill Communism. But we found instead that we were killing women and children. We knew the saying "War is hell" and we knew also that wars take their toll in civilian casualties. In Vietnam, though, the "greatest soldiers in the world," better armed and better equipped than the opposition, unleashed the power of the greatest technology in the world against thatch huts and mud paths. In the process we created a nation of refugees, bomb craters, amputees, orphans, widows, and prostitutes, and we gave new meaning to the words of the Roman historian Tacitus: "Where they made a desert they called it peace."
The New Soldier has come back determined to make changes without making the world more unjust in the effort to make it just. We have come back determined that human will can control technology and that there is greater dignity and power in human spirit than we have yet been willing to grant ourselves. In Vietnam we made it particularly easy to deny that spirit. We extended an indifference which has too often been part of this country's history and made it easy for men to deal in abstractions.
"Oriental human beings" -- "gooks" -- "body count" -- "Nape" -- "Waste 'em" -- "free-fire zone" -- "lf they're dead, they're VC" -- the abstractions took command from the commanders themselves and we realized too late that we were the prisoners of our own neglect and callowness.
By discussing crimes committed in war, the New Soldier is trying to break through the callowness and end the neglect. Regardless of whether crimes have been committed in other wars or even by the other side in this one, America must understand how our participation in Vietnam and the methods and motives used by American fighting men are part of a continuing national moral standard. As New Soldiers we are seeking to elevate that standard as well as to demonstrate where it has been part of a significant illusion. Individuals are trying, by denying themselves the luxury of forgetting about their acts, to spare others the agony of having to commit them at some time in the future.
This is not to say that all soldiers have departed Vietnam with the same feelings about their military service. Certainly not all veterans of this war are New Soldiers. Not all want to be or even understand what many of their veteran contemporaries are trying to say.
Even among the New Soldiers, in our hatred for the war and our drive for change, there is a wide divergence on approaches to change, or, for that matter, on what causes the need for change. I know that my own views do not necessarily represent the feelings of some Vietnam Veterans Against The War. But among all there is an intense and deep-rooted agreement that America has lost sight, hopefully only temporarily, of much that we knew as our greatness.
The New Soldier does not have all the answers. We do not even pretend to. Unquestionably we lack some of the depth of experience from which to provide guidelines for many policy questions. We are aware also of all the traditional arguments -- that those in power have access to information, that America can do no wrong, that America has particular interests which it must safeguard, and so on. In reality, however, there is a big difference between these arguments and what happens to the people involved. In the end, the abstractions never convey the reality of human life.
To be sure, those who make the decisions experience special interest pressures which others, not directly involved in the
decision making process, will not feel. Consequently, those on the outside of the power spectrum find it easier to prescribe solutions for the myriad problems we confront today. In their simplicity these solutions sometimes ignore reality. But more often they cut to the quick of the problem and those on the outside of the power structure show in the absoluteness of their criticisms and demands more wisdom, more moral strength, more compassion, and far more willingness to consider what effect the prescribed solution will have on people -- not the people whose security and social welfare is already guaranteed, but those thousands who are literally and figuratively "in the street."
I myself went into the service with very little awareness of the people in the streets. I accepted then and still accept the idea of service to one's country. But because of all that I saw in Vietnam, the treatment of civilians, the ravaging of their countryside, the needless, useless deaths, the deception and duplicity of our policy, I changed. Traditional assumptions and expectations simply were not enough. I still want to serve my country. I am still willing to pick up arms and defend it -- die for it, if necessary. Now, however, I will not go blindly because my government says that I must go. I will not go unless we can make real our promises of self-determination and justice at home. I will not go unless the threat is a real one and we all know it to be so. I will not go unless the people of this country decide for themselves that we must all of us go."
-- J. K.