Skip to comments.Kerry Met With Viet Cong And North Vietnamese In Paris In 1971
Posted on 03/06/2004 12:21:15 AM PST by Hon
A couple of weeks ago I posted this thread about a photograph that I wound in a book about Kerry's group, the Vietnam Veterans Against The War:
Kerry's Group Met With The Viet Cong In Paris In 1971
The Vietnam Veterans Against The War (VVAW) sent their own delegation to Paris to meet with the representatives of the National Liberation Front (AKA Viet Cong) in 1971. At this time John Kerry was their spokesman and defacto leader.
This photograph is from the book "The Winter Soldiers", by Richard Stacewicz, page 284:
Since Stacewicz did not mention whether Kerry had attended this meeting and I did not see it mentioned anywhere else, I assumed he did not attend go on this trip.
I was wrong. Kerry did go to Paris. He did talk with the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese. In fact, he was quite proud about it. For it was the first thing that he brought up once he was done with his speech before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 22, 1971:
THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 1971
UNITED STATES SENATE;
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS,
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 11:05 a.m., in Room 4221, New Senate Office Building, Senator J. W. Fulbright (Chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Fulbright, Symington, Pell, Aiken, Case, and Javits.
Thank you. [Applause]
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Kerry, it is quite evident from that demonstration that you are speaking not only for yourself but for all your associates, as you properly said in the beginning.
You said you wished to communicate. I can't imagine anyone communicating more eloquently than you did. I think it is extremely helpful and beneficial to the committee and the country to have you make such a statement.
You said you had been awake all night. I can see that you spent that time very well indeed. [Laughter.]
Perhaps that was the better part, better that you should be awake than otherwise.
You have said that the question before this committee and the Congress is really how to end the war. The resolutions about which we have been hearing testimony during the past several days, the sponsors of which are some members of this committee, are seeking the most practical way that we can find and, I believe, to do it at the earliest opportunity that we can. That is the purpose of these hearings and that is why you were brought here.
You have been very eloquent about the reasons why we should proceed as quickly as possible. Are you familiar With some of the proposals before this committee?
Mr. KERRY. Yes, I am, Senator.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you support or do you have any particular views about any one of them you wish to give the committee?
Mr. KERRY. My feeling, Senator, is undoubtedly this Congress, and I don't mean to sound pessimistic, but I do not believe that this Congress will, in fact, end the war as we would like to, which is immediately and unilaterally and, therefore, if I were to speak I would say we would set a date and the date obviously would be the earliest possible date. But I would like to say, in answering that, that I do not believe it is necessary to stall any longer. I have been to Paris. I have talked with both delegations at the peace talks, that is to say the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government and of all eight of Madam Binh's points it has been stated time and time again, and was stated by Senator Vance Hartke when he returned from Paris, and it has been stated by many other officials of this Government, if the United States were to set a date for withdrawal the prisoners of war would be returned.
I think this negates very clearly the argument of the President that we have to maintain a presence in Vietnam, to use as a negotiating block for the return of those prisoners. The setting of a date will accomplish that.
What a surprise!
But Congress has no capacity under our system to go out and negotiate a cease-fire. We have to persuade the Executive to do this for the country.
Mr. KERRY. Mr. Chairman, I realize that full well as a study of political science. I realize that we cannot negotiate treaties and I realize that even my visits in Paris, precedents had been set by Senator McCarthy and others, in a sense are on the borderline of private individuals negotiating, et cetera. I understand these things. But what I am saying is that I believe that there is a mood in this country which I know you are aware of and you have been one of the strongest critics of this war for the longest time. But I think if we can talk in this legislative body about filibustering for porkbarrel programs, then we should start now to talk about filibustering for the saving of lives and of our country. [Applause.]
Mr. Kerry. Yes, I do.
Senator SYMINGTON. How many clusters?
Mr. KERRY. Two clusters.
Senator SYMINGTON. So you have been wounded three times.
Mr. KERRY. Yes, sir.
Senator SYMINGTON. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator Aiken. [Applause.]
Be it known that the American people and the Vietnamese people are not enemies. The war is carried out in the names of the people of the United States and South Vietnam, but without our consent. It destroys the land and people of Vietnam. It drains America of its resources, its youth, and its honor.
We hereby agree to end the war on the following terms, so that both peoples can live under the joy of independence and can devote themselves to building a society based on human equality and respect for the earth. In rejecting the war we also reject all forms of racism and discrimination against people based on color, class, sex, national origin, and ethnic grouping which form the basis of the war policies, past and present, of the United States government.
- The Americans agree to immediate and total withdrawal from Vietnam, and publicly to set the date by which all U.S. military forces will be removed.
- The Vietnamese pledge that as soon as the U. S. government publicly sets a date for total withdrawal: they will enter discussions to secure the release of all American prisoners, including pilots captured while bombing North Vietnam.
- There will be an immediate cease-fire between U. S. forces and those led by the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam.
- They will enter discussions on the procedures to guarantee the safety of all withdrawing troops.
- The Americans pledge to end the imposition of Thieu-Ky-Khiem on the people of South Vietnam in order to insure their right to self-determination and so that all political prisoners can be released.
- The Vietnamese pledge to form a provisional coalition government to organize democratic elections. All parties agree to respect the results of elections in which all South Vietnamese can participate freely without the presence of any foreign troops.
- The South Vietnamese pledge to enter discussion of procedures to guarantee the safety and political freedom of those South Vietnamese who have collaborated with the U. S. or with U. S. -supported regimes.
- The Americans and Vietnamese agree to respect the independence, peace and neutrality of Laos and Cambodia in accord with the 1954 and 1962 Geneva Conventions and not to interfere in the internal affairs of these two countries.
- Upon these points of agreement, we pledge to end the war and resolve all other questions in the spirit of self-determination and mutual respect for the independence and political freedom of the people of Vietnam and the United States.
By ratifying this agreement, we pledge to take whatever actions are appropriate to implement the terms of the People to people Treaty and to insure its acceptance by the government of the United States.
Kerry: "I have been to Paris. I have talked with both delegations at the peace talks, that is to say the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government and of all eight of Madam Binh's points it has been stated time and time again, and was stated by Senator Vance Hartke when he returned from Paris, and it has been stated by many other officials of this Government, if the United States were to set a date for withdrawal the prisoners of war would be returned."
Isn't it illegal for a private citizen to enter into agreements/arrangements/deals with another nation we are at war with ?
TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 45 > Sec. 953.
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects
Will a campaign ad take us there? Done easily in thirty seconds. . .fifteen even. But not holding my breath for the truth to be shared.