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.
So how come he's never been presecuted for what he's done?
He's worse than Clinton.
Finally, in connection with Lieutenant Calley, which is a very emotional issue in this country, I was struck by your passing reference to that incident.
Wouldn't you agree with me though that what he did in herding old men and women and children into a trench and then shooting them was a little bit beyond the perimeter of even what has been going on in this war and that that action should be discouraged. There are other actions not that extreme that have gone on and have been permitted. If we had not taken action or cognizance of it, it would have been even worse. It would have indicated we encouraged this kind of action.
Mr. KERRY. My feeling, Senator, on Lieutenant Calley is what he did quite obviously was a horrible, horrible, horrible thing and I have no bone to pick with'the fact that he was prosecuted. But I think that in this question you have to separate guilt from responsibility, and I think clearly the responsibility for what has happened there lies elsewhere.
I think it lies with the men who designed free fire zones. I think it lies with the men who encouraged body counts. I think it lies in large part with this country, which allows a young child before he reaches the age of 14 to see 12,500 deaths on television, which glorifies the John Wayne syndrome, which puts out fighting man comic books on the stands, which allows us in training to do calisthenics to four counts, on the fourth count of which we stand up and shout "kill" in unison, which has posters in barracks in this country with a crucified Vietnamese, blood on him, and underneath it says "kill the gook," and I think that clearly the responsibility for all of this is what has produced this horrible abberation.
Now, I think if you are going to try Lieutenant Calley then you must at the same time, if this country is going to demand respect for the law, you must at the same time try all those other people who have responsibility, and any aversion that we may have to the verdict as veterans is not to say that Calley should be freed, not to say that he is innocent, but to say that you can't just take him alone, and that would be my response to that.
Senator SYMINGTON. There have been many reports of widespread use of drugs by U.S. servicemen in Vietnam. I might add I was in Europe last week and the growth of that problem was confirmed on direct questioning of people in the military. How serious is the problem and to what do you attribute it?
Mr. KERRY. The problem is extremely serious. It is serious in very many different ways. I believe two Congressmen today broke a story. I can't remember their names. There were 35,000 or some men, heroin addicts that were back.
The problem exists for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the emptiness. It is the only way to get through it. A lot of guys, 60, 80 percent stay stoned 24 hours a day just to get through the Vietnam -
Kerry sure hung out with a rough crowd for the four months he was in Vietnam.
Mr. KERRY. No, sir; I would just like to say on behalf of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War that we do appreciate the efforts made by the Senators to put that resolution on the floor, to help us, help us in their offices in the event we were arrested and particularly for the chance to express the thoughts that I have put forward today. I appreciate it.
The CHAIRMAN. You have certainly done a remarkable job of it. I can't imagine their having selected a better representative or spokesman.
Isn't that nice?
And it makes it just that much more poetic that just seven months later Kerry's group, the VVAW, would be plotting how to assassinate at least 7 Pro-War Senators:
What scum! Helping the Viet f****** Cong dangle American POW's in front of our government and People!
He should have been imprisoned for that, not brought up to the Hill to be fawned over by the ilk of Senator Half-Bright.
This story has everything!
Yea .. but I'll bet Jimmy Carter is proud of him
Good Grief the man scares me
Surely, this is/was against the law.
Surely, this is/was against the law.