But our fight too
SAIGON (LNS)—The following letter is directed to the American anti-war movement from Hugo Hill, an American civilian who lives in Saigon. For the past nine months, Hugo Hill has frequently contributed articles to Liberation News Service.
Sept. 6, 1969
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As you well know, the Vietnamese people need no help in defeating U.S. military strategy. They have already smashed Maxwell Taylor’s “special war” and Westmoreland’s “search and destroy” operations. They have seized control of their own land from under the noses of half a million expeditionary troops and right now they surround all the American military bases in their country.
But the Vietnamese people cannot physically drive the U.S. invaders out of Vietnam. To achieve final victory they need the help of the people of the world, especially the American people.
You may be tired of the Vietnam war and you probably realize that an American revolutionary movement cannot be built on a single temporary issue. The Vietnamese are tired too, but unfortunately they can’t just pick another issue.
Despite the Paris charade and talk of troop withdrawals, Vietnam’s agony is as great as ever. Napalm—that anti-people horror that we learned of only a few years ago and have since grown used to—is still belched over Vietnamese villages. B-52’s still rip giant holes in the land, and people are still herded into concentration (“refugee”) camps. The gruesome atrocity posters we used to display have quite properly been replaced by pictures of clenched fists and cocked guns, but the atrocities themselves have not gone away. Every time I visit a provincial hospital I still see the napalm burns and the fly-covered open wounds.
A few days ago I overheard a conversation between two American Army officers. -How many kooks do you think will come out this time?” one asked the other. They were talking about this fall’s anti-war demonstrations. “Well, I hope it falls flat like the last one,” was the reply. “Then we might still be able to win this damn war.”
That’s right. If the October and November actions are no bigger than Hiroshima Day, the Pentagon hawks count on continuing their rape of Vietnam. The armed agents of U.S. imperialism are not interested in the purity of our slogans. They want to know how many people are in the streets. They fear demonstrations as a brake on American aggression. They know that mass action hurts them and helps the Vietnamese.
This is Vietnam’s fight, but it’s our fight too. It’s the fight of all oppressed people against the plunderers of the world. We have to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our Vietnamese brothers. We have to be as united as our international enemies.
The Vietnamese people have educated us all. They forced us first to examine the imperialist soul of the Mother Country. Then they taught us that people are greater than machines—that a united determined people can successfully wage war against a technological monster. If it weren’t for the Vietnamese, there would be no revolutionary stirrings in Amerika. They have speeded up the course of our own history.
We cannot abandon our teachers, our vanguard, our comrades. More than ever before the Vietnamese people need us. They have won their war militarily, politically and diplomatically. They have thrust the knife into the body of the monster; but they need us to twist it.
And for the American people to twist the knife means to pour into the streets: take over the streets and show the ruling class- that we support our Vietnamese brothers, that the American rulers will not be able to draw a peaceful breath as long as one GI remains on Vietnamese territory.
Support the Vietnamese! Demonstrate against the war!
CACH MANG MUON NAM! (Long live the Revolution!)