Vietnam won, so will Palestine

The solidarity movement with Palestine has swept the world. So did the struggle against the Vietnam War two generations ago.

Close to 80% of Gaza City has been destroyed by U.S.-made and U.S.-paid-for bombs and shells. Over 30,000 Palestinians, including 13,000 children, have been killed.

The Pentagon dropped two million tons of bombs on Laos, killing a tenth of the country’s people. Millions more were killed in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Nearly three million GIs were sent to Vietnam and around a trillion dollars was spent (adjusted for inflation) on the Pentagon’s dirty war. This didn’t stop a Vietnamese tank from crashing through the gates of the former U.S. Embassy in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) on April 30, 1975.

Vietnam had won. So did every poor person on the planet, including workers in the United States.

One of the U.S. war criminals in Vietnam was retired Army Gen. John C. Bahnsen Jr., who died on Feb. 21. He’s described as a hero for dropping grenades from a helicopter on Vietnamese in a fawning obituary published by the New York Times

 Bahnsen was awarded 19 medals. Helicopter pilot Hugh Thompson Jr. was shunned by military brass for helping to stop the My Lai massacre in which 500 people were murdered. 

War criminal Lt. William Calley, who helped lead the massacre, had been a strikebreaker during the Florida East Coast Railway strike.

“The enemy of my country is my enemy, and our mission was to kill them,” declared Bahnsen

Who is the enemy of poor and working people in the United States, the vast majority of the country’s population?

It wasn’t the People’s Republic of China that shut down nine of the 10 General Motors plants in Flint, Michigan, impoverishing the Black-majority city. It wasn’t Vietnam that poisoned Flint’s water supply.

The Russian Federation isn’t responsible for freezing the federal minimum wage at a miserable $7.25 per hour since 2009. (Many state minimum wages are higher, although still inadequate.)

Capitalist monopolies increased food prices by 25% since 2020, not Iran. The rent is too damn high because of big landlords, not Yemen. It was banksters that foreclosed seven million homes, not Palestinians.

Genocidal racism

Bahnsen came back home to the United States. Fifty-eight thousand GIs didn’t. 

General George Patton Jr. was Bahnsen’s commanding officer in Vietnam. In the documentary “Hearts and Minds” — which won an Academy Award in 1975 — Patton was shown gleefully displaying an ashtray made from a Vietnamese person’s skull.

That’s the level of Hitler’s Third Reich, where lampshades were crafted with human skin. Patton Jr. was the son of World War II General George Patton, who despised survivors of the concentration camps, calling Jews “lower than animals.”

The leaders of the apartheid state occupying Palestine are just as racist. “We are fighting animals,” declared Zionist Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, referring to the people of Gaza. 

The Israeli daily newspaper Hayom stated the time had come to “send Gaza back into the Stone Age.” This rag is owned by the family of the late billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson, who gave over $400 million to Trump and other Republicans.

Israeli Minister of Heritage Amichay Eliyahu called for dropping an atom bomb on Gaza. Eliyahu also called for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to be “wiped out.”

During the Vietnam War, the military brass contemplated using nuclear weapons. Among those considering the nuclear option were Pacific Commander in Chief, Admiral Harry D. Felt and Chair of the Joint Chiefs General Earle Wheeler. U.S. aircraft carriers bombing Vietnam carried nukes.

Kissinger made barely disguised nuclear threats at the Paris peace talks. These threats and the genocidal U.S. killing of millions caused Vietnamese negotiator Lê Đức Thọ to refuse the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to himself and Kissinger. 

One continuous struggle

The threat of the People’s Republic of China intervening, as happened in the Korean War, is said to have convinced the U.S. not to use nukes in Vietnam. 

The generals and admirals also blamed the anti-war movement for stopping them. So did President Richard Nixon.

On April 28, 1970, the U.S. invaded Cambodia. Three days later, as anti-war rallies and demonstrations swept the United States, Nixon called student protesters “bums.” 

The Ohio National Guard killed four students at Kent State University on May 4, 1970. They were Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder.

Ohio Gov. John Rhodes had originally called out the Guard to break a Teamster strike.

On May 15, 1970, state and local police in Jackson, Mississippi, fired into a dormitory at Jackson State University. Black students Phillip Gibbs and James Green were killed. 

Many of those who are demonstrating to stop the genocide in Gaza also marched for Black Lives Matter.

Three of the four Kent State martyrs — Krause, Miller and Scheuer — were Jewish. Today both Columbia and George Washington universities suspended the local chapters of Jewish Voice for Peace because JVP helped organize demonstrations in defense of Gaza.

In 1966, the Georgia House of Representatives voted to kick out Black Representative Julian Bond because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. In 2023, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to censure Rashida Tlaib, the body’s only Palestinian member, for defending Palestine.

Presidents Johnson and Nixon were war criminals. So is Genocide Joe Biden, who is helping to starve Gaza.

The U.S. Navy couldn’t defeat Vietnam and it can’t stop Yemen from turning ships around in solidarity with Palestine. Palestine will win.

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