The following letters were sent to the WSWS about our May 4 article “Robert Kerrey and the bloody legacy of Vietnam”.
To the editor:
Great story on Kerrey and Vietnam. I am a college student and the “education” I am getting here is great. (sarcasm). Learning the truth is hard, I've been digging around in Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn literature and reading your paper too. Thank you for writing these stories and hopefully opening more eyes to what is really going on in the world. What you are doing with this paper is so very, very important for this reason. We cannot be brainwashed by the mainstream news anymore. This is dangerous for future generations and situations happening today. I really appreciate what you do. Keep doing it!
4 May 2001
I have read the compelling article by Patrick Martin and David North. I am trying to organize a picket of the New School. Whatever other material you have, such as photos or other sources regarding this matter, will be extremely important. I need to build a compelling case, which would lead to:
1. Student pressure to remove Kerrey from the school
2. Call for an international panel of investigation regarding war crime committed at Thanh Phong
Whatever you can do will be appreciated.
5 May 2001
Dear WSWS editor,
After I read your story about Robert Kerrey, I sent the New School University the following e-mail message:
Dear New School Official,
As numerous reports have established beyond doubt, the current New School University President, Robert Kerrey, was a direct participant in the murder of unarmed civilians during the Vietnam conflict. In light of these activities, I believe that it is imperative that he be removed from his position as president. On its face, it is unconscionable that any person with such a history hold any position of significant prestige and responsibility. To allow such a person to do so would communicate and indicate that people can be direct and culpable participants in mass murder and still prosper. This is a repugnant thought. Moreover, Robert Kerrey's presidency, in light of his direct participation in mass murder, substantially compromises the integrity, standing, and mission of the New School University. As an institution committed to human enlightenment and enriching the human experience, how can the New School have a proven murderer as its president? Anyone concerned with the reputation of the New School, and the American academic community, would find Kerrey's presidency an affront and a mortal threat.
Out of a communal sense of shame and remorse, we should force people like Robert Kerrey into dark corners and shadows. I think this is the minimum a civilized community that has respect for human life would do. I would deeply appreciate it if whomever receives this message would forward it to the appropriate authorities.* * *
I thought you might like to know. Thanks for your many interesting stories and pieces.
4 May 2001
“Robert Kerrey and the bloody legacy of Vietnam” is courageous and outstanding. Until America comes to a reconciliation starting right back to the native American genocide it will continue to be lunatic at our own home, and won't have a right to lead the international community of nations regardless of the Nazi period in Europe. Continue the thoughts, expression and power of knowledge, for WSWS is out front and a true blessing of intellectual social justice.
4 May 2001
Bob Kerrey is a professional killer. He volunteered to learn and practice the brutal techniques of killing. He knows how to cut a throat without making a sound, he can blow your brains out at 100 yards, he can burn your village without looking back. He does what he has to do. He follows orders. He kills, he executes, he destroys. He's a war hero. Apparently he is a great man worthy of sympathy, respect and compassion. His fellow Congressmen think that he has suffered enough. He says he has a bad conscience because of a “mistake.” There were a thousand “mistakes” in Vietnam. They say that some of us who have never fought in war cannot judge him. Some of us refused to go to that war. We were young too but we knew the truth of savagery, of barbarity of that hopeless war that was lost. We knew we wouldn't kill or die for Nixon, McNamara and Kissinger ... The napalm, the million tons of bombs, the millions dead, the burnt villages, the ravaged minds and countryside were brought to us by the US Government, the US Congress, the US Military and efficient, obedient, ruthless killers like Bob Kerrey and John McCain.
The Kerry's and McCain's are with us today in the form of the next generation of mass murderers—the well-trained killers who follow the orders of their leaders. They did their dirty work in Yugoslavia, killing hundreds of civilians in refugee convoys, in apartment buildings, on bridges, in the TV station, in the factories and a hundred other targets. These were not more mistakes. The military mind knows that actually fighting an armed enemy can be dangerous and difficult—it is much easier and effective to kill noncombatants. Civilians are not protected and don't shoot back. General McCaffrey knows it is easier to destroy a retreating enemy that has surrendered and is returning home after a supposed cease-fire ... It's always done for “humanitarian purposes”: save the Kosovars, stop Communism, stop the drug traffic. The professional killers will be there, blood dripping from the hand that pulls the trigger, pushes the button or slits the throat. And these men are honored for their service to country, for their heroism. They are with us now in Colombia. Do they kill for pleasure, for money, for glory, for the greatness of their country? They are there in Colombia to train the Colombian killers or as mercenaries to do the bloody work themselves. This is happening now.
4 May 2001