Toward an honest commemoration of the American War in Vietnam
The Full Disclosure campaign is a Veterans For Peace effort to speak truth to power and keep alive the antiwar perspective on the American war in Viet Nam — which is being commemorated during this decade with a series of 50th anniversary events. Full Disclosure represents a clear alternative to the Pentagon’s current efforts to sanitize and mythologize that war, and to thereby legitimize further unnecessary and destructive wars.
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50 Years Ago
May 1971 MIA wives Mrs. Louie Jones and Barbara Mullen and POW wives Mrs. James Hughes and Delia Alvarez formed POW/MIA Families of Immediate Release, an antiwar organization.
May 3-5 May Day mass civil disobedience: 5,100 policemen backed by 10,000 federal troops resulted in an unprecedented mass arrest of approximately 7,000 persons, with another 2,700 arrested the next day. Protests ended 5 May with the arrest of another 1,200 demonstrators on the Capitol’s east steps during a rally attended by some members of Congress.
May 31 In secret negotiations in Paris, Kissinger retracts the US demand that US and DRV (or the Democratic Republic of Vietnam or North Vietnam) forces mutually withdraw, conceding that the armed forces of the DRV will remain in South Vietnam after a peace agreement. The key remaining issues include the removal of President Thieu (Nguyễn Văn Thiệu) as President of South Vietnam, the date for US withdrawal, and the resolution of political as well as military issues.
Summer While herbicides containing dioxin had been banned for use by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1968, spraying of Agent Orange continues in Vietnam until 1971. Operation Ranchhand sprayed 11 million gallons of Agent Orange — containing 240 pounds of the carcinogenic chemical dioxin — on South Vietnam. More than one seventh of the country’s total area has been laid waste.