My New Years Resolution Essays 1 - 30 Anti Essays
In the aftermath of the war, the country was renamed the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The new government imposed three-to-ten-year prison sentences on former South Vietnamese military officers and government workers, and generally sought to “re-educate” all southerners in the ways of socialism. Hundreds of thousands of southerners fled the country, many eventually settling in the United States, Australia, Canada, or France. Millions of others set about the task of reconciliation after so many years of warfare. The U.S. reneged on Nixon’s promise to provide reconstruction funds as the Vietnamese sought to rebuild their country and heal the division between north and south.
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Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. held back from speaking out against the Vietnam War for almost two years, as Lyndon Johnson was a friend of the civil rights movement, having signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. By the spring of 1967, he could remain silent no longer as “my conscience leaves me no other choice,” as he put it. He offered a clear exposition of his views in a sermon-like speech entitled “Beyond Vietnam” at the Riverside Church in New York on April 4, 1967, sponsored by the Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam.
See Greiner, War Without Fronts; Deborah Nelson, The War Behind Me: Vietnam Veterans Confront the Truth About U.S. War Crimes (New York: Public Affairs, 2009); and Duffet, ed., Against the Crime of Silence, which includes testimony by international legal experts at the Stockholm (Sweden) War Crimes Trials sponsored by the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation in 1968. Russell, the 94-year-old philosopher who convened the hearings and whose antiwar activism extended back to World War I, wrote in the introduction: “war crimes are the actions of powers whose arrogance leads them to believe that they are above the law. Might they argue is right.” (Duffet, p. 4).