PEACE PROBE by Gene Stoltzfus

“U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote” by peaceprobe
December 28, 2005, 9:25 am
Filed under: Afghanistan and Pakistan

Dec. 28, 2005: Take a look at an object rescued from the memory hole. It’s a New York Times article from the era of the Vietnam War: Peter Grose, “U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote” (September 4, 1967, p. 2). Its lead paragraphs read:

United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam’s presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting.   

According to reports from Saigon, 83 per cent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong.

I was in Saigon (see earlier post), Vietnam on Sept. 3, 1967 when the article below was written. This piece appeared about one week after I and three other volunteers with International Voluntary Service announced our resignation from our work to protest the overwhelming negative impact of the war. We were involved in good community development, agriculture and education work but the time seemed right to speak out more boldly about the war. This was my first major nonviolent act. It made a lot of people mad and others it made happy. I didn’t try to listen to either of them too much because I was so involved with the Vietnamese people and I was more interested in their situation. The Vietnamese were the most supportive. For the next seven years and eight months until the war ended in 1975 I spent most of my time working against the war. At the time I believed that our action when combined with the work of many others would bring the war to and end very soon, at least within a year.


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