Vietnam war: the truth
The sociological effects of the war of the "US" troops and the troops of the "free world" in Vietnam
by Michael Palomino (2002 / 2005); and news
from: Clark, Gregory R.: Words of the Vietnam War. The Slang, Jargon, Abbreviations, Acronyms, Nomenclature, Nicknames, Pseudonyms, Slogans, Specs, Euphemisms, Double-talk, Chants, and Names and Places of the Era of United States Involvement in Vietnam. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers Jefferson, North Carolina and London 1990.Comment
The shifts and crimes which are provoked by a war for the population and also for the soldiers are clearly presented here with Vietnam War. All these shifts and crimes can also be seen in any other war. Therefore it would be good to stop any war and action with a weapon, and it would be good to outlaw war or action with a weapon as a psychopathic action in general. War leaders are ill and manipulated persons and have to be put into psychiatry. This also counts for "American" presidents...
1. "Free World Military Forces"
2. North Vietnam
3. Social life of the population in Vietnam, in the "U.S.A." and of the soldiers in the war
4. Sayings of "U.S." soldiers
5. Vietnamese population
6. Military facilities
7. Military strategies in Vietnam War
8. Tactics of North Vietnam Army / Vietcong
9. Helpless tactics of "U.S.A." in Vietnam against North Vietnam guerrilla
10. Repeated military operations
11. Captives and torture
12. Anti War Movement in the "U.S.A."
13. Draft, objection and peace movement in the "U.S.A."
14. Draft to military service in North Vietnam
15. Desertions in the "U.S." Army
16. Amnesty --
17. Equipment of "U.S." soldiers: curiosities
18. Medicine, jungle diseases and venereal diseases in Vietnam War
19. Psychological illnesses and long term damages
20. Drugs and drug addiction in Vietnam War and in the "U.S.A."
The allies of "USA" against the Communist states have got the name "Free World Military Forces". With this lie "USA" had involved half of the world within a fight for their interests. Even "not developed countries" were giving troops whereas those populations could have used the money really better for civil projects. Cambodia was allocating the "Khmer National Armed Forces" (Clark, p.184) which were trained by "US" Special Forces (USSF). Australian troops formed the "Australian Army Trainings Team, Vietnam" (AATTV), training the South Vietnam Army. In general Australians were called "Aussies" (Clark, p.38). The Australian "Civilian "Civilian Irregular Defense Group" (CIDG) had the task for patrols and reconciliation techniques. The Australian Special Air Service (SAS) and the AATTV were supporting the work of the "US" Special Forces (USSF) (Clark, p.39). In 1965 Australia sent the "Royal Australian Regiment" for the service in South Vietnam Army as the "1st Australian Task Force" (Clark, p.38). The last unit of AATTV was leaving Vietnam in December 1972 (Clark, p.39).
In 1964 New Zealand is sending a little consultant group to Vietnam, and then a unit of the "Royal New Zealand Artillery" followed, and later SAS ("Special Air Service"), engineers and infantry. A combined troop of New Zealanders and Australians was formed with the "Australian-New Zealand Army Corps" (ANZAC). Allin all 469 Australian and New Zealand soldiers died in Vietnam (Clark, p.39). Nickname for New Zealanders was "the Kiwis". In 1972 all fighting troops of New Zealand were coming home to New Zealand (Clark, p.346).
The Philippines with less than 1,300 km distance from Vietnam were serving as a main base for "US" air force and marines on their way to Vietnam. They also served as a repair service station for ships of the 7th fleet. The regime of the Philippines under Ferdinand Marcos also delivered little units of war fighters, engineers and medical troops to South Vietnam as a part of the 1st Philippine Citizen Action Group. After the "American" defeat in Vietnam "US" troops on the bases of the Philippines felt very endangered (Clark, p.399).
Taiwan was sending little groups of military advisors to South Vietnam, not more than 50 people. "USA" were afraid of Communist China, thus troops from Taiwan were rejected. "USA" were using the Taiwan air force base in Ching Chuan Kang CCK for their air force (Clark, p.342).
Thailand began supporting the "USA" in 1964 already (pilots and air fighters) in South Vietnam. In 1967 the first Thai fighting troops were sent to Bien Hoa province called the "Queen's Cobras Regimental Combat Team". In 1968 the "Cobras" came back home to Thailand and were replaced by the Royal Thai" fighting forces, the "Black Panter" Devision. Add to this Thailand was supporting the air force and marine pilots on ships on the sea. In August 1971 Thai troops began to come back. Over 350 Thai soldiers were killed in the Vietnam War. Thailand also rented air force bases to the "USA": Nam Phong, Korat, Takhili, Nakhon, Phanom. From these bases "U.S." air fighters were making their flights for bombings and police flights over whole South East Asia [over Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam] (Clark, p.510).
2 North Vietnam
Head of state Ho Chi Minh and his commanders were willing to accept an enormous amount of victims for the reunification of Vietnam (Clark, p.569). General Nguyen Vo Giap was a General under Ho Chi Minh since the early 1940s until 1974. He was leading the Viet Minh troops against the French troops and later against the troops of North Vietnam and was leading Vietcong troops against "Americans" (Clark, p.348). He was an expert in guerrilla warfare and accepted masses of victims for reaching his goals. The nickname of Giap was Nui Lua ("ice covered volcano"). In 1974 Giap was a pensioner also because of healthy reasons and was followed by Van Tien Dung after in 1972 North Vietnam had lost over 100,000 men during the "Eastertide Offensive" (Clark, p.349).
General Giap from North Vietnam Army is acting according to this saying: "Every day in the world a hundred of thousand people die. A human life means nothing". In this way North Vietnam policy accepts 100,000s of victims for this war with the aim of the reunification of the country (Clark, p.166). This mentality had come up against the French troops after 1945 already as it can be shown in this song against France: "You can kill ten of my men for every one I kill of yours, but even at those odds, you will lose and I will win" (Clark, p.569). The victory claim of the Vietnamese was "Giai Phong" ("Liberation and Independence") (Clark, p.201). And the victory claim against "USA" in South Vietnam meant: "Down with the American imperialists and their Saigon puppets" (Clark, S.152).
Therefore Western propaganda could always indicate how high the victim rate of the Communist army was presenting their leaders as cruel beings, but Western propaganda never reported the sense of these losses: the longing for a reunification of the country.
["U.S.A." wanted a split Vietnam like Germany was split].
3 Social life of the population in Vietnam, of "U.S.A." and of the soldiers in the war
The "Fuck Peace Sign" with stretched three fingers (forefinger, middle finger and ring finger) was used in counter demonstrations against peace demonstrations (Clark, p.194).
A "Fat Unit" was called a complete military "U.S." unit. In Vietnam the "U.S." units mostly were incomplete because there were many victims, diseases, vacations and rotations. A complete state was called within the soldier's language also as a "Paddy Strength" (so strong that also rage attacks could be possible) (Clark, p.171).
Pilots in the "U.S." army in Vietnam had the nickname to be a "flyboy", a "zoomie", a "wing wipe" or a "fighter jockey" (Clark, p.182). North Vietnam pilots were called by "US" soldiers "Yankee air pirates" or "air pirates" (Clark, p.568). "American" pilots had to serve a minimum of flight hours every month for maintaining their pilot status continuing getting their additional salary with it (Clark, p.181).
"Lifers" ("for the whole life") were called the career characters who wanted to make career in the army system (Clark, p.280) respectively wanted to have a safe job in a base camp (Clark, p.167). These could be extreme career characters, called "Hardcase Lifers" torturing the "U.S." troops just for nothing as a joke. Those persons were at the top of the list of the candidates for being murdered (Clark, p.280).
"Eat the Apple, Fuck the Corps" ("shit on the bosses") was a text of a song of the Marines against commanders with arbitrary actions in the "U.S." Navy. For example a mountain had been occupied and had been left and should be reoccupied again (Clark, p.160).
"Fuck-You Lizard" ("bad lizard") was called a noise of a lizard which could be heard during warm nights when the "U.S." troops were moving. The sound of the lizard was like a staccato and the GIs called this noise "Fuck-you" ... "Fuck you" (Clark, p.194)
[a "mental" training against the enemy].
Attacks within the "U.S." Army
Fragging and Frags were attacks against the own side - mostly happened in sleeping rooms - and performed with grenades, for example against incompetent, cruel or over ambitious Noncommissioned Officers, against racists or against drug consuming persons within the army. Often also a "last warning" was organized when a smoke grenade was launched or when a safety fence of a grenade was put on a suspicious location (Clark, p.187-188).
After an attack the whole unit was isolated and an "Operation Freeze" began, above all with Marines. There were inquiries and internments until the case was clear, with the guarantee that the people giving testimonies would be hired again by the army. This strategy to solve conflicts was successful and the number of attacks was reducing (Clark, p.369). But since 1969 when the end of the war came nearer the number of attacks by U.S. soldiers against their bosses was rising again (Clark, p.188).
Kind of living of "U.S." soldiers
Until 1959 it was a normal practice to sling out a marine infantry soldier after an insult which was treated by justice, or sometimes there were also court's orders slinging a soldier. This procedure was called a "Drumming Out". Since 1959 this practice was not applied any more by the new General David Shoup who took over the command of the "U.S." Marines Corps but he outlawed this practice (Clark, p.155).
The hotel of the CIA staff in Saigon Downtown was called "Duc Hotel" ("Royal Hotel"). It was some blocks of houses from the "U.S." embassy (Clark, p.156).
Any "U.S." soldier had effected an insurance over 10,000 $, called the "GI Insurance" / "U.S. Soldier Insurance" for the case of his death, and these 10,000 $ would get his family (Clark, p.200).
There was a "GI Phrase Book" (phrase dictionary) for the "U.S." soldiers for learning the necessary words in Vietnamese during their actions in the countryside (Clark, p.200).
"Dung Lai" meant in English "Stop" and was one of the first words the "U.S." soldiers had to learn handling the Vietnamese civil population (Clark, p.157).
For the "American" soldier there was the compulsion to be shaved, the "Dry Shave", and they also had to be shaved when they were fighting in the jungle. They shaved themselves with a dry shaver, safety shaver or with a simple knife which provoked wounds and scars of course (Clark, p.156).
For those "U.S." soldiers who did not regularly wash there was an "extra treatment": The colleagues were working washing him with brushes which was called a "GI Shower" ("soldier's shower"). And there also could be collective penalties when because of only one not washed soldier a complete group was punished (Clark, p.200). The causer of the collective penalty was punished by the whole group then, for example with a "Blanket Party". He was fixed on the bed with a blanket and then anybody could beat him with fists or with wooden canes wrapped into wet towels (Clark, p.61).
Categories of killed soldiers in the "U.S." troops
Died of Wounds DOW, or "killed in action". Of course these two categories were not precise, and thus counting the killed persons was not so precise (Clark, p.156). Missed soldiers were rated as "Missing in Action" (MIA). At the end of Vietnam War over 2,300 "U.S." soldiers were rated as missed persons and it can be presumed that they are in forced labor in some places in South East Asia. Vietnam is rejecting any investigation until today (1990). The reason to reject any investigation for missed "U.S." soldiers was the question of acknowledgment of Vietnam by the "U.S.A.". Add to this also Russia, North Korea, and China were keeping Western captives in forced labor for a long time. Some Frenchmen from 1954 for example were kept until 1979 (Clark, p.328).
Names and nicknames on the "Western Side"
"Yankee Station": was the code name of the 7th fleet stationed in Golf of Tonkin from where the air raids were performed (Clark, p.568).
GI: This name comes from the "Second World War" meaning "Government Issue", "General Issue" (matter of the government, matter of the General) (Clark, p.200).
Bo Doi: is a name for "soldier" in Vietnamese language, above all for the army of North Vietnam (Clark, p.63).
Digger: was the Australian nickname for Australian soldiers of infantry (Clark, p.144).
Trooper: was the nickname of "U.S." cavalry soldiers (Clark, p.522).
Troop: is the English name for soldier (Clark, p. 522).
The identification of the enemy for the "U.S.A."
Since 1965 the identification of the enemy of the "U.S.A." was put into a systematic pattern. First all suspected persons were simply "Vietcong Suspect" (VCS), and when there was a confirmation of this suspicion it was called a "Vietcong Confirmed" (VCC). There was automatically admitted that any Vietnamese running away from an authority or showing a stubborn behavior was a member of Vietcong (Clark, p.544).
The name "Doubtful-Status" of the "indecisive Vietnamese" was a "U.S." saying about Vietnamese who did not be neither friend nor enemy. This saying was applied above all for Vietnamese who were visible from a distance without visible weapons and without positive signals of any status. And this status to be "doubtful" was very unclear when they were not hurrying during their walk coming nearer to the "U.S." forces. When a Vietnamese in Vietnam was running away from the GIs, he was considered to be a Vietcong member or at least a Vietcong suspicious (Clark, p.151).
4 Sayings of "U.S." soldiers
"Drop Your Cocks and grab your socks" was a song text of a "Drill Instructor" during the basic training of soldiers waking them up fro their sleeping places or plank beds in the morning (Clark, p.155).
"Give-a-Fuck" ("shit on it") was above all used as a negative phrase corresponding things which were not important any more for "U.S." soldiers: "Who gives a fuck... ?" ("What about this shit...?" (Clark, p.201)
"Give-a-Shit-Lobe" was a slang expression for the front part of the brain which could eventually be damaged during the next fight. When the front part of the brain in fact was damaged then the patient was in a willingless state so one could tell about him: "He didn't give a shit about anything" (Clark, p.201).
FFF: "Find - Fix - Finish" was a short order for "U.S." soldiers of infantry handling the enemy: "Find, fix and fuck'em over if you can" ("fuck them over = kill them and bring them to the beyond") (Clark, p.175).
There were some nicknames for the North Vietnam Army NVA / Vietcong: Victor Charlie, Ghost, Gooks, Gooners, Luke the Gook, Hostiles Slopes, Little Guys, Dicks, Gomers, November Victor Alpha (Clark, p.164).
"Get some" was a saying making courage in the beginning of a fight provoking more energy for a revenge and for a killing action (Clark, p.199).
By all this, a new "American" Vietnamese slang was coming up between the "U.S." soldiers and the Vietnamese civil population. For example there was the verb "to souvenir" which meant in Vietnam "can you give me". Vietnamese children were applying this word when they saw "U.S." soldiers, and "U.S." soldiers applied this word when they had encounters with Vietnamese people (Clark, p.480).
Letters from familiars from "U.S.A." to the "U.S." soldiers were rated as "Sugar Reports" ("reports from the honey") or "World News" (Clark, p.136).
"Dear John Letter" was called a letter from the woman of "U.S." soldiers that she wanted to get divorced respectively from the girlfriend pleading for a separation. "Excuses" for the separation were often invented with much fantasy. Well, normally just another man had "taken over" the lost woman, and this new man was called simply as a "Jody". Thus Vietnam War was also destroying the life of many "U.S." soldiers who had to be in a far distance isolated and also had address problems in many cases (Clark, p.136).
"U.S." soldiers invented songs about this new figure "Jody", the so called "Jody Calls" robbing the girl friends in the "U.S.A." of the "U.S." soldiers in Vietnam, and this "Jody" knew to hide himself from getting forced into the army forces. These songs were describing "phallus like" services to brides, girl friends, sisters, and mothers. And also was sworn to take revenge after a coming back home and to be a "Jody" oneself (Clark, p.254).
"Ghost-Time" was the expression of "U.S." soldiers for their free time (Clark, p.200). "Geographical Bachelors" was a name invented by nurses naming married doctors and soldiers with it who were behaving like bachelors in Vietnam (Clark, p.199). "Holiday" outside of Vietnam was called "Rest and Relaxation", "Rape and Ruin", "Rest and Recreation", shortly "R&R" (Clark, p.420), or also Four Fs ("Find'em, finger'em, fuck'em and forget'em"), or also "I&I": "Intercourse and Intoxication" (Clark, p.240).
Such a holiday was passing in peace zones on the state's cost in Manila, in Penang, Tai Pei, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Australia, or also in Hawaii. For Australia there was the suggestion for blacks not to go there. Hawaii was only permitted for married men (Clark, p.420). Such a holiday was possible one time per year (Clark, p.244).
5 Vietnamese population
Holiday in Vietnam: in country R&R
Holiday in Vietnam itself was made in the "centers" Vung Tau (on the coast in the east of Saigon) or in China Beach (on the coast near Da Nang). This holiday within Vietnam was limited at three days, was given from the command, and in some units the rotation principle was applied, or holiday was given as a reward for many successful killing actions with killed enemies or for other tremendous action.
But many "U.S." soldiers never had any In Country R&R (p.244).
Another possibility was also a 3 days holiday in the "Meyercourt Hotel" in Saigon (p.322).
Vietnamese teens as carriers: "Mule" ("donkey horse")
There were Vietnamese civilians carrying weapons, ammunition and other goods for the North Vietnam Army NVA / Vietcong. "U.S." soldiers called these Vietnamese "mules". These "mules" used the Ho Chi Minh trail, or they used the many supply trails within South Vietnam. They transported their goods on their back or on a bike. In general these persons were at the beginning of their teeny years, boys or girls (p.337).
Ethnic Chinese Vietnamese in Vietnamese populations: tensions
During Vietnam War a big part of the Vietnamese population were ethnic Chinese. They lived in whole Vietnam with a big concentration in a Chinese Quarter in Saigon, called "Cholon". Some "U.S." soldiers called these ethnic Chinese as "Chinks" and they were occupying non-agrarian positions like handicraft, sellers, bankers and working posts in the import export trade. After tensions between ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese for years the ethnic Chinese population in Vietnam was mistrusted and discriminated many times.
"Bac" was the Vietnamese word for "Northern" and was in general used to name Chinese. "Trung Cong" meant "Communist Chinese" (p.99).
was an oriental eastern version of "checkers", above all played by Vietnamese men. A good checkers player was a status symbol and had a good position in the social structure of Vietnam (Clark, p.162).
Vietnamese prostitutes, bar ladies and whores were pushing up their bras or let broaden their breast with silicone cushions for pleasing to the "American" GIs (Clark, p.170).
Prostitution was performed in the towns and in the bigger villages of Vietnam. North Vietnam Army and Vietcong also were dependent from prostitutes for "satisfying" their troops. Sometimes the prostitute served "Americans" during the day, and the following day she was with soldiers from North Vietnam and from Vietcong (Clark, p.415-416). The huge quantity of Vietnamese fugitive in the rural countryside provoked that the salary level there was falling, and thus many young women chose prostitution for their kind of work. With this were cases that the big brother was selling his sister or the father was selling his daughters and sons (Clark, p.416).
Criminal young South Vietnamese gangster elements were roaming the streets of Saigon and of the bigger regions of the countryside with their scooters. They were called "cowboys", and the gangster's girl friend or sister was called "Honda Girl". Many of them were slackers of the "U.S." army, came from "good" family and were involved into black trade. Cowboys operated typically in little groups of two and were known for their wresting thefts and for their fast flight. some of them were working in the prostitution business selling their girl friends. The cowboy brought the Honda Girl into the "U.S." zones. The soldier came, looked at the girl and handled the price out. The rent was 6 to 20 $ and was parted between the girl and the cowboy (Clark, p.127).
Vietnamese, Buddhist whores did not love much oral sex with "fellatio". In the towns with also non Buddhist whores this was rather possible. But 90% of Vietnamese population was Buddhist and oral sex was a taboo on the countryside. "U.S." soldiers called "fellatio" also "Suckie-Suckie" / "chop-chop" (Clark, p.127?).
6 Military devices
Military devices of the "U.S.A."
Fort Campbell in Kentucky ("U.S.A.") was one of the training establishments during Vietnam War. Fort De Russy was a holiday base (for R&R) on Hawaii on Oahu Island on Waikiki Beach (Clark, p.184).
Fort Jackson (Fort Jacks) in South Carolina ("U.S.A.") was a base training establishment during Vietnam War. Fort Sam Houston (Fort Sam) in San Antonio in Texas ("U.S.A.") was another basis training establishment, above all for medical training and courses for nursing (Clark, p.185). Duc Lap in Vietnam 10 km from the Cambodian border was a camp and the seat of the "U.S." Special Forces. It was 50 km south west of Ban Me Thot (Clark, p.142).
Military devices of North Vietnam Army / Vietcong
The "Iron Triangle" was the alleged center of the Vietcong in South Vietnam, with tunnels and bunkers underground (Clark, p.366).
7 Military strategies in Vietnam War
Domino theory / "Domino Principle", propaganda of a "Red Threat" / "Red Menace" by criminal "U.S.A."
In 1954 there was a theory developed in the "National Security Council" and was presented first by President Eisenhower, that any country would be able to "fall" into Communism one after the other like domino stones. This theory was used as a justification for an "American" presence in South East Asia. Considering Vietnam the "Security Council" claimed that when South Vietnam would be taken over by communism, then all the rest of South East Asia, India, Central East and probably also Europe would fall down to the "Red Challenge". But for example Thailand and Burma never were communist instead of all communist propaganda (Clark, p.149).
Dry season and rainy season
Dry season was from April to October in the 1st and 2nd war zone, and from November to April in the 3rd and 4rd war zone (Clark, p.156). Monsoon rains blocked any military operation. South East monsoon were described as sudden cloudbursts. North East monsoon covered the region with low hanging clouds and mist limiting air operations (Clark, p.332).
8 Tactics of North Vietnam Army / Vietcong
North Vietnam fought with a guerrilla tactic forcing the enemy to give up instead of his technical supremacy. Guerrilla tactic could hardly be fought by conventional war methods (Clark, p.211). North Vietnam and it's Vietcong worked with a bunker mentality and with tunnel systems where complete local populations could be hidden underground (Clark, p.73).
South Vietnam Army tended to evade long and scaled actions leading into the enemy zone. But since 1968 during Tet Offensive this tactic of North Vietnam changed and offensive strategies of North Vietnam Army NVA brought South Vietnam and "U.S.A." in heavy difficulties (Clark, p.73).
"Close Embrace Tactic" was called the tactic to surround the enemy within a diameter of only 20 to 30 meters so air bombing was not possible any more because the own people had been hit. This tactic was very effective for North Vietnam / Vietcong because "U.S." Air Force could not bomb any more when North Vietnamese were so near to "American" soldiers and thus the firing power of "U.S.A." was put down to zero more or less (Clark, p.238).
Hiding in the field the soldiers were digging a ditch, a "foxhole". Leaving the position this foxhole was also filled again so the enemy could not "inherit" foxholes. Sometimes the ditches were enforced by sandbags which were transported by helicopters (Clark, p.287).
Sometimes Vietcong used also poisonous snakes in connection with mine traps or they put poisonous snakes as an obstacle in tunnel systems. The snakes were hanged in the tunnels or were fixed with a cord so they could move and bite, but they could not leave the tunnels (Clark, p.473).
The "Four No's" of the North Vietnam President Thieu were actual during the whole war:
"no political concession"
"no territorial concession"
"no commercial or trade exchange"
"no recognition of the communist party in South-Vietnam" (Clark, p.186).
Thieu only made concessions in 1973 when he was forced by the "U.S.A." to do so (Clark, p.186).
9 Helpless tactics of the "U.S.A." in Vietnam against guerrilla of North Vietnam
"U.S.A." never declared war officially to North Vietnam, and they operated in Vietnam without any declaration of war. Many political and military leaders of the "U.S.A." are believing during the whole Vietnam War that any "U.S." intervention in South East Asia would be condemned to fail from the beginning because the complete military reserve was not mobilized (Clark, p.137).
"U.S.A." with it's conventional devices was without any chance. The support lines of the enemy never could be blocked because the North Vietnam guerrilla could also operate over Laos, but not the "U.S." army. Also the differentiation between guerrilla and civil population was more or less impossible respectively were the same persons partly. "U.S.A." could hardly ever operate with their conventional weapons. On the calculation table a supremacy of 10 to 15:1 would have been necessary. But "U.S.A." in South Vietnam reached only a supremacy of 5:1 (Clark, p.211).
"U.S." tactics with poisoning defoliation agents was lasting from 1961 to 1970 defoliating the jungle with the idea that Vietcong guerrilla would loose the protection of the jungle, but mostly there was no success with it(Clark, p.138). There were code names for the defoliation operations, like "Operation Hades", then "Operation Ranch Hand". The performing force of these spraying actions was the 12th air squadron of "U.S." Air Force performing these actions over South Vietnam and over Laos along the streets and rivers. With the motto "Only you can prevent forest" and "We prevent forest fires" there were three air planes each time in a height of about 100 feet spraying three gallons of spraying agent per acre on a length of 16 km on a width of 80 m, and the squadron was flying slowly (Clark, p.378). Spraying actions were also done from boats along the river sides, and by hand around military devices destroying any vegetation (Clark, p.138).
The applied poisons respectively pesticides had code names according to the identification color bands on the herbicide containers (Clark, p.11), and therefore the names were simply "Agent Blue", "Agent White", "Agent Pink", "Agent Purple", and "Agent Orange" (Clark, p.378). From 1961 to 1970 the "American" side developed 19,000 sorts of defoliants (Clark, p.138). As an air plane the "Americans" used the C-123, a former propeller transport air plane of the French Air Force (Clark, p.78). These transport air planes had an armored bottom. Some of these air planes were hit and crashed anyway. All in all there is estimated that 90 million gallons of herbicides were sprayed (Clark, p.378). In 1970 the poisoning long term effect of the agents was stated and the defoliant program was canceled. Vietnamese side called the defoliation program as "Thuoc Dao" ("poison") (Clark, p.138).
Agent White was a spraying agent against any vegetation around the "American" bases killing all shrubs and weeds, sprayed by helicopters, lorries and with rucksacks. The agent was a mixture of picolininic acid and the herbicide 2-4-D, and it had a longer acting effect than Agent Blue (Clark, p.11).
Agent Blue was a spraying agent against any vegetation: The plants were dried out, the leaved were shrinking and fell down. Agent Blue was applied above all against the growing rice harvest of the enemy where it had a fast effect. It was also applied as a local defoliant around base camps and along of streets (Clark, p.11).
Agent Orange was a chemical herbicide for defoliation. Plants, shrubs and trees were growing in another ways so their cells were bursting and within 5 to 7 weeks all plants were killed. The dead plant stayed 7 to 12 months dead, and then one more spraying action was necessary. The components of this defoliant were 2-4-5-T and 2-4-5-D (with dioxin). In these times dioxin was the strongest existing poison. Only later was known that it would cause birth damages and a complete list of other illnesses and health problems (Clark, p.11).
After the detection of long term damages the herbicide storage of Agent Orange had to be burnt. The burning action was performed in the oven of SS Vulcanus. In this way 1.2 million gallons of the herbicide were burnt on ships on the sea, far away on the Northern Pacific. The last burning action was in 1977 (Clark, p.485).
The tactic to destroy the harvest
The "American" side called the destruction of the harvest or the poisoning of the enemy harvest a "Resource Management" or a "Resource Control". Fields of Vietcong side or of sympathizers were sprayed. The method was applied only in some cases because North Vietnam also sold harvest to South Vietnam (Clark, p.434).
[Criminal "U.S.A." repeated this destruction of harvest in the 1980s in Columbia when not only drug fields were sprayed but also field with good vegetables and also rivers were sprayed and poisoned].
In October / November 1964 the "Operation Big Patch" was performed, and also "Operation Hot Spot". The harvest of the Vietcong side should be destroyed by spraying it with herbicides. Special commands of the "U.S." Air Force were performing the destruction of the harvest which was performed under the control of the South Vietnam Government with C-123 air planes. They were advised by members of the operation Ranch Hand (defoliation action). The poisoning of the harvest was performed in the fertile Vietcong harvest zone along the Cambodian frontier line in Phuoc Long province in the zone of the 3d war zone. South Vietnam pilots rejected to perform the flights alone, also when an escort was assured. And therefore always an "U.S." pilot had to be in the cockpit as an "aircraft commander" (Clark, p.364).
Scorched Earth Policy / burnt earth policy
The aim of the "U.S.A." was a complete destruction of the enemy by burning and leveling enemy villages, also villages which were in suspicion to sympathize with the enemy; the destruction of harvests and the animal feed which could support the enemy; shifting the population and punishment of family members of the enemy and punishment of sympathizers. With this "U.S.A." were also leading a war against civil population - but officially "U.S.A." was pretending to protect the civil population (Clark, p.454).
Citation from the review "The War of the Flea":
"There is only one way of defeating an insurgent people who will not surrender, and that is extermination [...] there is only one way to control a territory that harbors resistance, and that is to turn it into desert. Where these means cannot, for whatever reason, be used, the war is lost." (Clark, S.454).
Forced displacements in South Vietnam
In 1959 the government of President Diem took over the "Agroville" program from France. This was a program of forced displacements of parts of the population of South Vietnam and they should live in new built villages "bettering" the life conditions of the village populations and farmers (Clark, p.12) respectively the principle sense of this forced displacement program was the blockage of the contact between the South Vietnam civil population and Vietcong (Clark, p.434). The model for this inhuman program had been the successful forced displacement and manipulation of the population in Malaysia by England during the civil war so England could win the civil war (Clark, p.179). In the depopulated zones in South Vietnam the old villages were destroyed by burning, blast and bulldozing (Clark, p.434) and the zones were defined as "Free-Fire-Zones" against all persons who would stay in these depopulated areas (Clark, p.179). In the following times desire for revenge and unrest was coming up because of this uprooting. The new and "safe" villages were also infiltrated by Vietcong and also were attacked by Vietcong forces (Clark, p.12).
In 1961 the Agroville program was renamed into "Strategic Hamlet Program" and was also prolonged. Agrarian villages were transformed and enlarged into fortified points for defense or were transformed into deposits with defense against Vietcong. There were model villages built up, enforced, surrounded by barbed wire and installed in a short distance to South Vietnamese army facilities. By these strategic villages the Diem Government of South Vietnam hoped to get more support by the South Vietnam civil population. But this hope was disappointed because the defense of these fortified villages was organized by the local militia which normally had no corresponding training and was hardly equipped and had hardly any leaders; the new settlements were also so far from the homeland fields and from the former markets; add to this there were long confinement to barracks limiting the working time; many were forbidden to work in their original lands because they came from territories where Vietcong was governing now, and therefore the affected had to change their complete kind of living and their production. With all these side effects the complete program of displacement got very unpopular (Clark, p.491). The "Forced Urbanization" was connected with a new training for a new profession and partly was in connection with "cardboard and tin"-cities, where was no healthy life any more but where the common illnesses of the towns were spreading (Clark, p.183).
Rhade Montagnard Village was such a model village of the "Strategic Hamlet Program" in the Central Highlands near Ban Me Thuot in South Vietnam. At the same time social and economical betterments should arrive the Vietnamese society under leadership of the "U.S.A.". Another successful project in the sense of "U.S.A." was the village of Buon Enao. But this "Strategic Hamlet Program" was failing concerning the application in the whole country (Clark, p.73).
The situation was developing worse and worse so the population was forced for relocation again and was put into relocation camps which were similar to concentration camps, called "New Life Hamlet" and "Relocation Camps". The contact to outside was forbidden systematically so Vietcong manipulators were excluded from the interned population. But the aim to safe the contact with the population and to regain the confidence and the support of the population failed again with the contradictions of the conditions and by corruption, bribes and the pain of separation from the ancestral homeland (Clark, p.345). There was such a relocation action for example in 1962 called "Operation Sunrise" (Clark, p.381). Vietcong called the new villages and hamlets "Camouflaged Concentration Camps". It's propaganda has success and Diem Government could not regain the confidence of the South Vietnamese population again (Clark, p.83).
Later the program was called "resettlement" pretending the sense that all would be on a voluntary base. The Vietnamese population called the program "ironing a village" (Clark, p.435). Since 1964 after the murder of South Vietnam President Diem the relocation program "New Life Hamlets" was collapsing (lark, p.83). The forced relocation program "Strategic Hamlet" was canceled (Clark, p.491). But the population was interned in these "villages" against their will until 1975 (Clark, p.83). Since the end of 1965 "American" opponents of "U.S." President Johnson were calling these barrack villages and refugee camps in South Vietnam "Johnsonvilles" ("Johnson Towns"). Since the end of 1965 the camps were coming up in big quantities because of "U.S." fighting operations and because of the forced replacement policy (Clark, p.255).
"U.S.A." had the strategy of bombings without loss of men. This tactic was called "Expend Shells not Men". For this tactic "U.S." infantry troops had to make their work first detecting the enemy and transmitting the position so the air raid would hit the enemy (Clark, p.166).
These projects were not always successful because North Vietnam Army NVA /Vietcong were trying always to let come the "U.S." sniffing units as near as possible and to kill them so they could not flee any more and could not transmit any position to any air plane of any air force any more. Add to this NVA / Vietcong only in rare cases let detect itself in big groups or let only in rare cases involve themselves in battles, with the exception when there should be won an advantage with it (Clark, p.167).
There was also a "Set-Piece-Battle-Strategy" of the "U.S.A." with the aim to "make peace" after a won battle. This was the normal battle field strategy which was foreseen by the "U.S.A." but hardly could be applied. North Vietnam Army / Vietcong was often retreating before and was pushing through it's own conditions. But during battles on the ground they always suffered heavy losses by the supremacy of the "U.S." firepower (Clark, p.461).
"U.S." policy was building up protected enclaves and zones protecting the population from the enemy propaganda, and was building up the protection of bases and ports. This was the "Enclave Policy". For this policy relatively small quantities of "U.S." troops were sent. And South Vietnam Army SVA was operating outside of the enclaves (Clark, p.164).
Since September 1965 also "U.S." Fighting Forces were introducing a "guerrilla war" according to the strategy "Limited Conventional War" LCW. When an "U.S." unit was of over 4,000 men, then this unit was renamed as a unit for the "Limited Conventional War". This was not much compared with a traditional cavalry division of September 1965 which comprised almost 20,000 men, and in October 1975 an infantry division had almost 20,000 men (Clark, p.282).
In April 1967 "U.S." Defense Minister McNamara was staring a plan (with the original name of "Practice Nine"). The project was building up a massive wall in the demilitarized zone between North and South Vietnam stopping infiltration by it. This wall with the name "McNamara's Wall" should consist of a net of mines, wires and electric sensors. The project was never completed because there were other defense needs in the region with more priority whereas it was a favorite project of McNamara. In 1967 the project of the wall was renamed into "Illinois City" and then into "Dye Marker" before it was given up completely (Clark, p.318).
Joseph Goldberg, UN ambassador of the "U.S.A.", was fighting in vain for a negotiation solution in Vietnam and became one of the advisors of "U.S." President Johnson in March 1968 (Clark, p.202).
In 1968 Fulbright created a new term for a negotiation solution, the "Equation of Advantages" for both sides as a precondition that North Vietnam would accept to enter negotiation, because without getting an advantage North Vietnam would never enter negotiations. Additionally North Vietnam would love more a victory than a compromise. Thus "U.S.A." should enlarge their bombings and troops for not loosing in Vietnam (Clark, p.165).
After Tet Offensive in 1968 "U.S." military strategy was changing and "post Tet'68 strategy" was invented with an "Economy of Force" respectively with a "Strategic Defense".
-- "U.S." offensives should be reduced and defensive position should be accepted (Clark, p.160)
-- the focus should be the defense of towns and bases which should be handed over to the Vietnamese step by step ("vietnamization")
-- and there should be no ground operation into North Vietnam territory.
This tactic was the practice with the available forces fulfilling the military mission with the least expense (Clark, p.161).
In February 1969 "U.S." strategists are focusing a new "One War Plan" with the focuses of accelerated "contentment" and creating of territorial safety, with the development of a South Vietnam Army as an independent fighting force, and the war should be vietnamized step by step. "U.S." troops should be restricted to perform defense tasks and support for the South Vietnamese militaries (Clark, p.362).
In 1971 "U.S." militarists develop the strategy of "Dynamic Defense" respectively "Mobile Defense" defending "U.S." bases and strategic villages in Vietnam: ground troops make patrols around towns and are controlling installations hindering North Vietnam Army NVA / Vietcong to launch rocket attacks. During all this South Vietnam Army should hold their positions. "Dynamic Defense" was a modification of the old enclave policy which was protecting "U.S." units (Clark, p.158).
In November 1973 "U.S.A." passed the "War Powers Act" which obliged the President
to make a formal "declaration of war" when "U.S." troops were more than 90 days in a fighting action. In this way a second "Vietnam" should be prevented (Clark, p.554).
10 Repeated military operations
There were "Friendly Fires" when the own troops were bombed by mistake. Killed and wounded (with "Friendly Wounds") by "Friendly Fires" did not appear in the statistics because there was no effect of the enemy. Also wrong hits of South Vietnamese Army on "U.S." troops were rated as "Friendly Fires". Thus safety distances to neighboring troop units were introduced (Clark, p.190).
The demining troops were called "Explosive Ordnance Disposal" EOD, DUD. They were working when not exploded devices, mines, mine traps and other military material had to be removed which was endangering friendly troops or the civil population. North Vietnam Army NVA / Vietcong used above all mines and devices in form of mine traps against the "Free World Military Forces". Many of these actions of the demining troops were also executed by normal infantry troops (Clark, p.167).
Infiltration was working best in the frontier zones. Elephants Foot was a plain of Kein Tuong Province in the zone of the 4th "U.S." corps, north of Muc Hoa along the Cambodian border line. This plain was used for infiltration work by North Vietnam Army NVA / Vietcong bringing equipment and support down to Saigon (Clark, p.163).
During Vietnam War South Vietnam was more and more converted into a Go-area (home territory) and No-Go-area (enemy territory). In Go-areas the population was supported, in the No-Go-areas not (Clark, p.202).
Psychological warfare was supported by helicopters. Helicopters were spreading messages and faked propaganda by loudspeakers passing the enemy fields. Faked propaganda was spoken on tape and was played back. Later faked propaganda was also spread by radio (Clark, p.159-160).
11 Imprisonment and torture during Vietnam War
North Vietnamese torture methods with captives
Torture methods of North Vietnam Army with "U.S." soldiers were reduction of sleep, solitary confinement over years, keeping the captive in iron during weeks, hindering blood circulation, hunger and thirst, hits with rubber tubes, with belts and with bamboo, chaining the body in different positions blocking blood circulation and nerves, breaking bones, opening wounds causing infections, rejecting medical assistance or electro shocks (Clark, p.518).
Vietcong and some "intelligence gathering groups" were applying also the "Tiger Cage". Captives were forced into a little bamboo box being there for weeks provoking deformations of the body. On the captive island Con Son there were not cages but little cave holes measuring 5 by 9 feet ("underground cells"), with only little ventilation, but with parasites and with bugs (Clark, p.513). "American" captives were called "Prisoners of War" (POW). They were kept in Laos, in North Vietnam, and in China. All in all there were 591 "American" captives, mostly military members, one agent of CIA, and some civilians. The last "U.S." soldier was liberated in March 1973. 2,300 "U.S." "Americans" have "disappeared". According to rumors some of the "Americans" are in North Vietnamese prisons until today. This report Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian refugees and some illegal paramilitary missions verifying the rumors (Clark, p.22). Convention of Geneva is not respected (Clark, p.411) because "Americans" are rated as criminals because "U.S.A." officially never have declared any war (Clark, p.568).
South Vietnamese torture methods with captives
The "Americans" were applying mostly hits. South Vietnamese bosses were applying also other traditional torture methods with North Vietnamese like to put a rag into the mouth which is watered ("slow drowning"), electric execution with a cane with a spine of an animal on it, or electric execution with a generator managed by hand, or water boarding, or remove the skin, or hits on the bottom of the feet with splittered bamboo, or fixing on a pole and the ground is smeared with honey and black ants are coming and bite the captive without end, or a not poisoning but aggressive water snake is put into the shirt, or there are hits or incredible verbal abuse (Clark, p.517).
North Vietnamese "Tiger Cage" also was applied with a variation in South Vietnam Army SVA. A little room was equipped with barbed wire, 10 to 12 inches over the floor. On the surface the captive had to be naked or half naked, mostly under direct sunlight. This torture could be combined with thirst. Provoking more pain with the wounds the captive could be watered with salty water (Clark, p.513).
Arab method was copied by South Vietnam Army and allegedly was copied by CIA advisors binding the eyes of the victim, binding the victim naked on a chair and leaving the victim during several hours in an isolation in that way. Then the captive was queried. And the victim lost any orientation and it's resistance was collapsing rapidly then (Clark, p.29).
Hardliner and softliners in the society
"U.S."-POWs (prisoners of war) not telling anything were called "diehards" or "hardliner" (Clark, p.175). Hardliners in captivity were following the rules of military captivity word for word, above all Navy pilots and fighting pilots. This kind of captives were suspecting all inmates in detention camps who were not fulfilling the rules completely claiming that those would be collaborators with the enemy (Clark, p.219).
Softliners in captivity were telling much when the torture methods were hard for surviving (Clark, p.219).
"Fink" were called some "U.S." soldiers who were completely collaborating with the North Vietnam Army. They were called "Fink" and worse (Clark, p.219). About "U.S." POW (prisoner of war) who were collaborating with the North Vietnam Army NVA was told they would work in the "Fink Release Program (Clark, p.175). They got a generous treatment, better food, they got training possibilities and better life conditions (Clark, p.175).
"U.S." renegade Robert Garwood was detained by Vietcong in 1965 and converted and then fought against "U.S." troops. At the end he spoke Vietnamese fluently and was even guarding "U.S." captives and was one of several renegades of capitalism (Clark, p.197).
In 1973 the "Operation Homecoming" was one part of the Paris Agreement. 591 "U.S." Americans were released from Vietcong coming from Saigon, from North Vietnam Army NVA coming from Hanoi, and from China coming from Hong Kong.
First the "Americans" were transported to a medical check to the Philippines and were released there from any military service. Then they came back to the "U.S.A". military hospitals (Clark, p.371). All in all 591 "Americans" and 5,000 South Vietnamese were exchanged with 26,500 North Vietnamese (Clark, p.411). Some North Vietnamese rejected a return to North Vietnam (Clark, p.432). In 1990 Vietnam declared that there were no "U.S." captives any more (Clark, p.22).
12 Anti war movement in the "U.S.A."
Since 1960 the Anti War Movement in the "U.S.A." came with new slogans like
-- "Freedom now, withdraw now"(Clark, p.189)
-- "Yankee go Home" (Clark, p.568)
-- "Fuck The Army" (Clark, p.194)
"U.S." soldiers having the saying "Fuck The Army" as a silent protest against their Vietnam service were terrorized additionally "for fun" by the "Lifers" (Clark, p.194).
Since the early 1960s anti war groups in the "U.S.A." were beginning to organize meetings in big halls, the so called "teach-ins". sometimes hundreds or even thousands of people came and were discussing there. The sessions could last hours or even days. Sleeping was organized in sleeping halls, gymnastic halls or in the auditorium itself (Clark, p.505).
Since September 1964 there were first fights in the "U.S.A." about the freedom of speech. At Berkeley University of California a Free Speech Movement (FSM) was formed under it's leader Mario Savio. This Free Speech group from Berkeley University was an opposition against the press and against the war. Savio was detained because of free political sayings. But at the end Freedom of Speech came out on top (Clark, p.188).
"Girls Only Say Yes to Men Who Say No" was an anti war song in the camps encouraging girls and young women to reject any love for men who were fighting in the Vietnam War or to leave them (Clark, p.201).
Bob Dylan was a popular rock singer with songs against the war in the 1960s. Dylan spoke in his songs about injustice in the war, about women and new drug culture. Normally Bob Dylan was identified with the anti war movement because some of his songs were speaking about actual topics. Not one single song was directly mentioning Vietnam, but some songs of him were indicating how ill "U.S." society had become. Dylan's proper name was Robert Zimmermann, born in 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota (Clark, p.156).
In 1967 Vietnam veterans were founding an anti war organization "Vietnam veterans against the war" (VVAW) and they were part of demonstrations (Clark, p.547).
In April 1970 fans of the anti war movement were demonstrating against the "U.S." ground invasion in Cambodia. The students had a plan to set the center of the "Reserve Officer Training Corps" (ROTC) on fire. In 4 May 1970 the demonstration ended with an escalation. The students rejected to retire, the police attacked and fired into the demonstration killing 4 students of Kent University. 14 more students were hurt and then they were discharged in a trial. More anti war demonstrations were in May 1970 in Jackson State University where two black students were killed by shooting of police, and not one of the policemen was punished for this (Clark, p.261).
"Burn Yourselves, not your Draft Cards" was one of the refrains of the enemies of the anti war movement and of government friendly demonstrators. This special refrain referred to the Morrison incident when on 2 November 1965 Norman Morrison had presented himself on the stairs of the Pentagon pouring himself with gasoline and putting himself on fire. A second self-immolation was on 9 November 1965 near but outside of the "U.S." state building (Clark, p.74).
In 1971 Vietnam veterans were making
an official investigation and hearings in Detroit about "U.S." war crimes in Vietnam. According to this investigation an anti war activist, Jane Fonda, was founding the organization of the "Winter soldier Investigation". She was presenting witnesses, she was presenting culprits who had committed war crimes, and she presented neglects in the "U.S." military leadership. The investigation was published in 1972, but government propaganda [of criminal President Nixon] was weakening and fighting the investigation of course (Clark, p.547).
Jane Fonda: She was an "American" actress and anti war activist being famous already by her naked scenes in the film "Barbarella". In 1972 she was in Hanoi demonstrating against air raids in front of ruins. This provoked that she was not loved any more by the GIs. Later she was marrying the anti war activist Tom Hayden (Clark, p.183).
13 Draft, objection to military service and peace movement in the "U.S.A."
Catholic Workers Movement was one of the anti war groups in the "U.S.A.", founded in 1960 in New York (Clark, p.90).
In the first half of the year 1964 "U.S.A." was drafting to military service every month 17,000 soldiers, since July over 35,000 per month. All in all two million young men between 18 and 26 years were drafted, from 17 million men "capable for draft" in the "U.S.A." (Clark, p.153).
Expiration Term of Service ETS
Term of service for GIs during Vietnam War was two years. After the release the soldier had - when he had not served in Vietnam - to serve in the reserve for four years, had to be present at reserve meetings every month and had to do a service every summer for two weeks. At the end he got a certificate. Soldiers who had served in Vietnam were freed of the reserve service (Clark, p.167).
Selective Service System
Selective Service System was applied until 1969 and was fixing quotas. Draft notification were made out by local "Selective Service Boards". People in important profession positions could evade military draft declaring themselves as indispensable. This system of reserve and inequality within the election procedure provoked an imbalance within the drafts. Therefore a draft was improbable for one part of the "American" society until 1969, respectively the methods of evading a draft were accepted without protest. But the drafts mostly were less educated, or poor whites, or blacks, or hispanos, because they were less clever and had no connections and hardly could apply a method evading the military service (Clark, p.459).
"Draft Lottery" since 1969
Since 1969 selection service applied a lottery system for the draft on the base of the dates of birth evading a special status of the upper and middle class. In 1972 Nixon ended the draft of "U.S.". soldiers for Vietnam (Clark, p.153).
"Extension Active Duty" ("extension of the service period")
When the draft was in a helicopter school, then the service period was three years. From the GIs such a career was chosen often evading an army position in the "U.S.A." (Clark, p.167). For these flight training schools were waiting lists (Clark, p.151) and it could be that at the end the helicopter pilot also ended as a "door gunner". Any extension by 6 months also brought one more 7 days holiday on a safe place (R&R). Typical service extensions lasted between two and fiver months (Clark, p.167).
Counseling with the goal to evade the draft
From 1964 to 1968 there were several anti war groups with counseling services for young men assisting them in methods how the draft could be evaded:
-- to leave the country
-- to worsen the physical conditions on the own body for being classified as unfit
-- live with hunger and loosing weight so the person would be under the weight limit for a military service
-- eat like an animal being fat exceeding the weight limit for a military service
-- getting addicted to drugs [which was not accepted in the army]
-- showing a homosexuality in a convincing way [which was forbidden in the army]
-- pretending a mental instability or reaching a mental instability with drugs
-- taking drugs so the blood tests were without a useful result or were with faked results
-- pleading for medical reports of doctors, psychiatrists and dentists declaring the person as unfit
-- doctors could install "additional devices" (splints, bandages etc.) so the elected person could not be draft (Clark, p.153).
Draft-Dodging (hindering military service) 1964-1968
Many underground organizations began to help soldiers to evade a fighting service in Vietnam and were active world wide: In England, Sweden, Canada, Spain, in Switzerland, Ireland, and in other countries (Clark, p.141). Draft dodging was increasing during Vietnam war and was developing to an art: 1,000s of young and bodily fit "American" men between 19 and 26, mostly from middle and upper class, were undertaking anything evading military service. Most of objectors were pleading for faked documents about their physical, mental or emotional state and were successful with it.
Thus the middle lower class and the lowest classes were mostly hit by Vietnam War. Some of the objectors were even visiting religious pastor seminars, teacher seminars, colleges and more lectures up to the doctor certificate (which could be presented as a reason for not being draft until 1968). Also marriage (was possible as a reason until 1966), or exaggerated loss of weight or gain of weight so the candidates were outside of any weight limit, or another possibility for being rejected for a military draft were needle scarves at the body pretending a drug addiction. (Common drug consumers were rejected from military service).
More reasons against a military service in Vietnam were:
-- proofs for a continuing illegal drug abuse
-- proofs of committed crimes: convicted murders could not go to Vietnam to go to kill
-- professional reasons could effect a delay or a postponement
-- wearing of splints or artificial limbs in combination with a doctor's certificate could effect a liberation of military service for a certain time because the object had to be worn a certain time (also dentists were installing set of dentures and prosthesis when they were payed for it)
-- medical certificates could help to reject military service indicating that the draft person was in a mental or psychiatric treatment
-- intake of drugs shortly before the body test could effect that the body test was not fulfilled
-- also the amputation of a limb, for example the freely wanted amputation of the forefinger, or of toes, was a method so the affected person was liberated from any service in Vietnam - and there were several cases like this
-- true or pretended homosexuality could be shown to the doctors but had to be convincing (Clark, p.153)
-- some skin diseases could also effect a liberation of service in Vietnam, especially the contagious skin diseases or skin diseases which needed a special treatment
-- also eating big quantities of food were causing that the blood test could not be used
-- when a close family member was dependent from the cure of the draft person, this could also cause a liberation of any service in Vietnam war, for example with an alcoholic bride or with drug addicted bride. This method evading Vietnam service worked also when the bride was rated as psychiatrically ill
-- when the draft person performed actions which only could be classified to a crazy or childish person, then a service in Vietnam was also impossible
-- a broken bone which was not knit well together any more was also a reason for a liberation from any service in Vietnam war, and the broken bone was provoked by the affected person himself by self-mutilation (Clark, p.154)
-- after about 1967 GIs in Vietnam also began to evade the preventive malaria medicaments hoping that a malaria disease would liberate them from any further service in Vietnam war (Clark, p.311).
1965: David Miller: Draft Card Burning
David Miller, 22 years old, burnt in October 1965 his draft card near the draft center at Whitehall Street in Manhattan in New York, during a protest event. This scenery was completely transmitted in national TV. Miller himself was convicted as a card burner and was 2 years in prison for that (Clark, p.90) [but he had not to go to Vietnam War].
1965: Draft Card Burning and the Bill 392
Since 1965 some members of the anti war movement were burning their draft cards as a symbolic gesture against any war. As a revenge National Congress was passing a harsh law against these burnings. But the new bill 392 was not stopping any draft card burning, and some of the protesters were captures and punished (Clark, p.154) [but they had never to go to serve in Vietnam War].
On 30 August 1965 President Johnson signed the Bill 392 against draft card burning: Deliberate destruction, mutilation or damaging of the draft card was sanctioned. The law provided in cases of conviction a punishment of up to 10,000 $ and 5 years of jail. The law was the answer for a growing disrespect to the draft system by some groups of the anti war movement and their indifference to the serving soldiers - this was the text of the state (Clark, p.57).
[Well, "U.S.A." and their allies like Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and Thailand never had any respect concerning the Vietnam people which never wanted to be split like Germany was split with a wall and barbed wire].
Draft in the "U.S.A". from 1975 to 1979
In 1975 President Ford ended the draft registration. In 1977 President Carter was apologizing for all who had been convicted because of violation of military service law. But in 1979 President Carter was reintroducing the draft registration again (Clark, p.153).
Overcoming of discrimination of military service objectors
In the "U.S.A." persons were partly rated with the fact if they had made a service in Vietnam or not. Additionally there was a classification called "Undesirable Discharge" (UDC) and "Clemency Discharge" (CD).
At the end a "Shamnesty Board" took over the problem to rehabilitate the "Undesirable Discharges". Undesirable Discharges from wounded or decorated veterans were rated higher then with a general's liberation of a honor liberation. Shamnesty Board also got the power to investigate the cases of persons who had left the "U.S.A." during Vietnam War for not being draft. They were honored with a "full pardon" (Clark, p.533).
14 Draft for military service in North Vietnam
From 1961 to 1975 the draft age was 20. But Vietcong was making homeland propaganda and was therefore also drafting people between 16 and 18 years. But when the "call to the point" was not working then Vietcong was was also applying violence, force and terror. North Vietnam fighters were mostly draft in rural villages (Clark, p.153).
15 Desertions in "U.S." Army
Already in 1914 Christian organizations in England were organizing a desertion society ""Fellowship of Reconciliation" (FOR). This society was representing peace and peaceful social reforms. The same organization also was present during Vietnam War against draft and for Human Rights Movement in the "U.S.A.". The organization "Fellowship of Reconciliation" was supporting more such organizations, for example "American Civil Liberties Union", "War Resisters League", and "Congress of Radical Equality" (Clark, p.172).
Anti war groups were inventing also new virtual persons:
-- RITA was called the standard "War Resister-in-The-Army"
-- FRITA was called the "Friend of a War Resister-in-The-Army"
-- FUFA was called the "Fed-Up-with-The-Fucking-Army": this was a soldier who never wanted to have anything to do with any army again (Clark, p.173).
First "American" deserters were only punished a little bit, but the punishments were always harder. The number of deserters was rising rapidly with the anti war movement. The fear of being killed or also moral reasons were the cause for approximately 93,000 desertions of "U.S." soldiers during Vietnam War. Almost 22% of the deserters were deserting after the normal period of service in Vietnam. "U.S." Government was estimating that the desertion figure was all in all 550,000, and most of these cases were a short AWOL ("Absence Without Leave" without any upcoming attack of the enemy). 100,000 real deserters were liberated from military service. Officially only 5,000 such cases were reported, and 32,000 not reported cases were mentioned officially (Clark, p.141).
"French Leave" was a quiet desertion in the night or a non-appearance withing 24 hours before the attack of the enemy. This happened above all with soldiers of the South Vietnam Army or with soldiers working in "U.S." facilities. The deserter was saving himself by living in the underground (Clark, p.189).
Absent without Leave AWOL was an illegal non-appearance at the troop without the situation of an upcoming attack of the enemy. AWOL was differed from desertion because when the soldier was not going into another military service and was keeping a part of his equipment or of his uniform then he was not considered as a deserter, but was punished as an AWOL (Clark, p.4).
South Vietnam Army had the highest desertion rate. From 1961 to 1975 about 20% were deserting every year. From 1965 to 1972 it were also more than 20%. The deserters mostly went back to their home villages and were often "draft" by Vietcong respectively were forced to serve in the Vietcong Army (Clark, p.141).
The desertion rate within the North Vietnam Troops was very high. Mostly the number of deserters was higher than the number of voluntary fighters (Clark, p.153).
North Vietnamese deserters were forgiven their desertion by the Chieu Hoi-Program, also called the "Open Arms Program", and they were reintegrated in the North Vietnam Army without any punishment (Clark, p.141). These amnestied people were called "Hoi Chanks". After the desertion and the reintegration the development could be different:
-- some became spies for the "U.S." army and were called "Kit Carson Scouts"
-- some deserted back to the North Vietnam Army (NVA) / Vietcong
-- some changed the sides several times (Clark, p.98)
-- in general there was the basic principle that a returnee should work in the same region from where he had come from ("Loc Luong 66" Program)
-- and some were also working as double agents (Clark, p.267).
In the end of 1973 the Chieu Hoi Program was ended. In 1975 there was a fast evacuation movement and there was no time to destroy the documents about deserters from the North Vietnam Army / Vietcong and the spies of South Vietnam Army, and all the documents fell into the hands of the Vietcong, and then the revenge actions of Vietcong began (Clark, p.98).
[That's why the refugee boats were coming from Vietnam without end, and close and intact Thailand is NOT on the list of countries accepting Vietnamese refugees].
Ford Clemency Review Board
This agency was installed by the government of President Ford. It should give a form of amnesty to the military service objectors, to the so called "Absent without Leave" AWOL. When the soldiers were reporting themselves and when there was no arrest, so this soldier could effect an "undesirable discharge" (UD). When he was giving a 24 months alternative service, so he could be promoted to a "clemency discharge" (CD). Veterans called this board as a hypocrisy because the problems of the Vietnam veterans who really had been fighting and were deserted from the real fight were never mentioned (Clark, p.184).
Amnesty Program from President Jimmy Carter
Democrat President Jimmy Carter from Georgia was announcing a forgiving action without preconditions for all who had been fled from any military service in Vietnam:
-- forgiven were "Americans" who had left the country
-- forgiven were "Americans" living in the underground
-- but deserters were not forgiven because they only could reach a promotion from "Undesirable Discharge" to "Clemency Discharge"
-- and also deserters who had deserted from the fight in Vietnam or had been convicted by a military tribunal were not forgiven (Clark, p.88).
17 Equipment of "U.S." soldiers: curiosities
"Dust Eater" was called the last vehicle of a military convoy when this last vehicle in fact was absorbing the swirled up dust so the enemy would not detect the convoy too much (Clark, p.157).
At the beginning of the bombings "U.S.A." was bombing with bombs which came from Korean War yet, with a bigger diameter yet and which ware called "Fat Bombs". The newer bombs then were slimmer (Clark, p.171). Bombs with camera were called "Walleye-Bombs" or "Sunset-Bombs" (Clark, p.161).
Drones were flying already, unmanned airplanes for photo espionage. They got the nickname "Buffalo Hunter" (Clark, p.155).
Wild elephants in Vietnam existed. These were little Indian elephants. Viet Minh Army and North Vietnam Army were using these elephants in little quantities for supplies and for the transportation of heavy weapons. But it was difficult to hide elephants, and they provoked also big tracks in the jungle and needed too much food, and therefore elephants were already discharged after a little time of use (Clark, p.155).
Elephant grass was also called "Knife Grass", "Tranh Grass", or "Razor Grass". This grass was native in Vietnam, was sharp like razor blades and could reach a height of up to 12 feet. Military actions were partly considerably hampered by this elephant grass. It blocked the view, it cut the skin and the uniforms, and during the dry season there was pollen dust hampering respiration. Nung merchants called it "knife grass" (Clark, p.162).
"U.S." soldiers had tubes and socks around their necks for rice transportation during their long marches, called "rice rolls", "rice tubes", "rice belts" or "tube socks" (Clark, p.162).
Elephant Valley is a little valley, 25 km north west of Da Nang. In June 1965 "U.S." Marine was shooting there a Vietnamese convoy, and not only Vietnamese, but also elephants were killed. Since this event the nickname of the valley is "Elephant Valley" (Clark, p.162-163).
"American" soldiers called the bases of North Vietnam Army (NVA) / Vietcong along the South Vietnamese Cambodian border line a "Fish Hook" (Clark, p.178).
Every village had it's bunker system for the night. But the bunkers often did not hold out the bombings. Partly the villages had underground tunnel systems connecting each other (Clark, p.170-171).
Dien Bien Phu kitchen (this was a kitchen without smoke) was called a kitchen device of Vietcong in the underground, named after little underground field kitchens which were used first in the ditches of Viet Minh troops. Vietcong version of the kitchen was installed underground later. The smoke of the kitchen fire was lead by many tubes and was diluted with the air from outside step by step. This diluted smoke left the tunnel system with different holes so this little diluted quantity of smoke was practically invisible for the aerial reconnaissance. In regions which were controlled by the enemy (FWF, "Free World Forces"), the kitchen fires were only working during the night and were extinguished with the end of the night. The ovens were very inefficient. Often the smoke was blown back into the tunnels. Kitchen on the ground was preferred when it was possible (Clark, p.144).
Floating Rice was rice which was growing in the delta independently from the tides, but the level of the water was different with every tide (Clark, p.181).
18 Medicine, jungle and venereal diseases in Vietnam War
"Evacuation Hospital", also called "Semimobile", "Evacs" or "Meat Factories" were hospitals with perpetual or half perpetual structures. "Evac hospitals" normally had about 200 beds, with a broad range of treatment possibilities of injuries and illnesses. Main task for "Evac hospitals" was the stabilizing of the patient for further transportation to a big hospital in and outside of Vietnam. Nurses were calling these hospitals "meat factories" (Clark, p.166).
[because in these "Evac hospitals" was the first treatment of the injured soldiers after a fight treating the open wounds or amputating destroyed limbs].
The list with the normal drugs was the so called "Drug List" for the Vietnam War and comprised
-- Ritalin-downer in kids, upper in adults
-- Amyl Nitrate (poppers) - used for angina attacks-upper
-- Epinephrine-heart stimulant
-- Lidocaine-injectable local and tropical anesthetic
-- Lomotil-antidiarrhea pill
-- APC-military aspirin (aspirin / phenacetin / caffeine) (Clark, p.155).
[Vietnam soldiers of "U.S.A." were also members of not defined experiments with uppers which were merchandised after the Vietnam War in the whole world for civil population].
Treatments with morphine
Doctors wore an equipment with pills and syringes, and special troops wore individual syrettes for self injections in the case that they were sounded. Syrettes contained typically OE-3/4 gram of morphine (Clark, p.333).
Wounded with injuries in the stomach, in the head or in the breast were not allowed to take morphine because this provoked swellings in the head. Additionally bodily functions were slowered slowly spreading from the injection point over the whole body. After the injection the empty little bottle was fixed on the neck of the wounded. Thus everybody could see how much morphine the wounded person had got already (Clark, p.334).
During the first war days many soldiers had individual morphine portions on them for a self injection in the case of a wounding. After 1967 there were restrictions concerning this personal morphine, also because of higher drug abuse and because of the faster transport possibilities to a hospital. Medical doctors on battle fields could have morphine on them yet, but the normal soldier himself was not allowed to have it for a self injection any more. Only troops in high risk operations like long excursions, special troops and study and observation groups (SOG) were allowed to have personal morphine yet (Clark, p.334).
Fever (FUO fever) was a "Fever-of-Undetermined-Origin" (FUO fever, "fever without definition of reason"), which could indicate a malaria, dysentery or dengue fever. Partly this fever was caused by the anti malaria pills themselves, so the claim of the "U.S." soldiers. The medical doctors defended the pills but never could define the FUO fever or the source for it (Clark, p.172).
Also dengue fever was appearing in Vietnam, a virus disease transmitted by mosquito bites. The effects were painful swellings of the joints, of the neck muscles, a high fever, an eczema. The treatment was calm and supply of beverages. Normally a dengue fever was not heavy, but some complications could appear. Other names for dengue fever were Breakbone fever or Dandy fever (Clark, p.140).
Malaria had different forms like Falciparum, Volvax, or "Blockwater Fever". The most normal form of malaria in Vietnam were Falcparum and Volvax (vivax). Symptoms were fever, diarrhea, jaundice, attacks and nervous shocks. When there was no treatment in time, the parasites were spreading in the liver and in the spleen. The organs were broadening and were causing malfunctions. When there was no sufficient treatment the fever attacks and other attacks could repeat. Complications were Blackwater Fever: When a high number of red blood cells was destroyed and excreted by urine, then the urine was brown-red. When a cell destruction was happening in coordination with a high fever and jaundice, it could be that a blood transfusion was necessary for stabilizing the patient (Clark, p.311).
There were several different preventive malaria pills: Dapsone had to be taken one time per day and was called "daily-daily" / "white pill" (Clark, p.134). Chlorocin was a pill for one week, called "horse pill" because of it's big shape, also called "Monday pill", with side effects like diarrhea and yellow skin (Clark, p.100). "U.S." soldiers had to take these medicaments in a preventive way. During the latter period of the war the "U.S." soldiers were evading the medicaments and were hoping for a malaria disease for getting home fast from this [criminal] war (Clark, p.311).
Epinephrine was a medicament rising blood pressure and stimulating heart activity, an "Adrenal gland extract" (Clark, p.165).
Venereal Diseases (V.D.)
Factors for spreading venereal diseases within the population and with "U.S." soldiers were missing hygiene habits, missing medical treatment, missing inspection, non-treatment, and missing occasion for talks within the military system. And thus the illnesses are spreading rapidly. Some military units were unofficially installing their own brothels which were supervised for being used by the soldiers. This was the measure of the soldiers themselves for minimizing the spread of the diseases. Women in houses were investigated by military doctors and work was forbidden for them normally when they were found ill. This worked in a little part of Vietnam, but the problem was too big and could not be reduced by this measure.
There were different kinds of venereal diseases in the country itself, and some of them were resistant to the normal penicillin, and therefore these venereal diseases got the name "black syphilis". There was a project to keep away the Asian kinds of venereal diseases from the "U.S." soldiers or to hinder the coming home of already infected "U.S." soldiers. Therefore all soldiers leaving South Vietnam were forced to pass medical tests. When they could not pass it, then they got a treatment and were kept as long in Vietnam as they could pass the test. Additionally to the treatment of the venereal diseases intercourse with prostitutes could also provoke tuberculosis and a kind of animal rot of the liver (Clark, p.542).
"Black syphilis" was the nickname for an extreme virulent kind of syphilis, difficult to handle and highly resistant to penicillin. Syphilis in Vietnamese language was called "Tim-La". One of the rumors about Black Syphilis was that an infection provoked that the person was sent to a little island in Pacific region for staying there until a remedy was found or one had to die there. The affected persons were rated as "missed during the operation". One variation of it was that one could be treated as "killed in action" so the next familiar member could inherit the GI insurance (Clark, p.497).
Trichomoniasis was a parasitic infection attacking the reproducing tract and the intestine tract. The parasite caused uncomfortable symptoms like itching forks, little bumps and bubbles on the penis and general problems during urinating. The parasite in the intestine tract could also cause constrictions and diarrhea. The parasite was transferred by intercourse or also by contaminated drinking water (Clark, p.521).
Control day as the final day: the Pussy Cut-off Date PCOD
As "Pussy Cut-off Date" was called the last day of an "U.S." soldier having sex with a Vietnamese girl before his return to the "U.S.A.", and at the same time the soldier had enough time yet for the treatment of long lasting venereal diseases. The normal final date was 6 to 8 weeks before the return home. "U.S." military personal had to pass the venereal test before the return. And all ill persons of "U.S." military were retained until they were healed (Clark, p.394).
19 Psychological illnesses and long term damages
"Combat Fatigue" was called also "Battle Fatigue" or "Operational Exhaustion". After too long or too intensive fights in the battlefield all could come together: fatigue, stress, and mental exhaustion. The soldier did not "function" any more and did not fulfill orders any more, and his mental consciousness was solving from reality. This provoked that he entered involuntarily dangerous situations or was provoking difficult situations for his comrades. The causes for combat fatigue was a combination of heat, diseases and exhaustion. The treatment was normally some days rest and calm on a base camp which normally could recover the soldier so the soldier could get back his mentally and bodily unity. In heavy cases longer rests were necessary. As a prevention general stays in base camps were introduced for complete "U.S." units. These units could be absent from the battle field for weeks. Add to this a lack of "U.S." soldiers could be which provoked that other soldiers did not get their holiday because of indispensability (Clark, p.112).
Combat Fatigue could also be in form of a heavy depression, with solitariness, carelessness, broken ego and depression (Clark, p.181).
During "First World War" this phenomenon was called the "Shell Shock", during "Second World War" it was called "Battle Fatigue" or "Combat Exhaustion", during Korean War it was called "Battle Neurosis" or "Operational Exhaustion", and during Vietnam War it was finally called "Combat Fatigue", "Acute Situation Reaction", "Delayed Stress" or "Situational Trauma" (Clark, p.112).
Other reactions with overcharge of soldiers in the battles were "Flip Out", "Crack Up", "Flak Happy", or "Combat Crazy" (Clark, p.181).
In bigger hospitals in Vietnam there were psychiatrists, so called "Combat Psychiatrist" curing the psychological troubles with the soldiers which had come up by stress and battles. The treatment had three main principles: direct speech - to be close - hope.
Direct speech should name the problem fast and never leave it out of the sight
To be close: meant that the treatment of the illness should begin as close as possible, within the battle zone itself
Hope: meant that the mentality of the soldier should be manipulated so the patient would begin to fulfill it's obligation again [and could continue to kill] (Clark, p.113).
Troops with problems were sent back to the battle field as soon as possible so the problems would not develop chronically, or the problems were covered by other symptoms (Clark, p.113).
Vietnam veterans and their psychological problems
"Combat Veteranitis" is a formulation of the author Philip Caputo describing a state of many Vietnam veterans after their coming home to the "U.S.A.". These veteran symptoms contained among others always
-- a disability of concentration,
-- a childish fear of darkness
-- a tendency to be exhausted rapidly
-- chronic nightmares
-- an intolerance concerning loud noise
-- changing moods between being depressive and furious attacks without any reason (Clark, p.114).
Some Vietnam veterans were suffering under a feeling of guilt having survived when other friends had been killed or mutilated. The symptoms of this "Survivor Guilt" respectively the "Why me Syndrome" was a sleeplessness up to a social solitariness (Clark, p.495).
Not all Vietnam veterans could manage the violence and destruction they had seen during the battles, or they could not handle the traumatic events they had passed. They could not forget the huge and destructive elements, and they suffered by nightmares, memories, emotional anesthesia, insomnia, feeling of guilt of the survivor, depressions, and fear. Psychiatrists called this behavior a "post traumatic stress disorder" (PTSD) or a "delayed stress syndrome". This complex of behavior limitations provoked also difficulties in the personal relationship of the affected person. PTSD is a problem still today. Causes and details were investigated in the following period (Clark, p.407).
"Vietnam syndrome" is called the tendency to compare all communist "liberation wars" against "U.S.A." with the Vietnam War which were after Vietnam War yet (above all when the "U.S.A." were supporting steadily the "anti communists"). Such a comparison was always made when there were indications for "U.S." military supply, or when "U.S." advisors or "U.S." troops were involved in conflicts. Vietnam syndrome was used by military critics condemning "U.S." military efforts for countries of Central and South "America" against illegal drug commerce (Clark, p.545-546).
[Well, in the 1980s criminal "U.S.A." was spraying drug fields in Columbia but was spraying also normal vegetable fields and was intoxicating normal harvests and also rivers were affected with dead fish. So the effect in Columbia was really like in Vietnam, at least a little bit. And the principal drug dealer in the "U.S.A." is Bush family passing drug traffic over "American" oil platforms in the Mexican Gulf...].
20 Drugs and drug addiction in Vietnam War and in the "U.S.A."
General availability and terms
Illegal drugs in Vietnam could be bought without problems at bars, in massage saloons in whole Saigon and in towns of South Vietnam. In the barrack settlements built up outside of "U.S." bases a big quantity of drugs could be purchased. Marihuana (marijuana, pot) was the mostly available drug, but there were also hash, opium (gum), heroine and a range of pills (uppers / tranquilizers). Drugs could also be available by some channels by medical military staff. Drugs like heroine and hash from Vietnam were not diluted and had a stronger effect than the drugs which were available on "America's" streets. In the "U.S.A." hash was diluted by capitalist reasons. But in Vietnam already little quantities were extremely provoking an addiction. Vietnamese population was profiting with this drug commerce. "U.S." soldiers sent drugs and marihuana (marijuana) even home delivering the growing market there profiting themselves. Since 1967 drug consumption in the "U.S." troops was rising steadily and in 1972 had epidemic characters (Clark, p.273).
Slang words for "getting high on drugs" were "tripping", "to be stoned", "to be high", "to be drug high", "to be skulled-out", "to get a buzz", "to get ripped". In the case that drugs like LSD were used there resulted a state of being "high" in a "head trip" with hallucinations. Sometimes the "trip" was more a fairy tale and was called a "bad trip". For marihuana (marijuana) and hash "to be stoned" and "getting ripped" were the most common expressions (Clark, p.199).
There were nicknames for heroine or morphine addicted people injectioning the drug directly into the vein, normally into the arm: "mainliner", "shooter", or also "speedball". "Mainlining" brought the drug directly into the blood even increasing the effect of the drug. Morphine could be injected directly into the muscles of the body, for example into the thigh, into the buttocks, into the arm, thus into the limbs which had a slower blood circulation and the effect of the drug came more slowly. Aside of the hard drugs also "methedrines" could be injected for a momentarily state of intoxication. The nickname for injected "Meth" was "Speedball" (Clark, p.311).
Hippies in the 1960s were persons who came from the anti conformist generation. Hippies were called also "hairhead", "flower child", "longhairs", and "counterculture". They had the tendency to engage themselves against war, following an anti authoritarian line, and making demonstrations against established values. They rejected the established "American Way of Life" and they believed in the force of free love, in the force of long hair and in the spiritual luck overcoming conflicts. Their freely fluent lifestyle had their base in mysticism, and they meant that also drugs were an answer for a complete harmony. When the journalists who saw them only for some moments were watching these hippies, then the journalist had the impression that the hippie movement and the peace movement would melt together. "Flower power" was a hippie slogan because a flower was the symbol for calm and peace. The hippie movement and their counterculture were spreading in whole "U.S.A:" and were perceived in wide parts of the whole world (Clark, p.230).
To be "drunk" was an expression mostly for soldiers in a state of intoxication being "high" by drugs (Clark, p.155).
General discharge from service
was given to drug addicted soldiers who were voluntarily surrendering to a treatment and rehabilitation. But at the same time these soldiers were persecuted because of drug commerce and drug abuse by civil law. The discharge from military service was decided up to the General by the "Department of Defense" Review Board, or later also by the Ford Clemency Review Board for deserters. A complete discharge from military service was also possible by medical or psychiatric reasons (Clark, p.179).
The different drugs: being "high", repression and longing for peace
Nicknames for marihuana were: dew, pot, grass, weed, stash, joint, Mary Jane, Js (marijuana cigarettes), Ojs (opium marijuana cigarettes), smoke dobie.
With plenty of nicknames marihuana (marijuana, cannabis) was mostly smoked in pipes or in rolled cigarettes, and marihuana cigarettes were sold as joints, Js or Ojs. In the "U.S.A." marihuana was smoked by a well spread base of consumers, and there were several trials in vain to legalize this consumption.
The Vietnamese word for opium was "Thuoc Phien" which was called by mistake by the GIs as marihuana ("pien" or "Huoc phien") when they purchased it from Vietnamese (Clark, p.313). Variations of marihuana were available as "Cambodian Red" or "Black", "Laotian Gold", "Lao Grass", or also "Buddha Grass". "American" nickname for marihuana was also "M. Johnson" (Mike-Juliet), "Dinky-Dan-Smoke" or "Happy Smoke" (Clark, p.314).
A "Party-Pack" (Kools, Marihuana Cigarettes, Decks) was a package of 10 marihuana (marijuana) cigarettes which were wrapped into plastic and were sold by Vietnamese sellers, the best in some of the mostly industrialized villages and barrack towns outside of the "U.S." bases. The variation "Kools" were normal cigarettes, but the tobacco was a mixture of tobacco and marihuana (marijuana). Some GIs were rolling their own cigarettes, but many villages around the "U.S." bases were offering also the "Kools" or "Decks" (Clark, p.392).
Ojs (opium marijuana cigarettes, 100s, Big O's) were marihuana cigarettes which had passed an opium lotion or were "painted" multiplying the effect of the opium or of the marihuana. These joints with added opium were a little bit larger than the regular cigarettes and were called sometimes "100s" or "Big O's" (Clark, p.361).
Opium (Phien, Thuoc Phien, Yen)
was one of the illegal drugs which was available for "U.S." troops, and it was also available in the "U.S.A.". In Vietnam opium was called "Thuoc Phien". "Yen" was opium for smoking. The hippie movement used this drug extensively. In Vietnam opium was normally smoked in pipes or in cigarettes with a mixture of tobacco and opium. North Vietnam Army was also using opium, sometimes smoking it before an attack reinforcing the spirit of the soldiers provoking a feeling of inviolability to the fire of the enemy (Clark, p.384).
In Vietnam in the far mountains lived the old tribes of the primary nations, for example the tribe of the Ta'i and of the Hmong. These Ta'i were one of the mountain tribes living along the eastern border of Laos near Dien Bien Phu. These Ta'is were known for their opium harvest which was sold together with other mountain tribes like the Hmong. A limited number of Ta'is were also recruited as hired soldiers by the "U.S." Special Forces USSF working as solders and scouts working in operations against Vietcong and against NVA in Laos (p.501).
Hash was abused as an intoxicant in some "U.S." troops in Vietnam and was also spreading in the "U.S.A.". the hippie movement was using such drugs extensively. Hash was won by a resin extract using syringes on marihuana (marijuana) plants and on marihuana sprouts. The final form were little black balls or sticky gum which was mixed and smoked in pipes with tobacco (Clark, p.220).
Heroine (also called prise, the big H) was a narcotizing morphine derivate. Heroine was very addictive. It could be applied directly into the veins (Clark, p.226) or could be consumed in cigarettes mixed in the tobacco, or it also could be sniffed. Heroine has no special smell when it's smoked, and it could be easily consumed without any danger of detection. After 1970 the abuse in the "U.S." army was rising rapidly when it was well available for the "U.S." army. It was delivered from countries like Thailand and Laos, and it was sold by South Vietnamese population. Vietnamese heroine was specially addictive because it was 95 % pure. IN the "U.S.A." in the street heroine was diluted by profit reasons and was only 5 to 10% pure. Vietnamese "H" was that strong that a longer skin contact could provoke eczemas and wounds. The army estimates that in 1971 7% of the inscribed population of Vietnam were addicted to heroine (Clark, p.227).
Dexamphetamines, also called "uppers", were also called "Special Forces Popcorn", "Dextro Amphetamine", "Greenie", or "Green Bomb". Dexamphetamines were used by some special troops and in some instant meals overcoming exhaustion and sleep deprivation and keeping vigilance and endurance. These pills were also reducing the appetite so longer marches could be made with less hunger and with less meals carried on the back. The "uppers" should be used only in limited quantities, but some special troops were taking them over a long time. There were different types of "uppers" in different concentrations. "Greenies" or "Green Bombs" were amphetamines in green capsules which were generally available for fighting pilots and for "U.S." special forces, and they were mixed into instant meals (Clark, p.142).
Speed consisted in metamphetamines (hydrochlorides, amphetamines) is for example in methedrine. Speed was one of the mostly consumed drugs of the hippie movement, was taken orally at the beginning and was medically prescribed for weight control. In 1967 the fast intoxication (to be high) was becoming popular in the whole world by a direct speed injection into the blood circulation. The injected dosage of amphetamines was causing in the user's body a sudden and intensive "feeling" of euphoria and hyperactivity. Addiction came rapidly, and long use could provoke heavy depressions and paranoia. Addicted speed people were also called "speed freaks" or "meth heads". In Vietnam "Number 10s" was the equivalent for speed. Amphetamines were also used by some "U.S." Special Forces (USSF) and by Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol troops (LRRP) reinforcing endurance (Clark, p.482).
Quaaludes (methagualones) was a tranquilizer and was prescribed orally. This drug was a derivate of "metaqualone" and had hypnotic and depressive side effects (Clark, p.418).
STP ("Serenity, Tranquility, Peace", in a short word: "Dom") was a strong and experimental hallucinogen developed by the DOW Chemical Company for healing of mental illnesses. In the middle 1960s STP called "Dom" was making it's way to the hippie drug scenery. In the street it was sold as STP (Clark, p.490).
BTS (benoctole) was a French drug which was available in Vietnam without prescription. Benoctole with it's nickname BTs was taken in form of pills and provoked a state of aggression with the consumer. BTs was mixed with other illegal drugs and was used by some GIs in Vietnam (Clark, p.70).
LSD: Lysergic Acid (Acid, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide 25) was a drug enlarging consciousness of the generation of the 1960s. It caused strange and bizarre hallucinations with gradual increasing episodes of schizophrenia. In the middle of the 1960s Timothy Leary was one of the main proponents of LSD provoking a mental revolution with the consumer. In the beginning LSD was used in the clinical research. The reproduction of the medicament was relatively simple and it found step by step it's way to those social layers where people was looking for a more beautiful life with an enlightenment effect. In 1966 LSD was outlawed in California. The drug was produced illegally and sold and some of the pills also were brought to South Vietnam and spread in the "U.S." troops (Clark, p.291).
Timothy Leary was one of the leaders of the illegal LSD drug movement in the mid of the 1960s. Leary believed in the mystic forces of the drug and believed that many of the world wide problems would be solved using LSD. Timothy Leary's message to the world was: "tune in, turn on and drop out" . He was fighting for the use of LSD liberating mind and spirit:
"Turn-on": use LSD or any other drug opening the mind getting on the scene
"Tune-in": tune your mood in to that what is happening: mental waking up
"Drop-out": give up the old way of life (school, work, obligations) and follow the leader Leary (Clark, p.278).
Allen Ginsberg was one of the fathers of the hippie movement. Ginsberg believed that LSD was the way to a mental enlightenment and that every person in "America" who was over 14 years old should try out LSD at least one time. Ginsberg was supporting love and peace using drugs for reaching his aims (Clark, p.201).
5 April 2010: Nightmares of Vietnam veterans - example Barry Romo in Chicago
Part 1. In the night when the killed people are coming back
from: Spiegel online: Vietnam-Trauma: Nachts, wenn die Toten zurückkommen; 5 April 2010; translation by Michael Palomino;
<Report by Till Mayer from Chicago
In his head the war never ends: Almost every night Vietnam veteran Barry Romo sees killed comrades and killed Vietcong members, is hearing screams and shots from the jungle. Many former US soldiers have capitulated and have conceded victory to their nightmares: Already 60,000 of them have committed suicide - more than have been killed in the war.
In the night jungle comes. When fatigue provokes that the eye lids are falling. Then he sees a dark jungle, and in this darkness the killed are waiting for Barry Romo. Cruelly mutilated persons. Killed comrades.
It's loud in the jungle. It's loud, with screams, with grenade impacts, with helicopter noise, and with MG salves. All this noise is in the head now. The last short moaning is intolerable before life is going. And then all is very calm. This calm is shredding the breast. Also this can be the jungle.
"The jungle is a unholy location", Barry Romo would say perhaps when he had not forgot his own belief. Before 42 years in Vietnam.
Perhaps it is not like this that Barry Romo could not flee from the jungle in the night. It would be possible with enough sleeping tablets. But they must be so strong that the 62 years old man would really reach a deep sleep. But the next day he will have troubles for getting up, because his bones feel very heavy, so heavy as if they would have been made of plumb. Then he would have to take other tablets - such tablets giving him more energy.
"Tablets are no solution" Barry Romo says. And therefore he mostly does not take anyone. But he did not learn to handle this jungle. This he will never reach, the traumatized 62 years old man says. But he adapted to it.
Barry Romo felt like a knight
This Vietnam veteran is living in a little flat in Chicago, and he has no bed, because the nightmares are so strong that he is moving during the nightmare falling down off the bed. Therefore he is sleeping on a mattress on the ground. Already since 40 years he is doing so. Sometimes he is rolling during the sleep against book shelves which are to the left and the right side, and the books mostly only have one single topic: the war.
"A bed is not good because I would fall off the bed almost every night". The 62 years old man is shaking only his head. During speaking he is sometimes a little bit shy holding his hand before the mouth. During the sleep his teeth are grinding, and he is grinding his teeth millimeter by millimeter.
On the walls he installed posters and pictures. The topic: war. One of them was painted by a comrade. It's a portrait with a steel helmet and with wide open eyes. Pure fear, in dark oil colors on a fabric.
Underneath there is a photo on the shelf showing Barry as a teenager in a uniform. He was 18 years old and catholic - with Irish and Mexican roots. He left for the fight against the "evil". "Already on the Catholic high school they trained us. fight communists, protect the fellow believers in Vietnam", Barry Romo said. And he was a volunteer.
He felt like a knight, this young lieutenant. Fresh from the officer school he went directly into the war. The knight was converted soon into a national servant. Barry Romo killed at least six persons. "We got brutalized", the veteran says today. They were totally bestialized.
"Am I a good leader?"
"Brutalized" means: Sometimes he is not hindering any more his men when they are slapping Vietnamese farmers, mostly without any translator, when they are "interrogating" village dwellers. There were absurd "Search & Destroy" actions. There were absurd "body counts" of dead Vietcong members. But this was asked by the military leadership. But Barry Romo is only fighting for one thing: bringing through his unit without high losses.
Three of his men are dying before his eyes. What will be with the wounded who are flied out by helicopter or by air plane he only seldom gets to know. "With anyone I asked myself: Am I a good leader? I was 18 years old and I was responsible for the lives of 45 men", Romo says. And he tries to report all this a little bit in an objective way.
But his voice is shivering again and again: When he is reporting from a North Vietnamese soldier which was detected in a village. Barry Romo did not let him leave.
Three, four, five shots with his M16. Body Count.
"My God, this man was holding his intestines in his hands", the 62 years old is telling. For a short time there is calm in his kitchen. Barry Romo is coughing under his framed Vietcong poster. He could also tell about the death of five more Vietnamese, he tells. It's not the truth. The 62 years old man has not the force again for telling this. He is sitting on a kitchen chair, the feet are twitching without control as if he would begin to walk in a short time. Like in those time when he was chasing Vietcong people. When he had the choice one more time, then he would walk into the other direction than the one he had before.
from: Der Krieg wirkft einen langen Schatten bis ins Heute;
Barry Romo has reached almost the end of his war report, but there is no relief with it. His personal end of war comes with a tremendous suffering. His nephew was also draft into Vietnam War. This nephew has almost the same age, but is killed in the war. "We have grown up together like brothers", the veteran says. They need days until they can find the dead body in the jungle. Barry Romo is taken away from the front by helicopter. With fighting equipment, with sweat and with mud he is accompanying a half decomposed dead body home.
"It can be assumed that the death of my nephew has saved my life", Romo says. When the young lieutenant was taken from the front, he is rated in the troops since a long time as a person predisposed for being killed. Romo would have only some weeks of service in Vietnam yet. He is not sent back. Back in the USA he is ending his military service one year later as an "Infantry Training Company Commander". This was one year when he was regularly drinking whiskey after his service hours. It was one year of anesthesia.
"Then as a civilian Barry Romo was living with long hairs and was detecting his favorite love for huge burgers". The 62 years old man is trying to smile in a sad way. The student Barry Romo inscribing at a college in 1969 and later at a university in California is keeping above all one thing in his heart: He has a tremendous and wild fury, and this fury is hindering him to finish his studies.
"Am I a good person yet?"
This fury is a fury against fellow students approving the war - "but they never wanted to fight on the front themselves". Thus there was a fury against all who cannot conceive what he is feeling. There was a fury against this war machinery which was going on and on. "I felt so betrayed", Barry Romo says today. And the most destructive element is the fury against himself. There is a simple question for this veteran who killed 6 persons: "Am I a good person yet?"
This is a question which is provoking breaking the heart of the former front fighter. Together with the feeling of guilt having survived oneself and others have not. Some see only one solution with these big problems and they commit suicide. According to a study more than 60,000 Vietnam veterans committed suicide. Barry Romo knows the figures well. These are more than the US army members killed in action in the - never declared - Vietnam War: 58,193 from good two million soldiers serving Vietnam War.
This war is provoking a long shadow until today: In 1972 there are 300,000 Vietnam veterans in jail. Young men who cannot find any position in their civil life any more. Some cannot find their position until today: U.S. Department for Veteran Affairs estimates for the year 2008 that 61,600 Vietnam veterans are permanently homeless.
Already in 1972 Barry Romo is no student any more: He is a simple worker up to his retirement. But this is the year he is returning to Vietnam. As a speaker of "Vietnam Veterans Against the War", together with woman singer Joan Baez, together with Reverend Michael Allen and the principle prosecutor of Nuremberg Process, Telford Taylor.
War is not leaving him in peace, and he is not leaving the war
Romo found a way fighting his trauma and the "guilt": He declared war to the Vietnam War. During the winter [of 1972] the woman singer, the Reverend, Taylor and the veteran are traveling to Hanoi into the capital of the enemy representing an USA there which is criticizing the war. In Hanoi they have to seek for protection in the cellar. Nixon lets bomb the North Vietnamese capital. "The Vietnamese first brought safety to us. I was ashamed", the 62 years old man says today.
Romo and his anti war veterans [come back to the USA] and are mobilizing now against this war which is more and more unpopular. They are watched by the FBI, they are threatened by police sticks. But even "Playboy" magazine is providing to the "Vietnam Veterans Against The War" a complete advertisement page for free.
Barry Romo takes an old box putting it on the kitchen table opening it fishing out some decorations. With caution he is holding them in his hand. This is a strange picture: War cannot let him, and he cannot let war. In 1971 thousands of veterans were symbolically throwing their decorations before the Supreme Court in Washington into the garbage. Also Barry Romo. But he was ordering them another time. These decorations are the proof that he is no "Cry Baby". In this way veterans from the World War of the "legion" were mocking those Vietnam veterans saying in public that war was eroding their souls.
It's lunch time. There is a little Mexican restaurant around the corner. The way to the restaurant is passing a big propaganda poster of the Marines. Honor, homeland - with these words is made propaganda for new soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. During Vietnam War the slogans were hardly others.
Some time ago a Vietnam veteran was meeting with Iraq veterans. These were young men and women with a frightening anger in their soul which he knows really well. A common action is organized against "Bush War". Barry Romo was telling them how even after 40 years every night his war book shelves and his Vietnam photos and his mattress on the floor are converting into a jungle. He saw it in their eyes, they had fear from his faith, from their own future.>