Alliance Portal for Veterans for Peace

March 11, 2016


March 16th 2016 marks the 48th. anniversary of the My Lai Massacre that occurred in Vietnam. To say that it was a sad day in the history of our country is a gross understatement. Our United States military systematically slaughtered over 500 Vietnamese women, children, infants and old men in the tiny village of My Lai.

Our country's attention span is short; and revisiting old wounds can be painful. The result is that this event has been shoved into the "dust bin" of history. 


It was March 16th 1968, and things seemed peaceful. The weather couldn’t be any more beautiful. Hugh Thompson, a 24 year old Army helicopter pilot, serving in Vietnam, was thankful for the clear weather.

He and his two man crew left their compound and headed for what they were told was a suspected North Vietnamese stronghold. As they arrived at the small village of My Lai, Thompson maneuvered his helicopter between two tree lines. His crew member, Larry Colburn said:

 “You could smell the jungle and see the fog rising up. It was, by all accounts, a beautiful day We were flying low and could clearly see the villagers. As hard as we looked, we encountered not one Vietcong.  The village was occupied by women, children and old men. It was Saturday morning and they were carrying empty containers and baskets. It was obvious that they were heading to the village market. It was an activity that was probably carried out, in the same fashion, by their ancestors for generations.”

Thompson decided to move out of the area and check another nearby village. Once again no enemy was encountered. They swung their helicopter around and headed back to the village of My Lai.

This time, they dropped below the tree line and were skimming across the jungle floor. They could clearly see the villagers but nobody was moving. They were all dead. Women, children, infants and old men were piled up like so much cordwood in a long irrigation ditch.

To the horror of Thompson and his two man crew, they were witnessing an American army platoon, lead by Lt. Calley, in the process of systematically murdering over 500 innocent Vietnamese villagers. 

Hugh Thompson landed his helicopter and placed his two men between the soldiers and the ditch. He instructed his two crew members to open fire on their American comrades if they attempted to kill one more villager. Hugh Thompson went about convincing ten terrified villagers to come out of a small earthen bunker. He also came upon a young child of approx 6 years of age in the ditch with the others. The child was alive and was clinging to his dead mother. Thompson called for additional helicopter support and they transported the few remaining villagers to the Quang Nhai Hospital which was run by Catholic nuns.

Paula Bock, a journalist for the Pacific Northwest Magazine, who was reporting on this tragedy said:

“When you are young, thousands of miles away from your home town, terrified and surrounded by all sort of craziness it is very easy to lose your moral compass.”

It is self serving on the part of our government to single out these men as a“few bad apples” and encourage the American public to simply consider My Lai as an isolated incident. The actions of these American soldiers are not to be condoned however they are symptomatic of a deeper problem that exists in our country.

To some extent, the young soldiers were duped into believing that the people they were killing were some kind of sub species and with that mindset it allowed them to carry out this terrible atrocity.

Another contributing factor is that our government, over the years, has developed a bias for violence and war. This bias for violence has been systemically institutionalized into the thinking of many American citizens. Our government’s “Might Makes Right” mantra is constantly communicated in the newspapers, TV and in the war games that we allow our children to play. The brutalization of innocent citizens has occurred in our recent wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and especially in Pakistan and Yemen with the indiscriminate use of drone warfare.

...It is estimated that the United States currently has 1000 military bases throughout the world 250,000 US military deployed worldwide and our government would strongly argue that they are not empire-building.
We have a military budget of more than 500 billion dollars per year. This is more than the combined spending of all industrialized nations throughout the world.

If ever the citizens of the United States should be vigilant and question their government now is the time.  Seeking the truth and speaking out when you believe your country is not taking the moral high ground is not an option it is a responsibility. Dissent, rather than being unpatriotic, is the highest form of patriotism.”


I have a "Vision":

That the United States take recent events as a wake up call and, as a nation, abolishes war as an instrument of national policy. Our nation can take the moral high-ground and turn to hope and not despair. A transition from war into "Peace" can become a reality in the United States. And in time, the world will views us not as a threat to peace but ... a beacon of light and leadership, finding peaceful solutions to violent conflicts. 

full article on Facebook:

 "I wish I was a big enough man to say I

forgive them, but I swear to God, I can't."
- Hugh C, Thompson - My Lai - Viet Nam.

Pacifism in World War II and Beyond

 Location: Oregon Historical Society, Madison Room 1200, SW Park Ave., Portland, OR 97205
 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
 VFP Chapter 72's esteemed WWII veteran, Will Pool, will speak at this event.
Learn how a small group of WWII conscientious objectors on the Oregon coast plowed the ground for the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s.
This Second Sunday presentation tells the story of the artists and writers who were part of the Civilian Public Service Camp #56 and the Fine Arts at Waldport. These individuals from across the country chose to take a condition of penance (compulsive labor for refusing to serve in the military) and put it to constructive ends. After the war, camp members participated in the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance of the 1950s with Beat Generation writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, who in turn inspired Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, leading the way to the radical upheavals of the 1960s.
Steve McQuiddy writes and lectures on the eccentric margins of our history and culture. His books include Here on the Edge, his publication on this subject that was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and The Fantastic Tale of Opal Whiteley, which was featured on Oregon Experience. The program will also welcome special guest Will Pool, a World War II veteran who is active with Veterans for Peace 72, the Portland Chapter. Additional Veterans for Peace members will also be available for questions.
This program complements the current OHS exhibit, World War II: A World at War, A State Transformed, which features a section that delves into this history.
Link out
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Call for Articles
To all Members and Supporters of Vietnam Veterans Against the War:
It's that time again!

The next issue of VVAW's *THE VETERAN* is due to be published in time for *VETERANS DAY.*
Thus issue we would specifically like articles on:

1) *How to fix the VA* - Give us your experiences - How have they changed over the years? Based on your use of the VA, how would you change it? 

2) *Nixon's Resignation - 40 Years Later* - VVAW members thoughts and reflections on Nixon - favorite anti-Nixon actions and stories - we know there's lots of them - Let's hear em.

Alliance Portal for Veterans for Peace
As always, we are also looking for articles that cover the work of VVAW members across the country and around the world, as well as recollections of time in Vietnam and VVAW.
Film or book reviews that you feel should be shared with the VVAW community are also welcome.
E-mail your submissions to: vvaw at
- Please send your article as a plain text or Word attachment.
- Please send photos as 300 dpi .tiff attachments, if possible. Do not embed photos in Word documents.
- The preferred article length is 400 to 800 words. Please do not submit an article over 1000 words in length unless given the go-ahead by one of us. We have limited space.
- Please title your submission. We may decide to change it for publication, but we need something with which to work. Letters to the editor should be clearly marked as such; no title is necessary in this case.
- Please submit a short bio (no more than 50 words) along with your article.
- Submit only an article you have written yourself. if you would like to suggest a reprint, please keep in mind that we need to obtain permission from the publication and/or the author. By submitting material, you acknowledge that you are legally entitled to distribute the work and to allow it to be redistributed.
- We cannot provide payment for articles.
- All material may be edited for clarity, style and length.


Rural Veterans Hospice Project hospice care to veterans

Counter Terror with Justice,
206-484-3385 (cell), or 360-448-7597

Collateral Repair Project aids Iraqi Refugees in Jordan. Find out about current projects and ways you can help.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."     D.D. Eisenhower
Friends for Peace, (Please forward to your lists)

The YouTube Link is now up for the VFP Forum Interview of Brian Willson & Robert Projansky


Please Note: Since airing this program,
Brian Willson will be making a long term public fast in Solidarity
with Guantanamo Prisoners who are on a hunger strike and at risk.  Brian is starting Thursday May 16th in front of City Hall in
Portland Oregon. 

PDX 2013 VFP Forum:
North Korea vs United State in a dangerous game of Chicken

Peace Park Garden Restoration, Sunday May 26, 9-3 pm. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace

You are invited to join  Veterans For Peace, Chapter 72 on Sunday, May 26th, at the garden(ing) party.  This is a big effort as we will be doing a major restoration of the park and planting a variety of drought-resistant and flowering shrubs. We plan to put in over 100 plants that day.  ---And we will need a lot of person-power to get the job done.  There will be refreshments provided.  Hours are 9-3 pm.   Please bring garden tools if you can, especially shovels.
Peace Memorial Park is at the east end of the Steel St Bridge, just west of the Convention Center, at the intersection of NE Oregon St and NE Lloyd Blvd. MAX Blue, Red, Yellow, and Green lines stop at the Rose Quarter, about a block away.

Please help us promote this event.
Counter Terror with Justice,
206-484-3385 (cell), or 360-448-7597

Collateral Repair Project aids Iraqi Refugees in Jordan. Find out about current projects and ways you can help.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."     D.D. Eisenhower

Veterans for Peace Forum
Airs the fourth Saturday of every month at 7pm Ch11
Metro East Community Media

  Host: Dan Shea of Veterans For Peace Chapter 72

Guest: S. Brian Willson author of “Blood on the Tracks-The Life and Times of S. Brian Willson”

Guest: Robert Projansky, attorney, actor

Brian Willson’s Statement on the current escalation of North Korea and U.S.

I think our prescriptive position as US citizens is quite straight forward. The US to finally sign a peace agreement with North Korea replacing the old armistice, immediately renounce any further joint military exercises with the South Korean military, itself an historical creation of the US, guarantee its removal of nuclear land and sea-based missiles and weapons from Korea (and neighboring Japan, if any), and from the Yellow Sea (old name), East China Sea, and Sea of Japan.

This is has been the indispensable missing diplomatic policy needed for 60 years since the Armistice was signed on July 27, 1953. The fact that North Korea (originally a artificially divided from its temporary southern half in 1945) recently renounced the Armistice is simply because it has no meaning with the constant war posturing of the US and South Korea. The US has to make it clear its intentions for peace. The fact that the US is not likely to do this should in no way compromise our advocating what truly needs to happen for peace.

S. Brian Willson Brief Bio: excerpts from website;
see link for full bio: autobiography/

Born on the 4th of July 1941, … My experience in Vietnam changed my life forever as was the case for so
many young men and women who found themselves struggling for physical and psychic survival in the jungles, rice paddies, and villages of Southeast Asia. ...I began to regularly express my opposition to the bombings and the large numbers of civilian villagers who were being murdered. I was in Vietnam five months when I was suddenly separated from my unit and ordered to return to the U.S. nearly one month ahead of schedule. With great difficulty, the Air Force and I tensely coexisted during the final year of my four-year commitment at an airbase in central Louisiana. You want to learn more –
read “Blood on the Tracks-The Life and Times of S. Brian Willson”

Robert Projansky Brief Bio:

Robert was in the military during the Korean war era and is now a member of Veterans For Peace Chapter 72, he is an actor, an attorney and teacher of Shakespeare.

Daniel Shea
Veterans For Peace
Blog: http://
Free Bradley Manning dan.shea.VFP

We need to decide that we will not go to war, whatever reason is conjured up by the politicians or the media, because war in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children – Howard Zinn

Speaking Truth to Power
& Distressing Portland's Elites Since 1981!

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