It is sad to read such letters as Mr Bernard Smith's in your issue of September 27. Sad, because in America a slow awakening is taking place as to the true nature concerning the war in Vietnam, the dimensions of which appear not to have reached England.
In one respect Mr Smith is correct — his attitude that the war in Vietnam is still continuing. But this is due to the massive military hardware and millions of dollars still being poured into General Thieu's regime accompanied with lies forged by the Pentagon and the remnance of the Nixon Administration concerning the "illegality" of the Provisional Revolutionary Government. (Yes, we do know what PRG stands for!) It would take much too much space to refute in detail Mr Smith's false assertions over the "illegality" of the PRG area's and "Vietcong terrorists." Your paper has printed in the past excellent letters spelling out the truth in great detail dealing with these issues.
Let me end by quoting two American veterans who fought in Vietnam. Should they not know a little more than Mr Smith as to what it really was all about? And why (compared to the massive financial aid still being poured into the Thieu regime) this minute amount contributed to the PRG, North Vietnam and Laos by the World Council of Churches should be acclaimed, not condemned, as an awakening of the true Christian spirit.
"We were in Cambodia at the time although we weren't supposed to he fighting there," said Mr Barbaglia. "It was just part of a whole bunch of lies about the war. I would never have went if I had known what the war was all about. None of us over there were fighting for our country — we were fighting to keep ourselves alive and anyone who doesn't understand that is a damn fool."
His wife said: "I have a 23months-old son, and if there's any crud like this happening again when he's grown up, he's never going in."
The other statement made by a friend of a youth who had deserted during basic training and who ,himself had been wounded in Vietnam said: "It took more courage to desert than going along and fight a war to help the rich make more money. I was a coward. I couldn't buck the establishment." (New York Times, October 4, 1974.)
Yes, it is sad that Mr Bernard Smith never went to Vietnam and saw the real truth.
Derrick Graham 340 East 66th Street, Apt 3J, New York City.