Law School Teach-in Probes Vietnam War, Vets' Problems
"They" made a mistake
"They" made us a scapegoat.
In a war we couldn't have won
The voung have seen this. They don't think as we did.
Who will "They" get to fight in the next one.'
David V. Connoly, a Vietnam veteran, in "The Living, the Dead, and the Still Wounded," displayed in a Vietnam teach in at the Law School
Anger, regret, and frustration were recurring themes Saturday, when war veterans and academics met in a day-long teach-in at the Law School to condemn the Vietnam war and to explain Vietnam veterans' difficulties in rejoining society after the war.
"We wanted to remind people of the lessons of the war, to make a link with the future," said Christina Cowger, a representative of the Boston Alliance Against Registration and the Draft, which sponsored the day of lecturex and exhibits. "We're trying to link Victnam with the future because the war taught us that the government can't fight an unpopular war if the citizens won't support it," she added.
The Law School's chapter of the National Lawyer's Guild co-hosted the conference, which marked the anniversary of the start of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Vietnam ten years ago.
Activist Ngo Vinh Long '68, a social historian on China and Vietnam, began the day by telling the crowd of about 150 that "you can conquer a country, but you can't keep it and break it.
Long described the war's continuing devastation of Vietnam, noting that when he visited the country in 1980, he still saw more scrap metal than vegetation along the roads.
Other lecturers discussed the draft, the U.S. government's policies during and after the war, and the war's social effects, especially for veterans. The speakers included MIT linguist Noam Chomsky and Boston University sociology professor Michael Useem.
Mustaffa Randolph, a member of the Black Vets for Social Justice, cited the high percentage of veterans who now are alcoholics, drug abusers, or in prison.
"We think that people, especially the youth, should understand the war's impact on veterans that continues today," Randolph added. "We will do everything in our power to prevent you from experiencing what happened to us." he said.
To further educate the public about veterans' experiments. Vietnam Veterans Art-