The New Left Meets The Real Thing

The New Left Meets The Real Thing

During their visits to Hanoi David Dellinger (editor of Liberation), Tom Hayden, and Nick Egleston (recent chairman of SDS) were invited to gather a group of about 40 American radicals in order to arrange a meeting with a group of Vietnamese. The Americans were expected not only to oppose the war in Vietnam but also to favor, on balance, an NLF victory. Such a group did in fact meet with their Vietnamese counterparts last September in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. Their hosts were the Czechoslovak and Slovak Peace Committees—though it should be made clear that the American participants defrayed all other expenses out of their own pockets or through their respective organizations at home.

Extremely little, if anything, that is new or significant emerged from the meeting. My own opposition to the American war in Vietnam continues to be as complete as it had been before—I still see no viable alternative to a victory of the Vietnamese Communists (all other possible alternatives having been polarized out of existence by the ruthless American war) and prefer it immeasurably to the brutal American policy now being pursued. All this, however, not because of what I witnessed in Bratislava but despite it.

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Lima