Thursday, January 20, 2011

Anti-American Art: Hey Hey LBJ...

This fascinating item is one of the many leaflets issued by the National Liberation Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam -- the so-called Viet Cong -- in the 1960s aimed at American draftees serving in the American army and occupying their country. The headline is the familiar chant "Hey Hey LBJ, How Many Kids Did You Kill Today?" along with a photo of an anti-war protest in the United States.

The back of the flyer is a direct appeal to American soldiers: "Hey Hey LBJ...How many kids did you kill today? Wherever he goes in the United States -- he meets this sign and hears this sout. Wherever he goes in the world, he can't escape the accusing cry. To and from the phoney Manila Conference he heard it from thousands in Hawaii, in New Zealand, in Australia, in Malaya. and in Manila itself thousands of demonstrators fought police and soldiers and never let the shout die down. They knew that the phoney 'peace' meeting was preparation for killing more kids. AND MORE AMERICAN SOLDIERS, TOO! Do you want to go down in history as one of KBJ's killers! Think it over. Talk it over. Act together. Don't let the Babykiller think for you. It's your head. USE IT -- DON'T LOSE IT"

I guess it's standard operating procedure in this kind of propaganda to appeal to the humanity of the people who are shooting at you, but it sure is hard to argue with.

According to the makers of the film "Sir No Sir!" about the G.I. movement against the war in Vietnam: "By the Pentagon’s own figures, 503,926 'incidents of desertion' occurred between 1966 and 1971; officers were being 'fragged'(killed with fragmentation grenades by their own troops) at an alarming rate; and by 1971 entire units were refusing to go into battle in unprecedented numbers. In the course of a few short years, over 100 underground newspapers were published by soldiers around the world; local and national antiwar GI organizations were joined by thousands; thousands more demonstrated against the war at every major base in the world in 1970 and 1971, including in Vietnam itself; stockades and federal prisons were filling up with soldiers jailed for their opposition to the war and the military." So I guess some of these leaflets were effective!

(Leaflet snagged from a very interesting, if right wing, article on Vietcong propaganda at


  1. I had to look this up:

    Newton's Third Law of Motion states that any time a force acts from one object to another, there is an equal force acting back on the original object. If you pull on a rope, therefore, the rope is pulling back on you as well.

    Because it reminds me of my son and I. He is 53 and I remember when he said he would move to Canada before going to war - I was Ms. Conservative then and was aghast he would say that. What! Not support your country?!!

    Today we are flip-flopped; he is Mr. Conservative and I would buy his bus ticket to get him to Canada to avoid war participation.

    I must have been a bad influence on him when he was younger. Or maybe it's just Newton's law at work.

  2. I remember going on a bicycle camping trip around 1970. I was a year and a half from registering from the draft and starting to worry in earnest. An older hippie type stopped by our campsite. He and his girlfriend asked if we wanted to smoke a joint. Of course we said yes. It turns out our new friend had come back from Viet Nam a year earlier.
    We were kids with no conception of just how harsh life can be so we asked him outright, "What was Viet Nam like?"
    He proceeded to spend the next hour or so telling us about fragging and all of the officers he had seen shot by their own men. None of this had appeared in the mainstream media or even the underground press at that time. There was a lot of talk about GI resistance but that mostly consisted of mimeographed underground newsletters circulated at US bases.
    I think that hearing about armed GI resistance encouraged my radical thinking as much as anything I came across. It really looked like the might American military machine was on the verge of collapse. A couple of years later thousands of GI started coming home with massive heroin habits. Drugs killed the GI resistance movement but for a few minutes there it looked as if the whole thing was up for grabs.

  3. Thanks for the physics lesson, Annie. Funny how that worked out.

    Jon, that's an interesting story. I know that today's military culture is so different since the army is a volunteer now. But I wonder since Afghanistan is heroin central if there's that kind of drug use going on now. I believe that was a problem for Soviet soldiers returning from Afghanistan. More reason soldiers should stay home.

    I ordered the DVD of the film I mentioned in the post. Had heard of it but not seen it. I'll follow up.

  4. I have ordered "Sir, No Sir" also I will let you know what I think after I see it.

  5. Sir No Sir! is a great film. I know the Army drug tests soldiers these days but I have heard rumors of heroin use in the army. My nephew is in Afghanistan right now. I suppose I could ask him when he comes back.