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 psywarrior.com)