The Pacifica Radio/UC Berkeley
Social Activism Sound Recording Project
Norman Mailer: Teach-In on the War in Vietnam, UC Berkeley, May 21-23, 1965












If we wish to take a strange country away from strangers, let us at least be strong enough and brave enough to defeat them on the ground. Our marines, some would say, are the best soldiers in the world. The counter-argument is that native guerrillas can defeat any force of a major power man-to-man. Let us then fight on fair grounds. Let us say to Lyndon Johnson, to monstrous [Secretary of Defense] McNamara, and to the generals on the scene, "Fight like men. Go in man-to-man against the Vietcong. Call off the Air Force. They prove nothing except that America is coterminous with the Mafia. Let us win man-to-man or lose man-to-man, but let us stop pulverizing people whose faces we have never seen." But, of course, we will not stop, nor will we ever fight man-to-man against poor peasants. Their vision of existence might be more ferocious and more determined than our own. No, we would rather go on as the most advanced monsters of civilization, pulverizing instinct with out detonations, our State Department experts in their little bow ties, and our bombs.

Only listen, Lyndon Johnson, you've gone too far this time. You are a bully with an Air Force, and since you will not call off your Air Force, there are young people who will persecute you back. It is a little thing, but it will hound you into nightmares and endless corridors of night without sleep. It will hound you... they will go on marches and they will make demonstrations, and they will begin a war of public protest against you which will never cease. It will go on and on and it will get stronger and stronger.

Transcription from:

Halstead, Fred.
Out now! : A participant's account of the American movement against the Vietnam War. New York: Monad Press: distributed by Pathfinder Press, 1978.
--UCB MAIN: DS559.62.U6 H34
--UCB MOFFITT: DS559.62.U6 H34


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