black pajamas, burned American flags,nand wanted the North Vietnamese tonwin; but to concentrate one’s attentionnon such people misses the attitude ofnthe vast majority of demonstrators andnmarchers.nMisses, that is, the dupes (I speak asnone of the duped). Both KaufFman andnGans argue that sympathizers withnHanoi were only an infinitesimal andnunimportant part of the movement.nThere is, I suppose, something to this,nin that the actual numbers of suchnpeople were (relatively) small —nthough to tell the truth, I really don’tnremember seeing very many wavingnAmerican flags at the antiwar demonstrationsnI attended. But: what wasnimportant about the Communist sympathizersnwas not how many they werenbut who they were. They were thenintellectual and political leadership ofnthe movement. Both KaufFman andnGans need to face the fact that thenintellectual and political leaders of thenantiwar movement — the type of peoplenwho, as in the film, visited Hanoin— were firmly on the side of the NorthnVietnamese, did idealize and sanctifynthem, did see North Vietnamese societynas angelic (as they saw America asnSatanic). Kauffman and Gans may benuncomfortable with this, and they mayntry to obfuscate the implications of this,nbut there is plenty of evidence to shownthat both The Hanoi Hilton and PoliticalnPassages hit the nail right on thenhead.nDuring the war, the following centralnfigures of the antiwar movementnvisited North Vietnam and broughtnback absolutely glowing accounts of itsnleaders, its society, and/or the way itntreated American prisoners of war:nRamsey Clark (North Vietnam characterizednas a country of total spiritualnunity); Susan Sontag (North Vietnamna country of love); Mary McCarthy (anhumane leadership, greatly concernednabout the welfare of American prisoners);nWilliam Sloane Coffin (a humane,ngentle, compassionate leadership—nplus great good humor, too!);nDaniel Berrigan (a country characterizednabove all by “a naive faith innhuman goodness”); Tom Hayden (ancountry characterized by deep humanity,nand also by “poetry and music”);nJane Fonda (a leadership compassionatentoward American prisoners, who,nfor their part, were “liars and hypo­ncrites”); Staughton Lynd (a country ofn”humane socialism, socialism with anheart” — indeed, this was the specificallynVietnamese contribution to thenworld socialist movement). One maynadd Noam Chomsky, who never visitednthe North, but wrote in 1973 that itnwas the most genuinely popular systemnin the entire world, a just system, and anrewarding one.nIn his attack on The Hanoi Hilton,nKaufFman remarked that such idealizationnof the North would have beenn”sickeningly grotesque” especially aftern1975, because of the terrible consequencesnof the Communist victory fornthe condition of the Vietnamese people.nI fully agree. But KaufFman clearlynmeans to suggest that because suchnidealization was “sickeningly grotesque”nit did not occur, or if it didnoccur it was only of very minor importance.nOnce again, he is wrong. Thenpanegyrics of the North did continuenafter 1975; they came from very prominentnpeople; in fact, they came fromnthe heart of the antiwar leadership.nThus George McGovern, visitingnthe South in 1976, found a moderatenand humane government, far less dictatorialnthan the old Thieu regime. Henfound no signs of oppression, no signsneven of secret police. In 1977 RichardnFalk, Richard Barnet, David Dellinger,nCorliss Lamont, Paul Sweezy, andnCora Weiss praised the Vietnamesengovernment for its spirit of moderation,nand its extraordinary efforts towardsnreconciliation (!) with its people. Twonyears later, in 1979, they went furthernand declared that “Vietnam now enjoysnhuman rights as it has nevernknown in its history.” Dellinger, in hisnmost recent book on Vietnam (1986),nstill praises the regime’s human rightsnpolicies.nThis group of people and their ideasnwere not insignificant, nor somewherenout on the fringes of the antiwar movement—nas both Kauffman and Gansnsuggest. On the contrary: these peoplenwere the central leaders of the movement;ntheir ideas were the leading ideasnof the organizing cadre, and were influentialnto some extent everywhere.nAnd those ideas, heavily criticized bynthe disillusioned authors of PoliticalnPassages, were every bit as sycophanticntoward the Communists as the scenesnin The Hanoi Hilton showed. (In fact,nif anything the movie was more re­nnnstrained than the reality. It did notndepict the Jane Fonda figure doingnsome of the things Fonda really did do:nlike sitting at an enemy anti-aircraftngun and pretending to take aim atnAmerican planes, saying “I wish I hadnone of those murderers in my sights,”nor ratting to the North Vietnamesenwhen American POW.’s complained tonher about being mistreated.) As for thenalleged sympathy the broad movementndisplayed toward ordinary Americannsoldiers — everyone remembers thatnreturning veterans shed their uniformsnas quickly as possible, for fear of beingnaccosted by protesters and identified asn”baby killers” and “rapists.”n”A handful”; “a few.” The story ofnthe antiwar leadership, of course, is notnthe whole story of the antiwar movement.nBut it is an important — indeedncrucial — part of the story. Thosen”few” formed the energetic organizingncore of the movement, offered thenmovement its dominant ideology, andnmanipulated the popular emohons ofnhundreds of thousands so that the goalsnof the leaders might be fulfilled. Whatnwere those goals? The “unification” ofnVietnam (under Communist rule), thendefeat of the United States, the destructionnof American power in SoutheastnAsia. It is highly misleading fornKauffman and Gans to focus solely onnthe myriad dupes of the antiwarnleadership — those whose motives weren(often) more honorable and less knowinglynpolitical — and not on the ideologynand behavior of the leadership itself,nas if those people were irrelevant ornnonexistent, as if their purposes werennever fulfilled.nBut my point is not that the newndepiction of a “patriotic” antiwarnFor Immediate ServicenChroniclesnSUBSCRIBERSnTOLL FREE NUMBERn1-800-435-0715nILLINOIS RESIDENTSn1-800-892-0753nAPRIL 1989/57n