A correction on Arthur Eckstein’s excellent essay “Caution: Historical Revisionism at Work.” Eckstein says that Noam Chomsky never visited North Vietnam. That is not the case.
The following are excerpts from a speech Chomsky made in Hanoi on April 14, 1970 welcoming the 1970 “spring offensive” of the American antiwar movement. (The speech was monitored by the US Foreign Broadcast Information Service.)
“The people of Vietnam will win, they must win, because your cause is the cause of humanity as it moves forward toward liberty and justice, toward the socialist society in which free, creative men control their own destiny. . . . We are deeply grateful to you that you permit us to be part of your brave and historic struggle. We hope that there will continue to be strong bonds of comradeship between the people of Vietnam and the many Americans who wish you success and who detest with all of their being the hateful activities of the American government.” In the speech he referred to the United States as an “empire, that has no place in the 20th century, that has only the capacity to repress and murder and destroy.”
—Rael Jean Isaac