50th Anniversary of Gulf of Tonkin
Letter to the Editor
The Yale Daily News
August 10, 2014 will be the fiftieth anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara clearly states was based on incorrect information, a euphemism for lies.
That resolution became the 'justification' for the Vietnam War and 58,272 American deaths to say nothing of uncounted Vietnamese deaths.
Yale, a great anti-war bastion during the 1960's and 70's under the leadership of Chaplain William Sloane Coffin, now has an opportunity to join in recognizing the error of that slaughter.
In a recent Yale Daily News article [below] by a Yale Junior and Vietnamese-American, Davis Nguyen, honoring his late aunt, I felt a spontaneous need to apologize on the YDN posting board for that unnecessary war. I had never encountered an actual Vietnamese person before and the apology just erupted out of me.
I suspect that there are many like me at Yale who have never met a Vietnamese person, and who might feel a need to apologize ---or express regret --- similar to mine.
I would suggest that the 50th anniverary of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution might provide a formal occasion for such a ceremony of sorrow and regret.
Perhaps Vietnamese students on campus could help Yale organize it-------------- or maybe that would be asking too much.
Paul D. Keane, M. Div. '80