Skip to comments.Kerry's Veteran Organizer Joe Bangert Sang For The Enemy
Posted on 03/07/2004 7:14:00 PM PST by Hon
Joe Bangert has been a friend and supporter of John Kerry for many years. He was in the Vietnam Veterans Against The War (VVAW) with Kerry.
He was with Kerry when he spoke from the same stage as Jane Fonda at Valley Forge in the culmination of the four day Operation RAW rally:
"[Kerry] was our ragtag commander at Valley Forge," says veterans organizer Joe Bangert. Source
Bangert was with Kerry at the Winter Soldier Investigation in Detroit where he gave this testimony which was later submitted into the Congressional record and included in then included Kerry's suppressed book "The New Soldier".
When Kerry turned to running for office, Bangert was there. He helped Kerry during his Senate campaign in 1984, for instance:
US Senate candidate John Kerry is flanked by fellow Vietnam veterans in front of the State House on September 12, 1984, as he receives their endorsement. Speaking is Joe Bangert, US Marine Sergeant and helicopter gunner. Source
So of course when Kerry decided to run for the Presidency, Bangert was there again with him by his side:
Bangert among group in New Hampshire stumping for senator
Joe Bangert attended a great party in New Hampshire Tuesday night - the victory rally for Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, whose presidential campaign got a boost with a win in the nation's first primary.
Bangert, a longtime Kerry friend and supporter, was in the Granite State working at the Kerry Headquarters as part of Veterans for Kerry.
Bangert was busy "working the phones," calling veterans and their families. It was a tough job at times, because voters were becoming somewhat jaded. "The poor people from New Hampshire, they've been courted" by all the campaigns," he said. "You'll call someone and they'll say, 'This is the eighteenth call I've gotten today.'" But his status as a veteran reaching out to a fellow veteran helped a lot, he said. "There is a connection immediately."
Bangert, who served as a Marine in Vietnam, first met Kerry shortly after he came home in 1970 and joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War, of which Kerry was a prominent member. The group marched to Valley Forge in September of that year, and Kerry spoke at the event. Bangert was impressed, and years later, in 1984, worked on Kerry's campaign.
Many veterans are drawn to Kerry - who served two tours of duty in Vietnam - because of his military service, said Bangert. Veterans, Bangert said, have been an untapped political resource. "Veterans account for 19 percent of the population, and they've never been mobilized," Bangert said.
Major America Veterans for John Kerry
Kerry's Veterans Brigade
Support the Troops - My Son and Daughter are TROOPS
They want a Commander-In-Chief they can be PROUD of -
a combat VETERAN with the COURAGE to stand up for what he believes!!!
BRING ON THE CHICKENHAWKS -
BRING IT ON
OUT THE DOOR IN 2004!!! Source
And Bangert was with Kerry on the stage when he celebrated his break through victory in New Hampshire:
Joe Bangert of Brewster can be seen directly behind Teresa Heinz Kerry in this photo from CNN of the Kerry camp celebrating John Kerry's victory in the New Hampshire primary. Bangert, like Kerry a Vietnam veteran, was in New Hampshire for five days working on Kerry's campaign. Source
One wonders then how many veterans know the other side of Joe Bangert. The one that got up on a stage with Pete Seeger last year at Joe's Pub in New York to sing the Viet Cong's Anthem and to sing the praises of Ho Chi Minh.
Songs Performed at Joe's Pub
Click on highlighted song titles for mp3s.
Give Peace A Chance (Lennon)
Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Harburg)
Take it from Dr. King (Seeger)
Ballad of Ho Chi Minh (MacColl)
Giai Phong Mien Nam (Luu Huu Phuoc)
When Vietnam veteran Joe Bangert took the stage, he announced he'd been waiting to perform the "Ballad of Ho Chi Minh" for 30 years. He gave an acappella reading of Ewan MacColl's ode to the president of North Vietnam, and everyone joined in on the familiar refrain. As they marched down the Ho Chi Minh trail, soldiers sang a tune less familiar to western audiences, "Giai Phong Mien Nam." Bangert, who lived in Vietman for several years in the '90s, sang the song in its original Vietnamese.
It's not the first time that Bangert has sung these songs for an audience. He sang them for the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese representatives when he visited them (probably with John Kerry) in France in 1971.
From the Peggy Seeger (sister of Pete) website:
Dear Sister Peggy,
Greetings from Cape Cod! My name is Joe Bangert, and I eyed your name on the email list from an email I received today from a mutual friend- Barbara Dane- and was motivated to introduce myself to you and tell you- apart from my love of both you and your brother's musical and artistic contributions to at least three generations of my family- how gratified I am to share with you my deep admiration of Ewan's 'Ballad of Ho Chi Minh'.
Sure I learned it by heart- after returning home from my stint as a door gunner on a Marine helicopter in Quang Tri, Viet Nam circa 1969. Six months later I upped and joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), and later met Barbara in Paris at the World Assembly for the Peace and Independence of the Indochinese Peoples at Versailles. We had a great banquet with the diplomatic delegations of both the DRVN and the PRGSVN and later some music began- Barbara sang the 'Song of the Coats' and the only song the young boisterous delegation from the USA could all agree on singing together by heart when asked to sing 'an American worker's song' was "Mercedes Benz" by Janis Joplin.
Barbara then asked me to join her on the stage- for I had boldly decided to wear a close fitting shirt which had emblazened on the front of it- the flag of the National Liberation Front of south Viet Nam. It was then that I belted out both "We Will Liberate the South" (Giai Phong Mien Nam) the national anthem of the NLF in Vietnamese- for I am a linguist- and ended that portion of the show with the Ballad of Uncle Ho. It was a show stopper to say these least
Since then I have sang Ewan's delightful song over one thousand times indeed- and when I was working back in Viet Nam, in Ha Noi from 1992-1997 I had the occasion to sing it and teach it to virtually thousands upon thousands of younger Vietnamese boys and girls-I always give Ewan the credit for penning it.
I just wanted you to know that this song rocks even in 2002~!
For those of you who might not be familiar with the National Anthem of the Viet Cong, here are a few lyrics from "Giai Phong Mien Nam":
A good chance for the country has come
Dawn is lighting up everywhere
And our task is to build a more beautiful country
--by Huynh Minh Sieng.
And here is the start of the song, "The Ballad Of Ho Chin Minh":
Now Ho Chi Minh went to the mountains
And he trained a determined band
Heroes all, sworn to liberate the Indo-Chinese people
Drive invaders from the land.
--by Ewan MacColl
Again, I wonder how many veterans know that Joe Bangert gave aid and comfort to the enemy during a shooting war. And that he is so proud of it.
1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.
3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
This is but one of several articles by Bangert that show up on Veterans Against The War In Iraq, which is a rabid hate-America site.
A Marine's Reponse to Flak Attack on Kerry The following is a reply to an essay posted on GOPUSA and other web sites by Rick Erickson, Director of Americans for Military Readiness, accusing Senator John Kerry of disgracing the nation and in particular the Marine Corps Memorial during antiwar protests in 1971.
By Joe Bangert
Special to VAIW, February 25, 2004
I was one of those Marines who marched in Northern Virginia with the Vietnam Veterans Against the War alongside John Kerry and many personal friends with whom I served on active duty in the United States Marine Corps in Viet Nam.
Erickson belies the actual scene with words like mocking and ridicule as we merely passed by the Iwo Jima Memorial. My uncle fought at Iwo Jima, Tarawa, Saipan and Okinawa. Yes, I am what Erickson refers to as Kerrys cronies and I was on that march. Erickson lies when he wrote of our flag being flown upside down and why.
Prior to this freeze frame photo at the Iwo Jima Memorial, our very clean column led by new Gold Star Mothers attempted to enter Arlington National Cemetery where the crying newly motherless merely sought to lay a giant floral red white and blue wreath in memory of not only their own sons but in honor of all who had by then had fallen in the still running battles in Viet Nam. The White House under Richard Nixon ordered the gates to Arlington shut. It was then that our colors were inversed as a sign of international distress and never in sedition and treachery as Erickson propagandizes like an atavistic Soviet avatar. Our march never even lingered near the Iwo Jima Memorial, for we marched back into Washington D.C. to our encampment on the Mall.
It itches Erickson to no end that two very special groups of constituencies lifted Kerrys campaign when some thought it was moribund, the IFF or International Fire Fighters association and Kerrys band of brothers, including his shipmates from the Mekong Delta in 1969 and many many other veterans, from World War II, Korea, Viet Nam, the Gulf War and loads of active duty GIs. For Erickson to attempt to wrap the war dead from Iwo Jima around his shoulders is sacrilegious. Those Marines and Corpsmen died defending freedom and democracy and never to squelch its voice at home in any manner.
As we Marines, sailors, soldiers and Airmen and Coast Guard personnel returned home in waves we became sick and disgusted along with John Kerry, angry and at a loss for words about how the war was going. It was killing our own brothers and sisters- and each night Walter Cronkite would show flags and body counts for the day. The insanity of that war was that no one was negotiating an end to it all and the human toll kept growing.
The Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) started in 1967. Some of its members had their heads bashed in in Chicago. This is why we joined in. Sure there was opposition by then by students, parents and others. VVAW generally ran our own show because we valued our message as veterans. The Vietnam War was a gross atrocity at least by those of us who sat in door gunner canvas chairs. This is why I resent you alluding that Kerry and me and my VVAW comrades were betraying those still fighting.
Those of us who spoke out and marched were saving lives! Our actions were out of principle and conscience. We shortened the list of the names on the Wall. We saved Vietnamese lives as well. These actions affirm life and betray nothing but our bold humanity put into practice. We were hounded by a paranoid Nixon and his minions. John Kerry aided in the construction and dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Kerry has helped veterans for over 19 years in the Senate. He lead the fight for service-connection for Agent Orange and supports our Gulf War vets and stand up now for the lack of protective equipment for our GIs in harms way in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bush has said he supported the war in Viet Nam but personally he saw fit to use his priviledged position to sit it out in the Texas National Guard, and you and I both know what happens on active military duty- if any airman, soldier, Marine or sailor missed even a few days of work, there were consequences. One faced an Article 86 under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The president went AWOL and cannot disprove it.
Now we cut to the heart of the matter. Erickson would have readers believe that Kerry and other antiwar veterans betrayed his fellow servicemen who remained at war. Sheer poppycock. Now I dont pretend to be omniscent but I did work on Kerrys campaigns in NH and Virginia. Most of the veterans who support Kerry do not look like those which Erickson cites in Phoenix. And we are committed to John Kerry precisely because Kerry is the ONLY veteran in the race. Logical dont you think, as well as in our mutual self interests.
Big surprise, huh?
Taken from The Wall Street Journal, Thursday August 3, 1995
Bui Tin, a former colonel in the North Vietnamese army, answers these questions in the following excerpts from an interview conducted by Stephen Young, a Minnesota attorney and human-rights activist. Bui Tin, who served on the general staff of North Vietnam's army, received the unconditional surrender of South Vietnam on April 30, 1975. He later became editor of the People's Daily, the official newspaper of Vietnam. He now lives in Paris, where he immigrated after becoming disillusioned with the fruits of Vietnamese communism.
Q: Was the American antiwar movement important to Hanoi's victory?
A: It was essential to our strategy. Support of the war from our rear was completely secure while the American rear was vulnerable. Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement. Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda, and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses. We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war and that she would struggle along with us.
Q: Did the Politburo pay attention to these visits?
Founding Member of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Member of 'Hanoi Chapter of the ' Quang Tri- Thua Thien Vietnamese Veterans Association'. Inducted into the Oglala Sioux Warrior Society after serving as a member of security during the siege of Wounded Knee.
This and many other things will be revealed about John Kerry and his associates as this year unfolds. The bigger question here is whether or not the Democratic camp followers will pay attention or will even care. One must remember that the aforementioned "camp followers" vote for a living.
Feifer's book has been reissued without the word "Tennozan" in the title.
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