Vietnam: Setting the Moral Equation

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By Howard Zinn • The Nation • January 17, 1966

Excerpt

When those of us who would make an end to the war speak passionately of “the moral Issue” in Vietnam, only our friends seem to understand. The government continues to bomb fishing villages, shoot women, disfigure children by [fire] or explosion, while its policy bring no outcry of opposition from Hubert Humphrey, Oscar Handin, Max Lerner or millions of others And we wonder why.

The answer, I suggest, involves the corruption of means, the confusion of ends, the theory of the lesser evil, and the easy reversibility of moral indignation in a species which is aroused to violence by symbols.

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