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Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace

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The group called Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace is reported to have been formed by John E. O'Neill in 1971. Bruce N. Kesler however stated on August 2004:

"Thirty-three years ago, I organized the Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace in reaction to [John] Kerry's organization Vietnam Veterans Against the War. John O'Neill and others joined me, and with the support of tens of thousands of Vietnam veterans, we rebutted Kerry's charges that we were all war criminals." [1]

According to History "4" "2" Day, on June 1, 1971,

"In support of the Nixon administration's conduct of the war, a group named the Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace declares that it represents the majority of the US veterans that had served in Southeast Asia, and calls the protests and congressional testimony of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War 'irresponsible.' On 19 April, as a prelude to a massive antiwar protest, the Vietnam Veterans Against the War began a five-day demonstration in Washington DC. The generally peaceful protest, called Dewey Canyon III in honor of the February and March operation in Laos, ended on 23 April with some 1000 veterans throwing their combat ribbons, helmets, and uniforms along with toy weapons on the Capitol steps. Earlier they had lobbied with their congressmen, laid wreaths in Arlington National Cemetery, and staged mock 'search and destroy' missions."
  • "Nixon's chief counsel, Charles Colson, didn't just tap John E. O'Neill to attack Kerry, he also formed an entire group around him called Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace: [2]
John Kerry "was an immediate celebrity. He was also an immediate target of the Nixon Administration. Years later, Chuck Colson--who was Nixon's political enforcer--told me, 'He was a thorn in our flesh. He was very articulate, a credible leader of the opposition. He forced us to create a counterfoil. We found a vet named John O'Neill and formed a group called Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace. We had O'Neill meet the President, and we did everything we could do to boost his group."
  • On March 28, 2004, "Bill", a poster at the Middle East Information Center blog site, posted a "letter" ("Greeting from Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace--your one time opponents") found via a Google search which is attributed to "Daniel E. Teodoru" (possibly a posting at 'yam.ro'). In the letter, Teodoru writes: "Bruce Kessler [and I] began VIETNAM VETERANS FOR A JUST PEACE."
"Colson was Nixon's point man against Kerry, and he found a weapon in another veteran: John O'Neill. He was a spokesman for Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace, which backed Nixon administration policy in Vietnam, and in turn was supported by the White House."
File/ID# WHCA VTR# 4421 Format: 2"
Title/Event: "Face The Nation" with O'Neill for a "Just Peace"; "Meet The Press" with Wilbur Mills AND "Issues And Answers" with Finch and
Names/Participants: "FTN": John O'Neill, [Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace], Anthony McDowell (Veterans of Foreign Wars); "MTP": U.S. Representati. Wilbur Mills; "I&A" with Secretary of HEW Robert Finch
Date: 6/6/1971 Time of Day: 1230,1300,1330
Source: WTOP,WRC,WMAL
Producer: CBS,NBC,ABC
Restriction(s): COPYRIGHT
Program Time: 1:30