To the Editors:
Senator Kennedy’s Subcommittee on Refugees has recently estimated that the Vietnam war has created 325,000 dead and 1.1 million civilian wounded since 1965. Other informed estimates run much higher, but ultimately we shall never have a precise estimate of the toll of official American barbarism. Suffice it to say, Americans opposed to the war unwillingly have had their tax funds spent on terror from the skies and guns over a decade that has exacted immense human suffering.
There is an acute shortage of medicines, surgial supplies, artificial limbs, and the like throughout Vietnam, but particularly in areas which the NLF administers. The destruction of such items has been one of the US’s objectives, in North as well as South Vietnam. The International Committee of the Red Cross assists Saigon-controlled areas to some extent, but it has admitted that the needs are far greater in the liberated areas and North Vietnam. Many essential drugs and equipment are available only in the West, and must be purchased with hard currencies.
Americans who wish to contribute to medical aid for Vietnamese civilians are able to do so through “Canadian Aid for Vietnam Civilians,” which has raised $135,000 since 1966 via a voluntary organization sponsored by many distinguished, responsible Canadians. It allocates 45 percent of its income each to the NLF and North Vietnam, and one-tenth to the International Red Cross to assist its work in Saigon-controlled rural areas. It has no paid officials, and almost no overhead. Contributions to CAVC are not tax-deductible, but Americans whose taxes pay for the war have this means to contribute to the alleviation of the suffering the war has inflicted on all the people of Vietnam. Requests for information, and donations, may be sent to CAVC, P.O. Box 2543, Vancouver 3, B. C., Canada.
May 6, 1971