To the Editors:
Father Daniel Berrigan has written in The Trial of the Catonsville Nine, “I believe…I have always believed that the peace movement must not merely say no to the war. It must also say yes to life…yes to the possibilities of a human future.” For those readers of The New York Review of Books who feel the same, a newly organized committee called Medical Aid for Indochina offers an opportunity to say a resounding Yes; yes, to human decency; yes, to the acceptance of the responsibility we all have for our government’s actions; yes, to the privilege of succoring and caring for another human in pain and need. At the same time, this organization will offer its supporters an opportunity not just to say No, but to shout No! No, to Mr. Nixon and his Administration; no, to the Pentagon now waging an antiseptic, push-button war on innocent, helpless peoples.
The Medical Aid for Indochina Committee is collecting money to buy drugs, medical equipment, and medical literature for the people of Indochina. Almost all American aid sent to Vietnam has been restricted to individuals under the control of the Saigon government. Because the committee wants to extend its efforts to those outside Saigon’s control, it plans to respond to specific requests for aid to civilian medical facilities in North Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and those areas of South Vietnam under the control of the Provisional Revolutionary Government. The committee will carry out its work in close cooperation with medical aid groups, national and international, which engage in medical relief work in Indochina.
The people of Indochina are not our enemies. Their civilization and culture, their freedom and independence are part of the wealth of this earth. The immediate and total withdrawal of all US forces and weapons from Southeast Asia is essential to their survival. We urge Review readers to say Yes to their concerns and obligations; to say No to any further death and destruction in Indochina. At a time when it is increasingly difficult for an individual to be heard, your check to the Medical Aid for Indochina Committee at 474 Centre Street, Newton, Massachusetts 02158, will be your voice.
Robert J. Lifton, M.D.
Bernard Lown, M.D.
Salvador E. Luria
Victor W. Sidel, M.D.
April 20, 1972