Once Aryan Skynet Goes Live It Doesn't Matter Who Pulled The Switch
One of the clichés of the popular mythology of America’s Vietnam experience is that blacks were disproportionately its heroes and victims; but was their contribution to the war effort uniformly praiseworthy or deserving of fellow citizens’ sympathy? When Lyndon Johnson opted to rev up the draft to boost U.S. troop levels in Vietnam, “standards for inductees were reduced,” explains Douglass Hubbard, who served as a special agent with the Naval Investigative Service (NIS) for three tours in Vietnam.
Perhaps the most infamous of programs designed to get the numbers, whatever the cost, was Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s Project 100,000, which targeted uneducated young men who often did not meet the usual standards – frequently the disadvantaged living in America’s ghettos. Along with some genuinely good recruits who served with pride and dignity, the Army in particular received a raft of delinquents and ne’er-do wells.1
The radical black political consciousness of the era, moreover, was not left at home as brothers arrived in growing numbers in Vietnam. “African American soldiers were particularly involved in political organizing,” writes liberal activist Richard Moser. “Groups such as the Ju-Ju’s, American Minority Servicemen’s Association, Black Brothers United, US, the Zulu 1200s, and De Mau Mau were established to oppose racism,” he claims, going on to quote a marine named Freddy Smith, for whom “joining De Mau Mau was a routine part of being an African American in the armed forces”:
Just about every black veteran of the Marine Corps … was associated with the De Mau Mau at one time or another. … It was only to educate blacks that didn’t know the UCMJ [i.e., the Uniform Code of Military Justice] or laws of the marines. … We were well versed in it. Some Mau Mau’s just assigned themselves as librarians […] and also lawyers were assigned down at Danang City.
Other activities might have been protests … If a black was given a court-martial and there was a justifiable doubt to his guilt. … Usually we try and ask questions, petition about the court-martial. … A lot of times they used to protest and maybe go on some type of semi-strike which was semi-illegal … sometimes it helped.2
Concerned attorneys and helpful librarians banding together to combat racism through programs of education, legal action, and civil disobedience – it all sounds perfectly wholesome by the standards of the New Left! Black historian Gerald Horne is more forthcoming, however:
During the height of the U.S. war against Vietnam, the Pentagon – according to the New York Times – found “‘isolated instances’ where a black organization called De Mau Mau had existed at [U.S.] military installations;” it “appeared to have been organized among black marines, some of them in Vietnam.” Apparently, this group was envisioned as a kind of undercover guerrilla unit. Allegedly they murdered a number of Euro-Americans randomly in what they deemed to be revenge against racism. Hakim A. Jamal, a comrade of Malcolm X who was reportedly implicated in these slayings, later acknowledged, “I wanted to go to Africa, but not to study Islam. I’d rather join the Mau Mau …”3
Indeed, the first soldier accused of “fragging”, or murder of a compatriot by grenade – an increasingly popular means of disposing of bothersome officers during the armed forces’ sojourn in Vietnam – was an aggrieved black man, as historian Peter Levy relates:
The case of Billy Dean Smith shows the degree to which Army morale could and did break down. Smith, a young black, was the first soldier tried for “fragging” and although he was eventually acquitted, his experience in Vietnam was not considered unusual by either Army brass or antiwar advocates. (According to the Department of Defense, there were 161 cases of fragging in 1969, 271 in 1970, and 238 in the first eight months of 1971.) Smith entered the service in 1967. […] He quickly gained a reputation as a soldier with a “bad attitude.” Within six months of duty in Vietnam, he received three summary company punishments (Article 15) and was being processed for dishonorable discharge when he was arrested for fragging. Smith never disputed the prosecution’s claim that he was not fit for duty, nor that he was a poor soldier. […] Like many other black soldiers in Vietnam, Smith sported an Afro haircut and frequently greeted his fellow black soldiers with a clenched-fist salute or other signs of solidarity (such as the “dap,” an elaborate handshake).4
Hubbard recounts the similar case of Private Ronald McDonald, USMC, who “may well have been a product of Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s social engineering plan to fill vacancies in the armed forces by lowering entry standards.”5 “When Ronald McDonald decided to retaliate against an imagined affront from a career NCO, fragging was the technique he chose to use,” but the intended victim fortunately survived. McDonald would not be as fortunate as Billy Dean Smith, however:
McDonald was court-martialed and found guilty. In an extraordinary move, the court awarded the maximum sentence available under military law: eighty-eight years in a federal penitentiary. [Special Agent Tom] Brannon recalls, “They led this guy away in handcuffs, but he was still giving the black power salute.”6
“Just as Ku Klux Klan members had earlier been carefully investigated and monitored, extreme black organizations like the Black Panthers were a concern of U.S. agencies,” Hubbard states:
NIS participated in collection programs to assist in this monitoring and discovered that extremists in the United States were encouraging young men to select the Marine Corps for service as a means of acquiring weapons training and other military skills useful in an impending domestic revolution.
Information was gathered about a militant black organization in both the First Marines and Force Logistic Command (FLC), which called itself Maw Maw, presumably after the black insurgent group Mau Mau, active in the overthrow of the white British rule of Kenya in the 1950s. [This “Maw Maw” group, one assumes, is identical to De Mau Mau, with Hubbard employing a variant spelling indicative of servicemen’s mispronunciation.] Maw Maw aims were nonspecific except to destroy the war machine at any opportunity and gain revenge for perceived misdeeds against “the brothers.” […] Aggressive information collection allowed command to preempt some destructive Maw Maw activities then in planning. Preemption combined with transfers from Vietnam and administrative discharges served to defuse the worst of the tensions.7
The history of black military veterans, weeps The New Yorker, is “tragic” and “forgotten”8 – an assessment with which (for different reasons) Aryan Skynet must concur.
Rainer Chlodwig von K.
Rainer is the author of Protocols of the Elders of Zanuck: Psychological Warfare and Filth at the Movies – the DEFINITIVE Alt-Right statement on Hollywood!