Over our AP news teletype comes this illuminating story: Dark-haired Jackie Navarra, age 22, from Albion, N.Y., is one of a score of Army nurses at the 18th Surgical Hospital at Quang Tri, Vietnam.
"Yesterday," she said, "we had quite a few mine accidents. It's really depressing, because of the amputations." One GI had just died from an operation amputating both legs and an arm.
"If I knew," she said, "what we are fighting for — if the enemy did something to our country — I could see it. I DON'T KNOW WHY WE'RE HERE! So many GIs ask WHY. I can't answer! I came because I knew they needed medical help here."
I asked an audience of about 1200 people, here in Pasadena, how many had heard by radio or television, or read, any EXPLANATION from any one of the last four Presidents, or any top official in any of the last four Administrations at Washington, of W H Y the United States is in the war in South Vietnam — any reason W H Y 54,000 of our boys have been killed (44,500 battle deaths), in a war that has cost the U.S. more than 125 BILLION dollars.
I looked carefully over that audience to estimate the number that would hold up their hands. And I looked and looked — but could NOT see a single hand!
W H Y has no Administration in Washington, during the Administrations of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, made the American people UNDERSTAND?
DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND! I do not mean to say there is no reason. THERE IS — and four Presidents, two Democrats and two Republicans, have believed the war was so necessary they have kept us in it. But, aside from statements that we must fulfill our commitments to our allies — leading many to believe there is NO REASON further than doing a friendly service to some far away race of people we know little about, it seems the people know ONLY the Communist propaganda.
When I was in Katmandu, Nepal, in February, as I wrote you a month ago, I had a personal meeting with King Mahendra. Mr. Rader, Mr. Gotoh and I went from the palace, after this audience, directly to the residence of the United States Ambassador, where we had been invited to attend a reception. The Ambassador is a LADY — wife of Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker, who is U.S. Ambassador to South Vietnam in Saigon.
Of course I met Ambassador Bunker, a very distinguished and statesmanlike-appearing gentleman.
"WHY," I asked him, "has not any recent Administration in Washington made clear to the American people the REASON, and the PURPOSE of the war in South Vietnam? He did not answer that this had been done.
"I want to tell some five or six million of our readers in the United States the REAL REASON." He knew about The PLAIN TRUTH.
"Before you write it," he said, "by all means come to Saigon. No one should write about — and no one can UNDERSTAND Vietnam with-out firsthand exposure to its many complex issues. I can give you facts for a very important article.
"But can I come there?" I asked. "Is it safe?"
He laughed, "You will be safer there than on the sidewalks of Washington D.C.," he replied. The fighting is some distance from Saigon.
That is why I went to Saigon, capital of South Vietnam. I have just returned, with, I believe, the BIGGEST, and one of the most important, interesting and SURPRISING articles ever to appear in any U.S. magazine. I wrote the article and also my Personal article about Vietnam, on the plane on our long return flight back to Pasadena.
It was a very strenuous trip. These long flights, around the world, with the many time lapses, exhaust others on the flights half my age. They are by no means pleasure trips, I can assure you. And the younger people — our pilots, etc., do not have to sit at a typewriter WORKING hour after hour in flight. Yet I seem to bear up under the strain better than they. It's the only way this important part of this great Work can get done.
As I write, the April number of The PLAIN TRUTH is mostly printed — just coming off the press — about ten days late. These articles on the Vietnam war will have to come in the May number, but be sure to look forward to them — there will be two or three articles, on this same theme, besides my Personal.
I think you will be SURPRISED. This Vietnam situation started before the end of World War II. You'll get the whole story — a real eye-opener. You'll wonder WHY it's apparently not been told before.
Here, again, I was invited to come to Saigon by Ambassador Bunker. Because of Dr. Singh's acquaintance with King Mahendra of Nepal, my trip to Nepal was arranged by my friend Dr. Singh, Secretary to President Giri of India. Through my daughter's acquaintance with Madam Sunirat Telan, of Bangkok, owner of two or three hotels and some industries there and a friend of the King of Thailand, I was invited there for my l 1/2-hour visit with the King. I have not requested these interviews with heads of state. But when these doors have opened, I have walked through them.
I am appalled at the IGNORANCE I see everywhere around the world. Not only here in America about the Vietnam war. But the illiteracy of at least two-thirds of the people on earth — and, even among the highly educated (supposedly) the utter IGNORANCE of the PURPOSE of life - - the reason humans were put here on earth — what it's all about — man's transcendent potential — where he's GOING — what is the WAY, the CAUSE that would produce all well-being, happiness, peace, success. WHY does almost NO one know the CAUSE of all humanity's woes and sufferings and evils? WHY does almost no one know the TRUE values from the false? WHY does almost no one know WHAT man IS — what makes human MIND so VASTLY superior to animal brain?
The greatest commission on earth is to GET THESE TRUTHS TO THE WHOLE WORLD. That's what WE — you and I as Co-Workers — are engaged in DOING! And we have to drive on at GETTING THE JOB DONE!
We are giving millions of people all over the world THE TRUE ANSWERS to these basic and most vital of all questions — to all of humanity's PROBLEMS — through The PLAIN TRUTH, TOMORROW'S WORLD, and the WORLD TOMORROW on radio worldwide, and on television.
The NEED grows constantly larger. I am driving myself on and on, doing MY part. I have never taken a vacation in my life — never expect to. I never expect to "retire," though I passed the so-called "retirement age" long ago. I still say, in a sense of humor, that I am only 39 and HOLDING, while my son Garner Ted is 41 and COUNTING.
But I can do only MY part — and I do work hard at it! I have to rely on you Co-Workers to hold up my hands, and do YOUR part. Time is getting shorter. I don't know how much time we have left — but I do know time is beginning to run out on us. We are now increasing the television stations in the United States. One result of these recent trips, steps are being made to get the TV program on the air in Singapore, the Philippines, other places where the English language is understood.
I say again, you and I are having our part in CHANGING THE WORLD, and in SAVING HUMANITY ALIVE at a time when, for the first time in human existence, the number one PROBLEM in the whole world is that of HUMAN SURVIVAL — a time when all humanity could be ERASED FROM THE EARTH by the weapons of mass-destruction modern science has provided.
That honor and RESPONSIBILITY is ours, and it is worth sacrificing for! The usual reply envelope is enclosed. God bless you for YOUR part.