From U.S. Senate, Committee on the Judiciary, Hearings: Civilian Casualty, Social Welfare, and Refugee Problems in South Vietnam. 90:1 ( Washington, D.C., 1968), pp. 66-69, 75-76, 145. This subcommittee, over which Senator Edward Kennedy has presided, has produced much information on the civilian casualty toll in the war. This hearing was held throughout 1967. Don Luce is the former director of International Voluntary Services in Vietnam.
Today the refugee is in only a few cases fleeing Communist terrorism. In most cases he is either fleeing in fear of bombing or because he is being forced out because of allied military action to prevent a food source for the Vietcong.
I believe that in trying to destroy the infrastructure of the Vietcong we are actually destroying the infrastructure of the Vietnamese village itself or of the Vietnamese community itself.
Senator Kennedy. Would you say, Mr. Luce, that in winning the allegiance of the people that this might be self-defeating?
Mr. Luce. I say that in doing this we are losing the allegiance of the people, not only of the refugees themselves, but also of large, other larger, groups of people within Vietnam, because they see this happening, and it creates feelings of anti- Americanism within other groups, within student groups, even within, well, relatives of these people, and especially within the rural population of Vietnam.
The thing which the Vietnamese are most concerned about, if you meet--well, talking with a Vietnamese refugee woman and I asked her "What do you want most?" She said to be away from the bombing, and this is a very typical comment and a very common concern in rural Vietnam.
I think that we have to recognize the great fear that Vietnamese have of the bombing and the complete lack of understanding of where the free strike zones are often. Innocent