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A Journal of Crime, Conflict & World Order
Crime and Social Justice No. 3 (1975)

An Editorial Note


Perhaps nothing has contributed more to the growth and radicalization of the American Left than the war in Indochina. For many of us, our first initiation into political activity, as well as our first critical insights into the quality of life and the function of institutions in the United States, came through our involvement in protests against the war in Vietnam and Cambodia. In many respects, the rude awakening as to the monstrous and criminal character of this example of American foreign policy pushed us along the path to clearer and more systematic understandings of other existing forms of oppression and exploitation. These forms showed themselves to be normal and persistent features of the social, political, and economic order of American capitalism. Our protests and resistance to U.S. involvement in the war spread to our involvement in and support for other struggles for freedom and justice, both here and abroad, struggles against racism, against political repression, struggles against sexism, and countless others.

The case of Vietnam, along with Cambodia, was not only the most blatant and persistent example of how far the United States government would go to police the world in the interests of U.S. capital, it also represented, in a dramatic fashion, the determination of liberation forces and their ability to resist the yoke of foreign political and economic domination. Consequently, the war in Indochina and the exemplary conduct of its people has retained a central importance in the "hearts and minds" of progressive people in the United States. We developed a political and an emotional bond of solidarity with the determination and courage of those who for decades had demonstrated that "nothing is more precious than freedom and independence."

It is not surprising, then, that the news of peoples' victories in Cambodia, and a short time later, in Vietnam was received in this country with relief and celebrations. We share that spirit of celebration and joy with the close of decades of brutal war, and support the rebuilding of an independent socialist Vietnam and Cambodia.

We dedicate this issue to the people of Vietnam and Cambodia, who in their struggle and commitment to national liberation have prevailed.

Being stubborn and patient, never yielding an inch,

Though physically I suffer, my spirit is unshaken.

Better death than slavery! Everywhere in my country

The red flags are fluttering again.

Oh, what it is to be a prisoner at such a time!

When shall I be set free, to take my part in the battle?

People who come out of prison can build up the country.

Misfortune is a test of people's fidelity.

Those who protest an injustice are people of true merit.

When the prison doors are opened, the real dragon will fly out.

-- Ho Chi Minh

Citation: Editors. (1975). "An Editorial Note." Crime and Social Justice 3 (1975): 1-2. Copyright © 1975 by Social Justice, ISSN 1043-1578. Social Justice, P.O. Box 40601, San Francisco, CA 94140.