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Letter from Philip Berrigan to Walt Whitman Rostow, April 22, 1967.

Letter from Philip Berrigan to Walt Whitman Rostow, April 22, 1967.
View smaller version of image Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Collection: Cornell University Library
Date: 1967-04-22
Date of Digitization: 2004
Source: Daniel and Philip Berrigan Collection at the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Original Dimensions: ?
Creator: Berrigan, Philip, 1923-2002
                                          22 April 1967

Mr. Walt Whitman Rostow
Special Assistant to the President
3414 Lowell St. N.W.

Dear Mr. Rostow:

The clergy and laity of the Baltimore & Washington Interfaith Peace Mission are 
protesting at your home for some of the following reasons:

We believe the Vietnam war to be an enormous moral, political and economic dis-
aster to both Vietnamese and Americans, and a criminal threat to world peace.

We hold America largely responsible for this critical situation, believing as we 
do that economic and military power must be matched by moral responsibility.

We agree with U Thant that Vietnam's survival is now at stake, and with other 
critics who now accuse America of incipient genocide.

We fail to see how the Vietnamese can be crushed without recourse to nuclear arms 
nor how we can assure a 'win' while avoiding World War III.

We recall your Ft. Bragg lectures, and your exposition of ruthless power dip-
lomacy, and we see no indication that you believe better or differently.

We notice the war escalating inexorably into greater disaster- every escalation 
preceded by familiar and dishonest peace moves.

We see the honor of our country shamed and besmirched, and we say that America's 
disgrace hangs upon the ambition of a few men, and the profits of more.

We are aware of no signs that this madness is being evaluated and checked by 
policy makers like yourself, or that you intend anything in Vietnam but a peace 
forced by American might.

There is still time for dissent, and that is why we are here.  There may be less 
time for reason and justice. Indeed, we court no special hope about the efficacy 
of protest, or that foreign policy must adjust to our opposition or that of 
millions like us.  We do not even hope to meet with you as friends and equals, 
since you will probably judge that your time can be better spent. But we still 
speak as religious men, as Americans, as humanitarians.  And perhaps you cannot 
entirely discount us.

                                                            Gratefully in the Lord,

                                                            Rev. Philip Berrigan,  SSJ
                                                            For the Baltimore Washington
                                                            Interfaith Peace Mission