Medical Aid for Indochina

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Medical Aid For Indochina

History

The Medical Aid For Indochina MAI was formed in 1971 and was, according to their brochure of June 1973 "organized around the fundamental principle that the people of Indochina are not the enemies of the American people." An introduction taken from the brochure follows:

"MAI's primary purpose is to deliver medical supplies and equipment to those areas of Indochina that have suffered from U.S. air and ground attacks.
Since its founding in 1971, MAI has raised over one million dollars. From MAI's general fund, over $250,000 has been used to buy medical supplies specifically requested by the Red Cross Societies of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam9DRV),DRVN-North Vietnam, the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam (PRG) (also known as the Viet Cong, the Lao Patriotic Front, and the Royal Government of National Union of Cambodia.
As of June 1973, over 75,000 Americans have contributed $800,000 to the Bach Main Hospital Emergency Relief Fund (NB: This Fund was largely run by the CPUSA). The fund was set up following the Christmas bombing of North Vietnam's largest hospital, Bach Mai. (NB: The bombing was aimed at No. Vietnamese military targets nearby and some bombs overshoot the target and hit parts of the hospital). MAI initiated the Bach Mai Emergency Relief Fund with the aim of raising $3 million towards the estimated $25 million it will take to rebuild the hospital.
In March, 1973, representatives of MAI met with Vietnamese Red Cross officials in Hanoi. Together, they decided to use the Back Mai Fund to rebuild the hospital's Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Institute. Already $300,000 worth of medicine and equipment has been delivered to the ENT Institute including audiometers and language master sets.
MAI is sponsored by a wide spectrum of concerned Americans. Among the organizations that support the work of MAI are
Americans have the right and the responsibility to repair the damage inflicted by the U.S. government. The work carried out by MAI represents one of the most direct, concrete, and effective ways in which the American people can help the people of Indochina."

This organization was a key arm of what was known as the Hanoi Lobby, a coalition of Communist, marxist, sympathizing groups, the so-called peace churches, and some liberal groups whose leadership had radicalized during the Vietnam/Indochina war.

A key sentence found on the inside of this brochure clearly stated whose side MAI was on:

"The Saigon Administration: MAI does not send aid to the Thieu-controlled areas."

The rest of this section was straight, down-the-line Communist propaganda. It never mentioned the years of attacks by both the Viet Cong (southern Vietnamese communists under control of Hanoi) and the North Vietnamese Army Peoples Army of Vietnam PAVN who mercilessly attacked all kinds of medical facilities and personnel in South Vietnam.

In fact, a number of foreign doctors and nurses, especially from West Germany, were kidnapped and killed, or allowed to die as prisoners on the Ho Chi Minh Trail (HCMT). This was witnessed by Michael Benge, a US Foreign Service Officer (AID) captured during the Tet, 1968 Offensive, and who saw some of these people die from a deliberate lack of medical attention while they were force-marched along the HCMT. Additional medical personnel were kidnapped and/or killed by VC assassination teams throughout the years.[1]

Sponsors List as of June 1973

From the brochure "MAI: Medical Aid For Indochina" Located at: 65A Winthrop Street, Cambridge, Mass., 02138 (617) 492-0205

(NB: Among those on this list are several components of the Hanoi Lobby including those involved with the various Mobes & PCPJ, the Defoliation issue group, identified members of the CPUSA, members of various CPUSA fronts and causes, the Medical Committee for Human Rights, the marxist Liberation Theology group, especially among the Jesuits, and those who could be called the Religious Left)

Those with an asterisk (*) next to their name constituted the heart of the Hanoi supporters amongst the medical people mainly concerned with "defoliation" and "Agent Orange". There were a few others. The Hanoi visitors should show up in the Keywiki section on "American Visitors to North Vietnam/Hanoi During the War".

References

  1. Title in English: List of Civil Servants, Cadres and Civilians of the Republic of Viet Nam Abducted by the Communists Since 1954, published by the Government of South Vietnam, March 24, 1973