A chaotic concoction: Vietnam deserters, Lyndon LaRouche and the CIA

Operation Chaos: The Vietnam Deserters Who Fought the CIA, the Brainwashers & Each Other
Matthew Sweet
Picador, 2018, 351 pages

When a group of American GIs in Vietnam deserted in 1968 and “joined a movement that wanted to bring that conflict to an end and build a more just and equitable world”, only to “then meet Lyndon LaRouche and kiss reality goodbye”, their idealistic revolt descended into the “batshit crazy” politics of one of the weirdest cults of all time, says Matthew Sweet, writer and BBC broadcaster, in Operation Chaos.

The soldiers’ individual acts of rebellion became collective and political when, having found asylum in Sweden, they joined the American Deserters Committee (ADC), an anti-war movement which organised the thousand or so military refuseniks and draft resisters exiled in Stockholm.

LGBTI groups call for Eurovision boycott

Campaigners for gay, lesbian and transgender rights have urged a boycott of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv in May.

More than 60 LGBTI groups from around the world have joined a new call to demonstrate solidarity with Palestinians. In a statement, the groups accuse Israel of “shamelessly using the Eurovision competition” to distract from war crimes.

The organisation alQaws for Sexual and Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society contends that Israel is engaged in pinkwashing — the cynical use of LGBTI rights by states and corporations to downplay their negative activities.

More than 60 human rights groups back Eurovision boycott

More than 60 international NGOs have added their voices in protest against the plan to hold the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv this year. They are now part of what is quickly becoming an international campaign by civil society groups seeking to move the event, which is scheduled for May, from Israel.

It came after 50 British artists urged the BBC to boycott the Eurovision citing “Israel’s systematic violation of Palestinian human rights”. They said that the BBC was not exempt from human rights consideration and cannot ignore the plight of the Palestinians.


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