North Vietnam’s Informal Diplomacy with Bertrand Russell: Peace Activism and the International War Crimes Tribunal
Version of Record online: 11 JAN 2012
© 2012 Peace History Society and Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Peace & Change
Volume 37, Issue 1, pages 64–94, January 2012
How to Cite
Mehta, H. C. (2012), North Vietnam’s Informal Diplomacy with Bertrand Russell: Peace Activism and the International War Crimes Tribunal. Peace & Change, 37: 64–94. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0130.2011.00732.x
- Issue online: 11 JAN 2012
- Version of Record online: 11 JAN 2012
This article offers a new interpretation of the combined peace activism of the British philosopher-activist Bertrand Russell and the North Vietnamese. Three new perspectives are offered on their global activism, which had a significant—but grossly understated—impact on the U.S. government. First, the article writes ordinary Vietnamese people into the diplomacy of the Vietnam War, which has largely been written from the perspective of powerful world leaders. Second, it shows that the North Vietnamese performed an important, though unacknowledged, role in the creation of the Russell war crimes tribunal that put the United States on trial in 1967. Finally, the article presents evidence of the Russell tribunal’s considerable impact on the U.S. government. It shows that the Lyndon Johnson administration made plans to respond to the tribunal by holding its own “counter seminar.” The administration also launched a propaganda campaign to discredit Russell tribunal staff.