Reed Irvine - Editor
|November A , 1989||XVIII-22|
VIETNAM LESSON LOST
In early September 1989, a spate of stories claimed that the U.S. Army had exonerated the media from any blame for the loss of the Vietnam War. Peter Jennings on ABC's "World News Tonight" on August 30 said: It may not end the argument which has raged in this country for years, but 14 years after the war was finally lost, the Army has concluded that the media were not to blame." Jennings said field commanders always felt that negative coverage of what he called "the living room war" had "soured public support...and ultimately led to defeat."
Jennings said that a book titled Public Affairs: The Military and the Media, 1962-1968, by Dr. William M. Hammond, an Army historian, had concluded that "television didn't turn the American public against the war; the war turned the American public against the war--the contradictions, never-ending strife with no end in sight, the bodies." He added, "What alienated the American public, Hammond concluded, was not the news coverage, but rising casualties and lack of a strategy for winning a limited war.... Every time casualties in Vietnam went up by 10 percent, public support fell by 15 percent."
Other journalists welcomed the book as a rebuttal of military officers and others who believe that biased coverage of the war by the media cost us any chance of winning it. The Atlanta Constitution declared, "Now it can be told: The media should not be blamed for America's failure in the Vietnam War--for leading their countrymen down a slippery road to defeatism, as the old hawkish canard has it. In fact, most correspondents there came to see and to report the glaring and unpleasant truths of that much-misrepresented conflict. What led to the disillusionment of the folks back home and, ultimately, to their withdrawal of support for the war effort was the reality of the mounting American casualties as weighed against the blatant distortions and outright lies concocted by the stage managers of the war--the U.S. military brass in Saigon and the national-security apparatus of. John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon." Mike Feinsilber of the AP focused on allegations that the Kennedy and Johnson administrations took too optimistic a view of the war, while the reporters were dedicated to telling the truth. He said, "If Buddhists were setting fire to themselves to oppose a repressive Ngo Dinh Diem regime...reporters felt free to so report--no matter what frustrations resulted in Washington.... Policy makers in Washington refused to allow information officers in Vietnam to acknowledge the use of napalm because they didn't want the Communists to make propaganda from it. 'But newsmen went into the field, observed napalm exploding and recorded its effects with their cameras,' historian Hammond writes."
Most of those who have commented on the Hammond book have falsely portrayed the debate over the media's role in Vietnam as the military vs. the media. They overlooked the fact that some of the harshest critics of the media coverage of Vietnam have been reporters who covered the war who were on our side. These include Robert Elegant, who covered the war for The Los Angeles Times, Amaud de Borchgrave then with Newsweek, Jim Lucas of Scripps Howard, Marguerite Higgins of the now defunct New York Herald Tribune, Ian Ward of the London Daily Telegraph, and Uwe Siemon-Netto, a West German correspondent.
In an article in Encounter magazine of September 1981, Elegant said: "For the first time in modern history the outcome of a war was determined not on the battlefield, but on the printed page, and above all on the television screen." He added, "Those media defeats made inevitable their subsequent defeat on the battlefield." Elegant said the Vietnam War was probably the first to be lost by psychological warfare conducted at such great physical distance from the scene of the fighting. He asked why so many of the American correspondents covering the war wanted to believe in the good faith of the Communists and disbelieve the avowed motives of the United States. He said the results had been disastrous, but the media had escaped blame and had even been acclaimed for their errors.
One who acclaimed them was James Reston of The New York Times. Right after the fall of Saigon, Reston wrote: "Maybe the historians will agree that the reporters and cameras were decisive in the end. They brought the issue of the war to the people, before the Congress and the courts, and forced the withdrawal of American power from Vietnam." That, of course, was before Reston realized what a disaster the Communist victory was for the people of Indochina. In 1975, the media doves were perfectly happy to take "credit" for our defeat. A news story in the New York Times on April 13, 1975, datelined Pnomh Penh, Cambodia, and written by Sydney Schanberg, confidently predicted that in an "Indochina without Americans," life would be better for most.
Jim Lucas, a veteran war correspondent, who covered Vietnam from 1964 to 1968, testified before the Senate Internal Security Committee after he returned. He recommended that a hard look be taken at the accreditation procedures for reporters in Vietnam, saying some of them "don't give a damn how many lives they cost if they can launch a successful career." He added, "Some simply do not like us. They make no bones about it." In another forum, Lucas said that he did not think The New York Times had a reporter who was on our side in all the years he served in Vietnam.
Ian Ward of the London Daily Telegraph wrote from Saigon in 1972: "Never has distortion by the press reached such limits through both willful and unintentional means, and as a result, the Western press has emerged as the most effective weapon in Hanoi's arsenal."
Uwe Siemon-Netto said, "Having covered the Vietnam War for over five years, I am now haunted by the role we journalists played over there.... What prompted us to make our readers believe that the Communists, once in power in all of Vietnam, would behave benignly?" He said that he and other reporters had been guilty of unfair reporting of atrocity stories in Vietnam. They covered atrocities such as the My Lai massacre by American troops extensively, but they neglected to inform their readers that the Communists committed "infinitely greater war crimes as a matter of policy." He said Communist atrocities were so routine that they didn't get reported. "We just assumed that everybody back home knew what bastards the Viet Cong were," he explained. Moreover, he said, it became fashionable to present the war as the struggle of courageous nationalists against a bunch of corrupt fascists.
Journalists who were agents or allies of the Communists encouraged such reporting. Jean Lacouture, a French correspondent whose articles frequently appeared in the U.S. press, made this confession after the war: "During the war and when I reported from Hanoi, I conducted myself more as a militant, sympathetic to their cause, than as a journalist, and I deliberately concealed from my readers the Stalinist aspects of that regime, of which I was well aware." Time magazine had a senior correspondent in Saigon named Pham Xuan An. He went out of his way to be a friend and mentor of many of the young American journalists, who learned only after the Communist takeover that he was a high-ranking North Vietnamese intelligence officer.
William M. Hammond did not serve in the military and has no media background other than academic studies. He told Joe Goulden, AIM's director of media analysis, that he had worked 17 years researching and writing The Military and the Media, 1962-68. His doctoral dissertation at Catholic University in Washington dealt with the 19th Century press and its influence on public opinion. He concluded that the media reinforced, rather than shaped, public attitudes---which is much the same conclusion as he reached in his Vietnam study. In the entire 19th Century he found only one instance where press dissent toppled a government--the fall of Benjamin Disraeli after Times of London articles exposed government lies about massacres in Bulgaria.
Hammond hoped to become a literary historian, but unable to get a job in that field, he became a civilian historian for the army. He describes himself as a "historian of the press," but his only other book is The Unknown Serviceman of the Vietnam Era. He is working on a second volume on Vietnam and the media covering 1969-1973. His book is based almost entirely on Army records, news clippings and telecast transcripts, scattered oral histories, memoirs and a few live interviews. It sorely lacks witnesses with first-hand testimony of the impact media coverage had on decision makers in Washington who had to both fight a remote war and placate public opinion. The Atlanta Constitution says that its publication was held up for several years by a general who tried to have him fired, but Hammond claims the Army is fully behind his work.
That is unfortunate, if true, for the book reveals a total lack of understanding of psychological and political warfare by the author, and one must presume on the part of his military superiors who approved its publication. In AIM's film, Television's Vietnam: The Impact of Media, Arnand de Borchgrave points out that disinformation played a key role in our defeat in Vietnam and that the claim of the media stars that they were nothing but messengers of bad news is "twaddle in all its un rationed splendor." De Borchgrave says he knows of no media stars who have read the ancient Chinese classic, The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, which, he says, is still fundamental to the way the Soviet Union and its proxies operate. He cites a key quote, "The supreme excellence in war is not to win 100 victories on 100 different battlefields. It is to subdue the armies of your enemies without ever having to fight them."
Cyrus L. Sulzberger, a veteran New York Times correspondent and columnist, explained North Vietnam's adaptation of this strategy. In an article in The Times on May 14, 1969 he said: "The particular contribution of Ho Chi Minh and Gen. Giap to this strategy has been realization that great powers engaged in small wars are more vulnerable at home than on the battlefield. Therefore each Communist offensive is aimed directly at American public opinion rather than at the acquisition of Vietnamese territory.... Such strategy calls for fighting on a secondary military battlefield in order to destroy by erosion a primary battlefield. It is effective only against non-dictatorial and democratic opponents whose actions are governed by the majority opinion of a confused public."
Truong Nhu Tang, a former Viet Cong minister of justice, showed how this worked in the 1968 Tet offensive. He says in the AIM film, "We had been preparing for the Tet offensive since 1966, to create pressure, and to help the anti-war movement in the United States. We needed to deliver a dramatic blow so that the public opinion in the world and the United States would turn against the American government.... We lost a lot of fighters. We had five divisions...but after the Tet offensive all of these divisions ended up with not even half of theft forces. From the military point of view, I believe that the Americans at Tet did not sustain great losses of human lives. But from the political point of view, it was a very heavy blow for President Johnson's government. The loss made the American anti-war movement exert pressure on the American government. So what we lost on the military front, we won on the diplomatic and psychological fronts. Above all, on the fourth front, the mass media, the press, television, and the liberals in the United States."
Writing in the International Herald Tribune of October 9, 1982, Truong Nhu Tang said, "The offensive proved catastrophic. It is a major irony of the Vietnam War that our propaganda transmuted this military debacle into a brilliant victory, giving us new leverage in our diplomatic efforts, inciting the American anti- war movement and disheartening the Washington planners."
Hammond had not seen the AIM film when writing his book. He should have, because it shows graphically how the media's coverage of the Tet offensive and the siege of Khe Sanh played into the hands of the Communists and their effort to convert the military catastrophe into a propaganda victory. This was the turning point of the war. Public support for the war fell off sharply in the ensuing months. NBC News, like most of the media, had portrayed Tet as a defeat for us. Not long after a member of the staff suggested that they air a program to correct the record. Robert Northshield, the senior producer of the "NBC Nightly News," refused. He later explained that he did so because Tet was "established in the public's mind as a defeat and therefore it was an American defeat."
The media did such a good job of creating that false perception that year later even Harry Reasoner, one of the stars of "60 Minutes," still thought it was true. Reasoner was quoted as saying, "I am certainly not left-wing, and I am not a dupe, but this new theory that Tet was a misreported victory for the allies is not one (that I hold)."
In addition to portraying Tet as a defeat for our side and airing TV specials claiming that this proved the war was unwinnable, there were several other things the media did during this period that had a tremendous negative impact. The reporting on the siege of our forces at Khe Sanh, with repeated comparisons to Dien Bien Phu, where the French had suffered a major defeat at the hands of the Communists, added to the defeatist psychology the enemy wanted to cultivate. The comparison had no validity, but that was overlooked. Hammond's book discusses the misreporting of Khe Sanh, but the author didn't grasp its role in psychological warfare.
The summary execution of a captured Viet Cong by the head of the Saigon police was photographed by Eddie Adams of the AP and by an NBC cameraman. These dramatic pictures were printed and aired throughout the world, strengthening the negative impression of our South Vietnamese allies that the media had done much to create over the years. Hammond underestimates the impact of these powerful pictures. Eddie Adams, the AP photographer, fully understood and deeply regretted the damage done by his photo. He felt that the message it conveyed so powerfully was one-sided and unfair to Gen. Loan, the officer who killed the Viet Cong prisoner.
One of the most damaging stories that came out of the Tet offensive was written by AP correspondent Peter Arnett, which quoted an unnamed Air Force major as saying of the city of Ben Tre, which had been briefly occupied by the Viet Cong, "We had to destroy the city in order to save it." That was an enormous exaggeration; the city was far from destroyed in the effort to drive out the Viet Cong. But critics of the war used this sentence as an epitaph for all Vietnam. It became an important weapon in the psy war campaign. Peter Arnett has refused to give the name of the officer who allegedly made the statement, which, together with the fact that the city was not destroyed, gave rise to suspicions that the statement was actually the reporter's own invention.
Hammond doesn't even discuss the major disinformation themes that found their way into our media and contributed in an important way to diminish public support for the Vietnam war. Here are some of them. 1. The false claim spread mainly by three American reporters, David Halberstam, Neil Sheehan and Malcolm Browne that President Diem, a Roman Catholic, was persecuting the Buddhists in 1963, a myth that was used to persuade President Kennedy to approve a coup to overthrow Diem. Note that the AP's
Mike Feinsilber cites the reporting of the Buddhist "persecution" as an example of good work done by the journalists. Marguerite Higgins had exposed the falsity of these stories in her book, Our Vietnam Nightmare, by a United Nations investigation, and by John Mecklin, a former reporter turned Foreign Service officer and author of Mission in Torment. Pierre Salinger, former press secretary to President Kennedy, exposed the hidden motivation for the stories on the "Today Show" on September 13, 1966. He accused Halberstam, Sheehan and Browne of boasting that their stories were going to topple the Diem government. 2. Emphasis on atrocities and human rights violations by Americans and South Vietnamese, ignoring or down- playing those committed by Communists. 3. Portraying our South Vietnamese allies as corrupt, cowardly, dictatorial and unworthy of our support, and portraying the Communists as noble, incorruptible, brave and selfless nationalists. 4. Portraying the National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) as a bonafide nationalist organization independent of North Vietnam. 5. Spreading the story that Vietnam and Laos were major sources of illegal drugs and that this posed a danger to our troops and to the nation. 6. Spreading the story that the defoliant Agent Orange was creating terrible health problems for Vietnamese civilians and that it was permanently destroying vast acreages of forests. Both charges were false. 7. Claims that the U.S. interest in Vietnam stemmed from a "neo-colonialist" desire to exploit Vietnam's resources. 8. Claims that U.S. bombing was wreaking havoc on civilian population centers in North Vietnam. 9. Claims that the war was unwinnable.
Not having made any effort to describe most of the major disinformation and negative propaganda that found its way into our media during the Vietnam War, much less weigh its impact, Hammond exonerated the media by latching on to a flimsy explanation of why the public turned against the war.
Hammond states, "What alienated the American public, in both the Korean and Vietnam wars, was not news coverage, but casualties. Public support for each war dropped inexorably by 15 percentage points whenever total U.S. casualties increased by a factor of ten." This is based on a study described in a 1972 book, War, Presidents and Public Opinion, by Dr. John Mueller of the University of Rochester. The referenced passage simply says polls found a correlation between mounting casualty figures and growing public dissatisfaction with the war.
Correlations alone don't prove causation, and Prof. Mueller warned his readers about this. Mueller reported that often the polltakers found that the public did not know casualty figures. The polltakers asked them to make a guess, and they found there was no correlation between the guesses and the attitudes toward the war. This alone casts strong doubt on any causal relationship between casualty figures and support for the war.
The fact is that in any war casualties will mount. In a prolonged war where enemy propaganda has easy access to the media and the government makes little or no effort to counteract it, public support is bound to decline steadily. In both the first and second World Wars the government took measures to insure that home front morale remained high. This included both generating enthusiasm for the cause and barring the manipulation of our media by enemy propagandists and their helpers. In both cases support for the wars remained high despite mounting casualties.
During the Vietnam War, the government did just the opposite. As Crosby Noyes, foreign editor of The Washington Star put it on January 3, 1967: "This is the first U.S. government in history to have committed American lives to the outcome of a war and at the same time permitted--one could say invited--the systematic subversion of this commitment by the press.... It is simply incredible that a government can ship 400,000 men to fight in a war and at the same time cheerfully accede to visits by reporters, hand-picked by the enemy, to tour his territory and write straight-faced dispatches on what they are told and shown."
Secretary of State Dean Rusk once explained why the government did so little to stir up enthusiasm for the war. He did not want to encourage "war hysteria." Unwilling to create "war hysteria," i.e., an emotional commitment to the cause, Johnson and Rusk left the field free for the creation of anti-war hysteria. That is a vital lesson that Dr. Hammond, those who approved publication of his book, and the Hammond enthusiasts in the media have failed to learn from Vietnam. It would be a mistake to let this bookstand as the last word from the U.S. Army on the media's impact on the Vietnam War.
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WITH SUCH EXCITING THINGS GOING ON IN EASTERN EUROPE, YOU MAY ASK why we devoted this issue to what happened in Vietnam two decades ago. For the last two months, Joe Goulden and I have wanted to tackle a new book that has been hailed by journalists as absolving them of any blame for the tragic loss of the Vietnam War. Other stories kept getting in the. Way, but the book has to be answered. It is important that the lesson of Vietnam not be obscured by third-rate historians and self-serving journalists. The lessons of the 1968 Tet offensive are very pertinent to what is happening in San Salvador as I write these words. An estimated 1,500 heavily armed communist FMLN guerrillas moved into San Salvador the night of November 11 and began shooting up the town, hoping that the people would rise up and support them. This appears to be a carbon copy of the Viet Cong Tet offensive, except that the VC simultaneously attacked 40 cities and towns, including Saigon. They, too, were expecting to spark a popular uprising. In El Salvador, as in Vietnam, the people did not rise up.
THE COMMUNISTS CANNOT REALLY EXPECT TO TAKE SAN SALVADOR WITH 1,500 guerrillas. NBC's Jane Whitney described a Tet-type scenario in a report on November 13, in these words: "Even in the wake of their failure to spark an insurrection, the rebels are energized by the latest round of fighting. They say they're determined to recapture local and international support they've lost and force the right-wing government to deal with them as part of the peace process." ..Of course, to succeed, this will require the cooperation of the foreign, especially the American, journalists. They are getting it from The Washington Post's Douglas Farah. Farah's report on page one of The Post on November 11, was about as favorable to the communist guerrillas as they could have hoped. Farah cited unidentified sources as saying that a dozen armed helicopters had been damaged by rebel fire and that several high-ranking officers had been wounded. He said the U.S. was giving El Salvador $1.4 million a day ($511 million a year) "to fight the insurgency." We gave El Salvador only $85 million in military aid last year.
FARAH QUOTED AN UNNAMED "KNOWLEDGABLE WESTERN DIPLOMAT" AS saying: "Propagandistically, the FMLN is winning because they are still fighting. They have been at a low level for a long time; they were perceived as having been marginalized, and President Cristiani was on top. Suddenly they have demonstrated they can hold the American-backed Salvadoran armed forces at bay in the capital and various cities across the country." Farah reported that hundreds had been wounded in the fighting and that "most of the casualties appeared to be civilians and young men, possibly guerrillas, hit by the aerial attacks of the military." He added, "However, reporters touring Rosales Hospital also saw a large number of women and children among the injured. One 12-year-old boy, weeping and covered in blood, said an explosion had killed his mother and younger sister as they sat eating lunch today." He observed, "Diplomats who met with (President Cristiani said he and the high command had ordered the troops to move cautiously and avoid civilian casualties. 'Obviously there is a big gap between that and what is being done,' said a diplomat."
AS IN THE TET OFFENSIVE, THE COMMUNISTS MOUNT A LAST-DITCH ATTACK, hoping to spark a popular uprising, and they fail to do so. Farah tries to imitate Tet by. Producing "a knowledgeable diplomat" who says this means they are really winning! The communists want us to cut our aid to El Salvador. Farah cites an exaggerated figure of the aid we are giving to fight the insurgents. The communists seek to generate hostility toward the Salvadoran government by portraying it as a killer of innocent civilians. Farah's story emphasizes the civilian casualties, dwelling on the women and children, and suggests that the government is insincere in saying that it ordered the troops to "move cautiously and avoid civilian casualties." ABC's John Quinones reported that the guerrillas forced civilians to dig trenches for them. Farah wrote, "Dozens of guerrillas armed with AK-47 assault dries supervised civilians as they dug trenches..."
JOHN QUINONES SAID: "THE REBELS HAD HOPED CIVILIANS WOULD JOIN THEM, but that has not happened. Today, the rebels had to force people off the streets to help them dig trenches.... Western observers say the guerrilla offensive is a last ditch effort after collapse of peace talks to inspire a popular uprising. Tonight the rebels find themselves with little public support. If anything, they seem to only have further alienated their fellow countrymen." The Post's Farah did not report that. Nor did The Washington Times, which based its story in part on wire service reports. The New York Times story by Lindsey Gruson the same day, November 14, said the guerrillas had angered many Salvadoraris and that switchboards at local radio stations had been jammed with callers demanding tougher action against the guerillas and their political allies. But Gruson went on to quote a guerrilla who claimed the people know we're the people." He said, "If we give them a bomb they throw it. If we give them a gun, they fight, even the children." Only in the final paragraph of his 33-paragraph story did Gruson report that "a Western diplomat" had said that the guerrillas had appeared to miscalculate the breadth of their support and had proved "the government's claim that they are a decided minority."
IN THE APRIL-A 1988 AIM REPORT, WE DISCUSSED A SECRET DOCUMENT CAPTURED from a communist courier in El Salvador in February 1988, which declared that the Arias peace plan for Nicaragua "was and will continue to be a positive political instrument for the revolution so long as the revolutionary forces use it offensively to divide and weaken" the enemy. It went on to say, "Now we have the advantage, the war (in El Salvador) will become more intense and soon will become the dominant one in Central America after the negotiation period." The major media ignored this document. Credit is due Robert Pear, diplomatic correspondent of The New York Times, for pointing out that the new FMLN offensive was fueled by arms shipments from Nicaragua. Pear reported that although the Arias peace plan, signed by Daniel Ortega, committed Nicaragua to stop sending arms to the Salvadoran rebels, a truckload of arms being shipped from Nicaragua to El Salvador was intercepted in Honduras on October 18. It had included AK-47 rifles, 19,000 rounds of ammunition, and more than 500 rockets, detonators and radios. Pear reported that the truck driver, under interrogation, admitted delivering weapons every month since August 1988. Pear also reported that the five top FMLN commanders had been seen in Managua, Nicaragua within two weeks prior to the attack on San Salvador.
ON NOVEMBER 9, ON THE NBC NIGHTLY NEWS, TOM BROKAW, WHO WAS IN East Berlin, said, "For almost 30 years now, these people have been confined, living in a prison-like state, governed at every step of their life by the East German government. Today, the East German Communist Party gave up control over their lives in a way that no one had anticipated in their wildest imagination. They have effectively taken down the wall."
BROKAW, WHO HAD BEEN THE FIRST AMERICAN REPORTER TO LEARN OF THE East German decision to open the gates in the Berlin Wall, allowing their people to visit or emigrate to the West without any hindrance, was wrong about one thing. The fall of the wail had been anticipated. On June 12, 1987, President Reagan had delivered an address at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin in which he predicted that the wall would come down. Here is what Reagan said at the end of that moving speech: "We in the West stand ready to cooperate with the East to promote true openness, to break down barriers that separate people, to create a safer, freer world. And surely there is no better place than Berlin, the meeting place of East and West, to make a start.... As I looked out a moment ago from the Reichstag, that embodiment of German unity, I noticed words crudely spray-painted upon the wall, perhaps by a young Berliner: 'this wall will fall. Beliefs become reality.' Yes, across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom."
IN THAT SPEECH, REAGAN CHAI J.RNGED MIKHAIL GORBACHEV TO COME TO Berlin, "To open this gate. To tear down this wall" The State Department was reported to have wanted a kinder, gentler speech, one that was less "polemical." I had not read the speech until it was reprinted m The Wall Street Journal on November 10. I think it is one of Reagan's great speeches, but, like Lincoln's Gettysburg address, it didn't get a very good press at the time it was delivered. The challenge to Gorbachev to tear down the wall was widely reported on TV and in the press. The Washington Post used that as the headline for its page-one story, but the second headline read, "Aides Disappointed at Crowd's Lukewarm Reception." More of the space on page one was devoted to the setting, the crowd, its reaction and a demonstration by "hundreds of militant leftists" than to the content of the speech. The New York Times did a better job of reporting the speech, but it relegated the story to page 3.
Conservatism has come a long way in the last thirty years, and now it has a calendar to remind people of historical dates of significance and to honor conservative leaders. I am pleased to be one of those honored by having my photo included in the 1990 calendar (see below). This handsome calendar will make a very nice Christmas gift; something for conservatives to enjoy and liberals to throw darts at you can order them from AIM for $9.95, postpaid (@$8.50 for 5 or more). (If you request it, I'll autograph my photo in the calendar.)
To: Accuracy in Media 1275 K Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005; or call 1-800-345-8112  Send me the 1990 Conservative Calendar: Copies at $9.95 postpaid (@$8.50 for 5).  Autograph my copy to  My check is enclosed;  Charge VISA/MASTERCARD/AMEX # Expires Name Address City, state, zip
The fall of the Berlin Wall doesn't mean that there's no need to educate our youth (and a lot of their elders) about communism. Why are so many people who are cheering the fall of the wall also rooting for the communist guerrillas in El Salvador? They need educating. Help get AIM's new film, "The Seductive Illusion," viewed as widely as possible--on TV and on VCRs. It explains the rottenness of the communist system and its power to deceive. I urge you to: (1) order a video cassette for yourself or as a Christmas gift; (2) contact TV stations and cable companies that serve your area to interest them in airing this important documentary.