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Douglas Hostetter: C.O. at War

Season 7, Ep. 172

Douglas Hostetter – Mennonite and Conscientious Objector [CO] -- served in the middle of a hot zone during the VietNam War supporting the people who lived there. His is an amazing story. Rebecca McKean and I spoke with Mr Hostetter at Gebhard’s Beer Culture Bar in Manhattan’s Upper West Side on Juneteenth and Father’s day, 2022. We will post our conversation with Douglas in two parts. This is part one: During the Viet Nam War from 1966 – 1969 --  rather than carrying a gun, Douglas Hostetter organized literacy classes for Vietnamese children and craft training for his neighbors. Rather than the relative safety of the American military compounds – Doug lived amongst his students, and survived in the open by being useful to the community -- and nonviolent. After his service, Douglas worked to end the war in Viet Nam through the People’s Peace Treaty – a document signed by college students in [North and South] Viet Nam and the United States – which Pres. Nixon rejected. Several years later, after hundreds of thousands of more humans died in Viet Nam and Cambodia -- the Paris Peace Accords was signed. The Accords closely mirrored the earlier People’s Peace Treaty.

In the second part of this program Douglas talks about surviving the TET offensive and the CIA attempt to assassinate him, and his life work to end war.

Alan Winson

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7/15/2022

Douglas Hostetter: TET - CIA assassination attempt - Ending war

Season 7, Ep. 173
Douglas Hostetter – Mennonite and Conscientious Objector -- served in the middle of a hot zone during the VietNam War supporting the people who lived there. His is an amazing story. Rebecca McKean and I spoke with Mr Hostetter at Gebhard’s Beer Culture Bar in Manhattan’s Upper West Side on Juneteenth and Father’s day, 2022. We will post our conversation with Douglas in two parts. In the second part of our conversation, Douglas Hostetter describes his daily activities in and around the Tam Ky battle zone during the Viet Nam War – his interaction with the American Marines and a very different relationship with U.S. officers who saw his positive work with the local population – as sapping GI morale. This led to a decision he had to make when he learned that the CIA was putting out rumors that could lead to his assassination.  He describes surviving the violence of the 2 -week TET offensive of 1968 – and the human devastation that he witnessed afterwards. Douglass Hostetter’s Viet Nam experiences established his life path working for peace throughout the world  -- in Nicaragua during the Contra War – in Iraq with his attempts to prevent the First Gulf War by trading a plane-full of medicine with the Iraqis for American and UN hostages  -- and his work to save Bosnian students from genocide in the 1990s  . In a world rife with intense violence -- this story of a man of non-violence should be heard.Alan Winson