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In our "troubles" about Vietnam, Professor John Norton Moore has been an active belligerent on the home front. He has participated in a long cycle of debates before innumerable conferences, symposia, teach-ins, colloquia, and congressional and other committee hearings. He has spoken on television, and written regularly for the law journals.
In this role, Moore earned high and equal respect from those who agree with him, and from those who do not. This is a considerable achievement, both of mind and of spirit, for our troubles over Vietnam have been more vehemently emotional, and less accessible to reason, than any we have had to endure since the Civil War. And the sector where Moore has been active—that of contention about the legality of our course in Indo-China—was necessarily the eye of the storm. We are people of the Book. To our minds, whatever we dislike intensely must also be illegal. The claim that the policy of the United States in Indo-China violated international law, or the law of our own Constitution, was the natural, and indeed the nearly indispensable predicate for a vast and inflamed literature charging the nation with immorality, aggression, imperialism, and other sins and crimes hideous to our notion of ourselves as a people.
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