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February 03, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-02-03

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Seventy-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom

'Trying Harder' With President Fleming
By John Lottier
YFsgmno o u m m

- -~

Where Opinions Are Free. 420 MAYNARD $T., ANN ARBOR, MICH.
Truth Will Prevail

NEWs PHONE: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
VietC or Den Season on U.S.
Portends Disaster for Johnson

ONE REALLY wonders about
University President Robben
Wright Fleming. He is, indeed, ai
most peculiar man.
When Fleming officially took
hold of the administrative reins
he immediately set about to
change the image of the Uni-
versity presidency. Where Harlan
Hatcher tried to divorce himself
from at least the student aspect
of the University community, and
thus precipitated an almost com-
plete severance of student-ad-
ministration relations, Fleming
has thrust himself headlong into
the issue of the student. A very
commendable beginning.
In the first month of his pres-
idency he has 1) held a dinner
at his house for The Daily sen-
ior editors; 2) suggested to the
Regents the possibility of hold-
ing an open hearing on the ques-
tion of dormitory regulations;
and 3) gone before the Student
Government Council in an at-

tempt to
clarify the
on issues

answer questions and
administration's stand
that directly conce::n

THE MOUNTING Viet Cong offensive
against United States forces in Viet-
nam-which undoubtedly has not yet
reached its limit-promises to turn the
war upside down, and hopefully marks
the closing stage of this indecent war.
With the widespread and effective
attacks on the cities, catching U.S. forces
with their proverbial pants down--many
divisions were on search and destroy mis-
sions in the countryside when the blow
struck-has forced them to re-concen-
trate their forces in the cities.
U.S. military advisors, expecting a ma-
jor offensive near Khe Sanh had amassed,
considerable numbers of troops . there.
With the movement of five divisions of
Recruiter Policy
Needed, at 'U'
THE PROPOSAL for open discussion by
campus recruiters would benefit the
University in two ways. It would provide
a cbannel for free exchange of informa-
tion and ideas and would offer an alter-'
native to the demonstrations which have
wracked other campuses.
In many cases, company policies are
not readily accessible to the public or
their stands on specific issues are un-
clear. Open discussions are one of the
best ways of making this information
Individuals who are interested in an
interview with a recruiter may find it
difficult to ask pointed questions about
company policy for fear of jeopardizing
their job chances. These questions could
be asked anonymously in open discus-
SOME GROUPS might abuse the discus-
sion period by attempting to present
their own ideas and attack the position
of the company, but other benefits would
offset this detriment.
A policy of required debate is a poten-
tial replacement for demonstrations re-
sulting from closed communication chan-
nels. Discussion lessens the tension of
confrontation between students and re-
cruiters by channeling feelings into a
rational exchange of ideas.
President Fleming has asked the ad-
visory committee to the Placement Bu-
rean to produce a plan he hopes the
Regents could approve at their February
meeting. If no action is taken by the Re-
gents, Fleming plans to ask Dow Chemi-
cal Company, controversial makers of
napalm, to participate in an open discus-
sion when they recruit on campus in
March. Dow has indicated that it would
do so if asked by the University.
Rather than make Dow a special case,
the Regents should establish a set of
guidelines for all recruiters.

In short, President Fleming has
given the appearance, as the say-
ing goes, of "trying harder." He
appears to be working diligently
to patch up the incredibly tangled
network of student-administra-
tion communications.
Yet nothing of any real sub-
stance is coming out of these
meetings. He seems to be para-
doxically "trying harder" and yet,
not trying at all.
LET ME clarify this with some
illustration. At the buffet-style
dinner the president and his wife
gave for the senior editors and
in the discussion that followed,
Fleming said he did not really
have a broad "overview" of what
kind of place the University
should be. When asked if he ever

considered spending a few hours
sitting on the Diag and just
talking with students he replied
that he never had thought of the
idea. He said he was afraid that
students wouldn't be interested in
talking with him, either out of
apathy or a fear of intimidation.
This really bothered some of us.
Not so' much because he had nev-
er considered the idea, but be-
cause he thought that no one
wouldbe interested enough to dis-
cuss things with him.
At the open Regent's hearing
two weeks ago in the Union Ball-
room Fleming was again present
before a portion of the student
body while conducting the meet-
ing. Yet because of the nature of
the closed agenda, and because
the Regents themselves were not
willing to answer the queries of
students concerning the issue of
dormitory regulations, Fleming
appeared more of a "labor medi-
ator" protecting the Regents

North Vietnamese regulars into the DMZ,
as weld as the widespread attacks
throughout the length of the country, the
U.S. will probably not be able to resist a
major offensive from fresh North Viet-
namese troops.
THE 1MMEDIATE question becomes,
"What will President Johnson do in
the face of almost sure defeat?"
The answer is not comforting. It's not
conceivable that Johnson will face the
prospect in a sane manner. He does not
have the personal courage of Gen. De-
Gaulle. Johnson has continually backed
himself further and further into a corner
from which the only exit will be a hu-
miliating escape.
This is the same President who reacted
to an leftist uprising in the Dominican
Republic with Marines and who reacted
to the seizure of a U.S. spy ship trapped
inside another country's territorial wa-
ters with a call up of some 15,000 Air Force
reservists. He is not likely to meet a
crushing military affront to his prowess
with anything less than more troops and
more bombs.
THE MILITARY does not yet seem to
realize what it faces. The latest d'e-
velopments in the war will make contin-
uation increasingly difficult:
* With the movement into the cities,
the Americans have lost probably the
most impressive justification of their
presence-they could protect their South
Vietnamese allies. The ease with which
the Viet Cong (who astoundingly resem-
ble many other South Vietnamese) can
infiltrate the cities and move about free-
ly makes it impossible for the U.S. to
provide any effective defense. Consider-
ing the lackadaisical and pragmatic na-
ture of the U.S.-Vietnamese alliance up
to now, this ineffectiveness may easily
cause numerous defections to the Com-
! The Americans have become, more
than ever, invaders. With the cities un-
safe for them, too-the countryside has
always been unstable at night-Ameri-
cans can no longer operate even a "stra-
tegic hamlet" strategy. They will be
forced into a "strategic military post" de-
fense, for an easily identifiable American
will be safe nowhere but surrounded by
his own massive firepower. ,
Washington's insistance on military
victory where military victory is mean-
ingless, the country may soon suffer a
humiliating defeat.
The Johnson ego is not made of such
stuff that it could tolerate such a hu-
miliation. It will" demand some assuage-
ment for its wounded pride. That pride
is dangerous and may result in damage
far beyond the already expended 16,000
American lives.

from the necessity of making the
hearings a real dialogue.
PERHAPS the most conspic-
uous incident was Fleming's ap-
pearance before Student Govern-
ment Council at Thursday night's
meeting. While Vice-President for
Student Affairs Richard Cutler
almost never attends Council
meetings, the University presi-
dent went before that body and
fielded questions for a full 75
It really seemed that he was
interested in hearing and under-
standing the students' side; he
said the Regents were becoming
"very receptive" to student views.
But at the same time he empha-
sized that this "receptivity" was
a decision that only the Regents
could make and nothing that he
could dictate.
This ,of course, is true. But
Fleming does indeed have the
ability to influence the Regents;
to inform them of his opinions
on the subject. Let's face it, he's
not just a liaison between that
board and the University.
WHEN ASKED of the Univer-
sity's. complicity in the Thailand
project Fleming responded that
as far as he knew, we were not
attempting to pull out of our
present involvement there:
"I am unaware that the Uni-
versity is in the process of extri-
cating itself from the Thailand
project, and it is my belief that
those aspects of Project 1111
which involved Thailand are now
completed. However, there are
many things at this University of
which I am not aware."
While acknowledging the "mor-
al" implications of a university
in conducting counter-insurgen-
cy work for the military, and
claiming that "we must be care-
ful that our research does not in-
terfere with our area studies pro-
gram," Fleming either did not

know exactly where research on
the Thailand project was headed
or he wouldn't say.
If the former is the case, then
it is unfortunate that Fleming
'doesn't know what's really going
on. If the latter is true, then the
problem of student-administrative
communications is with us in an
even greater degree than before.
No less than five times during
the question and answer period,
and in response to such queries
as those concerning the student
boycott of Apartments Limited,
Student Driving Regulations, pos-
sible Central Intelligence Agency
activity on campus, etc., Fleming
claimed that he hadn't "really
researched the problem," or that
he didn't know that such a prob-
lem existed. If this is true, then
perhaps the office of the presi-
dent precludes a real understand-
ing of what this University is all
about. And that would be unfor-
ALL THIS is not meant to be
an out and out criticism or in-
dictment of President Fleming.
His first month in office has been
marked by a different and more
enthusiastic administrative at-
mosphere on the campus. Fleming
has already become his own best
PR man by personally going to
Lansing to speak before the state
Legislature. His appointment of
Arthur Ross to the new position
of Vice President for State Re-
lations and Planning may prove
to be a boon in wrangling more
funds from the state.
But Fleming's real effective-
ness as far as the largest portion
of the University community is
concerned will be his ability to.
understand and relate to problems
of student-and faculty-interest.
Enthusiasm alone is important,
but to achieve any substantial
results that enthusiasm dmust be
transformed into more than mere
words. Let's hope he succeeds.


Thich Nhat Hanh Takes Pe ace Message to Pope Paul

The Middle Road Out of Vietnam
American Presence Supresses National
Aspirations That Could Possibly End War



R F'



It t
3. " i.

Vietnamese Buddhist monk and
poet Thich Nhat Hanh visited Ann
Arbor this week in his speaking,
tour to familiarize Americans with
his "third solution" to end the war.
Below he offers an alternative to
destruction of the country or a
Communist take-over.
mese war, one must set aside
the kind of thinking that de-
scribes it as an attempt by Com-
munists to overrun a free nation.
Very few South Vietnamese are
Communists; very few even know
what communism means. For
most of them, this war is seen as
one more attempt in Vietnam's
long history to establish its in-
dependence from foreign dom-
There are Communists involved
in the war, certainly. North Viet-
nam is under Communist rule, and
the National Liberation Front of
South Vietnam is dominated by
Communists in its leadership, but
they do not win their support on
the basis of their communism.
Rather they are supported as pat-
riots and nationalists.
The trouble is that the Com-
munist world has so identified
with the North Vietnamese and
the .National Liberation Front,
and the United States so identi-
fied with the South Vietnamese
government, that neither one can
risk the effect on its prestige of
permitting itself to suffer a mili-
tary defeat.
Even the possibility that nego-
tiations could bring peace is en-
dangered by the stringent condi-
tions that both sides have in-
sisted on for settlement. If either
side sees negotiations as the
equivaleent of total defeat, then
negotiations could end in an es-
calated war.
With such a bleak outlook, is
there any hope for peace? Many
>f us South Vietnamese believe
that peace could be secured this
year if the United States wished
to secure it.
That belief is based on our
knowledge that most South Viet-
namese are not Communists and
do not support the National Lib-
ration Front on an ideological
basis. (It is also true that almost
no South Vietnamese support the
present government of Generals
Thieu and Ky, which stays in
power only because the United
States keeps them in power.)

Neither side stands for peace;
but one seems to stand for
independence. Therefore, with no
other choice, millions of Vietna-
mese give the Front their sup-
port, or at least their acquiescence,
as the only alternative to support-
ing the Saigon-Washington axis.
The elections of Sept. 3, 1967,
however, when a president and
vice-president were chosen, dem-
onstrated the immense longing of
the people for peace. To under-
stand this it is necessary to look
at the elections themselves.
The two most widely known
"peace candidates" were removed
from the ballot before the election
began. All those voters who were
deemed to -be "unreliable"-that
is, who might stand for peace or
neutralism-were not permitted to
register. Newspapers were heavily
censored, and the opposition can-
didates were severely limited in
their campaigning.
Even with the help of these
things, and of reported wide-
spread frauds on election day it-
self, Generals Thieu and Ky re-
ceived only one-third the vote.
while opposing candidates who
stood for peace received the other
two-thirds. Thus two-thirds of
those voting, even under the im-
mense handicaps imposed, indi-
cated that they wished a different
government-which meant a dif-
ferent policy on the war - from
the one that they actually got.
IF ONE BEARS in mind these
characteristics of the South Viet-
namese people, however, that
they are not pro-Communist, that
they are very much pro-inde-
pendence, and that they long in-
tensely for peace, one can begin
to see how peace could be secured:
0If the United States would
permit the South Vietnamese peo-
ple to choose their own govern-
ment freely, with the United
States taking a neutral position,
the South Vietnamese . people
would quickly elect a government
on a platform of peace and in-
* Such a government would
immediately call for a cessation
of the bombing in both North and
South Vietnam, and a cease-fire.
Such a cease-fire would be im-
plemented immediately on the
part of American and South Viet-
namese troops by the end of
"search and destroy" missions,
and the concentration instead on

announce also a program through
which that coalition government
would negotiate the withdrawal
of both American and North Viet-
namese troops from South Viet-
nam, the rebuilding of South Viet-
nam, and ultimately discussions
with North Vietnam of the prob-
lems of unification.
this. They say that the Viet Cong
would immediately take over the
country. This is where it is neces-
sary-to understand what I have
tried to say before about the na-
ture of the support which the Na-
tional Liberation Front enjoys.
That support is based on their
understanding that the Front
fights only for independence from
the United States, and is not pri-
marily motivated by the desire to
achieve power for itself.
With a government in power
that had brought American mili-
tary actions to an end, and was
promising the total withdrawal of
American military force, the
Front would not dare to continue
the war. If it tried to, the people
themselveswould turn against it.
I do not want to sound as
though I think it would be a con-
test between the Front and the
non-Front. Members of the Front
are also Vietnamese, and if some
of them are Communists they are
first of all Vietnamese patriots,
rand their longing for peace is at
least as great as that of the rest
of us.
What it comes down to then. is,
this: the war can be ended if the
United States will in fact permit
the South Vietnamese to do what
the United States claims it wants
them to do: determine their own
destiny. The aroused people of
South Vietnam withrew the re-
gime of President Diem in 1963
without the help of the National
Liberation Front or the North
Vietnamese. They were able to do
so because the United States let
it be known that it would not in-
tervene in this domestic affair.
The same thing would have
happened in the spring of 1966
against General Ky, but this time
the United States made it clear
that it would intervene, and the
opposition to General Ky was
simply not strong enough to take
on the whole American Army.
SO FAR THE WAR can end in
1968, without the humiliation of
military defeat on either side, if

Letters to the Editor
An All-'U Fullback
To the Editor:
IN YOUR VERY enjoyable article entitled "The All-University Foot-
ball Team" in The Daily (Jan. 16) you did not have listed a
fullback. I would suggest it go to:
Steven A. Brown, the burly I.H.A. President who through his
refusal to run let of center has generally not been identified as an
effective offensive player. However, this tactic has allowed Brown to
become very effective on the draw play up through the middle de-
fensive territory of the Board of Governors while Bruce Kahn is
faking the bomb.
I also wonder if you would communicate to me The Daily policy
on publishing letters submitted to the editor.
--Don Racheter, '69
Dance to Freedom's Death
To the Editor:
GRANTING THE FACT that we are passing a serious international
crisis, I nevertheless believe that The Daily should have taken
the time and space to make a strong mention and comment on the
recent dismissal of 49 professors at the universities of Athens and
Salonica by the military regime ruling Greece. The reason given for
their dismissal was that they were in dissonance with the regime.
This brings the total number of professors relieved of their, duties
since April 21st toapproximately 60. Serious as the event may be in
principle, it becomes more serious if one considers the fact that the
total number of professors in all institutions of higher education in
Greece does not exceed 350. In a country where people qualified to
teach in universities are to say the least, scarce, such an action con-
stitutes a deadly blow to a long ailing educational system.
IN CONNECTION with this event and other that preceded it,
it is of interest to note that the Hellenic Student Society (the official
function of the Greek students on campus) is participating in this
year's World s Fair. In total apathy (and, in some cases,, total sym-
pathy) to the establishment of a dictatorial regime in Greece and the
events that ensued it (imprisonment of intellectuals, banning of major
domestic and foreign works ranging from the classical times to the
present, banishment of the freedom of the press, abolishment of the
popular language in favor of a "purist" one, dismissal of public servants
by the thousands etc etc., right down to the idiotic laws regarding
mini-skirts, long hair, and "untidy" beards) those of the Greek
students of Greek descent comprising the H.S.S. unabashedly decided
to represent Greece in the World's Fair.
They must realize. however, that everything of Greek origin that
is worth exhibiting has been banned in the motherland; that when
they will get up to dance it will be just a mechanical repetition of steps
for freedom of expression is not allowed the Greeks, and it will so for
the years to come
-John S. Asvestas, Grad
"We Have Resumed Normal Diplomatic Contacts"





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