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February 28, 1968 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1968-02-28

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Page Two

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Wednesday, February 28, 1968

View from Saigon:

Worry,

Wonder,

Woe

AM=
DIAL 5-6290

EDITOR'S NOTE: What is the out-
look in South Vietnam, a month
after, the Communists began their
attacks on the cities? Two of the
Associated Press' most experienced
Vietnam reporters attempt to tap
the mood of the embattled nation
in this news analysis.
By WILLIAM L. RYAN
and PETER ARNETT
SAIGON - Never in the years
>f U.S. involvement 'in Vietnam,
officials say, has there been so
much openly expressed worry
about what lies immediately
ahead.
. The Americans still hold that
U.S. forces cannot be defeated
militarily. The Americans also say
-often gloomily-that the need
was never greater than now for
the Saigon government to face up
to its problems and its dangers.
One of the biggest problems is
how to rally South Vietnam's
people solidly behind the anti-
Communist cause. Another is cor-
ruption, the. continued existence
of which helps erode popular con-
fidence in the government.
What has happened in the past
month has produced a , feeling
among some Americans here that
it's now or never for the South
Vietnamese government.
South Vietnam has gone
through a convulsion following
what one high U.S. official on
the scene now concedes was a
"beautifully executed" offensive
against 40 major population cen-
ters.
The worry and the wondering
revolve about taking South Viet-
nam out of its state of shock,
about repairing the heavy physi-
cal and psychological damage,
about re-building confidence -
and most of all about establish-
ing a meaningful' dialogue be-
tween those Americans here and
the army and government of
South Vietnam.
The obstacles include a tangled
complex of military, political,
CORECTION
The Challenge Lecture Series
of the Honors Council Steering
Committee is the major sponsor
for Norman Mailer, who will
appear at the University as part
of the University Activities Cen-
ter's Symposium series. ,UAC,
reported in yesterday's Daily as
main sponsor, is only a minor
co-sponsor of the Mailer visit.

economic and emotional difficul-
ties.
The big fear is that these dif-
ficulties will progressively weak-
en the internal political structure
in South Vietnam. That in turn
would have impact on Gen. Wil-
liam C. Westmoreland's strategy
for defeating Communist aims
and establishing a government in
Saigon which can stand on its
own feet.
Few Americans 'here try to hide
forebodings generated by critical
situations in the military, politi-
cal, economic and pacification
fields. The Tet offensive not only
brought into sharp focus the re-
alities facing a country torn by
war and political dissension for
years, but has illuminated a gap
in communication between the
Americans and the South Viet-
namese government.
One top level U.S. official who
has been here for years exploded
in exasperation recently during a
conversation with an equally high
MSU Fills
May's Post
EAST LANSING (A') - The
trustees of Michigan State Uni-
versity have appointed Roger E.
Wilkinson to direct the school's
financial operations in the ab-
sence of an official involved in
a recent controversy over alleged
conflict of interest.
Philip J. May, MSU vice-p'esi-
dent for business and finance, is
to begin a six-month sabbatical
Friday.
The MSU board of trustees ap-
proved the leave at a regular meet-
ing earlier this month.
May said the lease has "noth-
ing to do with" a pending at-
torney general's opinion concern-
ing possible conflict of interest in
May's outside business activities.
May said he would be visiting
other universities to study their
business operations.
Wilkinson, the statement added,
"is to handle the routine business
affairs of the university and to
confer with May on items of
major importance."
Wilkinson, 32, was officially ap-
pointed assistant vice president for
business. He formerly served as
budget officer in the university
business office.,

Vietnamese over government .ac- run the government. Hints in theJ Committee, and Ton That Dinh,I
tions. on the internal political press, such as a Saigon Daily who as a general had a part in
scene. ' News complaint that Americans the 1963 overthrow of President
These actions, the U.S. official "meddle" too much in Vietnam's Ngo Dinh Diem. Some sources
intimated, would do further vio- internal affairs, reflect a suspi-, connect Ky with this group.
lence to the image of the Saigon cion that the United States is ac- " Thieu and his supporters sa-
regime, in the United States a, tively interested in a coalition. pect anything labeled "front."
well as at home. President Nguyen Van Thieu They suspect any political move
Later, the American was asked: and his supporters say they will which might lessen their author-
Why didn't the United States put never stand for participation by ity.
more pressure on its ally? the Viet Cong's National Libera- The mixture is a yeasty one
"They are a sovereign nation" tion Front in the government. that complicates American efforts
was the reply. Moreover, he added, There are many indications to bring about some unity of pur-
there is an attitude among South that President Thieu and Vice pose here.
Vietnamese leaders that the Unit- President Nguyen Cao Ky are On the surface, South Vietnam
ed States has no choice but to feuding. One well informed source has a constitutional government,
continue fighting this war. says the two have not been on elected last September. Under-
But what of the arrests of speaking terms since President neath, it retains the trappings of
members of the non-Communist Johnson's visit to South Vietnam' amilitary regime jealous of its
political opposition, which could in December, authority and prone to crack,
give the Saigon regime a black This same source says that down on any trace of opposition.,
eye in the United States? former generals now' involved in '-
"They'll ask you,"said the politics are forming alliances with
American, "what did you do with neutralist elements on the civilian
the rioters inDetroit? Didn't you side.
arrest them, too?' "1 Two men prominently men- RE I T ER
Open criticism of American ac- tioned in this respect are Tran
tions and policy appears in the Van Don, chairman of a group
local press, obviously with gov- called the National Salvation
ernment approval. For example,
the Saigon Daily News recently ....................
spoke of rumors that the UnitedORGAN Z T i A N N A RB O
States was collaborating secretly1
with the Viet Cong to force a co- N I CCU
alition government. These rumors, NOT CE Vote Q U N 0
it said, "are based on the appar- :
ent reluctance of the Americans LUSE OF THIS COLUMN FOR AN
to fully commit themselves to NOUNCEMENTS is. available to off i- -- --
fighting the Communist attackers cially recognized and registered student
from the very start. The U.S. organizations only. Forms are available
military performance in Saigon in room 1011 sAB.
and Hue in the first days follow-O PEN S
2ing the attacks tends to give sub- 8 p.m.; Guild House, 802 Monroe; talk-
stance to such belief." ing, listening, etc., Bring your own
In fact, the Americans had Bach records. For further information
call 769-2922.
hoped the South Vietnamese army ca- --9-2922
and police could defend their own
capital. As for Hue, more than 1
100 U.S. troops have died taking
it back from the Communists.'
This sort of press comment _
could not appear without govern-
ment approval. The Saigon press 302U Washtenaw, Ph. 434-1782
is rigidly censored. The tone sug- Between Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor
gests a suspicion that .some dayt
the Americans will deal with the oO Wgner
Communists and leave the Saigon raquel weiC
regime out in the cold. godfrey cambWge I
One American described the
current situation: "It's like pains- s isthe woirs
takingly placing a piece in a sexiest robbery! EUGENE I
complicated jigsaw puzzle. No E
sooner do you get it placed than A
a previous piece falls out. That is
the American experience in Viet- b n le RH.. U
nm.
For Vietnamese politicians @m'' al
across the spectrum these are ILydiaMendel
nervous days. All manner of .uru- 8:00
mors float around this grim city. w.,
About 20 non-Communist oppon-
ents of the government have been PRESENTED BY ANN
arrested. Most are suspected of ---...-- ---o.
connections with proponents of wed.-Sat.-Sun Weds. and Thurs. $1.50--$1.75
coalition as a way out of the war. Shows at 1-3-5-7-9 Fri. and Sat. $1.75-$2.00
The arrests spotlight the mis- Mon.-Tues.-Thurs.-Fri. 7 & 9
givings held by the generals who I_______________

Americans say a great oppor-I
tunity existed after the shock of
the Viet Cdng Tet offensive cre-
atecd an impulse among po'iticansj
to seek national savat~ion through
unity. These Americans were dis-
mayed when the government
jailed non-Communist opponents.
They felt the timing hardly could
have been worse.
"One more political upheaval -
one more coup - is all we need
around here," one American said,
mindful of a history of violent
political overthrows over the past
five years.
But the chief Amervcsn worry
is the mood of this capital, and
how events seem to feed an at-
mosphere of frustration and fore-
boding.
TO VOTE
R CITY HALL
N for Council

All the violent
beauty of
Thomas
Hardy's
immortal
love story!

The "DARLING" of
"DOCTOR ZHIVAGO"
meets the "GEORGY GIRL"
Boy in the LOVE
STORY OF THE YEAR!
METROGOLDWYN-MAYER-
A JOSEPH JANNI PRODUCTION
JULIE CHRISTIE
TERENCE STAMP
PETER FINCH
ALAN BATES

PANAVISON': METROC.I ;E7
Shows at 1 :00-3:30-6:10-8:50 -y"Malts. 1.50; Eves. 1.75

ACADEMY
IllAWARD
NOMINATIONS
WntC byDIMO N M M-anC- ROBERilBEiON Pouc by WERE IIWROLIY Ohx S.- Y iRjEVPEN aR ll
TECHNICOLORO FROM WARNER BROS.-SEVEN ARTSW

0

See Feature at
SUNDAY Matinees
not continuous

1:00-3 00-5:00-7:05-9:10
are

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Today Thru
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JDM

Limited
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Twin Classics Encore!

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'"THIS SPORTING
LIFE"
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ONLY
Starting at
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TOM COURTNEY
"LONELINESS of the
LONG DISTANCE
RUNNER"
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Book and Lyrics by
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THE GRADUATE
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