Friday, March 8, 1968
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Friday, March 8, 1968 THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Indecisive War Taxes
Justice Dept. Investigates
Draft Sabotage Pamphlets,
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By WILLIAM L. RYAN
and PETER ARNETT
SAIGON (A') - It is hard to
escape the conclusion that the
military situation in Vietnam has
come to a critical yet indecisive
The Communists still press the
initiative they seized with the
first shots of the winter spring
offensive, fired at the border town
of Los Ninh in late October.
Thousands of U.S. troops are
0 bogged down in the stalemate of
the Khe Sanh and demilitarized
zone sectors. Bloody battles are
expected in these regions, and
there is little reason to expect that
these engagements will be any
more conclusive than those of
the past. The Khe Sanh situation
is developing into one in which
allied prestige is laid on the line.
The Communist offensive has
forced the allies to the defensive
in Vietnam. U.S. troops are
squeezed around cities. The coun-
tryside is open to Viet Cong
recruiters who,- say informed
sources, quickly fill ranks de-
pleted by allied firepower in battle.
A senior U.S. officer commented
recently that it was not the time
for an allied offensive because an
offensive posture "might give the
enemy opportunity to penetrate
Gen. William C. Westmoreland
conceded last weekend: "The Viet
Cong - North Vietnamese attacks
have indeed taxed the flexibility'
and mobility of our forces."
One Westmoreland answer to
the current situation, as to similar
crises in the past including the
dark days of early 1965 when the
Vietnamese army was in danger
of being wiped out, is to ask for
more U.S. troops,
"With additional troops we
could more effectively deny the
enemy his objectives," he said.
The first U.S. combat troops
were committed to forestall a mil-
itary defeat. Today, three years
and 500,000 troops later, the
enemy is again in a position to
threaten the cities.
The most experienced observers
see Westmoreland needing at
least five more divisions immed-
lately to win back the initiative. If
enemy capability continues to in-
crease at the rate of the past
three years, even the new U.S.
troop deployment could be nulli-
fied within a year, these observers
Gen. Westmoreland says he
bases hopes for a U.S. troop com-
mitment on modernization and
increased capability of the ARVN,
the South Vietnamese army. But
information from a dozen battle
areas indicates ARVN perform-
ance ip recent weeks has been
unevent at best. .
"In most cases their back was
to the wall," said one U.S. adviser.
"They generally fought well in
the city of Ben Tre."
That is in the delta, and the
South Vietnamese were fighting
for their own town.
In Ben Tre, Vinh Long, My
Tho and Can Tho in the delta,
fighter bombers and artillery had
to be used to blast enemy troops
out of large areas.
One possible reason for Viet-
namese reluctance to mix with
the enemy was the absence of
half the ARVN forces on Tet
leave. W h a t units remained
fought well. A small armed group
in the Mekong Delta town of Tra
Vinh moved in on a Viet Cong
company that had occupied the
province headquarters without
firing a shot and killed them all.
A regional force company near the
WASHINGTON UP) - The Jus-
tice Department is investigating
a pamphlet distributed by antiwar
groups which blueprints a nation-
wide campaign of harassment
against the more than 17,000 mem-
bers of local draft boards.
But while confirming existence
of the pamphlet, a department
spokesman said yesterday: "We
know of no activity being taken
or planned to implement the plan
of the publication."
The Selective Service System
said, in addition to confirming
that the pamphlet is being dis-
tributed, that instructions have
been circulated on how to make
fire bombs and other destructive
devices. The Selective Service
spokesman did not detail these in-
The News said federal, state
and local police were alerted after
the pamphlet came into the pos-
session of officials.
The spokesman said he was un-
aware of any actual harassment
of draft board members other
than a few incidents previouslyj
Selective Service has asked the
Justice Department to appeal a
recent federal court ruling in
Philadelphia that a local board
must make public on request the
names and addresses of its mem-
Original Sound Track
including."Sounds of Silence"
and "Scarborough Fair/Canticle"
performed by Simon and Garfunkel
Just past the
417 E. Liberty
The New York Daily News re-
ported the pamphlet originated
in Toronto and has been distrib-
uted to 327 groups opposed to the
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U.S. MARINES check ammunition at one of many storage areas in Vietnam. The recent Viet
Cong offensives have increased the need for firepower and better defensive earthworks around
all allied bases.
438 W. Huron
Saigon race track beat off an
attack by a North Vietnamese
battalion. U.S. infantrymen term-
ed it a skillful and courageous
There is no question the Com-
munist offensive damaged the
pacification program - latest in
the countryside. If pacification
was a major objective-in the of-
fensive, as some suggest, the
Communists could claim a success
almost by default.
In 13 provinces, the Vietnamese
regular battalions assigned to pro-
tect pacification regions were pull-
ed out to help defend cities and
district towns, U.S. officials re-
ported. Throughout the country
nearly half the 555 Revolutionary
Development teams assigned to
work in and protect top priority
hamlets also were pulled out. U.S.
officials say the pacification pro-
gram suffered seriously in 13 of
the nation's 44 provinces, moder-
ately in 16, and slightly in 15.
Security vacuums were created
by withdrawal of regular ARVN
battalions and Revolutionary De-
velopment teams. The Commun-
ists are actively recruiting and
propagandizing against the Sai-
gon government in such areas,
and to refill those vacuums with
government influence may take
The Communists, perhaps de-
liberately, bypassed priority paci-
fication regions but by hammer-
ing at administrative urban cen-
ters disrupted effective govern-
ment functions. People were cut
off from towns. Communists could
Contrary to Rumor
roam at will among the popula-
In coastal Binh Dinh Province,
cradle of the pacification pro-
gram, U.S. officials are openly
depressed. The Communists there
are known to haveentered ham-
lets conside-red to be pacified, de-
stroying laboriously built schools
"It's all gone down the drain,"
said one American, recounting the
inroads made in the Phuoc dis-
trict, long a pacification show-
Seventeen of inh Dinh's 31
Revolutionary Development teams
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