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January 11, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-01-11

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Seventy-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom

Hunting for the Holy Grail

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Where Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., 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.



Fleming on War Research

N THE SURFACE, President Robben
W. Fleming's stand against classified
military research as voiced in a Daily
interview yesterday is admirable. Fleming
said he thought the school should take
"a general position against classified
military research."
Fleming cited sound reasons for his
view. First, many projects are "unneces-
sarily classified." Second, he thinks that
University involvement in secret military
projects abroad-like the $1 million
counterinsurgency effort in Thailand-
"prejudices the nature of our Univer-
sity's research." He is also concerned
about being involved in top secret work
--like "Project 1111"-which "aren't
,eared at our end."
As a result, the new president thinks
the universities should "apply some pres-
sure to get some of the work "declassi-
ALL THESE ARE powerful arguments.
This kind of thinking has prompted
school. likeHarvard, Minnesota, and Wis-
consin to abandon secret research.
But as it turns out, Fleming becomes
his own worst enemy. He undermines his
carefully prepared stand by saying that
he is willing "to make specific exceptions"
to his general policy and have the school
accept specific classified projects.
The Daily is a member of the Associated Press and
Collegiate Press Service.
Fall and winter subscription rate: $4.50 per term by
carrier ($5 by mali,. $8.00 for regular academic school
year ($9 by mail).
Daily except Monday during regular academic school
Daily except Sunday and Monday during regular
summer session.
Second class pnstage paid at Ann Arbor, Michigan,
420 Maynard St.* Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104.

And after going on at great length
about how the University should not be
involved in clandestine work of the Thai-
land variety, Fleming turns right around
and says he really "doesn't see how" the
school can end it.
If Fleming is really opposed to the
University's Thailand-style "research"
and believes that it is inimical to the
purpose of an academic community, he
should terminate it immediately.
Concerning the more general question
of all classified contracts, Fleming be-
lieves that peaceful negotiation and a
little polite pressure will force the gov-
ernment into "declassifying" the classi-
fied research. On this point he is sadly
mistaken. Industry has been fighting the
same battle for years with little success.
IF FLEMING IS serious about what he,
says, he must take definite steps to end
clasified research. He should immediately
work to cancel the Thailand project. He
should have the University refuse to
accept any more classified contracts.
Without positive action, his verbal
stand against classified research is mean-
ingless. A successful college president
can not just be a mediator who appeases
one siae with empty words and appeases
the other side with inaction. He must be
a decision-maker who takes stands and
sticks by them. Fleming has taken a clear
standon classified research. He is now
committed to do all he can to implement

THE ULTIMATE reality is complete illusion.
There can be no greater truth than that held to be
unequivocal and so apparent that it cannot be contested,
yet to be such a "true believer" is to live in a uni-dimen-
sional world with a single perspective which all percep-
tions are tailored to fit. The true problem facing our
generation, or at least those of us who have lost the
faith, is not finding the structual cures to society's
problems-this motif is out of another era-but somehow
findig for ourselves a satisfying reality, a complete illusion
in which we can believe.
Any social ideology is fraudulent, it has to be by virtue
of presuming an absolute order to which all experience
must conform. Perhaps the most important lesson we
ever learn is the one which insures our destruction, the
phenomenon of entropy which is the movement of any
system-physical or social-from an original position of
organization and differentiation to one finally of random
chaos and disorganization; in other words, the system's
running down and wearing out. But ideologies assume
an unchanging social context, or at least one in which
the meaning of events from moment-to-moment is fixed
and understandable, and where the future will evolve in
conformance to an ideal.
The great world visions-Christianity, Darwinism,
Marxism, American transcendentalism and faith in pro-
gress, for example-have all had a central tenant and
the meaning and importance of specific moments could
be understood in terms of that tenant. To the archetype
Christian, the theme of existence is perhaps something
like love and humility; to the Marxist, the stuff of life is
conflict and change; the point is that both believe they
have The Word, they are into truth and understand the
reality of experience, yet by virtue of understanding
completely they are oblivious to anything that cannot be
seen through their "lenses."
THE PROBLEM HAUNTING our generation is the
problem of subscribing to some faith, of "getting into"
something. The old illusions don't work for us, and we
are left now with a pervasive sense of disillusionment and
cynicism. There is nothing more fundamental to man's
psyche than his world view, and most of us don't have
one beyond individual success. This hollow ideal is simply
inadequate for stringing together the pieces of our life
into a meaningful whole.
The great interest in drugs is indicative of the search
for a vision, a reality, a new illusion. It is difficulty to
say how many are serious users, or indeed have even
smoked marijuana once, but the nijmber of people who
turned-out for the Drug Teach-In here last Sunday shows
there are a lot who want to at least hear about turning-
What is most interesting about the whole marijuana
controversy, and most revealing, is the different ways the

generations react to it. It seems the older generations, as
represented by their power brokers, are irrationally in-
timidated by the drug and are handing out incredibly
cruel penalties for its possession. At the same time, the
sons and daughters of these people use grass with near
non-chalance, the major consideration being that of
avoiding arrest.
Somebody who has returned from a few weeks in San
Francisco tells of hitch-hiking across the bridge 'to
Berkeley and casually being offered joints by the drivers
who offered rides.

that he cannot detach himself from his time and look
to see what he is missing. Still, it seems that we are in a
period of such profound ferment that the entire character
of our vision of the world is undergoing change. Subtle to
be sure, but nonetheless real.
In the Bob Dylan movie currently showing, there is
a scene where Dylan is having a show-down with a re-
porter from Time Magazine. He goes on and on, telling
the reporter how he can't talk to him because the writer
wouldn't understand what he was saying and even if he
tried, by the time it got published it would be written by
somebody who didn't understand and would end up

THE HIP GREETING now-a-days is "what are you
into?" instead of "hello," and the idea of having a "thing"
is that of being into some central theme which orders
You have your bag filled with your thing which is
what you are into. That's where it's at! Punctuated with
a few "wows!"
This is the contemporary litany, as sacred as any that
has preceded it and perhaps as effective. Drugs may be
part of it, yet the instinct propelling it goes beyond drugs
itself and is aimed at finding something more basic that
hasn't been found by us yet.
THERE ARE VERY few things more difficult to un-
derstand than the intellectual flavor of an era, especially
when one is living through it and is so much a part of it

calling Dylan "a folk-singer."
Then Dylan goes into a short speech about what
reality is, and how no magazine publishes it how it is.
The reporter looks away and then looks back at Dylan
and asks him "are you serious about what you're saying?"
Dylan explodes-"How can you ask such a question!?!"
Dylan doesn't claim to be a spokesman. I suppose we'll
never have a single one, which is right. But the ones
around, the Bealtes, the "black-humorists," the experi-
mental film-makers, even perhaps the hippies. all elicit
the same response from the generation preceeding us:
Are You Serious?
Yes, they are. There's a lot of put-on, but beneath it
in fact they are very serious. And they have some kind
of pre-verbal vision.

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MR. CHAIRMAN, Congressmen:
It is always difficult to col-
lect accurate data on military op-
erations or to draw precise infer-
ences from battle reports; indeed,
we even find difficulty in each de-
cade in compiling an accurate
census of the U.S. population.
Working exclusively from reports
in the public press, however, it is
possible to test the logical con-
sistency of the successes claimed
in the Vietnam war by the Ad-
ministration. Efforts to do so al-
low questions to be asked about
the feasibility of the military stra-
tegy that is now being pursued-
or about the benefits that might
be gained if new goals were to be
The numbers game poses a dif-
ficult problem to be resolved. Con-
flicting reports suggest that ene-
my forces are 300,000 strong, or
250,000 weak; other estimates vary
by 20 percent up or down. Some-
times the V.C. is suposed to find
great difficulty in recruiting in
South Vietnam; or the North Viet-
namese are supposed to find diffi-
culty in infiltrating reinforce-
ments into the South.
Moreover, the Administration
now claims that 40,000 enemy
have been killed in the last six
months. Hence, some suspect that
we must have killed the enemy
several times over - unless we
have erred about his ability to re-
cruit or to infiltrate further re-
Numbers have also been con-
fusing in considering the combat-
readiness both of the enemy and
of ARVN forces. A recent count
indicates that 76 -of 163 enemy
battalions are now unfit for com-
bat. If this is true, we must ask
how they were able to stage such
large battles at Conthien and
Similarly, if 200,000 of the 630,-
000 ARVN troops are combat-
ready, we must ask what has hap-
pened to the rest and why U.S.
casualties are greater than those
of the combat-ready contingents?
raised in appraising General
Westmoreland's recent statements
that (a) within two years there
could be a sizeable phasing-down
of U.S. forces in Vietnam; be-
cause (b) the enemy force is be-
coming demoralized and severely
depleted; and because (c) ARVN
forces are growing stronger and
better able to take over this high-
ly Americanized war.
Questions must be raised about

First of all, there is a great un-
certainty about the effectiveness
of U.S. bombing operations in the
North. Over 2,000 targets have
been systematically attacked and
750 U.S. fixed-wing planes have
been lost in the last two years.
In critically important testi-
mony before the Senate Prepared-
ness Sub-committee, on August 25,
Secretary McNamara revealed
that only 57 targets on the list
submitted by the Joint Chiefs of
Staff has not been attacked -
though in the last three months
most of the 57 were hit. He add-
ed that if they were attacked it
would "not materially shorten the
duration of the war."
Unfortunately, many influen-
tial people have disagreed. Lead-
ers within the Congress and in the
Joint Chiefs of Staff have insist-
ed that the bombing must esca-
late; significantly, none has mar-
shalled hard evidence while dis-
agreeing with Mr. McNamara.
If saturation raids were launch-
ed on Hanoi and Haiphong
(through which only 550 tons of
material pass each day, and only
10 percent of which is military
equipment bound for the South),
it would still be possible for the
North Vietnamese to devise alter-
native routes of communication
and supply.
Ships outside Haiphong are al-
ready offloaded onto barges and
hence pounding the dockside
would not particularly arrest the
flow of trade-though it might
sink Soviet shipping. 85 percent of
the electricity generators in North
Vietnam and most railroad brid-
ges have also been knocked out-
but Secretary McNamara has no-
ted how difficult it is to destroy
the war-making potential of an
agricultural economy.
North Vietnam's primitive in-
frastructure and its mass of un-
skilled labor can probably with-
stand many more months of U.S.
bombing. It might even gain in
morale, too!
bombing is to "punish" North Vi-
etnam, or to make it pay a high
price for not negotiating, our 2,-
000 bombing sorties a month
would apear to have failed. The
North has enough peasant man-
power to make hasty repairs to its
roads and canals and it has re-
ceived sufficient supplies from
China and the Soviet Union to
take care of urgent needs.
That it wil collapse under the

con lict



Military Options


The following article is the second of six pieces
analyzing the Vietnam War and suggesting alter-
natives to the present American policy. The papers
were presented in Washington on Nov. 28, 1967, to
a 19-man Congressional study group. The hearing
was initiated by Rep. Donald W. Riegle, Jr., a Re-
publican from Flint who requested the testimony
from five Asian scholars, four from the University,
headed by Prof. Alexander Eckstein, director of the
University's Center for Chinese Studies.
Today's article is by Dr. Walter Goldstein, a
Visiting Professor at the School of International
Affairs at Columbia University and a former pro-
fessor at the City University of New York. Dr. Gold-
stein has served as a consultant on political-military
affairs at various government and private research

mara reports that the forces in
the South require only 100 tons
of supplies a day, at the maxi-
mum. This means that only a few
trucks a day need get through or
that a fleet of several hundred bi-
cycles (carrying 500 pounds each)
need traverse the bombed supply
It is hardly surprising that the
North Vietnamese have been able
to send through about 6,000 new
troops each month and to keep
them adequately supplied to fight
sizeable battles a g a i n s t U.S.
Evidence has yet to be cited
that the bombing of the North,
as a purely military operation,
has achieved its purposes or that
its cessation would be unbear-
ably costly to the U.S.
(Nor should one minimize the
fact that the rest of the world
press has reported that a great
number of Bomb Cluster Units, or
anti-personnel guava bombs, have
been dropped by U.S. planes on
Northern cities. This raises a ter-
rible moral problem that should
exercise our consciences while we
are calculating the cost/effective-
ness of bombing a nation with
which we are technically not at
It is impossible to estimate ex-
actly what progress has been made
since 1965 in the war in the South.

000 over and and a half years; the
cost has risen from 6 billion dol-
lars in 1966 to more than 22 billion
dollars in 1967; and our casualties
have at least doubled.
But what has been gained from
this increase besides the assurance
that our enormous force will not
be defeated by a puny opponent?
The number of reads that are
open" or the percentage of the
17,000,000 people living in "secure"
areas cannot be definitely meas-
More important, the enemy has
been free and able to stage pitched
battles at Dak To, the Iadrang
Valley, Song Be, Loc Ninh and
Conthien. The purpose of these
battles was: (a) to draw American
troops away from the rice-growing
areas on the coast, especially at
harvest time, so that the V.C. could
replenish its supplies; (b) to im-
pose higher casualties upon U.S.
forces in order to deepen political
divisions within the United States;
and (c) to impede any U.S. and
ARVN progress in pacification.
Each one of these V.C. goals has
been attained, though admittedly
at a high price. It appears that the
enemy can still mount operations
at almost a division level, despite
all the punishment and demoral-
ization that we can claim to have
meted out in recent months.
Though there is no longer a
danger of military disaster to our

There are 12,000 hamlets and
agricultural units within South
Vietnam but it is impossible to cal-
culate what percentage of them
remain permanently under U.S. or
friendly control. Many of the
friendly villages have to be "clear-
ed" several times a month and
many of our own people refuse to
spend the night in them.
Even if we use computerized cal-
culations, it is difficult to judge
(and not just count) that 67% of
the population lives in "secure
zones," especially when the ARVN
often leave village affairs to the
The effectiveness of the V.C. can
be shown in the widespread and
considerable support (in food, sup-
plies, and information) which it
has been able to provide all over
the country; it certainly does not
look like a demoralized or deci-
mated force verging on the point
of collapse.
Were the dubious Revolutionary
Development Corps maintained by
Saigon only half as effective as
the V.C., our newspapers would
not have to report the ambush of
U.S. patrols in a dozen different
locales of this wretched war on
every day of the week. Considering
the gross distortions in the daily
"body count" and in other sup-
posedly hard data issued by Sai-
;on, it is necessary to question
General Westmoreland's new basis
foe nrnirition.

been vehemently despised for col-
laborting with thee French against
the popular Vietminh rebellion 15
years ago?
consider the fate of the refugees
who have in many cases been for-
cibly removed by U.S. troops from-
areas of combat. There is not even
exact knowledge of their number.
Normally it is assumed that there
are 2 million out of a population
of 17 million, but Senator Edward
Kennedy and others have made
estimates ranging up to 4 million.
What is certainly known is that
the refugees live in miserable con-
ditions on 8 cents a day, that their
loyalty to and support of the Sai-
gon regime is dubious, that few of
them thank us for liberating them
from their family land.
If we are fighting to preserve
the social and political fabric of
Vietnam, our harsh treatment of
this numerous group is reprehen-
sible both on humanitarian and
political grounds. Indeed, our fail-
ure to calculate civilian fatalities
and to remedy the refugees' mis-
ery suggests that we have been
:emiss in tending to the welfare
of the people whom we now claim
to defend.
General Westmoreland and Am-
bassador Bunker recently suggest-
ed a four-phase scenario of how
the Vietnam war might be "won."
Reasonable doubts must be raised
about their estimates of: (a)
whether the enemy is truly being
ground down in a war of attrition;
(b) whether the ARVN forces can
reverse the present process of
Americanizing the war; and (c)
whether the United States can
continue to afford the astronomic
political and economic costs of
continuing present levels of opera-
tion over the next two years?
Looking back upon the equally
visionary assessments of victory
advanced between 1963 and 1966,
and after inspecting the alleged
"data" cited by General West-
moreland or Prof. W. W. Rostow, it
is difficult to agree that the Amer-
ican people will shortly be present-
ed with a decisive military solution
to this nightmare of political-mil-
itary confrontation which we call
the War.
There are three different out-
comes or options currently avail-
able to the United States and we
should evaluate each one as open-
ly as possible.
(1) To sustain the present level
of combat activity and to hope
that General Westmoreland's two-

great staying power, that our allies
are impossible weak, and that we
must contiue to fight in a largely
hopeless terrain. It is utterly un-
likely that the enemy will nego-
tiate while North Vietnam is being
bombed or while he knows that
the U.S. is so vulnerable to high
casualty lists.
Hanoi aims to maintain the
present level of combat for at least
another year, until the U.S. elec-
tion campaign has ended. This will
put a great strain upon the ability
of the U.S. and Saigon to improve
the military stalemate that has
dragged on for two years at such a
high cost.
A careful assessment of the evi-
dence suggests that our position
next year will not provide a sizable
improvement over our current
prospects. If we need to seal off
the North before phasing down the
U.S. effort, the war is likely to last
for much longer than two years,
(2) Alternately we could escalate
the war by either engaging in a
massive destruction of North Viet-
nam, or by using chemical (or
even nuclear) weapons to seal off
the infiltration routes from North
into South Vietnam, or by puttting
a million men into the land war;
we could also try to invade North
Vietnam in an attempt at a "win-
the-war strategy" (such as the
Gallipoli landing tried in the First
World War or the Inchon Bay
landing attempted in the Korean
None of these escalations could
be guaranteed to provide a deci-
sive or "knock-out" blow and it is
probable that they would be exor-
bitantly costly to the U.S. in men
and material. Probably our most
tempting mistake will be to invade
the swamp lands of the Delta. This
could bog down U.S. forces and
waste as many lives as were
squandered in the trench war of
Flanders in 1917.
(3) The last option available is
to find some manner of de-escala-
ting the level of combat and the
area of conflict. Unfortunately,
misunderstandings have been aired
in the past about the concept of
'enclaves" a n d de-escalation.
Without rehearsing them, it can
be suggested that were U.S. troops
to withdraw to the coastal plains
(on which a large part of the
South Vietnamese population is
located), U.S. casualties and battle
operations could be significantly
Within this area it might be
possible for the Saigon Govern-
ment to repair its useless attempts
at nation-building; and the U.S.
could then afford to cease its



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