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March 19, 1968 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-03-19

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Seventy-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom

Foxy Rocky's Game: Hawk, Hawk, Goose

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.

ONE OF THE advantages a chal-
lenger for the Presidency in
1968 has over the incumbent is the
opportdnity to reflect in his cam-
paing statements the people's gen-
eral dissatisfaction with the Viet-
namese war without offering speci-
fic policy alternatives.
Thus Richard Nixon two weeks
ago swore up and down New
Hampshire that, if elected, he
would end the war in Vietnam.
How? He would say after the con-
vention in Miami or (alternately)
after the election.
But Nixon is a bungler. Even
promising to end the war is get-

praised Johnson's "tremendous
courage and tremendous capacity
for decisive action" in handling
the situation.
Later in the summer of 1965
Rockefeller repeated his stand. In
'a speech to a New York Armored
reserve division of the National
Guard he said, "I am convinced
that you feel-as I feel-that Pres-
ident Johnson merits the support
of free men everywhere for his
strong stand in Vietnam, and for
his manifest determination to de-
fend and save human freedom
from Communist aggression and so
ultimately to win a more certain



Breaking With. ROTC:
A Farewell To Arms

THE UNIVERSITY should terminate its
contractual relationship with the de-
fense department's Reserve Officer's
Training Corps program.
The University should cease providing
ROTC with academic accreditation, list-
ings in college catalogues, academic titles
for ROTC officers and free use of Uni-
versity facilities.
ROTC as it is set up is not a legiti-
mate academic undertaking, nor by its
nature could it ever be.
ROTC suffers from several academic
0 Qualifications of ROTC instructors
compare unfavorably with those of reg-
ular University academic staff. None of
them have doctorates and only a few
have masters degrees.
Despite an abundance of visual aids
and course outlines provided by the na-
tional ROTC offices, many of the in-
structors do little more than present
those outlines. Some even do a poor
job of that.
Lectures are perfunctory affairs often
composed only of filmstrips and diagrams
with little intelligent comment added by
the "professor."
0 The courses suffer from ambivalent
and sometimes conflicting goals. On the
one hand, the instructors would prefer to
teach - and the engineering students in
ROTC prefer to take - technical courses.
But these must be "toned-down" so that
the literary college. student in ROTC can
understand them.
On the other hand, some of the cour-
ses deal with the sociological and psy-
chological aspects of military life "which
the engineers wouldn't get anywhere
else." But these are trivial and probably
repetitious for literary college students.
THERE CAN BE no doubt that students
should not,, receive academic credit
for ROTC courses. That they still do is
only because the faculty up to now have
failed to investigate.
One faculty agency, the curriculum
committee of the literary college, is cur-
rently conducting a review of ROTC.
They are centering their investigation on
the issue of academic credit which the
college gives for ROTC, 12 to 15 hours for
completed four-year programs.

NOT ONLY IS ROTC as it now exists of
dubious academic quality. The very
reasons for its existence negate the pos-
sibility that it could be brought up to
University standards by improving the
quality of instruction or the substance of
the courses.
Behind the academic facade, the es-
sential fact remains that the Department
of Defense runs the ROTC program at
universities because it is an effective way
to encourage men of military age to en-
list and to train officers. But to train of-
ficers in no way requires education of
the quality (courses of substance, quali-
fied instructors) on which the University
must insist.
ROTC is in reality a soft boot-camp.
Its purpose is to integrate students into
the military. It would not add to the
benefit the military derives from it by
improving the academic standards of the
FURTHERMORE, the goals of ROTC
and the University are mutually incon-
sistent. ROTC produces military officers
-men trained to give and take orders in
a spirit of discipline and with respect
for authority.
The University, ideally, produces edu-
cated people - men and women who ask
questions instinctively, who accept noth-
ing on authority, who are seekers after
If the military wishes to run an ROTC
program and students wish to participate
in it, the University is neither obliged
nor justified in sponsoring the affair. Re-
ligious centers, for example, offer aca-
demic courses and the University does
not underwrite their programs. Neither
should the University have anything to
do with ROTC.
It is not sufficient that the University
withdraw academic credit from ROTC.
Any form of University co-operation with
ROTC units implies - in fact, is - ap-
proval of the quality of the program.
IN ESSENCE, the ROTC course offerings
are literally a facade-a throw-in de-
signed to gain University recognition. To
train officers does not require either the
machinery of academic courses or a uni-
versity environment.

"I am confident that you feel-as I feel-that
President Johnson merits the support of free
men everywhere for his strong stand in Viet-
nam, and for his manifest determination to
defend and save human freedom from Com-
munist aggression and so ultimately to win a
more certain peace ...
r.lasseesisa iisisassae sslimimnmsiis eses

emphasis from outright support
of the policy to outright support
of the President was a sign that
he was beginning to temper his
hard line-view of the war.
If so, that would have to wait
for a while. Rockefeller would
first have to concern himself with
winning a term as governor. Thus,
he make no comments about Viet-
nam cntil the governor's confer-
ence the following March.
At this conference, the Presi-
dent did not risk asking for sup-
port from the Governors as he"
had at the last three conferences.
But in spite of this, Rockefeller
volunteered: "He (the President)
deserves our support and the sup-
port of the people and the coun-
try." He also blasted dissent by
some democrats, saying "we go
a lot farther than his own party."
Two weeks later hell began to
break. George Romney, Rocky's
choice for the Republican nomin-
ation, pledged his support for the
President's Vietnam policy in a
speech at Hartford, Conn. Instead
of adding his own support, Rocke-
feller surprisingly chose to remain
silent. Some critics suspected that
Rockefeller was using Romney's
speech as a probe of public opin-
ion on the war.
correct then apparently Rocke-
feller saw that the country was not
entirely pleased with a simple
repetition of the Johnson doctrine.
On the other hand, he did not
want to turn abruptly from his
former support of administration
policy. Rocky's answer came on

"President Johnson merits the support of free
men everywhere. . ."

ting dangerously specific. The best
strategy a Presidential hopeful can
follow is to attack the war in gen-
eral terms, lambasting Johnson for
"failure to provide leadership,"
without ever saying what it is ex-
actly about the war he dislikes,
much less offering specific policy
For everybody dislikes the war.
The hawks don't think there's
enough of it. The doves think
there's too much. By committing
oneself only to "disliking" the war,
one can command the allegiance
of both.
THE VIRTUOSO practioner of
this technique could be Nelson
Rockefeller. For many years an
outspoken hawk, the New York
governor last year began to tone
down his comments on Vietnam
and now is refusing to take a
position for "lack of information."
Yet many liberal opponents of the
war reckon Rockefeller a dove.
While the logic behind their
conclusion borders on the incom-
prehensible, there is no doubt that
many believe it. Walter Lippman
said it for everyone when 'he de-
clared in a column headlined "The
Case for Rockefeller,"
For myself, I have never been
concerned about Rockefeller's
refusal to talk about Vietnam
or align himself as a Hawk or
a Dove. That is a politician's
tactic. I have never talked about
Vietnam with the governor be-
cause I feel the less he said the
freeer he would be to commit
himself to the inevitable task of
liquidating the war. I am sure
that he would have to liquidate
the war in order to be the kind
of President he can be and
wishes to be.
And if the polls can be trusted,
Rockefeller's success with the tac-
tic cp to now has been incredible.
In a Gallup poll published in Jan-
uary, 28 per cent of the people in-
erviewed said they believed Rocke-
feller was a hawk while 30 per
cent thought he was dove.
And with Bobby Kennedy's en-
trance into the 1968 presidential
race, Rockefeller chances for nom-
ination have risen considerably.
Republicans fear the outcome of
another Kennedy-Nixon clash
based more on personalities than
on issues. For if the Democrats
nominate Kennedy, the bulk of
Nixon's anti-Johnson appeal will
have evaporated.
Thus if it appears that Kennedy
has a good chance to emerge vic-
torious from the Democratic con-
vention in Chicago, Republicans
may have to choose Rocky if they
want to win in November.
WITH A Rockefeller candidacy
so distinct a possibility, it is im-
portant to understand the genesis
of his non-committal stand on
Vietnam in the light of history
and to study its evolution in the
perspective of politics.
There was a time when Rocky
was one of the strongest backers
of Johnson's Vietnam policy. In
July, after 1965, just after he of-
ficially dropped out of the 1968
presidential race, Rockefeller ap-
pearing on "Face the Nation"

THROUGHOUT the end of 1965
and the beginning of 1966 Rocke-
feller maintained his strong Viet-
nam war stand, a position largely
emanating from the fierce anti-
communist feelings which he had
professed all his life.
But at the beginning of Febru-
ary, 1966, his views began to show
signs of slight change. He started
to emphasize the importance of

formation to'form the basis for
making recommendations.
If Rockefeller was using Rom-
ney as a stalking horse, then he
realized that Romney gained his
greatest popularity when he claim-
ed he was not qualified to com-
ment on the war. The event that
clinched this realization came in
September. It not only dealt the
death blow to Romney's campaign
but became the major determinant
of Rockefeller's present Vietnam

he seemed to take notice of the
country's reaction to Roimney's
ASKED ABOUT the speech,
Rockefeller said, "It's too early
to tell the effect of this thing. He
has taken the offensive. He is
bringing;home the importance .
of knowing the facts. It's con-
ceivable that he can turn this
liability into an asset. I will con-
tinue to support Romney."
The pundits heralded the state-
ment as the first thaw in Rocke-
feller's position. On October 4,
the New York Times published a
story claiming that Rocky was
beginning to turn away from John-
son on the Vietnam issue. The
article cited the change in at-
titude of one of Rockefeller's for-
eign affairs advisers, Dr. Henry
A. Kissinger, as the cause of Rock's
However, the next day Rocke-
feller denied the report, saying,
"I have not said anything about
Vietnam and I am not going to,
except that I share th:- .ope that
an honorable settlement can be
ROCKY HAS -KEPT his word
He has since refrained from say-
ing anything about Vietnam, not'
even his old line that only those
who are informed should speak
out on the war. Even after Rom-
ney withdrew from the president-
ial race at the end of this last
February, Rockefeller maintained
silence. It is expected that he will
continue this policy until he fin-
ally decides to officially enter the
And that's where it stands now.
32 per cent of the American
people, more or less aware of what
Rockefeller has said, think he is
a dove. 28 per cent think he's a
hawk. And 40 per cent have "no
opinion." And that 40 per cent
is the key figure in the poll.
WHERE DOES Rockefeller, who
for all extents and purpose is an
announced candidate, go from
here? He can't run for President
on an "I don't know, I won't talk"
platform. It would be out of char-
acter for him to come out against
the war. The trend now is for
candidates to announce with af-
fected anguish that they don't
like the way the war is currently
being waged. That stance, the
"goose" position on Vietnam, may
be what Rockefeller will take.
For as long as Rockefeller can
hang loose and still convince 32
per cent of the American people
that he is a dove, and all the lib-
erals who see Rockefeller as -their
last ,and best hope will continue
to be outfoxed.


The Enemy Within

"If nominated, I will not run. . . If elected, I will not serve!"

THE REAL DANGER of Senator Robert
Kennedy's Presidential candidacy was
hidden in two little-noticed words ut-
tered during his maiden campaign press
conference on Saturday.
Not surprisingly, the New York Sena-
tor was asked to articulate his Vietnam
position and Kennedy obliged by offering
the standard mildly dovish concoction of
de-escalation, more participation by the
South Vietnamese, an end to the corrupt-
ion of the Thieu-Ky regime, and the rec-
ognition of the National Liberation Front
as a party to any peace talks.
All these suggestions might have re-
sulted in constructive peace talks had
they been applied in 1965. But due to the
time lag of American political response,
they represent little more than meaning-
less political rhetoric when offered as a
constructive program in 1968.
BUT THE TRUE nature. of Kennedy's
dissent emerged when the talk turned
to bombing halts.
Kennedy enunciated -his position as
follows: "The North Vietnamese have re-
fused to, come to the negotiating table
until we stop the bombing. I'm in favor
of taking that step. They have not re-
quested or suggested that it be done on
a permanent basis and, as I have said,
if the negotiations are unsuccessful or if
they use that period of time in a way
that is adverse to our military forces
there, then I think we can take retalia-
tory action."
Sounding slightly reminiscent of Dean
Rusk, Kennedy's advocacy of "retaliatory
action" indicates his belief that if Amer-
ica cannot win a satisfactory negotiated
peace, then this nation is totally justified
in continuing the carnage in Southeast
This.statement vividly illuminates the

The danger of such a political chamel-
eon is that many will be deluded by the
panaceas Kennedy appears to dispense.
And too few will notice that they're
mostly sugar water.
BUT MANY who are acutely aware of
Kennedy's flaws have argued in the
past few days that he must be supported
because only he can beat Lyndon John-
son at the Chicago convention.
While it is probable that Kennedy has
a somewhat better chance of defeating
Johnson than Senator Eugene McCarthy,
the odds against either of them pulling
off this political miracle are high enough
to destroy this as a valid practical con-
Furthermore this approach ignores the
important long term effects of the Ken-
nedy-McCarthy clash. For what we are
really witnessing is the first and probably
crucial round of a battle for control of
the Democratic Party in 1972 and there-
Supporting Kennedy on the very out-
side chance he can win in Chicago will
have the practical effect of bequeathing
the entire Democratic Party to the Ken-
nedy family until at the very least 1980.
A NEW KENNEDY ascendency will very
effectively lock the Democratic Party
into the Cold War myths of the early
sixties for the next decade.
It should be remembered that Ken-
nedy, beneath the external exuberance
of an eternal adolscent, is a veteran cold
warrior who was there during the missile
crisis, when we were eyeball to eye-
ball and the other side blinked.
Furthermore at a time when the Pres-
idency carries with it almost omnipotent
powers, there is an extreme danger in
electing a man who is worshipped bythe

backing the President because he
is President rather than supporting
Vietnam policy itself.
Folowing Johnson's resumption
of the bombing of North Vietnam,
Rocky called for bipartisan sup-
port of the President, saying that
any talk of Republicans' "capital-
izing" on Administration mistakes
was premature.
Rockefeller followed up this
position at the March, 1966 gover-
nors' conference. He seconded a
resolutios drawn up by the 41 gov-
ernors present which backed John-
son's handling- of the war. The
resolution stated that the Presi-
dent's policies were the "only ra-
tional ones to be followed under
the circumstances."
After the conference, Rockefeller
threw in his personal view of the
situation. "I don't really think this
is the time for politics. It is a time
for study and analysis and deep
concern for those who have given
their lives and are risking, their

June 9, 1967, just after he repeated
unequivivocally his denial that he
would be a candidate in the 1968
"I have supported the President
because he is our President and
supported him as our leader in
an action where American boys
are giving their lives. I do not have
the intelligence data or secret in-

On 9 September, George Rom-
ney announced to all the world
that he had been "brainwashed"
by American military advisers dur-
ing his visit to Vietnam the year
before. A week later, the Detroit
News withdrew its support of Rom-
ney and palled for Rockefeller's
entry into the race. Publicly, Rocky
didn't accept the suggestion, but


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