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April 04, 1968 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1968-04-04

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.1 '-

Of4A14 ~idin 3a &iI


A bardoning


Seventy-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom

,y ~

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.



The Negotiation Feelers:
In the Beginning Was the Word

YESTERDAY'S announcement t h a t,
Hanoi is willing to go to the negotiat-
ing table came as a surprise no less to
Washington than . it did to the Com-
munist world. That Hanoi chose to nego-
tiate so early hopefully means that the
first steps have been taken toward end-
ing the conflict in Vietnam.
Many observers felt that perhaps Ha-
noi would wait months before deciding to
come to the conference table. Some now
think that the Hanoi regime has finally
settled on a "negotiate while fighting"
modus operandi. But even if this is the
case, the very fact that negotiations are
beginning does give reason for optimism.
So now the question becomes whether
the conferences will lead to a workable
and lasting peace amid so many unre-
solved difficulties that have thus far
prevented negotiation.
A BIG QUESTION is what recognition
the United States will give the Na-
tional Liberation Front (NLF). Until now
the American government has not been
willing to admit that the NLF is a gen-
uine expression of the Vietnamese na-
tionalistic sentiment.
The NLF has not been defeated. The
United States will not be able to deal
with the front as the Allies did with the
Germans at Versailles. Clearly, an ac-
quiescence on the part of the Adminis-
tration that the NLF is not just a front
for the international Communist con-
spiracy will be necessary if negotiations
are to be successful.
Another ,vital problem that will con-
front the American diplomats at the
conference table will be the role to be
given the charismatic Ho Chi Minh. If
Ho is really the people's choice, will the
United States recognize him as the legi-
timate leader of Vietnam?

Washington has said repeatedly that
America is involved in Vietnam for the
sole purpose of aiding the South Viet-
namese to determine their own form of
Will the American negotiators deal
with the assumption that the Thieu
regime is indeed the popular expression
of the Vietnamese people? The Admin-
istration may be required to re-explore
its support for the, Thieu regime in the
face of a refusal on the part of Hanoi
to accept the legitimacy of that regime.
If it does not, there is little hope for the
JN SPITE OF the negotiations, the
k fighting in Vietnam shows little signs
of abating. The military fortunes of- the
two sides could change each side's per-
ception of the efficacy of the negotia-
If Hanoi finds that its forces mili-
tarily can rid the country of "the
American menace," perhaps the North
Vietnamese will no longer find a com-
promise necessary.
Likewise, the political climate in the
United States may shift with changes in
the field in Vietnam. If Hanoi shows
signs that it can no longer sustain
American military pressure, a negotiated
peace may no longer look as appealing.
But despite the many difficulties that
surround the purported peace negotia-
tions, there is a reasonable chance that
peace'may be in the making. This is the
first time that both sides have been will-
ing to sit down together to discuss the
possibility of ending the war.
Hanoi's agreement to accept the United
States' offer to discuss peace will hope-
fully be the first step in a series to
achieve a permanent peace in Vietnam.

To the Editor:
EVEN THEIR euphoria cannot
justify the sophomoric aban-
donment of reason in which the
"senior" editor's indulged them-
selves in Monday's editorial on
President Johnson's decision not
o seek re-election. While not
wishing to argue the matter I
am prepared as are most Amer-
icans of goodwill to accept the
President's reasons for his decision
which to me represents a personal
as well as a public tragedy for this
nation and the world. I do not
think, however, that the facile as-
sumptions and distortions of the
truth which litter the editorial
;utter of the Daily should be al-
lowed to pass without some com-
It is as misleading to say that
"Johnson took the nation's helm
in a time of relative world tran-
quility; he gives it up in the midst
of a . . . war" as it would be to
remark on the tranquility of the
sea before the depth charges ex-
It is surely true that Johnson
entered office at a time of peril
in Vietnam, disaffection in Latin
America, and restlessness in Eur-
ope. The "relative tranquility" of
the period prior to his succession
no doubt must include the Bay of
Pigs, the Berlin crisis, the Cuban
missile crisis, the Polaris fiasco at
Nassau, the MLF failure, the In-
donesian-Malaysian confrontation,
the Indian-Chinese border clashes,
the Kashmir dispute, the war in
the Yemen, our worsening rela-
tions with Cambodia, and the con-
tinuing unrest in Brazil, Columbia,
and Argentina not to mention the
bitter Cyprus dispute.
Did the senior editors, one won-
ders, read, newspapers while in
high school or have they justdis-
covered a turbulent, unhappy
world at their doorstep? And make
no mistake, that world has been
and shall remain at their doorstep
whether they like it or not. We
cannot ignore the world, partly
because it will not ignore us. The
mere presence of America in her
economic and military power con-
stitutes a continuous intervention
in the life of this planet.
We live in a world where our
inaction looms as significant as
our action. To fail in our efforts to
feed India or Egypt, to withhold
economic aid from Yugoslavia or
Jordan or Israel-this would be
intervention as well. Of course,
we must balance our interests and
evaluate the ends we seek in giv-
ing such aid. Thus, to many who
condemn our Vietnamese policy
we would be justified in inter-
vening in South Africa-even if
this involves an intervention in
the internal affairs of a nation
whose government is indisputably
in control of its territory and is
recognized by the nations of the
world as legitimate government.
And if it be argued that this is
an oppressive minority govern-
ment then we have opened a Pan-
dora's box that would justify in-
terventions against a host of left
and right wing dictatorships. This
is not a hopeful path to interna-
tional law and order; and one may
argue that it is not a path upon
which the nations of the world
can allow too much traffic-not
even Chinese or North Vietnamese
THIS BRINGS us, happily, to
the "intervention" in Vietnam,
Thailand, and the Dominican Re-
public. Have these acts "discredit-
ed as untenable and immoral the

premise that America can assume
the role of the world policeman"?
Ignoring the question as to wheth-
er this as well as anti-Communism
(mentioned earlier in the editor-
ial) has in fact been the premise
or criterion of American foreign
policy under President Johnson,
we might well disagree over the
"untenable" portion of the charge.
Certainly not even the senior
editors of the Daily can charge us
with an unwanted presence in
Thailand. The legitimate and in-
dependent government of that
country has requested our presence
in aid of their independence which
they feel to be (as do many of the
nations of Southeast Asia) bound
up with the struggle in South
Vietnam. The "untenable" inter-
vention in South Vietnam has as
the President belatedly pointed out
to the American people on Sunday
night effected and affected great
changes in the political complexion
of Southeast Asia since the Pres-
ident's succession.
It would be well to notice that
some of the blemishes on the era
of "relative tranquility" in South-
east Asia prior to the President's
administration have subsided.
Indonesia is once again at peace
with her neighbors and ready to
progress to economic and political
stability with their new help.
Relations with Cambodia are
perhaps better now than at any
time since the very beginning {of
the Kennedy administration.

Burma has moved further from
Chinese influence and Lee Kuan
Yew of Singapore has affirmed the
need for American help in securing
the independence and freedom
for the nations of that part of the.
Indeed, all around the perimeter
of the Vietnamese conflict we have
seen the growth of confidence,
strength, and cooperation among
the states of Southeast Asia.
The intervention in the Domin-
ican Republic may now be -seen
as an effective and efficient aid
to order which has been confirmed
in the subsequent elections and;
peacefulness of that troubled na-
tion. And again if we be greeted
by an objection to the form or
integrity of those elections then
an argument for unlimited inter-
ventions against unrepresentative
governments may be directed
against almost every communist
state in the world today not in-
cluding North Vietnam which
doesn't bother with elections.
The bitter claims that the Dom-
inican or South Vietnamese elec-
tions are a sham by our standards
are usually made by the same
publicists who tell us that every
nation must be free to adopt its
own political system even if not a
democratic one.
Thus we witness a defense of
Ho's or Mao's contempt for elec-
toral process (they are, we are
assured, instinctively expressing the
will of the people) compared witn

a castigation of South Vietnam's
attempts at electoral expression
as not being democratic enough.
Agreed that such inconsistencies
are harmless when mouthed by
college editors and activists but
they carry a more ominous threat
to rational diagnosis of interna-
tional affairs when espoused in
the Senate or on the campaign
THE EDITORIAL emphasizes
with deadening repetition the im-
morality of the American position.
It is impossible to open the door
to discussion on this matter when
the senior editors evidently re-
gard themselves as the keepers of
the keys; but the arrogance of
their accusations is sufficient to
reassure all who may have doubted
that the "moral" among us are
as intolerant and parochial as ever
they were in the time of the In-
quisition and Salem trials. "The
more things change . .."
Finally, the President's domestic
record has been attacked as shat-
tering "the hopes to resolve Amer-
ica's domestic injustices"--hopes
no doubt inspired by the failure of
the Kennedy legislative program.
If President Johnson has "de-
stroyed the Civil Rights movement
and ushered in an era of urban
and social disorder" then he has
done it with the most extraor-
dinary collection of model cities,
civil rights, education, rent sub-
sidies, medicare, and other social

AA g'
v--C4 ;1 Art ' rr~
5Q r ki 1:4:.
' p. y/

legislation in the history o. this
The charge that the President
has "stifled dissent with reckless
abandon"' and the no doubt well
considered legal-historical judg-
ment that the Spock-Coffin in-
dictments are "the greatest single
threat to civil liberties since the
Palmer raids of 1919" belong so
clearly to the world of the asylum
at Charenton that I must assume
a typographic error has interposed
an extract from the Marat-de
Sade. If I am wrong in this and
the opinions are in fact those of
the senior editors then I am forced
to consign them to the rhetorical
dust-bin to join Governor Rom-
ney's washed brain and back is-
sues of The Daily.
The paranoia, the irrational
vitriol, the hysterical dema-
goguery which have characterized
so much of the opposition to the
President-sadly, especially on the
campuses-have been abundantly
demonstrated by the senior editors'
editorial. It is a pity that they
should persist at a time when the
President has made so unparal-
leled a gesture to restore goodwill
to the necessary and portentious
debate on the great issues that
confront us.
-Stephen E. Miron,'68L
To the Editor:
W E, THE undersigned, would
like to comment on the edi-
torial which appeared on the front
page of Monday's extra issue of
The Daily. While we cannot con-
done the innuendo and exaggera-
tion that permeated that; editorial.-
we accept it as normal for The
What we cannot accept and
what we herein protest is the re-
fusal of The Daily editors to rec-
ognize and commend an act of
political courage and the attempt
of the editors to obscure with mali-
cious innuendo and exaggeration
the significance of the President's
act on Sunday evening. Each of
us doubted or disagreed with some
aspect or aspects of the President's
various policies, but we realize that
to recognize the act for what it is,
is not to now agree with the poli-
cies with which we previously dis-
The bitterness of your editorial
was uncalled for.
-Dennis C. Kolenda, '69
-Andrew A. Meade, '70
And 13 other students.
To the Editor:
QUIZ ON President Johnson's
speech: True or False
We are halting 90 per cent of
the, bombing in North Vietnam.
We are halting bombing over 90
per cent of Vietnam.
We are halting bombing over all
of North Vietnam except the de-
militarized zone and a little extra
here and there.
We aren't halting the bombing,
but bombing more in fewer places.
We are halting 90 per cent of
our F-111's over North Vietnam.
We are de-escalating the war
by sending in 13,500 more men and
saving planes by curtailing some
flights over North Vietnam.
My son-in-law, Robb, is going
to Vietnam, so I am calling for
a peace conference. I hope Hanoi
acts with the same restraint,
and finally.:
I won't accept the nomination
of my party in August.
-David M. Shapiro, '70



T e rimester: Study Needed

FOR BETTER or worse, the trimester
will be with us until at least 1971.
That is, it will be with the University, for
by the time the Senate Advisory Com-
mittee on University Affairs and the
Faculty Assembly get around to "review-
ing" the trimester system, all current
undergraduate classes will have gradu-
SACUA Monday passed up an oppor-
tunity to study the trimester system by
approving a report to the Faculty Assem-
bly favoring the continuation of the tri-
mester until 1971. This was an unfortu-
nate choice, for there are many contro-
versial aspects of the trimester that will
now be ignored until then. They deserve
to be given more careful consideration
before the University binds itself to this
system for three more years.
The academic calendar through 1970
shows that there have been some modi-
fications in the time periods of the tri-
mesters from previous and current
schedules. For example, next year the
break between fall and winter semesters
has been extended, but this has neces-
sitated some peculiar inconsistencies in
the other breaks. Next fall, the period of
classes between Thanksgiving recess and
the beginning of study days is four days.
THE MAJOR burden of the trimester
lies with the faculty. While the actual
number of weeks in class is approxi-
mately the same for trimester and regu-
lar semester, the time span of the term
is considerably less.
This means that there is less time for
students to do outside-of-class work,
such as extended research and papers.
Instructors, realizing this, either find al-,
ternative ways to exact performance
from students, or lower their standards.
Some instructors have revised the work-
loads in accordance with the shorter
time, but many have not.
Faced with an overbearing workload,
some students now take incompletes for
one or more classes each term. This only
further burdens the instructor with the
necessity of dragging out work from one
class often into as much as two complete
terms. To meet this eventuality, the
teacher may choose not to allow the stu-
dent to take an incomplete, thereby in-
creasing the pressure on the student.

able, many students complain about the
difficulty of compressing a semester's
work into the, shorter trimester term.
It has also been the practice to have
only one vacation period during each
term. In the Fall term, this has generally
corresponded with the Thanksgiving
holiday, but the "Spring" recess has no
apparent relation to anything besides
the needs of the calendar. Aside from the
inconvenient timing of the breaks, the
fact that there is only one per term
means that during at least one two month
stretch there is no break in the monotony
of classes. Further, these breaks being
near the end of the term or near mid-
terms usually means that they become
four-day weekends devoted to catching
up on reading and papers instead of
On the other hand, what is only a half
term under the semester system becomes
a full Summer term with the trimester.
This full-time school allows an under-
graduate to receive a bachelors degree
in two and two-thirds years of year-
round study.
The University's division of the Sum-
=mer term into two halves allows the stu-
dent to attend half of the Summer term
taking regular courses, leaving the other
half of his summer free. It also provides
a student with a convenient excuse for
not going home for at least half of the
The lengthened summer is a mixed
blessing to students not in school. Early
commencement often means that stu-
dents seeking jobs get the jump on those
in other schools which remain in session
until June. But many summer jobs are
tailored to "normal" summer vacations,
and employers do not begin hiring until
June. It it not uncommon to find a stu-
dent unable to' find employment for the
whole first part of the vacation.
THE RELATIVE advantages and disad-
vantages of the trimester system have
not yet been resolved. In the students'
eyes, the glamour of the longer vacation
tends to overshadow the increase in work
and the decrease the amount of material
presented. The administrators see the
advantages of year-round school and its
implicit lowered expenses. The faculty
sees increased work, and a shorter timef


A Reply: On Fundamental Misconceptions

Editorial Director
1jHE DAILY generally does not
publicly answer letters to the
editors. Sometimes we genuinely
feel that a reader has caught us
with our pants down. Sometimes
the issue isn't significant enough
to deserve a rebuttal. Usually, we
figure we have had our say and
the reader should be able to have
his without us sneaking in the
last word.
But the letters provoked by the
Senior Editorial in The Daily's
extra edition Monday deserve re-
sponse. They levy serious criti-
cisms; they are cogently argued,
Mr. Miron's especially; finally,
they indicate, I think, that the
editorial has been to some extent
at least, misread.
It did not, for example, as some
of the letters implied, constitute
an 'attack on President Johnson
the man. It attempted to analyze
"the historical significance of his
disastrous administration." The
key to this is the second para-
For the five years of John-
son's Presidency have high-
lighted the fundamental mis-
conceptions underlying Amer-
icancforeign and domestic
Thus, the editorial concerned
itself with the policies which
Johnson, because he has been a
strong President, has been able
to bring to fruition. The John-
~nn ndincain has indeed

and rigid approaches which are
part of Johnson's historical tra-
dition are.
And if Johnson's successor does
not change these approaches, is
not willing to experiment, then
the only difference will be one of
personnel. In other words, the
"euphoria will have been wasted
on a cruel and tragic deception."
MR. MIRON'S attack on the
assumptions of the editorial de-
fines the issue at a level where
debate can take place. He does
not agree that the policies under
fire have failed. For example, Mr.
Miron writes:
If President Johnson has
"destroyed the Civil Rights
movement and ushered in an
era of urban and social dis-
order" then he has done it
with the most extraordinary
collection of model cities, civil
rights, education, rent subsi-
dies, medicare and other so-
cial legislation in the history
of this nation.
But doesn't this beg the ques-
tion? How successful have these
programs been?
The Civil Rights Bill, although
a major step forward, has changed
conditions very little. The South
has found ways of getting around
the Civil Rights Bill just as it
found loopholes in the 14th
Amendment in the years after
the Civil War. This is not to con-
demn the law as, a total failure
-i rathr+ . nnint nii hat it

tacking the problems of Northern
The war, of course, has pre-
vented major expenditures for
welfare programs, although it is
admittedly dubious whether Con-
gress would have approved such
expenditures anyway. But money
is far from the only problem.
as they have been established
seem to have been enacted with
little insight into the needs of the
people they were designed to help.
Sociologists, historians and citi-
zens - both black and white -
have told us again and again that
Negroes in the Northern ghettos
need a culture, a consciousness,
an identity, a sense of manhood.
Social welfare programs, which in-
herently smack of paternalism,
provide little for and often work
against this need.
No one has developed a "right"
program to solve the problems of
the ghetto. Some have argued
that riots at least have the virtue
of building a Black Consciousness
and a Black Brotherhood. Others
contend that decentralization, lo-
cal control of the school system
and of the ghetto economy
through black cooperatives are
the answer. Any approach, how-
ever, must take this psychology
into account if it is to be suc-
The point of all this is that it
has taken a President who has
been able to enact these stale so-

in Mr. Miron's discussion of for-
eign policy.
THE LETTER opens this ar-
gument by attacking the state-
ment in the Senior Editorial that
"Johnson took the nation's helm
in a time of relative world tran-
quility; he gives it up in the midst
of a tragically unnecessary and
immoral war." It is certainly true,
as Mr. Miron points out, that in
the years preceding the Johnson
administration there had been
the Bay of Pigs incident, the Ber-
lin crisis, the Cuban missile cri-
sis, etc.
But the words of the editorial
were "relative tranquility;" and
these incidents do pale in com-
parison to a war which has re-
sulted in the fourth longest cas-
ualty list in American history, to
a war in ' which over 500,000
Americans are now engaged.
The rest of Mr. Miron argu-
ment is built on the premise that
"we live in a world where our in-
action looms as significantly as
our action." And although he does
admit that "we must balance our
interests and evaluate the ends
we seek in giving such aid," he at
no time undertakes such an evalu-
ation. Out of his letter comes no
consistent notion of what the goals
of American foreign policy should
Thus, Mr. Miron contends that
"to many who condemn our Viet-
namese policy, we would be justi-
fied in intervening in South
Africa" on the principles that

quested it. Now the government of
South Africa is legitimate and in-
dependent in the same sense as the
government of Thailand. If South
Africa-beset by internal strife or
attacked by an amed foe-called
for American assistance would Mr.
Miron have the United States give
If the United States intends to
devote $30 billion a year and hun-
dreds of thousands of men to sup-
port every legitimate and inde-
pendent government which needs
help in putting down revolutions in.
the coming years, it is going to be
spending a lot of money and losing
a lot of men. Either the United
States must decide not to inter-
vene anywhere, or not to commit
itself so totally as in Vietnam, or
to draw a line on whom it will and
will not support.
Mr. Miron has done the latter,
apparently. He has, we must pre-
sume, decided the United States
should support legitimate and in-
dependent governments which re-
quest U.S. aid. The, use of the
words "legitimate" and "indepen-
dent" is key here.
It implies that the United States
will support the status quo in
every instance, whatever the status
quo is. In the context of a world
where revolutions against -un-
democratic and elitist govern-
ments, rooted in the principles of
social justice, happen every day,
for the United States always to
support the "legitimate" and "in-
dependent" government seems re-


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