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Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15, 1967
NIGHT EDITOR: PAT O'DONOHUE
Anti-Draft Summer 1968:
Making Resistance Legal
TOMORROW several hundred to several
thousand men across the country
will return their draft cards to their local
selective service boards as part of a
nationwide draft resistance protest.
Those of us who lack a deep enough
commitment to emulate these draft re-
sistors can only admire their valour and
defend them against the inevitable on-
slaught which will follow their protest.
These protesters are correct in focus-
ing upon draft resistance as the key to
opposing the war in Vietnam. For the
draft is the one major aspect of this
country's aggressive foreign policy which
directly impinges upon the lives of shel-
tered middle class students, and their
parents. And without the draft, even in
this era of mass communication, only
the nation's sensitive, committed hu-,
manitarians would really be affected and
outraged by our actions in Vietnam.
The draft is equally important as a
manifestation of the deep dichotomy be-
tween a free society and a militaristic
one. While few will maintain that our
territorial integrity is directly menaced
by the war in Vietnam, young men are
still being compelled to kill, and-all too
often-to be killed by the power of a
state whose only possible justification
for this coercion is self-preservation.
DESPITE ever - increasing encroach-
ments on our freedom, the affluent
American still has a great deal of per-
sonal liberty, limited only by his relative
political impotence. The draft is one of
the few ways the coercive powers of the
government can profoundly alter and
even erradicate human lives with little
chance of evasion.
Yet in spite of the horror of the Ameri
can war of napalm and bombings in Viet-
nam, the vast majority of the war op-
position believes too deeply in the unal-
terability of the present system to risk
violating laws, even unjust laws, when
apprehension seems likely.
This is a lamentable, but understand-
able, symptom of the schizophrenia
which has engulfed the offspring of the
middle class. It is the symptom of those
who are alienated from materialism-
but are too comfortable to risk losing it.
Therefore those who will courageously
resist the draft tomorrow will probably
be martyrs to an abortive cause, rather
than the advance guard of a movement
which will fundamentally alter the
American power structure.
BUT THE hesitancy of most anti-war
youth to make the extreme sacrifice
of violating selective service laws should
not cause the draft to be neglected as
an arena of protest. Neither should
draft protest be limited, as it is now, to
those resolute few who are willing to
suffer the harsh penalties of the law.
Rather, an alternative form of draft
resistance must be found, which would
develop the mass base necessary for
Such a program must operate within
the existing legal framework to serve the
twin purposes of harassing-and to some
extent immobilizing - the warmakers
and preventing the impressment of
young men to fight a war which they
consider unjust and unnecessary.
The terrain of the legal system pro-
vides the battlefield most conducive to
this form of draft resistance. For the
draft laws, which reflect the confusion
of their drafters torn beween a convic-
tion of military necessity and an attempt
to maintain some semblance of freedom,
are ripe for legal challenge.
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For example, detailed and involved
appeals procedures clash violently with
such inane and totalitarian concepts as
the rule requiring men to carry their
draft cards at all times.
On a constitutional level, the issues
which can be raised stretch from the le-
gality of the entire draft in light of the
Thirteenth Amendment's prohibition of
"involuntary servitude" to the violation
of religious liberty in requiring a belief
in a Supreme Being on the part of con-
The much publicized case of Moham-
med Ali illustrates the time-consuming
and harassing tactics which can be
based on violations of due process in
Furthermore, in an er when most
other branches of the government have
been repressive or apathetic, the federal
courts have risen to become bastions of
Therefore, it becomes quite conceivable
that a massive challenge of all facets
of the draft law will yield some land-
mark decisions overturning part or even
crippling all of the selective service
THE IDEAL time for such a massive
draft protest will be next summer. If
current indications prove correct, almost
all male members of the Class of '68 and
a large portion of the current male grad-
uate students will then lose the immun-
ity of their student deferments.
Hitherto the selective service system
has been quite scrupulous about not re-
moving successful students from school
in the midst of an academic year.
But with the new draft law-unless
the government is willing to face the po-
litical consequences of maintaining the
de facto immunity of the predominately
middle class college student population
-a large number of these young men
will have to be drafted next summer.
The summer of 1968 is also a time of
intense political activity which will
probably culminate in an irrelevant Presi-
dential election. Since the candidates
most likely will be relatively indifferent
to 'the problems of war and peace, oppo-
sition to the Vietnamese war must be
kept at a crescendo.
Thus, what becomes vitally necessary
is the mobilization of massive financial
and legal resources pledged to support
the courtroom battles of potential draf-
tees against any and all parts of the
Such a program should also provide ex-
tensive draft counseling and a massive
education effort to mobilize potential
draftees. This will prevent young men
from accepting unchallenged their in-
carceration within the military establish-
ment. The expansion of the anti-draft
unions would be ideal to accomplish this
Such a recourse to the court system
should not overshadow or pre-empt the
efforts of those who are willing to con-
front the selective service through more
radical and extralegal means. These
same legal resources must also be pledged
to aid all those who are accused of draft
But in terms of contemporary realities,
it is almost certain that long and pro-
tracted legal struggles are the course
which most potential draft resistors will
choose to take. It is none too early to be-
gin the long and arduous task of mobiliz-
ing the necessary resources to support
such a massive and costly effort.
PERHAPS A Draft Summer 1968 will do
little to alter the balance of power in
this country or to radicalize the mass of
alienated college students.
Furthermore, because it is channeled
toward the imminent induction of college
students, such a program will-to some
degree-help perpetuate the high preva-
lence of Negroes and poor whites in the
However, such a program will have
several advantages which far outweigh
It would achieve the broadest possible
base for all forms of draft resistance and
confront the selective service system at
In Vietnam, the world of the
"field" and the world of Saigon
live side by side in stark contrast-
laughter and gaiety on one hand,
and terror and death on the
other. For one Saturday recently,
Associated Press Writers Peter Ar-
nett, winner of a Pulitzer Prize,
and Kelly Smith combined in keep-
ing a diary of the 24 hours in those
clashing worlds-life in cosmopoli-
tan Saigon and the fight for sur-
vival on the nearby battlefields.
Here is their reprt.
By PETER ARNETT
SAIGON - Dawn breaks over a
sleeping city. Its first pink
tones paint the red-tiled roofs of
suburbia and wash the roof gar-
dens of tall hotels lining the Sai-
gon river. Traffic barely stirs on
the shadowy streets. A helicopter,
itsrotor blades slapping the cool
morning air, drones overhead to-
ward the still mountains of the
On this Saturday men and wo-
men will play, dance and laugh
in Saigon; in the "field," some-
times only a few miles away, men
will die or be mutilated.
The two worlds exist together
in starkscontrast in Vietnam and
the roles of many of the people
who occupy them can easily be
reversed. No two days are exactly
the same anywhere, and especial-
ly in Vietnam.
But this is the way it was that
IN THE white-washed mansion
at 19 Doan Cong Buu, typical of
those occupied by Americans in
Saigon, a sleeper turns restlessly
at the noise but doesn't waken.
Gen. William C. Westmoreland,
commander of American forces in
Vietnam, reaches over to turn off
his alarm. It's 6:15 a.m. An aide
knocks on the door to make sure
his boss is awake. The tanned,
lean-faced general gets up, brush-
es his teeth and shaves.
Thirty miles northwest across
the canal-laced paddy fields now
brightening withamorning ight,
Lt. William Howard of Cordele,
Ga., crawls out of a shallow fox-
hole dug into the bank of a
country road. He brushes the
caked mud off his wet fatigues,
Saigon had welcomed the cool-
ing overnight rain, but for Ho-
ward and his platoon it was an-
other hazard in a night that had
them on 50 per cent alert because
of nearby Viet Cong. He had four
The grimy, unshaven lieutenant
searches through his pack, locates
a can of C-ration chicken noodles,
opens the olive drab tin, sits
down with his sergeants and
spoons the greasy mixture into
his mouth. Today is his 24th
BREAKFAST in Saigon is more
elaborate, with housemaids serv-
ingtfresh-baked French crois-
sants, hot coffee, fresh papayas
and pineapple, scrambled eggs
Westmoreland f i n i s h e s his
breakfast by 7 a.m., enters his
staff car at27:10 and spends an
impatient 20 minutes fighting
morning traffic en route to his
new headquarters called the
Pentagon East, one mile away.
Other Americans are going to
work: trim secretaries in mini-
skirts, career diplomats in im-
maculate Hong Kong tailored
suits, shirt-sleeved minor officials
attached to the labyrinth of U.S.
civilian missions in the capital.
There is a spring to their step
today because it's Saturday, a half
day of work that will permit
them to swim, golf and laze from
midday on in this clear; sunny
The same reddening sun means
another long, hot walk, another
12 hours hauling weapons and
ammunition for Howard and his
platoon from the 4th Batallion,
The men gather in loose for-
mations, swing their rifles to the
ready and move off cautiously to-
ward the booby-trapped under-
brush. They will sweep along the
edge of War Zone C, search for
Viet Cong guerrillas and destroy
tunnels, foxholes and enemy
SAIGON'S WAR game is shap-
ing up as one of words, papers,
typewriters and meetings. Barry
Zorthian, director of the Joint
United States Public Affairs Of-
fice, presides over the weekly 9:15
a.m. staff meeting in an air-con-
ditioned conference room.
Behind him, sitting against the
wall, a tanned, crew-cut Foreign
Service officer, anticipating a
tennis date, glances at his watch
and shifts in his chair, his gaze
wandering along the colorful bul-
letin boards on one wall.
The roar of high-powered artil-
lery shudders the flimsy wooden
structure where another 9:15 a.m.
meeting is under way.
limousines jam the narrow, tree-
U.S. Ambassador E 11 s w o r t h
Bunker, dressed casually in sports
shirt and slacks, shows his wife
the new American Embassy.
"Looks like a jail," says his blonde
The ambassador laughs good
naturedly. He's in an especially
fine humor today because his
wife, Carol Laise, whom he's not
seen for a couple months, has
arrived to visit from her post in
Nepal, where she, too, is a U.S.
NOON FOR Howard is a mo-
ment of terror-a blinding flash
of explosives that knocks him
into mud at the edge ofca paddy
field. The lieutenant had mo-
tioned his platoon behind him
and moved forward alone to help
a wounded soldier.
Howard tripped a booby trap
Grenade fragments drove into
his right and left arms and his
buttocks. "What a birthday pres-
ent," he muttered, grimacing in
pain as a helicopter rushed him
to a field hospital.
For the Saigon-based military,
this noontime is the weekly bar-
beque on the rooftop patio of the
Brinks officer's quarters in the
heart of the city, fresh potato
tennis game on court No. 5, one
AS WESTMORELAND lines up
for his first serve, against his
Vietnamese instructor, the first
vehicle in a 92-truck convoy on a
lonely road 40 miles northwest of
Saigon gets mired in thick mud.
Within minutes, the whole con-
voy is up to its axles in slime,
throwing all the operational
planning of the 25th Division out
of balance and threatening the
success of a series of major as-
saults planned later that day and
Simultaneously, in the Mekong
Delta to the south, Viet Cong
guerrillas are deserting bunkers
from which they tried to hold off
an attacking American river force,
losing 204 dead.
U.S. casualties in the vicious
two-day battle number 15 dead
and 125 wounded.
THREE HUNDRED miles to
the north, in Quang Nam Prov-
ince, U.S. Marines are picking up
the last of their 127 buddies killed
in 11 days of fighting.
U.S. jets are flying 97 missions
over North Vietnam, striking at
railroads, gasoline storage areas
and antiaircraft guns.
These figures are not yet pub-
lic. The three ambassadors, three
games. What they need is a night
on the town, but they never get
AT 4 P.M., afternoon betting is
brisk at the Saigon Race
track. The horsey set is pressing
against the grandstand r a i 1
watching the finish of the fifth
There are Vietnamese men in
silk slacks, doe-eyed girls in
graceful long ao-dais, wealthy
businessmen and a sprinkling of
Americans like Air Force Maj.
Tom Hartman of Evansville, Ind.
"Folks at home would never be-
lieve it, would they?" says Hart-
man, going to the betting win-
dow. "Looks like everybody in
town comes to the races on the
AT 4:45, Saigon-based report-
ers jaunter into the daily mili-
tary news briefings, They pick up
mimeographed news releases giv-
ing the official version of the
day's war, take seats in an air-
conditioned auditorium and pre-
pare to ask some questions of
three military spokesmen.
"Anything happen today in the
25th Division?" asks one.
"Nothing" is the laconic reply.
AT 4:45, Pfc. Robert Horn of
Grand Blanc, Mich., is creeping
Downtown Saigon: Liquor, Tennis, Pentagon East
salad and mouthwatering ribs,
chicken and spicy canapes.
It is joining shapely sunbathers
and swimmers from the U.S. Em-
bassy staff on the Saigon river
for an afternoon on what they
call the embassy yacht, a 40-foot
landing craft decked out as a
And it is the Cercle Sportif,
last stronghold of the country
club set, "an oasis of gracious
living in an ocean of drabness,"
as one Frenchman says.
AT 1 P.M., Peter Heller, deputy
chief of the embassy press cen-
ter, strolls up the shaded drive,
swimming bag in hand, and waves
to friends before changing into
swim trunks and ordering lunch
from a 50-item menu that in-
cludes the daily specialty, bouchee
a la reine.
There's Gerald Hickey, Rand
consultant, in a red bathing suit,
one of a hundred sunning in lawn
chairs; a table of American eco-
nomic attaches watching girls in
bikinis, an assortment of Ameri-
can field grade officers munching
sandwiches at the outdoor bar.
Westmoreland happens toarrive
today at 2 p.m. for a 50-minute
generals and the 200 Americans
putting on the 18-hole Saigon
golf course this afternoon are not
yet aware of the day's field
Twosomes stroll down the broad,
green fairways, Vietnamese girls
in coolie hats toting their golf
bags. They wear sports shirts and
Bermuda shorts, sun glasses and
Sam Snead style hats. Some 50
Americans sit around small tables
at the terrace snack shop being
served cool drinks by waiters in
"I write home and tell my folks
I'm teaching golf," says Spec. 5
Larry Stanfield of San Francisco,
"and they write back, 'Look, kid,
we know you've got it bad over
there. You don't have to make us
feel better.' "
THERE'S NO terrace bar in
the dirt lot of Cu Chi, only nine
men throwing bean bags in a
game similar to baseball. "Not
very sophisticated is it?" says
Laurae Fortner, Sterling, Colo.
"There's no real way to relieve
tension here," says Laurae, one
of seven Red Cross girls assigned
to the 15,000-man 25th Division,
"I feel silly asking them to play
through a hedgegrow when he
hears a pop. Knowing it to be
some kind of enemy device, he
Three seconds later, the device
Horn is thrown into the air
and remembers later he was dim-
ly aware of shrapnel piercing his
back and legs. He passes out.
BY 6 P.M., shadows are length-
ening. Ambassador Bunker and
his wife are walking along the
gaily decorated streets of Saigon's
Chinese section, shopping for a
paper lantern to hang for the
mid-autumn festival, which be-
Darkness comes suddenly to
Saigon, as to all tropical zones
astride the equator. Minutes after
the sun sets across the distant
paddies, a black curtain descends
over the city to be met with a
blaze of neon and streetlights.
Passersby barely notice the trans-
formation from dusk to dark.
On the veranda of the Conti-
nental Hotel, a favorite watering
place of Saigonese, patrons lounge
midst potted palms that stir in
the lazy breeze from a dozen ceil-
Waiters in white flit from table
to table dispensing gin-tonics,
martinis and various French aper-
tifs. A television at one end of
the open-air porch comes on with
the 7:30 news.
"The war was quiet with only
scattered ground action today,"
But the announcer's words are
lost in the babble of voices and
shouts for more drinks.
MOONLIGHT is the only i-
lumination at the southern edge
of War Zone C. Infantrymen of
the 4th Batallion are settling in
for a long night. Light drizzle is
drifting through the rubber trees.
Shivering, Pfc. Danny Anderson
of Midville, Utah, eats cold meat-
balls and beans. Enemy are near.
He is not permitted to light a fire.
Danny is picking at a wet pe-
can roll from his C-rations when
he responds to the whispered or-
der of his platoon sergeant to
move out for an all night am-
IN SAIGON Saturday night is
party tinie, the one night of the
week most peoplencan stay up
late without getting up to go to
work early the next morning. A
Korean band blares forth from
the roof of the Rex officer's billet.
The strains waft over the crowd
below and onto Tu Do street,
where the most noisy and gaudy
of Saigon's 40anight clubs and 400
bars are located. Traffic jams
every corner as nightclubbers
hurry to their destination.
From their dimly-lit lair on
the roof of the Majestic Hotel, bar
patrons gaze nonchalantly across
the river at bright military flares
dropping slowly around distant
"What's going on over there?"
a girl asks her escort.
"Nothing," he replies. "Don't
let it worry you." And he orders
another scotch soda.
BY 9 P.M., customers are being
turned away at Chez Jo Marcel,
where soft drinks cost $4 apiece.
Maxims, where drinks cost $7
each, is packed with high-living
Vietnamese and six Americans on
the dance floor.
Helicopter pilot Capt. Joseph
L. Bird of Crestview, Fla., is at
his batallion headquarters at Cu
Chi watching television. Utilizing
the commercial break, he goes to
the club bar for two 15-cent beers,
hands one to his copilot, Maj.
Charles T. Brown of Gastonville,
Pa., and sits down to watch the
last segment of "Wild, Wild
Their relaxation is short lived.
At 9 p.m., they are alerted for an
emergency troop lift. Thirty min-
utes later, television forgotten,
they are flying grim faced com-
bat troops deep into the marsh-
land to face the enemy.
A F T E R MIDNIGHT, Saigon
dies. Streets are dark and de-
serted. An occasional jeep with
armed guards patrols the empty
At 2:50 a.m., a light continues
to burn in a windowless room in-
side Pentagon East, the Saigon
headquarters of the Vietnam war.
Five desk officers face a darkened
wall illuminated with small lights
denoting tactical movements.
They will soon learn that at
2:50 a.m., a tank commanded by
Staff Sgt. Lee R. Bell, of Tusca-
loosa, Ala., was blown off route 1
by an enemy mine.
And one will duly note on a
small card that miraculously, Bell
and his crew were unhurt.
ANOTHER LIGHT shines in
Saigon, in the villa of a ranking
American diplomat. Eight men sit
around a table in a smoke-filled
room. It's nearing the end of an
eight-hour poker game that saw
$2,500 change hands. A political
attache from the U.S. Embassy
lost $900, more than a year's pay
for the maid who had set the
They make their way home
through the darkened streets at
5 a.m., the end of a long night
in whichdthe war was not once
MaJ. John Caron, of Greenville,
Ohio, was stirring about the same
time. He would pilot the fifth
helicopter in a 100-ship assault
soon in an area northwest of Sai-
gon long held by the Viet Cong.
As Caron shaves, the blistering
vibrations of a B52 strike a few
miles away, 27 miles from Saigon,
rocks his shaving bowl and
splashes water on his uniform.
AT DAWN, Caron and the heli-
copter armada are airborne. They
swing east towards Saigon, shim-
mering in the first rays of morn-
ing sun, hover briefly to regroup,
then head north for their destina-
tion with the enemy.
In Saigon, the roar of 100 heli-
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