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October 28, 1967 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-10-28

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Seventy-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom


Where Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICI-H.
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.



Halloween Is a Time for the
Great Pumpkin of Witchunts

This is the first of a two part
series by Jeffrey Goodman, Editorial
Director of The Daily in 1965-66, and
is a graduate student in sociology
at the University of Chicago. He and
other members of Students for a
Democratic Society recently talked
with representatives of South Viet
Nam's National Liberation Front in
THE TERM war of national
liberation is far from a propa-
gandistic distortion as applied to
South Viet Nam. It is an accurate
description of the genuine struggle
of a whole population against
foreign and domestic aggression.
However, the people engaged in
that struggle are winning it. They
are determined to continue fight-
ing until their country is com-
pletely liberated, and almost with-
out doubt they will be militarily
and psychologically capable of do-
ing this.

ance of schools in the liberated
that the Vietnamese we spoke
with were not telling us the com-
plete truth about such matters as
the extent of North Viet Nam's
military operations in the South
or the extent of Communist in-
fluence in the Front. Yet it was
possible to understand their par-
tial incompleteness on these points
in a way which did not condemn
it as a willful attempt to deceive
us. Hearing constantly about
Americans' deep suspicionsaand
fears of Comnmunism, the NLF
representatives naturally felt we
would be overly sensitive to such
issues and would therefore mis-
judge the true nature of their

these camps do not soon return to
their land, then the hamlets often
become NLF strongholds.
A VILLAGE or hamlet is secure
only if it contains a large number
of American or Saigon troops.

carry on a good deal of political
organizing. There are well-or-
ganized underground systems and
substantial guerilla bands, which
can successfully attack govern-
ment and U.S. posts and escape
into friendly neighborhoods or

In the liberated zOnes they (the NLF) have
established a remarkably stable and demo-
cratic government which is so popular and
well organized that it has held up . . . under
the awesome military opposition.. .
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growingly restive over the stalemate
in Vietnam, it becomes increasingly plau-
sible that this frustration will manifest
itself in a "witch-hunt" against the vocal
and persistent student left.
A massive initial step in this direction
came with the revelation this week that
the Senate Internal Security subcom-
mittee under the leadership of Senator
James O. Eastland (D-Miss.) is under-
taking a broad and far-reaching investi-
gation of the National Conference for
New Politics (NCNP) and the organi-
zations which participated in its fractious
convention last month in Chicago, in-
cluding Eastland's major nemisis, the
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
The significance of the Senate 'sub-
committee's unanimous action is further
heightened by the fact that its member-
ship includes a cross-section of Northern
liberals and moderates as well as a goodly
assortment of the antebellum Southern
Democrats and reactionary Republicans
who comprise the larger and more
famous House Un-American Activities
radical, subversive, and un-American
than the teach-in held here at the Uni-
versity early this month. It would there-
fore be obvious that if NCNP is fair game
for the "red-baiters," a major tour of
the nation's campuses is likely to be
next on the subcommittee's itinerory.
Some members of the committee and
many other observers have undoubtedly

been pacified by the proviso that the
security subcommittee's sessions will be
closed to the press unlike televised politi-
cal circuses of the past.
Even though the closed hearings will
be devoid of the public glare, it should
be recognized that the mere fact of
NCNP being investigated by Congress, re-
gardless of the conduct or the outcome
of the probe, will seriously debilitate the
basic political freedoms of the organiza-
tion and its members by casting a spectre
of subversion over their present and sub-
sequent activities.
1 HE ACTION BY THE Senate Internal
Security subcommittee is not germaine
to the legislative activities of Congress.
Such an inquiry will only serve to dras-
tically raise the price of dissent, and in-
crease political cleavages which are rend-
ing this country apart.
The most effective way to halt the
current Senate investigation is to chal.-
lenge, every action of the subcommittee
in the courts. These challenges should
be undertaken by both individuals and
institutions like the University who
should refuse to co-operate with the com-
mittee's subpoenas.
But the only permanent solution to
this investigatory cancer is to abolish the
Senate Internal Security subcommittee,
its big brother, HUAC, and that peculiarly
American admixture of patriotism and
paranoia which have spawned these leg-
islative monstrosities.

if Vietnam

Otherwise it is most likely impos-
sible for the Saigon government to
function in the locality at all.
Government officials are "punish-
ed" or, in fact, work with the NLF
The Front is able to carry on
some or all of its administrative
and political functions. The village
contains NLF partisans who will
attack U.S. troops, without being
betrayed, and an extensive system
of tunnels, trenches and shelters
against bombing raids.
In other places a village which
seems to be partially secure may
actually become a staging area
for NLF attacks and an arm of
the Front's intelligence network.
Much of what the Front might
be unable to accomplish during
the day car be done at night.
In fact, the situation today is
better for the NLF than it was
in 1965, before the major U.S.
troop buildup and the bombing of
North and South began. Ameri-
can forces have not even been
able to maintain the unstable
status quo which they inherited
at that time.
The cities are also increasingly
coming under NLF control, though
the Front admits that its power
there is limited and probably can-
not be extended very much far-
ther. Yet in every urban center
there are large areas in which

through them into the country-
side. Supplies brought into the
cities are very often successfully
THE CONVERSE of this situa-
tion, the NLF representatives ex-
plain, is that there has been no
major offensive by U.S. troops
since the highly unsuccessful
Junction City operation last year.
The great majority of U.S. troops
are concentrated around coastal
bases and cities, virtually all of
which the NLF has encircled, has
frequently penetrated (e.g., Da
Nang), and could overrun if
troops moved out into the coun-
Approximately 250,000 troops.
for instance, are tied down in the
Eye Corps area in the northern
part of the country. It is here
that the main force of North
Vietnamese troops - whose pres-
ence the NLF would not admit-
operates. These Northern soldiers
probably number no more than
50,000, and the great majority
entered the South only after the
U.S. began bombing the North. For
the most part they are engaged
only in diverting American troops
from the NLF forces.
Search and destroy missions,
on the other hand, were said to be
largely unfruitful, and to a con-
siderable extent, we were told,

the villages, transportation routes
and cities is fairly well substanti-
ated. The same can be and has
been said for the fruitlessness of
troop forays, the success of at-
tacks on American bases, the im-
possibility of holding territory,
the relative infrequency with
which American troops are able
to engage and decisively defeat
NLF forces. etc.
At the same time, there is cer-
tainly no obvious reason to believe
the U.S. press more than the NLF.
Indeed, the latter's interpretations
make for more sense when one re-
calls the heavy U.S. casualties, the
lack of visible military progress in
any way commensurate with the
size of the American commitment.
and the length of time the war
has dragged on.
Perhaps the total picture is not
quite as rosy as the NLF repre-
sentatives painted it, but there
cannot be any doubt that they are,
in the final analysis, winning the
JUST WHAT IS the nature of
the NLF that has enabled it to
repulsefAmerican aggression so
successfully?: In answering this
question, the three Vietnamese
provided us with an appreciation
not only of their own movement
but also of national liberation
movements in general.
Probably the Front's most im-
portant strength is its ability to
mobilize the entire population in
the areas it controls. The NLF
representatives insisted, in fact,
that the war in their country is
not a guerrilla war but literally
a people's war; this is precisely
the "facelessness of the enemy"
which has been so frustrating to
American military and political
The regular NLF troops are only
one of three layers of armed peas-
ants. Beneath these Liberation
Armed Forces are somewhat less
regular regional units, which in




Burning a U.S. jeep

Inadequate Draft Counsel

. apparently failed to provide compe-
tent draft counseling for students. SGC
draft counselors are scarce and rarely
available; each one may have a broad
knowledge of draft laws, but expert ad-
vice in the complex areas of draft legis-
lation is not provided.
The majority of the eleven counselors
are students at the University, the re-
mainder being Ann Arbor residents who
are employed full-time. Because of their
limited free time, these people do not
provide an adequate counseling schedule.
When the Department of Defense an-
nounces the list of "essential" graduate
fields later this fall, the lack of scheduled
time will be made embarrassingly clear
to hundreds of seniors and graduate stu-
dents in "non-essential" fields will be
seeking draft advice. The limited number
of counselors will not be able to handle
the situation.
All of the counselors were trained this
summer at a weekend workshop where
they gained a general knowledge of the
draft laws. Unfortunately, the personnel
did not specialize in individual areas so
that there are no experts for the compli-
cated divisions of draft legislation. If a
student with a difficult technical pro-
blem seeks advice at SGC, he will not be
able to get the answers from the average
agency advisor, nor can he be referred to
an expert within the service. This lack
of expertise limits SGC's new service or-
ganization to a small group of well-in-
formed people incapable of dealing with
the most difficult, technical, and im-
portant cases they will receive.
SGC COULD IMPROVE the quality of
the counseling service by first train-

ing more general counselors and then
having the present staff specialize in
separate areas of draft legislation.
If the existing personnel were properly
trained, they could train other people.
Each counselor should thoroughly teach
four or five other students the basic pro-
visions of draft laws. With 50 more coun-
selors SGC will be able to handle the
expected rush of seniors and graduate
students as well as be prepared to cope
with other situations involving a large
body of students.
To deal with cases too difficult for
personnel with broad training, each of the
eleven present 'staff members should
choose a field of draft legislation and be-
come expert in that field through con-
sultation with lawyers and become ex-
pert in that field through consulattion
with lawyers and professional draft
counselors. The presence of these ex-
perts within the service would make it
better qualified to advise the variety and
complexity of problems liable to arise.
must announce its recommendations
concerning graduate deferments by De-
cember 31, 1967. This deadline gives SGC
a maximum of two months to recruit and
train the counselors needed for success
in the first major test of the draft
counseling service.
SGC formulated the valuable idea of
creating a draft counseling service, but
it must now work hard and fast to rea-
lize that ideal and provide the student
with competent draft advice.

Already, in fact, they claim to
have liberated 80 per cent of its
territory and two , thirds of its
population. In the liberated zones
they have established a remark-
ably stable and democratic gov-
ernment which is so popular and
well organized that it has held up
and even become stronger under
the usually abhorrent and always
awesome military opposition of
the most powerful nation on earth.
THESE THEMES were stressed
by three representatives of South
Viet Nam's National Liberation
Front with whom a dozen other
members of Students for a Demo-
cratic Society and myself spoke
for over six hours. The Vietna-
mese spoke in voices charged with
deep feelings of justice, pride and
confidence, and the meeting-held
in Montreal early this month -
provided some rare insights into
the nature of events in Viet Nam.
Our informants were two men
and a woman: Ly Van Sau, 37, a
former teacher of literature; Le
Mai, 27, a former education stu-
dent at the University of Hue;
and Mrs. Nguyen Ngoc Dung, 34,
a former medical student. All
three had joined the Front when
it became apparent to them that
until their country was liberated
there would be no place in it for
them, at least no place which did
not involve complicity in its sup-
All three are members of the
Union of Students for the Libera-
tion of South Viet Nam, one of
the component organizations of
the NLF, and are engaged in or-
ganizing students. The union is
also responsible for the mainten-

With respect to other informa-
tion which we might have doubted
on the basis of what the U.S. gov-
ernment or press say, moreover, it
seems obvious there was no reason
whatsoever to put more faith in
those reports than in the NLF
representatives. In fact the Viet-
namese seemed far more credible,
both as persons and in their grasp
of the situation. And while this
still does not mean we accepted
everything we were told, we did
feel that the NLF representatives
were amazingly open, sincere and
ONE OF THE most impressive
parts of the NLF representatives'
discussion dealt with the basis for
their conviction that the Front
has won the war militarily. There
are two specific senses in which
they claimed this is true:
1) The NLF has steadily ex-
tended the territory under its con-
trol to include virtually all of the
countryside and fair-sized areas in
the cities.
2) It has pushed the American-
Saigon forces into extremely de-
fensive positions; the latter are
almost wholly occupied with de-
fending militarynbases, a few
refugee hamlets and villages, the
cities, and transportation routes,
most of which are highly insecure.
The NLF representatives told us,
for instance-and the New York
Times confirms their statement---
that no more than 167 in a total of
14,000 villages in South Viet Nam
are considered secure. The story is
the same with respect to the stra-
tegic hamlets; if the peasants who
are made into refugees to populate



Saigoners opposing the Saigon regime

Saigon troops, even on visits to
their families, are not safe while
in uniform.
The Front claims to have in-
formers in almost every govern-
ment agency, and it is able to

SLetters to the Editor

Student Housing Reforms

newly formed Student Rental Union
shows promise of becom'eing a major veh-
icle as a lobby for student apartment
dwellers. Already established as a legit-
imate and fairly effective agency for
voicing individual tenants' grievances, the
union needs more student support if it
wants to attack the underlying causes
of tenant-landlord conflicts.
One cause is landlord negligence, us-
ually in returning damage deposits and
making maintenance repairs. SRU is get-
ting results by informing student tenants
of their legal rights and by pressuring
landlords about individual complaints.

A significant problem, however, is
that the vast majority of Ann Arbor land-
lords still use twelve-month leases, for-
cing students to sublet their apartments
at drastic losses during the four month
summer. The only way the housing as-
sociation will be able to bring about a
change to eight-month leases is by dir-
ecting mass student action against the
landlords as a unified body.
SRU's PLAN FOR a boycott is feasible
only if the agency is supported by a
large majority of the student tenant
population. Manifestation of that sup-
nort must come from increased student


To the Editor:
three points the basis for his
defense of classified research in
the university (Daily, Oct. 26).
(1) Proprietary research is, in
fact, an established tradition in
various non-defense oriented pro-
grams (M.D.'s - patient proprie-
tary, Lawyers - client proprie-
ty, Engineers-Patent Propriety).
(2) Any restrictions on such re-
search would constitute a viola-
tion of academic freedom.
(3) There is a precedent for
such military research which was
set during World War II (Radia-
tion Lab. at M.I.T., Manhattan
Project); few of us would take
issue with their necessity.
Let us be absolutely clear from
the outset - secret research is an
evil. It is evil in that it violates
the basic principal underlying all
pursuit of knowledge - that the
results of such inquiry be avail-
able for universal judgment. The
merit of some particular research
is determined by the extent to
which that concerned segment of
the intellectual community is
compelled, by the weight of its
evidence and logic, to accept its
conclusions. To exclude a portion
of one's peers from this decision
process is to judge with an in-
complete jury. There should be
no need to emphasize the hege-
mony of this principal in aca-

searchers is not the name of the
client involved but the case his-
tory and this in no way is undis-
closable by professional ethics. In
the case of patent secrecy, Pro-
fessor Brown must demonstrate
what greater evil will ensue by
engineers' refusing to accept such
a contract from General Motors.
Can one legitimately sacrifice an
intellectual ethic in the interest
of fatter research grants?
to academic freedom is more
subtle, but equally spurious. He
and his colleagues are perfectly
free to pursue their research. All
I demand is permission to inspect
their results. In fact, the present
system which tolerates confiden-
tial research on campus is violat-
ing academic freedom - mine.
No one is attempting to dictate
what research may or may not be
conducted in the university, only
that it be free and open. If Pro-
fessor Brown sees this as a vio-
lation of academic freedom, then
he must likewise view the entire
foundation of scientific inquiry as
a threat to his integrity.
There remains P r o f e s s o r
Brown's third point. Although
confidential research is an evil, it
is necessary in order to avoid a
greater evil. Most of us would
agree that the Manhattan Project
was such a necessary evil. At that
time Germany was a clear and

defense posture". A case can be
made that, indeed, our defense
posture is overadequate. In any
event, the onus is on Professor
Brown to demonstrate that with-
out the aid of the university, our
defense posture would necessarily
be inadequate. Why is it essential
that the university sacrifice its
principal of free inquiry if an
adequate defense can be main-
tained without its aid? After all,
there are any number of corpor-
ations and private research insti-
tutse which are delighted to
whore for the military. There are
any number of academics who
consult for these groups. Why un-
necessarily prostitute the univer-
sity? If there is any clear and
present danger to the United
States it is the American Mili-
tary, as is abundantly evident by
recent actions taken against
North Vietnam. Professor Brown
alludes to this danger: "If the
military happens to go down the
wrong road, perhaps the State
Department isn't functioning
properly." And perhaps academia
isn't functioning properly. Cer-
tainly this road was well car-
peted by some of Professor
Brown's colleagues for the recent
visit to the university of Rear
Admiral Brown.
Professor Brown is asking us to
sacrifice a principal in the inter-
est of maintaining an adequate

U.S. and Saigon troops are more
often on the defensive than the
offensive. While they can and do
capture supplies and may kill a
fair number of liberation troops,
there is no way for them to hold
onto territory without.committing
hundreds of soldiers to its phys-
ical occupation.
"Pacification" or "revolutionary
development" teams-for the most
part composed of draft dodgers,
criminals and sons of the upper
classes-are rarely sufficient for
this job, since they can be picked
off fairly easily.
In addition, the NLF insists
that reports in the U.S. press
greatly deflate American casual-
ties, including the number of
planes downed over North Viet
Nam. Though U.S. bombing and
shelling in the South do take a
heavy toll of South Vietnamese,
they have yet to break the power
of the resistance movement.
THIS THE NLF is convinced it
has demonstrated to the U.S. that.
its strategies are not militarily
viable.rThe Front pointsrout that.
the U.S. has increasingly turned
to a policy of genocide and total
destruction as the only way to
defeat the insurgency. The NLF,
on the other hand, is determined
to fight for another 10 or 20 years,
an~d it is convinced the South
Vietnamese people are also just
as determined.
Of course most Americans will
find this interpretation of the
military situation hard to believe
-as we did at first-since it seems
to contradict most of what the U.S.
press says. Yet the fact remains
that the NLF description is not
all that different from what our
press does say or imply-or at
least what independent western
nhCoxraC rnnnrt

turn are backed and fed by irreg-
ular defense units at the village
Those who compose the village
units are invariably engaged full
time in activities other than
fighting - e.g., study, political
organizing, production in the
Front's many jungle factories,
farming, etc. - and the village
units often undertake such non-
military tasks as constructing
shelters and evacuating old per-
sons and children. Fighting units
at all three levels include many
In addition, we were told that
fighters at all three levels join
voluntarily, unlike the Saigon
troops. At first we were not sure
we accepted this, but the Vietnam-
ese argued convincingly that a
liberation movement struggling
against such fierce odds simply
cannot succeed at all on the basis
of coercion or authoritarianism in
any phase of its operations, es-
pecially military recruitment.
It is in this context that the
NLF representatives' explanation
of so-called "Viet Cong terrorism"
also becomes very plausible. Sanc-
tions, including execution, they
told us, are directed only at the
hated functionaries of the Saigon
government and other known col-
In most cases there are open
trials in the villages. Those who
are punished - Saigon-appointed
'village chiefs," pacification teams,
tax collectors, etc. - are widely
and rightly regarded by the vil-
lagers as enemies, traitors and
spies. The villagers, who by all
accounts are amazingly politically
sophisticated, understand the real
meaning of the functions these of-
ficials are sent to perform., To
them, trial and execution are jus-
Moreover, the very fact that

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