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October 29, 1967 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-10-29

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Seventy-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom

- - 1,4, !:- I

Where opinions AreFree, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MicH.
Truth Will Prevail

NEws PHONE: 764-05521

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.




Waiting for Godot and
Other Books at the UGLI

THE CAMPUS ISSUE with the greatest
underlying explosive potential isn't
counter-insurgency in Thailand or the
restructuring of Student Government
,Council but the increasingly critical
shortage of books available in the Under-
grate Library's closed reserve system.
While the University's attempts to
streamline the handling of overnight and
closed reserve materials have prompted
many student complaints (the 15 minute
waits only to find a book is "out," the
$1.00 fine for lost book cards), the most
persistent and serious objection is that
while it is now impossible for students
to "hide" scarce books, they are still
What aggravates the problem is that
a growing number of professors are as-
signing material that students can
conveniently obtain only through the
closed reserve system. With the trend
toward longer and longer syllabuses,
many students find it economically un-
feasible to purchase all the books re-
quired. Some titles invariably are out of
print. Even more often, teachers assign
only a chapter or two from a number of
works. These circumstances send stu-
dents in droves to the closed reserve.
pared to cope with the enormity of
the demand. It is not uncommon for a
class of 400 to descend on a book which
the UGLI can only provide 20 copies of.
Many students are unable to find it
the week it is assigned. During exam
week, the situation becomes even more
intolerable as the frustration of being
unable to read the book is intensified by
the urgency of the need to read it.

Obviously, the University doesn't have
the money to stock the libraries with
enough books for everyone. But this is
not an excuse for inaction. The library
can at least partially alleviate the prob-
lem by increasing the number of hours
it is open. Since books which are
restricted to building use can only be
checked out for a specified time, leaving
the library open to 3:00 a.m. instead of
midnight or even keeping it open on
a twenty-four hour basis would enable
more students to use the few books
which do exist.
Other advantages would accrue as
well. Longer hours would be a boon for
the many students who study in the
libraries because they can't overcome
the noise and diversionary temptations
of their fraternity, apartment or dom-
itory rooms.
serve the needs of the "night people"
- those who study at freaky hours be-
cause of part-time jobs, unusual class
hours or irregular metabolism.
To staff the library into the wee hours
of the morning will be an additional ex-
pense for the University at a time when
a reactionary legislature has denied the
University a reasonable allocation. But
if the University is to remain a school of
quality education for undergraduates,
adequate library services should rank
with classroom facilities and teachers'
salaries as high-priority items.
Those who complain of the shortage
of books in the closed reserve system
have a legitimate grievance. The Uni-
versity must take steps to redress it.

This is the second of a two part
series by Jeffrey !Goodman, Editorial
Director of The Daily in 1965-66, and
a graduate student in sociology at the
University of Chicago. He recently
talked with representatives of South
Vietnam's National Liberation Front.
THERE SEEMS to be in the
United States a lack of under-
standing of the forces engaged in
the Vietnamese struggle. Probably
the most misunderstood force in
the conflict is the National Lib-
eration Front itself; the ways it
has been built, maintained and
expanded its support and the rea-
sons for it being literally the only
force in South Vietnam which can
bring that country genuine peace,
independence, and progress.
In many ways the clearest basis
of the Front's strength and legiti-
macy is the remarkable degree to
which its political structure is
rooted in the villages of the South.
Each village, we were told, freely
elects its own self-administration
unit, with considerable open dis-
cussion. Also in each village is a
local sub-organization of each of
the 24 different political parties
and unions of occupational and
religious groups of which the Front
is a coalition.
Membership in these local or-
ganizations and their national
counterparts, though appointed
centrally, is recruited from and
open to the villagers themselves.
At the local level these organiza-
tions for a policy-making struc-
ture separate from the administra-
tive and military structures. The
national leaders of each compon-
ent organization comprise the
Front's Congress, which adopts its
programs, sets high-level policy,
and elects the permanent Central
It is generally acknowledged
that the South Vietnamese Peo-
ple's Revolutionary (Communist)
Party, one of the Front's com-
ponents, is by and large its domi-
nant element. It is also generally
acknowledged, however, that the
large majority of South Vietna-
mese who have any formal role in
the Front at all are not Commun-
ists, and that the part of the

support and strength among the
peasants and intellectuals with in-
credible speed. It is also historical
fact that the Front has, from the
beginning, been an independent
Southern movement. It has, of
course, received aid from the
North, but it has never been con-
trolled by the North in any sense,
and the North's aid has been sur-
prisingly limited.
Both from what the NLF rep-
resentatives told us and from what
the U.S. government admits, it is
clear that the overwhelming ma-
jority of the Front's arms and
supplies are captured from U.S. or
Saigon troops, stolen from supply
convoys or at the very docks where
they enter South Viet Nam, or
manufactured in jungle factories
in the liberated zones.
As Secretary of Defense McNa-
mara told a Senate committee this

told, distributed more than a mil-
lion acres of land to peasants,
and on a "free enterprise" basis
rather than collectivization. Diem's
alleged land reform, on the other
hand, meant little more than that
peasants were suddenly obliged to
pay back rent, from 1945, on land
they had been given by the Viet
(The current pacification pro-
gram usually means that land
given to the peasants by the NLF
is returned to the previous land-
In NLF - controlled territory
there are well-organized educa-
tional and medical systems, with
classes kept small and dispersed
and often held at night to avoid
American bombs. Taxes are lower
than those of the Saigon govern-
Agriculture has been improved

... the social fabric of these areas appears
to be remarkably stable and well integrated.
- ?ig:.i "i ; $

Viet Government

summer, no more than one or two
truckloads a day of supplies of all
kinds reach or would have to reach
the South from North Viet Nam
to sustain the liberation war. The
daily supply tonnage arriving in
Saigon from the U.S. is tremen-
dously higher.
THE NLF representatives with
whom we spoke readily admitted
that much of the credit for the
Front's widespread support has to
go to the U.S. and its puppet re-
gimes. Among other factors, they
mentioned the following as con-
tributing to a situation in which
the Front is the only viable alter-
native for any Vietnamese with
a spark of nationalistic senti-
0 Diem's vicious repressions of
former Resistance fighters and po-
litical opponents, a repression

Searching for Their Winner

week by Sen. Eugene McCarthy (D-
Minn) and Zolton Ferency, chairman of
Michigan's Democratic State Central
Committee, calling for the Democratic
party to dump Johnson at its Presidential
standard bearer for the 1968 election re-
flect the growing discontent within the
Democratic party over the President's
handling of the war in Vietnam.
The statements of these leaders are
not without grass roots support from
within Democratic organizations. A Gall-
up poll last month of California's regis-
tered Democrats showed that 39 per cent
would favor a Democratic peace candi-
date while only 41 per cent said they
would be willing to support Johnson. A
group of New York State Democrats have
already formed an organization that
would seek a peace candidate as the
Democratic nominee in 1968.
While the odds are still against the
forces favoring a Democratic alternative
to Johnson in 1968, the prospects for
such a move become better as each week
draws further escalation of the war, less
regard on the President's past for the
domestic problems that threatenthe na-
tion, and increasing recognition of the
imminent danger of inflation as the
"creditability gap" incapacitates Johnson
in his dealings with Congress.
ment of Johnson on the ticket next
year must be resigned to the fact that if

they succeed, such a move will result in
a Democratic defeat next November. By
dropping their leader, the Democrats will
be repudiating most of what the party
officially stood for during these last eight
years. No Democratic nominee would be
able to overcome his Republican oppo-
sition in such a situation. What can be
hoped, for however, is that the Republi-
can alternative will be able to expidite
the situation in Vietnam by de-escalat-
ion of the conflict.
Even if the dissident. Democrats fail
to change their party's leader, they will
have weakened the President's support
enough to make the way easier for a
Republican to enter the White House.
Thus, despite statements by Ray C. Bliss,
chairman of the Republican Party Na-
tional Committee, that the Republicans
avoid relying too heavily on the Vietnam
war, the fortune of any GOP nominee,
whether dove or hawk, will ride on the
waves of discontent that emanate from
Southeast Asia.
And the success of those Democrats
expressing opposition to United States
involvement in Vietnam will be depen-
dant on the ability of their dove counter-
parts in the Republican party to capture
their party's nomination.
We can only hope that these Republi-
cans will be able to gather their strength
and morale to see their way to victory
next summer in Miami.
Associate Editorial Director

U.S. arms found among Viet Cong

Front's program which calls for
a temporary post-war coalition
government of all patriotic parties,
sects and organizations can be
taken seriously.
Moreover, it is fairly clear that
the Front places a much higher
priority on the integrity of its own
nation and culture-Le., on na-
tionalism-than on any other po-
litical ideology. Thus reunifica-
tion with North Viet Nam, though
a much-desired goal, is seen as
coming only after the reconstruc-
tion of the South, the gradual
opening of trade between the two
nations, and detailed negotiations.
The Front is willing to delay re-
unification for as long as a decade,
the three Vietnamese told us.
In fact, almost all independent
observers agree that the liberation
war began in the wake of large-
scale, spontaneous peasant insur-
rections against the Diem regime
which took place in the Mekong
Delta region in late 1960. Only after
these insurrections was the Front
established, by former Viet Minh
activists, native to the South, who
had remained there with their
families after 19p4.
Though the PRP soon rose to a
position of major influence in the
Front, it is nevertheless historical
fact that the insurgency gained

which, we were told, resulted in
almost 400,000 dead and innumer-
able others tortured and jailed be-
tween 1954 and 1960;
* The betrayal of the promise
in the Geneva Agreements for free
elections in the South in 1956,
elections which would certainly
have brought Ho Chi Minh to
* Continuing American mili-
tary atrocities: napalm, gas, mag-
nesium, phosphorous and frag-
mentation bombs; the wholesale
destruction of villages and crops;
B-52 raids; the torture of captives;
the killing of civilians, etc.;
* The deeply hated rape of
Vietnamese culture by the war and
the huge influx of Americans;
* The massive dislocations cre-
ated by the various "pacification"
programs, which began under
* The fact that the vast ma-
jority of those in power in Sai-
gon's government and armed
forces are native to the North
and/or collaborated with the
BUT THE FRONT has gathered
most of its support through its
own actions and programs. In the
liberated zones it has, we were

with extensive irrigation systems.
Many commodities which were
formerly luxuries - radios, sewing
machines, boat motors, farming
equipment-have been made avail-
able to the people. There is a
strong identification with Viet-
namese culture; education is in
Vietnamese. for instance, whereas
outside the liberated zones it is
almost universally in English or
French only.
IT IS NOT simply that life does
go on in the liberated zones,
though this is amazing enough in
South Viet Nam. More important,
the social fabric of these areas
appears to be remarkably stable
and well integrated. Even those
people who perform no tasks di-
rectly related to the various needs
of the liberation struggle are, it
seems, unusually caught up in its
spirit and dynamism.
That dynamism is, of course,
founded not simply on the im-
mediate accomplishments of the
liberation movement but also on
the longer range goals which it
seeks. More than any other force
in recent Vietnamese history, the
Front has come to represent the
only possibility for attaining what
almost all segments of the popu-
lation desire: independence, peace,
democracy, neutrality and--event-
The Front's specific vision for
post-war Viet Nam is outlined in
the program it issued in 1960 and
again, with few modifications, in
August of this year, The essential
elements of this program are the
1) The NLF would form a plu-
ralistic coalition government pend-
ing election of a new national
assembly through universal suff-
rage. Unlike the assembly recently
elected for the Saigon government,
this election, the NLF insists,
would not exclude the candidacy
of political opponents or the votes
of the majority of the population.
THE VIETNAMESE we met with
explained that their coalition gov-
ernment would be open to the rep-
resentatives of all classes, nation-
alities, parties and religious com-
munities, provided only that they
were "patriotic" - i.e., willing to
cooperate in the rebuilding of the
nation, even if they had not been
previously allied with the NLF.
Thus it could include the various
moderate and anti - government
Buddhist, student and political or-
ganizations in the cities. It would
not be necessary for any of these
groups to join the Front formally
to participate in the government.
The Front would follow a policy
of amnesty and leniency toward
persons and parties presently
working in the Saigon government
if they could show they were truly
nationalistic. Even if they had
committed crimes against the peo-
ple through their collaboration,
their safety would be ensured, we
were told, as long as they were
sincerely repentant.
(The Front expects many of the
latter to flee the country when it
comes to power; almost all of
them, it says, have large bank
accounts in foreign banks.)
2) Land would be distributed to
the peasants free of charge and
without restrictive conditions. The
large holdings of the arisrocracy
and other members of the ruling
classes who have been collabora-
tors would be confiscated. Land in
excess of a certain maximum held
by relatively wealthy peasants and
other members of the middle
classes would be purchased by the
state, through negotiations, at
equitable prices.
3) Business and industrial en-
terprises belonging to the ruling
classes and to foreign corporations
would be expropriated and na-
tionalized. Through loans, techni-
cal assistance and otherwise a
hands-off policy, the state would,

however, encourage the develop-
ments of a national petty bour-
geoisie with respect to smaller

4) The new government would
guarantee all democratic freedoms.
It would build a free national,
progressive educational system,
eliminating illiteracy and expand-
ing the university system.
5) The Front further promises
to guarantee the autonomy of na-
tional minorities by allowing them
to establish relatively self-govern-
ing regions. It would also help
them develop economically by
training skilled personnel from
the minority. The roles and status
of women would be equal to those
of men-a policy already quite evi-
dent in the liberated zones.
6) No military alliances with
other countries would be formed
and no foreign bases allowed,
though the government would be
willing to receive assistance from
any other nation as long as no
strings were attached.
THE OVERALL program of the
Front, then, though still very
sketchy, is almost a perfect model
for modernization. More interest-
ing, it is devoid of traditional so-
cialistic policies, except for its in-
sistence on expropriating and re-
distributing the wealth of the rul-
ing classes and the Americans. Yet
this is one of the few policies
which must be followed by any
nation which wants to re-estab-
lish its integrity and seeks self-
development in a manner benefit-
ting its whole population.
To be sure, one might reason-
ably doubt whether or not par-
ticular aspects of this program
will in fact be implemented. We
were not as confident as the three
Vietnamese, for instance, that
even the Front's stable wartime
coalition would hold together or
remain as pluralistic as it is after
victory. History shows us that
revolutionary governments-in-em-
bryo often end up following dif-
ferent policies than originally
pronounced, either on the grounds
of expediency or because they
make their own rather peculiar
interpretations of their promises.
On the other hand, it is rather
difficult to tell exactly what will
happen; it is not much harder to
be confident than to be skeptical.
It is very significant, for insta~nce,
that the Front has purposely de-
signed its program to appeal to
the most diverse possible audience,
and for all intents and purposes
it is the only organization with any
coherent program at all.
currently intensifying its political
efforts to secure the cooperation
and alliance of many previously
marginal and unallied organiza-
tions. Thus it is entirely possible,
to the extent these efforts are
successful and to the extent the
Front is already a very diverse
coalition, that the great variety
of the interest groups which will
share power after the war- will
make it impossible for any one
party or elite to violate the terms
of the program.
Nor is there much likelihood
that many members of the armed
forces and others who have strug-
gled long and hard for liberation
would allow the betrayal of the
promises and hopes on which their
sacrifices have depended.
If there are excesses and be-
trayals, however, we shall have to
understand these in context. The
point is not simply that every
revolution commits certain inde-
cencies in its name. Rather, the
point is that revolution inescap-

people can fully understand and
empathize with the spirit, the as-
pirations, the forces and the con-
ditions of that revolution will they
be justified in even passing judg-
ment on it, and in no case are
they justified in attempting to
crush it.
But even if it turns out, after
the U.S. has withdrawn, that the
NLF partisans and leaders are not
wholly democratic and libertarian
in the Western sense, it simply
cannot be denied that they are
damned good revolutionaries. The
Front has reached, gained the sup-
port of and mobilized the over-
whelming majority of South Viet-
namese. It has given concrete ex-
pression to their desire and proved
itself their only real representative
to such an extent that they have
successfully resisted the b e s t
equipped military machine on
ONCE THIS fact is acknowl-
edged, a number of other questions
take on rather different meanings.
For example, the fact that the
political structure ofathe Front is
not a paragon of formal democ-
racy as we know it-or think we
know it - becomes relatively un-
important. Rather, the more cru-
cial consideration is whether, to
what extent and on what basis the
Front is felt to be legitimate-i.e.,
regarded by its constituents as
justified in exercising its power.
Formal democracy is basically
a system of legal and institutional
provisions for ensuring the re-
sponsiveness of governments to
their citizens and for limiting gov-
ernments only in that they insti-
tute and necessitate responsiveness
and safeguard against the possi-
bility of actions which might be
considered illegitimate.
But formal democracy is not a
necessary condition for a govern-
Ment's legitimacy. Governmental
structures may operate with rela-
tively few legal restraints on their
power, may be more or less in-
sulated from direct choice, review
and control by the population, and
still be regarded by the people as
justified in their actions, as rep-
resenting and manifesting the
peoples' interests.
What is necessary for this is
only that the government be in
fact in touch with and responsive
to the people, that it be sensitive
to the extent to which the people
will accept and support given ac-
tions. And a government can do
all of these things on its own,
without being formally and legally
constrained to do so.
BUT THIS is precisely the sit-
uation with respect to the NLF. In
fact, as the descriptions of the
Front's political structure illu-
strate,sthere is probably more for-
mal democracy in the liberated
zones than in Saigon. In any case,
there is a great deal' when one
remembers that this is a tremen-
dously poor peasant society fight-
ing a total war for its very sur-
More generally, it is obvious
that the vast majority of the Viet-
namese peasantry did not origin-
ally possess, full-blown, the so-
phisticated ideological conscious-
ness, the concrete political and
military strategies, and the viable,
revolutionary life styles which are
now evident in the liberated zones.
To be sure, the insurgency could
not have begun in the first place
if the population had not been
spontaneously opposed to a re-
gime that was repressive, non-pro-



Exposing the Front

I - -I

S PART OF A MARINE Comand cam-
paign in Danang, South Vietnam, to
persuade the Marines to tear down their
pinups Chaplain John A. Keeley, a
Roman Catholic priest from Boston held
up a photograph of "Miss October" from
The Daily is a member of the Associated Press and
Collegiate Press Service.
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Daily except Monday during regular academic school
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Second class postage paid at Ann Arbor, Michigan,
420 Maynard St, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104.

Playboy magazine before his Sunday con-
gregation, saying,
"These pinups are dangerous. Why?
Because the people who hang them seem
completely unaware or they just do not
care about the terrific struggle that the
ordinary man undergoes to maintain
moral standards and behavior patterns
of purity.
"Here is a picture which is neither
dirty nor untruthful. It is in a way beau-
tiful. But it just does not conform in our
culture to the standards of respect which
we pay to the femine form."
At least somebody over there knows
who America's real enemy is.

Letters to the Editor
To tle Editor: therapy for the exhibitionist, bu
(Let me preface this by saying it doesn't do anything about Viet-
that I have not asked, or been nam. Neither would removing
asked by anyone, to write this from this University or all uni
letter. And I'll be grateful if you versities any or all military re
will accord me the courtesy of search.
letting me sign as an individual, a
citizen, or a graduate student IF PROTESTING "war re-
rather than a University em- search" is sincere and more than
ploye.) just a convenient issue for those
I'D LIKE TO COMMENT on the who have been looking for some
opposition to the University's kind of issue, then at what point
military-related research. I re- is military-related work accept.
ject the word "defense" which too able? If it is evil to build a better
often is a facade. I recognize the bomb, is it also evil to develop the
indirect benefits to education and radar to guide the bomber, the
the civil sector of such work. engine to power the plane, the
I, too, am opposed to the Viet- gear to sustain the pilot, the food
nam war. I have been so publicly to feed him? And are we to stol
and actively, not in an exhibi- buying gasoline so we don't have



Bombing a village to get enemy

ably means the reconstruction of
a whole society, the wholesale
changing of Driorities with resnect

gressive and anti-nationalistic.
But the actual revolutionary move-
ment itself had to he evoked, cre-

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