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December 05, 1967 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-12-05

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Seventy-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom

... ,... "?F7L: : Nom !

The War for America's Conscience

'' ..


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.



Chaos on Campus:
Eliminating the Protesters

expulsion of students on various
college campuses during the past weeks
lends validity to the growing suspicion
that the nation's universities have adopt-
ed a new credo that the best way to polish
their torn collegiate images is to get rid
of political activitists. In the name of
expediency, administrators of these col-
leges are forgetting for the moment they
are not only condemning dissent, but
usurping the due process of law by ruling
on actions that should logically be left
to the discretion of state and national
Two students were suspended at Berk-
eley, two at Wisconsin and seven at
Illinois. Forty-seven others at Illinois
have now been put on closed trial hear-
ing, after which professors and admin-
istrators will judge whether these stu-
dents belong to the Illinois campus. At
Wisconsin, two students were expelled
when they labelled a hearing held for
them "a general conspiracy with the
central administration." Their crime
seens to have been insulting professors.
At Berkeley two students were noti-
fied of their expulsion and allowed no
chance to defend themselves. Only by re-
counting their actions was it determined
that they were not fit to be students at
A STUDENT ATTENDS a university with
the assumption that his admittance was
not based on religion, race, or political
beliefs. He is' a part of the school be-
cause of his merit as a student, and the

status of his remaining a student is
judged on his ability to absorb knowl-
edge and pass exams.
But the new belief adds to this a
students' status as reflected in his politi-
cal beliefs and actions. If he instigates
a disturbance or breaks a law, it is the
university which has suddenly become
the new prosecutor, jury, judge and
What gives a university these rights?
If it takes action against students' ac-
tivities in non-academic affairs, it is
usurping proper legal channels and, in
effect. denying the protection of the stu-
dent's rights for defense.
WE HAVE BEEN fortunate at this Uni-
versity-so far. A consideration of
disciplinary action for non-academic be-
havior has been made, but as yet no
positive action has been taken.
It now becomes the task of the Uni-
versity community to assure that such a
threat never materializes and to realize
that it is the state and national gov-
ernments which should act, if necessary,
in matters involving actions of students
in the civil sector.
As observed from this month's demon-
strations, a university's involvement in
non-academic activities inevitably leads
to more disturbance, more chaos, and
more expulsions. The hope that peace will
ensue simply by the attempt to rid col-
lege campuses of political activitists is

N EW YORK-Nothing is more
puzzling to Americans than
that the most powerful nation on
earth is taking so long to subdue
a poor little country like North
Vietnam. According to conven-
tional wisdom, the enemy should
have recognized long ago that the
odds against him are overwhelm-
ing and he should have given up.
He has not done so as yet, and, if
he is going to do it, he is taking a
long time about it.
What is more, it begin to appear
that even if he surrendered there
would probably be no more than
a temporary truce before guer-
rilla fighting broke out again. As
a matter of fact, it is very dif-
difficult even to imagine how this
war can end. Even if Hanoi and
Haiphong were bombed back to the
Stone Age and No Chi Minh sign-
ed an unconditional surrender on
an American aircraft carrier, there
would be no peace and Saigon and
Gen. Westmoreland would still
have to remain on the alert.
The war, it would seem is un-
winnable in a much deeper sense
than is commonly realized. It is
not that our forces cannot defeat
the enemy's forces in battle. It is
that the battles they fight cannot
decide the war.
It is unwinnable in the sense that
a horde of elephants cannot win
a struggle with, a swarm of mos-
quitoes, not because the mosquitoes
are too brave or too fanatic, but
because mosquitoes do not sur-
render to elephants. No mosquito
can surrender all the mosquitoes
that can be bred in the marsh and
no government or committee or
general can surrender the revolu-
tioary peasantry of the Asia con-
What we are witnessing is not
a conflict between two military
forces of different sizes, but of two
military forces that are different
in kind. The conflict is between
two quite different military ,sys-
tems. One consists of a highly cen-
tralized organization using the
deadliest weapons; the other con-
sists of endlessly decentralized
swarms of guerrilla fighters and
NORTH VIETNAM is testing,
so we are often told, whether
"wars of national liberation" can
succeed. That is true. It is testing
whether guerrilla fighters with a
continent behind them and an in-
exhaustible horde of discontented
people can be subdued by military
forces developed and organized to
fight against equally organized
powers with equally advanced wea-
pons. Our most bewildering and
perhaps our most significant ex-
perience in the Vietnamese war

We are seeing how a war waged
without hope of a military deci-
sion degenerate into savagery.
The laws of civilized warfare have
been made a mockery in Vietnam.
There is the terrorism of the guer-
rilla fighters. There is the terror-
ism of the bombers which cannot
and do not distinguish between
civilians and soldiers. The cruelty
of the war reflects the frustration
of the combatants, who realize
that their battles are always in-
decisive and always have to be
fought over again.
Perfectly decent young Amer-
icans find themselves under orders
to commit acts which in the con-
ventional wars are called atrocities,
and the civilians at home find
themselves justifying these atro-
cities on the very low-ground that
the other side is also commiting
SOME OF US who prefer to
argue about the war in terms of
our national interest and of stra-
tegic principles have shrunk from
stressing the cruelty and the in-
humanity of the actual conduct
of the war. But we are a minority
among the dissenters.
Over and beyond the growing
objection to the casualties and the
costs and the lack of a credible
war purpose, the real thrust of the
popular dissent is moral revulsion.
There is a growing sense of guilt.
Our people are becoming revolt-
ed and ashamed by the spectacle
of themselves engaged in a war
where a big, rich, super-armed
giant is trying to beat' the life out
of a dwarf. Less and less are Amer-
icans enjoying the idea of them-
selves in such an uncivilized, un-
chivalrous, inhuman role. Every-
one knows that this is the most
unpopular war in American his-
tory. It is also the war which most
deeply affronts the American con-
As the war goes on and when, if
ever, it is over, we shall be sorting
out the political and strategic les-
sons of what is for us--and what
may be for all the world-a unique
experience. Never before have we
seen the greatest military power
on earth find itself impotent to
impose its will on a weak and alien
It will take time before we real-
ize fully that the age of the em-
pire is over, especially since we
can see only dimly the shape of
the international order which will
follow. While we are deeply en-
gaged in the task of making peace
in Asia and in the Pacific, our
most intimate and urgent task is
to make peace in the conscience
of Americans.
Copyright, 1967, Los Angeles Times


As The Elephant Rolls On, The Mosquito Looks On.

has been that the kind of military
force which brought down Japan
and Germany does not bring down
Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Cong.
The fact that although we are
able to destroy the enemy's coun-
try and are not able to win the
war is something new in our ex-
perience of warfare. We are up
against something which is dif-
ferent in kind from anything that
West Point and Annapolis anti-
cipated. We defeated Japan and
the victory endured in the sense
Japan rose again and prospered
and we are hoping to make it our
But if we could dictate peace in
Hanoi after the surrender of Ho
Chi Minh, it would be only a ques-,
tion of time befote the anti-Com-
munist and pro-American regime
we had set up in South Vietnam
would be undermined and would
In the long run, perhaps the

most important consequence of the
present war in Vietnam will be the
demonstration that the strongest
military power in history cannot
by the use of its superior firepower
impose its will on a distant people.
The elephants can kill every mos-
quito they can trample upon. But
in the marshes, the swarms of
mosquitoes are constantly re-
I have read not all, but a good
many of the books about modern
military technology - both those
dealing with big weapons and with
guerrilla fighting. I have not seen
anything which describes how the
big and little technologies of war
fail to come to a decisive confron-
tation, how they are like ships
which brush against each other in
the night without colliding.
I wish I knew enough to write
such a book, for I believe it would
lead us to understand the radical
novelty of the present post-Im-

perial Age-the age which was
brought on after the destruction in
World Wars I and 11 of the old
international order of the old em-
and American ways of waging war
are so radically different in kind,
there is no prospect on either side
for a lasting military decision. The
best that the North Vietnamese
can hope for is that they can make
life so miserable for us that after
a while we shall weary of the
struggle and decide to go away.
The best that the American peo-
ple can hope for is that their ene-
mies will be worn down to the point
where they will have to subside.
The American people have no hope
that we can withdraw in triumph,
leaving behind us an independent,
anti - Communist, anti - Chinese,
pro-American state in South Viet-

The End of the Rubber Stamp,

"FOR THOSE WITH the guts to buck
the Democratic Party Organization"
was what Zolton Ferency labelled, the
700 participants at Saturday's Michigan
Conference of Concerned Democrats.
And buck they did. In the field of
domestic affairs they' endorsed a nega-
tive income tax and a system of family
allowances for children, suggested ex-
tension of Medicare and Social Security
programs, favored a $4000 minimum in-
come for every family, and backed some-
thing which legislators in Lansing would
rather take a vacation than vote on:
open housing.
They related domestic problems and
the "needs of the ghetto" to Vietnam,
policy by deploring the draining of re-
sources from the "urgent needs of Amer-
ica at home," called for an "American
cease-fire unless fired upon . . . and
withdrawal of American troops within
six months of a settlement of the con-
flict," and suggested reconvening of the
Geneva Conference to deal with the war.
THESE ARE ALL issues which the offi-
cial brass of the Michigan Democratic
Party finds embarrassing ,to deal with
because of what Ferency calls "their
total commitment to the re-election of

LBJ". The pressure which was put on
Ferency to resign reinforces the fact
that they would remove anyone in their
midst who has the conviction to call
for an open, Intra-party discussion of
issues rather than discourage any de-
ibate which might objectively examine
LBJ's policies.
Ferency brought out another perti-
nent point: "There are enough delegates
at this convention to take over the Mich-
igan delegation to next year's national
convention, if we can only achieve a
unity of purpose here and are willing to
work hard for it."
The remarkably well-organized fash-
ion in which the convention was con-
ducted, and the unanimous affirmative
vote on every platform issue clearly
shows that unity of purpose has been
achieved. Their success in integrating
the ranks of the regular party will have
to be measrued between now and next
August. However, they have guaranteed
one of their objectives already, in com-
bination with the national Concerned
Democrat movement: they have assured
that-regardless of who is nominated
-the 1968 national convention will not
be LBJ's rubber stamp.

Letters:The Academic Discipline Affair

To the Editor:
EVERYONE in student govern-
ment realizes that the literary
college faculty has a great and
legitimate interest in the content
of student conduct rules, and the
observance of these rules by the
student body.
With wisdom and patience, the
L.S.A. facutly will come to see that
these interests are best served by
encouraging the student body to
develop and enforce its own stand-
ards of conduct: standardswhich
will, as basic justice requires, be
uniform across all schools and
colleges, and enforcement which
will be recognized by the student
body as coming from within itself,
and so untainted by peculiar in-
terests or external pressures.
that no precipitous attempt was
made at the literary school faculty
meeting yesterday to inject college
authorities into areas traditionally
under student control..
That move, while it would free
the Office of Student Affairs of
the consequences of its own past
error, would do so only at tre-
mendous costs to the legitimate
interests of the literary college it-
-Bruce Kahn, '68
Pres., Student Government
-Peter Steinberger, Grad
Chairman, Joint Judiciary

Graduate Stand
To the Editor:
THE MEMBERS of the Univer-
sity community should have
no question concerning the pro-
priety of Vice-President Cutler's
actions with respect to notifying
me about alleged misconduct of
students (The Daily, Dec. 2).
It should be recalled that in
March 1967, following an incident
in Rackham Lecture Hall, the
Executive Board of the Rackham
Graduate School issued this state-
"Members of a community of
scholars have the responsibility
for respecting and protecting the
rights of others .to express their
"The Executive Board of the
Graduate School deplores the ac-
tions of a group of individuals at
the public meeting held by the
University of Michigan in the
Rackham Lecture Hall on March
2 which resulted in a clear in-
fringement of these rights.
"This type of interference with
orderly and peaceable discussion
is inexcusable and will not be
tolerated in a University com-
"A graduate student is in train-
ing to become a member of the
community of scholars, and one
of the hallmarks of that com-
munity is free and objective dis-
cussion. When a student seeks to
curtail in any way the freedom of

Studentless Power

IN LIGHT OF Vice President for Student
Affairs Richard L. Cutler's frustrated
efforts to have the literary college board
consider disciplining the chairman of
Voice, it is interesting to relate a recent
conversation allegedly overhead in the
office of a high-ranking University ad-
ministrator. One entirely unreliable stu-
dent source reports it as follows:
"Off with their heads, off with all of
their heads..."
"What's the matter?"
"We've got to get rid of them, they're
making this place unbearable. I just
can't stand it anymore . .. WE've GOT
to get them out of here."
"CALM DOWN, YOU'RF beginning to
babble. Who do we have to get rid
"Those damned students!"
"But they're supposed to be the reason
we're here."

"Shut up. We can do much better with-
out them, we'll be happier without them
... This place isn't big enough for the
both of us .. . They've GOT TO GO!"
"BUT WHAT ABOUT the faculty, what,
will they do without them?"
"They'll love it. We can give them more
office space, better parking, they won't
have to worry about grading trivial
exams, they'll have more time for re-
search and publishing . . . everyone will
be so happy ... and peaceful ..."
"But how will be pay them?"
"The federal government will give
them grants, the royalties from their
books . . , they'll have plenty of money.
After all, think of all the money we'll
save when we don't have to build new
like it."
"Who cares about the legislature. We'll
fight it in the courts .. . on the basis of
our constitutional autonomy. We don't
need money from them . . . they never
give uis mucih anvwanv."

discussion of others, he calls in
question his fitness for a scholarly
"The Executive Board has
authority with regard to student
discipline to the extent necessary
to maintain the freedom of ex-
pression of its faculty, student
body, and guests.
"Information on the March 2
incident has been conveyed to the
chairmen of the departments
whose graduate students were in-
volved. The chairmen' have been
asked to discuss with these stu-
dents the gravity of their conduct
and to inform them that the Ex-
ecutive Board will take appro-
priate action in any such future
occurrence with full regard for
due process."
THE STATEMENT was accept-
ed by the Graduate Assembly. It
was also supported and com-
mended by the Regents at their
March 1967 meeting with a reso-
lution which stated in part:
"We particularly note and
commend the intention to apply
appropriate academic discipline in
the event of any such conduct
by any student in the future, and
'we assume similar intention with
reference to like conduct, by un-
dergraduate students."
THE CLEARCUT recognition of
the responsibility which schools
and colleges have in such matters
make it not only proper but im-
perative that the appropriate of-
ficials in the school or college be
notified of alleged disruptive con-
duct. It should be obvious, too,
that ample opportunitybforhear-
ing will be supplied before any
disciplinary action is taken.
-Stephen H. Spurr
Dean, Rackham School
of Graduate Studies
Abusive Polemic
To the Editor:
A UNIVERSITY official ad-
dresses a commuication to one
of the component schools, request-
ing that it initiate proceedings
leading to disciplinary action
against one of its students. He
does not disclose that communica-
tion to the student.
Whatever might be said of its

"Easy, Fella"

- -- ---- -

invaded by a mere administrative
request that the procedures be
ate charges in his Saturday editor-
ial (Daily, Dec. 2), were, therefore,
most disappointing. The climate
created by such polemics is in
large part responsible for the
problems of communications be-
tween students, faculty and ad-
ministration which this campus
has been experiencing. Rational
discussion cannot proceed when
the channels are clogged by abuse.
If The Daily is to have any part
in solving those problems, it must
lay aside such tactics. The Satur-
day editorial was a disservice to
the community.
-Luke K. Cooperrider
Chairman, Board in
Control of Student

Yet these can be regarded simply
as devious devices for finding out
about ourselves.
Occasionally we find out about
ourselves all by ourselves. Admit-
tedly there is a bit of stimulus-as
Neil Shister found at Peck's
brother's wedding. Buttthe sti-
mulus can be so fleetingly negli-
able as to be mere randomness-
an existential wisp of a moment
in which a previously unfathom-
able facet of our nature is sudden-
ly revealed in all its simplicity.
My empathic thanks to Neil
Shister for splendidly relating his
wisp "About Going Back." Perhaps
it is only by understanding a little
of ourselves that we can hope to
really find out something about
all those other things we try to
-Jack Eichenbaum
Grad, Geography



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