Thursdoy, November'7, 1968
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Thursday, November 7, 1968 THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Vietnamese students protest war
By D. GARETH PORTER
Collegiate Press Service
Vietnamese anti-war activists
have clearly been driven to a
position of advocating the over-
throw of the Saigon military
government by a Communist-led
coalition of forces.
"The future role of generals
who rule the country depends
on how they respond to the peo-
ple's wishes .for, peace; if they
., do not give the people peace,
they will be lost," a student
leader had claimed several
weeks before the bombing halt.
Now that President Thieu has
refused to go along with peace
talks which include the new, and
probabily militant National Lib-
eration Front, demonstrattions
against the current government
may be expected.
Vietnam's anti-war student
activists have grown increas-
ingly militant this year despite
the heavier price of openly op-
posing the government. If they
wish to speak out strongly
against the war, students face
the choice of risking a long
prison term or joining the Na-
tional Liberation Front or its
Some of the student leaders
have already chosen the latter
alternative. Several leaders of
the Saigon Student Union in
1967 joined the NLF during Tet.
Several of Hue's student activ-
ists, traditionally more militant,
joined the Front before the end
of last year.
It is difficult to get accurate
information on how many stu-
dents are actually working for
the clandestine Alliance of Na-
tional, Democratic and Peace
Forces or its student affiliate,
the Saigon Students Committee
for Peace, both of which have
aligned themselves with the
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Front as an alternative to the
Thieu government. One political
figure well-known for his anti-
war stand believes that the
figure is probably no more than
100. Student leaders themselves
admit that only about ten per
cent of the approximately 25,000
university students in Saigon
even know or care about the
Alliance and its purpose.
The activists are not typical
of Saigon students. It is usual-
ly estimated that only about
10 per cent of the university
students are politically active.
Most of them have little respect
for either the Saigon politicians
or the generals, and they have
been perfectly willing to let
someone else die if they can
avoid military service. But since
nearly all of them are from
middle-class families, most stu-
dents also find a victory by the
Viet Cong unacceptable.
They are also quite insensi-
tive to the social cleavages and
conflicts which underlie the
present war. When beginning
students at Saigon University
were asked by an American
teacher of English to write
a composition on the ra-
cial problem in the U.S., com-
paring it with Vietnamese so-
cial problems, very few men-
tioned the gulf between the
urban middle class and the pea-
sant, between Vietnamese and
Chinese, or between Vietnamese
and Montagnard tribesmen.
The anti-war movement is
limited by the inherent social
class composition of the student
body. Little interest is generat-
ed by the elections for positions
in the Saigon Student Union,
the organization representing
students of the 14 divisions of
Saigon University. But the left-
wing opponents of the war seem
to be in a majority among those
who are more involved in poli-
Anti-war students have been
elected to the executive commit-
tees of the various faculties of
the university over the last two
years, and since these represen-
tatives in turn elect the power-
ful seven-man committee of the
Saigon Student Union, the anti-
war movement has dominated it
during that time.
The 'Student Union has been
involved in social action as well
as politics, having mobilized
about 500 university students to
contribute labor regularly in re-
fugee relief after Tet Offensive
and the May offensive. At one
refugee center this summer, I
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saw students teaching refugee
children in a school which they
had begun on their own.
Anti-war activity has run in
cycles, depending on the poli-
tical circumstances of the mo-
ment. Last year, students were
mobilized by the results of the
Presidential E 1 e c t i o n, which
were denounced by Buddhists
and student leaders as fraudu-
lent. Opposition to the election
was couples with calls for a
negotiated settlement of the war.
Late last September, mem-
bers of the executive commit-
tees of the four universities at
Saigon, Can Tho, Da Lat and
Van Hanh organized a semin-
ar and demonstration, then is-
sued a statement demanding the
cessation of the bombing of
North Vietnam, a ceasefire, the
withdrawal of foreign troops
and negotiations to reunify the
country. Within the same week,
students demonstrated in front
of the National Assembly and
tore up the board displaying the
names of those elected in Presi-
'dential and Senatorial elections.
As a result of these and other
demonstrations, the chairman
of the Executive Committee of
the Saigon Student Union, Ho
Huu Nhut, and six other student
leaders were arrested and spent
some time in jail before they
were drafted into the army. At
the beginning of the Tet Offen-
sive, all seven joined the Viet
A new cycle of student anti-
war activity began early I a s.t
summer, not with demonstra-
tions but with public statements.
After a long silence on the war,
the official newspaper of the
Student Union, with a circula-
tion of about 5,000 published an
editorial both strongly anti-war
and anti-American. At the same
time, the Student Union's Exe-
cutive Committee issued a state-
ment urging that the war "must
cease by negotiation in order for
the nation not to be destroyed."
It called for, a "realistic peace
solution" acceptable to both par-
ties. Within a month, the edi-
tor of the students newspaper
was arrested and later sentenc-
ed to five years at hard labor.
The main reason for thetim-
ing of these statements was the
impending general mobilization
under which most students
would lose their draft defer-
ments. Students called on mem-
bers of both houses of the Na-
tional Assembly to protest the,
mobilization and to demand
how long they would permit
the war to go on.
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Nixon for T.V.
Election listening post
A Marine corporal held his H-16 rifle yesterday as he listened to
the tight election race 'over a transistor radio perched on an
ambulance at the Da Nang airport.
Four students quiz
By JOHN SIEFERT
EDITORS NOTE: Thisinterview
took place prior to yesterday's elec-1
tions and was scheduled for na-
tional prime time television on Oct.
10. However, it was cancelled but
will be shown now that the elec-
tions are over. The author is a stu-
dent at the University of Chi-
CHICAGO (CPS)-Roger Ailes
of the Nixon staff met us Tues-
day morning, Oct. 1. for breakfast
and a final briefing. "Us" was four
students who had been picked to
tape a program with the candi-
date titled "Richard Nixon on
The half-hour program was to
have been aired Thursday eve-
ning. October 1.on CBS. The air
be necessary to edit the program
to "tighten up"-edit out the un-
interesting verbage while preserv-
ing the "high points."
Other than preventing a major
slip of the "brainwash" variety,
Ailes said he was not interested
in censoring what we had to say
or suggesting that we go "easy"
on the candidate.
Long after the viewers have for-
gotten what the candidate or
panelists say, Ailes explained, they
will remember the tone of a pro-
gram.So he suggested that what
he wanted on the program was
"warmth." Hostility, it was plain,
by T he Associated Press and College Press Service
RICHARD NIXON'S ELECTION to the presidency is
expected to shed a different light on peace talks in Paris,
now suspended indefinitely.
Nixon could show his hand by supporting President John-
son's efforts to bring South Vietnamese President Ngyen Van
Thieu to the negotiating table. There have been signs that
Thieu was gambling on a Nixon victory, hoping that this
would insure greater support for his position than he has been
getting from Johnson.
During his campaign, Nixon offered to fly either to Paris
or Saigon to help in the peacemaking effort, in the event that
he was elected president. Now he must learn whether Presi-
dent Johnson wants him to fulfill that offer.
At the very least, Nixon is likely to assign, with Johnson's
consent, a personal envoy to join Ambassadors W. Averell
Harriman and Cyrus R. Vance in Paris until January 20.
On that date, Nixon will assume office, and the American
negotiators in Paris will be at his disposal in case he should
want to name new chief delegates..
THE STATE DEPARTMENT denied yesterday that
'resident Johnson announced the bombing h a 1 t over.
North Vietnam in the full knowledge that South Vietnam
would fail to show for the day's scheduled peace talks.
Fully informed authorities in Washington said Johnson
had delayed the announcement for at least 24 hours while he
tried to get the Saigon government back into line with his
plans. But then he decided to go ahead.
Officials said Johnson hoped that sooner or later Saigon
would go along with the proposal anyway. President Thieu,
however, made public his refusal a few days later.
State Department official Robert McCluskey, who issued
the denial, admitted that U.S. Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker
had informed Johnson of Thieu's unwillingness.
Thus, the Johnson administration appeared to be making
a fine distinction between what the president thought South
Vietnam might do and what he definitely knew.
A TWO-DAY CONFRONTATION between Jordan's
King Hussein and rebellious Palestinian guerillas appear-
ed ended yesterday.
The Jordanian government lifted the curfew from An-
man, its capital, as commando sources reported Hussein had
reached an agreementwith them. The rebels reportedly tele-
phoned the news from Amman's royal palace, but there was
no immediate confirmation from Jordanian officials.
Possibly to discuss the agreement, Hussein will hold a
press conference tomorrow afternoon.
The king's position appeared to have strengthened Tues-
day in skirmishes with commando groups that left 25 persons
dead and 100 wounded.
Jordanian authorities said earlier they had arrested the
Victory Phalanges, a splinter guerilla band accused of-starting
the fighting Monday. The government accused the group of
being paid by an unidentified foreign government to stir up
civil strife in Jordan rather than fight Israel.
VIET CONG FROGMEN yesterday blew up the cen-
ter of one of South Vietnam's busiest bridges northwest of
A military spokesman said saboteurs apparently floated
a massive charge beneath the Phu Cuong bridge just before
dawn, and wounded at least four U.S. soldiers. U.S. and South
Vietnamese guards had tried to blow up the charge with hand
grenades when they spotted movement in the water.
The bridge was expected to be replaced by a pontoon
bridge early this morning.
In other action, U.S. bombers launched h e a v y raids
against enemy troop concentrations in the central highlands
near the borders of Cambodia and Laos.
The U.S. Command also reported the loss of four heli-
copters earlier this week.
* 0 *
CHARLES MUNCH, the 77-year-old conductor of the
Paris symphony orchestra, died in a Richmond, Va. hotel
His body was discovered by his valet, who had gone to
wake him. Munch was to have conducted the orchestra in
concert yesterday, as part of a tour that began in Canada in
The Alsace-born musician was former conductor of the
Boston Symphony, and other orchestras in Paris. He was a
member of the French government's Legionne d'Honneur
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Unlike other classics
"West Side Story"
time was purchased weeks in ad- ;All four panelists were white.
vance. When I first met Ailes to discuss
the format of the program I sug-,
But the program never made it ested that 'one of the panelists be
on e air. Eventually the pro- a black student. "Black people
gram will be shown, the Nixonj should speak for black people,"
staff has said, but only on edu- I suggested. Ailes rejected this,
cational TV stations and only, saying that black Americans com-
after the election. pose only 11 per cent of the pop-
When Ailes met us for breakfast, ulation and that white students
he shplain. dthe afinglformatbe could represent the views of the
the show. The taping would beablack students on their campuses.
done at the College of WilliamAabu1:3Nioarve,
and Mary in Colonial Williams- Everyone not directly connected
b esexplainedwe would tape with the production was ushered
about an hour and a half of dis- out of the room.
cussion with Mr., Nixon: this would I began by asking, "About half
be edited down to a half-hour of the draft-eligible graduat'ing
program, seniors at the University of Chi-
The editing would be done for cago signed the following state-
two reasons. First, as Ailes had ex- ment, which I'll try to quote from
plained to us the previous week- memory: 'Our war in Vietnam is
end in our preliminary meetings unjust and immoral. 'As long as
with him in Detroit. the Nixon the United States is involved in
staff is determined to prevent the this war I will refuse induction
kind of slip that ruined George, into the armed forces and counsel,
Romney. aid, and abet others to do the
Second. Ailes explained, it would See STUDENT, Page 8
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