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June 02, 1967 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1967-06-02

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Seventy-Sixth Year

.-. - ' i

here Opinions Are F,420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH,
Truth ,Will Preval

NEws PHONE: 764-0552

pp. Fill

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



Levy War Trial:
What Place Dissent?

OURT EA <uT( RrK~.
!Ott -A o K A 'SAX HIKE

YO U1' 10% ,,Ucx;E -CUTS
ot4S 283.-r C0.
-WlT',{ APOLOC teSS -ro cG~.ZZS SC1NUL-Z-

Books: A Texan
Looks at Lyndon, II

PLAYING THEIR ROLE to perfection,. a
solemn court martial jury of 10 career
officers found Army Captain Howard B.
Levy guilty of disobedience, disloyalty,
and conduct unbecoming an officer and
a gentleman.
The. certainty with which yesterday's
verdict was expected does not reflect on
the personal integrity of the court's law
officer, Colonel Earl V. Brown, and the
jurors. To their military minds Levy was
clearly guilty and had to be punished.
It was this rigid soldierly conception of
justice which proved to be totally in-
comprehensible to Levy's civilian lawyer,
Charles Morgan, Jr., of the ACLU. Levy's
attorney struggled manfully in that pe-
culiar parody of a fair trial called a court
"I don't know what the charges are,"
Morgan moaned. "What does 'conduct un-
becoming a gentleman and an officer'
mean? Cheating at cards, taking a man's
horse without his' permission, barfing
over veranda railings at the Officers' Mess
in Punjab, maybe showing the white
THE TRIAL first made headlines when
Brown in a surprise move permitted
the defense to try to justify Levy's ac-
tions by proving that the Green Berets
of song and comic-strip fame were com-
mitAting war crimes in Vietnam. Per-
haps Brown relished the chance to coun-
ter the findings of Bertrand Russell's
War Crimes Tribunal, but in any case his
granting of a so-called "Nuremberg de-
fense" was an extraordinary legal prece-
Brown guaranteed the result by al-
lowing the defense only six days to gath-
er evidence and by ruling that "sporadic"
incidents of atrocities do not constitute
war crimes.
Despite this precedent, Brown's maneu-
ver was a shrewd one. For the whole con-
cept of "war crimes," despite its high
emotive value, serves to legitimize almost
all military acts. By placing a few atroci-
ties beyond the pale, one tacitly places
a seal of approval on all other acts of
Summer Editorial Staff
LAURENCE MEDOW...............Co-Editor
STEPHEN FIRSHEIN ........... .......Co-Editor
MARK LEVIN...........Summer Supplement Editor
The Daily is a member of the Associated Press and
Collegiate Press Service.
Summer subscription rate: $2.00 per term by carrier
($2.50 by mail); $4.00 for entire summer ($4.50 by
Daily except Monday during regular academic school
Daily except Sunday and Monday during regular
summer session.
Second ciass postage paid at Ann Arbor, Michigan.
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104.

Levy's real defense lay with the con-
tention that training Green Beret aid-
men assorted dermatological skills would
be a violation of the Hippocratic Oath.
Again Brown ruled that this would be
a valid defense if Morgan could prove
that the conduct of Special Forces do
violate medical ethics. Despite some viv-
id and knowledgeable descriptions of the
sort of "political medicine" practiced in
Vietnam, the jury found it more con-
sonant with its preconceptions to accept
rebuttal testimony portraying Green Be-
ret medics as highly motivated by hu-
manitarian concerns.
THE REAL ISSUES in the Levy court-
martial are not those headlined legal
precedents which failed to overturn the
preordained verdict. Rather they were
two ancient, but exceedingly relevant,
questions of fundamental civil liberties:
Does a man lose his freedom of speech
when he enlists 'in the armed forces?
And to what degree does the military
transform a man from an individual with
a conscience to an order-obeying auto-
maton? And the importance of the Levy
court-martial lies in its providing a mi-
crocosm of the fundamental American
conflict between a free society and a
militaristic one.
A militaristic society acting through
the draft (and in Levy's case, through
fear of the draft) has forced many war'
opponents into the Army. Many feel that
military security requires that critics like
Levy be silenced. Can a free society jus-
tify this degree iof thought control in the
name of military necessity? And if the
government yields to alleged wartime
exigencies, what is to prevent these same
controls from being applied to civilians
at home?
Other fundamental questions spring
from the concept of military discipline.
In order to create a soldier capable of
killing, it is also necessary to create an
authoritarian personality. The values in-
stilled in a fighting man are almost the
complete antithesis of those encouraged
in a democratic society. When civilian
and military value systems clash as in
the Levy case, must combat mentality
always take precedence? Is there any,
guarantee that General Walker-style in-
doctrinations wear off when a man leaves
the service?
THE TRIAL and conviction of Captain
Levy has provided a provocative com-
mentary on the future of the remnants
of free institutions in America. And these
questions should not be forgotten as this
country prepares td shoulder its night
stick and continue on its beat as self-pro-
claimed policeman of the world.



On Thursday the
at the University
tire day attemptir
the Arab position i
Middle East crisis
have become espec
to many interestet
stopped to listen on
the usual divisivene
cohesion in purpose
is- so characteristic+
tries in general.
One particularly i
dent from Cairo di
tionality and good v
prised to find. He
Israel's existence. N
deny that Arabs1
equal share of killin
tion in the long con
admitted that for Is
all the refugees wou
suicide. He asked
and justice, and he
But one discussion
left was an Arab w
rael's existence, asse
again that no Arab
arms in aggressior
Israeli, and that the
to the refugee pro
Israel to take bac
displaced and send
tive-born Israelis ba
Latin America, an
East. Finally, a thi:
the League asked
to understandswhy
emotional and hot
he said, was becau
not been educated a
istic goals, which
provide to unify the;
rael. Almost apolog
people, he asked us

Letters to the Editor
Teach-In Arabs to vent their passion, out the Vietnam w
of our understanding. my opinion. I
Arab League was written tor
spent an en- NONE OF THOSE Arabs who
spoke got to the heart of the is- None of m
g to explain sue, Nasser's obsession with his thought of b
n the current own power. Every political ex- swamp, but ti
.What must pert in the field, such as Hure- their numberh
ially apparent witz at Columbia, or Reston of then they will
d people who the New York Times, has ob-clt"masjsevdhtnihrterfue
d peoe we rved that neithermthehrefuge cloth" means j
rthe Diag was problem, nor the territoriality of to them as a
ss and lack of the -Gulf of Aqaba is the real is- means to a C
or goals that sue here. Indeed, how important are very patri
of Arab coun- is the gulf to Egypt's economy? guys are) an
-And if Egypt really wants to help more than to
ntelligent stu- the refugees, why hasn't she put without suppoi
splayed a ra- them in the several hundred thou- I will ask th
will I was sur- sand homes vacated by persecuted a letter that
did not deny Jews leaving Egyptian soil? ahlet to Thet
leither did he It is obvious that even if every there is any
had done an refugee could return to Israel, and content it will
g and destruc- even if the Gulf of Aqaba was poran i just
iflict. He even conceded to Egypt, Nasser would poral is just
rael to absorb still cry for a "holy war" against his sentences
ld be national Israel. Why? Because his internal very good, than
for friendship failures must be erased by ex- ing on my co
e was sincere. ternal exploits of Israel, Yemen, not many pla
over to the and Saudi Arabia. Whenever his that Flick's Ba
oho denied Is- prestige falls, he can bolster his Flick's armm! frc
rrted time and strength via a frenzied call to speak for all
ever took up arms against a common enemy. will b e hearin
n against an The real issue is Arab pride and E. C. in about t
only solution unity, and more particularly Nas- I am sure that
blem was for ser's power. Thus, as long as Is- ter job than.I
k all million rael exists, so will the conflict, guys have nam
i all non-na- created by the Nassers of the Mid- gfysh3eTnm
Lck to Europe, dle East. o the 3rd Tank
d the Middle -Joshua Barlev, '67
rd member of
those present 'S,
Arabs get so 2weettieairt Replies All letters
headed. This, In re Mary S. Roth's letter double-spaced
ise they have (June 1): I know that I cannot longer than 3
nd lack ideal- express myself very well on pa- ters are sub
their leaders per. I realize that I did a pretty those over 30(
im, such as Is- lousy job on that last letter. My erally be shor
sizing for his point was not very clear. I did ed letters will
to allow the not mean for that phrase about

war to be taken as
was quoting what
me in a letter.
ny guys like the
eing killed in a
hey figure that if
is to be called up
Eat they believe in,
die. That "piece of
ust about as much
medal of a saint
Catholic. The guys
iotic (at least my
nd nothing hurts
see a buddy die
rt from the very
hey are fighting for.
e corporal to write
I can submit in
Daily. That way if
immature or poor
mean that the cor-
too angry to word
right. I can sleep.
k you. I have noth-,
nscience. Too bad
ces have the guts
ar has. Hats off to
om the 3rd Tank
I am sure that I
of them.) So, you
gfrom Corporal L.
two to three weeks.
t he can do a bet-
'did. Oh yes, three
ed me "Sweetheart
Battalion Comm."
--Linda Diller
must be typed,
and should be no
00 words. All let-
bject to editing;
O words will gen-
tened. No unsign-
l be printed.

The Accidental President by
Robert Sherrill, Grossman Pub-
lishers, 1967.
Does President Johnson really
believe in civil rights? How about
civil liberties, aid to education,
the war on poverty? Did he real-
ly rig the 1948 election in which
he won his Senate seat by 87
votes? Exactly what were his
connections with Bobby Baker?
Did LBJ foster the Vietnam war
to maintain employment and sil-
ence criticism of his administra-
tion? Did he have anything to
do with Kennedy's assassination?
These questions wouldn't have
been asked three years ago. John-
son was then something of a
hero. He had taken over the reins
of a shocked nation swiftly and
firmly; had gotten many of Ken-
nedy's long-stymied programs
through Congress at last; had
just proclaimed the coming of a
Great Society which, even if not
seen by all as "great," contained
little that advocates of social Jus-
tice might oppose; and had be-
gun to acquire the "dove" pos-
ture on Vietnam that so helped
him to win the presidency in his
own right. If Johnson's political
and financial affairs had been a
trifle suspicious, if his record as
a representative, senator and Sen-
ate majority leader had been less
than inspiring, all this could be
forgotten now that he was Presi-
dent. After all, who ever thought
Truman would be half the Presi-
dent he turned out to be? John-
son certainly had more going for
him on his record than Truman
had on his.
BUT TIMES change. The war
was enlarged after all, the Great
Society has been syphoned of all
the funds that might have given
it a chance to be something, and
there are increasing suspicions
about the values, goals and char-
acter of the President.
Such -an atmosphere cries for
a book such as Robert Sherrill's
"The Accidental President," and
if that book isn't all it could be
it's still nice to have it around.
Sherrill, in one of his few lighter
notes, calls his book "a pretty fair
review of those portions of LBJ's
career that, added up, prompt
many of us to look upon the o1'
boy as a fascinatingly rousing bas-
tard." Put less coyly, the book is
a compilation of most everything
in the public record that makes
Johnson look bad. Sherrill shat-
ters several myths about John-
son's background-some of which
had been started by Johnson him-
self, examines some of Johnson's
business relationships, suggests the
"real" motivations for some of
Johnson's policy postudes, and an-
alyzes some aspects of Johnson's
What emerges is a highly un-
even document. The reader learns
nothing that he couldn't find
elsewhere, with the absence of any
discussion of Bobby Baker espe-
cially displeasing. No mention is
made of events in Johnson's life
prior to his winning a House seat
in 1937, the analysis of John-
son's personality resting on a com-
bination of quotations from like-
minded commentators and sum-
mations from his public and gos-
siped private behavior.
In addition, Sherrill wins few
friends with his flip and need-
lessly nasty style, and one gets
annoyed with the lack of a source
for many of the quotes attributed
to Johnson. The following quota-
tion is Sherrill at his worst:
..."I wish you would tell
the Mexicans to get out and
work with the grass, prune the
trees, work with the flowers,"
said Johnson, getting preachy,
as he is wont to do. "Tell
them that's how you got start-
ed, Pat. Tell them to work with
the soil, Pat. Tell them that's
where you started, with the
soil-and now you're a million-

wire. Tell 'em that, Pat. They
want to hear that, Pat. They
want to be told that, Pat. You

started with the soil and now
you're a millionaire."
SOME PROSE is not calculat-
ed to win the inquisitive reader's
favor. Similarly, few hearts will
be warmed by Sherrill's whimsical
treatment of a hypothetical John-
son assassination, or for that mat-
ter, by any of the rambling char-
acter-assassination that composes
the entire introduction.
Sherrill does not blame Johnson
for Kennedy's death (he ruled out
the possibility) though he does
point out comon interests shared
by Johson and Texas oil interests
who Sherrill suggest might well
have triggered the fatal bullet.
But he does accuse Johnson of
something thatain many respects
is worse: of escalating Vietnam
into a major war, "the biggest
pork-barrel of them all . . . to keep
a nation working and prosperous
and content with his administra-
Sherrill's argument takes the
form of "what other could there
be for the war?" Yet even for
those who find the war patently
purposeless, Sherrill himself sug-
gests aspects of Johnson's per-
sonality that politics aside, would
make it far easier for him to ex-
pand the war than to get out. And
surely at this stage of the game
Johnson is getting nothing but
trouble from the war. If Sherrill
were right, why doesn't he just
end it? Sherrill gets carried away
and the reader is grateful to be
left behind.
THIS A GREAT deal of fault to
be found in this 270-page book,
yet I said earlier I believed the
book to be worthwhile. Why? Be-
cause it's handy to be reminded-
or for many, to learn for the first
time-some of the pertinent in-
formation about the Lyndon
Baines Johnson wh Bobby Ken-
nedy supposedly tried so hard to
keep off the ticket in 1960. Sher-
ril, a reporter for the Nation and
sometime resident of Texas, is at
his best when doing straight re-
porting, and there's plenty of
streaight reporting to be done on
Those looking for a rationale
for their dislike of Johnson will
be pleased to learn that Johnson
does lie about his poverty-stricken
youth, that he has no war record
of note, that he did take reporters
on a 100-mile an hour drive
around his ranch, beer bottle in
hand, that he spies on his as-
sistants, that he tries to be mis-
leading about his future actions
and is, petty vindictive, and even
changes plans when word is leak-
ed prematurely.
Johnson's record includes tactics
that made him at home with
McCarthy in the early fifties and
that rightly'made liberals question
his stand on civil rights a few
years later. Johnson has always
been more than a friend to the
Texas oil intests, the mutual bene.
fits of the relationship being re-
ported at length. Has Johnson
ever wanted to help the poor, the
Negro, the aged? Sherrill shows
he never did before he became
President, and uses some highly
illuminating figures to show that
even the impact of the Great So-
ciety programs was more than
compensated for by the higher in-
terest rates and inflation fostered
by Johnson's economic policies.
JOHNSON supporters will have a
hard time not taking a match to
"The Accidental President." But
those who already dislike Johnson
should find plenty to savor, and
the really rabid Johnson-haters
may find the whole book an ad-
mirable document indeed.
Edward Herstein was Daily

Editorial Director in 1964-65,
and is presently a graduate stu-
dent in the School of Education
at the University.



I .- -..- - -.-

Viewing a War From Abroad

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The less than a thousand Viet-
namese students scattered all over
the U.S. are probably more quali-
fied than their colleagues at home
to scrutinize the U.S. policy in
Vietnam objectively. Yet by and
large, they are critical of what
the U.S. is trying to do in their
native land.
The April 30th edition of the
"Chuong Viet" (Bell of Vietnam),
a bilingual (English-Vietnamese)
publication of the Vietnamese
Catholic Students' Association in
America, contains an article:
"How well American understands
Vietnamese," by Kim Thang:
"It was reported that when
President Johnson received a
red-bound copy of the new con-
stitution of South Vietnam, he
said to someone: 'I looked at it
just as proudly as I looked at
Lynda, my first baby.' To me,
that new constitution of South
Vietnam ceased to be a very ef-
fective and an all-Vietnamese
document after that comment
from the President of the United
States! Why? To most Vietna-
mese, to be 'con de' (one's own
child) or to be 'con dau long'
(one's first child) of anything
is to be the object founded or
created by that thing. I think as
most Americans do, President
Johnson did ,not claim the new
constitution of South Vietnam to
be his 'child.' He rather ex-
pressed his happiness toward
seeing that document which re-
flects the progress made to-
ward democracy. But it is too

different in Vietnam is that peo-
ple don't like it. There is a
strong feeling against corrup-
tion and strong desire to get rid
of it.' Ithink that Ambassador
Lodge was correct in saying so.
But he forgot to speak out an-
other strong feeling of the Viet-
namese people. This other feel-
ing is even stronger than the
feeling against corruption. That
is the feeling against demoraliz-
ed doings, the sowing and
spreading of immorality in the
society of Vietnam. Yet the U.S.
OFTEN, the reaction against
the war and the U.S. policy in
Vietnam is expressed through a
poem. In the June 1967 issue of
"Giao Dan" (Cultural Harmony)
published by a Vietnamese stu-
dent group in the New England
area, one car read a poem "There
were nights," a translation of "Co
Nhung Dem" composed by Thien.
Phong. The translator is Phuong
There were nights I had dreams
of starving peasants in rags
having nothing to share but
mutual embraces and tears,
Staring bewildered as the flame
of war devoured clean homes
and fields.
There were nights I had the

and democracy, to sign one's own
name is to sign one's own war-
rant of arrest) wrote a letter to
his friends in the U.S. ("Chuong
Viet," April 30). He noted that
". . . when the plane landed, sol-
diers from several military Jeeps
pointed their guns at the door.
Some 'American advisers' engaged
themselves in low-voiced discus-
sions. I had the impression that
I was a criminal. Fortunately,
nothing serious did happen and
the soldiers allowed us' to dis-
embark. . . . After much search I
finally spotted relatives at the air-
port terminal. Only those who got
the authorization were allowed
to come to the airport, others
had to wait at home."
The letter described the "esca-
lation" of the cost-of-living and
the social deterioration. 'Never-
theless, Mr. T.T.P. advised his
friends to return to Vietnam. He
advised them to "find ways to go
back. If we cannot do anything
now, I am sure that in two or
three years there will be no fath-
erland left for the people of good-
will. If the country is not con-
quered then by the Communists,
it will be by the foreigners -
namely the U.S.'
THIS IS in many ways the
tragedy of the Western-educated
intellectuals of Vietnam, or to a
certain extent, of the intelligent-
sia of the developing countries.
Their bourgeois background and
their irrelevant education make
them strangers in their own land.

Guns of, June

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The following is taken from
a letter written by noted his-
torian Barbara W. Tuchman
("The Guns of August," "The
Proud Tower," et al) to The
Washington Post of Tuesday,
May 30:
In the crisis in the Middle East
we have come to a moment of
truth for this country and for the
community of Western democra-
cies. Aqaba is the crux. If the
President of the United States
can state as a principle that the
Gulf of Aqaba is an international
waterway and that a blockade of
Israeli shipping is illegal and
thereafter not only do nothing to
implement the principle but stand
by while it is violated, then we
have indeed reached the ultimate
paralysis of power.

to Israel's ships. No such efforts
were ever made or even attempted
by his or by succeeding 4adminis-
trations. We can take no com-
fort in being a major power if we
cannot exercise the will and the
strength that goes with the status.
This is-or should be-an Amer-
ican, not a Jewish issue. It is
the American reputation that is
at stake. If the United States in
this crisis fails to support its
stated position, because of involve-
ment in Vietnam, then the un-
easy rationale-called "resistance
to aggression"-of our battle over
there collapses hollowly and pub-
licly. While we claim to fight for
it in the Far East, it is nullified
in, the Near East, closer to home.
ISRAEL represents the land
and the nation which were the



:i> '.-' .'1

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