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October 16, 1969 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-10-16

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Confronting some lessons of a

Vietnam experience

-Daily -Larry Rubbin~i

Fighting the enemy within

Editorial Page Editor
THE MORATORIUM has been a dramatic and
instructional confrontation between traditional
American ideals of democracy, freedom, and the
right to dissent and the real ideals that con-
stitute our present administration.
For too long, people like Richard Nixon have
made themselves comfortable with the liberals'
response to the escalating tactics of the antiwar
movement, "Sure wx support and encourage dis-
sent, as long as it doesn't destroy property and
doesn't infringe upon the rights of others." The
moratorium is forcing the former vice president to
show his true colors-that he really does not sub-

scribe to the most basic American ideals at all.
Bringing the war home means first identifying
the enemy. Too many Americans have been mis-
lead into believing that the enemy of American
democracy is incarnated in Moscow, in Havana,
in Peking, and in Hanoi. But the 'response of
the premiere of North Vietnam and the response
of Nixon and Agnew to yesterday's moratorium
should serve to convince the unconvinced that
first we must conquer the enemy within.
In regarding the words of Pham Van Dong
and those of Nixon and Agnew, we are forced to
discover againl that American values are being
expressed more accurately by he whom we
are told is our "enemy."


Daily-Jay Cas~sidy

n pursuit of a passing peace

The letter from Hanoi

Dear American Friends,
Even since the beginning, progressive Ameri-
can people have been fighting against the aggres-
sive war in Vietnam. In autumn of this year, a
great number of Americans, encouraged and sup-
ported by many peace-loving American personali-
ties, again staged a broad and strong movement all
over the United States to demand the Nixon Ad-
ministration to put an end to the aggressive war
in Vietnam and immediately bring home all
American troops.
Your struggle is a noble reflection of the legi-
timat° and urgent demand of the American
people, which is to safeguard the honor of the
United States and save their children and broth-
ers from a useless death in Vietnam.
It is also a worthy and timely rebuff to the ob-
stinate attitude of the United States Administra-
tion in intensifying and prolonging the aggressive
war in Vietnam. regardless of the protest of public
opinion in the United States and the world.
The Vietnamese people and peoples of the
world wholeheartedly approve and acclaim your
just struggle.
The Vietnamese people demand that the
United States Administration withdraw totally

and without conditions American troops and those
of foreign countries in the American camp out of
Vietnam and let the people of Vietnam decide
themselves their own affairs.
The Vietnamese people eagerly desire peace,
but it must be peace in independence and freedom.
So long as the U.S. Administration refuses to
put an end to its aggressive war in Vietnam, the
people of Vietnam will continue their resolute
struggle to defend their fundamental national
Our people's patriotic struggle is exactly the
same as the one for peace and justice that you
have been carrying out.
It is our firm belief that with the unity and
courage of the two peoples, with the approval
and support of peace-loving peoples in the wotd.
the struggle of the Vietnamese people and pro-
gressive American people against the U.S. aggres-
sion will be completely successful.
Wishing you a great success in your autumn
Yours sincerely,
Pham Van Dong
Prime Minister of the Democratic
Republic of Vietnam

Associate City Editor
AFTER THE years of protest and teach-ins
and yesterday's moratorium it seems some-
how unreal to think of the war as ever end-
ing. For a few hopeful moments after John-
son withdrew and the Paris talks started, the
idea of a resolution to the conflict could ac-
tually be conceived in the mind. It was a
conception that one could turn over and
grasp and react to with some feeling, in some
tangible way.
But then it all faded away and peace be-
came as hard to think of in realistic terms
as it had ever been.
With each successive protest the desire to
think of the ways to peace--the terms and
alignments from which peace will be formed
-overwhelms the imagination.

The((Il administraItion on11 tle 111 oratori untl

"The leaders and sponsors of tomorrow's mora-
torium, public officials, and others leading these
demonstrations should openly repudiate the sup-
port of the totalitaritan government which has
on its hands the blood of 40.000 Americans."
-Spiro Agnew
Oct. 14
There rec
r THEY SHUFFIlED their feet unknowingly
to quicken the passage of time.
Men iaughed with their co-eds, while
those who had come alone said little until
the line began to move visibly and they
wer ure Oh What a Lovely War was about
to begin.
Why did they com? to the Fifth forum, n
they were asked. It was free, said most,
but others shrugged and added that there
was little else to do.
A LAZY WEDNESDAY in Anil Arbor on
Moratorium '69.
They were advertising on the Diag:{
"March on Washington, Nov. 13, 14 and 15:
tickets for Allen Ginsberg reading at 4
p.m. we need people at the supermarkets, ;
transportation will be provided." By 11:30
they had the routine perfected. Each ad-
vertiser waited for his turn to come and then "
spoke to the point. It ran together like a'
Bvst rnders stond on the 2)avement. or re-

"To allow government policy to be made in the
streets would destroy the democratic process and
invite anarehx''
-Richard Nixon
Oct. 13

THIE ESSENCE of American policy from the
beginning of our intervention in Vietnam has
been the defense of a small dictatorial elite
whose interest lies in their continued economic
and military control of the country.
And around defense of this group have
centered most of the plans offered for the
resoiution of the war.
From th old enclave theory for the defense
of the South to the present plans for Vietnam-
ization of the war, all the proposals coming
from Administration and near-Administra-
tion sources have been designed for the perpet-
uation of control by this elite.
And, although this consideration presents
no justification for American involvement in
the xxar, it does remain a significant problem
in possible peace settlements. Will we aban-
don the elite who have come to depend on
the support of this country for their continued
THE CURRENT plans call for an increas-
ed integration of South Vietnamese troops into
the combat operations to allow for phased
withdrawal of American forces. The South
Vietnamese would then be able to continue
the war on their own until some compromise
was worked out in Paris.
This plan is plainly beyond the realm of the
possible. The government of the South is in-
capable of sustaining a war effort on its own
without massive military and economic aid
from this country, even with that aid it seem-
ed unlikely that a government as unpopular
as that of the South could long survive.
And as for the hope for a compromise in
Paris there is almost none. The leaders of
North Vietnam believe that continuation of
the present American policy can only help
them-all they need to do is sit tight. If they
agree to enter a coalition it would only be to
their benefit to try to take control of it or
destroy it.
And to that challenge posed by the leaders
of the North we can only justifiably reply why
shouldn't they? This country must not designl
its plans fox' peace around the same ideals by
which it has justified the war. The political
and economic maintenance of the political and
economic dictators of the South should never
have brought this country into that war and
that consideration should not control the re-
solution of the war.
FOR THAT reason, the only just solution is
immediate withdrawal of all American forces.
The consequences of that action are plain.
The Communist forces 'ill succeed in their
drive to oust the present leaders of S o u t h
V~etno .m
In the interests of preservation of life, this
e untry should, as Senator George McGovern
has eu-sted, offhr political asylum to any
of those in the South who feel their lives
would be in dancer. But having granted this.
the United States must adopt total with-
drawal as the only reasonable solution to the

illy wUS

nothing else we could do'

to find one by crocus planting or stadium
marching or somehox affecting the war,
THE DRAFT BOARD march began short-
ly after 10 a.m., and the people in the first
group said little to each other during th?
picketing. They marched diligently around
the building, forming an oblong circle.
There would be chanting later, but one
girl from out of town was deeply saddened
by the coldness of the picketers. She had
tried to provoke conversations from many
she said, but no one cared. Just a radical
marching machine.
The 30 from Women's Liberation s u r-
rounded the second floor draft office and
shouted "We are fighting, we are strong.
End the War." The out-of-town female was
bothered. "They shouldn't be fighting." she
"We've had it planned for over a week,"
said one Women's Liberation member, ad-
mitting, "it's not spontaneous."
That seemed precisely the point. The

The men in the Selective Service office
smiled when the women left. They have a
right to dissent, one said, ready to return
as usual to business. Wasn't the curious
about what the women wanted; wasn't he
stimulated to talk with them? No, he had
seen protests before, and it was a pretty
clear cut issue.
The women spoke to the secretaries in the
office and the secretaries politely gave them
information on the draft. Nothing m o r e,
nothing less.
The women had their view and the draft
men had theirs. Nobody said much to any-
bcdy else, nobody cared.
In the barber shop downstairs one older
gentleman continued to read his paper
when asked his impressions of the pro-
t. st. "I'd rather not discuss it he said,"
sh:king his head.
"They were cleaner than usual," said ano-
ther in the barber shop, looking up briefly
and then returning to his hair.

gether on the Diag as much by the bore-
dom of everyday student life as by opposi-
tion to the war.
Why they were there, few could articu-
late. What they would accomplish, few
knew. That everyone else would be there
seemed reason enough.
One girl waiting outside an auditor-
ium was asked why she waS going to class.
"I have an exam," she said, adding quick-
ly. "Does that absolve me?"
BUT HER question was the wrong o n e.
The search on Moratorium Wednesday did
not simply concern absolution. It was for
the solidarity found at Woodstock, the re-
lease of frustration, some semblance of pur-
pose. But this rarely came across.
And the feet keep shuffling.

AMP Affirhinn" 471ailit

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