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September 26, 1965 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1965-09-26

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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 1965

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

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Use of Gas

To Save Civilians Brings Policy Review

SAIGON (JP)-An incident oc-
curred early this month during a
U.S. Marine operation near Qui
Nhon in which Marines success-
fully used tear gas rather than
firearms in an effort to save the
lives of Viet Cong soldiers and
sympathizers who were hidden
in tunnels,
The Marines, hunting down the
Viet Cong, knew that some of the
guerrillas had gone into a maze
of tunnels and underground for-
tifications that are woven into
the earth in many areas of Viet
Nam.
With them, hiding from the
terrors of war, were scores of
civilians, many of them women
and children.
A battalion commander direct-
ed his men to toss in canisters
of "CN," a common tear gas that
produces tears and makes the

nose smart but has no lasting
after-effects. The same type of
gas is used by police and other
authorities to handle riots in
many parts of the world.
The commander was quoted as
saying he gave the order to use
the gas as the most harmless
method of getting the Viet Cong
out of the tunnels and not harm-
ing the civilians.
Many people here - officials,
military and others-feel that the
commander did the best possible
thing under the circumstances.
But in doing so, he violated a
strict U.S. policy against the use
of any type of gas during mili-
tary operations unless authorized
by the top military commander
here, Gen. William C. Westmore-
land.
Military spokesmen said they
did not know whether the battal-

ion commander was aware of the
policy. An investigation was or-
dered into the incident, but re-
dered into the incident and Gen.
William C. Westmoreland an-
nounced that the office had been
exonerated.
The issue brought to the fore-
front again one of the touchiest
issues in a touchy war. It was
learned this week that it brought
a request from the military com-
mand here to Washington for re-
examination of policy on tear gas.
The request covered possible au-
thorization for military command-
ers in the field to use the non-
lethal gas at their own discretion
under certain circumstances.
Possible use of gas in military
action here became the center of
a major controversy last March
after it was disclosed that U.S.
and Vietnamese military forces

had been experimenting with var-
ious types of nolethal gases in
the field.
These involved tear gas with
certain additions that produced
nausea. A few experiments were
actually carried out in operations
against the Viet Cong, but they
were not described as particular-
ly successful because they were
in situations in the open where
the effect was dissipated by wind.
A public cry arose, however,
when it was learned that such
experimental measures had been
carried out. Communist nations
charged that gas warfare was go-
ing on and their charges were
given support in some neutral na-
tions and in some political groups
in friendly Western countries.
Following this uproar, the poli-
cy was laid down that U.S. forces
here would not use even tear gas

in military actions. But troops
still were issued tear gas as part
of their standard equipment for
possible use as a riot control agent.
After the incident early this
month, Hanoi, Peking and Mos-
cow again tried to make the most
of renewed charges of gas 'war-
ware, but generated nothing on
the scale of the previous clamor.
There is some feeling among au-
thorities here now that if the pos-
sible use of tear gas was explain-
ed properly it could be utilized
without creating a great public
outcry.
Some military men oppose the
use of tear gas on grounds that
the results are not worth the prop-
aganda material that such action
affords the Communists.
More seem to feel, however, that
it should be used if properly con-
trolled and with the reasons fully,

explained. They argue:
1) Tear gas is humane because'
it spares the lives of civilians in
a war that repeatedly is fought
among civilians.
2) It would be particularly ad-
vantageous here because of the
tactical aspects of the Vietna-
mese war, where elaborate under-
ground bunkers, trenches and for-
tifications have been b u i1 t
throughout decades.
3) Under certain circumstances
it permits the taking of prison-
ers who are able to give informa-
tion.
Advocates of the latter theory
cite a recent engagement between
U.S. Marines and strong Viet Cong
forces south of Da Nang. More
than 60 Viet Cong were killed in
a cave, where they had refused
to give themselves up. Gas sup-
porters say they could have been

driven out with tear gas and then
would have been able to talk.
Most of the argument for the
use of tear gas settles on this
humane theme, however.
The war here often ranges
through hamlets and villagesI
which may be Viet-Cong-control-
led -but which include civilians.
Some of them may support the
Viet Cong; some of them may be
there only because they have to be.
Too frequently, in the view of
many, they become casualties..
The Viet Cong often use civil-
ians deliberately, especially wom-
en and children, as shields against
government or U.S. forces ad-
vancing against them.
They often force these civilians
into underground fortifications
with them, knowing there will be
reluctance to blast them out.

"It seems like the simplest thing
in the world to me," said one
captain who is serving his sec-
ond tour of duty in Viet Nam.
"Tear gas in these situations
where the VC go underground and
take people with them is by far
the best answer.
"Such a program would have
to be explained properly and han-
dled properly. You would have to
announce throughout the world
what you were going to do and
why you were going to do it. Every
time you use tear gas you should
have Vietnamese-speaking inter-
preters on hand to explain to
the people on the spot what was
used, what its effects will be and
why it was done. You might just
be surprised and find you got a
more favorable reaction than you
expected."

U.S.
iet
e S. Viet Nam
Turns Tide
In .6 Weeks
Gen. Westmoreland
Report Is Optimistic
For Viet Nam Forces
HONOLULU (M)-Gen. William
C. Westmoreland, head of all U.S.
military forces in South Viet Nam,
exuded optimism on the Viet Nam
war as he arrived Saturday from
Saigon.
He said South Viet Nam's gov-
ernment troops and their allies
have taken the initiative against
the Communist Viet Cong and
indicated the tide had turned in
South Viet Nam's favor within
the past six weeks.
The four-star general came to
Honolulu for conferences with
Adm. U.S. Grant Sharp, Pacific
military commander.
"The American effort and that
of government troops supported by
those other countries of the free
world who now assist in Viet Nam
have the initiative at this time,"
Westmoreland said.
"The Viet Cong, during the last
six weeks, have been quiet and
inactive. However, they have dis-
played some aggressive attitudes
in Bin Dinh Province this week,
and there has been a sizable en-
gagement in that area.
"Initial reports are to the ef-
fect that government troops gave
an excellent account of themselves
and the Viet Cong have suffered
many casualties."
Questioned at planeside about a
possible change in Communist
strategy, Westmoreland said it
"would be difficult to draw firm
conclusions" but that "there is
certain evidence the Viet Cong
have had some second thoughts
in moving in regimental size for-
mation."
He said the Communists did
move in larger numbers some
months- ago but sustained many
casualties.
Westmoreland estimated that
the Communists are losing about
three men to every one of the
government forces.
"I'm optimistic with the trends
at the present, time," he said.
"They are quite favorable.
"I have been particularly im-
pressed recently with the adapt-
ability and effectiveness of Ameri-
can troops that have been com-
mitted to this counterinsurgency
' conflict.
"I knew they would do well, but
they have even exceeded my ex-
pectations."
Worl
By The Associated Press
LIMA, Peru-Peruvia: army pa-
trols continue to clash with guer-
rillas in the Andes. News dis-
patches reaching Lima yesterday
said eight guerrillas and two sol-
diers had been killed in the lat-
est encounter.

The dispatches said the army
rangers had met the guerrillas Fri-
day around Pucuta, about 200
miles east of Lima, in the second
straight day of fighting in that
area. On Thursday, army head-
quarters reported, numerous guer-
rillas and three army men were

advisor
gong P

Optimistic;

LOOKS FORWARD:
Erhard Works for
Stronger Control

,

S.
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ushed

Back

Viet Cong
Yield Post-
No Fight
Major Assault Hits
Bong Son Area Near
Main American Base
SAIGON ()-South Vietnamese
troops have retaken a government
outpost seized by Viet Cong guer-
rillas and the opening blow of a
major assault two days ago north
of the central coast supply line
to U.S. forces in the highlands.
In the air war, four U.S. jets
unloaded a million propaganda
sheets onto Haiphong, the heavily
defended seaport that serves North
Viet Nam's capital, Hanoi. The
planes avoided Soviet supplied
ground-to-air missile sites around
Haiphong by showering the leaf-
lets into winds carrying into Hai-
phong. The leaflets told the North
Vietnamese the Communist re-
gime was using their rice to get
weapons from Red China.
The South Vietnamese operation
near the central coast aparently
ended in the government's favor.
A U.S. spokesman said government
troops, without a fight, retook
the outpost near Bong Son, about
50 miles north of Qui Nhon, where
the first cavalry division landed
two weeks ago at a key supply-
receiving area.
No Further Contacts
South Vietnamese informants
reported no further contacts with
the Viet Cong elsewhere in the
area. The government claimed the
South Vietnamese troops engaged
between one thousand and fifteen
hundred guerrillas i the 48-hour
operation and that 600 of them
were killed. There was no con-
firmation of this casualty figure
from US. sources.
The South Vietnamese said
American planes supporting the
operation killed 500 Viet Cong.
But only 70 guerrilla bodies have
been counted, although other re-
ports tell of 170 other Cong bodies
lying in the open. The South Viet-
namese claimed the Viet Cong
were trying to remove their dead
from the battle scene.
It was in the same general area
a week ago that troops of the U.S.
101st Airborne met the Viet Cong
in a sharp fight to secure the base
camp of the 1st cavalry division
at An Khe. The 1st cavalry moved
into bolster U.S. and government
control of the central highlands.
Continue Defense
Closer to An Khe, the Viet Cong
continued to pull defensive perim-
eters of the 101st and 1st cavalry,
firing mortars and small arms.
U.S. officials said the guerrillas
inflicted light casualties. Because
of security regulations, U.S. and
South Vietnamese do not give
their casualties in numbers.
Blast Fortifications
Troops of the U.S. 1st division
blasted several enemy fortifica-
tions in a sweep of tunnels and
caves about 35 miles north of Sai-
gon.
In other action close to Saigon,
a VietCong force slipped into a
hamlet ten miles outside the capi-
tal and blew up a school, health
clinic and an outpost. The guerril-
las escaped after killing a civilian
and wounding eight others.
A panel of high-ranking T.S.
military officers will take "a good
hard look at the broad subject" of
tactical air firepower in Viet Nam,
including the problem of civilian

BONN, Germany (R) - Riding
high after his victory in last Sun-
day's election, Chancellor Ludwig
Erhard is busy trying to take the
reins of party and government in-
to his own hands.
He seems sure of four more
years in the luxurious brick-and-
glass "bungalow" built for him on
the grounds of the Chancellery
along the Rhine.
Cabinet Problem
Erhard's present problem is to
put together a cabinet, his own
cabinet. The one he has now is
virtually the same that was serv-
ing when Chancellor Konrad Ade-
nauer stepped down two years ago.
Critics are waiting to see if Er-
hard can put his own stamp on it,
or whether there was justification
in campaign taunts that he turns
into a "rubber lion" or a "custard
pudding" under political pressure.
"I don't care much about power
for its own sake," he said during
the campaign.
But he knows he needs people
he can trust if he expects to get
his own ideas through.
Many Ideas
Erhard has plenty of ideas, and
some differ from Adenauer's. He
wants close collaboration with the
United States and Britain, an in-
tegrated Atlantic alliance, a dras-
tic reduction of trade barriers in
Europe and the world at large, an
effective halt to the spread of
nuclear weapons. Adenauer fol-
lows his friend Charles de Gaulle
in his suspicion of these aims.
At home, Erhard wants to put
together a new kind of "structured
society" in which conflicting
groups will work together in the
public interest.
Erhard's position is something
like President Johnson's. Erhard
also took over in mid-term from
a respected predecessor without a
Greek Crisis
Solved with
Close Vote
ATHENS (PR)-Premier Stephan-
os Stephanopoulos won a vote of
confidence in Parliament yester-
day, ending Greece's worst gov-
ernment crisis in nearly 20 years.
Parliament voted in the 21-
member coalition 152-148 after a
tumultuous debate.
It was the first government to
receive a parliamentary mandate
since King Constantine fired
George Papandreou from the pre-
miership July 15. They disagreed
over control of the armed forces.
Two other governments install-
ed by the king were voted down
when ithcame to the mandatory
confidence test.
Bachelor Economist
Stephanopoulos, 66, a bachelor
economist, is a dissident member
of Papandreou's Center Union
party. He won the support of the
National Radical Union's 99 dep-
uties, plus 8 of the Progressive
party and 44 other dissident Cen-
ter Union members.
Papandreou's original majority
of 171 was reduced to 126 as the
crisis wore on and members de-
fected. Those remaining loyal to
the 77-year-old former premier
and 22 deputies of the pro-Com-
munist United Democratic Left
voted against the new government.
Gather Outside Parliament
Immediately after the vote,
groups of Papandreouhbackers
g a t h e r e d outside Parliament
chanting the name of their chief
and shouting "Shame!" at mem-
bers of the new government.
From his home Papandreou
vowed to keep up his "unrelenting
struggle" and predicted the new

popular vote. An added factor was
that Adenauer was still active,
chairman of his party and a sharp
critic of the successor who had
served in his cabinet 14 years.
Now Erhard, like Johnson, has
been to the voters and got their
endorsement.
Erhard's victory was less spec-
tacular. His party won only three
new seats in the 496-man Bunde-
stag. Its Social Democratic. op-
ponents made a bigger gain-12
seats. Erhard's ally, the Free Dem-
ocratic party, lost heavily. Be- .
cause of his tneed for the Free
Democrats in a coalition govern-
ment, Erhard will not be able to
enact all the legislation he might
want.
Pressures Heavy
The pressures on him are
heavy. Some fruits of victory must
go to the Bavarian wing of the
party, led by ex-Defense Minister
Franz Josef Strauss, and to Ade-
nauer, who fought for the party if
not for Erhard.
They are West Germany's lead-
ing admirers of De Gaulle and
they will have something to say
about the new cabinet.
Measure of Strength
A measure of Erhards strengthI
in resisting them will be the fateI
of two key ministers closely
identified with hispro-American
policy and has cautious approach
to better relations with the So-
viet bloc. Both-Foreign Minister
Gerhard Schroeder and Vice
Chancellor Erich Mende-are, un-
der fire from Adenauer and
Strauss.
Some people would like to see
ex-Justice Minister Ewald Bucher
return to the cabinet. He quit
earlier this year rather than ap-
prove an extension of the hunt for
Nazi murderers, maintaining that
the bill was unconstitutional.

1
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-Associated Press

ROCKET TEST SUCCESS
The world's largest solid-fuel rocket spewed a 1,000 foot tongue
of flame above a remote swampland yesterday and gave tremen-
dous impetus to a plan to develop huge U.S. space boosters using
this super-quick propellent. The rocket developing over three
million pounds of thrust, blew off its ignition cradle shown flying
through the air in the upper left corner of the picture. The
spectacular success may have rescued the nation's large solid-
fuel rocket program, revived recently by a hard-working group
of supporters. Aerojet General Corp. built the rocket as part of
a $25 million contract with the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration.
News Roundup

MOSCOW-Soviet leaders said
farewell to East German President
Walter Ulbricht with hugs and
kisses in Moscow yesterday and
pi jclaimed Soviet-East German
unity.
Seeing Ulbricht off were Com-
munist party Secretary Leonid I.
Brezhnev, Premier Alexei N. Kosy-
gin, and President Anastas I. Mi-
koyan.
* * *
STUTTGART, Germany - Or-
ganizers of the 120th annual
Cannstaetter Festival in Stuttgart,
West Germany, have come up with
an answer to the old drinking and

The festival, which opened yes-
terday, runs for 12 days.
SAIGON-U.S. B-52 jet bomb-
ers from Guam carried out their
32nd strategic air attack of the
war yesterday bombing suspected.
guerrilla positions in Quang Ngai
Province, 325 miles north of Sai-
gon.
The U.S. air was was under
scrutiny in Saigon. A body of
high-ranking U.S. officials is re-
ported to have been formed in
Saigon to study the use of U.S.
air power.

NIGHT OR DAY... Bali-"Lo" with Feather-light wiring
n e o jmn ah nnn , Amlirrr -i 1n ni ,rril-n-f7

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