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October 20, 1965 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1965-10-20

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Seventy-Sixth Year

I've Started Feeling that

Way Again

Where Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN AFEOR, 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.

The Weekend's Protests:
Some Unfortunate Results

LAST WEEKEND'S nationwide protests
against the war in Viet Nam are hav-
ing ramifications which cast serious doubt
upon the ability of this country to toler-
ate political dissent and free expression
of opinion.
A hardening of extreme political view-
points and a return to a neo-McCarthy-
ite climate are among the dangers which
cast a shadow in the wake of the demon-
strations. Predictably, the initial reac-
tion in Washington has been to begin
an investigation into the left-wing but
definitely non-Communist Students for
a Democratic Society, some of whose
chapters were among sponsors of the
Several unfortunate results of the
weekend demonstrations were probably
not foreseen by those involved.
First a hardening of positions, both on
the left and on the right, has already be-
gun, as a result of the demonstrations,
and is likely to continue. A recent na-
tional poll reported that only 11 per cent
of the .people are now in favor of imme-
diate negotiations and withdrawal from
Viet Nam, compared with 30 per cent in
favor of those actions three months ago.
On the other hand, a full third of the
nation's citizens are now declaring them-
selves in favor of "total victory" and a
quick one-including the bombing of Ha-
noi and Red China, if necessary.
The small minority which is now in
favor of unconditional negotiations and
withdrawal has become increasingly shrill
and overwrought, descending to inanities
such as calling President Johnson a mur-
derer and declaring that this country is
committing "genocide" in South Viet
Nam. A good, logical case can be made for
cessation in U.S. bombings of North Viet
Nam, renewed efforts to achieve a cease-
fire through the United Nations, and rec-
ognition of the Viet Cong's political pow-
er by granting it a role in peace negotia-
However, it is politically unrealistic
and naive to call for an immediate with-
drawal of all U.S. troops without assur-
ing at least some measure of choice to
the South Vietnamese people in deter-
nining the type of government they
would prefer, since an immediate Viet
Cong military victory would be the in-
evitable result of a total U.S. pullout.
Unfortunately, too many of the pro-
testors- and demonstrators are advocat-
ing extreme, simplistic solutions which
are logically no more valid than the bel-
licose calls for bombings of Hanoi and
Red China.
A SECOND unfortunate ramification of
the weekend protests is a result of
Communist China's and North Viet Nam's
inability or unwillingness to realize that
the majority of Americans do support
President Johnson's actions in the war.
Hanoi and Peking state through their
press that the U.S. demonstrations prove
that the American people are unwilling
to continue the war effort.
This cripples diplomatic moves for
peace talks, since ,the Communists are
unlikely to consider negotiations as long
as they see a possibility that the U.S.
will tire of fighting and unilaterally with-
draw. Unwittingly, the anti-war demon
strators may have helped prolong the
fighting rather than bring it to an early
end, which is their avowed goal.
The third and perhaps most danger-
ous result of the International Days of
Protest is what might turn out to be a
full-fledged return to the malignant, re-
actionary posture of neo-McCarthyism
throughout the nation. One can almost
sense: in the air the drawing up of men-
tal battle formations against' those who

dare to question the government's Viet
Nam policy, presumably reached through
President Johnson's favored technique of
Throughout the government and in
the mass media one can feel the growing
disdain and hatred toward college-age
youth who profess to be somewhat less
Editorial Staff

than wholeheartedly enthusiastic about
going to war. The end result of this in-
tolerance may well be the subversion of
democracy in this country through the
suppression of dissenting opinion, wheth-
er in the name of "the national interest,"
"military security" or some other catch-
some of the demonstrators are in part
responsible for the official condemnation
in Washington. It is important to dis-
tinguish between these expressions of
civil disobedience and those involving pro-
test marches or rallies.
Universal military obligation through
Selective Service may well be a form of
involuntary servitude, but it is a neces-
sary one without which the nation could
not survive, international political and
military conditions being what they are.
Violations of the Selective Service Law
constitute a form of anarchy as well as
an attention-getting device. The penal-
ties for such violations are excessively se-
vere (maximum of five years in prison
and/or $10,000 fine), but draft-age youth
who are protesting the Viet Nam war on
political, moral or ethical grounds rather
than out of the selfish desire to avoid
service should restrain their protests to
legally, constitutionally-sanctioned forms
of demonstration.
Draft-card burning and overt attempts
to escape military service through deceit
and chicanery are usually rI: otivated not
by sincere objections to war as such but
by self-interest at the expense of others.
Those who are conscientious objectors,
with emphasis on the word conscientious,
have legal means at their disposal to
avoid serving on the battlefield. Those
who sincerely believe that U.S. conduct
of the Viet Nam war is immoral or un-
ethical (and it must be said that there
is much evidence to support this view)
should engage in teach-ins or peaceful
demonstrations without resorting to es-
sentially futile acts of civil disobedience
such as sit-ins at draft boards or marches
on army terminals.
Dissenters from administration policies
have a legitimate right and a moral duty
to speak out, and speak out loudly, but
they should attempt for the sake of their
own position, to conduct their protests
within a logical, reasonable framework.
MEANWHILE, President Johnson, who
has been quoted as surprised "that
any one citizen would feel tqward his
country in a way that is not consistent
with the national interest," has sadly
misinterpreted the purpose of the demon-
strations. I
Most of the protestors are more hon-
estly "patriotic" than the jingoists who
cry "treason" and "Commie" at the slight-
est hint of dissent. The college-age dem-
onstrators are for the most part ideal-
istic, highly sensitive Americans who love
their country but feel that it is not ful-
filling its stated ideals by attempting to
bomb the South Vietnamese populace into
submission. In their view, the "national
interest" requires that the U.S. conduct
its foreign policy in ways consistent with
its constitutionally stated ideals of de-
mocracy and freedom of choice.
This requires allowing the South Viet-
namese people to determine for them-
selves the form of government they wish
to have, not bombing them in the belief
that they prefer being dead to being Red.
THE POSSIBILITY of the growth of a
neo-McCarthyite political climate in
this country, a bolstering of Communist
views that the U.S. will pull out of the

Viet Nam war unilaterally, and a harden-
ing of extreme political positions in this
country thus comprise the unfortunate
ramifications of last weekend's Viet Nam
protests. Yet, serious as they are, these
possibilities are still less significant than
exercising the right to protest and dissent
-a fundamental American right around
which much of the Cold War political
struggle revolves.
If, through political pressure and "in-
vestigations," Washington attempts to
squelch the expression of viewpoints
which differ from the Johnsonian con-

WROTE three weeks ago about Rather,
that weekend when it appeared because
that there would be war between witch h
India and China. A rather undes- today.
cribable but pervasive feeling of
futility came upon me. That feel- NOW
ing was what motivated me to Nam, al
contemplate packing up some food, Presiden
etc., calling a few friends and people a
heading away from populated cen- clear to
ters. can in
Today I couldn't successfully separate
pursue that particular method of like me
concession - to - The-Way-Things- he justi
Will-Always-Be. They'd surely others d
find me no matter where I went We d
in this country. To succeed in seem at
saving my sanity (it is difficult to seems p
preserve sanity in an environment Viet Na;
which is going insane), I'd ac- advance
tually have to emigrate out of We
America and avoid extraditers like wrong t
the plague. fend ou
I know I wouldn't do that, how- bsimply
ever, despite the fact it now ap- better In
pears likely that I and 30 com-
patriots will be drafted into the We d
army for opposing the war against that coi
Viet Nam. Basically, I continue to or allo
believe that those compatriots and are not
I have an importantmission in
America. I would hate to desert MOST1
that mission or those friends, killing b
some d
THE POINT IS that ever since people i
the federal reprecussions to last people
weekend's sit in began, I've felt when t
that same undescribable but per- are war
vasive feeling of futility. Not be- now fig]
cause I may no, longer be able to Undo
stay in school; not because I may taking(
no longer have a means to stay also beh
out of the army. (It would cer- against
tainly destroy me, and at least does no
part of my reason for avoiding fails to
it is that I feel both a right and saying:
a compelling obligation to protect it only t
me. But I also would not kill or
participate in the killing of Viet- Nor d
namese.) ment is
Not even because I might have desired(
to spend five years in jail (the in Was]
usual sentence for those who re- secure
fuse to serve when drafted), enoughi
To the Editor: was in
THERE IS a terrifying element monar
in people's thinking today. It
is not new, but with the onset now citizen
of massed protests of dissent it the c
has become arperverted, a vicious, clothes
and an increasingly dominant holds1
mode of thought. It is doubtless a agitate
most attractive outlet for those loyal;1
who need to vent their hostilities, may b
for those who wish to identify he see
with their peer group, for those excuse
who have other secondary rea- agitate
sons for mischanneling their duty 0
energy, but never for those who down
have an honest interest or a feel- matter
ing of obligation to observe and This
to participate in matters of im- America
portance, dissent
I refer of course to the basic byes or
lack of understanding of certain is by M
individuals with regard to the
rights inherent in the American
system, and even more, the lack
of even a minimum of human de-
cency, as demonstrated most re-
cently by those who countered To the
with insults, obscenities, threats THE T
and violence the group protesting erati
American policy in Viet Nam. -both
This policy is now in some re- past wi
spects only a secondary issue, a the par
symptom perhaps, of a much more on the
frightening and arrogant bother- mean t
me-not attitude which is fast en- protesti
veloping us. The government does I pers
not wish to bother itself respon- I Vets
ding to the questions of the aca- in Viet
demic community. Lesser notables protest
than they do not wish to look up I have
from their televisions or school- dou
books to observe reality thunder- Nam. I
ing at them. Last weekend, TGIF's convinc
all over the country were inter- demn o
rupted and an ugly reaction: oc- Viet Na
curred. In Ann Arbor they threw of wha
eggs, rocks and empty bottles; This

they called us Jews, Communists, should
queers; they destroyed our dis- The wb,
plays and they attacked us physic- based c
ally; and they absolved themselves and the
of guilt because their actions up- feel is w
held their perverted Americanism. Howeve
They taught us a lesson-but for brea
not the one they think they did. tests. T
They made us afraid-but not of of Ann
them. We know now that if we in mak
stop talking for one minute we have ha
have that much more to say in to demi
the next. And we are now afraid legally.
that it is increasingly difficult to to go o
apply what are fast becoming mere On tl
paper rights. When it becomes reason
necessary in a state to defend cies in
an idea with one's fists, the state and di
is in serious trouble. When that phrey s
state becomes intolerant of dis- all for1
sent and answers it with a witch having
hunt,,it has lost whatever decency he will'
it once possessed. When it refuses as hard
discussion and mocks educated way.
and sincere questioners, it is dawn-
ing upon an age of arrogance, HAVI
upon a philosophy which is usual- about t
ly ascribed to some more detest- Washin
able forms of government. It is cies ani
perhaps not too busy, but too fear- are mis
ful of being forced to justify itself ever, I
and thereby be found mean and against
wanting: the ani
Those of us who protest this Homec
arrogance also love our country. was in
We ascribe to the philosophy so tion, it
compactly expressed by the follow- stroyed
ing quotations: should
have he.~

that futility overcame me
of what the impending
unt says about America
1 Americans-from me to
t Johnson-are aware that
are being killed, and it is
all of us that dead men
no sense be free. What
s me and many others
from the President is that
fies that killing and we
o not.
o not because it does not
all necessary (in fact it
ositively wrong) to kill in
rm in order to preserve or
Jo not because it seems
o kill in Viet Nam to de-
ar image, and not at all
because there are much
ways to promote a much
o not because we think
immitments -which require
uus to kill in Viet Nam,
worth honoring.
LY, we do not justify the
because we do, at least to
egree greater than other
n this country, take other
seriously. I think it is
his is not done that there
s of the kind America is
ubtedly, the practice of not
other people seriously is
ind the impending actions
the war's opponents. That
at mean the government
understand what we are
I think they understand
too well.
does it mean the govern-
not very afraid of us: we
its power and its much-
consensus, and the people
[ington are basically in-
enough, basically aware
of the possibility they are

wrong to want to destroy us so
they can sleep more easily.
WHAT IT obviously means is
that people in the government
(more properly, the American
people), when confronted with
challenges to their behavior, their
values and their power, can react
only by insisting that we are sick,
confused, immoral, out purely for
personal gain, unpatriotic and/or
Any one of combination of such
dismissals nicely enables people
to ignore something which might
require them to reconstruct a bit
of their values, a bit of their re-
It is the much-vaunted "com-
plexity" of our civilization here in
America (among other things)
which creates this need to stop
taking things-different seriously.
"Reality" is hard enough to deal
with as it is; one must, therefore,
eliminate as much of it as pos-
TO HELP THIS process along,
one is presented with all the over-
simplifications one needs (effec-
tively creating the impression that
nothing else exists which is legi-
timate) in the news media, in
school, in government proclama-
On top of that, one is told that
only experts should solve problems
and make legislation, and that the
mere citizen should not think he
has to try. And at the same time,
the lack of power which people
have over the institutions and
forces which determine their lives
positively intimidates any effort
they might make.

All of this necessarily produces
a shift in one's priority of values
which allows one always co justify
the most expedient, least compli-
cated, least demanding course.
SO ONE DOES not take Eer-
iously the expressed desires of
those who are fighting U.S. sol-
diers in .Viet Nam, does not take
seriously the suffering of all the
Vietnamese, does not take serious-
ly all the possibilities which occur
and which are proposed for ending
the war decently.
So, also, one does not take pro-
test against that priority seriously.
It is not very significant, in this
regard, that North Viet Nam and
Peking might be less likely to
surrender because of the growing
opposition to the war in the U.S.
What is far more important is
that the government is angered
at all that some people are inter-
ferring with its policies.
Perhaps in the short run there
will now be a few more people
dead, though even this is doubtful,
for American soldiers and air-
planes are far more convincing
to the NLF and Hanoi than news
of political critics far away.
Hanoi have always thought that
American public opinion had very,
little to do with the war, and the
basic determinant of their war
efforts is and always has been
simply their perception that they
must drive from Viet Nam the
"American Imperialists" and "dic-
tators" of Saigon. (That descrip-
tion may not be wholly accurate,
but again, we ought to try to take
it seriously.)
What matter most, however,
is that it is American policy that
is primarily responsible for the
continued killing. Despite doubt-
ful short run considerations, if
that policy is pursued very much
longer the policy itself and not

current public opinion is what will
be killing people.
The effect of condemning the
demonstrations on this point, then,
is once more not to take people
seriously. The condemnation is a
beautiful ploy to the very basic
questions about the whole policy
in Viet Nam which we demon-
strators are raising.
WHAT IS beginning to frighten
me now is actually something I
knew and expected all along-that
those conditions of life in this coun-
try which have produced and sus-
tained the war against Viet Nam
would not manifest themselves in
that war alone.
The war can largely be laid to
the intolerance (and that is exact-
ly the term for not taking people
seriously) which the powerlessness
and insecure confusion of our so-
cial system necessitate for survival.
If, because of these conditions,
people therefore do not take Viet-
namese seriously and therefore do
not take more demanding> alter-"
natives to the war seriously, if
because of this there is a war,
then there is no reason why there
should not also be persecution of
those who interject other chal-
I GUESS, though, that in a
somewhat different formulation
this has always been the case:
nothing much at all is safe during
a war. Since I am no longer "safe"
for my country, therefore certain
rights which I consider both im-
portant and immutable (at the
very least the right not to be
libelled and baited, in public and
prior to an investigation, by the
highest attorney of the land) are
no longer safe.
I ask simply that all of you,
whether you like the war in Viet
Nam or not, take seriously the fact
that a lot of people' are afraid for
America and consider how much
you love America yourself.



Viet Nam Demonstrations

vented by monarchy; let
chy keep it.
Under that gospel, the
who thinks he sees that
ommonwealth's political
are worn out, and yet
his peace and does not
for a new suit, isadis-
he is a traitor. That he
e the only one who thinks
s this decay, does not
him; it is his duty to
anyway, and it is the
)f theothers to vote him
if they do not see the
ras he does.
was stated by another
an who was not afraid to
or puncture people's bub-
interrupt their TG's. It
[ark Twain.
-David Goldberg, Grad
TIME HAS COME for mod-
on in Viet Nam protesting
ways. The events of the
eekend have shown the
y for a little restraint on
t of everyone with feelings
subject. But this does not
hat we should forget about
onally support U.S. policies
Nam. Unlike some of the
ers against these policies,
spent some time trying to
it what is going on in Viet
Sspent several months in
tagon this summer and am
ed that it is rash to con-
our announced policies in
am without full knowledge
t is happening there.
does not mean that there
be no protests, however.
.ole fabric of our society is
n the right of free speech
e right to protest what we
wrong with our government.
r, there is no justification
aking the law in these pro-
'he University and the city
Arbor have gone very far
king sure that protesters
ad places and opportunities
onstrate and discuss issues
No need exists therefcre
utside the law.
Lhe other hand, there is no
for those who support poli-
Viet Nam to just "lie down
ie." Vice-President Hum-
aid this summer that he is
protesters against his views
the right to protest, but,
protest right back at them
d as he can. I feel the same
ING LEARNED a little
he situation in Viet Nam in
.gton, I do support our poli-
id feel that the protesters
taken in their views. How-
do not support violence
these protesters. While
ti-Viet Nam float in the
oming parade, for instance,
poor taste at such a func-
should not have been de-
by its opponents, nor
Friday's Diag protesters
ee bulied

maintain the status quo. This is
sometimes labled conservatism and
is located on the right side of the
two-dimensional space that is pre-
sumed to describe the entire array
of political feelings.
Being comparatively young, or
at least within the eligible draft
age, I have a great fear of this
early sign of senescence. Despite
this fear, I find it difficult to
support the anti-Viet Nam dem-
onstrations of this past weekend.
Civil disobedience in a democ-
racy is, at best, a last resort. It
can only be justified after all
other means of protest have been
tried. For the Negro in the South,
where democracy, at least at the
local level, is almost nonexistant,
one could well argue for the use
of this last resort.
HOWEVER, is this true at the
national level? Is there any sign
of the suppression of the right of
free speech, the right of a free
press or of any of the civil rights?
Is it possible to protest without
the use of civil disobedience? Is
protest through civil disobedience
I ask the following of the dem-
onstrators: Have you personally
written to your congressmen?
Have you personally written to
your senator? Have you personally
written any letters of protest to
those involved in the formulation
of our Viet Nam policy?
It is easy to sign petitions and
it is perhaps fashionable to dem-
onstrate; but, before doing so, a
little examination of personal feel-
ings and motivations should be in
order. Perhaps writing the above
letters may help you to do so.
-Bruce R. Levin, Grad
Reverse Trend
To the Editor:
An Open Letter to President John-
1 MUST BEGIN by identifying
myself as a student at the
University of Michigan who, after
aproximately a year and a half
of conscientious study of Asia
from the viewpoints of culture,
society, history, both ancient and
modern, and of the present situ-
ation, as well as evaluation of
my own ideals and goals for
America, has found himself in
opposition to your policies in Viet
Nam. I feel that they are immoral
and contrary to fact.
But I'm writing not as a par-
tisan of that view, for which I
have demonstrated in several law-
ful ways, as is my right and duty
in a democracy, but to question
the actions, and statements which
have been promulgated by the
government and by you, person-
ally, in the name of the freedom
you say we are defending in Viet
First, it disturbs me very much
that you can so easily call op-
position to your policies "Com-
munist," or "Communist-inspired,"

fear our movements.-give a "dis-
torted" view of America to the
world, are you saying that you
fear they will see that we have a
democracy, where men disagree
and have the right to say so?
Last weekend, I saw my friends,
who are concerned for their fellow
men, and therefore opposed your
policy in a perfectly legal, in fact,
University-approved, manner-i.e.,
having a float in the Homecoming
parade-attacked by a savage mob
of Ann Arbor citizens and Uni-
versity students. I saw the Ann
Arbor police refuse protection, not
even of their basic right to be
heard, but of their simple right of
bodily safety.
IS THIS THEN the freedom
which we are fighting for in Viet
Nam? If you can call for investi-
gation of the demonstrations, what
then do you plan to do about
such thoroughly incredible and
horrifying behavior and attitudes,
f r o m supposedly democratic
people, which threatens to subvert
the very existence of democracy,
if not of civilization, here in Amer-
Finally, I have just today heard
of a friend who was orderly dem-
onstrating, and was attacked by
one of a mob, and then was ar-
rested for no reason. At his hear-
ing today, the defense witnesses
were not only not called to testify,
but not even asked by the court to
return. Arewe to become a police
state? Is this the democracy I
have been brought up to cherish?
Shall I spend another six to eight
years in school and in training
for my chosen profession, in order
to further a society such as this?
I BEG YOU, Mr. President, to
reverse this trend before we all
lose a country whose way of life,
with improvement, could be one
of the best ever known on earth.
I am frightened that this coun-
try may become as totalitarian, as
oppressive as any Communist
state, if such denials of individual
opinion and public expression con-
-Henry Robert Bloom, '68
Civil Disobedience
To the Editor:
MAY ,I SAY that I found Jeff
Goodman's analysis (Oct. 13)
of the nature of civil disobedience
accurate and reasonable. How-
ever I feel that he has overlooked
at least one further aspect rele-
vant to the phenomenon occurring
in connection with the Viet Nam
Day "exercises."
(To forestall misunderstanding,
let me add parenthetically that I
am in general agreement with the
motives of protesting American
involvement in Vietnamese domes-
tic affairs. Furthermore, I do not
intend technically illegal obstruc-
tion directed against authorities
responsible for maintaining and
enforcing racial discrimination to
be included in my criticism.)

tical ideals used to rationalize
such behavior. It would be well for
public authority, the University
and the police department to make
a careful distinction between what
is an exercise of free speech and
free assembly and what is a pe-
culiarly annoying post-adolescent
-George Francis, Grad
What SDS Is About?
To the Editor:
LOOK, I don't care if SDS is
trying to figure out a way to
convert to i peacetime economy,
or trying to get the underprivileg-
ed to care whether they have a
job or a john, or trying to get
that imperialist power out of Viet
Nam, or trying to help the socially
and therefore economically depriv-
ed people that the government
fingers like pawns in a four-year
chess game.
What I do care about is that
-As soon as someone in this
country cares enough to do more
than write letters to a baby-
kissing, hand-shaking, PR man
who happens to be a congressman,
and who sends out newsletters to
the folks back home voicing a
sewage of platitudes;
-As soon as someone thinks
that action can be a way to learn,
to find solutions, as well as to en-
force decisions;
-As soon as someone falls in
love with the ideal of an issue
oriented answer seeking democ-
racy rather than the ideal of The
Democratic Convention;
-As soon as a fellow with a
beard is trying to point the way
for a group of over four people to
any place other than a hoote-
-As soon as the President re-
covers and finds that for a whole
weekend thednewspapers cared
more about 10,000studentsatry-
ing to stop a war than they cared
for his health;
-Then-our country, its way,
its blood, its vital organs, its
gallstones, its life, its sacred in-
stitutions are (ipso facto) being
subverted and whoever has been
involved shall be sorry sorry sorry
because everyone will know he is
unpatriotic (i.e., Communist).
Conclusion: If you think this
makes any sense, please join SDS,
let's double its membership, lets
tell the government that its vigi-
lante committees are trying to
hang the future, and anyone who
cares about it.
-Tom Karow, '67
Satu ration
To the Editor:
NOW THAT WE have all been
thoroughly saturated with
data, propaganda, discussion, ar-
gument pro and con, demonstra-
tion, civil disobedience, etc., ad




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