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August 27, 1965 - Image 21

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1965-08-27

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Developments Raise Hope for Viet Outcome


Recent developments have in-
creased optimism that the course
of the war in South Viet Nam is
being reversed in favor of Saigon
and Washington.
Most, officials in Washington
agree that, thus far into the
current monsoon season, Viet Cong
gains have been far less than
originally expected. The recent
United States victory over a large
force of Viet Cong at Chulaf has
reinforced the widespread belief
that the tide of the war has
shifted. ,
The weakness of the Viet Cong's
summer offensive has also led to
speculation that North Viet Nam
may be exercizing restraint over
the rebels in order to avoid an
even larger buildup of American
troops in South Viet Nam.' The
U.S. currenttly has about 85,000
soldiers there, with 40,000 more
expected within several months.
Viet Cong Deaths
Viet Cong fatalities and de-
sertions- have increased markedly
during the: past few weeks. The
Communists have reportedly lost
an average of 1;200 men weekly,
compared to South Vietnamese
deaths which have averaged 325
per week. Moreover, the desertion
rate, an important indicator of
the conflict's course, is for the
first time greater among the Viet
Cong than among government
Indications are that the Viet
Cong have not received new sup-
plies or reinforcements from
North Viet Nam recently and have
thus suffered a significant loss of
strength. However, officials admit
that the Saigon government is in
a precarious position and that,
politically, South Viet Nam still
has a long way to go. before ap-
proaching stability.
Widespread gloom in Washing-
ton earlier this summer, spurred
by fears of an Ameriqan 'defeat
similar to that suffered by the
French at Dienbienphu in 1964,
has abated with the increasing
success of U.S. military operations
against the Viet Cong. The heavy
U.S. air support and continual
bombardment of rebel positions in.
the south, combined with increas-
ingly severe attacks upon signifi-
cant targets in North Viet Nam,
are the principal factors which1
have blunted the Viet Cong drive
for victory in the conflict.
Although* U.S. forces have been
notably :successful in missions
along the strongly fortified coastal
bases, experts say there are not
enough American troops in Viet
Nam to -apply similar tactics to
inland areas where Viet Cong
losses have been less pronounced.
The Viet Cong have shown less
willingness in recent, weeks to en'-

gage in battles unless they over-
whelmingly outnumber South
Vietnamese and/or American
forces. Viet Cong prisoners and
deserters have indicated a severe
psychological crisis among rebel
forces, since they have not pre-
viously found themselves in as
precarious a position as they are
Furthermore, there are indica-
tions that support of the Viet
Cong among South Vietnamese
peasants has sharply decreased
because of high taxation and in-
creased terrorism in Viet Cong-
controlled villages.
The monsoon season ends in
two months and officials expect
a crucial period this winter for
U.S. and South Vietnamese forces.
If the Viet Cong are forced to
remain on the defensive much
longer, it is felt their hopes for
victory even in the distant future
may be dealt a crushing blow. If,
on the other hand, government
forces do not sustain their recent
streak of successes, an intensified
buildup and drive for victory by
the Viet Cong can be expected to
develop next spring.
Political Influences'
Officials are exploring possible
political influences upon the Viet

Cong. President Lyndon B. John-
son's offer last month to discuss
proposals put forth by Hanoi may
be affecting Communist actions.
Neither North Viet Nam nor the
National Liberation Front (the
political arm of the Viet Cong)
have commented on these pro-
posals as yet. Some officials there-
fore believe Hanoi may still wish
to preserve diplomatic openings
for negotiations. If the Viet Cong's
heavy losses continue, Hanoi may
well wish to cut its losses and
attempt a political victory at the
conference table.
Although Communist China has
vigorously opposed any moves
toward a cease-fire or negotiat-
ions, Hanoi is aware that it is
North Viet Nam which is suffer-
ing from U.S. air attacks, not the
Communist Chinese. Furthermore,
North Viet Nam has the diploma-
tic and political support of Russia
in any future moves toward the
conference table.
Canadian correspondents in Pe-
king have recently reported that
"all signs indicate that China
wants to stay out of the war in
Viet Nam." There is a lack of any
"crisis atmosphere" in Peking, and
military buildup measures have
been defensive and precautionary.

Diplomatic observers note that
Communist Chinese threats to
send men to South Viet Nam have
been vague and carefully quali-
The prevalent conclusion is that
Peking is "extremely eager to
avoid a direct clash with the U.S."

It is felt that the Chinese do not
wish to jeopardize their recent
economic gains at this time.
American officials are under no
illusions that the war in South
Viet Nam can be brought to an
early end with a withdrawal of
U.S. forces following. A protracted

struggle is foreseen, lasting at
least another year. However, the
heavy losses suffered by the Viet
Cong cannot be absorbed indef-
initely, and some observers are
expecting a move toward negotia-
tions and a cease-fire by next

Effeets of Negro Vote Seen

(Continued from Page 4)
has Democratic party politicians
here scratching their heads.
The federal examiners, and the
voluntary compliance with the new
Voting Rights Law that is hoped
for in many Southern areas out-
side the so-called Black Belt, are
expected tor add hundreds of thou-
sands, perhaps a million, Southern
Negroes to the registration books
by the time of the 1966 elections.
Since 76 per cent of American
Negroes now identify themselves
as Democrats, because of the par-
ty's economic and welfare pro-
grams as well as its more recent
leadership in civil rights, adding a
million Negroes to the electorate
ought to mean at least 750,000
new Democrats in the 11 Southern
states next year.
But since at best Negroes can
make themselves no more than a
minority of the Southern elector-
ate, Democratic leaders here are
apprehensive on two counts. The
least likely is the possibility that
the Republican party, newly re-
surgent in the South, might seek
to isolate Negroes in a hapless
Democratic party and turn itself
into a larger white man's party.
Oppose Tradition
This would be opposed to Re-
publican tradition. It would cripple
the Republican effort to rebuild
in the great urban cities of thr
Besides, millions of white South-
erners; approve and benefit from
the Democratic approach to wel-
fare and economic problems; for
instance, the Democrats effective-
ly countered Mr. Goldwater's ap-
peal in North Carolina last year
by charging that he would end
.federal subsidies for peanut and
tobacco farmers. Where the pock-
etbook collides with the race is-
sue, the pocketbook usually wins.
Perhaps more immediate is the
fear that Negroes will go into the
Democratic party in great num-
bers but become a sort of outcast
"bullet vote"-with whites auto-
matically lining up against Ne-
groes in primaries, outvoting them
consistently, and thus keeping ra-
cist politics alive.

That may happen for awhile,
in some areas, as a sort of white
backlash. But where Negroes have
been voting for some time-Atlan-
ta is the classic example; North
Carolina and Tennessee provide
others - their votes eventually
have come to be counted like any
other, white politicians have eag-
erly sought them ,and the race
issue has all but disappeared.
Exclusion Policies
Racist politics, in the final an-
alysis, depends on the exclusion
of Negroes from voting. The dis-
enfranchisement of Southern Ne-
groes in this century resulted di-
rectly from the corrupt and violent
competition of Southern Bourbons
and Southern agrarians for the
Negro vote in the late 19th cen-
Fearing the Negro would tip the
balance against them, the Bour-
bons raised the flag of white su-
premacy and aroused the poor-
white agrarians against the- Ne-
gro; Bourbons and agrarians then
combined in the name of white

solidarity to eliminate the Negro
from the electorate as if he did
not exist.
For a half-century, it was then
possible to winoffice in the South
through anti-Negro campaigns.
But as the Negro began to vote in
great numbers elsewhere in the
nation, the South's all-white poli-
tics came under increasing at-
tack; now, the federal government
is forcing the final reenfranchise-
ment of the Negro.
Near Reality'
So what the old Bourbons feared
-white competition to win the
Negro vote-now may be nearing
reality, either between the parties
or within Democratic primaries.
If so, the competition surely
will mean a new volatility in
Southern politics and society, a
new freedom for the white politi-
cian to move beyond race to the
broader issues of national life,
and a new opportunity for the
Negro to have his needs consid-
ered instead of his skin.
Copyright, 1965, The New York Times

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-Associated Press
UNITED STATES MARINES, above, file out of the village of
Cam Ne 400 miles south of Da Nang air base, after burning down
nearly 100 homes recently. Previously Cam Ne, where the'
larines had met sniper fire, has been a threat to the American
outpost there,


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