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February 01, 1966 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1966-02-01

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Scventy-Sixth Year
where Oplinn AeFre
WhTre In1 re 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN APBOR, MiCti. Niws PHONE: 764-0552
Trnrht ilPrvt
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily ei press the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. Thismust be noted in all reprints.

Viet Nam: Self-Defeating
Tactics of War .. .

THE LEGEND of Willow Vil-
lage will one day occupy a full
chapter in the War on Poverty:
and history will deal harshly with
the University for its role in this
tragic story.
This small area, only eight miles
from Ann Arbor, has successive-
ly been a bomber production cen-
ter, a slum area, foster of a mid-
dle-class community (a stone's
throw from poverty), the target
of an OEO grant, and the seat of
a young civil war over the ap-
propriateness of the poverty grant.
Understandably, the people in
Ypsilanti and Superior Townships
are confused and distraught. On
the one hand, some of the resi-
dents have been opposed to hav-
ing a poverty grant from the be-
ginning. They contend that the
area is not impoverished and that
federal funds should be used else-
From the other point of view,
some residents have worked dili-
gently in the Willow Run Asso-
ciation for Neighborhood Devel-
opment (WRAND) to eliminate
what they consider "social-cultur-
al" poverty.
tion of the community has not1
been from the controversy-this,
the WRAND workers could prob-
ably have surmounted. Rather,1
much of the fault for the inevi-l
table demise of this poverty proj-
ect must fall at the feet of thes

Went Wrong with

ings in North Viet Nam, that. sorry
war has entered a period of intensified
fighting whose nature will make justifi-
cation of the war increasingly difficult.
Escalation-the use of heavier firepow-
er and more sophisticated weaponry-is
bound to continue in an effort to bring
a quick, cheap military settlement to the
conflict. Whatever the conflict's obscure
origins decades past, the war hit the big
time two years ago and will become even
more important in the coming months
as America commits increasing amounts
of manpower and financial backing.
During the 38-day bombing lull, hopes
had waxed and waned almost daily that
a non-military solution could be formu-
lated at the negotiating table, Fifteen
United States senators sent notice that
they considered continuation of the
bombing lull to be imperative. There was
a possibility that Congress was slowly
trying to build support within its ranks
tochallenge the administration's policies
in Viet Nam. But the presidential order
to recommence the air attacks has pulled
the rug out from under the proponents
of a prolonged peace effort.
THUS BEGINS the mechanical escala-
tion of the war. Less obvious, but per-
haps more deadly and horrifying in the
long run, is a brutality escalation that is
slowing taking place Terrorist tactics
have long been a standard part iof the
Viet Cong arsenal and South Vietnamese
methods of prisoner interrogation have
been anything less than gentle. Now on-
to the ground war in South Viet Nam
comes a new program designed to win
back the territory lost to the guerrillas:
a program of "pacification"of the rural
However specific details are worked out,
the plan will generally follow this pat-
tern. When United States and South Viet-
namese ground forces have succeeded in
"clearing out" a section of countryside
formerly under Viet Cong control and
administration, special "interrogation
teams" will descend upon the local ham-
lets. Their purpose will be to ascertain
the political loyalty of the inhabitants by
intensive investigation of the histories of
the people.
BY INTERROGATION of neighbors,
friends and relatives, each person

would be given a reliability quotient, de-
pending on how much aid and sympathy
he was alleged to have given to guerril-
las. Those who had held back or collab-
orated solely under coercion would be
given safety clearances and allowed to re-
sume working their fields. Those persons
found to be politically suspect would
either be placed under strict surveillance
or removed from the area.
The aim of such a program would be
to insure loyalty to the Saigon govern-
ment and to lower the chances that coun-
ter-attacking Viet Cong would be given a
sympathetic welcome. In principle this
"pacification" sounds like a sure-fire
way to sort out the good apples from the
bad in South Viet Nam's jumbled barrel.
That is the program in principle; its prob-
able outcome when put into use appears
to be something akin to Gestapo tactics.
No one, of course, would be immune
from interrogation. That is to be expect-
ed; war, the great expediency maker,
creates its own justifications for the in-
vasion of privacy.
have decided who is safe and who is
potentially dangerous to the zone, the
problem arises of what can be done with
the alleged sympathizers and collabora-
tors. Most certainly they will not be trans-
ported to some distance behind the area
of immediate combat and let loose. (Ac-
tually there are no battlelines and be-
hind-lines in this checkered war.)
A simple, direct and painless solution
is the establishment of mass concentra-
tion camps where the victims can be
herded together and kept under close
watch. United States and South Vietna-
mese logistics experts would have no dif-
ficulty in converting refugee camps or
building new facilities for the contain-
ment of "dangerous personnel."
And if the prisoners become over-
crowded or unruly--who knows? South
Vietnamese soldiers have been known to
"interrogate" prisoners by pushing them
out ofrhigh-flying helicopters.
AND SO AS THE U.S. more and more
conducts the war, by the same meth-
ods as its enemies, the meaning of vic-
tory in South Viet Nam rings increasingly

present, a heated dispute has rag-
ed over the need of a federal
poverty grant in the area. More
subtle, however, is the dispute
over the tactics used in obtain-
ing the grant. The report of the
University's ILIR, released in No-
vember of 1964, was a petition for
the grant which was to be award-
ed threemonths later. Parts of
this report were false; this fact
was used as ammunition against
the poverty project itself.
* December of 1965, Henry Alt-
ing resigned as coordinator for the
University's ILIR on the Willow
Village project. But his reasons
were not defined for the public.
* Tuesday, Jan. 25, 1966, the
University released an official
statement that its ILIR will with-
draw from the Willow Village pov-
erty program in April. (Wayne
State University remained silent.)
* Two days later, conflicting
opinions were offered for the rea-
sons behind the withdrawal. Jesse
Hill, director of WRAND, said,
"We didn't anticipate the Univer-
sity pulling out so jsoon. I be-
lieve that the controversy over
whether Willow Village is in need
of the grant had something to
do with this early withdrawal.",
Hy Kornbluh, project director for
the program from the Universi-
ty's ILIR, said, "The University
will have served its function by
April. We had two goals at the
beginning of the project, (1) To
help the Willow Village area get a
start so it could eventually ad-
minister its own self-help pro-
gram ,and (2) To complete re-

The reasons for my resignation
are essentially the following:
* A fundamental disagreement
based on ethical and professional
grounds with the Institute of La-
bor and Industrial Relations on
the execution of the Office of
Economic Opportunity Willow Vil-
lage grant,
* Judging by itssactions and
inactions, the University of Mich-
igan and the institute have dis-
played a lack, of leadership to
guide the program successfully
through its first year of opera-
tion and a lack of commitment
not to pledge the full resources
of the University for a second year
to administer this unique OEO
demonstration project.
Instead, through a maze of red
tape and bureaucratic inefficiency
the development of the original
proposal has been seriously de-
layed and the program's future
damaged beyond repair. The mal-
functions of the University with
respect to 'the Willow Village
grant has destroyed the peoples'
confidence in WRAND.
* Instead of carrying out the
general programs as outlined in
the proposal and the far reach-
ing implications of grassroots com-
munity development as imbodied
in the official Economic Oppor-
tunity Act, the institute soon after
January, 1965, manipulated the
WRAND organization to reshape
its structure to fit the Ann Arbor
ivory tower concept of Willow Vil-
* Various groups in the local
area through a variety of offi-

ber of service oriented programs
with little grassroots support, the
overall program ultimately creat-
ed more of the deadly dependency
instead of the badly needed inde-
pendency of people and their or-
* The institute let WRAND
take the brunt of the political
right wing attacks earlier this
year. It was not so much the
attacks from SCOPAN (Study
Committee on Poverty and Need)
and REPLY (Return Every Pen-
ny and Leave Ypsilanti) which
destroyed WRAND but the inabil-
ity of the institute to provide
leadership to defend the Willow
Village'poverty program. At one of
the February, 1965, SCOPAN
meetings, WRAND membership
was out in force and outvoted
the SCOPAN leadership but insti-
tute leadership was marked by its
* There is a serious question as
to whether or not the taxpayers'
money was used in a proper man-
ner. A group of people who do not
represent a majority of the mem-
bership was allowed to take con-
trol of the WRAND board of di-
rectors and subsequently aided by.
the federal grant was unable to
carry out any substantial parts
of the program as outlined in the
proposal. As a' matter of fact, in
the period from March. 1964,
through January, 1965, before the
OEO funds came in, WRAND as 'a
true grassroots peoples' organiza-
tion was able to run a success- -
ful recreation program, a drill
team of 125 boys and girls, a day
care center, and a beginning of a
number of committees for other
imaginative programs for about 15
Per cent in dollars and cents of,
what $188,000 was able to pro-
f The final act in this Willow
Village drama was played at the
July 28, 1965, special WRAND
membership meeting which had
been called by petition of the
WRAND membership. At that
meeting, the present WRAND
board with the visible aid of the
chairman of the Washtenaw Coun-
ty Poverty Committee in a blat-
ant manner trampled on the
rights of the unrepresented people
in WRAND and through parlia-
mentary maneuvering denied them
a hearing. Ever since that date
the Willow Village poverty pro-
gram has for all practical pur-
poses ceased to exist.


-WRAND has alienated itself
from the community.
-WRAND ceases to be a mem-
bership organization. The mem-
bership, even if in a minority, has
not had a chance to be heard
and WRAND has less members
now than it had in 1964.
-The decision by Gerald Fol-
ey, former coordinator of WRAND,
to resign was in part prompted
by the disastrous consequences of
the July 28, 1965, membership
meeting, i.e. loss of grassroots
* Finally, the University of
Michigan has not extended the
fully paid privileges of fringe ben-
efits as provided under the fed-
eral grant to employes directly
employed by the University, such
as itscommunity workers and sec-
retaries who all live directly in
the Willow Village area. There-
fore, in addition to the $31,000
earmarked for overhead and in-
direct costs, the University can al-
so include the funds which should
have paid for these medical and
insurance premiums.
IN MY OPINION ,last year's ex-
perience has demonstrated at
least in respect to the Willow
Village grant both the inadequacy
of the Economic Opportunity Act
and the inability of our public
institutions to administer such
As I have seen WRAND grow
from its very inception to the
present state of decay and with a
deep personal involvement as one
of the original incorporators and
as WRAND's f i r s t president
(March-December, 1984) 'it has,,
become increasingly difficult to
remain silent as an employe of
the University of Michigan. There-
fore, I have no choice but to sub-
mit my resignation effective as of
December 20, 1965.
-Henry Alting
FULL BLAME for failure cannot
rest upon the role of any single
actor in a project this. complex.
There were also internal diffi-
culties, manpower shortages, and.
years of ingrained attitudes which
contributed -to the present stat-
us of the Willow Village.
Keeping this in mind, however,
the record of the University is
shrouded; the work is unfinished;
and the War on Poverty has tak-
en a step backward.




* I

And Needed Policy for Peace

A brief history:
* In March of 1964, WRAND
was incorporated by interested
persons in the Willow Village
area. (Willow Village is neither
a geographic or a political entity.
Rather, it is an area straddling
Superior and Ypsilanti Township
borders, comprising five groups of
homes and apartments which orig-
inally served housing needs for
the World War II bomber plant
at Willow Run.)
* April of 1964, WRAND bought
its building, an abandoned school
in Superior Township built dur-
ing World War II for use by the
children of government workers.
The building cost $15,000. Work
began immediately to restore the
building as a center for communi-
ty action projects.
* January of 1965, President
Johnson announced a federal
grant of $188,252, awarded by the
Office of Economic Opportunity
to be administered by the Insti-
tute of Labor-Industrial Relations
(ILIR) of both the University of
Michigan and Wayne State Uni-
versity, to be "subcontracted" to
WRAND for continuation and ex-
pansion of the community action
projects which it had already be-
f January of 1965 until the

search on the value of a self-help
poverty program. By April, these
goals will have been achieved."
" Yesterday, Henry Alting re-
leased to The Daily his letter of
resignation from the position of
coordinator for the University's
ILIR. In the letter, printed be-
low, Alting defined his reasons
for resigning and his opinion of
the University's shortcomings.
Dr. Charles M. Rehmus
Institute of Labor and Industrial
University of Michigan
Dear Dr. Rehmus:
THIS IS to notify you that on
December 11, 1965, I informed
Mr. Donald Roberts of my resig-
nation as coordinator with the
Institute of Labor and Industrial
Relations for the Willow Village
project. Prior to the date of this
letter, on November 24, 1965, Mr.
Roberts was informed of my in-
tention to resign but we left the
door open to further considera-
tions, involving the possibilities
of restructuring the WRAND
board and positive developments
regarding the refunding of the
Willow Village project for anoth-
er year.

cial and unofficial channels com-
municated particular wishes, de-
sires, and ideas from a consid-
erable number of Willow Village
residents concerning the imple-
mentation of certain aspects of
the WRAND anti-poverty program
to the institute. All of these com-
munications were ignored and no
formal replies or explanations
where necessary were received. The
result of this utter disregard for
the wishes and desires of the
people of Willow Village is that
presently WRAND finds itself es-
sentially without any grassroots
support and the population and its
leadership is resentful and skep-
tical of the true intentions of the
war on poverty.
* Despite urgings from local
leadership and the writer, the in-
stitute and the Washington Eco-
nomic Opportunity Office abso-
lutely refused to carry out a
community-wide opinion interview
in the spring of 1965 as origin-
ally planned, which was essential
to run a grassroots program. Sim-
ilarly, the institute ignored a pro-
gram outline and organization
chart as constructed by WRAND
members in February, 1965, and
instead through a series of ser-
ious mistakes and blunders creat-
ed a division within the leader-
ship of WRAND. Through a num-

"Snug, Ain't It?"


-important as it is-'must be viewed
as part of an overall global strategy if
American sacrifice there is to have any
meaningful consequences.
In an editorial Sunday, the reasons why
the United States cannot withdraw were
reviewed: the need to contain the spread
of similar guerrilla efforts in other na-
tions of Southeast Asia, to preserve the
integrity of the American commitment
internationally, and to refute China's
thesis that wars of national liberation:
are the most effective means to world
The arguments for a speedy "military"
victory were also discussed: to save Amer-
ican casualties and to mitigate the suf-
ferings of a war-torn nation.
The question of what to do with this
"military" victory was not outlined for
lack of space.
THE PROBLEM, however, is P crucial
one, for military victory in Viet Nam
must be viewed merely as a prerequisite
to the economic and social development
of Southeast Asia. There is a danger that
the President, the Congress and the na-
tion in general will become too embroil-
ed in strictly military aspects of the war
to realize this.
Communist guerrillas capitalize on
existing discontent by promising to do
better, and the war in Viet Nam must be
considered in this light. As areas become
Editorial Staff

pacified the United States must initiate
land and tax reform, improve peasant
farming techniques, build hospitals and
schools, and in general make every effort
to upgrade the local standard of living.
Only through such ;measures will the sup-
port of the populace ultimately be won.
The ingredients for Communist-spon-
sored revolutions exist throughout South-
east Asia. If we do not recognize and
remedy them, we may well find ourselves
relying exclusively on military operations
in one nation after another as insurgent
Communists fan local discontent.
AMARSHALL PLAN beginning now for
all of independent Southeast Asia is
certainly in order. Nonetheless, critics of
the administration who move to the other
extreme and contend that economic aid
will, of itself, do the job are badly mis-
taken. Clearly it does no good to build a
hospital or schoolhouse if they are only
to be blown up by marauding guerrillas.
The containment of Communist efforts
in Viet Nam in effect buys time for mean-
ingful social and economic change else-
where. This opportunity must not be for-
Southeast Asia presently is the most
critically threatened area of the world. If
the U.S. can accomplish the military con-
tainment of Communism there and at the
same time bring about the economic and
social uplifting of that area, we can do it
Surely the example set in Asia should
offer hope and understanding to the
people of Africa and Latin America as
well. We must prove to the world that
America is not too rich or callous to care,
and that the cost in human suffering
that the Communists inflict on a nation


AEC Accelerator Meets Political Intrigue

THE ATOMIC Energy Commis-
sion has been subject to mas-
sive political pressure in its at-
tempts to make its proposed 200
billion electron volt nuclear ac-
celerator a reality.
At its inception the process
seemed simple enough, merely get
an appropriation from Congress
to build a high energy nuclear
physics laboratory which would
reflect America's research capa-
bilities. Plans were prepared for
a facility six times larger than
the 33 BEV Brookhaven Labora-
tory in New York, the most power-
ful presently available in the free
In the year since bids were ac-
cepted from more than 200 loca-
tions throughout the country, the
program has been charged with
rumors andspolitical implications
in a volume far greater than the
AEC anticipated.
THE PROCESS began normally,
with a committee from the Na-
tionalaAcademy of Sciences chosen
to visit each proposed site and

cent announcements, however, set
the earliest decision date in early
July of this year.
The results of random news
items based on rumors and lack
of an official source of information
has resulted in pressure for a
h asty decision from several
sources, economic, political, and
If the implications of the proj-
ect as a whole had been more
clearly delineated by the AEC of-
ficials in charge of planning the
project, the committee's attempt
to slow down the process so a
careful analysis of the problem
can be made may not have been
three "alternative proposals" from
congressmen interested in econ-
omy, suddenly appeared before the
Joint Committee on Atomic En-
ergy, which has control of the
financial needs of the AEC. These
set forth plans for scaled down
facilities which would be "less
of a strain on the budget." with

and the character of the labora-
tory, which must be on a scale
which would attract scientists
from all over the country for more
advanced studies than can be
made with less powerful equip-
ment at a regional institution.
Also, the AEC officials point to
the fact that the construction of
the project would take seven years
and the portion of the $375 mil-
lion necessary each year would
not be a large strain on the bud-
get at all. So sure were they that
the cost was not an object in the
planning that they have actually
included in the plans a $27 million
addition of a "bubble chamber," a
device for visualizing the path of
atomic particles.
BUT WHEN the budget was is-
sued it carried the notation to the
effect that no funds have been
provided for the proposed acceler-
ator, which convinced many that
the administration is opposed or
indifferent to the project. The
joint committee then informed the
AEC that no money could be ap-
nrnritd hafnrP a ,,final c1 .

ects of this magnitude, there are
many internal forces in the bur-
eaucracy attempting to lure the
project in the direction of their
constituencies. An informed source
in Washington described for The
Daily some of the current methods
by which interests are fighting
for the project.
FIRST, of course, is the overt
bargaining from the states which
have sites in consideration. The
AEC has been offered as much as
$3 million by states attempting to
sway the committee's decision.
Michigan has not participated in
the monetary tug-of-war, but has
promised to donate the site, some
5000 acres in Northfield Town-
ship near Ann Arbor, if it is
Secondly, politicians in key po-
sitions, especially a representative
from California who is on the
jointucommittee which will make
the ultimate selection, may well
be able to bring the selection to
the West Coast.
A counter-current from residents
of nrPAQ .halm at. rnri.m,- lnrfnn4-n.

ducing farms. This illustrates that
the time to build is now, before
many of the present areas large
enough to handle a facility of the
proposed size are put to other
What is being done about these
political threats to the successful
completion of the accelerator as
planned, or indeed what can be
done about political ambition, is
one of the most challenging prob-
lems with which the project must
contend. A spokesman for the
selection committee once said that
the political pressures were not
direct and the only thing interest-
ed people can do at the present
time is "hold their breath until
the decision comes."
The argument of the AEC re-
mains that American technology
is capable of producing a 200 BEV
facility and to build one of less
magnitude would be a clear waste
of potential. It is not likely that
the AEC after going so far to
assure the success of the project
wil stand idly by if any more
attempts are made to discard its


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