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February 19, 1966 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1966-02-19

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Seventy-Sixth Year

et Nam:



Thing a Lie

onh Are Free 420 MAYNARD Sr., ANN ARBOR, MICHI.
11 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.

Academic Reform:
Spitting in the Wind?

AMOTION now up before Student Gov-
ernment Council, sponsored by Bob
Bodkin, proposes that a permanent com-
mittee of students be set up to serve as an
advisory board to aid the vice-president
for academic affairs in the formulation
of policy. In most cases, proposals of this
sort would be like spitting in the wind.
There is a good chance, however, that
the Bodkin motion will not only be adopt-
ed by SGC, but may also have some real
consequence in giving students a voice
in the decision-making which affects
their lives since one of those in favor of
it seems to be Vice-President Smith him-
The first step in the actual formation
of such a committee took place last Sat-
urday when members of the faculty, stu-
dent body and administration spent the
day discussing academic problems. There
was a general recognition among the con-
ferees that there is need for some kind
of reform in the University's academic
policy, although there was no total agree-
ment for any of the specific proposals
THE SIGNIFICANCE of this conference
was not in its substantive accomplish-
ments, but instead in its symbolic import-,
ance. The fact that some 40 people rang-
ing from deans and vice-presidents to de-
partment chairmen and student leaders
were willing and able to initiate some kind
of meaningful dialogue about the prob-
lems of the University shows not only that
those problems exist, but that there are
potential means of solving them above
and beyond established institutional
There were some specific suggestions
which came out of the meetings, and most
of them were pretty good ones. The idea
that there must be a revision' of the cur-
rent credit hour system was one of the
over-riding concerns of the conferees, and
one. of the best motions made at the con-
The current credit-hour system just
does not make much sense. There are al-
most no four hour courses past the 100
level in most departments, and thus when
a student takes advanced level courses
he must sacrifice depth for a breadth,
which is of dubious value. Making a stu-
dent carry five three-hour courses during
the upperclass years, when he is theoret-
ically prepared to concentrate at length
on certain aspects of his field of study, is
academically ludicrous.
ONE PROFESSOR called the existing
credit-hour system "uncivilized" and
he may have been understating the case.
Acting Editorial Staff
Mariaging Editor Editorial Director
Business Staff
CY WELLMAN. Business Manager
S4ubscription'rate: $4.50 semnester by carrer ($5 by
nall); $8 yearly by carrer ($9 by mall
Second class postage paid at Ann Arbor. Mich.

An alternative to the current policy is
that the various departments upgrade
their courses, making advanced level
courses worth as much as the introduc-
tories. If this attempt at reform is un-
satisfactory, then the University-wide
policy should be changed from one re-
quiring students to take a minimum num-
ber of hours to one requiring them to take
a minimum of four courses.
Either one of these proposals would
serve two purposes: first, reduce the pres-
sure on the student by requiring hir to
take less courses, and also increasing the
value of individual courses by giving them
more depth. Since both alternatives would
ultimately require professors to redesign
most of their courses, the real obstacle
to these proposals could be faculty resist-
ance. Yet from the tone of Saturday's
conference, it dips not sound as if the fac-
ulty would be overly hostile to this move.
A second major proposal made at the
conference was that upperclassmen be al-
lowed to take one class p'er semester on
a pass-fail basis. Perhaps this action
seems a bit radical at first glance, how-
ever with further consideration its vir-
tue becomes evident.
There are many courses which students
do not take for fear that they would not
get a good mark. A pass-fail option would
allow a social studies major to take a
course in physics if he so desired, and not
be afraid that the icourse would prove
disastrous to his average.
SIMILARLY, this proposal would effec-
tively lessen some of the current pres-
sures which are created by the grade sys-
tem and perhaps restore some emphasis
on "learning for learning's sake" rather
than studying for a grade.
There is also a good case to be made for
instituting a plus-minus element into the
grading system. The current University
policy of awarding straight letter grades
without plus-minus options makes the
idea of a grade point carried out to the
fourth place seem awfully absurd.
The difference between an A and a B,
or a B and a C, may be minimal in many
instances, yet in the compilation of the
final gradepoint there is no distinction
made between the C that "just missed"
and the B that "just made it." Increas-
ing the grade optiong wouldalso be fairer
to the teacher, allowing him to make a
more realistic evaluation of the student.
IT IS NOT FAIR to say that the admin-
istration officials in the office of aca-
demic affairs are not aware of student
complaints; it is, however, accurate -to say
that there is at present no effective
means of channeling student discontent
into policy formulating dialogue, if not
the actual process.
It has become a rather hackneyed
phrase to demand that students be al-
lowed to have a say in the affairs that
directly effect them. But hackneyed or
not, perhaps what the Berkeley revolu-
tion of last year best represents is a
dramatic expression of what happens
when the students are consistently ig-

AN ARTICLE in the current is-
sue of Ramparts magazine
calls the American government's
story of the war in Viet Nam into
question with a most uncommon
degree of incisiveness. Entitled
"The Whole Thing Was a Lie,"
it is written by Master Sergeant
Donald Ducan, a former member
of the Special Forces in Viet Nam
who was' the first United States
enlisted man to be nominated for
the Legion of Merit in that con-
The myths of the Special Forces
and of the war are unequivicably
exploded. In speaking of Special
Forces training Ducan says, "Ini-
tially, training was aimed at hav-
ing U.S. teams organize guerrilla
movements in foreign countries.
Emphasis was placed on the fact
that guerrillas can't take prison-
ers. We were continuously told
'You don't have to kill them your-
selves-let your indigineous (South
Vietnamese) counterpart do it'."
Duncan relates rampant racial
and ethnic prejudices among the
Special Forces. One soldier was
waiting for the day when he would
lead the first team into Latvia.
When asked "How about Viet
Nam?" he replied, "To hell with
Viet Nam. There are not many
blue-eyed gooks." Gooks is a term
that came into use during the
Korean war to refer to the natives
there and has since migrated to

Viet Nam. It is not commonly re-
garded as highly honorific,
DUNCAN SERVED for a time as
a recruiter for the Special Forces.
One of his final orders before
taking over the job came from a
captain who said, "Don't send me
any niggers. Be careful however.
not to give the impression we are
"You won't find it hard to find
an excuse to reject them. Most
will be to dumb to pass the written
test. If they luck out and get by
that, you'll find they have some
sort of criminal record." When
reading this account, it hurts to
remember that our excuse for
fighting in Viet Nam is to protect
freedom and democracy.
According to Duncan, American
officers and noncommissioned of-
ficers regard the South Vietnam-
ese army (ARVN) and the Viet-
namese in general with unanimous
"THERE WAS a continual put
down of Saigon officials, the Sai-
gon government, ARVN, the LLDB
(Luc Luong Dac Biet-Vietnamese
Special Forces) and the Vietnam-
ese man-in-the-street." They were
considered corrupt, liars, thieves,
cowards or all four.
It occurred to me," he con-
tinued, that if the people on 'our
side' were all these things, why
then were we supporting them . .?
The answer was always the same:

'They are anti-Communists,' and
this was supposed to explain
everything. It's not democracy
we'ce brought to Viet Nam, it's
Duncan questions the frequent
American assertion that "the Viet-
namese are cowardly . . . the Viet-
namese can't be disciplined.der.
the Vietnamese just can't under-
stand tactics and strategy," with
the statement "But the Viet Cong
are Vietnamese."
"It became obvious," he adds,
that motivation is the prime fac-
tor in this problem. The Viet Cong
soldier believes in his cause. He
believes lie is fighting for national
independence . . . His government
counterpart . . . knows that his
leaders are in their positions be-
cause of family, money or reward
for political favors.
the knowledge that he is fighting
to perpetuate a system that has
kept him uneducated and in pov-
erty. He has had so many promises
made to him only to be broken,
that now he believes nothing from
the government."
There are two major rationales
for the American presence in
Southeast Asia. One is that we are'
fighting for the freedom of the
Vietnamese people. The attitude
of the U.S. military towards the
citizens of South Viet Nam belies
that assertion.

"The whole thing was a lie,"
says Duncan. "We weren't pre-
serving freedom. There was no
freedom to preserve. To voice op-
position to the government meant
jail or death. We aren't the free-
dom fighters. We are the Russian
tanks blasting the hopes of an
Asian Hungary."
THE OTHER, more pragmatic.
justification, is that we are fight-
ing to prevent the spread of com-
munism. Duncan claims that dur-
ing his stay in the country, the
number of communists increased.
Although his original reason for
volunteering for duty in Viet Nam
was anti-Communism, Duncan
now asks "But are we stopping
Communism? The more money
and troops we'poured in, the more
people hated us. Countries all over
the world were losing sympathy
with our stand in Viet Nam.
The real question was whether
Communism is spreading in spite
of our involvement or because of
Sergeant Duncan's report on the
war in Viet Nam is likely to meet
with incredulity on many fronts.
Most information American citi-
zens receive about that faraway
war which they are paying for is
filtered t h r o u g h government
spokesmen. The representatives of
the news media there are depen-
dent on sketchy military briefings
for information on actions.

OCCASIONAL.Y, a bit of first
hand film such as the burning of
Cam Ne gets through and even in
this case there was government
pressure on CBS to block its
showing. Groups such as the Spe-
cial Forces, the "Green Berets,"
are glorified.
Thus, it is quite likely that many
people, if they ever see it, will
find it hard to believe Duncan's
story, which contrasts so sharply
with the "official" reports they
have heard for months.
Nevertheless, the arguments
generally used against those who
protest our involvement in Viet
Nam simply do not hold in this
case. No one could possibly brand
Duncan a "Vietnik." Certainly no
one can say that he was motivated
out of cowardice. He is a ten-
year, decorated and honorably-
discharged veteran'of the army
with no di'aft to fear.
read Duncan's account of the war
without being overcome with a
feeling of hopeless and helpless
frustration. Patriotism is difficult
to maintain in the light of what
appear to be cold lies from the
government. It is nearly impossible
to reconcile American ideals with
a Special Forces captain who says
"Don't send me any niggers."
The article presents a great deal
of food for thought. It may cause
a good deal of indigestion.


Johnson Risks ConfrnainwtCha

at which Gen. James Gavin
and Ambassador George Kennan
appeared before the Senate For-
eign Relations Committee, have.
done an inestimable service to our
people. For they broke through
the official screen and made vis-
ible the nature of the war and
where our present policy is leading
On the rule that if you cannot
beat them, join them, which in
its modern form is that if you
cannot debate with them, say you
agree with them, the President
takes the position that there is
not much difference between the
Gavin-Kennan thesis and the
Rusk-McNamara policy.
There is, in fact, a radical dif-
ference-the difference between a
limited, and an unlimited war.
The President may not want to
fight an unlimited war. I have no
doubt myself that he does not
want to do so. But the promises
he made in Honolulu which the
Vice-Presilent is now broadcasting
so lavishly in Saigon and Bangkok,
are-if they are to be taken
seriously-an unlimited commit-
ment of American soldiers and
American money.
It is this unlimited commitment
which those of us who belong to
the Gavin-Kennan school oppose.

For we see that as the numbers
of our troops and the range of our
bombing are escalated, and as the
theater of the war becomes widen-
ed, it is highly probable, indeed it
is well nigh inevitable that the
United States will find itself con-
fronting China in a land war on
the mainland of Asia.
LAST WEEK'S hearings made
visible that this is where the
course we are taking leads. Con-
gress and the people would be
frivolous if they did not examine
with the utmost seriousness how
real, how valid, how significant is
the hypothesis that the kind of
war the Johnson administration is
conducting is leading to a con-
frontation with China.
Gen. Maxwell Taylor, who since
1961 has played a leading part in
our military intervention 'in South
Viet Nam, has recognized that the
prospect of a land war with China
is today our greatest worry. In an
interview published in the current
issue of U.S. News and World
Report, Gen. Taylor is asked about
the danger of "a military confron-
tation with Communist China." He
replies that "One can never rule
out the possibility. But I would list
the probability quite low in terms
of percentage."
This has an ominous resem-

blance to the colloquy in 1950 be-
tween President Truman and Gen.
Douglas MacArthur (cf., Lawson,
"The United States in the Korean
War," Page 79):
"In your opinion," President,
Truman asked Gen. MacArthur,'
"is there any chance that the
Chinese might enter the war on
\ the side of North Korea?"
MacArthur shook his head. "I'd
say there's very little chance of
that happening. They have sev-
eral hundred thousand men north
of the Yalu, but they haven't any
air force. If they tried to cross
the river our Air Force would
slaughter them. At the most per-
haps 60,000 troops would make it.
Our infantry could easily contain
them. I expect the actual fighting
in North Korea to end by Thanks-
giving. We should have our men
home, or at least in Japan, by
AT THE very moment that

President Truman and Gen. Mac-
Arthur were talking there were
already more than 100,000 Chinese-
Communist troops in North Korea
and another 200,000 were ready to
cross the Yalu. By mid-November
at least 300,000' Chinese would be
poised to strike-and the ROK,
the American and other UN forces
would not even be aware of their
presence. Before the war. was over
the Chinese Communist armies in
Korea would reach a peak strength
of more than a million men. f
On the question of the need to
contain the military expansion of
Red China, there is virtually uni-
versial agreement in this country.
today, like the containment of
The containment of Red China
Stalinist Russia after the world
war, is necessarysto the peace of
the world and is a vital interest
of the United States. What is de-
batable is the diplomatic policy we
are pursuing in order to contain
Red China. If we compare what
Rusk and William Bundy are
doing with the diplomatic policy
by which some 15 years ago Stalin
was contained, the differences are
very striking.
The cardinal difference is that
our Chinese containment policy is
a unilateral American policy

whereas our Stalinist containment
policy was shared with and par-
ticipated in by all the Western
IT IS OFTEN said officially
that in the Far East today we are
repeating what was done so suc-
cessfully in Europe. If this were
what we are doing, there would
be an alliance to contain China
in which Japan, Russia, India,
Pakistan, the United States, Great
Britain and France were aligned
in a Far Eastern Marshall Plan
and NATO. Instead, owing to the
miscalculations and blundering of
the Vietnamese war, we have
alienated and indeed neutralized
all the great powers of the Asian
The difference between the two
containment policies-in Europe
and in the Far East-is the dif-
ference between realism and ver-
balism, between professionalism
and amateurism. .Our present pol-
icy is as if we had set out to
contain Stalinist Russia by ignor-
ing the British, the French, the
Italians and the Germans and had
decided to make our stand against
communism by the defense of-
let us say-Bucharest.
(C), 1966, The Washington Post Co.



Letters.:*Senators Regaining Policy-Making Role

4, '.' IN
TZ M y
~T -
V yc

To The Editor:
for the current Senate hearings
on Viet Nam. The Senate should
act now to recover its rightful,
constitutional role in foreign af-
fairs. This role has been, to date,
conspicuously absent on Viet Nam.
Presidential maneuvering, pres-
sure, subtle coercion, combined
with Senatorial caution and in-
ertia, has resulted in the President
having sole and unchecked au-
thority for almost all policy de-
cisions concerning war or peace
in regard to Viet Nam. This
amounts to a dangerous concen-
tration of power in the hands of
one individual. There is no in-
dividual who is infallible in any
field of endeavor, and history
suggests this is especially true of
foreign affairs. Most Napoleons
have their Waterloos, and Presi-
dent Johnson may not be the
seeds of destruction of the United
States lie not so much in a delib-
erate attack by an enemy (against
which we are protected, in a sense,
by retaliation), but by a miscal-
culation caused by major errors
in judgement on our part in for-
eign policy. If, for instance, we
lose Viet Nam, the United States
in actuality would receive only a
minor set back in the ;long run
(Dean Rusk notwithstanding). If,
however, we chose to wage a
nuclear war over Viet Nam, when
China finally does intervene mas-
sively to protect her interests, we
will in all probability insure the
massive destruction of the major
part of our own country and so-
ciety in the United States.
The potential grave error in
judgement on foreign policy in
this instance, lies in the assump-
tion that Russia will ultimately
sit by passively while we wreck
havoc among her Allies in the
Orient. There is, however, only a
slight chance that Russia would
not match our escalation and in-
tervene with nuclear weapons, if

of the constitutionally sanctioned
checks and balances on our for-
eign affairs, and may point to a
way out of the morass that the
administration has led us into.
-John Duane, '58
To the Editor:
teresting to note that SGC
leaders were complaining about
lack of representation and power
in the task of picking a new Uni-
versity President. The same issue
also carried a report that the SGC
Course Evaluation Booklet was
not going to be published on time
because there was a shortage of
student help, and student organ-
izations hadn't kept their promise
to help.
When students can't handle the
task of compiling questionnaire
results, why should they expect,
let alone demand, that they have
a say in picking a new University
-J. Downs Herold, Grad
Old Middle
To the Editor:
which appeared in yesterday's
Michigan Daily about the New
Left, Aptheker, God, country, and
apple pie in general, is notable for
boldness of ignorance and' sheer
American arrogance-qualities not
uncommon in the present conduct
of foreign policy.
Mr. Aptheker may not be the
New Left's most vigorous speaker,
nor in fact, a speaker for the New
Left. But at the very least, he is
a welcome change from the Old
Middle that has been running this
country, running it into the
ground, for the past twenty years.
He is clearly differentiated from
that Old Middle by a quality that
appears to have passed Mr. Platsis
by ("dead" it would seem, like
Marx, Stalin, and Nietzsche) -

Mr. Platsis has a good deal of
fun playing with historical anal-
ogies (which never seem to fit).
He also opts for "absolutes" and
"standards," but tr'ies to suggest
a certain relativism by telling us
that Marx, Stalin, and Nietzsche
are dead. Clever. But what about
their ideas? Are they dead too?
Mr. Platsis would have us believe
that only the "good guys" (Sen.
Long) have been running this
country and they don't need any
help or criticism to do it (Hear
that Spock & Thomas & Co.!!).
Just let them have their way, let
them go about the world doing
good with all the IMMENSE power
they have for doing good (A-
Bombs, H-Bombs, Wars ion pov-
erty]), and everything will turn
out hunky-dory.
are to be God-like, not God. Mr.
Platsis, in his catalogue of what
America has done for' humanity
(past & present) has confused the
We should be wary of that kind
of absolutism and its advocates,
for it is the very difference be-
tween "greatness" and the "grand-
-George Abbott White
Both Sides
To the Editor:
IF I WERE a fifth ward demo-
crat, I would vote for LeRoy
Cappaert rather than Dr. Larry
McDonald. Publicity given to Dr.
McDonald, a University Hospital
staff member, by the Daily in the
primary campaign has not been
fair, however.
As a long-time subscriber to
the Michigan Daily, I have been'
pleased to see recent articles con-
cerning the registration of stu-
dents. The February 21 primary
and the April 4 city elections are
of great importance to everyone
connected with the University. I
hope that the issues and can-
didates will all receive objective

News does not mention these
broadcasts in its daily program
guide, and I see no way for new
students to find out what local
radio stations are doing. Here in
Ann Arbor, local radio is not limit-
ed to news and music; it is possible
to hear rebroadcasts of Radio
Moscow, teen-age conservatives,
and all points of view.
ious points of view before they
vote in any election. If the col-
umns of the Daily cannot present
so much information on Ann Ar-
bor candidates and issues, they
should call attention to other
sources of such detailed informa-
tion, the best of which is cur-
rently local radio.
Any news medium should pre-
sent even those facts which do not
support its own editorial opinion.
The Daily currently leans toward
the left, which is its right if it
will report other points of view
or refer its readers to other
sources. I personally hope to con-
tinue the Daily for many years to
come, whether I agree with the
editorials or not, because this
newspaper can perform a real
service to the community.
-Carl H. Zwinck, '48E, '52, '56
To the Editor:
LAST THURSDAY just as I was
about to start my nightly cul-
tural hour by viewing a "Batman"
episode, there came upon my door
a harsh, peremptory BANG,
BANG, BANG. I opened the por-
tal and there in the gloom stood
three men, unscrupulous cads I
should say.
"Are you a student at the U.
of M.?" asked one. "Shore nuff,"
I answered amicably (I'm from the
South). "Then you'll have to
come with us," they chanted in
unison. "How so?" quoth I, am-
icably. "You are to be part of a
captive audience we have select-
ed to be subverted this evening by
the hypnotic charms of Herbert
Antheker." they chanted in uni-

-fate by an impersonal random
sampling process. There had been
talk in the VOICE politburo of
selecting victims from a secret
psychology department list of
weak-ego persons, easily deluded
by propaganda. However, this line
of action turned out to be im-
practical, since ;most of these in-
dividuals were busy writing 15,000
letters to Senator' Dzendzel sup-
porting his Stop and Frisk Law.
During the entire march to the
auditorium I could see out of the
corner of my eye a man who was
observing the bizarre recruitment.
He tood out because of two plac-
ards he carried, one in either hand
knew who it must be.
This letter and the facts it un-
veils, demonstrate why we must al-
ways be on our guard against su-
perficial jndgments of ideas and
opinions. It would be very easy.
not knowing what I've related
here, to dismiss a statement as
incredibly stupid which referred
to those who heard Dr. Apetheker
as a "captive audience." But is it?
Let me conclude, amicably, "Shore
-Art Poskocil, Grad
To the Editor:
ANYONE who writes critically
for the press must suspend cer-
tain functions of the ego as a
necessary precondition. In laying
bare his ideas before the eyes of
strange readers, the thought that
his inevitable lapses in judgment
will become crystallized in print
along with hishappier moments,
must not offend him. I have made
this necessary suspension and so
will outlast my shame following
the publication of my misdirect-
ed praise of Olivier's Othello in
Friday's Daily.
All this did .not stifle a hot
flush which I experienced upon
noting that in the published re-
view, the entire paragraph criti-
cal of Sir Laurence had been de-
leted (although I mad marked


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