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April 08, 1966 - Image 6

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1966-04-08

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PAGE ┬░SIX

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

FRIDAY, APRIL 8, 1966

PAGE SIX THE MICHIGAN IJAILI FRIDAY, A1~RIL 8,1966

DAILY OFFICIAL BULLETIN

(Continued from Page 2)
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Crisis in
By EDWIN Q. WHITE
and PETER ARNETT
SAIGON () - Four weeks of
political unrest in Viet Nam's cities
crisis to this unstable country,
has brought a dangerous new crisis
to this unstable country, threaten-
ing the war effort.
Ironically the political unrest
has come as American arms have
stabilized the war front and
averted the outright defeat which
seemed imminent in 1965.
inWhat has caused the outbreaks
in the streets of Saigon, Da Nang
and Hue? What do the Buddhists
want? What do the students want?
Are Communists behind the out-
breaks? Why the anti-American-
ism?
Small Fraction
Here are some of the factors:
The people involved represent a
small fraction of the population,
perhaps no more than two or three
per cent, but the numbers do not
control the danger. Fewer students
and Buddhists have toppled earlier
governments. Perhaps four-fifths
of the population is apathetic,
particularly in the countryside,
but they also are war-weary to
their bones after years of conflict.
Even victories by government and
American troops don't seem to en-
courage them. This leaves political
leadership to others.
Perhaps most significant and
dangerous of all has been the ap-

pearance of South Vietnamese sol-
diers and civil servants among the
demonstrators in Da Nang. Whole-
sale defection by soldiers and offi-
cials could destroy the entire war
effort.
Undoubtedly Communist infil-
trators have had a hand in the
demonstratioons. How much no
one knows, but they would be in-
effective alone. Professional agi-
tators have played a hand, as
they have in every political coup
in Saigon. Men like Le Quy Viet,
who tells proudly of arrests going
back to 1945, and claims at 39 that
he has at least 20 years of politick-
ing ahead.
Refugees driven from the coun-
tryside, with little hope and noth-
ing to do, and restless and delin-
quent children from the streets
have swelled the crowds.
Buddhists, Students
The Buddhists and the stu-
ents have been the main factors,
as they have been in every coup
in this country.What they want
depends on what faction they be-
long to. Basically they want pow-
er, if not actual positions, then to
be king makers.
Then there are skyrocketing
prices and the natural resentment
of any population against foreign
troops who by local standards are
rich, live better, and monopolize
girls, bars and entertainment.
Finally there are the ruling gen-

Details at Summer Placement,
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212

I

erals who joust among themselves
for power in the military junta
just, as they have done since the
fall of Ngo Dinh Diem.
In this struggle for power, Pre-
mier Nguyen Cao Ky fired Lt.
Gen. Nguygen Chanh Thi, com-
mander of the 1st Corps. That.
precipitated the present crisis.
Backfired
Ky acted to "unify" the gen-
erals' junta, U.S. officials said at
the time. It had the opposite ef-
fect. Thi proved as powerful as
many suspected. Within days of
his ouster, rioting began in Hue
and Da Nang and Ky was forced
to permit Thi to return to the
northern sector.
By firing Thi, Premier Ky ex-
posed a crack in the ruling junta.
This gave the opposition an op-
ening. The balance of power with-
in the junta is as delicate as a
watchspring. Ky had to be certain
he had the complete loyalty of his
fellow officers.
He felt he had that loyalty by
last weekend, when he announced
Da Nang was a "rebel" city in the
hands of Communists. Ky's threat
of military operations there,
brought incredulous gasps from
U.S. Embassy officials.
The U.S. mission knew Ky was
going to take a firm stand at his
news conference Sunday. His
choice of words, however, over-
shadowed his conciliatory plans to
convene a political congress of all
his opposition.
And Ky's declaration to the na-
tion that "either the mayor of Da
Nang is shot or the government
resigns" was seen as an angry out-
burst that could only serve to in-
furiate the Da Nang rebels.
"Premier Ky is a every impulsive

Viet Nam: Unrest Threatens

War Efort

WOULD YOU BELIEVE

young man," said one U.S. offi-x
cial sadly.
Thi seems to be sitting back., not
actively directing affairs from be-
hind the scenes but certainly mak-
ing no effort to resolve matters.
But Thi is no longer the issue.
"If he returned to his old job
tomorrow it would not alter the
situation at all," a top U.S. mili-

held, and the Buddhists feel they
would win. Now Tam Chau wants
elections in three months.
Extremists, headed by the mys-
terious Thich Tri Quang, want the
government overthrown now and a
civilian government formed..
Tri Quang has been credited
with masterful planning in Hue
and Da Nang.

that we rent

TV

tary official said.
The Buddhists tasted power
first in 1963 when they overthrew
President Diem.
They have been a force to be
reckoned with ever since, each day
growing more powerful with a
widening network of "Buddhist
Boy Scouts," primary and second-
ary schools, and pagodas.
Buddhist leaders can attract
more people to a lecture on reli-
gious philosophy today than they
could to a major demonstration
against Diem in 1963.
'Third Power'
They look more and more like
the "third power" they have open-
ly aspired to be, the "neutralizing"
force between the Vietnamese mili-
tary men and the Viet Cong. Close
observers believe they now want a
government they can control.
Moderate and extremist wings
of the Buddhist hierarchy appear
to be divided over the timing.
"Moderate" is a comparative
term to describe the Buddhist
group headed by Thich Tam Chau,
chairmanof the Buddhist Institute
in Saigon. He desires a civilian
government eventually. There was:
a feeling that Tam Chau and his
followers would be prepared to
wait several months for the "poli-
tical congress" Ky has proposed to
determine a national constitution.
After this, elections would be

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Hue Demonstrations
When 18,000 people took to the
streets of Hue in a protest march,
that was one-third of the city'sa
population. Tri Quang's Buddhists
dominate officialdom in that old
imperial capital, and the sallow,'
enigmatic monk obviously hasa
support. U.S. officials believe the
situation is worse now in Hue
than in Da Nang.
The Buddhists have far less in-.
fluence in Saigon than in Hue. But
the sight of 10,000 people sitting
quietly with upturned faces any
evening at the Buddhist Institute,
listening to their favoritet Budd-
hist orator, impresses students of
power politics. No other group can
gather a large crowd so easily in
Saigon.
The Buddhists have power also
in the coastal cities of Nha Trang,
Qui Nhon and Quang Ngai, be-
cause they have no competition.
Qnly the Viet Cong has the
scope and the organizational abil-
ity to compete. The Vietnamese
army keeps the Viet Cong out of
the cities, leaving the Buddhists
freedom of operation.
Monks and Politicians
Young Buddhist monks clad in
gray or brown robes are seen with
increasing frequency in demon-
stratioons. It is in the streets that
the Buddhists and the "fringe"
groups-the politicians - cooper-
ate.
In Dalat, Nha Trang and Quang
Ngai, local authorities were slow to
act against rampaging students.
This could reflect disloyalty to the
central government or an unwill-
ingness to tangle with the mobs
until specifically ordered to by the
government.
How much of the unrest is or-
ganized by the Communists? Their
hand can sometimes be seen.
Communist Network
The Communists have been
building up a network in Viet
Nam's towns and cities for years
that could easily take advantage of
unrest and turn it into political
chaos.
The Viet Cong and their backers'
r

have infiltrated all factions of
Vietnamese life - the religious
groups, the students, the govern-
ment and the military. Broadcasts
over Buddhist-dominated Radio
Hue sound at timese like copies of
Radio Liberatitin, the voice of the
Viet Cong. The problem for Viet-
namese authorities is: Where does
a Buddhist, or agitator, or student
end, and a Communist begin?
The anti-Americanism cropping
up is not necessarily all Com-
munist-inspired. The entry of
more than 200,000 American
troops into Viet Nam: was bound
to have repercussions among the
public,
But U.S. officials did not expect
to see it become manifest in such
scenes as a mob burning a U.S.
Army Jeep and the roughing up
of a uniformed American soldier
-two incidents that occurred in
Saigon.
Most of the anti-Americanism
seems to have been initially based
on the political posture of the U.S.
Banners read "Down with U.S.
obstructionism," not "Yankee go
home."
U.S. Servicemen
American servicemen have been
remarkably well behaved in Viet
Nam. But this is ignored by the
mobs who joyfully seize on an
issue, any issue, to aid their cause.
U.S. officials fear that anti-
Americanism may become an ac-
cepted platform for opponents of
the governinents. This would play
into the hands of those who would
like to see some sort of exclusive
settlement with the Viet Cong to
end the war.
There seems little doubt that
the man in the middle in Viet
Nam, the peasant, wants the war
to end, Bigger armies and bigger
guns have engulfed him in a con-
flict that has more weapons firing
larger shells than during the peak
of the French Indochia war. Hun-
dreds of thousands of refugees are
fleeing from the fighting.
All sides claim they want peace
in Viet Nam.
The question is what side will
be in a position to bring that peace
and what form will it take.

A

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