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January 06, 1967 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-01-06

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Hol ds

Victory in

ast-West Contest

Colegiate Press service
SAIGON-It is one of the major
ironies of contemporary history
that Marxism, rooted in a tho-
roughly materialistic concept of
man, has in the hands of Mao
Tse-tung, Lin Piao, Ho Chi Minh
and Vo Nguyen Giap become the
most powerful spiritual force in!
Asia-while the United States,
which claims a Judaeo-Christian

spiritual heritage, has sought to
counter that force with increasing
amounts of military and material
Fundamentally, we have come to
view other peoples' ideologies as
obstacles to problem-solving, which
we have unconsciously raised to
the status of a new ideology. Per-
haps, for lack of a dialectical con-
tent to our own new ideology,
American society is increasingly

preoccupied with a subtle variation
ofrthe "might makes right" theme:
to wit, that technology, emotional
detachment, and hard work will
solve any problem if applied in
large enough doses.
The emphasis throughout our
culture on problem-solving tech-
niques, procedures, machinery and
cost-efficiency is only the most
general example. More specifically,
the Viet Nam war is a major prob-

lem for us- and we are employing evitability of the victory of Peo- on the wall and are desperate
all the technology, emotional de- ple's War. to chalk up some advances of their
tachment, and hard work at our The fact that Americans them- own. They must either match
command in order to solve it. selves are .generally more im- American weapons with Chinese,
The Asian view of the world- pressed with their technology and or push the Viet Cong to a Pco-
and the war-is often quite dif- wealth than with their democratic ple's War victory using political'
ferent. Much of Asia still has social instituions merely proves to rather than conventional military
deeply-rooted class conflicts. The these Asians the bankruptcy of force. One way or another, they
gulf between rich and poor-in American ideals and the rightness need to win.
Hong Kong, Saigon, Calcutta-is of their own cause. Thus the frantic Great Leap
so stark that most people do not There are other Asians who Forward in 1957, designed to
like to talk about it. At the same seem genuinely to value Western broaden the economic base for
time American technology and our democrartic ideals, and who are Chinese technological and indus-
emphasis on the Three E's-effort, searching for an Asian idiom in trial development. Thus Ho's
efficiency and effectiveness-pro- which to express them. Hitherto it eagerness to employ Soviet tech-
duce conflicting reactions. has been elusive: objective con- nicians at surface-to-air missile
Technology the Key ditions in Asia are much more sites around Hanoi. Thus China's
On the one hand overeager favorable to the Marxian inter- haste to deliver a nuclear warhead,
American advisors are indulged pretation of social history than to which she now has done. In one
like children who come running the Lockean. of his more didactic moments in
in to tell their parents they have Embrace Western Aid 1953, Mao said, "Political power
the answer to an insoluble prob- Another sizable group of Asians comes from the barrel of a gun."
lem. On the other, Asians are im- understands full well why Amer- So the race is on, with Asian
pressed by power and prosperity- icans are more impressed with their communists trying to make niajor
especially power. They trace past technology than with their dean- breakthroughs in technology or
defeats and loss of face to the ocratic social traditions. Practical war in time to thwart the im-
superiority of Western technology, people, they recognize and seek the mense appeal of Western aid to
and they see technology as the key prerequisites of power. Many of poorer or underdeveloped Asian
to wining back that lost power and them feel that though Chinese nations.
dignity. ideology is more fitted to today's And who is winning? There
Most Asian societies are poor, Asia. and therefore carries greater have been several test cases in the

coup with strong support from
powerful student groups through-'
out the country. American advisors
here believe it wouldn't have hap-
pened but for the U.S. presence in
Viet Nam; they are probably right.
General Suharto now apparently
has hopeful feelers out for renewed
American aid.
-In August North Korea care-
fully dissociated herself from the
Peking line, and began making
overtures in Moscow's direction.
One reason no doubt was the con-
tinued presence of the Eighth U.S.
Army south of the 38th parallel.
-Meanwhile, South Korea and
Taiwan are being billed as major
American aid success stories,
-Unconfirmed reports say Gen-
eral Ne Win in a recent White
House visit asked President John-
son for American aid to counuer
Chinese-supported guerillas in the
northern forests of Burma. To
Burma watchers, the xenophobic
socialist general's American tour
was surprise enough; U.S. aid
would indicate a significant shift
in Burma's foreign policy, which
until now has been very deferential
|to Peking.
" -In the face of increasing guer-
rilla activity in both countries,
Thailand and the Philippines seem
more firmly attached than ever to
j American support.
s -Even Malaysia, with British
Iground troops guarding her bor-

ders, called the U.S. her "greatest
and strongest ally" during Presi-
dent Johnson's visit October 30.
Cambodia, Laos
And that about wraps up South-
east Asia, except for Cambodia,
Cambodia, with strong support
from France, has been leaning
closer and closer to Peking. Ob-
servers in Saigon feel the National
Liberation Front uses Phnom Penh
as a major base for its activities in
South Viet Nam, and the American
military seems increasingly in-
clined to treat Cambodian terri-
tory as an extension of Viet Cong
controlled areas. Still, the official
line from Prince Sihanouk is strict
Laos seems up for grabs, if any-
body really wanted it. The Viet
Minh appear to control eastern
Laos (bordering North and South
Viet Nam) jointly with the Pathet
Lao, who have strong ties with
Massive American aid has kept
the western administrative capital
of Vientiane conservatively neu-
tral to pro-U.S., under the shaky
control of Prince Souvanna Phou-
ma. But as John F. Kennedy is
said to have remarked, Laos is
not a land "worthy of engaging
the attention of great powers." Its
chief importance for some years
has been as a staging base for
guerrillas operating in Viet Nam.

colored, predominahtly agricul-
tural, and anxious to vindicate
their national pride. They arel
watching China very carefully. Itr
is natural that the emotional ap-
peal of Marx and Mao would weigh;
heavily here, especially to thoseI
convinced of the historical in-

emotional appeal, tomorrow's Asiaj
and by implication Western aid, if
must embrace Western technology,
it is to arrive in the modern world.
Much of the explosive natu'e of
the conflict between the U.S. and
China derives from this last fact.:
Mao and Ho see the handwriting

past year. Though the results are
not necessarily permanent, they.
have generally spelled a series of
major disasters for the Chinese.
The Score Card
-In Moslem Indonesia, the sixth
largest country in the world, the
army engineered an anti-Chinese

-Associated Press
WHAT FUTURE FOR HER COUNTRY? A South Vietnamese peasant woman watches an Amer
ican patrol head back towards their base from which they carry out operations against guerrillas.


Mao's Dogma
Directs War's
Basic Goals
(Continued from page 2)
overwhelmingly agricultural. Their
technology and values are those of
traditional societies based on
farming. After a hundred years of
Western exploitation, they. remain
basically market areas and vast
hinterlands, with an occasional
urban complex serving chiefly as
a distribution center.
Again, it was Mao who first in-
corporated this idea into the body
of communist dogma, thereby con-
verting it from a European to an
Asian ideology. The Chinese re-
volution was consciously based on
the peasantry rather than the city
proletariat, which was controlled
almost until the end by Chiang
Kai-shek. But it was left to Lin!
Piao, Mao's apparent heir; to give
the doctrine its most striking theo-
retical form.

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In a widely circulated essay of
September 1965, entitled Long Live
the Victory of People's War, Linj
advanced the thesis that the agri-
cultural nations of the world would
rise in revolt and choke to death
the urban nations.
Many Americans dismissed the
notion as ridiculous, but thought-
ful Asians never laugh at China.
It is no accident that in Viet Nam!
the Viet Cong have their strongest
bases in rural areas, while the
government purports to contral
every major city (a proposition
open to serious question after the
Viet Cong shelled downtown Sai-
gon on the government's National,
Day, November 1).
So the battle lines are drawn:
the reactionary, imperialist, white,
urban, anti-popular forces against
the revolutionary colored masses
of the agricultaural nations. If
this seems over simplified to you,
consider yourself a product of the
former group.


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