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July 17, 1965 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1965-07-17

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Seventy-Fifth Year

Thailand- US.-Aided Dictatorship

Where Opinions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.
Truth Will 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.
How the Military Services
Suppress Dissent in Viet Nam
TWO COURT-MARTIAL CASES, one in showcase trial that will just happen to
progress and one pending, in the U.S. drop the hint that someone who disagrees
Army contrast interestingly to bring to with the Vietnamese war is a bit off bal-
light the Army's bid for greater public ance?
sympathy for its Viet Nam position and
its attempt to encourage less dissent in its STEINKE'S TRIAL was shorter. Precise-
own ranks there. ly, it lasted two and one-half days, as
The trial in progress concerns Capt. compared with Wolfson's which has al-
Sanford Wolfson, a doctor, charged with ready reached over a week. More to the
feigning mental illness to escape service point, it was less publicized; the Army
in Viet Nam, presenting an "undisciplin- didn't seem to want to talk about it.
ed appearance" and failing to "conduct Presumably this was because Steinke's
himself as a medical officer and a gen- court-martial, during the course of which
tleman"; the trial pending is the review he is reported to have said that the Viet-
of the case of 1st Lt. Richard R. Steinke, namese war "is not worth one American
convicted of "refusing to expose himself life," concerned one of the Army's finest.
to hostile elements and hazardous condi- For Steinke graduated from West Point;
lions." moreover he was a company commander
As handled by the Army, both cases there.
ring of serious distortions.
WHEN HE GOT to Viet Nam, Steinke
THE WOLFSON CASE ,the Army's le- saw a war he didn't like. He has re-
gal straw man, originated when the fused to comment publicly on why he
defendant directly approached the U.S. didn't like it, but his refusal to join a
commander in Viet Nam, Gen. William guerrilla unit there is mute testimony to
Westmoreland, and complained of both his disillusionment.
the' way in which he had been assigned Steinke's trial was a quiet one. Even
to Viet Nam and the conditions at the the decision to review his case, taken to
hospital where he worked. For the Army, silence the few who knew enough about it
this was the straw that broke the back. to object to it, was accompanied by little
Wolfson had earlier given the Army notice. And it's not hard to see why.
plenty of reason o dislike him. His wife, The Army is clearly trying to use the
also a doctor, has reportedly written Sen- Wolfson case to establish a precedent to
ators Jacob Javits, Wayne Morse ,and Stu- hold over the heads of possible in-ranks
art Symington complaining of the Viet objectors to the Viet Nam war; it is re-
Nam assignment. In addition, she wrote portedly quite difficult to get a job with a
' letter to the New York Times in which dishonorable discharge.
she charged that the American people At the same time it is obviously trying
were being bound by the decisions of to silence the Steinke case as much as
those "who hide behind a veil of national possible in order to mitigate the disaster
security rather than risk open discussion of having one of its best junior officers
which might decide against their chosen turn on it.
course of action."
UNFORTUNATELY, the Army seems well
EVIDENTLY THE ARMY has an air- on its way to accomplishing both its
tight case against Wolfson Testimony objectives. To all appearances, Steinke
tigshowtahagainWfacntsrtmo and Wolfson are as good as out; the sup-
has shown that he In fact was rather .
undisciplined and ungentlemanly around port either of them had was both too
the Soctrang hospital where he was sta- little and too late.
tioned. But such results should fool no one. The
Ae only conclusion to draw from the publicity
An interesting sidelight, however, is of the one trial and the obscurity of the
the testimony of several witnesses men- other is that the Army's establishment
tioning that many officers and men ato
Soctrang were quite as undisciplined in was both worried and anxious by the ob-
appearance as Wolfson ajections of the two men; worried that
apputevnearancaseWl sSteinke's trial would gain the public eye
SBut even setting the last two charges and anxious that Wolfson's should.
aside as the Army's attempt to blow upa
the trial, military prosecutors still have From the standpoint of the men con-
thn . triall t ary. roBecu os tin havecerned, the court-martials were nothing
an excellent case. Because, in the view of but additions to the list of personal trage-
an Army psychiatrist, Wolfson is some- dies surrounding the war.
yThat paranoid, a man who "felt the sys-
tem was taking advantag erfect. olfson T THE REST OF US, the trials should
be added illustrations of the govern-
was troublesome to have around, and, ment's need to artificially create support
fortunately, he turned out to be a nutfor its Asia policies and of the insidious
What could be better than to have a long methods available to it for doing so.
'second alss postage 'paid at Ann arbor. Mich -LEONARD PRATT
Published daily Tuesday thrugh Saturday mnnrnng

r ,. ,
1'*. *,4 a" * . ''... I
~f '
*y f7,~

The New Republic
F EAR that Thailand might be at-
tacked has dominated United
States policy and planning there
since 1954. By the rules of the
game it is next in the fateful
string of Asian dominoes.
From 1946 to 1953 Thailand got
$40 million in U.S. aid. In the
next three years alone it received
$204 million military assistance
and another $105 million in eco-
nomic assistance : an annual rate
20 times greater than before.
Bridges were built, roads widen-
ed, radar stations set up, airfields
cut out of the jungle, military
bases enlarged. U.S. war colleges
bulged with smiling Siamese ma-
jors and colonels and brigadier-
INITIALLY the threat to Thai-
land was conceived in terms of
an army overrunning its borders.
But the feared invasion never
came. Instead, Thailand found its
security menaced internally by
clandestine preliminaries to the
kind of revolutionary warfare that
has torn South Viet Nam to pieces.
The primary source of concern
was northeast Thailand. As neigh-
boring areas of Laos fell under
Pathet Lao control, northeast
Thailand was increasingly subject
to Communist infiltration. Ambas-
sador Kenneth Young called it
"aggression by seepage."
The Thai government has be-
sieged the 15-province region with
all kinds of crash programs of
economic aid and development.
But there are still many villages
that have not been visited by a;
doctor in generations.
MANY FORMERLY isolated vil-

lages have, however, been reached
by new all-weather roads and
have felt the benefit of govern-
ment services and commerce with
the outside. By opening up such
areas, the government hopes it
has prevented revolution.
According to William Bundy,
assistant secretary of state for Far
Eastern Affairs, "Thailand is a
real success story of American
His optimism might be more
contagious if the same thing had
not been said in 1957 about Viet
not Viet Nam. It has never known
colonial rule. Its population con-
tains no large, potentially divisive
religious or ethnic minority. It has
no shortage of land; the land is
wisely owned and yields a sur-
plus of rice in a rice-deficit part
of the world.
The government seems stable
and firmly allied with the West,
and presides over an economy that
is attracting more and more for-
eign capital each year.
U.S. aid still amounts to only
three per cent of Thailand's na-
tional budget.
YET IT IS ONE of the paradox-
es of the "success story" that, in
the process of "preserving the al-
ternatives of democracy and free
choice" in Southeast Asia, the
United States has strengthened
the very forces that restrict those
Thailand is in fact ruled by a
military dictatorship. For the last
seven years it has been under
martial law.
Apologists forthe regime argue
that this is necessary in a state
of emergency posed by the Com-


AMERICANS AND THAI help an army vehicle out of the mud while on a training mission in north-
eastern Thailand. The training mission is for anti -guerrilla tactics, and is typical of aid given by the
U.S. to Thailand.

munist threat. But the small ro-
tating group of military gentle-
men who have ruled the country
almost without interruption since
the revolution of 1932 have all
along considered Thailand in a
state of emergency, and used their
powers accordingly.
A LEADING THAI Buddhist who
ventured to imitate his politically
active counterparts in Viet Nam
was quickly arrested.
A Bangkok English teacher,
after having been held in jail for
six years, was recently tried and
convicted of violating the anti-
Communist act, and sentenced to

Needed-Realistic Liquor Laws

three more years in jail. His of-
fense was that he had written a
poem in which the phrase "class
struggle" appeared.
Such extremism in the pursuit
of anti-Communism has had the
effect of forcing all forms of op-
position underground,, therefore
absence of overt opposition cannot
be taken at face value. Opposition
to the government does exist and
it is growing.
HOWEVER, there are more im-
mediate hazards to the security
of Thailand and to its continued
friendship with the U.S. Every-
thing hangs on Viet Nam. Thai-
land's leaders watch what hap-
pensin Viet Nam.
They have been greatly encour-
aged by the recent escalation of
the Vietnamese war. For them,
the Tonkin Bay incident carried
the United States across the Rubi-
con in Asia.
Events in Viet Nam at the out-
set of the summer monsoons, with
U.S. air power partially offset and
the Viet Cong offensives just be-
ginning, are already testing the
Thais' blithe assumption the U.S.
power can preserve the independ-
ence of South Viet Nam. If it
should appear in the months
ahead that the Viet Cong cannot
be reversed, or that the U.S. draws
the line somewhere short of Ko-
rean War involvement, Thailand
will do some very serious think-
ing about its alliances.
ONE NEED LOOK no further
back in history than to the Second
World War to see the kind of ad-
justment that Thailand is capable
of. Faced with an approaching
Japanese force, it declared war on
the United States and welcomed
the Japanese as comrades in arms.
No one would expect Thailand to
decamp dramatically, but the
operation is not necessarily a
drastic one. Thailand has been
careful to limit its role to passive

cooperation with the United
States. It has allowed U.S. planes
to use its airfields for bombing
runs against Communist positions
in Laos; it has allowed the U.S.
to train Royal Laos Air Force
pilots in Thailand; it has allow-
ed Thai mercenaries ito fly mis-
sions in RLAF planes.
But Thailand has not sent a
single soldier to Viet Nam, and
has shown no interest in doing
so. It has allowed the U.S. great
freedom in the use of diverse mili-
tary fagilities, but it would not
take much more than reassertion
of its never-relinquished right to
be consulted, to nullify their use-
THE COMMUNIST insurgency
effort is reported to be intensify-
ing. Assassinations of village head-
men and local police suggest it is
moving into a more active stage, as
in Viet Nam in 1957.
An Associated Press dispatch
from Bangkok recently reported
that "groups of Chinese Com-
munists have pushed more than
300 miles into Thailand," a dis-
tance that would carry' them al-
most to the suburbs of Bangkok.
They are said, by the same
astonishing report, to number
about 700 men.
ON THE FACE of it this report
is hard to believe. True or false,
it points up an important fact:
The press coverage of events in
Thailand is inadequate. No Ameri-
can newspaper has a reporter sta-
tioned there.
Thailand is on the circuit of
the small group of reporters whose
beat is all of Southeast Asia, but
their semi-annual visits cannot be
expected to keep them or their
readers abreast.
For the most part what goes on
in Thailand goes unobserved, as in
Viet Nam before the explosive be-
ginning o fthe war in 1960.

ALTHOUGH "Don't Walk" street
signsan "Do Not Remove"
mattress tags certainly rank near
the top, probably the most-
ignored, most-violated and most
unenforceable laws around would
have to be the state liquor laws.
One source has guessed-per-
hapsrexaggerating-that half the
liquor consumed in the city of
Ann Arbor is consumed illegally.
The estimate indicates the ex-
tent to which the law is ignored.
IN THEORY, no one under 21
can at any time "purchase, offer
or attempt to purchase, obtain,
consume or transport" alcoholic
In practice, usually respectable,
although sometimes riotous drink-
ing goes on at parties, in college
dorms, in apartments, in cars, or
in homes; and many of the people
drinking are under 21, making it
all illegal.
10.9 million teenagers drink, a
recent study indicated-all of them
breaking the law.
"WHY IS IT illegal?"
"Because it's against the law."
Theexchange demonstrates the
questionable sense behind a law
that is not enforced, not respected
and seldom even remembered.
Few follow it to the letter, or
even its spirit. Estimates on the
percentage of under-21 people who
have never drunk illegally vary
with the source, asymptotically
approaching plain zero.
YET THERE ARE serious rea-
sons for laws limiting who can
buy and drink liquor. In a recent
case a San Francisco 15-year-old
decided to try some liquor and
downed the equivalent of 50
glasses of whiskey in less than
half an hour; surgeons had to
perform a tracheotomy on the boy
to save him from drowning in his
own vomit.
Further, over the last two years,
drunk driving teenagers have
caused an estimated 4000 deaths.
THE FAILURE of present laws
can lead to lack of respect for
the system and its laws, as in pro-
hibition days.
It is laughably easy today to
break the law, through faked ID,
($5-$30)ha 21-year-old friend, or
a bur downtown who wants to
make fifty cents.
In fact, a number of bars and
liquor supply stores-even the
friendly neighborhood druggist-
do not check ID's, making "buy-
ing" a simple matter of having
two dollars and knowing the name
of one liquor.
Police simply do not have the
time or manpower to stop illegal
drinking in Michigan. In fact, they
do their job better than some
states, where policemen, having
found illegal liquor in a teenager's
car, merely pour it out on the
ground, wearily, wordlessly.
THE LAW invites wholesale dis-
regard. The ideas behind state
liquor laws-moderation and ma-

ering the drinking age. In New
York, the drinking age is 18.
A THIRD alternative lies in giv-
ing different privileges to different
In Ohio 18-year-olds are allow-
ed to drink a watery kind of beer,
"three-two," as it is called, and
hard liquor and real beer are
reserved for people who are 21 or
Ohio's "three-two" alternative
is one of the more successful. It
presents a kind of junior high
school of liquors, that can teach
control and poise about the fact
of life of liquor, but it is not
highly intoxicating.
Getting drunk on "three-two,"
in fact, is not a sign of perdition
but of patience.
WHATEVER the alternative,
the present unrealistic and un-
enforceable laws must be changed.

A LITTLE BEER never hurt

Can India Be an rab.Israe ediator?

INDIA'S RECENT establishment
of diplomatic ties with the 13-
nation Arab League is yet another
significant phase of its close
relationship with the Arab states.
Ever since the establishment of
its office in New Delhi, the Arab
League had been trying to per-
suade the Indian government to
recognize it at the diplomatic
The Nehru era in Indian politics
witnessed a growing friendship
between India and Arab coun-
THE ARABS, while following in
general the nonalignment policy
along the same path as enunciated
by India, discovered expressions
of sympathy in anti-imperialist
and anti-colonialist India for their
just demand for restoration of
Palestinian refugees to their for-
mer homeland.
The close friendship between
the Indian Prime Minister Jawa-
harlal Nehru and UAR President

Gamal Abdel Nasser and the In-
dian sympathy to Arabs made
Indian foreign policy sympathetic
to the Arab viewpoint on the
Palestine issue.
On the other hand, though
Israel is recognized by India and
an Israeli counselor operates from
Bombay, it has so far, not been
successful in establishing full dip-
lomatic relations with India. Any
Indian decision in favor of full
diplomatic relationship with Is-
rael would be of vital value to
Israel and would be bound to have
far reaching impact on the Afro-
Asian world, particularly the Arab
rael would not only invite more
Afro-Asian countries to set up
diplomatic ties with Israel, but
would also help in shaping a real-
istic attitude toward Israel such as
President Habib Bourguiba of
Tunisia has taken. Some Arab
states, perhaps Morocco, Algeria
and others, would follow the Tu-
nisian example.

A feeling is sometimes expressed
in Indian, political circles that a
new Indian outlook should not
only favor Israeli recognition, but
should also play an important role
in bringing the Arabs and Israelis
to the conference table in order
to achieve a peaceful and per-
manent solution of the problem.
Soon after Lal Bahadur Shastri
took over Prime Ministership of
India, this feeling increased to a
considerable extent. Israel, per-
haps too, looked on for a change
in the Indian attitude.
HOWEVER, the Indian policy
on this issue remained the same
as defined and practiced by Ne-
hru. The latest move of recogniz-
ing the Arab League at diplomatic
level is a step forward in that
direction, though a very signifi-
cant one.
India has become the first na-
tion to grant any such recognition.
To political observers, this devel-
opment must not have been a
surprise as indications leading to
any such result were already in

the offing" and lately they had
become more and more evident.
Among the main events were
Arab League Secretary-General
Abdul Khalek Hassouna's visit to
India last March and the state-
ment of V. K. Krishna Menon,
former Indian Defense Minister in
April that India would soon pro-
vide diplomatic facilities to the
League representative in India, has
said that he hopes India's de-
cision set a precedent that will
be followed by other countries
where the League maintained of-
fices. Yet it is hard to predict if
countries such as the United
States, Britain and West Germany
will follow the Indian example,
since their role in the Middle East
is not only that of maintaining
the "status quo" between Israel
and the Arabs but also as chief
supporters of Israel. However
some African, Asian and Latin
American states may follow the
Indian decision.


Another Jerry Lewis Movie Fizzles


At the Michigan Theatre
SOMEDAY SOMEONE is going to compile all the choice bits from
all the Jerry Lewis pictures and call it the "Best of Jerry Lewis"
and it will be the funniest movie ever made.
But as long as Lewis himself puts the pieces together there is
going to be great disappointment, like that of "The Family Jewels."
For those of you who are inveterate Lewis fans, be prepared for
another spotty evening. Lewis wrote, produced, directed, starred in
this latest effort and too many cooks not only spoiled the broth but
they lost track of the meal itself.

cute, is so sentimentally cast as to make one constantly a bit naseuous.
Sebastian Cabot takes longer to say than his role does to play.
The soundtrack is poor and the direction lacks the sense of
tightness that Lewis achieved in "The Nutty Professor," still his finest
effort. The double plays with the camera as prop and medium (e.g.
the Photographer) are excellent and slightly wacky but never get
used as they should.
A very funny albeit irrelevant bit is an insert of Lewis sitting
down to listen to a record. As the phonograph plays, Lewis sits smug,
relaxed and very self-satisfied. The song: "This Diamond Ring" as


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