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Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the inidividual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This mus t be noted in all reprints.
THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 1966
NIGHT EDITOR: SHIRLEY ROSICK
When Burnham Wood
Comes to Dunsinane
THE BOMBING of the oil storage and
distribution centers at Hanoi and Hai-
phong seems like the act of a desperate
group of men.
The best thing that could be said for
Viet Nam recently was that it was quiet-
ing down. Except for a feature article, it
hardly appeared in The Daily yesterday.
When Argentina begins to push South-
east Asia out of the papers, you know
things are quiet in Viet Nam.
BUT, THOUGH there was no overt ac-
tivity, it is all too evident from yes-
terday's events that Viet Nam has be-
come an immense running sore on the
American economy and psyche. From
what Robert McNamara said, both areas
are evidently showing the strain to a far
greater degree than anyone within the
administration ever thought they would.
The response to that strain was char-
acteristic of the entire American conduct
of the Vietnamese war: When faced with
a gnawing subtle danger one should hit
at a central manifestation of it, but never
grapple with the problem itself.
WHAT IS EVIDENTLY still not realized
in Washington is that the war cannot
possibly be won by this approach, in this
case by denying heavy equipment to the
Viet Cong. It can be slowed down per-
haps, though even that is a moot point.
But it can in no case be brought down to
levels at which American troops will be
able to gradually mop up the remnants
of northern divisions starved for lack of
logistic support. And that is evidently
what the Administration thinks, else the
bombings make no sense.
The problem is that it is evidently rec-
ognized in Washington that the war can-
not be won any other way either. The
Viet Cong are clever, adequately equip-
ped; they know the countryside and
what they are fighting for. Men of that
nature will not be beaten by racial and
cultural strangers from half-way around
the globe unless, logically, those strangers
can overrun them.
And it is evidently the growing realiza-
tion of this fact which has made Presi-
dent Johnson's little circle of advisors
look for the only way out which their be-
liefs about the nature of the war allow
WHAT THEY HAVE yet to realize is that
escalation is no alternative either,
that it changes the very nature of their
problem rather than extricating them
from their present one. They are grad-
ually backing themselves into a policy
No wonder they are desperate.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This re-
print of an article in the London
Sunday Times by Nicholas To-
malin was taken from I. F.
By NICHOLAS TOMALIN
AFTER A LIGHT LUNCH last
Wednesday, General James F.
Hollingsworth, of the U.S. "Big
Red 1" division, took off in his
personal helicopter and killed
more Vietnamese than any of the
troops he was commanding.
The story of the general's feat
begins in his divisional office, at
Di-Na, twenty miles north of Sai-
gon, where a Medical Corps Col-
onel is telling me that, when they
collect enemy casualties, they find
more than four injured civilians
for every wounded Viet Cong-
unavoidable in this kind of war.
THE GENERAL has a big, real
American face, reminiscent of
every movie you have ever seen.
He comes from Texas and is 48.
His present rank is Brigadier Gen-
eral, Assistant Division Comman-
der, 1st Infantry.
"Our mission today," says the
general, "is to push those god-
damn VCs right off Routes 13 and
16. Now you see Routes 13 and
16 running north from Saigon
toward the town of Phuoc Vinh
where we keep our artillery. When
we got here first we prettied up
those roads and cleared Charlie
Cong right out so we could run our
"I guess we've been hither and
whither with our operations since,
an' the o1' VC he's reckoned he
could creep back. He's been put-
ting out propaganda he's going
to interdict our right of passage
along these routes. So this day we
aim to zapp him, and zapp him
and zapp him again till we've
zapped him right back where he
THE GENERAL'S UH 18 heli-
copter carries two pilots, two 60-
calibre machine gunners, and his
aide Dennis Gillman, an apple-
cheeked subaltern from California.
The general sits at the helicopter's
open door, knees apart, his tiny
black toecaps jutting out into
space, rolls a filtertip cigarette
to-and-fro in his teeth and thinks.
"Put me down at battalian HQ,"
he calls to the pilot. "There's
sniper fire reported on choppers
in that area, General."
"Goddarh the snipers, just put
Battalian HQ at the moment is
a defoliated area of four acres
packed with tents, personnel car-
riers, helicopters and milling GI's.
We settle into crushed grass. The
general leaps out and strides
through his troops.
"Why General, excuse us, we
didn't expect you here," says a
"You killed any Cong yet?"
"Well, no, General, I guess he's
just too scared of us today. Down
the road apiece we've hit trouble,
a bulldozer's fallen through a
bridge, and trucks coming through
a village knocked the canopy off
a Buddhist pagoda. Saigon radioed
us to repair that temple before
proceeding-in the way of civic
action, General. That put us back
BACK THROUGH the crushed
grass to the helicopter. "I don't
know how you think about the
war. The way I see it, I'm just like
any other company boss, ginger-
ing up the boys all the time, ex-
cept I don't make money. I just
kill people and save lives." A
plume of white rises in the midst
of dense tropical forest with a
"Bird Dog" spotter plane in at-
tendance. Route 16 is to the right;
beyond it a large settlement of
"Strike coming in, sir."
Two F-105 jets appear over the
horizon in formation, split, then
one passes over the smoke, drop-
ping a trail of silver fish-shaped
canisters. After four seconds si-
lence, light orange fire explodes
in patches along an area fifty
yards wide by three-quarters of
a mile long. Napalm.
"Oaaaaah," cried the general,
"Nice, nice. Very neat. Come in
low, let's see who's left down
"How do you know for sure the
Viet Cont snipers were in that
strip you burned?"
"We don't. The smoke position
was a guess. That's why we zapp
the whole forest."
I point at a paddy field less
than a half mile away full of
"That's different, son. We know
THE PILOT SHOUTS: "Gen-
eral, half right, two running for
"I see them. Down, down god-
In one movement he yanks his
M-16 off the hanger, slams in a
clip of cartriges and leans out of
the door, hanging on his seat belt
to fire one long burst in the
general direction of the bush.
"But General how do you know
those aren't just frightened peas-
"Running like that? Don't give
me a pain."
We circle now above a single
story building made of dried reeds.
The first burst of fire tears open
the roof, shatters one wall into
fragments of scattered straw and
blast the farmyard full of chick-
ens into dismembered feathers.
"Zapp, zapp, zapp," cries the gen-
eral. He is now using semi-auto-
matic fire, the carbine bucking
in his hands, "gass bomb."
Lieutenant Gillman leans his
canister out of the door. As the
pilot calls, he drops it. An ex-
plosion of whitevaper spreads
acrqss the wood a full hundred
"Jesus wept, lootenant, that's
Lieutenant Gillman clambers
over me to get the second gas
bomb. This bomb explodes per-
fectly beside the house, covering
it with vapor. "There's nothing
alive in there," says the general,
or they'd be skedaddling. Yes
there is, by golly."
FOR THE FIRST time I too see
the running figure, bobbing and
sprinting across the farmyard to-
ward a clump of trees dressed in
black pajamas. No hat, no shoes.
"Now, hit the tree."
We circle five times. Branches
drop off the tree, leaves fly, its
trunk is enveloped with dust and
tracer flares. Gillman offers me
his gun. No thanks.
Then a man runs from the tree,
in each hand a bright red flag
which he waves desperately above
his head. "Stop, stop, he's quit,"
shouts the general, knocking the
machine gun so tracers erupt into
the sky. The figure walks toward
us. "That's a Cong for sure," cries
the general in triumph and with
one deft movement grabs the
man's short black hair and yanks
The prisoner falls across Lt.
Gillman and into the seat beside
me. The red flags I spotted from
the air are his hands, bathed
solidly in blood. Further blood is
pouring from under his shirt, over
his trousers. Now we are safely
in the air again.
OUR CAPTIVE cannot be more
than 16 years old, his head comes
just about to the white patch-
Hollingsworth-on the general's
chest. He is dazed, in shock, his
eyes calmly look first at the gen-
eral, then at the lieutenant, then
at me. He resembles a tiny fine-
boned animal. He is quivering.
"Radio base for an ambulance.
Get the information officer with
a camera. I want this Commie
bastard alive until we get back
... just stay with us until we talk
to you, baby." The general pokes
his carbinefirsthat the prisoner's
cheek to keep his head upright,
then at the base of his shirt.
"Look at that now," he said turn-
ing to me. "You still thinking
about innocent peasants?" Look
at that weaponry."
Around the prisoner's waist is
a webbing belt with four clips of
ammunition, a water bottle (with-
out stopper), a tiny roll of ban-
dages and a propaganda leaflet
which later turns out to be a set
of Viet Cong songs.
LT. GILLMAN looks concerned.
"It's OK, you're OK," he mouths
at the prisoner, who at that mo-
ment turns to me and with a sur-
prisingly vigorous gesture waves
his arm at my seat. He wants to
lie down. By the time I have fas-
tened myself into yet another seat
we are back at the landing pad.
Ambulance orderlies come
aboard, administer morphine and
rip open his shirt. Obviously a
burst of fire has shattered his
right arm up at the shoulder. The
cut shirt now allows a large bulge
of blue-red tissue to fall forward,
its surface streaked with white
nerve fibers and chips of bone
(how did he ever manage to wave
that arm in surrender?)..
When the ambulance has driven
off, the general gets us all posed
around the nose of the chopper
for a group photograph like a
gang of successful fishermen. He
is euphoric. "Jeez, I'm so glad you
was along, that worked out Just
dandy. I've been written, up time
and time again ,back in the states
for shootin' up VCs, but no one's
been along with me like you be-
fore." He gives me the Viet Cong's
bottle as a souvenir. "That's a
Chincom bottle, that one. All the
way from Peiking."
LATER THAT EVENING the
general calls me to his office. to
tell me that the prisoner had to
have his arm amputated, and is
now iri the hands of the Viet-
namese authorities, as regulations
dictate. Before he went under, he
told the general's interpreters that
he was part of a hard-core regular
VC company whose mission was
to mine Route 16, cut it up, and
fire at helicopters. The general is
magnanimous in his victory over
my squeamish civilian worries.
"I'll say perhaps your English
civilian generals wouldn't think
my way of war is too conventional,
"There's no better way to fight
than goin' out to shoot VCs. And
there's nothing I love better than
killin' Cong. No sir.
--London Sunday Times, June 5
Now It's 'Bombs Away
THERE IS A correction to the story that
the United States bombed Hanoi and
Haiphong yesterday. Defense Secretary
McNamara has informed the public at
large that "Hanoi and Haiphong were not
bombed" but rather that "the oil facili-
ties" in Hanoi and Haiphong" were
He humanely added at a news con-
ference that the pilots had been given
specific instructions to avoid exclusively
civilian areas and said that, while the
people of these cities were not warned,
the bombing took place in "broad day-
light with good visibility" and indicated
that "this might have offered some meas-
ure of warning."
Thank you Mr. McNamara.
BROAD DAYLIGHT, however, does not
erase the effect of a 25 minute bomb-
ing attack consisting of many hund red-
pound rockets and missiles zeroing in on
one's "home town."
Broad daylight does not hide the fact
that the American public, to say nothing
of the Vietnamese or the rest of the
world, had little indication that such an
incident would take place. At the Presi-
dent's press conference on June 15 he
said that "we must raise the cost of North
Vietnamese aggression," but when ques-
tioned, said that a decision had not been
made to bomb Hanoi and Haiphong.
White House Press Secretary, Bill Meyers,
said that he heard nothing of the admin-
istration's bombing plans mentioned at
the weekly Congressional-presidential
meeting last Tuesday.
At least two Democratic senators,
Wayne Morse from Oregon and Senate
leader Mike Mansfield of Montana, were
surprised; Morse was horrified, and
Mansfield predicted that the bombing
"will bring about greater amounts of aid
(to North Viet Nam) from the Soviet
Union and Peking."
BROAD DAYLIGHT cannot bring back
England's half-hearted support of the
Vietnamese war. Wilson has consistently
repeated that England could not support
"an extension of the bombing to such
areas." Nor can broad daylight facilitate
the proposed East-West defense agree-
me-nt's development beyond that of an
idea; Moscow plans to increase North
Vietnamese aid and has warned the U.S.
that it has taken a "dangerous step."
The abortive escalation has presum-
ably alarmed already tense NATO mem-
bers. And one can presume that non-
aligned and underdeveloped countries will
not sanction such a blatant display of
military strength. Chances are that Pe-
with his vital consensus he would have
known that the vote of 1964 was not
necessary a personal mandate but, among
other things, a vote against the alleged
"war monger" policies of his opponent. It
seems that we have voted in what we
presumed we had voted against.
GOD ONLY KNOWS what's going to hap-
pen next in the name of national
security; and I doubt whether even HE
It seems fairly safe to say that the odds
are now against peaceful negotiation
and/or withdrawal. The betting is heavy
on a "Bombs Away with LBJ" campaign.
Place your bets now, ladies and gentle-
men, but for God's sake, do it in broad
WITH ITS BOMBING of the Haiphong
installations the United States has
placed its full faith in the doctrine: world
leadership-leadership in war. The U.S.
has now done everything but invade the
North or use nuclear weapons against it,
and it looks like only one of these will
bring a military solution.
For with its action the U.S. has re-
nounced all pretence to seeking negotia-
tions for peace and announced it wants a
military end - surrender. Yet the only
military future seems to be stalemate,
hardly a future at all.
It's time for the little people in the U.S.
to give Viet Nam a definite, if explosive
future, by the simple program of mass
self-indoctrination. Either we believe our
country is, and should be, fighting for the
rights of the helpless South Vietnamese,
or that it is striknng out in fear against
a force it is too stagnant to fight con-
IF WE WANT to fight there is no reason
not to jump right in with invasions or
nuclear weapons. If we want peace, then
we should get out. But the present state
of indicision, not knowing if we know
what we want, is unbearable and simply
destroys the rights of the people to con-
trol their destiny.
The North Vietnamese, for example,
have already decided, by adopting the
"Battle of Britain" beleaguered nation
spirit. Of course it is easier for them to
decide-they are under fire.
Prime Minister Harold Wilson has also
made a decision. He heads a nation once
embattled like the North Vietnamese,
.1 . -----------
The Agony of Power
Tent City: Home of Evicted Americans
By THOMAS R. COPT
YOUR NAME IS Rufus Thomas,
you are a share cropper, living
on someone else's land just out-
side of Selma, Alabama. You have
four children, so you are alloted
ten acres of land. Your neighbor
only has two children, so he is
given less land.
But your ten acres isn't very
much and you are supposed to
raise enough there to feed your
family. The five bales of cotton
you manage to grow would prob-
ably be enough, but after the land-
lord takes his two thirds, you have
almost nothing left with which to
ONE DAY someone comes to
your house and says that he is
from the Student Nonviolent Co-
ordinating Committee and could
he talk to you about registering to
vote. You have never voted, and
nobody you know has ever voted,
but this guy from SNCC says that
by voting you will be able to im-
prove your life, maybe get a little
more to live on, be able to live
a little better.
So you say all right. I'll go down
to register, what have I got to
lose? And you go down and put
your name on the registration list.
The next day, and for days fol-
lowing, your name appears in the
Selma Times-Journal along with
the names of all the other people
who have registered to vote.
Then your landlord comes to the
house and says that he saw your
name in the paper and what do
you mean by registering to vote-
aren't you happy with what you've
got? And all of a sudden you don't
the same fix you are and you don't
know what you all are going to do.
Then you hear that the people
from SNCC are going to help all
the people out who got thrown off
the land they were working be-
cause they went and registered to
The people from SNCC have set
up a "tent city" for you to live
in because there's no place else
for you to live. So you pack your
meager belongings and go over to
the tent city that has been set up
in Lowndes County.
The tent city isn't much, but it's
something and it's better than
what you've got now, which is
nothing. SNCC is trying to get
food for you and your friends and
more tents for the new people
coming in, but they don't have
much money, so you have to make
do with what there is. Your wife
spends her days watching the
children and helping make blan-
kets which are sold through the
Mississippi Poor People's Co-Op in
New York and Boston to raise
money. You spend your days
carrying water two miles to the
tent city-because there is no
water there-and trying to keep
the tent city livable.
YOU HEAR that the establish-
ment of the tent city has become
a political issue, and as such is
preventing you from getting any
kind of aid from either the local
government or the federal gov-
ernment, which SNCC has appeal-
ed to for aid. And SNCC doesn't
have any money for you either-
they can hardly support their own
You thought you were bad off
before, but what are you going to
do now? It seems as thought there
is no place to turn for help.
* * *
WHILE THERE is no such per-
son as Rufus Thomas, hundreds of
This poem was written by Mr. Edward English of Selma, Ala., for the families
who were evicted in Lownes County, Ala., and are now living in Tent iCty:
This is the deep south, in Alabama
People in Lowndes County want their right to vote.
Some of the people say no. No vote. You can stay
On the land as a sharecropper. If you say yes, you
Have to move. God is here, now we have a place called
Tent City. We have more people than we have tents.
You work for God-God will work for you. God says
Knock on the door-and it shall be opened. Every
Living thing is God. God is love. This poem is
A gift from God.
people like him are living in tent
cities in four Alabama counties.
They have no place to go, no
work to do and no income except
for what they can raise through
the poor people's co-op t-nd aid
they get from elsewhere, mainly
the North. These people, who have
been diving in these tent cities for
over a month, can see no end to
SOMETIME POET Edward Eng-
lish of Selma, an interior decora-
tor by trade, is trying to help the
people in the tent cities. He has
been travelling around the North,
reading and writing his strongly
religious poetry and telling the
story of the tent cities in an at-
tempt to raise money for the
peoplewho were evicted from their
homes simply because they wanted
to be American citizens.
Ed's travels have taken him to
Louisville, New York, Buffalo,
Montreal, Toronto, Cleveland, De-
troit and now Ann Arbor. Al-
though much of his travel has
been financed by the Canadian
Student Union for Peace Action of
Toronto, Ed English is travelling
now with no funds, sending all the
money he raises to Alabama.
Ed says that maybe the local
Alabama government will help the
people in the tent cities after the
fall elections, but doesn't see them
doing anything at all until then.
He hopes to literally help keep the
people alive by travelling around
the country telling their story. He
asks that people send whatever
they can in the way of money or
even cloth remnants for making
blankets to the Alabama Student
Nonviolent Coordinating Commit-
tee, Box 572, Selma, Alabama.
- - 1. :.