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July 26, 1966 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1966-07-26

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Seventy-Sixth Year


Where Opinions Are Free.
Truth wino reFree. 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MICH.

NEws PHONE: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the inidividual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.


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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 1966



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The Geneva Agreements:
Do Unto Others As .. .

ONE OF THE EFFECTS of the United
States' refusal to declare war on North
Viet Nam is that we do not feel bound
to treat our prisoners in accordance with
the rules of the Geneva Convention.
We turn the captured Viet Cong over
to their South Vietnamese enemy, and
what usually happens next has been well-
publicized by the end-the-war demon-
strators and various dissenting publica-
We take prisoners, yet we make no ef-
fort to see that they are treated humanely
according to standards of humanity which
we openly endorse. The U.S. government
supplies the guns, the money, the know-
how, and then turns its back on how
they are used.
WE KNOW THAT the American mili-
tary is virtually running the war; that
without our support the Ky government
might well collapse tomorrow; that the
Vietnamese people, after more than 20
years of fighting, want peace at any
price. These are facts so well-known that
even Washington sounds half-hearted in
its denials.
Yet, ignoring all of this, we insist that
the conflict is internal, and as a result
we disclaim responsibility for the treat-
ment of our prisoners of un-war.
In doing so, the government is implicit-
ly condoning the torture of captured Viet
time, and the nation is well aware of it.
Apparently, the President's consensus
gives the U.S. the right to take action
without regard to the results. And, ac-
tually, it's not so much worse than the
death of four civilians for every Viet
Cong (conservatively estimated), than
the destruction of crops, than the slaugh-
ter of water buffalo which, like the fron-
tier farmer's horse, are essential for sur-
After all, we tell ourselves, war is no
tea party. It's them or us.
As we continue to expound one set of
values verbally while practicing another,
no one is really surprised. It's been done
before, and those, who may have thought
the United States was above it, were sim-
ply naive.
VET, THERE IS A LIMIT, and this past
week Washington has passed beyond
normal political doubletalk into the
realm of nonsense.
When the Am
SHOCK WAVES from the departure of
American troops at President de
Gaulle's demand are beginning to be reg-
istered in the French Chamber of Depu-
ties. Just like American congressmen
hearing from home when an army base
closes down, the deputies in Paris are
hearing from communities about to give
up the satisfying consequences of Ameri-
can military payrolls. Three communities
have been classified as the equivalent of
depressed areas, but that is not going to
be enough, say local politicians, to offset
the loss of 17,900 jobs and more than 200
million dollars a year resulting from
plans to move American forces out of
Political problems are also arising for
the deputies. They find themselves under
simultaneous pressure to uphold President
de Gaulle's policies and to deplore their
economic consequences back home. One
Communist member sought to solve the

problem by approving the liquidation of
American bases but denouncing the de
Gaulle government for having accommo-
dated itself to them for long.
UNFORTUNATELY it is very easy for
any community, whether in France or
West Germany or the United States, to
get used to the flow of purchasing pow-

Ho Chi Minh has threatened to have
captured American pilots tried as crim-
inals, and the Pentagon is insisting that
American prisoners be treated as prison-
ers of war according to the Geneva Con-
Although two wrongs don't make a
right, even in politics, Washington will
be hard-put to justify its threats of "dire
consequences" if American pilots are mis-
treated. If we're not at war with them,
how can they be at war with us??
OR IF WE ARE AT WAR with them, why
has the United States, a nation claim-
ing to believe in the value of the indi-
vidual, failedonce again to abide by the
principles of the Geneva agreement?
'TAKE PRISONERS-we need all the
information we can get." These are
the orders now going out to U.S. Marine
commanders, who, in the last 11 days
have killed 698 Communists (a figure ar-
rived at by body count) but have taken
only 12 prisoners. -
The U.S. has, in the past, given all war
prisoners to the South Vietnamese au-
thorities. Now, in a move initiated by the
Hanoi threats, the U.S. has kept 19 pris-
oners in order to receive more informa-
tion, rather than giving the prisoners to
the proper authorities.
THE SEQUENCE of events is rapidly
leading to a new game of "Let's see
who can capture the most prisoners." Be-
fore it was a "dead enemies" game. U.S.
information sources joyfully reported that
we are winning in that one, and no doubt
their recent silence is due to our belated
entrance into the new turn in the war.
This new game has dangerous implica-
tions which could do more to bolster an
unlimited war than even the bombings.
The citizens of both Hanoi and the United
States will cry for each other's blood if
their prisoners are harmed. And many al-
lies will have to answer the call.
JT MAY BE only a game, but the prob-
lem is that any number can play.
erican Troops
er from a military installation. The "mili-
tary-industrial complex," as President Ei-
senhower called it, thrives on the forces
of inertia set in motion by military spend-
ing. It is politically and economically eas-
ier for a community or a nation depend-
ent on military outlays to go on doing
what it has been doing than to adjust to
new economic patterns. The pains now
being endured by the French would be
duplicated in West Germany if the day
ever came when the United States mili-
tary establishment there were reduced.
They would be duplicated in this country,
too, for that matter, in the event of
general peace and disarmament. Yet
somehow adjustments will have to be
faced some day if the world is to recap-
ture a more rational way of life.
Never Trust

A Communist
mese have finally struck the lowest
blow. They're dropping propaganda leaf-
lets on American Marines with statements
in them by Sens. Wayne Morse and Er-
nest Gruening criticizing the war.
The statement attributed to Morse says
"There is no justification for killing a sin-
gle American boy in South Viet Nam. It
is about time the American people awak-
ened to what is going on in South Viet
Nam and recognized that South Viet Nam
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The Unlted States as a Pacific Power

RECENTLY the White House has
been pushing the notion that
we now have a President who is
ready to meet our obligations as
a great power in the Pacific.
In the President's speech at
White Sulphur Springs on July
12 he said that his critics are op-
posed to the "determination of
the United States to meet our ob-
ligations in Asia as a Pacific pow-
er and "claim that we have no
business but business interests in
Asia; that Europe, not the Far
East, is our proper 'sphere of in-
THIS LINE of talk does noth-
ing to clarify and everything to
befuddle the discussion of high
For the historic truth of the
matter is that the United States
began to play the part of a great
power in the Pacific long before
it began to recognize a vital in-
terest across the Atlantic. Since
the beginning of the republic -
since the days of the clipper
ships in the China trade and the
opening of Japan more than a
century ago by Commodore Per-
ry's naval ships-the American
nation has maintained and ex-
panded its presence the Pacific.
We bought Alaska, we annexed

Hawaii, we occupied the Philip-
pines. Indeed American isolation-
ism, which stems from President
Washington and was formulated
in the Monroe Doctrine, has al-
ways been directed against Europe.
Nor has the United States de-
faulted on its obligations as a
Pacific power. We became involv-
ed in World War II by the Japa-
nese attack on Pearl Harbor, and
the reason for that attack was
our refusal to give Japan a free
hand in the conquest of China
and of Southeast Asia.
IN THE LIGHT of the historic
record, it sounds strange indeed
to be told that there is a new
revelation at the White House
about our obligations and our
role in the Pacific.
The President served in the
Pacific war, and his feelings that
his critics today are interested
only in Europe is almost certainly
an echo of the great debate dur-
ing the war about the strategy of
"Hitler first." In that debate
Winston Churchill and President
Roosevelt prevailed over Gen.
Douglas MacArthur and Adm. Er-
nest J. King and gave first prior-
ity to the war in Europe. This was
deeply resented by the so-called
"Pacific Firsters."


But the record shows that
Churchill and Mr. Roosevelt were
right. Not only was Nazi Germany
a more dangerous enemy than
Japan, but in Europe we had a
formidable ally in the Soviet Un-
ion, already at war with Hitler
and a probable enemy of Japan.
Many of the critics of the
Johnson policy in Viet Nam today
were strong supporters of the
Churchill-Roosevelt strategy in
World War II. To say that they
do not care about Asia and are
interested only in Europe is, to
put it mildly, uninformed non-
THE CRITICS of President
Johnson's conduct of the Vietna-
mese war hold that by involving
the United States in a great land
war in Asia he is breaking with
the fundamental conception of
America's role as a power in the
Pacific and in the Far East.

They do not regard the Korean
War, which was a fairly big Asian
land war, as a precedent which
justifies the abandonment of the
established American doctrine. For
the Korean War, unlike the Viet-
namese, was authorized by the
United Nations and was partici-
pated in by 17 nations of Europe
and Asia.
It nevertheless came close to
being a great military disaster and
was finally brought to an end by
a compromise peace without vic-
Moreover, it was brought to an
end by Gen. Dwight Eisenhower
who was educated in the Ameri-
can tradition against land wars in
Asia and as President consistently
refused to commit American
troops to fight on the mainland.
broken with this American tradi-
tion in order, as he supposes, to
carry out our obligations as a
great power in the Pacific. Twen-
ty months ago Mr. Johnson was
still talking about not sending
"American boys" to fight "Asian
On top of the strategic error
of involving ourselves in an Asian
land war the President has piled
the po itical error of insisting that

the formulae for making peace are
the same in Asia as they were in
Europe when Hitler erupted. They
are not the same.
The European problem in 1939
was posed by the attempted con-
quest by the Nazis of the old es-
tablished nations of the European
continent. The Asian problem to-
day rises from the militant Com-
munist social revolution which has
been sweeping the undeveloped
and backward parts of the earth.
Insofar as there is any analogy
between our problem in Asia today
and our problem in Europe, it is
not that we are facing a case of
aggression as with Hitler, but that
Southeastern Asia and China are
in the throes of a revolution to-
day as was the Soviet Union after
1917. The threat of Communist
expansion into Western Europe
was dealt with without fighting a
land war in Eastern Europe.
policy in the Pacific is very much
needed. But there will be no such
debate if the President continues
to befog the question by saying
that his critics want "to ignore
threats to peace in Asia." If he re-
duces the discourse to that level
there will not be a serious debate.
(c), 1966, The Washington Post Co.




Black Power' Is Not a Good Slogan


To the Editor:
SHOULD WE endorse the term
'"black power?" Though Mr.
Killingsworth's defense of the
philosophy of "black power" ill
Ithe July 22 issue of The Daily
was stimulating, he did not clarify
the term; nevertheless, he en-
dorsed it because it would aid in
organizing the poor. The closest
he personally came to defining
the term was:
"The philosophy of black
power is, in a very close way,
related to the philisophy of or-
ganizing the poor."
If we prefer Mr. McKissick's
generalized definition, "a move-
nent dedicated to ... democracy,"
then "liberty for all" would be a
far more accurate slogan.
IN CHOOSING to ignore the
meaning and connotations of the
term "black power" and stressing
its relation to organizing the poor
fan effect of the slogan, Mr.
Killingsworth and others are mak-
ing a serious mistake. Granted,
the poor should be organized; to
quickly arouse the apathetic, frus-
trated citizen, one can not appeal
to his reason (a painfully slow
process>, but must arouse his
imagination and emotions.
Because of the lack of limitation
associated with the word "power"
(and the pride taken in coupling
it with "black"), the slogan is
relatively effective in arousing dif-
fident Negroes in the South and
the North.
I agree with Mr. Killingsworth
that the slogan and movement is
beneficial in this present and im-
mediate context.aHowever, the very
connotations that make the term
useful in an urban slum at the
present, are harmful in the con-
text of the nation and in the long
run dangerous for all concerned.
Let me clarify.
THERE ARE certain implica-
tions to the term "black power"
which its adherents ignore: the
first is the use of a term, "power,".
which, lacking limitations, is dan-
gerously vague; a moderate def-

01 their own unjustness, fear being
treated unjustly in retaliation. The
fears aroused by this slogan will
lead to further estrangement,
slower progress, and greater mu-
tual resentment.
WHEN ONE endorses terms
merely for their beneficial effects,
while choosing to overlook their
obvious connotations, and, in fact,
essential meaning. he is not only
nearsighted but reckless. More-
ovr, the immediate beneficial ef-
fects of the term "black power"
in certain local areas today, are
outweighed by the harm it will
create in the nation as a whole,
and the dangerous consequences
its vagueness may incur 5 or 10
years from now. If a slogan is
needed, another should be found.
-Howard M. Shapiro
To the Editor:
believe that the only reason
the United States won't set up
extermination camps in Viet Nam
is that there would be an "exter-
nal outcry?"
It is said that all is fair in love
and war. Since the above predic-
tion was printed in Saturday's
page-two editorial "Viet Nam: The
Victims of Technique," I can only
assume you are at war with the
United States government and will
not stop at using irresponsible
journalism as your weapon.
DAVID KNOKE based his article
on the illogically and incomplete-
ly drawn assumption that both the
Communists and the United States
are making the means or tech-
nique of the war (i.e. "the most
efficient way in which the war
can be ended"> the purpose of
the war.
He charges that both sides re-
gard enemy and civilian lives as
but "pawns in a complex chess
game." Perhaps so. But as long as
the Communists make the first
move, we must follow in order to
survive as a nation and a deter-
rent force in world peace. Human

tion, Knoke managed to equate
President Johnson's criticism of
war protests and "information"
leaks to supression tactics prac-
ticed by totalitarian leaders.
Maybe Knoke considers the dis-
closure of Hanoi bombing plans
as an "information leak." 'When
the newsmen can't stay off press
wires with military secrets, it is
no wonder the administration
holds back much information
about the war.
After all, we arenat war in Viet
Nam, declared or not. Since alien
and sedition laws are permissible
in a declared war, and the declara-
tion of war in the present inter-
national situation is outmoded, I
don't believe Johnson is stepping
out of line when he asks for the
end of war protests and suppresses
certain information. The Ameri-
can people are free to add an
amendment. creating a check on
the power of the President to or-

der troops into action without a
declaration of war. But no one
IT ISN'T that everything harm-
ful to U.S. prestige is suppressed.
Although part of the reason is
that it is better to admit than be
accused, accidental bombings and
civilian deaths have often been
reported by the administration. It
has often cooperated with press
conferences resulting in straight-
forward and informative answers
to reasonable questions. It has
allowed newsmen to accompany
soldiers on missions. But it can
not be expected to disclose speci-
fic objectives or any information
that extremist news media could
twist with trigger words and in-
ferred meanings and use to hurt
the war effort. A war can't be
fought halfway, either logistically
or politically.

ods of the two forces in Viet Nam,
thereby giving the impression of
fairness by attacking both sides,
Knoke writes, "the ironical out-
come is that the war supposedly
fought over differing idealogies
becomes a war in which both sides
employ methods indistinguishable
from each other."
The true color of Knoke's blood
shows up in the word "supposedly."
With this wordthe equates the pur-
poses of the two forces: aggres-
if our forces were to withdraw the
sion. He neglects to mention that
South Vietnamese people would be
slowly overrun by local assassina-
tions and political turmoil until
they were a captive people. For
the U.S. forces to withdraw would
be yielding to external pressures
to the "devaluation of human con-
sideration" which Knoke accuses
U.S. and Communist forces of.
-Michael Dover, '70


Melodramia LegtmaeThar

MELODRAMA is usually con-
sidered as an archaic, non-
legitimate form of theatre. Critics
tend to be apologetic when review-
ing melodrama, and apply a dif-
ferent set of judgment criteria to
these plays than they do to mod-
ern or classical (Shakespeare, etc.)
theatre. Theirareviews are indul-
gent-"it is a fine thing that
people are acting and are involved
in theatre, but we all know that
melodrama is irrelevant, crude,"
and so on.
The same is true for directors.
They, too, tend to be self-conscious
and more often than not resolve
their own misgiving concerning
the relevance of their own work
to the 1960's by "spoofing" the

the grass, we had, for a change,
time to think. The actors, ber-
muda-shorted and ordinary ar-
rived; the museum opened and we
walked around the exhibits flank-
ing the theatre-old American
furniture, tapestries, and musical
instruments. We were conducted to
our seats (all one dollar, first
come, first served) by happy ladies
in period costume.
We were duly entertained by
Mr. Bronson Howard's "celebrated
military comedy," "Shenandoah."
The play, which is centered
around the battle of Shenandoah,
has "comic statire, intrigue and
the heart-tearing romance of a
Union officer and a beautiful
Southern spy." As always in this
type of theatre, the play was
marked by straight-forward ap-
peals to our emotions, poetic jus-
tice and a happy ending.

served with lemonade in the
candle-lit gardens of the museum,
and four of the cast sang the
"Battle Hymn of the Republic."
We returned to the theatre to
see just how many couples would
finally get married, how the son
would be reconciled with the
father and how the husband with
the wife. We were drunk with the
charm of certainty.
WHEN THE final curtain fell,
we realized that we had been
"charmed." Charm is by no means
plentiful in our world, so the per-
formance came as "peace during
the storm." It was all majestic
By putting on a full-blooded ex-
huberant "Shenandoah," the
American Drama Festival has gone
some way in "legitimizing" the


1ditorial Staff
LEONARD PRATT ............... Co-Editor

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