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October 25, 1964 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1964-10-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25, 1964

THE MICHIGAN DATIN

U.S. Trains Vietnamese 'Killer Commandos'

PAGE THREE

i

By MALCOLM W. BROWNE jtion Service named Frank Scot-
Associated Press Staff Writer ton. He speaks fluent Vietnamese,
Aand spends most of his time in the
SAIGON-The United States is remote upper valleys of Quang
training killer commandos to fo- Ngai province, 320 miles northeast
low: rules laid down by Mao Tze- of here. He carries and uses a sub-
tung. macine gun.
This experiment, quietly begun,Borrowed Methods
organizes the new guerrillas into
cells like those the Communist Viet Scotton says of the Communist
Cong has. On graduation they tactics he is teaching his men:
get pledge cards printed with "After all, the Communists stole,
teachings from Mao and the Viet- the secret of nuclear bombs from
namese Communist military strat- us. Why should we be squeamish
egist, Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap. about stealing their techniques of
Captured documents indicate revolutionary warfare. T h e y
that the Viet Cong is worried work."
about these teams, and that the Scotton's teams are drawn by
commandos are getting results. local Vietnamese officials from the
The man behin the new train- cream of the local militia. From
ing program is a 26-year-old civ- that point on, they are paid di-
ilian official of the U.S. Informa- .. byi+ha TTnit-A C a "' .1t

Civilians To
Take Over
Saigon Rule

recty yoy tn unn eda es. Bacn
team, which trains as a class.
starts out with 50 men and then
is trimmed down to the 39 best.
On graduation, each commando
gets a raise. His monthly salary
goes from the equivalent of $10
up to $15.
From the start of their train-
ing, the commandos live and work
in the hamlets where they oper-

normal behavior in the Vietnamese
armed forces.
Key Factor
Many American officials be-
lieve Vietnamese army mistreat-
ment of civilians has been a ma-
jor factor in the ability of the Viet
Cong to recruit faster than the
government.
An American advisor said, "If
I were a peasant I don't think I
would be exactly overjoyed every
time the usual government unit
moves into my area on an opera-
tion. The regular soldiers have had
no special indoctrination on the
need to win friends and influence
people.
"So they rob peasants blind, they
force them into labor detachments,
burn down houses and raise hell
generally-and act more like an
invasion force than citizens of the
same nation as the people living in
the hamlets."
Self-Sufficient
The new commandos must live
off the land, buying everything
they need except American-issued
weapons and ammunition. The
weapons they get are the best
made, mostly machine guns. A
commando squad is much better
armed than a regular army squad.
But while killing is a major job
of the commandos, it is not their
primary mission. Their primary
mission is propaganda, and they
are supposed to function exactly
like the Viet Cong's agitprop (agi-
tation and propaganda) teams.
The new experiment is prob-
ably the most radical departure in
guerrilla tactics the United States
has tried in South Viet Nam.

' '

I-

ate.
By The Associated Press Hamlet Life
SAIGON-Observers here have During the day,. they mostly
predicted that a new period of lounge around their target ham-
political upheaval will begin when lets, dressed like peasants in bag-
the new civilian government takes gy, black blouses and trousers.
office today or tomorrow. They buy their food from hamlet
The South Viet Nam High Na- residents and help out with the
tional Council, which Premier Gen village chores. At night they
Nguyen Khanh named two months change into camouflaged uniforms
ago to pick a civilian government, and go out to kill. Piercing deep
has reportedly chosen Pahn Sac into Viet Cong-controlled terri-
Suu, a revolutionary who was tory, they spend their time am-
jailed for eight years under Nga bushing, and sometimes assassi-
Dinh iemas te newchieIofnating Viet Cong officials in their
state. But there has been no offi- beds.
cial announcement. So far, only four of these teams
' The Council is composed of riv- are in operation and a fifth is in
al Catholic, Buddhist and other training.
elements, and represents Khanh's But some of the results have
effort to heal the internal trou- been spectacular.
bles which have plagued South A Viet Cong battalion attacked
Viet Nam over the last year. one of the 39-man teams at a
Khanh has reportedly resigned hamlet where it happened to be
as premier as he promised to do spending the night. In the four-
two months ago after rioting in hour pitched battle that ensued 27
Saigon. However, he is expected Viet Cong were killed, at a cost to
to retain much of his power, for the commandos of only 3 killed
he will remain as commander of and 3 wounded.
the country's armed forces under Letter
the civilian government. A Viet Cong was killed by one
There was a sense of pessimism of the commando units and was
and impending great danger last found carrying a letter from one
night among men who have led Viet Cong commissar to another.
the outgoing Khanh government. The letter read in part: "About
The usual coup rumors flew in the military situation of the ene-
Saigon, but this time they were my, they have organized one spe-
backed upby reported troop move- cial section with the assistance of
ments to head off a possible coup. American invaders. Most of the
Administrative paralysis gripped soldiers in this unit are outstand-
the capital. Khanh has dropped ing. They are commanded by
his duties as premier, and the new (name omitted in the interest of
leaders, being unofficial as yet, security) who is very active and
have not taken office. Until they arrested a party man in 1956. He
do, South Viet Nam remains with- was also a battalion commander
out a government. under Diem's regime.
- -

-Associated Press
A SQUAD OF SOUTH VIETNAMESE MARINES lines up along the edge of a stream in action
against the Viet Cong. The United States is now training commando teams to fight the Viet Cong
by using their own methods-infiltration, subversion, ambush, assassination and propaganda.

"The plan of operation of this But the teams rely more on good
unit is good. They usually launch will than on terror in their ac-
ambush right in our control zone tivities. Each team is required to
with a small unit, based on infor- know personally every family in
mation furnished by spies. every hamlet where it works. This
"I am studying the method of intimate proximity to hamlet life
reaction to this unit.. " is aimed not only at making
Discipline friends but at extracting intelli-
Iron discipline is an important gence on the identity of Viet Cong
part of the training of the new officials. Such officials generally
units. Rectatly one unit found that find slips of paper printed with
a Viet Cong infiltrator had join- smnister human eyes tacked to
ed it. The men themselves held their doors m the morning and
a field tribunal for the traitor many of them die violently.
and then decapitated him, send-' Good WillI
ing the body and head back to Training emphasis is on kind-
the man's family. ness and respect for rural people.
--~--~~-~---

Commando pledge cards are print-
ea with these four rules, all de-
liberately cribbed from the Com-
munist Giap: "respect the people,
help the people, protect the peo-
ple and follow orders."
The cards also carry these in-
structions cribbed from Mao Tze-
tung : "speak politely and truth-
fully, pay fairly for what you buy,
return everything you borrow, pay
for anything you damage, don't
mistreat the people, don't damage
crops, don't rape women and treat
captives well."
All these ideas, while simple in
appearance, are departures from

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802 Monroe

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MONDAY, Oct. 26 12-1 P.M.
LUNCHEON 25c
Speaker:
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for State Senator of 18th District

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PAUL M. VAN BUREN
CHALLENGES
TRADITIONAL CHRISTIAN
THEOLOGY
(i.e., TILLICH, BARTH & BULTMANN)
In the second' of his two books, The Secular
Meaning of the Gospel (1964), which received
national attention in a July 10 article in Time
Magazine, van Buren asks:
"HOW MAY A CHRISTIAN WHO IS HIMSELF
UNDERSTAND THE GOSPEL IN
A SECULAR WAY?"
-uses the method of linguistic analysis to
investigate the meaning of the language
of faith."
-conclusionts pose major departure from
traditional theological methods and
conclusions.
THREE LECTURES ON THE SUBJECT
"The Challenge of Contemporary
to Traditional Theology"

Paul M. van Buren is Associate Pro-
fessor of Theology, Department of
Religion, College of Liberal Arts
and Graduate School at Temple
University. He previously taught at
The Episcopal Theological Seminary
of the Southwest, having received
his A.B. from Harvard University
and his Th.D. from the University of
Basel under Karl Barth.

I:." :
~Y,

TUESDAY, OCT. 27,
8:00 P.M.
".
"The Challenge of Honesty"

WED., OCT. 28,
4:10 P.M.
"The Challenge of Clarity"

THURS., OCT. 29,
4:10 P.M.
Ill.
"The Challenge of
Secularity"

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ALL THREE LECTURES: MULTI-PURPOSE ROOM, UNDERGRADUATE LIBRARY
ADDITIONAL APPEARANCES:
Wednesday, October 28, 8:00 p.m., Newman Center, 331 Thompson St.
Van Buren responds to Fr. John Harden, S. J., from Western Michigan
University, who will speak on "Recent Developments in Catholic
Theology"

/ / C

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