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August 30, 1963 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1963-08-30

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U.S. Mulls How

To Get Rid of Diem Discreetly

edly now are just convinced that
the mandate of the Diem-Nhu re-
gime has run out. They suspect
that the Vietnamese people are at
the paint of either casting their
lot with the Communists in the
belief that they can be no worse
off, or simply abandoning all in-
terests and co-operation with their
government-which would serve
the Communists almost as well.
Here are some of the unpleasant
choices facing United States
policy-makers in their attempt to
salvage South Viet Nam and keep
Communism from moving down
into the rest of Southeast Asia:
'Unpleasant Choices'
1) Disassociation. The State De-
partment publicly rebuked the
Diem-Nhu regime for its "serious
repressive measures" when the
Buddhist crackdown occurred last
week. Monday the State Depart-
ment indirectly praised the Viet-
namese students for their demon-
strations in the Buddhists' behalf
But these tactics are not expected
to discourage the Diem-Nhu re-
gime from its current tactics nor
persuade the populace that the
handclasp-United States AID in-
signia-they see on the arrest
trucls doesn't really mean United
States approval of the crackdown.
2) Aid cut-off. The United
States currently is spending an
estimated $1.5 million a day to
help South Viet Nam in its anti-
Communist fight. Some 13,000
United States troops are stationed
there as advisers.
But should the material and
money= be held up the Communists
certainly would profit. And should
the advisers be withdrawn, par-
ticularly from the countryside, Nhu
himself would be delighted because
he has always looked upon these
military advisers as meddlesome
challengers to his authority.
Fear Embarrassment
3) Coup d'etat. The State De-
partment, because of its bad ex-
perience with Cuba and its know-
ledge of embarrassing the un-
successful Central Intelligence
Agency coup attempts elsewhere,
long has been opposed to playing
God with South Viet Nam's lead-
Moreover, administration offi-
cials are well aware that whoever
succeeds the Diem-Nhu regime al-
most inevitably swill prove un-
popular because of the difficulties
ahead and the continued need for
a tight national discipline. If the
next man is known as a creature
of the Americans, as many have
called Diem, he will never gain
the national support he needs.
No Opposition
4) Encouragement of opposition.
State Department s p ok esman
Richard I. Phillips Monday went
out of his way to declare that "the
top leadership of the Vietnamese
army was not aware of plans to

WIRY RESISTANCE-A group of Buddhists, including monks, yank at a barbed wire barricade in
an attempt to pull it down during a police-interrupted demonstration in Saigon this summer. Hel-
meted Vietnamese riot policemen injured at least 50 demonstrators in 'putting down the incident.
It took place at Giac Minh pagoda, where some of the biggest protests were held against the regime
of President Ngo Dinh Diem, a Catholic.

A Saigon communique claim-
ing the state department had said
high ranking army officers were
not informed about the martial
law move is seen as a move by the
Vietnamese government to confuse
the issue and wipe out the dis-
tinction which the United States
has tried to make absolving the
military of responsibility for at-
tacks on the Buddhfists.
Washington officials always have
felt that the military is the only
organization strong enough to nur-
ture a challenge to the Diem-Nhu
But information from Saigon
now indicates that the military
leaders probably were hoodwinked
by Nhu into joining his crackdown
on the Buddhists and then Coerced
into signing a document declaring
that they had favored it. If this is.
true it certainly would lessen the
leadership qualities of the gen-
erals involved.,
Solution Problem
None of these choices open to
United States policy-makers proa--
ises any nice tidy solution to the
political deterioration in South
Viet Nam.
And yet the administration now
is well aware that if it doesn't
act, and fairly quickly, United
States interests will become even
more jeopardized, and there soon
may be no choices left at all.

WASHINGTON-United States
economic and military aid to South
Viet Nam will amount to $500 mil-
lion this year, which is a marked
increase over last year's total and
those of previous years.
Beginning late in-1962, the Ken-
nedy administration greatly step-
ped up its effort in Viet Nam.
Washington sees the Communist
Viet Cong military challenge as a.
peril to all of Asia.
The total United States invest-
ment in defending South Viet Nam
will reach nearly $3 billion by the
end of this year.
52 GI's Die
This investment of military and
civilian equipment, food, money
and technical advice was accom-
panied by the loss of 52 American
lives in the guerrilla fighting. .
Close to 13,000 United States
servicemen are in Viet Nam advis-
ing the 200;000-man Vietnamese
armed forces.
In 1962, the last fiscal year for
which full figures on military and
economic aid are available, the
United States spent $287 iullion in
Viet Nam, making that country the,
fifth largest beneficiary of United
States aid. Of this total, military:
equipment cost $176 million.
Kept Secret
In the 1963 fiscal year, which
ended on June 30, economic aid
and support of forces added up to
$207 million. This figure excludes
deliveries of military equipment
and the cost of maintaining the
thousands of military advisers.
The military figures for that

period remain secret, but it is
believed here that they are close
to $250 million, thus making the
total of about $500 million.
This over-all assistance is so
apportioned, however, that it ap-
pears nearly impossible to curtail
it without imperiling the whole war
No Letup
That is why many officials are
skeptical about reports that aid
may be "cut" bysthe United States
to force Viet Nam President Ngo
Dinh Diem to dismiss his brother
Ngo Dinh Nhu, head of the secret
police blamed for last week's at-
tacks on Buddhist pagodas.
The 'military ,and economic aid
programs are said to complement
each other. The withdrawal of one,
officials assert,' would make the
other largely worthless.
.The basickalternative, as see
here, is to keep up all the aid o
to pull out altogether. However,
the adntinistration's policy remains
to go on with the war against the
Viet Cong. because it involves the
basic security of Southeast Asia.
Of the $207; million obligated in
economic and social aid and forces
support for the 1963.fiscal year,
$38 million is earmarked for the
"couriterinsurgency program" in-
timately related to. the military
It includes principally the cost
of setting up the strategic hamlets,
the fortified villages that are the
mainstay of the anti-guerrilla
Copyright, 1963, The New York Times


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