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February 08, 1971 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-02-08

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S4ir i an

om a t I]y


Vol. LXXXI, No. 109A Ann Arbor, Michigan-Monday, February 8, 1971 FREE ISSUE

Four Pages

















An editorial
ALTHOUGH AMERICAN FORCES have apparently assumed
mostly a supportive role in the current invasion of southern
Laos, the action marks a political and military decision by the
Nixon administration which must be actively opposed by all
While the bulk of the invading force is South Vietnamese,
air and logistical support which made the operation possible is be-
ing provided by the United States. The absence of American
ground troops is merely an attempt to undercut domestic oppo-
Essentially, the U.S. military has maiptained control of the
progress of the fighting while substituting Vietnamese casualties
for American ones. This use of South Vietnamese troops to do the
dirty work in Laos smacks of a racist mentality which presumes
the life of an "oriental" is more expendable than that of an Amer-
Just the U.S. tactical commitments required to aid the South
Vietnamese must be seen as a major escalation of American mili-
tary activity. Such increasing U.S. commitment at a time when
this country is in the process of bringing its troops home exposes
Nixon's "timetable" for withdrawal as a sham.
Even on strategic grounds the value of an operation for in-
creasing our military influence in Indochina is open to serious ques-
tion: Very likely it will overly extend government forces and pro-
voke renewed communist thrusts in South Vietnam, Cambodia and
Laos. Certainly the move is unlikely to promote a negotiated
settlement of the war.
on, it has become apparent that rather than working for the
self-determination of Southeast Asia peoples, our government is
bent on determining which governments it finds politically accep-
The Pentagon's strategyy has been likened to "Koreanization"
in which the whole of Southeast Asia is considered as a single geo-
graphis unit !in which the spread of communism will be stopped
along a specific line-irrespective of national boundaries.
Des ite American and South Vietnamese insistence they have
no territorial claims on Laos, the invasion can only be seen as an
act of military imperialism foisted upon an unwilling nation. Even
Prince Souvanna Phouma, the neutralist premier of Laos who is
supported by American aid, issued a protest asking for all foreign
troops to withdraw from Laotian territory.
President Nixon has attempted to deceive the American pub-
lic by hiding the new escalation of the war behind six days of
news blackout and clouding it beneath the publicity of the Apollo
14 moon shot. His actions cannot go unopposed.
The importance of the antiwar movement thus far has been to
force the beginning of U.S. troop withdrawals from Indochina.
The U.S. government has resronded by training Vietnamese and
Cambodians to fight the war for us.
Now a new offensive against the war is needed to insure that
the Nixon administration not be allowed to strengthen the unpo-
pular military regimes of South Vietnam and Cambodia.
PROPOSALS PUT FORTH here this weekend by the national
Student and Youth Conference on a People's Peace may pro-
vide an excellent jumping off point for this new offensive. At the
conference, over 2,000 delegates ratified a peace treaty between
the American and Vietnamese people and set plans for a demon-
stration against the war this Wednesday.
Locally, a mass meeting has been set for 8 p.m. tonight in the
SAB to plan both short- and long-range antiwar activity.
We urge you to attend this meeting to help renew the anti-
war movement. The American public must unite around a com-
mon course of action which will force the President to abandon
his dreams of winning a military victory in Southeast Asia.

By The Associated Press
Some 20,000 South Vietnamese troops who had been
massed along the Laotian-Vietnamese border for the past 10
days invaded Laos early this morning accompanied by U.S.
fighter bombers, helicopter gunships, and air transport ve-
While 9,000 American support troops remained at the
border, U.S. officials pledged to provide full air and artillery
support for the invasion, which will attempt to sever the in-
filtration and supply routes used by the North Vietnamese.
The route extends along the Ho Chi Minh trail, running
through Laos along the Vietnamese border. Last week, 10,000
more South Vietnamese troops with full American air support
began a related drive in Cambodia which is believed to be
aimed at cutting off the Ho Chi Minh trail from the south.
In a statement early this' morning, South Vietnamese
President Nguyen Van Thieu said he ordered his troops to
"attack the communist North Vietnamese bases on Laotlan
territory along the Vietnam-Laos border."
It was the first official admission of the invasion. Re-
ports of the build-up along the Laotian border last week were
obscured by a six-day news blackout from parts of Indochina.
Six American helicopters have been reported lost so far
in the Laos offensive. Four were victim to Communist anti-
aircraft fire while the U.S. Command claims two crashed due
to mechanical failures.
Pilots reported heavy anti-aircraft fire but reports indi-
cated that most of the crewmen shot down have been rescued.
In Washington, Assistant Secretary of Defense Daniel Z.
Henkin issued a statement early this morning which said,
"American air power will be used to supplement the air force
of the Republic of Vietnam in providing support to South
Vietnamese ground forces now operating against these enemy-
occupied sanctuaries."
U.S. officials in Saigon said that American air support
for the South Vietnamese includes tactical fighter-bombers,
helicopter gunships and troop carrying helicopters. They
added that medical evacuation helicopters and logistic sup-
,port will also besprovided.
General Creighton Abrams, commander of U.S. forces in
Vietnam, said last night that "no U.S. ground combat forces
are or will be involved and no U.S. advisors are or will be
with South Vietnamese ground combat units."
However, the Provisional Revolutionary Government of
South Vietnam (PRG) claimed yesterday that U.S. ground
forces as well as at least two regiments of the Thai Third
Infantry were also involved in the ground combat operations.
The PRG's statement came in a telegram issued in Ann
Arbor to the organizers of the national Student and Youth
Conference on a People's Peace. Following confirmation of
the authenticity of the telegram, the conference participants
called for massive demonstrations throughout the United
States Wednesday to protest the invasion of Laos.
The Laotian invasion is the second major escalation of
the Vietnam War in the past 10 months. Last May, U.S. and
South Vietnamese forces invaded Cambodia in what Presi-
dent Nixon called an attempt to flush out the sanctuaries of
Communist forces retreating into Cambodia from South Viet-
The invasion of Cambodia prompted widespread demon-
strations on college campuses across the country, including
a series of protests at Kent State University which culminated
In the death of four students by National Guard troops.
Initial reports from the War zone indicate that the South
Vietnamese entered Laos at daybreak (Vietnamese time) in
tanks and armored personnel carriers on Route Nine.
Three hours later, U.S. helicopters began landing South
Vietnamese forces to the North and South ends of the road.
At the border, seven U.S. military advisors stood in front
of a sign reading, "No U.S. Personnel Beyond This Point."
A blanket of U.S. helicopter gunships covered the South
Vietnamese advance while American heavy artillery on the

-Daily-Denny Gainer
THE NATIONAL STUDENT AND YOUTH CONFERENCE ON A PEOPLE'S PEACE ended last night, a few hours before official con-
firmation of the invasion of Laos. At several plenary sessions, including the above session at Hill Aud., the conference participants ap-
proved a proposal calling for massive demonstrations Wednesday against the invasion.

tPeople's Peae
calls or oes
By RUSS GARLAND and the presentation of "an ulti- Vietnam,
The national Student and Yout h matum to the Nixon administra- tional Stu
Conference on a People's Peace tion that if he doesn't stop the war The tr
ended last night with a call for by May 1, we will stop the govern- American
demonstrations throughout the ment of the U.S." nam, the
nation Wednesday to protest the There will be a meeting tonight politicalp
invasion of Laos by South Vietna- at 8 p.m. on the second floor of mination
mese ground troops provided with the SAB to formulate local plans nam. Ov
full American air and artillery for Wednesday's protest. around t
support. The action taken by the confer- conferenc
Meeting in a final session at the ence came in response to a tele- was to rat
GMihcaeiiesos o ee

and the American Na- begin on May 3 or May 4 with the
udent Association (NSA). aim of shutting down government
reaty calls for immediate: operations until the treaty is rec-
withdrawal from Viet- ognized.
freeing of all war and The proposal also calls for
prisoners, and self-deter- strikes in all major cities and on
of the peoples of Viet- all college campuses to support
ver 2,000 people from the Washington action.
he country attended the Earlier in the day, the confer-
ee, whose initial purpose ence approved a proposal to estab-
tify the treaty. lish April 14 as a national ratifi-

vfcnigan union Baulroom, repre-
sentatives of anti-war groups
throughout the country also called
for a massive demonstration in
Washington during the first week
of May to bring demands to the
federal government for an end to
the Indochina war.
?n a statcmcnt, the members of
the conference urged "demonstra-
tions across the nation on Feb. 10"

gram from Madame Nguyen Thi At the plenary session yesterday cation day for the People's Peace
Binh. head of the delegation of the afternoon, the conference voted treaty. The day will be centered
Provisional Revolutionary Govern- general approval of a proposal by a r o u n d referenda by cities,
ment of South Vietnam (PRG) to the Seattle Caucus calling for the 'c a m p u s e s and organizations
the Paris peace talks. The tele- anti-war demonstrations in May. throughout the country on whether
gram accused South Vietnamese, A committee of regional delegates to accept the treaty.
Thai and United States troops of was then selected to coordinate The morning plenary session, in
crossing the northwest border of the formulation of specific plans. Hill Aud., was largely devoted to
South Vietnam into Laos, and call- The Seattle proposal calls for discussing political perspectives of
ed for immediate demonstrations representation of the peace treaty the treaty.
to protest the action, to the federal government on May Speakers expressed a need tof
At the afternoon session of the 1. If the government fails to recog- organize people on a local level
peace conference yesterday. Ren- nine the conditions of the treaty, and to use the treaty to focus on'
nie Davis, one of the defendants the proposal states, massivetdem- racism, sexism and imperialism in
in the Chicago Conspiracy trial ons:rations in Washington would American society.
announced that the authenticity
of the telegram had been confirm- N
ed in a telephone call between
members of the PRG delegation in,
Paris, and conference leaders.
The telegram stated, "The PRG
in Paris has today issued an appeal
to the Student and Youth Confer-
ence in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and .....t
to peace-loving people throughout
the world to initiate firm, broad
and immediate actions, including
massive street demonstrations, to .
condemn U.S. aggression in Laos,:.
and to check new plans to invade {""
Cambodia. Laos and North Viet-
nam." h4
"The PRG urgently calls on the ,.,.'.
people of the world to condemn i
this new escalation of the war,"
t h e communication continued,
"and to take actions now that :..s
could check the plans for , even
greater escalation about to occur.
"The PRG states that there is


South Vietnamese side of the border fired ahead of the Sai-
gon troops to clear their path.

- .:. : ..,. : .. 'S.. . ., a . . . <: .

i __1.10, , - I I P

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