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Endless war dragson
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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7, 1972
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By JOHN WHITMORE
ON SEPTEMBER 1, 1945, the Vietna-
mese proclaimed their independince
and established a new regime entitled
the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
Within four weeks, the British had land-
ed in southern Vietnam ostensibly to dis-
arm the Japanese, but in fact to help
reinstate the French in their colonial
For twenty-seven years now, the Viet-
namese have not been without a hostile
Western intruder on their soil. For more
than a quarter of a century, for more
than the lifetime of most readers of this
newspaper, Vietnam has been struggling
to consolidate what she had long ago
French intervention was, purely and
simply, an attempt to maintain control.
The American presence has, for two de-
cades, been tied to the emotional and un-
realistic anti-communist ideology of this
country. We have not been able to leave
the Vietnamese to their own decisions.
We have insisted that our own national
security preempts political stability in
Vietnam. Never have we seriously con-
sidered that the Vietnamese are a peo-
ple quite capable of making up their own
minds for themselves.
THE RESULT has been what we all
know: an ever widening area of insta-
bility that has drawn larger and larger
sections of Southeast Asia into it with
each desperate American move. This
goes directly against our own interests.
Instead of a stable situation in a part of
John Whitmore, assistant professor of
history, is helping to organize "Vietnam,
the Endless War" scheduled for Tues-
day and Wednesday - David Dellinger,
just returned from Hanoi, will be in at-
the world not so crucial to us, we are
creating conditions ever more conducive
to the very rebellious elements our gov-
ernment professes to be against.
For us, then, this war has been "full
of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
WHAT HAS this meant for the Viet-
For them, these decades have been
full of war in support of very particular-
istic elements within their own society.
Maintained by an "international con-
spiracy", these elements, most of which
had gained status, wealth, or both under
the French, sought to hold onto or in-
crease their lucrative positions. In so
doing, they have stood directly in oppo-
sition to the regime which had gained
independence for their country and to all
political activity dedicated to social jus-
tice for their countrymen.
The vast majority of the Vietnamese
people have suffered greatly as a conse-
quence of the narrow and self-centered
goals of the Saigon regimes since 1945.
Backed by foreign wealth and power,
these regimes have never had any inte-
gral relationship with the people they
governed. They have never had to rely
on their people, since the U.S. govern-
ment has shown no disposition to let
the Saigon rulers prove themselves. With
their sole goal being the maintenance of
their own personal power, these men
have provided nothing but rhetoric to-
wards the fulfillment of any social jus-
tice, towards the amelioration of the so-
cial and economic problems of their
ALMOST FROM the beginning of these
artificial Saigon regimes, the cry of
"Kill the Communists" has led to intol-
erable pressure on any kind of political
opposition within Vietnam. The newspa-
pers are now almost gone. The student
leaders are shot or rot in the Tiger
Cages of Con-son Island. One-legged vet-
erans curse the regime, and the number
of refugees in the camps has grown
from thousands to millions while graft,
corruption, and Hondas flood Saigon.
We have destroyed, but we have saved
nothing, except perhaps the terror of
the war itself.
We have not preserved self-determina-
tion, we have prevented it.
We have saturated that country with
technology, but nowhere have we grasp-
ed the nature of the Vietnamese strug-
YET THE VIETNAMESE will contin-
ue to fight for their full independence
and for the unification of their land so
long as we wish to fight. At the same
time, they wish to negotiate, but their
goals are clear and they will not accept
the false historical suppositions of our
position. That decision was made long
ago. Our firepower and the bloodshed we
cause, the social dislocation and the
crumbling dikes, all the pain and agony
that is the result of our childish preten-
tions, will only serve to continue this
Bomb craters for gold:
Nouveau riche novelty
"I'd like to report a runaway father.,."
REFORM OF family welfare legislation
has been "re-postponed" indefinite-
While the Senate passed numerous So-
cial Security, Medicare, and other wel-
fare benefits Thursday it shelved reform
measures dealing with the problems of
families with dependent children. In-
stead, it voted to provide $400 million a
year to test three principal plans. This
testing process could take up to eight
For three years, President Nixon has
been vowing to reform the welfare fam-
ily assistance program. Yet he has dog-
matically declined to compromise with
other, more comprehensive and expen-
sive, plans offered on behalf of tole
"guaranteed national income" principle
he so "strongly" advocated. Inevitably,
family assistance legislation lost out dur-
ing a bitter three-way Senate battle.
THE ORIGINAL Nixon plan guaranteed
an annual income of only $2400 to a
family of four, including those persons
employed but receiving substandard
This plan was contested by Senate con-
servatives who supported an alternative
proposal providing guaranteed employ-
ment and removing from the welfare
rolls all able-bodied persons who refused
Nixon's plan was also opposed by most
liberal Democrats who backed Sen. Ab-
raham Ribicoff's (D-Conn.) compromise
proposal to raise the guaranteed income
to $2600 - much lower than Ribicoff
had suggested originally. Ribicoff fur-
ther proposed a pilot program to test the
guaranteed income and wage supple-
ments for the working poor.
Although Urged by Health, Education
and Welfare officials to consider Ribi-
coff's proposal, Nixon refused. It was not
the right time to enter negotiations, he
SUCH A REFUSAL reduced his vow to
achieve real welfare reform to rhe-
toric. "Poor mothers and children" serv-
ed well as political footballs; the right-
eous appeal for reform on their behalf
was noble, downright heroic. But when
the time came, Nixon denied them aid.
His rigidity prevented decisive over-
haul 'of the long-lamented, broken down
existing program which, in effect, en-
courages a poor father to leave his fam-
The President's role must be acknowl-
edged. Because of his unrealistic ap-
proach to reform, he bears prime respon-
sibility for the present sorry situation.
By GORDON ATCHESON
CURRENTLY THE 124 nation
International Monetary Fund
(IMF) is looking for a new medi-
um of international exchange. The
gold standard has become unac-
ceptable to many nations. "Any
creation of international reserves
in the future . . . should not de-
pend on gold," according to the
finance minister of the Nether-
One medium of exchange would,
in addition to eliminating the gold
standard, end all warfare in the
world. Each country's internation-
al wealth ought to be determined
by the number of bomb craters it
has within its borders.
The ramifications of this pro-
gram on the world's crises is ob-
vious. For instance, Israel would
stop bombing the Arab guerrilla
settlements because for every
bomb, the richer the commandoes
would become. Needless to say,
Nixon would have to cease bomb-
ing North Vietnam. With bomb cra-
ters as the measure of wealth,
North and South Vietnam would by
now be the two richest nations in
NOT ONLY should a bomb crater
standard eliminate relatively small
wars, but it would also prevent a
nuclear war. The "aggressor" na-
tion would so enrich, its enemy
that any military gain would be
more than offset by economic gain
on the part of the nation attacked.
The monetary value of each cra-
ter ought to be proportional to the
amount of land it displaces. Of
course, the IMF would not allow
any country to self-destruct-bomb
its own land-to increase its pro-
Many powerful nations, like the
United States, have no bomb cra-
ters, so economic hardships would
ensue immediately after adoption
of the bomb crater (B.C.) stand-
ard. But because the internal eco-
nomies of these countries are so
dynamic, they undoubtedly could
receive unlimited credit.
A TYPICAL international pur-
chase using the B.C. standard
would be carried out thusly:
If South Vietnam wants to buy
20,000 army surplus parkas from
the United States, they just fill in
the appropriate number of bomb
craters (with which we have al-
ready generously supplied them).
After the Vietnamese receive their
parkas, the IMF allows the United
States to dig, some bomb craters-
or bomb itself-equivalent to the
purchase price of the parkas-con-
clusion of deal. The United States
now has a supply of bomb craters
to proffer on the international
The B.C. standard is not, how-
ever, problem free. Some small
countries might have a difficult
time finding a place to store their
bomb craters. Where the hell is
Luxembourg going to establish' its
bomb crater reserve? The United
States has no problem in that res-
pect, since it can establish the na-
tional bomb crater reserve in
Death Valley, or Butte, Montana,
or maybe even on the front lawn
of the White House.
Of course, the bomb craters
must be guarded, for though it is
difficult to steal a bomb crater, it
is relatively easy to fill one in.
Guarding the bomb craters in a
country like Vietnam would be a
THE MOST SERIOUS shortcom-
ing of the bomb crater standard is,
that by mutual consent, two na-
tions might declare war on one
another to bolster their economic
status in the world community.
This practice can be discouraged
by the IMF if it refuses to count,
for financial purposes, bomb cra-
ters "gained" by the "aggressor"
nation. Therefore there could be
no profit in starting any war-even
though the attacking nation might
pick up a few bomb craters. '
The foreign aid program of the
1980's, true to the B.C. standard,
would of course be . . . Bomb 'em
back to the Stone Age.
Gordon Atcheson is a Daily as-
sis(ant night editor.
Comic strips are
By GERALD NANNINGA
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE the power of the comic strip. History has
shown the comic strip to be a motivating force, reaching far beyond
the simple ability to make one laugh. The strip has enhanced our lives
by stimulating our emotions, -contributing to our vocabulary, and even
affecting our economy.
The economy?, one might ask. Sere. Qne obvious example is in ad-
vertising. Most breakfast cereals have used at least one comic charac-
ter to promote their prodgct. On television, Dennis the Menace advertises
Dairy Queen products, Peanuts charactersrendorse Dolly Madison baked
goods, and B.C. cavemen "fill up" with Marathon gasoline.
Cartoons subtly affect outr buying habits. Studies have shown a direct
correlation between the popularity of Popeye and the sale of spinach.
The U.S. government has employed cartoon characters, even Superman,
to help past war efforts by promoting the sale of war bonds.
WE HAVE seen comics increase our vocabulary. Along with their
educational value, they have added new words and phrases into our
language. Slang expressions, such as "23 skidoo," first appeared in
comic strips. Who ever heard of "goon" before meeting Alice the Goon
in Popeye, or of Dagwood sandwiches before reading of his monstrous
epicurean eating habits in Blondie?
"We have met the enemy and he is us," is not a quotation by a
famous general; rather 'one of Pogo's. The most abundant area of lan-
guage expansion, however, is in the field of onomatopoeia-sound words.
Remember "wham," "kerpow," and "bonk"?
The stimulation of emotions is an important aspect of any type of
fiction. The cliffhanger gets people hysterical anticipating a new chap-
ter or installment. Many adventure comic strips cause this peaking of
emotions. There have been times when faithful readers could not sleep
at night, worrying about how detective Dick Tracy was going to get out
of his latest predicament. Al Capp married off his characters Li'lAbner
and Daisy Mae after a lengthy courtship, after mail from readers beg-
ging for the marriage finally became too much for him.
Similarly, many newspapers have buckled under public pressure,
such as the Detroit News, which revived its discontinued Pogo strip
after many people wrote in, demanding its return.
The addition of a particular comic has quite often caused a substan-
tial boost in circulation for a newspaper. Perhaps the most famous ex-
ample is that of William Randolph Hearst's acquisition of the Yellow Kid
for -his New York Journal back at the turn of the century.
FINALLY, ONE cannot neglect to take note of how cartoons have en-
hanced our lives. Culturally, the comic strip is an art form. Several
art museums in Europe have had special comic strip exhibits. And sev-
eral years ago pop art-a comics cousin-was popular.
Several books have been written discussing the importance of com-
ics in our society. One book examines the theological and psychological
implications of Peanuts.
By examining old cartoons, one is able to better understand how
people in the past lived, dreamed, and thought. In addition, one cartoon,
by simple word translation, can reach millions of people all over the
world. Many of these readers, of different social and cultural back-
grounds, can learn of our culture through the strips. (which means they
are well acquainted with, the henpecked husbands and neurotic children
of the comic tradition.)
So, the next time some overbred, plebeian sophisticate sneers at you
for reading the comics, just sneer right back. He doesn't know what
;erald Nanninga is a Daily staff writer.
Congress' consumer cop-out
HEN THE Senate failed to end debate
Thursday on the proposed Consumer
Protection Agency (CPA) is was yet an-
other indication of the lack of interest
by our representatives in protection of
the public interest.
The bill would have established the
Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) to
serve the public interest in regulating
commerce in tle country. The vote fell
a mere three votes short of the required
two-thirds needed for cloture and the bill
is now dead for the session.
"It was an all or nothing question,"
said Sen. Jacob Javits (R-NY) "and the
consumer got nothing."
The consumer did indeed gettthe short
end, The CPA would have acted as an
ombudsman representing consumer in-
terests. It would have been able to inter-
vene in any case and become a party to
the action. Thus it would be able to use
its expertise to present the public's case
TERRY McCARTHY........C....Chief Photographer
ROLFE TESSEM .....................Picture Editor
before any regulatory agency.
"No agency means no voice in consum-
er protection," said Javits.
And right now there is no agency. For
three years in a row, Congress has block-
ed its establishment.
The proceedings of such a regulatory
agency would lie between government
and the private interests it would be de-
signed to control. All too often, as in the
wheat sale to Russia and in loans to
Lockheed, the relationship is a little too
close for the public good.
The bill would have authorized the
CPA to intervene in any case it wished.
This was opposed byethe Nixon adminis-
tration which wanted the CPA to be-
come involved only when invited by an-
other government agency.
"PRESIDENT NIXON is directly re-
sponsible for defeating of this bill,"
said Ralph Nader. "He has once again
chosen corporations over consumers.''
The White House is at fault more for
what it did not do, than for what it did.
Despite pleas from supporters of the bill,
Nixon did not use his influence to break
the filibuster. This came after the bill's
supporters promised to consider amend-
mnnte sldeirbi hv the Presidepnt. even
'Enriching' the American countryside
Letters:'Abortion vs. Adoption' reaction
To The Daily:
I WANT to take issue with Ms.
Dixon and her statements about
Adoption vs. Abortion (Daily, Oct.
It is a cruel hoax to deprive
women of abortions and to tell
them instead to have that baby be-
cause there are so many eager
couples waiting to adopt. S h e
should have been more realistic
and finished the sentence with "a
white baby in perfect health with
the thousands of homeless child-
ren (not just babies) who are now
in foster homes and institutions.
If the U.S. runs low on adoptable
children, let's not prohibit abor-
tions, let's encourage worldwide
adoptions, since an inexhaustible
supply exists. The new slogan is:
"Homes for children" not "child-
ren for homes" as it was in the
Two parting remarks for Ms.
Dixon: Th Pill is not medically
.:atnha fr rxr- - - ra Atinntnn i
I. She suggests better birth con-
troi. However, there are in a n y
women who can't take the pill be-
cause of the side effects it has on
them (I am one of these women).
At the time I found myself with an
unwanted pregnancy I was using
an IUD and vaginal foam - the
statistical risks are less than 2
per cent with this combination, ac-
cording to my gynecologist.
2. She suggests vasectomies and
tubal ligations for those who al-
child up for adoption. However,
there are many women (like my-
self) who find themselves unwill-
ingly pregnant who are married
and already have a couple of
wanted children. Does Ms. Dixon
really think it's a good idea for
children already born to watch their
mother go through a pregnancy
and then give the baby away? As-
suming that the mother was cal-
lous enough to submit them to
such an experience, what terrible
V 1- - le . - - ., . - t .
anti-abortion nuts rave, a large
number of women will get abor-
tions every year. I borrowed
money and flew to Mexico for
mine, not knowing who would per-
form it or in what surroundings,
and not speaking any Spanish,
either (this was before the New
York law was passed). I knew
that I was risking my life but -
and I believe I'm not unusual in
this - I would rather have died
than carry that fetus full term.