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August 05, 1972 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1972-08-05

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Wage Eight


Saturday, August 5, 1972

Pae.ihtTH.ICIGNDALYStudaAuus , 7

Vietnam: Assessing the situation
By MICHAEL TATU born North Vietnamese (said the following points: The situa- ed Hanoi from acting with com-
Le Monde Staff Correspondent to number no more than 200) tion of the North is more criti- plete independence and un-
SAIGON - The Vietnam have dug themselves in deeply cal now than it has ever been flinchingly pursuing the aims it
War, like all wars, is notable for enough to survive the bomb- not only because of the block- has set for itself: the end of
its contrasts. Saigon's airport, ing from B-52s. They are man- ade and the bombs (both American aid to the South, the
Tan Sun Nut, gives one a fore- aging, over a distance of about "smart" and otherwise) but also overthrow of the Thieu regime,
taste of the huge war machine two to three kilometers along because of an international con- and the setting up in Saigon of
that has taken over the country, Highway 13, to maintain the text unfavorable to it. a coalition government.
with its rows and rows of mili- block that prevents access to An There now seems no doubt It is felt in Saigon that if
tary aircraft stretching to the Loc - a town whose by now that the March 30 offensive got the "conventional" phase of the
horizon, the countless buildings legendary seige, although "light- a less than enthusiastic recep- war fails to produce these re-
of the Military Allied Command ened", seems to be eternally on tion from Soviet and Chinese sults the communists will fall
in Vietnam (MACV) and armed the point of being raised. leaders. The Soviets felt it back on guerrilla activity, re-
sentries dotted everywhere. An Loc is a good illustration could not have come at a worse suming the war, if necessary, on
If you drive for a little more of both the strength and weak- time - just before the Mos- a greater scale two or three
than an hour on Highway 13, ness of the Saigon forces, and cow summit talks., The Chinese years from now.
just past the huge military camp consequently of President Nix- coolness stemmed from a desire ' One of the results of the
of Laikhe, the South Vietnam's on's ยข Vietnamization program, to put a rapid end to a war like- March 30 offensive has already
5th Division headquarters, you Apart from the crack regiments ly to prolong the presence of 'been to inject new life into
suddenly find yourself in a bat- like the parachutists and the Americans in Taiwan.

"When many p e o p l e are
elected, they see a safe couple
of years, and do as they damn
well please. Attorneys like to
be elected to the legislature
because it. helps their careers.
They see the legislative re-
sponsibility, at best, as a part-
time job. I think, that atti-
tude is wrong. I will commit
myself to the job of repre-
sentation full-time making
sure I reflect the needs of
those' who elected sue."
Sta te
Democrat, 53rd District.
Paid Political Advertisement

The increasingly close crackle
of artillery is a reminder that
the front has hardly moved
since the hard-fought battles of
May and June. Only a few kilo-
meters farther north from the
last South Vietnamese positions,
there begins the so called "free
fire" zone indicated by the tow-
ering pillars of smoke in the dis-
It is there that a few stub-
state representatihe
Paid Political Advertisement

marines stationed in the "First
Military Region" and capable,
as they showed in the province
of Quang Tri, of offensive ac-
tion (even though they do not
always meet with success), the
main body of the South Vietna-
mese army is still very cau-
tious when it comes to taking
the initiative.
On the other hand, under
good leadership, South Vietna-
mese soldiers are perfectly cap-
able of putting up a good fight
and, like their adversaries,
"sticking it" under heavy bom-
Of course this army could not
have been able to hold out with-
out massive U. S. air cover. But
it is equally true that air sup-
port would be ineffectual for an
army in full flight.
The South took advantage of
certain North Vietnamese mis-
takes which many American
generals have described as "in-
comprehensible." For reasons
that have remained unexplain-
ed, coordination between tank
operations and infantry moves-
of the communists has been
poor, with the result that anti-
tank missiles have had an easy
time of it - particularly the
new laser-guided missiles which
the Americans hurriedly sent to
Vietnam just after the begin-
ning of the offensive,
In other words, General Giap's
hopes of seeing the Saigon
forces collapse were dashed and
do not seem likely to material-
ize in the months to come.
There is general agreement on

guerrilla activity in the D)elta
and costal provinces, where the
NLF has taken advantage of the
fact that the bulk of Saigon's
forces has been immobilized on
the three main fronts of Hue,
Kontum and An Loc.
Whatever the case, there is
general agreement of one point:
for the North Vietnamese,
the timing of the offensive was
closely bound up with the Presi-
dential election, and its target
is not so much President Thieu
as Mr. Nixon.
The precedent of 1968 is illu-
minating in this respect: the
Tet offensive was not a mili-
tary success either, but it did
nevertheless have the direct re-
sult of putting to an end Lyn-
don Johnson's political career
and bringing to the White House
a president who was determined
to repatriate the bulk of Ameri-
can land forces in Vietnam.
It is only natural for the com-
munists to hope that another at-
tack will topple President Nixon
in his turn and result in the
election of a genuine pacifict,
This article appears courtesy of "Le
Monde". "Le Monde" and the Man-
chester Guardian" publish a weekly
edition in English, For infoematio,
please write, "Le Monde," 5 Rue des
Italiens, Paris, France.

Gen. Giap
This context indisputably
helped Mr. Nixon carry out a
"punative" policy against North
Vietnam, but the American
President would probably be
wrong to push his advantage too
far. Even though they may not
approve of all Hanoi's aims in
the war, the Soviet Union and
China could never accept a sit-
uation where a friendly socialist
nation was reduced to rubble
and its regime endangered,
This context has not prevent-

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A Strong Voice for Ann Arbor.
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The Daily Official Bulletin is an Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Power Cen-
official publcation of the Univer- ter, 8 p.m.
sity of Michigan. Notices should be SUNDAY, AUGUST 6
sent in TYPJWRITTEN FORM to AA Medieval Festival: Diag, 11 a.m.
409 E. Jefferson, before 2 p.m. of & Arboretum, 3 p.m.
the day preceding publication and TV Center Films: "China: Politics
by 2 p.m. Friday for Saturday and and Dissent," WWJ-TV, Channel 4,
Sunday. Items appear once only. noon.
Student organization notices are Music School: Christeen Dole, French
not acceptet for publication. For horn, Sch. of Mus. Recital Hall, 2:30
more information, phone 764-9270. p.m.
Music School: Michael Miller, Trom-
SATURDAY, AUGUST 5 bone, sch. of Mus. Recital Hall, 4:30
AA Medieval Festival: West Park, 11 Music School: Rudolf Zuiderveld, Or-
am. & Huens Park, 3 p.m. gan, Hill And., 4:30 p.m.
M use School: James Ostryniec, Oboe, MONDAY, AUGUST 7
Sch. Mus. Recital Hall, 2:30 p.m. A-V Center Films: "Fayette Story"
Music School: Gary Miller, Tenor, & others, Aud. 4 MLB, 7 p.m.
Sch. Mus. Recital Hall, 4:30 p.m. Carillon Concert: Hudson Ladd, Bur-
Music School: Robert Chambers, Pi- ton Memorial Tower, 7 p.m.
ano, Sch. Mus. Recital Hall, 8 p.m. Music School: Jay Koester, Clarinet,
University Players Albee's "Who's Sch. of Mus. Recital Hall, 8 pm
presents a weekend
featuring Superman, Captain America,
The Lone Ranger, Laurel and Hardy,
Groucho Marx in 'You Bet Your Life'
and many others.
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