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Official Acts of Murder An open letter to the President, a copy sent to the Observer for publication: Dear Mr. President: All night, since yesterday evening at 5:30 p.m. when I listened to Harry Reasoner of CBS-TV News read the cablegram from Morey Shaffer concerning the attack on and the wiping out of a Vietnamese village by a band of U.S. Marines, I have had visions of homeless oldsters and the dead and wounded bodies of women and children. Women and children wounded and, in some instances, killed by the direct orders of a U.S. Marine Corps officer. War, I have heard, Mr. President, is politics carried on at the level of violence. If, sir, our politics have become such that officers and gentlemen of the armed forces of this United States of America feel that they must order soldiers to burn homes and murder civilians, then, sir, there must be something rotten in the policies that have led the government of our beloved country into such a morally indefensible cul-de-sac. . . . As a citizen of this country and, further, as the mother of two teen-age sons, one of whom is already serving in the armed forces, I feel I bear an inescapable responsibility, the same inescapable responsibility borne by every participant in a society governed by elective officials, for the policies carried out in the name of the people by just such elective officials. You may have the delusion, sir, that you and you alone bear the responsibility for such high state matters as the conduct of war in a foreign country. If so, you are mistaken, sir, because all of us share that responsibility in so far as we helped elect you to your office \(and my husband and I worked hard in our precinct and county in your Therefore we who supported you are to 16 The Texas Observer that extent responsible for your actions in office. That is why I feel it is my moral duty as well as my democratic responsibility to protest the further barbarization of the present madness in Viet Nam. And if I have not made myself clear, Mr. President, let me spell it out: I feel the personal responsibility of a citizen of a democratic society \(how great it beall my heart and all my soul and all the force at my command, official acts of murder done in my namethat is, done in the name of the citizens of the United States of America by U.S. Marines at the command of a U.S. Marine officer. Betty Tucker Mann, Route 3, Box 490, Marshall, Texas. Correction from Huntsville I participated in the recent Huntsville civil rights demonstrations on Monday, July 19th. In Larry Goodwyn’s report of events concerning me and my job at Sam Houston State College, it was reported “had made plans to leave the college for another teaching assignment” until Dr. Templeton made his position known. This is a product of a very fertile imagination, and absolutely untrue. I had every confidence in Dr. Templeton, and talked with him on the telephone only two hours after the incident was over. The essence of what he said to me was accurately stated by Mr. Goodwyn, but please set the record straight on “my plans.” I had not made plans to leave the college. If Mr. Goodwyn had bothered to talk with me about the matter, that part of the story would have been accurate. Brian S. Aby, Huntsville, Tex. Yarborough Gaining Seniority I think Senator Yarborough has more concern for the people of Texas than to gamble with the only U.S. Senate seat we have in this state. This is one office that belongs to the people. Who really believes the governorship of Texas is worth nearly as much as the Senate seat? In Washington, Sen. Yarborough can continue to accumulate seniority and keep fighting the good fight, and the people will gain. The worst thing that could happen in the , event of a Yarborough candidacy for governor would be for him to win ; the next worst thing would be for him to lose. Either way the people would lose. James Presley, PO Box 2025, Texarkana, Tex. Munich in Peking Your editorial “No Pledge” \(Obs. Aug. pledge is meaninglessif they are sincere because they do not possess “nuclear capability.” We would be lessening the “deterrent effect” of our extensive nuclear stockpile by pledging to use nuclear weapons only if attacked. Your praise of the Chinese for their meaningless pledge not to be the first to use nuclear arms reminds me of the sincere but impractical man who returned to England from Munich proclaiming “Peace, in our time.” Walter L. Vansickle, Jr., 1418 Augusta Dr., Houston, Tex. \(The Observer did not praise the Chinese; the Observer asked why the United States has not pledged never to Yarborough and History It is a pleasure to see that your proposal for a meeting of all Texas liberals has seen some action. . . Let me express my unqualified opposition to the proposal to request Sen. Yarborough to become a candidate for governor in 1966. The senator’s work in Washington is winning world-wide notice and approval. . . . I wonder whether those advocating his candidacy for governor realize that he does now in truth stand alongside the great progressive senators in the history of this country. Milton S. Jordan, Jr., 1571 Stanger Dr., Idaho Falls, Idaho. Wright Commended I commend Cong. Jim Wright for his stand on the President’s program on the war on poverty. Although under great pressure from the American Medical Assn., large industrialists, and the governor, he voted for medicare, repeal of Article 14-B of the Taft-Hartley law, and the voting rights bill. . . . He certainly deserves our vote and support in the upcoming race for U.S. senator against John Tower, who voted against these reforms and the war on poverty.Dean Butler, 3709 Neches, Ft. Worth, Tex. If You Can’t Fight ‘Em . . . Freedom and good will and critical thinking, the fundamental bases of an idealistic democratic liberal tradition, are lacking and are scorned, or at most lipserved, in the so-called Democratic Party, and in the trusteeships of the state educational institutions. But William Arrowsmith should have reached the conclusion reached by another classicist in Dallas quite easily ; Texas is an oligarchy. . . . And on the whole, the people accept this. . . . I have seen country liberals in Texas become conformist organization conservatives as soon as fortune and some Really Big Dallasite smiled on them. As Cash said of the entire South, all the Plantation owner, or in this case the Plant owner, has to do is shake hands, ask about the kids, and stand drinks all around, and everybody votes his ticket. Successful grass roots liberalism goes against the grain of the new oil-baron, industrial-tycoon, and real estate shark riches of the land. The thing to do is to educate the oligarchs. They can be educated. Look ‘at Robert Anderson. Look at Douglas Dillon. God knows we are trying with Lyndon Johnson. Think of what would ,happen if E. B. Germany were educated. If the Top Ten in Dallas were men of culture and democratic vision. . . . If the Hunt children can think, even as much as some of the Rockefeller children can, liberalism is on its way. The kind of townmeeting culture and democracy that Arrowsmith pines for was, I suspect, rare even in the Greece of ancient days. If you can’t fight ’em, educate ’em. Robert Goedecke, 206 St. Louis Rd., Collinsville,