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Shall we stand in the way of light, or shall we stand at the foot of light? Shall we deny our fellow man, or shall we break our bread with him, and walk with him where he walks? Shall we be silenced, shall we cease to speak, because a fear is loose in our nation, or shall we have the courage to be human? It is a new thing that history asks a whole nation’s people to transcend themselves, but that is what history asks, and that is what we must do. R.D. SOURCES 2″The Final Troubled Hours of Adlai Stevenson,” by Eric Sevareid, Look Magazine, 11-30-65. 3Austin American, 11-18-65. 4Congressional Record, 6-23-65. 5The New York Times, 8-17-65. 6Congressional Record, 10-13-65. 7N.Y. Times, 10-14-65. 8Sorenson said this in response to a question from me during his press conference in Austin this fall. Radio Station KNOW recorded the conference, and the wording is taken from the Observer’s transcription from the recording. 9N.Y. Times, 8-25-65. 10Dallas Morning News, 6-29-65. Alsop, Houston Post. 10-5-65; Evans and Novak, and Joseph Kraft, Houston Post, 10-10-65. 13Dallas Times-Herald, 11-5-65. 14U.S. News & World Report, 11-22-65. 15Newsweek, 8-2-65. 16Austin American, 11-16-65. 17Dallas TimesHerald, 11-7-65. 18N.Y. Times, 7-29-65. 16Congressional Record, 10-22-65. 20Copy of Mr. Mann’s speech 10-12-65 in San Diego, Cal., provided by the State Department. 21The Independent, October, 1965. 22D alias News, 11-14-65. 23Newsweek, 6-17-63, in a report on the World Food Congress in Washington, D.C. 24Congressional Record, 9-23-65. 25N.Y. Times, 1-15-65. 26World Bank and IDA, Annual Report 196465, p. 62. 27Austin American, 6-26-65. 28Quoted by McGovern, C.R., 9-23-65. 29Dallas News, 7-2965. 30Austin American 10-21-65 and Dallas News, 10-22-65. 31The Texas Observer, 12-11-64. 32Dallas Times-Herald, 11-16-65. 33Congressional Record, 10-13-65. Vietnam and The American National Interest Houston By no means the least serious consequence of the recent rash of anti-war and anti-draft demonstrations in the nation has been the disappearance behind a cloud of emotionalism of most of the remaining traces of rational discussion of U.S. policy in Vietnam. Yet the risks we are presently running in Vietnam are far too great and the cold war apparently far too permanent to allow a moratorium on public debate “for the duration.” It would appear that much of our difficulty in coming to grips realistically with the war in Vietnam stems from two basic misconceptions regarding the character of that conflict. First, we have focused so intently on the aid which North Vietnam has given to the Viet Cong that we often have lost sight of The fact that this is also a civil war, a war in which, until very recently, the vast majority of combatants on both sides have been South Vietnamese. There was no Korean-style invasion from the north in Vietnam. On the contrary, many of the present Viet Cong were already organized and active as part of that vast Vietminh empire which controlled much of the south as well as the north before the 1954 Geneva Agreements split the country at the 17th parallel. In 1954, as President Eisenhower, among others, has testified, Ho Chi Minh was a widely acclaimed national hero in the south as well as in the north. When the guerrilla war broke out again after 1958, the old cadre \(some of whom had since been train John S. Ambler, assistant professor of political science at Rice University, spent a year in Saigon in 1956-’57 as. a draftee and a French interpreter in the U.S. military mission. His field being comparative government, he has sought to keep up with recent developments in Southeast Asia. His research in recent years has focused on the French experience with revolutionary guerrilla war, and in a month or two the Ohio State University Press will be publishing his book, The French Army in Politics, 1945-1962. Of course he here presents his own personal views, and not those of Rice University. November 26, 1965 9 John S. Ambler ed in the north, then returned to their Vietminh had left off, fighting for the most part with weapons captured or manufactured within Vietnam. Even were we capable of sealing off all South Vietnamese not come to an end. Only since January of this year has there been convincing evidence of infiltration of regular North Vietnamese army units into the south. And even the North Vietnamese, it must be recalled, are not foreigners to their compatriots of the south. Second, if this is a civil war, it is also a deeply political war in which control over the population is of far greater ultimate significance than the balance of military casualties. Despite the Viet Cong’s military losses of recent months, it seems clear that the guerrillas exercise effective control over a majority of the rural population. As the French discovered in Algeria, military victories mean little as long as the guerrillas maintain control over the population by means of a solid political administrative apparatus and retain the capacity to recreate guerrilla bands as rapidly as they are shot down. Undoubtedly it is true that fear and coercion have played a significant role in the Viet Cong’s campaign to mobilize the population in its support. Yet coercion has been seconded by a strong measure of willing loyalty, built through skillful indoctrination and through portrayal of the Viet Cong as an instrument of national liberation from a Saigon government created and nurtured by and for the Americans. Had the Viet Cong failed to rouse deep nationalist sentiments, it is most unlikely that it could have survived as it has for over 20 years or that its guerrillas would demonstrate the aggressiveness at which our military advisors have so often marvelled. IF, TO USE THE IMAGE that Mao tse-Tung made famous, the guerrilla “fish” can survive only in a sympathetic “sea” of native , population, how has the South Vietnamese Government fared in polluting the waters, in playing the guerrillas’ own political game? The record here seems unpromising indeed. Chronic political instability in Saigon, quarrelsomeness among non -communist politicians, haughtiness and corruption among government administrators, draft evasion and desertion in the armed forces, lack of military aggressivenessall are parts of a picture which clearly portrays the failure of anti-communists to establish a political force capable of effectively challenging the Viet Cong’s claim to nationalist leadership. Among the relatively rare determined resisters to the Viet Cong, the mountain tribes are equally hostile to the Saigon government; the Catholics \(10% of the discredited through their privileged association with President Ngo Dinh Diem; and army officers undoubtedly would see their army disintegrate beneath them \(as did the armies of erican support ever be withdrawn. There have been scattered signs of improved morale and efficiency in the South Vietnamese government in recent months; yet playboy Nguyen Cao Ky, the present Premier, seems a most unlikely candidate to fill the vital and vacant role of anti-communist national hero. When it became apparent that the South Vietnamese government was losing even with extensive American financial and military aid, the U.S. government decided to compensate for political losses with massive American military intervention. Saturation bombing and an extensive American troop commitment now make the war “unlosable” in the short run; since the final stakes are still political, however, our present policy makes the war “unwinnable” in the long run. Not long ago a Catholic priest and veteran leader of anti-Viet Cong guerrillas in the Mekong Delta, Father Hoa, offered these words of warning in his speech ac , cepting the Ramon Magsaysay Award for outstanding service in Asia for 1964: “When fought as an international war, we have no chance to win. How can we explain to a mother when her child is burned by napalm? And how can we expect a young man to fight for us when his aged