which North Vietnam can anticipate.” This is essentially what all thoughtful and constructive observers of the Viet Nam involvement urge. The Geneva agreements must be the basis for a settlement. I think we would have done well had we paid more attention to our British friends when they urged us to join in 1954 and we held back. Anthony Eden has suggested the same approach in his recent thoughtful book, Toward Peace in Indochina, politely pointing out that we should have leaned a little further in the direction of the Geneva agreements. I think his suggestion for pressing the scheme for the use of the waters of the Mekong River prepared by the United Nations is particularly interesting. President Johnson’s letter to Ho Chi Minh was encouraging not so much in what was proposed but in the conciliatory language of the proposal and the fact that it was not released here. Thus, it did not have the flavor of mere propaganda but invited a counter-proposal. The proposals should, in my opinion, ultimately go further, but I cannot stand here and fault them on grounds that they at least afforded the basis for counter-proposals. The response should not discourage us from going further. F WE CAN SHED inflexible positions of the past based on the old “monolithic” assumptions I have described, we will approach solutions. Such disposition is reflected in the President’s Feb. 2 press conference statement: “I would remind all of you that we would welcome a conference in Southeast Asia. This might be a Geneva conference. It could be an all-Asian conference, or any other generally acceptable forum. . . . We would participate in a preliminary discussion which might open the way for formal negotiations. We are prepared today to talk about mutual steps of deescalation. We would be prepared to talk about such subjects as the exchange of prisoners, the demilitarization of the demilitarized zone, or any other aspect which might take even a small step in the direction of peace. . . . Or there could be preliminary _discussions to see whether there could be an agreed set of points which could be the basis for negotiation. “. . . We study very carefully all of the public statements made which appear from time to time and which bear upon Southeast Asia, and all the views which we receive from or through other governments. . . . “Any peace agreement will involve understandings by both parties and certain concessions by both parties. I don’t think we can determine those before we come together. . . . I can only repeat . . . that I wish the conflict in Viet Nam were over. . . . I will do anything I can on the part of this Government to go more than half 10 The Texas Observer way to bring it to an end.” We have gone far. I think we should go further. We must get the dialogue off dead center. We must quit saying, “You take the first step” or “You make the first promise.” I think we must act unilat Austin The Young Democrats, in their state convention, responded in complicated ways to Cong. Eckhardt’s criticism of the assumptions of U.S. involvement in Vietnam and his call for unilateral deescalation of the war by the U.S. The Y.D.’s platform said they support remarks by “the administration spokesman,” by which they evidently meant, although wryly, Eckhardt, that the military conflict should not be expanded and that “America realizes the basic unity of the Vietnamese people regardless of present boundaries and supports the long-range objective of their confederation, subject to the desires of the people, independent of imperialism, aggression, or subversion.” The platform continued: “We recognize the sincerity of the President as evidenced by his repeated offers of a negotiated peace. We strive to demonstrate to him that there is a responsible element of the American public supporting and encouraging his past and future efforts in this direction toward a negotiated peace.” The Y.D.’s approved proposals, “as a basis for negotiations,” for “cessation once more of the bombings of North Vietnam, cessation of the build-up of troops in Vietnam and attempts to gradually de-escalate the war, recognition of North Vietnam and the National Liberation Front as bargaining agents, and a bilateral ceasefire.” After copious debate, the Texas Young Democrats agreed on a platform for 1967 that also supports the following positions: A strong, primarily economic foreign aid program, with military aid to underdeveloped countries de-emphasized and the aid not conditioned on short-term political considerations; abolition of the U.S. Senate filibuster; abolition of the House Un-American Activities Committee; home rule for the District of Columbia; repeal of Section 14-B of Taft-Hartley, extension of the National Labor Relations Act to farm workers, and further extension of the minimum wage; a guaranteed annual income, which would eliminate many welfare programs; extension of the GI and Cold War Bills of Rights to Peace Corps and VISTA workers; extension of the war on poverty; an open housing law and continued withholding of federal aid from state institutions that maintain seg erally to de-escalate the war. I am not prepared to say in what way, but we should make it clear that we desire to end the war by our own actions. The risks of any other course are too great for us not to make the try. regation; repeal of laws that treat drug users as criminals; the outlawing of wiretapping except in cases of national security, and then only with specific approval by a federal judge; and universal service for all Americans, except women with children, sometime between the ages of 18 and 27 for two years in the military or three years in VISTA, the Peace Corps, or work in state hospitals, except in time of war. As to state matters, the Young Democrats supported Gov. John Connally’s call for constitutional revision by constitutional convention and for four-year terms for governor and elective state executive officials. They also endorsed single-member legislative districts; annual legislative sessions with no constitutional length limit; reporting and publication of financial interests of legislators and legislative committees; permanent voter registration with automatic re-registration by the simple act of voting; lowering the voting age to 18; higher teachers’ salaries, free public education through four years of college, and allowing political speakers and political clubs of all views on all state college campuses \(a shaft aimed at, among other places, Texas A&M, where political income taxes and corporate taxes; a $1.25 state minimum wage law, repeal of the state “right-to-work” law, and strong industrial safety legislation; pollution control; and more, better-paid, and more professional local policemen. At the Y.D.’s banquet, John Criswell, acting treasurer of the Democratic National Committee, said of President Johnson’s Vietnam critics, “These carpers not only overlook the fact that two-thirds of the American people give the President’s policies their basic support, but they forget also that in a moral sense the die was cast long before Lyndon Johnson entered the White House.” Sen. Ralph Yarborough addressed the banquet briefly, saying, while State Democratic Executive Committee chairman Will Davis sat nearby, “I have never received the support of a majority of the state executive committee in any of my campaigns, but I have always been able to count on the support of the Young Democrats. As far as I am concerned, the Young Democrats are the Democratic Party.” R.D. The Young Democrats’ Complicated Response
You May Also Like
The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.