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conversation, these two powerful men, Spellman and the elder Kennedy, decided to whom Buttinger should tell his story. Joseph P. Kennedy introduced Buttinger to Senator Mansfield and to Kenneth Young of the State Department. Senator Kennedy was in California at the time but Buttinger had a long conversation with Kennedy’s administrative assistant. Meanwhile, Cardinal Spellman had arranged meetings with the editorial board of the New York Herald Tribune and the chief editors of The New York Times. On January 29, 1955, two days after Buttinger’s visit to the Times, that paper carried an editorial which closely paralleled Buttinger’s arguments on Diem’s behalf. Buttinger also elaborated his position in The Reporter of January 27, 1955, and The New Republic of February 28, 1955. From the spring of 1955 on. the US commitment to Diem was complete. This meant that the United States would, ignore any French protestations as well as the Geneva Accordsincluding the provisions calling for reunification through free elections, which, as even Diem’s most ardent supporters conceded, would bring the communist-oriented Viet Minh to power. Before the ink had dried on the Geneva Accords, Secretary of State Dulles was scheming to prevent the parties from carrying out the terms of the agreement. This was recently confirmed by David Lawrence of US News and World Report, who was in Geneva at the time, in an article published in the October 24, 1967, issue of the Austin Statesman. Although Secretary Dulles left the Geneva confer ence before the Accords were signed, Senator J. W. Fulbright, in his book The Arrogarzce of Power, page 117, says, “In its unilateral statement of July 21, 1954, the United States .indicated, with respect to the Accords, that it would ‘refrain from the threat or use of force to disturb them,’ and further stated that the United States would ‘continue to seek to achieve unity through free elections, supervised by the U.N. to insure that they are conducted fairly.’ ” Like so many declarations of our government about Vietnam, this proved to be wholly untrue. The Geneva Accords called for general elections to be held in Vietnam in July, 1956. On July 6, 1956, Vice President Richard Nixon flew to Saigon, South Vietnam, and praised the administration of President Ngo Dinh Diem in a `The Greatest Irony of All’ Blackwell, Okla. No one can honestly impugn the great courage and competence of our fighting men in Vietnam. The question is not one of their ability, but of the reasons that forces in our land compel them to die so far from home. One contention is that Vietnam is composed of two nations, north and south, and that America must help protect the government of the south from the encroachment of communism. But those who hold this view don’t tell us that many of the South Vietnamese leaders are from North Vietnam. Ky, the former premier who is now second in the Saigon government, is thought of by many Vietnamese as Americans would have thought of Benedict Arnold as premier of the colonies, if England had won in 1776. Americans are fighting to protect the very kind of government against which our own great forebears waged their revolution. For example, acting on the Marxist doctrine of “win the masses and kill the leaders,” the territory held by the Viet Cong is distributed to the peasants as their own. When, however, the Americans would, come back into control, the Ky government would not only force the peasants off the land, but would hold them liable for the rent of the land while they worked it. Of equal significance is the corruption and lack of supervision. The Rev. Mr. Miller is the pastor of the First Methodist Church in Blackwell, Okla. He writes a regular weekly column for newspapers in Texas, Oklahoma, and four Other states called “The Empty Pew,” discussing religion, politics, and society. The following is excerpted from a series on Vietnam. He was born and reared in Oklahoma. He holds a master’s degree in American literature from East Texas State University and a bachelor of divinity from Southern Methodist University. The churches he has served include those at Lone Oak, Dallas, and Addison, Tex. His articles have also been published in several national . religious magazines. A recent Congressional hearing brought out that as much as 60% of the supplies sent by America to the Vietnam army is either stolen or sold outright to the enemy. There are others who say that in reality the two Vietnams are one, and the North Vietnamese in South Vietnam are really citizens of the same country and people but under two different governments. This raises the question of whether or not we are interfering in the internal affairs of another nation. And it does not take much imagination to remember how we felt in our own Civil War, when France and England threatened to take sides and fight out their conflicts on our soil and through our sons. If we see Vietnam as the line of demarcation between communist imperialism and the capitalist world, then we are plagued either by courage or stupidity. Certainly the nations of India, Malayasia, Indonesia, and Australianot to mention Jene Miller West Germany, England, and Pakistan do not want communism. They themselves have all resisted the scourge of communism in one way or another. Yet, no other major nation on earth but Americanor any minor one except South Vietnamis having its sons killed off at the rate of 100 a week under the aegis of fighting communism. The world knows that the United States is not interested in territorial expansion. Not only has America set free its satellites, but she has spent millions to build the very nations which sought to destroy her, even while the communists were stripping the heavy industries of her conqutred satellites to make them dependent on Russia. But the communists and neutrals often point out that economic exploitation is just as much imperialistic as military expansion. Untold millions are being made in South Vietnam, and questions are asked whether our boys are defending freedom or dollars. The bayonets and blood of American boys have more than once protected some tyrant who bled his people’s national resources to feed the industries of America. Whatever approach we make toward peace must recognize that the communists need the war in Vietnam; in the first place, because it has not been since the Russians built the Berlin Wall that a major nation looked so bad in the world’s estimation as the United States now is made to appear in Vietnam. Secondly, Red China needs the fanatical phase of revolution to effect changes and so uses. the Vietnam war to isolate and terrify her people, as well as to build her military strength to equal that of other nations. Third, the communist world faces resurgent nationalism among its peoples. Poland refused to obey the Kremlin antireligion teachings. Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Romania seek trade agreements with the west, and demand their own industries. Communist leaders, like American leaders, know that escalation to the point of a world war would leave no victors. But they certainly intend to capitalize upon the opportunity to make the great “bastion of freedom” look evil. Peace in Vietnam would not only bring about internal stresses in the communist world, but it would ‘free billions upon billions of dollars for the development of economic strength in the emerging nations of the world. It would help no one except the Vietnamese and the United States. Too many people who are afraid of risking their grandchildren’s welfare with national debts are perfectly willing to risk their children’s lives with nuclear war. The greatest irony of all would be if history showed that the American boys who died in Vietnam served no purpose except to unify the communist world. 0 November 10, 1967 5