Page 10


“that the U.S. has persisted in trying to negotiate a settlement in Vietnam.” On the contrary, the record clearly shows that each time there has been an indication that peace talks might be coming up, LBJ has found some excuse, either real or manufactured, to escalate the war. This duplicity is documented in American Vietnam Policythe Strategy of Deception by Herman and DuBoff, Inter-University Committee for Debate on Foreign Policy. [by Edward S. Herman and Richard B. Du Boff, Public Affairs Press, Washington, D.C., $2 in paperback]. Cordye Hall, 5835 Ellsworth, Dallas, Tex. US Citizens Are Ashamed “What’s Right with LBJ?” is filled with untruths, hypocrisies, and false premises. Why should one defend the President, the puppet of the US military-industrial complex, who did not have sufficient stature, courage, or responsibility to resist when that complex saw an opportunity to get a foothold in Asia by pushing the US people backwards, surreptitiously, into war? LBJ has broken faith with all who elected him as the President who said he would not send American men to fight an Asian war!. . Twice recently, the US flag has been raised over Asian soil. Would we want Asians to raise their flag over US soil and refuse to withdraw military forces? “What’s Right with LBJ?” Very little in comparison with what is wrong, namely, his inability, or refusal, to be big enough to understand that archaic war is not an instrument of diplomacy befitting a great power in the nuclear age. Many US citizens are ashamed of US war in Asia; 16 The Texas Observer we feel it has caused considerable national and international regression. Eula M. McNabb, 5521 Richmond Ave., Dallas, Tex. 75206. Cheap Demagoguery Judge St. John Garwood makes a timely and cogent point in his letter \(Obs., the unfairness of calling the war in Vietnam, “Johnson’s war.” As every informed citizen knows, it is all Americans’ war, in the sense that all Americans are collectively responsible for what their elected representatives do officially in their name. And this is precisely the reason that so many “Millions Americans” are so profoundly alarmed by and firmly opposed .to, the administration’s policy there. Just as Judge Garwood feels that he should support that policy, these citizens feel that “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind” require them to oppose it. In this day of grave decision, it illserves the welfare of America to engage in “cheap demagoguery” and epithet. Calling this “Johnson’s war” is engaging in epithet and demagoguery, nearly as gross as that of President Johnson and his supporters when they seek to insinuate that those citizens who oppose their Vietnamese policy are somehow deficient in patriotism. On this, one is sure, Judge Garwood and this writer are in accord. “Where there is no vision, the people perish,” according to Proverbs 28. It might be said, too, where there is no dialogue, a free society perishes. For that reason I warmly support Fagan Dickson’s candidacy for Congress in our Congressional district. He has opened a meaningful dialogue there. John Henry Faulk, 2007 Paramount Ave., Austin, Tex. 78704. Marijuana In answer to R. D.’s query [Ohs., Feb. 16] as to the constitutional rights of marijuana smokers, we already have gone to court in defense of those rights; “we” being the Texas Civil Liberties Union. ACLU attorney Maury Maverick filed an amicus curiae brief last June with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in a possession case arising in Dallas. In that brief he argued that the 25-year sentence given the defendant for possession of marijuana was cruel, harsh, and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Mr. Maverick attacked the search warrant and the validity of the indictment on the grounds that they describe marijuana as a narcotic, “something which as a matter of enlightened medicine, is simply not true.” He quoted from a number of authoritative sources in support of his argument, including the American Health Association, The Miltiary Surgeon, The Addict and The Law, the Medical Society of the County of New York, the La Guardia Report, and the 1963 White House Conference on Narcotics and Drug Abuse. These sources all seem to indicate that marijuana is not a narcotic, not an addictive drug, does not cause crime, does not lead to heroin addiction, does ,not produce physiological or psychologieal harm, and is less dangerous than alcohol. Marijuana is now defined by statute as a narcotic; however, as Mr. Maverick pointed out: “If, as all competent medical evidence suggests, marijuana is not a narcotic, the legislature describing it as such does not make it a narcotic. If the legislature declared that a jack rabbit is the same thing as a taxi-cab, it would seem that the courts of Texas would be at liberty to make some kind of a judicial correction.” And what did the Court of Criminal Appeals say to this one? “The conviction is for the possession of marijuana, a narcotic drug; and the punishment was assessed at twenty-five years. The judgment is affirmed.” Sorry, R. D., but the problems inherent in defining marijuana as a narcotic will Court holds such statutes to be unconstitutional \(on due process or cruel and district attorneys stop prosecuting; or sit on our Court of Criminal Appeals, in that order of probability. This may take years, and in the meantime thousands of people will be arrested \( the arrest rate for “narcotics” violaparanoia will spread, and many otherwise fine people will be branded criminals and felons by this society. Doran Williams, executive director, Texas Civil Liberties Union, 3007 N. Lamar, suite 203, Austin, Tex. 78705. Too Much Halo-Polishing … I feel that what criticisms you do make would carry more weight if you were a little more objective in your evaluation of those who migh tsupport or benefit [liberals]. You have done admirin your pointing to flaws in some corners of the liberal ranks. But when you try to put too much polish on a politician’s halo, anyone who knows his weaknesses automatically discredits any facts you try to present against someone they have already been led to accept at face value. I would not want you to yank the rug out from under any of the few liberalminded politicians we have in office. But let’s be honest, a good 99% or more of them are still fence-straddling politicians …. I can see why you prefer to see certain men elected or reelected. God help us if those few are defeated. But when you put more stress on their selling points with what I consider a sometimes omitted objectivityyou lose your chance of convincing the very part of the voters who need to be added to the liberal fold. J. E. Bourland, Quintana Roo 530, Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico.