The Ottawa Herald from Ottawa, Kansas on April 28, 1965 · Page 7
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The Ottawa Herald from Ottawa, Kansas · Page 7

Ottawa, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, April 28, 1965
Page 7
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Ottawa Herald Wednesday April 28, 1965 Page 7 At Age 73, Harriman Tackles Tough Task In SE Asia EDITOR'S NOTE — At 73, Ambassador W. Averell Harrite an Is giving no thought to re. tiring and has been selected by President Johnson for a new . assignment. In this exclusive interview, he looks back over his 30 years of public life and recalls what he considers his -single most important achieve, merit and his greatest disap. :,polntment. By JOHN M. HIGHTOWER AP Special Correspondent WASHINGTON (AP) — "It may take a long time to con. vlnce them they can't win," W. Averell Harriman said today of the Communist fighting in Southeast Asia. "The firmer we are, the shorter the time will be. But the more voices that are raised In protest here against our firmness, the longer the time will be." Harriman, who recently re. signed as undersecretary of state to become a roving am. bassador, has been chosen by President Johnson to represent the United States at a proposed conference on Cambodia. If the conference is accepted by Communist China and North Viet Nam, a big part of Harri. man's job will be to try to find out whether, when and how it may be possible to end the Vietnamese war. It is likely to be a tough, abrasive assignment, if It comes off, and few men would like to take It on at the age of 73. But Harriman seldom fits conventional patterns. Around Washington, he is already some, thing of a legend. He has proba. bly held more high government positions than any man current, ly active — secretary of com. merce, foreign aid director, governor of New York, ambas. sador to the Soviet Union, am. bassador to Britain, underscore, tary of state, and now, once more, ambassador-at-large, as he was in the first year of the Kennedy administration. He is known for plain speech, which he said he learned from the examples of Sir Winston Churchill and President Harry S. Truman, whose directness he greatly admired. He also has a reputation for fighting for his views on policy. Presidential assistant Me. George Bundy once pinned the label "the crocodile" on him, because of his sharp comments in political conferences. Bundy's idea was that Harriman would snap an opponent's argument in two. "I have always done what I thought was right," Harriman said in an interview with The Associated Press. "One value I had — I was never afraid of get. ting fired." "Once," he laughed. "I was fired as governor of New York by the people of New York." He served as governor in 1954. 58. Harriman never had the knack of generating great popular enthusiasm. He has spent most of his mature years working with men at the top of the world's power systems, rather than with the voters. Clearly, he enjoys work and the high politics of diplomacy and government policy-making. "I don't know that I'll ever retire," he said. "If I were out of a job — had time — I'd write and travel. The idea of retiring doesn't appeal to me." He worked for Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Truman, John F. Kennedy and Johnson. He has known virtually all the great men of his time, and his time in public life, after he quit Wall Street and the railroad business, is 30 years. Secretary of State Dean Rusk said of him, last month, when he was sworn into his new job; "His experience in business, in political life, as governor of New York, and in diplomacy, make him Mr. America in deal. Ing with the rest of the world." Asked what he considered his single most important achieve. ment, Harriman went back to the end of World War n to re. call a session with the late So. Viet dictator, Joseph Stalin. "It was at the time of the sur. render of Japan," he said. "Stalin demanded to have a So. viet commander join Gen. Mac. Arthur in accepting the Japa. nese surrender. As you know, the Russians wanted a zone of occupation in Japan. I had no instructions, but 1 rejected the demand immediately. Two or three hours later, Molotov (the Soviet foreign minister) told me that Stalin had accepted our terms." Harriman's greatest dlsap. pointment also came in his deal, ings with Stalin. Early in 1945, he wanted to get American medical teams Into Poland, where American prisoners of war were being liberated by the advancing Soviet army. "I fought over that very bitterly with Stalin," he said. "The Russians wouldn't let us send in the teams. They thought our men would be spying and coop, e rating with the Polish under, ground. We finally got a few medical people in, but never in the advanced positions where we most wanted them." The central problem which in Harriman's view ties together the events and philosophy of his own long experience with the Communist world Is what he calls "the outward thrust of communism." That applies to the struggle in Southeast Asia now just as it did to the struggle to block Communist expansion in Europe more than 15 years ago. "The Communists in South, east Asia have got to get it through their minds that South Viet Nam is not a ripe plum that will fall to them," he said. "They cannot succeed there. We cannot appease them. It would be like letting Hitler march Into the Rhineland In the 30s. It would be as if President Truman had failed to act in Korea In 1950. "Southeast Asia cannot be treated as if it were detached from the outward thrust of communism." Harriman said, "The Commu. nists firmly believe that what they call wars of liberation will be victorious for them. They also believe those wars are something we can't deal with. "I look upon what is happening in South Viet Nam as an ultimate expression of what the Communists intend to do in this respect. And just as we did in Europe, we've got to check the outward thrust of communism in Southeast Asia." LBJ Discounts Popularity AP News Analysis - By JOHN M. HIGHTOWER ~ AP Special Correspondent WASHINGTON (AP) — Presi. dent Johnson clearly wants to win as much support as possible over the world for his policies in -Viet Nam but he is also grimly determined not to run U.S. strategy in the Vietnamese war as a popularity contest. These two attitudes were sharply defined by a presidential statement and replies to questions at a White House news conference Tuesday. In line with what the President said, officials discounted the impact of "severe disapproval" of the war which was expressed by French President Charles de Gaulle in a speech at Paris an hour earlier. This was the second time in five days that a top administra. tion spokesman had dealt directly with criticisms of the U.S. role in Viet Nam which had been made both at home and abroad. Last Friday night Secretary of State Dean Rusk assailed critic»*,for talking "nonsense" when ttwy-say th* United states should find some quick way of getting out of Viet Nam or should at least half the bombings in the North. Johnson devoted the opening statement at his news conference to arguing that the United States has used its massive power with great restraint and to putting full blame on the Communists, and specifically North Viet Nam, for causing the conflict by waging a campaign of terror and guerrilla warfare in an effort to conquer the South. When the President was asked specifically whether he thought the United States was losing friends around the world because of its military operations against the Communists, he summed up his reaction In these words: "We're resisting aggression, and as long as the aggressors attack we'll stay there and re. sist them whether we make friends or lose friends." But actually, he said, this country has many friends throughout the world, and he argued in substance that many other governments understand what the 'United States is to accomplish in the defense of South Viet Nam. The issue of the popularity of the anti-Communist fight in Southeast Asia is regarded here as an important one. It bears upon the judgment of North Vietnamese leaders and behind them the leaders of Red China as to whether the Reds can eventually win in Viet Nam or whether they may have to settle the conflict on terms acceptable to South Viet Nam and the Unit, ed States. Authorities here believe the Reds in Hanoi and Peking may hold strong hopes that demonstrations against the United States will force the President to change his policies and move toward a willingness to make peace on terms acceptable to them. In various ways Tuesday Johnson seemed to be saying to the Communists that they should abandon any such notions because he is determined to see the fight through to a fin. ish — and the only conclusion acceptable to him will be one which leaves South Viet Nam • free drid" independent. Booming Sizzlers WAFFLE IRON $8.99 Limit 1 Up to $7.00 Value Upholstery Material $1.00 and $1.50 Yard $3.99 Value Men's Leisure OXFORD $2.29 a pair Up to $2.50 Value Drapery Material 79< Yard $16.95 Value Deluxe Electric OVEN BROILER $6.99 Each Limit. 1 $1.00 Value Men's White COTTON WASH 6 pair for SOCKS Limit 6 $7.50 Value VITALIS For Grooming Hair 4 Oz. 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