The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on August 28, 1966 · 82
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · 82

Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 28, 1966
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2 SC.G-SW-AUG-23''195"' fcagflngtltiCfmrt Why America Can't Turn Back on Asia ROBERT S. HONG KONG .The decisive battlefields of that bizarre war in Southeast Asia are not the sucking swamps and mala-" rious highlands of Vietnam, but the minds of men in Peking and Washington. The outcome depends upon their readings of the tactical situation, the temper of their peoples and their own resources. Since neither Saigon nor Hanoi can fight alone, the decision rests upon Washington and Peking. Peking is the prime mover of the war. The United States is fighting to convince Peking that it cannot crush world capitalism through intensified guerrilla war in Vietnam or similar wars elsewhere. An aura 'of mystery has been spun around China by wishful thinkers on the one hand and on the oth- Times staff writer Elegant is based. in Hong Kong. er by secular theologians who see that nation as the embodiment of ab-solute evil. Despite foreign obfusca-tion, the Chinese themselves are quite candid about their purposes. Despite, the present military weakness of the Chinese, Peking will soon possess a formidable nuclear arsenal the final argument of the modem tyrant. A great debate in Peking has, for the moment, been brought to an end by the dismissal of at least 150 senior leaders and specialists from the Communist Party. A massive "cultural revolution" seeks to "re-educate" the-millions of ordinary citizens who agree with the dissidents. The debate on the proper future course for a Communist China was concentrated on domestic questions. But foreign policy became a major issue, since dogmatists and pragma-tists alike recognize that it is impossible to consider the domestic affairs of a major nation in the 20th century without taking into account the impact often overwhelming of events outside its borders. Subject of Controversy The sweeping effects of the war in Vietnam were a primary subject of controversy between the dissident pragmatists and the hard-line faction which has, for the moment, prevailed. The more liberal Communists argued that China was doing herself irreparable harm by attempting to conquer the world through "peoples' wars." They wanted Peking to seek a rapprochement with both Moscow and Washington and end support for revolutionary movements. They cited China's growing isolation, the harm done her economy by alienating Russia, ano the strains imposed, upon the entire fabric of the state and even upon Communist authorityby the confrontation with the United States. They argued that . i ii ri. American resolution in v lemam naa demonstrated that China could not win the war. The primary purpose of U.S. involvement in Vietnam is to mitigate Chinese aggressiveness before the Communists possess an effective nuclear arsenal. An ancilliary purpose is to encourage the development of t liberal communism. Although a serious offer of accommodation to China is also high desirable, the American military presence in South Vietnam is an essen- THE GALLUP POLL Majority Favors Compulsory Arbitration in Strikes GEORGE GALLUP PRLNCETQN, N.J. "Whenever we have a big strike, it seems like neither side wins, and the public; always comes out. of it worst of all." - This remark by a shoemaker from Brooklyn echoes the sentiments of many Americans who are restive about the present way of settling management and labor disputes. During the last year; the public has felt the effects of several serious strikes, most recently, the airlines strike. And there are threats of strikes in key areas, the electrical, telephone and automobile industries. Representatives of industry and labor feel it is better to let labor and management "fight it out" than to have government arbitration imposed. At the same time, they admit that no way has yet been found to protect the public's interests. , Hardening of Attitudes Actually, continuation of the present system that brings the nation to a standstill in vital areas tends to harden feelings against both unions and business. For example, during or following a serious strike, public attitudes about laws governing labor unions stiffen, even to the extent of increasing opposition to the principle of collective bargaining.-: Most labor relations experts oppose compulsory arbitration, that is ELEGANT tial component of that policy. If the United States should withdraw from Vietnam, the arguments of the liberal Communists would be shattered. If it-should give them victory, the dogmatists will remain dominant and they will seek ever greater conquests, forcing the United States to fight them elsewhere. It is tempting to assert that it is no business of America's what the Chinese and their proteges do, either within or without China. It is tempting to assert that Americans are not their brothers' keepers, as a- segment of American opinion has cried in response to President Johnson's appeal for an Asian Marshal Plan. Unfortunately, it is a truism that, as even the Chinese have realized, a major nation of the 20th .century can not tend its own garden while ignoring events outside its walls. Asia, as much as Europe,' is; part of. the ;,-modern world. , , 1 Great Things By U.S. '. The United States has done great things in the world since abandoning the isolationism of the 1930s. It would be tragic if it were to surrender what it has accomplished because the American people are so self-indulgent that they can not see beyond their immediate interests. Problems like urbanization, automation, race relations and education are pressing. America can not divorce those problems from the ex- And now, the delivery problem. ternal problems of starvation, overpopulation, disease, ignorance and repression. It can not cry "a plague upon both your houses" and withdraw from Asia. It can not wipe out all North Vietnam or attack China proper without profound consequences. It can not even pursue the present course of escalation forced upon it by its own impatience. "v In short, America has no choice but to endure in South Vietnam, fully aware that its cause is somewhat flawed and that the struggle may be long. Yet the end may come sooner than anyone now believes possible. The orthodox Chinese Communists contend that they will inevitably win because America's resolution will crack. But indications proliferate that their resolution may crack before America's does. When that happens America can, once again, direct the greater part of its energies and talents to the constructive tasks at home and abroad which are more in harmony with the American temperament. having the government step in when strikes in major industries are threatened. - " But survey evidence shows that a majority of the public is ready to try any system that will stop strikes which involve the public's interest. The questions asked in this survey and the replies: J It has been suggested that no strike' be permitted to go on for more than seven days. If after seven days, 'the union and the employer cannot reach an agreement, a gov ernment app ointed committee would decide the issue and both be compelled to accept the terms. Would you favor or oppose this idea? No Favor Oppose opinion National ....... 34 3 10 Men .... 48 44 8 Women 39 28 13 Republicans .... AO 3.1 7 Democrats ..... 54 35 11 Independents ... 49 40 11 Labor anion families ...... 48 47 7 Non-union . 56 32 12 2 Some people say labor unions are actually monopolies, and should come under anti-trust laws. Do you agree or disagree? No Agree Disagree opinion 45 . ' 25 30 National . . . . Jabor union - - families ...... S 40 Non-labor 48 21 24 31 lLmimmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmtmmmm Sorry about that! Asian 'Domino Theory' Now Belongs to History Continued from First Page erse propositions that we would expect from them, is infallibly true. The defeat of the Communist insurgencies in the Philippines and Malaya in the 1950's, for instance, did not dull the appetite of the Communist leaders in Hanoi for trying the same tactics in South Vietnam in the 1960's, by which date they must have realized the United States was more aware of the danger and vastly better prepared to meet it. Events in Thailand Events in Thailand since 1962 cast doubt on the second generalization. The Thai leaders reacted with considerable alarm to the western subscription to a negotiated peace in Laos that left the Communists in control of territorial gains acquired by guerrilla warfare and political fruits acquired by duplicity vis-a-vis the neutralist leader, Prince Sou-vanna Phouma. Despite loud protestations from'Bangkok, however, the pro-western course of Thai foreign policy remained unchanged and there was no suggestion of a Moscow-oriented or Peking-oriented, or even neutralist, posture in foreign affairs. Thai sensitivity to whoever wields superior military power in the whole region prevailed, as it did in 1941 (Japan) and 1954 (Seato- u.s.) -' . . ' ; The "domino theory," therefore, lacks inevitability, and whoever claims inevitability for it is flying in the face of plain evidence. The "theory," in fact, is unprovable, since the prevention of the contingency to which it refers is the goal of every American action in Southeast Asia, from chasing the Viet Cong to providing Filipino villages with English teachers and agricultural technicians of the Peace Corps. Filling a Vacuum There is no doubt in anyone's mind what would happen in the unlikely eventuality that the United States pulled out of Southeast Asia; it doesn't require an elaborate theory to account for the filling of a power vacuum. Recently, attempts to bring the "domino theory",up to date have resulted in a number of interesting variants on the original image. Richard Nixon, who was close to the decisions made in 1954 and who . has remained one of the principal exponents of the "theory" ever since, still believes today in its validity. In an interview with this correspondent, Nixon said he now prefers to think in terms of tides rather than falling dominoes, however. "The tide is either running with you or against you," is the way he put it. The dramatic reversal of Communist fortunes in Indonesia, for instance, could hardly have occurred without the ever clearer signals from Vietnam that the American stand was going to be successful in preventing a Communist military victory there. But it would be a mistake to conclude that American firmness in Vietnam was directly responsible for the Communist failure in Indonesia, since that development involved numerous factors of local importance. Another Variant Another recent variant on the , "domino theory" has been suggested by the new U.S. ambassador to Japan, U. Alexis Johnson, who told a World Affairs Conference at Asilo-mar, Calif., last May that "the Vietnam war will decide whether there will be a Communist China convinced of its direction of violence, revolution and Chinese expansion ... or a China looking inward and adopting a doctrine of live and let live, accepting evolution instead of violent revolution." This view of the implications of the . Vietnam conflict carries the "domino theory" forward one grade of optimism. 'No longer is it a question of merely preventing a chain reaction of Communist takeovers in Southeast Asia. Now that it has been done, the "theory" permits the hypothesis that the falling domino ef- "t ittwv ten Francises Chrenicf feet can work in reverse. And the Communists had better watch out. There is, so far as I am aware, no evidence that the leaders in Peking seriously contemplate what amounts to a 180-degree shift in their policy toward the underdeveloped countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America in the event the Viet Cong fail in their bid to topple the Saigon government. In fact, it seems highly likely that Peking will continue to send messages of encouragement and occasionally to supply shipments to any promising insurgent movements in places like Thailand or Guatemala. Investment is small and the potential returns are great. As for the likelihood of the Chinese shifting policy because of a failure in Vietnam or elsewhere, the Communists have consistently failed to implement their promise of "liberating Taiwan for 16 years now, and there has as yet been no visible abandonment of that unsuccessful policy. There is, on the contrary, ample evidence in the Chinese Communists' own statements that they are prepared to sustain occasional reverses under the "two steps forward, "Comrade!" MiuMin, Chicago Sun-Tim one step backward" formula and to wait patiently for the tide to run their way once more. There is also growing evidence that considerations of Sino-Soviet relations play a more decisive role in determining the Chinese position on revolutionary violence than the relative success of an insurgency in a foreign land. From the western point of view, the answer to the threat of Communist expansion in Southeast Asia is the eradication of corruption, the spread of literacy and public health, encouragement of popular and stable government and enlistment of the people on the side of law and order. Anyone who thinks that without these things the Communist takeover of kingdom "X" can be pre-" vented by a sound thrashing inflict-. ed on the Communists in neighboring republic "Y" should have his head examined. Excruciating Dilemma The "domino theory" dates from an excruciating dilemma of national policy and an era long since bygone when the wave of the future of Communist insurgency looked like taking over a fair portion of Southeast Asia. There could be few healthier resolves in the State Department than to consign the "domino theory" to the history books where it belongs, and to concentrate instead on a more practical principle of Ameri- can policy in Asia; namely the establishment of the fact that the United States lives up to its commitments. Thi3 is clear and to the point; unlike the. "domino theory and all its variants, it does not carry the connotation of an America with its back to the wall. Once the credibility of America's commitments ty) its allies is established the "domino theory" will be history indeed. .rV Canada-U.S. Tieup? Some Other Time! HARRY In speaking of the future. Can-, adians routinely thrown in a qualifying phrase that would send a shudder through a U.S. citizen if it were applied to the United States. The phrase goes like this: "Of course, all this depends on whether Canada is still in existence." It is uttered matter-of-factly, sometimes with a touch of facetious-ness. The fears and emotions the Canadians may feel over the future of the world's second largest piece of political geography generally remain below the surface. This is not callousness, but a century of conditioning to internal and external threats to national survival. The internal threat, now as in the past, centers on whether French-speaking Quebec Province will one day issue a declaration of independence as the ultimate act to preserve its Gallic heritage. The threat is real. "Scratch a French-Canadian and you'll find a separatist underneath," is a remark repeatedly voiced to the American traveler. An independent Quebec would splinter Canada into at least three geographical entities Quebec, the Times staff writer Trimborn recently made a trans-Canadiain tour. Maritime provinces on the east, and the prairie provinces and British Columbia on the west. Whether any of. the non-French-speaking fragments could exist either singly or in combination as independent nations because of economic or other reasons is debatable. The lure for at least some of the fragments to become part of the United States would be powerful, if not inexorable. Threat of Domination Yet to many Canadians the threat of U.S. domination is becoming more and more serious, even without the Quebec issue. In the past, the threats have been military and political. But the U.S. armed forays into Canadian territory were turned back. And the shrill voices of the 19th century that said "manifest destiny" fated Canada to become part of the United States were stilled long ago. To Canadians the threat now is from the Yankee dollar flowing silently through investment houses into Canadian industry. They point to statistics that show U.S. control of many industries. To some, Canada has "sold out" to her powerful neighbor. They talk about "buying back" their country from the United States. These U.S. investments, even critics concede, have helped Canada achieve the second highest standard of living in the world. Some Favor Union But why worry about "domination" from the United States? Why not ioin her and enjoy the highest living standard? Some Canadians, especially the more recent immigrants, would be in favor of political union. But many more are determined to preserve their national identity, however fragile it may be, and however difficult it may be to answer the question: What is a Canadian? "We like your gadgets, but not your problems," said a provincial official in British Columbia during a talk about U..S-Canadian trade poli-, cies. In Ottawa, a nationally-known news comentator ended a discussion on the possibility that the cultural, conflict with Quebec might break up the country with the comment: "It seems pretty grim, but we'd still rather have our problems than yours." These sentiments were heard again and again in travels from Vancouver to Nova Scotia; big, powerful America may have the highest standard of living with her homes and highways choked with gadgets. But she also has crushing headaches- INDEPENDENT Captioned "The Risk of Independence" and subtitled "at least I'm above the battle for now," this cartoon in the Korean Times is a commentary on the North Korean Communist Party's recent declaration that it wants independence within the Communist bloc. Declaration called for united front to fight ."U.S. imperialism." TRIM BORN Vietnam, enormous military and po-litical commitments around the world, racial strife at home and crime in the streets. A Canadian newspaper recently wondered if American-style prosperity and violence mav be the cause of some of Canada's domestic problems. In an editorial on what it termed a "curious mood ... of resentments" in Canada, the newspaper asked: "Has some of the disregard for law and order leaked across the border from the United States? . . . Have (Canadians), enjoying a longer than usual period of prosperity, decided they want all good things now, this minute, because the more one has, the more one wants ..." A prime indicator of Canadian at-. titudes toward the United States can be gleaned from its official view of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Tha U.S. position is just as bitterly assailed and just as stoutly defended in Canada as it is at home. Support for Viet Presence While the government supports the U.S. presence in Vietnam, it doesn't like some of the things the United States is doing there, especially the bombing of oil storage facilities near Haiphong and Hanoi. In a recent review of Canadian policy toward Vietnam, External Affairs Minister Paul Martin told the House of Commons that Canada was striving to play the honest broker between the combatants. He underscored Canada's membership (along with Poland and India) on the International Control Commission to supervise the now badly mangled Geneva agreements on Vietnam. He , also pointed to the recent efforts by Canadian diplomat Chester Ronning (which Martin insisted were undertaken by Canadian initiative) to crank up the machinery for peace talks. "We shall continue to conduct quietly and through diplomatic channels our efforts to find the basis for an accommodation in Vietnam," Martin said. Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson again offered Canada's "good offices" for a Vietnam peace effort at a meeting last . weekend with President Johnson at Campobello, N.B. But in apparent deference to his American guest, the prime minister deleted a reference in his text for his hope "that bombs may cease to fall" in Vietnam. The government sees no inconsistency between this policy and the fact that Canadian companies earned $260 million in 1965 by making military equipment, ranging from green berets to airplanes, for the U.S. war effort in Vietnam. This military production, while benefitting the economy, has on occasion sparked controversy, such as the recent flareup in Parliament over whether Canadians were making aerial bombs that were dropped on North Vietnam. They weren't, but there is no government restriction on their manufacture. Sharing Agreements Under U.S.-Canadian production sharing agreements, the United States is free to use the war material any way it chooses. Yet the Canadian government has refused to allow the material to be shipped directly to Vietnam. Canadian preference for its own problems rather than becoming part of 'the United States is reflected in its attitude toward the rest of the world. Although a strong supporter of the United Nations (Pearson was president of the U.N. General Assembly in 1952) and a nation heavily involved in international trade, Canada is occasionally criticized for its leave-us-alone attitude. This aloofness mingles with the desire to be part of the world scene, at least in the Western Hemisphere. As a Toronto businessman said: "After all, we're al Americans-North Americans." y.

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