The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on December 31, 1967 · 28
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · 28

Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 31, 1967
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2 t: Si The Week's News ih Ryiew SeC. C SUNDAY DECEMBER 3196r 'Or. 1-" -iK - J' WORRIED Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia, who tries to stay neutral. fi-i: VIETNAM: War Threatens to Spread Across Borders of Laos and Cambodia The war in Vietnam last week -threatened to spill over into two - : more Southeast Asian nations.' v-is- Pressure was building up in the Pentagon to pursue the war into vambodia, where Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops have been r, granted sanctuary, ana into Laos, v which North Vietnamese troops were reported to have invaded." 3 The state Department sougnt tne 1 help of every nation within reach 'Including Russia in its effort to deny sanctuary to Communist forces s in uamDoaia, out once ine govern-"ment of Cambodia itself turned thumbs down matters looked pretty hopeless. "te Cambodia's Prince Norodom Sihanouk went so far as to accuse the United States of "unprecedented brutality" against the independence . of the people of Southeast Asia. The pressure for "hot pursuit", into .the tiny nation mounted, , meanwhile, with South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieii warmly favoring Kjjuch escalation. ;, i erf? Sihanouk threatened.-to call In volunteers" from Red China if the United States invaded, but then, the ; tibjlowing day, he gave permission "jjfpr U.S. troops to come in. He went vSQ far as to ask the International .Control Commission to set up sur-rveillance-on his nation's borders to . Jceep the Communists out c: Mansfield May Visit Prince "'-The United States in turn offered -to bolster the international inspection machinery for Cambodia's frontiers. The offer will be presented - formally in a' week or two when an 'envoy from President Johnson calls oh Sihanouk in his Phnom Penh headquarters. The emissary is expected to be Sen. Mike Mansfield (D--Mont), one of the few Americans for whom Sihanouk has expressed open miration. He has called him a just "and courageous .man and one who "would always be welcome in Phnom "Penh.. Sihanouk is less keen on Mr. Johnson. When Mrs. Jacqueline' Kennedy was visiting Cambodia, ' Sihanouk planned to say that if resident John P. Kennedy were f Sftve today there would be no war in ;"Vietnam. Mrs.; Kennedy, blue-pen-8iled the remark. . The irony in Sihanouk's pleas for protection lay in the fact that only a jjfew weeks earlier he had turned- Jdown flatly a similar American offer Jto bolster the border. By the end of r SIHANOUK Next to the. other countries here, ot are a country happy and at peace. , 'jooh at the people. They are happy. . Ind oe are independent. - -yPrince Norodom Sihanouk As unerringly as a grand prix aster negotiating a hairpin curve Le, Mans; .Csanbodia'3 Pririce 1 Xod6m Sihanouk; has steered: a fcftitralist course while the rest of ' Southeast Asia has fallen to one dependency after a not her. Last week Sihanouk encountered the greatest challenge, thus far to Jhis tralicate balancing-' ' act " with the Counting of American pressure to -pursue North Vietnamese and Viet oCJpng troops into their Cambodian .sanctuaries. : . , : Sihanouk promptly resumed his game of playing one un-allied non-enemy against the other, warning the United States he might seek volunteers" from Bed China to .drive out U.S. pursuers. "We will ask China, Russia and. other anti-imperialistic powers for new milita- 1 2t The World last week he had changed his tune so thoroughly he was saying that if U.S. troops were hit by enemy fire from within Cambodia, hot pursuit was "indeed a military necessity." Sihanouk showed other signs of relenting last week when he announced that the nation's newspapers, which he had shut down three months earlier for insulting him, could resume publication. He is known for being touchy, last year he ordered a correspondent out of the country for calling Cambodia "tiny." : For all Sihanouk's vacillation, he has been consistent in one field: fear and hatred of his nearest; neighbors, and this may explain his willingness ; to. permit entry by U.S. troops. The ' Khmer kings from whom Sihanouk is descended once ruled a , much larger area, encompassing parts of what are now Thailand and South Vietnam, , and the old territorial disputes are still smoldering. Sihanouk considers the Thais and Vietnamese his enemies and he doesn't care for Laotians. The reason for the Johnson administration's eagerness to expand the war to include Cambodia lies in the fact that the greatest damage done to U.S. troops in recent months was inflicted by Communist troops quartered there. . The worst was the battle of Dak To, where Red soldiers from Cambodian sanctuaries killed 287 Americans. General Offensive, Says Phouma . There were also strong indications last week that the war might spread deeply into Laos, which North Vietnamese troops invaded. Laotian Premier Prince Souvanna Phouma complained: "Hanoi, has : launched a general offensive against us." -.-: How general the offensive was . remained somewhat doubtful, since only one battle was reported and it was in the one-horse town of Mung Phalane, 50 miles from the nearest settlement, the small town of Savan-nakhet. Nonetheless, , the Laotian ruler was reported ready to invite Washington to send over some . troops. . . ., , .. .... . That Washington might cooperate was considered likely. For one thing, President Johnson has been lit BALANCES ON A NEUTRAL WIRE ry aid," he said. "In the event we are unable to contain the successive waves of the aggressor we will call on volunteers from certain friendly nations, in the first place China, North Korea and Cuba." But then the next day he turned around and Invited U.S. troops to come oh in : and flush out the Communists; A sampling : of Sihanoukiana shows why Such a Vacillation was i predictable: .':;;;v. ;': ' "The hope of the Cambodian people rests in the" Soviet Union." 1956) : ' ; , . "We" are not an ally of Red China or Russia and never intend to be." (1958) L '- "China is our No. 1 friend." (1963) "The more you lick Chinese boots the more they scorn you. You can be sure never to depend on the Chinese." (1964) . ' On seeking independence from France: ... "We are too poor to support or defend ourselves. We are dependent remarking regularly that the North Vietnamese must withdraw from Laos. Besides, the Ho Chi Minn , Trail through Laos Is an important -military target since so many troops and transport convoys use it The trail is the chief route traveled by reinforcements for North JVietnavv mese forces in the South,'. ."Front- 30,000 to 40,000 North Vietnamese',1 troops stationed in Laos man the supply lines, and , it would be advantageous for the. United States to be able to get at these forces, who are now fully protected. An American attack on Laos would dramatically shrink troop reinforcements and would be accompanied by the massing of North Vietnamese in battle, thus making for. an easier retaliation' than the. ineffective search-and-destroy method . . Fihtiaf Threateiu Tluului There was even some danger last : ; week that the war might spread to ; Thailand. Thailand's army comun der airlifted government troops ta the northern ontier to face three v Communist battalions in Laos that . include North Vietnamese. One , Communist unit was to cross over into Thailand,. but the Thai army repulsed it, mainly because it com-, prised only 600 men.' ' ' The war raged on as usual in North and South Vietnam, interrupted only briefly by a Christmas , - cease-fire. Fighting resumed promptly when the 24-hour truce ended, a sharp contrast to previous Christmas eease-fires when peace faded-slowly. There was a big clash between South Vietnamese Infantrymen and a Viet Cong battalion near South Vietnam's northern frontier. The day before Christmas U.S. warp lanes flew 110 missions against North Vietnam. For the week ending Dec 23, the U.S. command reported that 166 Americans were slain and a total of ' 1,361 wounded. South Vietnamese military headquarters said 234 government troops were killed, and 629 wounded. U.S. forces plunged swiftly Into new action when Christmas ended, spewing rockets from helicopters iust below the Demilitarized Zone to kill 203 Viet Cong half a battalion. Thus ended another Christmas, with peace on eartn a dream and good will to men a fantasy. SCHOLARS: A Secret Meeting on Viet War - Some of America's keenest minds got together at the- behest of the Pentagon last year to recommend a more effective Vietnam policy. The government disbanded the, meeting, ignored the advice it got, and kept the meeting top secret until last week when the whole story leaked out. The meeting took place In the exclusive Dana Hall School for Girls atop an oak-shaded knoll in Welles-ley, Mass., in the library. The library normally is used by the students as they study Latin and Greek, mathematics and music, history and geography. But from June 13 to Sept. 2 the studies involved kill ratios, counterattacks, ambushes, ' firepower and the strategy of death. The intellectuals were called to the campus to study the Pentagon's most important and secret documents on the war. V , , l. . : Among the 35 scholars , present were former i science' advisers to Presidents like Dr, Jerome B.Wies-ner (from the Kennedy years) and Prof. George B. Kistiakowsky (from the Eisenhower years); Nobel Prize winners like Prof. I. I. Rabi of Columbia University (physics, 1944) t and brilliant theoreticians like Prof. Murray . Gell-Mann of Caltech and Prof. Jerrold ; Zacharias of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. - The group ended up denouncing the Pentagon's policy of bombing North Vietnam, but they favored , the troop infiltration barrier along the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Vietnam. They : also proved mathematically that U.S. claims of enemy dead were false because they were impossible. But the scientists remained tight-lipped about the whole thing Prof. Zacharias said, "You can't get two : cents worth out of me on that A secret is a secret" The productivity of the meeting - was best measured by the school's chief accountant, who said: We . didn't know what was happening here but we hoped they were going o settle the Vietnam war. I guess it didn't work." , ,. i on some major power to give us technicians and troops. If not France, it would be some other great nation.". (1947). : x , - "I am seeking independence real independence for my country" (1953, as a prelude to Ousting of the 'French).-- ' ; : "We consider France as" the sole bridge which can be built between the East and West. Among the Western ptiwerj, France is the only one which has really swept iaway old-style colonialism." . (1964) . , . . But inconsistent or hot, Sihanouk always does manage to say the right thing at the right time at the right place. His discretion became evident when . Jacqueline Kennedy visited . his nation while he was In the midst of an anti-American campaign. The visit went ..beautifully despite a vitriolic propaganda . barrage, . and Sihanouk explained why: , ... ' "You don't talk politics at dinner. Ypu might finish .with a lot of broken plates." ' J ? i:SJ:. i .';... i. "y. -V . f -. fii ' ' : J SOUTH I Its' . lfN SAIBON . JT t EXPANDING WAR An Invasion in force by North Vietnamese troops menaces Laos in Southeast Asia. The United States has thousands of troops in Thailand and controts most of that country. Meanwhile Cambodia may have U.S. troops pursuing Viet Cong across het borders. , : Times map bf Harlan Kirby GREECE: Fraction of Captives Freed At first it seemed that the Greek military regime sincerely believed that amnesty is the best policy. But last week it suddenly changed its mind about releasing 2,500 political prisoners held since the April 21 coup. It had announced that many would be freed, but in the end there were only 300 beneficiaries of Pre- fmier George Papadopoulosl Christ- i! mal benevolence. V -H i I Ladas, secretary , general of the Publfc Order Ministry, explained the fate of those not freed: - f, ; "They have no relation to the amnesty.. They have committed crimes, and are hard-core Communists." . ; Among the free was Andreas t Papandreou, 48 - year - old k former Berkeley economics professor, who ; headed the now-dissolved Center Union Party which - opposed the military regime. "Zorba the Greek" composer Mikis Theodorakis rwas not so lucky. Although the regime promised him his freedom earlier in s the week, it later changed its mind. 5 A hew law providing for freedom for -those convicted no more than, twice ,; for sedition wa3 supposed to release " him, but the regime conveniently ' discovered at the last minute that he had been convicted four times. ' , ;: , .. , Attempted Overthrow Charged f Theodorakis is awaiting trial: of charges of attempting to topple the regime. The composer is ,the most famous prisoner still in the hands of the military government, arid he is a rallying point for young Greek leftists. The regime banned all his music shortly after seizing power eight months ago. Col. Ladas, the security boss, was asked what would happen now to Theodorakis and his 2,000 fellow prisoners in the Aegean Sea Island jails. He replied as if he were social director of a resort: ' ' "They will be spending the summer of 1968 on the islands." Meanwhile, Greece's exiled King Constantino spent a bitter Christmas week in Rome. His Wife, Queen Anne-Marie, lost her baby which had been due in June. The royal "obstetrician blamed the miscarriage on the strain of flight into exile. Danger signs first appeared on Christmas Day, but four days, of treatment at the Greek Embassy by Dr. Basil Coutifaris were futile. The couple has two other children, Princess Alexia, 2, and Crown Prince Paul, 7 months. ' : : ' . " ' There were some hopes the couple might be able to return from exile shortly after New Year's Day. No one was quite sure, however, whether or hot they really wanted to go home.' The military triumvirate was anxious to have them back as an indication the royal family was on the military team once again, but it was believed the king was told in a Christmas session with an emissary from Athens that unless' he would say what he was ordered to he would be safer in Rome. , .-. " General Named Acting Regent ' There were more negative than positive signs regarding the return. For one thing, the king's mother and sister, Queen Mother Frederika and Princess Irene, moved to a villa outside Rome, indicating a long stay.- In Athens, the government set up a full corps of assistants for a 'military junta member acting : as 'regent in the king's place, Lt Gen. George Zoitakis. He was named regent Dec. 18, the same day Constahtine tried to overthrow the eight-month-old regime by a coun-tercoup. i'-'V;.;-" ''fi'-'l '-V: -.: ; ' On the other hand, the envoy who visited Constantino in Rome said: "I am 100 certain the king will return. It might happen hi the next few days." , ' ' --" Meanwhile, Premier Papadopoulos prepared a New Year's message, to the thousands of Greek resldhig abroad in which he begged them to return, saying that. the country "is being cleansed, reorganized . ,and modernized at such a rapid pace so that, within a short time, it will be able to offer the happiness of work to all of its children who : have emigrated." - , MTTH?. A QT..Tn.rtr;e ShukairV Step& Down It might be Said that Terror is his middle name. ; ' . r ' ' ; ," ..; "We will wipe Israel. off the face of the map and no Jew will survive," warned . Ahmed Shukairy last June. As head of the clandestine Palestine Liberation Organization for the past four years, ; Shukairy ; has ; been responsible for the murders of dozens of Israeli men, women and children in bloody midnight raids across the borders of Jordan and Syria. A Jowly,, heavy-lidded Haifa .lawyer, he. fired up iis . followers ' with injunctions for a "sacred war," like the Koran's: "Kill them wherev-t er you find them. Drive them out of the places from which' they drove you." .::;;:r;:.;;c-;; .;v,:"i " - Israel and the Jews have by , no meahs been Shukairy's only targets. - He hates the United States nearly as much" and isnt 'terribly fond ; bf Jordan either. With characteristic temperance he once said that anyone "who ever 'dares to speak in 'public of Arab friendship-with the United States in any Arab village or town would be torn to pieces." He ' once described Jordan's moderate king as the "tyrant of Amman, Hussein; who betrayed Allah, the . 1 Prophet and Pakstirie." ' - ' ' ' " . . He Has Some Inflaence . But Shukairy is hardly the petty rabble-rouser . he sounds like. - Indeed, many authorities said he and shis PLO were single-handedly responsible for the outbreak, of . the , June war between Israel and the Arabs. It was his threats that mobilized public opinion in Israel behind government elements which - sought a preventive war, arid it was his constant prodding that drove ' each Arab nation to try to get more militant than the other. - ; Shukairy resigned as PLO chief -'last week: ''; ' f It was hardly his own idea. More perceptive Arab e leaders resented the foolish image he gave them by speaking loudly and carrying a small stick. Lebanese cartoonists habitually caricature him with an enormous tongues i .:?!:' His replacement, however, is not expected to be a more peaceable man.. Whomever ' the organization selects and the choice is mostly up to Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser is likely to be a man of less talk and more action. : : An unseasonal gloom hung over Bethlehem last week. Only 9,000 pilgrims went there for Christmas instead of the usual 20,000, presumably because of threats by terrorist organizations such as Shukairy's in which visitors were warned their lives would be in danger. Arab FREED Geom Paoandreou. released last week from orison by the. military rulers of Greece, is 9 w w . guerrilla did manage te cut tel-'phone communications between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, but otherwise sabotage was tntnht and violence nonexistent. : , Israel tried to appease Christian Arabs by sending six Christmas trees to Bethlehem, but the Arabs immediately protested, claiming the six trees represented either (a) the six-pointed Star of David, or (b) the six-day war which Israel won. ' "And while shepherds tended'their "flocks just outside the city as they did 2,000 years ago, the Israelis did bring innovation to the Christmas celebration: They . put midnight mass on television. ; . i ' .j HARBOR: 4 Indicted ; in L A. City Scandal -. " Four . present and fortner Los Angeles cityr commissioners were indicted for bribery last week in a major scandal which struck th administration of Mayor Sam Yorty. The indictments by the grand jury involved the award by the Harbor Commission of a $12 million contract for a'World Trade Center; The jury's investigation went on for a month, during which it heard 44 witnesses. ; : Indicted were: 's - f Keith Smithj a city Human Relations Commissioner and in 1962 awarded the title of "Methodist Layman of the Year." The Harbor Commission awarded the World Trade Center contract to ! Smith's construction company without Competitive bidding. He was Indicted on five counts of bribery and five of perjury. . 11 '- ' ' . ; ' Harbor Commissioner George D. Watspn. He. was charged with, one count of bribery Involving a.' stock transaction he had with Smith, with .criminal , jcbnflict of . Interest . for voting to approve Smith's plans for the Trade Center at a time when he ' -and ' Smith had a debtor-creditor relationship,, and another, criminal .conflict-of-interest, charge Involving a debtor-creditor relationship.,, between him and the owner, of the . floating restaurant Princess Louise. Karl L. Rundberg, a former harbor commissioner and a former city councilman, r -, - Robert Nicholas Starr, another former harbor commissioner; '-; Rundberg and Starr were accused In two bribery counts of receiving $6,047.58, plus office furniture from Smith for a testing laboratory business they formed while serving on the Harbor Commission. The indictments also named the - late president , of the Harbor Commission, Pietro Di Carlo, . whose drowned body was found floating in the harbor Nov. 7. Police1 listed his death as accidental, but have not closed the case. -a- ? Investigation by Yatmger-' Di Carlo's death occurred shortly after The Times first : disclosed evidence that Smith was linked to Di Carlo, Rundberg and Starr in questionable manner and after Dist. Atty. Evelle J. Younger said bis office was investigating the Harbor Department . ' ? - V - " - y The four indicted men were all appointed commissioners by Mayor Yorty. When the indictments were handed down Thursday, Yorty was in Acapulco. Returning Friday, he complained that ..The Times had "tremendous influence" over the district attorney's 1 office; and he thought it would be a good idea for the state's attorney- general ; to investigate. " " The perjury counts against Smith relate to his denial to the grand jury of statements he allegedly made about his influence In harbor matters."-' V-v:;;. ": r;':;-.';- "V:-rf --r" Evidence against him included a tape recording which indicated that seven months before the commission awarded him the World Trade Center contract, he stated that he controlled four out of the five . votes on the commission arid that the fifth xommissioner was "in incubation" and soon would come around. - He also said, according to the recording, that although : he had not yet submitted his proposal to build the center, the decision to award; the contract to him already had been made and that it was a "political decision that emanates from the mayor's office." (Yorty said that was "an absolute lie.") -. The remarks allegedly were made at a business meeting in his own conference room in San Pedro. He was not aware that his conversation was being taped on his own hidden equipment, and that later it Would areeted bv his wife and children. m. i --.'. ... ....

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