Â·WIT IMS mine No one knows liow many Vietnamese lives have "been lost in this seemingly endless war--1 million, 2 million, 3 million? More important yet, how many Americans truly care? That question was asked of Intelligence Report recently by a North Vietnamese representative in Moscow. The North Vietnamese, at least many of them, if this official is to be believed, are convinced that if President Nixon cannot end the war by negotiation, he will end it by extermination. With seven U.S. aircraft carriers discharging fighter-bombers daily, with more than 200 B-52's dropping tons of bombs, with the new "smart" laser bombs in action and the even smarter "Maverick" TV bombs forthcoming, U.S. air and naval forces can exterminate most of the North Vietnamese population within 60 days. It is a long-held Kissinger belief that extermination will not be necessary, that the North Vietnamese can stand only so much destruction and devastation before they accede to ending the war by negotiation. The North Vietnamese told us that they prefer extermination to negotiation under duress. Many of them are convinced that they will soon die by drowning. They point out that U.S. planes have been systematically bombing the areas around the Red River dikes which protect the Plain of Tonkin from flooding. By weakening the dike foundations, they contend, the Americans arc making certain that the monsoon rains will collapse the dikes, causing the death by drowning of a large portion of the 14 million North Vietnamese who live on the Plain of Tonkin. President Nixon was asked on April 30th, this year, at the John Connally barbeque in Floresville, Tex., if he intended to order the tombing -of the Bed River dikes. "That is something," he answered, "that 4*e -want to avoid. It is also something we believe is not needed." He also said that "with regard to dams or dikes... while it is a strategic target and indirectly a military target, it would result in an enormous number of civilian casualties." Sixon, however, did not foreclose on his option to bomb the dikes, which the North Vietnamese claim our Air Force is already doing That the American public will support a continued air war so long as it results in relatively few American deaths is a Hixon tenet which has been proved correct. Nizoa and Kissinger, as well as countless military men, are convinced that under continued bombing, the Communists must eventually cry "uncle." The North Vietnamese maintain that their ultimate pain threshold is death. The Soviets, on the other hand, believe that the war could end tomorrow if only we would order the C.I.A. to assassinate Nguyen Van Thieu, President of South Vietnam. "You people arranged to have Diem assassinated in 1963," one Soviet journalist explained. "Why can't the C.I.A. do the same thing with Thieu? Or at least arrange his abdication to Singapore where we understand he has already bought a home? Once Thieu is out of the picture, really out of the picture, a coalition government can be formed in South Vietnam, a cease-fire can take place, the war is over, and you can get your prisoners back. It is all really quite simple." The Soviets, of course, are cynical. M MUM SCANML MMNNO VULCMO AND GHH.UNA MEMMSSI -- Italian newspapers UttllUlflYlf day recounting the bizarre yet enthralling love affair between a convicted murderer and the attractive female deputy director of Rebibbia, Rome's new model prison. The murderer is Marino Vulcano, 39, a balding, sensitive Casanova, described as "a genius with the charm of the devil." Vulcano is serving a 14-year sentence for shooting his mistress in 1964. He claims he was in a trance when he committed the murder. The deputy director of Rebibbia prison is Giuliana Meograssi, 30, a criminol- ogist and one of only four women in the Italian prison service. She is brilliant, understanding, hardworking and sympathetic, so sympathetic, in fact, that she fell in love with Vulcano when he was assigned to work in her office. Even though Giuliana Meograssi is a career woman, one Rome newspaper wrote that behind her facade of paying attention only to business, "there was her woman's heart of butter to be found in every age, at all times, ready to yield to the refined seducer, the Latin lover on whom the sun never sets." It turns out the prisoner and the female prison- director engaged in assignations in his cell while a neighboring inmate " stood watch, alerting the lovers by walkie-talkie. The love affair came to li^ht when Roman police inadvertently picked up seme strange high frequency wave signals from within the prison walla. They investigated and learned what was going on. Quickly they transferred Marino to another prison, while Giuliana resigned, taking refuge with her lover's mother. There she helps care for Marino's three illegitimate children (including one by the murdered mistress) and prepares to argue her lover's appeal. To inquisitive reporters, Giuliana replies that hers is only "an ordinary love " affair," but the Italian government disagrees. Under Article 520 of the penal code she has been charged with "carnal conjunction committed abusively in the course of duty as a public official," for which'she faces a one-to-five year prison sentence. The Roman public, however, is generally sympathetic to the ill-starred lovers. One newspaper polled its readers, 48 percent of whom thought Giuliana should not be punished. "Maybe she did wrong," one housewife wrote, "but only because she chose one from so many. And the others, poor things?"
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