The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on January 16, 1967 · Page 5
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 5

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Monday, January 16, 1967
Page 5
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Blythevine (Ark.) Courier News — Monday, January 1», 1MT — Pag« Fhrg Training for a High Position by simply donning a cute little air stewardess cap. „.,-. In a rigorous training program they learn everything from quieting nervous elderfy passengers to fending off amorous males. They serve meals in airplane mockups in preparation for the airborne dinner hour sad practice emergency procedure, such as learning mouth- to-mouth resuscitation on a dummy as pictured above. They learn dozens of talents in preparation for the day when they board an. airliner for their first flight, as the three grads at upper right are doing. Firefighttog, hopefully, will never confront the average stewardess. Bat in ease it does, training includes learning to me a fire extin- Fellow classmates serve as passengers to dramatizing some of the situations that will confront the stewardess. Girt on her knees is pot' teasing a seeing,eye dog. ; v. jv*u^hOu.i™. - -Even the well-groometl look didn't come by accident. Trainees undergo consultation with a make-up expert to learn how to make the scenery aboard a plane attractive, even at 30,00 feet and above Thailand Fighting Communist Insurgents EDITOR'S NOTE-Thailand, one of the United States' staunches! allies in Southeast Asia, is fighting a Communist nsurgcnt movement that some observers fear could embroil he country in a Vietnam-type conflict. Fred Hoffman, mili- ary affairs writer for The Associated Press, went to Thai- and to survey the situation. This is the first of a four-part series. By FRED HOFFMAN BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) After years of temporizing, Thailand is finally coming to grips with the growing threat of Communist terrorism in its northeast, U.S. officials believe. A majority of American offi- jials here agree that the guerrilla movement, backed by Red Wna and North Vietnam, can be contained without a major commitment of U.S. forces and without a minor insurgency developing into a wide open struggle like that in Vietnam. But Thai and U.S. officials alike add that chances for success here hinge in a large measure on a satisfactory conclusion to the war in Vietnam. The main soft spot of Communist pressure lies in six provinces of the northeast, a huge bulge that embraces 15 of Thailand's 71 provinces. * * * The six most sensitive provinces are Sakol Nakorn, Nakorn Phanom, Udorn, Ubpl, Nongh- kahi and Loey. The worst areas are in Sakol Nakorn and Nakorn Phanom, wide open to Communist infiltration across the sluggish Mekong River, which forms Thailand's border with Laos for about 500 miles. This is a wild and remote region peopled by rice farmers, woodcutters, and hunters. The northeast in general has poor soil, is short of schools, health facilities and good roads. It has been left out of the pros- perity enjoyed by many of the 32 million Thais. The peasants and villagers of the northeast have had slight contact with the Thai government, except for an occasional policeman or tax collector. Often the policeman was a preda- :or rather than a protector. The Communists have basically been exploiting a vacuum," a U.S. diplomat says. The Bangkok government is trying to redress this, with the help of about $43 million a year in U.S. economic aid. + * * About 85 per cent of the U.S. economic and technical aid is pointed toward counterinsurgency. So is much of the $60 million in military aid, which was increased this year at the urging of Ambassador Graham Martin. Attempts by Peking to foment a Communist takeover of Thailand go back to early 1950 when a "Free Thai Movement" was set up in China, using disgruntled Thai expatriates. Tilings took a serious turn in November 1964, when Radio Hanoi announced formation of a "Thailand Independence Movement." A clandestine radio calling itself, "the Voice of the Thai people" raised the intensity of its propaganda onslaught. The broadcasts originated outside Thailand probably in China. * * * In 1965, Red China told the world the "Thai Patriotic Front" was in business. The front later absorbed the year- old independence movement. The first clash between That security patrols arid an armed Communist band in Thailand was recorded in the fall of 1955. This was followed by more than 100 skirmishes in the ensuing year. Most were quite small but a couple' of bigger firefights last winter jolted the Bangkok government some 350 miles away. There are no confident esti- mates of the Communist armed strength in the northeast. *• *• »• A top U.S. military officer said his guess would be aboat 1,000—"give or take 25 per cent." This officer has access to the most complete intelligence information available, but he concedes: "Our intelligence net has ;reat gaps." According to statistics collect sd in Saigon, there were about J5.000 Viet Cong members is •ate 1960. This doubled within * year. The estimate of about 1.000 insurgents puts Communist rebel strength in Thailand well be- iow what it was in South Vietnam in December I960, when the National Liberation Front- was founded. . \ Next: Thailand and Vietn a m comparison. WORLD ALMANAG FACTS -U Timbuktu, now a town of only 7,500 population in the African country of Mali, was once a large and thriv» center, says Ofce World Almanac. In the 16th century, the city rose to splendor as a major caravan market dealing in gold, ivory, salt and gum. Great mosques were built : and the city even supported a university which became a center of Moslem culture* 100 «ASI MAWJK sags*?* ^S*« r 4 *»«S!SsSfe-' •^ «»«rsss^ B.9W"57' sw*££a** ^ss-^- . ®

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