The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on May 5, 1970 · Page 6
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May 5, 1970

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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 6

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Tuesday, May 5, 1970
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ToK., May 8, 1970 An Independent Netcspapcr Cofixs, President lofit Cwits, Quanta* «/ At Boari onrf KtffiMttB MAcDoSAtft, DAVTO Kxwroanttt, G**«ra{ A, EMMS Htiftt, MttMgiAg Editor LAOWH Sottf, JSMorfoJ PigaMur LocM H. Nowftis, Busineu Matiagtr Bombing Resumption Next? Unusually heavy American bombing in North Vietnam last week raised the whether the 18-month bombing Is~~linrih~effecT." :: The~ Pentagon— insists that it is. North Vietnam is not so sure. The Pentagon insists that it was simply "augmented protective reaction" to destroy batteries which were attacking American reconnaissance planes flying over North Vietnam. The Pentagon says . the action will not te repeated, unless there is a new build-up and new attacks , oh reconnaissance planes. ' But at least two American reporters got the idea that American targeting was now extended from attacking anti, aircraft batteries to selected North Vietnamese supply dumps. The dumps are thick in the North Vietnamese "panhandle and some were believed hit. The "understanding" on which the bombing halt was based was understood different ways. The North Vietnamese side.understood that the United States was stopping the bombing, uncon- s dltionally,' without a time limit. The United States said that it could not continue the bombing halt if North Vietnam shelled South Vietnamese. cities or violated the Demilitarized Zone, and that it intended- Jo__continue reconnaissance- flights by unarmed planes. ......... North Vietnam, said the United States had no right to overfly and it must make no condition for halting the bomb- Ing. The United States agreed these ' would not be formal conditions, but asked if North Vietnam heard and understood what it was saying. North Viet' nam did — but no conditions! The United States continues to call them conditions. Defense Secretary Melvin Laird said last week that the condi- tions were being reasonably well observed. Reconnaissance planes get fired on fr6tn the-ground and occasionally in the past from the air. So for a long time America's "unarmed reconnaissance planes" have been accompanied by heavily armed fighter-bombers, which attack enemy planes and ground batteries whenever they threaten the reconnaissance planes. The 120-plane raid last week, the Pentagon says, was just more of the same, and there has been no change in American policy on hostilities in North Vietnam since the bombing halt of 1968. But the raid was on such a large scale that naturally it raises questions about the whole policy, which has been ambiguous. "•' * * * The Pentagon has always wanted to attack "privileged sanctuaries" in North Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Presidents have listened, and often said no, fearing to widen the war. During the Korean War, Gen. Douglas MacArthur got a whole new war when he talked President Truman into letting him cross into North Korea to wipe out the enemy — and he tried hard to talk _the_President-lnto_letting -him—bomb._ over the border in China, too. In the Vietnam war, the Pentagon has succeeded in getting White House, approval for bombing in Laos and a secret ground war there by U.S.-trained Meo tribesmen. It succeeded in getting White House approval for an open ground-air incursion by Americans and South Vietnamese Into Cambodia. 1 It would be no surprise if the Pentagon pushed for resumption of the bombing of North Vietnam. "I Unintended School Aid Changes The Iowa school financing set-up createU~inT1967"is7such. a~ complicated maze that changing a few words without careful study can be risky. —The-Legislature-made-such -8-change- in its rush to adjourn this year — and altered school aid distribution in ways which legislators didn't intend. The law change requires that pupils attending a private school be counted as part of the average public school enrollment of the district where they live. The sponsors wanted to increase the weight given the number of private pupils in distributing state equalization aid (HIS million next year) to increase aid for districts with larger than average . proportions of private pupils. (Districts with less than average proportions of private pupils will get less.) But the change will have unintended impact on limits on the amount of spending which qualifies for state aid. The limits are based on cost per pupil in . average enrollment. The limits are of two kinds. One, which has been part of the law from the beginning, allows a district to increase costs per pupil so much from one,, year to the next This is called the "allowable increase" and is set at $53 per pupil - next year. Counting the number of private school pupils as part of the public school enrollment will enable districts with private school pupils to qualify for larger spending increases'!or the public. schools without regard to the need for the public schools to boost spending. The 1970-Legislature-also-seta_ceiling— on the per pupil costs (regardless of year-to-year increases) which qualify for state aid. That ceiling is 120 per cent of the state average per pupil cost, or $860 per pupil this year. Districts affected are primarily small ones which have an unusually high cost because of their size. Counting private pupils will mean that next year's spending ceiling will be the same for a district with no private school pupils as it is this year. But the spending ceiling for a district with private pupils will be raised, In effect, $860 for each private school pupil in the projected 1970-71 enrollment total. Private school pupils are a factor In the total cost for elementary and secondary education paid by a community. They are a valid factor to consider in determining a community's financial resources per child on which distribution of the $115 million in state equalization aid is, based. But the effect of Including children not in public school to determine how much a school district should spend on children in public school is undesirable and should be corrected by the next Legislature. Pressure on New Haven Trial The two-day rally in New Haven, Conn., last week to protest the murder trial of eight Black Panthers drew a smaller-than-expected crowd, and there was no serious violence. In anticipation of trouble, the governor called out the National Guard and arranged for 4,000_ Army paratroopers and Marines to be flown to New England for stand-by duty. Sponsors of the demonstration deserve credit for their efforts to keep it nonviolent, but they deserve nothing but condemnation for holding--the protest rally. The case of Black Panther nation-. al chairman Bobby Seale and bis seven co-defendants is now before thenwurts in the form of pre-trial bearings. Demonstrations intended to pressure and influence the .courts .are wholly in"compatible with the American system of justice. The system requires that verdicts be rendered solely on the facts presented in court, Efforts to inflame public opinion or in any way shape the outcome are improper. This is as true of the white mob outside a Southern court house demanding the death of a Negro prisoner as it is of the crowd in New Haven demanding release of the Black Panthers. The New Haven rally was adjacent to the Yale University campus, but it was not sponsored or organized by the university. However, Yale threw open 12 residential colleges for housing for the demonstrators and offered to provide A ood for-them, While stressing thaj; the university's concern was primarily for a fair trial, Yale President JOngman Brewster, jr., said the school could hot "turn its back" on the demonstrators. Earlier Brewster said he was "skeptical of the.ability of black revolution_ aries to achieve a fair trial anywhere in the United States." He later told the New Haven trial judge he hadn't meant to "disparage the legal System" and was sorry his statement had been "so distressful to you." The judge had reason to be distressed by Brewster*s remarks and by the strike by Yale students that preceded the two- day rally. Disparaging comments, strikes and demonstrations on the eve of a trial are not the way to achieve a fair trial. The public as well as the defendants are entitled to a fair Mai of the issues. We are surprised that Yale would lend itself in any way to conduct inimical to the proper administration of justice. Strategic Loss in Laos The war in Laos does not stop just because American attention is now focused on Cambodia. On Apr. 80 North Vietnamese armed forces took Attopeu, a provincial capital in southeastern Laos, on the Sekong River. So now the Viet Cong have access to the Sekong, which is connected with the Mekong River - and th« North Vietnamese forces guarding the Ho Chi Minh trail now have a cleared waterway all the way down into the areas of eastern Cambodia where North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces are dominant. For Laos itself, Attopeu is small loss, except for pride. Hitherto the North Vietnamese and Pathet Lao forces have not taken and held any of the principal towns of the Mekong or Sekong valley rice areas. Attopeu, with its 10,000 regular inhabitants plus 20,000 refugees, nearly -fr- - ' surrounded by North Vietnamese forces, has been a liability rather than an asset to Laos in the material sense. Bat its loss to the North Vietnamese improves fOffiTOgijcfttlong with the North Vietnamese in Cambodia. 1%t attack was part of the wider Indochina war. We have all kinds of laws requiring. registration of persons buying 9*nmwi- tipn which is almost totally used for legal purposes. But what about records on the purchase of explosives which are immensely more destructive?—Spencer Sunday Times. What's needed is an dectroaic button which when pressed mil temporarily paralyze the speech organ ol « bore- some tnd repetitious guest—Iowa FoUi Ciifeea. LETTERS io the EDITOR Cambodian Called 'Juvenile' To I'M Editori ~ One ot the terrible things about 'the recent escalation of the war into .Cambodia is that it may be seen as a direct result of the "neurotic anti-Communist attitude that Nixon himself helped to propagate in the late '40s and early '50s. If our view of Communism's threat were not so "distorted, we would have been able to see in -prince. Sihanouk/ just as we should have been able to see in Ho Chi Minn, a nationalist leader with^ broad and strong support from his people. Then, by rrianaging to avoid panic at the very mention of Communism, we could have supported and cultivated the governments of those heroes and helped them to establish independent, nationalistic political systems vigorously opposed to any threats to" their sovereignty by the Russians or the Chinese. .The simple black-and-white world that is seen by Nixon and his group ... leads to the adoption of immature and uncivilized brute-force solutions to our problems in foreign relations . . . This is a time when it is particularly Important for people to let the President know that they abhor and reject this, juvenile approach to the most -momentous and complex kind of problems that mankind has ever had to face. — Norman L. Thomas, associate professor of philosophy, Simpson College, Indianola, la. \^ Supports Nixon On Cambodia ._To.th« Editor! — The headline "Cambodia Move Draws. Fire" [Apr. 30] Is just like waving a red flag in front of an angry bull — fanning the flames of the anti-war draft-dodgers, militants, etc. I. think it would better have read "President Nixon Makes Decision on Cambodia" and let people decide for themselves after reading what he had to say'.... It makes me ill when I see people stab our President fa the back — why not give him a chance? I am for him and hope and pray he succeeds in spite of a do-nothing Congress. —'.Mrs. Myrtle M. Tteanor, 440 Derbyshire rd., Waterloo, la. 50701. Says Sihanouk's Neutrality Served Indochina Better Than Bigger War STANLEY KARNOW By Stanley Karhow HONG KONG - Barely six 'month's ago, when he still was Cambodian chief of state, Prince Sihanouk Iayjshly_entef« tained Princess Marga- f ret and Lord Showden. Today, ranged alongside Mao Tse-tung, he.-is] calling for Communist escalation throughout Indochina. As a personal act, > Si- hanouk's switch from royalist to revolutionary is,. comprehensible 1 enough. .Profoundly humiliated at'having been ousted by subordinates, he sought refuge in Peking arid has since succumbed to Red Chinese influence. In a far deeper sense, though, his dramatic transformation is" "symptomatic of a significant change taking place in the Indochinese peninsula. For Sihanouk- is a victim of a polarization that is rapidly gaining momentum in the region. This momentum, unless arrested, could propel everyone involved toward a wider conflict that nobody in his right mind can rcnlly want. • Tempting Option The Allied attack against North Vietnamese and Viet Cong sanctuaries in Cambodia, for example, may prompt the retreating Communists to threaten Stanley Karnow is chief-of the Hong Kong Bureau of the Washington Post news service. P h n o m Penh and thereby evoke screams for help from the Cambodian government that the White House could not easily ignore. Meanwhile, the Communists' violation* of the 1969 ceasefire line in 'southern Laos is .worrying the Thais and might actuate them to cross the Mekong River in order to defend their eastern frontiers. . One of President Nixon's most tempting' options in the event of a spreading war is to resume U.S. bombings of North Vietnam, as he'may, in fact, be doing with the weekend raids by 120 bombers against supply bases north of • the-Demilitarized Zone.. Among Jhe possible Communist responses would be stronger offensives in Laos and Cambodia as well as South Vietnam. Indochinese Conflagration Thus the chances are very real at present that an assortment of seemingly minor operations, each launched for limited objectives, may build up Into a larger Indochinese conflagration. Ironically, it was Sihanouk perhaps more than any other Indochinese leader who appreciated the hazards of polarization. A clearcut confrontation between the major forces, he realized,. would turn the area into a battlefield on which local peoples stood to lose no matter which side won. Therefore, he • constantly shifted his tactics in a tireless effort to keep in equilibrium the pressures working .against him. Or as he himself described it, his strategy to maintain a "balance of menaces." Until recently, Sihanouk's idea of juggling the major forces appeared to be tempting other. Southeast Asian leaders as the prospect of an American withdrawal from the area loomed. An increasing Soviet presence, in the region, for instance, suggested a countervailing weight to offset China. The phenomenal resurgence of Japan, particularly in the economic field, also offered the possibility of new alignments. Hard-Liners Revived In addition, the end of Mao's tu- Jnultugus. _culturaL-revolution—and- the- emergence of a more pragmatic leadership group in Peking aroused conjecture thatChina Itself mightadopra conciliatory attitude toward its neighbors in the future. To assert that the current Indochina crisis has irrevocably reversed this trend would be premature. What is clear at the moment, however, is that the crisis has given the hard-line Communists a fresh lease oh life. •The fact that Chinese Premier Chou En-lai was the guest of honor at the so- called "summit conference of the In- dochinese peoples" a week ago indicates ..that Hanoi may be .edging closer to Peking's tough policy. Burtk, Chicago imj-Tlmt* "Come on in! The quicksand's fine!" Now serving as China's surrogate among the Indochinese Communists, Si- hanouk outlined the Peking policy in no uncertain terms in his speech at the summit meeting. Tragedy Of Region Confessing,to the "error" of having believed in "peaceful co-existence," he rejected diplomacy, negotiations- and even "frjendly neutrality" as. methods for dealing with the United States. The only valid approach to "imperialists," he said, is "armed struggle." The North Vietnamese, who" face serious economic and political problems -at-home,-are-evtdently-reluctant-to--b&=- come engulfed in a bigger war.i that would further drain their resources^ and make them more dependent oh Peking. But, just as President Nixon canpot consider the notion of even a camouflaged American defeat, so the. Vietnamese Communists refuse to '-back away from challenges that they .fear might subvert their hope for an eventual victory. „ •,! In retrospect, then, the ambiguous, and often exasperating maneuvers pursued by Sihanouk before his .downfall look better than ever. If the present collision course in Indochina continues, his own tragedy may symbolize the tragedy, of a region. An 'Outrage 9 To flit Editor! ... From the days of Joe McCarthy . down to the present, we have lumped all Communist and liberal reform movements, particularly of the eastern world, together as though all Communism (or all socialism even) were alike —even monolithic. As a matter of fact, purported Communist countries, their regimes, and then- problems of social reform have never been alike — to say nothing about some of their centuries-long mutual hatreds, having nothing to do with Communism. The Departments of State and Defense I feel sure have been well aware of these facts and have Ignored them, unpatriotically, in the interests of the military and their supporters. Now, President Nixon's Cambodian announcement is to me, as a private citizen, a downright outrage. — Richard C. Spencer, emeritus professor of political science, Coe College, 3037 Henderson ave. S.E., Cedar Rapids, la. 52403. Blames Soviet To th« Edlfon . .. . ...... „ In 'my opinion, our failure to support these people who are willing to fight for -themselves is in essence turning them over to Communist domination and will be a signal to all of the non-Communist people in Asia and Africa that subjugation is the only future for them. But for Soviet encouragement and large-scale arms assistance to the North Vietnamese the trouble in Southeast Asia would be relatively minor. Perhaps you might explore the possible consequences should this country stop all military aid to all countries. There is little "doubt in my mind but that gradually those groups supported by the Soviet Union would dominate the world. — Eldon L. Cotton, 718 Higley bldg., Cedar Rapids, la. 52402. 'Betrayed' Pledges To th« Editor: President Nixon's latest moves in Laos and now Cambodia are betrayals of all those who believed his campaign promises of ending the war . . . It is tune, our President leveled with us, the people he has pledged to serve. Is ha really trying to get the United States out of Vietnam or are bis troop withdrawals only appeasing tactics while he plays for time with American lives. A majority of congressmen and the American public want us out of southeast Asia. When is Mr. Nixon going to start listening to us? — Larry Eagerman, 1528 ave. D, Fort Madison, la. JOSEPH KRAFT By Joseph Kraft CLEVELAND, OHIO - "There's no such thing as the New Politics," says Gov. James Rhodes. "It's just a lot of people who have nothing to offer, so they call it new." That comment expresses the chief importance off the race between Rhodes and Representative Robert Taft, jr., for the Republican nomination for the Senate in the Ohio primary today. It's a test for the Old Politics. • Rhodes is a true heir of the Republican machine put together in the 1890s by Mark Hanna and the Ohio Gang. He worked his way up the political ladder as county leader, ma^or of Columbus, state auditor, and governor. Platitudes And Jokes A Rhodes dinner here in Cleveland the other day w a ^'almost a caricature of the Old Politics. More than 50 ward leaders from Cleveland and suburbs were introduced. Then candidates for judicial office. Then some other officeholders. Then the governor. He started with a couple of jokes ..about the dinner costing 98 cents. He advised everybody to distribute sample ballots. He compared college education unfavorably with vocational education. He hit bard on the importance of jobs. On forejgn policy* Rhodes reminded the crowd of the money raised to help Richard Nixon broadcast about the offshore islands of Quemoy and Matsu in the 1960 presidential campaign. "And ROBERT TAFT, JR. what did we carry that year?" he asked. "Quemoy and Matsu." The high point came with the local issues — raised lovingly and hi great detail. Rhodes announced — for the nth time during the day — that he was stopping construction on a part of the Interstate highway due to run through the very wealthy suburb of Shaker Heights. He called on the mayor of Shaker Heights to stand up. When the crowd cheered, Rhodes declared that blocking the construction was "the equal of the Crusades and the Renaissance combined." Invokes Father Taft, by ; comparison, is New Politics incarnate, As son of the late Senator Taft and grandson of President Taft, be has a great family name and he plays it to the hilt. During a television debate the other night in Toledo, he twice began responses to Rhodes with ""the" words: "Myfather..,," He has lots of money and a 'personal campaign organization staffed by bright young people, including two attractive daughters. (His television adviser is the man who advised Nixon in 1960 — Roger Ailes.)Like most New Politicos, Taft entered the field early. Campaigning through the winter months, he developed solid positions - for "irreversible" withdrawal from Vietnam to set off against Rhodes's support of Lyndon Johnson; for help to education as an offset to .the number of schools closing in Ohio for lack of funds; for cleaning up pollution as an offset to the fact that Lake Erie became known as one of the world's dirtiest waterways while Rhode?'was governor. Rhodes's Skeleton To be sure, Taft Is not the most warm and dynamic of political leaders; but he is plainly intelligent and honorable. His campaign has projected an image with proven appeal in Ohio — the image of sturdy good sense fighting against the corrupt system. The issue, Taft Insists, is "the Old Politics vs. integrity." •• The word "integrity" rattles the chief skeleton in the Rhodes closet -*• the matter of charges made In a Life magazine article that Rhode* consorted with Mafia members. Even thpugh contested in a libel suit, those charges have a special potency since the probable Democratic candidate for the Senate will be the famous astronaut John Glenn "How," Taft supporters ask, "can Rhodes run against Mr. Clean himself?" With that kind of question lurking in the shadows, predictions are not worth much. The form sheet shows-Taft slightly ahead, but Rhodes now has the momentum. He may yet catch Taft,- and even win big. ~ But that is not the point. The point is that in large parts of the country the old organization politics still has clout, . Links Import Quotas, Higher Prices still life 9 An editorial in the WaU Street Journal. TT 7ILBUR MUls, with his considerable VV prestige, gave protectionism a strong push by introducing a bill to impose import quotas on shoes and textiles. In both cases his measure would mean sharply reduced shipments and, almost inevitably, higher prices fpi; consumers. The sentiments of the Ways and Means Committee chairman are, of course, shared by nearly all of those lawmakers who have constituents troubled by import competition. It's a safe bet that some of them will try to extend quotas to other products. Most of the legislators nonetheless claim they are not catering to special interests but trying to nerve the general pubUe. Senator Norria Cotton was taking this line in a floor speech the other day. Those low prices the foreign companies offer, the senator said, are illusory. "History has shown" that as soon as the foreign firms destroy their American competitors they raise their prices. Quotas Mean Higher Prices "So some of our friends who, in complete sincerity are saying 'I do not want quotas, I do not want any restrictions in imports because I am for the consumer," really, to the long run, are not for the consumer at all, because as soon as we impair our own productiveness for the consumer and have to rely on imports of any kind, then the prices on those imports go back up and the consumer is in trouble. Is that not true?" In a word, no. What actually means trouble for consumers is to have politicians deciding just how many of this or that he is going to be allowed to buy from here or there. As far as the consumer isyconcerned, quotas are likely to mean "that prices go up now, not in soirie mysterious future. Feeble Source Of Jobs If foreign and domestic products are interchangeable, sharp restrictions on forejgn supply are likely to make the higher domestic price the price paid- in the cases of textiles and shoes, many products aren't interchangeable; fashion can be a factor. la such instances a curb on supply, in the face of high demand, probably would also mean higher prices for imports now, not in the future. — As for that future, it's surely a gloomy view to assume that foreign firms can or will drive their American competitors out of business. If it were possible, it would be evident that the United States was wasting a lot of its scarce resources that it bad better find more productive ways to use elsewhere. An industry that cant stand on it* own feet without heavy protection is still a feeble source of long-run jobs. The Administration has already proposed extensive assistance to industries and employes in such straits, and Mills's bill would do much the fame. Such corporate welfare schemes could easily get out of hand, but they still make more sense than massive efforts to reorder world trade by compulsion. And, make no mistake about it, many lawmakers really want to order world trade to their liking. Several senators recently wrote President Nixon to complain of the "unsavory" practice of shipping meat from Australia and land to Canada ani across the border. Insulting To Public U.S. inflation obviously has Increased the troubles of U.S. producers, by.,both boosting their costs and otafr|fjg the American market more attractive to foreign suppliers. Along with a lot of other damage, though, a sweeping extension of price-boosting quotas could only make the inflation problem worse We would quarrel less with the quota- minded lawmakers if they would freely concede they were trying to protect certain of their constituents. If 9 a little insulting to the public, however, to nave • tiie legislators portray themselves as the consumer's pals.

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