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

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

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Wednesday, May 6, 1970
Page 6
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W.d., M«y i, l?70 An independent Newspaper Covrtts, President JOBS Cowtxs, Chairman of (Aft Board Koweta MieftoftAiJ, Editor out DATO» ftratMafift, Gttunl Uatoget A. EsWHB HtiM, AToMgAtf Editor LuBfRftK Sow, EdittrM Pagt Editor Lorn* H. NORMS, Businett Manager 1 _,.- . Death on the Campus The student peace protests turned ugly," blood red and tragic on the campus of Kent State University where Ohio National Guardsmen killed four students and wounded 11 others. r _The.destruction of these young lives is a dreadful-waste. The-shootings.; were preceded by a student demonstration Saturday and the fire-bombing of the Kent ROTC building. The students gathered Monday in violation of a ban against demonstrations ordered by the governor and threw rocks before the Guardsmen opened fire. Guardsmen claim they fired after shots were fired at them. Activists justify violence on the ground that the national government is engaged in violence in an immoral war on the other side of the world. Concern about the war may explain resort to violence, but it cannot justify it. Firebombing, mob action, property destruction and other illegal conduct cannot be tolerated. But there is a proper and improper -way-to react-to-disorder.-Poltce in Iowa City used restraint and common sense Tuesday in responding to violence, with the result that the demonstration there was broken up with a minimum of injury to persons. The evidence is strong that the National Guard used far more force than was required on the Kent \State campus. \More than two years ago, the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders described the discipline required to deal with hostile crowds. It was speaking of ghetto disorders, but the lessons apply to campus violence. The commission declared : ^ ^ "Officers at the scene of a ghetto disorder are likely to suffer vilification, and to be the targets for rocks or bottles. Nevertheless.j)0lice discipllne_must be sufficienHyltrong so that an individual officer is not provoked into unilateral action. He must develop sufficient confidence in himself and his fellow officers to avoid panic or the indiscriminate — and inflammatory — use of force that has sometimes occurred in the heat of disorder." The regular Army troops which helped quiet the far more dangerous 1967 Detroit rioting were not permitted to'carry loaded weapons. Mass firing was forbidden. When authorized to load their weapons, troopers had strict orders not to fire unless they could see the specific person at whom they were aiming. These restraints on hardened, professional soldiers were not imposed on the Ohio National Guardsmen. Their weapons were loaded. Their commanding officer said they were given no specific order to fire, but .that a "guardsman has the option to fire if he feels his life is in danger." ., All it took; then,-was for fear to over* come a few guardsmen. Shots aimed into the air were followed quickly by M-l slugs leveled into the crowd of students. The victims were random, unselected. . The fault here is not with individual guardsmen, but with riot-control plans which place live ammunition at the fingertips of such poorly supervised men. The great danger now is that the Kent violence will spawn even more violence. We hope the tragedy will show students the deadly results which can occur in an atmosphere of violence. We hope it will -show lawmen-the. heart-sickening results *a quick-trigger-can produce. \ Tw6\Pictures of Cambodia When the new Lon Nol government of Cambodia was making a case\or its request of arms and military equiprnent from foreign governments, it asserti that three eastern provinces were al- N most 100 per cent under control of North Vietnamese and Viet Cong armed forces (diagonal shading on map below at left). It said that five more provinces were more than half under their control (dotted shading on same map). When President Nixon was making a case for sending five task forces of American and South Vietnamese Army ""and Air Force men to "clean up" enemy base areas in the edge of Cambodia, he used a map, below at right, showing just five little splotches on the border. The two maps look contradictory. But they show different things. The Nixon map shows the established base areas, which are necessarily small — though qujte,.mobile, as American troops are finding. The other map shows areas into which small bands of North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces have pushed to seize river crossings and block key roads. Major towns are generally on main roadsNThe North Vietnamese have "taken" some, (in the sense that they met no resistance\and bypassed others. But if the road is Blocked at some point between them andvlhe capital, they are no longer under effective control of the Cambodian government. Use of the maps depends partly on the point to be made. Lon Ifol's point was: Things are terrible! HelpTSHelp! President Nixon's point was: There are just these five little spots\We can clean them out In six weeks or s6v LEftERS to the Mitchell Speaks Up for High Court Atty. Gen. John Mitchell's Law 'Day address lasLweek was a ringing defense of the U.S. Supreme Court. The attorney general called for an end to "irresponsible and malicious criticism" of the high court. He spoke favorably of the court's ruling in the controversial Miranda confession case. He said "all responsible citizens" agreed with the fundamental principle behjnd the court's decision and its rulings' on desegregation, obscenity, reapportionment and separation of church and state. Mitchell declared: "The lesson we should draw from history is that extremist critics of the court have vastly overreacted and that most of the basic principles enunciated by the court have proved to be the best course for the nation to follow." The tone and content of Mitchell's - speecb^reTn'contrastto^'resident Nixon's speechmaking during the 1968 campaign. Nixon hit tod on the crime issue and spared the Supreme Court no punches. He ridiculed the high court for erecting "Dickensian legalisms" and declared: 'The Miranda and Escobedo decisions of the high court have had the effect of seriously hamstringing the peace forces in our. society and strengthening the criminal forces ,.. The barbed wire of legalisms that a-majority of -one of the Supreme Court ha? erected to protect a suspect from invasion of his rights has effectively shielded hundreds of criminals from punishment as provided in the prior laws ... Recent decisions of the court have tipped the balance against the peace forces in this country, and strengthened the criminal forces ,.. I say it is the court's duty to protect legitimate rights, but not to raise unreasonable obstacles to the enforcement of the law." ' The attorney general expressed concern that the current attacks on the Supreme Court.cou.ld erode respect for the Bill of Rights. He urged that public debate over the court be conducted "in a responsible and restrained manner, calculated to increase public respect for the court rather than to undermine it." That is sound and responsible advice. We wish it had been offered and followed during the 1968 campaign. We assume it reflects a sober second thought about the wisdom of making the nation's highest court an object of campaign oratory and political attack. Opinion Shift on School Integration The number of Southern white parents who object to having their children attend school with Negroes has dropped sharply in the past seven years. George Gallup, whose polls have recorded this change in attitude since 1963, calls it "one of the most dramatic shifts in the history of public opinion polling." In 1963, more than 60 per cent of the paronfs jntpj-yjpWttj . fihjfffed to. children attending school with even a fevr Negroes. Only 16 per cent voice that objection now v In 1963, over three-fourths objected to having their children in a school with half Negro enrollment. Less than half (43 per cent) object now. Though 69 per cent would still object to a school that is more than half Negro, this is a marked drop from the 86 per cent who said they would object seven years ago. Most white parents, in the North as well as South, still object to sending their children to predominantly black schools, other polls show they also object to busing. Much iutegraiioa, remap" to be accomplished short of busing, afyj the Gallup Poll suggests, a healthy, growing public willingness to accept it. #0 Forum for 'Average Man'? To tti« Editor: While browsing through your Saturday paper it occurred to me that the average, and predominant, citizen really has no platform from which to -speak . . . One must either be a politician 1 , a dissident -demonstrator, a rapist-murderer, a sextuplet, or some other "non-average" wave-creator to possess a stand from which.to_barJkwhat_must come out as a minority report. The_rninor_ voice-finds that if it provides a violent vehicle for its message it is more apt to be heard . .. Ex-Governor Harold Hughes, with political motivations, asserts that, "It's Mr. Nixon's' war now!" This undoubt- Readers are invited to submit letters for publication to The Open Forum Editor, Des Moines Register, DCS Moines. la. 50304. Complete names and addresses are required. The editor re*, serves the rlgbt to shorten letters. Letters will not be returned. edly makes political sense, but logically it is as reasonable as asserting that the best-known" medical cure for the Asian flu is responsible for the infirmity which requires it. It is thinking akin to that of 'the dissident "student", who, having reached the age of puberty through no fault of his own, assumes that his yodeling vocal chords herald his intellectual bassdom as well. It is too bad that the minority occur- ences are what sell newspapers, and that the mislabeled "Silent Majority" opportunity to be heard is limited to the "Letters to the Editor" — where the Majority Report is more apt to be found — and in lower case! — R. 0. Ferguson, 111 Cottage Grove ave., S.E., Cedar Rapids, la. Says War Decision Up to Congress To tfio Editor! Richard Wilson's column in the May 4 Register entitled "Views Any Congressional Curb on War "as Disaster" is one of the least rational columns I have read in your paper in some time. -Wilson is opposed to congressional control over the President's foreign policy; using as a justification the. statement that these are times when "only hair-trigger action may save a modern nation from extinction." I do not feel any man, whether or not he is President, should have the power to employ "hair-trigger action" against any human being on earth. This concept certainly does not apply in the Indochinese war which has persisted now for over two decades. There is plenty of time to consult with others in this particular case, such as members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. - —„• Wilson insists that the Senate Foreign' Relations' 1 Committee should not determine when the U.S. would fight, where it would fight, 'and how it would fight. Admittedly, the Constitution makes the President commander-in-chief of the armed forces, enabling him to determine how the U.S. should fight. But that same Constitution also clearly makes Congress responsible for declaring war, a responsibility which implicitly carries with it the power to determine when and rfiere the U.S. should fight. . . Arguing Congress should not restrict the 'dent's actions in any way in foreign affairs js inconsistent with the government^ system we are supposed to have in this country. The Congress abdicated its responsibility in agreeujg, at a moment, of con- 'fusion arid ignorance and perhaps even deception, to the ,1964 Tonkin Gulf resolution. A few resolute leaders ar$ now admitting that error and planning to draw back to Congress the determinations of war and peace and further military Involvement. . , Surely it Is better to have a large body of men debate and make these decisions, rather than one man who may very well be totally wrong, w- John M.-Dx>bson, 2221 Donald St., Ames, la. 50010. Commends Wilson, Thankful for Nixon To th« Editor: . I wish to commend Richard Wilson on his columns, especially the one in the May 4 Register. I don't always agree with Nixon on all his decisions, but I am thankful we have a President who Is not swayed in his judgment by the atheistic, Communistic forces hi the streets of our nation... The leaders who make the most noise about poverty, freedom, race, etc., are the very ones who are in favor of bringing back immediately our military from Asia and so are saying to the Communists: "Here they are. You can have them, these freedom-loving people, to - enslave, kill or whatever you desire." Do these people who get out and march against our country truly want peace? War is horrible. I hate it, and I long for true peace. But violence is violence, whether in the war in Vietnam or in our streets and campuses. — Mrs. Milton Duesenberg, 101 N. Ninth st., Clear Lake, la. MM KOTH AGtNCV Oriham, ArKinsat Giutti, Llllla Rook "The CONGRESS shall have power" !~all this time I thought it was the CIA— "to declare war ..." Believes Nixon's Advisers Failed Him on Cambodia JOSEPH KRAFT By Joseph Kraft WASHINGTON, D.C. - Principal figures in the Administration are now planting all kinds of stories to justify the latest widening of the Indochina war. Not surprisingly, these "ex- j planations" range~~from fear the Communists would make Cambodia an invinclblrredoubt to hopes of dealing them a •hard blow that would* force serious peace ne-| gotiations. For, as- these contradictory arguments suggest, the real crisis has been in Washington, not Southeast Asia. This country floundered into Cambodia because of the weakness of men who knew much better. Consider, first, Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird. He is a politico of rare intelligence and resource. He is the chief architect of the Vietnamization policy for steadily scaling down. this country's role in the war, and he has reinforced that scaling ""down by a defense budget that tended to militate against other alternatives. Naked to His Enemies But Laird is a politician pure. He never has done anything else himself, and he is pleased to think that politics is the master 'of all subjects. He based his scheme for scaling down the fighting entirely on the political needs of this country. Otherwise he left all the strategic matters to the armed services. Far from gathering round his own office a group of independent strategy analysts, he vested these functions in a corps of right-wing clowns under Assistant Secretary Warren Nutter. So when the military served up the plan for widening the war, he did not have available the critical analysis that armed Secretaries Clark Clifford and Robert McNamara against the services. Laird was naked to his enemies. He seems not to have questioned the plan on military grounds at all He was lucky, as his retrospective special pleading now makes plain, to have headed off proposals .for an amphibious operation against North Vietnam. Then there is Secretary of State William Rogers. He is a man of strong judgment and good common sense. He knows that nothing which happened on , the^ground in Cambodia could .seriously affect the security of the United States. -He wanted very badly to contain the war. Pentagon's Man at State But Rogers took office with little knowledge of foreign affairs. He has not done the work required for a grasp of detailed problems. Rather, he has tend- ed to delegate to subordinates. That meant, in the present case, to Undersecretary U. Alexis Johnson. As everybody but Rogers seems to know, however, Johnson has. always been the Pentagon's man in the State Department. His idea of. planning for~a- problem is to work out contingency arrangements for u'se Of military force. He doesn't begin to know what it means to work out a large policy. So when the crunclrcame, State had no major course of diplomatic action to propose. It had . nothing. Still another case in point is the case of Henry Kissinger, the President's chief foreign policy adviser. Dr. Kissinger understands that the best way out of the war is through a negotiated settlement. He is not under the illusion, as so many of the military and their tribunes in the press seem to be, that enemy headquarters in Cambodia is a military installation. Nor does he share the connected illusion that enemy supply lines can be seriously damaged by bombing operations or border raids. Judicious Use of Force But Dr. Kissinger is the kind of fellow who thinks in terms of big production. He needs to build a cathedral of theory to discover the first article of his faith. He approaches practical problems through highly abstract models supposed to encompass all possibilities. Early on, he got hooked on the view that a judicious application of force would push the other side to negotiate. He has not yet reassembled all the pieces in a way that makes it possible for him to change his mind, so he let the Cambodian project go by — without truly intensive analysis — as a judicious application of force. Now he is stuck with the story that it will promote a negotiated settlement. To" be sure,'these advisers did not make the final decision themselves. The President did that, and the weakness that made him so .eager to accept the military'? proposals was apparent hi his speech. Who else would compare the present action with the historic deeds of Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Kennedy? Advisers Failed But Nixon's unavowed self-doubts — his inner conviction that people wanted, as he put it in a moment of highest candor, to kick nun around — is an old story. Nobody ever thought he would be a strong President, able to stand up alone to the pressures of the military. What is sad,* and what truly explains what has happened recently, is that hjs chief foreign policy advisers have failed him. Unless they begin to shape up, to act in accord with their serious responsibilities, then the widening of the war will continue and the patch ahead will be very bad indeed. Paying Lip-Service to Maturity Accuses Humphrey Of Double-Talk To the Editor: Former Vice-President Hubert Humphrey is again talking out of both sides of his mouth. Only last week he criticized President Nixon for the Cambodia situation and now he wants this country to give aid to Israel with modern weapons and especially supersonic aircraft because of his fears of Russia in Mideast affairs. The silent majority should give added thanks that Ms double talker blew the election. — Pail TyrreU, P.O. Drawer t, Manly, la. 50456. By Sydney Harris CHICAGO, ILL. - The head of a large company was complaining l<) me about the present generation's lack of respect for age. He compared it with his own time, and deplored our modern youth's contempt for anybody middle-aged or older. Yet this same man defends a rigid policy at hiscompany which compels employes over 65 to retire, no matter how active, bright, healthy or capable they are. While it is not official, his company will not hire anyone over 45 for a midclle management position. This is the attitude of most companies in our time — which is not only psychologically, socially and economically devastating for many men of 6S who still have a decade or more of productive life in them — but also increases the "dependency ratio" of ito-produc- tive people who are being supported either by the government or by the employed portion of the population, if we discard older men regardless of SYPMPY HARRIS RICHARD WILSON their individual worth, we are obliquely saying to young people that they are right in their disdain for age. We are confirming their belief that people get "useless" as they get older. Young people today, who reject the past out of hand, who have no patience with "tradition," seeing only its negative and not its positive aspects, take their leaf from our practices, not our preachments. If we profess individualism, but cut men off the payroll collectively at the same age, regardless of individual competence; and if we pay lip-service to "maturity" but deny responsible employment to men over 45, youth pay more attention—to our acts than to our words. . As we put older people out to pasture, instead of drawing on their experience and judgment, we are disvaluiqg age and tacitly concurring in the contemptuous attitude of youth toward its elders. Such contradictions within our soda* economic system play hob with all our pious platitudes about "reconciling the generations." By our own refusal to give status and dignity to older citizens, we lay the groundwork for the widespread contemporary heresy that youth is all. Says Defeat ef '• Texas Liberal Sign of Change ^-»«* VTH*-» , , • By Richard Wilson (Th« RWlsfei-* WailtinttM CorrMpamUnf) ".' WASHINGTON, D.C. - Shuddenr TSfr down the politically sensitive spine* i6f a half-dozen senators up for re_-ele<?fion this year with the defeat .for renomirtation of liberal x Democratic Senator Ralph W. Yarborough in Texas. —It—was—a—fair—an<H square defeat of a three-term Democratic senator who had aligned himself with the New. Politics, and Texas may' move on to implement further its judgment on modern times by electing the Republican nominee, Representative George Bush; ' •—.•'• As between Bush and the Democratic nominee who defeated YarborougH, foP- mer Representative Lloyd Bentsen-/jr., . there is not much ideological choice. Both would have been called moderately progressive a few years ago • and should be called that now because they stand against the retrogressive elements who condone or excuse violence and disorder. Others in Trouble „[ In another state another senator' finds himself in approximately the same*' position as Yarborough. Senator Albert Gore of Tennessee, foe of the Vietnam"War, foe of Carswell and Haynsworth, /and friend of the New Politics, is in trouble in a state where the old priorities still rank high. But this is not confinedjo the South. In the North there are Democrats who must measure the Texas results if. only for the reason that Yarborough's..hard core of support, ethnic groups and' organized labor, did not put themselves out to send him back to the Senate. •••• —That is of interest to Senator Harrison "Williams in New Jersey, to Philip A. Hart In Michigan, Vance Hartke in Ih^ diana, Joseph Montoya in New Mexico, Joseph Tydings in Maryland, WiUUam Proxmire in Wisconsin, to. name-some who are doing the .new thing on the basis of old political alignments which may be crumbling. v.. "Welkish "* -" Mass" The doctrine In the Nixon Administration is that the old alignments have crumbled and that this accounted for the election last year of Republican governors in New Jersey and Virginia. Even .more than last year President Nixon is drawing a hard line between himself and all the manifestations ^of new thought in politics. He has improved every opportunity, tp emphasize the difference between himself and ,the protestors. He ha^'Unleashed Vice-President Spiro Agnew to articulate in language with a high 'shock content the views of those who are . deemed to be the new majority —• those who feel no identity with the youth culture, the hippie culture, the drug ciil- 'ture, black or white racism, rampant 'sex, permissiveness and condoned racial and political violence. These have been called by one of Nixon's young geniuses in sociopb'Htfcs "the great, ordinary Lawrence Welkish mass of Americans from Maih'eT'.to Hawaii." The new majority doctrine has it that Middle America is fed up with establishment liberalism, phony revolu- tionarjes_ and freaky behavior and is creating a southern -western -suburban blue collar political base for President Nixon. •'•''".•' The Texas results certainly can ba Interpreted that way. Thought wilTh'ive to be given to the concept that the new majority Is rooted in the MidwesTand the prosperous corridors of Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. The blue collar part of new majority is a little harder to comprehend, Foundation Crumbling? '".'."" Whatever the explanation, Yarbgroiigh failed to carry one large labor-dominated county in Texas, but' that may not be typical of the whole country. After all, in the closing weeks of the last presidential campaign organized labor •nearly succeeded in defeating Nixon, so it cannot be proved that the old liberal- labor-ethnic coalition of the Democrats has completely fallen apart. There were some signs that the coal- tion was pulling back together again on the Carswell and Haynsworth nominations to the Supreme Court. So it was, as far as the leaders were concerned, but the Texas results raise the question of the foundation of the coalition crumbling under the weight of leaders who have misjudged public reactions. If this is the case, it probably is a mood more than anything else, a feeling on the part of voters that they do not like the current liberal establishment identification. Some polls show that the largest number of people now think of themselves as conservatives whereas it was formerly fashionable to be liberal. still life'

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