EDITOR’S NOTE: The following letter was sent to one of our subscribers who had sent Mich. Senator Philip Hart a copy of the speech given by Dr. Norman Pollack on U.S. participation in the war in Vietnam:
Dr. Pollack’s premise that “we are at war today because we cannot—or will not—solve the internal problems at home” is just all wrong. The first session of this congress enacted more social and economic legislation than any Congress since the early days of the New Deal, and the fear now is (not the pain, as Dr. Pollack seems to imply) that increasing costs in Vietnam will slow down full implementation of all these programs.
I am old enough to have lived through—and to remember—the ‘20s and ‘30s and the successive steps we took in reaction to Germany, Japan and Italy, always in the interests of peace and always with good reasons, but which probably cost us more in blood and resources ultimately than had we drawn the line earlier.
So we are in Vietnam now to demonstrate that wars of national liberation, supported from the outside by Communist powers, cannot be successful means of expanding spheres of control and domination. This point is understood by the North Vietnamese and the Chinese Communists. General Giap recently said: “If the special warfare that the United States imperialists are testing in Vietnam is overcome, it can be defeated everywhere in the world,” describing South Vietnam as a model-“in national liberation movements in our time.” Of course one should protest thoughtfully, as Dr. Pollack has done, what he believes to be our mistakes, but I hope we will not obscure the identity of the chief disturber of the peace. It is not the United States. Nor is it the United States who is unwilling to explore every possibility to arrive at a cease-fire and come to the conference table.
Sen. Philip A. Hart
In recent months much controversy has arisen over our policy in Viet Nam. The controversy revolves around the rightness of our government’s intentions in their war. Many in our country have voiced their disapproval of our stand through protest marches, sit-ins, petitions, and burning of draft cards. I too, had strongly voiced my disapproval, but after much consideration changed my mind as to my stand in the situation. I now feel that the demonstrations are harmful and may lead the Communist countries to believe that we do not support our government’s actions and thus serve to lengthen the war in Asia. This would only result in more American’s dying and could possibly leave me without a fiance. I am very much afraid of this.
I would think that more could be done to help the Vietnamese if the people of the United States as a whole backed up the president and put down the aggressor. I guess I agree with you that we should ‘bring the troops home.’ But let’s do it by supporting the government’s policy... not by destroying it.
Oak Park, Michigan
Congratulations on your first issue. I have often thought that Detroit’s two biggest lies are: The Detroit Free Press and “If you read the News you know.” Enter my name on your list and include our group among your friends.
The Parishfield Community