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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 30, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta The LetKbridge Herald Section Lethbridge, Alberta, Wednesday, May 30, 1973 Pages 31 to 42 Keeping the ceasefire in Sou th Vietnam is the job of teams of soldiers and officials from Poland, Hungary, Canada and Indonesia. How has this group from two sides of the global cold war fared? Here is an account by Associated P ress writer, Richard Blystone. Preserving Vietnam peace SAIGON (AP) The Inter- jational Commission of Control and Supervision plods toward the end of its fourth month in Vietnam, having supervised little and controlled nothing. The hopes that attended its founding are among its casu- alties since the signing of a ceasefire in Vietnam Jan. 27 in Paris. Instead of watching a reconci- liation, the ICCS is trying to keep out of the way of shells and bullets. It is powerless, di- vided and broke. Internal deadlocks along cold- war lines have paralysed it, and Vietnamese authorities on both sides have obstructed it. Canadian, Hungarian, In- donesian and Polish soldiers have been pennsd in and blocked out, cursed at and shot at. They are overworked and bored. The commission is reporte'd to have completed fewer than a dozen unanimous reports. It has had four men killed. One was a Canadian. Don't like it "I've been on three peace- keeping missions, and this is the worst by a long said one Canadian officer who asked for anonymity. Others had even stronger remarks. It has not been easy for any of the member powers, but the are credited with having done most of what little has been seem affected most by the frus- tration of Vietnam. Many, including some high of- ficials, favor going home. Oth- ers believe their efforts are worth only because things would be worse without them. The Canadian government de- cides at the end of this month whether to quit. Meanwhile the Canadians are making the best of the situ- ation. In Long Khanh province, two Canadian captains drive the back roads, "showing the ICCS flag" and conducting "initial observations'" as soon as pos- sible after Incidents are re- ported by the South Vietnam- ese The Indonesians from their team site often go along, but the Poles and Hungarians do net. East Europeans say they want security guarantees from both sides and the oppor- tunity to talk to bcth parties, for what they call objectivity. Accept argument "You can't argue with said Capt. Ian Patten of To- ronto. "But at the same time jou can't just stand still.'1 "You're got to get there right after an incident fore all the holes have been filled in and the bodies have been taken away. If you wait five or six weeks for an investi- even two or three a house was burned all you see is charred ruins and if there's blood on the ground and somsbody says it's cow's blood, how do you Team observation reports will not get beyond a file cabinet un- less there's a formal investiga- tion. So far the Saigon side alone has claimed more than truce violations. There have been more than 330 ICCS investigations and about 75 re- ports forwarded to the Vietnam- ese Joint Military Commission, mads up of teams from Saigon and the Viet Cong. Canada's self-styled "open- mouth policy" has to some de- gree broken the pattern of offi- cial secrecy in Vietnam, but ex- cept for anti-Canada blasts from Communist broadcasts it has little concrete effect. By now, under the Paris agreement, the Saigon govern- ment and the Viet Cong's provi- sional revolutionary govern- ment should have been well on their way toward holding elec- tions to decide South Vietnam's political future, with the ICCS looking on. Finance problems Recently, finances joined in the list of ICCS headaches. "We owe far more than we have in the said one commission source. "We have less than in the bank. Our bill to Air America alone now is Air America, the civilian firm that provides ICCS trans- portation, might be expected not to dun the commission too hard. It is bankrolled by the U.S. Central Intelligencs Agency. However, other con- tractors for food, supplies and seivices might not be as patient. The United States eased the financial problem last week by advancing million to the commission. Sources said the South Vietnamese government is expected to match the U.S. contribution. ICCS sources say that the only final reports on which unanimity has been reached are those that put the blame for violations on the South Viet- namese. The others have been split, frequently with Canada and Indonesia agreeing. One high Canadian official in Saigon went so far as to say that the East Europeans had been in "open collusion" with the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong. The two delegations are frequent visitors at the Viet Cong compound at Saigon's Tan Son Nhut air base. Pull out the stoppers! Cash in on traffic-stopping bargains from an inventory of millions of dollars! Shoppers Stoppers tomorrow NOW ONI if VOl I II y WW fill WClll LSit Another Canadian source complained that the Poles and Hungarians have made such as- sertions during investigations that a clearly blown-up bridge "must have collapsed" or that an attacking force could not have been Viet Cong because they wore shorts instead of baggy green uniforms. When ground fire broke out near ICCS helicopters earlier this month at Quang Tri, a Pol- ish team member claimed the shooting came from the South to have the Viet Cong say later they did the shooting but were aiming at a U.S. reconnaissance drone. A Canadian back from a team site in Viet Cong territory in the central highlands reported hear- ing tanks and heavy trucks roll- ing past in the night and being told by the Viet Cong that the vehicles were "just farm ma- chinery moving out to the fields." Abrasive A Polish delegation spokes- man said Polish policy is to help foster a solution between the two Vietnamese sides but "cot to interfere in their affairs and not to make new problems that would complicate the situ- ation." The Poles and Hungarians have spoken out rarely and are seldom accessible to reporters. One informant who has at- tended meetings of ICCS dele- gation chiefs in Saigon de- scribed the manner of some Ca- nadian leaders as "abrasive" to toe extent that working rela- tionships had been damaged and "I don't see how they can go on." However, sources from all quarters of the IOCS agreed that whatever the commission's internal situation it cannot be effective unless both Vietnam- ese, sides decide they really want peace and reconciliation. A Canadian source said the ICCS at Ben Het in the high- lands is restricted to an area of 80 square feet and that the com- pound is surrounded by hills and vegetation that limit "ob- servation" to a half-mile. The situation was a little bet- ter at Due Co, another border station in Viet Cong country of the southern highlands, recently evacuated because of a malaria outbreak. Members there said they could walk from their thatch and bamboo hut along a one-mile airstrip and up a nearby hill. Everything else is seeded with mines. "We really had very little to do except mak3 plans for the next supply flight, play vol- leyball and take said Maj. Clive Loader of Canada. wouldn't mind at all going back. I wasn't bored. Collecting butterflies is one of my hobbies and there were plenty around." No fraternization At Hue, in the bar of a ram- shackle compound formerly used by the U.S. Army, the Ca- nacians stare into their beers and banter with the Vietnamese barmaids. Hungarians and Poles sit apart at tables. Relations among ICCS mem- bers in the field range from tense to cordial. One of the bet- ter spots is Xuan Loc, 35 miles east of Saigon, where team members live in air-conditioned trailers in a compound graced by tropical flowers and a cro- quet court. Capt. Patten, the senior of two Canadians there, says "When we're in the conference room it's business. When we get out of the conference room it's a good working relationship. We're very fortunate. We're not frustrated. We work 18 hours a i day. There's plenty to do." I Patten keeps on his desk a i three-inch piece of shrapnel. A South Vietnamese official plucked it from the head of a 13-year-old boy who lay still clutching the staring of a kite he had been flying when Viet Cong shells hit his refugee village. "Situations like that just make you want to grab hold of somebody and break their said Patten. "But it also makes you think .there's a job here for (bo ICCS." Flying into tomorrow A wind tunnel model (left) Illus- trates some of the advanced technology being designed at the National Aero- nautic and Space Administration re- search centre, Mountain View, Calif. This remotely piloted vehicle has a wide potential for civil and military uses. The completed craft will have a 90 h.p. en- gine, a 22-foot wirtgspan and will cruis9 at about 130 knots. Weight will ba about 500 pounds. Jordans business-year-end means great savings for you. PRE-INVENTORY BROADLOOM CLEARANCE SALE! Save up to '0 This hot been our greotest year! 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