Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 2, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
Tl-.jr.day, I, 1971 THI UTHMIDOI HMAID Struggle of Vietnam By Ranald Harkt.-, London Observer commentator Vietnam is the story of two modern wars with one peace that failed. The first war began in 1946 with the French attempt to re- conquer Indochiina, which had been part of that empire since 1883 but had been overrun by the Japanese in the Second World Wai-. It ended after a disastrous defeat for the French and an armistice agreement signed in Geneva in 1954. This agreement left Vietnam divid- ed at the 17th Parallel between mutually hostile forces in North and South. The second Vietnamese war developed within a year or two of the armistice as a civil war in the South. Like the French in 1946 the South Vietnam govern- ment faced what was virtually another war of reconquest to try to recover the large area of South Vietnam controlled by Communist rebels known as the Vietcong. The reasons why this second war lasted so long and proved so difficult to end either by military victory or negotiated peace lie in Vietnam's history, and more recently in the back- ground of America's struggle with Communist China. A thousand years of Chinese rule, from 111 BC, left the Viet- namese with a Chinese culture, but with their national identity intact. They are the most num- erous and vigorous people of the Indochina peninsula. Their history is dominated by their resistance to Chinese conquest and their own drive south and west against other peoples of Indochina and foreigners com- ing across the sea. Of the 31 million people in all Vietnam today nearly five million are minority groups, more than a million of these Cambodian Khmers and a million Chinese. Nationalist opposition to col- onial rule developed after the First World W-r, and the Indo- Chinese Communist party play- ed an important part in it. But it was the Japanese who broke French power in their drive into Southeast Asia. By the time the Japanese sur- rendered in August, 1945, the Indochinese Communist party had organized a national front, called the Vietmmh, which was able to take over the whole country. The founder of the Vietminh was Ho CM Minh. By what now seems all ironic paradox it was the Americans and their Chinese Nationalist allies who helped Ho to power. They had encouraged the Viet- minh as an anti-Japanese resis- tance force. Or September 2, 1945 Ho proclaimed the Demo- cratic Republic of Vietnam from the balcony of Hanoi opera house. Ho negotiated an agreement with Francs allowing French troops to stay in Vietnam in re- turn for a promise of indepen- dence. But before the details were completed the deal was wrecked by clashes between the Vietminh and newly reinforc- ed French troops. On Decem- ber 19, 1945, waves of Vietminh militia struck at French garri- sons over the whole of Viet- nam. The war with France that began that night lasted eight years and cost one mil- lion dead. The Geneva Agreements of 1954 which ended the wsr, divid- ed Vietnam North and South along the 17th Parallel. In the North Ho Chi Minh's Commun- ist coTitrolled republic estab- lished full control and the French withdrew. In the South the government in Saigon, which still claimed to represent all Vietnam, was taken over by a French educated Catho- lic nationalist called Ngo Dinh D-'em. Diem was a protege of the Americans who, as part of their policy of "containing" Chinese communism in South- east Asia, had begun to take over from the French the task of trying to maintain an anti- Communist front in Indochina. The Western Powers made a pact to protect Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia from aggression. But Diem refused to discuss with the Communist North the free elections and reunification provided for in the Geneva Agreements. Though Vietminh r e gular troops withdrew to the North many Vietminh guerrillas in the South hid their weapons end went back to their vil- lages, keeping their network in- tact. The North encouraged re- bellion because the Vietminh's hope of gaining control of all Vietnam by political means under the Geneva Agreements was now blocked by Diem and his American support. In 19GO North Vietnam openly declared its backing for a Vietcong strug- gle to "liberate the South." American military commit- ment in aid of Saigon increas- ed, and North Vietnamese reg- ular troops moved south in in- creasing numbers. Diem was overthrown and murdered by his own generals in November, 1963 (he had brutally suppressed Buddhist riots but failed to suppress cor- ruption) and thereafter, except for a short spell of civilian gov- ernment in 1964, South Vietnam has been ruled by the armed forces or stogie military men. The United States govern- ment was saying ten years ago that it wanted a negotiated set- tlement for South Vietnam but was determined to prevent its conquest by the North. It rec- koned that if it did not take this stand America's other al- lies all over the world would lose faith in American prom- ises, that Chinese Communist influence would spread in Asia, and that other Southeast Asian states might then collapse "like a row of dominoes." For more than three years the main barrier to peace talks between the United States and Hanoi was the refusal of the North Vietnamese to negotiate while U.S. aircraft were bomb- ing their territory, and the American refusal to stop the bombing until the North Viet- namese cut down their warfare in the South or gave a clear sign of wanting peace. In March 1968 America took a step towards reducing this barrier when President Lvndon Johnson ordered bombardment of North Vietnam to be limited to 20 per cent of the territory, and in May that year official parleys between the Americans and North Vietnamese began to Paris. Later the Saigon gov- ernment agreed to send a dele- gation to the talks. But the meetings made no steady progress. Ho Chi Minh died in 1989 and from time to time the Paris talks were brok- en off and then renewed. In one form or another the Americans still wanted to stop a Commu- nist take-over, North Vietnam wanted to acquire a position from which an eventual politi- cal victory for them was cer- tain, while for South Vietnam not conniving at a Communist takeover remained the test case of America's trustworthiness as an ally. "Yeli, I heard the go back to sleep. just have to get used to it. Someone's robbing us Book Reviews Chronicle of flyer "Bush Pilot With a Brief- case" by Ronald A. Keith. (Douhletlay Publishers, 322 pages, At only 22 years of age Grant McConachie was running his own airline in the Canadian north; at 37 years of age he was president of Canadian Pacific Airlines. His rise from a "seat of his pants" bush pilot to the top job at CPA is told in an ex- tremely entertaining and en- lightning manner by a long- time friend and co-worker, Ronald Keith. McConachie was a happy-go- lucky, flamboyant personality, full of confidence and possess- or of great flying ability. But his finest asset was the incred- ible "McConachie The accounts of his numerous near- disasters, both financially and otherwise, fill the book and make for fine reading. In one junket in 1935 he took "Canada's largest aircraft" on a barnstorming tour of the fair circuits. Originating at his home base in Edmonton he vis- ited such communities as Card- ston and Pincher Creek. His harrowing brush with disaster at Pincher Creek, when he blew Melchers has an for beauty and a reputation for quality Melchers m Melchers Melchers Distilleries Limited, Montreal, Quebec a tire on landing, is but one of the thrilling tales in the book. McConachie's story bounces from the remote northern wastelands of Canada, with all its characters, to a lunch with Australia's pTime minister in his home country and to mest- ings with General Douglas Mc- Arthur in Japan and Chiang Kai-Shek in China. The book seems to lose its zip, built up over the first 26 chapters, when the author starts dealing with McCona- chie's life as the boss man at CPA. It is still interesting, but thp ?est is gone. One can not help but wonder if McConachie himself did not lose some of the zest for life he displayed in his barnstorming days once he began his executive role. A fine chronicle of a great Canadian and an Albertan at that. Try it, you'll like it. GARRY ALLISON Books in brief "Mountain Wolf W o m a n, The Autobiography of a Win- nebago (Longman Canada Ltd., 142 UNIQUE book inasmuch as it deals with the re- membrances of an Indian wom- an, this short writing provides a small insight Into the rigors of Indian life. The notes, which are included in the back of the book, make for very difficult reading and one wonders why they were not incorporated in the story itself. While the writ- ing is that of Mountain Wolf Woman, the book was edited by Nancy Lurie. GARRY ALLISON "Life And Death Of A Brave Bull" by Maia Wol- jciechowska (Longman Can- ada Limted, 22 pages, The author who has herself fought in the ring has written this book for youngsters inter- ested in bullfighting. She ex- plains the tremendous courage and strength needed for this honored Spanish custom. The book tells of the events that lead to one particular bull's loss of a horn. I especially en- joyed the drawings of John Groth. They speak powerfully of grace, bravery and the tradi- tional ritual. GERTA PATSON. "Odd Girl Out" by Eliza- beth Jane Howard (Clark. Ir- win and Company Limited, S7.75. 288 Arabella Dawick is the rich and beautiful duaghter of an oft married and vain moth- er who has denied her daugh- ter almost nothing except love. Arabella determines to be loved but the result is usual- ly tlx? destruction of someone else's life. Elizabeth Jane Howard writes with sensitivity and com- passion of Arabella's seduction of Edmund and Anne Cornhill. She brilliantly points out the ironical difference between Ar- abella's ca-eless wealth and the desperate poverty of a woman affected bv an cmiier interlude in Arabella's love grab. The book rates "A" for al- right. JUDI WALKER "When Hiller Slole Pink Itahbil" by Judith Kerr, (Col- lins, pages. I rend I his book together with my 7-year-old .Indie. It tells I ho story of a Jewish family in Germany. Their narrow escape before Hitler came to power, Ihcir troubles and worries and how the eh.inpo affected each member of the family arc des- cribed in a simple and often humorous Judic was often alarmed at my sadnoss but we also laughed many times about the strange incidents that: befell this family. In short we enjoyed raiding it very much and shall reread it many more times. GERTA PATSON. Sesame democracy., etc. Been talking to Algy again. (You remem- ber Algy's the one who's spent so much time learning that he'll maybe never re- cover.) With all the electioneering going on, he's been getting pretty muddled about the democratic process, wondering why we have to send certain people to Ottawa, who Nixon is, how come all this goveming's going on in Edmonton, and what Mayor Sykes has to do with it anyway. I ex- plained, of course, but Algy's not much good with things he can't read about or see, so I tried using a local example, a meeting held the o'.her day to discuss this Sesame Street thing. Algy didn't know about Sesame Street (some folks don't, you know) so first I had to explain that. I told him it's a sort of kiddies' TV program that teaches ABCs, numbers and other things like the Ford-Rockefeller-GMC notion of the good life, and that a lot of people think it's great. Some honestly believe it's educa- tional. Some don't care a hoot whether it is or not as long as it keeps the kids quiet. Then there are others who feel guilty when they let Spidennan or Captain Marvel baby-sit their children, .but don't feel that way about Sesame Street because some- one said it's really an educational pro- gram. "But" asked Algy, "if so many people like it, why won't the station broadcast I told him it's because they can't make any money with it, but that wasn't the point; the point was grass-roots democracy, and how it works. Most of the people at the meeting were all for Sesame Street, and wanted to do something about it. They'd tried badger- ing the station by telephone, and had work- ed up quite a bit of pressure with letters and articles in the newspaper. Now it was time to take tilings a bit further. One suggestion was that the broadcast- ing company be made to open its books, so the Sesame Street addicts could show them how to run their station at a profit with the cherished program in the line-up. Another idea was to boycott all the prod- ucts advertised by the station, until it saw By Jim Fishbourne the light. A third proposal was to form some sort of organization, raise some money, and use it to compensate the sta- tion for lost revenues in exchange for put- ting Sesame Street back on the air. That, I explained to Algy, was demo- cracy in action; an intelligent approach by concerned people to getting what they wanted, without rioting, bribery, violence or any of the other unpleasant practiced elsewhere. Algy could absorb all this, but still seem- ed puzzled by a couple of things. And the guy can ask the darndest questions, at times like that. "About this boycott he said, "if it's a good idea for the Sesame Street people, it'd be OK for other groups, eh? Like this outfit at my college, called the Newman Club. They've got a series of films showing why people should be Roman Catholics. They could boycott the station's sponsors 'til those films were shown. The Lutherans have a pretty good series of films, as well, and I'd guess other denomin- ations would, too. "Or with a bit of a twist to the idea, it would be just as good for the LDS to boycott the station and its advertisers un- less it quit using ads for tea and coffee. And there are all sorts of things like that different groups could organize. Is that what you mean by Now that shows you just how extreme some of these over-educated guys can get. Then he got onto this other idea of com- pensating the station for lost revenues, if it wouid run the films or programs a cer- tain group might like. "Down east" he told me, "there's this bunch of apes that call themselves the Canadian Nazi Party. They're always trying to get some TV sta- tion or theatre to show some films they have, that were made 'way back in the days of Hitler and Goebels. They say they've really got historical value, and they'd be happy to compensate any TV station for broadcasting them. The Ku Jdux Klan has some pretty dynamic films, too. And there's the Soviet Embassy You see the trouble I have with that guy? Flabs, a drain or aid? Fi-ime Minister Pierre Trudeau told an Edmonton audience that the average Ca- nadian is fast becoming a flabby, sickly specimen whose medical needs put an un- fair strain on the country's economy. He blamed the deterioratng condition of Ca- nadian males on watching spectator sports instead of participating in the healthful ex- ercise that is the basis of prevcntative medicine. This was strong stuff from a man whose party was frantically wooing the votes of Canada, most of whom have stopped look- ing at themselves naked in a full-length mirror. In fact I have already had a phone call from a spokesman for a group represent- ing this cor.itry's flabby, sickly people The Council of Canadian Physical Wrecks. "Trudeau is a fitness the spokes- man wheezed, apparently pooped from the effort of dialling. "We refugees from physi- cal exercise have our rights too." "You believe that the prime minister is guilty of discriminating against Canadian blobs, as he himself skis, swims and keeps himself in good shape to be able to say 'Fuddle duddle" to hecklers." "It's said my caller, "the way he is prejudiced in favor of health." "You wouldn't be a physician by any "Never mind. The point I want to make is that the economy of Canada depends on us flabby, sickly people." 'You're going to tell me that we are living off the fat of the land" "You better believe it. Suppose every- body stopped driving cars and started walking, like Trudeau says. Auto work- ers, garage mechanics, petroleum indus- try employees thrown out of work. Un- employment skyrocketing. How long could Trudeau run his government on the federal tax oh a pair of "It's your spare tire that keeps the coun- try moving forward." "Culturally as well as economically. Where would our television shows be with- out the sponsors that depend on us fatties and sickies to buy their headache pills, cake mixes, diet colas, foundation gar- ments, mouthwashes? You show me a slim, healthy race to whom illness is unknown, and I'll show you a tribe of primitives." "What you're trying to say is that hu- man evolution began with an ape that got overweight." "And had to make a spear to kill the prey he was too fat to run said the spokesman. "If we do as Trudeau says, and get everybody out participating in athletics, pretty quickly our maul spec- tator sport will be eating." "Does it sum up your position to say that the cost of meeting our flabby na- tiion's medical needs is more than offset by what obesity and bad breath do to boost the Gross National "That is the material benefit. But we of the CCPW also feel that Tradeau is com- pletely ignorant about physical degenera- tion as a life style." "You mean "Yes. Sickness is good for you." (Vancouver Province features) It is an offence to park a car any closer than fifteen feet from a corner in this city. That goes for the ordinary motor car, the panel truck, and the camper too. How many drivers have had the experience of attempting to enter an intersection when the view of approaching traffic is blocked by a parked vehicle which has no rear windows through which oncoming cars can be seen? There should be consideration given to K bylaw governing this potential danger, one that would provide lhat panel trucks and campers pnrk much further from the corner I nan they do now. The clean-up recently announced for Bcllcvue is good news. The remains of the old municipal building have long liccn an eyesore mid its demolition and burning can only enhance the town. Bcllevuc and the other lowns In tho Crowsnest Pass are fortunate, They are steeped in history and their beautiful lo- cation makes them particularly attractive to tourists. They still retain their 'yester- year' flavor while enjoying the present prosperity which has come to the 'Pass. The southern route is becoming increas- ingly more attractive as the appearance of the Crowsnest communities improves. Every move to clean-up or freshen-up is welcome. Beaver Creek Correctional Camp Is a minimum security prison, without bars but with n swimming pool, golf course, gen- erous visiting privileges, overnight passes and oilier civilizing touches. A very prom- inent Canadian businessman, convicted of theft after K widely publicized trial, is to serve his three-year sentence there. He is 69 years old, find classified as a pood security risk. He is also wealthy, a circumsUmcc one hopes had no bearing on his being assigned to nn institution lhat offers amenities conspicuously absent Irom other Canadian jails and pcffilontiarics.