Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Nov 25 1970, Page 40

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - November 25, 1970, Winnipeg, Manitoba40 Winnipeg free press wednesday nov Imiri 25, 1970 in a True Victory nobody wins focus by David Vanpraagh the . Artillery officer in dirty combat fatigues threw his bulk into an armchair in the Small sit Ting room of the Canadian medical team residence in Quang Ngai Vietnam. I hate this goddamn t h e Captain said. But we be got to fight it to save the goddamn gooks from that was More than three years ago. Six months be fore the my Lai massacre in Quang Ngai province. But because of the amnio sphere in much of Indochina today the image Sticks in my mind. Al be Vennema the Young dutch born doctor then heading the medical team of tsp Kenly against the Vietnam War and the Way the United states was fighting it pre tended in the next room not to hear. This husky tired midwesterner was not an ugly american. He had come in for a Beer and a game of chess with another doctor arid his talk soon turned to his longing to go Back to the states and get his master s degree. The Tew Canadian facilities in Viet Nam the medical centres in Chi Nhon and Quang Ngai the International control commission Villas in Saigon always have been known for their hospitality and they offer peaceful con Trast to what most . Mil saved Cooks itary personnel Are used to. H and i harassment a n d interdiction was what the Captain was used to but on the giving not the r e c e i v i n a end. He seemed unable to connect the impersonal booming of his artillery with the Village casualties that poured into the provincial Hospital each morning the wounded or maimed or dead gooks saved from communism another . Captain i in e a who came into Friendly Contact with Vil lagers in Northern Quang Ngai As part of a Pacifica Tion team was killed shortly afterwards when his head quarters was overrun by the Viet Cong. . Commanders in Viet Nam have sharply restricted or Vietnam Zed As if they really weren t Al so called free fire zones in the past few years. It took a Long time for them to realize that More ene i i e s than friends were being made that hearts and minds were being shattered and poisoned rather than won. But remembrance of things past and contacts this year with some of the Many Points of the spread ing Indochina War make one wonder whether human lessons have been Learned soon or thoroughly enough. From the songs or canals of shimmery Bangkok to the mighty Mekong River which rises in Southwest China and flows through Laos Cambodia and South Vietnam into the South China sea a new sullen mood is emerging. It is illuminated by occasional flashes of Bright Ness such As the fresh democratic spirit in thai land and the militant determination of Many cambodians. Sometimes it takes anti american forms often it comes out in traditional asian enmities More than is generally realized it amounts to silent and potentially dangerous religious fatalism. From what can be Learned the North Vietnam Ese share with their non communist or communist neighbors the grip of deteriorating economic conditions the political restlessness and social malaise that come of official heavy handedness and fear of the future. Yet the impression is that while tilings May not get better and climaxes arc reached slowly in Asia this uncertainty is transient. A possibly decisive phase i the struggle for Southeast Asia May be shaping up by the events in Cambodia starting i March with the in calculated overthrow of Prince Norodom Sihanouk As head of state followed by the intervention of . And South vietnamese forces. Monsoon in the Mekong Delta in Cambodia and Vietnam ends this month or in december. He is colonel Jonathan Frederick Ladd formerly of the Green berets in Vietnam now in charge of . Military Aid to the cambodian govern ment of Premier lon nol. I ran into Ladd at the no. 2 or military Canadian Villa in the inc compound in Saigon. He had come to pay a Courtesy Call during a one Day visit to Mac military assistance command Vietnam Headquarters better known As Pentagon East. A candian officer had just returned from Hanoi the intentions of which Are the subject of intense speculation Here and in other capitals. The Day before at lunch at the hotel Royal in phenom penh Ladd 49, had directly or indirectly revealed much wars in Cambodia and Vietnam which Are different at the same time As they Are one. Phenom penh in t like he said. This in t a civil War. The enemy can t come within three Clicks three Kilometres about two Miles of the Cap ital and stay there for a couple of Days without being hit because they can t depend on two thirds of the people being at least passively on their Side. The cambodians will get sup port if they show they can handle this thing without Yankee he added a few titbits. About How general lon nol a realist himself had readily dropped his request for ponchos for his soldiers during the Rainy season when Ladd told him the Money for them would come out of the . Budget for harder stuff. About How the sex Green Beret officer had blocked a complaint to Washington by a visiting . Air Force colonel about the cambodians not having pneumatic devices for lifting napalm canisters onto the wings of their Vin Toge t-28 attack planes. Ladd had simply pointed out that 10 coolies were doing the Job and could continue to do it. This 155 my. Howitzer guards the Entrance to a Gate in a cambodian Vil Lage near Neak Luong on the country s embattled route 1. It is used to support South vietnamese marines on an operation across the Mekong River. That is one reason i plan to go Back to nag Ngai by Early 1371. Jfe

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