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The Idler, April 1967 Issue PDF - Previous Issue / Next Issue
7 Articles, 12pp

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~~ ~ Public Occurrences, Comment, Excursions U Rational Entertainment
Nr 30 APRIL 1 9 6 7 2% THE COPY
On to Victory
IN SEARCH OF h4INOR PROFIT
In Which the Price of Victory in Viet-
nam is Examined; LBJ and the Carpen-
ters; a Grim Fairy Tale by Sam A.
Darcy; the Thinking Man's Commercial;
As Well as Several Other Diversions.
-
"The pressure will be increased, "
said Senator Fulbright the other day,
"and they will decimate these people
to where they do give up, and then we
will begin reconstruction. We will re-
build roads. We will build houses. We
will bring them the good life at vast
costs to this country. It will not, in my
opinion, result in an acceptable society
from the point of view of the Asians.
Here is the nub of the problem in
Vietnam. It is not a question ofifwe
can win the war there, for we are fully
capable of fighting until we do, to the
last Vietnamese if necessary. It is not
a questionof when we shall win the war,
for five years more or less shall make
little difference to a country that has
adjusted with brutal efficiency to the
human and economic demands of a pro-
longed, broad conflict.
The problem i s a w e win the war.
Perhaps, at one time, there were a
variety of possible solutions to this prob-
lem. Perhaps we could have created an
economic assistance program that
1
matched our military effort. Perhaps
we could have fostered a government
that would earn the support of the Viet-
namese rather than their contempt and
distrust. Perhaps we might have geared
our military action so as to complement
rather than contradict our nonmilitary
goals.
Perhaps. They are big perhaps. But
today, in any case, they are irrelevant.
History has taken its toll. Our course is
set. We are deeply committed to a pol-
icy of massive military vengeance.
One need only examine the amount
we are spending for the so-called "other
war" of pacification to realize what a
charade is our talk of "winning the
hearts and minds of the Vietnamese.''
If pacification comes, it will be the
peace of the dead, the maimed, and
the broken. Mr. Johnson intends t o come
home with the coonskin, whatever the
price.
Of course, there is always the danger
that peace will break out. But fortunate-
ly for the advocates of escalation, we
have driven Ho Chi Minhinto sucha
corner that he will probably reject, as
he has several times in the past, rea-
sonable peace proposals. We are there-
fore safe in announcing our full support
of such proposals and then using Hanoi's
rejection as a rationalization for further
intensification of the war. It is very
neat and very deadly.
But the thing we must understand is
this: When Mr. Johnson gains his mili-
tary victory, we shall stand triumphant
over an American-created hell. We are


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