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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 13, 1969)
THE DAILY NEBRASKAN
MONDAY, OCTOBER 13, 1969
'Endless' war continues, casualties mount
by John Dvorak
Nebraskan Staff Writer
It seems to many Americans that
there has always been a Vietnam war.
There hasn't. But the war, in terms
of length and casualties, is now the
third largest in American history. It
began in 1964. Or was it 1960? Or
1954? Or 1946?
Actually there has been war in
Southeast Asia for centuries, but the
war in Vietnam, as we think of it to
day, really had its origins near the end
of World War II.
For decades, the French had ruled
Indochina, until the Japanese took
control of the area. When Japan was
defeated, it was presumed the
Vietnamese would begin ruling
themselves. But France did not grant
independence to Indochina. -
The Viet Minh, a sometimes-communist
group, launched a war to expel
the French a war that lasted eight
years, cost the French 35,000 dead
and 48.000 wounded.
Popular pressure in France turned
against the war, and when a sup
posedly strongly-fortified position that
Veteran describes Vietnam
by Sara Schwiedcr
Nebraskan Staff Writer
A Marine veteran who spent a year
in Vietnam gives a stark description
of the country and its war.
"I never met anyone in Vie
tnam fighting for a principle," said
Doug Nicoll. "We were all just
fighting to stay alive."
"None cf the guys had really
thought about why they were o
ver there. The miliitary said to go.
and they didn't feel they had any
choice but to do it."
Nicoll feels Vietnam is a mis
take, and a waste of time, effort and
lives. His views have changed
since 1965 when he was sent to
Vietnam. When he enlisted in the
Marine Corps. Nicoll was neutral
about whether the war was right
"We were almost optimistic because
it was a new conflict." he says. "But
after a year of getting nowhere, we
soured on U.S. Vietnam policy."
Nicoll was in Vietnam during the
Tet offensive, the lowest point in the
war for the South Vietnamese Army,
and a time when the South V'iets "did
nothing for us at all, except make
money on the black market.
The black market seemed to sym
bolize all the frustration of the war.
Nicoll said that the populace made
a big profit stealing shipments of
medical supplies, food and
"We felt kind of by ourselves," he
said. "The North Viets had control
of most of the population. How could
they side with us when their relatives
were fighting on the other side?"
He felt U.S. troops had no respec
for villagers. He cited instances when
he'd seen U.S. troops building schools
in villages where people had no
homes. As soon as the Americans left,
villagers would tear down the
new building and use the materials
to build shanties to live in.
Nicoll wants the U.S. to pull out
of Vietnam immediately, and
establish a coalition government to
rule South Vietnam.
He says the Thieu-Ky combination
is corrupt. Describing a special police
force of the South Vietnam govern
the French had established near a
small mountain village of Dien Bien
Phu fell under heavy attack in 1954,
the war ended.
A geneva conference provided a
document containing provisions for
nearly every aspect of government
and military operations in Southeast
Asia, and an International Control
Commission which was supposed to
insure that all provisions were
A military truce partitioned the
country at the 17th parallel. Free
elections were to be held in both North
and South Vietnam. They were never
In September 1954. the famous
Southeast Asia Treaty Organization
(SKATO) was set up.
The Senate ratified the treaty after
the Secretary of State John Foster
Dulles had given assurance that it
did not commit or oblige the United
States to take action.
With French influence gone, Presi
dent Dwight D. Eisenhower sought to
gain some influence in South Vietnam
offer military aid to the country.
ment called the QC's, Nicoll painted
a picture of brutality and
lawlesssness. He says the QC's would-
gun down Vietnamese people on the
streets for no reason at all.
People objecting to the war were jail
ed without trial
"It's a toss-up: We've got a choice
between a communist government like
the coalition would be, or a dic
tatorial government like Thieu's." he
says. "The Communists have all the
support of the people anyway: they
wouldn't have to rig the election."
Men would go on operations on the
Doug Nicoll, Marine
Adler, Henry, Lincoln.
Auman, Krvin Lewis, Firth.
Ballinger, Wll liam Joseph,
Caldwell, Larry Gail, Omaha.
Campbell, James Robert, Trenton.
Carr, Daniel Lee, North Platte.
Chandler, Jerome Dee, Norfolk.
Clark, KendalUlanson, Elwood.
Culbertson, Gary Morten, Lincoln.
Draper, Clifford Arvin, Hastings.
Dunn, Gary Wayne, Falls City.
Dunn. Gary Wayne, Falls City.
Enquist, Arthur John, Columbus.
Estrada. Richard Allen, Bridgeport.
Foley, James, Williams, Omaha.
Fous, James William, Omaha.
Garamillo, Eldon, Overton.
Gillham, Jan Royce, Grand Island.
Golden, Jack Duane, Ponca.
Green, Norman Duane, Albion.
lieesacker, Victor Roman, Hum
phrey. Henk, James Lynn, Swanton.
Hiley Thomas Charles, Omaha.
Hudson, Danny Charles, Chadron.
Jackson, Eddie Lee, Jr., Omaha.
Korinek, John Charles, Friend.
Lane, Roger I-eroy, Fremont.
Lentz, Jerry Francis, Hartington.
Lewis, Donald Gene, Stanton.
Martin, Mar 'in Henry, Scottsbluff.
McQuay Roger Dillon. Ogallala.
Moore, James Eldon, Weeping
Moore, Ronnie Guns, Nebraska City.
Moser, James Myron, Randolph.
Murphy, John Patrick, Omaha,
Murphy, Robert Dennis, Falls City.
Novak. Larry Dean. Platte Center.
Nowak, Robert Virgil. Ogallala.
Plahn, Jack Charles, Fremont.
Raubach, William Pierce, Valentine.
Robertson, John Craig, Fremont.
Sanders, Robert Neil, Orleans.
Schneider, Roger Lloyd, Louisville.
Schultz. James Ronald. Lincoln.
Schwartz, Allan Edward, Lushton.
Skavaril , Thomas Joseph, Omaha.
Smith, Larry Eugene, Lincoln.
Smith, Michael Francis, Omaha.
Solomon. WiDred L., Sr.. Omaha.
Sperling, Wesley William, Arlington.
Stoehr, David Loren, Lincoln.
Throughout the middle 1 9 5 0 ' s ,
American aid in various amounts
trickled into South Vietnam's gov
ernment. At the same time, refugees
from the North, many of whom were
selected party members anxious to
promote Hanoi's cause, came into the
Eisenhower scrupulously kept the
number of American military advisors
within the limits imposed by the
Geneva accords, but military aid, in
many forms, continued to flow.
By the late 1950's, the Viet Minh
began to increase their influence and
at the same time, increase resistance
to South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh
In 1960, the resistance to Diem
crystallized into the National Libera
tion Front, now called the Viet
By this time, the U.S. had moved
further down the path of involvement.
President John F. Kennedy increased
the aid to South Vietnam and bloosted
"advisors" from the 800 Eisenhower
had sent to about 18,000.
Kennedy, actually, did not commit
same territory many times, he adds,
"and everyone knew it wasn't worth
"When they say that casualties are
down, it means nothing . . . how can
you say that when you're talking
about human lives? Hiw many
families are going to mourn a son,?"
Nicoll saw waste in mili
tary spending that amounted to
billions of dollars. New weapons would
be invented and two months after they
had started mass production, the
weapon was obsolete.
It J k
veteran, and daughter.
Stoiinski, James Francis, Omaha.
Straus, Allen Arthur, Omaha.
Theim., William Raymond, Loretto.
Wagner, Robert Alfred, Winside.
Waite, Donald Steven, Omaha.
Walker, Elbert Berton, North Plat
te. Walters, Gerald Leroy, Culbertson.
Welding, Clifford Kay, Roca.
Williams, Robert Floyd, West Point.
Wojtklewicz, Ronald Joseph,
Wolf, Jack Morse. Omaha.
Wolfe, Mathew, Macy.
Allen, Jerry L., Norfolk.
Anderson, Lee David, Lincoln.
Banhnsen, Kent Eugene, Grant.
Barron, Florentino C i p r i a n , Lex
ington. Beeson, Robert Bruce, Elgin.
Biber, Gerald Mack, Benkelman.
Bierma, Lynij SeatonCozad.
Bruhn, James William. Alma.
Clark, Charles Chapman, Howe.
Covey, Lawrence Lavern, Benedict.
Edmund, Coil, Jr., Scottsbluff.
Gevara, Ray, Jr., Scottsbluff.
Gubbels, Stanley Donald, Randolph.
Hatfield, Gary (Mark,, Lexington.
Holland, Johnny Robert, Hebron.
Holtz, Larry William, Fremont.
Hurt, William C, Craig.
Jessen, Robert Duane, Bloomfield.
Johnson, Floyd Dean, Marsland.
Johnson, John Ernest, Lincoln.
Jones, Theodore Roosevelt Auburn.
Liles, Larry Joe, Hershey.
Loeckler, Marlow Martin, Crofton,
Maddox, Phillip Neil, Lincoln.
Malone, Wallace James. Oxford.
Marchand, Wayne Ellsworth,
Marsh, Alan Richard, Omaha.
Mickna, John Ronald, Omaha.
Morrison James Auton, Omaha.
Needham, Russell Dean, North Plat
te. Otte. Kenneth Michael Valley.
Philson, Willard Arlin, Gerlng.
Pina, Louie Pete, Mitchell.
Roberts. William, Lincoln.
Rooth, Charles William, Oakland.
Sanders, Mack Royal. Omaha.
Sandstedt. Daniel, Joseph', Omaha.
Sawlcki, Richard P., Grand Island.
Schmidt, Gary Russell, Omaha.
the United' States to a major role
in Vietnam. In his last public state
ment on Vietnam, he said, "In the
final analysis, it is their war. Tey
are the ones who have to win it
or lose it. We can help them, we
can give them equipment, we can
send our men there as advisors, but
they have to win it."
"They" were having a hard time
even keeping a respected government
in power, let alone winning a war.
Increased opposition to Diem, his
government and his policies culmi
nated with a coup on Nov. 1, 1963.
Diem was assassinated and his rule
was followed by a series of military
The period between the Kennedy
assassination in November, 1963, and
the Gulf of Tonkin incident in August
1964, was marked by a growing
uneasiness on the part of Americans
as to the exact nature and extent .
of the United States commitment in
On the evening of Aug. 4, 1964,
President Lyndon B. Johnson told the
American people that for the second
time in two days, North Vietnamese
torpedo boats had attacked a Navy
Aggression against the peaceful
villagers of South Vietnam has now
been joined by open aggression on
the high seas against the United
States, he said. Even as he spoke, air
action was going on against gunboats
and support facilities in North Viet
nam which had been responsible for
Johnson then asked Congress to ap
rove a resolution affirming the nat
ional determination that all such at
tacks will be met and that the U.S.
will continue in its basic policy of
assisting the free nations of the area
to defend their freedom. The resolu
tion was promptly and overwhelm
ingly approved, and stands today as
the legal basis for involvement in
Following the Tonkin incident,
escalation literally exploded, There
were attacks and reprisals and open
American warfare in Vietnam was on.
In 1965-1966, Johnson escalated from
20.000 to 375.000 men.
Throughout 1967, the war escalated.
American troops hit the 400,000 mark,
only to increase to 500,000 in 1968.
Communist troops soared above
In early 1968, Johnson announced
plans to begin negotiations in Paris
with the North Vietnamese. The nego
tial;on.i are still dragging on.
Jusl before the 1968 Presidential
elections, outgoing President Johnson
announced a cessation in United
States bombing of North Vietnam, a
cessation that has continued. Veteran
politician Richard M. Nixon, who said
he had a plan for ending the war,
was elected president in November.
He has never announced his plan
publicly, but apparently it involves
the increased Vietnamization of the
war and a slow but steady withdrawal
of American fighting troops.
Last week 64 battle deaths were
recorded, the lowest in nearly three
years. Nixon has now been in office nine
months. There are approximately
450,000 troops in Vietnam. An average
of 140 men are dying weekly. Peace
negotiations are extending into their
second year. The war is now five
years old. Or is It nine? Or Is it
15? Or is it 23?
Schmidt, Kenneth Wayne, Cairo.
Schroder, Jack Wayne, Clay Center.
Srader, Harold William, Omaha.
Smith, Paul Richard, Omaha.
Steel, Kenneth Lee, Fremont.
Stubbe .William Leroy, Central City.
Widiek, Maurice Gene, Moorefield.
Wilson, Galen Lloyd, Scottsbluff.
Dagley, Gary Gene, Lincoln.
Hargens, David Allen, Nickerson.
Harvey, Lawerence Daniel, Greeley.
Kosanda, Jerry Joseph, Omaha.
Napier, Lee Allan, Orchard.
Van Andel, Claude Richard,
Wieiser, Lynn Jay, Gothenburg.
Andersen, Buel Edward, Superior.
Bull, Kenneth R., Omaha.
Cunningham, Richard Ira, Omaha.
Davis, John Clinton, Omaha.
Hornelas, Ismael, Fernando, North
Rieken, Larry Riek, Sterling.
Benze .Patrick Henry, O'Neill.
Clements, Milo Dean, Blair.
Sayer, Terry Lynn, Holbrook.
Wlese, Thomas Arthur, Mullen,
Anderson, John Louis, Alliance.
Bailey, Allen Charles, Omaha.
Fielder, Paul Wesley, Harvard.
Fontaine, Larry Lee, Lincoln.
Frye, David Charles, Garland.
Grueber, Randall Roman, Nelson.
Hovenden, Darrel Leroy, North
Hultquist, Leonard Ashby, Ogallala.
James, Daniel Raymond, Loup City.
Kavulak, John Henry, Omaha.
Kempkes, Robert Louis, Palmyra.
Klldar, William Jamefl, Ogallala.
Klabunde, John Paul. Omaha.
Koch, Dale Roy, Johnstown.
Krous. Kenneth Wayne. Hastings.
Kuhlman, Melvln Ernest. Falls City,
Langman, Larry Milton, Columbus.
Marrs, Carl Robert. Falls City.
Muellei', Steven Wayne, Omaha.
Nelson, Billy Dean, Loomis.
Nelson, Robert Warren, Randolph,
Ogden, Howard, Jr., Omaha.
Petty. Ernest Floyd, Uehling.
Salyards, Patrick John, Omaha.
1 osd ft'
President fires Hersliey . . .
possible draft reform step
President Richard M. Nixon fired
Selective Service Director Lewis B.-
Hershey Friday in what seems to
be further attempts by the President
lo reform the draft and placate Viet
nam War critics.
Hershey's dismissal came 21 days
after Nixon announced his admin
istration would seek a lottery draft
system from Congress. Nixon also
announced cutbacks in the October,
November and December draft calls
at that time.
Washington observers speculate that
the 76-year-old llershey, a retired
lieutenant general will be replaced
by a civilian.
Nixon's draft reforms are aimed at
limiting each man's period of draft
vulnerability to one year through a
system that is fair and helps young
men know whether and when they
can be drafted, according to Roger
T. Kclley, assistant secretary of
Nixon's plan would include all men
19 or in class 1-A status in the prime
aye group to be drafted for one year.
If an individual in the prime age
group is not drafted after one year,
he would be assigned to lower priority
and normally would not be drafted.
In the first year, men 20 through
25 would be included in the prime
aeg group if they are I-A or avail
able. Men who are deferred would be
included in the prime age group when
their deferment ends.
The Nixon plan would also
eliminate the practice of drafting the
Prior to the year, all calendar dates
of that year would be randomly
drawn. This drawing would establish
the sequence which draft boards
would use for inducting members of
the prime age group.
Shcllon, Craig Stephen, Omaha.
Zichek, Richard Lansing, Lincoln.
Adklns, Ronald Eugene,
Adolf, Larry EugencOmuha,
Ballantine, Richard Reed, Millard.
Becker, Michael Paul, Omaha.
Boyle, Robert Ray, Ogallala.
Flanagan, David Dale, Lincoln.
Fuss, Robert Edward, Lincoln.
Garcia. Jerry Frank, Omaha.
Graham, Harlan Lee, Lincoln.
Hall, Richard Le Roy, Hastings
Mancock, William Howard, 1 1 ,
Her, Kenneth Marvin, Omaha.
Klabunde, Arthur John, Jt; Omaha.
Konwiaskl, Ronald Eugene, Omaha.
Kot, Myron, Lincoln.
Langston, Melvin Doyle, Valentine.
McAdams, Gerold Jerome, Lincoln.
McKnight, Thomas Edwin, Lincoln.
Polt, Erwin Andrew, Pierce.
Schmidt, Richard Leroy, Fort Col
lins. Ward, Carl Ray, Kearney.
Wigton, Philip Gregory, Omaha.
W 1 1 k e r s o n , Steven Douglas,
Bailey, Byrle Bennett, Omaha.
Wright. Delbert Pat, Hastings.
Bazar, Paul Thomas, Omaha.
Johnson, Kennetih Lee, West Point.
Moorberg, Monte Larue, Grand
Iluegelc, Wolfgang Albrccht, Cam
bridge. Stewart, Francis Ernest, Sterling.
Branstrom. David Joseph, Lincoln.
Confer, Michael Steele, McCook.
Moore, Daniel Eugene, Jr., Omaha.
Ohnesorge, Thomas Herman,
Peters, Charles Henry, West Point.
Roark, William Marshall, Bellevue.
Twehous, Gene Leander, Fremont.
Condon, Robert Eugene, Lexington.
Hobson, John King, Lincoln.
Nlebur. Edward Leroy, Bellevue,
Sutton, Terry James, Red Cloud.
;.iai'"i iiiih tr , K
Pholo by Peter Monson
the (an) end
For example, if July 3 was the first
date drawn, those in the prime age
group whose birthdays are on Jul
y 3 would be most draft susceptible.
If November 10 was the last date
drawn, those men whose birthdays fall
on that date would be least draft
susceptible, and the list would con
tinue from a one to 365 sequence.
Kelley points out that the random
selection system will not substitute
chance for reason. He says the draft
boards would continue to be responsi
ble for granting deferments on the
basis of hardship or college Study.
The random selection plan
eliminates the oldest-first basis of
drafting which calls those of the prime
age group born in January and leaves
those born in December practically
Under Nixon's plan, the individual
can examine the ranking of his birth
day among the 365 dates drawn for
the year and determine his draft
vulnerability. This system would
somewhat eliminate the uncertainty
of an individual's draft status.
In his Sept. 19 statement, Nixon
threatened to accomplish his plan by
executiive order if Congress failed to
change the draft laws. The President
would probably rather see the law
changed and a draft system legisla
tively established, however.
Ilershey had openly opposed this
plan and announced his support oi
the lottery system last month only
after administrative pressure.
The announcement of Hershey's
dismissal came on the eve of the Oct.
15 National Vietnam Moratorium and
suggested to some Washington
observers that the moratorium may
have affected the date of the
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