The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 23, 1971, Page PAGE 5, Image 5

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Orders -for yx
William F. Buckley, Jr .
1 ris v.
Frank Mankiewitz and Tom Braden
Not cool, but sullen
W ASH 1 NGTON--"The cooling of
America," Time calls it, and when anything
makes the cover of Time, you know it has
been around for a while. On college
campuses across the country and in" the
streets of a hundred towns, it has been
visible for months. But "cooling'" is the
wrong word- ""cooling suggests peace and
open spaces and calm.
Whither Spring, 1970?
What has happened to last spring's voices
of anger? It is the difference between a
World Series game, with largely non-fun
spectators cheering openly and unashamedly
at every pitch, at Shibe Park in Philadelphia
and a Phillies" game in September.
Philadelphia's baseball fans are famous for
their belief that their team is going
nowhere, and badly, and it has made them
sullen and mutinous. The mutter that comes
from the grandstand may be less frightening
to the listener than the full-throated roar of
the Series crowd, but only those who don't
know anything about baseball, or crowds,
would call it "cooler."
Dissent Not dead
Opposition to the war has not diminished
where it was strong, despite the decline in its
decibel-count; the silence on the campus is
the silence of despair and disillusion. The
very phrase "opposition to the war" is no
longer descriptive, for it seems to set forth a
rational position, modifiable in the face of
new developments, as one might say "the
opposition to revenue sharing."
The feeling about Vietnam is no longer
rational, no longer one of "opposition." It is
one of hatred and loathing, of a moral
revulsion so great that it is turning a whole
generation to a morose, sour and uncaring
view of America itself. Melvin Laird may
grin at the latest semantic nuance that
permits a "Cambodian Military Development
Team" of 60 American combat soldiers from
Saigon to go into the field with the
Cambodian army to show them how to use
U.S. weapons-"ground combat troops" are
forbidden, but the students and their allies
are not amused. Worse, they are not even
They expected it, as they expected the
invasion of Laos, as they expected the claim
that " casualties are diminishing" even as we
kill more Asians than before, just as they
expect an invasion of North Vietnam and
the use of tactical nuclear weapons.
They expect these things because their
belief about their country is that it is a
country which would do those things, and
somehow lie about it to make it seem
connected with 'freedom" and "peace with
True, there may be more peace marches,
there may be more political activity by the
young, but the sense of possibility of
change, of participation in a "movement," is
gone, at least for now. What passes for
silence and acquiescence on the campus and
in the peace movement- "coolness," if you
will-is the calm of introspection and an
attempt at self-knowledge.
Up with Middle America
This all comes through in the music.
So-called "hard-rock," with nearly rnindkss
and largely destructive themes, closely
connected to hallucinatory drugs, is almost
gone, to be replaced by what is now called
"country" or "folk" rock.
It is a part of the movement back to the
farm, or the urban commune. It includes a
great increase of concern in personal health,
in baking one's own bread and making one's
own preserves, in avoiding the chemicals and
preservatives that "they" put in foods. It
presages, of course, a turn from chemical
drugs, but that may be the only hopeful
A visit to any campus whether Ivy or
"$quare"-would yield the same report.
Those who see silence on the campus as
some kind of "victory" for the war policy,
or as "agreement" that the war is not an
issue, deceive themselves badly. Consider the
words of John Viscount Morley one-hundred
years ago : "You have not converted a man,"
he wrote, "because you have silenced him."
Hanoi's little helper
But let him introduce
himself. "My name is David
Ifshin, and I'm president of the
National Students Association
of the United States, and I was
student body president at
Syracuse University last year. I
just graduated. I came to North
Vietnam after being denied
admission to South Vietnam,
where you are right now. We
had hoped to go to. South
Vietnam to meet with the
students there and to discuss,
find out the situation regarding
the Thieu-Ky regime and their
oppression of the Vietnamese
Ifshin to Hanoi
Having been denied entry
into South Vietnam where he
was determined to "find out
the situation," young Ifshin
apparently realized that what
the hell, he knew the situation
anyway, so he went on to
Hanoi and explained the
situation, over the radio,
beamed to United States
troops in South Vietnam.
South Vietnam's ability to see
through this preposterous little
phoney speaks well for it. One
cannot easily imagine General
MacArthur granting an
interview to Tokyo Rose.
There are various available
levels of indignation. 1) By
siding thus directly with the
enemy, he becomes an enemy
of the United States. It is one
thing to argue against the
Vietnam War in the United
States. It is another to attempt
to demoralize American troops
on the field. Psychological
warfare is a recongnized branch
of - warfare. There is no
philosophical difference
between what Ifshin did during
the broadcast from Hanoi, and
the firing of bullets at
American soldiers.
Then, 2), there is the
effrontery of the thing. He
might have begun his broadcast
by saying, "I'm David Ifshin,
and although I'm president of
the National Students
Association, I am a member of
a tiny minority of American
students who believe the
Communist Party line on all
matters that relate to North
Vietnam." G.I.'s listening in
might at least have respected
the auspices of the speaker. Or
if he had said, "Although I am
president of the National
Students Association, I must
confess that Wall Street
imperialists so greatly
dominate American colleges
and universities that the
overwhelming body of the
students are blinded to the
But no: he simply presents
himself as president of the
National Students Association;
which is as representative of
American students as Charles
Manson is of American boy
scouts. But that is for the
National Students Association
to fret about, and one doesn't
particularly care what they do
about it, because, long since,
no one has particularly cared
what the National Students
Association does or says about
3) But in a sense the wont
is to come. Young Ifshin has
had so many political roles in
his young career, that one can
only assume he has not had
time to study. Presumably, as a
freshman, he set out for
Syracuse University to "find
out the situation." The
authorities at Syracuse were at
once misguided in letting him
matriculate, because clearly he
did not want to "find out the
situation" in the world of
learning; and misguided in
letting him graduate, in view of
the fact that clearly he had not
learned anything.
Rhetoric revealing
Listen: "The Thieu-Ky
regime is one of the most
oppressive regimes in history."
Could Ifshin have studied any
history, ancient, medieval, or
modern? Any political science?
Economics? 'I realize
especially after this trip, that
the U.S. Government does not
go to South Vietnam to fight
for democracy, or to defend
the right of the people, but
they go there and send us to
murder the people of Vietnam
in order to make South
Vietnam into one large U. S.
military base, not to defend
the United States but to
aggressively threaten other
countries. The fear is that if
the people of Vietnam are
allowed to have their own
country, are allowed to
determine for themselves their
own interests, they will not
support the investments of
private capitaL"
As though American capital,
bleeding from the expenses of
the war, needs support from
"the people" of South
Vietnam! Probably the young
man's teachers thought better
of trying to teach him
anything, and sent him off
instead to serve as president of
the National Students
Association, for which hit
ignorance qualifies him.
Telephones: editor: 472-2588, news: 2589, advertising: 2590. Second
claw postage rates paid at Lincoln, Neb.
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Address: The Daily Nebraskan. 34 Nebraska Union. University or
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