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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 30, 1974)
inners and losers
Novelist Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
was sadly on target when he
wr ote that wars are about as easy
to stop as glaciers. This is true in
no case so much as Vietnam.
It was a year ago last Sunday
that officials gathered in the
gilded ballroom of Paris' Majestic
Hotel and signed a peace
agreement concerning the
Vietnam conflict. After a quarter
century, the carnage supposedly
was to cease.
As it turned out, the pact,
resuited in peace , only for the
United States. For the
Vietnamese, it was just another
year. One observer has noted
that not a day has passed since a;
year ago Jan. 27 without fighting
and death. In the first year of
so-called peace, Saigon said it
killed 42,000 Communists. On
the side of South Vietnam,
11,000 reportedly are dead,
52,000 wounded and 4,000
I n this year, only three
American servicemen and an
equal number of U.S. civilians
died in Vietnam while going
about noncombat operations.
The major American toll now
appears to be related to dollars.
For example, Nebraskans for
Peace report that the United
States now pays about 80 per
cent of Gen. Thieu's budget; at
least 6,000 U.S. advisers are
assigned to Vietnam and Uncle
Sam still supplies Saigon's Air
Force the fourth largest in the
world-with 22,000 barrels of oil
a day. American planes still drop
American bombs on Vietnam
daily, Nebraskans for Peace says,
except that now the pilots are
Despite the relief and hoopla
that attended the signing of the
peace agreement, the Southeast
Asia elements apparently never
intended to substitute ballots for
As for the U.S. involvement,
one bitter maxim is all too
appropos: Win or lose, a nation
pays for each war-forever.
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afo7 's woes: of Nixon, oy Nixon, ror Nixon
;,, We citizens of the. United States are in a better'
position than "residents of most nations: all our
problems can be laid at the feet of one man. Unlike
England, where one must choose between the coal
miners and the government, and unlike the Soviet
Ammni'f'Vi'fow - reuitkmja re made in secret by
fjzyjmiuA.q-ia.y.., ,h ueauctajts.. the. problems
Americans face are the result of a single person.
There are a few hitches in the process, of course,
for some of our troubles are caused by the way we
live. Dealing with oil as a nonrenewable resource
(which it is) surely should have averted the energy
shortage. A little foresight may have avoided some
damage to our environment. But the collapse in
confidence in government, especially in the
presidency, the pathetic state of the Republican
Party's chances in 1974 and even the state of our
economy all directly result from the personality,
philosophy and actions of President Richard M.
Taken together, the mess Nixon has caused makes
Vice President Gerald Ford's blaming, the
impeachment moYernenit on a few Nixon-haters seem
silly. A year ago there were hardly any Nixon-haters.
Only after evidence, concessions end the
administration's disregard for the public's intelligence
pointed to serious wrongdoing and incompetence did
a major contingent of Nixon-haters surface. It is
ironic that many of the Nixon-haters Ford refers to
voted for the man in 1972.
I rs- r-r"
Nixon began 1973 with everyone on his side
except academic liberals (who couldn't forget his
past) and active Democrats (who wouldn't vote for
any Republican). But price controls cost him
organized labor's neutrality and the AFL-CIO can be
an awesome enemy, even for a Republican. It wasn't
the reality of controls that angered labor, it vas the
typically Nixonian pro-business, anti-labor way of
.handling them that made George Meany so angry.
Philosophical conservatives, such as Barry
Goldwater and William Buckley, grew nervous aboul
supporting Nixon for the same reason philosophical
Republicans did. The reason is that awful,
overworked, ambiguous word: Watergate. In all its
ramifications, Watergate pointed to incompetence or
dishonesty at the jppYhether..cn.a.55S copseryalism.
or Reoublicanism as kth solvation of the state, either
philosophy requires leadership, and leadership seems
not to emanate from the Nixon White House.
Today, more than a year after the second Nixon
inauguration, the President probably can count on
fewer voters than he could count against him in 19"2.
And what an undistinguished group of voters hey
are, for his only support these days is among the Rose
Mary Woods group of Nixon loyalists and among the
knothead right. (The knothead right includes the
Young Americans for Freedom and a handful of
Midwestern legislators who read somewhere that
Nixon is a conservative Republican.)
What it means is that for all our troubles we're
pretty lucky. We can blame it on one person who
hardly anyone likes anyway. And w? can go a long
way toward solving those troubles by simply
removing that one person from office.
I NEVER TOUCHED
ANY' OF THOSE TAPES -v
f,--..- i g'wmmw
Wednesday, january 301974
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