March 3, 1970
The N. C. Essay
Violence is not new to America.
Whie men of European stock seized
the lands of indigenous Indians with
a ferocity which endure until our
own times. The institution of slav
ery shaped the character of the
nation and leaves its mark every
where today. CountloisS "local"
wars were mounted throughout the
Twentieth Century to protect commer
cial interests abroad. Finally,
the United States emerged at Hiro
shima as the arbiter of world
affairs and self-appointed policeman
of the globe.
What is new in 1969 is that for
the first time many affluent
Americans are learning very little
of this disconcerting picture. The
revelations of atrocities by U.S.
servicemen in Viet Nam illustrate
not isolated acts inadvertently
committed by disciplined troops,
but the general pattern of the war,
for its character is genocidal.
It has been fought from the air
with napalm and fragmentation bombs,
helicopter gunships and pellet
bombs, the spraying of poisons on
thousands of acres of crops and the
use of enormous high explosive wea
pons. Civilian areas have been
declared "free fire zones" and the
policy has been one of mechanical
slaughter. On the ground, "search
and destroy" missions have used
zass in lethal quantities, the
killing of prisioners, and syste
matic interrogation under electrical
and other tortures.
Senator Kennedy has released
figures given to him as chairman
of the Senate refugees subcommittee.
He says that there have been one
million civilian casualtities in
South Viet Nam alone since 1965,
of which 300,000 have been killed.
In the London Times of Decembfer 3,
Washington correspondent Louis Keren
compares such slaughter to the
Nazi record in Eastern Europe:
"These are terrible figures, pro
portionally perhaps comparable to
the losses suffered by the Soviet
Union in the Second World War,"
Two days earlier, the same
paper's correspondent in Saigon,
Fred Emery, reported: "What begins
as a firefight in a hamlet cra-
tinues compulsively long after
opposing fire has been suppressed.
With such appalling fire discipline
among all units in Viet Nam, it is
only exhaustion of ammunition that
brings engagements to an end."
This is precisely the picture
which emerged from the sessions on
the International War Crimes Tribunal
in Scandinavia in 1967. The
Tribunal heard from former U.S. ser
vicemen of the dropping of
Vietnamese prisioners from helicopters,
the killing of prisioners under
torture and the shooting on orders
of those trying to be accepted as
prisioners. All this and much more
was known years ago to anyone con
cerned with the truth. It was cer
tainly known to tens of thousands
of troops in Viet Nam. The London
Times’ Saigon correspondent, des
cribing the reactions of recent
revelations of Americans in Viet
Nam, commented:"...There is a strong
undercurrent of knowledge and fear
that 'there, but for the grace of
God, go I.'"
This is why the prosecution of
isolated junior officers is quite
inadequate. They are to be made
scapegoats. The more wicked war
criminals are the highest ranking
military and civilian leaders, the
architects of the whole genocidal
policy. Have we so soon forgotten
the regular breakfasts at which,
Johnson boasted openly, he and Mc
Namara and their closest colleagues
selected the targets for the coming
This in turn is why it is lud
icrous to suggest that na inquiry
should be mounted by anyone associa
ted with the government or armed
forces. The whole establishment
stands condemned, including those
more moderate politicians whose
every utterance is still dictated
by caution and petty ambition.
Goldberg's call for a commission of
"concerned patriotic Americnas"
would be a 'sublime irrelevance were
it not the very means whereby the
full horror would be hidden. Only
a Pentagon enquiry could do worse.
Because I doubt whether an enquiry
in the United States would be free
from the most severe harassment, I
have invited some 15 heads of
state around the world to press the
U.N. Secretary General to establish
any enquiry into war crimes in Viet
Several American newspapers have
observed the reaction to the massacre
revelations has been much more rapid
and sharp in Western Europe than in
the United States. This is highly
alarming. The entire American
people are now on trial. If there is
not a massive moral revulsion at
what is being done in their names to
the people of Viet Nam, there may be
little hope for the future of Ameri
ca. Having lost the will to continue
the slaughter is not enough; the
people must now repudiate their
civil and military leaders.
Reprinted from Rampartsy
by: Bertrand Russell
n. o. essay staff
EDITOR Anthony Senter
ADVISOR Anthony Fragola
"Guys .Amd Dolls"
Harch 6 - T! 8:15 pm
OPERAS PROVIDE Evening of Fum
By Beverly bolter
(from Sat. Winston Journal)
"An Evening of Chamber Operas"
was an evening of fun last night at
the North Carolina School of the Arts.
The students presented excerpts
from two operas — "The Marriage of
Figaro" by Mozart and "The Barber of
Seville" by Rossini — and a one-
act opera, "Une Education Manque" or
"Incomplete Education" by Chabrier.
The operas are comic operas.
The students did with them what pro
fessional singers almost never suc
ceed in doing — they made them
Granted the effort involved a
certain amount of slapstick, but it
was never overdone.
SINGERS ARE GOOD
Besides that, the singers sang
and performed very well. Some of
them are new to the school's oper
atic stage, and some are students
who have been heard locally in
school productions and in other
The singers enjoyed excellent
support from the orchestra conduc
ted by Norman Johnson. The singers
performed against an ingenious set,
which with only a few changeds ser
ved for all three operas. William
Beck was the stage director.
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