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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 12. 1965.

Vietnam — An American Replies

Vietnam — An American Replies

Sirs.—Your position on the matter of sending your troops to Vietnam (Salient, June 15) is rather surprising to me. A study of history would enlighten you.

The reason the United Stales is in Vietnam and is asking others to join us in defending freedom there dates back to the Roosevelt administration here. Russia went Red during World War I. Neither Presidents Wilson or Hoover would recognise Russia. F.D.R. did. And the reason was that both he and his wife were Reds. Mrs. R. recanted and confessed her error after F.D.R.'s death.

F.D.R. gave Russia unlimited support, material and supplies during World War II, about 11 billion dollars worth of planes, trucks, ships, ammunition, not a penny of which was ever repaid. He set the stage for the division of Germany and the blockade of Berlin through treaties engineered after the war. He also arranged the division of Korea without consulting the Koreans. Secretary of State Acheson sparked the war there by ordering the military to evacuate. Russia then went in and attempted to take over. Truman surprised Acheson by ordering the defence of South Korea and we lost over a hundred thousand men there to keep South Korea out of the clutches of the Communists.

Ho Chi Minh was trained in Russia and, with Russia's aid, engineered the revolt against the French and the Treaty of Geneva, which resulted in the division of Vietnam. Then the Communists broke the treaty provisions and began their aggression in South Vietnam.

President Eisenhower realised that the line must be drawn someplace or the Communists would eventually take over the world, as they had announced they would, and as they still plan to do. So, at the invitation of South Vietnam, we sent advisers to help them in the defence of their freedom.

Consider what would happen if this were not done. With South Vietnam in its power, and with the connivance of Cambodia, used as a base for many operations, Thailand and Burma would be next. The Chinese Communists are already starting their aggression in Thailand.

If all South-east Asia comes under Communist control, whether Russian or Chinese makes no difference, and with Indonesia ready to help, how long do you think it would be before they began the rape of Australia and New Zealand?

The United States does not covet a square foot of any other country. We are in Vietnam in defence of freedom everywhere. New Zealand is a sovereign nation. It makes its own laws, its own decisions. I cannot conceive of any way in which the United States could enforce New Zealand's participation in the defence of freedom in South Vietnam, even if it wanted to.

We are simply defending the world against Communism on the line drawn there.

As to the Santo Dominican situation. Had we not gone in there when we did, the Communists would now be in control there, as they are in Cuba. And Castro, with Russia's aid, is "exporting" Communism, arms and ammunition, and tons of propaganda, as well as saboteurs, to many countries in Latin America, notably Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay and Mexico.

In her own self-interest, New Zealand should join the United States in South Vietnam in the defence of freedom—for all men everywhere.

Read history and weep for "Man's Inhumanity to Man."

C. Henry Nims.

Detroit, Michigan, USA.