Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Student's Newspaper. Volume 31 Number 2. March 12, 1968
Bernard Levin usually seems placed as a second-class Malcolm Muggeridge. To those who watch his acidulous interviews on T.V., he appears part of the group of anti-pundits that includes Muggeridge and J. K. Galbraith (who was recently rated in Time as the "all-purpose bore").
Levin's views on Vietnam might be a foregone conclusion, but for a recent article in his regular column with the London Daily Mail. After expressing the hope that his readers had enjoyed last evening as much as he had, with a visit to the opera, Levin remembered the arm-chair critics of the U.S.A. Did they have a pleasant night? "A lot of Americans and South Vietnamese, however, spent it dying."
'They spend it dying," continued Levin, "so that you can go on watching television, reading books and helping the children with their homework, and so that I can go on listening to Wagner. I don't know about you, but I am grateful and will now say why."
To Levin, the war in Vietnam is "confused and horrible, its aims blurred, its cost in innocent blood unaccountable. But if it is lost, if the Americans finally get tired of doing the world's work for nothing but the world's abuse, if South Vietnam is left to its fate, then what will follow, as surely as Austria followed the Rhineland, and Czechoslovakia followed Austria, and Poland followed Czechoslovakia and six years of world war followed Poland, is a nuclear confrontation on a global seale between the forces engaged in one tiny corner of the globe."
As Levin's readers got over their shock, the mail came flooding in. But the most surprising part of the whole episode was that it ran three to one in favour of his stand. Perhaps a note of caution here for our profs. and protesters lining up their consciences for the oncoming session even the South Vietnamese have a right to life, let alone peace.
The strength of the vociferous minority of anti-Americans in our community has very little relation to the dust they raise. The results of a properly run poll on the Subject would interesting.