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Vol. 3, No. 2: February 1971
Harvey Gardner - Academic Incompetence
Robert G. Layer - Reforming the Center
Douglas Allen - Is Academic Freedom Still a Viable Principle?
David Marr - Intellectual Functionaries
Nina Adams - Self-Censorship
Ngo Vinh Long - Vietnamese Students and the Center
Huynh Kim Khahn - You Have Planned Enough!
Gabriel Kolko - The Political Significance of the Center for
Vietnamese Studies and Programs
Ngo Vinh Long - and Reform?
Earl Martin - A Child of Son My
Al McCoy - Subcontracting Counterinsurgency: Academics in
Thailand 1954-1970
Stanley Sheinbaum - The Michigan State-CIA Experience in
Eqbal Ahmad - Theories of Counterinsurgency
Arthur Waskow - Domestic Counterinsurgency
Douglas Dowd - What Must the University Be?
BCAS/Critical AsianStudies
CCAS Statement of Purpose
Critical Asian Studies continues to be inspired by the statement of purpose
formulated in 1969 by its parent organization, the Committee of Concerned
Asian Scholars (CCAS). CCAS ceased to exist as an organization in 1979,
but the BCAS board decided in 1993 that the CCAS Statement of Purpose
should be published in our journal at least once a year.
We first came together in opposition to the brutal aggression of
the United States in Vietnam and to the complicity or silence of
our profession with regard to that policy. Those in the field of
Asian studies bear responsibility for the consequences of their
research and the political posture of their profession. We are
concerned about the present unwillingness of specialists to speak
out against the implications of an Asian policy committed to en-
suring American domination of much of Asia. We reject the le-
gitimacy of this aim, and attempt to change this policy. We
recognize that the present structure of the profession has often
perverted scholarship and alienated many people in the field.
The Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars seeks to develop a
humane and knowledgeable understanding of Asian societies
and their efforts to maintain cultural integrity and to confront
such problems as poverty, oppression, and imperialism. We real-
ize that to be students of other peoples, we must first understand
our relations to them.
CCAS wishes to create alternatives to the prevailing trends in
scholarship on Asia, which too often spring from a parochial
cultural perspective and serve selfish interests and expansion-
ism. Our organization is designed to function as a catalyst, a
communications network for both Asian and Western scholars, a
provider of central resources for local chapters, and a commu-
nity for the development of anti-imperialist research.
Passed, 2830 March 1969
Boston, Massachusetts
overt wen
Who plt it
-ltiJert JiJ!;! Liftm
War and Revolution
Edited by
Nina S. Adams and Alfred W. McCoy
articles and statements by
Fred Branfman
Alf:.ted w. M::Coy
Philippe Devi.llers
Noam Ch:msky
Iblglas F. ra'f'rl
George Concbninas
Nina S. Adams
Peter Dale Scott
Jacques Decx:>moy
Marek Thee
TraIl Van Dinh
-Richard Nixon
D. Gareth Partet
and others
'''!bis extremely important book
is unique in what it "tells us
about, Laos, about
manipulations and
making there, about the gifted
and dedicated yotlnJ
Asian - specialists
together and wrote much of it.
nLaos: War and Revolution is a
provocative IXiOk idiidi reflects
both the bitterness and the
scholarship of a new generaticn
A publication of the
of Asianists. 'nle fact that it
had to be written is a serious
Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars
indict:rrent of the veracity of
four administratiCJlS on the s ~
Hazper , a:w, publishers
ject of Laos.
Ilecelt'ber, 1970
-Janes C. 'I!x:msal
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
You have planned
enough-you have
planned enough
killings in our country!
at the Conference on Scholarly
Integrity and University Compli
city held at Southern Illinois
University, commenting on the
Vietnam Center's plans to assist
in the "social and economic de
velopment of Vietnam and its
postwar reconstruction. II
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
February, 1971
ASIAN SCHOLARS/SpecialIssueon the Vietnam Center at SIU:
A case study in how AID is taking over
Vietnamese studies in the United States
3 chronology of the Viet Center
4 communications
5 letters of resignation
C. Harvey Gardiner 13 Academic Incompetence
Chancellor Robert G. Layer 18 Reforming the Center
Douglas Allen 21 Is Academic Freedom Still a Viable Principle?
David Ma" 27 Intellectual Functionaries
Nina Adams 30 Self-Censorship
Ngo Vinh Long 32 Vietnamese Students and the Center
Huynh Kim Khanh 35 You Have Planned Enough!
Gabriel Kolko 39 The Political Significance of the Center for Vietnamese
Studies and Programs
Ngo Vinh Long 50 Land Reform?
Earl Martin 54 A Child of Son My
Al McCoy 56 Subcontracting Counterinsurgency: Academics in Thai
Stanley K. Sheinbaum 71 The Michigan State-CIA Experience in Vietnam
EqbalAhmad 76 Theories of Counterinsurgency
Arthur Waskow 81 Domestic Counterinsurgency
Douglas Dowd 85 What Must the University Be?
89 documents
Editors: Jim Peck & Mark Selden Editorial Staff for This Issue: Bonnie Abiko, Lewis Cook, Chuck Hayford, Leigh Kagan, Perry
Link, Jim Morrell, Floyd O'Brien, Jim Sanford, Kitty Williamson, Alan Wolfe. Editorial Board: Kathleen Gough Aberle, Nina
Adams, Marianne Bastid, Herbert Bix, Noam Chomsky, John Dower, Ed Friedman, Leigh Kagan, Jonathan Mirsky, Ray Moore, Jim
Sanford, Orville Schell, Franz Schurmann, Marilyn Young, Yamashita Tatsuo. Bulletin Correspondence: 9 Sutter Street, Room 300.
San Francisco, Calif. 94104. Manuscripts: Mark Selden, 7068 Watermart. University City, Mo. 63130. CCAS Correspondence
National Coordinators: AI McCoy, 29 Lake Place, New Haven, Conn. 06520; Felicia Oldfather, CCAS, 2168 Shattuck, Room 316,
Berkeley, Calif. 94704. Subscriptions: $6.00 for one yeil\'"; student rate is $4.00. A subscription blank appears inside back cover.
Thanks to the Southern Illinois Peace Committee for their help in assembling this issue of the Bulletin.
The Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, Special Issue, February 1971. Published quarterly in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.
James Peck, Publisher, 9 Sutter St., Room 300, San Francisco, Calif. 94104. 'Application to mail at secondclass postage rates is
pending at San Francisco, California.
Copyright 01970, Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
preliminary note
August 1954 ............ _.... Fishel goes to Saigon to advise
On October 17, 1970 a group of aging businessmen--
successful bankers, merchandisers and jobbers in the
smaU towns of southern Illinois-summoned Instructor
Douglas ADen of SIU to one of their meetings. They
tnld him that as of June 30, 1971, he would no longer
teaching philosophy to the students of SIU. "Mr.
Allen has criticized the university and the public knows
it," explained the octogenarian chainnan of the SIU
Board of Trustees. "The Board felt it was to the
best interest of the university not to have people of
that caliber on the faculty. If Mr. Allen is unhappy
at the university, we see no reason why he should want
to stay and teach there."
Does anyone have a job for Mr. Allen?
During the same meeting the Board voted without
comment to rescind a scheduled salary increase for
Distinguished Research Professor. of History C. Har
vey Gardiner. AD of the other members of the His
tory Department received their scheduled increases.
What had Messrs. Allen and Gardiner done to merit
such an impressive display of academic statesmanship
by the SIU council of elders? The answer is essen
tially contained within the papers submitted by them
to this special issue of the Bulletin. They had dared
to Criticize-publicly, insistently, and emphatically-
the presence of the AID-funded Center for Vietnamese
Studies and Programs on the SIU campus and had
called for its elimination.
Obviously, they had done the wrong thing. They
had exercised their right of free speech and in so
doing had displeased the small-time businessmen to
whom are entrusted the destinies of a major American
university. But on October 23, they were joined by
some 20 noted scholars of Vietnamese and Asian
affairs-including Eqbal Ahmad, who has since become
the victim of a much more severe and bizarre fonn of
repression-who gathered at SIU to dissect the Center
for Vietnamese Studies and the motivations of AID
for funding it. Their findings are presented in the
foUowing pages.
V"aetnmn Lobby to Cambodian Lobbyists
July 1950........Wesley Fishel meets Ngo Dinh
Diem in a Tokyo tearoom,
brings him to United States.
Vietnam Lobby is underway.
July 1954.... Diem becomes Premier of South
May 1955-1962
May 1961
June 1962
April 1966
November 1968
February 1969
May 1969
July 1, 1969
July 11, 1969
August 1969
October 1969
November 1969
January 1970
Michigan State Advisory Group
buys guns for Diem, fronts for
CIA. Project is sponsored by
ICA (AID's) predecessor agency)
and headed by Fishel (1956-58).
SIU gets $2 million in AID con
tracts for education programs
in Vietnam. Over 4000 Viet
namese are trained in American
ways of education, including
200 province chiefs (high gov
ernment officials sent out by
SI U undertakes to train South
Vietnamese prison officials
for AID.
Ramparts exposes Michigan
State scandal.
Richard M. Nixon goes to
Washington as President of the
United States.
John Hannah, President of Mich
igan State, goes to Washington
as Nixon's new AID Adminis
Fishel goes to Carbondale.
Center for Vietnamese Studies
and Programs at SIU becomes
AID announces $1 million
grant to Center "for economic
and social development of
Vietnam and its post-war recon
Milton Sacks, Brandeis, ex-State
Department, goes to Carbondale
to advise Center.
H. B. Jacobini, ex-AID Grant
Officer but lacking academic
background in Vietnamese
studies, becomes Director of
Center for Vietnamese Studies
and Programs.
David Marr dissociates himself
from Center.
SIU Philosophy Department
votes not to hire faculty through
First student protests against
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
February 1970
April 7970
May 4, 1970
Mid-May, 1970
Center. Cops club students,
arrest 19.
Over 3000 students march chanting
"Off AlD." Downtown Carbondale
is trashed. National Guard is
called in.
History Department dissociates itself
from Center: "Fiscal and admin
istrative involvement with the Cen
ter poses athreat to academic free
More student protests against Center.
Four students shot dead at Kent
SIU is shut down by a storm of
student protest Viet Center and
Fishel's home are firebombed.
6000 students march on SI U
president's office, others stop
Illinois Central trains. 1200 Na
tional Guardsmen occupy campus,
hundreds of injuries and arrests.
Campus votes in administration
sponsored referendum to eliminate
August 7970 Ce.nter remains, is shifted adminis
tratively from I nternational Services
Division to Chancellor of Carbon
dale Campus.
October 76, 1970 . SIU Board of Trustees fires Douglas
Allen, critic of Center.
October 23-24, 1970 Conference on Scholarlx Integrity
and University Complicity brings
leading Vietnam and Asian scholars
to SIU; international boycott of
Center is announced.
November 1970 Cambodian lobbyists spend week at
SIU, auspices Milton Sacks.
Tong-HOi Sinh-Vien
Saigon Students Union
207 - Hong Bang, Saigon
Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars
Harvard Chapter, U.S.A.
Dear Friends,
It is for us-students from the Saigon Students' Union-
a great pleasure to make the acquaintance of the CCAS,
through one of your colleagues, Miss Cynthia Fredrick.
The South Vietnamese students, who for seven months
have committed themselves to a bitter struggle for peace
and self-determination in their country, wish to express
their great admiration and their profound acknowledg
ment of alI that your committee has done on behalf of
the Vietnamese people.
We are sending you some documents which we have
recently published in the hope that they might be of
some use to you.
We also hope to get to know you better and establish
more solid ties with your committee in order to pro
mote common efforts in the struggle for peace and jus
tice to alI peoples.
- Fraternally,
Huynh Tan Mam
President, Saigon Student
United States Senate
Committee on Foreign Rela
Washington, D.C.
September 29, 1970
Mr. James Morrell
Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars
1737 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Dear Mr. Morrell:
I wish to acknowledge your letter of September 14
concerning Section 211(d) of the Foreign Assistance Act.
As you know, the language of this section is quite broad
and general and the legislative history does not shed much
light on what types of activities are contemplated
for financing under the provision. I question, however,
whether there was any intent to authorize assistance to
universities for purely academic studies which are not
directly related to, or intended to have application to.
foreign development programs.
Sincerely yours,
J. W. Fulbright,
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Stonybrook, New York
October 23, 1970
Doug Allen
Dept. of Philosophy
Carbondale, Ill. 62901
I oppose all obstacles to the free pursuit of Vietnam
ese studies. The SIU Vietnam Center is born of AID in
the spirit of the U S. intervention in Vietnam. The Cen
ter is therefore detrimental to free Vietnamese studies.
I urge all students of Vietnam to work for immediate,
total U.S. disengagement from Vietnam. Effort should
not be cynically spent devising "reconstruction"--a task
exclusively Vietnamese.
Truong Buu Lam
Letters of Resignation
and Statements of Dissociation from the Center
October 31, 1970
H. B. Jacobini
Director, Center for Vietnamese Studies
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, Illinois
Dear Sir:
It has been almost four years since I went to Vietnam.
In 1967 I already knew enough about the war to refuse
to fight in it, but I wanted to go there, to see what it
was all about wiTh my own eyes. So I joined the Inter
national Voluntary Services and travelled, lived, and worked
for a year with many different Americans and Vietnamese.
For a good part of that year I lived in a village of peasant
farmers on a large island in the Mekong River. Although
fighting sometimes broke out on both sides of the river,
the island itself was a peaceful sanctuary from the war.
The Vietnamese helped me build a small thatch house,
and I spent my days working in their fields, fishing the
canals with them, and struggling to relate to them through
a language I could barely understand.
At times I felt more accepted among those people than
I did among my own. It was ironic, because at the same
time I was beginning to feel a great sense of guilt for
what my country and my people were doing to them.
The wanton destruction of towns and villages, the racism
and brutality of the GI's, the corrupting power of
our wealth, the cynicism, opportunism, and repressed
despair-these things filled me with a kind of sick out
rage. But wheneve{ I cursed the Americans for what they
had done, I heard the Vietnamese cursing me. I began
to see that the soldier who pulls the trigger is not the
only one who kills; I was implicated, too, for in merely
doing "my thing" I had unwittingly become a minor
but useful cog in the machinery of a war fought on
many different levels. Many of us in IVS were fiercely
idealistic, and all of us were, I think, supremely well
intentioned. But our effective purpose was to make the
the folks back home complacent about
the American presence in Vietnam. A fellow volunteer,
who died because he spoke his mind, put it best of all:
regardless of what each of us hoped to accomplish by co
coming to Vietnam, he said, we were all together little
more than a "sugar-coating on American genocide."
I left Vietnam because I could not in good conscience
stay. When I returned home, I found many people who
could understand why I left, but very few who could
appreciate the intense longing I had to return. For six
months I travelled around describing what I had seen and
come to believe about Vietnam. I met lots of people
distressed, resentful, and passionately opposed to the
killing. But few of them took more than passing interest
in the life of the Vietnamese.
This was natural, I told myself, since Americans' expo
sure to things Vietnamese is limited mainly to the 6 0'
clock news. Whether hawk or dove, Americans tend to
reduce the Vietnamese to two stereotypes: the corrupt,
cynical politician epitomized by Nguyen Cao Ky, and
the terrified refugee scrambling from the ruins of his
burned-out home.
But I knew individuals in Vietnam. The old carpenter
who helped me build a house and taught me Chinese chess;
the who had fought with the Vietminh; the farmer
. who refused to talk to me; the men who cried. when I
left; the old woman singing a nonsense lullaby to her
granddaughter in the hammock next door-these were the
the Vietnamese in my mind. Preoccupied with their world,
I could not tune in to what was happening here. And
I realized that, once one has lived in Vietnam, there is
no satisfactory way of relating to it except by going
back to live again.
Going back, however, would have to wait until after the
war. I knew I would not return as long as Americans
were there in force. But in 1968 there was still hope
(now abandoned) that some Americans would be allowed
back in, even if the NLF were to gain complete control.
In the meantime, then, I decided to go back to school
to study agriculture and community devel()pment.
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
About a year after I came to SIU, the Vietnam Center
appeared on campus. I was invited to sit in on some of
the initial "task force" committee meetings. Although a
cou pie of people seemed to share my concerns, it was
clear that the Center's main inspiration was coming from
men more interested in what Vietnam could do for SIU
than what SIU could do for Vietnam. Ostensibly they were
looking for ways to help the Vietnamese. In fact they
were looking for ways to capitalize on eight years of
technical assistance programs in Vietnam--no small edge
\\hen it comes to competing with other universities for
lucrative government contracts.
With this as their starting point, Center promoters
were not about to raise any serious moral or political
issues. No one thought it necessary to ask whether or
not Americans had a right, or even a capacity, to do
anything for the Vietnamese, considering what we had
already done to them. No one bothered to ask how the
university could develop a respectable or independent
relationship with a country embroiled in civil war, where
no authority had a clear claim to act in behalf of the
country as a whole. No one seemed to think any addi
tional problems were raised by the fact that our government
has intervened massively in support of one of the warring
factions. Did the Vietnamese even accept the idea of such
a relationship? No one even knew how to begin asking
such a question, and no one had any idea of what would
constitute a meaningful answer. What about North Viet
nam? The NLF? Because these questions were thought
irrelevant, it was reasonable to conclude, as I did, that
the Center's functioning presupposed and depended upon
preservation of American influence in Vietnam.
It was not until the AID grant was announced that I
realized the reverse of this was also true: the preserva
tion and strengthening of American influence in Vietnam
depended in part upon setting up Centers like the one at
SIU. My own experience with AID was enough to assure
me that the funding reeked of ulterior motive. And it
was clear from the task force meeting I attended that the
Center originally planned to involve itself in "technical
assistance," and that only when the Center's critics com
plained did it retreat back into a "strictly academic" role.
But the dispute over the Center's exact function obscured
the real significance of the AID grant. The Center may
stick to academics as its spokesmen insist, but the AID
grant continues to symbolize a willingness on the part
of the University as a whole to cooperate with the
Government in the manipulation and exploitation of the
Vietnamese people. While the Center tends to its studies,
other paris of the University will carry out programs and
fulfill contracts that might not have come their way if
the Center were not here.
As for the Center itself, I can have little confidence
in its scholarly or academic "integrity." Language and
culture courses may be taught fairly and critically, but
the value of the knowledge they impart depends in part
upon the uses to which the knowledge is put. If, as
I believe, the Vietnam Center is part of a University
wide plan to cash in on the American presence in Viet
nam, then the uses are both reprehensible and pre-deter
This is why I am not impressed by the Center's alleged
efforts to recruit scholars with varying points of view.
It is interesting to recall that Center promoters were not
overly concerned about "balance" until after critics
began complaining about the lack of "anti-war" scholars.
But in my opinion such attempts were motivated by a
desire to appease critics, rather than a genuine concern
for political or intellectual balance.
Under these circumstances I am not surprised that anti
war scholars are boycotting the Vietnam Center. The
Center's promoters claim that this is due to "sabotage."
But that is not the problem. The problem is that the
Center is so lacking in credibility that it cannot escape
the stigma of complacency and expediency that marks its
earliest days on campus. The Center has- sabotaged itself.
And how could it be otherwise? From the very beginning
its main support has come from Government bureaucrats,
educational entrepreneurs, professional anti-communists,
and self-seeking attentists who cultivate their careers while
America tears their homeland to pieces. No wonder
the Center can generate so little enthusiasm among the
rest of us.
I have wanted to say these things for a long time, but
once again I fwd myself pointing an accusing fmger in
the mirror. Nine months ago the Center offered me
a fellowship with a monthly stipend of $300. At the time
I was broke, and it was too late to seek funds elsewhere
in the University. Because I knew which side I was on,
I felt that I could use the Center more than it would be
able to use me. As for "technical assistance," I told my
self that the Vietcong would take care of any more of
efforts to "help" the Vietnamese. So I accepted the
fellowship and went back to my studies.
In the months that followed, I regretted that decision
more and more. As the protests increased, people I
admired joined the struggle, and a lot of students went
to jail. I f(mnd it harder and harder to reconcile taking
money from the Center with the sympathy I felt for their
cause. But my financial problems had increased, and I
had come to rely on the fellowship even more_ Since I
was unwilling to give it up, I simply withdrew from the
conflict and tried to avoid thinking about the implicatiOns
it had for me.
That has not worked very well. The recent Conference
on Scholarly Integrity and University Complicity told me
very little I did not already know about the Center and
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
the system of which it is a part. But it reminded me
that once again I have implicated myself in the perpetua
tion of something I abhor. I am not willing to ignore that
fact any longer. I have contemplated merely renouncing
the fellowship, but that is not enough; there were many
times when I could have helped the struggle but kept
silent; but I have not merely abstained from the solution,
I have been part of the problem, to use Eldridge Cleaver's
words. To compensate for this, therefore, I intend to
keep the fellowship and, until it is either terminated
or expires, contribute all proceeds from it to the Southern
Illinois Peace Committee--with the sole stipulation that
the money be used exclusively to help get the Center
removed from this campus. If the SIPC chooses not to
accept, I will look for a suitable substitute. In the event
that none can be found, I will notify you, and you may
consider this as my letter of resignation.
Many times in the past year Doug Allen has served as
an example of courage and dedication for a great many
students. The decision of the Board of Trustees to re
move him from the University merely underlines the cor
ruption that infests our educational system at its core.
Until now, my own actions have not been consistent with
my beliefs, but only with the conflicts I have felt inside.
I have used the fellowship to pursue my own interests.
Now I am putting it to the only use that justifies retaining
it. I only wish that I had had the strength to do this
Sincerely yours,
Jeffrey R. Long
Graduate Student
Community Development
10 November 1969
Mr. Ralph W. Ruffner
Vice-President for Area and International Services
Southern Illinois University
Edwardsville, Ill. 62025
Dear Mr. Ruffner:
Thank you for your letter of 21 October, which I
received only two days ago via Berkeley.
Your offer to serve as an external consultant is cer
tainly a generous one, but unfortunately I feel it my duty
to turn it down. Since meeting with you last spring re
garding your projected Center for Vietnamese Studies,
I have seen little indication that the criticisms I raised then
were in any way incorporated into your planning or exe
cution. It is also not unfair to say that, at present, your
Center lacks the respect of Southeast Asia specialists in
general and most Vietnam specialists in particular. If
I thought I could really change things by joining your
Panel of External Consultants, that would be one thing,
but all indications so far are that the tone set in the
beginning has persisted, and will continue to persist,
unless there is a complete conceptual and structural
I'll be interested in receiving your second newsletter,
nevertheless, and any further general publication. Is there
there not always the possibility of redemption?
Please extend my regards to Professor Kuo, Dr. King
and the others.
David G. Marr
Visiting Assistant Professor
of Vietnamese Studies
The Department of History should not hire a South
east Asian Historian from funds provided by the Agency
for International Development, U.S. State Department,
for the operations of the Center for Vietnamese Studies
and Programs.
We believe that the Center is not primarily an organiza
tion devoted to the scholarly acquisition and dissemination
of knowledge Vietnam has essentially
political objectives, specifically the training of individuals
to participate in the social and economic development of
that country. As one of its chief purposes the Center will
train individuals, both Vietnamese and American, to work
in Vietnam and will also undoubtedly train personnel who
will not actually go to Vietnam but will instruct others
who plan on working there. Consequently, the Center over
a period of years will have contact with large numbers
involved directly or indirectly with Vietnam. Given the
present conditions in Vietnam and the current thrust of
American policy, the Center, through its connections
with a governmental agency, tends to become involved in
upholding American policy and the present regime in
South Vietnam. Although officials of the Center have
stated that its sins are only to promote research and dif
fusion of information about Vietnam and that it has no
connection with the present military and political situa
tion in Southeast Asia, the documentation does not bear
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out this allegation. In fact, the documents stress that a
major function of the Center is support of an involve
ment and presence in Vietnam.
We conclude that the heavy emphasis on non-academic
programs within the operation of the Center is evident in
the very title of its Grant, namely, "A Grant to Strengthen
within Southern Illinois University Competency in Viet
nam Studies and Programs Related to the Economic and
Social Development of Vietnam and its Post-War Recon
struction." The summary of the agreement between
Southern Illinois University and the Agency for Inter
national Development, dated June 6, 1969, emphasizes
that the purpose of the Center is to provide "economic
and social programming" for Vietnam, which takes place
within the current framework of American policy and the
present regime in South Vietnam. The first sentence of
the summary states that "This Grant will strengthen the
existing competency of the Southern Illinois University
Center for Vietnamese Studies and Programs for its pro
gJ:ams of technical assistance and consultation, research,
and training related to the economic and social needs of
Vietnam and its post-war reconstruction." (p. 1) [See
"Documents" section-ed.] The section of the contract
titled "Objectives and Scope" offers further evidence that
the Center will train individuals in problems of Vietnam
under the auspices of A.I.D. The Center has contrac
tual responsibility to
respond ... ____ to requests for assistance on economic and
social development problems in Vietnam from the Agency.
for International Development and other U.S. federal
agencies, p ~ h e r U.S. universities, Vietnamese government
agencies and universities, international and regional
agencies, various private businesses and interested
private citizens.
Certainly this statement implies that the Center is heavily
involved with the present regime of South Vietnam
and American policy in that country.
Nothing in the Grant specifically states that the acti
vities of the Center are limited to South Vietnam and that
they could not include North Vietnam; however, a clause
in the Special Provisions (p. 2) of the contract says that
"a product commodity purchased in any transaction will
not be eligible for U.S. dollar funding if it contains any
component from countries other than Free World
countri,es." This provision not only contradicts a pre
vious piedge in the Grant that "The University will expand
its library and public information service on all aspects
of Vietnam," (p. 4) but it constitutes a built-in an insur
mountable bar to contact with North Vietnam and its
documents, publications, and other materials pertinent
to historical research.
Other parts of the contract reveal the non-academic
character of the Center. One sentence provides that
The University will expand its permanent, full-time
professional core staff, of Vietnamese and U.S. scholars,
which under the Director of the Center for Vietnamese
Studies and Programs, will be responsible for the activities
of the University in programs of assistance to the economic
and social development of postwar Vietnam. These
activities will include organizing interdisciplinary courses
of study about Vietnam .... development of new courses
and the restructuring of some existing courses. (p. 4)
This provision raises the question of interference with the
prerogative of the History Department to formulate and
institute its own courses. A statement in the terms for
the "Administration of A.I.D. Grants" (p. 14) asserts that
"in no event shall copies of any documents relating to
the grant project, if marked, 'Top Secret,' 'Secret,' or
'Confidential,' be furnished .... to any person not entitled
to receive the same." This imposes a form of secrecy
which precludes the free exchange of ideas basic to a
university community.
Although the contract constitutes the most important
evidence, more recent documents further illuminate the
true purpose of the Center. A letter to Senator Fulbright
from John Hannah, the Administrator of AID,dated
September 9, 1969, states that the purpose of the Center
(a) to develop a major resource center of academic
study and competence on Vietnam and the broader
geographic area in which it is located, and (b) to pro
duce technical and professional personnel for assist
ance as requested (underlining added) in the post
war economic and social reconstruction of Vietnam--
with particular attention being paid to Vietnamese and
American veterans of the Vietnam conflict, for
such service. "
In this communication to Senator Fulbright, one of the
most persistent critics of American policy towards Viet
nam, AID understandably tries to interpret the Center in
the best possible light. To be sure, the fmt purpose
sounds scholarly and objective. However, when the se
cond purpose is. introduced, the overwhelming impression
emerges that the fundamental aim of the Center (and the
reason for the AID Grant of $1,000,000, with quite
possibly more in the future) is involvement in the present
political and military situation in Southeast Asia.
The "Newsletter" published by the Center on Septem
ber IS, 1969, reiterates the service function of that organ
ization. It will engage in
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the preparation of both technicians and professionals
for specific goal-related project undertakings in
the economic and social development of Vietnam ....
and will furnish special consultation--short and long
term--and training services to private and government
organizations working in Vietnam, making avail
able the expert advice and services of the personnel
of the Center and the University at large.
The "Operational Guidelines" for the Center for the
present fiscal year were provided on January 19, 1970
by the Chancellor of the Carbondale Campus and the
Vice-President for Area and International Services and
were addressed to the Director of the Center. They
presumably constitute the most recent policy of the
University. The "Guidelines" indicate that a faculty
member paid from Center funds is expected to be signi
ficantly involved in the work of that organization and
would in some degree be subject to its control; the per
tinent passage reads:
Each professor should have a portion
of his time (for example, one-third to one-half)
released from instructional duties for the purpose
of carrying out research and special projects directly
related to Center objectives--as worked out jointly
by the academic department head concerned and
the Center Director.
Even if the local guidelines were changed to eliminate the
provision for released time, the contract and the payment
of the salary by the Center would subject the History De
partment and the Southeast Asian historian to control
by the Center.
It should be pointed out that unsupported oral and
written interpretations which attempt to alter the terms
of the contract are not acceptable. One clause
concerning the "Administration of the AID Center"
(p. 8) holds the Center responsible for adherence to the
contract and sets out the procedure which must be used to
to change any part of the agreement: "If a deviation
from the Grant is contemplated, written approval must
be obtained from the Grant Officer, Office of Procure
ment, Contract Services Division, A.I.D."
Although any faculty member is free to make his
own contracts and have his own associations, it is
undesirable for the History Department to hire a South
east Asian historian with the funds of the Center for
Vietnamese Studies and Programs.
The committee concludes the following:
a) That our concept of academic ideals precludes
identification with this Center;
b) That fiscal and administrative involvement with
the Center could impinge upon the Department's
prerogative to organize and institute its own course of
c) That the Center's personnel guidelines impinge
upon the Department's present practices concerning the
teaching load, salary, released time, and freedom of
choice of research subjects;
d) That the outlook and limited vision prescribed
by the terms of the Grant make historical objectivity
e) That, finally, fiscal and administrative involvement
with the Center poses a threat to academic freedom.
Howard W. Allen
Harry Ammon
Michael C. Batinski
Charles W. Berberich
Donald L. Brehm
M. Browning Carrott
David E. Conrad
Donald S. Detwiler
Betty L. Fladeland
C. Harvey Gardiner
Robert L. Gold
Thadd E. Hall
Harold A. McFarlin
Reinhold C. Mueller
James D. Murphy
Len R. Shelby
John Y. Simon
Henry S. Vyverberg
David P. Werlich
Stanley Zucker
April 28, 1970
Dr. W. R. Fishel
Southeast Asia: An International Quarterly
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, lllinois 62901
On returning form my trip, I found your letter as
well as one from Prof. H. B. Jacobini, neither 'of which
had been forwarded to me in the Far East.
Y9U know my reaction since you have received my
telegram requesting you to remove my name from your
International Advisory Board.
Indeed, at the time of your visit you told me that you
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were at the stage of contacts which you hoped would be
as broad as possible, and that you already had approval
from a rather wide spectrum of Americans. Among these
you mentioned colleagues whose position regarding the
war in Vietnam is ethically irreproachable.
Now, however, instead of a typed list for my preliminary
approval, I have received a printed prospectus with my
name on it and moreover with the names of several col
leagues who to my knowledge must have experienced the
same unpleasant surprise, and which, you additionally
informed me, was distributed at the annual convention
of the Association of Asian Studies in San Francisco on
April 3-5.
In the present circumstances, your undertaking does not
offer sufficient guarantees of academic freedom for me to
associate myself with it. I ask you to publish and distri
buttl a retraction.
Sincerely yours,
G. Condominas
P.S. Of course I shall send copies of this letter to each
one of our colleagues.
St. Louis Airport,
Missouri, U.S.A.
26th September 1970
Professor W. Fishel and Dr. Jacobini
Center for Vietnamese Studies
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, Illinois, U.S.A.
Dear Dr. Jacobini and Professor Fishel,
I should like to thank you for your courtesy and hos
pitality whilst I was in Carbondale. In the course of the
five days I spent at your Center and University it has
been possible for me to meet a considerable number of
university teachers, and administrative officials
who are concerned in one way or another with Vietnam
ese or other South-East AsianStudies. However, mindful
that I was a guest of your Center, I deliberately avoided
making contact with any of the detractors of your Center
on the staff of SIU as this would, in my view, have been
improper. I should like you to know, furthermore, that
the conclusions I have reached have in no way been deter
mined by the opinions or views of members of other
universities, either in the USA or in Europe. In other
words, my assessment of the Center for Vietnamese
Studies and the academic auspices of the projected journal
Southeat Asia has been made on the basis of my observa
tions and discussions at Carbondale.
My fum conclusion, I much regret, is that I wish to
terminate any links I have had with. both the Center for
Vietnamese Studies at SIU, and with its Journal. I do not
however bear any personal grudge or disaffection for any
individual member or associate of the Center. On the
contrary, I have considered it a privilege to be introduced
to such excellent and dedicated Vietnamese scholars as
Professors Nguyen-Dinh-Hoa and Nguyen-Khae-Hoach.
My decision makes necessary my resignation-which I
wish to take effect immediately--from membership of
the Editorial Advisory Board of the journal Southeast
Asia. For the same reason I shall not now submit to Dr.
Hildred Geertz, the Book Reviews Editor of Southeast
Asia, the review article on recent sociological and anthro
pological writing on Indonesia that she had requested
for the first issue of the Journal, and that I had previously
agreed to write.
As you know, the purpose of my visit to your Univer
sity and Center was .misrepresented in a number of places
on the campus, especially in the campus newspaper The
Egyptian. I have already taken steps to correct these
misrepresentations, and I would ask you to correct any
other similar errors or distortions if they come to your
notice. I have also made it clear, both in my public
lecture on Thursday night, under your auspices, and in
discussion with members of your Center and other tea
chers in the University, that I have not profited personally
from funds whose source is, for me personally, morally
con taminated.
My decision is based solely on academic considerations,
and in no way affects my realtionship with or regard for
individuals at SIU, many of whom have shewn me much
courtesy and consideration.
Yours sincerely,
M. A. Jaspan
cc. Dr. H. Geertz
April 16, 1970
Professor Wesley Fishel
Editor, Southeast Asia
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, Ill. 62901
Dear Wes:
Apparently because of the mail strike backlog, I received
your letter of April lst just a few days ago.
It is with deep regret that I must write this letter. Des
pite our fundamental disagreement on the Vietnam War
and my disapproval of some of your activities, which may
well be mutual, you have always dealt with me fairly.
The incident which I describe below thus comes as a rude
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You are well aware of the fact that I agreed to serve
on the International Editorial Advisory Board of your new
Journal only after being assured of the wide political
spectrum represented. I asked in particular about the
presence of David Marr on the Board of Editors during
our telephone conversation of about March 20th and you
reassured me that he had accepted your invitation, rep
repeating what you had said in February. Now I discover
that, in fact, David Marr is not a member of the Board,
had never agreed to become one, and had made very
clear to you again more than a month ago that he would
not so agree.
Since my agreement to serve on the International Edi
torial AdviSOry Board was made on the basis of this mis
information, I must withdraw. I will communicate my
decision to other members of the Board so that there will
be no further confusion on this matter.
David Wurfel
Associate Professor
November 2, 1970
Professor Wesley Fishel
Editor, Southeast Asia
Department of Political Science
Michigan State
East Lansing, Michigan
Dear Wes:
It has been some time since we last spoke. Since April
I have been to Singapore and, of course, have received
the letter distributed by Condominas. While in Singa
pore I had a chance to chat with K. J. Ratnam about his
attitude toward membership on the International Advisory
Board of Southeast Asia.
More recently I have become better informed about
the situation at SIU through the panel on the subject at
the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs in Bloomington.
Included in the discussions were lengthy informal presen
tations by Joel Maring and Nguyen Dinh Hoa.
As a result of these experiences, I must reiterate my
decision to withdraw from the International Advisory
Board of your quarterly. At the same time I send this
letter to you I will be informing other members of the
Board of my deCision,. as well as other interested persons.
It appears to me that the procedures by which persons
were recruited for the Advisory Board were not as care
ful as would be necessary to establish the reputation of
a new journal launched, in any case, under certain disad
vantages. Though I am not charging deliberate misrepre
senatation, statements were certainly made in my case,
and others, which easily led to misunderstanding as to the
probable make-up of the Board. This creates a certain
uneasiness about the procedures under which the Quar
terly might operate in the future.
Whatever the virtues of the new journal, however--
and I must admit there are several--its relationship with
SIU under the present circumstances is such that I would
have to sever my connections in any case. Any dissenter
on the War whose name has in any way been linked with
SIU recently is being used to justify a SE Asia program
fmanced by a contract which I believe now to be unjus
Given the reasons I have stated for withdrawing from
the Board, I should hasten to add that I would be glad to
rejoin if conditions change. If SIU should cancel its con
tract with AID for the Vietnam Center, or if Southeast
Asia should relocate at another university, and if the
International Advisory Board were reconstituted so as to
accomplish the diversity of views originally desired, then
I think the new journal would be a significant contribution
to SE Asian studies. I certainly hope that these changes
can come about.
David Wurfel
Associate Professor
University of Windsor
October 18, 1970
Dear Doug:
001 knew Milton Sacks in Saigon ... but hadn't seen him
since 1967. Got a call on March 14 from him in Newton;
could we meet and talk about what I'd been doing? Saw
him that evening; the conversation quickly turned to the
Center--what did I think about it, etc. I expressed strong
doubts, but waited to see what he was up to (didn't know
at that point exactly where he stood there). His proposal
was briefly that I consider working as a researcher/instruc
tor there-a-also a possibility that the Center publish my
thesis (concerned with "nationalist" politiCS during the
1966-1967 period). What would I be interested in doing?
I replied that my choice would be researching a project
which I called "how the NLF won in 1965"---and that
I'd like to go and spend some time in the liberated terri
tories, etc. The latter he had no objections to, but the
topic he thought was "unreasonable"---indeed, idiotic.
(I migh note that Asian Survey in its May and August
issues published a two-part piece by Jeff Race entitled
exactly that--"How they won"--before the U.S. build
up! Indeed, I knew about Race's piece at that time, and
thus my suggestion was not wholly a "come-on" or provo
cation or whatever). Sacks told me, quite frankly, that
such a topic would never pass the "board's O.K."--I
didn't pursue the problem of who constituted "the board"
--knOWing pretty well what the answer would be. At
one point in the conversation he mentioned that "although
AID might ask me to do such-and-such a project, I would
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be able to refuse." Later, when I tried to get him to
elaborate on these "AID prerogatives", he refused to
concede that the government would have any such control
over the program; the contract, however, confirmed my
suspicions. Anyway, to make a long stroy short, I didn't
give him a flat no at that time, as I was thinking seriously
of taking him up on his offer (i.e., of submitting a proposal
to the Center and applying for a position there) in order
to establish an "inside link" with the Center-and ultimately,
expose their outfit, etc. (Subsequent conversations with
CCAS people led me to change my mind as to what bene
fit this would be to anyone, I might add.) I spoke with
Sacks the following Monday ,but at this point, the possi
bilities of my doing business with him started deteriorat
ing rapidly.
The upshot of this rather morbid encounter demonstrated
clearly enough as far as I was concerned the duplicity and
underhanded attitude of the Center in their drive to legi
timize their presence at SIU. If I had only been aware
of the extent to which they were willing to go to "recruit"
the Vietnamese studies people-as is so clearly evident from
the documents you all have collected-I could have perhaps
done more to find out how the Center works. As it was,
I was simply willing to cross off the experience as a bad
scene and feel relieved that I had not become involved in
their thing.
The utter disregard for what we call "academic free
dom" and "academic integrity", the outright contempt
for American scholars, and the complete and shocking
disrespect for the Vietnamese people shown by the Center
clearly demonstrate not only the incompetence but also
the rear oanger of the Center as an institution of "higher
learning". The future of Vietnamese studies has always
been dark, but never darker than it is today ... For nearly
a quarter of a century the Vietnamese have been the
victims of American "advisors" and "scholars" seeking to
bring "self-determination" and the "fruits of western
democracy" to their land. Over a million Vietnamese
have died as a result; indeed well over that number, if
one takes uito account American complicity in the first
Indochina war. It is time we began to listen to the Viet
namese and to learn from them about their civilization
instead of regarding their homeland as a testing ground
for U.S. military innovations and a means of acquiring
AID grants, prestige and power within the university.
That the existence of the Center should even be regarded
as a subject for debate is not only ludicrous but sinister.
1Jte fate of Vietnamese studies in the U.S. may be sealed
if so, then we' who call ourselves "Vietnamese scholars"
must take the blame. But the futur:e of the Vietnamese
people cannot be written off so glibly. We must take
steps to insure that it will not ...
Cynthia Fredrick
23 October 1970
The Vietnam Studies Coordinating Group (VSCG),
a subcommittee of the Southeast Asia Regional Council
of the Association of Asian Studies, has had the oppor
tunity to review pertinent documents regarding the Center
for Vietnamese Studies and Programs at Southern Illinois
University (SIU). It has also had the occasion to discuss
the formation and development of the Center with Cen
ter representatives and with faculty and student opponents
of the Center. On the basis of this investigation the under
signed members of the VSCG, speaking as individuals, wish
to make the following statement:
There seems little doubt that the prime raison d'etre
of the SIU Center is ultimately to provide United States
Government agencies and interested private organizations
and businesses with the intellectual and technical means
for continued involvement in the economic, social, and
political future of Vietnam. While we do not necessarily
deny the probity of such involvement-given substantially
altered future conditions in Vietnam-we believe that at
this point in time such a position seriOUsly jeopardizes,
perhaps precludes the development of a truly respectable
teaching and research program on the people, history and
culture of that country.
Briefly stated, our arguments are as follows:
At the moment the academic study of Vietnam in North
American is in its infancy. By contrast official American
involvement in Vietnam has been gigantic and remains etched
in everyone's minds. We simply cannot permit the latter
experience to swamp the former. This will certainly hap
pen if we rely for our development of serious teaching and
research programs on the same ftnancial sources, institu
tional channels, and personalities that have initiated and
sustained our official involvement in Vietnam.
Any long-term academic program for the study of
Vietnam will need to rely on resource ritaterialsand schol
arly contacts at the three other locations where such ef
forts are underway: Hanoi, Saigon, and Paris. It is our
impression that the SIU Center has developed in such a
way as to make extremely difficult cooperation with all
scholars in Hanoi and with most scholars of Vietnam
located in Paris. Obviously it is impossible at this point
in time to satisfy everYone; but this is all the more reason
for exercising careful thought, widespread consultation,
and manifest patience.
There is a large body of printed and xeroxed materials
available on the 8IU Center. We strongly urge colleagues
to explore carefully all the implications of the SIU Center
before in any way involving themselves in its activities or
advising their students to do so.
(signed) Huynh Kim Khanh, David Marr, Truong Buu Lam,
John K. Whitmore
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c. Harvey Gardiner:
The theme of this conference,
"Scholarly Integrity and University
Complicity", promises, by the very
nature of words and ideas, a verbal
confrontation. Behind that word
"complicity" is a sense of guilt
related to wrong-doing which, in turn,
is a basic contradiction of honesty.
We are here, I trust, in a spirit
of honest inquiry, because honest
inquiry is what the university--any
university--is all about. One concern
of this conference must be facts.
But, at best, facts can only esta
blish a historical record, because
facts by the very nature of
relation to events. concern matters
that are behind us.
However, the honest inquiry of a
university community--or, for that
matter, of the concerned citizen on
campus or off campus--cannot settle
for a re-creation or restatement of the
past. The honest inquiry that leads
one beyond the facts of the past to
relevant principles for the present
and the future can convert a univer
sity .into a frontier of the intellect.
This conference must be an exer
cise in intelligence, utilizing speci
fic facts in search of underlying
principles. This will require cri
tical outlook, a critical outlook
that cannot, will not, settle for
maintenance of the status quo. Change
is the essence of living experience
and any man who equates intelligent
criticism with disloyalty stamps him
self an idiot. The banker who tells
you that saving some money today
guarantees a better tomorrow is reminded
that saving a little of America today
--the right of free speech that includes
dissent--is the best guarantee America
will have a better tomorrow. So I
hail and challenge the exercise of
your intelligence, your freedom of
speech, your dissent in the oppor
tunity this conference affords you
in constructive citizenship.
* * *
Now to scholarly integrity in rela
tion to the Center for Vietnamese
Studies and Programs at Southern
Illinois University. On February 7,
1969, one staff member of the Inter
national Services Division of SIU,
with an eye on Nixon appointments
in Washington, wrote a memorandum
to his superior. Among other things
he said, "The appointment of John
Hanna [sie] as the Director of AID
is not only an exceedingly good
ment but it is a clear indication
in my opinion of the policies which
will be followed " The memo writer
continued, "it looks like SIU will
have an excellent possibility to
develop new and stronger contact
relationships with AID " To that
he added, "I believe that priority
will be given to awarding contracts
to institutions which have a strong
academic foundation on which the new
contract may be built." This prompts
the question, my question, "What
academic competence did SIU have in
the area of Vietnamese studies?"
My question is all the more rele
vant because the title of the AID
grant of June, 1969, supporting
SIU's Center for Vietnamese Studies
and Programs indicates that the support
is "to strengthen within Southern
Illinois University competency "
The presumption, accordingly, was that
SIU had a competence in reference to
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Since 1961 SIU had sent 41 staff
members to Vietnam in connection with
two technical assistance programs.
None of those staff members went to
Vietnam with a command of the Vietnam
ese language. Urged publicly to step'
forward and disprove the statement
that they lacked fluency in Vietnamese,
not one of the forty-one challenged
the conclusion that after two or more
years in Vietnam they had returned
illiterate in reference to Vietnamese.
I have not been on campus every minute
since SIU first sent staff members
to Vietnam in 1961 but I will say
that I have no recollection of any
general public lectures about Vietnam
ever having been given by the returned
In all the eight years prior to the
mid-1969 grant for the Center no de
partment introduced a course speci
fically related to Vietnam. In those
years between 1961 and 1969 no depart
ment in the entire university announced
. a priority related to Vietnam as it
projected personnel needs. No one,
returned veteran of the two Vietnamese
contract programs or anyone else,
ever insisted that the Vietnamese
language be taught at the university.
When the forty-one veterans of
Saigon were urged to list the courses
they had taught concerning Vietnam,
the theses they had directed concern
ing Vietnam, and the scholarly items
they had written about Vietnam, not
a single response was made. My ques
tions to the forty-one were termed
rude and in bad taste. Let me tell
you that just as the honest student
is not offended when his books are
. checked as he leaves the library,
so the able educator is not offended
when asked to exhibit his credentials.
Yet the competence-shy forty-one
were considered to represent a reser
voir of competence upon which SIU
could build. Honesty and soundness
--and Webster tells us that honesty
and soundness are synonyms of inte
grity--should have kept this institu
tion from entering upon a program
punctuated by educational pretense
and academic bravado.
All the challenge to integrity at
SIU by the AID grant is not borne
by faculty; some administrators share
it. Alongside the forty-one who had
seen Saigon, the president, chancel
lor and dean of liberal arts and
sciences approximated a trio of
blind mice. More than one aide in
a presidential office dedicated to
bigness nodded administrative approv
al of the efforts to wangle federal
funds for the Center. Some of the
job of implementing the project fell
to the chancellor. From his perfor
mance I cite one item in terms of
our concern about integrity.
On April 9, 1969, at a formative
moment when it was thought desirable
to replace an acting director who had
no professional ties with Asia, the
then chancellor urged that the director
of the Center be "a distinguished
scholar on Vietnamese affairs." How
ever, inasmuch as there was no such
person on campus, the post went to
an authority in international law
whose scholarly relationship to Asia
pivoted on the Philippines. Nothing
in more than twenty years of publi
cation identified the new director
of the Center with Vietnam. The
designation of the director was by a
chancellor whose own field is chemis
try. I suspect that were a student
of his, in a given laboratory exer
cise, inclined to substitute hydro
chloric acid for sulfuric acid, the
dunderhead would be written off as
hopeless. Yet the chemist-chancellor
did not hesitate to thrust that same
kind of substitution upon the human
ities and social sciences . We live,
you and I, in a world that laments
the gap between scientific achieve
ment and man's capacity to solve his
social problems yet administrative
arrogance that so mismanages matters
in the area of the humanities and
social studies helps to guarantee the
continuance of that gap.
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When a dean was needed for our
infant School of Medicine, a chiro
practor did not get the job. If
a chiropractor had been appointed
Dean of Medicine, the laughter and
ridicule--not to mention a derma
tologist trustee--would have forced
an immediate rectification of the
However, when a director was needed
for the infant Center for Vietnamese
Studies and Programs, no such con
cern about professional competence
was exhibited. I submit that "hon
esty" and "soundness", twin facets
of integrity, took a beating in SIU's
administrative circles.
Nor did the lack of professional
concern and professional competence
stop at that. Much of the incep
tion of the Center deviated from
norms customarily pursued in univer
sity circles. During the initial
planning of the Center at SIU there
was an exceedingly limited partici
pation by the faculty at large.
Essentially, until the program at
tained the fait aaaompZi stage syno
nymous with the winning of the AID
grant, the project was controlled by
men better described as promoters
than academicians. After the grant
was obtained, the irregularities
continued. At no time, although
new courses were instituted, did a
course proposal go through the esta
blished channel that included con
sideration by the Committee on New
Courses and Programs. At no time,
although the Vietnam studies that
were non-existent in 1968-69 were
now projected to include advanced
graduate students in 1969-70--at
no time was the Graduate School in
vited to consider the program. In
other words, the winning of the
$1,000,000 grant became an "open
sesame" that overrode established
procedures. The money apparently
stifled the chancellor's announced
desire that the director be "a dis
tinguished scholar on Yietnamese
affairs." The dean of liberal arts
and sciences, whose faculty would
be most directly concerned with the
proposed operation, apparently in
dulged an automatic acceptance of
his superior's proposal. The govern
ment grant seemingly encouraged the
short-circuiting of established
procedures. The money from the
federal government became a corrupt
ing influence as one office and area
of university administration after
another gave the grant for the Center
special handling. One definition
of integrity, let me add, reads
"freedom from corrupting influence
or practice."
On April 1, 1970, the then chan
cellor of SIU, speaking to three
professional educational fraterni
ties, addressed himself to the issue
of the public's lack of confidence
in higher education. He said, "I
think part of the difficulty is that
higher education has slipped its
moorings and its integrity is not
what is should be." I agree with
the man who took to the Oregon Trail,
and I add that at SIU, in reference
to the Center for Vietnamese Studies
and Programs, he helped it slip its
moorings; he contributed to its
damaged integrity.
Yet another challenge to integrity,
to scholarly integrity at SIU, is
involved in the contractual relation
ship between government and univer
sitv ~ s set down in the terms of
when a dean was needed for OUI illjiurt
School ofMedicine, a chiropractor
did not get the job...
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the AID grant. To cite but one
area of the problem, let me indicate
that, according to the terms of the
AID grant, the Center for Vietnamese
Studies and Programs has a respon
sibility to "respond . to requests
for assistance on economic and social
development problems in Vietnam
from .. Vietnamese governmental agen
cies .. "l In February, 1970, I noted
that the Thieu-Ky regime had announced
its intention to raise revenue by
opening a series of "entertainment
centers" containing brothels, gaming
dens, and dance halls. This official
program is to be directed by the
South Vietnamese Ministry of Social
Welfare. This tasteless venture
by the South Vietnamese government
prompted a letter from me in which
I asked what the SIU Center would
do if it were faced with a request
to assist this program. Some people
were enraged at the idea of my rais
ing such an odious issue. Other
people, however, saw the fundamental
issue in perspective. More important
than determining which was the more
despicable, the South Vietnamese
program or Gardiner's disturbing
question, more important than either
of these matters was the realization
that the university is tied to an
open-end and indefinitely vague com
To avoid this dismal prospect,
as well as to achieve the "strictly
academic" operation long hoped for,
the Center is now busy altering its
image, dropping "and Programs" from
its name and trying to wiggle out
of potential obligations, which the
Director has preferred to term ambi
guities and garbage. The Center
wants to renegotiate the terms of
the present grant and it would like
a c ~ a n g e in the funding of the grant,
removing-it from AID.
A grant, in the final analysis
is a contractual relationship, in
which there is some "give" as well
as "get" . It is one thing for the
Center to say it is dropping "and
Programs" but the question follows:
how far can the Center go in unilat
eral revision of the terms? Not very
far,one suspects. While some may
hope that the heat of criticism
will lessen with announcement of
revision and good intention, there
are many who consider unobtainable
the Center's desire to get something
for nothing as it aspires to a strict
ly academic operation without ties
to policies and programs of the gov
Considering the fact that the
Director is reported to have addressed
himself to this problem in July,
is it not time for him to share
with the public the answers he has
received from Washington? After
all, the grant specifically says,
"If a deviation from the Grant is
contemplated, written approval must
be obtained from the Grant Officer,
Office of Procurement, Contract
Services Division, A. I.D."
No one, in his right mind, in
this world that technology seems
to shrink by the minute would deny
the validity of Vietnamese
in a university program. Collat
erally, no one, in his right mind,
wants his university to engage in
Vietnamese studies or any other
studies at the expense of the inte
grity of faculty and administration.
The crux of the issue, then, is not
the matter of program but the rela
tionship of integrity to program.
Finally, in all fairness to a new
man at the helm of the university,
Chancellor Robert G. Layer, I must
add that a ray of hope appears on
the administrative horizon. I shall
hazard the guess that he is here
with us today not simply to welcome
and inaugurate a conference but also
out of a realization that the inte
grity of the university requires
vigilance. Layer brings to the
chancellorship of SIU a refreshing
dimension of intellectual and moral
concern--call it integrity. Let
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us all, in this conference, bring
our own dimensions of intellectual
and moral concern--our own integrity.
And if we do, who knows, even in
reference to the Center for Vietnam
ese Studies and Programs a miracle
may be wrought, one that will no
longer require the forces of light
and darkness, of integrity and comr
plicity, to do battle.
1. See "Documents" section. --ed.
"REPRESSION EQUALS BETRAYAL OF THE PEOPLE": South Vietnamese students protest
police occupation of Saigon University, August 1970. AID's Public Safety Div
ision supplies and trains the Thieu-Ky regime's police.
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
Robert G. Layer:
Thank you, Professor Gardiner.
I would like first of all to express
my appreciation to Mr. Allen for
inviting me to address the confer
ence. I'm aware that the very fact
that I'm on this podium is contro
versial to some persons' minds .1. But
nevertheless I feel it is important
for me to state to you my position
with respect to the Center for Viet
namese Studies at this university
and also to put in focus what I con
sider to be the place of the univer
sity in the general order of things
and how the two relate to each other.
I also must state that I am speak
ing in an official capacity in that
my personal feelings in the ~ a t t e r ,
while they may be revealed in what
I say, are not intended to be con
veyed. But I wish to offer more of
an explanation of what is and, I
think, should be the university's
position with respect to certain
To begin with, a promise was made
last spring--pretty much on the spur
of the moment, in the heat of a ra
ther violent or at least semiviolent
situation--that there be a so-called
"Blue Ribbon Committee" or Panel to
investigate the Center. I'm sure
that Dr. MacVicar [former chancellor
at SIU] didn't have an opportunity
to measure very closely and accur
ately the nice phraseology he may
have wanted to use. Well, this means
that when the first attempt to set
up a committee was made, there was
a lack of realization on the part
of that committee's original organ
izers that certain things were de
manded by MacVicar's statement, or
at least were inferred from it by
a large number of individuals. And
I can state, because it's a matter
the Center
of public record, that I was party
to some of those concerns. In fact,
I will als.o say that of the two mem
bers of the committee who objected
to the initial charge given to the
committee I was one. In so doing
I hope at least to give you some
notion of the kind of track record
I've had with respect to the impor
tance of setting up an objective
committee to review this very con
troversial unit of the university.
* * *
Next I will address myself to what
I believe to be the most important
improvements in the organization of
the Center's administration as well
as the imposition of significant
limitations on the activites of the
Center. The chief administrative
change is that of placing it under
me, the chancellor of this campus,
with no restrictions upon me with
respect to how it shall be adminis
tered. Now of course one has to have
a certain confidence in the chancel
lor, because if I'm corrupt then
all is lost too. Also, if everybody
I ask to help me in the administra
tion of the Center or the scrutin
izing of it is corrupt, again all
is lost. At some point confidence
has to be placed somewhere in some
body. And all I can say to you is
what I said when I accepted the admin
istration of the Center on this campus.
I insisted upon the Board of Trustees'
approval of the following conditions:
"The Center shall not engage in or
financially support through the employ
ment of persons, the distribution
of fellowships and other moneys or
in any other way support any programs
of social or economic assistance or
development." I take full respon
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sibility for that statement. I in
cluded in it everything I thought
was relevant to assuring a proper
academic programming of this par
ticular unit's activities.
To implement this, I have addressed
myself to the group that I thought
was the most proper one to carry out
academic scrutiny and supervision,
i.e., the Graduate Council. Again
one could say it's possible that the
Graduate Council is corrupt and again
all could be lost. But again one has
to place confidence in somebody, and
if I'm ever going to get the proper
scrutiny and programming of this unit,
the Graduate Council is the place
to seek it. And so I have sought
it there. I asked this group to
consider the following:
In order to implement the intent
of the memorandum and after con
ferring with the Dean of the Grad
uate School, Professor Olmsted,
the chairman of the Graduate
Council, Professor Webb, and
others, I requested the Graduate
Council to specify what the Coun
cil considers to be adequate and
proper procedures for the academic
approval of persons and funds to
be spent for the Center, in order
that the Center's total function
ing will be in accord with the
procedures followed by all other
units of research operating on
the campus.
Now this is absolutely open-ended;
I did not attempt to direct or limit
the Graduate Council. The appropriate
committee of the Council will proceed
also to make very detailed specifi
cations and there will be a continuous
scrutiny of the propositions of the
nominations for fellowships, as well
as the usual surveillance or proper
scrutinizing of academic vitas, etc.,
of the professors who might be hired
by departments in this university in
association with the Center. My
guess is that they might even be
given closer attention than usual,
but at least they will be processed
in the same manner as that of any
faculty member who is hired--the nor
mal gamut of questioning and so on
by his department, by his chairman,
by his dean and, if he's going to
be a member of the Graduate Faculty,
also by the Graduate Dean's Office.
Thus I have turned over the assess
ment of the intellectual and academic
integrity of individuals who would
be paid by the Center to the group
which I consider to be properly set
up in the university for this purpose.
I believe there is nothing else I
can do. And I believe that is the
proper route and this I not only
must do, but this I want to do.
the very foct that I'm
on this podium is
controversial to some
persons' minds
We are concerned as well that the
officials in Washington--AID speci
fically--recognize what is the intent
of the operation of this Center.
We have taken steps through the an
nual report, through a reiteration
of the Board of Trustees' position,
and through the actual operation of
the Center during the immediate past
to show Washington what we think the
Center is and what it should be.
And we have already received favor
able responses from AID that this
will become the basic understanding
of the mission of the Center in an
amended grant document.
Now I also want to speak in terms
of the larger problems. Undoubtedly,
the Center is an arm of the univer
sity. Undoubtedly the university has
many aspects to it. Undoubtedly the
university has support from the
Federal Government in other areas.
Undoubtedly the university will be
interested in having the support
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of Federal Government money in years
to come. I certainly cannot make any
promises about the nature of what
those particular financial arrange
ments or contracts may be in the fu
ture. I can only say that I can look
at them as they pass by and as I
have an opportunity to see and deter
mine what I think is proper. But
nobody can certainly say that the
university will never, or that it
shouldn't ever, use federal funds,
or even partiuclarly AID funds, al
though those are the ones which are
obviously most important in your minds.
There has been questioning of AID
projects elsewhere and persons engaged
in AID projects elsewhere, and this
may very well be a legitimate ques
tioning. But I must address myself
to what I think is true at home.
I cannot and certainly do not have
the opportunity or the time to deter
mine whether every AID project is
legitimate in terms of the scrutiny
that I suggest we are offering here.
I think each unit of the university
has to answer for itself. And.I
happen to have the Center under my
jurisdiction and I fully intend that
it be clean. Now I'm also aware of
the problem that all of us
are very much concerned with: the
role that the government plays through
its foreign policy. Here is where
AID may very well be a principle
agent. Here lies the whole question
of whether money is tainted and ought
not be accepted at all because it's
federal government money, whether
it be AID or any other kind of money.
I cannot subscribe to the view that
because money happens to be tainted
at one point that this makes the same
dollars tainted at all points. I
personally accepted a Fulbright pro
fessorship a number of years ago,
and I have in the recent past accepted
a Rockefeller Foundation grant, and
beIng an economic historian, I know
how John D. Rockefeller got his money.
But I thought that somebody ought to
use it legitimately, and thought
there was no reason why I shouldn't be
the one. And I think there
is more than a passing interest to that
particular notion. One could even argue
that if one is using it for a legitimate
purpose, it can't be used bv someone
else for purposes which may not be
so legitimate. Well, I don't wish
to belabor the point, but I do not
subscribe to the notion that simply
because money comes from a particu
lar source that automatically deter
mines the use to which it will be
put. It is important to be sure
that everybody knows the purpose
to which money is put, and this is
exactly my intention in doing what
I have done to the Center, or rather,
for the Center, because I want cer
tainly as much as you do to have it
academically clean.
I thank you very much for the oppor
tunity to address you this afternoon on
the pOSition of the Center, the inten
tions I have, and the intentions that
the university administration has in
1. A day before the Conference on Schol
arly Integrity and University Complicity,
the Center issued a statement denouncing
the mee ting as an "academic traves tv. I'
Pleasant Street
CambridgeI Mass 02139
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
Douglas Allen:
Is Academic Freedom
Still a Viable Principle?
Last fall, when suspicions regard
ing the academic integrity of the
Vietnam Center were first voiced
on this campus, spokesmen for the
Center lost no time in denouncing
the critics as "irresponsible",
"unscholarly", or worse. Since that
time the irresponsible ones have
been joined by many Asian scholars
in this country and abroad who like
wise feel that the Center lacks
sufficient guarantees of academic .
freedom and independence from such
a politically committed agency as
AID. One widely circulated state
ment reads as follows;
We, members of the Committee
of Concerned Asian Scholars, along
with other members of the uni-.
versity community professionally
engaged in the study of Asia,
condemn the threat to academic
freedom presented by the esta
blishment of an AID-funded Cen
ter for Vietnamese Studies and
Programs on the Southern Illi
nois University campus.
Despite claims to the
the terms of the AID-SIU contract
clearly show that the Center is
open to direct political control
and utilization by the United
States government, that the terms
of the grant will inevitably
exert a chilling effect upon
free'inquiry andthat such an
arrangement is entirely out of
place'in a university setting.
We therefore support the initia
tive 9f the History Department,
individual professors and students
who have raised this issue of
academic freedom on the SIU cam
pus and dissociate ourselves
from 'the Center. .
Petitions protesting the exist
ence of the Center as a threat to
academid freedom have been signed
by Asian scholars at such universi
ties as the University of Chicago,
Harvard,Yale, Cornell, Michigan,
Washington University, the Univer
sity of Washington, Berkeley, and
Stanford...-in short, at nearly all
the universities that have flourish
ing Asian studies programs.
Why should these scholars see
the Vietnam Center as a threat to
academic' freedom? I propose to
focus on several salient features
of the Center which show that the
condemnation'and boycott of the
by anti-war Asian scholars
is fully'warran.ted.
SIU received the one million
dollars from AID in July, 1969.
By then the university had already
had two AID contracts in Vietnam.
Although this grant for the Center
is the largest single amount ever
given in' this field to an American
university, as Professor Gardiner
has made clear SIU had little if any
academic competence in the field
of Vietnamese studies.
Given this lack of competence,
one might have expected that the
university first bring in as con
sultants a group.of sPQialists
representing' a broad spectrum of
views--not just those friendly to
U.S. involvement in Vietnam--then
apply for a modest initial grant
and determine whether this univer
sity could indeed develop an academ
ic competence in Vietnamese studies.
Then, having developed the basis for
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competence, the university might
have applied for larger grants; cer
tainly not from AID, but perhaps
from other, less compromising sources.
But this was not the procedure
followed. Despite the lack of com
petence, SIU received the one mil
lion dollars. Why?
The AID press release of July 11,
1969 entitled "AID to Help Southern
Illinois University Program for Viet
nam Reconstruction" throws light on
the original intentions of the Cen
ter initiators. Consisting mostly
of statements by the late Sen. Ever
ett Dirksen, former university pre
sident Delyte Morris, and AID admin
istrator John Hannah, the press
release discusses plans for bring
ing Vietnamese and American veterans
to this campus, retraining them,
and sending them back to Vietnam
for AID programs there. This, clearly,
was good public relations copy. Han
nah remarked that "this training
of former fighting men to assist
in development programs in Vietnam
is one of the gratifying aspects
of this grant." He added, "The
University's increased competence
will provide a valuable resource
of specialists and services for
AID and other agencies involved in
Vietnam's development."
Wesley Fishel
remains the key figure
ill the Center
The Senate testimony of Sen. Dirk
sen on June 23, 1969, offers more
information on the Center's original
purposes. Dirksen speaks of pro
viding "special consultant and train
ing services", retraining veterans,
reconstruction, even setting up a
"Vietnamese village" somewhere on
academic integrity of the Center
was aroused by the nature of its
early appointments. The first num
ber of the Center's newsletter is
sued on September 15, 1969 lists
three new appointments to the uni
versi ty: \vesley Fishel, former
head of the Michigan State Univer
sity Advisory Group in Vietnam;
Nguyen Dinh Hoa, "Counselor for
Cultural Affairs and Education,
Embassy of Vietnam", and John Lay
bourn, former Associate Director
of the AID-funded Asia Training
Center in Hawaii and now an Assoc
iate Dean of International Studies
at SIU. The most important appoint
ment, of course, was that of Wesley
Fishel, whose utilization of the
MSU group for arming Diem's police
and providing cover for the CIA
are fully documented in Ramparts
and in Scigliano and Fox, Techni
cal, Assistance in Vietnam: The
Michigan State University Exper
ience. While Milton Sacks has re
placed Wesley Fishel as visiting
professor in goverament this year,
Fishel still heads the Center's
journal, serves as a counsultant,
and is conspicuously present on
campus. He remains the key figure
in the Center.
In the memorandum of February 7,
1969 already cited by Professor
Gardiner and in a second memoran
dum dated March 27, 1969, Oliver
J. Caldwell of International Ser
vices informs Ralph W. Ruffner,
Vice-president of Area and Inter
national Services that Hannah believes
there should be "a renewed and in
creased emphasis on technical assist
ance in our foreign aid programs
and that qualified universities
be invited to become the principal
operating agencies for such programs
around the world." Caldwell suggests
also that this is an excellent oppor
tunity for SIU. He discusses the
amount of money other universities
are receiving and how SIU can get
into the act. An apt expression
Further suspicion regarding the
of this pecuniary motivation was
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given by Bruce MacLachlan, an assist
ant to the Chancellor and a supporter
of the Center: "MacLachlan, asked
why a Vietnam study center was sought
by SIU, said the reason was oppor
tunism.. First, there were gobs of
money available for such a center ... "
(DaiZy Egyptian, August 15, 1970).
In a letter to Sen. Fulbright
dated September 9, 1969, Hannah
reveals that Professors Hoa and
Fishel were on this campus months
before the university applied for
the AID grant, and, more signifi
cantly, that they were hired by
SIU before the actual grant was
made. This led us to believe that
the Center had to assume a certain
orientation acceptable to AID and
Washington as a necessary precon
dition for getting the grant. (Cf.
David Horowitz, "Sinews of Empire",
Ramparts, October 1969). One of
the key men in setting up the Center
has revealed that SIU's initial
grant proposal was rejected by
AID and that only after the Cen
ter resubmitted the proposal with
a list of "scholars" friendly to
U.S. foreign policy in Vietnam did
the Center get the money .
While these intensive negotia
tions with AID were taking place
in conditions of semi-secrecy, there
was little effort to consult the
larger community of Asian scholars.
This has had a chilling effect on
academic freedom, because the cru
cial decisions were being made and
the priorities being set not by
the community of scholars but by
an outside government agency. With
one exception, no scholar who has
the respect of anti-war academics was
even consulted in the establish
ment of the Center. And it must
be said that David Marr's "consul
tation" with the Center was con
tracted for the sake of appearances
only, for his advice was utterly
ignored. Sensing that the basic
decisions had already been made,
Marr asked, IIWhy does the Center
abdicate responsibility for discus
sion and decision on postwar goals
to the u.s. government?"
David Marr's case is a typical
illustration of the Center's lack
of integrity. During last year's
discussions and debates, I always
conceded that one anti-war scholar
was indeed an external consultaftt
to the Center, although his lone
presence hardly affected the over
whelming imbalance within the Cen
ter. I assumed that Marr was a
consultant because the Center listed
Intensive negotiations
with AID in conditions
of semi-secrecy
him as such. Actually, he never
agreed to join the Center's Board
of External Consultants; he was of
fered the position by Vice-presi
dent Ruffner and promptly turned
it down. [See above, "Letters of
Resignation."] But the Center, so
desperate for one token anti-war
figure, was not honest.
A similar case illustrating the
Center's lack of integrity is the
Center's relationship with George
Condominas, the French scholar.
In the DaiZy Egyptian of August 29,
1970, Wesley "Fishel attempted to
discredit our claim that a large
number of scholars opposed the Cen
ter. He had found almost total sup
port, he said. He .did admit that
IIwe had one member of our Interna
tional Editorial Advisory Board ..
--a Frenchman--who decided to quit
the board after the invasion of
Cambodia. He wanted nothing more
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to do with anything American. No
reflection on us, no reflection
on SIU."
The Frenchman, George Condominas,
had actually written to Fishel on
April 28, 1970--two days before
the U.S. invasion of Cambodia-
to rebuke him for using Condominas's
name without authorization and to
dissociate himself from the Center
because of its lack of academic
freedom ["Letters of Resignation"].
When confronted with these in
stances of unethical conduct, lack
of integrity and academic freedom,
and complicity with the prosecu
tion of the war, the Center's main
defense is that it has nothing to
do with technical assistance, recon
struction, or other service functions.
They protes t that their "special"
21l(d) grant is "merely academic",
that it does not concern technical
assistance but is only intended
for disinterested scholarly research.
Checking section 21l(d) of the
Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as 1966, we find that these
funds are authorized for univer
sities specifically "for the purpose
of strengthening their capacity
to develop and carry out programs
concerned with the economic and
social development of less developed
countries." In fact, in a recent
letter Senator Fulbright states:
"I . 1 . h
y owever,
whether there was any intent [in
section 2ll(d)] to authorize assist
ance to universities for purely aca
demic studies which are not directly
related to, or intended to have
application to, foreign development
The Center is therefore caught
on the horns of a dilemma: if they
don't make it properly academic,
it will corne under increasing attack;
if they make it "purely" academic
(not a real possibility unless there
is a thorough conceptual and struc
tural overhaul) it can be brought
up in Congress for misuse of AID
With this dilemma in mind, let us
assess the most important terms of
the AID-SIU grant itself. What
has this university been committed
to do?
(1) The title sets the tone for
the entire document: "A Grant to
Strengthen within Southern Illinois
University Competency in Vietnamese
Studies and Programs Related to the
Economic and Social Development
of Vietnam and its Post-war Recon
(2) Under "University Capacity
and Commitment", the grant states,
"The ability of University to
offer counsel and advice--and under
separate agreements or contracts
have specialists available for tech
nical assistance--and in general
service the needs of AID will be
accelerated by the Grant."
(3) Under "Administration" we
read, "At the initiative of AID and
following submission of an annual tech
nical report, there will be an annual
substantive review of activities under
this grant. This review will include
evaluation of progress, administra
tive and financial considerations,
plans for the following year, and
discussion of possible AID utiliza
tion--under technical assistance ,
research and training contracts-
of the evolving University competency."
(4). Under "Objectives and Scope"
" '
The expanded full-time Vietnamese-
American professional core staff,
courses of study, library and infor
mation program will enable the Uni
versity to respond more adequately
to requests for assistance on econo
mic and social development problems
in Vietnam from the Agency for Inter
national Development and other U.S.
federal agencies, other U.S. univer
sities, Vietnamese governmental agen
cies and universities, international
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and regional agencies, various pri
vate businesses and interested pri
vate citizens."
(5) One of the Institutional
Development Grant Special Provisions
stipulates that at AID's request
SIU "will terminate the assignment
of any individual to any work under
the grant, and, as requested, will
cause the return to the United States
of the individuaL .. "
(6) Likewise, the grant may be
"revoked or terminated by the AID
Grant Officer upon six months notice,
whenever it is deemed that the Grantee
institution has failed in a material
respect to comply with the terms
and conditions of the grant or for
the convenience of the Government."
What the Vietnam Center seems to
be saying to us is the following:
"Trust us. We are going to out
smart the government. True, we
have received the million dollars
and signed a contract committing
us to carry out technical assist
ance. But now we will outsmart
the government, take the money, and
not do what we have committed our
selves to do." We respond: "We
don't trust you. The government
is not so stupid, and your key per
sonnel have never exhibited much
aversion to para-military projects
in Vietnam for the U.S. government."
One distinction ought to be made:
the Center itself will no longer
carry out service functions. Ori
ginally the emphasis was upon ser
vices, especially the retraining of
veterans. But sometime during the
fall of 1969--probably as a reaction
to the increasing attacks by cri
tics--this emphasis was changed.
A letter from AID dated December 18,
1969, denies that the Center will
carry out "service functions" under
this grant. Rather the university
will strengthen its competency in
relation to economic and social
development and postwar reconstruc
tion. "The university has a respon
sibility, as it has in the past,
to assist A.I.D. in specific related
tasks. The university carries out
such services by specifically funded
contracts as appropriate." The let
ter concludes by stating that "AID
fully expects to continue to use
the present and resulting increased
competency created by this grant
at Southern Illinois University
at the 'Vietnamese Center. "'
In other words the Center will
not directly carry out technical
assistance but will use'its connec
tions, contacts, and increased com
petence to bring in separately funded
service contracts, whether with
the School of Agriculture, the School
of Technology, the Vocational Train
ing Institute, or some other area
of the university. Without the
Center SIU would be at a disadvan
tage in the competition for such
contracts, as the Caldwell-Ruffner
memoranda make clear.
Contrast the lavish support for
our local center with the present
precarious position of Asian studies
programs throughout the United States.
A major threat to academic freedom
and university integrity exists in
the funding of such centers as the
one at Carbondale. In a speech
delivered to an anti-Center rally
in February, 1970, Jonathan Mirsky
of Dartmouth noted:
Within the last few weeks the
directors of those centers [at
Yale and Cornell]--and of more
than 150 other Foreign Language
and Area Centers funded by HEW
--were notified that "the pro
gram would be phased out in its
entirety by 1972" as "outdated
and less productive." As of now
for the entire country the appro
priation for these centers is '
$6 million, or only six times
the appropriation for Carbondale
alone. Apparently Asian scholar
ship without a government service
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obligation will no longer find
support in Washington.
In my presentation to a panel at
the midwest regional conference of
the Association of Asian Studies at
Indiana University last week, I sug
gested that SIU return the grant to
AID because AID was an improper
source of funding. Although a major
ity of the audience was critical of
the Center, several of the profes
sors from other universities replied,
"But there is no other money." When
I suggested that they somehow get
funds elsewhere from a less compro
mising source, they replied that no
other money 1S available--other
centers are closing down. And that
response epitomizes the sad state
we are in today. Either you play
ball with the government or corpor
ate interests or else you're not
going to get funded. Well, you
can give in, as some scholars have
done, or you can resist, as we are
doing today in an effort to change
the priorities and structures of
these programs.
Turning briefly to the local
impact of the Center, we must first
note that this grant is hardly "free."
According to the grant and other
documents, SIU will probably spend
more than $1 million of its own
money in order to use AID's $1 mil
lion. Thus we disregard the needs
of students and others in the univer
sity and direct our attention to
the "postwar reconstruction" of
Vietnam. There is much "reconstruc
tion" that needs to be done right
here in Carbondale. Several blocks
from the university people still
live in rat-infested buildings and
use outhouses. Yet there seems to
be no funding in sight for a Cen
ter for Southern Illinois Studies
and Programs.
But ultimately, I believe, these
other significant issues--the role
of the university, its inversion
of priorities, etc.--stem from a
more fundamental decision of the
university to become not only a si
lent partner but an active partici
pant in U.S. imperialism. The pro
blem, then, is not merely the Viet
nam Center. We need a total restruc
turing, not only of the university,
but of society as a whole, for we
will not be here until
we totally remake society. And we
will succeed, because we must. We
will not solve the problems of war,
poverty, overpopulation,
pollution, famine and other threats
to the survival of mankind unless
we begin to change our basic human
values. So we have no choice but
to struggle. We reach out to each
other and try to create a new soc
iety, a more humane society in which
such politically motivated Vietnam
Centers will have become obsolete.
There is much 'reconstruction' that needs
to be done right here in Carbondale
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I would like to speak on the fu
ture of Vietnamese studies in North
America from a perspective that I
think we all can share--that is,
the fact that these studies must
exist in a university environment
of some kind. Every n ~ ~ of us here,
as part of the university community,
has some real dilemmas to face, par
ticularly those of us who special
ize on Vietnam. I think most of us,
to a degree, feel that there is
something systematically wrong with
our society at this point in time.
We know that the university is an
important cog in the social wheel.
The question we must now face is
whether we as participants in this
process are abetting the wrongdoing
and the injustice by our very par
ticipation in the university sys
tem. And if you think you have
problems answering that question
as majors in anthropology and philo
sophy, just imagine how much more
acute the problem is for foreign
. area specialists in general and
those dealing with Indochina in
particular. One benefit that I
think is bound to emerge from this
conference is some serious ques
tioning of educational goals in
foreign study programs in general.
When I first came to SIU in May,
1969, I was dismayed and discour
aged to discover that the local
participants in planning the Center
had left all the goals and the ends
in the hands of bureaucrats in Wash
ington. After assuming a contin
uing U.S. government commitment
to Vietnam after the ending of hos
tilities--and this is quite an
assumption in itself--the planners
of this Center proceeded to avoid
any discussion of the objeatives
David Marr: Intellectual
of this presumed commitment in Viet
nam or the form that it should take
if they were to be involved as
respectable academicians. In short,
leaving responsibility for the goals
to Washington, they just wanted a
piece of the action, a cut of the
pie, no matter what.
Such abdication of responsib,ility
produces a host of foreign area
specialists who are little more
than intellectual functionaries.
Once the goals are set, you are
locked in a pattern; you may not
be researching or teaching a sub
ject of immediate relevance to
policy-makers, but you are part
of the whole. It is, I think, an
immoral and corrupting position
for scholars. And the first step
in getting out. of the pattern is
to challenge and scrutinize our
educational premises as we are doing
But as Indochina specialists we
are forced to go further. Given
the bloody and bitter history of
U.S. involvement in Vietnam, I think
it is wrong and inexcusable to rely
on U.S. government funding to estab
lish what is called a respectable
"teaching and research program"
on the people, history and culture
of that country. The u.S. govern
ment, after all, is at war with the
majority of the Vietnamese people.
Can anybody really believe that a
government devoting all its energies
to defeating a Vietnamese enemy
will on the other hand pass out
money for a strictly neutral study
of Vietnam, without any relation
ship to war objectives? I think
that's a ridiculous assumption.
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As an example beyond Vietnam,
didn't we do this with regard to
Japanese studies when we were fight
ing Japan from 1941 to 1945? Were
Ruth Benedict's studies of the Jap
anese mentality simply an academic
exercise? Did the government train
young men in the Japanese language
simply so they could understand
another people for understanding's
Again, given the specific Viet
nam experience, the history of what
America has been in Vietnam, I would
argue that AID specifically can be
considered perhaps the most repre
hensible source of government fund
ing. Whatever the record of AID
in other countries, it has blood
on its hands in Vietnam. It has
totally ignored development ideals
in subordination to the false god
of pacification. For every AID
member helping to train a nurse for
Whatever the record
ofAID iI, other cOlIn
tries, it has blood on
its hands iI' Vietnam
a village, there are five engaged
in the training of counter-revolu
tionary policemen, assassination
squads, intelligence operatives,
and tax collectors. For every hour
spent in improving rice or sweet
potato p.J.ants, there are ten hours
spent bringing in American rice to
make up the deficit caused by defol
iation, building roads to let the
tanks move quicker, treating those
injured and homeless due to U.S.
bombs and artillery. Lest anyone
think that AID educational missions
are separate from such grim efforts,
I would argue that the result of
our educational efforts in Viet
nam has largely been the nurturing
of a small middle-class clientele,
of the slavish of Ameri
can norms, of Vietnamese scampering
after U.S. scholarships, and the
distribution of textbooks that either
ignore or undermine the Vietnamese
Just as significantly, in terms
of today's topic, I think it is
AID more than any other government
bureau that has attempted an open
and blatant assault on the univer
sity environment in the United States.
The most ambitious and comprehen
sive effort of this type was the
Southeast Asia Development Advisory
Group (SEADAG): This was an affair
--it remains an affair--through
which AID provided the initiative
and money for organizing over a
hundred Southeast Asia specialists
into study committees. I think it
can be summarized as an expensive
and largely successful cooptation
of academicians.
The Center here at SIU is another
technique that AID has decided upon.
Presumably AID tried it out first
in Carbondale--a place which many
of us feel lacks the specialists,
the libraries, and the background
for any serious effort in Vietnam
studies--because there was a
ing, eager clientele, and also perhaps
because they hoped to slip it past
the anti-war movement in the south
ern part of Illinois.
Now it should of course be pointed
out that the CIA, the Defense Depart
ment, the State Department, etc.
have also successfully infiltrated
American universities. But the
point is that theirs has been a
less blatant, less obtuse, less
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arrogant--of course, no less dan
to study Vietnam? Here I suggest
gerous--an operation.
we take seriously the points made
by Professor Dowd regarding the
Any respectable long-term academic
university as an integral and func
program for the study of Vietnam
tioning part of the present Amer
will need to enjoy the trust of
ican socio-political and military
the Vietnamese people. They
system. As long as this relation
the history of the U.S. government's
ship persists, we as participants
involvement in they know
in that system will have to face.
the history of AID in Vietnam. they
every day of our professional exist
know the history of particular U.S.
ence. potential contradictions in
universities long associated with
our thoughts and actions. And I
AID in Vietnam--SIU, Ohio Univer
must say from personal experience
sity, Wisconsin State in particular.
are that students and colleagues
They know the names and activities
a crucial factor here, since they
of particular academic entrepreneurs
must keep us honest, must rekindle
who have more or less made their
our own moral awareness when it
careers off such contracts. It's
begins to flag.
simple folly to believe that the
same personalities, the same insti Finally, we must always ask who
tutions, the same financial sources is using whom in this relationship
that initiated and sustained Amer between university and society. If
ican involvement will now be trusted the present status quo leadership
by the Vietnamese to undertake what in America is succeeding in using
is called a serious, sincere aca us more than we are using them, then
demic effort. we had better find some more viable
strategies fast or else leave the
In short there must be a clean university. If we can use them
break from the sordid past. I think more than they use us, then we can
it begins by not accepting AID, CIA, help in the process of forcing change
Defense Department or other compro in the university, the nation and
mising sources of funds in this in the world as a whole. Only then
field. can we be considered part of the
solution, not part of the problem.
How, then, are we to proceed
Provisional Editorial Board
Business Address:- P.O. BOX 49010, STOCKHOLM 49,SWEDEN.
C{)\JTENTS OF VOL. 1, NO. 2 (WINTER 1970)
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Nina Adams:
Self- Censorship
Whenever one tries to discuss aca
demic freedom, one encounters ambiguities
which make it difficult to make distinc
tions. However, in the issue of academic
freedom at SIU, the distinctions are clear.
If there is control of specific research
projects, if only faculty of a certain
point of view are hired, then there are
clear-cut issues. But the case of aca
demic freedom is also a far more subtle
one. It is one example of the problem
Asian studies in this
country, and which cannot be solved
simply by the removal of the SIU Center.
I refer to a type of self-censor
ship which pervades academics, parti
cularly Southeast Asian studies. Self
censorship is much more effective in
terms of government policy than direct
control of scholarship. If one controls
the sources of funds, if one controls the
status and the status mobility of people
in the profession, and if one is able
to manipulate publication of contracts
and teaching loads, a great deal of
pressure can be exerted.
Often the academic himself is un
aware of this process: he may fall into
a pattern of self-censorship in assuming
that certain kinds of questions and topics
are not those which should be discussed.
Perhaps the most obvious tendency
in Southeast Asian studies is to de
personalize issues. When we dis
cuss the war in Vietnam, for example,
we talk about "removing effectives,"
rather than killing people. We talk
about "control and interdiction"
when we mean bombing. We talk about
"harassment" when we mean random artil
lary fire over populated areas. Al
though this case is an obvious one,
there are others in which the influence
of self-censorship is less overt.
An instance is the case of Indo
nesia, or for that matter, any of the
Third World countries. One will note
the large amount of literature on
modernization and political develop
ment carrying titles like "The De
cline of Democracy," "The Failure of
Parliamentary Procedure, "or "The
Destruction of Liberalism." These
imply that Third World countries have
failed to meet an unspecified set of
standards, standards which measure them
against the United States. There are
many books written on Sukarno's leader
ship which seem to claim that he de
viated from the best form of government
for Indonesia, parliamentary democracy.
There is no however, to find out
tvhat types of political forms are proper to
Indonesia, or to discuss the fact
that parliamentary democracy was a
Western importation which rather
rapidly died when cut off from direct
Western contact. Also absent is any
consideration that the Indonesians may
have returned to a system of government,
however much we may have disapproved of
it, which has reflected their tradi
tions, their political biases, and their
level of their political development.
The process of rationalization is
a similar sort of self-censorship. One
may begin a study assuming that the Viet
namese should move towards a specific
Western model. It is not difficult,
thereafter, to look at the results
of American bombings in Vietnam, descri
bing the situation in very academic terms,
and construct a whole framework of
nonsense about it. Perhaps it could be
called "enforced urbanization," to use
Huntington's phrase, .and a most blatant
example. One can end up, as one noted
scholar in Southeast Asian studies did,
describing the massacre of 500,000
after the 1965 coup as a somewhat
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chaotic but efficacious transfer of
This is not considered direct cen
sorship of thought. But when all of the
materials in the field, with one or two
notable exceptions, consistently follow
an implicit set of assumptions, one begins
to note the pervasive atmosphere which
is increasingly influencing thinking.
What is involved here is a conscious or
unconscious decision to look at topics
only in certain ways, to use only cer
tain types of terminology which pretend
to be value-free because all questions
of moral judgment have been removed.
But Simultaneously, discussions which in
volve other sides of an issue have dis
appeared. This kind of pressure is very
much heightened when one begins to set
up a center for study in one or another
area, and selects faculty of only one
point of view.
The impact of this on the students
is a continual one, the effects of which
become apparent over time. Students
come into a field like Asian studies
with a certain trepidation along with
their curiosity. Sooner or later they
are pulled into a status quo position by
the terminology used,_by the points of
view of their professors, and the
nature of the courses offered. They
learn by observing how their professors
interact with the Government and with
their colleagues. This type of condi
tioning becomes a very significant pro
This system of self-censorship
also promotes a particular brand of
elitism, now characteristic of contem
porary Vietnamese studies. The notion
is that unless one is expert in one
particular form or another of Asian
studies, one cannot even comment on
public issues, much less arrive at a
mbral judgment. This kind of elitism is
fostered by something like the Center for
Vietnamese Studies at SIU. A constant
stream of experts who are geared to the
technical phase of problems of counter
insurgency, counter-revolution, and ter
rorism will come marching through.
Each in turn will give his data on the
specific areas he has seen, and claim
to understand the total problem. I would
only point out that the so-called hard
headed realists in this parade have
been consistently wrong in their prog
nostications since 1962. This may
give us pause to wonder as to whether we
should accept the effectiveness of
future centers which operate on the same
Lastly, I wish to return to the no
tion of academic freedom. You do not
have academic freedom if an entire center,
built with Government money, is composed
of people of similar points of view,
even if they allow one or two dissidents
to come in. If certain basic assumptions
are accepted -- that it is in the Amer
ican national interest to stay in Asia,
to wage and win a war in Vietnam, and to
direct the lot of the Vietnamese, Indo
nesian, Thai, and other peoples, then
the Center for Vietnamese Stndies can
also afford one or two dissidents. This
is not academic freedom: there has
been no opportunity to say that not
only is this war a mistake from the
beginning, but that neither can it be
corrected by superficial technical re
forms or a few measured admissions of
When we look at this particular prob
lem of academic freedom, it is not con
fined to SIU. It is not confined to
areas where the problem is clearly
self-censorship also promotes
a particular brand of elitism
posed. Perhaps an unpopular person is
fired, or a graduate student is denied
a fellowship, or a particular type of
term paper or thesis is turned down.
This is a problem that pervades the
profession. It is not a problem that
can be solved by constant striving for
mOre Government funding to increase our
so-called expertise. Such expertise
created the problem.
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Ngo Vinh Long: Vietnamese
Students and the Center
I would like to say a few words
about the problem of academic free
dom faced by the Vietnamese students
studying in the United States and
how this problem is connected with
the Center here.
There are two different types
of Vietnamese students working
in this country. First, there are
those who come here on private
scholarships or on money from their
families. Those on private scholar
ships are subjected to up to a
year of investigations by the se
cret police in Vietnam and by the
national police before they are
cleared to come to this country.
Those who come on their own money
are usually rich people and there
fore people who are working for the
government, so the period of secret
police investigation is much shorter.
Second are those who come here on
government scholarships, mostly
AID scholarships. These people
are either sons or daughters of
people who work for the government
or people who have been in the army
or for some other reason are trusted
by the Saigon government. Right
now, for example, you cannot get
out unless you have completed
your military duties, and a law
passed on October 25, 1969 pro
hibits any male beyond the age of
18 from leaving the country. So
Vietnamese students who come to
this country are either from very
conservative families or from
circles in which they
cannot truly express their opinions
about what's happening in Vietnam-
about the war.
While the students are in this
country they are subjected to
considerable harassment from the
South Vietnamese embassy in Hash
ington. Most of the students
who come here on private scholar
ships or from private financial
sources have student visas and
student passports. These passports
are subjected to renewal every
six months or every year, depending
on the whimS of the officials at
the South Vietnamese embassy in
Washington. If you say anything
that the government thinks is not
right or is against the national
interest as they see it, then you
can be deported and taken back to
Vietnam at any time. Two years
ago, right after the Tet offen
sive, some 60 of us Vietnamese
students who felt we could no longer
stand the destruction caused in
our country, especially the cities,
by barbarous random bombings of
American planes, signed a state
ment against the war in Vietnam.
Immediately afterwards, our pass
ports and visas were taken away
and we were on the point of being
deported. We would have been de
ported had it not been for the
efforts of many people, both pro
war and anti-war, who thougHt it
would be very embarrassing for the
American government to deport 60
of us because we happened to be
against the war, exercising a
right that Americans are guar
Vietnamese students now at the
Center are mostly people who have
been in the army and who are selected
by the South Vietnamese government.
They have no academic freedom here
whatever and they don't have any
thing to offer you because they
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cannot speak up. In fact, the
Vietnamese student groups in this
country are far, far different
from the Vietnamese students at
home. Since March of this year,
the students in Vietnam have been
demonstrating allover the country
demanding unconditional and immed
iate peace in Vietnam. And because
of this they have been tortured
and imprisoned and subjected to
all kinds of terrors. The latest
incident of repression against
the students took place on August
30, 1970 while Agnew was in Viet
nam. The South Vietnamese govern
ment employed American helicopters,
rockets of all sizes and various
other armaments against the stu
Let me quote a letter from Sai
gon University's Student Union,
which has an active membership
of 25,000
The August 30, 1970 repression
is merely the execution of Mr.
Thieu's orders of July 15,
1970 when he vowed to "beat
to death" those calling for
"immediate peace." He said on
that day, "I am ready to smash
all movements calling for peace
at any price because I am still
very much a soldier. We will
beat to death the people who
are demanding immediate peace."
On the same day, the national
police chief, Brigadier General
Tran Van Hai, told the police
chiefs to use "strong measures
including bayonets and bullets"
to smash all demonstrations at
any price.
And you can read more about this in
the New TimBS of July 16, 1970.
And so, you can see the big dif
ference between the Vietnamese
student groups in this country and
the Vietnamese students and Viet
namese people in general at home.
By bringing all these Vietnamese
to the Center and not giving them
the freedom to tell you what's
happening in Vietnam, you have
denied academic freedom at this
David Marp: I'd like to endorse
what Mr. Long has said because I
think it is very important to one
of the main questions regarding
the Center. A lot of verbiage has
been spilling out of the Center
this past year or year and a half
along the lines that they have a
need to relate to the Vietnamese
people--in both the North and the
South. I'd like to ask Mr. Long
whether from a Vietnamese point
of view he can possibly conceive
of a strictly academic enterprise
in the United States funded by
AID, the same AID which has been
involved in assassination and all
forms of repression in his own
country. Do you think the people
of Vietnam could possibly relate
to a Center in the United States
funded by this same agency?
Ngo Vinh Long: No, for one reason.
If the students who are sponsored
by AID could come here and study,
then return home and do anything
they would like, then many
ese could freely take the oppor
tunity to accept AID scholarships.
However, in signing to come here
to study on an AID scholarship
they must agree to obligations
when they come back, and the obli
gations can be for five to ten
years. They then have to -fill
positions sponsored by the South
Vietnamese government and also by
the American government. And I
think this is not acceptable at
John WhitmoN: I would
like to add my own comment to this
and certainly very much accept Mr.
Long's comments on the status and
position of the Vietnamese scholar
in this country. It is a position
in which, as he noted, we have
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been overwhelmed by the study of
Vietnam in the last few years.
It is a position from which we are
trying to move to counteract to
some extent from our bases but,
as he has indicated, is very slow.
. In regards to the Center,
we are all for the development of
Vietnamese studies within its pro
per context. We do not believe
that either the proper context
or foundation exists at this uni
Nina Adams: ... [The Center] makes
the assumption that the govern
. ,
as a benevolent force, almost
as a neutral force in the cultural
sphere in this world, has a dis
interested view of culture and of
the mingling of ideas of different
people from different lands. This
is all well and good in a third
grade textbook. It's fed to our
children every day. It doesn't
happen to be the case.
Most of international education
in this country consists of Amer
icanizing as many people from as
many countries as possible, making
English the universal language,
paving the way for American expan
sion--financial, military and other
wise--around the world. Most of
international education is geared
to know-your-enemy, or know your
inferiors. Let us study these
quaint people whom we will be very
polite to in these poor, under
developed areas, whom we have the
divine mission to assist forward.
Where do we get the gall after
destroying Vietnam to announce that
we will oversee its reconstruction?
The least we can do for the dignity
of the Vietnamese, having inflicted
what we have on them, is to announce
that we understand finally after
six years of war their right to
determine their own future, cultur
ally and otherwise. If they wish
to study techniques and technology
in which the United States is sup
posedly superior, they can do it.
They can get books, they can train
their own people. In their train
ing of their own people in their
own country they are building their
own country, because it is theirs
and we don't belong there .
It is exactly this self-deceiving
notion that the Center is based on.
The notion is that international
education is quite open and free.
The same notion comes up in state
ments by Center spokesmen about the
creation of a free, academic center.
Time and time again they point to
a single individual who mayor may
not have anti-war views, and since
he is included with 30 others,
all of whom have pro-war views of
one sort or another, they announce
this is an objective, open and free
type of center. If you have one
man in a group who feels that the
techniques of warfare in Vietnam
were wrong and five more that feel
that some of the tactics were wrong,
while all of them continue to ac
cept the basis for the war--that
what we were trying to do is in
fact correct--this is not a repre
sentation of various points of
view; this is not an open forum.
The fact that any establishment
is secure enough to tolerate one
or two dissenters in their midst-
tamed dissenters who only dissent
on techniques and tactics--does
not mean that a center is open or
free or that a discussion is really
occurring. These same people who
now dissent from the tactics that
are being used in Vietnam--it's
just become too bloody, there have
been too many deaths, and worst,
it's not working--these same people
now support counter-insurgency in
Thailand. The idea that we deter
mine the affairs of the rest of the
world is still accepted, And so
now we have our new group of Thai
specialists, working in the field,
helping out the government here
and there, rationalizing our efforts
on the same basis over and over again.
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Huynh Kim Khanh: You
Have Planned Enough!
I would like to talk about the
significance of the Center for Viet
namese Studies for the future of
Vietnam not as a Vietnamese expert,
the kind of elite expert that Nina
Adams spoke of, but from my stand
point as a Vietnamese.
I have been quoted as saying that
we would be coming here as a group
of anti-U.S. personnel. At a time
when millions of American people
are against this odious war in Viet
nam, this war which kills both of
our people, Vietnamese and American,
I do not consider my involvement
against the war in Vietnam as anti
American. I am helping the Ameri
cans out, if you regard the recorded
majority of the people in the United
States as American. I am not anti
American, I am pro-American. In
fact, to borrow a phrase, some of my
best friends happen to be Americans.
This is a phrase not often used about
Americans; it -is said about Negroes
and Jews, and anybody else. But
as a Vietnamese I am still proud
to say it.
Since coming to this campus I've
seen. posters and signs saying "off
so-and-so", "off so-and-so." I think
you give too much importance to some
of these personalities. They may
have had some importance in the past
and they may not. But they do not
deserve the amount of attention
you are giving them now. And with
regard to the size of the grant and
its importance, I've read that the
cost of killing one "Viet Cong" is
something like $350,000--a real Viet
Cong, that is, not just a gook or
any Vietnamese. In these terms,
the $1 million given to the Vietnam
Center is very cheap.
More significant than particular
personalities or amounts of money,
I think, is the purpose for which
this Center was established. If
a Center for Vietnamese Studies were
established in order to study Viet
namesesociety, to explain Vietnam
ese society to the American people
in the hope of promoting understand
ing between the two societies, then
that would be just great. But as
the Center here is set up, it is
part of a scheme to continue the
American presence in Vietnam. This
is simply no good; and it is very
dangerous. It is dangerous because
it is part of the pattern of the
Vietnam war itself. Much has been
said about this war's being a "mis
take", as though it were correctable
or whatever. It is not; it is part
of a larger pattern. And I think
that in the future after the Center
is abolished, then people will say
that the Center was a mistake, too.
This leads me to my main point-
that the Center for Vietnamese Stu
dies is an instrument of American
neo-colonialism in South Vietnam.
The very presence of the U.S. in
Vietnam has to be understood as part
of the postwar emergence of super
powers and of neo-co10nialism. After
1945 one type of colonialism, that of
small European countries with limited
resources, was replaced by a new
form of domination maintained by
large countries with extensive re
sources, territories and populations,
operating through foreign military
and economic aid programs. The
term "aid" itself reflects the fic
tion at the heart of these new arrange
ments--that the subject state has all
the superficial symbols of national
sovereignty, such as international
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recognition and representation,
treaty-signing powers, and so on.
But through economic and military
aid, the subject state is in fact
controlled by a foreign power. It
is only when the control exercised
by military and economic means fails
that the neo-colonialist powers bring
troops into their own subject states.
I am talking not only about Ameri
can neocolonialism but about Russian
as well. I am looking at Czecho
slovakia and at Vietnam. And I am
doing so not as a Vietnamese spe
cialist but as a Vietnamese. We
to watch these super-powers,
because with them it is not a mat
ter of ideology; it is a question
of power politics.
The Center for Vietnamese Studies
here constitutes an extremely danger
ous attempt to continue the Ameri
can presence in South Vietnam. Pol
itical or military domination is
dangerous in and of itself. It
destroys our society, kills our peo
ple, renders barren hundreds of thou
sands of acres of Vietnamese land
through the modern technological
means of chemical warfare. But,
as mucn" as I am concerned about the
rate of Vietnamese civilian as well
, as military casualties, even this
I can consider dangerous only to a
certain extent. For this involves
mainly physical destruction.
When you kill our young men, when
you kill our people, massacre our chil
dren, the old men, that is one thing.
All right, our women will bear chil
dren again. Vietnamese women are
not exactly bad in terms of fertil
ity. When you destroy our crops
and spray poisonous chemicals over
the land, hopefully the land will
regain its fertility through
,natural"processes. But when you des
troy our this I see as'
the function of the Center for .'
namese Studies here--when you train
our young men here in the so-called
American way of life, American way
of thinking, and then send them back
some ofmy bestfriends
happen to he Americans
to Vietnam, this becomes a cancerous
growth on our society, it destroys
the Vietnamese way of life and the
Vietnamese culture. And while you
Americans can teach us much in the
field of technology, beyond this I
don't know what you have to teach
us. We have our own culture. When
you destroy the consciousness of
a people, then you have destroyed
I am saddened by what I see in
the American press time and time
again--that the Vietnamese are the
enemy. And I am amazed by this too,
because around 1955 or 1956 I found
few Americans who even knew where
Vietnam was or how to pronounce it.
Then suddenly, first there was a
stream of love for the Vietnamese
people, to help them out, to preserve
their freedom and self-determination.
After that, when you could not make
them part of your scheme, you called
them the enemy. I think that this
is in essence the story of why the
Center for Vietnamese Studies is not
being set up to help us. And it is
for this reason that it may be best
not to be a part of this scheme
that we see here before us.
Q.[Paraphrase of a question asked
by a member of the a Viet
namese student at SIU] The Viet
namese survived 1000 years of Chi
nese cul.tural. domination and 80
years of the French; why shoul.d
we be so fearful. of 15 or 20 years
of the Americans? How is the Cen
ter invol.ved in this? Why shoul.d
we not be proud to see foreigners
l.eaming to speak our tongue and
studying our count'P/f?
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A. Indeed, we learned very much
from the Chinese, we learned very
much from the French and hopefully
we have learned something from the
Americans, although I'm not sure
what it is other than striptease
shows in the bars and certain other
aspects of the "American '11ay of life"
in Vietnam.
You said you don't know how the
Center contributes to all this.
I think if you will read the grant
document written by the Center it
self, it will become very clear to
you. Attempting to prove their
for aiding the post
war reconstruction of Vietnam, they
claim that the university has al
ready trained 200 provincial chiefs
as part of AID's educational programs
there. The Center itself could
provide the best answer to this
As regards Americans learning
to speak Vietnamese, I would also
be very pleased to be able to con
verse with Americans in another lan
guage than English, so I am happy
to see Americans speaking Vietnam
ese, too. I could even have some
pride in it as well-
what.purpose are they try
ing to speak Vietnamese? To con
tinue domination of J/l!t
nam, or what? Is it in order to
understand Vietnamese better so
as to promote better understanding
between our peoples, to learn some
ting from Vietnam? Well, if they
would start doing that too--learn
ing something from Vietnam--then
I would be very happy. I haven't
seen that yet. As far as Ameri
cans are concerned,. they are still
gooks and have nothing to teach
Let me mention the situation
of those Vietnamese who are involved
in these AID projects. Actually,
I think this is one of the main
reasons I am against this war. It
is very sad that the Vietnamese
have been corrupted by the war.
feel very sorry that our Vietnamese
soldiers have been made to fight
their own brothers. They didn't
want to. Vietnamese who work
for the Saigon government today
have to do so in order to make a
living. What else can thev do?
, J
I m not calling all of them cor
rupt--they have to live somehow.
You have to understand them as human
beings. I make an exception in
the case of certain personnel of
the South Vietnamese government
such as Thieu, Ky, Khiem and some
others who clearly work for the
Americans, and who, if the Ameri
cans would leave, would be among
the first to leave with them. But
the majority .of the people who work
for the government--civil servants,
the students sent over here by AID-
they understandably had to find
some way out of the war. I respect
their human quality of fearing death
like anybody else. I fear death, too.
Then I am left with the question:
Why am I not in Vietnam myself?
Why am I sitting here? And I say
yes, I'm a coward. I fear death,
because I'm human. If I were not
a coward I would be. on the other
side, fighting the Americans. Yet
while admitting I'm a coward I still
think I'm doing the best thing I
can--staying abroad, telling the
Americans what the war is about.
Probably in this way I can do some
thins justify my being a coward.
Finally, what ought we to study
here in order to do some good for
our country? The question is to
define what is good,what is good
for V.ietnam, and the answer is to
stop the war, get the Americans
out_completely and unconditionally,
and immediately, so that we the
Vietnamese can reconstruct our own
country. If we need American help,
we shall ask for it. But let us
ask you, not have you plan the dev
elopment for us. You have planned
enoulh--you have planned enough
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killings in our country!
I am a very proud Vietnamese.
The Americans are trying very hard;
they have not lost the war yet,
but this is one time I can say I
feel the Americans have been de
feated, not yet physically but mor
ally. They are out there to save
Vietnamese self-determination, free
dom and all of the usual moral causes,
but in so doing they are committing
more crimes than they expected.
Morally they have been defeated,
militarily they have not.
August" 1970: Demonstration at the NationaL Assemb.Ly to protest eLection frauds.
SHIP!" Until recently sLogans did not mention Americans directly .
..~ :
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Gabriel Kolko: ,The
political significance
of the Center for Vietnam
ese Studies and Programs
The long and agonizing history
of barbarism, destruction, and war
in the twentieth century is in large
part the result of the institutional
deficiencies and aggressive needs
of nations and their social struc
tures, but it is also to some
critical measure the outcome of the
individual's abdication of his per
sonal and moral responsibility for
the institutions and societies
immediately surrounding him and
within his capacity to affect in
one way or another. The great
chain of evasion and denial which
is expressed in refusal to acknow
ledge facts or to accept a common
moral responsibility to act to change
evil conditions and institutions
has repeatedly led to the indivi
dual and collective abdication of
the ideal of a rational civiliza
tion as we think it should be, and
ultimately to personal insensitiv
ity and, in some instances, inhuman
ity. This phenomenon of denial is
personally comforting, and during
World War II it led the German
people--essentially good, ordinary
men and women--to refuse to believe
that their Nazi government was com
mitting genocide in Europe. It made
our own country immune to racism
as the dominating quality in the
life of the black people, and until
1962 it led to a total oblivious
ness toward the phenomenon of p o v e r ~ y
among tens of millions of whites
and blacks. Until My Lai, the fact
that the Vietnam war was an attack
against an entire population of a
nation, which could only ultimately
lead to its total genocidal destruc
tion, was denied by many good men
and women--genuinely kind to their
children and pets--save for a quite
small proportion who could not deny
the massive and growing documenta
tion that was offered up by the two
greatest living philosophers, Ber
trand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre,
by press accounts, and by the Viet
namese themselves.
Ultimately, and usually too
late, the facts have a way of sur
facing and helping us to define
realistically the world we live
in--and overcoming our personal
abdication of our responsibilities
to root out those evils and wrongs
that define the quality of our uni
versities and social institutions.
In 1965, when the first university
--the University of Pennsylvania-
turned inward to discover what was
later revealed to be a far more ex
tensive national university compli
city with the Pentagon, the CIA,
and agencies of American warfare
and domination throughout the world,
it was essential to learn and patiently
explain the facts of the university
government relationship to many
sincerely uninformed as well as
morally irresponsible university
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faculty and students. By 1968 these
facts were no longer in doubt, and
nearly every academically outstanding
school was in the process of dis
continuing or phasing out existing
military-oriented contracts, and
refusing new ones. Without exception,
every university that had signifi
cantly compromised its deepest obliga
tions to the majority of its students
and faculty, as well as the tradi
tional aims of the university in
Western history, learned that they
could not have tranquillity at the
same time they were making profound
compromises and moral evasions.
learned this lesson in the very hardest
manner and too late. Very few, and
perhaps none, would in 1969--much
less today--take your Center for
Vietnamese Studies, mainly because
it would be administratively disas
trous to the other, much more essen
tial functions which are any univer
sity's sole rationale for existence.
* * *
Let me explain how and why the
U.S. government funds projects such
as those you have here at SIU. With
the exception of the National Insti
tute of Heaith and the National
Institute of Mental Health, all major
U.S. agencies funding behavioral and
social science research are members
of the "Foreign Affairs Research
Coordination Group" (FAR), which
the State Department administers.
The largest component of FAR is the
Pentagon, but the CIA is also a part,
as is AID, the Labor Department,
etc. FAR's guidelines indicate
explicitly that even at the level
of research, which your Center states
is one of its key functions, its
goals are inherently non-academic.
"Few agencies have as their central
the advancement of knowledge
for its own sake or for its general
utility," FAR's collective guideline
states. "Most agencies that contract
for research look to research--and
rightfully so--for assistance in carry
ing out specific missions or tasks
in policy or action.. " I shall
in a moment indicate what "policy
and action" today means in Vietnam.
All agencies of FAR review each
other's projects and proposals and
they "welcome comments and suggest
ions" from each other "in perfecting
plans, projects, and contracts."
The real sponsor of a project may
be another FAR agency, such as the
Pentagon or CIA, and FAR is explicit
in stating that "no assurance can be
given that it [research] will in
fact be used or that other uses will
not be made of it, by either the
supporting agency or others." If
one agency has a special expertise
in one area, such as Vietnam, the
others will channel their needs
through it to avoid duplication and
utilize its experience. In the case
of the CIA and Pentagon, whose research
has been the main focus of campus
protests, they have also moved to
camouflage their activities somewhat
by utilizing the auspices of AID
and NSF. Essentially, however, there
is no conflict between the work of
such agencies, which regard themselves
as fully interrelated information
and operations pools. When you
work for one FAR agency, such as AID,
you work for them all.
The best proof of this is that
the prime contractors in such research
must pass the usual security clear
ances, that legacy of the McCarthy
era which functions as a ..
inatory mechanism against faculty
who refuse to subject themselves
and their acquaintances and relatives
to its inquisitorial procedures.
In the case of your Center at SIU,
key individuals such as Fishel must
have undergone security clearances.
And as a matter of routine and national
policy, to quote the Assistant Secre
tary of Defense, John Foster, "results
of [contracted] research in the
behavioral and sciences related
to foreign policy must be reviewed
prior to publication.. This is
general governmental policy; it is
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When you work for
one FAR agency,
such as AID, you
work for them all.
not confined to DoD programs." As
your Center's contract with AID
At the initiative of AID and fol
lowing submission of an annual
technical report, there will be an
annual substantive review of acti
vities under this Grant. This
review will include evaluation of
progress, administrative and finan
cial considerations, plans for the
following year, and discussion of
possible AID utilization--under
technical assistance, research
and training contracts--of the
evolving University competency.
The government always retains the right
to tell you, therefore, what you are
allowed to do. Such power to control
activities and classify research is
an infraction of the academic freedom
process so basic that it alone makes
sponsored foreign area research anti
academic. Again quoting from your
Center's contract, "The grant may be
revoked or terminated by the A.I.D.
Grant Officer upon six months notice,
whenever it is deemed that the Grantee
institution has failed in a material
respect to comply with the terms and
conditions of the grant or for the
convenience of the Government."
If in the name of gaining funds
for a university, administrators violate
the principles of open research, freely
publishable, and if they consciously
allow research which in intent, not
merely consequence, causes and perpe
tuates man's social and physical ills
--if for any reason they compromise
the historic humanist commitments of
a university, they cannot later com
plain when students and faculty seek
to reaffirm the integrity of the uni
versity at embarrassing moments or in
whatever manner their limited resources
impose on them. The fault always rests
with administrators and those who are
more concerned with the dictates and
material rewards of power rather than
intellectual sensibilities and the
autonomy of the university.
Having said what hard experience has
taught many universities already, let
me now turn to the nature of the war
and how your Center's work is vital
to Washington's desire to prolong
that war despite the wishes of the
vast majority of Americans for peace.
* * *
After lJorld War II the United States
pursued its diplomacy on the traditional
postulate of military power ultimately
being based on physical plant, economic
capacity, and the ability to destroy it.
This assumption was also a definition
of the nature of the world conflict,
which after 1945 designated the Soviet
Union as the primary threat to Ameri
can security and interests.
The Korean War raised a critical
dilemma. It immediately proved the
. limits of existing military strategy
and technology against decentralized,
non-industrial nations, for there were
no decisive targets against which to
employ atomic military technology.
Ultimately the United States waged the
Korean War with "conventional" arms
also intended for combat between indus
trial nations, and the Korean precedent
reveals the principles and tactics to
emerge in Vietnam in a more intensive
form. The Korean War, in brief, became
a war against an en.tire nation, civilians
and soldiers, Communists and anti
Communists alike, with everything regarded
as a legitimate target for attack.
For the Koreans, the war's magnitude
led to vast human suffering, but the
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United States learned that it was unable
to translate its immense firepower into
military or political victory for itself
or its allies. There was, in brief, no
conceivable relationship between the
expenditure of arms and the political
or military results obtained. This
dilemma of relating American technology
to agrarian and decentralized societies
was not resolved by the time President
Kennedy came to office.
One of the most'significant realities
of the war in Vietnam, a fact which
makes "legal" combat impossible, is
the absence of conventional military
fronts and areas of uncontested Ameri
can. control. American forces, in
form enclaves in a sea of
hostility and instability, able tempor
arily to contest N.L.F. physical con
trol over large regions but incapable
of imposing Saigon's flimsy political
infrastructure to establish durable
control. Perhaps most ironically,
the N.L.F. has been able to transform
this American presence, which it has
not been able to remove physically,
into a symbiotic relationship from which
they extract maximum possible assets.
There now exists more than sufficient
documentation proving that the U.S.!
claims to "control" 67 per cent or more
of the South Vietnamese population,
as before Tet 1968, bear no relation
ship to reality. Suffice it to say,
the Pentagon also maintains private
figures revealing that a very substan
tial majority of the South Vietnamese
are not under the physical "control"
of either the Saigon regime or U.S.
forces. Apart from political loyalty,
which claims on hamlet control ignore,
the supreme irony of the war in Viet
nam is that hamlets labeled "secure"
for public purposes, such as Song My,
are often the hardest hit. The reason
is fundamental: areas,
and large population concentrations
the N.L.F. operationally controls
frequently cooperate in Saigon-spon
sored surveys and projects to spare
themselves unnecessary conflict with
U.S. and Saigon forces. What the
Pentagon describes as the "secure"
area in Vietnam is often a staging and
economic base as secure and vital
to the N.L.F. as its explicitly iden
tified liberated zones.
To some critical measure, "secure"
areas are both a part of, and essen
tial to, the N.L.F. And to be "se
cure" is not to be a continuous free
fire zone. The question is not who
cZaims "control" but who really pos
sesses it. For the most part, such
control as the U.S. may have is tempor
ary and ultimately is based only on
its ability and willingness to apply
firepower. The integration of the
institutional structure of so-called
"secure" areas with that which the
N.L.F. dominates, the profound lack
of clear lines and commitments among
the Vietnamese, attains its ultimate
danger for the Americans when it is
revealed that the Vietnamese support
for the N.L.F. extends to all levels
of the Saigon regime. Such an army
of unwilling conscripts, corrupt'
officers, and politically unreliable
elements in their midst is a dubious
asset to the U.S. and alone scarcely
an unmanageable threat to the N.L.F.
Hence the illusion of "Vietnamization."
The various administrations have known
all this, and much more. Neither on
a political nor a military level can
Washington transfer to the Saigon
regime a real power it has never
enjoyed: that of defining the poli
tical future of South Vietnam.
The basic dilemma that the U.S.
today confronts in Vietnam is the same
that the French encountered in their
effort to win their colonial war over
20 years ago. There is no military
means of winning that war, and no
relationship between the expenditure
of money and firepower and the poli
tical results attained. Between
1965 and the first half of 1970 the
U.S. dropped 5.2 million tons of air
ordnance on all of Southeast Asia,
and an equal amount of ground ordnance
from 1966 through May of this year-
a tonnage that far exceeds that of
World War II and Korea combined
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and equals the explosive power of
770 Hiroshima-$ize bombs. The U.S.
has been unable to win military
victory because the vast majority of
South Vietnamese oppose its presence,
and the largest group supports the
N.L.F. In effect, there are not
many Vietnamese who sustain America's
cause in Vietnam, just as there were
precious few for the French--and those
who do have enriched themselves hand
somely at the expense of American
taxpayers and their fellow countrymen.
The war, in brief, is not a civil
war; it is an international interven
There are many ways of measuring
this. The N.L.F. 's remarkable poli
tical and military durability is the
best test. The Saigon army's unwilling
ness to fight, despite its immense
numerical superiority, is another.
The refusal of not more than one-fifth
of the South Vietnamese electorate
to vote for Thieu in the rigged elec
tion of 1967 is yet another. The total
self-serving corruption of the Thieu
Ky regime, and the consequent rampant
inflation, black market, and economic
chaos is still another. Such a re
gime, with its Swiss bank accounts,
decadence, and luxuries in the midst
of war cannot defeat the N.L.F. but
only the larger goals of the U.S.
in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
South Vietnam's inevitable fate
can only be compared to China's between
1945 and 1948, where Chiang's forces
probably won more military engage
ments than Saigon's, but died from
its own intense economic, political,
and ideological morbidity--not in
one dramatic debacle but rather by
the disintegration, in its basic soc
iety via thousands of small wounds.
Fighting such a counter-revolution
ary war is possible militarily onl.y
with American men. The Johnson and
Nixon administrations have numeri
cally trimmed manpower somewhat on
the ground only to sustain virtually
the same level of firepower via air
and artillery. It is for this rea
son that all public and private admin
istration statements have alluded
constantly to "residual" American
forces that are to remain at 150,000
to 250,000 men in Southeast Asia,
according to present administration
Politically, the problem that has
confronted both Johnson and Nixon
is how to make such protracted con
flict politically feasible at home
and militarily successful in Viet
nam. The political constraints
operating to inhibit the President
are extremely powerful. Not only
does a large majority of the Ameri
can people support total withdrawal
by a fixed date or immediately, but
important business elements have
rightfully concluded that the war
is responsible for the inflation,
stock market decline, recession,
and rising internal social disinte
gration--and that pragmatism, if not
principle, warrants leaving Vietnam.
Both Johnson and Nixon failed to
give up essentially a military res
ponse to the war, and the only way
they could gain respites from inter-
Anything that holds out
the promise of 'success'
postpones the day when
real success and peace
can be obtained.
nal political opposition was to hold
out illusions of imminent "progress"
that would presumably satisfy mount
ing complaints--and give the govern
ment more time in the field. Alleged
progress in Paris talks, where the
U.S. has not yet offered a negotia
ble package for a diplomatic settle
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ment, was often promised or
at, perhaps via so-called secret
talks which later proved non-exist
ent. These promises relaxed domes
tic opponents, but only temporarily.
and the inevitable military escala
tion and protraction of combat fanned
them up again. These escalations
produced no permanent military results
for Washington, led to a wider war.
and weakened the U.S.'s position in
Cambodia and Laos, creating pande
monium within the U.S. In last spring's
escalation, "Vietnamization" of the
war was exploited as its justifica
tion, and it is likely to be trotted
out again to justify yet more escala
tions and prolonged U.S. involvement
in the future. Anything that holds
out the promise of "success" post
pones the day when real success
and peace can be attained for the
Vietnamese and American people alike,
and the terrible 25-year war brought
to an end by the total withdrawal
of all American and foreign troops
and intervention.
There is no illusion at all in
Washington regarding the possibility
of the Saigon regime becoming a
viap.le alternative to the govern
ment that the N.L.F. and all neutral
ist forces, including the Buddhists
and Catholics, are inevitably going
to form. I have closely followed
all the Congressional hearings, read
the government's reports on Saigon's
disintegrating economy, the CIA's
account of the total corruption
or N.L.F. infiltration of the Saigon
political and military infrastructure,
and I am certain in the light of the
massive documentation of these facts
that is circulating about Washington
that no responsible in
cluding Mr. Nixon and the Pentagon.
believes that Saigon can attain the
vic t.ory that eluded U.S. manpower
for over five years, much less do
it with a fraction of the money and
a fraction of the firepower which
the U.S. has employed. This is an
illusion--it's a conscious deception.
What Nixon needs and desires is more
at home to gain him more
time from internal political pres
sures. To produce illusions, he
needs a facade and the usual optimis
tic, if entirely false, data intended
to disarm his opposition with the
repeatedly discredited promises and
claims that have succeeded in winning
him time in the past.
* * *
Apart from the total inappropriate
ness of your Vietnam Center to any
university, there can be no doubt
that it is intended to play an espe
cially critical role in the continua
tion and revival of the myth of
"Vietnamization." As such, and be
cause by the terms of the contract
it is premised entireZy on Saigon's
ultimate victory, it can only help
Your Jtietnam Center is
intended to play an
especially critical role in
the continuation and
revival of the myth of
, "fietnamization '.
the prolongation of the war and post
pone the day when the American people
attain their own victory by having
all their young men on their own
shores. I repeat, the existence
of centers which produce public
relations data of this kind for the
Saigon regime and the "Vietnamiza
tion" program can only contribute
to prolonging the war. Not until
Nixon draws the inevitable conclusions
from the prevailing economic, poli
tical and military facts, both in
Vietnam and at home, and accepts
the principle of total and immediate
American withdrawal from Vietnam,
will the likelihood of even more
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military escalations be eliminated.
Until then, it is less consequential
that the Center is a total waste of
public funds in its effort to do the
impossible, but it is significant
that it is a discredit to all the
remainder of the university, which
is to say the much greater part of
it, that will be tarnished by its
presence here and the national notor
iety it has gained--a fact that would
make it virtually impossible for AID,
or whoever else might be involved, to
move it to another university of any
standing. It is not important, either,
that some of the Vietnamese who
will come here will eventually be
found to be bitterly opposed to U.S.
troops in their homeland--perhaps
even be pro-N.L.F.--but rather it
is more significant that a much
larger proportion will share the
Thieu regime's standards of fiscal
integrity and its ruthlessness towards
the rights of all internal opposi
tion, whatever its religious or poli
tical complexion. And speaking of
the fiscal integrity of the Vietnam
ese who have been here, it would
repay the university community to
research well the congressional hear
ings which were held at the end of
1969 regarding black market operations
The Center will not help
the development of
Jietnam but sustain the
attempt to destroy it.
in Saigon and the connections which
the various Saigonese operators have
with Americans and Vietnamese in
the U.S.--because in there I noticed
prominent among the photostats Car
bondale checks which certainly indi
cated that the Carbondale banks had
become international in very short
Most critically, however, we must
see your Center's unique national
role in the context of the protrac
tion of the war and Washington's
desperate effort to keep alive an
intervention that should never have
occurred. The Center will not help
the development of Vietnam but sus
tain the attempt to destroy it. It
will not do research but will create
myths vital to the larger Vietnam
strategy of a discredited administra
tion. It cannot aid the Vietnamese
people, and it can only continue to
hurt the welfare of our own. In intent
and consequence, it can only prove
harmful, and its efforts to dress
up its facade with a few anti-war
academics--an effort that has failed
until now--should not detract from
the essential fact that it ought to
be dissolved
We Americans have repeatedly
stated to Washington our opposition
to the war, an opposition that has
been expressed both at the ballot
box--when Goldwater's 1964 threats
to escalate were repudiated and John
son's record of escalation rejected
--and in the largest street demon
strations in this nation's history.
Both courses have failed to alter
the government's policy, and it has
ceased to represent any majority
constituency that can be identified
as more than a useful myth. Given
the futility of the conventional
as well as the unconventional means
of change by expressing one's clear
desires, the question is now less
what we would like to see the govern
ment do than wha t can do to make
it unable to continue its unrespon
sive, undemocratic course. At this
university it means the abolition
and removal of the Center for Viet
namese Studies and a denial of its
legitimacy to illigitimate policies.
It is only by your resistance today
to policies that are both immoral
and illegal that politics based on
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the consent of the people will be
come possible tomorrow.
Q. Our Center's standard defense
is that it will not provide any ser
vice or do any research for the gov
ernment, that it can in fact be com
pletely academic and scholarly.
Can this Center which is being funded
by 211(d) AID funds be completely
A. Absolutely not. There are laws
of the United States which make that
impossible. Your Center has a con
tract with the U.S. government.
When it accepts a contract with the
. government it must conform to the
government's norms. We've gone through
this on dozens if not hundreds of
other universities. And that's the
usual defense--"We are free to do
as we please." But invariably, it's
that there is a contract,
and the contract explicitly delin
eates the nature of the undertaking,
the nature of the research and the
direction of the research. That
research is not pure in any sense
of the term. It's applied, it's
mission-oriented, as the FAR job
description indicates. It is intended
to perform a function essential to
the purposes of the government in
Vietnam. And the United States gov
ernment's purposes in Vietnam have
no relationship whatever to the nor
mal acceptable functions of any uni
Q. Do we as a university, as a com
munity, have a chance to stop the
A. Well, let's put it this
I must be perfectly candid. Many
schools have gone through it. We
went through it at Penn where we
were very successful and got rid
of the most important laboratories
working on chemical warfare in Viet
nam, and we did it the reasonable
way. We had discussions, we released
facts, and the students and faculty
voted to get rid of it. It didn't
move the administration. Ultimately
--and I must say this is unfortunate,
but it's the price that administra
tors inflict upon themselves--ulti
mately only pandemonium convinced
them that this project was dysfunc
tional. And quite frankly, if the
normal votes don't work, and the
faculty senate votes don't work-
and they have not in many places
--then whatever else is functional
to the objective makes sense. I
should say that at Penn where I used
to teach and was involved in this
campaign--I say "used to teach",
Hr. Allen, because your experience
is not untypical--we had the first
student sit-in in the president's
office. We had the first student
picketing en masse and we were very
unmovable. We prevailed and per
sisted and we ultimately won. And
I think you will too. I'm sure of
it. No one has failed after the
amount of effort that you're appar
ently ready to invest in this under
Q. Do you think anything like that
is possible now with Agnew's and
Nixon's efforts to divide the coun
try and strengthen the police forces ...
and add to their technology so they
can get armaments here in five seconds
A. He is asking in effect whether
the determination of the government
and its willingness to use violence
will not defeat the students. We
bad to face that kind of determina
tion at Buffalo last year. We had
some 400 policemen patrolling our
place for six weeks, and we had three
days in a row where the CS gas was
so thick you couldn't breathe--you
had to leave. We had 80 people
sent to the hospital and we had 47
faculty members indicted with max
imum possible sentences--it's still
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pending in the courts--of up to 15
months. And nevertheless, despite
this overwhelming show of violence,
it became perfectly clear that you
can't run a university and maintain
this kind of immoral research at
the same time and we got rid of that
research project. As a matter of
fact the government found that no
research was being conducted' there
because the center, which specialized
in techniques of advanced underwater
warfare, wasn't producing any re
sults and it was dysfunctional. I
think that the government can use
violence but nevertheless it can't
rule the country without the con
sent of the governed, and the con
sent of the numbers who are involved
in politics is much more critical.
If you persevere you'll win--don't
worry about that. Again, there's
no guarantee--you take your chances.
Q. I hope that what I'm about to say
is not true, but I've heard from
people who are still at the school
that you just recently left [SUNY
Buffalo] that the present adminis
tration is more repressive and the
situation is even worse than when
you had 400 police on campus. What
do you think?
A. Well, the local power structure
has made the decision to destroy
the university, and the faculty is
leaving, the students are leaving,
and presumably the police will fill
the rooms. But police can't teach
history and police can't earn degrees
and they can't contribute to the bet
terment of society. That is a choice
that every university admistration
has the right to make. It is more
repressive, but it's not a univer
sity anymore. And that's the deci
sion that the admistration and the
faculty of this place will have to
make, too.
A. I haven't seen you by the way,
Mr. Sacks, since you were taking
tickets at a socialist meeting some
years ago... [Laughter] But I
don't think you're a socialist any
Q. May I point out, Mr. Kolko,
that's a very unusual way to
A. But I think we used to know each
other in that context, is that not
Q. I'm under the impression that
that's not the only place you saw
me. You've also been over at my
home, in my living room, with your
wife if you remember.
A. No, I don't remember that.
[Laughter] But I think we used to
know Frank Trager in common as well.
Tell me, why hasn't Frank Trager
denied the press reports that he
was taking CIA money for his Vietnam
research all these years . Since
we were living room associates--and
I must apologize for not remembering
that--I do remember we had Frank
Trager as a common friend and I
recall that Frank and I used ~ o
spend much time together when Frank
was hunting up research grants.
But I find it abysmal, and I would
like to get your comment on this,
on why Frank who was our mutual
friend has not publicly denied the
reports which appeared in Le Monde3
which is the greatest newspaper in
the world, that his work on Vietnam
was paid for by the CIA. Do you
know much about it?
Q. You should ask Frank Trager.
I" know nothing about it.
A. But you know Frank as well as
I do. Perhaps he confided in you
in a way that he wouldn't confide
in me. But please, let's have your
question--I don't want to seem
Q. Would you put the microphone
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A. Well, 1. ..
Q. You're interrupting me each
time, number one.
A. Please.
Q. Number two, you took the occa
sion without even hearing the ques
tion from me to raise an utterly
irrelevant thing from the course
of your speech.
A. Well, it's not often that I
meet old friends in southern Illi
nois. [Laughter]
Q. I understand that kind of behav
ior. You learned it in a good school.
Let me just suggest something to the
audience. I listened very carefully
to Mr. Kolko's speech, and he has
suggested to you that you ought to
trash the school if you want to stop
the Center. [Uingled shouts of
"Right on!" and "He did not say it."]
A. He didn't say it.
Q. He said you are to take such
measures as to stop the institu
tion'from functioning. And that's
exactly what I heard him say.
Now I may be deaf, but I think I
heard him say that. [From the
audience: "Are you asking for a
succession of democratic processes?"]
--The democratic processes
[More questions from the audience]
Look, one of the things I would like
to do is just get through my little
bit and do my thing
A. Would you ask me a question?
That's what I'm here for.
Q. I'm trying to make a point,
not ~ question. And I have a right
to do that--that's part of the demo
cratic process.
A. Right.
Q. You shouldn't interrupt me.
A. I think that we went to the
same meetings for many years. But
I'd like to ask you about the earlier
Q. Will you let me have an oppor
tunity to talk and let me make my
p ~ i n t . You spoke for about thirty
m1nutes. Let me make my point.
Number one, you have the problem
of how you want to conduct yourself
at a university. And I do not,
because I am not somebody who knows
this university well, dispute for
a moment, in view of what I've read
from afar about last May, that you
are capable of stopping this univer
sity from functioning. I don't
know. You may be very well capable
of stopping the university from
functioning. But I would caution
you that you weigh the benefits
of that particular course of action
in terms of the existence of the
forces of repression which will be
displayed--I raise this quite ser
iously--[intheface of a threat]
to the continued existence of this
university. And I particularly do
so because of the remarks of the
speaker in which he said that con
con,tracts, plans,projects--a1l 'of
these--he equated to the 211(d)
grant which is here, and said,
therefore all the research in this
institution--I'm quoting him--all
research in this institution done
by the Center for Vietnamese Studies
is subject to the review. of AID and ,
by its membership in FAR, all oi:'
these other agencies. Now I have
a simple fact, a simple fact. There
are at present, ,at least as far
as the funds in the grant are con
cerned, a number of allocations for
research made to senior research
scholars and to some people for
their Ph.D. work. These have gone
through the regular committees of
the university and received approval.
None of these things have been ap
p,roved or disapproved of by any
other agency than t h ~ duly consti
tuted faculty of this university.
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And, moreover, there is no provision
in any of the funds given for research
purposes--because we discussed them
yesterday, the $7500 grants--none
of them escaped the control of the
faculty of this university through
its regularly constituted committees
and they are not subject to review.
Now I raise the question to Mr
Kolko: if in fact there are no
limitations on either the professors
appointed, on either the money
expended for research fellowships,
on either the travel done by stu
dents or faculty, or on library
acquisitions--if that's what the
grant is, so that it covers the
entire spectrum of academic activity,
and if those and those only are the
things done by the Center, under
what circumstances and under what
conditions should the university
not accept- such money to do such
A. Look. Everyone who is trying
to save his institutional preroga
tives says that I am free to do what
I want in the sense that I have
agreed to something voluntarily
that the government is willing to
pay for. In brief, I am willing
to accept. his contractual specifi
cation. The quote I gave you was
taken from a long policy statement
by the Assistant Secretary of De
fense with regard to the publication
of foreign area research under the
of every agency. If you
think that the Assistant Secretary
of Defense does not know what he's
talking happens to be a
very competent man--then I think
you misjudge his ability. And I
think as well that if you can
assure us that AID is what it de
clares it not to be--if you're
going to assure us that AID is not
oriented toward mission-oriented
specific functions in Vietnam--then
we can take your statement at its
face value. AID states explicitly
that it is interested in performing
certain missions for certain ends.
It makes no bones about it and it
funds only those kinds of activities.
As a matter of fact there are con
gressional amendments which make it
impossible now for the government
to give absolutely pure research
grants without them having some
ultimate functional objective. I
will say this: 11m sorry I twitted
you so mercilessly, but you are a
professional and for twenty years
you have been involved in the Viet I
nam business; and I'm sure that l
when you write your autobiography
it will make very interesting read
ing. You have been living off gov
ernment research grants directly
or indirectly for a long, long time.
And I don't blame you for wanting
to earn a livelihood. But you can
hardly blame these young people for
wanting to live in a decent society,
and that's precisely what the pro
fessionals have not been able to
create. [Applause]
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Ngo Vinh Long:
Land Reform?
Because time is short I cannot
discuss all the dirty programs spon
sored by AID in Vietnam. I would
like to spend a few minutes, however,
describing the best program they
have and show you howgood this is.
The program they are really proud
of is what they call the Rural Dev
elopment Program. And again, because
of the problem of time, I'm not going
to talk much about the Rural Develop
ment Program. Many parts of it are
very dirty. But let me talk about
the best of this best program, namely
the land reform program recently
carried out.
On March 26, 1970, the Saigon
government finally passed a land
reform law called "Land to the Til
ler", after much pressure from the
United States and after three years
of study by a group of "specialists"
from the Stanford Research Insti
tute sponsored by AID. On that date
President Thieu declared that it was
the happiest day of his life. After
that Ambassador Bunker in Saigon
followed suit by praising the bill
as perfect and the only one of its
kind in the world. Back in the
United States the news media were
also caught up in a storm of over
enthusiasm. For two days NBC had
a program about the land reform
whose message was that the Vietnam
ese peasants are really overjoyed
because now they have land.
South Vietnamese observers, how
ever, do not share this enthusiasm.
In a recent article entitled "March
26 Is the Happiest Day For Presi
dent Thieu, For the Peasants, Or
For Whom?" published in Doi, a Sai
gon weekly, the editors concluded
that March 26 might have been the
happiest day in the lives of the
American leaders and Thieu and the
landlords, but in reality it meant
little for the peasants of South
Vietnam. The editors of Doi are
former members and leaders of the
Rural Development cadre teams
sored as a joint operation by the
CIA and the U.S. Operations Mission
to Vietnam. The real reason for
passing the land reform law, the
article said, was to "make it easier
for the American government to per
suade the people to support the
government of the Republic of Viet
nam." In another article entitled
"Is the Land to the Tiller Bill as
Perfect as His Excellency Ambassador
Bunker which was published
in the August issue of Tu Quyet
(a Saigon magazine), the author,
Duong Son Quan, shows in some detail
how the land reform program repre
sents "an extreme degree of dema
goguery." This and many other arti
cles by South Vietnamese writers on
the land reform agree that the land
reform law will not work for several
--The law sanctions the distribution
of only those lands which have for
a long time been left uncultivated
because they happen to lie in insecure
areas. This land is of no use to the
peasants since they cannot cultivate
it, and even if they could cultivate
it American air and artillery strikes
would visit it constantly. Moreover,
rice-culture requires intensive irri
gation and labor, which means a lot
of capital would be required to put
the abandoned land back into pro
duction again. Insecurity makes the
peasants' effort, as well as the
outlay of capital, which is often
borrowed at high interest from usurers,
seem worthless. Thus, in spite
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of the fact that the peasants don't
want such land, they are nevertheless
forced to go out to clear land in
some areas, getting blown up by land
mines in the process. While the pea
sants are forced to put into cultiva
tion lands that they don't want, land
lords receive about $1000 for each
hectare of the worthless land which
they abandoned long ago. All in all,
they will receive 161 billion piasters,
or over $1 billion for such worthless
--In addition to the fact that most
of the land is worthless as it is
because of the war, Article 13 of
the land reform bill clearly shows
that the land reform is not primarily
for the benefit of the neediest pea
sants, since landless agricultural
laborers, who make up the majority
in the countryside, are put at the
bottom of the list of priorities for
land distribution. Military men,
civil service personnel, and city
dwellers precede them on the list.
--Since the start of the program
some $40 million have been embezzled
from the Rural Development Bank,
which is supposed to lend money to
the peasants to help them put the
land back under cultivation. Last
year this fact was disclosed by repre
senatatives in both the Lower House
and the Senate in South Vietnam; as
a result the head of the Rural Dev
elopment Bank was sent by AID to Har
vard University to study postwar re
construction--in other words to get
into a university to regafn his credi
bility and respectability, then eo
!<ome and do the same thing again.
Having mentioned this one AID
program in Vietnam, let me now relate
it to the AID programs here at this
university. They bring in a group
of Vietnamese who cannot object, who
have to support the Saieon government.
Once here, they are given technical
and specialized training which will
prepare them for manning AID programs
on their return to Vietnam. This is
one major function of the Center and
the other AID programs here.
Second, by setting up this Cen
ter and collecting all these peo
ple in one place, you have a perfect
means of advertising the American
AID programs in Vietnam and justi
fying them, or, in the words of the
Saigon newspaper I mentioned earlier,
making it easier to persuade the
American people to support the pre
sent American policy of maintaining
the Saigon government.
A third reason for creating a
Center such as you have here--and
I must go on to include this--is
to provide a means of legitimacy
to certain Vietnamese "scholars"
who have been sent to America to
try to justify the American and
South Vietnamese policy. For exam
ple, last year they sent Nguyen
Dinh Thuan, the Minister of Defense
under Diem. Nguyen Dinh Thuan is
a very devious individual. He
was introduced to Diem by a friend
of his, the friend at that time being
the Defense Minister; then Thuan
maneuvered his "friend" out of
the Defense Minister post and assumed
the position himself. While ~ e
was in this position he killed a
lot of people. He ran some Buddhist
monks out of Vietnam into Cambodia,
then sent spies after them to have
them killed. Just before the coup
that toppled Diem, he had become
Minister of the Presidential Palace,
thus holding two key posts at the
same time. He knew everything about
the plot against Diem, and when the
first coup attempt failed, he packed
up and left the palace, having sent
his wife, children and all his money
ahead to Paris. Now the Saigon
government sent this same man to
Harvard University to study that
well-known artifact of the Soviet
Union, the revolutionary movement
in North Vietnam under the French.
But Harvard soon learned of this
man's background from a group of
Vietnamese students and accordingly
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arranged for his departure. With
an "acceptable" and more pliable
university program such as this
Center, however, any kind of scoun
drel can be invited to offer a
defense of American or South Viet
namese policy and with no fear of
being forced to leave.
To sum up the functions of your
Center, it was created, according
to its own spokesmen, to study
and prepare for the "postwar recon
struction" of Vietnam. This assumes
that if the war ends at all, the
United States will have won it.
For if the United States does not
win it, it will not be involved
in postwar reconstruction at all.
So the Center is based on the pre
mise that the United States is going
to carry out the war until it ends
the war. In this light we should
consider Nixon's recent cease-fire
proposal; what does it reveal about
future American policy towards Viet
While Nixon proposes a stand-still
cease-fire, Vietnamese students
back home in Vietnam have been
continually demonstrating against
the war. Their most important and
explicit demand is immediate and
unconditional peace in Vietnam, and
by that they mean that the United
States should withdraw unconditionally
and immediately from Vietnam. This
position, while it is completely
different from Nixon's, has the
support of a sizable portion of
the Catholic Church, the Buddhist
Church, the war veterans and the
Now, by proposing a stand-still
cease-fire, which means that the
United States forces can still stay
in Vietnam where they occup, large
areas and divide Vietnam irito dif
ferent areas of control, the United
States is saying that it has a right
to decide the future of Vietnam. As
just indicated, this is far, far,
far from the desire of the great
majority of Vietnamese. Nixon knows
very well that the NLF cannot accept
a stand-still cease-fire, and when
the NLF denounces the cease-fire
Nixon will ring his alarm bell say
ing "look, we are for peace, we want
a cease-fire and the enemy doesn't
want it." Indeed, by announcing
such a program Nixon has shut up,
perhaps temporarily, the war critics
in this country; McGovern and the
rest haven't said anything about
it. Only Senator Fulbright said
anything adverse, and he only said that
the stand-still cease-fire offer
was better than nothing. Some
time in the future, I think, when
pressure here in the United States
is greater, Nixon may announce an
unconditional cease-fire. By this
he will mean that he ,yill pull all
his troops back to their enclaves,
giving all the super-weapons to the
South Vietnamese troops and letting
Vietnamese fight Vietnamese. In a
word, let the slant-eyed Asians kill
themselves, ,V'hile the United States
hangs in there to make sure they
keep on fighting. This to most Viet
namese is just like the case of the
thief who breaks into your house,
beats you, robs you, kills your wife,
kills your brothers, and then when
he gets tired of killing gives his
knives to one of your brothers whom
he has bought out and says, "Okay,
now you fight it out and make sure
that you settle your familial mess."
Of course, the Vietnamese are not
going to accept this, and will attack
the American troops in their enclaves,
and Nixon will say, "There now, we
are for peace, we have withdrawn to
our bases and they are attacking us
and taking the lives of American boys.
Let's let them have it." And the
war will go on. And your Center's
work will go on.
As I mentioned last night, there
is no question of academic freedom
as far as the Vietnamese students
studying here are concerned. They
have nothing to offer you academic
ally. But let me comment on the
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state of Vietnamese studies
in this country and the role
of American scholars in the
Vietnam war Samuel Pop
kin, for example, wrote his
thesis on Vietnam basing him
self on questionnaires put
together by Ithiel Pool
who is a contractor for the
State Department in Vietnam.
I have read the questionnaires
and they are ridiculous.
First of all, the question
naires are written in English
and translated into Vietnam
ese in a manner often com
pletely different from the
original English. One ques
tiop read, "Do you believe
in democracy?" This presents
a considerable problem of
translation into Vietnamese,
and comes out something like
"Do you think the people should
be the master?" To the Viet
namese, this is the language
not of the Saigon government
but of the NLF. So when these
interviewers ask the people
whether they believe in demo
cracy, and get their answer,
which is "yes", they then
turn around and say, "Look,
the peasants support the Sai
gon government."
The interviewers go into
the villages and ask the
peasants questions like,
"Do you have security in the
village?" or "Have the Amer
icans dug wells and given you
radios and TV sets?" The
Vietnamese peasant or village
chief usually answers the
question ina long and involved
form which is very different
from the simple formulations
of the questionnaire. The
interviewing teams bring their
results back to Saigon, hire
completely incompetent Viet
namese to translate it into
English, and then send it back
to the United States where
it is fed into computers and used as
evidence about what the Vietnamese think
about the war.
It is for such "scholars" e.nd such
forms of "scholarship"-in reality,
propaganda--that your Center has been
created, and this is for me the main
objection to the Center.
S a i g o n ~ August 1970: Effigies of Thieu
and Ky.
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Earl Martin: A Child of Son My
I spent the last three years in
Vietnam and so all this is very
close to me, too. I'm glad that
we have the participation of our
Vietnamese brothers and sisters
here in this conference because
I think that many times, with our
gargantuan AID programs and efforts
to change the society of Vietnam,
we have not listened to the lessons
the Vietnamese people themselves
have for us. I often witnessed
such attitudes among Americans in
Vietnam. This is one reason why
I think it is so important that
anyone who is serious about Viet
nam learn the Vietnamese language.
Many AID people could live in Viet
nam perhaps 18 months and yet know
nothing of the Vietnamese language
or the people; soon they were over
taken by an overwhelming sense of
cynicism and superiority.
utterly lacked any understanding
of the beauty of the Vietnamese
people, the richness of the Vietnam
ese heritage, and of the contribu
tions which the Vietnamese people
could make to our own society.
When I went to Vietnam in 1966
with a private organization to
work with refugees, the chief AID
advisor to social welfare in Viet
nam told me that he did not spend
time studying Vietnamese for three
reasons. First of all, it was an
impossible language to learn.
Second, he said, they don't really
understand themselves when they
speak to each other. And third,
he said, the Vietnamese actually
want to learn English. This atti
tude prevails in much of the AID
work in Vietnam.
Many times it is actually much
more sinister and devastating to
the Vietnamese people, as in one
case that my wife and I worked with
very closely. In Quang Ngai pro
vince there was a major operation
of the urbanization program--that
is, bringing refugees in from the
countryside'. The senior province
advisor, that is, the chief AID
man in the province, had an idea
for social engineering which he
thought he would tryout in Quang
Ngai province. And that was to
attempt to integrate the ethnic
Vietnamese with the tribal hill
people, who in Quang Ngai province
are the Hre people. So in June of
1967, after repeatedly insisting
on his idea to the Vietnamese pro
vince chief, the Montagnards were
brought down from the mountains
to be integrated into the refugee
camp, in which were concentrated
the ethnic Vietnamese. As it turned
out the Montagnard people were not
familiar with the conditions in the
valley. They had no friends or
social ties. They couldn't fend
for themselves. They drank the
water as it came out of the well,
because they were used to drinking
water out of the mountain streams.
Forced into this unfamiliar situa
tion with no one to help them, one
after another the children became
sick and then the older people
became sick.
This is my comment, then, on
those Americans who feel we should
have something to say about the
reconstruction of Vietnam after
the war. I think it's time we
listened to the Vietnamese people.
I think we have stifled the voice
of our Vietnamese brothers and
sisters and perhaps the most impor
tant cry that is coming from them
now is simply the cry to end the
The one voice of a lone Viet
namese young nerson comes to us.
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
about eight miles from where my
He calls himself the child of Son
wife and I lived for'about three
My, that is My Lai, which we all
know is in Quang Ngai province--
DeaP Son My my heaPt aches with the cry of my
young brother dying beside his mother's corpse
And his grandmother's corpse
Among the sound of guns
And baPbaPous laughter
raise our children
Why kill our people in so many so many
times? Why add hatred and violence? Is it to
achieve your rule upon this country of red blood
and yellow skin? Look at the heap of flesh and
bones raised by the traditions of Vietnam from
thousandS of yeaPs of struggle each priceless
person belongs to Vietnam.
My young brother is like a bud just growing on
the tree of our nation. The his
he has never met. The his he has
never known.
And with the millions of brothers and sisters
they kill the bud of our trees. They kill
his kill his source of milk.
Yet can they kiU four thousand years of tradition?
Can they kill his father who carries the gun against
the invaders? And can they kill the hatred within
him as he dies? _
His farewell is not his last word for his brothers
will be born and grow up like the warrior Phu Dong
to repay the nation which has raised
the nation standing like a centennial tree
and on its branches like the green buds they will
grow millions of hands to end this WaP, and
drive from our country these killers who cannot
hide tnemselves.
Humanity will judge them
Son I ache every I cannot wait for an hour
Or fop the evening hour to pass
I must act now
To save old mothe:rs and young children.
by Le Duan
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
Al McCoy:
Although two days of discussion
devoted mainly to the problems of
S.I.U. 's Vietnam Studies Center does
allow a thorough evaluation of the
problems here, there are pitfalls as
well. There is a danger that we will
lose our perspective and focus so much
attention on S.I.U. t h ~ t its relationship
to the war and A.I.D. will seem unique.
It is not. We are just now beginning to
realize that many academic departments
and foreign studies centers specializing
in South East Asia are consciously
supporting the war and related counter
insurgency efforts.
The depth of academic involvement
was revealed in a dramatic fashion at
the Association of Asian Studies con
vention in April of 1970 when the Student
Mobilization Committee and Committee
of Concerned Asian Scholars released
documents showing the extensive involve
ment of many of the most distinguished
names in Thai studies in an overt,
conscious counterinsurgency program
focused mainly on North and Northeast
Thailand. In my discussion of the U.S.
counterinsurgency program in Thailand
I will pose and answer four basic
questions which hopefully will place
this academic involvement in a clearer
perspective. These questions are:
1.) Why is there a counterinsurgency
program in NE Thailand?
2.) What is the nature of thiR
3.) How does the counterinsurgency
research of U.S. academics relate
to this program?
4.) What are the consequences for
the people of Thailand?
The Need for a Counterinsurgency Program
The Northeast section of Thailand
remained a rather poor region with a long
history of local dissidence until 1954
when the U.S. became directly involved
in SE Asia in its campaign to "prevent
the Southward expansion of Chinese
Communism." With the Viet Minh-Pathet
Lao offensive in Laos in 1953-1954 and
the fall of Dien Bien Phu in 1954, U.S.
strategic planners began to look to
Thailand as a secure base for military
operations in SE Asia. The U.S. defensive
strategy for the region was defined by
John Foster Dulles in January 1954 in
his "massive retaliation" speech.
According to Dulles, the U.S. would pro
vide aid for the expansion and moderni
zation of native armies which would be
able to hold the southward surge of
China's armies long enough for the
U.S. to launch a massive airstrike at
China's industry and communications.
To facilitate these projected air
strikes into Southern and Western China
the U.S. began construction and expansion
of a network of airbases centered on
Northeast Thailand. From 1954-1962
the U.S. spent a modest $97.5 million
on seven Royal Thai airbases, and two
major highways linking the base at
Udorn in the Northeast with Bangkok and
Northcentral Thailand. Following the
Laotian crisis of May 1962 when 4,500
U.S. Marines were flown into Udorn,
interest in the Northeast increased
somewhat, and this limited complex of
bases and connecting highways was
improved. 2
However, as the Johnson administration
began to move towards a massive bombing
campaign against North Vietnam in 1964,
marginal concern for Northeast Thailand
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was transformed into an intense pre
occupation. On November 3, 1964,
the NLF destroyed six B-57s on the
runway at Bien Hoa with mortar fire
and 'crystallized' the determination
of the administration to launch a
bombing campaign against North Vietnam.
Regular U.S. bombing of North Vietnam
was finally begun on February 7, 1965,
after NLF mortarmen destroyed more U.S.
aircraft on the ground at Pleiku.
Since these incidents had played a
significant role in the decision to bomb
the North it was obvious to U.S.
strategists that a more secure sanctuary
was necessary for American airbases if
the bombing were to remain feasible.
If the heavy losses from anti-aircraft
f i r ~ over the North were compounded
with heavy losses from guerillas on
the ground the bombing would become
much too costly.
Thus, in 1964 the U.S. began a hasty
expansion of its air force facilities
in Thailand, particularly in the
Northeast which provided the shortest
bombing run to the Tonkin Delta. By
the end of 1964 3,000 air force personnel
and 75 aircraft (F-lOOs, F-l05s, rescue
helicopters) had been transferred to
Thailand. In 1965 an additional 6,000
USAF personnel and 125 aircraft were
transferred, and by December 1966 this
had increased sharply to a total of
25,000 men and 400 aircraft as the bombing
over North Vietnam was escalated to an
unprecedented level. As the B-52s
were shifted to the recently completed
base at U-Tapao in 1967 and F-4
Phantoms replaced older aircraft in
1968-1969, the Thailand airbase network
gained still greater military signifi.
Indeed, from 1965-1968 almost
75% of the total tonnage dropped on
North Vietnam was carried by aircraft
flying out of bases. in Thailand.
Although the bombing of North Vietnam was
stopped on October 31, 1968, on the
following day the Thailand base complex
simply shifted its target area to the
Northeastern and Panhandle regions of
Laos. The total bombing tonnage
generated by these bases continued to
increase steadily.6
Thus, soon after the initial decision
was made to establish Thailand as the
base for air operations against North
Vietnam, Laos, and certain sectors of
South Vietnam (and now Cambodia) the
security of Thailand's Northeast became
very important to the Unites States I
government. The U.S. Air Force had
allocated only $8.1 million dollars for
base construction in 1963, but in 1966
this increased more than tenfold to
$110.8 million as the USAF transformed
Thailand's small airbases into some
of the busiest and most modern in the
From 1965-1969 the U.S.
government spent over $600 million on
such programs as the construction of an
aircraft munitions port at Sattahip,
expansion of roads from Sattahip to l
the Northeast's airbases for the shipment
of bombs, air communications, and expanded
base facilities.
The combination of
this enormous air logistic complex and
its costly aircraft gave these bases a
strategic significance second only to
Saigon and the major U.S. bases in Vietnam.
However, the huge investment of
American resources and the enormous
strategic importance of this complex
did have its Achilles heel -- a local
revolutionary movement. Since even the
smallest guerilla movement could destroy
millions of dollars of equipment and damage
the effectiveness of the airwar with a
few well-placed mortar rounds or rockets,
even the smallest local incident became
a matter of vital concern to the U.S.
military. Moreover, liberal social
scientists and conservative military
men agreed that the bases themselves
would foster insurgency. The military
men argued that Hanoi and Peking would
create local revolutionary movements to
attack the bases, while the social
scientists felt that the rapid socio
economic changes in the Northeast's
economy caused by the bases would create
social dislocation and spawn revolution.
Thus, in 1964-1965 it became imperative
to launch a massive pre-emptive counter
insurgency program in Northeast Thailand
to protect the complex of U.S. airbases
from possible local insurgency.
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
The U.S. Counterinsurgency Program
in Thailand
After 1964, the pressing demand for
an effective counterinsurgency program
resulted in the subordination of almost
all non-military government funding for
Thailand to the goals of the counter
insurgency program. Beginning in 1964,
U.S.A.I.D. began to concentrate over
75% of its total aid funds for counter
insurgency work in North and Northeast
Thailand. As A.I.D. administrator
Robert H. Nooter explained in 1969,
The primary threat to Thailand's
security and consequently to U.S.
interests in Thailand is the in
surgency described briefly above.
Our aid, therefore, is concentrated
largely on assisting Thai counter
insurgency programs of various sorts
and is supplied on grant basis to
cover foreign exchange costs of U.S.
technicians, 8raining, and
The U.S. counterinsurgency program has
been divided into three major efforts:
rural security; rural development; and
improving Thai governmental administration.
The largest single component of the
counterinsurgency effort is the rural
security program. In essence, this
program is an attempt to train, equip,
and finance the Thai National Police
Force so that they will be able to locate
and crush any local insurgency before it
gets out of hand. Under this program
the number of personnel in the Border
Patrol Police (BPP) has increased
40% since 1965, and the Provincial police
have grown 36% in the same period.
A.I.D. has enabled the police to expand
its control to the village level, by
financing the construction of over 900
local police stations (mainly in the
Northeast), while it has increased the
mobility of the BPP and Provincial
police by providing helicopters and
aircraft for their Air Support Division
in the North and Northeas t .12 Each of
the appointed village headmen has been
given a two way radio which he can use
to call in police and troops, and his
authority has been further augmented by
the creation of a village police force
responsible to him. Under the direction
of 368 Green Beret officers and men, A.I.D.
had established 5 police counterinsurgency
schools in the North and Northeast.
Moreover, the United States Information
Service (USIS) has established 12 provin
cial propaganda centers to train and
assist the Thai government in improving
the level of its anti-communist publica
tions and broadcasts. This program has
involved the establishment of a 100-kw
Hill Tribe radio station at Chiang Mai
for "psychological" broadcasts to the
various tribes.
The second feature of the D.S. counter
insurgency program is the rural development
effort which was also begun in 1964.
Despite its rather neutral title, the
program's major effort has been the
construction of 1,500 kilometers of all
weather roads and 700 kilometers of dirt
tracks in 20 northern and northeastern
provinces. Much of these regions consist
of vast expanses of forest and mountain
terrain which could easily become the
base area for a guerilla movement if
it remained closed to the swift penetration
of well armed government troops. The
construction of these roads under the
Accelerated Rural Development program
(ARD) is designed to give the Thai
army's cumbersome U.S. style armored and
infantry units easy access to these areas
in time of insurgency.15
And, finally, the program to expand
governmental efficiency is designed
largely to reinforce the rural security
and development programs by seeing that
they are administered as efficiently and
honestly as possible.1
All three of these
programs are of considerable size and
scope, and they account for over $24
million of U.S. aid in fiscal year 1970.
The office of Special Assistant for
Counterinsurgency in the U.S. Embassy in
Bangkok is nominally responsible for the
overall direction and coordination of
the various counterinsurgency programs.
However, in the Northeast where even
the smallest insurgency can have
serious consequences for U.S. military
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operations, actual authority rests with
the military and intelligence commanders
at Udorn AFB. In recognition of this
situation, the embassy has created a
special consul for Northeast Thailand
responsible for co-ordinating counter
insurgency operations between the airforce,
the C.I.A., A.I.D., and the Thai govern
ment in that region.
The Need for Academic Expertise in
Counterinsurgency Programs
The military and civilian planners
who began to plan this counterinsurgency
effort in Thailand in 1964 could no longer
work with the same false confidence which
had pervaded similar programs in Vietnam
in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
The United States had spent several
hundred million dollars financing a
modernization and expansion of the Army
of the Republic of South Vietnam and
had tried to use it to break the growing
NLF movement -- and had failed miserably.
In fact, the largest single U.S.
counterinsurgency program, the strategic
hamlets, had severely oppressed the
rural population and strengthened the
NLF's popular base. There was a
general feeling among all but the most
conservatjve military officials that
"next,. time" a counterinsurgency
program must be much more carefully
planned, executed, and supervised if it
were to succeed.
General Maxwell Taylor (former U.S.
ambassador to South Vietnam and
architect of early counterinsurgency
theories) articulated these sentiments
at a Defense Department Jason Confer
ence on Thailand in 1967.
Looking back at my Vietnam experience
the most serious problem was getting
basic data soon enough. Their data
and our graphs in Washington were not
worth a damn. Our people were staying
in.Saigon. To correct this situation
in Thailand would be a major contri
bution. You need people who are
students of Thailand, ethnology, etc.
We don't get enough people in our
government who have that kind of
background .... We would like method
ical surveys, frequently repeated to
get trend data.
The more sophisticated members of the various
U.S. agencies operating in Southeast Asia
had realized that a successful counterin
surgency program was an extremely complex
process which required a sophisticated
knowledge of the whole social system in
which the insurgency was operating. Since
insurgency "exploited" social problems
and could be eliminated by eradicating
such problems, a counterinsurgency
program required vast amounts of the most
minute basic data on all aspects of the
client society. George Tanham, Special
Assistant for Counterinsurgency in
Thailand, saw this essential unity of
academic research and military intelligence.
Well, I think in my field, at least,
counterinsurgency area, it is
difficult to make a distinction of
which subjects are of value to the
military and which are of value to
the civilians, because there is such
an overlap and intermingling of things,
so I think some of the subjects they
~ P A ] have done, for example, the
Meo handbook is sort of anthropology
and sociology, if you like, but it is
of equal value to the military advisor
and the Thai military to bring out a
Thai version, and it is of much value
to the civilians.
There are a number of research projects
I think will be put into that class.
Responsibility for the research and
design of the U.s. counterinsurgency
program in Thailand was assigned to the
Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA)
of the Department of Defense. ARPA's
responsibilities were described in 1969
by U.S. Ambassador Leonard Unger.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency
(ARPA) of the Department of Defense
has underway a program of applied
military Research and Development
conducted jointly with the Ministry
of Defense in Thailand, with the
following objectives:
(1) Working with the pertinent
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Thai researchers to describe and
design the most effective R.T.G.
measures to counter the insurgent
(2) Research counterinsurgency
topics in response to ad hoc requests
generated by the U.S. Mission; and
(3) Help develop a Thai Ministry
of Defense capability to define,
manage and perform military research.
Some illustrative programs ... are:
the design and establishment, as a
pilot project, of Thailand's first
continuously up-dated storage and
retrieval system for counterin
surgency intelligence data keyed to
the country's 39,000 villages; a
manual concerning the Meo, a non-Thai
ethnic minority presently being
infiltrated by the Communists; and
development within the Royal Thai
Air Force of a capability to perform
[deleted] reconnaissance.
The Royal Thai Government has increa
singly applied ARPA's and Ministry
of Defense's research results
through joint participation in these
and other counterinsurgency
research activities.
When ARPA began to design a compre
hensive counterinsurgency program for
North and Northeast Thailand after 1964,
it divided the various intellectual
components (research, consultation,
information gathering, etc.) among
various academic centers, committees,
and private corporations. Although
these academic groups were contracted
by different government agencies, in
each case ARPA directed their work,
providing overall coordination in an
attempt to avoid duplication of effort
(just as the various implementing
agencies in the Northeast such as
U.S.I.S. and A.I.D. were co-ordinated
at Udorn). And while each academic
group was given a functionally specific
task (such as research, consultation),
each signed a contract which made it
perfectly clear that its limited
function was an integral part of a
comprehensive counterinsurgency
research program.
each academic group... was
an integral part of a compre
research program
The major group responsible for initia
ting, channeling, and directin5 basic antl':n)-
pological field research for ARPA in the
critical mountain areas; is the Tribal
Research Center (TRC) at Chiang Mai. It
was opened in 1965 under the supervision
of Australian anthropologist W. R. Geddes
with subst.antial SEATO financial support
and much of its scholarship funds have
subsequently been supplied by SEATO.22
Although the TRC's SEATO funding leaves
little doubt as to essential counterinsur
gency orientation, the 1969 report of
its retiring director, Australian anthro
pologist Peter Hinton, to the Thai Depart
ment of Public Welfare makes this quite
It is no exaggeration to say that whoever
control the hills control the north of
Thailand .. the hills provide a sanctu
ary from which guerillas could launch
attacks on the centers of population
in the lowlands. Rail, road, and air
communications with Bangkok could be cut
with ease. Extensions of the northern
hills reach as far south as Pitsanulok
in Central Thailand, and Kanchanaburi in
the West. These extensions could easily
be used as bases for operations against
the central plains region, and districts
within one hundred kilometers of Bangkok.
Operations by security forces are at
present hampered by their lack of mobility
in the difficult upland terrain, their
lack of training in counter-guerilla
tactics, and the fact that the government
has little administrative control over
the region.
The TRe's research functions involved
a variety of tasks which included channeling
all anthropological research on hill areas
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
so that it would complement ARPA's data
for the Border Patrol Police
and hosting
a series of academic discussions on a
variety of tribal problems for the Thai
and u.s. operational counterinsurgency
The Border Patrol Police is the major
mechanism for translating the TRC's data
and theories into operating policy and
Hinton advised the Department of Public
Welfare that
I see the primary functions of the
Border Police Patrol, a para
military body, as in the fields
of intelligence and defense. After
a gradual takeover of the present
civic action functions of the
BPP has been completed, their role
should have the following features:
i. To provide a defensive
umbrella for the operations of
civilian agencies in troubled
ii. To forestall plans of
guerilla activists, and to quell
violence if it occurs. The suc
cess of the BPP in this respect
will depend on:
~ ~ ~ . Competence in collecting
intelligence. By a circular pro
cess, the accuracy of the infor
mation received will depend upon
the success of the civilian oper
atives in winning the confidence
of the people in the hills. 26
And Hinton recommended that the TRC's
future work be closely integrated
with this kind of administration.
As a part of ARPA's responsibility
for the "design and establishment
of Thailand's first continuously up
dated storage and retrieval system
for counterinsurgency data keyed to
the country's 39,000 villages' (see
above) the TRC's "Tribal Data Center
Project" has requested all anthro
pologists to fill in the following
data card.
ProposaZ for a vi Z Zage Data Card
l. Province, District, Subdistrict
2. Village name
3. Map coordinates, map sheet
4. Number of houses
5. Population (total)--
Adul ts: Males
Children: Males
6. Village Headman
7. Influential persons
8. Years of residence
9. Place of former residence
10. School (BPP or other)-
Students: Boys
11. Number of BPP residing
12. Other ethnic groups permanently
residing in village:
Number of houses
13. Occasional residents: name
14. Current welfare or aid projects
15. Horticultural products
16 "Livestock
17. Weapons
18. General information
19. Sources of information and
date obtained
The TRC's research among the hill
tribes has taken on increased signi
ficance with the advent of the Meo
revolts in 1967-69 throughout the
mountain areas of northern and north
eastern Thailand. 'These revolts are
the largest local insurgencies in a
number of years, and ARPA has responded
with the "Meo handbook" mentioned
earlier, which was probably contracted
to the Tribal Research Center.
Since the demands for detailed
knowledge of Thailand's rural areas
came so quickly in 1964-65, it was
impossible for ARPA to rely solely
on original research such as that
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conducted by the TRC and cooperating
anthropologists. It was necessary
to set up a specialized committee
to gather all past research and per
sonal experience of various academic
field workers and present it in a
clear, usable form. Thus, in 1966
some of the most prominent academic
specialists in Thai studies formed
the Academic Advisory Council for
Thailand (AACT). Using the Univer
sity of California as a cover, the
AACT signed a contract with A.I.D.
in 1966 to fulfill certain functions
which are described in its 1968 con
tract amendment:
A. General Objeotives
The overall objective of this
contract is to make available the
resources of the Contractor, in
cluding personnel, to support and
strengthen the operations of the
U.S. aid program in Thailand, par
ticularly with respect to the
research activities undertaken
by the Research Division of USOM
Thailand [subordinate to ARPA].
In the Contractor will
provide support to facilitate the
effective functioning of the
Academic Advisory Council for
Thailand (AACT) to insure its
maximum contribution to accomplish
ment of the goals of the A.I.D.
program in Thailand.
B. Soope of Work and OperationaZ
The Contractor, in conjunction
with AACT, will provide the fol
lowing services:
1. Identify research that is
being, has been, or will be con
ducted in universities, foundations
and other institutions which may
relate to developmental and counter
insurgency activities in Thailand;
evaluate, index and make such re
search available to A.I.D.; suggest
and solicit research proposals
relevant to A.I.D. activity in
Thailand for consideration by
A.I.D./W and U.S.O.M. Thailand.
2. Identify, prepare and main
tain a current inventory of Ameri
can scholars with specialized
knowledge of or background in
Thailand, which can be drawn upon
by A.I.D. for its specialized
needs ...
3. Meet requests of A.I.D./W
and the USOM Research Division
for assistance and suggestions
in addressing issues affecting
A.I.D. operations in Thailand.
4. Analyze, evaluate, and
make recommendations concerning
reports, studies, and proposals
for study, including those pre
pared by USOM Research Division,
which are referred for review
by USOM and for A.I.D. Washing
ton; such reviews would utilize
the knowledge of scholars with
backgrounds in Thailand.
5. Review and make recommend
ations concerning research plans,
opportunities, problems, prior
ities and techniques of the USOM
Research Division.
6. Organize, and
conduct meetings, seminars, or
conferences under AACT auspices,
dealing with development and
counterinsurgency problems, issues
and activities including research
relating to A.I.D. operations in
Thailand. 29
Just as it was the responsibility
of the TRC to channel all research
done in Thailand by field workers
of various nations in such a way
that it would complement ARPA's data
gathering, so AACT was to perform a
similar function among academics in
the United States. AACT began a con
scious effort to subvert almost every
major academic body in the United
States concerned with Thailand in an
attempt to channel their priorities
towards the imperatives of ARPA's
research. AACT's executive secretary,
David Wilson, is chairman of the
Association of Asian Studies' Research
Committee on Southeast Asia. AACT's
members agreed that they would seek
the appointment of AACT president
Lauriston Sharp to the executive com
mittee of A.I.D. 's Southeast Asia
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
Development Advisory Group (ironically
enough, the group which originally
created AACT).30 At the July 1969
meeting AACT members discussed the
recruitment of capable academic per
sonnel for USOM's Research and Eval
uation Division,3l while in March 1970
AACT members agreed that they
will further undertake to specify
research projects that are neces
sary or desirable; and seek people
who would be prepared to under
take such research. In the search
for such people, we will make an
effort to draw Thai research people
into this sort of work, as well as
U.S. and perhaps third country
The Stanford Research Institute,
which has always drawn heavily on
the resources of Stanford's academic
departments, has contracted directly
with ARPA for at least five major
research projects in Thailand since
1962. Increasing its output sharply
after 1964, SRI has issued over 100
reports of which 30 deal directly
with counterinsurgency problems.
These reports have fulfilled two
major functions for ARPA: conception
of a macro-model for counterinsugency
operations in various regions of the
country; and design and testing of
advanced techniques for specific
counterinsurgency problems.
This latter function has involved the
cooperative testing and development
(with Cornell's Aeronautics Lab and
Michigan's Willow Run Laboratories)
of infrared photographic techniques
for pinpointing guerilla encampments,
analysis of "patterns of Connnunist
terrorist crop cultivation," and
discussion of the varieties of phys
ical torture likely to make a guer
illa suspect give up information.
As General Maxwell Taylor has noted,
one of the critical failings of earlier
U.S. counterinsurgency programs in
South Vietnam was the inability to
monitor effectively the ongoing impact
of the program on the. local popula
tion. ARPA sought to prevent a repeti
tion of this failure by contracting
a private firm, American Institutes
for Research, which was staffed on a
full and part-time basis by PhDs and
faculty members of various universi
ties. In December 1967, AIR presented
a detailed proposal-to ARPA in which
AIR defined its functions:
1. To devise reliable and valid
techniques for determining the
specific effects of counterinsur
gency programs in Thailand;
2. apply these techniques to
ongoing action programs to gener
ate data useful both in the for
mulation of broad progrannning
and in the design of
the specific mechanics of program
3. assist the Royal Thai Govern
ment in establishing an indigenous
capability for the continuing appli
cation and refinement of these
techniques; and
4. pave the way for the general
ization of the methodology to other
programs in other countries.
This proposal reconnnends that John D.
Montgomery, of the Harvard University
Government Department, and M. Ladd
Thomas, Coordinator of Southeast
Asian Studies at Northern Illinois
University, be hired by the program.
AIR's general approach for evaluating
the efficiency of the counterinsur
gency program fused behavioral science
with military operations in a most
"exciting" fashion:
The offer of food in exchange for
certain services affords a conven
ient example. If this has in
the past been a strong stimulus,
'burning the crops'
it can probably be weakened by
increasing local agricultural
production. If it has been a
weak or neutral stimulus, it can
probably be strengthened by burning
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the crops.37
AIR was awarded a two-year, $1 million
contract by ARPA, and, like AACT, it
has cooperated extensively with USOM's
Research and Evaluation Division.
AIR's sophisticated techniques
have generated considerable enthus
iasm among counterinsurgency research
ers. In a February 1970 evaluation
report to AIR/ARPA, Prof. Michael
Moerman of UCLA's Anthropology Depart
ment said
Now, here is really my last point.
It's also a practical one, and
I finish up all positive. One
of the most striking claims made
in the Semi-Annual Report is
AIR's ability to show where the
impact of one agency's programs
might work against the impact of
some others and in short provides
guides to mixing projects. I
think AIR is further along on
being able to deliver the goods
here than anyone else is. If the
project succeeds at all, it should
certainly succeed in this regard.
This is a contribution of unique
and immense value which you should
not neglect to emphasize in sell
ing the program and attempting to
renew its support.
While this rigorous division of labor
among the various academic groups has
no doubt increased the efficiency
of ARPA's program, it has also had
significant consequences for the
domestic debates in the United States
and Australia over academic involve
ment in counterinsurgency work. Al
though all the known contracts of these
academic groups state quite clearly
that their specific function is an
integral part of a larger effort,
when criticized, each has used its
functional specificity to deny or
minimize its involvement in counter
insurgency research. Defenders of
AACT claim "We did no research, we
only advised," while Australian anthro
pologists who have directed the TRC
have excused their involvement in the
TRC by arguing, "We did not advise
in counterinsurgency policy, we only
did basic research."
Consequences of the u.s. Counter
insurgency Program for the People
of Thailand
While the U.S. counterinsurgency
program has had little impact on the
relatively stable society of lowland
central Thailand, it has had disas
trous consequences for the histori
cally more volatile Northeast and North.
The North is inhabited by hill tribes
who have resisted almost all forms
of central government authority for
hundreds of years, while in the North
east there are hill tribes as well
as a large Lao population which was
forcibly abducted into Thailand during
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
and never really integrated into the
Thai polity. While the continuous
low-level dissidence in these regions
went unnoticed before 1955 and was
paid only minor attention until 1964,
the construction of the vulnerable
U.S. airbase complex and its bomb
transport highways in the Northeast
made it absolutely imperative to crush
even the most minor disturbance
quickly. Since the consequences of
insurgency could be so disastrous
for the U ~ S . , it was necessary to wipe
out the rebels first and ask questions
later, if at all.
Typical of this changing response
to local problems and dissidence
was the counterinsurgency work against
the Lom Sak Meo from 1967 to 1969.
Until 1967 the Lom Sak Meo lived in
a mountain area straddling Route 12
and bounded on the west by Routes 203
and 21 which linked Sayaboury province
in Laos with U.S.-Thai military bases
in the central plain. Route 12 had
been built by U.S. aid funds in the
1950's to link the North and North
east and serve as a firebreak and
access route against advancing armies,
while Routes 203 and 21 had been
improved under the Accelerated Rural
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( .
. ./
l. .
....... / 203
To Udorn
Naknon The; //1'1',
PltsanulOk 12' 1'/1';);
//1'// I 'Lam Sak
V Takh Ii USAFP.
PeopZe's RepubZia of China
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
Development program to deal with
military contingencies arising out
of U.S. military activity in Laos.
The eight Meo villages to the south
of Route 12 were a relatively recent
development. Previously, all of the
Meo in the Lom Sak vicinity had lived
in a triangular area bounded by
Nakhon Thai, Dan Sai, and Lom Sak
to the north of the road. However,
population had increased and half
of the 6000 Meo moved into the uninhab
ited hills to the south of Route 12
to survive.
Although this move went unnoticed
for a number of years, growing concern
about the consequences of insurgency
throughout the North and Northeast
finally brought a survey team from
the Hill Tribe Division (the same
agency which supervises the TRC) into
the area south of Route 12 in July
and August of 1967. Using an early
model of the TRC's present Village
Data Card, the Division's team col
lected data on the names, population,
ages, numbers of rifles, sex, and
number of livestock in the eight
Meo villages south of the road.
Basing its decision on these data,
the Border Patrol Police told the
Meo that their shifting slash-and
burn agriculture was damaging forest
reserves, and in late August 1967
ordered them to move to the north of
the road. The Meo explained that
since the soil in the present area
was deeper and richer than to the
north, they would be able to esta
blish permanent fields and no longer
have to burn forests to open new
fields; whereas, if they were crowded
into the poor soil of the northern
triangle they would destroy a good
deal of the forest with repeated
slash-and-burn cultivation. The BPP
ignored this logic and repeated the
order to move. The reason for this
decision was simple; since Route 12
was a "firebreak" road intended to
contain the southward spread of insur
gents it was poor strategy to have
potential insurgents on both sides
of such a crucial highway.
Financed by the Accelerated Rural
Development Agency, the BPP constructed
a dirt track into the southern area
from September to November. In Jan
uary, 1968 the BPP trucked the Meos
out of their old villages, across
Route 12, and into new village sites
in the northern triangle which it had
selected from the air. Although the
Meo did manage to get in a crop in
early 1968, the disruption of the
forced move resulted in a poor harvest
in early November. The BPP had pro
the Meo relief supplies, but
they had "disappeared" somewhere in
the police hierarchy. Thus, in Nov
ember the Meo were faced with a cri
tical situation; they would either
have to steal food from the valley
towns or starve.
In mid-November the Meo began to
steal food from urban storage areas,
and when the BPP interfered the
Meo responded predictably by attack
ing nearby camps at which the BPP
were training Meo for counterinsur
gency work. All the Meo in those
camps deserted to the insurgents, and
soon the local BPP were outnumbered,
surrounded, and without water.
The initial government response was
to send in some army troops from
Pitsanuloke,42 reinforcements for the
BPP, and and fighters
from the Police Mobile Air Reserve. 43
However, the Meo compensated for their
inferior weapons (mainly shotguns)44
by using the terrain to their advan
tage and outmaneuvering the cumber
Some government troops. Bv December i,
a fifty-man police squad sent in to
reinforce the BPP was completely wiped
out, and combined ground and air attacks
had failed to break through the Meo
siege of the major towns in the re
gion. 45 As poorly armed Meo guer
illas bested government troops at
every turn, the full-scale revolt
became a source of embarrassment to
Bangkok's military leadership. The
response of the Director-General
of the Public Welfare Department was
typically bitter: "Local Meos have
been behaving well and those who
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have come to live in the camps have
become truly civilized. They produce
crops for the town markets now."
However, the Meo Communists "have
come in from Laos.,,46 On December 7
it was announced that the Third Army
had joined the battle and it was
expected that its armored personnel
carriers, heavy tactical air strikes,
and large-scale burnings of forest
would "clear the triangle" within a
few days.47
Despite these encouraging words
and several premature announcements
of the revolt's collapse, the Mea
continued to ambush the army and police
units at will. On December 19 Meo
guerillas shot down at least one heli
copter which was trying to b.reak their
siege at Pu Kitao near Lom Sak.
The government began to excuse its
failure by explaining that Meos had
acquired a number of helicopters
for logistical support, were trained
in Hanoi, Laos and China, and were
armed and supplied by China.
Since the government could not
defeat Meos in combat, it moved to
more extreme measures. On December 20
the government set up a strategic
hamlet at each of the triangle's
corners (Nakhon Thai, Dan Sai, and
Lom Sak) and began dropping leaflets
to the Meo warning them to surrender.
The Deputy Director-General of the
Police Department explained, "We
are now trying to separate the good,
loyal Meos from the Communist terror
ists,"SO while Air Marshal Dawee
Chulasap warned of serious consequences
for the wrong kind of Mea. "Heavy
weapons may have to be deployed to
get the most effective result within
the shortes t possible time. ;.51 When
the Meos proved themselves to be
of the Communist variety by failing
to surrender, the government with
drew its troops to the triangle's
perimeter and jet aircraft flying
out of Udorn began the systematic
bombing and napalming of the region.
"They must be got rid of once and
for all." declared Air Marshal Dawee
The bombing continued throughout
January, but by early February, only
200 to 300 Meos had been "flushed
out" into the refugee camps. The
great majority of the Meos had been
killed in the saturation bombing and
only the fortunate few are still hold
ing out in the deepest recesses of
Lom Sak's mountain triangle.
Thus, a situation which would
have been avoided completely or re
mained a petty scrap between local
officials and tribesmen was trans
formed into a costly life-and-death
struggle by the demands of the U.S.
military. The U.S. had launched a
massive bombing campaign from Thai
land which gave Thai leaders reason
to fear retaliation, cultivated the
government's concern over counter
insurgency in order to protect the
U.S. military apparatus, and finally
built up Thai armaments to the point
where it was much simpler to obli
terate dissenting communities than
to deal with them. And when a small
network of communities in an insigni
ficant mountain recess resisted the
government in a rational, traditional
fashion, they were thought to be
building the fateful "sanctuary from
which guerillas could launch attacks
in the centers of population in the
lowlands" described in the TRC report.
Once this happened the research and
information gathering on the tribes
by AACT and the TRC, the training
of the Border Patrol Police by A.I.D.,
TRC, and the Special Forces, highway
communications constructed by Accel
erated Rural Development, the
insurgency contingencies developed
by Stanford Research Institute and
American Institutes for Research,
and the training and equipping of the
Thai Air Force by the USAF--all swung
into action like the precision mech
anism it had become. And it smoothly,
efficiently "eliminated" this bothersome
little problem in the mountain recesses
of northeastern Thailand.
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academic associ(1,tions
continue to harbor...
para-military personnel
In light of the contracts these
academics have knowingly signed,
the advice and research they have
given to counterinsurgency agencies
and the consequences for the people
whom they have studied, the failure
of the American Association of Anthro
pologists and the Association of Asian
Studies to withdraw their academic
cover from intelligence operations
is.a clearcut case of ethical failure
and collective complicity. If the
academic associations continue to
harbor such para-military personnel,
it will become necessary for the
ethical members of the university
community to deny the para-militarists
academic cover by driving them off
the campus and into the intelligence
agencies where they belong.
1. Frank C. Darling, Thailand and
the United States (Washington,
1965), p. 98.
2. United States Senate. Committee
on Foreign Relations Subcommittee
on United States Security Agree
ments and Commitments Abroad,
Kingdom of Thailand (Washington,
Nov. 10-17, 1969), pp. 613-614,
3. Townsend Hoopes, The Limits of
Intervention (New York, 1969),
p. 28.
4. Ibid.,p. 30.
5. United States Senate, Ope cit.,
pp. 613-617.
6. Fred Branfman, "Presidential
War in Laos, 1964-1970" in Nina
Adams and Alfred McCoy, Laos:
War and RevoZution (New York,
1970), pp. 239-240.
7. United States Senate, Ope cit.,
pp. 620-621.
8. Ibid., p. 651.
9. Ibid. J p. 892-893.
10. United States House of
tatives. Committee on Govern
ment Operations, Foreign Opera
tions and Government Information
Subcommittee, Hearings on Thai
land and the Philippines (Wash
ington, June 16, 1969), pp. 102
11. Ibid., p. 104.
12. Ibid., p. 105.
13. United States Senate, Ope cit.,
pp. 631, 775.
14. Ibid., p. 632.
15. United States House of Represen- i
tatives. Ope cit., 107-108.
16. Ibid., p. 110.
17. United States Senate, Ope cit,
p. 637.
18. Jason Summer Study, Institute
for Defense Analysis, "The
Thailand Study Group" (Falmou th,
Mass., July 6, 1967), p. 2.
19. United States Senate, Ope cit.
p. 790.
20. Ibid., p. 632.
21. BulZetin No. 1 of the Tribal
Research Center, cited in Jaya
waradena, Chandra, The
State University Project for
Research, Technical Assistance
and Guidance in Vietnam, mimeo."
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
1970, p. 6.
22. Clark 'E. Cunningham, "Urgent
Research in Northern Thailand"
in Bulletin of the International
Committee on Urgent Anthropolo
gical and Ethnological Research,
No.8, 1966, p. 62.
23. Peter A. Hinton, Report A:
Defense, Development and
Administration of the UplandS
of North Thailand (Chiang Mai,
Thailand, September 7, 1962),
p. 2. Australia is a SEATO
member. Prof. W. R. Geddes,
Department of Anthropology,
University of Sydney, supervised
the planning and establishment
of the TRe, and turned it over
to his student, Peter Hinton.
Geddes himself published the
TRC's Meo report in 1966, which
probably was the basis of ARPA's
later report. Their Thai field
assistants have received grad
uate training in Australia to
be fed back into the TRC.
24,. Ibid., pp. 1, 9-12.
25. Tribal Research Center, Agenda:
Data Center
Consultants' Meeting (Chiang Mai,
January 14, 1970).
26. Hinton, Ope cit., p. 11.
27. Ibid., p. 22.
28. Ibid.
29. Amendment No. ;5 to the Contract
the United States of
America and the Regents of the
University of California, Sep
tember 1, 1968, pp. 2-3.
30. Meeting of the Academic Advisory
Council for Thailand, June lO
ll, 1969, p. 8.
31 Gp. cit., July 23-24, 1969, pp.

AACT Work in the Next Year,
March 18, 1970, pp. 2-3.
Eric Wolf, "Anthropology on the
Warpath in Thailand" in New York
of Books, November 19,
1970, p. 31.
Banning Garrett, "The Domino
ization of Thailand" in Ramparts,
November 1970, p. 10.
American Institutes for Research,
Counterinsurgency in Thailand:
The Impact of Economic, Social
and PoUtical Action Programs
(Pittsburgh, December 1967),
p. ii.
Ibid., p. 42.
Ibid., p. 7.
S. Bhakdi, R.E. Krug and C.A.
Murray, For A.I.R. Use Only,
p. 2.
Letter of Michael Moerman to
Dr. Paul Schwarz, AIRSOD/ARPA.
RDC-T, February 13, 1970.
United States Senate, ope cit.,
p. 614.
Bangkok World, December 22,
Bangkok Post, November 28,
1968, p. 1.
Bangkok Post, December 4, 1968,
p. 1.
Bangkok Post, December 27,
1968, p. 1.
Bangkok World, December 7, 1968,
p. 1.
Bangkok Post, December 8, 1968,
p. 1.
Bangkok World, December 7, 1968,
p. 1; Bangkok Post, December 10,
1968, p. 1.
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
48. Bangkok World,
p. 1.
December 19,1968,
51. Bangkok
p. 13.
W o r l d ~ December 20, 1968,
49. Bangkok Post, December 17, 1968,
p. 1; November 26, 1968, p. 1.
52 . Bangkok Post, January 5,
p. 1; Jaunuary 31, 1969,
p. 1.
50. Bangkok Post,
p. 1.
December 20, 1968,
53. Bangkok Post, February 7,
United States Senate, op.
p. 629.
A oomment on American educational programming for Vietnam: "WE DEMAND REVISION
eight years SIU has carried out education programs in Vietnam under grants for
$2 million from AID.
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
Stanley K. Sheinbaum:
The Michigan State C I A
Perhaps the best description of
the American dilemma as we move into
the seventies is that we are faced
with a crisis of legitimacy. Legal
authority is challenged because those
with the authority violate principle
after principle on the grounds of
expedience. Legitimate, as distinct
from legal authority exists not
necessarily when legal words so
authorize, but only when legally
delegated men and the institutions
through which they function have
gained the respect/of the community
at large. When that respect does
not exist or is lost, people are not
responsive. Without that voluntary
responsiveness authority is hollow,
and societies become unstable. Legal
authorities begin to sense legitimacy
does not automatically derive from
legal power, and to enforce their
power they must, because of expedience
again, resort to illegitimate--that is,
unprincipled--devices. And so the
if circle grows, and such is the dynamic
of the rightist trend we are witness
ing. In fact, one very adequate
description of fascism is the use of
1 legal authority, be it by a police
I department, a bureaucracy, or a
1 university, for an illigitimate
The Michigan State University
link with the CIA is fraught with
deviation from principle, and there
fore makes a good case study of the
deterioration. Wise men would have
knoWR.better than to accept the assign
ment. Good men, once cognizant of the
association, should have recognized the
~ implications. Call it what you will,
false patriotism, the bureaucratic
dynamic, even greed, everyone went along-
unquestioningly. We had become cold
warriors, and whether a university
should be so involved never was the
For two years prior to January
1957, I held a joint appointment at
Michigan State University in the D e ~ a r t
ment of Economics and on the staff of the
so-called 'lietnam Project, when the then
Coordinator, Ralph Smuckler, told me
that he was becoming Assistant Dean of
International Programs, and that if;J was
agreeable I would be promoted to Coordinator.
I was pleased to accept.
He then told me of the CIA involve
ment, that several of the staff in
Saigon were operating not under Michigan
State direction, but rather for the CIA.
Several more such persons would be
joining the staff. The term "CIA" was
always used, as it was in this first
discussion with Dr. Smuckler, when
referring to their affiliation. In
our more formal organizational schemes
" they were called the Internal Security
Division. The matter was classified as
-Secret, and I had received the necessary
clearance up through Secret to receive
such information.
Dr. Smuckler went on to' inform me
that the work of this group was not
part of the University's work, and that
I should not expect to be made a'.:Jare of
their activities. There was never any
question but that the inclusion of the
CIA group was an acknowledged part
of the MSUG.
The contract between MSU and ICA/W
(now AID) was up for renewal in the spring
of 1957, just after I became Coordinator.
One of my new duties was to negotiate
the contract with Washington. There
was not at that time any consideration
by the University administration of
requesting the removal of the CIA unit.
This was months after I had been
officially told of their involvement.
In fact, the number of men in that unit
was increased to five. The claim that
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the Ur.iversity made attempts to
remove the CIA unit as soon as they
learned about it is not true. During
the spring, 1957 contract negotiations
it was regularly discussed with ICA/W
and no. protest was ever raised by the
University. It was understood to be
part of the contract. I can further
say with considerable confidence,
although I cannot establish it as
absolute fact, that it was such from
the very beginning of the association
with ICA/W. As for John
Hannah's awareness of the involvement,
I discussed it with him myself on
several occasions. His subsequent
attempts at denial testify to his
Inasmuch as I was involved in the
hiring of the staff for Saigon, I was
also instructed at the onset by Dr,
Smuckler that in the cases of new
staff joining the CIA group it would
not be necessary to undertake the
usual review of their backgrounds and
They would be assigned'
to us by the CIA; the procedures for
their employment by MSU then would be
identical to any other staff member
except for the checking of references.
These men, I think all of them,
listed their previous employment as
Department of Army. Under the circum
stances it was not surprising that the
CIA would not be explicitly mentioned.
Their appointments to the MSU staff
were processed in the same way as any
other MSU faculty. This was in keeping
with the terms of the MSU-ICA/W contract.
For some of them I signed the papers
myself, and I am sure they are still in
the University's files.
Two men were already with MSU
during the 1955-1957 contract period,
and., three were "recruited" and pro
cessed subsequent to my becoming
Coordinator in the spring of 1957.
MSU is now claiming that this
Internal Security Division of the
MSUG was merely engaged in counter
insurgency training. If only training,
why the extreme secrecy? No one was
permitted in their offices on the second
floor of the MSUG building at 137, Rue
Pasteur in Saigon (later to become the
US Military Command Headquarters in
Vietnamn). No one was permitted to
know what their activities were. I do
not believe that Ralph Smuckler, for
example, even when he was Chief
Advisor in Saigon, ever himself knew of
their activities. They reported to the ;
Embassy, not to us.
The specific point, therefore,
is that I was brought into knowledge
of the CIA involvement in early 1957.
The nature of the instructions to me
were that this involvement had existed
from the onset of the contract, with
full knowledge by the University admini
stration. At the time of contract I
renewal in 1957 there was no attempt
to end the association. It was not
until 1959 that the
was terminated.
However, the fact of the CIA
telationship receives too much of the
attention. The Michigan State
professors had their own roles--and
at all levels. They helped with ,
fingerprinting techniques, bureaucratic
procedures, economic policy, the draftil
of South Vietnam's Constitution, and
even in the choice of Ngo Dinh Diem
as President.
' h
On t he bl
e, t e
' 1
ing role of MSU in support of a mistake!
and bankrupt policy was such that one,;
in retrospect, must question the nature;
of higher learning in this country. '
Nobody on the :froject raised an objectl
when the time for the 1956 elections
the Geneva Accords came and went.
On the university side, a
must provide an atmosphere in which I
teaching and scholarship and service tc
the society must be permitted to take !
place freely. The presence of clandes,'
operations seriously impedes that free
In a university in which secret operat
are undertaken, suspicion of the
of one faculty member spreads among
others. The line between scholarship
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academic purposes and research for
ulterior intent becomes blurred.
Hichigan State University (like
Illinois University) has a
long-standing record as a land-grant
institution. Its reputation for its
philosophy of service to the people of
Michigan and beyond is well known and
justified. Indeed, a considerable
source of this country's strength comes
from the implementation of that philo
sophy. However, it is a far cry from
providing service to the people
and the community to being extensions
of the State. One ergument for the
struggle against communism is that under
a totalitarian system the State is
given first priority, and that the
eople are the secondary consideration.
In this instance a major university
llowed itself to become an instrument
the State. It is further aggravated
y the fact that the particular arm of
he State is one which is notoriously
naccountable, being beyond the control
the representatives of the people.
Meanwhile on campus, only an
mbarrassingly small handful of faculty,
sually the chronic mavericks, raised
y objection. And those being the
950's, nothing was heard from the
Do such contracts benefit the campus?
he Michigan State-Vietnam contract can
said to have had a deleterious effect
the campus. It resulted in no
ignificant academic work or programs
Vietnam for the students or knowledge
general; in fact, because of the
islocations caused by faculty members
eaving for extended periods, the teach
ng function of the university suffered
nd the faculty members themselves were
istracted from the research function.
this day Michigan State is not looked
o as a source of expertise on Vietnam
Southeast Asia. Further, the smooth
unctioning of departments was disrupted.
ow can the department members on campus
ote pay increases and promotions,
stensibly academic work, when their
olleagues (technically, at least)

in the field are performing for the
government? It is not coincidental that
Michigan State, which in 1954, at the
beginning of the Project, had one of the
finest young political science departments
in the country, witnessed by 1966 the
departure of all but two of that group.
When the Ramparts revelations
about the CIA-MSU link in Vietnam broke
in April 1966, the attempts at denial in
the face of other admissions would been
comic if the import had not been so
tragic. At State of Michigan Legislative
hearings in May, John Hannah's testimony
is revealing on several accounts. He
began with a tiresome and dumb recitation
of the Cold War and the need to protect
America for our children and grandchildren
against the threat of communism. It was
the blind acceptance of anything anti
Communist (e.g. "free China in Taiwan")
that was worthy of a bad politician, and
that has resulted in the tearing apart
of this country--not from communism, but
exactly from John Hannah's kind of
inability to think for himself, J
to think past the slogans and cliches.
Just as bad for the head of an
academic and intellectual enterprise
were these revealing quotes:

I don't know whether the decision

was right or wrong, but the decision,
as you well know, was that the old
domino theory might prevail out
I know nothing about the motives.
I know. that I was asked by the
representatives of our government
whether or not Michigan State
University would be interested.
It was more than interested.
Now I am not defending the American
position in Vietnam; I don't
understand it exactly.
I don't know whether [the American
position] is right or wrong.
I arn . not posing to be an expert.
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
think these remarks speak for them
selves, but they are not remarks of a
man who perceives a university as an
institution of scholarship and cri
tical analysis independent from the
pressures and pulls of society and
... everyone went along
governmental policies. He was neither
willing nor even able (judging from his
remarks) to examine what the government's
policy was. Worse, he showed no inter
est in questioning the loss of the cri
tical independence of the University
itself. I submit that a man like this,
now a governmental administrator, is
not likely to expend any energy or thought
toward protecting the academic role of
a university.
As to the of Mr. Hannah's
stated principles, compare his remarks
above with the following' quotation from
Michigan State University's 1965-1966
Annual Report: " . a university should
reflect the spirit of the times with
out yielding to it." (italics mine.)
For those whose taste runs to an
economic interpretation of U.S. foreign
policy, John Hannah also had some
choice remarks. Asking what materials
were needed to satisfy American consumer
and industrial appetites, he listed
the needs in detail: bauxite, coal,
cobalt, coffee, copper, fiber, lead, man
ganese, micah, About a third of the
ingredients required for a satisfactory
level of industrial activity in the
U.S. have to come from abroad, he said.
Therefore Asia was more important to
us than Western Europe. In other words,
in order to maintain our standard
of living, we can kill hundreds of
thousands of Vietnamese at a cost of
forty thousand American lives and a
few irrelevant dollars. Dr. Hannah
gave that testimony in 1966. As his
reward, President Nixon made him the
AID Administrator.
And now we have the AID contract with
Southern Illinois University for a
Vietnam center. If the 'officials of the
university, as reported in the Febru
ary 23, 1970, New Yopk reject
the criticisms of the Center's link
with AID on the ground of academic
freedom, they had best be certain that
that very involvement is itself not
an encroachment on academic freedom.
From his remarks Dr. Hannah does not
understand that principle, and unless
Professor Fishel be more open with his
colleagues about what went on -- or, at
a minimum -- stop denying it, the Uni
versity cannot make even a weak case
against the objections on the ground of
academic freedom. If academic freedom
really is important to them and if the
project is a serious and worthwhile
one, I suggest they turn to the founda
tions for funds. The federal government!
has done too much already with its \
contracts to feed the general
spect from which the universities are
now suffering.
Too much, to repeat, has been
made of the C.I.A. business at Michigan
State; that is not the real issue. In
the first place -- and at a very low
level of consideration -- if such a re
lationship existed with SIU it would
not be in the contract or in any other
documentation, given the nature of the
activity. John Hannah based his de
nial on the fact that there was nothing
in contractual form. More important,
to repeat and to emphasize, is the ques-'
tion of what the university is all aboutl
Eric Sevareid in commenting on the MSU- i
CIA connection on CBS catches what is at
Pretty surely the real point is whatl
such arrangements do to our insti
tutions of higher learning; !
their spirit, their management, thei!
historic independence in the search I
for truth without fear of anybody,
even government, without favor to
anyone. More and more their best
teachers work in these projects and
less and less do they directly
teach the students. One recent
study shows that the overwhelming
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emphasis in the publicity put out and the government. What is happening
by university public relations offi is that the American people have begun
ces deals with grants, governmental to sense that we have receded from our
or industrial projects and research principles. With the crisis of legi
achievements with less and less timacy goes the cement that binds a
attention to student achievements. society horizontally and vertically
It is a little hard to see how uni in both directions.
versity faculties can speak their
minds freely about the policies of What is at stake is whether the
American people have the inner confidence
their country's government if
to adhere to their original principles
they themselves, in great num
and to appreciate and rely on our coun
J bers, become part of the gov
try's enormous potential, and not to
ernment apparatus and instru-
conduct themselves negatively out of
ments for its policies.
fear. If the fear of communism grows
as the overriding principle of American
Legitimacy is at stake. John
life, not only in foreign policy but
Hannah was legally the President of MSU.
also domestically, in corporations., in
If he could not understand a university's
the foundations, in the news media, and
role, his presidency was illegitimate.
in the universities, then we shall have
The problem pertains to' the individual,
lost the battle to keep this country free.
I certainly the leader, the institution,
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Eqbal Ahmad: Theories of
(This is a brief overoiew of material
uhiah Eqbal Ahmad plans to analyze
in detail in future issues of the
Bulletin. --ed.)
I propose to examine briefly the
theoretical basis of research which,
when politically feasible, is carried
out by institutes like the Vietnamese
Studies Center here and certainly
by some of the people associated with
it research that is re
lated to the counterrevolutionary
posture of the U.S. government agency
that is funding it. Before doing so,
however, let me ask one basic pre
liminary question. What, after all,
is the meaning of the educational
process and academic integrity?
Throughout this conference, I think,
we have been seeking definitions of
these.two processes.
At the very least the educational
process must entailthe ex
tension of human beings to realize the
capacities and the. realities
and richness of the environment in
which we live; second, it seems to me,
a part of the educational process must
be unmistakably dedicated to promoting
in practice those positive links with
the abstract ideals to which we are all
supposed to subscribe --
justice, equality, humanity, freedom -
in individual and group behavior.
These two principles, however formulated,
are basic to any educational process.
the related notion of academic
integrity must encompass the above
fundamental principles and it places
upon the existing educational commu
nity the responsibility to ovserve
certain basic rules against distor
tions of facts, or against being drawn
into research for indisputably
repressive governments or undemocratic.
institutions or genocidal policies. Much
less can academic integrity permit a line
of inquiry which leads logically
lentlessly to devising means of mass
destruction, to bombings of people, to
creation of concentration to
techniques of brainwashing, and to the
of totalitarian control
over populations. The universities
in the Fascist period failed in their
academic responsibilities not because they,
lacked technical standards of compe
tent scholarship, but essentially because
they failed to remain faithful to these
basic goals of democratic institutions.
Finally, the word "integrity" has a
definite moral and political context.
Academic integrity faces its most crucial
tests only in those situations when a
society begins to manipulate or make
unjust demands on the academic sector
for its own oppresive purpose.
Having said this much, I will begin
with the statement that counterrevolu
tionary research in this country is being
carried out on behalf of a government
which is essentially committing genocide
in Southeast Asia. I should stress that
I am using this word with full awareness
of its implications. Policy-oriented
research, and in fact the very methodolo
gies and values associated with counterin
surgency research and practice, are inhe
rently with the activi
ties and values normally associated with
the educational process and academic
integrity. A simple hypocritical vow
to open discussion does not alter the facti
of research leading to the development of '
biological weapons or research on counter-,
revolutionary projects which encompass
concentration camps or a generation of
refugees a la Samual P. Huntington or
Morton Halperin. Such research and such
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projects have no place in a university,
either in an open or closed forum.
Now to counterinsurgency theory
itself. One may distinguish among at
least three models of counterinsurgency.
The first might be called the "straight
colonial model," the conventional model
of counterrevolution known to you from
European colonialism or the tilnes o:f
America's westward expansion. The
second is the "punitive militarist
mOdel;" in Algeria it was called
style para, or the paratroopers'
style. In Vietnam, its most prominent
exponents are some of the "Special
Forces," the Marine Corps, and the
Korean mercenary forces in
Vietnam. The third model I would
call the "liberal-re:formist model"
of counterinsurgency, and this is the
one that flourishes in centers of in
ternational studies like MIT's or in
centers of Vietnamese studies such as you
have here in Southern Illinois Univer
This particular model of counter
revolution has its own special character
istics . The rhetoric which defines the
goals of these counterinsurgents, as
well as the personal background o:f in
dividuals engaged in such research, is
reformist and liberal. Freedom, Progress,
Reforms, Paraticipation, Self-determina
tion are some of the favorite words and
concepts bandied about by these theorists.
As individuals, they are often men of
impeccable liberal credentials. Many o:f
them were associated with the previous
Kennedy administration. Many teach in
the liberal university campuses o:f
this country. The core of their di:f
ference with the "conventional" models
of counterinsurgency lies in their
recognition that politics and economics
playa dominant role in revolutiontions,
and that civilian populations ought to
be the primary object of attention by
counterrevolutionaries, as it is the
primary object of attention by the
revolutionaries themselves. They recog
nize also the importance o:f ideology and
the existence of a "cause" around which
the mass of the people can be organized.
In their view the Communists in Vietnam
are success:ful they possess a
or an "iaeology." The obvious
answer, tlien, is- to proauce a counter
iaeology ana a counter-cause.
Hence many of the Vietnamese
specialists of the counterrevolutionary
persuasion have been at work rewriting the
history of Vietnam; on anothe.r occasion
I shoula like to offeT some examples of
their achievements in this line. This
genre o:f literature on Vietnam, repre
sented at the Vietnam Center at SIU by
the writings of Wesley Fishel and Mil
ton Sacks, provides the poorest example
o:f colonial historiography. When you
become involved in creating a counter
ideology and a counter-cause for another
culture, another country, another people,
you are engaged not in scholarly research
but in manufacturing a new history for that
nation and people -- a new colonialist _
history :founded on basic distortions of
fact. Yet being counterinsurgents, they
miss the heart of the matter in their
somewhat frantic effort to concoct their
own counter-cause and ideology. For
they fail to recognize the basic factor
upon which the success of revolution is
predicated: the complete and irredeemable
loss of legitimacy on the part of the in
cumbent. And if they were to recogni ze
that the side they have chosen, that the
client state for which they are working
is inherently lacking in legitimacy -
has essentially became morally isolated
from the people it is claiming to
sent -- then there would be nothing left
to do except quit. But this would be too
much to expect from them. They are unable
to recognize that a government which is
totally dependent upon a foreign power can
not be legitimate; for the price of such
recognition would be the total and imme
diate withdrawal of American troops from
Vietnam. Their only recourse, then, is
systematic distortion of the .
talk about carrying on the war in some
other form, praise for the latest "demo
cratic reform" in Saigon, and so forth.
Distortion of facts is a negation of
academic integrity, and it matters not
at all that one or two token dissenters
be invited to speak at meetings of
these men who specialize in twisting the
truth and indeed telling outright lies.
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Unable or unwilling to confront the
problem of legitimacy, these experts tend
to treat counterinsurgency as administra
tive problems subject to bureaucratic
and technocratic solutions. This essen
tially technocratic approach, no matter
how fashionable the jargon in which it
is packaged, does not constitute cri
ti cal s choJ. p",c;h 1. p and should not be im
parted as such to students. In revolution
life beEins to manifest itself in forms
which are incomprehensible to the
bureaucratics and social enginneers.
Wolin and Sharr's analysis of the edu
cational bureaucracy in this country
applies admirably to the counterin
surgency bureaucrats. The bureaucratic
search for understanding, they say, does
not derive from wonder at the world, but
from -an attempt to reduce it to the
ordinary and the manageable. In order
to know the world, the world must
virst be approached as an exercise in
problem solving. Finding solutions
implies devising the right techiniques;
hence, reality is partitioned into a
number of discrete and unrelated parts,
each part being assigned to a different
specialized expert.
..... In counterinsurgency
theory the people are
the mere objects of policy.
Examples of the reductions of the
world to the ordinary and the manageable
abound in the literature of counterrev
olution. One might offer here Professor
Ithiel de Sola Pool's attempt to rule out
as unacceptable the inclusion of the
Viet Cong in a coalition government or
the existence of the Viet Cong
as a legal organization in South Vietnam.
This creates a problem for him since he
also recognizes that the Viet Cong is
too strong to be simple beaten or
suppressed. Whereupon "cognitive
dissonance theory!! suggests to Pro
fessor Pool the solution: disconten
ted leadership has the potential for
making a total break when the going
gets rough. Now the going has gotten
xough. for the Viet Cong, thank God
in reality thanks to our great firepower.
The Viet Cong tfierefore now nep.0. a ra
tionalization for changing sides. Pool
goes on to argue that counterrinsurgency
must address itself to this great task.
The Viet Cong image of reality and the
naive ideology by which they regard the
Saigon merely as America's
puppets and exploiters of the peasants
must be replaced by a more realistic view.
Toward this end, Professor Pool suggests
that some rewards should be introduced,
and deserting Viet Cong cadres should be
given the opportunity to serve the Sai
gon government. Professor Pool .e.8s.umes,
as do most of his counterrevolutionary
colleagues, that the Viet Cong, being
bureaucrats on the make, will accept an
opportunity to join the Saigon government.
Now Professor Pool is not a novice in
political analysis; he is Chairman of
the Political Science Department at MIT.
Nor is he a stranger to Vietnam, having
conducted "objective" research there for
the Pentagon, and, as Professor Sacks
would say, it doesn't matter where you
got the money. Yet this is how he
interprets the dedication and motivation
of the people who have successfully re
sisted the super-powers. In counter
insurgency, socio-political analysis
surrenders to the pathology of bureaucra
tic perception, and for pathological
cases there should be no room in the
educational process.
The liberal-reformist theorists,
I can assure you as one who has
suffered the painful process of going
through their junk (forgive my harsh
are ultimately concerned more
with order than with participation,
more with techniques of governing than
with the consent of the governed, more
with stability than with change. In
counterinsurgency theory people are
the mere objects of policy, a means rather.
than an end, a manipulable mas s whose
behavior towards government is more
important than their feelings and
of which more in a moment. .
There is a four-pronged dialectic
of the liberal-reformist approach to
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counterrevolutionary- warfare 'Wilich. could,
given more time, be illustrated by the
theory and practice o;f counterinsurgency
in Vietnam. It begins with.. the
refOrmists'advocacy of bureaucratic
involving limited reforms such as
higher education. But since the local
government already lacks legitimacy,
consisting as it does of who
without exception for France ana
the U. S., it cannot noW" gain legiti
macy by granting limited reforms. When
this set of limited reforms fails, the
liberal-reformist dialectic goes to its
second natural stage - the establishment
of controls. The theore
ticians of counterinsurgency now argue:
first control the prople, then you will
win their hearts and minds. Thus
unfolds the strategy of "pacification,11
with all its attached gimmicks, in
cluding the concentration camps they
call "strategic hamlets." When these
measures also fail, the process enters
a third stage, that of undisguised total
genocide. The theoretical literature on
Vietnam for the last two years reveals
the increasing popularity of the geno
cidal solution.
Here the arguments run in different
ways. The first line of argument would
be the Samuel P. Huntington "urbanization"
line. Professor Kuntington has argued
that the Americans were not succeeding
in Vietnam because the Viet Cong had
already accomplished a rural revolution
UL South Vietnam, and the only thing
the U. S. could do would be to match the
Viet Cong's rural revolution with an
American-sponsored urban revolution. In
translation, this meant bomb them out of
the countryside and into the cities. Now
there is much wrong with this particular
analysis including perhaps what one of
Professor Huntington's colleagues said:
"Sam has simply lost the capacity to
distinguish between urbanization and
A second line of reasoning is
exemplified by Mr. Charles Wolf, who
has suggested that all our pacification
theories, and especially those which
stress "winning the hearts and minds
of the people," suffer from a sligh.t
11' .misplaced emphaSis: they stress
attitudes and feelings, but these aren't
as important as oeha;vior because, for all
we li:new-.," t1ie" 'Viet Cong"lllay' not actually
IiaVe tIie support of tlie entire popula
tion even Wfiile eliciting its cooperation.
So what counts is not attitudes but
behavior. Our program should
be concerned with influencing behavior
rather than attitudes. Now, one might
ask, flow do we ao that? Mr. Wolf is
reaay with. the answer. IUs plan is to
apply what the social scientists have
labelled "input-output analysis." Control
the "output" of the peasants by supply
ing them with a fixed amount of "input,"
thus assuring that "output" will be denied
to the guerillas. In other words, when
you can't buy- up the crops, burn them;
or, in order to control the "behavior"
of the population, put them in concentra
tion camps. The theory of influencing
"behaYior" rather than "attitudes" has
led to a whole set of highly genocidal
Lounterinsurgency 'chickens'
have a tendency
"to come home to roost.
In the last st-age of the dialectic
of counterinsurgency theory and practice,
the counterinsurgency "ChiCkens," in the
wake of a protracted involvement abroad,
have a tendency to come home to roost.
The Fourth Republic in France undermined
itself in this way, through its activi
ties in Algeria. The most progressive
of the army officers ended up undermining
the very system they were pledged to pre
serve in Algeria; they ended up destroy
ing the very people they were pledged to
protect. And, save for De Gaulle, they
would have brought a military dictatorship
to power.
But, more specifically, how does
the fourth stage operate? First of all;
counterinsurgency theory and practice
accepts, extols, and finally romanticizes
the concept of the officer- or s01dier
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administrator. Now can we safely
. assume that an of1'icer corps- whicn. baS
been constantly told to fight a new- kind
of war in which the political and the
military are one -- kissing baoies,
distributing milk, and bombing vil
lages all at the same time can we
assume that on their return they will
suddenly become apolitical and disappear
from view? The protracted involvement
abroad becomes a training grouna, a place
where the distinctions between the ci
vilian and the military begin to blur.
And they blur even more when the mili
tarists still remaining in the war areas
feel that they are losing the war not
because of military weakness --- no sol
dier ever that he has lost -
but because people at home, the anti-war
militarists and Senators, the communists
and Fulbrights, have under.mined them.
Once convinced of betrayal, they became
very involved in domestic politics.
There isa second aspect to it.
The radicals become more and more
alienated, and youth in general be
comes more and more alienated from
the political process at home as they
come to view the war abroad as some
thing ugly, as something bad. They
protest against it as they ah;::tysdo,
as they did in France, as they have in
the U.S. For five years they protested
peacefully. Theit protests took the
form of voting, of working for
congressional candidates, of draft
resistance, of civil disobedience.
And now they take the form of bombings.
Madness you call it, but it is only na
tural in the face of perSisting oppres
sion and injustice. That acts of
protest involving violence are counter
productive in the U.S. is undoubtedly
true. But the rulers of this nation,
who have been ignoring the basic tenets
of accountability in order to maintain
their monopoly to commit crimes of
war, must bear the responsibility for
driving the concerned youth to the
outer limits of violence.
Thus does counterinsurgency under
mine the very system it seeks to pre
serve. And lastly, it undermines it in
yet another fashion: some 01' the same
... acts oj
protest involving
are counterproductive
tecrmiCJ;UeS' of counterinsurgency used
aoroad begin to be practicea by the
local law- autnorities at home. 'On
tliat note let -me y-i'eld to Arthur Waskow.
for news of the Zatest Viet Center happenings read
write to:
... the only uncensored
P.O. Box 892
Source of news in S. Illinois
Carbondale, Ill. 62901
Information on the latest Viet Center
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Arthur Waskow:
Domestic Counterinsurgency
In dealing with counterinsurgency,
I want to alert us first of all to
its pervasiveness, by focusing on
a new area of counterinsurgency
research in university centers; and
secondly, I want to stress the need
for a pro-people
The new area of counterinsurgency
research is that of domestic counter
insurgency, explicitly organized
through the Law Enforcement Assist
ance Administration (LEAA) of the
Justice Department, to assist Amer
ican police departments. This agency
was created four years ago by lib
eral and conservative joint efforts,
led for example by Ted Kennedy; and
has expanded rapidly since its incep
tion. In the fiscal year 1969 its
budget was $63 million; in 1970,
it was $280 million; and in 1971,
it will be $650 million. Attorney
Mitchell has proposed the
figure of a billion dollars as a
budget target for 1972. Some of
the funding is going to universities
for training and research: train
ing of so-called "professional po
lice", and research for better tech
niques of managing the American
population by police agencies.
This "professionalization" sup
ports counterinsurgency in several
ways. First, at the simplest level,
it is intrinsically a racist pro
cess. At a time when Black communi
ties in the big cities are growing
both numerically and' in political
energy 'and organization, profession
alization reinforces the police
as an enclave which is neither likely
nor technically able to incorporate
members of these communities, since
the Black, Chicano and Puerto Rican
populations tend to be those least
likely to qualify for college en
trance and the acquisition of soph
isticated technical skills. Conse
quently, the professiona1ization of
this key agency, which is to cope
with the new, politicized American
under-class, contributes to its
becoming more "legitimately" reserved
for white-collar people.
Second, professionalization fac
ilitates the increasing integration
of local but especially metropolitan
police forces into a federal network
whose major components are the FBI,
the new LEAA in the Justice Department,
and the Defense Department. Defense
provides not only additional per
sonnel (military police and released
military police), but also wel1
developed, detailed liaison arrange
ments between local army commands
and metropolitan police forces.
This nationalization or federaliza
tion promotes the militarization
of police forces. Not only are
the police integrated into a national
corporate command structure, but also
the weapons and techniques developed
in police assistance programs over
the past by AID to prevent
insurgency in Vietnam and in other
Third World countries are now made
available for use in the United States.
Finally, professiona1ization has
entailed cooptation of the social
sciences in the attempt to fashion
the velvet glove of social control
to cover the steel fist of the newly
militarized police departments.
A number of universities participate
in police training programs. For
example, at the American University
in Washington, D.C. a Center for
the Administration of Justice trains,
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among others, members of the Federal
Park Service and the Washington metro
politan police forces. Of about
fifty faculty members in that program,
all but a few are retired officers
from the military, police, FBI, or
Bureau of Narcotics. The policemen
who take the Center's courses must
have permission from the chief of
their police department to attend
specific courses. That is to say,
choice of courses taken for credit
is subject to the veto of the chief
of police. Permission to take courses
given by radical professors has not
been granted on the grounds that
the subject matter was not relevant
to the training of better policemen.
This is not, in other words--as the
best defense for the program runs-
the insinuation of liberal academic
values into lower class and working
class policemen.
Grants for research from the
National Institute'of Law Enforce
ment and Criminal Justice, a sub
agency of the LEAA, are dispensed
chiefly for work in counterinsurgency.
While 75 per cent of LEAA money has
gone directly to police department
controlled programs, only 6 per cent
has been given for community rela
tions work and 16 per cent for pro
grams controlled by the Department
of Corrections (i.e., jails). One
of the programs funded by the Nation
al Institute of Law Enforcement and
Criminal Justice is the development
of a national computer net on crimi
nal history. This would make available
to every police department in the coun
try the "criminal" history of anybody
in the United States. In addition,
it would put at the disposal of
all police the data com
piled in the .7 million person file
of radicals which is now in the
Army Intelligence Division.
Another major project of the
National Institute of Law Enforce
ment and Criminal Justice is research
on the history and nature of social
conflict on American campuses, as
well as possible responses to that
conflict. The Center for Research
in Social Systems in Washington,
D.C., which previously engaged in
Third World counterinsurgency, has
been awarded a grant for this pro
ject. The head of the Institute
has stated in a press conference
that the intention of the project
is to design the best way of coping
with student disorders. Finally,
to give an indication of how far
afield counterinsurgency can extend,
the Center made grants to the Speech
Department of Michigan State Univer
sity in order to work on voice print
The enormity of this operation
suggests that police research as a
field of counterinsurgency is already
upon us. It is aimed directly at
us, as well as at Black communities,
and it demands our own counter-research
and its publication. Several centers
have begun to do this. The North
American Congress on Latin America
has just published a report on the
various police programs around the
country. Lee Webb, formerly at the
Institute for Policy Studies and now
at Goddard College in Vermont, is
assembling a group who will be doing
research on the appearance of these
police center projects on campuses.
I have leaned heavily on his research
in these remarks. At the Center
for the Study of Law and Society
at Berkeley, Paul Jacobs and others
are working on this.
* * *
In light of the expansion of the
apparatus of counterinsurgency, we
must be even more serious in our
efforts to create a pro-insurgency
university, a people's university'
attempting to serve the real needs
of American society. My own con
clusion on the question of scholarly
integrity is close to Eqbal Ahmad's-
that it is iInpossible to divorce
ultimate political questions like free
dom from scholarly integrity. The
one issue on which I would not quarrel
with Milton Sacks, if he were being
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honest about the Center here t is
that it must be political. Indeed,
there is no way to study reality
without operating on political
assumptions and having political
results. The Center for Vietnamese
Studies makes this painfully clear.
For in fact, universities are poli
tical institutions.
Thus, if we were to sketch out
a people's university, one that would
serve the people of the United States,
we would begin by examining what
the American people need to know,
and how this can be acquired through
research and education. In the
area of research, we need to explore
a technology that would be non-pol
luting and decentralized, for exam
ple. We need to support, extend
and develop the study of the old and
new insurgent cultures of North
America--the people's cultures, whe
ther Quebecois French, Black, Chi
cano, Jewish, Puertoriqano and Wood
stock Nation. We need to devise
forms of democratic control of work
and cities which would deal with the
concepts of workers' control and
neighborhood government. We need
not centers for Vietnam studies,
but centers for the study of the
American empire in Southeast Asia,
for the study of Standard Oil of
New Jersey, General Motors, the
Pentagon and the State Department.
In fact, we need a counter-intel
ligence process on behalf of the
people of the United States against
the Empire that has conquered us
over the past thirty years.
In the realm of education, we
need to consider how to conceptual
ize a university which would draw
together those most directly con
cerned and affected by the issues.
In the case of a new decentralized
and non-polluting technology, those
most concerned would be polluted
urban consumers, workers in the
mines, in the oil fields and the
electric power generators. In other
words, we need a total of
the present structure in which the
board of regents or trustees of a
university determine the needs which
research will serve.
Furthermore, we need to experi
ment with a fusion of politics, work
and intellectual life. One experi
ment in this direction, the "Learn
ing Community" in Portland, Oregon,
is bringing together a living com
munity in downtown Portland, a farm
outside of Portland, and a college.
In this way, all the people involved
are learning in process from each
other and from their organizing
work in the community.
Perhaps we ought to imagine our
university as organized by teams
of twenty people, both students and
faculty, who would work in a parti
cular area of Illinois, let us say.
They would be studying it, working
with its people and learning from
them. Only when we start to work
seriously with Americans who have
not traditionally been channeled
into the university can we begin to.
respond to the real problems of peo
ple in American society. Social
experiment and social action are
the routes we must take if we are
to develop an effective social science
and social theory. When natural
scientists undertake experiments,
they are involved in the real world.
So too must social scientists parti
cipate in real projects--ones that
not only would change America in
the direction of a decent democracy
but also would serve to advance social
theory and our knowledge of this
Hew shall we deal with ceunter
insurcency training and research
that uses our campuses to create
new forms of repression against
us? I suggest it is precisely
by creating the pro-insurgency
People's University. The only
to repression is more
creative, more determined organ
izine" The only way to create
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a democratic future is to create
that rules over us to face our
pieces of it in the undemocratic
liberated time and space.
present and to force the Empire
What is the U.S. doing
in Southeast Asia'
"The Indochina Story Is more
than the single most Impor
tant book to appear on the
war, a powerful Indictment
of America's destruction of
the land and people of
Indochina. Its 350 compre
hensive and carefully docu
mented pages provide a
superb critical guide to the
ideology and practice of
American Asian policy in
the era of the Cold War."
-University Review
$1.25 at your bookstore, or
Bantam Books, Inc.
666 5th Ave.
New York, N.Y. 10019
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Douglas Dowd: What Must
the University Be?
The contemporary American univer
sity has been in the making for half
a century or so, and its present
state has been pretty well set for
at least two decades. But it is only
in the past three or four years that
we--students, faculty, administra
tors, citizens--have come to see it
for what it is. The revelation on
this score came to most of us as
did our other revelations--about our
foreign policy, our race relations,
our entire educational system, our
cities, the quality of our lives:
they boiled up into our line of vision
from the rising turbulence of the
very recent past.
As with other matters so with the
university: what began as protests
against what were initially seen as
mistakes, or aberrations, moved to
a deep questioning of an entire system
--educational, economic, social,
cultural. This momentous change
took place as, and because, attempted
reforms revealed through their fail
ure an underlying and stubborn sys
tem of which the matter to be reformed
was found to be but one expression
of an interlocking system.
It is already difficult to recall,
after only these few years, how very
great was the esteem in which the
university was held (if for different
reasons) in all parts of the poli
tical spectrum. With rare exceptions,
earlier attacks against the univer
sity were launched by Yahoos, beyond
tffe pale of conservative-liberal
radical attitudes; or, when radical
critiques occurred, they were selec
tive, aimed at a particular disci
pline, or a particular institution
seen as departing from a cherished
ideal. The closest thing to a sys
tematic attack was made by Veblen,
in 1908, whose' Higher Learning-
A Memorandum on the Conduat of Uni
versities by Businessmen said much
that is being said today, attacked
who was teaching and being taught
and also what was being taught, but
like so much that Veblen wrote, is
remembered largely for its sly digs.
The university has not yet en
tirely devoured its capital, the
esteem in which it has been held.
Veblen's slashing attack (like many
still today) was a cry of anguish,
for he loved more than anything
else in life what the university
should be, and what in a humane soc
iety it would--must--be. So it is
with much of the larger turbulence
today, although there is more involved
than the cries of injured lovers.
Underlying the misery, the fear,
the anger of those who fight to
change the society, lies an as yet
unshatterable belief that the Amer
ican promises can and must be deli
vered--the promises of equality,
of freedom, of even-handed material
well-being, of brotherhood. As a
student recently said, "Scratch a
hippie-commie-freak, and underneath
the rhetoric and the rage you will
find someone who took the Declara
tion of Independence seriously."
It is only as we have sought to
change the external relationships
of the university, and as that
effort has meshed with the struggle
to eliminate racism and imperialism,
that we have begun to see the uni
versity in toto, internally as well
as externally, for what it is--an
integral and functioning part of an
American socio-economic-military
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system that combines deadliness with
boredom, oppression with triviality,
deceit with foolishness.
* * *
There is much dispute these days
about whether the university can
afford to involve itself in politi
cal affairs--some saying it dare not
do so, others that it dare not do
otherwise. The position that seems
to me to be irrefutable is neither
of these; it'is instead that the
university is always, and must be,
political, in its core, and in the
very deepes t sense of "political."
The critical question for all of us
is how the university's political
involvement can be seriously meaning
ful and helpful to the needs and
possibilities of humanity, rather
than, as is so commonly the case,
relevant in ways that mix the mean
ingful with the meaningless, the
beneficial with the harmful, the
profound with the trivial--with the
added difficulty that the illusions
of nobility under which universities
suffer make it close to impossible
for the necessary distinctions to
be made.
Our problem in the universities
today is not that suddenly there
are noisy groups trying to force pol
itics on us; it is that the status
quo politics under which the univer
sity has operated are being seriously
questioned and criticized; for the
status quo itself is under serious
attack. One of the most difficult
matters for faculties to understand
is that the acceptance of a status
quo is as political as its rejec
tion. That this difficulty stains
the entirety of education--especially
in the social sciences and history
--and that it does so quite obviously
for students and much less so for
facul ties, is one of the maj or sources
of turbulences today. A most obvious
instance o ~ this, although by no means
the most important, is revealed in the
continuing controversy that has facul
ties believing that trying to get
rid of ROTC is political but that
trying to maintain it is not.
But one need not be so abstract.
There are small liberal arts colleges
where it may be argued (not always
with much success) that service to
truth is the only service accomplished
or sought. In the major universities,
however, replete as they are with
engineering, agricultural, law, medi
cal, business, industrial and labor
relations schools and colleges, and
urban, international, and black
(among other) centers, it is diffi
cult to know just how such institu
tions can be understood except as
respondents to ongoing policy needs.
In some cases, the political service
will be accomplished with grace and
flexibility, and in others not. But
service is service, and service is
The university's political involve
mentgoes deeper than that revealed
by the numerous and diverse profes
sional schools and institute-centers.
Fundamentally, it is in the metho
dologies of the various disciplines
that the status quo is most firmly
anchored. It is likely that the
harmful effects of uncritical scien
tific and technological "progress"
could not have become so rampant had
scientists and engineers not accepted
the onrush of their social system
uncritically. Today, as we see
"science and society" courses multi
plying, we also see the kinds of ques
tions that scientists and engineers
have ignored in the past; and that
they are being "answered" so badly
today in those classes is testimony
to how very new the process of asking
those questions is. The brightest
of young minds are stupefied that
such questions were never brought
up until now.
* * *
What is wrong, then, is not that
the university is being political.
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It must be. What is wrong is that
the society it serves is now seen
as an ugly one by its most sensitive
f and promising students. Our debt
to them, which in my mind is enor
mous, is not that they have provided
us with a promising program, but that
the young have enabled us to see the
ugly reality hiding behind all the
j pretty ivy. What would a promising
I program be? Or, to put in the theme
of this discussion, what mu8t a
I university be? If much of the turbu
-lence in education today reflects
the effort now being made to change
our society, this is another support
for the notion that the university
reflects and serves the turbulent
society of which it is a part, a
society struggling to maintain an
older reality, while simultaneously
struggling to find a newer and better
one. Because that struggle is becom
. ing deeper, and because it will be
, long, the university is bound to
1 undergo deep conflicts, and they
will persist--until a different status
I quo has been achieved.
What the university must be for
some time to come, then, is a place
where uncertainty, change, and con
flict are embodied in what is studied,
by whom, and in what ways. The author
ity of existing institutions has come
into question; and the authority of
those who have held it in universi
ties--faculties and administrators
--will continue to come into ques
tion. Because increasing numbers
among us are.raising more and deeper
questions about our society, our
selves and our culture, that must be
reflected in our curricula and in I
' our teaching and research. Univer
sity education has become more and
. more professionalized, more and more
a process of training.. It mu8t become
i more and more a process of inquiry,
in which those with higher degrees
are seen not as experts with answers I
side apprentices and journeymen, all
working uncertainly with some old,
some new ways. Faculties must recog
nize how very much of what is new to them
they must learn; for there is a
world of difference between the precise
--and often misleading--truths they
have been trained to seek, and the
broad understanding that all of us
This is less so in the natural
than in the social sciences; but it
is so in both--if we are to move
with the learning moods of today's
young, and break through the crust
of expertise that masks the cultural
and social elitism of,a society of pri
vilege that can no longer survive
without systematic repression, on
or off campus.
The foregoing speaks mostly to
procedures. What of substance?
What should be "the aims of education?
I think the answer to that is simple
and sweet, although it may seem also
to be trite. What we do not possess,
but what we desperately need, is under
standing and appreciation, and the'
university is the place to develop
both. We need understanding of man,
of nature, and of society; and we
need to learn how to appreciate what
in our past and present is worth
preserving and extending, and what
must be diminished. Appreciation
requires understanding, and vice
versa. Science without values is
dangerous; and values bereft of under
standing seldom can go beyond senti
Such understanding will teach us
many things we must know, and among
them will be the many things we must
unlearn. What passes for understand
ing these days is usually a set of sys
tematic biases that favor the posi
tion of those with the most power
and nations, those
but as people experienced in disci
groups, those individuals, those
.. pUned thinking, knowledgeable about classes and races.
resources and techniques, as--at
best--master craftsmen, working along- We must root out of our "understand
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ing" the deep-seated attitudes that
tell us that the blessed have earned
their blessings and that the accursed
deserve their fate--an arrogant notion
as deep-seated in our society as the
blind patriotism and puritanism from
which it stems. And we must relate
what we then understand about our
own society to what we must under
stand about the relationships between
this and other societies.
In the present university, purposes,
means, style, substance, teaching,
research, and external fiscal and non
fiscal relationships, as well as who
shall study and who shall receive
degrees and who shall teach are all
integrally related to each other and
to the main impulses of the society.
We must create a new age, before we
are done in by the past and present.
In that new age, shaping it and being
shaped by it, will be all those elements \
just enumerated; and they will fuse
with each other to produce a different
university, brought about in new ways.
May, 1970: Saigon University student after reZease from prison where she was
tortured by attaching eZectrodes to her reproductive organs. Many South Viet
namese prison officiaZs have been trained at American universities, incZuding
SIU, under AID programs.
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Name of Applicant: Southern Illinois University
Date of Application: June 6, 1969
Title: A Grant to Strengthen within Southern Illinois University
Competency in VietnClmcse Studies and Programs Related
to the Economic and Social Development of Vietnam and its
Post-war Reconstruction
Duration: Five years from date established by the Grant.
Amount of Grant: $1,000,000
This Grant will strengthen the existing competency of the Southern
Illinois University Center for Studies and Programs for its
programs of technical assistance and consultation, research and training
related to the economic and social needs of Vietnam and its post-war
reconstruction. The Grant will help to provide secure, long term support for
art expanded core program including salaries of key staff members engaged
in originaJ research, integration of findings of previous research, teaching,
and developing new curricula. It will also provide support for domestic
and foreign graduate and special students and for library acquisitions.
It will make possible the hiring of new Vietnamese and U. S. faculty and
the creation of additional professional strength and competence in economic
and social programming for Vietnam; it will hf.)lp finance visiting U. S. and
Vietnamese scholars for seminars, courses and symposia. It will provide
for expansion of the University's present focus on Vietnamese educational
problems to include broader economic and social development needs and.
requests for assistance to which the relevant disciplines of the University
will respond. The work of the Center will be coordinated and integrated
with, and. supported byI the existing and expanding University activities in
the relevant disciplines.
1.University Capacity and Commitment
The capacity of Southern Illinois University for research, training and
services on Vietnamese educational, economic and social problems has
developed over the past eight years I with support from AID finaaced technical
assistance projects in elementary teacher training and vocational-techniC-:ll
teacher trainL'1g. The University has helped to provide specialized and
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advanced training !:o more than ~ ,000 Vietnamese profession,:lls -- including
over 200 Provincial Chiefs. About 30 senior regular staff merr.bers of the
University have actively participated in the University's Vietnamese prograrr,s
of whom 21 are still with the University and working with the Ce:-.ter for
Vietnamese Studies and Programs.
The University's Vietnamese programs have stimulated the participation
and cooperation. of faculty in several other U. S. universities.
As evidenced by the number of requests from U. S. and Vietnamese
universities and U. S. and Vietnamese government agencies requesting
information, assistance and special training I the University has become
well-known and respected as a primary source of professional expertise on
Vietnamese educational, economic and social problems. Within the limits
of its resources the University has made every effort to respond to all
requests for technical assistance, counsel, research, and training relative
to Vietnam. With the larger core staff -- which it is expected will, in
8Q,dition to Vietnamese scholars, include a significant number of this
country's recognized and expert Vietnamologists -- expanded curricula,
and increased library and informational facilities in this area of specialization
made possible by this Grant, the University can respond more adequately to
these requests and provide substantially more trained personnel specialized
in Vietnamese economic and social development problems.
S01,lthern Illinois University has a clear and firm commitment -- unanimousl}'
endorsed by its Board of Trustees a n ~ the State of Illinois Board of Higher
Education -- to the program of the Center for Vietnamese Studies and Programs.
The Area and International Services budget request of the University includes
$225, 000 for the Center for Fiscal Year 1970. It is anticipated that the needed
dimensions of support for the Center can be phased up to over the next five
years as the Grant support phases down. The ability of the University to offer
counsel and advice -- and under separate agreements or contracts have
specialists available for technical assistance -- and in general service the
needs of AID will be accelerated by the Grant.
The -Center for Vietnamese Studies and Programs is administered by a
Director responsible to the Dean of the International Services Division who
in tum is responsible to the Chancellor of the Carbondale Campus of the
University and the Vice President for Area and International Services. The
Director is guided by an Advisory Committee appointed by the Chancellor
and the Vice President and including one of this country's most expert
Vietnamologists as Visiting Professor in Government. The Assistant Director
for Services will be responsible for the administration of this Grant.
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Chancellor Vice President for Area
Carbondale Campus ----r---
and' International Services
Dean, International Services Division
Director, Center for Vietnamese Studies and Programs
Advisory COmmittee - - - - -
Assistant Director for Services
Funds requested in this proposal will not replace existing funding for
any programs. Activities provided for in this proposal will be additive to
existing and planned programs of the Center.
At the initiative of AID and following submission of an anr.ual technical
report, there will be an annual substantive review of activities under this
Grant. This review' will ~ c l u d e evaluation of p'rogress, administrative and
financial considerations, plans for .the following year, and discussion of
possible.AID utilization -- under technical aSSistance, research and training
contracts -- of the evolving University competency.
Southern Illinois University plans to continue at least its present
commitment of resources, and probably to increase that commitment as a
result of receiving this Grant, and will provide:
1. Office, classroom, conference and meeting rooms, and
auditorium space for faculty and students, and speCial.
groups related to the purposes of this Grant.
2. Use of library, equipment, supplies and other necessary
facilities. Appropriate access to University computer
facilities and other speCial research aids.
3. Normal administrative and technical superviSion by
department heads, deans, and the Dean of the International
Services Division.
4. Advice and consultation with all faculty members -- including
those not directly associated with the Center -- who can
contribute to the objectives for which this Grant is made.
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The University is committed to the continued growth and develo';>ment
of the Center for Vietnamese Studies and Programs. It regards the next five
years as a basic development period during which time it will seek to e n h a n c ~
the financial 'backing both from within the University and from other outside
sources. At the time of submission of this proposal the University has firm
assurances of financial assistance from the Office of East Asian and Pacific
Programs of the Department of State for assistance in the development of
sister-university relationships with one or more Vietnamese universities and
from the Southeast Asian Section of the Library of Congress for materials and
services in kind in support of the University library acquisition program.
More tentative discussions of support are in progress with the Ford Foundation,
the Defense Languages Institute and the U. S. Office of Education, Department
of Health, Education, and Welfare.
Obiectives and Scope
1. The University will expand its permanent, full-time professional
core staff, of Vietnamese and U. S. scholars, which, under the Director of
the Center for Vietnamese Studies and Programs, will be responsible for the
activities of the University in programs of assistance to the economic and
SOCial development of post-war Vietnam. These activities will include
organizing interdisciplinary courses of study about, Vietnam in the related
disciplines at the graduate, undergraduate, and special short-course levels
for both U. S. and foreign graduate and special students. This will involve
the deveiopment of new courses and the restructuring of some existing courses.
2. The University will expand its library and public information
services on all aspects of Vietnam.
3. The University will expand its research into economic and SOCial
development technology as related to the purposes of this Grant.
The expanded full-time Vietnamese-American professional core staff,
courses of study, library and information program will enable the University
to respon,d more adequately to requests for assistance on economic and SOCial
development problems in Vietnam from the Agency for International Development
and other U. S. federal agencies, other U. S. universities, Vietnamese
governmental agencies and universities, international and regional agencies,
various private businesses and interested private citizens.
The multidisciplinary teaching, research and service competency of
the Center for Vietnamese Studies and Programs will include but not be
limited to:
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the use of the University's knowledge, contacts and experience
in Vietnam as well as its scholarship to identify and analyze
economic and social development problems in Vietnam to which
the relevant disciplines and competencies, strengthened by this
Grant, will
identification and maintenance of an inventory of, and contacts
with, the relevant disciplines and in-depth competencies of other
U. S. universities -- such as the Marine Resources of Rhode Island
University and the Land Tenure Center of the University of Wisconsin -
which will be required in the post-war reconstruction of Vietnam;
providing specialized consultation, orientation, research and
training for the administrators, staff, students and participants
of other U. S. univerSities, AID, otherU. S. federal agencies,
and international and regional agencies to help maximize the
efforts of other centers of competence and resources in contributing
to the social and economic development of Vietnam and its post-war
A major aspect of the first year. s activity will be that of consolidating
into the for Vietnamese Studies and Programs the knowledge, data
and staffe.xperience obtained in the eight years of work in Vietnam supported
by.the AID contract which terminates on June 30, 1971. This will include
Ithe preparation ofa study of the experience of SIU,other U. S. universities,
AID, other U. S. federal agencies and private organizations and individuals
working in Vietnamese educational development, It may also include the
preparation of teaching and general educational materials, country situation
descriptions and analyses by the relevant disciplines strengthened by this
Grant, and other materials needed to enhance the University's capability to
train both Vietnamese and Americans to meet requests for technical advice
and assistance, and to conduct problem-oriented research.
j Changes not presently predictable in such strategiC elements as
. sources of funds other than the Grant, shifts in relative costs of component
items, and modifications in services desired by AlP and other users of the
University's competencies will require flexibility within the operating plan
during the period of the Grant e. In general terms I however, the operational
plan as presently estimated would be approximately as follows:
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1. Abou t 7 a percent would be for salaries, including full or partial
funding of:
a. the Assistant Director for Services
b. senior and junior faculty
c. librarian
d. Research Associate
This part of the plan would begin at about 70 percent operation
the firs t year and be staffed up to 100 percent by the second
year. It is planned that the University will assume -- year by
year -- greater financial underwriting of the new faculty as the
underwriting provided by this Grant diminishes with the
objective that by the end of the fifth year the University will
assume complete financial responsibility for all programmed
faculty positions in this program.
2. About 14 percent would be for stipends and allowances including
graduate and special student stipends. This part of the plan
would begin at about 66 percent operation the first year and at
full operation by the second year
. It Is planned that the University will assume -- year by year-
greater i n a n c i a l underwriting of the fellowships as the underwriting
provided by this Grant diminishes with the objective that by the end
of the fifth year the University will asSume complete financial
responsibility for all programmed fellowships in this program.
3. About 8 percent would be for travel:
a. for Vietnamese and U. S. graduate and special student
travel between the U. S. and Vietnam
b. for Vietnamese and U. S. faculty travel between Vietnam
and the U. S. I and in the U. S.
The rate of implementation would be approximately the same as
that for staffing with Grant support diminishing as University
support increases with the objective that by the end of the fifth
year the University will assume complete financial responsibility
for all programmed travel in this program.
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4. About 6 percent would be for library acquisition. The rate of
implementation would be highest in the two years following
full staffing. .
Personnel Costs $ 718,000
Graduate Fellowships 142,000
Travel 80,000
Library Acquisitions 60,000
* * *
Institutional Development Grant Special Provisions (excerpts)
A. Allowable Costs
In accordance with Grantee normal accounting practices, the Grantee shall
be reimbursed for direct costs incurred in carrying out the aims of this Grant.
It is mutually understood and agreed, unless otherwise provided herein, that
the trantee will not allocate any costs to this Grant, which are normally charged
as indirect costs in accordance with the Grantee's normal accounting practices.
The following costs are unallowable for reimbursement under this Grant:
Advertising, bad debts, contributions, donations, entertainment and interest.
B. Foreign Country Nationals
When authorized in writing by the Grant Officer, the Grantee shall be
reimbursed for the costs of bringing Foreign Country Nationals to the Grantee
institution for purposes consonant with the objectives of this Grant .
... a product commodity purchased in any transaction will not be eligible for U.S.
dollar funding if: (1) It contains any component from countries other than Free
World countries, as listed in A.I.D Geographic Code 899...
E. Regulations Governing Employees Performing Work Overseas
(1) Approval. No individual shall be sent outside of the United States by
the Grantee to perform work under the grant without the prior written approval
of the Grant Officer; nor shall any individual be engaged outside the United
States or assigned when outside-the United States to perform work outside the
United States without such approval unless otherwise provided in the Schedule
or unless the Grant Officer otherwise agrees in writing...
(5) Right to Recall. On the written request of the Grant Officer or of a
cognizant Mission Director, the Grantee will terminate the assignment of any
individual to any work under the grant, and. as requested, will cause the re
turn to the United States of the individual from overseas or his departure from
a foreign country or 'a particular foreign locale.
F. Grant Officer
All correspondence dealing with the terms and conditions of any part of this
Grant shall be directed to the Grant Officer, Office of Procurement, Contract
Services Division, A.I.D. All other correspondence pertaining to the grant shall
be directed to the Director, Research and Institutional Grants Staff, Office of
the War on Hunger, (WOH/RIG), A.I.D.
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
G. Federal Reserve Letter of Credit
Subject to the determination of the Assistant Administrator for Administra
tion that the opening of a Federal Reserve Letter of Credit is in the public
interest, and subject to the conditions hereinafter set forth, the Agency for
International Development shall open a Federal Reserve Letter of credit in the
amount of this Grant against which the Grantee may present sight drafts according
to the "FRLC Procedures for Grantee" set forth below..
... 3. The Grant Officer may terminate thi; Federal Reserve letter of Credit
at any time he determines that such action is in the best interest of the Gov
ernment ..
IV. Termination
This grant may be terminated or canceled by the Grantee institution not less
than six months after written notification to A.I.D. The grant may be revoked
or terminated by the A.I.D. G rant Officer upon six months notice, whenever it
is deemed t hat the Grantee institution has failed in a material respect to
comply with the terms and conditions of the grant or for the convenience of .the
Governmen t .
* * *
Public Law 89-583--Sept. 19, 1966
Title II--Technical Cooperation and Develoument Grants
(3) At the end of s e c t i ~ n 211, add the following new subsections:
"(d) Not to exceed $10,000,000 of funds made available under section 212, or
under section 252 (other than loan funds), may be used for assistance, on such
terms and conditions as the President may specify, to research and educational
institutions in the United States for the purpose of strengthening their capa
city to develop and carry out programs concerned with the economic and social
development of less developed countries."


The CCAS Newsletter
100 COPIES FOR $5.00
Edited by the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars, Harvard Chapter
Publilhedby the BOlton Publishers Action Committee
Address Correspondence to:
Contact: Indochina, P.O. Box 8853, JFK Station, Boston, Mass. 02114
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.
C. Harvey Gardiner is Distinguished Research Professor of History 'at Southern
Illinois University. Robert G. Layer, an economist, was recently appointed
Chancello:r;" of the Carbondale campus of SIU. Douglas Allen teaches Asian philo
sophy at SIU. David Marr is Assistant Professor of Vietnamese Studies at Cor
nell and is the author of a forthcoming book on Vietnamese anti-colonialism,
1885-1925, to be published by the University of California Press. Nina Adams
is a doctoral candidate in Vietnamese history at Yale and co-editor of Laos:
War and RevoZution (Harper and Row, December 1970). Ngo Vinh Long is a doc
toral candidate in Vietnamese history at Harvard, and the editor of Thoi Bao
Ga, newsletter of anti-war Vietnamese stUdents in the United States. Huynh'
Kim Khanh is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Western Ontario Uni
versity; his principal writings are on the history of colonialism and neo
colonialism in Vietnam. Gabriel Kolka, Professor of History at York Univer
sity, leading historian of American foreign policy, is the author of The PoZi
tios of War: The WorZd and United States Foreign PoZicy, 1943-1945 (Random
House, 1968) and several other books; he is currently at work on a history
of postwar American foreign policy to be published by Harper and Row in rate
1971. Earl Martin iain Vietnamese at Stanford and has lived in Viet
nam for three years. Al McCoy, a national co-ordinator of the CCAS, is in
Japanese and Southeast Asian studies at Yale and is co-editor of Laos: War
and RevoZution. Stanley K. Sheinbaum , an economist at the Center for the
Study of Democratic Institutions, was formerly campus director of the Michi
gan State University Project in Vietnam. Arthur Waskow is a Resident Fellow
of the Institute for Policy Studies and the author of The Limits of Defense
(Doubleday, 1962), The Worried Man's Guide to WorZd Peaoe (Doubleday, 1963)
and other works. Douglas Dowd is Professor of Economics at Cornell
Eqbal Ahmad is a Fellow at the Adlai Stevensotl Institute, University of Chic8O.
Currently in its third year of publicaticn and with a circulation of over
5000, t1le Bulletin of Conoemed Asian Scholars is dedicated to a radical
analysis of ASian affairs. Sate of its cx:ncsrns are evident in these
articles in recent issues:
Noam Chomsky: The Asian scholar and the American crisis
Jim Peck: The professional ideology of America's China watchers
Herbert Bix: The Japanese military-industrial complex
John Dower: The U.S.-Japanese security treaty
Ngo Vinh Long: Defoliation in Vietnam
Cynthia Fredrick: Cambodia
[ ] reguLar rate, $6
Fred Branfman, Jacques Decornoy: Laos [ ] student rate, $4
Jack Gurley: Maoist economics
send to:
BCAS. All rights reserved. For non-commercial use only.