ANSWERS TO NATIONAL VIETNAM EXAMINATION
(Return to Exam)
8, public statements
(B) 2, New York Times, Feb, 27, 1966 (C) 5, New York Herald-Tribune, Nov, 21, 1965 (D) 7, speech before Detroit Economic Club, Oct, 22, 1965 (E) 1, then-Senator Kennedy in speech on the Senate floor speaking of the Algerian War, July 2, 1957 (F) 3, an admission to James Reston, reported in the New York Times, Sept, 1, 1965 (G) 6, White House Statement, Oct, 2, 1963 (H) 3, London Daily Mirror, July 4, 1965
(B) As provided for by Article 7 of the Final Declaration of the 1954 Geneva Conference. Article 6 provided that "the military demarcation line (between North and South Vietnam) is provisional and should not in any way be interpreted as constituting a political or territorial boundary." Free elections for national reunification were to be held in both zones in July 1956, but they were not held because the American-supported South Vietnamese Premier, Ngo Dinh Diem, unilaterally abrogated the Geneva Agreements, and decided instead to hold a referendum in the South only. The only choices on this ballot, held in October 1955, were Diem himself and the fading Emperor, Bao Dai, and Diem won overwhelmingly. At the time of the referendum, the London Economist pointed out that the number who voted in the Saigon-Cholon area exceeded the number of registrants by 150,000. For the details, see the book by an Indian representative to the Geneva-established International Control Commission (which was to supervise the nation-wide election), B. S. N. Murti, Vietnam Divided (1965), pp. 125-162, especially pp. 140-143, 157. For a discussion of explicit American support of Diem's refusal to prepare for the 1956 elections, see Robert Scheer, "How the U. S. Got Involved in Vietnam" (1965).
(A), (B), & (C) are all accurate. See B. S. N. Murti, Vietnam Divided (1965); Jean Lacouture, Vietnam: Between Two Truces (1966), especially pp. 67-68; Phillippe Devillers, "The Struggle for the Unification of Vietnam," in P. J. Honey (ed.), North Vietnam Today (1962).
Specifically on (B), Bernard B. Fall gives these figures for land ownership in South Vietnam: 2% of the land owners hold 45% of the land, whereas 72% hold only 15%. See his The Two Vietnams, revised ed. (1964), p. 208.
(D), the official U.S. position -- see the 1965 State Department White Paper, "Aggression from the North," p. 26 -- is contradicted in Fall, pp. 289-315, and Lacouture (above).
All are true according to leading authorities.
(A) American counter-insurgency forces broke the Geneva agreements by entering South Vietnam in 1955 under the cover of numerous U.S. government agencies, including the CIA.
(B) The facts on South Vietnamese infiltration of the North can be found in Bernard B. Fall. The Two Vietnams, p. 371.
(C) can be calculated from the official American figures given in the 1965 White Paper. These were native Southerners who had fought against the French and only gone North in 1954 in accordance with the 1954 Geneva Agreements.
The quotation in (D) is from Fall, The Two Vietnams, p. 344. Even the White Paper does not mention Northern infiltration before 1959, whereas South Vietnamese President Diem said in March 1959 that “at the present time Vietnam is a nation at war." (Devillers, in Honey, p. 37.)
(B) 6% is the correct answer. The small percentage of North Vietnamese troops compared to indigenous Viet Cong force belies the U.S. government's contention that the war in Viet Nam is not a civil war but aggression from North Viet Nam, The figures used in this question can be round in the article by Bernard B. Fall in the New York Times Magazine. March 6, 1966. Fall states that in 1965 "in spite of losses, the enemy had more than doubled its strength from within. It is the realization of this fact that led Senator Mansfield's study group to conclude that Communist forces escalated right along with the American troop increase."
(E) According to official sources (New York Times, 2-24-66), 113,000 South Vietnamese soldiers (or approximately 20 per cent of their armed forces) deserted in 1965, an increase of 50 per cent compared with the previous year.
(D) Saturday Evening Post of September 11, 1965
The correct answer is (C). According to an article by Bernard Fall, internationally known expert on Viet Nam and former consultant to the U.S. Government, American pilots flying missions in South Viet Nam can drop their unused bombs anywhere -- "any target, any structure, any movement at all" -- in free bomb zones. "The free bomb zones in South Viet Nam change constantly, so it is difficult to give any accurate acreage for them – anyone living in these areas is presumed to be the enemy, or at least, presumed to be 'hostile' and therefore destroyable." (Ramparts, Dec, 1965)
(B) and (D) are correct, according to a report of the House Foreign Affairs Committee released March 17, 1966 by Rep. Clement Zablocki (D, Wis). Zablocki added that "some recent search and destroy operations have resulted in six civilian casualties to one Viet Cong."
(A) is the official figure, as released by Assistant Secretary of Defense John McNaughton on March 18. According to the Washington Star of August 19, 1965, the official figures "apparently are based on claims for civilian damages filed with the Vietnamese government." Peasant casualties have a hard time filing their claim with a remote and unpopular government.
Against the official claim can be cited innumerable newspaper stories, including this Saigon dispatch on the American bombing raids in the South: "This is strategic bombing in a friendly allied country. Since the Viet Cong doctrine is to insulate themselves among the population and the population is largely powerless to prevent their presence, no one here seriously doubts that significant numbers of innocent civilians are dying every day in South Viet Nam." (Charles Moore, New York Times, Sept. 5, 1965)
(B) and (C) are correct.
Jean Mayer of the Harvard School of Public Health writes: "I can say flatly that there has never been a famine or food shortage (whether from natural causes, or by disruption of farming operations due to wars) ... which has not first and overwhelmingly affected the small children. In fact, it is very clear that death from starvation occurs first of all in young children and in the elderly ... I have already said that adults, and particularly adult men, survive much better than the rest of the population … destruction of food thus never seems to hamper enemy military operations, but always victimizes large numbers of children … to state it in other words, my point is not that innocent bystanders will be hurt by such measures, but that only bystanders will be hurt..." (Science, April 15, 1966)
The correct answer is (A) None. Neither the U.S. Government or Saigon claim Communist Chinese troops are involved in the war.
The correct answer is (D) -- less than 5,000 troops (or 0.6 per cent of the total forces). Australians recently committed 4,500 men, while New Zealand has 200 troops stationed in Viet Nam. The other five countries -- France, Pakistan, Philippines, Britain, and Thailand -- have failed to recognize what the U.S. Government thinks is their obligation.
(B) About three hundred thousand "real or suspected Communists" in Indonesia have been killed in the past few months by the army and by anti-Communist mobs. This has been abundantly documented, e.g. in U.S. News and World Report. 4-25-66.
All have made such warnings. MacArthur's, Eisenhower's, Taylor's, and Bradley's statements are summarized in U.S. News and World Report. April 25, 1966. Gen. Ridgway's statement can be found in the same magazine, January 3, 1966. Gen. Gavin's comments appeared in a letter to the editor of Harper's Magazine in Feb. 1966.
All of them.
The program of the National Liberation Front may be found in Viet Nam: History, Documents, and Opinions on a Major World Crisis, Marvin E. Gettleman (ed.) 1965, pp, 254-6.
(B) and (E) are the correct answers.
For example, soon after Diem’s assassination (in the fall of 1963), Hanoi expressed willingness to discuss the establishment of a coalition neutralist government in South Viet Nam. (See New York Times, March 9, 1965.) In Sept. 1964, U.N. Secretary-General U Thant conveyed a North Vietnamese offer to send a representative to Rangoon to meet with a U. S representative. (See Eric Severeid in Look Magazine. Nov 26, 1965.)
On the last day of the bombing lull in mid-May 1965, Hanoi asked the French to convey to the U. S. their willingness to negotiate without prior withdrawal of U.S. troops. (See Joseph Kraft, Philadelphia Bulletin, Jan. 5, 1966.) For further documentation of these and four other instances of Hanoi’s willingness to negotiate, see Peace in Vietnam, a report prepared for the American Friends Service Committee. Hill and Wang, 1966. As for the prior withdrawal of American troops see William Warbey, M.P. letter to the Times of London. April 1, 1965. Also see New York Times, July 20, 1965.
The correct answer is (D), since there are approximately 15 million South Vietnamese. By the prevailing theory that Communism feeds on poverty and misery, which is more likely to become a Communist --a Vietnamese subject to military harassment, or a Vietnamese with $866 living in peace? This figure is about six times the Vietnamese per capita income.
In contrast, according to official U. S. figures, it costs the U. S. about $300,000 for every captured or killed Viet Cong. (Bernard B. Fall, The New York Times Magazine, March 6, 1966.)
The correct answer is (E) None of the above.
The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled (in U.S. vs. Seeger, No. 50, October term, 1964) that a "religious agnostic" can be a conscientious objector if he sincerely holds a moral principle which "involves duties which ... are superior to those arising from any human relationship," such as those imposed by the state. The beliefs must simply "occupy the same place in the life of the objector as an orthodox belief in God holds in the life of one clearly qualified for exemption." Thus, you do not have to believe in God in order to be a C.O., nor do you have to belong to a recognized church. As for the use of force, one may still be a C.O. if he makes clear his opposition to the use of organized, indiscriminate killing that occurs in war.
One may file for conscientious objection at any time -- even after being inducted. Finally, two years of alternative service must be performed if you are granted your C.O. claim but the range of accepted activities extend into all aspects of American life. For more information, see "The Guide to Conscientious Objection" published by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).
Bernard B. Fall and Marcus G. Raskin, eds., The Vietnam Reader, Random House.
I. F. Stone's Weekly, 5618 Nebraska Ave., NW, Washington, DC.
Viet-Report, 133 W. 72nd Street, New York. NY 10023.
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