Hanover College Triangle on


Jim Nixon, letter to the editor, Triangle, 26 September 1969, 9.

To the Editor:

Mr. Loar said last week in his editorial that the U. S. should admit:  that it made a mistake concerning the "Communist Plot to take over the world."  I want to remind him of Czechoslavakia.  Can this be construed as honorable intentions on the part of the Communists?  I want to ask him what assurance he has that when and if the Communists take South Vietnam that that they will not try for Laos and Cambodia and India and all of Asia.  The level of fighting in Laos today is already comparable to that in Vietnam in 1965.  Any "Sane" person, however, could see that these possibilities are sheer fantasy.  The "sane" people thought WWII a fantasy when Poland fell in 1938, Germany was no threat
. . . [original ellipses] and so they consoled themselves. . . [original ellipses] and war came.  The Communist appetite, much like the Nazi, is that of a glutton.

The author would say that Vietnam, as a strategic position, is useless and the country is too insignificant to worry about as much as we do.  I would agree that it does not have much to offer the U. S. - - but the war there is not designed to keep S. Vietnam a pro- U. S. nation.  It is an attempt to stem the bigger war that may follow.  Still to write off Vietnam as a pawn in the hands of giants is not justice.  We believe that self-determination is the objective - - no one can contend that the Communists will provide that after they rename Saigon "Ho Chi Minh City” as they said they will do if a coalition is to be formed in the south.

The author stated that 100 billion dollars have been spent on the war.  I will agree that it would have been much nicer if we could have won the war a few years ago.  But a risk always hung over our heads - - a big war.  If we had left long ago with a defeat, what would be the cost of the war?  We could be fighting now for all of Asia. . . . [original ellipses] or what would be the cost of all the destruction as a result of a nuclear exchange stemming from such a war?   Give me the cost in dollars and in lives then.  Surely far more than the 37,000 lives we have paid to date.

The author stated several incidences of corruption in S. Vietnam.  I say that he is right.  But let me remind him that all war is ugly and black, "War is hell," said Sherman.  And let me remind him that an immediate pullout of U. S. troops which is the only alternative the author wants to leave open, and a victory for the Communists (which would be the result of a pullout) would mean more unexplained, unjustified and unpublicized executions and imprisonments than could be imagined.

It is ironic that those who so fervently advocate "involvement" with the problems of society and "reassessment of priorities" should oppose this war.  We are deeply involved in the fate of the freedom of a nation—and what priority could we place higher than the elimination of a threat which endangers the freedom - - perhaps even the eventual survival - - of man on this planet.

The war in Vietnam might take us another five or ten years to finish.  And it could be that this marks only the beginning of a series of brushfire wars that could last the better part of our lives.  We will fight because we must - - because we don't want to reach the ultimate showdown.  It is a painful and tragic burden that we must bear, but I feel that no fight could be more ‘involved" or more virtuous when the stakes are so high.  Thank you.

Jim Nixon

Jim Nixon is a freshman from Bluffton, Indiana

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