Galbraith Refutes Speech by Rusk On Vietnam War

John Kenneth Galbraith, Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics, strongly questioned Secretary of State Dean Rusk's assessment of foreign and domestic support of the war in Vietnam in a commencement speech Saturday at Rhode Island College.

The former ambassador to India specifically attacked Rusk's recent statement that "the objective of American foreign policy are widely understood, respected and supported."

To the contrary, "the obvious truth is that not a single one of our European allies has sent a solitary soldier to the support of our enterprise," Galbraith said. "Sweden, a country hitherto noted for neither unintelligence nor malignant anti-Americanism, has thought so little of our policy that she has imposed an arms embargo -- a quarantine -- upon us."

Galbraith further criticized Rusk's optimistic evaluation of American support for the war effort. The State Department and the Administration "discount far too heavily the reactions of a rising political force in the United States -- that is especially important in the field of foreign policy. That is the college and university community.

"The Secretary sits at the very center of what is one of the greatest information-gathering organizations in the world. How could a man in his position be so terribly misinformed?" Galbraith questioned.

In view of increasing criticism both here and abroad, Galbraith continued, "it is difficult to find anything that remotely resembles the understanding, respect and support which the Secretary perceives."