To the Editors of he CRIMSON:
Your October 17th issue contained the following sentence in an article by Mr. M. David Landau:
"As Professor Huntington so incisively put it in July 1968, the NLF is 'a powerful force which cannot be dislodged from its constituency so long as the constituency continues to exist.'"
Unfortunately I was not incisive enough to prevent Mr. Landau-and his mentor, Mr. Chomsky, whom he faithfully copies in this regard-from quoting this phrase so completely out of context so as to make it imply the exact opposite of what I said. The quoted phrase appears in an article entitled "The Bases of Accommodation" and the complete paragraph in which it appears is as follows:
"Time in South Viet Nam is increasingly on the side of the Government. But in the short run, with half the population still in the countryside, the Viet Cong will remain a powerful force which cannot be dislodged from its constituency so long as the constituency continues to exist. Peace in the immediate future must hence be based on accommodation."
(Foreign Affairs, July 1968, p. 653)
[My quotations from Mr. Huntington's article do not "imply" anything other than his observations of what tactics the Americans have successfully pursued in order to achieve their goals in Vietnam. The passages are not quoted out of context.
The paragraph preceding the excerpt in question reads as follows: "In an absent-minded way the United States in Viet Nam may well have stumbled upon the answer to 'wars of national liberation.' The effective response lies neither in the quest for conventional military victory nor in the esoteric doctrines and gimmicks of counter-insurgency warfare. It is instead forced-draft urbanization and modernization which rapidly brings the country in question out of the phase in which a rural revolutionary movement can hope to generate sufficient strength to come to power."
Mr. Huntington's apparent preference for accommodation "in the immediate future" seems to be based on another observation which he makes in the article: "To eliminate Viet Cong control in these areas would be an expensive, time-consuming and frustrating task. It would require a much larger and more intense military and pacification effort than is currently contemplated by Saigon and Washington. Consequently, effective Viet Cong control of these areas is a political fact which does not seem likely to change for some while, if indeed it ever does."