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Republican Club Says MIG Base Bombings Not Militarily Useful

By W. BRUCE Springer

The Harvard Republican Club Tuesday night questioned the military expediency of the United States' most recent bombing "escalation" in North Vietnam.

A resolution passed by the club's executive committee specifically criticized the attacks on the Hanoi and Haiphong central cities and the MIG bases. The statement declared that "such bombings cannot...serve a useful military purpose but can only increase the danger of Russian or Chinese participation in the war."

In an addendum, the club also denounced "recent statements by administration spokesmen implying that all dissenters are cowards or traitors." This part of the Republicans' stand was directed at remarks by General William C. Westmoreland earlier this week.

Jay B. Stephens '68, president of the organization, explained after the meeting that the bombing statement "implies, of course, that we [the executive committee] don't believe a military victory is possible in Vietnam."

Stephens said it was obvious that the attacks on MIG bases were not going to affect the infiltration of men and supplies to the South. Such actions might raise the morale of a few South Vietnamese generals, he said, but at the cost of violating the concept of limited war and inviting a response from China.

The resolution passed the 11-member committee over strong dissent from four Republicans. In general, they objected to the idea of laymen's second-guessing the professional military on tactical and strategic moves.

Donald W. Meaders '69, one of those opposed to the resolution, said after the meeting, "I find it appalling that at this university not even the Republican Club has the courage to support American bombing of such obvious military targets as MIG bases and power plants.

"The continued functioning of those installations can only strengthen the North Vietnamese effort to subvert every noncommunist nation in Southeast Asia," he asserted.

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