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This Wednesday, October 15th, may go down as the most infamous day in American history.
Not since the "bring the boys home" hysteria at the end of World War II, which resulted at least in part in the Soviet Union's success in shunting millions of people from Nazi occupation to Communist occupation, has there been such a deliberate and dishonest play on the emotions of the American people.
The desire for peace, the deep and personal sorrows of families who have lost loved ones in Vietnam, the weariness with the administration's no-win policies- all are ingredients in the nationwide anti-war Vietnam moratorium which, regrettably, will fool many well-meaning citizens into taking part in demonstrations that can only serve to prolong the war in Vietnam or to hasten the moment of national dishonor.
This newspaper has had its differences of opinion with President Nixon concerning the Vietnam War, but we do regard him as a well-intentioned man who will ulitmately balk at proposals to sell millions of Southeast Asians into bondage. We do believe that he intends to honor our treaty commitments, and that he genuinely- albeit mistakenly- is now convinced that the enemy will become reasonable when the enemy senses that there is nothing to be gained by stalling at the peace negotiations.
Those who take part in Wednesday's moratorium- whether liberals or conservatives, internationalists or isolationists, eagles or doves, knaves and fools or human- itarians and people of sensitivity- have one thing in common: They claim, they are acting on the basis of "conscience."
Those people whose motivation is indeed humanitarian rather than ideological have a responsibility, then, to examine their consciences in relation to the inevitable tragic consequences of this war protest.
THEY CANNOT SHIELD THEIR CONSCIENCES FROM THE FACT THAT THE SCHEDULING OF THE VIETNAM MORATORIUM ALREADY HAS UNDERMINED THE PARIS PEACE TALKS, THAT THE NORTH VIETNAMESE AND THE VIET CONG AT THE MOST RECENT SESSION OF THE 8-MONTH LONG TALKS IGNORED ALLIED PEACE PROGRAMS AND INSTEAD DIRECTED THEIR PROPAGANDA DIRECTLY AT THOSE WHO PLAN TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS WEDNESDAY'S VIETNAM PROTEST DAY.
SO CONFIDENT WERE THEY THAT THE AMERICAN NEGOTIATORS WOULD BE UNDERMINED AND BETRAYED AT HOME THAT COLONEL HA VAN LAU, THE HANOI DEPUTY NEGOTIATOR, AND MME. NGUYEN THI BINH, WHO DESCRIBES HERSELF AS THE VIET CONG'S "FOREIGN MINISTER," FLATLY IGNORED AMBASSADOR LODGE'S LATEST APPEAL FOR FREE ELECTIONS IN SOUTH VIETNAM AND DIRECTLY URGED THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO INCREASE THEIR RESISTANCE AND FORCE PRESIDENT NIXON TO ACCEPT ALL OF THEIR DEMANDS!
To participate in Wednesday's demonstrations, knowing full well that the enemy will use them to undermine America's position at the Paris talks, is to be guilty of the treasonous activity of knowingly giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
To participate while not considering the consequences is to be a well-meaning fool manipulated by knaves with an ideological ax to grind.
In any event, New Hampshire's senior senator, Norris Cotton, is to be heartily commended for refusing to succumb to the hysteria. This newspaper joins him in refusing to have on OUR consciences the "numberless thousands" of non-Communist Asians who will be "tortured and slaughtered" if the United States were to suddenly withdraw from South Vietnam. Nor will we accept responsibility for the betrayal of the brave young men who have served the cause of freedom- and even died for it- while asking no more in return than moral support from the American people.
Senator Cotton described the nationwide march for what it is: "A MARCH AGAINST OUR COUNTRY... A STEP TOWARDS SUBSTITUTING MOB PSYCHOLOGY FOR THE REASONED POLICIES OF A GOVERNMENT ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THIS CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC."
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