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Judith Klinghoffer writes, "Of course, during the 1967 South Vietnamese elections, both sides had the opportunity to make their case. " That statement is hardly an accurate depiction of the 1967 elections. The "other side" was not allowed to participate in the election at all. As for the expression of support for"neuturalism", it was still explicitly forbidden under law. The electoral law stipulated that no one could run for any office who had "directly or indirectly worked for communism or pro-communist neutralism or worked in the interest of communism." Furthermore, the law allowed a government appointed court to determine which of those Vietnamese arrested "for political reasons" by the French, Diem or subsequent governments would be permitted to run for election. Thus the government had the power to rule out the candidacy of anyone who had worked for the Viet Minh. Truong Dinh Dzu was an obscure lawyer with what Stanley Karnow calls a "shady past" who had never been associated with the cause of neutralism or peace negotiations in the past and therefore had little credibility with the electorate. He had never uttered a word on the subject before his campaign began. He cannot be considered in any sense to have represented "the other side", whether defined as revolutionary or even in favor of a negotiated settlement. Gareth Porter Original Message ----- From: "H-DIPLO [Ball]" <h-d1plo@SOCRATES.BERKELEY.EDU> > From: Jklinghoff@aol.com > > Of course, during the 1967 South Vietnamese elections, both sides had the > opportunity to make their case. This opportunity was denied to the North > Vietnamese. Would it be unreasonable to assume that had such a choice be > given to that population, they, too, would have preferred an imperfect > peace to a "perfect" victory. In other words, it is unlikely that the two > democracies would have fought each other. May I add that the People's > Republic of China and Taiwan are facing not a dissimilar situation? > > Judith Klinghoffer > Rutgers University >