AS a Britain 17 years resident in America I must differ from Mr. D. F. Colan (July 7) on Vietnam. A deployment of military power so great as to give South Vietnam the aspect not of an ally but of a conquered province is failing to defeat the Viet Cong, and Washington promises of "Victory just around the corner" are no longer believed.
The cry of anti-communism is raised to justify sins that stagger the imagination (e.g., using napalm.) To the land and people of Vietnam the "price of the war is ruin of body and soul"; to America, growing brutalisation and the loss of its finest youth after the bloodlettings of the 1939-45 war and Korea.
Tens of thousands of Americans, of all religious beliefs and most political shadings, object in conscience and protest against this war; important sections of the Catholic press (Commonweal; Ave Maria; Jubilee) attack it; and the recent huge anti-war rallies in San Francisco and New York included large numbers of Catholic clergy and nuns.
M. Richey London, N.11.
-1-1 F. CONLAN'S naivety -1--o• (July 7) on the Vietnam war is in need of reply. America is not "defending South Vietnam against Communist aggression." It is systematically destroying areas of that country. The U.N., the Red Cross, and M.P.s' reports on the state of Vietnam reveal the "benefits" of U.S. protection and defence. If napalm and hatred are the gifts of friends, who needs enemies?
Secondly, the North Vietnamese and the National Liberation Front have made it clear that they will talk, if the threat of the U.S. raids is removed. This is a fair request. Would any country (e.g., Britain in 1939) wish to be bombed to the conference table?