A CHAPLAIN LOOKS AT VIETNAM by John J. O'Connor

A CHAPLAIN LOOKS AT VIETNAM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A chaplain in the U.S. Navy presents a defense of our policy up until now in Vietnam. Amassing a huge number of main-fire and minor volleys from eminent opposition, Father O'Connor brings to bear statements from government officials, religious leaders, journalists supporting his position, which is, generally, that ""the war in Vietnam is very much the lesser of the many evils that would engulf us if we chose not to fight it"" Father O'Connor is a careful, thorough and painstaking debater, and is at his most effective when extracting congenial directions in the many, many quotations from others' material. He is not so successful when attempting to refute positions which must be answered by personal experience. (Interviews with peasants out of context, out of circumstances, lack a sense of reality, and his report that a ""key"" Vietnamese exclaimed the ""Americans are too moral"" will be pounced on eagerly by observers who claim there is a great disparity between the concerns of ""official"" and peasant South Vietnamese.) A great deal of attention is given legal imperatives for our presence and the morality question (""mere desire. . . to save lives. . . is no responsible argument"". . . to countermand bombing). With an introduction by Everett Dirksen, this is a consistent, ingenious, if occasionally over-intricate presentation.

Pub Date: June 3rd, 1968
Publisher: World