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December 06, 1969 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1969-12-06

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I

LETTERS TO THE EDITOIR

94c fitigfan Onig
Seventy-nine years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

An exchange on

the Bursley store

issue

420 Mgynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6, 1969

NIGHT EDITOR: STUART GANNES

- I

The right to dissent .t..

THE ANTI-DEMOCRATIC spirit mani-
fested by the leaders of the Ann
Arbor New Mobilization Committee comes
as a shameful epilogue to the organiza-
tion's commendable coordination of the
local contingent for last month's March
on Washington.
The bitter eruption at the last New
Mobe meeting was but the latest con-
flict over whether the organization
should be politicized from the grass roots.
A vocal opposition has continually chal-
lenged the steering committee's tacit
policy of suppressing controversial issues
lest somehow they splinter New Mobe's
broad coalition of war opponents.
The steering committee rationalizes its
refusal to hold a mass meeting to deter-
mine policy by claiming they are the
leaders of a distinct party; those
who support their policies will partici-
pate in them and those who do not can
and should look elsewhere.
THIs MAY have been an appropriate
stance when the organization was
first seeking members. But thousands of
Ann Arborites have now committed
themselves to anti-war action under the
auspices of New Mobe and they deserve
a say in its policy-making.
The steering committee cannot assume
the sole responsibility for the organiza-
tion's direction on the spurious ground
that they "do the most work." This argu-'
ment places the New Mobe leadership
right in the gutter with the shady
manipulations of the national political
machinery. It is reminiscent of the will-
ful and malicious manipulation of "con-
sensus politics" which dragged us into
Vietnam in the first place. An anti-war
organization must not stoop so low.
The steering committee is not dealing
with an uneducated mass of slobs whose
political consciousness is in desperate
need of shaping. Gene Gladstone's and
Barry Cohen's condescending assumption
that they speak for the great vocal ma-
jority of those who followed them to
Washington is reminiscent of the pre-
tension of the President.
The steering committee's despotic defi-
nition of its role may stem from the fear
infighting and factionalism would result
if it attempts to define its policies and
tactics through democratic discussions.
Perhaps, but any united front organiza-
tion must accommodate dissent if it
wishes to preserve itself. Certainly, a

coalition has little value if groups of in-
dividuals who disagree with the leaders
are not even allowed to express their
opinions.
THE WASHINGTON march was success-
ful in mobilizing people with divergent
views and confirming their commit-
ment to the cause of immediate uni-
lateral withdrawal. But the march also
proved that the sheer bulk of the oppo-
sition is not enough to convince policy
makers to change course. Many march-
ers already know this and are not en-
thusiastic about the prospect of yet an-
other pilgrimage to Mecca.
Many feel that the current petition
drive against the war should occupy the
idle "moderates" of the Moratorium,
rather than waste the time of more
radically-oriented individuals and the
organization which was proud to name
itself after the original Mobilization to
End the War.
/HAT WILL happen when the war
ends? The war and even the military
are only the overt signs of our interfer-
ence in the affairs and destinies of other
nations. A full airing of all the real issues
relevant to the war and the political
differences between various anti-war
groups would be healthy at this time.
The steering committee must not shy
away from open discussion for fear of
alienating the minute constituency which
would inevitably be repelled by even the
most general definition of means and
ends.
AS IT IS, the steering committee is only
defeating itself. Its actions are draw-
ing a barrage of ugly publicity and alie-
nating more potential followers than even
the most divisive mass meeting on policy.
Ironically, the very moderates whom the
steering committee may be afraid of
alienating will be repulsed by New Mobe's
undemocratic and patronizing attitude
toward its rank and file members.
The demand by the members of Inter-
national Socialists and Radical Caucus
for a mass meeting to implement policy
and tactics is perfectly just. Such a meet-
ing must be held as soon as possible.
If not, the Mobe is setting an elitist
policy not unlike the one it says is
headed for collapse. It
-S'EVE ANZALONE
-JENNY STILLER
-TOBE LEV

The corplaint
To the Editor:
(The following letter was ad-
dressed to President Fleming.)
THE HANDLING of the Bursley
Store proposal was not simply a
disappointment to me, it was a
disillusionment. I had thought that
it was possible for the students
and administration to work closely
together. I had even come to think
that with enough talking we might
communicate our concerns and ar-
rive at mutually agreeable solu-
tions. I had though that the han-
dling of the Bursley Branch of
the Student Government Council
University Store was going to
prove to be a prime example of
this potential for student-admin-
istration cooperation.
I was wrong.
The students at Bursley felt a
compelling need for a store in the
hall, the administration felt a need
for keeping the store from being
on the agenda month after month.
Thus we struck a compromise, the
Bursley Branch would go before
the Regents in November, in re-
turn the rest of the proposed
changes for the Discount Store
would be held off until January.
WE AGREED with you to send
to the Regents only the basic pro-
posal and a cover letter explaining
the research that had gone into
the proposal. Mrs. Newell and I
had prepared the cover letter, so
that it was satisfactory to both
of us.
We had offered and hoped to be
present when the proposal was
made so we might defend it. You
told us you would consider the
idea, and let us know if it was
necessary.
On Nov. 21, the proposal was
discussed in closed session and
tabled until January. You had not
brought us in to the Regents to
discuss the proposal. The executive
officers had not sent any written
communication to the Regents, in
spite of the material we had pre-
pared.
THE EXECUTIVE officers had
not placed the item on the agenda
for consideration, but rather
brought it up under the report of
the University Store. We had not
been informed of any of the deci-
sions. The executive officers must
have known that the Regents
make a point of not acting on
proposals unless given to them be-
fore the meeting, they must have
known that they were placing con-
sideration in a session where none
of us concerned with the decision
could be present.
This failure is a clear example
of the gap that exists between
the students and the Regents.
That gap is called the executive
officers. Well-intentioned though
they may be. it is clear that they
serve only to increasethe frustra-
tion of the students attempting to
make proposals to the Regents.
ANY STUDENT attending a Re-
gents meeting gets the impression
that it is impossible for the execu-
tive officers to accurately present
student concerns. This feeling of
helplessness is heightened by the
fact that executive officers hold
only closed meetings.
The result is not only frustra-
ting, it is dangerous. If the stu-
dents find themselves hampered
by having to deal with executive
officers as well as Regents in or-
der to make the system work, then
chances of frustration resulting in
violent action increase. Normally

,1

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.-. : ,' "\t ; _

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I

. . . Disgusting! .. . Kiling women and children
point-blank with M-16 rifles!"

WHETHER THERE will be Ad-
ministrative support for proposals
which may be made at that time
will depend upon what those pro-
posals are. In order that you not
be prejudiced by whether the Ad-
ministration supports your pro-
posals or not, I shall see that you
have an opportunity to present
your otivn version of the case.
I am also assuming that any
proposals made in January will
dispose of Discount Store questions
for the entire term and that no
further discussions of it will take
place until at least another full
term has elapsed.
-R. ,. Fleming
Dec. 1
Democracy
To the Editor:
LAST WEDNESDAY evening I
attended a N e w Mobe Steering
Committee meeting th a t proved
most enlightening. At this meet-
ing, several students, w ho are
members of the Mobe (i. e. par-
ticipated in the October and No-
vember moratorium) demanded
that the Steering Committee call
a mass meeting, since the mem-
bership had voted to do so at its
last meeting.
The Steering Committee was ill-
disposed towards the idea, and, in
fact, passed a resolution saying
that it will call mass meetings
when it damn well pleases.
IN MY DISCUSSION after-
wards with Gene Gladstone ra
member of the committee), he told
me that the Steering Committee
and not the general membership
is the decision-making body. and
that if a member does not like its
priorities or policy, he can leave
and join some other group.
Another member of the steer-
ing Committee explained to me
that democracy just does not
work. The only way to get any-
thing accomplished is to have a
small group making the decisions
for the entire organization.
Such is the case with the New
Mobe.
-Frank Singer, '73
Dec. 4
A bash thing'
To the Editor:
I MUST SAY that your job of
reporting the great Michigan vic-
tory over Ohio State was one of
the worst and most tasteless pieces
of journalism I have seen In a
long time. The partisanship was
blatant enough, but when a news-
paper has to degrade itself by in-
sulting the losing coach through-
out the paper, it is sinking pretty
low.
DON'T GET ME wrong. I am
not a disgruntled Buckeye but an
elated Wolverine who wanted to
shove the ball down Woody's
throat as much as anyone. But I
think the play on the field and
the figures on the scoreboard was
an apt reward for the old coach.
A fair and accurate reporting
of the game was all that was need-
ed as Michigan completely over-
poweed the Bucks. The needless
insults and taunts just cheapen
the reporting and victory and are
in baseball terms, "a bush thing."
-Matthew Bass, '72

of moderate politics, I was pushed
to nearly taking drastic action by
this insensitive handling of the
Bursley Proposal.
But rather than trying that I
would like to make a suggestion
in (*der to alleviate this gap.
I PROPOSE that the Student
Government Council be given up
to one hour per month of time
with the Regents when they may
bring proposals for action in the
same manner as the executive of-
ficers. While this will not give the
students total control of the Uni-
versity it will permit them to work
more closely with the Regents, and
the most imaginative and creative
proposals will probably be brought
by the students.
-Bruce J. Wilson
SGC Coordinating Vice Pres.
Nov. 24
The reply
To the Editor:
(The following is the President's
response.)
I HAVE YOUR letter about the
Bursley store matter.
Let me recapitulate our discus-
sions with respect to the Bursley
matter.
I first heard, through Vice-Pres-
ident Newell, that additional pro-
posals with respect to the Discount
Store were being suggested for
submission to the Regents in No-
vember. The proposals involved an
increase in the' inventory ceiling
and a branch at Bursley. I asked
her to convey to you the advice
that this would be a very bad time
to take the matter to the Regents,

particularly since there was not
yet even a full term's experience
with the store.
AFTER A conversation with Mrs.
Newell, you, Dennis Webster and
I met to discuss the question
again. At that time I suggested
to you that it would be inoppor-
tune to press further Discount
Store items in November. Y o u
agreed, subject to further discus-
sion with the Bursley people.
Following the above discussion
you returned and sought Admin-
istrative support for bringing the
Bursley question to the Regents in
November, while putting over the
balance of the question until Jan-
uary. I agreed that we would
bring the Bursley question up in
November, and would support it
administratively. I assumed you
understood that Administrative
support did not commit the Re-
gents, and that they remain free
to make their own decisions.
THE QUESTION was brought to
the attention of the Regents and
they had exactly the reaction
which I earlier predicted to you.
They said: (1) What is so urgent
about a Bursley branch that it
must be accomplished this month
when there has been no store
over there for years?, and (2) un-
til we see a full term's financial
statement, accompanied by a
physical inventory, there is no
way of knowing whether the Dis-
count Store is really viable or not.
If it is not, a branch will only
complicate matters. The Admin-
istration did, as I promised, sup-
port a Bursley branch, but that
view did not prevail.

The support of the Administra-
tion was undermined. I must say.
by the Discount Store's financial
statement which became available
just at the time of the Regent's
meeting and which none of us had
seen prior to that time. It showed
that the inventory is over $29.000
despite a firm agreement from
SGC that it would not exceed
$25,000 except for the month of
September. It also showed that
the $5,000 loan which had been
expected from SGC had, in some
fashion, been put through at $500,
although I understand this was
later corrected. Neither of these
items inspired confidence in the
store.
I AM SORRY that you feel that
the Executive Officers are incap-
able of making a fair presentation
of any student issue to the Re-
gents. While I do not concur in
your suggestion that SGC pro-
posals go directly to the Regents
without admi nistrative interven-
tion. I shall try to see that in
the future the ineptitude of the
administrative officers does not
impede your ability to present
your position.
May I now point out one other
item so that there can be no pos-
sible misunderstanding. Items for
the January agenda of the Board
will be mailed on Jan. 8. If there
are Discount Store matters which
you wish considered by the Board
in January they will have to be
available by Dec. 31, otherwise the
matter will go over to February.
This will include a financial state-
ment for the full Fall term, plus
a physical inventory as promised,
plus any proposed changes.

.i.d the right to rule

rpHE INTRA-ORGANIZATIONAL fight-
ing of the New Mobilization Commit-
tee in the last three weeks raises signifi-
cant questions about the authority and
nature of the organization.
The dissidents - mostly members of
Radical Caucus a n d International So-
cialists - claim that New Mobe must be
run democratically, serving the ends de-
cided by its entire membership, and in-
sist that the steering committee call a
mass meeting to determine future policy.
The New Mobe steering committee,
while agreeing with the need to appeal
to a large majority, says it is not supposed
to be run democratically in the limited
sense that the dissidents mean it. They
refuse to call a policy-making mass
meeting.
T E FIRST crucial question is the
meaning of "democracy." The Radical
Caucusers and socialists, in their zeal for
democracy, w a n t every facet of every
group to be run democratically, and that
includes t h e democratic mechanism of
voting within the organization.
Therefore, they say, New Mobe should
call a mass meeting on policy and follow
the results of such a meeting.
T h e democratic ethic is appropriate,
certainly, but it can be misapplied, as it
is in this case. It is not undemocratic for
one small political organization in the
body politic to be undemocratic so long
as there are alternatives.
That is, the dissidents seem to equate
limited control of a small political organ-
ization to limited control of a govern-
ment. The cases are not the same. A gov-
ernment is the 1 rml rennsitorv of a11 now-

policies and politics should 1 o o k else-
where for their political expression.
ANN ARBOR New Mobe started t h a t
way. Barry Cohen, G e n e Gladstone
and Marty Halpern, in clear opposition
to the judgment of the rest of the local
left, decided last summer to make the
Vietnam War their major issue. The oth-
ers sought out such issues as war research
and imperialism, yet it was anti-war sen-
timent that held mass interest and that
was able to mobilize 5,000 local people for
a march on the capital.
It can be argued that New Mobe has
created something bigger than itself, and
in fact it has. It is no longer the property
of Cohen and Gladstone. It is the prop-
erty of all the people who have worked
against the war and all the people from
here who marched against the war.
BUT THAT does not necessarily indicate
an institutional mechanism for decid-
ing the direction of New Mobe.
What Eric Chester and the other Mobe
challengers want is a mass meeting. Such
meetings have a most dubious history;
they are very susceptible to a certain type
of political animal that revels in institu-
tional hassling rather than positive po-
litical action.
It is in the nature of the broad coali-
tion that it would be ill-represented as
such a meeting. While there may be wide
support for what New Mobe is doing, it is
necessarily thin support. Positive political
action calls it forth; petty political in-
fighting doesn't.
NEW MOBE depends on the former type
of support, not the latter. Starting as

Syria, Israel and the American news media

By COLLEEN SHANAHAN
Daily Guest Writer
"What ails them? Can they
overcome their condition a n d
function successfully in today's
world? Or are they really a case
of arrested development . . . ?'
A COMMENT from an 18th cen-
tury treatise on the natural
inferiority of the black? No, an
excerpt from the Time editorial
'Arabia Decepta: A people Self-
Deluded". An unlovely but apt
example of the kind of dialogue
pursued as argument in the Mid-
dle East debate aired along the
circuits of the American press.
When General E.L.M. Burns.
former Chief of Staff, United Na-
tions Truce Supervision Organiza-
tion, said, "for years now it has
been only Israel's side of the Pal-
estine story which has been pre-
sented to the American people,"
he was describing a situation in
which distorted examination has
taken precedent over dispassionate
commentary; a milieu where slan-
der passes as criticism, and prevar-
ication goes unrecognized. An at-
mosphere in which an elite liberal
periodical, the New Republic, can
make the following statement with
impunity:
"The Middle East confront-
ation and clash are in almost
all details tie reneat nrform-

time; but, for clarification, I sub-
mitted this paradigm of confusion
to General Burns, Chief of Staff
United Nations Truce Supervision
Organization during this interim.
His response:
"The New Republic is wrong
in its statement that Syrian
raids on Israel set off the
conflict in November, 1956.
The raids by Fedayeen came
from the Gaza Strip mainly,
though there were some in-
cursions from Jordan, the in-
filtrators there were not
known as Fedayeen. I had
been told by General Glubb,
among other people that most
of the infiltration from Jor-
dan into Israel was stirred up
and paid for by groups in
Damascus, in particular, the
former Grand Mufti of Jeru-
salem. To this extent Syria
might be said to be INDI-
RECTLY responsible for some
infiltration."
Using Syria (tabbed the most
belligerent Arab state by the
press) as a further example I se-
lected the following quotation
from Time as representative of
the kind of misinformation on the
Arab-Israeli conflict being disem-
inated by the media. I submitted
it to General Carl Von Horn,
former Chief of Staff UNTSO, for
his appraisal:

lery because their kibbutznicks
have extended their cultivation
onto Arab-owned land. That is NO
RANDOM BOMBARDMENT.
"WHY HAS THE AMERICAN
'press never reported when Israeli
patrols moved across the Armistice
Demarcation Line into Syrian held
territory? Even the present Prime
Minister of Israel, Mrs. Meir, when
Foreign Minister denied such
Israeli provocations on an occa-
sion when my observers had col-
lected Israeli ammunition and
equipment left behind after an
offensive night reconnaissance.
When I adviser her of the facts
she insisted on having the Israeli
equipment returned but refused to
discuss the Israel violation."
Now I wish to place an excerpt
from an article by Kingsbury
Smith, syndicated columnist for
the Hearst's publications, in jux-
taposition with a statement of
General Von Horn's:
Smith: "If the Arabs should one
day -- and that day seems dis-
tant - accept Israel's offer of
peaceful coexistence and coopera-
tion then the Syrians may be per-
mitted to return to this area, but
never to remilitarize it against
Israel. The Israelis suffered too
long from Syrian provocations and
threats along this frontier to give
it up for any paper promises
from Syria, the UN. or the big

service to the United Nations
charter and principles Israel has
more and more flouted e v e r y
United Nations resolution calling
Israel to make even the slightest
concession.
"From 1951 Israel boycotted the
activities of the Israel- Syrian
Armistic Commission. It rejected
United Nations Truce Supervision
Chief of Staff's formal authority
in the Demilitarized Zones which
gradually become more and more
militarized.
"Knowing thats Israeli com-
pletely disregarded the U n i t e d
Nations authority and never co-
operated fully with UNTS chief of
staff in his attempts to prevent
rising tension from leading to a
chain reaction of increased vio-
lence, the Arab governments gave
military protection to Arabs leg-
ally cultivating ground west of the
ArThistice Demarcation Line.
To a great extent the border
incidents especially along the Syr-
ian armistice demarcation line
were provoked by an official
Israeli policy of expansion."
THIS IS A FRAGMENT from
the Arab side of the Middle East
dispute that has been distorted be-
yond recognition and - m o r e
frequently - edited out of exist-
ence by the American press. A
situation which has turned t h e

the above quotations - we see by
the remarks of two United Na-
tions officials just how reliable
that press commentary is.
WHEN ISRAEL NOW ASSERTS
that the Golan Heights are ab-
solutely nonnegotiable it is with
the assurance that the Israeli side
of the argument has been accepted
prima facie by the American
press, and, to the extent that the
media is instrumental in swaying
public opinion, by the nation as
well. It was within this context
that Rabbi Elmer Berger speaking
before the Southeastern Massa-
chussetts Technological Institute
in November 1967 commented:
"It must be clear . . . that in a
democracy where enlightened
public opinion is essential for the
formulation and implementation
of a rational foreign police, one of
the first problems confronting
American policy-makers forht h e
Middle East is this long history
of formidable pro-Zionist a n d
pro-Israeli propaganda
"If we are to match policy with
our national interests in the Mid-
dle East the American people will
need to be more critically alert.
The American press has been al-
most criminally negligent in help-
ing to provide such vigilance."
To what extent Zionist pres-
sure groups are responsible for ex-
cluding the Arab argument from a
,.arhf 1 nri.r n he n pec-is n

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