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November 27, 1979 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-11-27

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Page 4-Tuesday, November 27, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Understanding the (lack Qf) luck Qf the Irish

Leo McNamara, the University's
Irish historian remarked recently,
"When I go to Ireland, my friends there
ask me, 'How do you live near Detroit,
with all that violence?' Their question
is an earnest one, as they see it, there is
constant danger there. By the same
token, most Americans do not underst-
and that Ireland is liveable. Actually,
there have been more people killed in
Detroit homicides in the last ten years
than in all of Ireland."
MacNamara's statement reflects
American and Irish ignorance for one
another's lifestyles. In both countries,
apparently, the press has reported only
the sensational,. leaving us with
misconceptions about and an insen-
sitivity to our different cultures. It is
time to become aware beyond in-
dividual concerns; it is time for the
people of Ireland, Ulster, and England
to gain respect for and true awareness
of one another's needs.'
THE ISLAND WEST of Great Britain
is divided into the Republic of Ireland,
and Northern Ireland, a constituent of
the United Kingdom ofter referred to as
Ulster. The Republic is 95 per cent
Catholic, its people favor a united
island, and its economy is growing
faster than any other in the Common
Market. Ulster's population is less than
half that of Ireland, but since it is only
35 per cent Catholic, its Protestants are
given a sense of majority on an island
predominantly Catholic. Ulster's
Catholics are second class citizens
more often than not, yet they benefit
from British social services. The
Protestants of Northern Ireland
descend from people who have lived on
the island for centuries; even though
they are used as pawns in British
politics and their country's economy
grows ever more hopeless, these people
want to retain a union with Britain.
The situation gains complexity with
the Irish Republican Army (IRA), a
group of Catholic nationalists who for-
med during the war of independence
with Great Britain in 1919. This
organization, itself divided, claims

responsibility for much of the violence
for which Ireland is now famous. There
is reasoning behind the IRA's madness,
however, and if one considers the years
before this army as well as its growth
since 1919, the present Irish problem
can be better understood.
In the 12th century, the Pope gave
Ireland to the English crown. The,
island governed itself for the most part
over the next centuries, and sustained
an interest in separating from the
mother country. Several rebellions
were defeated by the Crown, which, in
the 16th and 17th centuries, confiscated
Irish land and settled Anglicans in the
area called Ulster.
British policies benefited the
Protestants, inducing, in the late 1800's,
the Catholics' proposal of home rule as,
a solution to the Irish question.
Naturally, the Protestants were against'
this; they feared government by a
Catholic majority, and their economy
depended on the British markets.
Led by the IRA's guerilla soldiers and
their mouthpiece, the Sinn Fein, the
nationalists persisted. In December of
1922, the Irish Free State was
established as a self-governing
dominion of the British Empire
(somewhat like Canada's present
status). Ulster remained a part of the
United Kingdom.
The years from 1922 until the late 60's
were relatively non-violent ones.
During the 30's, the Free State refused
to pay debts owed the UK as its domain,
and the countries suspended trade with
one another. Eventually, the Free State
disavowed its allegiance to the crown,
and in April of 1949, Ireland was
declared a republic.
TWENTY YEARS later, inspired by
the civil rights movement in the U.S.,
the Catholics in Ulster demanded fair
housing, voting, and employment. The
Protestants were again threatened by a
Catholic majority rule. Tension in-
creased, street riots broke out, and
British troops were sent to Ulster to
protect the Catholic minority. Because
they represented British involvement

v v i v

By Katie Herzfeld

the troops themselves became a target
of Catholics.
The IRA, nearly dormant during the
decades before this movement for civil
rights, capitalized on this chance to
revitalize their own movement, and
quickly regrouped to join in safeguar-
ding Northern Irland's Catholic com-
munity. Their ultimate objectives,
however, divided the Army: The
Provisional wing wanted to complete
what their ancestors started 50 years
before-a united Ireland.
The Marxist Official wing aimed for a
unified Socialist Ireland.
Ten years after the initial rioting, the

IRA is still making headlines and
claiming to represent most Irish
Catholics. But according to Ireland's
Prime Minister Jack Lynch, only two
per cent of Ireland supports the IRA.
The Provisionals, sometimes called
Provos, believe that the basic problem
in Ireland is British presence in Ulster.
(There are still 14,000 British soldiers
there, and Ulster's government is con-
trolled from London). The Provos are
committed to the idea that everyone on
the island wants it united. They believe
that by inflaming passions they will
gain support and importance, and their

goal may be reached; without violence,
the Irish situation is brushed aside and
viewed with complacity.
The Provisionals are financed, in
considerable part, by Americans who
think their contributions help Catholic
refugees. Prime Minister Lynch, who
once proposed amnesty for the IRA,
recently said, "Let me make it clear
that (the money) goes to make widows
and orphans." The Provos are known to
be supplied and trained by the PLO,
Italy's Red Brigade, and other terrorist
groups. What this militant IRA wing
fails to understand is that many, if not
most, of Ulster's people want, to retain
their British identity. There are even
militant Protestant groups, such as the
Ulster Defense Association, who want
Northern Ireland independent of
England and The Republic.
INDEED, BRITISH involvement in
Northern Ireland-or lack thereof-can
be faulted with many of Ulster's
problems. Rather than seriously con-
sider the Irish issue, Parliament has
drawn Ulster into its own troubles.
Callaghan depended on minority par-
ties in votes that might have toppled his
reign; to survive, he catered to 10
unionist-loyalists who represented the
Protestant majority in Northern
Ireland. He supported a bill that would
have increased Ulster's representation
from 12 seats to 17 or 18, but failed to
confront the issues within this sup-
posedly British area.
Before the British elections in May,
Margaret Thatcher's Conservative par-
ty even offered, according to John
Hume, a leader in Ulster's Catholic
community, "open bribes to the
Unionists in the form of restoration of
local power should they be elected.
(The Conservatives) say that Northern
Ireland is an integral part of the United
Kingdom, yet it's never discussed at
their annual party caucuses."
Hume, along with leaders in Ulster's
Protestant community and The
Republic, is realizing that neither ties
with Britain nor a united Ireland are

feasible. The most promising policy
may be one proposed by Fine Gael, (the
leading opposition party in the
Republic, called "Ireland-Our Future
Together." Considered in America's
March 17 issue, the document opts for a
limited confederation of North and
South within the European Economic
IN THE E.E.C., the interests of Nor-
thern Ireland and The Republic coin-
cide, and are frequently opposite to
British interests.
The document cites that the
"dynamic economy of the Republic
rather than the, relatively speaking,
declining British economy," would best
serve Ulster (whose unemployment
rate is currently 25 per cent). It also
states that "politicians in the South do
not conceive this relationship as one
that would give them power in or over
Northern Ireland. . . .(The) people in
the Republic seek. . . to work with
their Northern colleagues in amity,
toward joint aims.
- The policy's considerations of all
sides have won favor with Dublin's
Irish Times, The Economist of London,
and even Lunch's Fianna Fail party.
Combined with efforts of Betty
Williams and Mairead Corrigan, the
"peace people," the policy may change
the terms of the Irish question.
(Williams and Corrigan won the Nobel
Prize in 1977 as a result of their cam-
paign against violence and for in-
tegration in Ulster.)
There is now reason to
hope-realistically-that the Pope's
plea for the Irish people to "turn away
from the paths of violence and return to
the ways of peace" may be recognized.
But it is not the act of peace that is so
important, that will change the course
of a 700 year history; it is the underst-
anding that one hopes will go along with
it. Then, and only then, will there be
Katie Herzfeld is a member of the
Daily Arts staff.

T a hi-I jol R' . .


Blood Brothers

Spacey Jane

By Tom Stevens

3be 3iditan aiI
Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom

Vol. LXXXX, No. 67
Edited an

News.Phone: 764-0552

d managed by students at the University of Michigan

\ ,
._. /

Tom' -.'


Agent Orange

1 1 _..__._.____.

Whether Americans realize it

O NE OF THE remaining legacies
of America's intervention in
Vietnam is not the havoc that war
caused for the people of southeast
Asia, or even the polarization it
produced in this country. Those
tragedies have been recognized,
acknowledged however begrudgingly,
and left for the historians to pinpoint
blame and vindication.
But one result of Vietnam that still
lingers is the suffering of American
G.I.s who were exposed to the toxic
defoliant, Agent Orange. While the
traumas of the returning veterans, the
war wounded, and the draft evaders
weigh heavily on all of our conscien-
ces, the victims of Agent Orange have
been viewed, as Senator Charles Percy
says, with suspicion and mistrust,
apathy, and lack of concern.
Yet their suffering is by far one of
the more tragic, and the most ironic,
aspect of the entire Vietnam debacle,
and the truth about Agent Orange is
still being shrouded in lies and deceit
from the highest levels of the military
Agent Orange itself it a defoliant,
one of the most destructive and
ingenious inventions of the Vietnam
war. The defoliant was used to kill
plants, but in reality was con-
taminating the American soldiers who
were sent into combat zones during,
and immediately after, one of the so-
called defoliation missions.
Now the general accounting office
has reported that thousands of
soldiers-including at leat 20,000
marines-were within areas con-
taminated within four weeks of the
spraying. At least 5,900 of these
marines were in the contaminated
areas immediately after a spraying.
These most recent findings fly direc-
tly in the face of defense department
assertions that no American G.I.s

potence, miscarriages, cancer, defor-
med children, stillbirths, festering
sores, changes in personality. So far,
almost 5,000 veterans have requested
treatment for problems they believe
related to the herbicide contamination.
The veterans won a significant vic-
tory in their battle for compensation
when a federal judge ruled last week
that any veteran contaminated, or any
deformed children of contaminated
veterans, could bring suit against the
chemical companies which manufac-
tured Agent Orange.
But that first court victory is only a
step to acknowledging where the real
responsibility lies-with the United
States government. The war-mongers
in the pentagon and the state depar-
tment who mercilessly prosecuted the
war against the Vietnamese for two
decades must be held individually ac-
countable for the suffering they have
inflicted upon their own soldiers. The
current cover-up must be unveiled,
and the Senate committee which
requested the report must now move to
action in finding the guilty parties.
Deploying troops knowingly into a con-
taminated area is nothing less than a
war crime of the worst kind-commit-
ted against the troops of one's own ar-
my in the name of experience and with
a basic lack of concern for human life.
In a war drenched with atrocities, to
single out those responsible for the
Agent Orange debacle is in itself a
monumental task. But to those who are
still suffering mental anguish and
physical debilitation due to apathy and
negligence of higher officials are
owned nothing less than full justice.
Sue Warner ......................... EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Richard BerkeE. Julie Rovner.........MANAGING EITORS
Michael Arkush, Keith Itichburg..EITORIAL D)IRECTORS

Letters to the Daily

More Dead
To the Daily:
Have you ever considered
giving R. J. Smith a column of his
own? I would certainly prefer to
hear about his friends who work
at McDonalds and how tidy per-
formers look at concerts, than
about trivial stuff most reviewers
like to write about.
I should probably get
something straight right now. I
am not one of those people who
say "I think a reviewer should
write about what and how the
group performed and what the
lyrics were trying to say to the
listeners." No, I'm the type of
person who likes to pick up his
Daily and read funny lines Like
"Blah, blah, puke, puke,
puke ... " and "Dribbly-drippy
noises". Now that's what I call
good journalism!
Anybody can write a logical,
sensible review, but it takes a
certain rare talent to come up
with a refreshing new approach
where the lead singer is com-
pared to insects and short-order
cooks. I also liked the part where
'he called me (and 13,000 other
people at Crisldr) a "dork", a
"dope" and an acid freak. Bov,
did he ever put me in my place!
In my four years both reading
and working for the Daily, I have
never (until Tuesday) read an ar-
ticle where such an intelligent,
articulate man took the time and
thought to come down from his
lofty perch and call such an im-
mense group of people total fools.
I can now sleep nights knowing
that the high and mighty R. J.
Smith feels sorry for me.
-Tim McGraw
To the Daily:
The review of the Grateful
Dead concert in November 13th's
issue was a tremendous waste of
space and time. Who is R. J.

direction it is the Eagles, with
winners like "The Greeks Don't
Want No Freaks."
The Dead concert was true to
form in its length and people
"waving their arms up to the
sky," they have a special vitality
or urgency of their own, which
was overlooked by Smith in his
failure to mention Krentzmann's
drum solo, etc.
Dead concerts are not dormant
events; people have always dan-
ced and will continue to do so,
much to his dismay. If only Smith
could've been more aware of the
music rather than scouring the
audience for its idiosyncrasies.
The review has vestiges of
positive sentences, but is over-
whelmingly indulgent in
bestowing verdicts ("all the
songs sound the same"). Since
when does "Ship of Fools"
resemble "Sugar Magnolia"? If
anything is to be subject to
criticism it is that Bob Weir
should have checked his equip-
'ment beforehand-too many
technical difficulties and they
still need Donna Godchaux,
especially in "Passenger.''
It is too bad the assignment
was given to Smith. He would
have preferred to watch TV and
eat cereal. There are. I hope,
more competent -writer.s out
there, capable of objectivity, and
refrain from autobiography.
Next time hopefully the Daily will
be' fair and seemingly kind and
will give its readers a "person
who is especially cognizant of
what's going on around him."
Garcia is-why couldn't R. J. be?
-Susan Reminger
To the Daily:
Question: What does R. J.
Smith most resemble? (a) a
frustrated music critic attem-
pting to achieve notoriety
through pejorative reviewing;

Republican nomination for the
I am not writing because I am a
Deadhead who went rabid upon
reading the reviews in Tues-
day's Daily. True, I am a fan of
the Dead and did attend the con-
cer, but I am responding not so
much as a fan, but as a concer-
ned member who is sick and tired
of reading pejorative reviews in
the Daily.
For -you are not along, Mr.
Smith, in your style of reviewing.
I wasn't so much shocked as
bored by repetition when I read
the five empty paragraphs you
devoted to theconcert. As far as I
am concerned, references to
being tapped on the forehead with
a mallet, dorks with their faces
painted, or your fantasy of song
selection, do not enlighten the
reader about the show. I won't
deny that you do make two poten-
tially constructive comments;
some of the music may be
watered down and your view of
the keyboardist is a defensible
one. Your style of presentation,
however, is somewhat lacking; I
could not for the life of me under-
stand how those two objective
comments justify the lambasting
you doled out.
Perhaps, Mr. Smith, you find
something intrinsically
abhorrent about the Dead or what
they "represent". (I'm not so
sure they "represent" anything;
I mer'ely happen to enjoy the
music, sans acid, mind you). To
establish yourself as the Vatican
of rock music, issuing Divine
truth, lacks credability. When
thousands of young people gat-
her together to enjoy a concert,
there must be something to it, at
least from their perspective. You
are entitled to your point of view,
of course, but your pointless
polemic makes me choose (d):
All of the above.
-David Roseth
Iran, again
To the Daily :
M~h f he hlvna fnr the~

Whether Americans realize it
or not, justice is not merely a
concept to be used to support fair
treatment of Americans and
selected Allies. It may be unjust
for Iranians to hold sixty
Americans hostage but it is just
as unjust for Americans to sup-
port the killer and torturer of
thousands of Iranians for any
reason. Furthermore, in the view
of God, the Creator of all
mankind, Iranian lives are just
as important as American lives.
The only just thing for this country
to do is to see that the ex-Shah is
brought to trial for his crimes
against humanity-Iranians are
just as human as Americans,
Europeans and Jews-the same
way they helped to prosecute
Nazis like Goering and Hess in
the Nuremberg trials. Jews and
the whole world would be up in
arms if Hitler was brought into
this country for any reason but
they',do not bat an eye when the
personification of Hitler, the ex-
Shah, is brought here. I would
like to see a Nuremberg trial for
the ex-Shah.
-A. Al-Mansur Abdal-Khabir
To the Daily:
Isn't discretion the better part
of valor& shouldn't we just stop
protecting that crook, the Shah?
Didn't the Shah make his
multibillion dollar fortune at the
expense of oil consumers like
Americans who paid a little bit
into his bank account every time
they bought a gallon of gas or
heating oil? The national ego
isn't at stake here. It is only those
xenophobic fanatics who want to
sink to the same level as the
overzealous Khomeneites who
shout for American to 'put its foot
down.' If the Shah ends up back in
Iran, and the hostages end up
back here, then the national
honor will have suffered a very
slight affront. Surely we aren't so
insecure around here that we
can't take that? Despite Viet-
nam, America can continue to

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