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February 12, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-02-12

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f irt iip n ai1
Eighty years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

- the unreformed source
Impeaching Nixon: Trying the war policy


by IJIiiu iicbael


420 Maynard 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.
Confronting the Regents

LAST WEEKEND, as students and youth
from throughout the country gather-
ed here to make a separate peace with
the Vietnamese people, the United States
government opened a new chapter in its
war of domination in Indochina.
The two events could not h a v e been
timed more perfectly. Reinforced by the
government's blatant "violation" of the
newly-ratified peace treaty, the delegates
to the peace conference returned to their
home communities Sunday night within
reach of a mass movement that might at
last be lulled from its long sleep of frus-
And three days later, colleges and uni-
versities were once again simmering. In
Ann Arbor, students and other members
of the community staged the largest dern-
onstration in several years and the first
mass action during the present academic
Similar eruptions throughout the coun-
try seemed to strengthen the possibility
that a lasting, nation-wide campaign
against the government's arrogant and
bloody foreign policy could begin anew,
picking up momentum as the marches
and the scattered outbursts of violence
THAT WAS THE context in which 250
people held an organizing session in
the Michigan Union Ballroom Wednes-
day night following the mass march to
City Hall.,
But t hi e meeting participants deter-
mined that the next step in their renewed
anti-war d r i v e should not be another
demonstration directly aimed at the U.S.
government, but rather a "visit" to to-
day's closed proceedings of the Univer-
sity Regents.
For more than anything else, the in-
vasion of Laos has brought home the real-
ization that with the relative quietude of
American campuses during the past ten
months, the vast role of universities in
aiding and perpetuating the government's,
policies abroad and at home has gone un-
In waging the Indochina War, the U.S.
military employs officers trained at ROTC
programs, currently maintained by over

400 college campuses, including the Uni-
versity. In addition, their techniques and
equipment are largely derived from pro-
jects done for the Defense Department by
university researchers.
Nonetheless, the lull in the anti-war
movement has been accompanied by a
lull in efforts to bring about the end of
war-related activities at universities.
THE APPARENT revival of political
sentiment at the University offers an
excellent opportunity for a renewed and.
intensified drive on these key moral is-
sues. And a direct presentation to the Re-
gents today, with the .nation-wide out-
bursts against the Laos invasion still per-
vading the political atmosphere, is an ap-
propriate step and deserves wide support.
The Regents will also be asked to re-
verse their decision against establishing
a 24 hour child-care center, an essential
step toward ending discrimination against
women, and to ban all recruiting on cam-
pus by corporations with discriminatory
. These demands are by no means new;
but they have been dormant for too long.
It is important that the Regents be re-
minded of the revulsion which is felt here
toward the involvement of academia not
only in waging war, but in perpetuating a
male, white supremacist society.
THE REGENTS must also t a k e cogni-
zance of the bitterness f e 1 t in this
community over the Laos invasion, antd
the corresponding sense of urgency which
accompanies the demands, as shown by
the readiness of the protesters to shut
down the administrative functions of the
University if their demands are not met
by Monday.
Such a step could be avoided if the Re-
gents are able to demonstrate a certain
sensitivity and interest in dealing with
the demands at their proceedings today.
But if they are unwilling to take steps
toward ending the involvement of t h e
University in t h e expanding Indochina
War, they should not be surprised by the
amplitude of the reaction.

lish form of judicial parliamen-
tiary procedure against crim-
inals, in which the House of
Commons are the prosecutors
and the House of Lords are the
judges. The House of Lords has,
in practice, recognized the right
of the Commons to impeach
whomsoever they will. The pro-
cedure has, however, been re-
served for great political of-
fenders whom the ordinary pow-
ers of the law might fail to
reach. It has now fallen into
* * *
UCH ARE the origins of one of
the "checks and balances"
built into the American political
system; and such too has been the
American fate of the device-dis-
use.. Not since 1936 when U.S.
District Judge Halsted L. Ritter
was removed from his position in
the southern district of Florida has
impeachment been used as a
means of removing a civil servant
from federal office.
Only once, out of 12 times in
U.S. history, has impeachment
been used against the president of
the United States - in 1868
against Andrew Johnson - and
then it was a case of an angry
and revenge-bent Congress em-
bittered by Johnson's refusal to
agree with repressive plans for re-
construction of the South. Even
then, after more than two years of
enmities, the Senate could not
brlng itself to convict Johnson,
but missed by one vote.
AGAINST THIS background,
impeachment as an effective check
on the action of the president of
the United States is a myth. But
against another background, the
background of recent presidential
actions in waging unauthorized
war against the peoples of South-
ett ers
To the Daily:
IN THE PAST month President
Fleming has created a Commission
on Women. The declared purpose
of this commission (January 11,
University Record) is to review
all aspects of the affirmative ac-
tion prggram with regard to wo-
men. Coming inthe aftermath of
the HEW investigation, most peo-
ep probably think that the com-
mission is part of the UM-HEW
settlement. This is not true. The
principal HEW official involved in
the case recently told a PROBE
member that he did not recall
making any suggestion of that na-
ture. We are left to conclude then
that University initiative is be-
hind the decision to establish a
Commission on Women.
Why did the University decide
to create this commission? W h y
are University officials modestly
declining to mention that t h i s
altrusitic gesture is theirs' alone?
Several hypothetical explanations
are considered below:
- The University decided it was
time to atone for its flagrant abuse
of women staff, faculty, and stu-
dents by creating a commission
that could represent all women at
the U-M. Ultimately, it could draw
up new guidelines for changes and
oversee their implementation.
- The University decided it was
time to atone for its flagrant
abuse of women by having Presi-
dent Fleming immediately appoint
a commission. The President's ur-
gent desire to get down to busi-
ness prevented him from consult-
ing with the various women's
groups on campus about this mat-
ter. He did, however, quickly find
an impartial, informed Chair-
woman for the new commission in

the person of Barbara Newell, his
longtime assistant and co-worker.
-The University decided it was
time, to atone for its flagrant
abuse of women but the financial
situation is such that the Com-
mission on Women has no inde-
pendent operating budget. T h e
commission has no money to do
studies, publish findings, or com-
municate with other groups around
the country. let alone carry out
secretarial duties. This is unim-

east Asia, the idea holds a sym-
bolic appeal.
If it were possible to obtain a
majority vote for impeachment
in the House of Representatives,
Richard Nixon would have to
make himself accountable to the
American people for his actions
in prosecuting the war in South-
east Asia. He could not send Sec-
retary Laird or Rogers, or Under-
secretary Packard to talk for him.
He would be on trial.
One feels a sense of inner de-
light at the vision of Nixon at-
tempting to explain to the Senate
why he is supporting the South
Vietnamese militia in its violation
: Tere
portant though, since women love
to do their own typing. Further-
more the Nixon administration al-
ready views the UM-HEW settle-
ment as "historic", so action is
- The University decided to
atone for its flagrant abuse of
women by creating a commission
that consists of two men, eight
women with academic appoint-
ments and two with non-academic.
The thousands of women who are
here as secretaries, housekeeping
staff and students do not mind
this under-representation. T h e y
understand that blue .ribbon com-


of the 1962 Geneva accord which
was to insure the neutrality of
Laos - an accord which was rati-
fied by the Senate; why American.
troops are fighting in Cambodia
and Laos again, after pledges to
the contrary; why he has taken up
the practice of withholding from
both Congress and the public news
of American and South Vietnam-
ese military operations in Indo-
china through the use of "news
embargoes." ,
Yet, it is not fated to happen.
Conversations with congressional
aides of some of the most staunch-
ly anti-war Congressmen r e v e a 1
just how dead impeachment is as
overwhelming majority of grad-
uate students support the Grad-
uate Assembly as the one and only
voice for graduate students; and,
ergo, the Graduate Assembly
should represent graduate stu-
A study of the actual survey
question used indicates that, in
fact, no such conclusion can be
drawn. In fact, the survey produc-
es no information concerning stu-
dent attitudes toward Graduate
Assembly's claim to be the s o 1e
spokesman for the "post-Bacca-
laureate community."

a check on Presidential f o r e i g n
policy decisions.
THE ISSUE IS brought up oc-
casionally in Washington offices,
in a wistful and frustrated tone
of voice. But it is never discussed
"Remember the primary race
between Brown and Tunney in
California last spring?" asked one
aide in the office' of Rep. J o h n
Conyers. "Well, Brown said he
would favor impeachment if he
was elected. He lost.
"If we can't even get an anti-
war vote here, how are we going to
get a vote of impeachment?" he
)licy on
"Letters to t h e Daily" column.
However, both time and place of
such gatherings were regretfully,
but conspicuously, omitted.
Nevertheless, our profound con-
viction that "the oceans are the
common heritage of all mankind"
compels us to pursue personal
contact with a group which vig-.
orously argues under a premise
that the offshore ocean floor is
-to become a battlefield between
greedy countries rather t h a n a

continued. Bills like the Cooper-
Church amendment might pass in
the Senate. when not too strongly
wvorded. he said, but that could
never happen in the more hawkish
"In the house, we can get about
120 signatures on bills that could
be interpreted as being anti-war."
the aide said.
"If we take a radical symbolic
stand, we risk losing the mioder-
ates" the aide continued. "A radi-
cal stand on something like this A
rubs off on anything that is anti-
war, and the moderates start to
move back down. Symbolism
might work on campus, but not
SUCH ARE THE frustrations of
being radically anti-war in t h e
U.S. Congress. Yet the problems 1
are more than tactical, they are
ethical and legal. How can t h e
Congress impeach Nixon for pro-
secuting a war which it has sanc-
tioned for five years?
"Even guys like Conyers, who've
been voting against war bills from
the beginning, might not want to 1
make themselves look stupid by
taking a legal position as weak as
No, he might not. It's obvious
that impeachment of the president
is dead as a weapon in this coun-
try unless it comes as a demand
fr'om the public. Congress is in 1j
no position to blow the whistle on
Nixon now after supplying h i m
with funds and encouragement for
five years.
And the people, to a still dis-
turbingly large extent, are not
ready to demand that Congress
exercise its constitutional author- ,
ity and control the president.
Conyer's aide suggests: "I think
what you have to do is go to the
working class, convince them of
the immorality of this war, with-
out alienating them. There are a
lot of them in Ann Arbor. You
might try fighting racism while
you're at it."
monument of peace dedicated to
t h e international community as
many nations, Japan included, be-
lieve (see Andrassy, International
Law and the Resources of the Sea,
1970, p. 155).
-John Gissberg, Grad.
Chairman, Univ. of
Michigan ad hoc Action
Committee for Inter-
national Dedication of
Ocean Resources
Feb. 3

The tactics after Laos

IN THE AFTERMATH of the protests
against United States invasion of Laos,
students hope to recapture the spirit of
the anti-war movement. As a result, or-
ganizing for national activities has in-
creased: plans are underway for a May.
Day action in Washington to close down
the government; a mass gathering in
New Haven next month will protest the
trial of Bobby Seale; and the implemen-
tation of the People's Peace Treaty awaits
widespread national organizing.
At the same time, students seek to re-
vitalize political activity on a university
level. In Ann Arbor Wednesday night, a
group of students promised to close down
the "administrative functions" of the
University Monday if the Regents do not
act on a set of six demands at their spe-
cial meeting today.
The group wants to abolish ROTC, to
end war research, to ban recruiting by
corporations which practice discrimina-
tion, to establish a 24-hour child care
center, to allow students to control the
Course Mart Program and to make Uni-
versity facilities available to publicize the
anti-war movement.
Obviously the Regents will not approve
such sweeping and wide-ranging demands
in a day. Nor, one would think, do the
radicals expect them to do so. One can
only conclude that they must hope to
close down the University to implement
their demands and to raise student aware-
niess concerning the issues.
BUT IT IS questionable whether they
have the support necessary to do this.
In the past, student demands have need-
ed the active support of the faculty to be
implemented. For e x a m p 1 e, the BAM
strike last March was concluded success-
fully only when the LSA faculty commit-
ted themselves to funding 10 per cent
black admissions by 1973-74.
Likewise, the support and pressure from
SACUA members which followed the take-

alarmed by the prospect of student blood
or student arrests.
MOREOVER, SINCE the radicals have
insisted on presenting the entire list
of demands in a sweeping "take it or
leave it" manner, they have essentially
precluded consideration of any one of
the demands by itself.
Thus, even if Fleming. were willing to
establish a child care center or to nego-
tiate on war research, it is difficult to
see how this could be accomplished.
What of the other four demands?
Should their position be compromised?
According to the group's current posi-
tion it would have to stand firm and
reject a positive response to one of the
demands - which seems foolish - or to
compromise their firm stance. But then
the group would quite likely be very di-
vided. Should the group ultimately fail
to resolve the difference, nothing would'
be accomplished, and much time and
energy wasted.
THIS NEED not be the case. Students'
energy should be concentrated on one
particular issue, like opposition to class-
ified war research - a convenient rally-
ing point since Senate Assembly will
likely be considering the matter. This
would give. a concise focus for a protest;
it would present a less sweeping demand
than the group presently puts forth -
and it would, therefore, be easier to
gather support for.
This support can also be mounted more
effectively if any protest actions are de-
layed until both students and faculty
members are better educated on the par-
ticular issue. The momentum of the Laos
protest should not be overestimated. It
is not a crusade.
There is little prospect of organizing
a national student' strike in response to
the invasion, as was the case last spring
against Cambodia. At most campuses the
situation is quiet now, and no further ac-
tions are anticipated. There, as well as

missions, like landmark
important for their news
are not supposed to a
- The University d
atone for its flagrant
women by creating a
commission. While this
will also provide the1
with free publicity andf
the important point is
Commission will help to
statements are true? If
sidered number one, ther
a). a poor guesser;
b). confusing this ar
one on the Women'sI
bowling team;
c). from the Universi
letter was originally subm
letter to the editor of the 1
Record. The Record sub
declined to publish it.)
To the Daily:
pointed that a publicati
stature of the Universit
would uncritically publi:
serving press release pt
the Graduate Assembly
opinion survey, as thoug
scientific fact.
The article in the Rec
uary 25) and the Gra
sembly's press release
12) create the impression

cases, are I. AND THE several graduate
value and student friends I talked to, for'
accomplish example, (although none of us
seem to actually have had the op-
ecided to portunity to fill out the survey),
abuse of would readily agree to the rather
n unpaid platitudinous general principle
measure that specific graduate student
University problems should be discussed and
free labor, solved by graduate students. I am
that the not entirely clear just what these
clear up problems are, but I would agree
with the general principle.
However, this agreement to this
he above general principle does not mean in
you con- any way that the existing, highly
n you are: undemocratic Graduate Assembly
would be the vehicle for repre-
ticle with senting graduate students. Most
Liberation graduate students are not even
aware of GA's existence, much less
ty N e w s to its claims of being their repre-
sentative. An, even smaller num-
--Probe ber of graduate students know
anything about GA. or have ever
following participated in its elections. The
itted as a juxtaposition of the overwhelming
University student agreement with a general
sequently principle and the claims of Grad-
uate Assembly to be the fulfill-
Record ment of that principle have no
basis in fact.
nd disap- IN ADDITION, the GA press re-
on of the lease attempts to suggest grad-
ty Record uate students do not feel involved
sh a self- with all-campus elections, citing
ut out by the six-year low turnout as a
on its basis. Although that election is
gh it were atypical, the survey itself showed
that graduate students in t h a t
ord (Jan- election turned out to vote in al-
duate As- most exactly the same percentage
(January as the campus as 'a whole (actually
n that the a trifle more).
Even more interesting is the
fact that Graduate Assembly, in
F its own survey of graduate stu-
dent opinion, did not ask graduate
students whether they had voted
fI4 in the Graduate Assembly elec-
I i. tions, whether they knew what
GA is, whether they knew any-
thing about politics, or whether
they regarded GA as their sole
Indeed, whoever composed the
questions for this survey seemed
to be less interested in gaining any
real information, but rather in
getting overwhelming agreement to
a meaningless general principle.
which then could be converted
post hoc into a statement of poli-
tical support for GA's position in a
totally different matter.
For these reasons .the Record

leader speaks out
"ARE YOU THE revolutionary labor leader who led the glorious
AFSCME strike against the University?" asked the teller'
cashing Charles McCracken's check at the National Bank and Trust
"Huh?" replied Charlie.
"Are you the union leader who brought the running dog racist,
imperialist, sexist University to its knees?" repeated the teller, re-
phrasing her question.
"Right on!" said Charlie, raising his clenched fist,
"Well, it's certainly a pleasure to meet you," said the teller,
reaching across the counter to shake Charlie's hand.
"But tell me," she continued, "I understand that many of your
union members were unhappy with the contract settlement. How
do you account for that?
"They don't understand the
wage proposal," said Charlie.
"They don't understand that
we're trying to make a peaceful
revolution against the constrict-
ing forces of capitalism."%
"A peacefulrevolution?" said
the teller. "I seem to recall that
Mao once said there could be no
such thing as a peaceful revolu-
tion. Here let me check my Red
SHE FLIPPED through some
pages and stopped at page 11,
"Ah, here it is," she said. "And
I quote, 'A revolution is not a
dinner party, or writing an essay,
or painting a picture, or doing Charles McCracken
embroidery; it cannot be so re-
fined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, re-
strained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act
of violence by which one class overthrows another,' end of quote."
"Mao doesn't understand the situation," said Charlie. We
can't afford to irritate the people in the power structure too much,
or we lose everything we have."
"Here, let me give you an example," he continued. "A strike
is always revolutionary, right? So we had a strike. Now if we had
struck for three days, the University would have had to shut down
and everyone would be upset, right? So we struck for two days and
no one was really upset."
"I see," said the teller. "I suppose the University saved some
money, too, from the wages it didn't pay."
"Sure." said Charles. "About $60,000."
"THE WAGE settlement you got from the University wasn't too
good, was it?" said the teller.

II ~' ~ N' ~

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