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March 27, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-03-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

3t1r Sidiafn fairj
Eighty years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Laos invasion: A daring , dazzling defeat

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.



The elitism of the draft

PRESIDENT NIXON'S strong support
for an end to student deferments and
the recent House Armed Services Com-
mittee passage of a bill which includes an
end to such deferments brings to the
surface. a puzzling and crucial problem to
all members of the university community.
It is clear that the method by which
citizens are selected for military service
is inequitable. White middle-class stu-
dents who predominate in colleges are
deferred while blacks, members of minor-
ity groups and poor whites are commen-
surately more susceptible to the draft by
virtue of an inability to attend college.
Moreover, they are dying in Indochina
in even more disproportionate percent-
ages, for the non-combat desk jobs are
generally held by ROTC-trained college
Although it is understandable that
students would react instinctively against
an end to their deferments, there is no
rational basis for deferring those who
attend college. Why shouldn't the ap-
prentice plumber have the same right to
a deferment as an apprentice philosophy
professor? Both individuals have a func-
tion in society and perhaps the plumber's
is even more directly useful.
THE MAJOR arguments to maintain
student deferments are predicated on
two assumptions. The first assumes that
university education is a uniquely essen-
tial function which must follow directly
after high school graduation. This argu-
ment is based on the highly questionable
concept that a college education is a
prerequisite to any skilled job and that
those who do not attend college are not
entitled to these intellectually challeng-
ing occupations.
In fact, innovative educators are mak-
ing it increasingly clear that the institu-
tionalized university structure, predicated
on a hierarchical student-teacher rela-
tionship, the enclosed classroom and the
careful systems of evaluation, is not the
only viable method of "becoming edu-
cated." Many question whether it is even
the best method.
The enticement of easy draft evasion,
the accepted prestige attached to a college
degree and the dearth of other alterna-
tives, are pushing into c o 11 e'ge many
young people who do not belong there.
They find themselves in situations where
they are not only hostile to the methods
of learning offered, but are also resentful
of the artificial importance attached to
the college experience. For many, travel-
ling, reading alone, pursuing independent
creative interests and any of a number
of other things are experiences which, if
society lent them legitimacy, could offer
disillusioned young people, a sense that
they were accomplishing something with-
out working toward a degree.
IT IS NOT only questionable that a
university education f 11 s a uniquely
important role in society, but it is also
dubious that an intellectual v a c u u m
would be created, as defenders of student
deferments claim, if students were sub-
jected to the draft. To begin with, stu-
dents would not necessarily be cleared

from campuses, if their deferments were
ended. Although the number of eligible
students would increase substantially, the
enlarged draft pool would mean that calls
would reach a significantly lower lottery
number. And, given that the lottery num-
ber is presently around 185, the large
majority of students would co'ntinue their
Second, it is likely that a substantial
proportion of college students would find
other methods of draft-evasion and de-
ferment, a task made easier by their in-
herent educational and economic advant-
Finally, the concept of an "intellectual
vacuum" is highly hypothetical and amor-
phous. Does it mean that the level of in-
tellectual discussion among a certain age
g r o u p will drop dramatically; does it
mean that research laboratories will sud-
denly be emptied at a given point over
the next 10 to 15 years? Perhaps it means
that the country will suddenly, for a
shocking three or four years, find itself
without teachers, novelists, poets and
commercial a r t i s t s and even without
banking executives. In the end, the spec-
ulation of the hypothetical vacuum is
largely undocumented and often a ration-
alization to maintain privileges for an
elite corps.
ENDING STUDENT deferments by no
means solves the problem, for the
very maintenance of a selective service
system is intolerable. The draft, when in-
stituted in World War II under the im-
minent threat of one of history's most
powerful and dangerous dictators may
have been justified. Entirely different
considerations are relevant today.
It is extremely unlikely that a situation
similar to World War II would present
itself, and it is only in such a situation,
in which the national defense is threat-
ened, that a draft - with the inherent
concept of involuntary servitude - could
be justified. The fact that the super-
powers have developed nuclear weaponry
provides a mutual check and makes the
prospect of a large-scale war, requiring a
selective service system, highly implau-
Based on these considerations, Nixon's
proposal for a volunteer army by 1973 is
no more viable a concept. It does, how-
ever, reflect the inherent contradictions
of the President's line of thought, for the
Army would inevitably attract a corps of
predominantly black and poor people-in
short oppressed groups without other op-
tions. However, this is precisely what
Nixon aims to avoid by abolishing student
IT COMES down to the relatively simple
thought which e n t a i s enormously
complex and disturbing implications. Is
there a place for an army in the America
of 1970? As the threat of a powerful dic-
tator's rise to power loses significance,
we must consider whether the assets out-
weigh the debits, in the floundering
American attempt to "make the world
safe for democracy."
Many of us believe they do not.

(Amnexclusivei nterpretation of the Laotian campaign that
may be offered by Joe Alsop at almost any hour.)
ALTHOUGH NO high official will acknowledge it pub-
licly and denials may even be deemed obligatory
at this time, it is now possible to unveil the utterly
majestic and masterful Nixon design involved in the
Laotian campaign.
Some woolly-headed journalists and politicians have
expressed incredulity over the contentions of Defense
Secretary Laird and Vice President Agnew, among
others, that what may appear on television as a disorderly
retreat is in fact "an operation proceeding according
to plan."
Yet that happens to be a wholly precise, profound
description of a most ingenious exercise perhaps unparal-
leled in our military and diplomatic archives. This was
a "planned defeat," so dazzling and daring in conception
and execution that it may be years before its breath-
taking audacity and its historic effects are fully apprec-
THE CRITICAL development that set in motion this
remarkable and hitherto unrevealed chain of events was
the disclosure on March 9 that Premier Chou En-lai and
other Chinese Communist leaders had just completed a
sudden, dramatic visit to Hanoi.
While the White House and the State Dept. publicly
professed themselves unconcerned about this rendez-
vous, it can be reported on the highest authority that such
optimistic expressions were a facade. For what American
intelligence sources communicated to the President was
the immensely somber news that Hanoi's leaders had
pleaded for the immediate entrance of Chinese troops -

those midnight meetings: "We don't want to replay the
Korean ball game." Thus there ensued a spate of public
statements intended to assure the Red Chinese that no
treat to the physical integrity of their country was
embodied in the Laotian drive, or in the hints of a
South Vietnamese invasion of the North.
IN ANY CASE, the overwhelming success of what is
very privately called "Operation Shambles" has by now
been demonstrated. Despite the ominous Hanoi meeting
and the ramblings of the Peking radio, no Chinese forces
entered the combat. According to very reliable intelligence
estimates, the failure of Peking to respond to Hanoi's
appeals has created sharp new tensions between these
Communist capitals and greatly reduced the possibility
of closer military collaboration.
At the same time - and perhaps this is the most artful
and appealing aspect of Mr. Nixon's gambit - the
merciless "rout" of the South 'Vietnamese by the pur-
suing North Vietnamese forces has given the President
new ground for expanding the counter-protective bomb-
ing of North Vietnam and perhaps certain vital, unmen-
tionable targets.
Admittedly there have been certain tragic human as-
pects of the episode. Moreover, because he cannot di-
vulge the real nature of what is being nastily described
as a debacle in some places, Mr. Nixon may suffer some
momentary political awkwardness. That he must lose
some "face" for a brief interlude is, however, the kind of
crass, fleeting consideration he long ago rejected as in-
consequential in the broad sweep of human affairs.
0 New York Post

whether as regulars or "volunteers" - into the Indo-
china conflict, and received tentatively affirmative re-
Receipt of this intelligence led at once to emergency,
supersecret sessions between the President and his highest
military and diplomatic advisers. President Nixon, a dili-
gent student of history, has long been mindful of the
Korea experience, and, while it would be demeaning to
say that he shrank in terror from the prospects of its
repetition, he did utter these grave words during one of

In defense of Graduate, Assembly

Daily Guest Writers
(The authors are, respectively, president
and executive vice president of Graduate
G RADUATE ASSEMBLY-hailed by some
and stoned by others-will be 33 years
old March 29. What began as the country's
first graduate student group to "coordinate
all phases of men's athletic, social and aca-
demic life," has evolved into a body to
represent graduate interests in University
affairs. For several months, GA has been
embroiled in controversy.
The controversy centers around GA's
"legitimacy," as seen through the eyes. of
of a couple graduate students and govern-
ments and SGC's Criteria for Democratical-
ly-Constituted Governments.
Two major efforts are underway to de-
stroy GA. The principle sponsors of both
moves are John Koza, grad in computer
and communication science, and Michael
Davis, a philosophy grad student.
THE FIRST EFFORT is a "law suit" be-
fore Central Student Judiciary, charging GA
is an "undemocratically-constituted govern-
ment." The brief was written by Koza, who
also headed the screening committee which
selected the judges for the trial; who helped
write the criteria determining what consti-
tutes a democratic government (under
which many student governments and the
U.S. Congress would not qualify); and who
introduced procedures for establishing new
governments which have been accepted by
Koza has all but stepped out of the "suit,"
turning its prosecution over to Davis, who
has told GA officers "I will destroy you" if
we do not accept his constitutional changes.
However, Davis wasn't willing to see what
changes GA would make, so he circulated
petitions for the establishment of a "Rack-
ham Government;" he wrote its constitu-
tion (a carbon copy of the LS&A under-
graduate constitution he wrote earlier) and
solicited grad students to run for office to
the new government.
The proposed government will be a refer-
endum on the SGC election March 30, and
31. If accepted, it would be the "legal suc-
cessor" to Graduate Assembly within Rack-
ham. That is major effort number two in
the scheme to destroy GA.
GA issued 10 challenges of CSJ's juris-
diction in the suit and is opposing the pro-
posed government for Rackham. Its main
challenge to CSJ is that GA does not even
claim to be a government-and that's not
just semantics.
GA is a federation of graduate govern-
ments and departments and is the only

Michael Davis

University-wide body representing the spe-
cial interests of 40 per cent of the campus-
the graduate/professional community. GA
is not a perfect federation. It has represent-
atives from about half of the graduate de-
partments. However, its officers have been
directly soliciting support from graduate
departments so it can become a truly rep-
resentative body.
That isn't just a nice idea to give grads
something else, to do. Considering that a
significant part of a University's reputation
-and much of its financial support from
private sources-is based on its graduate
schools, a federation of graduate students
which could speak with authority and con-
sent from the students could be a tremen-
dously powerful force in graduate education.
GA IS OPPOSED to the proposed Rack-
ham Government, not because it does not
want to see a Rackham. Government formed,
but because it objects to one student de-
ciding, for 85 per cent of the graduate com-
munity, what that government will be; it is
opposed to the cumbersome and power-
centered government proposed, and it is
urging a strong "no" turnout.
Davis' proposed constitution-which re-
quired only 100 signatures to get on the
ballot-provides for an at-large elected
Executive Council composed of a President
and Vice-President slate and 15 other mem-
bers. It has the power, among other things,
to "levy dues and provide for their collec-
tion" without the direct approval of their
constituency and to "make and sanction
rules governing the conduct of studtents en-
rolled in Rackham."
The constitution gives the Council far-
reaching powers, which are supposed to be
"overseen" by an assembly. The assembly
is supposed to be a "representative body",
but it excludes direct representation from
departments with fewer than 51 students
(about one-third of the graduate depart-

ments) and only has to meet once during
each of the fall and winter terms.
The third branch of the proposed govern-
ment is the Judiciary, which has the power
to suspend a student for up to one term,
and. whose composition excludes one-fourth
of the Rackham students-those in the
Physical Sciences.
GA, on the other hand, is constituted to
provide direct representation from all
graduate degree - granting programs. The
representatives are chosen by the students
within their degree program and are di-
rectly responsible to them. This type of
body seems the most favorable to gradu-
ate students-70 per cent of the graduates
answering a student questionnaire at regis-
tration favored this type of representation.
GA has no power to "govern" graduate
students; to tax them, or suspend them, or
set rules for. them. Its purpose is to repre-
sent the interests of graduate students and
lobby on their behalf in University-wide af-
WHY DOES a representative body, rather
than an at-large elected council, seem more
appropriate to graduate students? Simply
because graduate students are not "politi-
cal animals." They are on campus pursuing
advanced, professional degrees; their mean
age is 27; half are married; many have
worked in the real world, and they have a
more personal and professional association
with the professorial staff. They are not
prone to run in campus-wide elections and
generally do not seem turned on to campus
politics. (These could be the same reasons
that few graduates participate in Student
Government Council.)
Graduate Assembly feels that grad stu-
dents should not be excluded from decision-
making at the University simply because
they don't get excited about campus-wide
elections. (Davis was admittedly hard-
pressed to find students to run for office to
his proposed Rackham Government, and
even played the traditional chauvinistic
role of seeking token female support from
graduate women). GA especially feels that
the formation of any graduate government
must be considered by more than just .one
or two students.
Since Graduate Assembly, and its role
on campus, has been so misunderstood, it is
significant to point out what GA has done
for grad students:
* It is the student group responsible for
the change in Rackham's policy on language
requirements. Now each graduate program
decides if its students need a language to
fulfill requirements for a degree.
" Last semester it won a fight against
the Grad Library's plan to keep current
periodicals out of open circulation.
* It appoints graduate students to Senate
Assembly and All-University committees.

* It is the body which city officials ap-
proach for consideration of issues facing
Ann Arbor voters, and makes recommenda-
tions on these issues to the graduate com-
WHAT IS Graduate Assembly trying to
* It is investigating the possibility of
legal action against the University for its
discriminatory practice of charging out-of-
state tuition to students who now vote, pay
taxes and have their legal residence in
Michigan but are still considered "out-of-_
staters" because they originally came here
to pursue an education.
* It has asked HEW Secretary Elliot
Richardson to investigate the University's
policies in employing graduate students and
wants the HEW investigation extended to
include graduate admissions.
* It is providing secretarial and mailing
services and lobbying support to the Gradu-
ate Assistants Coordinating Committee,
which is fighting Vice-President Smith's pro-
posal on teaching fellows.
GA is seeking student participation and
ideas from all grad students. It is not try-
ing to usurp the power of individual gradu-
ate governments, but rather is trying to
bring together representatives from these
governments and other graduate programs
to deal with University-wide (rather than
school-only) issues. In this regard, GA has
comein conflict with SGC, which claims
GA has no right to appoint students to com-
mittees or get involved in other issues be-
cause SGC is sulrposed to be the campus-
wide government. GA claims that SGC does
not represent. the views of graduate stu-
WITHOUT Graduate Assembly, SGC
would be the only campus-wide student
group. Unfortunately, that now means grad-
uate students wouldn't haverany direct
representation or voice in University affairs.




t - n.



Jana Bormerbach



A' ', :
/ ^


e -000'


To The Daily:
Thursday, M a r c h 25 entitled
"SGC Campaign Publicity Soars"
was one which we felt was grossly
misleading. The article contains
a statement that "mudslinging" is
present in this campaign. That
reference may have some validity
when applied to the public state-
ments of the People's Coalition but
let us say that we have not di-
rectly attacked any of our oppo-
sition in this campaign through
the use of political labels.
Rather, we have taken bold and
radical positions on the issues that
concern the majority of the stu-
dents at this university. Namecall-
ing has never been an effective
means of rational discourse.

wouldn't feel this compulsive need
to attack the Student Caucus on
everything except our positions on
the issues of this campaign.
-Student Caucus
Karen Haas
Rick Higgins
Brad Taylor
Mary Schnelker
Rackham Constitution
To The Daily
representatives of t h e graduate
students in t h e Department of
Chemistry, unanimously oppose
ratification of the proposed Rack-
ham Student Government Consti-
tution. This document creates a
dictatorship of t h e Executive

ignate funds to the Assembly.
They can also override (by a two-
thirds majority) Assembly de-
mands for reconsideration of an
act of Council.
We also deplore the placing of
Council and officer elections on
the same ballot as the ratification
of the Constitution. Those grad
students, who have had advance
knowledge of this constitution,
have an advantage in nominating
a slate of candidates. Other grad
students are further handicapped
by not having access to a copy of
the Constitution.
The situation is further com-
plicated by the SGC election pro-
cedures which do not prevent un-
dergrads from voting the gradu-
ate elections. Interested under-

Letters: Behind the mudslinging charges

Government. We will demand that
the tuition levy that is to go to
that government not be collected
from any graduate chemist. We
wish no part of a fradulent gov-
ernment established by Tammany
Hall tactics and sincerely hope a
majority of the Rackham students
feel the same. .
-Chemistry Graduate Council
Thees plan
To The Daily:
THERE ARE SOME disturbing
numbers and claims being thrown
around by Bill Thee, candidate for
Student Government Council. He
claims to have a budget for SGC
that falls below the present allo-
cation level; he claims he will cut

4 per cent: of the individuals gross A
annual earnings. For $1,300 to be
.4 per cent of total gross earnings
means those total earnings must
be $325,000. While Mr. Thee may
intend to make this much, most of
us will never reach such a level of
Mr. Thee also neglects to make JO
any mention of interest. Let us as-
sume then t h a t he means for
there to be no interest at all. Then
the majority of students could be
expected to take the $10,000 and
if nothing e ls e deposit it in a
bank earning 5 per cent. T h i s
means the University would have
to come up with over $30,000,000
a year to fund the program, a sum
that is hard to borrow even if
you're a University.
'L 1 1/-,. 'rhP fne. laim Sg 0 in e



,. 7 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .,_ .-I- ., _ ,n

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