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January 09, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1975-01-09

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~ir £fr41!an n a1l
Eighty-four years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

France: After


big strike

Thursday, January 9, 1975

News Phone: 764-0552

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

Oil No shores of Tripoli

WHEN ANY FUEHRER mentions the
unmentionable, the only decision
subordinates can make is when to
endorse then glorious solution. Months
ago, Jack Anderson warned that the
Ford administration was seriously
considering a war against Arab oil
producing countries. The tip was al-
most ignored until Herr Kissinger
was instructed to begin the scare.
But who, except us, is frightened
of such mindless language? The
Arabs aren't afraid since they can
depend on Soviet and third world
support against U.S. aggression. Also,
a war of tanks and planes, rather
than atomic bombs, would mean that
the Middle East could keep their ma-
chinery moving hundreds of years
after the last drop of American oil
had been squandered.
Perhaps Generalissimo Ford hopes
for a short war. You know, jump in,
grab a few thousand square miles of
sand, set up a new defense perimeter,
build the derricks and pump like mad
until the bombs start exploding in
major American cities. It could work,
but it's an awful risk. Even the new
volunteer Army might have reserva-
tions about facing death on a blis-
tering desert just so Mr. and Mrs.
America can keep that new Cadillac
and power mower running.
use Israel to secure new oil rich
land, then our leaders underestimate
their nationalism. No matter how

many arguments we supply, what Is-
rael takes, Israel will probably keep.
America will have to pay for any-
thing they have. That will not solve
U.S. oil or balance of payment prob-
The m o r a 1 objections against
threatening a war seem obvious, yet
they have been ignored again. How
long will our leaders hold to this new
plan for curing our economic prob-
lems? Hugh Scott, the lowest and sli-
miest of the presidential prostitues,
believes the United States is justified
in doing "anything" to save itself.
Save itself from what? Giving up gas
guzzlers and fertilizer for golf
Though much of the world blindly
follows our wasteful ways of con-
sumption, American citizenship is a
burden many travelers have encoun-
tered. We are regarded as stupid and
headstrong, cowboys in a sick society.
Lately, Americans have done little to
prove the world wrong.
HERE IS ANOTHER chance. Ameri-
cans can tell their leaders to re-
consider their foolishness or they
can support them. The latter would
mean that we have lost the last rem-
nant of our self-respect. If the
United States attacks without mili-
tary provocation, we will deserve the
misery and suffering inflicted upon
us by our enemies.
Jerry, Henry, Hugh, war does not
qualify as "doing something."

An endof-the-year commenta-
tor on France's Channel Two
Television news attempted to
recapitulate his country's maj-
or economic and political devel-
opments dbting the preceding
twelve months; his discussion
touched upon the new abortion
reform law, the lowering of the
voting age to 18 years, the
problems within the presidential
majority as well as within the
opposition, the economic crisis,
inflation, and of course, the
most international of subjects,
oil prices. The death of Presi-
dent Georges Pompidou, t bie
subsequent election of Giscard
by such a slim margin that
some call hm "President of
half of France," and the near
election victory of the Socialist-
Communist-Radical coalition al-
so entered inwi the picture whi h
the commentator painted. The
longer he talked, however, the
more difficult having a clear
view of what :tad happened over
the past year, and what wovuld
happen over the next year, be-
MEANWHILE, a letter from
one American friend, a former
study-abroad participant w h o
was aware of the comnlexity of
French interior politics, offered
this comment: "(your articles)
are being published, . .. bt I
really thank that your next one
should be about just what the
hell is happening in France right
now." That ny lastlatter ad
been mailed in mid-October and
hadn't arrived until early De-
cember might have given her
some idea that something is, or
was, in the air . . . I adrit to
having avoided writing a n v-
thing aboutdthe situation in
France: reading the papers
every day aid watching t h e
news broadcsts several times
a week merely gave me an
idea of the complexity o the
crises which led to the General
Strike on November 14. but
gave me no :index as to how to
explain it clearly. The followng
paragraphs present certain as-
pects of social and political
evolution of France, especially
those aspects which directly
concern or resulted from the
General Strike.
WORDS LIAKE "crisis", "n-
security," and "social wirst"
were pronoumced and repeated
in the European news media
during the month of October;
in France the expression "the
most turbuiest year since :968'
was also to be heard. While
some say "it+all started with the
postage strike," (whici began
on October V7), other observers
see the wire of strikes and
nationwide labor activities to be
the belated result of the elec-
toral failure of Sociast presi-
dential candidate Francois Mit-
terand last May. The postal
strike was, however, one of the
sparks whici caused a touchy
situation to explode.
Some fau can be found with
Postal Affairs Secretary Claude
Delong, who at one point refer-
red to one postal job as "tiring",
"poorly paying," and a 'yb

for idiots." By the third of
November, three of France's
major labor unions were asking,
among other things for a 200
franc (about 40 doilars) raise
for the lowest paying postal
jobs.hAt the same tii c, strikes
were arising here and there m
France: national trin service
was interrupted in one region
one day, another thhe next four
labor unions were disusing con-
tinuation of mining industry
strikes. Trouble seeued to be
brewing . . .
WITH THIS background of n-
creasing labor disco.ent, cc-
flict which began just after the
partial legislative etiois n
September was wors-nr'i: the
French Communist Party, .vhich
gained less ground in the .lec-
tions than the Socialist Party,
had accused their partners-in-
opposition were not holding up
their end of the bargain (the
bargain being the "Common
Platform of the Left," which is
the basis of the Sociatist-Comi-
munist-Radical coalition). Gis-
card's Secretary of State Mich-
el Poniatowki, took advan nae
of the opposition's rift by calling
the French C.P., which receives
the votes of more thai 20 per-
cent of French voters in a giv-
en election, a "totalitarian par-
ty" which "tends towards fas-
NOV. 19: The national strike,
supposedly affecting all workes
connected with the maior labor
unions was set for the 19th, but
numerous other groups were a-
ready on strike or h:il been:
the Parisian garbage collectors,
certain shop ke ters, gas and
electric workers and eea re
veterinarians . . When the
strike finally *ook nace, the fol-
lowing industries and services
were affected:
Trains, subways, and buses
Primary, secondary, and
university teaching
Taxi service and civil avi-
Certain hospitals and sanitary
National Museums
Television, press, and book
publishing organizations
Gas, electric, and water
supply (Limitations and
Certain shop keepers, espe>
ially bread and pastry
Various other industries
I happened to be in one
medium sized French city when
the strike took place, and vas
able to observe workers, an-
ployees, teachers, and students
participate in a totally peaceM
demonstration led by two of
France's most important labor
unions. Unusually enough, t h e
General Strike caused no visi-
ble panic among the student
population; I missed only two
days of class, and had the in-
pression that the strike was no
more "dangerous" than a bad
snowstorm in the north of the
U.S. "You should have seen it
in '68," more than one French-
man told me.
NOV. 20: The day after the
strike, negotiation between nows-

"Unusually enough, the General S'rike caused no v'sibli panic among
the student population; I misse(I only two dcwvys of class, and( had the
impression that the strike was no more 'dangerous' than a bad snow-
storm in the north of the U.S. 'You should have seen it in '68,' more
than one Frenchman told me."
m~iiisi~g~its:.g siaiititsi::isssm isisisiliit ssgeilssssasism ssssis..x m misi:: : v.::v.:sswsis:la: :":::.A mm wrm a sag

CSSG: Tossing out baby

es and worker,', and be-veen
postal employees and the g-v-
ernment, seemed possible. The
news of a 3 per cent increase
for civil employees was api:;r-
ing in the French press. But
Parisian garbage collectors, off
work for a week already, were
continuing their strike . . .
NOV. 29: The front p-e of
the serious newspaper Le Monde
read "The Government n the
Face of Criticism, Disputes, and
Uncertainty;" the three 1 e a d
stories concerned the debate on
the abortion law reform pro-
ject, the state controlled telc-
vision network personnel ctrisze,
and the conflicts which w e r e
arising between Fr ince and
Germany. Much publiIi y h r s
been dedicated to the "friene-
ship" between the West Grerman
chief of state (Schmidt) and Gis-
card, but in matters of national
interest, the "great relation-
ship" loses its meani g. But
according to rumor, the two
men are still on a 'irst name
basis, and speak English when
talking on the phone.
NOV. 30: The French N a -
tional Assembly idop:eJ (rati-
fied) the government's l!:)erhliz-
ed abortion law; unusually
enough, all members of the left-
wing opposition voted for, and
many, if not most, of the rmem-
bers of Giscard's center-right
coalition voted against.
DEC. 1: After the declaration
made by both the Commuist
Party and the powerful C.G.T.
labor union that Citroen Motor
Company be nationalized, the
last postal strikers end tip go-

ing back to work, admitting de-
feat in regards to their original
demands. As one crNss ends,
another seems to begin.
DEC. 10: In less than ten
days, President Giscar 1 i e t
with Soviet leader Leonide
Brezhnev, presided over a Eiro-
pean Summit Conference meet-
ing in Paris, and left for his
meeting with President Ford in
Martinique. He seemed almost
to want to disprove the accusa-
tion made by the satirical news-
naper Le Canard >nchaine that
he is "a lacy king." The .social
and political climate seemed to
be calming down, stri-e move-
ments continued to lose impetus.
Meanwhoe: the government 'ert
considerable sums to the auto-
mobile indistries, and Prei:ier
,Jacques Chirac came oack from
Iran with important business
deals (Dec. 24) from Iran. All
these were successes for t h e
Giscard government, as was
the news that inflation had de-
creased in the last two months
of the year, and that foreign
trade had improved. Meanwhile.
unemployment had risen 25
per cent in three minths . . .
WHILE THE political scene
seemed to be calm and serene
during the vacations which sep-
arate the new year from the
old, Giscard saw his opportun-
ity and took it. Four garbage
collectors who were working
near the Presidential Palace re-
ceived an invitation to eat
breakfast with the chief of
state. The President takied
about the problems cf their ;ob
and the plans of three of the
workers, who happened to be

The plan presented by the commit-
tee to study student governance is
not a plan to correct or modify stu-
dent government but a plan for max-
imum student input in academic de-
cisions. The proposed plan would ef-
fectively destroy the non-academic
capabilities of student government.
While advocating everything from
student regents to student participa-
tion in almost all academic decision
making bodies, the commission at the
same time is calling for a direct ac-
counting of the central student gov-
ernment to the regents. While this
is all well and good for academic
decisions, should the council take ac-
tion of a political nature they would
discover a serious inability to handle
the situation.
The report calls for accountability
of the student government. However
the system for accountability is not
to the students but the regents. This
tyne of abdication of power is not
only uncalled for but unauthorized
and a selling out of the students by
the commission. The commission re-
peatedly states that the students are
the ones who the government must be
accountable to, and that it must be
the students who implement the
plan. But it would be like holding a
loaded gun to your head to make the
student government accountable to
the regents.
some sort of suicidal tendency to
recommend that the students them-
selves impose regental control over
the students. They of course must
have realized that the regents would
be in an embarrassing position if
they tried to buy out the student in-
terest in student government, so in-
stead they recommended that the
students do it to themselves.
Throughout the report are criti-
cisms of the way the current central
student government (SGC) has con-
ducted itself and on the lack of aca-
demic decision making power on the
part of SGC. What they fail to rea-
lize is that SGC was never meant to
deal with academic questions, which
were left up to the individual Col-
Te'e governments.
Somewhere on campus there must
be a body that deals with the social
issues confronting t h e students.
While interest in academic affairs
is well and good it must not be mixed
with the important questions as to
bow to live ones life. The University
is. not an entity isolated from tfir

world but a vital part of it. The Uni-
versity has long been the center of
social change, but by selling the only
student governmental body which
has the potential to participate in
and promote social change to the Re-
gents is to defeat the whole purpose
of student government.-
believes the lack of demonstra-
tions in the streets represents a lack
of student solidarity. The interest in
change is still there but not as vocal-
ly. If the commission's plan is adopt-
ed and a new period of social upheav-
al comes along what could be used
as the basis of the movement?
The constituency method currently
used by SGC was voted out in the
last election. This fact bankrupts
many of the arguments set forth by
the commission. The students by
themselves have tossed out the plan
for selecting council members which
the commission found so inane.
The corruption which has been
plaguing SGC in recent years is the
primary reason for lack of student
interest in student government. How-
ever the nation has gone through a
similar trama with the presidency,
and managed to survive (more or
less). All that is needed for SGC to
become a vital force on campus again
is a proper election and lots of effort
on the part of its members to build
its image.
AT ONE POINT the report remarks
"One never hears complaints of
corruption like those routinely level-
ed at SGC members" in reference to
school and college governments. By
selling student government to the
Regents there is little chance for
corruption . . . or anything else for
that matter.
The report calls for student par-
ticipation all the way down to the
departmental level, but fails to take
into account that many students
don't look to a particular department
as home, due the fact that they are
working on a BGS degree and there-
fore are not directly associated with
any particular department.
All together the commission report
has some good ideas for a student
participation in academic affairs and
university governance. But in its
hatred for the current system it at-
tacks the portion of student govern-
ment which has the createst noten-
tial in the long run. Imrolementation
of the ni ncou1k tvea va - if

African . . . They explained
that they didn't plan to lip=: per-
manently in France. After
breakfast with the President,
they all went back to worx. Gis-
card has performed other Fuch
deeds whose political sibtlety
and poorly-hidden "jiin3t-ptain-
folksism" causes both nega-
tive and humorous reactions
among his adversaries.
Among the conclusions drawn
by the aforementioned televis-
ion commentator wa' that 1974
didn't look like a lecisive year
when it began, but certain un-
predictable events made it a
decisive year. (Which makes
us think that the same could
happen this year, nineteen sev-
enty-five, as well . .
AMERICAN observers, w i t h-
out news of family and friends
for almost two months, had oth-
er reactions. More than o :t e
American saw the series of
strikes, shut-offs, and protlems
as "typical French disorganiza-
tion." One freelance journalist
went so far as to suggest "go-
ing to southern Spain until it
blows over," but I couldn't tell
if he was serious. Other observ-
ers see the French social "mal-
aise" as being part of an inter-
national commercial, industrir l,
and agricultural crisis, and con-
sider that the French w )rkers
are not just "complaining for
the sake of complaining,' but
are trying to "take arms against
a sea of troubles, and by -oppos-
ing, end them."
Paul O'Donnell is a European
Correspondent for The Daily.
He is currently studying in Aix-
en-Provence, France.
y 'syl

Fear and Loathing,


AT THE ARMY Intelligence School they give all
new recruits the "scare lecture."' A full bird
colonel in military intelligence walks into the class-
room (with a limp, no less) and in precise, clipped
British tones announces, "Gentlemen, this is a dirty
business. If any of you have any qualms about it,
get out now.."
The recervt revelations about the CIA confirm to
those uninititated into the spy world just how dirty the

OSS did much more than pure intelligence gathering.
It took sabotage, black propaganda, disinformation,
and many other nonintelligence tasks on also. The
OSS was the breeding ground for almost every Amer-
ican "dirty trick" perpetrated during the course of the
At the war's end, President Truman disbanded the
OSS, seeing no further use for such activities on the
part of the U.S. government. OSS alumni then farm-
ed out to other agencies, among them Allen Dulles and

SO UNDER THE National Security Act of 1947, the
CIA was created "to coordinate all intelligence func-
tions." It was specifically noted in the act that the
CIA was "not to have police or internal security
functions." This proviso was added mainly to placate
J. Edgar Hoover, who felt that such, functions should
be the bureaucratic terrain of the FBI.
All the old OSS personnel flocked to the CIA and,
still possessed of their spook mentality, started their
program of dirty tricks around the world, far exceed-
ing their statutory mandate.

"Empire-building being the infectious disease that it is among Washington
bureaucrats, the CIA couldn't resist starting its own little domestic spy pro-
gram. The fact that they were in direct violation of the law seems not to have
bothered the boys at Langley a bit."
V . .4 s Y O t t i S L N .4 : 4 t t : " "" M : : .4 " : S Y .4 t t t ,.w r ." "." .": r : : : : : . : : : : : t : : : : .t ' : : ".: : :s .

whole businiess really is. The fact that the CIA has
been keepirAg files on dissidents and conducting domes-
tic operations is a violation of the very law that
created the mammoth spook agency.
The United States was caught with its figurative
pants down. at Pearl Harbor, so President Roosevelt
created the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in 1942
in order to have the best intelligence available. It was
understandable that Roosevelt did not want to be caught
in the same embarrassing position again..
BUT UNDER GENERAL "Wild Bill" Donovan, the

Richard Helms, both of whom later became directors
of the CIA.
But with the advent of the Cold War, the entire
picture changed, and Truman and the Congress want-
ed to revive the idea of a central intelligence agency,
whose primary task would be to coordinate all the
intelligence input from all government agencies to pass
on to the president. The idea was one of central in-
telligence -- an agency that could separate the wheat
from the chaff among the voluminous amount of in-
formation pouring into Washington.

Since the law was merely a nuisance to the CIA
and they found a way to circumvent it in one- area,
is was a minor matter to completely ignore it in ano-
ther. Thus, in direct violation of its statutory charter,
the agency started spying on dissidents, notably of the
antiwar movement.
THE CIA has never gotten along with the clean cut
boys of Hoover's FBI, and it seems that pure bureau-
cratic jealousy started the program in the agency's
counterintelligence division. But the CIA should not
have even had a counterintelligence divistion; their
function should have been intelligence collection - and
that is all.
But empire-building being the infectious disease that
it is among Washington bureaucrats, the CIA couldn't
resist starting its own little domestic spy program.
The fact that they were in direct violation of the law
andw that they were infringing on the rights of
thousands of U.S. citizens seems not to have bothered
the boys at Langley at all.
The blue ribbon panel created by President Ford to
investigate the allegations leaves us very little hope
that the truth will be revealed. Instead, we can ex-
pect some hogwash about 'overzealous and misguided
individuals" carrying out these activities.
(THIS IS NOT the time for mealy-mouthed platitides.
This should make us start "kicking ass and tAking
names," as we were once told in the army. The whol
mess is not merely a violation of civil liberties; i
offends one's sensibilities and violates basic hulia


Letters to The Daily

nuclear fission

victim of such informatiui

and unconcentrated.

1n .c -

nnrIcrin nn A _hrmN -t-- I-_ -

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