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February 07, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-02-07

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V r £f n Daily
Eighty-three years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

News Phone: 764-0552


The blame really lies


of energy shortages rudely settles
over this land of plenty, scapegoat-mania
has come to be an unprecedented na-
tional pasttime.
Like the schoolboy who desperately de-
nies his own guilt and tries to distribute
it when scolded, the American consumer
has come to dismiss his own casual role
in the energy crisis.
He prefers, in one magical twist of
mind, to finger the oil industry not mere-
ly as the hapless misfits responsible for
the present situation, but as the sole, di-
abolical perpetrators of all our energy
Certainly the oil companies played no
small role in the past year's dour turn of
events. As the Now generation's answer
to Benedict Arnold, the energy magnates
have done a yeoman's job of protecting
America's capital.
They have colluded, contrived, combin-
ed, and conspired; they continue to do so
even while muckrackers like Nader and
Anderson get more and more data on
their collectice foibles. Vigilant consum-
er watchdogs have bucked the odds in
bringing the profiteering of oil interests
into the public's myopic view.
Industry is once again trying to sell us
Editorial Staff
Editor in Chief
Managing Editors
SUE STEPHENSON gng..E.d..............Feature Editor
MARNIE HEYN .................... Editorial Director
CINDY HILL ...................... Executive Editor
KENNETH FINK ......................... Arts Editor
TONY. SCHWARTZ ................... Sunday Edto
MARTIN PORTER..................Sunday Editor
STAFF WRITERS: Prakash Aswani, Gordon Atcheson,
Laura Berman, Dan Blugerman, Howard Brick,
Bonnie Carnes, Charles Coleman, Barb Cornell,
Jeff Day, Della DiPietro, Mike Duweck, Ted Evan-
off, Matt Gerson, William Heenan, Steve Hersch,
Jack Krost, Andrea Lilly, Mary Long, Jean Love,
Jeff Luxenberg, Josephine Marcotty, Beth Nissen,
Cheryl Pilate, Ann Rauma, Saa Rimer, . Jim
Schuster, Bob Seidenstein, Stephen Selbst, Chip
Sinclair, Jeff Sorensen, David Stoll, Paul Ter-
"DAILY WEATHER BUREAU: William Marino and Den-
nis Dismachek (forecasters)
Business Staff
Business Manager
RAY CATALINO ............... Operations manager
SHERRY CASTLE .............Advertising Manager
SANDY FIENBERG............... Finance Manager
DAVE BURLESON .................... Sales Manager
DEPT. MGRS.: Steve LeMire, Jane Dunning, Paula
ASSOC. MGRS.: Joan Ades, Chantal Bancilhon, Linda
Ross, Mark Sancrainte. S u a n n e Tiberlo, Kevin
ASST. MGRS.: Marlene Katz, Bill Nealon
STAFF: Sue DeSmet, Laurie Gross, Debbie Nov es,
Carol Petok, Mimi Bar-on
SALESPEOPLE: W e n d s Pos, Tom Kettinger, Eric
Phillips"Pe t er Anders, R o be rt Fischer, Paula
Schwach, Jack Mazzara, John Anderson
DAILY WEATHER BUREAU: William Marino and
Dennis Dismachek (forecasters)
Photography Staff
Chief Photographer
KEN FINK.................... Staff Photographer
STUART HOLLANDER............Staff Photographer
KAREN KASMAUSKI............ Staff Photographer
DAVID MARGOLICK.............Staff Photographer
ALLISON RUTTAN...............Staff Photographer
JOHN UPTON ..................... Staff Photographer

down the river, but throttling their
schemes will not by itself solve our ener-
gy dilemma. Corporate greed and abuse
of the consumer are not the only crux
of the problem. Rather, they are symp-
tomatic of a larger current of self-seek-
ingness that reigns as the American
Past disregard for energy conservation
by all Americans has come back to haunt
us. It is in the area of responsible con-
sumption that the ultimate answers to
our power maladies lies.
We can't afford the luxury of the
"when in doubt, punt" philosophy of
problem-solving when dealing with so
crucial an issue as energy.
fort at more efficient power con-
sumption and consumer education be-
fore rushing blindly into further pillage
of nature's limited energy resources or
forced dependence on fission power.
Society wastes so much of its energy.
While we still have a choice, why not
trim the excess and so cut down on en-
ergy intake, especially when the retriev-
able supply is so rapidly dwindling?
A little less who-dunnit-ism and a lit-
tle more introspection at the personal
level would improve our odds of keeping
humanity viable. We can't keep playing
these mind games forever.
weeks to register to vote in order to
be eligible to go to the polls in. the city's
April elections. Registration will continue
daily at the City Clerk's office in City
Hall on Huron through March 1.
Listings of special registration sites
will be published in The Daily andthe
Ann Arbor News. If you are unable to
register at City Hall during business
hours, watch for these special listings, or
call the Clerk's office for more informa-
Announcements about registration are
usually received with the best of good
will and intentions, but rarely are they
followed up on. If you've been concerned
at all about housing policies, landlords,
leases, or even if you still dream about
legalization of marijuana, this is the time
to vote about it.
In April, referenda dealing with rent
control and marijuana legalization will
be on the ballot. So please, don't just
think or talk about registering. Remem-
ber that familiar dictum: Do It!
News: Prakash Aswani, Dan Biddle, Della
DiPietro, Cheryl Pilate, Sue Stephenson

FOR A DROWSY Sunday morning, t h e
picture was a little discomfiting. In the
upper left corner of The New York Times
sat an emaciated woman, legs and arms
held to herself tightly, one hand half-hiding
her face. The headline: "Monsoon Shift
Called Threat To World Food."
Picture and story depicted the death by
starvation and disease of thousands of Af-
ricans. It warned of the imminent death
of millions more.
Opposite, the photograph of a concerned,
well-fed Gerald Ford on a public-speaking
stint, trying to disentangle himself from
What was unexpected was that the drought
story had been given such a prominent slot
on the front page. One usually discovers
such subjects sandwiched between features
somewhere past page one or two, past the
"important" news. That is, if reported at
What was not surprising was that, of
course, it held only a second-place status
behind the Gerry Ford story. Implicitly I
was being told that the Washington palace
intrigues, the unfolding of an already at-
tenuated tale, should be of more concern
than a threat to millions.
THE STORY ruffled my complacence. I
had headed vague sketchings of a drought
in sub-Sahara Africa. But why hadn't this
hit me before? Had the accounts been so
small, the timing so sporadic, to escape at-
Here was the brutal confirmation of what
little information had touched me. Here, too,
was hunger multiplied by the millions fin-
ally receiving, it seemed, a fraction of the
attention it had been crying for for five

United Nations' figures point sharply to
how the drough has undercut the very basis
for life. In countries whose economies al-
most totally center around agriculture and
livestock, grain output has dropped 1.5
million metric tons, thirty per cent of the
livestock has died.
The human toll, at-the individual level,
is much more grisly. Mothers sacrifice
food rations - and the babies the rations
were intended for - to save their older
children. People eat barks and leaves, and
ferret out anthills for grain the ants may
have laid away.
Josue Njock-Libii, president of the Af-
rican Students Association at the Univer-
sity, tells of near-starved people from re-
mote villages trekking 400 miles to refugee
camps in the cities for food. Others have
waited for as long as ten days in line to
be handed their food allotments. Children,
he says, get only half a glass of milk per
day in some camps.
WHAT IS being done to help? Although
Time magazine for December 17, 1973 cites
"massive international relief," the ai d
is not as massive as it needs to be. Nor has
it arrived on time.
Institutional foot-dragging within the Uni-
ted Nations' organizations designed to send
aid, Food and Agriculture Organization
(F.A.O.) and Agency for International De-
velopment (A.I.D.), made major donors like
the United States and France reluctant to
support the initial effort.
The United Nations had projected that

it may not arrive at alt, one west trica
article states.
THIS IS A DRAMATIC understateme-i:
when we look at the events of recent weeks.
Japan, a prime exporter of nitrate fertil-
izers, has halved its output due to the fuel
Such cutbacks have worldwide repercus
sions. Rockefeller Foundation's Dr. Norman
E. Borlaug foresees that 20 million of the
world's people could die next year from the
combined effect of fertilizer reduction and

: The forgotten f
can only be roughly guessed at. Estimates down the flow of supplies.
range from 50,000 dead from starvation in Second, the "rich countries" will become
Ethiopia, to 100,00 in the rest of the belt, so enmeshed in their oil crisis that they
to a Red Cross forecast that 10 million farm- will neglect Africa. "It is feared that if the
ers and nomads may starve in the near fu- promised aid does not arrive immediately,
it. ilidy not . di-O V Af i l r ino Wat ri'

ple just don't care," he says incredulously.
With regard to the media's - and therefore
ultimately the country's - concerns, he re-
fers back to ABC's 36-hour coverage of she
terrorism at the Munich Olympics, and to
the detailed accounts of Princess Anne's fall
from a horse.
"Some people; are worth more than oth-
ers," he realizes with sad irony. "I still
cling to some hope . . . but somehow I get
t.h Trotter House,, the Interna-
tional Center, and Ecumenical Campus Cen-
ter, his organization is working to collect
donations for a "Famine in Africa relief
FIRST THEY MUST wage a campaign of

"Ours is a disproportionately wealthy country. We should be
even more involved in economic aid. Yet we pride ourselves
on an ignorance of affairs beyond our borders. This is no
.__..' . . ....:.".w . . . ..M{.....x ...r::,r... ::{: .....W-: ?i1

A little research opened my eyes to sime
amazing facts. It also revealed how glibly
unawareness our national insularity h a s
allowed us to become, and remain.
In 1968 an inexplicable trend began. Rain-
fall started to dwindle substantially along
a swath of North Africa, the Sahel, form-
erly known as French West Africa. Six Sa-
helnations, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Up-
per Volta, Niger, and Chad, and also
Ethiopia, forming this belt, are being eaten
up by the Sahara desert.
AS IT ADVANCES because of the drought
- at 30 miles per year - it forces mass
migrations southward of nomadic peoples
who have always relied on the tenuous cy-
cle of nature. Their own movement is cy-
clical too. They graze their cattle in one
spot, move on when the yield becomes
small, and return to the original land later.
The nomad who returns with his cattle
to grazing land finds, instead of the vege-
tation as before, now the further reaches
of an encroaching desert.
We are talking of a geographic a r e a
equivalent to seventy per cent of the con-
tinental United States with about 50 mil-
lion people. Of these, the drought has acute-
ly struck home to 30 million.
THE HUMAN TOLL, in gross figures,

about $827 million of total support would
be needed. By early November 1973 only
$180 million had been sent. Of this, $90
million represented food contributions.
Largest of all contributors have been the
U.S. and what the U.N. terms the "Euro-
pean Economic Community." China, Russia,
Canada, and France have also given ma-
jor shares of food.
By December the U.S. Congress had
passed a bill giving $25 million in emer-
gency funds and $50 million for longer-range
aid to the West African belt.
FROM THE SAME issue of the New York
Times that ran the drought story come.,
a tiny article on a contract between Con-
solidated Edison and a state government.
The price: $200 million.
Africans themselves had 'not been idle.
Yet their donations are pathetically meagre.
Libya's $68,180 gift was the largest of any
of the drought-stricken area's neighboring
states. And since six of the seven affected
countries are among the world's poorest,
self-help is out of the question.
West Africa, an indigenous magazine,
stresses in its January 21 issue the crucial
need for immediate help. Feared above all
are two things.
First, help will arrive, but maybe not
until March when rains will have bogged

A woman in Upper Volta pounds in a mortar the last bit of
grain her family owns.

continuing global weather changes. Twenty
Except for a few 'instances, the plight
of the people in sub-Saharan Africa has
gone unheralded in the U.S. While we fret
over milk rising a few cents, agonize over
cutting down our voracious thirst 'for gas,
and rush to the supermarkets to horde toilet
paper, millions of Africans are facing star-
vation; thousands have died already.
OURS IS A disproportionately w e a 1 t h y
country. We should be even more involved
in economic aid. Yet we pride ourselves
on a disproportionate ignorance of affairs
beyond our borders. This is no revelation.
At times our myopia is overwhelming.
Josue is learning this bitter fact. "Peo-

awareness. This is an unfortunate necessity
in an age when the "shrinking" world, an
electronically-connected world, congratulat-
es itself on transcending national concerns
for international cooperation.
When the Nobel Peace Prize Commit-
tee awarded UNICEF (United Nations
Childrens Fund) the prize in 1965, they
said, "Feeling is growing everywhere . .
that we are in reality one family in the
world .. ."
If we are a family, we are failing to
look after our own.
Ted Har/-ell writes for the editorial

Internal conflicts weaken Bangladesh


Editorial Page: Ted Hartzell,
Heyn, Cindy Hill, Joan Weiss


Arts Page: Ken Fink, Mara Shapiro
Photo Technician: Thomas Gottlieb

i L-1
-#I- tfTMTi


I -^


THE DAY AFTER the recent re-
signation of Bangladesh's first
President, a major daily in Decca,
the capital city, ran a front page
cartoon showing Prime Minister
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman riding a
black bull full speed toward the
end of a cliff. To his side stood
the ex-President saying, "Sir, you
may go the rest of the way
If it were not for increasing poli-
tical difficulties in Bangladesh, the
resignation of the President would
probably have been accepted with
little speculation. But after two
years of independence from Pak-
istan, the Awami League Govern-
ment is facing a major deteriora-
tion in public support. The Presi-
dent's resignation has succeeded
in bringing these difficulties to the
world's attention.
Failure to restore production to
1971 pre-independence levels has
been a major factor in creating the
rising tide of opposition to t h e
Awami League. Prices of food,
cloth, and other basics are three
to four times the 1971 levels. Many
other essentials are in short sup-
these economic difficulties has led
to increased agitation. A series of
natural calamities are partly to
blame, but the government's fear
that the people have turned against
it has led to stepped-up depression.
The President's resignation has
been attributed at least in part
to his reported objection to us-
ing Presidential orders (known as

"Popular resentment has also come to be in-
creasingly identified with the government's in-
ability or unwillingness to halt border smuggling
with Bangladesh's giant neighbor, India."
"..:::...:. e':- : ...S..... ...SS .........:. :. ". :....

neighbor, India. This smuggling
has not only cut food supplies, but
has led to the loss of valuable
foreign exchange income.
Border smuggling has become one
of Bangladesh's biggest businesses.
Jute makes up 83 per cent of Bang-
ladesh's foreign export earnings,
and India's recent announcement
that it would export 500,000 bales
of raw jute this year has caused
great embarrassment in Dacca.
There is widespread speculation
here that India's "bumper crop" is
made up in part of Bangladesh's

difficult to control.
There are reports that highly
placed persons are linked with the
traffic, making police efforts more
difficult, if not impossible. Accord-
ing to numerous sources including
a United Nations official in Dacca,
the Prime Minister's brother is
known as the "Smuggler King of
Khulna." His fortune has report-
edly been made in shiopirg and
food grains. The Prime Minister's
nephew, who heads the youth wing
of the Awami League, has also ac-
quired a substantial fortune since

months ago, and ,.he port, in fact,
has been fully naviga~ale for more
than a year. Critics of the n e w
agreement maintain the remaining
four vessels which are not obstruc-
ting shipping can be cleared by the
Bangladesh Navy.
MANY CONSIDER Soviet mili-
tary assistance to Bangladesh to
be a means by which the Soviets
can continue to use Chittagong
as a base for their own opera-
tions in the Bay of Bengal and the
Indian Ocean. Two squadrons of
MIG-21 aircraft have been deliv-
ered to the Bangladesh Air Force.
Training and maintenance are be-
ing done by Soviet crews.
The Bangladesh Navy is also be-
ing supplied with Soviet aid, and
the Russians have given ten fish-
ing trawlers to Bangladesh. These
are being run by Russian person-
nel while Bengalis are trained in
their use.
On December 30, at the largest
mass rally held in Dacca, attended
by more than 100,000 persons, a
leader of a new militant opposition
party, the Jatyo Samajtantrik Dal
(JSD - National Socialist Party),
demanded the immediate with-
drawal of the Soviet Navy from
the Bay of Bengal. He also warned
India and the United States against
interference in Bangladesh's. in-
ternal affairs.
ported to be maneuvering so as,

not to get caught in the rising wave
of anti-Indian and anti-Soviet sent-
iment. He is said to want a re-
alignment by which all four pow-
ers - China, India, the USSR, and
the U.S.A. - will have equal sta-
tus in Dacca. Such a move would
undoubtedly be viewed in Delhi
and Moscow with disfavor.
Sheikh Mujibur Raman has re-
cently sent a secret emissary via
Hong Kong to approach the Chin-
ese. "We would like to put t h e
Chinese embassy right next door
to the Soviet, if they would only
come," said a source close to the
Prime Minister's office. Forces
among the anti-Soviet left hope
the Chinese do not come in the im-
mediate future and thereby provide
a new lease on life to the Awami
AT LEAST for the present, with
old scores still unsettled, it is
doubtful that the Chinese will ac-
cept the invitation to Dacca. The
Prime Minister's international
standing is faltering, and his abil-
ity to control internal dissent not
yet tested. It is anyone's, guess as
to how long his regime can sur-
vive unless major economic and
social changes are made.
Lawrence Lifscbultz, an econo-
mist specializing in the problems of
economic development, is Pacific
News Service correspondent for
South Asia. Copyright, Pacific
News Service, 1974.


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. "
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own crop which has been smuggled
across the border.
ACCORDING TO reliable sources
in Dacca, rice, the second largest
export, is also being smuggled in-
to India in large quantity. One Uni-
ted Nations source reports that
two border areas have yielded
bumper crops in the last couple of
years. Nevertheless, they gave been
declared "shortage areas" because
close to 50 per cent of the harvest
has found its way across the bor-
der. United Nations food grains
have had to be shipped in to make
up the deficit.

IN THE international arena, the
traditional Soviet support of the
Awami League has hardly been a
drawing card for Sheikh Mjuibur
Rahman. Especially following Sov-
iet leader Brezhnev's visit to New
Delhi last December, anti-Russian
sentiment has been on the in-
crease. Bombs have besn thrown
at both the Soviet Cultire Center
and the Indian Airlines Office in
Various claims about S )viet ac-
tivities in Chittagong, Bangladesh's
hajor port on the Bay of Bengal,
have also fueled anti-Soviet senti-
ment. The Soviet Union and Bang-

Contact your reps-
Sen. Phillip Hart (Dem), Rm 253, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Q -k12--+ '_iff f al 1maszandReate Rldm. Caitol

r 1

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