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February 19, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-02-19

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9 tiit Pat
Eighty-three years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Soviet scholar starts

hunger strike

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

News Phone: 764-0552


Congressional action needed

said yesterday at a meeting of the
35 - member labor federation executive
council that the country has already
"reached the recession point," with un-
employment rising and prices outpacing
Calling President Nixon's economic
program a disaster, Meany urged Con-
gress to seize the initiative for controll-
ing inflation because the "administration
has misled the American public about
the economy for the past five years."
Wholesale prices climbed a near record
3.1 per cent last month bringing the
year's total to 20.8 per cent - the largest
jump since 1947.
Meany said he expects unemployment
to rise above six per cent this year. Gov-
ernment figures showed last month's un-
employment level at 5.2 per cent.,
Meany, a vocal advocate of impeach-
ment, attacked the administration's
handling of the country's economic
"N0 MATTER HOW gloomy the eco-
nomic news, the President and his
News: Cindy Hill, Sara Rimer, Judy Rus-
kin, Jim Schuster, Stephen Selbst, Sue
Editorial Page: Brian Colgan, Ted Hart-
zell, Marnie Heyn, Cheryl Pilate
Arts Page: Ken Fink, Mora Shapiro
Photo Technician: David Margolick

appointed spokesmen greeted it with en-
thusiasm, saying one thing one day and
the opposite the next," he said.
Meany warned to "prepare for the
worst" when the President or one of his
spokesmen makes an optimistic predic-
The AFL-CIO statement said, "The
truth is what America needs. It needs no
more delays, deceptions, denials and de-
We heartily agree with the position of
the AFL-CIO. It's about time Nixon and
his cohorts adopted an economic pro-
gram in which all citizens can partici-
pate in halting the spiraling cost of liv-
Because Nixon is pre-occupied with
"trying to extricate himself from the
Watergate miasma," the AFL-CIO execu-
tive committee said that Congress has
the opportunity to re-assert its leader-
ship "to help solve the nations prob-
lems." The Council urged Congress to
implement a comprehensive program
for dealing with the energy crisis that
would minimize job lay-offs.
of the AFL-CIO and hope that the influ-
ence of the labor federation can help In-
stitute a feasible economic stabilization
program in the midst of a severe energy
crisis and the fastest yearly rate ever re-
corded in wholesale prices.

"OTKAZ" IS THE Russian word
for "refusal". Vitali Rubin is
an "atkaznik" whose name ap-
pears with increasing frequency in
the Western press, to the embar-
rassment of Mr. Brezhnev who
tried to convince 25 U.S. Senators
last summer that there is no Jew-
ish problem in the Soviet Union.
Two years ago Vitali Rubin was
a relatively unknown scholar em-
ployed as a senior researcher at
the Institute of Oriental Studies
in Moscow. A China specialist
working on Chou Dynasty philoso-
phy (c. 600-300 B.C.), he had al-
ready authored 60 articles a n d
books. Today he is a cause celebre
among his international colleagues
in Asian Studies.
In February 1972, Rubin applied
for an exit visa to Israel where a
position awaited him at the He-
brew University of Jerusalem.
Even before the refusal came,
Rubin was forced to resign from
his job. His current manuscripts
were withdrawn from the print-
ers and reference to his previous-
ly published works vanished from
articles and books in press.
FIVE MONTHS later he official-
ly became an "otkaznik", with the
explanation that he was an "im-
portant specialist". Moscow, it
seemed, was becoming increasing-
ly alarmed over escalations in the
Sino-Soviet rift. Ironically, how-
ever, the usefulness of Rubin's ex-
pertise seemed over since he could
no longer work in his field and his
publications were disappearing
from record.
Nor was he the possessor of se-
cret materials that could endanger
the security of the state. As Rub-
in himself pointed out: "My ma-
terials are Chinese classics; they
are no more secret than the bible
or the tragedies of Shakespeare."
In October 1972, Vitali R u b i n
appealed to his colleagues in "An
Qpen Letter to American Sinolo-
gists" published in the New York
Review of Books. Asking the ques-

tion "Is the scholar human?" he
outlined his plight and concluded
that "the message is clear: such
people as I are undesirable and
are to be made non-existent in
Soviet Sinology."
RUBIN'S LETI ER sparked t h e
beginning of a vigorous campaign
initiated, directed and financed by
the international community of As-
ian scholars, acting as individuals,
which ultimately cost Moscow a
coveted Congress, influenced the
outcome of the Jackson Amend-
ment to the East-West Trade Bill,
and cast a shadow over the future
of Soviet-American scholarly ex-
Letters and cables of pretest
from around the world began to

could earn as a tutor of German
and that he was even beginning to
sell his library, book by boo, to
buy food. That same month, Uni-
versity of Michigan Russian His-
tory Professor Art Mendel visited
the Rubins in their Moscow apart-
ment. He wrote to Rhoads Mur-
phey that'"they try to put cn a
brave front and carry on some-
how, but even their imced optim-
ism has a frantic quality that be-
trays their anguish . . . They are
trapped and increasingly hopeless."
In early June, a petition, signed
by over 1300 specialists on Asia
from 19 countries including Gun-
nar Myrdal, John K. Fairoank and
Edwin Reischauer, was dispatch-
ed to Soviet authorities asserting
that "No government should deny

information from Western visitors.
And several of the letter's signers
had recently returned from t h e
A month passed with no re-
IN JULY, the 29th International
Congress of Orientalists (a pres-
tigious gathering with a hundred
year long history) convened in
Paris and the letter's barbed threat
materialized. Rubin's presentation
was read in absentia and w e 11
over 100 China specialists passed
a resolution expressing, regret that
the Soviets had not allowed Ru5in
to attend.
Those Russians who were present
had come with a bid in hand for
Moscow to host the next meeiing
of the Congress. As a friend of

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"We are all hostages, deprived of the elementary right to decide our own fate
... We hope that you will help to free us from our ghetto. It is better to
light a candle than to curse the darkness. Let the struggle for us be a way of
lighting it."
na::. wr .:vr::xa }?:;'?y:n"4"' h{? "-."}.r:h ".} .;- M".' "{: ," : o v-:r"

exit visas to Israel. Rubin was re-
leased after questioning. 0 n
December Sth he was uporaided by
a militiaman for being a vagrant
--a charge which often precedes
arrest, trial and imprisonment, in-
cluding exile to labor camps. Mean-
while, the Jackson Amendment was
passed by over three-quarters of
the Senate. Vitali and Ines Rubin
wrote a letter of thanks to Con-
gress which was mentioned in the
New York Times, stating that
"You have not forgotten t h e
words of Jefferson: Nature has
given all men a right of departing
from the country in which chance,
not choice, has placed them."
LAST FRIDAY Vitali Rubin, a
slight man whose fragile appear-
ance belies his outspoken, courage-
ous behavior, began a hunger
strike in the apartment of h is
friend, David Azbel. Along with
Azbel and Vladimir Gsitsky, an
artist, Rubin is subsisting on wat-
ed in order to dramatize his "ap-
peal to those in the West who are
influenced by Soviet propaganda."
Speaking for the three, first by
telephone with people in Ann Ar-
bor, then in person with journal-
ists In Moscow, David Azbel con-
ceded that thousands of Jews have
been allowed to leave the Soviet
Union; nevertheless, he noted, "fig-,
ures are useful in counting pro-
fits, not human fates."
Once again Asian scholars are
rallying to the support of their col-
league. Frank Shulman, a biblio-
grapher in Asian Studies who is
associated with the U of M's Cen-
ter for Japanese Studies, has been
working throughout the nights in-
forming those who have already
expressed concern over the plight
of Vitali Rubin about his current
hunger strike, the outcome of which
is uncertain, even precarious. The
arrest and deportation of Alexand-
er Solzhenitsyn may signal a new
Soviet policy to crack down on
dissidents. Only time will tell wat
all of this will lead to.
Jeanne- Vilnay is a University

pour into the offices of Soviet au-
thorities, including one (a copy to
Vitali Rubin) from Professor
Rhoads Murphey, now Associate
Director of the University of Mich-
igan's Center for Chinese Studies.
Rubin returned a letter of appre-
ciation and asked for a copy of an
English translation of a Chinese
classic punblished by Columbia
University Press. Murphey refer-
red the request to Columbia's F"ast
Asian Institute and the book was
dispatched via registered mail,
soon to be followed by an invitation
from Columbia's Vice-resident
Wm. Theodore delary for Ruhin to
lecture at Columbia.
IN MARCH Rubin received a
"nyet" on his American visa ap-
plication. By then rumors had it
that the Rubins were subsisting on
whatever money his wife Ines

an internationally known scholar
the right to choose where he will
live and work."
SIMULTANEOUSLY, a letter ori-
ginating from Ann Arbor was sent
to Soviet scholars in Asian studies
under the letterhead of "Scholars
on Behalf of Vitali A. Rubin."
Among the signatories were Uni-
versity of Michigan Professors
.James Crump, Alexander Eck-
stein, Charles Hucker, Donald Mun-
ro, Rhoads Murphey and Frank
The letter warned that officials
in the Soviet Union, in ignoring the
petition, "may be underestimat-
ing the negative impact that this
entire matter may have on the
future of friendly and producthi e
contacts between Soviet scholars
and their contacts abroad." Soviet
scholars, presently barred from
entry to China, depend heavily on

heated discussions on "the repres-
sion of Orientalists in the Soviet
Union, specifically Vitali Rubin,"
the 30th Congress fell to ,i rather
dark horse candidate, Mexico City
-not only a blow to Soviet pres-
tige but also a lost forum for pro-
Rubin heard about the petition
over the B.B.C. while visiting the
Latvian Forest and reported o a
friend that on May 23rd the KGB
had searched his flat and had con-
fiscated his diaries and scholarly
IN OCTOBER, war broke out in
the Middle East. Three days after
signing a message of support to
the people of Israel, Rubin was ar-
rested along with David Azbetl a
retired chemistry professor w h o
had spent 16 years in Stalin-era
labor camps and, like Robin, has
been on the chronic "otkaz" list for

lettersietters lettersle tters lettersieti

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miners general strike to reverse t
government's policies, wh
ToHE DAMATIC strule of the directed against all Britisl
TH RAMTCsrgge ofte ers, and to bring it down.
British miners in defiance of the Itsasthegt dows.
Tory governmnent comes in the It was the treacherous
face of one of the most brutal at- ship of the BLP in the ea
tacks in decades on the living ties that laid the basis fort
standards of the British working rent situation - when it at
class. British workers are suffer- to carry out three of the n
ing the effects of both a staggering popular acts of the Heath
ten per cent inflation rate and a ment: state wage controls,
government program of stringent tions on the power of the ti
wage controls.gions through the National
Britain's miners, lowest paid in trial Relations Act, and C
all of Western Europe, have re- Market entry.
fused to work grueling overtime What is needed above all
for the past several months. The such a struggle is a revol
Heath government, staking its ex- leadership in the workers
istence on a direct political and ment committed to a co
economic attack on the working class-struggle program. TI
class, aims to break all resistance seeks to become the stude
to government wage policies for a auxiliary to this communi
long time to come.sition to the existing leade
The three day week, supposedly the trade unions, as part
necessitated by a national coal struggle to construct a wor
shortage, is actually a lockout in- of proletarian revolution.
stigated by the capitalist ruling TOWARDS THIS GOAL,:
class, in hopes of isolating the min- duty of all working class
ers by imposing hardships on the cialist militants everywher
rest of the working class. pose national chauvinism,
As a result, over a million work- ialist rivalries, and governs
ers have been laid off and over 15 tacks on workers of all c
million others have been forced to with a program of inter
millon ther hae ben frce to class solidarity and strugg
take a 40 per cent cut in income. The Spartacist League
The militant strike of 250,000 Bri- Revolutionary Communist
tish coal miners is, in essence, a aRevolingrfo unit
political struggle against the Ttory are calling for a united fr
government and is now a pivotal ket line and rally in fron
battle in the world class war. British Consulate in Detro
STUDENTS, HOWEVER, ,should and Washington Blvd.) o
not misconstrue support for labor Feb. 20 at noon around
struggles as meaning support to gans, "Victory to the Brit
the bureaucratic misleaders of the Miners," "For Internation
labor movement, either domestic- ing Class Solidarity." Al
ally or internationally. In the case picket on Wednesday.
of the miners' strike, the reform- --Ken Richards
ist British Labour Party and the February 18
Trades Union Congress (equiva-
lent to the AFL-CIO here) have re-
fused to mobilize the most effec- To The Daily: f
tive support for the miners - a MOST OF US, no doubt

he Tory some time have come across a
ich are piece of writing with whose basic
h work- broad premises we are in agree-
ment, yet find it replete with am-
leader- bivalent and sometimes inaccurate
rly six- details that leaves one, with a
the cur- sensation of a great opportunity
tempted lost - opportunity lost with re-
niost un- gard to the perceptive insights that
govern- ought to have been forthcoming
restric- from a student of journalism and
rade un- foreign languages who has spent
lIndus- most of his college career studying
Inmon in France and Spain. Unfortunately
Paul O'Donnell's article was also
else in an opportunity gained to expose
stionary many of his prejudices against
;, move- Spain. First the inaccuracies:
insistent O Radio Nacional de Espana
he RCY (the official state-run radio sys-
nt-youth tem) announced at 13.00 GMT (9
st oppo- a.m. Ann Arbor time) on Decem-
rship in ber 20th that the President had
of the been killed by an explosion in the
ld party district of Madrid known as Sala-
manca. Since that same barrio the
it is the previous summer (I was there for
and so- three months) had been rocked
e to op- by near-catastrophic natural g a s
imper- explosions, I thought at first it
ment at- might have been coincidence. At
ountries 4 p.m. (10 p.m. Spanish time) the
national same radio announced the assas-
le. sination, saying that it had been
and the officially confirmed at 6 p.m. Spen-
Youth ish time. If I heard this in Ann
ont pic- Arbor on my short-wave radio (and
t of the they were all relays of home-serv-
it (Fort ice programs to Spaniards abroad),
n Wed., how can Paul O'Donnell state that
the slo- there were no "news broadcasts all
ish Coal day".
al Work- ' You don't need "powerful ra-
lI out to dios" in Spain to listen to France
and Italy, any cheap transistor will
do, more so if you live in Barce-
lona; they are available on AM
(medium-wave). Those w h o s e
Spain French and Italian is not so good
(which means about the v a s t ma-
will at jority of Spaniards) probably tun-

ed to Radio Andorra on AM or
Radio Espana Independiente (Com-
munist clandestine station) a n d
Radio Euskadi (clandestine Bas-
que nationalist station) or even the
BBC in Spanish, if they have short-
wave radios (which are easily
available in Spain).
* I arrived in Madrid t h r e e
days after the death of Carrero
Blanco and was struck by the ab-
solute calm that reigned - the
usual perfunctory passport and cus-
toms control at the airport, not
an armed guard in sight. While I
couldn't quite agree with the of-
ficial view that this proved the
"political maturity" of the Span-
ish people, there was nonetheless
no outward sign of crisis in the
"aging dictatorship".
* The reference to "repressive
military regime" is also ambigious.
Repressive, decidedly ves; mili-
tary only to a point. The real fear
after the death of the President
was that oftreprisals from organi-
zations of the Right, and the pos-
sibility of a coup d'etat by t he
military. The relationship between
Gen. Franco and the Army over the
years has been complex and the
Army has had its share of frustra-
tions. The increasing commitment
to civilian rule will see its active
role in Spanish politics prob bly
even more marginalized (The pre-
sent cabinet has three military
men out of a total of 20).
Turning to prejudices:
9 One does not need to go to
France to find out what is happen-
ing in Spain. Apart from radio sta-
tions,British, French and Ameri-
can newspapers are on sale on the
streets of Madrid on the same day
of issue, and if you have a sub-
scription to a newspaper you won't
miss an issue. Last summer I
bought the London Observer for

three months from the same news-
stand and missed only one is. ue.
* The fact that the border area
was like an armed camp after the
assassination is hardly surprising;
it is sometimes forgotten that some
innocent bystanders were also
blown up with Carrero Blanco. My
own experiences of armed police
in France .would hardly give me a
warm feeling on crossing the bor-
der. If any one had seen de Gaulle's
garde republicaine in action against
subversives, . they would realize
that the Spanish .counterparts
could teach them little.
Probably my greatest frustration
with Paul O'Donnel's article was
that I had hoped for considerably
more from a student of journalism
and languages. I had hoped for
some awareness of the great crisis
of authority, in Spain, the g;.n-
eration gap in terms of the Civil
War memories, the obsession with
Spain's entry into the Common
Market, the cautious talk of the
reintroduction of "associations"
(read political parties) into t h e
country, degree of politicization of
the Spanish university or gven the
mechanics of press censorship in
Spain. Any one of these topics
treated (and a dozen more) could
have been very informative. In
other words, the problems of
Spain today are particularly com-
plex, and rather than contributing
to our understanding of some as-
pects of them, Paul O'Donnell has
merely aired some of his own
prejudices and some cliche fac-
tual material that anyone inter-
ested can tell from the Associated
Press Almanac.
-James Maharg
Asst. Prof. of Spanish and
Feb. 7



View from D.C.




qHE MOOD in Washington is
still one of total engrossment
in the Watergate affair and im-
peachment. People on the streets,
people in busses, people in res-
taurants and bars; almost every-
one is talking Watergate in D.C.
When one keeps in mind that D.C.
went for McGovern in '72, this
phenomena is probably not all that
All during the week of Febr'iary
4th, groups of people from around
the country (mainly the East. New
York City, Connecticut, Philadel-
phia, Delaware, Minnesota) came
to Washington to talk to congress-
people about impeachment. The
National Campaign to Impeach
Nixon organized this event which
they termed the "National Lobby-
On every day of the National
Lobby-In, various groups marched

the Capitol. We passed tie many
governmental agencies that a r e
telling reminders of the injustice in
the Nixon Administration: The Jus-
tice Department, which has made
a mockery of its name; The Fed-
eral Trade Commission, home of
the Russian wheat deal; The Na-
tional Archives, guardian of Nix-
on's tax deductible, vice-presiden-
tial papers.
These institutions reminded us of
the innumerable ways Richard
Nixon has broken the law, bowed to
the interests of big business, and
ripped off the American people for
his own profit and comfort. No
common citizen would he allowed
to get away with this. Richard eix-
on must not either.
When we reached the Capitol,
the group broke up and met with
their respective congresspeople. A
common response from H o u s e
members, particularly Republicans,
was that they didn't want to "pre-

in the House.
ON FEBRUARY 20th, the House
Judiciary Committee is ging to re-
lease a report defining what the
Congress considers an impeach-
able offense. Esch said that he
would have further comments on
the impeachment issue after this
report is released.
Next we met with a House Judic-
iary Committee member, Ray
Thornton (D-Arkansas). He said
that he viewed himself as a grand
juror and that neither the feelings
of his constituents (who are against
impeachment) nor those of the
country as a whole would deter-
mine his vote. He stated that his
vote would be decided by evi-
dence only.
However, Thornton did say that
if Nixon refuses a "justified" sub-,
poena, then this act should be heav-
ily weighed when the committee
is considering the impeachment

surveillance of students. In a let-
ter bearing Nixon's signature, the
Huston plan is given approval. It
specifically admits in the letter
that the proposed actions are il-
legal. Richard Nixon authorized the
secret bombing of Cambodia and
withheld information concerning it
from the Congress and the Amer-
ican people.
Marvin Esch continues to say
that he doesn't want to "pre-judge"
the case even though crimes have
been committed and laws broken.
Most of the House members will
put off taking a position on im-
peachment until the public de-
mands Nixon's ouster.
The House of Representatives has
begun the first impeachment pro-
ceedings against a president in a
century. Only the "firestorm of
rage" after the Cox firing, demand-
ing Nixon's impeachment, c o u I d
have started it.

T'was the night before detente when all through the
Not a creature was stirring, not even a Maos.
The press had been hung by old Spiro with care
In hopes that great Super K soon would be there.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff were all snug in their beds
As visions of Communists danced in their heads,
And Pat in her kerchief and I in my crown 'er cap
Had just settled our brains for a long cold war's nap,
When from the throne room there rose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
There to my surprise what should I hear
But a faint German accent that I thought was quite near.
Up on the Oracle so lively and quick
He stood and said "howdy to you, tricky Dick."
Fast as eagles 'round the world he came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name.
"'Now Golda, now Anwar, now Faisal and Chou
On Brezhnev, on Heath, on Thieu, and Trudeau."

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