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January 08, 1974 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1974-01-08

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OF"-isORE oaf".

Indi ference may rescue Nixon

By ERIC SCHOCH
COUNTLESS columnists h a v e
dubbed 1973 'The Year of Wat-
rgate" and have predicted that
1974 will be "The Year of Energy
Crisis."
"The Year of Watergate is not
really that inaccurate - the tide of
events got federal judge "Maxi-
mum" John Sirica named "Man
pf the Year" by Time magazine.
Yet the Watergate year label and
the scandal itself help push from
memory other events which are im-
>ortant but less comfortably dealt
with by Americans, who like to be
-omfortable.
For example, most people have
probably forgotten about t h e
takeover of Wounded Knee by
members of the American Indian
Movement (AIM) last spring. More
people probably don't know that
the trial of the AIM leadership be-
gins today in St. Paul, Minnesota.
American money, arms and tig-
er cages for political prisoners are
still being poured into South Viet-
nam as the American government
:ontinues to act on the age-old
Cold War precepts that we are told
iave been forgotten in the spirit
>f detente. Should Richard Nixon
stay or leave, American foreign
and military policy will remain the
;ame. The problems there go far
>eyond one person in the White
House.
BUT JUST AS THE "Year of
Watergate" tends to blur our me-
mories, so it is dangerous that the
energy crisis brouhaha may have

the same effect - what is left of
the impeachment drive may go
down the drain.
For it is still imperative t h a t
Richard Nixon be impeached. The
reasons are the same ones that
have been repeated constantly, not
only for the innumerable actions
for which he must be held account-
able, but for the obvious need to
make impeachment a legitimate
proces, rather than the unthink-
able catastrophe that people seem
to think it.
Those who are opposed to im-
peachment seem to fall into two
-amps. In one group are the mis-
guided patriots who believe we
should all stand behind the poor
persecuted president because he is,
after all, the president. Nothing is
going to affect their position.
Then there are those who feel
that Nixon should not be impeach-
ed because, they say, no one has
provided any evidence that Nixon
has acted in any criminal or im-
peachable manner (the president or
other official does not have to com-
mit an actual crime to be im-
peached and convicted, I would
argue, but it is apparent that noth-
ing short of evidence of presiden-
tial criminal actions will be ne-
cessary to impeach Nixon.
YET IT IS during impeachment
proceedings that any such evi-
dence would be most likely to "see
the light of day," now ',hat the
Ervin committee is stymied by
Nixon's refusal to release inform-
ation and the committee's refusal

to pursue intelligent paths of ques-
tioning. It is also during impeach-
ment proceedings that President
Nixon would be able to finally
prove his innocence, if in fact he
can.
However Nixon, while peoclaim-
ing to the world his innocence,
continues to act like a man with
something to hide. Amid w i d e-
spread public belief that he is not
innocent and that he is d ing a
poor job as President, Nixon side-
steps, counterattacks his critics
and leads one to susoect that if
he could prove himself innocent,
he would have done so long ago.
Meanwhile it would seem likely
that the American public will fol-
low the President's urging and
turn aside from Watergate, a n d
will focus on the energy crisis.
THE WHITE HOUSE is banking
on its belief that Americans have
short memories, one track minds,
and worry about things like infla-
tion and an oil shortage above all
else. The administration h o p e s
those one-track minds stay focus-
ed on the economy, for 'ountless
presidents have been criticized for
their handling of the economy, but
not one has ever been impeached
for it.
There is growing public a n d
media suspicion that the energy
shortage may not really exist. And
the American Petroleum Tnititute
estimates that there is more re-
fined petroleum in the c a u n t r y
now than there was at this time
last year.
In fact, most Americans n o w

apparently believe- that the fuel
shortage was contrived by the big
oil comnalies for profit or by the
White Ho-se to get people's minds.
off Watergate, or both.
As people find it difficult to get
g-s for their beloved cars, and as
oil corporation profits skyrocket,
people will ignore Watergate in
their energy anger. If more con-
crete evidence that the shortage is
in fact conitrived by the oil com-
panies comes to light, impeach-
ment may disappear from m o s t
people's minds altogether.
THE HOUSE of Representatives
has probably never taken as ac-
tion based on principle in its en-
tire history, so it is certain that
if the populace forgets a b o u t
Watergate, the House will forget
about impeachment.
It has been said that Americans
have a cast capacity for forgive-
ness. It is possible, however, that
it is less forgiveness than an un-
willingness to think about difficult
questions for a very long time. At
least Richard Nixon hopes so.
Unfortunately, that may well be
the case. At this point, it w ) u 1 d
seem that Nixon will not be im-
peached, and certainly won't re-
sign, largely because not enough
people really care. Peole seem to
e resigned to Richard Nixon, and
so he'll probably stil be around,
more isolated and more danger-
ous, in 1976. Watergate and all the
convicted administration officials
will be forgotten, just like Wound-
ed Knee and the Indians.

I

Amnesty:

Lest we

forget

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

TUESDAY, JANUARY 8, 1974

Probing the energy crisis

THE PRICE OF gasoline, heating oil and
other petroleum products skyrocket,
as they become even more scarce. Gas
station owners try their hands at price
gouging while the profits of the major oil
companies soar.
At the same time the oil companies, in
the face of mounting evidence that ade-
quate oil supplies are being imported into
the country, refuse to provide figures
that would reveal the true extent of
whatever shortage that might exist.
In the New York harbor one can see
a steady stream of oil tankers pulling in
numbers similar to those of last year, ac-
cording to the New York Times, yet what
happens to it afterwards no one will
say, especially the oil companies.
At the same time, the American Petro-
leum Institute in Washington, spokes-
man for the oil industry and using fig-
ures provided by the oil industry, reports
that there is about seven per cent more
refined petroleum on hand this year than
there was last year. Last year, one can
recall, there were some problems, but no
talk of an energy crisis.
THE STATE ATTORNIES General of
New York and Connecticut, among
TODAY'S STAFF:
News: Penny Blank, Dan Blugerman'
Chris Parks, Chip Sinclair, Charles
Stein, Paul Terwilliger
Editorial Page: Ted Hartzell, M a r n i e
Heyn, Eric Schoch
Arts Page: Diane Levick
Photo Technician: John Upton

others, are attempting to determine the
full extent of the shortage to see whether
it is real or contrived. However, oil com-
pany officials refuse to provide statistics
which will compare the amount of oil
entering the country with the amount be-
ing refined.
If approximately the same amount of
refined petroleum is present as at this
time last year, the obvious question is,
why is there a shortage?
It is very nice to bombard the country
with long overdue energy - saving
schemes, which seem to be taking up most
of the federal government's time these
days, but it's more important than ever
for energy czar William Simon and Pres-
ident Nixon to begin asking some tough
questions about whether there really is
an energy crisis.
UNFORTUNATELY for those who would
like to find out what is going on,
the Nixon administration would no doubt
be perfectly happy to let the shortage
continue, contrived or not, to keep public
attention away from the issue of im-
peachment.
Moreover, many of the officials involv-
ed with government planning to deal with
the energy shortage have been or are oil
industry officials.
It is imperative, then, than an investi-
gation independent of the official energy
agency be conducted. Most Americans
seem to believe that the shortage is due
to oil company manipulation for higher
profits. It is time they found out the
truth.

By JAMES WECHSLER
T0 MANY YOUNG men didn't
get home for Christmas, and
too few Americans - except those
whose homes were saddened by
the absences - gave any sign of
caring.
There is no way to retrieve the
lives lost in the wasteland of Viet-
nam. But thousands of others, in
prison, in self-imposed exile or liv-
ing as f'igitives within the U.S. be-
cause of their opposition to t h a t
tragic misadventure, could have
been allowed to come back, or giv-
en some glimpse of hope of early
return.
No word or hint from the White
House suggested that any form of
amnesty was even contemplated by
the President.
Nor were there many voices in
Congress or other political areas
speaking out for all the forg tten
men whose most serious crime, in
so many instances, was to be ahead
of their time. Long before the rest
of thes country recognized that we
were bringing neither peace nor
honor to Vietnam, they had risked
their lives and futures by refusing
to participate in a senseless war.
THE ARGUMENTS against a
blanket amnesty are familiar.
Some of those who initially defect-
ed or later defected were inspired
by less lofty motives than those de-
dicated men of conscience. T h e
trouble is that any attempt to dif-
ferentiate among the dissenters is
peculiarly difficult in the aftermath
of a war that has no real parallel
in our past.
Never before has the U.S. en-
gaged in a large-.cale conflict ul-
timately repudiated by a majaraiy

of our citizens and whose prolri'ga
tion led to the abdication of a Pre,-
ident.
It is still argued that no Amcr-
icon has the right to "select" the
wars in which he wi'l fight without
a:crepting punishment when he
balks. As an abstract prop sion,
thtt view is hard to contest. B'it
Vietnam cannot be equated with
any past national experience of
such vast dimensions; it may even
be hoped that what hapoened there

But in any case the basic prem-
ise was destroyed when - if we
are to accept the Nixon and Kis-
singer accounts - the Soviet Un-
ion encouraged the reckless Egyp-
tian Yom Kippur war. Presumably
we had proved our national vi:.liiv
in Vietnam; why didn't the mes-
sage reach the Middle East and
Moscow?
The answer is that the equation
w-s utterly false.
But still Mr. Nixon apparently

"Ii nay casesc wounded andtiling veterans are
tItritel awa* fromn Veterans Administration estab-
lishments because of their blemished records.. .
the whrole issue of adequate care for even the
most hon orablv discharged veterans cries out for
investigation."
.*.*........asessaiisim ss sisasss iasaass"2 "s

ties. Review, it embraces "thous-
ands of veterans - trying to find
they way back into civilian society
only to discover their paths blocl<-
ed by other-than-honorable-d i s -
charges' " - based in a wde
variety of offenses ranging from
drug-involvement to bed-we'ing.
In many cases wounded and ail-
ing veterans are turned a w a y
from Veterans Administratio es-
tablishments because of their
blemished records. Meanwhile the
whole isstle of adequate care for
even the most honorably discharg-
ed veterans cries out for investi-
gation.
Vietnam is a war most Ameri-
cans prefer to forget - especially
as they read of the fighting that
still rages after all the press-ageni-
ry of "peace with honor." But too
many young lives are still beng
tormented by both the morat and
physical cost of that madness.
In the same issue of the Re-
view, Sen. Edward Kennedy wrotE:
"Our nation's first and immed-
iate responsibility is to care for
the addicted, the jobless and the
wounded among the veterans who
have returned and for *!, prison-
ers of war, to ensure them ever y
opportunity to rebuild ohr ?vee.
conscious that the anion still
searches' for a way to bind up
the wounds caused by a decade of
war."
When do we begin?
James Wechsler is Editorial Page
Editor of the New York Post.
Copyright 1973-The Nvew York.
Post Corporation.

will prevent a repetition of a com-
parable involvement.
HENRY KISSTNGER is known to
have contended during the pro-
tracted period before a semblance
of peace - for Americans if riot
for the Vietnamese - was achiev-
ed that any abrupt, unilateral with-
drawal would fatally weaken our
prestige in the world. So thous-
ands of'additional lives were squan-
dered - and the disgrace of 'ast
year's Christmas bombings enact-
ed - until we achieved terms that
allegedly offered a respectable cov-
er for retreat. Actually there is
:ompeling evidence that such a
settlement could have been reached
much earlier.

rejects even the minimal dome. ic
reconciliation that could be won
by the beginnings of amne'ty. In
his own political extremism, he
seems to turn more and more to
his hard-line battalions In, a last-
ditch stand against the rising nop-
ular movement for his resignation
>r impeachment. The Vietnam war
resisters are apparently tranop I in
that Presidential battle for sor
vival.
THE HOME-FRONT casualty list
is not restricted to those still serv-
ing jail terms for draft defiance
and those who have becwnie men
without a country. As attarney
Haywood Burns points out in the
first issue of the new Civil Liber-

-

Letters to the Daily

leaflets

To The Daily:
IN VIEW of our present paver
shortage and our continuing inter-
est in ecological concerns, I would
like to suggest that the various
film co-ops on campus (bless
them!) refrain from posting their
usual 2,500 leaflets for each film
shown. It seems logical to assume
that anyone interested in seeing
a film . . . and I'm an avid film-
goer . . . would be abletod lcate
those playing on any given day by
means of The Michigan Daily, the
University operator, the University
Record and/or the beginning of the

semester posters public
distributed by the differe
zations.
This suggestion is cer
intended to undermine t
themselves, for I feel they
a much appreciated fun
:he student body. Rathe
request to save a fewt
help rid the campus of
its needless clutter.
-Kimberly Allen '7
Jan. S
To The Doily:
IT MAY TELL US

NO Q6AS.

N~O FOOP

shed and about ourselves to contrast t h e
nt organi- longest line I've yet seen in Ann
Arbor - people waiting hours in
tainly not the cold to pay $8.50 to sit in a
he co-ops uge auditorium to hear an aging
y perform wunderkind of folk music - with
ction for the fact that the Ark, presenting
r, it is a first-class folk talent week after
trees and week for $2 in an intimate happy
much of atmosphere, is in danger of fold-
ing.
76 We may be gently fooling our-
selves to think Ann Arbor is truly
different from the high-powered
foole plastic-publicity world that is
-Steve Addiss, grad
something
homeland
To The Daily:
ISRAEL ("PALESTINE") was a
Jewish country for fully 1400 years.
It is the only country in the world
today in which the same people are
living in the same land, speaking
the same language and believing
in the same god as they were
three thousand years ago.
During the exile of the Jews from
Palestine, a significant Jewish
community remained, and as far
back as one one hundred years
ago, there was a Jewish minority
in Jerusalem. For 1900 years ex-
iled Jews vowed every Passover
and every Yom Kippur, "Next
Year in Jerusalem!" Towards this
end they prayed three times daily
for hundreds of years. This, in
short, the Jewish claim to Israel.
But who are the Palestinians?
Palestine was owned in large part
early in this century by absentee
Arah 1lndlords in Cairo and Da-

urban Arab population arrived only
after the Zionist pioneers had
initiated their agricultural settle-
ments - these late immigrants
were to become "homeless Pales-
tinian refugees" less than a dec-
ade later.
In order to claim a valid nation-
al heritage, a people must disn1 y
certain trecognized credentials.
What is the Palestinians' unique
language? What is their unique
culture? What is their unique re-
ligion? What is their unique case
for national self-determination?
The truth remains that the "Pal-
estinians" can present no such dis-
tinct credentials for statehood.
Their language is Arabic, their re-
ligion is Islam, their culture is that
of the Ottoman Empire that per-
vaded all 15 Arab states in the
Middle East. In short, there is no
distinct Palestinian people. Seman-
tics aside, there does exist a peo-
ple who have been the object of
power politics which has robbed
them of their dignity and condemn-
ed them to homelessness.
Tn 1948 when Israel won inde-
nendence, 600,000 Arab residents
fled the stAte. Some 150,000 re-
m-ined and these Tsraeli Arabs to-
dov enjov the highest standard of
living of any Arab popolace to be
found anywhere in the world. More
than 500,000 Jews from Arab lands
flad into Tsrael. One does not hear
too i'vh about them, for they
have been absorbed into the Jewish
state. welcomed as brothers. The
600.000 Arab refgees were shumted
into camps in Jordln and Egypt
and kept there for 25 years.
There is orlv one humane and

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