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February 28, 1978 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-02-28

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Page 4-Tuesday, February 28, 1978-The Michigan Daily

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The latest an-
nouncement of U.S. intentions to sell more jet
fighters to the Mideast has, increased what
Washington insiders concede is a glarihg gap
between the Administration's promises on
arms sales "restraint" anl the reality of
rising arms exports.
Today, 10 months after Carter announced
his policy of arms sales reductions, officials
from the State Department to Congress to the
business community agree that it offers no
hope of actually rolling back and total dollar
amount of arms sales.
IN FACT, official statistics show govern-
ment-to-government Foreign Military Sales
Agreements (FMS) will go up by $2 billion in
fiscal 1978 - to $13.2 billion.
Sueh facts have necessitated some artful
dodging by Administration officials in ex-
plaining how the rising sales figures square
with the President's January promise to "cut
down our, arms transfers abroad" and "to
reduce the deadly global traffic in conven-
tional arms sales."
Just two weeks after Carter's speech,
Leslie Gelb, director of the State Depart-
ment's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs,
ass'erted before the Senate Banking Com-
mittee that "The President did not pledge to
reduce the total amount of arms sales." What
the President really meant, Gelb asserted,
was that he would reduce the previous year's
total after having "subtracted the exempt
countries and construction items from the
IT IS THE "exemptions" that Gelb cited
which explain how a policy of "restraint" can
be compatible with an overall increase in
military sales. The exemptions were built into

The forgotten arms pledge
By Christopher Paine and John Markoff

the new arms sales policy from the beginning
when Carter announced last May a new set of
controls that he said would be applied to "all
transfers except those countries with which
we have major defense treaties (NATO,
Japan, Australia, New Zealand)."
The President further undercut the ap-
parent thrust of his policy by stipulating that
"These controls will be binding unless ex-
traordinary circumstances necessitate Presi-
dential exception, or where I determine that
countries friendly to the United States must
depend on advanced weaponry ... to mainta in
a regional balance."
It was such an exception, says one high Ad-
ministration official, which explains the ever-
mounting arms sales to the Mideast, which
account for the bulk of U.S. arms sales. U.S.
policy is guided, he said, by a "clear his-
torical and power concept" that involves the
creation of well-armed "sub-super powers" to
protect U.S. interests in the region.
THE SAME exception has also undercut
the Administration's pledge to not be the first
country to introduce weapons of increased
sophistication into a region. Last July the
Administration announced a $1.3 billion ex-
ception to this policy in the sale of the super-
sophisticated Boeing AWACs (Air-Borne
Warning and Control Aircraft) to Iran. This

was followed by the approval of the General
Dynamics' F-16 for Israel and the announ-
cement of the Administration's intention to
sell the F-15 to Saudi Arabia. Both aircraft
represent, in Carter's words, "significantly
higher combat capability."
The many exemptions in the new policy
also explain the Administration's failure to
meet Carter's promise to reduce "the dollar
volume of new commitments in fiscal 1978
from the fiscal 1977 total."
Actually, the fiscal 1977 "total" - or "ceil-
ing control level," as it is called - does not
represent a total at all.
THE ACTUAL total arms sales last year
came to some $12.7 billion. But from that
figure, Carter has exempted $1.2 billion in
commercial sales between contractors and
foreign governments; transfers to NATO and
other treaty allies worth another $1.2 billion;
and "non-weapons-related items" (primarily
Sandi military construction) of $1.5 billion.
This leaves a preliminary ceiling figure of
$8.8 billion, which the Administration has ad-
justed for inflation to yield a final ceiling of
$9.3 billion - or $3 billion less than actual
sales last year.
Under Secretary of State for Security As-
sistance Lucy Benson told a House subcom-
mittee that the Administration intends to

come in eight percent below that $9.3 billion
ceiling in 1978. But this can only be accom-
plished, she explained, by excluding "$4.3
billion in estimated sales that are not by
definition within the ceiling." Of this sum,
"$1.7 billion is for exempt countries" and
"$2.6 billion is for non-weapons-related con-
struction in Saudi Arabia."
ABOUT 10 per cent of the remaining $8.9
billion in estimated 1978 sales "would not fall
within the weapons-related definition and
thus would not count towards the ceiling,"
said Benson. Thus, room would be provided*
for an additional $890 million of weapons-
related sales by labeling 10 per cent of the
controlled sales as non-military.
In all, the Carter arms transfer ceiling will
not cover a startling $6.7 billion of U.S. mili-
tary sales. The actual total for fiscal 1978 will
reach at least $15 billion.
Even if the arms sales policy were to bring
about a drastic reduction in new commit-
ments - and no one is suggesting it will -
massice arms deliveries will continue for at
least a decade due to the $31 billion backlog of
orders accumulated prior to fiscal 1978.
AND, EVEN if the Administration some-
how manages to keep fiscal 1978 sales to "non-
exempt" countries below the ceiling, some of-
ficials contend the reduction in dollar volume

will not necessarily mean fewer weapons
transferred. The annual bottom line figure,
they say, can be trimmed below the ceiling by
not making the usual multi-year package
deals and by selling weapons on a year-by-
year basis instead - as has been proposed in
the latest sales offers to the Mideast.
In other reflections of the Administration's
true intent on arms sales, Carter has consid-
erably relaxed his proposed rules governing
industry contacts with potential export cus-
tomers. U.S. arms salesmen are now only re-.
quired to obtain prior State Department ap-
proval for actual contract negotiations - not
for advertising, demonstrations and
salesmanship leading up to a sale.
The Administration has also decided to
cancel the requirement for State Department
approval of maintenance contracts in equip-
ment already sold on the export market,
leaving defense firms free to negotiate tech-
nical assistance contracts directly with fore-
ign clients.
The result of all these caveats, exemptions
and loopholes, say State Department of-
ficials, is a policy in total disarray. Actual
wholesale limitations of arms sales, they pri-
vately admit, "is not in the cards."
Under-Secretary Benson admitted as
much publicly to a defense industry audience
last December: "I have every expectation,"
she said, "that we will remain the largest ar-
ms exporter in the world for the foreseeable
Christopher Paine and John Markoff
are freelance writers based in the San
Francisco Bay Area, and wrote this article
for the Pacific News Service.

Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Vol. LXXXVI I, No. 124 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan


Just who is 'stalling' Mideast talks?

To The Daily:
Of late, the editorial column of,
The Daily has taken an in-'
creasingly pro-Arab stance, and
seemingly with minimal
justification. In particular, your
editorial of February 9,
suggesting that the United States
should sell arms to Egypt in or-
der to strong-arm Israel in the
current peace negotiations,
seems a . failure to critically
evaluate the news.

Sadat is the first Arab leader to
show the slightest realism in
dealing with Israel by
recognizing her legitimacy and
declaring a willingness to
negotiate on that basis. That he
should take a step out of the dark
ages is praiseworthy, but his
mere gestures are in themselves
essentially meaningless. Israel
has been pleading for direct
peace negotiations for nearly
three decades, and until now the

Register your power

A N ELECTION is fast approaching
in which almost all University
students have a stake.
There is a difference between
having a stake and having a say. That
difference is registering to vote.-
On April 3, Ann Arbor voters will
determine the fate of two proposals
with a direct effect on those who rent
their homes. The first proposal would
nmake it a misdemeanor for any land-
lord to put clauses in a lease which
violate state tenants rights statuses or
which mislead renters about their
rights. The second issue would provide
for a tenants rights booklet to which
landlords, tenants and city lawyers
would each contribute. This would
replace a weaker tenants rights book
currently distributed with the approval
of City Council.
Both of these plans will strengthen
the weak hand of renters in a tight
housing market where landlords call
most of the shots and set the price.
Both issues require a strong turn-out
by renters if they are to pass. Renters,
although making up a majority of Ann
Arbor residents, don't vote as often as
As if that weren't enough reason to
vote, the April election also features a
rematch between Republican Lou Bel-
cher and Democrat Al Wheeler for the
hotly contested Ann Arbor Mayor's
Last April, Wheeler pulled off a
razor-thin one-vote victory over his
Republican challenger. Because of dis-

puted votes, that election is being
restaged this April.
Democrats and Republicans are
closely balanced in the Ann Arbor elec-
torate. The difference between which
party controls City Hall is often how,
many students bother to register and
There are many reasons to register'
and vote in Ann Arbor. As renters, we
pay taxes here. The quality of basic
services - police, road repair, fire, etc.
- affects the quality of our lives.
We spend eight 'months'a year here
in Ann Arbor. What happens in Ann Ar-
bor affects us more than what goes on
in our "home towns" (where our paren-
ts live).
For unregistered students, this is
just about the last week for signing up
to vote. March 6, the day after Spring
Break, is the deadline for registration.
So that you don't forget, why not sign up
now, before leaving for Ft. Lauderdale
or Tucson?
You can register to vote at any of the
following locations:
" Student Legal Aid, Room 4310
Michigan Union. Open 9 to 5, Monday to
* Ann Arbor Public Library, corner
of East William and Fifth Ave. Open 9
to 9, Monday through Friday, and
Saturday till 6 p.m.
* Ann Arbor City Hall, corner of
Huron and Fifth Avenue. Open 9 to 5,
Monday through Friday.
Use the power - register and vote.



'+ 1ti


Arab response has been to
declare but another "holy" war.
Now Sadat approaches the
bargaining table, but does he bar-
gain? For all appearances, he
simply recapitulates, tirelessly,
the same unreasonable demands
that Arab spokesmen have been
churning out for a decade. Never
mind that the territory Israel
holds was taken at tremendous
cost, and at the instigation of
blatant Arab aggression. Never
mind the lack of historical
precedent for capitulation to the
Arab demands. Never mind the
fact that Begin must accom-
modate to internal political
pressures resulting from Israeli
democratic process, while Sadat
answers to none but the Egyptian
military internally. Let us, look,
for the moment, at one thing:
while Israel has come to
_ negotiate in good faith, Sadat
refuses to negotiate in any,
meaningfulsense of the word.
Israel offers significant, con-
cessions on the West Bank and
the Sinai; Sadat offers rhetoric.
Israel, it seems, is expected to re-
linquish territories, submit to the
establishment of a hostile state
that cuts her geographically in
half, and in return to accept,
thankfully, a piece of paper
m signed by representatives of a
nation that treacherously in-
vaded her on her most sacred
holiday only five years ago. Is
this intransience?
It is interesting to speculate on
what Sadat could have meant in
his "threatening" the United
. States. It is difficult to imagine

what sort of threat Egypt could
employ against the U.S. except a
political turnabout (not unknown
in the Arab world) in regard to
the Soviet Union, which, as evi-
denced by the current Soviet ad-
ventures in Ethiopia, retains a
strong interest in the area. This
of course, is not an option open to
Israel, which underscores the dif-
ference in the sort of relation
between Israel and the U.S. and
the U.S. and the Arabs. It is clear
that the United States needs
Israel if it is to have a stable,
democratic ally in the Middle
East, and this is the most import-
ant reason that the United States
should not apply the strong-arm.
No - the United States should
not have sold arms to Egypt. It
serves only to fortify the real in-
transients in these negotiations,
and so impede \progress toward
peace. The Daily should
recognize that the negotiations
are complex and time con-
suming, and any push on the part
of the United States toward a pre-
mature settlement would be
detrimental. Only a situation
where Israel is free to bargain
unencumbered is a just set-
tlement possible. Anything less
would encourage the Arabs to
seek the triumph they could not
achieve on the battlefield, and
lessen the chances of reaching an
agreement that ultimately would
serve the best interests of the
parties in the Middle East, and
the best interests of the United
-Andrew Green




/ IJ

P . A# , 11

-.I1--K~c K. "'

Your stars co


City crime takes a turn

N A REPORT made public last week,
the Ann Arbor police announced the
overall crime rate in the city had drop-
ped by eight percent - the rate of
serious crimes had'fallen 16 percent.
This is an important step forward for a
city that for years had ballooning cri'me
statistics, and it is a testimony to a
city's attempts'to shake off an unsafe
image gained largely through the
unrest in the sixties and early seven-
The efforts of all involved, citizenry
and police force, are to be commended.
Certainly, the statistics released do
not tell the entire story. They do not ex-
plain, for instance, why there was an
increase in narcotics violation arrests
by 45 percent over 1976, and they do not
explain the 20 percent rise in arrests for

fraud. No reason is given for the
decrease in the amount of stolen goods
recovered - from $658,000 in 1976 to
$593,000 in 1977 - and not a word is
spoken as to why guns are suddenly not
being used in the majority of armed
But one cannot expect statistics to
do too much: the figures create a pic-
ture of what is happening, but will
never tell the whole story.
What the police report does do is
speak of a variety of Ann Arbor groups
- the prosecutor's office and the cour-
ts, the cop on the street and the citizens
of Ann Arbor - working to reduce
crime. The results may be far from per-
feet so far, but they are a vast im-
provement over results of the past.

You feel you are losing control
of your life this week. Black
clouds of subletting anxiety fill
the horizon. Housing concerns
loom large.
Takedestiny into your own
hands and vote for housing
proposals'A'and 'B' on April 3rd.
The Ouija board spells it out: 'A'
takes misleading clauses out of
leases. 'B' improves Ann Arbor's
current tenant's rights booklet.
April 3rd will be an important
day for you.
Posters in odd places urge you
to register to vote. This would be
a sign of something big. The stars
can only guide you; the rest is up
to you. Register to vote by Mar-
ch 6th.
ARIE S (March 22-April 20)s
You rapidly grasp the essen-
tials of the issue: housing is
crummy and rents are high.
Patience is not your strong suit.
You tend to scream at your lan-
dlord and bang your head against
walls. There's something else
you can do. Vote YES on the
tenant'sgights proposals on April
3rd. Not registered to vote?
Barriers haven't stopped you
before. You can register at the
fishbowl. Use your pioneering
spirit to make proposals 'A' and
'B' a winning platform!
TAURUS (April 21 to May 21)
V-sr - -i in ,,,.3-r hn on -t

By Leslie Tolf and Caron Chess

leases' mysterious clauses. Stop
intellectually tackling this
problem at the grad library. You
tend tosbe spontaneous; next time
you pass by the fishbowl, stop and
register to vote. The only logical
answer to tenant's problems is
voting for housing proposals 'A'
and 'B' on April 3rd.
CANCER (June 23-July 23)
Although you're usually sym-
pathetic, having to wear five
pairs of socks to bed every night
has been getting you down. You
can't quite believe your landlord'st
pleas for understanding. Your in-
stincts are right, he is responsible
Be shrewd and register to vote
by March 6th at the fishbowl.
You'll also remember to vote
YES on proposals 'A' and 'B' in
the April 3rd election.
LEO (July 24-August 23)
You're generous, but con-
tributing monthly to vour lan-
dlord's vacation home in Bermuda
is overdoing it. You've wondered
whether you should hold your
landlord's daughter for ransom.
There's a safer route:apass by the
4th floor pf the Union and register
to vote. The stars say that you
will vote YES April 3rd on
housing proposals 'A' and 'B'.
VIRGO (August 24 to September

proposals 'A' and 'B'. Tell your
landlord to go and fly his own
LIRBA (September 24 to
October 23)
You are definitely romantic,
but dinner-by-candlelight three
weeks in a row is getting you
down. Even though you're easy-
going you feel like punching your
landlord for refusing to fix the
electrical system. Your strong
sense of justice compels you to do
something that won't land you in
jail or the hospital. Be decisive
for a change: voteaYES on
housing proposals 'A' and 'B' in
the April 3rd election. Don't
forget to register by March 6th on,
the fourth floor of the Union.
SCORPIO (October 24-November
Your infamous sex drive has
been inhibited by cockroaches in
your bed. You're imaginative but
mailing 500 cockroach legs alone
with your rent check hasn't im-
pressed your landlord. Use your
determination to accomplish
something positive. Vote for
proposals 'A' and 'B' in the April
3rd election. In your passion don't
forget to register and vote at the
4th floor of the Union by March
SAGITTARIUS (November 23-
December 22)

CAPRICORN (December 23-
January 19)
You have a marvelous sense of
humor.dYou laughed thetday your
landlord raised the rent $100 for,
repairs after you had spent 4
months fixing up the place up.
You're patient, but it's wearing
thin. So is your checking account.
You're wondering if there's
anything you can do. YES! Be at
the polls on April 3rd to vote for
tenant's rights. You've probably
already remembered to register
to vote at the fishbowl.
AQUARIUS (January 20-
February 19)
Loyalty will get you nowhere.
Living in 'your apartment for
three years has only gotten you
increased rent, and summer jobs
to make up for the money you lost
by subletting in the summer.
Concerned about politics, you've
already registered to vote at the
fishbowl. With your commitment
to reform you'll be at the polls
onm April 3rd to vote for housing
proposals 'A' and'B'.
PISCES (February 20-
March 20)
Calmness is notyourrstrong
point. When your landlord said
you couldn't legally dispute your
lease, you moved out and sub-
scribbled "LANDLORD IS UN-
FAIR" on the walls. Escape may
be Pisces' favorite reaction to
problems. but the Ann Arbor

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