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October 22, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-10-22

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age 4-Saturday, October 22, 1977--The Michigan Daily
Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 39 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
It's tie togv e Panama
e cy
r Creg. 1 eser ves


Some tales of Soviet terror


OLLING FASTER and faster for-
ward on great clouds of right-wing
ietoric, the issue of the Panama
anal treaty seems destined to draw
ie nation in its wake toward an explo-
ye national debate of colossal pr6por-
And all because of an angry strain
American jingoism trying to shake
f approaching death. Ignorant emo-
analism has not seen such a heyday in
That is not to say that the Panama
anal treaty is a non-issue. On the con-
ary, it symbolizes an emerging doc-
'ince of American foreign policy, one
hich recognizes fairness above ex-
ediency. Jimmy Carter is no model of
ltruistic statesmanship, but his step
z this direction is commendable, and
ie canal issue is his first test. The
eaty, completed in recent weeks by a
urge of negotiation and compromise,
eserves the nation's firm support.
But before Carter can claim a
-iumph on the issue, he must defeat a
ill-headed pack of senators who sense
ie recalcitrance of an equally bull-
Baded majority of the American peo-
le. In a time in which the values of a
entury seem to be crumbling, in
hich a generation's morals and
iores seem to come under siege from
l1 sides, that generation is groping for
ecurity in the form of a strip of land
rid water that is the vestige of a lost
ra. Carter's task is formidable.
At the center of the furor is the right
ing of the Republican party,
elighting in its chance to pounce on
ie nation's confusion. The, faction fin-
s its hero in former California gov-
'nor Ronald Reagan, whose efforts to
in the issue into a blaze during his
rimary battle with Gerald Ford last
ear lacked only proper timing to suc-
Bed. The timing is with Reagan now,
rd he and his followers are making
ie most of it. Chagrined over Ford's
omination and loss, the GOP's hard-
ore right is making the Canal a litmus
st for its candidates in next Novem-
er's off-year elections, and they are
etermined not to let the issue slip
way again.
Their argument is capsulized in
,eagan's war-cry: "We bought it, we
ilt it, we paid for it, and we are going
>keep it." But we didn't exactly buy
; Theodgre Roosevelt's administra-
on bullied and manipulated the gov-
rnments of Colombia and Panama in-
> signing the rights to the canal zone
way in a treaty, then made a repara-
on to make the affair seem legiti-
Hate. In the succinct phrase of Cali-
>rnia's Senator S. I. Hayakawa, who

recently declared his support of the
new treaty, "We stole it fair and
INDEED WE DID, and nothing will
change the fact that the U.S. gained
hegemony over the Panama Canal by
nothing less than imperial means. The
notion of "manifest destiny" has
grown no less absurd with age. What is
more, the injustice rankles more now
than it did then. The canal no longer
merely bisects the jungle isthmus of a
fledgling nation in need of help; it lies
like a gash between the halves of a
developing nation which has come to
resent its little-brother status.
The fears that the canal will sud-
denly be vulnerable to military force if
the U.S. pulls out are ill-conceived. In
the first place, military experts agree
that the canal is indefensible even now.
A well-placed grenade or two can shut
the whole thing down. Moreover, one
must understand that the treaty
recognizes political reality: Panama-
nians are unwilling to live with the U.S.
as an intruder any longer, and the
canal is extremely vulnerable to guer-
rilla tactics. Says General George
Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, "There'll be trouble" if the
Senate rejects the treaty: "You'd be
fighting men you can't identify at a
time and place of their choosing.
That's not the way, in my judgment, to
assure continued operation of the
In any case, the treaty clearly
provides that the U.S. may assist the
Panamanians in defending the canal,
.,whenever necessary, forever.
Carter needs a win on the treaty if
his efforts in the Mideast and in the
SALT talks are tb be taken seriously.
Without doubt, he is right on the issue
of the canal. With this g sture, the U.S.
can prove it cares fol international
justice, and may proceed to the
greater work that lies ahead. For the
sake of fairness to Panama, for the
sake of the administration's efforts
elsewhere, and for the sake of the
nation's conception of its role in the
world, the treaty should be approved.
, ItI
KATHY HENNEGHAN......... ..............Sports Editor
TOM CAMERON.....................executive Sports Editor
SCOTT LEWIS.. .................... Managing Sports Editor
DON MacLACHLAN .........Associate Sports Editor
JOHN NIEMEYER ....Contributing Sports Editor
NIGHT EDITORS: Paul Campbell, Ernie Dunbar, Henry Engel-
hardt, Jeff Frank, Gary Kicinski, Rick Maddock, Brian Mar-
tin, Bob Miller, Brian Miller, Dave Renbarger, Cub Schwartz,
Errol Shifran and Jamie Turner.

He is 29 years old, balding, short and
stout, warm and brilliant.
'If you are going to use my name, 'he
said, 'spell it correctly, S-h-c-h, not S-h as
you had it. 'He added, 'It won't become a
household name.'
- Shcharansky in conversation with Rob-
ert C. Toth, (Los Angeles Times, June 27,
Perhaps. But, as Toth adds, Shcharansky
has become an international cause celebre -
the focus of Soviet efforts to crush the Jewish
emigration movement by branding its leaders
spies for the United States - A fact vehe-
mently denied by both the President and the
State Department. Shcharansky could be-
come the first national Jewish martyr since
tle time of Stalin. His plight paints a bleak
picture of the Soviet refusednik - forced by
authorities, on one hand, to remain in Russia,
yet having life made intolerable for him even
when permission to emigrate has been de-
nied. Most important, Shcharansky's case
shows us that labels like "human rights" or
"Soviet persecution of minorities'' are not
just empty political slogans - they involve
people..People who must keep on fighting to
survive even after the slogans have dis-
1948. A brilliant student as well as a superb
chess player, he graduated from the
prestigious Moscow Institute of Physics in
1972. Not wishing to jeopardize his chances
for emigration to Israel, he never practiced
his profession, working, instead, as an
engineer. He applied for an emigration visa in
1973 and received his reply a year later -
refusal because of supposedly possessing
"State secrets'' - a charge refuted by Sh-
charansky. Hoping to get international at-
tention, Shcharansky then took part in a brief
public demonstration - one that cost him 15
days behind bars. Later that year, after hard-
ly any success with the authorities, Shcharan-
sky's wife received her visa and left a day af-
ter their wedding. They expected to see each
other in a few months.
A favorite tactic used by Soviet authorities
against those wanting to emigrate is the
breaking up of families, as with Shcharansky.

Instead of receiving a visa, what happened af-
terwards was an intensification of the cam-
paign against him. He.was harassed daily by
the KGB (Soviet Secret Police), dismissed
from his job, was frequently arrested and re-
leased only to be brought back to prison
again. During this time, he served a total of 12
terms. Finally, he was forced to live with
friends, changing places almost everyday.
Instead of breaking under pressure, Sh-
charansky actually grew in prominence, be-
coming the chief spokesman for both Jewish
activists and dissidents. He became a notable
member in the group monitoring Soviet com-
pliance with the Helsinki accord. (Included in
the Helsinki agreement, signed by the Soviet
Union, are a number of broad humanitarian
declarations including the right to leave and
enter countries on family visits and access to
foreign publications. The Belgrade Confer-
ence meeting presently is charged with the
task of seeing how well the provisions of the
accord have been implemented.)
IN MID-MARCH of this year, Shcharansky
was arrested once again. He has not been re-
leased, even though, seven months later,
charges have never been formally laid again-
st him. Authorities have hinted that he wild be
tried for espionage - a crime that carries
with it a maximum penalty of death.
The arrest of Shcharansky is only one of
the many crises confronting Soviet Jewry.
Even before Jimmy Carter's stand on human
rights, the situation of the Jews in Russia had
reached a point of no return. Jewish schools
are extinct in the U.S.S.R. There are no sem-
inaries for the training of Rabbis. In 1956,
three years after the death of Stalin, there
were 460 functioning synagogues - twenty-
two years later, fewer than 45 exist to serve
the needs of 2.5 million Jews! Even so, most
of them are unoperationable. There are,
moreover, only two Rabbis in Moscow to ser-
ve the Jews in the entire Western Soviet
Union. Jews, unlike other religious groups,
are prohibited from publishing religious lit-
erature, prayerbooks, periodicals or journals.
Books and periodicals, hardly differing in
their treatment of Judaism and Zionism, have
become prevalent since the Arab-Israeli war
of 1967. Titles include such works as: The
Creeping Counter-Revolution, by V. Y. Begun
(Minsk: Belarus Publishing House); The.
Black Webs of Zionism, by V. Y. Savstov and

N.Y. Rosenblum (Kiev: Political Literature
of the Ukraine) and Judaism without Embel-
lishment, by T. K. Kichko (n.p.). However,
what is most shocking is the beginnings of
overt actions by the government itself: Dis-
ruption of synagogue services by policemen,
desecration of cemetaries for purposes of
"urban renewal," "and the employment of
the media (television, newspaper, radio) as a
tool against both those who want to dissent
and those who want to leave.
IF THE SOVIET UNION is a tough place
to live, it is a tougher place to leave. Exit
visas are given arbitrarily, with more appli-
cations denied than approved. Persons desir-
ing to emigrate to Israel must pay an exit fee
of 940 rubles - approximately $1,300. Appli-
cants risk being fired from their jobs, and,
ironically, finding themselves now considered
"parasites of the society" - a charge that
can lead to imprisonment. There is no indi-
cation of when a visa will be granted, nor any
certainly of receipt. Persistent applicants
have been subjected to arbitrary arrest,
assault, forced conscription (this includes
those in their 30's and 40's), jail terms and
regional exile. By 1974, emigration had been
cut by 40 per cent, the number is still dimin-
ishing due to government actions. "A matter
of State security," is a common reason for
visa refusal, but this has been used in the case
pf football players, dentists and elderly pen-
'ioners! So, while we hear of Shcharansky
and his battle to leave the Soviet Union, those
who suffer most and. are the. most powerless.
are those without contacts to the outside,
those we never hear about.
There are those who have voiced their fear
that a trial of Shcharansky might bring an up-
surge of anti-semitism; they are wrong. It is a
sad fact that anti-semitism has already
become a fait acompli within Russia and within
its governmental hierarchy. The only
question now is how the West will respond;
whether by voicing a protest, making the Bel-
grade conference a forum for the struggle
against Soviet repression and the denial of
human liberty, or, whether we will remain
silent and uninvolved - leaving the Soviet
Jew, the dissident, and Anatoly Shcharansky
alone under a pitiful, indifferent silence.
Are we our brother's keepers?
Jack Herzig is a member of Aktsia, an
organization concerned with Soviet Jewry
and human rights.

Letters to

The Daily

U *,ms~w4u~d..a.e4swS64SW

on 'hypocrisies'
To The Daily:
The article "Hypocrisies on
Human Rights" a yourreditorial
page October 19 by Mr. Rod Ko-
sann (Sales Manager of the
Daily's Business Staff) did much
to unjustifiably muddle the area
of African politics about which
little is generally known.
In that article much ado is
made about the undulating for-
tunes of a Nigerian pop musician,
Mr. Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, who by
his own choice lived in a com-
mune which he deliberately grav-
itated into conflict with the larger
society and with the law. His
eventual accounting before the
law was forseeable andl Mr. Kuti
knew all along what was coming
his way. It is indeed a pity that
when his day of reckoning came,
it did not rain, it poured!
The author of your Wednesday
column based his whole article on
the February 18 arrest of Mr.
Kuti and went on to make false
and sweeping generalizations on
human rights in Nigeria. Mr. Ko-
sann would have done well to fol-
low up the February 20th report
with a very balanced article on
this incident by the same New
York Times correspondent, Mr.
John Darnton, in its magazine
section of July 24.
Of more serious consequence,
however, is the attempt in the
Daily article to downplay the
world-wide pressure being
brought to bear on the illegiti-
mate White Minority regime of
South Africa. I want to make it
quite clear that the Nigerian
Head of State, Mr. Olusegan Oba-
sanjo, was "on the mark" when
he reminded President Carter
about America's role in buttress-
ing that notorious government.
At a time when Nigeria's oil
wealth and important stature in
African affairs were being cour-
ted, Mr. Obasanjo took the occa-
sion to point out the serious con-
tradiction of this courtship with
the mere lip-service and hollow
sympathy being displayed on the
issue of that important southern
part of our continent. At the
present time there is a rampant
plundering of South Africa' s
wealth with considerable "help"
t.......A ..n..i nn n nn rnn c +; no.rn

"To a person the nations'
(South Africa's) Black leaders
were firm in their conviction that
these firms should not withdraw"
has to my knowledge only been
published in one business jaur-
nal! As a Civil Rights leader of
some note, Mr. Jordan owes an
explanation on the underlying
motives for his South African trip
to his Black constituency here in
the U.S. to whom he is publicly
accountable.{(It is interesting to
note that Mr. Arthur Ashe, the
other traditional Black American
emissary to South Africa quit this
designation in public disgust ear-
lier this year.) At any rate, Mr.
Jordan does not name the Black
leaders he met, and his statement
is in sharp contradiction to that of
Senator Dick Clarke of Iowa, who
after a visit to South Africa this
summer reported that the
African leaders there supported
the withdrawal of U.S. invest-
ments there. Among those
leaders whom the Senator met
was the late Steve Biko of the now
banned Black Consciousness
It is a cruel coincidence that
the day of your article was also
the day the Vorster government
chose to make it clear that it has
no intention of entertaining an in-
ternal dialogue on reform. That
morning, it cracked down on all
Black organizations and newspa-
pers and detained more than fifty
people. So your Sales Manager's
charge that the sharing of power
could "best be decided upon in
Johannesburg than Washington"
received a prompt and far more
eloquent response from his
chosen quarter than I can mus-
Yes, Mr. Kosann, the final solu-
tion to South Africa's present di-
lemma is "one person, one vote" ;
it is as simply stated as that and
no self-respecting freedom lover
will accept anything less. It has,
however, never historically come
easily, and the African popula-
tion of Azania has resigned it-
self to a protracted struggle to
gain independence. In this effort
they have received effective sup-
port and encouragement from
many quarters, including the
Michigan Student Assembly, and
we are in unison with that official

shadytforeign inspired clandes-
tine intrigues.
The Nigerian leader's intention
to hand-over the reigns of govern-
ment to an elected constitutional
government should be judged in,
its own context and does not need
to be second-guessed in the ma-
licious manner osyour Wednes-
day article.-
Finally, despite Mr. Kosann's
alanderous charge, I can say with
no fear of being disputed that the
eventual ascendance to power in
South Africa through majority
rule by arleaderof Mr. Obasan-
jo's statute would be the best
thing to happen to democracy
and human rights in recent times
and would be unreservedly wel-
comed the world over.
- Denis David Ondeje
October 21
To The Daily:
The publication of a libelous ar-
ticle on the Nigerian Head of
State and Black Africa on your
editorial page of. October 19 has
not escaped the notice of the body
of African students here at the
University of Michigan.
We particularly take cogniz-
ance of the signing of that column
by a senior member of the Daily's
organization and of. the designa-
tion of the author by title: Mr.
Rod Kosann,SSales Manager of
the Business Staff.
While we realize that everyone
has a right to his or her opinion,
we object to:
1) The arbitrary use of the
Daily' officer's title for the doubt-
ful purposes of curtailing criti-
cism of the South African regime.
The use of the title in this article
has had the effect of giving the
impression that the author was
speaking in his official capacity
for the student newspaper;
2) The unsubstantiated libelous
statement that the Nigerian Head
of State has committed across the
board violations of human rights

because of the treatment of a
rock performer;
3) The brash ridiculing. of a
cause that the African Students'
Association in conjunction with
the Michigan Student Assembly
is attempting to advance, i.e., the
divestitute by the University of
investments in corporations trad-
ing with South Africa;
4) The casual unresearched
character and over-generalized
statements are evidence of slop-
py journalism on a subject that
we hold serious and very dear.
Consequently, theAfricanrStu-
dents' Association demands both
an explanation and an apology
for this unfortunate and ill-timed
treatment from a senior member
of the Daily's staff and request an
editorial ruling on where the
Daily stands on South Africa.
We deplore the incident and
hope that this is the last time that
this subject is treated lightly.
-African Students' Association
To The Daily:
The cartoon of the blind foot-
ball player published in the Oct.
11 Daily struck me as being in ex-
tremely poor taste, particularly
in light of the many injustices
leveled at disabled persons by
our society. (The University is
pretty far behind many others in
righting these.)
I spent a long time trying to un-
derstand why this cartoon might
be considered funny. The humor
was totally wasted on me. Per-
haps you might elucidate?
- Libby Westie
. . . . : .
Letters should be typed and limited
to 400 words. The Doily reserves the
right to edit letters for length and

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Contact your reps
Sen. Donald Riegle (Dem.), 1205 Dirksen Bldg., Washington,
D.C. 20510

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