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May 23, 1973 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1973-05-23

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THE
Summer Daily
Simmer Volitionof
Till MICIflGAN DAILY
Edited and managed by students at the
University of Michigan
Wednesday, May 23, 1973 News Phone: 764-0552
GOP anti-dope
drive begins
MAYOR JAMES Stephenson and his emerging Repub-
lican majority on city council took yet another step
Monday night in their gradually unfolding crusade to
drag the city back several decades, setting into motion
the machinery to dismantle the $5 marijuana ordinance.
The stage for Monday night's action was set in the
mayor's first speech to council-a sort of opening shot
in which he declared total war on marijuana dealers
whom he described as "social poison."
The GOP is basing their assault on the liberal dope
ordinance on the incredible fantasy that all or at least
a major part of the city's drug problems date from its
passage.
It is apparently unthinkable to these guardians of
Nixonian morality that "their city" should be referred to
as the "Dope Capital of the Midwest." And with the sim-
plistic obtuseness which has become characteristic of the
city's GOP, they argue that progressive legislation is in
fact cause of the problem it sought to deal with.
HE $5 MARIJUANA fine, far from being an idealistic
permissive Resture was based on a coldly rational as-
sessment of the realities of the Ann Arbor community.
Ann Arbor was the "Dope Capital of the Midwest"
long before the ordinance was enacted andit will remain
so' after it is renealed. This is a liberal, youth-oriented
city, like most cities which host large Universities, drug
use (and hence. drug trafficking,) is inevitable here. Even
an old hard-nosed cop like Walter Krasny has enough
sense to realize that.
The city's Republicans, however, have never been
accused of acknowledging reality if it conflicts with their
own soecial assessment of the world.
HRP's First Ward Councilman Jerry DeGrieck has
warned the Republicans that before the repeal is finally
voted (probably around June 4) they can expect to be
inundated by Ann Arborites who do not share their back-
wards views on drugs.
We hope this will be the case, but doubt it will do
much good.
Despite the fact that they were elected by a minority
(about 47 per cent) of Ann Arbor voters, the Republicans
are acting like politicians with a sweeping mandate to
impose their reactionary programs on the city.
The almost overbearing arrogance the GOP has
demonstrated to that segment of the city which does not
support them has been a truly incredible spectacle.
WE CAN ONLY be thankful that the slogan "four more
years" has no relevance to Ann Arbor. With any luck
the city will rid itself of this crew next April.
The world press
views Watergate
By The Associated Press
FOREIGN PRESS commentary continued last week to be critical
of the Watergate affair, expressing a loss of faith in the
Nixon administration.
The English-language Japan Times said that the Japanese have
up until most recently been "largely disinterested" in Water-
gate, "but now that it has raised the specter of political es-
pionage and sabotage in the world's greatest democracy, the
interest of people in many parts of the world has been aroused."
Because of Nixon's efforts to improve relations in recent years
with the world's superpowers, the paper continued, "the undoing
of the American president's influence and prestige . . . would
be most unfortunate not only for the United States but for the
world at large."
TWO EGYPTIAN newspapers, often hostile toward the Unit-
ed States, said Watergate had led to an international loss of faith

in Washington.
"If the top echelon of authority in the United States bugs
American nationals and accepts bribery to spend it on electioneer-
ing, how can it make decisions on matters of war and peace in
the world," Cairo's Al Gomhouria said.
The newspaper Al Akhbar added that Watergate "shows to
what extent corruption, cheating, deception and the loss of all
moral values have struck into the roots of American society and
U.S. policy."
The French-language newspaper Trois-Rivieres le Nouveliste in
Canada concluded, "Fundamentally, the. Watergate affair has
thrown the fragility of political institutions right in our faces .. .
But we have been given no assurance that everything will be
done to avoid repetition of such incidents."

Communists feel vested interest
in Nixon's political survival

By JAMES WECHSLER
ALTHOUGH LEONID Brezhnev's
journey to Washington is still a
month distant, President Nixon
must have already begun counting
the hours. For the eight days of
the Soviet leader's visit, the Pres-
ident can look forward to headlines
emphasizing his role as world
statesman rather than top man in
iat Administration irretrievably
stained by the dreariest evidence of
moral scandal and facing neW, un-
predictable blows each day.
It is, of couse, the ultimate irony
of Mr. Nixon's career that he must
turn to the Communist leaders in
gloscow and Peking for a measure
if solace during his worst crisis,
and that they show sign of eager-
ness to ease his anguish.
Thus both the controlled Russian
and Chinese newspapers have been
devoting minimal spateto Water-
gate and related matters. In ano-
ther era these disclosures would
have been joyously heralded as
proof of the internal decay of the
citadel of 'capitalist imperialism";
one can only feel a certain sympa-
thy for the frustrated journalists
in the Comunist capitals who have
been told to play down the story.
But Mr. Nixon has no more die-
hard loyalists than the chieftains of
the two major - and warring -
Comunist powers. Clearly they feel
a vested interest in his political
survival. Their fidelity, as Mr.
Nixon must know, is a precarious
thing, but it is the brightest sight
on his bleak horizon. It is unlike-
ly to provide the theme for a des-
perate counterattack on his do-
mestic critics in the coming weeks.
THE TONE CAN be easily an-
ticipated. There will be growing
pleas for home-front silence lest
Mr. Nixon's hand be undermined
in his approaching rendezvous. In-
deed, a hint of things to come
could be discerned in a recent
James Reston's column in which he
implored the Senate to hold off on
any final anti-war vote until after
Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho
have conducted their new negotia-
tions on Vietnam.

In fact the "rally, around t h e
F-g" argument is asrstrategically
spuriots as it is morally shallow.
Nothing said - or not said -
in the coning weeks can conceal
from the Communists the nature of
Mr. Nixon's predicament. He crit-
ically needs some event that can
be advertised as a triumph of his
world diplomacy. Whether any
cheerfilddevelopmentonethe inter-
national stage can rescue him from
the unfolding Watergate story is
Far from clear. But the fact that
his plight carries out for some dip-
lomatic distraction is inescapable.
So, in a sense, he is at the mercy
of his Communist friends. Their
bargaining power is enhanced not
by any words henceforth spoken
in Congress or published on an edi-
torial page but by the momentum
of circumstances Mr. Nixon can no
longer control.
There are some morbid Nixon
watchers who believe he might pre-
fer a hostile confrontation rather
than some new steps toward de-
tente. It is a measure of the coun-
try's sense of remoteness from the
man that so many Americans have
begun nervous speculation about
"what he might do" in a frantic
attempt to change the dominant
subject of national conversation.
In a time that has produced
so long a series of startling revela-
tions, virtually nothing can be
deemed impossible.
There are already ugly intima-
tionsthat the Administration is lay-
ing the groundword for the charge
that Congress is responsible for the
threatened collapse of the bank-
rupt Lon Nol regime in Cambodia..
NEVERTHELESS, beyond -ict-
nam, the larger probability is that
Mr. Nixon will be seeking in his
talks with Brezhnev to reesteb-
lish his credentials as "man of
peace rather than risk the accu-
sation that he has been a f= ture
abroad even while things w e r e
falling apart at home.
There are also abundant indi-
cations that the Soviet leader needs
at least the appearance of a fruit-

Leonid Brezhnev

ful summit to appease his o w n
critics at home. While neither
Pravda nor Izvestia would damn
him if something went very wrong
in his Nixon sessions, he, too, has
a dramatic political battle on his
hands.
One thing may be regarded as
certain about the Brezhnev-Nixon
talks. Neither man will be disposed
to express any concern about the
impending trials of labor leaders
in' Franco Spain, or the mounting
ruthlessness of the Greek despot-
ism. Those who fight for freedom
in those countries are expendable;
Leonid Brezhnev and Richard Nix-
on are men for whom ideology long
ago ceased to be a crucial matter.
Their own troubles transcend oll
the ancient conflicts of faiths.
Janes Wchsler is the editorial
director for the New York Post.
Copyright 1973, New York Post
C orporation.

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