The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, May 23, 1978-Page 7
Local arms race watchers gather
By BRIAN BLANCHARD ,
It will be a determined group of area
residents that travels to the United
Nations's special session on disar-
mament Thursday to express support
for national and global weapons reduc-
tion, if Saturday's community forum on
the issue was any indication.
Reps Carl Pursell (R-Mich.) and
Robert Carr (D-Mich.) and University
Political Science Prof. David Singer
agreed on the need for closer public
scrutiny of the Defense Department's
budget and more local participation in
national arms decisions during the
course of the day-long teach-in.
THE WELL-ATTENDED, free
forum, entitled "A Call to Arms Con-
trol," was sponsored by 14 organi-
zations, eight with religious affilia-
tion, and was held in the First Meth-
During an interview held atter toe
forum, Ann Arbor's Rep. Pursell ex-
pressed support for the Senate's recent
approval of arms sales to Israel, Egypt,
and Saudi Arabia. Most of those in at-
tendance at the forum seemed opposed
to the Senate action.
He noted that the three Mideast coun-
tries have agreed the planes "could not
be used for offensive purposes." Pur-
sell said the Carter Administration con-
siders the sales part of an attempt to
"balance" forces in the Mideast to
prepare the way for peace talks.
PROF. DAVID SINGER opened the
morning session, attended by about 50
citizens, with an hour-long talk entitled
"The Cassandra Calculus and National
"People like myself, who have been
studying this problem for three decades
or so, generally are surprised that
World War III has not occurred yet,"
Singer, who has undertaken a study
of international conflicts since the
Congress of Vienna, said, the "Casan-
dras" who determine American foreign
policy and military objectives are
fulfilling their own dire prophecies and
that interest groups are using
"propaganda" to support weapons in-
THE PRESENT American position
was established during the 1959-60
reports of a "missile gap" between the
Soviet Union and the U.S., according to
Singer. "The fact (is) that the West en-
joys this tremendous superiority in
strategic weapons, a slight inferiorty
in conventional weapons, but nothing
dramatic. It (the gap) wasn't dramatic
then, and it's not dramatic today -
despite what you read in Time,
Newsweek, the New York Times, the
Ann Arbor News, and particularly
these terrible articles by UPI
Singer safd the U.S. has made a
mistaken attempt to achieve the
"technologically impossible" first
strike capability - the ability to knock
out the enemy country with nuclear
weapons so that it is unable to respond.
He recommended the U.S. work only to
maintain second strike - retaliatory -
powers, noting that "It's a cinch, and
it's cheap" to do so.
Singer said the U.S. should "begin to
cut back on the production of these
(weapons) and see what our friends in
See ARMS, Page 10
Doily Photo by JOHN KNOX
REP. ROBERT CARR (D-Mich.) speaks at a forum on disarmament as Rep.
Carl Pursell (R-Mich.) looks on intently.
* * *
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -,
Statespeople and diplomats gathered
here yesterday for a special General
Assembly session on disarmament, the
first time since 1932 that virtually all
countries of the world have met to
discuss the issue.
The objective of the five-week exer-
cise, starting today, is to map strategy l
to halt the nuclear weapons race and
seek ways to divert nearly $400 billion
spent annually on arms toward
assistance to developing nations.
DOZENS OF new proposals are ex-
pected from more than 20 heads of
government, 50 government ministers
and other envoys representing the.
United Nations' 149 member countries
as well as private citizens' groups.
The conference, which has been in
preparation for 11 years, satisfies the
long-sought demands of Third World
countries for a large public forum to put
pressure on the big powers for a reduc-
tion in their nuclear arsenals and con-
ventional arms spending.
In a series of resolutions during the
past few years, the 90 smaller and
politically nonaligned nations have ex-
pressed growing frustration with what
they regard as slow progress in disar-
mament. They want to see the super-
powers take steps beyond SALT II and
the comprehensive test ban, halt their
,nuclear buildup and actually begin ar-
BUT U.N. disarmament experts an-
ticipate no new agreements on any sub-
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session starts today
stantive issues. Unlike the 1932 Geneva not to attend has diminished hopes
Disarmament Conference which ended among diplomats that the United States
inconclusively, however, the special would unveil a major new initiative.
session is expected to produce a The President has pledged a strong
program of action to guide multilateral U.S. contribution to the special session,
disarmament negotiations in the
future. gOthers in the U.S. delegation include
"The idea is to come up with a sense Ambassadors Andrew Young and W.
of the world resolution, expression our
outrage, and let everybody put a blood McGovern (S-S.D.), and Charles
seal on it and make it morally binding," Mathias (R-Md.), and actor Paul
said a U.N. disarmament official. Newman.
Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Among the statesmen who will ad-
Gromyko is again expected to bring a dress the session are President Valery
new proposal or two and press Giscard d'Estaing of France, Chan-
Moscow's anti-neutron bomb cam- cellar Helmut Schmidt of West Ger-
paign. But he will be watched mostly many, Prime Minister Elliott Trudeau
for his parallel talks with Secretary of of Canada, Prime Minister James
State Cyrus Vance on the unresolved Callaghan of Britain, Prime Minister
issues in a new U.S.-Soviet strategic Morarji Desai of India, President
arms limitation treaty. Leopold Sedar Senghor of Senegal,
VICE-PRESIDENT Walter Mondale Premier Lopo Fortunator do
will deliver the U.S. speech tomorrow. Minister Tjorhorn Faldn of Swdrime
But the decision by President Carter
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Tomorrow: Ronoir's "THE CRIME OF MONSIEUR LANGE" and