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January 24, 1980 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-01-24

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Page 4-Thursday, January 24, 1980-The Michigan Daily

Problems with the

primaries surfaced

in Iowa

If a student preference poll of the Republican
and Democratic presidential candidates had
been taken in Hill Auditorium Monday night,
one wonders if the three national television
networks would have sent millions of dollars of
equipment and their top anchorpersons to Ann
Arbor to cover the event.
Imagine Walter Cronkite anchoring the
evening news from the steps of Hill
Auditorium. Syndicated columnists would
write light witty pieces about the good-natured
people of our fair town.
THE EYES OF the world would be on Ann
Arbor.
It happened in Iowa. Why not Ann Arbor?
Last ictober a straw vote of Maine
Re publicans was taken for their presidential
preferences. The results appeared on the front
page of the New York Times.
The Monday night extravaganza in Iowa was
the first-step of a four-level selection process to
choose delegates to the national conventions
this summer. But this tiny first-step in the
enormous process of electing the President of
the United States, tut'ned a quiet, unpretentious
midwestern state into a media spectacle.
THE TRADITIONAL starting place of
presidential politics used to be equally
unassuming New Hampshire. But all that
dhanged in 1976 when "Jimmy Who?" got
1,0,000 votes in an invention called the Iowa
Caucus. Carter finished second in Iowa that
year with 28 per cent. Undecided was the win-
ner with 38 per cent.
The numbers were a little bigger this time
around. 15 per cent of the state's registered
voters took part in the caucuses Monday as op-
posed to four years ago when 7.7 percent of the
IDemocrats and 10 per cent of the Republicans
Voted. Still one couldn't help but feel that a
ridiculously small group of Americans had
been handed i major "role in the selection of our
next president.

Iowa is supposed to be a test. It is supposed
to provide an indication of what's to come in the
next six months of primaries. But Iowa is about
as representative of the reality of life in this
country as the overly educated, highly intellec-
tual, elite community of Ann Arbor. Iowa is 98.5
per cent white and primarily rural. Not exactly
an ideal place to test America's urban state of
mind.
BUT ALL OF that seemed irrelevant Monday
night amid the circus-like atmosphere that had
suddenly exploded in an otherwise slow-
moving, wheat growing state. Four years ago
the media had been taken by surprise when the

By Amy Saltzman
slick organization of Jimmy Carter's peanut
brigade gave new importance to the Iowa
caucuses., But the media was prepared this
time around, flooding the state with some 600
reporters and technicians. The presidential
candidates, also taking a cue from the Carter
experience in 1976, poured a total of 2.8 million
into organizing the Iowa campaigns.
Amidst all the hoopla one almost forgot that a
presidential race was -in progress. Walter
Cronkite made the front page of one local
newspaper about as frequently as the presiden-

tial candidates.
But whether it deserves to be or not, Iowa is
serious business. Serious not only because it is
considered a test of the candidate's political
strength, but because it is suddenly thought of
as the test. According to the generalizations of
political pundits, Iowa proved that the nation is
standing firmly behind its president in a time of
crisis; that Ted Kennedy's performance
problems and personal weaknesses have
possible destroyed his chances of becoming the
next president of the United States; that
George Bush's dynamic style and deftly
organized campaign have made him the fron-
trunner on the Republican side; and that

Ronald Reagan's aloof Iowa campaign
strategy may have drastically lowered his
chances of winning the Republican presidential
nomination. All that responsibility assigned to
a state made up of less than 3 million people, a
few thousand hogscattle, and a lot of wheat.
WINNING IOWA involves more than the
ability to organize this obscure group.
Literally, a hog could probably vote in the
Iowa caucuses if a particularly shrewd can-
didate was able to get the animal to attend its
precinct caucus. The Iowa caucuses are about.
ORGANIZATION. Georce Bush was organized.
Ronald Reagan wasn't. In Iowa, organization
means getting more of your supporters than
the other guy to pack the school rooms,
firehouses, libraries, and meeting halls where
the precinct caucuses are held. Any candidate
with enough initiative to fill a few buses with
his supporters and haul them off to these in-
formal gatherings, can win Iowa.
In this sense Iowa represents the most
negative characteristics of the primary
process. Never has the candidate-media-voter
relationship appeared more intense than at the
Iowa caucuses. Never has the ability to
organize a campaign seemed so much more
crucial than a candidates stand on the issues.
By its very nature, the Iowa caucuses and the
presidential primary process in general, force
us to put the issues aside, to concentrate on
short-term tactics rather than long-range
goals.
As we once again begin the long-winded
process of selecting a president, perhaps it is
time to start thinking about alternatives.
Before the candidates start hauling-off their
workers to 'Iowa for the 1984 campaign we
should seriously begin considering reforming
the primary system.
Daily Feature Editor Amy Saitzman
recently returned from Iowa where she
was covering the caucuses.

Carter Cronkite

Bush

h r f ra B il
Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. XC, No. 94 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
AKrem 1in rq kd wn

Letters to the Daily

Afghan people need Soviet presence

l Z . 3L- ,L NeA. 1.1 A. A A .
HE WAS ALWAYS the untouchable
one. When the other prominent
Soviet dissidents were given one-way
tickets for a vacation in Siberia, this
outspoken hero could be detained,
harassed, or even threatened with ex-
pulsion. But he was never arrested; he
was too important. The western world,
especially the United States, would
never forgive the Kremlin. Detente.
was fragile enough without risking it
even further.
No longer. Andrei Sakharov is ex-
pendable. What the Soviets did by
transferring the noted scientist and
admired dissident to the secluded city
of Gorky demonstrated in one big
sweep that the Soviets do not care
anymore about what the United States
thinks. Dealing harshly with the most
important dissident in Moscow is no
longer a diplomatic liability. Recent
events have changed the rules of the
game. The Russians want to prove that
they're just as tough as Jimmy Carter;
he may postpone the Olympics, but the
Kremlin can move Sakharov out of
Moscow.
Afghanistan, of course, dramatically
changed the course of U.S.-Soviet
relations. The naked aggression and
brutal force by the Russians not only
completely alienated the American
public and its slow-learning leader-
ship, but threw the rest of the western
world, as well as Pakistan, into a state
of alarm. What many hardline policy
analysts had suspected for years -
that the Russians aim to colonize as
much as possible - suddenly was
given a new dose of credibility. Jimmy
Carter said his view of the Kremlin's

intentions has changed; he would-not,
be fooled again.
Yet, this most recent display of in-
justice carries even more dangerous
ramifications for the future. If Andrei
Sakharov can be treated like this, what
does that mean for the others trying to
fight the flaws of the Soviet system -
censorship, religious restrictions, etc?
Since Sakharov broke away from
Soviet ideology in 1968, he has been
widely viewed as the king of the
dissident movement. Even when the
Soviets began one of their sudden
crackdowns on dissent by imprisoning
Yuri Orlov, Anatoly Scharansky and
Alexander Ginzburg two years ago, the
dissident struggle still had a fighting
chance. Using his elaborate contacts
among the media and the Soviet
government, Sakharov was able to
leak out information and aid other
dissidents. He represented a symbol of
hope, a prayer that maybe, just
maybe, the Soviets would give greater
freedom to their citizens, and open
them to the outside world.
Sakharov also symbolized the Carter
administration's active involvement in
the plight of Soviet dissidents. The
president's human rights policies
brought him into open conflict with the
Russians.
That symbol is now in Gorky. If it's
an omen for a new wave of Soviet
repression to keep the atmosphere
calm for the Olympics, then they may
as well give up. Any more moves like
this can' only re-fuel the anti-Soviet
sentiment building up around the
globe.
As if Afghanistan wasn't enough.

To the Daily:
When the Soviet-backed regime
in Afghanistan was threatened by
a reactionary Islamic holy war
this month, Russian tanks rolled
across the border to quell the
uprising by the mullahs and the
khans. The capitalist media
pulled out the stops to build sym-.
pathy for the so-called freedom
fighters while Carter, stung by
yet another humiliation of U.S.
imperiglism in the Near East,
began his new Cold War crusade
against the Soviet Union. In this
military confrontation pitting
Soviet soldiers backing the
nationalist government in
Afghanistan against feudal and
pre-feudal forces aided by im-
perialism, it is clear that
Marxists side with the Russian
tanks. Hail the Red Army!
The Islamic insurgents, backed
by the U.S., are fighting to
preserve Afghanistan's cen-
turies-old traditions of enforced
social backwardness. The coun-
try is almost totally rural, life
expectency is 40 years, 4 per cent
of the population owns 40 per cent
of the land, the illiteracy rate
reaches 90 per cent for males and
98 per cent for females and the
overwhelming majority of
women are imprisoned in the
head-to-foot chador (veil). While
not openly repudiating Islam, the
successive Moscow-backed
nationalist regimes which first
came to power in April 1978,
sought to give the country a
secular, progressive image. The
nationalists cancelled debts of
poor and landless peasants to
moneylenders and proposed a
sweeping land reform to hand
240,000 peasant families full
ownership of the land.
The main fuel for Islamic reac-
tion, however, was not so much
economic reforms as the limited
measures for the equality of
women. The new regime reduced
the traditional bride price to the
nominal sum and introduced
compulsory education for girls
and voluntary literacy programs
for adult women. In response, the
Islamic leaders tookhup arms.
Last April troops had to be
brought to a small town near the
capital where religious mobs at-
tacked a school for extending a
literacy program to women. The
mullah's "struggle for indepen-
dence" is in fact a holy war for
the "right" to buy and sell
women as chattel slavery. The
Red army in Afghanistan is most
assuredly on the side of progress
fighting the most barbaric forces
of feudal oppression and religious

Angola against the U.S. in-,
stigated South African invasion
in 1975-76 are three instances sin-
ce the end of World War II where
Russian military action has
clearly aided the liberation of the
oppressed and the defense of the
Soviet state against imperialism.
From a military point of view
the=Soviet intervention may or
mnsiethave been wise, though it
is deeply just to oppose the
Islamic reactionary insurgence
backed by imperialism. In fact,
although it is uncalled for
militarily, a natural response on
the part of the world's young lef-
tists would be an enthusiastic
desire to join an international
brigade to fight the CIA-
connected mullahs. However,
some phony leftists like the
Young Social Alliance and the
Youth Against War and Fascism
squirm when the issue of
Afghanistan is brought up
because in neighboring Iran they
champion Khomeini and his fran-
atic followers who have an iden-
tical world view with the barbaric
Afghan mullahs.
Within the framework of
Afghanistan along there is no
solution to national and social
problems. These questions are
linked, historically as well as
socially, to the fate of the Russian
Revolution. One need only look at
the gains that women have made
in the Soviet East to see what
proletarian liberation of these
pre-capitalist areas meant.
Women in the muslim areas of
the USSR have vastly more social
gains than in any bourgeois
Islamic country.
By giving unconditional
military support to the Soviet
army and the left-nationalist
Afghan forces we in no way place
political ceonfidenc,e in the
Kremlin bureaucracy or the
nationalists in Kabul. While the
Moscow Stalinists apparently
presently intend to shore up
against the present regime and if
anything, limit the space of
democratic reforms, the
prolonged presence if the Soviet
army opens up more far-reaching
possibilities. Extend the gains of
the Russian Revolution to the
Afghan peoples!
Today, such an outcome would
be at best a bureaucratically
deformed workers state. Only
proletarian political revolution in
the USSR can truly restore the
Red army and the Soviet state to
its internationalist and
revolutionary mission. And only
Trotshyist parties armed with the
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The public is invited to a forum Union.
on Afghanistan and Iran entitled, -S partacus Youth League
"U.S. Imperialism's New (Cold Irene Rhinesmith
War" this Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Jan.23
the Kuenzel room in the Michigan

O;

Mid-east conflict ersists
e Daily: East., Oa anuary,25, 26, and 27
he swirl of recent events in the Ann Arbor Committee for a
diddle East certain crucial New JeV'V1 h Agenda is spon-
s have been pushed aside, soring the award-winning 1977
oned because of the exigen- film, We are all Arab Jews in
of power politics. While the Israel." Directed and produced
news is cast in terms of U.N by the Moroccad born Israeli,
utions, troop displacements Igaal Niddam, this film brings
il supplies, the people of the viewers closer to the actual
le East remain in large part people of the Middle East and the
ess to us, their problems true problems dividing them.
of "tribes," "rebels," and Niddam focuses on the 800,000 or
!mic fanatics." so Sepharic Jekvs, their culture
hanistan and Iran dominate and their problems, and he
headlines, yet the Arab- suggests that these oriental
i conflict persists as a Israelies could offer a natural
tening, pressing reality. bridge to the Arab world, and
Begin and Sadat fall over especially to the Palestinians.e
nother in courting the U.S. The film "We are all Arab Jews
ild military bases on their in Israel" will be shown Friday,
heir populations continue to January 25 in Angell Hall 2235 at
r from disasterous and wor- 7:30 p.m., Saturday, January 26,
g economic conditions, and in Congregation Beth Israel, 2000
Palestinian "autonomy" Washtenaw, in Ann Arbor, at 7:30
reveal themselves to be an p.m., and on January 27 in 126
equate, half-hearted ap- East Quad at 3 p.m. A small ad-
ch to the central issue mission fee will be asked at the
ng Arabs and Israelies. door,

w more than .ever
ricans need to become well-
med about all aspects of the
ling events in the Middle

-Robert Schneider
Ann Arbor Committee for
a New Jewish Agenda
Jan. 21 "

Don't draft the young

To the Daily:
All the proposals for reviving
the military draft envisage
calling up again our 18- and 19-
year-old boys.
However, I have a suggestion
to make. If conscription is again
put over on us, wouldn't it be
much more advisable to draft our
40- and 50-year olds.
Why put the duty and serious
responsibility for the killing and
the dying solely on out somewhat
immature and inexperienced
youths? Experienced and older
men could handle the many

requirements and grave respon-
sibilities of military service far
more capably and efficiently.
Actually, are out 18- and 19-
year-old boys, woth almost their
entire lives still ahead of them,
the only group in our country
required to do the killing and the
dying? After the terrifying
tragedy of Vietnam, where over
50,000 of our youth needlessly
gave their lives, I say our boys
have every right to protest.
--Charles C. Lockwood
(Class of 1914)
Jan. 18

Some Steelers are giving

F OOTBALL FANS in Pittsburgh
had more than just a world cham-
'pion team to cheer about on Sunday.
They also had the political conscience
of their Steelers to lord above the
Rams and the other also-rans in the

with 12,000 sorely needed dollars, but -
ut the civil rights organization back in-
to the news.
It was only twelve years ago that two
American sprinters raised their fists in
the "Black Power" salute on the vic-

Imports
To the Daily:
I am shocked by your editorial
(Jan. 20) supporting import
restrictions. Import restrictions
take jobs away from desperately
poor people in the third world,
and damage our economy..
Goods are produced abroad
because other nations make them
cheaper. We will have to pay

Shapiro
To the Daily:
University President Harold
Shapiro's contention reported in
the Jan. 23 Daily that the
educated person is interested in
the pursuit of a job is disturbing
Why must one who has con-
sidered life critically have an ap-r
petite for the professional?
Perhaps through his reflectiorr

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