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January 30, 1980 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-01-30

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Page 4-Wednesday, January 30, 1980-The Michigan Daily

The following is a transcribed record of a
conversation which took place on Monday
Between Daily reporter Steve Hook and
Ztfajor Joseph Blair, Chairman of the Ar-
tby Reserve Officers Training Corps
4O TC) headquarters in Ann Arbor.
ajor Blair has been on active duty in the
rmy since August of 1965, serving under
ch titles as Battalion Intelligence Officer,
ank Company Commander and Battalion
perations Officer. Before coming to the
niversity, he was the "G-2, " or the In-
tVligence Officer for a division of 17,000
msen at the Army's 4th Infantry at
(4olorado Springs.
: Blair served as a Chief of Counter In-
telligence for the 4th infantry in Vietnam
in 1967-68, and as an Alert Officer at the
United Nation 's post in Korea in 1971-72.
. He has spent the latter half of his career
"jumping back and forth" between active
military command work and instructing
others in the Army about military in-
telligence. Says Major Blair, "My primary
specialty is tactical-strategic intelligence
and my alternate specialty is education."
He wishes to emphasize that his obser-
vations are personal ones, and "are not of-
ficial views of the U.S. Army, the Depar-
tment of Defense or the University."
There seems to be a widely held notion that,
in times of crisis like those we are now ex-
periencing, tle President is making his
decisions based on conferences with leaders
primarily from the military, and his decisions
might reflect the inherent biases this group
holds. In short, many feel his decisions might
be unnecessarily hawkish. Is this a legitimate
Blair: Sure, I think it is a legitimate fear. I
think that you have to take into consideration
that he (Carter) is being advised by people on
the National Security Council and there is a
great representation on that. The chairman of
the Joint Chiefs sits on that council, but he is
more of an advisor there. The people that carry
the most weight in there are going to be Brezin-
ski, Vance; the State Department will have a
heavy loading there, the Central Intelligence
gency also is going to have a heavy loading.
The President is probably the most informed

airman talks of draft, Soviets, military

man in the world-he's getting input from
I would say this information is as objective as
anyone in the world is going to get. Men are not
totally objective, you and I are not totally ob-
jective-you walk in with certain biases, I have
a certain bias. The men who run the CIA and
the State Department, the Defensive In-
telligence Agency, the Joint Chiefs, the
Treasury, etc.,, are very professional people
but they do have their biases. The President
has got to constantly fight against this kind of
bias that human beings have.
Has he successfully done this, in your view?
Blair: Recently he has gotten good reaction,
he has received great feedback for what he has
done. The American people are not
asleep-we're not a bunch of sniveling lackeys
in this country. The guy that pumps gas is a
smart man in this country, if you compare
him in general to the rest of the world. And he's
a pretty clear thinker-he's got a lot of com-
mon sense. So the President get's all this feed-
Do you think women should have to register
for the draft?
Blair: That depends on what the legislative
and executive branches come up with in regard
to the ERA ... and whether they actually pass
the registration in the first place.
Let me put it this way, I've had women in my
commands. In general, they have done a better
job than the men across all spectrums except
one-and that is upper body strength and run-
ning. Physically, they're just not as strong as
men. But in general, their performance of duty
has been better than men.
The Daily ran a feature two weeks ago about
a political science professor at the University,
Allen Whiting, who had predicted the
Afghanistan invasion early last fall, and said it
was a logical consequence of a series of events
which began years ago. He predicts nowdthat,
after "getting the Afghan government under
control," the Russian troops will move back in-
to the Soviet Union.
Blair: They'll probably move their troops
out,' but not until they have a regime well
established that has the support of the people.
And if we think for one moment that they're
going to have freedom and liberty and the
people could have expression-we're fooling'
ourselves. So I'm sure that eventually they'll
leave. But now we have indications in the news

that they're using nerve gas. . . it sounds like
they're systematically eliminating the op-
position. Once they have the people's support,
they'll back off and then leave. It will take
them awhile, of course, because the anti-
Soviets are sitting there in the moun-
tains-those rebels can hide for a long time.
There have already been demonstrations on
college campuses protesting the proposed draft
registration. Is it still too close to Vietnam to
rally our nation's citizens behind military ac-
Blair: No, I don't think so. I don't want to
make any comments about the draft-I think
that's something the executive and legislative
branches have got to decide on. But the United
States people are not asleep-there are many
many college students across the country who

have said that if there was registration they
would register, and if there was a draft they
would go to serve. I think there needs to be
some alternate proposals for those who can't
adjust to military life. I've helped process a lot
of conscientious objectors in rmy years.
Should we go to the Olympics?
I would support whatever the President
wants to do. I've wavered back and forth on
this, I've had all kinds of thoughts. Maybe we
ought to go and let our Olympic people show
their stuff. Plus it would increase com-
munication between us and the people of the'
Soviet Union. Plus the athletes would come
back and say. "Hey, do you know what it's like
in Moscow? Do you know what life is like, I've
talked to these guys." And they would come
back and there would be an interchange. At the
same time, I see a problem with giving sup-

port to the Soviet Union, saying "Youtgo ahead
and invade Afghanistan if you want to and we
don't really care, we'll go along with business
as usual." After hearing all these debates, per-
sonally I am ready to support the President
And professionally I always support the
President because he's' Commander in Chief,
and what he decides is what I support.
Does it seem to you that as a nation we are
confusing this situation as a U.S.-U.S.S.R. con-
flict when, as reflected by the 108-10 United
Nations vote condemning the Soviet actions,
what we have in fact is a conflict between the
Soviet Union and most of the world?
Blair: I would say that your second percep-,
tion is the one I would go with, and that is that
the Soviet Union is encroaching on an area that
has to do with the whole world-every person
on the face of the Earth. But people in the
United States are going to see this as a direct
threat to the United States. People in Saudi
Arabia are going to view it as a threat to Saudi
Arabia. But, as a world citizen, if you can get
out of the bounds of your country, it is a threat
to freedom and liberty and expression.
Is this new "red scare" all it is cracked up t
be? Are the fears many Americans hav
Blair: My personal opinion is that we need to
remain strong in this country. First of all we
have to remain strong morally and spiritually,
and then we have to back that up with physical
strength in the military. Because the Russians
have built a land force, the largest in the
history of the world. Their navy and air force
are fast approaching the quantity and quality
of ours. They can't be building such a great for-
ce just for defensive purposes. And I believ4
that, seeing their adventurism with the 17,000
Cuban troops under Soviet advisorship in
Ethiopia, 20,000 Cuban troops in Angola, air lif-
ts irto South Yemen, and their invasion of
Afghanistan-it would seem to me that this is'
much more than just defensive moves in sup-
port of Soviet interests.
I don't think we have anything to fear in this
country, as long as we stay strong morally and
spiritually, and back it up physically. As long
as the leadership of the Soviet Union knows
that we're stong and we have some will behind
that strength, that's all we need. Because we
have the greatest thing in the world, we have
freedom, and individuality. And we have it in
much greater quantity than they'll have under
the system they have going right now, unless
they change.

Daily Photo by JIM KRUZ
MAJOR JOSEPH BLAIR, Chairman of the Reserve Officer Training Corps in Ann Ar-
bor, talked on Monday about his opinions of the world situation, registration and the
draft, and women in the military.



IJE 3tdigan BUIQ
Ninety Years o f Editorial Freedom

News Phone: 764-0552

Vol. XC, No. 98

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

AL2 4' FN
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TO i-ire'c-

TO 03661

i i,


City energy policy sets
trends for entire country

wEkE lNfl
IIUU I Iilllll, I luUi

ITY COUNCIL has set a bold and
C, important new course for Ann
Arbor, which may well serve as a
national model for energy conser-
vation in less innovative communities.
Council votes next week on a city
energy policy for 1980, which combines
some hard-nosed, belt-tightening,
practical energy-saving measures
with a'process of education and infor-
mation for the citizenry.
Ann Arbor can serve as a model now
for a federal government struggling to
come to grips with a dangerous energy
dependence on imported foreign
oil. Policy-makers on both ends of
Pennsylvania Avenue are straining to
see whether, across the country, the
American people are ready, and
willing, to undertake the crucial
sacrifices that serious energy conser-
vation entails.
When the city transfers $17,000 from
the general city fund to the general
energy conservation fund, council will
demonstrate that municipalities, even
with scarce resources, are willing to
commit a share of the treasury to the
long-term energy future of the nation.
And the Ann Arbor conservation
project is a five-year plan, demon-
strating that city officials have the
knowledge and foresight to realize that
true energy saving is not an overnight
The Ann Arbor plan contains a num-
ber of specifics that could well set the
pace for energy conservation
measures for communities elsewhere
with limited resources. Development
of land-use policies to control city den-
6ty n hiitwi nwnxth ranresPnts a lnng-

commitment on the part of even tax-
payers-all of us-so the citizens must
realize that tax breaks now may be in-
consistent with emergency efforts by
local and federal governments to come
to grips with our energy crisis. If there
is room in the city budget for a proper-
ty tax rollback, then the money should
be put into an energy conservation
fund. If the property tax rollback is to
be achieved by reducing social ser-
vices, then any energy conservation
measures become self-defeating. The
poor are the ones who need assistance
in home insulation investments and
are also the ones who would benefit the
most from 'energy conservation
The city must not embark on this
vital venture alone. Perhaps energy
conservation will become one area in
which the city and the University can
step from their mutual corners and
agree to work together. Joint
city/university rides and van-pooling
is one area coming immediately to
mind. Other possibilities include joint
ventures to research the feasibility of
solar power and hydro-electric power
from the Huron River. Council must
also work with community groups and
civic organizations, whose resources
can be vital in the educational process.
Together, Ann Arbor can set a cour-
se of energy self-sufficiency that may
help the nation out of its energy
Sue Warner...........:................... EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

( t4 Ez.__ - ZI

Oppose fighting for oil dependence

To the Daily:
Attention President Carter: As
a citizen of this country, I wanted
to make you aware that in your
recent speech you did not "say
just what the American people
wanted to hear," at least as far as
I am concerned. It infuriates me
to think that the U.S. has not
learned anything in the last 30
years, and, as happened in Korea
and Vietnam, intends to destroy
thousands of human lives to
preserve that precious world
balance of power which
American leaders always
demand. If one considers the

gains received from our last two
war fiascos, it should be clear
that there may be little ultimate
benefit from forcing our military
power on Afghanistan and the
Persian Gulf.
Certainly the value of an-
nihilting innocent Afghan citizens
by waging a power struggle
within their borders is
questionable. And, the proposal
that the entire young population
in America willingly risk their
lives to once again fight for a non-
humanitarian cause sickens me.
Additionally, I hope that I do not
need to elaborate on the dangers

implicit in bluffing military ac-
tion against Russia, or in en-
couraging war-hawk attitudes in
this country.
However, my main purpose for
writing this letter was not simply
to attack your declared policy,
but to suggest alternative action
which I believe would truly pay
off in the long run. If you must
rile this nation up to a war-fever
pitch, why not consider waging a
war against the comfortable
American lifestyle which forces
our dependence on -the oil-
producing countries? Is it
necessary to wait until world sup-
plies have completely run out,
until questions of national
sovereignty and pride dissolve
before the much larger question
of non-existent resources, for the
United States government to take
decisive action in the energy
crisis? Show some foresight!
Please take this opportunity, now
that you have the whole nation's
attention, to pull our citizens
together in a genuinely necessary
It is my belief that only in a
time of crisis will the American
people consent to give up any
right so "inalienable" as the

right to waste and consume in
ridiculous quantities. You have
created just such a crisis at-
mosphere, and perhaps now
before it/is too late, the country
will accept forceful action like
strict rationing of resources,
development of governmental in-
centive programs for conser-
vation practices, and intensive
research of alternative energy
As 1984 approaches, I can not
help thinking that we are really
moving toward the kind of lif
which George Orwell grimly
described. If a state of perpetual
warfare (or "military in-
volvement" every decade, at
least) is required to put the
economy on its feet and to work
U.S. citizens into a mood of inten-
se national spirit, then I believe
we have great cause to fear the
future. If, however, our leaders
are clear-sighted enough to unite
the American people in a battl
against oil-dependency and su
mission to the whims of the oil-
producing nations, then I will
willingly support my government
and see cause for hope. Thank
you for considering my views.
-Mimi Brody

Formaldehyde and tenure

To the Daily:
I have long contended that the
Daily needs a good science
editor. The recent article ap-
pearing there (Jan. 22) and en-
titled "Soviet scientists try to
create live 12-foot test-tube
mammoth," contains the
following one-sentence
paragraph which supports that
"Mikhelson said in an inter-
view this month that ar-
chaeologists might have been
useable for such a project if they
had not been put into strong for-

needed to provide the genetic
material of now extinct mam-
moths. This would be true even if
archaeologists had not all been
put into strong formaldehyde
preservative solutions by their
discoverers. Moreover, it strikes
me as being highly disrespectful
even, to imply that all academics
in that field have been preserved
only in that fashion; neither am I
personally convinced as yet that
all archaeologists are mai-
moths.The Daily writer surely
must have meant to say
"physical anthropologists,"

Singing in the rain

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