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January 31, 1980 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-01-31

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Page 4-Thursday, January 31, 1980-The Michigan Daily
+rYNoew Cok

I War no

antidote for spiritual crisis

Jimmy Carter's decision to interpret the
Soviet invasion-of Afghanistan as a signal to
resume the cold war and to embark on a
crusade against Soviet expansionism is ap-
parently to be the antidote to the spiritual
crisis of America which the President
discovered last year. Self-righteousness and
moral outrage are highly gratifying feelings.
' It is so much easier and more satisfying to
point to the wickedness of Soviet aggression
than to criticize our own government's ac-
- Carter surely knows that promoting
militaristic hysteria is a well-proven method
of subduing opposition anf dissent from
governmental policy. Public opinion polls are
reflecting a dramatic improvement in the
President's popularity. The focus of debate in
the presidental primaries has shifted away
from the internal economic and social issues
where Carter and the other major candidates
offer no effective solutions to the problems le
are facing. Now foreign and military policy is
the main -arena of debate; and since the
American public is less informed about
Afghanistan than about the cost of living, it is
mnuch easier for the government to mislead us
hbout such matters and get away with it.
FORTUNATELY FOR President Carter
send his supporters, the American people have
pan extraordinarily short historical memory.
is only this sad fact which rescues Carter's
tate of the Union speech from being widely
erceived as the hypocritical statement that
. t is. Since World War II American troops
:ave invaded Guatemala (1954), Vietnam
1963), Cambodia (1970), and the Dominican
)epublic (1965). The CIA has initiated attem-
to overthrow the governments of Iran
11954), Cuba (1961), the Congo (1962-64), and
Chile (1973). And this is only a partial list of
he least controversial cases. No government
vith such a consistent record of flagrant
lisregard for the rights of third world peoples
r$as any business criticizing the Soviet
Ninety Years of
Vol. XC, No. 99
Edited and managed by stude
Closingthe t
rate increa
N T LOOKS as if the final chapter of
"Dorm Rate Woes" has been writ-
en and the rough draft is on its way to
,the Regents for editing. Because the
: novel is wholly non-fiction, there will
be no happy, fairy-tale conclusion, but
at least the denouement will not be a
The book opened several weeks ago,
when the Housing Office Student Rates
Study Committee recommended a 13.2
per cent increase in room and board
rates for University housing. This in-
crease, the largest jump in University
history, could have meant a cost in-
crease of nearly $300 per student in
some cases.
The Rate Study Committee
calculated that 11.8 per cent of the
proposed rate hike-about '$200-was
directly attributable to increased costs

resulting from spiraling inflation. The
s remaining 1.4 per cent was comprised
of costs associated with the discon-
Stinuation of weekend meal con-
solidation, installation of cable
television, and the deconversion of
converted (overcrowded) rooms.
Chapter Two of the unfolding plot
was written last Thursday night, when
no students showed up at the Rate
Study Committee's public hearing
about the proposed increases. The lack
r of attendance was probably not due to
r lack of interest, however; rather, there
was very little publicity of the meeting
in any of the dorms, so no one knew
about the hearing.
In true the-butler-did-it fashion, no
one knew exactly who should have
been blamed for the publicity
failure. In any event, just the right
amount of pathos was added to the
Snovel, as it looked for a while that
students would have no opportunity to
comment on the rate increase

By Joel Beinin

Union's actions in Afghanistan.
Nothing in this analysis should be taken as
an apology for the Soviet aggression in
Afghanistan. The Soviet Union fully deserves
the widespread condemnation it has received
for its acions. But such condemnation is
hollow and hypocritical when it comes from
the U.S. government. The interests of the
people of the Middle East lie in rejecting the
domination of both super powers. And if the
American people wish to oppose Soviet
aggression in the region, we must be equally
prepared to oppose our own government's
continuing attempts to dominate the Middle
Not only does the American government
have no moral right to criticize Soviet
aggression, a plausible case can be made
arguing that the Soviet Union move wasit slf,
at least in part, a response to earlier
American aggressiveness in the Middle East.
WHEN THE CARTER administration first
came into office it attempted to formulate a
comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli
dispute on the basis of cooperation with the
Soviet Union. There was much talk about a
"Palestinian homeland." Henry Kissinger's
'step by step' diplomacy, which was based on
abandonment of the Geneva Conference on
the Middle East, where the U.S. and U.S.S.R.
are co-chairmen, was rejected. The joint
Soviet-American communique on the Middle
East issued in the fall of 1977 provided the
broad outline for the proposed settlement.
Shortly after the publication of this
statement, Egyptian President Sadat announ-
ced his willingness to travel to Jerusalem. At
first the State Department hesitated to endor-
se this initiative because it knew that this
meant abandoning the attempt to pursue a
settlement in cooperation with the Soviet
Union. It was only the collapse of the Shah's
regime in Iran which finally convinced

Washington policy makers to follow Sadat's
lead. Sadat's strategy was to force an in-
creased U. C. commitment to Egypt by
demonstrating that Egypt could be as reliable
an ally of America as Israel is. He was willing
to make peace with Israel and abandon most
of the demands of the Palestine national
movement in order to secure American
economic aid and political support.
The Camp David accords and the Egyptian-
Israeli peace treaty have realized these goals.
A de facto U.S.-Egyptian-Israeli alliance has
been constructed in the Middle East. Sadat
has become so isolated in the Arab world as a
result of Camp David that the U.S. has com-
mitted $5 billion in aid to Egypt over the next

three years. Sadat has visions of an additional
$10-$15 billion. And Egypt is beginning to look
more and more like a copy of the Shah's Iran.
hailed in this country as a great
victory for American foreign policy, in
Western Europe and the Arab world there
was a keen awareness of the underlying
weakness of the new Middle Eastern Alliance.
Israeli refusal to relinquish the territories oc-
cupied in 1967 prevented Saudi Arabia, Jor-
dan, and other conservative Arab states from
endorsing and joining the alliance. America's
apparent unwillingness to press Israel for
meaningful concessions on this issue and its
unqualified support for Israel's refusal to
recognize the right of the Palestine people to
self-determination leaves the long range U.S.

position in the Arab and Islamic world
inherently weak and unstable.
The peoples of the Middle East are deeply
and sincerely concerned about the Palestine
question and the Islamic world resents con-
tinued \Israeli occupation of Islam's third
holiest city, Jerusalem. Even the stronglq
pro-American Saudi regime could not risk the
consequence of openly abandoning the
Palestinian cause since its governmental
bureaucracy and economic and cultrual in-
stitutions are staffed by a large number of
Palestine refugees.,
The Soviet Union perceived the new Pax
Americana in the Middle ast as a threat to
its interests. It also undersi'Od the basic
weakness of the American po ition. In ad-
dition to the liability caused by t failure to
support the rights of the Palestinia ple,
American does not have the military po r or
logistical position to exclude the Soviet Unioi 'N
from the Middle East. The facts of geography
and military deployment mean that the new
alignment produced by Camp David cannot
enjoy long term stability.
In light of these circumstances it is possible*
to view the Soviet invasion of
Afghanistan, at least in part, as a
successful attempt to call Carter's
bluff. In effect the Soviets are saying, "You
thought that through Camp David you could,
force us out of the Middle East and set up a
Pax Americana in the region. We will show
you that our hands are not tied and that we
can also take unilateral initiatives in the
The invasion of Afghanistan has alerted
large numbers of people to the dangers of
'Soviet domination and aggression. But any
response to the Soviet Union which merely
serves as a cover for promoting American
imperial ambitions will only increase the
chances of an all-out nuclear war.
Joel Beinin is a doctoral candidate in
Modern Near Eastern History.

igan BaiIy
Editorial Freedom
News Phone: 764-0552
Dnts at the University of Michigan
)OOk on dorm
se proposals
chapter was drafted, providing a sur-
prising-climax and plot twist. Director
of Housing Robert Hughes, whose
recommendations on dorm rate in-
creases have in the past been rubber-
stamped by the Regents, virtually
guaranteed that the rate hike would fall
short of the proposed 13.2 per cent
Hughes announced he would push for
an 11.2 per cent hike, explaining that
he was concerned that the projected in-
flation figure was too high. Perhaps
even more surprising and significant,
Hughes said he would recommend
abandonment of the highly unpopular
weekend meal consolidation program.
It now remains for the Regents to
write the epilogue to "Dorm Rate
Woes," and publish the completed ver-
sion on next fall's University bills. The
book will certainly not be a popular
best-seller, but at least thousands of
readers will not have to pay quite as
much for it as had been anticipated.


Viewpoint lecturer choice ill-advised

To the Daily:
It is regrettable that the View-
point Lecture Series has decided
to bring Rabbi Meir Kahane to
speak at the University of
Michigan. Kahane is the founder
of the Jewish Defense League, a
group whose tactics and rhetoric.
pander to the most backward
political instincts and serve only
to pervert and prevent dialogue
and cooperation among ethnic
communities in America. Most
recently, Kahane and his cohorts
have been prominent among the
most extreme right-wing fanatics
in Israel, who persist in creating
illegal settlements in the oc-
cupied territories on the West
Bank. These settlements, which

subvert the fragile peace process
and deliberately provoke the
Palestinian inhabitants, have
been declared unacceptable
even by the Begin government.
While here and in Israel Kahane
has grabbed headlines and atten-
tion, we must underscore the fact
that he a nd his followers
represent only a tiny fringe of
Jewish sentiment and have con-
sistently incurred the condem-
nation of even conservative
Jewish organizations.
Kahane and the JDL have
raised the slogan "Never
Again"-the vow that the
Holocaust shall never be
repeated and that the persecution
of Jews anywhere in the world

To the Daily:,
Hail the Red Army? Extend the
gains of the Russian Revolution
to the Afghan peoples? On the
same day that the Spartacus
Youth League had these com-
ments printed in the Daily, An-
drei Dmitrievich Sakharov and
his wife were banished to the
"closed" city of Gorky. His
crime: criticizing the Soviet
government for its lack of basic
human rights. I can't help but
think of the irony of the Spartacus
Youth League's constant con-
demnation of our own gover-
nment; don't they realize that
such criticisms would never be
permitted in the Soviet Union?-
Just what are these "gains" of
the Russian Revolution? Dissent
is, very simply, not allowed. It is
punished by arrest, imprison-
ment, banishment, or death.
Religious freedom is suppressed.
The Afghan people are not even
allowed to, run their own gover-
nment, now that the Soviet Army
has come to their "defense"
against the "imperialist threat."
Babrak Karmal, the new head of

state, remains in seclusion. Any
statements are issued on his
behalf from Moscow. Does the
-League really believe, as stated
in one of their letters, that the
Islamic leaders have taken up
arms against the Soviet troops irr
order to maintain the subjugation
of their women?
Is this the sort of "liberation"
that the League believes the
Afghan people have asked for?
Does the League honestly believe
that Hungary was "liberated" in
1956? Were the Czechs
"liberated" in 1968?
The Soviet invasion of
Afghanistan will not, as the
League claims, lift these op-
pressed and backward people out
of their poverty, isolation and ob-
scurity and help establish the
"genuine social equality of all
peoples." If the Spartacus Youth
League believes that these are
the true motives of the Soviet
Union, then they are living in an
idealistic utopian world, one that
is unrelated to reality.
-Seth D. Moldoff

will be uncompromisingly op-
posed: Surely this vow is shared
by every Jewish man and
woman, as well as all decent
people everywhere. And surely
the Jewish people must claim the
right to defend themselves and to
insure their freedom and sur-
vival. But one must ask whether.
Kahane's actions-his vigilante
tactics, his threats of
assassination and terrorism, his,
ties with the Mafia and his
avowal of' a "'Greater
Israel"-serve to insureathe
health and integrity of the Jewish
community, or whether theyun-
Adermine dialogue and
cooperation and flagrantly tran-
sgress the values of peace and
justice that our tradition has
historically upheld.
Kahane's antics certainly
reflect, in however distorted a
fashion, real concerns and
grievances of many Jews and
Israelis. Many Jews in our
decaying urban centers suffer
from poverty and neglecthand
fear for their safety, just as other
minorities do. Many Israelis look
at the increasingly powerful Arab
world around them and wonder if
their ultimate security might not
To the Daily:
Once upon a time, believe it
not; student money belonged to
students, student groups were
regulated only by students, the
Michigan Union was run by
students, and the Student Ac-
tivities' Building was occupied by
students. Not any more. One by
one, 'the University's ad-
ministration has grabbed each of
these formerly student
Starting in the late 1960s a
series of student leaders won
hard fought concessions from the
University administration and
Regents. That era ended nearly
two years ago. Since that time,
student power has steadily
eroded. The student leaders who
have allowed this are not evil and
corrupt; just incompetent and
My service on the student court

depend upon simply grabbing as
much land as possible. These
fears and insecurities stem fro
difficult and dangerous situations
which must be acknowledged and
remedied! Kahane's tactic is to
exploit and distort these fears
and insecurities and to attempt to
turn people away from the path of
social justice and political
When there are so many Jewish
groups and spokespeople com-
mitted to maintaining and re-
affirming communication wit
Blacks, Arba, 'and other ethni*
groups, we deplore Viewpoint's
decision to provide a platform for
this demagogue of the Right. He
,does not speak for us.
-Ann Arbor Committee for
a New Jewish Agenda
Christie Balka
Sharon Bray
Reuban Chapman
Steven Heydeman
Claudia Kraus
Amy Rosenberg
Robert Schneider
David Schoenbach
Pamela Smilow
David Zweig
started back when Jon Lauer was
President of the Student Body.
Jon did things. Jon was in
strumental in saving Campu4
Legal Aid and in making its ser-
vices available to more studen-
ts. Jon testified before a
congressional committee on
behalf of tuition tax credits for
students. Jon was a leader.
Now, more than ever, the
students need a leader with
proven ability. Jon has a respon-
sibility to the students. He must
get back into student affairs and
take charge before all student
strength goes the way of the
Michigan Union and the Student
Activities' Building. We cannot
allow Jon Lauer to spend the next
two years as an idle observer
from the Law Library. We must
draft him into this fight before we
lose it all.
--Dennis Persinger
Jan. 23

i ,
: ,


I'M Job
You CrOT







P i s

To the Daily:
I survived through the inept
review of the Eagles, and I
almost died when I read about the.
Dead, but the Daily's most recent
and flagrant assault of good
music is the last straw.
Mark Dighton wrote (Jan. 24)
that XTC was, "an excellent, ec-
centric pop group. . ." Just who
did he have to sleep with to get a
job reviewing for the Daily?!
How Mr. Dighton could sit
through the band's hour-long set
without getting a headache defies
medical science. XTC, while
being well rehearsed, sounded
like four out of phase jack-
hammers (one can only rehearse

Although the Police did solo a bit,
it was because they had the
musical ability to do so. XTC, as
Mr. Dighton maintained, had few
solos, but then, how do you solo on
a jack-hammer? The Police (a
three piece band) put out an in-
credibly thick sound, which
enabled them to recreate their
recorded music well in concert.
Many of the band's transitions
from one song to another and
back again were smooth and
unique. In all, the Police left the
audience dancing in the aisles
and yelling for more. Where
Mark Dighton was during this I
don't know. He certainly was not
at the Michigan Theatre.


To the Daily:
I agreed with most of your
editorial (Jan. 25) declaring
registration for the draft to be
poor, policy at this time. Your
reasons, however, could have
been more persuasive.
Didn't we learn from Vietnam
that war hurts our own society
hnth mnrallu a finaneiall?

dangerous for everyone on earth.
Under the banner of "defense,"
human needs have been
drastically denied.
Opposing registration for
reasons beyond personal incon-
venience means knowing why
you are opposed to it. I am
writing to encourage more people
to face the connections between

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