Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

January 12, 1980 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-01-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 4-Saturday, January 12, 1980-The Michigan Daily

Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. XC, No. 83 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Breaking diplomatic rules

Keep restrictions
on the C.I.A.

USING IRAN and Afghanistan as
a smokescreen, Jimmy Carter is
seeking to revert back to the dark days
of Nixon and Kissinger, by pressing
Congress for a review of the current
restrictions on C.I.A. covert activities.
The current restrictions on the Cen-
tral Intelligence Agency-passed by
the 1974 Congress in response to the
excesses of Nixon and
Kissinger-mandates that the ad-
ministration report all clandestine spy
operations to no less than eight com-
Mittess of Congress. Also, all covert
activities must now be approved direc-
tly by the president, making the chief
executive solely accountable and
Carter is now seeking a
"revitalization" of the C.I.A., and
presumably a resumption of all of the
illegal, base and immoral activities the
present laws were meant to correct.
In the wake of the Soviet invasion of
Afghanistan, the mood on capitol hill
will no doubt be receptive to ad-
ministration overtures to repeal the
laws restricting C.I.A. activity. The
temptation to usethe spy organization
to aid Afghan rebels fighting the
Soviets will no doubt be great.'
'But if the current laws have shackled
the organization in its covert actions,
that is because the Nixon/Kissinger
administration showed the dangers of
so immoral and unrestricted an
organization as the C.I.A. run amok.
The C.I.A. overthrew the
democratically-elected government of
Chile, the C.I.A. installed the Shah of
Iran; the C.I.A. assassinated the
president of South Vietnam; the
C.I.A. subverted and effectively
destroyed the government of the

neutral country of Cambodia; and the
C.I.A. waged a secret war in the
jungles of Angola. The list goes on and
on, ant is still not complete.
The Central Intelligence Agency
represents all the basest elements with
which this country's foreign policyhas
become recognized-lies, subversion,
treachery, and even murder. And the
most lasting legacy of Watergate was
the revelation that when it comes to
protecting itself, the Central In-
telligence Agency will stop at no
means even if that includes wiretap-
ping, breaking and entering, and
violating the constitutional rights of
American citizens.
The Carter administration had been
making progress in disassociating this
country from the sins of the past-from
all the illegal, immoral and reprehen-
sible activities, condoned by this
nation's highest officials, that has
made America a villain in most of the
world. But after slowly building
bridges to the third world, the ad-
ministration is reversing itself and
taking a dangerous leap backwards, by
seizing on the emotionalism of the
moment to restore the treachery of the
Mr. Carter is even reportedly con-
sidering ways to tamper with the
freedom of information act, to restrict
more categories of official data from
citizen perusal. These encroachments
on civil liberties threaten to harp back
to the Gestapo-style techniques of Mr.
Carter's Republican predecessor,
Richard Nixon. And if Carter succeeds
in that, he will have succeeded in
something Nixon himself could never
do-erasing the memory of Watergate
and Vietnam.

By Franz Schurmann
and Jon Stewart
Nearly 80 years ago in China bands of young
peasants trained in the martial arts formed a
political-religious movement dedicated to
ridding China of all forms of foreign influen-
ce, chiefly the European powers which had
been plundering China for many decades.
With the tacit support of the powerful.
Dowager Empress, Tzu-Hsi, these gangs of
"Boxers" (as foreigners called them) mob-
bed the foreign legations in Peking and killed
the German consul general.
As in Iran today, the Boxer Rebellion
thereby committed the cardinal sin of inter-
national relations: not the killing of a
foreigner, but the killing of a diplomat and the
violation of an embassy. It broke the rules of
international diplomacy.
EIGHTY YEARS ago the response to the
crime was swift, international and
devastating. An array of foreign powers, in-
cluding those of Western Europe, the United
States and Japan, joined forces and sent a
multinational army into China to occupy
Peking and crush the Boxers. The
authoritarian rule of the Dowager Empress
was struck a mortal blow from which it never
recovered, and the rules of international
diplomacy were re-established in Peking,
making China once again safe for foreign ex-
Through there are no international armies
preparing to storm Tehran today, what has
occurred there bears more than a passing
resemblance to the response to the Boxers'
perfidy. Now as then the United States has
declared the rule-breaker an outlaw among
nations and has urged other powers to act ac-
cordingly. Iran's violation of the rules of
diplomacy has, in effect, served to forfeit her
rights as a full-fledged member of the com-
munity of nations and provides justification
for harsh punishment by the international
club of rule-abiding nations.
That so far no military intervention has
taken place obscures the fact that Iran is
already being subject to punishment, taking
the form of economic warfare. The freeze of
Iranian assets by the U.S. government can be
regarded as retaliation for the holding of the
hostages and the embassy. And the unilateral
declaration by a syndicate of New York
banks, led by Chase Manhattan, that Iran is in
default in repayment of its debts is an act tan-
tamount to declaring Iran an outlaw in the
world economy.
THIS IS NOT the first time in modern
history that nations, emerging from radical
revolutions, have broken the rules of
diplomacy. And with new revolutionary
cauldrons boiling elsewhere, we might do well
to ponder why Iran broke the diplomatic rules
in the first place. And beyond that, what is so
special about diplomatic rules that makes
their violation a legal rationale for warfare.
In the Russian Revolution, Lenin defiantly
flouted both the rules of diplomacy and those
of international finance by repudiating
Russia's foreign debt. That act led to a
process that still hobbles the Soviet Union:
Russia's exclusion from participation in the
West's economy. But though Western gover-
nments were outraged at Lenin's defiance
and responded by invading Russia with the
aim of toppling the Bolshevik regime, rage

soon gave way to accommodation when it
became clear the Bolsheviks were firmly in
power and the new government functioned.
The Bolsheviks quickly adapted themselves
to the norms of international diplomacy, and
foreign embassies were once again set up.
Because the power of the state was so central
to Lenin's vision of socialism, it didn't take
the Bolsheviks long to realize that if they had
to deal with foreign states, the narrowly
proscribed diplomatic road was the only way
to travel.
The Iranian Revolution shares one fun-
damental characteristic with the Russian and
other earlier revolutions, essential to under-
standing the rationale for the breaking of
diplomatic rules: Revolutions mark a
profound and radical change in the principles
on which government is based. Unlike coups-
d'etat, which just shuffle powerholders,
revolutions destroy entire governmental
structures and often leave the new power
holders with few or no blueprints for setting
up a new kind of government. As the French
Revolution replaced rule by feudal privilege
with reason and law; as the Russian
Revolution replaced traditional monarchy
with socialism; and as the American
Revolution replaced the power of a distant
king with representative government; so too
has the Iranian Revolution overthrown a
despotic government for the principles of
Shi'a Islam.
But there the similarities with earlier
revolutions end. For Shi'ism, unlike other
forms of statehood, is profoundly anti-state. It
is a social religion, oriented to the poor, eter-
nally suspicious of and hostile to concen-
trations of secular state power.
THEREIN LIES the rub. Shi'a Islam, as a
form of government, disdains the state, rejec-
ts the principal instrument around which in-
ternational rules are made and maintained.
No one can fail to be struck today by the
fact that Iran is being run by an endless
proliferation of committees. Even the
Revolutionary Council, which constitutes the
closest thing to a government, is little more,
than one voice among many. The futile at-
tempts at real government, such as the
Bazargan administration, proved to be
nothing more than an administrative
bureaucracy with virtually no authority in the
international arena.
This is the unique aspect of the Iranian
'Revolution, setting it apart from all others. It
is the first revolution in modern times that
has not only radically transformed gover-
nment, but actually reduced the very existen-
ce of government to a condition bordering on
the ideals of anarchy.
Obviously this renders moot the rules of in-
ternational diplomacy, based as they are on
state power. If there is no "government," in
the sense of organized state power, how can
there be rules of government? The foundation.
of international law consists of agreements
made between sovereign states. But Shi'a
Islam, with its heavy stress-on the religious
and the social, has not allowed much in the
way of a new revolutionary state to be con-
INDEED, WHAT should be striking is not
that Iran has broken the rules, but that it still
abides by them in many ways. Iran still has
diplomatic relations with the United States
and other governments, despite the lack of
government in Iran. It still produces and

distributes oil in accordance with contractual
agreements with other nations, most notably
Japan. It is still committed to repayment of
international loans, despite Chase Manhat-
tan's unilateral declaration of a default.
And ironically, Iran's breaking of the rules
by the seizure of the U.S. embassy and it
personnel has not served to isolate Iran from
the world community, but to bring it more
than ever to the center of things.
As conservatives in America campaign to
make the U.S. "not loved but respected," so
the Ayatollah's defiance of the American
giant has given Iran the center stage in the in-
ternational drama.
How else could Iran have gained such a
position? Let us assume it could have playe
by the rules, even while disdaining them.I
could have launched an endless and noisy
chain of official protests from Tehran to
Washington demanding the return of the
Shah, and they would have been answered
with the usual polite, which is to say
diplomatic, refusals. More forceful actions,
such as reducing the embassy staff and cut-
ting the flow ofoil to the U.S., would have
elicited some less polite, but still diplomatic
acknowledgements from high U.S. officials. A
formal breaking of relations, which is withi
the rules of the game, would have achieve
nothing but to isolate Iran even more from the
world. And finally, Iran could have played the
rules to the fullest by formally declaring war
on the United States, an act so absurd as to
amount-to suicide.
TlE FACT IS that if Iran, in its campaign
to get back the Shah, had followed the rules
and broken relations with the U.S., it would'
have meantropting outof the world com-
munity and economy, just as Lenin did in.
1918. Instead, Iran did the opposite.
Failure to understand the importance to
Iran of getting the Shah back reflects a
political myopia of seeing revolutions as little
more than power struggles, despite the
massive lessons of history. Terrible as the
guillotining of Louis XVI and the grand Fren-
ch nobles was, it dramatically symbolized the
change in governing principal from privilege
to people. In Iran there is a 2,500 year history
of rule by tyrant and privilege. Only the trial
of the Shah, and his certain execution, will
finally break that millenial yoke of despotisr,
hanging over Iran. The issue of the Shah iM
non-negotiable for the Iranians.
As for the breaking of the rules, we may ag-
ticipate that Iran will eventually come back
into the diplomatic fold, as a chastized Im-
perial China did in 1900. But the prospect of
more revolutions in the offing should make us
ponder on the role of diplomatic rules: have
they become archaic in the relations between
nations? Do they favor the big players over
the little ones? And, with global migrations
communications, trade, tourism, and ir
creasingly global politics, what is so
sacrosanct about a diplomacy that forces all
significant relations between nations and
peoples to be funnelled entirely through
governments, especially at a time when the
role of government in human affairs is held in.
high suspicion?
The writers are editors of the
Pacific News Service, the mainsta.
of the Daily editorial page.

George Meany

Spacy Jane

THE PATRIARCH of the American
labor movement and the con-
science of seven United States
presidents is dead.a
In his 25 years at the head of the
nation's largest labor{ federation,
George Meany's gruff, Bronx-accented
voice, his cigar, and his pointed sar-
casm came to symbolize labor in this
country. But it was Meany's undying
commitment to the cause of the
American worker that won him a place
in tie hearts of the socially conscious,
an indelible spot in American history
as one of the few great men who never
served in public office.
Meany's passion, his commitment,
his dedication, was to the work force,
that segment of American society that
was forgotten in the days of Pinkerton
detectives, trust-busting, and the bat-
tle of Eagle Pass. Labor unions were
not popular when George Meany first
took up the cause-unions were not
large, they were not powerful, and, in
most cases, they were not tolerated.
But if any one man can be singly said
responsible to moving organized labor
from a position of disdain to an accep-
ted potent political force, that man is
George Meany, the former plumber
from the Bronx.
Indeed it was Meany's humble
beginnings that endeared him in the
hearts and minds of workers nation-

wide. George Meany was, like them, a
worker, a laborer, and he would
remember their plight and carry-their
struggle from the high-ceilinged
corridors of Congress to the pomp and
circumstance of the oval office.
Meany's commitment to labor came
before any commitment to any
politician, party, or president. He
would not hesitate to bitterly condemn
Lyndon Johnson as quickly and with as
much of his characteristic sarcasm as
when he condemned Johnson's
Republican successors-but only when
labor was threatened.
Too many who look at organized
labor today see only powerful unions of
millions of 'members, swinging elec-
tions with their endorsements and
exercising unchecked political clout.
Too few remember that less than a.
generation ago, there was no such
thing as minimum wage, safe working
conditions, paid vacations, and basic
human dignity for America's working
When George Meany was alive, he
never let those darker days be forgot-
ten. He kept the cause alive by not
relenting in the struggle even until his
American labor, and the nation as a
whole, has lost one of its last true
crusaders. George Meany will be
sorely missed.


S $
zTN ,J&

' A A04 OL
9sF VT-

By Tom Stevens
M\A E T 7H C 4Ec



I i1


. . - - -..

January 10, 1980
An Open Letter to
President Jimmy Carter:
I cannot reach you personaly,
although I have tried every
avenue open to me-person-to-
person telephone calls, the white
house answering service,
telegrams, etc.
We are united as a nation, all
the little Americans with the big
brains. We are telling you to
APPEAR ON national network
television with a show of
America's full military force.
Appear with all the branches of
the armed service, in full dress
uniforms. 'And then, Mr.
President, you must read to the
American people the new armed
forces code of conduct. Tell the
older generation of Americans
that if the hostages are forced to
lie at a mock trial, that these men
and women are and always will
be honorable citizens of the
United States of America. You
must tell the entire world that
Iran's only legal recourse under
international law is to deport the
hostages as undesirable
visitors-that is the only charge
that Iranians can make. I have

full fress uniform, how straight
and proud a general looks.
President Carter, you must
also put all of our military bases
on full alert, to show the world
how fast it can be done. Have an
air force and naval show of all of
America's awesome air power.
We must show the world how
powerful we really are. We must
have this kind of show of military
The Soviets have removed their
elite forces from Iran-by
moving them to the next country
(Afghanistan). They have killed
off a generation of Iranian youth.
It will take Iran 20 years to ever
function effectively as a country
I have several ideas.
FIRST, WE should drop food in
a circle around the em-
bassy-drop rice like rain, with
flyers. I believe the Iranians
would drop to their knees to pick
up every grain of rice that they
could. I want our television
cameras turned on, to show the
world how hungry the Iranians
are. They will desert the hostages
and grovel in the dirt for rice and
salt. We shall have our hostages
plus save face. After we have all

Letters. to the Daily.,-

FOURTH, if the Iranians do not
want to release our citizens, we
will create jihad-a holy war. We
should state our intentions and all
go on red alert within 48 hours.
Once the Russian elite corp has
left therarea, we should make our
first drop of rice and salt, at
about 5:00 a.m. The only reason
those people take to demon-
strating is, I believe, they do not
have enough food and warm
the Russians and the Chinese
fight each other. They have
millions of men and women they
can affordto lose-that many
less to feed. We, Americans do
not trust China any more than we
trust Russia.
We are being set up to be made
fools of once again. Do not allow
the Chinese any military infor-
And remember, President Car-
ter, not only the 50 American
hostages, but their parents and
families are suffering with each
passing day.

am going to discuss.
It concerns a tuba player.
I don't know the gentleman's
name. I only know that his
presence, or to put it more objec-
tively-his music-made the dif-
ference. Let me give you the par-
ticulars, then I promise to make
my point and be done with it.
Last weekend I went to thD
Dayton-Michigan basketball
game with a few friends. We wat-
ched the Michigan men play
Dayton first. There was the usual
noise, the cheers, the raz-
zmatazz, and the music. The
score was fine and dandy.
Everybody was happy.
Then the Michigan women
were to play the Illinois women.
People left. The band packed up
The video cameras went away
The lights in the lobby went off. (I
guess they assumed that the fans,
like the women on the team,
would be content to slink out
gratefully through the back
There was a tuba player who
stayed. He stayed through the
whole game. He played "Hail to
the Victors" to what might have

01 he Mixbigan B at-IV

Sue Warner............................... EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Richard Berke, Julie Rovner.......... MANAGING EDITORS
Michael Arkush ,Keith Richburg.. EDITORIAL DIRECTORS
Brian Blanchard.......................UNIVERSITY EDITOR

LISA CULBERSON ...................... Business Manager
ARLENE SARYAN ......................Sales Manager
BETH WARREN..............................Dislay Manager

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan