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February 21, 1980 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-02-21

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6

The Michigan Daily-Thursday, February 21, 1980-The Michigan Daily
Nir 3itdian ailg
Niieuy lYears (4 Ediujrial Frecedom

Racial balance is dr

Vol. XC, No. 1N7

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

SWomen, babies, math, and

the registration debate

HE MAJORITY of American
women do not want to participate
in a draft registration program
-because "they want to stay home and
have babies."
" Sound like the antiquated logic ,of
:some male chauvinist pig? The back-
ward reasoning of a Phyllis Schlafjy?
:Try again. This latest contribution to
the pool of popular wisdom about equal
'rights comes from none other than
Marjorie Holt, ranking minority mem-
ber of the House Subcommittee on
Military Personnel.
And believe it or not, the entire
Congress may take her seriously.
Holt and other members of the sub-
-committee were responding - Tuesday
to President Carter's proposal to
register women as well as men for a
possible draft. Indeed, Congress' op-
position to Carter's plan comes as'no
:urprise - various legislators have
:been vowing to fight it for weeks.
What is surprising, and very discon-
certing, is that the collective voice of
the people of this country - Congress
- appears to be screaming against

equal rights for women.
Of course, no legislator will admit
that he or she frowns on equal rights.
The argument against registering
women which seems to be in vogue on
Capitol Hill right now is conveniently,
non-sexist. The large numbers of men
available for a possible draft make
registration of women unnecessary,
the contention goes.
These mathematics, however,
ignore basic properties of equality.
The application of some new math,
which the Congress obviously finds dif-
ficult to comprehend, changes the
issue quite completely. Women equal
men. Men must register. It follows
from the transitivity property that
women, too, should register.
To deny women equal responsibility
for national-defense is to deny women
equality.
And, to employ the transitivity
property once again, to deny women
equality because "they want to stay
home and have babies" is sheer folly.
Men would probably prefer to stay
home afnd father the babies the women
want to have.

Uncle Sam does want you-if you're white,
bright, and ready to fight. And that may be
why he's thinking about putting the draft back
to work: the U.S. army is short on white men
with managerial or technical know how.
With the modern army's need for
specialized skills increasing annually, defen-
se officials are worried about plummeting
enlistment standards, a rash of applications
for early discharge, and a serious decline in
the number of well-educated white soldiers.
The recent enthusiasm for renewing the draft
may have less to do with events in Iran and
Afghanistan than it does with a desire to ex-
pand the pool of white enlisted men who
arrive with professional or technical skills.
THE PERSONNEL STRUCTURE of the
military today bears a close resemblance to
the civilian sector in its reliance on a class of
professional managers. As a1979 study by the
Brookings Institute clearly demonstrated, the
army now relies less on the combat-ready
soldier and more on technicians and
specialists skilled in handling new
management systems and technology. "We
-can not get enough of the right kind of people,
with the necessary skills and abilities to fit
the needs," Senator John Stennis (D-Miss.)
has said of the present volunteer army.
Given the educational and economic
realities of American. society, solving that
problem through the draft can only mean
pumping more white inductees, especially
those with some college training, into what is
already a two-tiered structure. While officers,
mid-level managers and technicians are
overwhelmingly white, infantrymen and dit-
ch diggers - plain soldiers-tend to be
black.
The new Selective Service could be just
that: a way to select soldiers that guarantees
a supply of men for the managerial class that
runs today's army-and insures a more com-
fortable racial balance. Since the old draft
ended in 1972, the total number of blacks in
the army has increased by 103,000, while the
number of whites has dropped by a -
proximately 400,000. As a result, black
enlistees now account for 30 per cent of the
army, lumped at the bottom of the military
hierarchy. Only 6.1 per cent of the officer cor-
ps is comprised of black men.
THE IMBALANCE SHOWS nb signs of
reversing; in fact, it is almost certain to grow
in the coming years. The low birth rate of the
mid-Sixties will leave recruiters with only 1.8
million eligible young men by 1985, down from
2.1 million today. From that number, 400,000
new soldiers must be drawn in order to main-
tain the troop level at its Current two million
men. But recruiters must compete with
equally aggressive college admissions of-
ficers, the civilian job market, and other

By Joseph Kelley
government programs for the best-educated
candidates.
As a result, the armed services five years
from now are likely to be even less represen-
tative of the general population in race
and economic status. Congressman
Robin Beard (R-Tenn.) recently priedicted.
that almost half of the junior enlisted ranks in
the army would soon be black, as well as 65
per cent of the non-commissioned officers. "I
think you're going to have problems," he
.warned.
The problems anticipated by Beard and
other critics of the present volunteer system
range from racial tension to the possibility of
large-scale disobedience of orders in the
event of an African war. There is no real
precedent for such resistance on racial or
.political grounds, but the possibility has
received greater public attention lately as
turmoil in the Middle East and Africa arouses
conflicting feelings among U.S. blacks.
JOSEPH MASHARIKI, head of the Black
Veterans for Social Justice, a community
organization in Brooklyn's Bedford
Stuyvesant district, asserts that black an-
tiwar protest has always been distinct from
the white movement, and that the division
will become more apparent if troops are ever
sent to Africa. "There was resistance in Viet-
nam to white people telling black people to
kill yellow people," he says. "There will be
resistance now, too." In public, the Depar-
tment of Defense does not acknowledge that a
growing black presence in the military is an
issue at all. "We look for people to perform
specific functions," said an army spokesman.
"We don't feel race enters in."
At a 1974 race relations-equal opportunity
conference at the Department of the Army,
the matter was discussed and then dropped
after participants concluded it was
"desirable" to have a '"cross section," but
'that "there should be little concern as to
whether the army is mostly one race or
another."
Nevertheless, observers who deal with the
military on a regular basis say that high
ranking officers privately express deep con-
cern over race and education levels in the
armed forces-and that reinstitution of the
draft is their way of responding to the
problem. if a draft lottery were implemented
without loopholes, the number of blacks en-
tering the service would fall to one in nine,
while the steady decline in white enlistments
would be reversed.
"AFGHANISTAN IS JUST a smokescreen
for bringing back the draft," says military
sociologist Charles Moskos of Northwestern

4
ift motive
University. "They don't want tto admit the
problems they have been having with the
volunteer army."
Moskos is also concerned about the racia
proportions in the military, if for differeU
reasons. In the past, he points out, the service
offered poor enlistees an opportunity to com-
pete on equal terms against the privileged.
But in an army composed mainly of the poor
and the black,.this chance is lost.
Along with sociologist Morris Janowitz of
the University of Chicago, Moskos has
proposedI a series of changes in the volunteer
system which would lure whites into the ser-
vice and keep it from becoming a "racial en-
clave." These include aprogram of pos
service educational benefits modeled on the
GI Bill, and a requirement that all inductees
have high school diplomas.
BUT NEITHER A reinstated draft nor an
altered volunteer system sits well with those
who feel such efforts pose hazards for non-
white Americans. "Any attempt to define the
bases and limits of black participation in the
military, even under the guise of altruism,
should be suspect on the reasonable expec-
tation that blacks would emerge as losers,"
argues John Butler, a sociologist at tl-
University of Texas.'1
If the experience of Vietnam is any in-
dication, a reinstated draft would not make
the distribution of men within the armed for-
ces more equitable in any case. Casualties in
Southeast Asia were greatest among mem-
bers of lower income groups, both black and
white. And there is simply no assuring that
the new system would be freer of loopholes for
the privileged than its predecessor in the
Vietnam era when most upper-income whit
men avoided military service altogether,
found safe posts away from the combat zone.
It's fair to say that there are still big
problems in the volunteer army. The shortage
of manpower in such mid-level jobs as
aviation repair specialist, electrician, and
tank mechanic is acute. But it's also fair to
ask just what the army is doing about it. For
many of the young blacks who now fill the
ranks, the service was presented as a mat-
chless opportunity to acquire specialized
training. The continuing stratification of the
army-blacks at the bottom, whites at t4
top, blacks on the firing line, whites manning
technical posts-suggests that the real
prgblem has to do with unkept promises
rather than with the dangers of racial im-
balance.
Joseph Kelley, a former staff reporter
for the Patterson News, is a New York
freelance writer. He wrote this piece for
the Pacific News Service.

A shotgun wedding-but
two won't take the vows

OU CAN hardly tell the presifen-
tial candidates apart, even with a.
scorecard, it seems. They can sound
quite similar when doing so suits their
purposes. And indeed,a why shouldn't
they? You wouldn't expect them to
voice diverse points of view on abor-
tion, at least not at a gathering of
Catholic clergymen. -
It should come as no surprise, then,
that the candidates came off sounding
only slightly less unified than the
Mormon Tabernacle Choir when they
spoke at a convention of gun-lovers in
New Hampshire Tuesday., In the rush
to the podium at the Concord powwow,
a few of the hopefuls tried to sound so
enthusiastic about hunting and
weaponry that their conments had a
strangely irrational cast. John Con-
nally indicated that gun control would
bar Americans from holding off the
Russkies: "We better learn to bear
arms in this country," said the Texan,
"or we won't have the right to bear
arms."
Jerry Brown said he thought gover-
nment should be kept "out of where it
doesn't belong." One wonders if the
governor can mean that protecting
A merican lives is outside the gover-
nment's jurisdiction.-
The president's son Jack boasted
that his father "really knows how to
shoot," and Howard Baker commen-
ded the gun owners for their "rugged

individualism," cleverly comparing it
to his own.
George Bush, not to be left out,
called the assembled riflemen "my
fellow hunters" and lovingly discussed
his prides and joys - a .22 caliber rifle
and. a .20 gauge shotgun. '
'The aging Republican frontrunner,
Ronald Reagan, was able to greet the
crowd as "fellow members of the NRA
(National Rifle Association). This was
the biggest crowd-pleaser of all.
Of all the declared candidates in
either major party, only two declined
to follow the flock. Edward Kennedy,
who has lost two brothers to gunfire,
chose not to appear at the shotgun par-
ty. And John Anderson of Illinois,
behaving in a fashion that can be ex-
plained either as lunacy or deep prin-
ciple (it gets increasingly difficult to
tell the two qualities apart in primary
season), opposed unrestricted gunplay
outright.
"I cannot understand why a gun
owner should not have to prove that he
can use the weapon competently," said
the congressman as the audiencen
jeered.
Why Anderson had to go and spoil a
perfect display of unanimity is beyond
us. Solidarity is so appealing. So what
if the flag around which the other, can-
didates choose to rally \is stained
scarlet with the blood of humans and
other living things? At least the other
candidates stood together.

LETTERS TO THF DAILY:
SYL hit for support of Soviet invasion

To the Daily:
Let's talk facts regarding the
Soviet Army's invasion of
Afghanistan. Several weeks ago,
members of the United Nations
voted overwhelmingly (104 for, 18
against,18 abstentions) to rebuke
the Soviet Union for its "armed
intervention . . ." violating "the
sovereignty, territorial integrity
and political independence" of
Afghanistan. In a surprising
demonstration of solidarity, a
majority of Third World nations,
and others, called for "the im-
mediate, unconditional and total
withdrawal of the foreign troops
from Afghanistan." Nigeria,
Iraq, Zaire, Cambodia,
Yugoslavia, Albania-a total of
57 members of the Nonaligned
Movement-failed to view this
Soviet incursion into a neigh-
boring country as an act -of
"Libeiration" as the Spartacus
Youth League would have us
believe.
It was not the Trotskyist Army
that entered Afghanistan for the
purpose of providing "economic
plenty and international
equality" through a "proletarian
political revolution." Rather, it
was the Soviet Army, considered
to be the most powerful land ar-
my in the world, "Capable of

projecting its power beyond the
Soviet borders . . . anywhere
from Western Europe to the Per-
sian Gulf to the Chinese fron-
tier." Clearly, recent history has
shown that the Soviet hierarchy
has used its military force to
strengthen strategic bases of
support throughout the world. In-
stead of "Liberation," the main
purpose of Soviet military inter-
vention has been to extend
Russia's sphere of influence
whenever and wherever possible.
What makes the Spartacus
Youth League believe that
Russian bureaucracy will not
usurp the political power of the
working class in Afghanistan, as
they claim has happened in

Russia itself? The League
denounces the Russian invasion
of Hungary in 1956, the invasion
of Czechoslovakia in 1968, but
believes this time the Russians
are motivated to spread "the
social and economic gains that
were won ... in Russia in 1917" to
the Afghan masses today. This
logic is certainly inconsistent, if
not faulty.
Would the relatives of the
Afghan masses, slaughtered by
Soviet troops (in Kerala,
Afghanistan on April 20, 1979) be
as likely to chant "Hail Red Ar-
my" as the Spartacus Youth'
League? There is documented
evidence that Soviet advisors
directed the massacre of more

than 1000 unarmemien for their
failure to support Afghanistan's
Marxist regime. Reporters have
described this event as similar to
the brutal "mass murders at
Lidice, Malmedy, and My Lai. I*
this the sort of "liberation" that
the Spartacus Youth League
believes the Afghan people have
asked for? I think not.
Not only the mullahs and
"Muslim rebels" but also the
common Afghan masses are
fighting the Soviets, to protect
their own way of life from the op-
pression of impending Soviet
domination.

-Seth D. Moldoff
Feb.16

Youth not apathetic toward draft plan

_Higgins F L~

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To the Daily:
Professor Bay's article "Car-
ter wants Youth to Register for
WW III" (Daily, Feb. 12) wrongly
accuses students of being
apathetic towards draft
registration. Hesapparently feels
anyone not out in the street chan-
ting (like an Iranian or a Hare
Krishna) is apathetic. He also
stated that we were not debating
the draft.
It is difficult to debate
something that does not exist,
like the draft or the tooth fairy. If
an actual draft were proposed we
would have to examine its pur-
pose, efficiency, and equitability
prior to conducting an actual
debate. Draft registration,
however, can and is being
debated. Last Sunday, Feb. 10,
draft registration was debated at
Bursley Hall, from 8 p.m. to 11
p.m. The pro side was given by
Ken Close, a Captain in the U.S.
Army and an Army ROTC in-
structor here at the University.
The con side was given by John
Leone, a member of PIRGIM,
Cpt. Close's main points cen-
Canham is
To the Daily:
In a recent appearance before
the Regents, Don Canham defen-
ded his department's policy of
awarding disproportionate

tered on the prevention of war.
He stated that nations do not start
wars if they feel they'll lose. He
pointed out the difference bet-
ween offensive and defensive
military power, and how an
aggressive nation can be
deterred without - being-
threatened. He then challenged
the PIRGIM representative to
prove that draft registration will
cause a draft, and that a draft
will cause a war. Overall, Cpt.
Close gave very strong argumen-
ts in an exceptionally good
speaking manner. .
John Leone spoke next. He"

- MSA president slammed

seemed unprepared to discuss
the topic at hand and instead read
to us his own philosophy of
Afghanistan. I was disappointed
that he could not debate the issue.
There will be more debates an
discussion concerning draf
registration. But don't expect us,
Prof. Bay, to fit your biased
stereotype of concerned students.
I am very concerned about world
peace, and am now in agreement
with Cpt. Close that draft
registration will help deter world
aggression without threatening
anyone. - -Dave Smith
Feb.15

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To the Daily:' -
Can the world survive another
U.S. presidential election?
Carter tops the polls with the
image of a fearless leader, while
most of the other presidential
candidates compete to see who
can rattle the biggest nuclear
sabre. Talk flows freely of the
necessity of nuclear war if the
Soviet Union makes the wrong
move. The issue becomes not
whether we prevent a war, but

whether we should draft women.
As a sideshow to the larger
circus, our MSA president Jim
Alland goes to Washington and
finds Carter to be sincere-really
interested in what students are
saying about the draft (Daily,
Feb. 19). What a student leader!
This all reminds me of the old
cartoon of the "Perfe
Soldier"-all'tnuscle, but missin
a head. -Ronald Berg
Feb. 20

wrong; women are serious

*v, .

men's team. In fact, it requires
abnormal intensity to continue
competing in an athletic program
which is inadequate to meet the

only "attrition" "on our team was
the few outstanding players who
transferred to other colleges
where women athletes were

\\

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