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September 23, 1981 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-09-23

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OPINION
Page 6 Wednesday, September 23, 1981 The Michigan Daily

al

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

End neutron bomb stockpiling

Vol. XCIt, No. 12

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

. 1...,.

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Economics of the draft

T MIGHT appear that Americans
are safe from the draft these days.
The president, after all, has said he
doesn't like the idea of peacetime con-
scription, and administration officials
have echoed the president's words.
But appearances can be deceiving,
and the draft may not be quite as far
away as people think.
;Indeed, last weekend, many of the
elegates to a New York conference on
military manpower suggested that in-
ense national debate on the draft may
sume as soon as early next year.
The conference, which was spon-
sred by a non-profit organization af-
Jiated with Columbia University,
brought together dozens of persons
with considerable expertise in areas
jlated to the draft and to the person-
el needs of the military. Included
mong the delegates were members of
Congress and several high-ranking of-
'cers of the armed services.
In a statement released at the end of
,he conference, the group said that a
" substantial majority" of the
'elegates thought that a return to the
Graft was "neither necessary nor
dsirable" at the present time.
{ But several of the delegates
suggested that the idea of a return to
conscription might be seriously con-
;idered as the Reagan administration
0 Aid to the
NA SPEECH to the United Nations
Monday, Secretary of State
lexander Haig urged Third World
pations to develop their free markets,
private initiative, and foreign capital.
Forget about large increases in aid
from rich nations, he said.
What the Secretary of State seems to
be saying, in effect, is that poor nations
should not count on financial support
from the United States so they can
develop and prosper on their own. In-
stead, they should become dependent
on the United States, by allowing its
large corporations-i.e. foreign
capital-to enter their .countries,
raping them of resources and profits.
Unfortunately, what Haig suggested
would benefit neither the United States
nor these Third World countries. True,
the countries should develop the
resources they have at hand-but they
desperately need the aid of countries
such as the United States to help them
develop their technology.
They do not, however, need
dominating large U.S. corporations
bleeding them of these resources. They

continues to look for ways in which to
trim the federal budget.
. Some have hinted that, although the
usual justification for a return to con-
scription is that such a program would
guarantee that the military would have
sufficient numbers of qualified persons
the draft might come to be viewed by
the Reagan administration as
something more. A return to the draft
might be perceived by the Reagan ad-
ministration as a way of reducing the
military payroll; you don't have to pay
draftees as much as volunteers.
Sadly, the idea that the ad-
ministration might turn to conscription
is not too far-fetched. Reagan has
already shown a disturbing inclination
toward cutting the budget at the ex-
pense of civil liberties.
And the president, despite his
alleged aversion to the draft, has
allowed the Selective Service
registration program started under the
Carter administration to continue.
Proponents of the draft have dozens
of reasons-nearly none of which are
valid-why the nation needs to return
to some form of conscription. But to
reduce the discussion of the lives and
fiberties of millions of young
Americans to a matter of deciding
where to cut the budget is particularly
insidious.
Fhird World

The neutron bomb is a peculiarly horrible
weapon, not because napalm, antipersonnel
bombs or other types of nuclear weapons kill
more humanely, but because it so perfectly
expresses the moral and political bankruptcy
of the prevailing security system. Now, in ac-
cordance with a recent decision by the
Reagan administration, it is about to be
produced and stockpiled in the United States.
The very theory under which itis to be in-
troduced, however, is both wrong and
dangerous. The idea is that a new weapon
which kills people, who are expendable, and
saves property, which is not, will make its use
more likely and hence provide a greater
deterrent. Its primary targets are the crews
of closely massed tanks, in a "limited nuclear
war" which somehow excludes multi-
megaton warheads.
YET, NOT ONLY is the neutron or "enhan-
ced radiation" bomb far from an ideal
weapon for its stated purpose-it kills slowly
and painfully, not even fast enough to, in-
capacitate tank drivers at the moment of ex-
plosion-it has horrendous long-term genetic
effects. A one-kiloton enhanced radiation
warhead releases 150 rads over an area 1.7
kilometers from the explosion and 30 rads at a
distance of 2.1 kilometers. Exposure to a
mere 14 rads caused lukemia and other
severe cancers in the inhabitants of the Mar-
shall Islands in 1954; 30 rads' exposure
doubles the genetic mutation rate, leaving a
legacy of damage extending for generations.
The idea that a nuclear war can be con-
trolled is itself an illusion. If the Soviets found
themselves the targets of neutron bombs,
they would, in all likelihood respond with
nuclear weapons of their own. Indeed, their
strategic doctrine assumes the inevitability of
escalation. It takes two to have a limited war,
and there is nothing to suggest that the
Soviets have any interest in playing by the
new rules being developed by the Pentagon.
Presently, they have about 3,500 so-called
"tactical nuclear weapons" in Europe, most

By Richard Barnet
of which are the size of the Hiroshima bomb,
and 600 of which are above 500 kilotons-more
than 25 times the strength of the Hiroshima
bomb. A limited nuclear war in Europe is a
contradiction in terms.
THUS, THE DECISION to produce the
neutron bomb reveals contempt for the people
who are to be defended, and a tragic
willingness to weaken further the fragile
remaining restraints against nuclear war.
Consider the hazards: More nations are now
producing nuclear weapons. More nations,
such as Israel, are now so concerned about
others acquiring nuclear capacity that they
will consider preemptive military action. And
the weapons of each superpower are now in-
creasingly being targeted by the other,
making both more nervous and prone to strike
first. It is suicidal to lower the nuclear
threshold under such circumstances.
To pretend that the weapons are usable and
that their use is being seriously entertained
makes nuclear war more likely, not less. We
should be taking nuclear weapons out of
Europe, not preparing to put more in. The
neutron bomb is a symbol of weakness and
despair because at the very moment in
history when it is becoming more clear that
nuclear weapons can neither win a war, nor
provide lasting security, the United States is
confirming its dependence on the nuclear
illusion.
Not only does the neutron decision show a
callous disregard for the future of the human
race, but it also reveals a dangerous gap bet-
ween American and European perceptions.
The Soviet Union will, of course, make
political capital out of this gap, but they did
not create it. The administration announced
the decision in a highly provocative way.
ANTICIPATING A negative reaction from
across the Atlantic, American officials em-
phasized that European attitudes were of lit-

tle concern to them. No one would "dictate"
our weapons decisions to us. In fact,-
Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger,-
strongly suggested that the decision was-
reached in retaliation for the German failure:
to maintain an adequate level of defense
spending.
Hence, since the weapon is useless
militarily in Europe-there is, however, a
ghastly potential for its use in the Third
World-the public announcement was clearly
meant to produce a political effect. The
message .is that President Reaganis
prepared to deal with anti-nuclear and
pacifist sentiment in Europe in the same way
he has dealt with Congressional opposition
and the air traffic controllers at home: ignore
their concerns and roll over them.
But the fear of war in Europe is genuine and
cannot be assuaged by tough talk from
Washington. Europe would be the zone of
destruction in a "limited" nuclear war.
Europeans, unlike Americans, have had'
devastating wars on their own soil within
living memory. A security strategy for the
West that offers only increasing confrontation
and no sure defense can only build anti-
military sentiment, and widen the gap bet-
ween America and Europe.
The Reagan administration has reverted to
a new sort of isolationalism, a flaunting of
America's power to make unilateral decisions
even in the face of strong European op-
position. It is a policy of .weakness, not
strength, for the great struggles in the world
today are political. They cannot be solved by
any nation acting alone, and they cannot be
solved by military means.
A United States that is prepared to isolate
itself more and more from its closest allies
can be neither strong nor secure.
Barnet wrote this article for Pacific
News Service.

Weasel

By Robert Lence
---- -

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Alexander Haig
need a stronger, more positive connec-
tion with this country. The picture of
the large, dominating corporation
taking all the profits home only serves
to build resentment and hatred toward
the United States.
The United States can get much far-
ther by supporting the people of these
countries with its foreign aid, giving
them the self-respect that comes from
independent development. Haig should
realize that one of the components of a
strong foreign policy is working with,
not against the people within the Third
World countries.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
For this he took JT1'11J!

,I
I/AI
It 1 1~rj
( i l\ dX1i "1

To the Daily:
HOW TO DETECT A NON-
BEGINNER IN HEBREW 201: A
Response to "For This I Took
Ivrit?" (Howard Witt, Daily,
Sept. 22).
Hebrew 201. The course
description says "No previous
knowledge of Hebrew is
assumed". We mean it!
In spite of lie detector tests
administered to students
measuring the increased heart
beat and rise in blood pressure as
registered students insist that
they have never had any Hebrew
before and have never even
heard of the language, there are
among them (usually those on
their way to Medical or Law
School) some who are not among
those who "could never tell a
lie."
After administering placement
tests: two types-one objective
given during summer orien-
tation and the other, a more
traditional test given during
registration in the fall (Howard,
think of the man/woman hours
involved in correcting these
tests! not to speak of making
them up), we assume that all
those who have had previous ex-
perience have been appropriately
placed, and we also assume that
all students in 201 are innocent
until proven guilty.
On the whole we find that the
majority is indeed honest. While
two or three in each of the 201 sec-
tions have never been exposed to
Hebrew, the others indeed know
their alphabet and some words in
Hebrew; but Howard, this is not a

rather than unlearning. There is
great advantage to starting as a
tabula rasa (no, this last phrase
will not be on the first test).
Hours are devoted by the
Hebrew staff, whose job is to
teach Hebrew, to find those
culprits who are pulling the wool
over our eyes. We have perfected
ways of detecting students who
have taken Hebrew before with
fine techniques which allow us to
determine not only the number of
years and the type of school at-
tended (day school, afternoon
school, weekend school), but also
approximate geographical
location (Boston accent is the
worst!).
We have retreats and
workshops devoted to indoc-
trinating innocent and unsuspec-
ting teaching assistants in the art
of detecting previous Hebrew
students.
The detection methods are
quite sophisticated: we watch for
students who fall asleep in class
in spite of our dynamic teaching
techniques (you can't blame
them; after all, how exciting can
it be to study the alphabet for the
seventh time?)
We also watch for those who
sneak in words which have not
been introduced in class. There
are a number of ways to detect
students who have had Hebrew,
but we cannot reveal all our car-
ds as students are always one
step ahead of us.
On the positive side we devote
many hours to students who
profess to having Hebrew
Anxiety, and are greatly aided by
fha~ l~ff fhflnvhlnflf.oca nas in

mad. We think his choice of Levi
for Louis is a touch of a poet, but
we do like Schmuck better, ex-
cept that, as he said, we don't mix
Hebrew and 'yiddish-Gevaldt!
We wish you and all The
Michigan Daily readership
Shanah Tovah-for those with no
Hebrew names and not versed in
the ancient-modern Semitic
language, it means a Happy New

"THluE NEW MEDICINE OUGHT r103e
TAKING EFFECT P MTY SOON"

-The Hebrew Staff of 201
September 22

Year. If you wish to learn more,
enroM in Hebrew 201 next
semester.- We loved Howard
Witt's article; it made not only
our day but also our year.
Howard, much luck in Hebrew
201. You owe us another article at
the end of 201.

6
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