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November 03, 1981 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-11-03

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0

OPINION

- A

Page 4

Tuesday, November 3, 1981

The Michigan Daily "

__________________________________________________________________________ 'I

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Business scratches its back

Vol. XCII, No. 47

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M1 48109

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

There's a new breed of television com-
mericals radiating from our color screens
lately. It used to be that companies would
seek out famous personalities to endorse their
products; now they're seeking out other com-
panies.
I suppose this trend was inevitable, what
with Reaganomics firmly entrenched as the
national fad and Big Business cast as the
country's salvation. Corporate worship is in

*Anything bi
M OST STUDENTS probably
haven't heard of him. His name
is David Heebink and he's the Univer-
sity's director of the Office of Federal
Relations for the vice president for
research.
A typical, long, bureaucratic
University title. What does it mean? In
yesterday's issues of the University
Record, Heebink was asked just that
question, "What is your main job in the
Capital: monitoring? sharing infor-
mation? participating in the legislative
process?" the Record asked. Heebink
replied that his job consists of "talking

U

ta lobbyist
with people, exchanging points of view,
and sharing information."
In short, Heebink's a lobbyist. But
neither he nor the University Record
could manage to eek that word out of
the depths of their respective
vocabularies. It's as if some evil,
political curse surrounds the word
"lobbyist."
Aw, c'mon, Dave, say it. It's not that
hard. It saves a lot of space and gives a
much clearer picture of what your job
is.
Can you say "lobbyist"? There, we
knew you could.

Howard
Witt

carpeted steps into parking lots chock full of
gleaming Caprices and Bonnevilles, extolling
the virtues of the General Motors cars they
use.
I really wonder what will be next. "G.D.
Searle talks with people who know drugs,"
perhaps? The camera zooms in on a
prominent Harlem drug pusher (not exactly a
big businessman, but certainly an en-
trepreneur) and ...
Too bad Elvis is dead. He was certainly big
business.
Or "Gallo talks with people who know
wine." This could be a great commercial,
really human and touching. Snow is falling,
Christmas is near, and strains of "Jingle
Bells" can be heard on a busy city street. The
camera pans across the scene, stopping on a
Salvation Army Santa collecting donations on
a corner. He turns and chortles heartily,
"When I was a wino, Gallo was my wino. Ho
Ho."
HOW ABOUT "Detroit Edison talks with
people who know nukes"? They could get the
president of Babcock & Wilcox (they built
Three Mile Island, remember?).
In a similar vein, we might see Barbra
Streisand talking with people who know
people. Or Planned Parenthood talking with
people who know.
Connecticut General Insurance Company is
running a corporate booster campaign even
more offensive than that of General Motors.
In these commercials, the presidents of TWA

and United Technologies sit behind their ex-
pensive oak desks in their plush offices and
praise their insurance company, Connecticut
General.
At least the GM ad was directed at the
average consumer. These ads featuring one
company endorsing a second company are
targeted to other companies.
THE NEW "you-scratch-my-annual-report-
and-I'll-scratch-yours" commercials may be
burgeoning, but alas, a few companies are
destined to be frozen out of the fun. Like
Hooker Chemical.
You can bet you'll never see: "Hi, I'm the
president of Hooker Chemical. You know, we
at Hooker Chemical have been eating Starkisi
tuna for years." People just don't want to
hear that Charlie Tuna lives in Love Canal.
No one's knocking down Chrysler's door,
either. "Hello, I'm Lee Iacocca. I've trusted
Merrill Lynch to invest my money; why don't
you?"x$
Maybe this corporate commercial beit
won't last too much longer-but it's boundto
get worse before it gets better. Expect to see
the federal government-that most trustwor-
thy of all corporate institutions-get into the
act soon.
"Hi, Cap Weinberger here at the Pentagon.
You know, we've been using Smith & Wesson
products for years. They work for us. They'll
work for you.
Witt's column appears every Tuesday.

6
6

vogue, Brooks Brothers rules the waves,
MBA's are hotter than Rubik's Cube, and
children are forsaking Dr. Seuss for the Wall
Street Journal and Joe Granville's newslet-
ter. It was only natural that television adver-
tising should follow suit.
Besides, what could be more trustworthy
than a big company to endorse another big
company?
YOU'VE UNDOUBTEDLY seen the com-
mercials. "GM talks with people who know
cars" is my favorite. The presidents of big
car-rental companies like Hertz and Avis
float from their luxurious offices down thickly

Equivocation in Alpena

LPENA STUDENTS will be going
back to school. Voters in that
district approved a millage renewal
Friday-the fourth try by school of-
ficials since May-which opened
schools that have been closed since
Oct. 16.
But there's still a problem. Six
thousand of Alpena's 6,800 students
have no way to get to school. Although
the voters approved the millage
renewal, they did not approve a
millage increase which would have
funded buses and extra-curricular ac-
tivities.
It's easy to blame Alpena's elec-
torate. By refusing to approve the
millage in October, they forced a
school district to close in Michigan for
Tomorrow
SINCE THE inception of the space
shuttle program, it has been known
that the technology developed in the
process of launching the shuttle would
have direct military applications. In
fact, one of the primary users of the
shuttle-accounting for more than half
the scheduled payload in the next few
years-is the United States military.
But it's also been known for years
that extensive military use of space
could have dire consequences for those
of us left on the earth.
In spite of the dangers, however, the
U.S. space program has come to be
viewed in terms of its military ap-
plications,- not in terms, of its
humanitarian potential.
While space exploration languishes,
the government continues to pour
billions of dollars into the military ex-
ploitation of space.
It almost seems like a chapter from
Orwell's 1984; technology is being

the first time since the Great
Depression. Now, by refusing the
millage increase, they will allow
Alpena students to have only the most
rudimentary education.
But the real problem lies in Lansing.
Too often students suffer because
voters refuse to approve the only tax
on which they can vote-school
millages. Education suffers as a
result.
It seems unfair that while a school
district such as Taylor is slated to
close, while nearby Dearborn thrives.
Alpena has barely made it through a
nightmare. State legislators must
come up with a more equitable
distribuion of aid to public education
before more school districts fall victim
to Alpena's and Taylor's fate.
's shuttle
viewed more and more by our gover-
nment as valuable only if it has some
military application. The pursuit of
knowledge for the greater good of
mankind or the development of means
to enrich the human race are
seemingly ignored. What counts is
what the generals in the Pentagon
want; what counts is what has the most
destructive potential.
The are some legitimate criticisms
of the space program. It can be
argued, for example, that to commit a
large portion of the nation's resources
to space exploration is unwise in an
age of such great material scarcity in
the world as a whole.
Nevertheless, it appears that such
criteria are not being used in the
evaluation of the space program. It's
the military applications the gover-
nment is after, and the military ap-
plications it ultimately will have.

Wasserman

WRAT 15 THE DIFFERENCE
BTWEEN TOTALITAIW
AND AVHORiTARIMW?
,f~it

WELL A TOTALITARIAN!
GOVERNMENT ARRESTS,
TORVRE5AND MUWPER
a -
Jlrn

AN AUTHO~tTARIN
&OVERNMENT, ON ITflE
OTHEFR NAND...
v~

LEAVES MANWY OF TH~ESE
FUNCTIONS~ TO THE
'PRIVATE SECTOR
I JhY@ t ca
ILp

0
0

With the ever-increasing
possibility that the United States
and some of its Western allies
might undertake military action
in Libya to overthrow the regime
of Col. Muammar Khadafy, it is
crucial for Americans to take
stock of possible consequences.
For the simple truth is that
Khadafy is not perceived in the
Middle East and Africa as he is
portrayed in the United States.
Massive propaganda efforts to
discredit him well could backfire
in a region already beset by
political, economic and social
turmoil.
IN ADDITION, to ignore the
view of Khadafy from Khadafy's
own hemisphere is to ignore some
of the more painful lessons in the
history of U.S. foreign police over
the past three decades. The habit
of American presidents to pin-
point special villains inthe Third
World has had the regularity of a
law of nature.
Truman picked North Korea's
Kim Il Sung as his arch-villain;
Eisenhower chose Nasser of
Egypt; Kennedy's nemesis was
Fidel Castro; Johnson's was Ho
Chi Minh; Nixon settled on Allen-
de of Chile; and Carter on
Khomeini. Now Ronald Reagan
has his Khadafy.
All of these villains in one way
or another indeed have
challenged U.S. policies in their
own regions. But none of them
seriously posed a security threat
to the United' States. Never-
theless, they have been presented
consistently to the American
public as though their power was
deeply dangerous to U.S. survival
and to world peace-and that
their removal was essential for
the good of humankind.
THIS GREAT paradox,
however, is that invariable these
villains also happened to be ex-
tremely popular in their own
countries, and in their respective
regions as well. In fact, it now has
become axiomatic that if a leader
is fanatically villified by the
United States, he must be good
for his people.
Conversely, those political
figures who are favored by the
United States more often than not

Kh adafy:
A villain here
but a hero"
at home
By A. M. Babu

Goukouni Oueddei of Chad
suggests a, continuing Western*
strategy to embarrass and isolate
Khadafy in preparation for his
forcible ouster.
It is an open secret that the
United States is readying its
Rapid Deployment Force for
potential use .in such a move in
conjunction with Egypt and
Sudan. As early as. July of this
year the U.S. press was
discussing a CIA project to set up
a "large-scale operation" for
toppling Khadafy. The Sadat
assassination and the shaky con-
dition of Sudanese president
Gaafar Nimeiri have provided an
ideal pretext for action.
But unlike the assassination of
Sadat, any attempt on Khadafy's
life would be bound to set off civil
strife, not only in Libya but in
Egypt, Sudan and probably
throughout most of the region. It
is well to remember the con-
sequences of Western aggression
on Egypt in 1956, when the con-
servative Anthony Eden, of
England and socialist Guy Mollet
of France attempted to oust
Nasser over the Suez issue.
Instead, both Eden and Mollet
were thrown out of power in their
own countries, and Nasser
emerged as the leading figure in
the Middle East and Africa for
more than a decade.
Babu is the former Minister
for Economic Development
for Tanzania. He wrote this
article for Pacific News Ser'
vice.

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IN RECENT months par-
ticularly, Muammar Khadafy
has been characterized by the
U.S. government and the
American press as the most
dangerous man on earth, the
primary cause of all its evils:
hijacking, kidnapipg, re-
volution. Thus,- any tyrant
in Africa or the Middle East
today who wants to remain in
power despite the popular will
need only invoke the threat of
Khadafy to qualify for U.S.
military supplies.
Much too often, these arms are
used for suppressing their own
people. Sudan has recently
locked away more than 10,000 of
its civilians. And the new leader-
ship in Egypt is credited with
rounding up over 30,000 gover-
nment critics.
The fact is that Khadafy's real
threat does not spring from his
military might but from his
genuine popularity among the
inhabitants of neighboring coun-
tries. His progressive social and
economic policies-and his
general support for the op-
pressed-have enormous appeal
with ordinary people, especially
when they compare the Libyan*
colonel with their own leaders
who so frequently are ex-
ploitative at home and subser-
vient to the West.

among African heads of state to
oppose Khadafy's election to the
presidency of that organization
next year. But to no avail:
Khadafy will be the OAU
president for 1982-3, after all, and
host its summit in Tripoli.
At Nairobi, both France and
the United States attempted to
make a major issue of the in-
vasion of Chad by Libya's ar-
.my-again without success. In
fact, the OAU acknowledged that.
Libya's army has helped
reestablish peace in Chad after 20
years of a French-manipulated
civil war which was terribly
costly in lives and property.
FRENCH PRESIDENT Fran-
cois Mitterrand's assertion at
Cancun to the effect that Khadafy
is about to overthrow President

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