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November 06, 1981 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-11-06

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OPINION

Page 4

Friday, November 6, 1981

The Michigan

Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

J-sWAt VI

Vol. XCII, No. 50

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

L

lll

- -
I. 4

Reagan makes yet another
lousy nomination

THERE IS SOIP1ETHING
IN THE WIND?

0

- VS#MWA fRE
1II Coby of Eaxw M, a j 61r

REFERRING TO the nominee for
the office in charge of directing
the government's efforts to fight
discrimination, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-
Utah) called William Bell a "decent
man, an honest man, certainly an in-
telligent man."
Unfortunately, the one (thing Hatch
could not say about Bell is that he is "a
qualified man." Certainly he is not.
Bell, a black businessman from'
Detroit, is the owner and sole em-
ployee of Bold Concepts Inc., a failing
Detroit business. By Bell's own ad-
mission, Bold Concepts Inc. has been
incapable. of placing a single job-
seeker in an opening for more than a
year. Bell's competence in business
need not further be elaborated. Bell's
ability in business sadly seems to
reflect his potential in government
work.
Reagan's rationale for nominating
Bell to the' position of director of the
federal government's _Equal Em-
ployment Opportunity Commission
seems to be that Bell happens to be
black. While affirmative action is often
admirable, race should never be a sole
consideration when examing the
U.S. forelgn
F THERE WERE a prize offered for
Most Bizarre Foreign Policy, the
Reagan administration surely would
win it.
Never mind the difficulties the
United States may encounter in the
Mideast with the AWACS sale. Never
mind the mess that the United States is
cultivating in El Salvador, or for that
iatter, in the rest of the Third World.
The latest tidbit of news from the ad-
ministration puts those mistakes to
Shame and, indeed, ranks as nothing
short of truly "bizarre."
The United States, Secretary of State
Alexander Haig has announced, has
contingency plans that, in the event of
p conventional war in Europe, call for
the detonation of a nuclear bomb as a
"demonstration" to dissuade the
Soviet Union from attempting to take
over Western Europe.
And, not only does the United States
hiave the plan, but the Secretary of
State, the nation's highest foreign
policy official next to the president
himself, seems to be particularly
enamored with the idea.
The revelation of the contingency

qualifications of a job applicant. In
short, Bell is entirely unqualified to
head the government's chief agency
for enforcing laws that prohibit
discrimination in hiring.
Justifiably, a coalition of groups-
ranging from civil rights advocates to
feminist organizations - has spoken
out against the Bell nomination.
Bell's nomination is sadly typical of
the sorts of choices the Reagan ad-
ministration has made in appointing
its civil servants. The injustice is clear
in the appointments of James Watt to
head the Interior Department, or.
Terrance Bell for the Department of
Education, or Ernest Lefever for
Assistant Secretary of State for
Human Rights. The president almost
seems to decide upon his nomination
on the basis of their offensiveness.
Certianly now, as many of the civil
rights gains of the 1960s and 70s are
being eroded by the backward thinking
of the Reagan administration, strong
leadership is needed in the EEOC.
Clearly, the nomination of William Bell
is a slap in the face of all those who are
truly concerned about the progress of
civil rights in the United States.
poli*cy Bizarre
plan came at a hearing of the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee, at
which the secretary suggested some
policies that were not- altogether
ridiculous. He asserted, for example,
that a nuclear war between the United
States and the Soviet Union "would be
a no-win proposition," and that the
administration would press for arms
control agreements with the' Russians
in coming months..
But then the secretary said that the
United States might seek to avoid a
nuclear war by setting off an atomic
warhead.
It's not so clear, however, exactly
what the secretary would hope to ac-
complish with this maneuver. He hin-
ted, vaguely, at some sort of
psychological advantage that might
accrue to the United States. Maybe he
thinks that Soviets aren't quite sure
that our bombs will go off. Maybe he
wants to display some sort of bravado
by stating that the United States might
just initiate a nuclear exchange.
Whatever his real reasoning is,
however, it remains bizarre . . . and
frightening.

Dangerous vold at the core
of Sadat 's accomplishments

By William Beeman
The shock of losing yet another
major international political ally
should not prevent Americans
from facing up to a lesson that
has yet to somehow penetrate the
Washington foreign policy com-
munity.
This is, simply stated, that no
interests to foreign policy in-
terests and survive.
ANWAR SADAT'S assassins
were immediately characterized
as extremists, not allied with any
group or foreign nation. This may
be true, but focusing the blame on
the specific perpetrators of the
act may be beside the point.
For the facts suggest that the
motivation for the assassination
sprang from the roots Egyp-
tian popular national sentiment.
The death of Sadat, in short, was
not so much a question of
terrorism and extremism as it
was a question of Egypt's identity
as a nation and future direction
as a civilization.
Perhaps the easiest way to
point this out is to contrast Sadat
and the style of his rule with that
of his predecessor Gamal Abdul
Nasser. Nasser was the first
native Egyptian to rule that
nation in five centuries. Though
he was a devout Muslim he firmly
believed in the necessity of
secular rule. He rejected the
Muslim Brotherhood, a strong
force in the revolution that
brought him to power, and dealt
it a blow from which it did not
recover after his death.
NASSER MADE secular
nationalism work by investing it
with a spiritual philosophy. This
was pan-Arabism, virtually
Nasser's own invention. He tur-
ned it into a quasi-religion with
himself as head priest. Under his
rule, Cairo assumed what most
Egyptians felt to be its rightful
position as capital of the Arab
world.
Nasser also was a man of the
army. He believed that Egypt
could stay strong as a nation only
if it were strong militarily.
Under his rule Egypt's troops
led in confronting Israel in the
1950s and 1960s and humiliated
the Saudi Arabian government in
the Yemeni royalist faction.
MOREOVER, Nasser was a
principle leader of the world non-
aligned movement, joining Tito
and Nehru in its founding. He was

Sadat kisses his grandson in a 1978 photograph.

-prepared to use and political
method to ensure Egypt's in-
dependence and dignity as a
nation.
Sadat, also a military man,
was, with Nasser, one of the.
original founders of the Free-
Officers, the revolutionary
organization which toppled the
monarchy in 1952. When Sadat
succeeded Nasser in 1970, it
seemed that he would continue
the Nasserist political line.
In fact, however, during his
tenure as president, Sadat
managed to reverse the nation's
political philosophy and cultural
direction, undoing virtually all
that Nasser had established.
THE MOST striking accom-
plishment of Sadat's ad-
ministration in terms of foreign
policy was, of course, the cease-
fire with Israel and the ongoing
movement toward a final set-
tlement of Arab-Israeli differen-
ces.
The immediate domestic con-
sequences were positive for the
Egyptian president. The nation
was jubiliant at the reduction in
the loss of its young men and
relieved as the economic
stringencies of the was gradually
began to ease.
In the -long run, however, the
price of peace became greater
than Sadat had anticipated
Egypt immediately was
ostracized from the pan-Arab
community it had helped create.
Saudi Arabia, once again, quickly
rose to assume Egypt's pre-

eminence as the econoz
of Riyadh began to don
politics of the region.
SADAT'S PEACE wi
opened the nation to lu
vestments from the We:
brought a degree of
prosperity but it ci
spiritual vacuum on th
pan-Arabism died
civilizational driving
Egypt.
The nation, starved
ideological support, tur
only other major spi
stitution left to them-re
Islamic fundamentali
a revival almost as so
ink on the Camp Davi
was dry. Sadat's reacti
crack down on even
harmless fundamentali
which he believed threE
the central political oz
fall of the Shah or Ira;
creased his anxiety
degree of his repression
THE ISRAELI pe
greatly reduced the r
Egyptian army in the
life of the nation. After 2
war, it was difficult
military to stand by a
their old enemy, Israe
its settlements into the N
and continue to launch
Lebanon and Syria, so
easier now that it did n<
contend with the Egypt
Somehow it must hav
that Sadat, their old co
arms in 1948, had
military down the Nile.

Sadat's lifestyle certainly
seemed to prove that he had left
military life far behind him. His
Westernized ways, tailored suits,
globe-trotting, and hobnobbing,,
with Western leaders made him}a
suspicious figure in his own
nation. In Cairo, citizens would
point out ironically that Nasser
wore khaki uniforms while Sadat.
was decked out by Pierre Cardin.
The final contribution by
Nasser, Egypt's non-aligned
stance, also seemed to be crum-
bligtuncdr Sadat. TheUnit
States and its Westei-n allies
moved into Cairo with a
vengeance after Camp David. *
American built a new em-
bassy-the largest in the world;
luxury hotels owned by foreign
concessionaires popped up like
AP Photo mushrooms everywhere. In the
midst of all'this wealth, the life of
the average Egyptian changed
nic might little.'
int the THUS] IT IT not surprising that
inate the Sadat's assassination contained
ith Israel both military and religious
crative in- elements. The military and
st. Thus it religion were the two nstitutiona
material areas of Egyptian lire on which;@
reated a the nation, hungry for the
reNied a renewal of its spiritual core, felt
e Nile as most deprived. Sadat's attempt
fore fr to ignore pan-Arabism while for;-
force for.cibly working to eradicate'
for basic religious revival was a fatal
ned t the mistake.-
rtual in Although Sadat's successor,
Hosni Mubarek, has pledged con
eligion. tinuation of Sadat's policies, itis
sion as the likely that the nation's mood will
d accords force him to move in one of two
ion ws to alternate directions. The first
on was to would. be to grant increased
t groups power to religious forces in the
stenrigto nation's political life. The second
tening T would be to backtrack on the
rder The Camp David accords and restore
and the Egypt to reputability if not
renewed pre-eminence among
the Arab nations.
mce also These are unpleasant realities
ole of the for the United States. Never-
political theless, Washington should ap-
years of prise itself of them and adjust ac-
for the cordingly. To do otherwise,
nd watch pressing on as if nothing had
l, spread happened, would be to invite fur-
West bank ther unrest in a region vital to
raids into Americas own national security.
,,.uv 221 1, Aeiasow ainl euiy

"~ri600OPMhTjvt&u NOWA LET'S TRY IT MAI
WITHOUT THE SAFETY NETS
K/u"4.J
J1 /4"

mucn the
ot have to
ian army.
e seemed
imrade in
sold the

Beeman is a professor of an-
thropology at Brown Univer-
sity. He wrote this article for
Pacific News Service.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Don't take study days too far

To the Daily;
I'm writing regarding a letter

are general business and science
courses, which are required for
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