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March 08, 1981 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-03-08

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OPINION

Page 4

Sunday, March 8, 1981

The Michigan Daily

ie m tgan t Man
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

MX and Sagebrush rebels :

Vol. XCI, No. 127

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor. MI 48109

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

A Polish crack-down

P OLISH AND Soviet officials,
determined to quash em-
barrassing labor insurgency in Poland,
have begun to fiercly crack down on
dissidents. Government authorities
this week harrassed a number of
Polish dissident leaders, detaining and
indicting some for "anti-socialist" ac-
tivities and slandering the state.
At the same time, the Soviet Union
announced it will conduct military
maneuvers in Poland over the objec-
tions of Polish leaders. Both of these
developments follow a meeting in
Moscow this week between Soviet and
dPolish authorities that ended with a
Iard-line declaration, indicating the
Soviets firmly intend to wrap up the
embarrassing Polish episode -soon.
The Soviets apparently believe that
dnce the Polish regime shows some
firmness, by rounding up and trying

"anti-socialist" dissidents, the unruly
workers will end their folly. But the
fact is that the workers and most
dissidents are not "anti-socialist" at
all, but only want a better lifestyle
within the Socialist system. Further,
the defiant workers and dissidents
have already shown their resolve in
standing firm before the Polish and
Soviet regimes and will not likely be
frightened back into line.
Even if the Soviets succeed in
quieting Polish dissent in the short tun
through strong-arm, repressive tac-
tics, the anger of the workers will
smolder only to surface later in more
insurgency.
Soviet and Polish officials should
realize that the only way to solve the
embarrassing situation once and for
all is to honestly examine the
legitimate demands of the workers and
work toward an equitable solution.

SALT LAKE CITY-The release of the Air
Force's environmental impact study late last
year on the proposed MX mobile missile
system has added another explosive weapon
to the gathering anti-federal movement
known as the Sagebrush Rebellion in the in-
terior west.
The report, predicting impacts on the
region's water supply, air quality and
vegetation if the $30 billion system is con-
structed, is certain to help broaden the
Sagebrush Rebellion beyond its normal focus
on land issues and the federal Bureau of Land
Management. The Defense and Energy
Departments, which sponsor numerous
atomic weapons projects in the region, are in-
creasingly being lumped with the hated BLM.
IN UTAH AND Nevada, particularly, op-
position to the MX missile system has grown
so intense that even strongly pro-Pentagon
congressional delegations are balking at MX
scenarios for their states.
Meanwhile, a new citizen drive has gained
significant strength in the past year, aimed at
ending all underground nuclear bomb tests.
The testing occurs in the Nevada desert at an
average rate of once every three weeks, un-
der auspices of the Departments of Energy
and Defense.
"It's just people working together," says
lifelong Utah resident, Preston Truman of the
de facto coalition, comprised primarily of
rural and urban Mormons flexing political
muslces in the heart of "Reagan country."
The informal alliance includes environmen-
tally-minded students active in the region, as
well as national religious organizations and
peace activists.
TRUMAN, A MORMON who grew up in
sourthern Utah downwind from atmospheric
nuclear bomb tests, serves as state director of
the Citizens' Call organization. It was set up
in early 1980 to aid people in Utah, Nevada,
and northern Arizona with health problems
linked to fallout from the above ground
atomic explosions which took place from 1951
to 1962 about 100 miles north of Las Vegas.
Among the group's highest priorities is
closure of the 1,350-square-mile Nevada Test
Site. Citizens' Call volunteers have collected
more than 6,000 signatures in recent months
from mostly-rural residentsinhsurrounding
areas, calling for a permanent halt to the un-
derground nuclear explosions.
"People want the federal government out,"
says Truman. "The land management issue~
was just the first thing to come along."
REGIONAL OPPOSITION to the MX system
and to underground nuclear testing is
becoming almost as fiery as the land disputes
LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

By Norman Solomon
of recent years. A mid-December Conference
for a Comprehensive Test Ban in Salt Lake
City drew representatives of several dozen
constituencies, including devout Mormon
housewives, disarmament lobbyists from
Washington, test site workers, Indians, and
ranchers.
"The time to do something is now," Cecil
Garland, a cattle rancher from western Utah,
told the conference. "Everybody's flat up
against the bomb."
The opposition to atomic testing has been
fueled by published medical reports of an in-
creased leukemia rate among children in
areas downwind from the test site, and by a
congressional report last August which con-
ceded that federal evidence of radiation
dangers "was not only disregarded but ac-
tually suppressed."
"I FEEL THAT we were used more or less
as guinea pigs," says Martha Laird, whose
young son died of leukemia while living in
Nevada during the atmospheric tests. "To
this day, they (federal health officials) have
never checked anyone in my family or anyone
that I know of from the fallout of these bom-
bs."
A new Citizens' Call brochure, presently
receiving wide distribution in communities
downwind from the Nevada nuclear testing
grounds, cites recent federal government
admissions that more than 40 underground
nuclear bomb blasts have vented radiation off
the test site.
In Utah, where the Mormon Church wields
enormous power, there are indications that
Church officials support the upsurge of op-
position to underground atomic testing and
MX construction in the region. Tickets to a
mid-December fund-raising benefit, titled
"Ax the MX," were widely advertised as
being available at a chain of church-owned
stores. And, routinely, the state's many
Mormon-owned media institutions broadcast
and publish favorable depictions of the
growing organized efforts against the MX and
underground tests.
ON A RECENT Citizens' Call speaking tour
in the neighboring state of Idaho, which like
Utah is heavily Mormon. Preston Truman
caused a stir as he publicly urged those with
traditional religious values totake a harder
look at Pentagon nuclear programs. "I don't
understand why the conservatives getting so
upset about abortions have been slow to
realize that the federal nuclear weapons
programs are, the biggest baby-killers

around," Truman says.
Elsewhere in the Rocky Mountain region,
foes of a major federal nuclear weapons
facility claimed a victory last fall when
Colorado Governor Richard Lamm went on
record opposing any expansion or moders-
nizing of the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons.
plant. He suggested that Rocky Flats be
moved to a more remote location. Located
about 20 miles northwest of Denver, the plant
is operated by Rockwell International Cor-
poration for the federal government, making.,,
plutonium "triggers" for nuclear warheads.
In trying to sell its nuclear scenarios in the
west, the Defense Department has sometimes
committed glaring cultural miscalculations.
In approaching communities most directly
affected by MX construction, for example,
the military used public relations approaches
more appropriate for college campuses than
for small Mormon towns. When a female
general toured southern Utah to speak at
town forums recently, her low-cut blouse
elicited as much outrage as her verbal ad-
vocacy of the highly unpopular MX system.
Despite the conservative, law-abiding
traditions here, some opponents of the MX
have reportedly resorted to wanton
rearrangement of survey stakes for the con-
struction projects in Utah. And residents of
the spacious terrain hint of more severe
measures to sabotage MX construction if it
progresses much further.
STATE GOVERNMENT officials are now
showing a willingness to convey inhospitable
messages to the Department of Defense
through administrative actions. In Novem-
ber, .the Utah State Land Board fined the U.S.
Air Force $30,000 for "trespassing" on state
property while doing survey work for the MX.
Indeed, opposition to the MX is now so
widespread as to qualify as a regional "apple
pie" issue for politicians. Nevada Sen. Paul
Laxalt and Utah Senators Orrin Hatch and
Jake Garn-all strong Reagan conser-
vatives-will find it hard to support the new
administration if it goes forward with the
current Air Force proposals. Already, there
are indications from congressional and
Defense Department insiders that an alter-
nate MX system may be forced on the ad-
ministration. President Reagan himself
has questioned the present MX proposal and
has consistently tried to side with the
Sagebrush Rebels.

k

Reagan and South Korea

T HE UNITED STATES needs the
support of the people of the
nations it establishes friendly relations
with - not just their totalitarian dic-
tAtors. Advancements made through
the Carter Administration's human
rights policy in Africa and South
America clearly indicate the need for
suppor from these nations.
The Reagan Administration,
lwever, has taken little interest in
supporting human rights of any sort. A
prime example of this occured during
South Korean President Chun Doo
4wan's recent visit to the United
States.
Chun, who strong-armed his way to
near absolute power in South Korea
last year following the assassination of
President Park Chung Hee, has main-
tained his political momentum by im-
prisoning his political opponents, in-
cluding dissident Kim Dae Jung.
Although the Carter Administration
cooled relations with South Korea
following Chun's repressive actions,
several incidents were interpreted by
the South Korean press as indications
of Washington's support. One was an
interview given last August by Gen.
John Wickham, the commander of the
40,000 U.S. troops stationed in South
Korea, to the Associated Press and The
Los Angeles Times.

Wickham said the United States
would support the Chun presidency if
he came to power "legitimately." The
state-dominated South Korean press
immediately heralded the statement
as a U.S. endorsement.
Consequently, a great deal of am-
bivalence surrounded U.S.-South
Korean relations during the last mon-
ths of the Carter Administration.
,However, Reagan's invitation to Chun
to visit the United States so early in his
term indicates the full support of the
Seoul strongman from the U.S. gover-
nment.
By inviting Chun, Reagan all but
ignored the South Korean dictator's
notorious human rights record. He has
shown no sign of attempting to per-
suade Chun to ease his policy. Reagan
did exact clemency for Kim as a price
for Chun's visit, but no other mention
of human rights was made public.
In fact, Reagan tried very hard to
keep the human rights issue from sur-
facing during Chun's visit. For instan-
ce, the State Department asked
Congress to delay publication of a
human rights report that was highly
critical of Chun's regime.
Chun's open violations of human
rights should not be so easily accepted
by the United States. The rights of the-
individual must be kept in mind in ad-
dition to security considerations.

Norman Solomon, a
wrote this article for the
vice.

freelance writer,
Pacific News Ser-

Council candidate thanks supporters.

To the Daily:
As an unsuccessful candidate
in the recent First Ward
Democratic primary election, I
learned there are many people
who share my view of Ann Ar-
bor's problems and priorities. I

would like to thank all those who
supported my campaign with
their hard work and with their
votes.
Lowell Peterson deserves
congratulations for his high-
minded campaign and for his vic-
tory. I support his candidacy in
the general election and, urge my

supporters to do the same. He has
proven to me that he will be an ef-
fective councilmember if elected.
I would also like to thank The
Michigan Daily for the news
coverage of the primary election
and for deciding to make endor-
sements of individual candidates.
Although the Daily endorsed my

opponent, I was impressed with
your courtesy and thoroughness.
Despite my defeat at the polls,
the campaign was an enjoyable
experience in which I learned d
lot about our city.
-Clinton L. Smith
March 6

Reagan

:
"

Winning one for the*Gipper

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V

To the Daily:
Recent popular analysis of
world politics suggest that the
Third World must be incom-
prehensibly naive and/or
ignorant not to join us in roundly
condemning the blatantly sinister
and power-crezed machinations
of the Soviets. How can they fail
to appreciate the world of dif-
ference between, for example,
Soviet actions in Afghanistan and
U.S. statements on the same?
However, from outside the
United States this analysis begins
to fall apart because what we
believe of ourselves separates us
from our behavior.
First, U.S. effort toward a
suitable geopolitical climate for
western megabusiness (stable
governments controlled by a few
long-standing friends, cheap
prices on natural resources,
alochthonous American control
of decision-making) interests few
globally average humans (a six-
teen year-old, poor, and very
hungry youth whose only hope
lies in radical politics).
Second, for anyone who could
conceive differing in op in ion with
the superpowers U.S. intrusion,
from disregard of local desires to
outright aggression, isn't easily
distinguishable from its Soviet
counterparts. I challenge anyone
to think of a significant difference
between Brezhnev's intervention
in Afghanistan and President

because we want to go in. We
promise we will never fire the fir-
st nuclear shot (excepting
Hiroshima, of course). But, as of
last year, our missiles are being
retargeted from accepted
"mutual assured destruction"
targets, like cities, onto Soviet
military targets, including
missile silos. (What, pray tell, is
the advantage of blowing to
smithereens an empty missile
silo?).
The United -States is deluded
about its global beneficence. A
myth of the sixties was the huge
European World War II debts
that we were writing off, when in
fact everyone was paid up on
schedule and Germany was even
ahead. A comparable modern
myth is the unparalleled
munificence of U.S. foreign aid.
Much of it is given as loans, most
of it never leaves the country,
being equivalent to trade credits
from which we greatly benefit,
and altogether we give less of it
relative to the gross national
product than almost any other
industrialized country.
What little favorable
reputation President Carter,
Cyrus Vance, Andrew Young,
and Warren Christopher earned
for us by returning the Panama
Canal, by calling attention to
human rights, and by showing
some awareness of African needs
is abniit tn h gandnred by an

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