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March 25, 1981 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-03-25

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S

__aOPINION
Wednesday, March 25, 1981

The Michigan Daily

Page 4

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Questions on the Polish crisis

Richard

Davies, the

Vol. XCI, No. 141

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, Mi 48109

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

Progress in Zimbabwe

HE REAGAN administration has
wisely decided to contribute $75
million to help fund a comprehensive
plan to develop rural Zimbabwe: This
development program, if it receives
the economic support of other Western
industrial nations, will likely stabilize
and strenghten the Zimbabwe
economy and ease social tension in the
fledgling black-ruled nation.
Democratic rule would thus be ensured
a strong foothold in the strategically
important southern African region.
The international funds donated to
the plan will be used to buy large tracts
of fertile farmland owned by only a
handful of white farmers. Fifteen
thousand landless, poor families would
then be resettled there and farm the
currently unused land.
Putting this land, which makes up a
large portion of Zimbabwe, back into
production will help feed thousands of
families, provide countless jobs, raise
the wages of laborers, and bolster
Zimbabwe's economy overall. This
will help make Zimbabwe's transition
from an elitist, white government to
majority rule successful. The new
government of Prime Minister Robert
Mugabe will have fulfilled many of its
promises of social reform and will
have returned Zimbabwe to economic
and political stability.
Zimbabwe's future is central to that
of the black-ruled nations which
surround it. And the friendship of Zii-

babwe and its neighbors in this
mineral-rich southern Africa is, in
turn, vital to the United States. If Zim-
babwe's efforts aimed at a relatively
peaceful transition to majority rule
succeed, they will set a strong example
for Zimbabwe's neighbors. If they fail,
and Zimbabwe is plunged into
economic and social disaster, others
will be encouraged to adopt a more
violent, and possibly pro-Soviet, ap-
proach to the inevitable transition.
If Zimbabwe's development plan
fails to receive the international
economic support it needs, it will be
forced either to renege on its promise
of land reform or to seize the white-
owned land - without compensation,
thus endangering its relations with
Britain, the United States, and many
Western nations.
Therefore, it is clear that this plan is
the most reasonable approach to
satisfying Zimbabwe's commitments
to both its people and the international
community and deserves full inter-
nationalsupport.
The $75 million promised by the
Reagan administration is simply not
enough to finance the $2 billion plan.
Even top U.S. officials in Salisbury
have acknowledged that more U.S. aid
is needed. Both the United States and
other industrial nations, particularly
Britain, should commit themselves
completely to this program of
equitable, just reform.

American ambassador to
Poland from 1972 to 1978, has
been involved in foreign ser-
vice for more than 30 years.
He has served many functions
for the U.S. State Department
in a variety of nations, in-
cluding the Soviet Union,
Afghanistan, and India. Last
Friday, he was in Ann Arbor
to discuss the crisis in Poland,
and his views on proper
American strategy in dealing
with the crisis. After his ad-
dress in Lane Hall, he spoke to
Daily staff writer Steve Hook
about the situation in Poland.
A partial transcript of that in-
terview follows. An interview'
with a member of the Polish
Solidarity member will appear
on Tomorrow's Opinion Page.
* * *
A mbassador Davies, given the
renewed hostilities in Poland this
past week, do you foresee an in-
vasion by the Soviet Union?
Davies: No, I don't see a Soviet
intervention. I have never
thought, from the onset of the
present crisis in Poland last
August, that the Soviets con-
sidered the situation had gotten
so out of hand that they would
seriously think that they needed
to invade Poland.
Such an invasion would clearly
be against Soviet intertests in
general-ecomonic, social, and
political-would it not?
Certainly. The disadvantages
and the burdens the Soviet Union
would incur, in my opinion, would
heavily outweigh any advan-
tages. Of course, you have to con-
sider what some people call the
"x-factor." That is to say, I can
see a lot of reasons why they
should not intervene. I cannot
possibly - and nobody in the
West can - put himself in the
place of the Soviet leadership, sit-
ting in Moscow and looking at the
world from that vantage point.
We are not they, and we cannot
think as they do.
Based on all the considerations,
of which we are aware, that they
must be looking at, I do not
believe they are seriously con-
sidering intervention now, nor
that they have seriously con-
sidered intervention at any time
since last August.
Is it correct to say that the
labor unions in Poland actually
control the fate of this crisis?
They have a great deal of
authority. More to the point is the
fact that the Communist Party
has lost almost all authority as a
result of the failures of its policy
over the past ten years, and par-
ticularly over the past five years,
since 1976.
One can't say simply that the
unions are in control. There are

the conclusions of that history of
25 years-that they must have
their own independent trade
unions in order to make their
voices heard.

0

Daily Photo by DEBORAH LEWIS
FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR Richard Davies gestures during a
discussion last week of the current labor unrest in Poland.

The new administrationin'
Washington has taken a much r
more hard-line stance vis-a-vis
the Soviet Union and the Soviet
Bloc. Are you optimistic that, at
the end of the current term, the
East-West relationship will be
improved?
You're asking me to look ahead
a full three or four years, and. I:;
cannot do that. I can hardly see,
what's going to happen.
tomorrow, not only in Poland but
in the world generally.
I have been unhappy with this
view thatbhas been expressed by
the new administration. This
country has got to have positive,
goals. It's not enough just to be
anti-Communist. Certainly, I'n'
anti-Communist. I think. most:
people, in thelight of everyth 1g
that has happened in the post-war *
period, feel that way. But this is
not enough, just to say 'We're'
against that.' What are we for'
America stands for something iri
the world, it always has, and God
willing, it always will. The cornr-"
mon people in other countries'
look to us. This is the country to
which their relatives came in
search of freedom and a better
life. We do represent that, and we
represent the claims of ordinary
'people, to be able to determine
for themselves the kind of system
under which they're going to live.
The present administration
ought to be reflecting some of
these things that this country
stands for, not just saying 'We're
against Communism and we're
going to draw a line.' One can
draw a line, and say 'If you step a
foot over the line we're going to
start throwing our nuclear
missiles.' Well frankly, I don't
believe we are going to start
throwing our nuclear missiles.
Whoever starts the nuclear war is
lunatic; he's mad. Because not
only will he destroy the enemy
but he himself will be destroyed.
So we have to develop a positive
program, and that has nt_
emerged from the new ad-
ministration's statements so far.
In light of the violence that oc=
curred last week, do you remain
confident that the workers'
movement will remain primarily
non-violent?
I don't perceive the seeds of a
more violent protest movement.
There is enormous confusion in
Poland now; the Party is in fun-
damental dissarray. But I don't Y
think Thursday's violence is a
sign of future developments. We
have to see what happens.
Many people in Poland will be
working very hard to ensure that'
this is not the beginning of -a
violent trend. And among those
people will be very high leadersof
the present Polish Communist
government.

It takes two to tango

HE SUPREME Court's ruling that
statutory rape laws are valid even
if they punish only males for having
sex with a consenting minor, is not only
archaic, it is blatantly discriminatory.
By upholding this ruling, the high
court has said, in essence, that only the
male is responsible for sexual inter-
course. Any high school biology text
book, however, will make it clear that
the female also plays a role in the
reproductive cycle.
A law that punishes a male for
having sex with a consenting minor,
and doesn't punish a female for the
same offense, creates a double stan-
dard and perpetuates the sexist belief

that the man is the only one who can
sexually seduce another individual.
In addition to discriminating against
men, such statutory rape laws are out-
dated. Recent statistics show that most
16-year-olds are sexually active. If a
court decides that a minor is consen-
ting-aware of the implications of
having sexual intercourse-it should
not punish either party.
Certainly, such laws should hold for
cases dealing with incest, where the
child does not consent or does not un-
derstand the implications of engaging
in sexual intercourse. But statutory
rape laws, as they stand now, are
ludicrously archaic.

three major power centers in the
country. Despite its loss of
authority, the Polish Communist
Party does have a good deal of
potential power, because all
Poles recognize that its continued
existence, and its functioning, or
at least the appearance of its fun-
ctioning, is an extremely im-
portant protection for Poland
against the Soviet Union. If the
party were to crumble, to disap-
pear, to melt away into nothing,
then I would have to revise my
answer about an invasion, and
say that the possibilities have in-
creased substantially.
The second power center is
Solidarity, around which prac-
tically the entire industrial
working population of the coun-
try, together with a lot of private
farmers, have grouped them-
selves.
There is, however, a third and
very important power center,
and that is the Roman Catholic
Church, headed by the Primate
Cardinal Stefan . . . who has
been playing the role of a
moderator and a mediator bet-
ween these two, one shouldn't
honestly say., rival power centers
-the Party and Solidarity. He,
and the other leaders, are
striving to prevent a situation
from developing in which there
would be such a deterioration as
to invite Soviet invasion.

Do you think the crisis in
Poland will spill over into other
Soviet Bloc nations?
There has already been a
significant spillover effect. We
can see some of the symptoms of
that effect; we can't see all of
them. We know that in
Czechoslovakia, in Hungary, in
East Germany, and in the Soviet
Union, efforts have been made to
strengthen the trade union struc-
tures. An effort is being made to
get feedback, to use that modish
word, from the workers, which
goes far beyond anything that has
been practiced in the Soviet Bloc
for a long time.
In terms of the workers, there
is not such a spillover, for a
couple of reasons. The first and
most important-reason is that the
economic situation, so far as
Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and
East Germany are concerned, is
not nearly so bad as it is in
Poland. There has been some
popular dissatisfaction, but it is
not nearly so high as it was in
Poland last summer, leading to
the strikes.
Another reason arises, and I
hope I'm not betraying a
prejudice, out of the tradition of
the Polish workers, who have
been increasingly active over the
post-war period. They have a
record of 25 years of political ac-
tivism, and now they have drawn

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4

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
A student voice in city government'

To the Daily:
Believe it or not there are over
20,000 University students
registered to vote right here in
Ann Arbor. To each of you a little
reminder: there's an election

related to the property taxes that
your landlord pays. Higher
property taxes mean higher ren-
ts. So, unless you don't mind
being an altruist, you might as
well get something back in

the nonexistent streetlights shed-
ding their nonexistent light.
You need to study at the UGLI
at night but don't like to walk
home? Make sure you're done by
11 p.m. because there's no tran-

and a party which does care,
about you.
Mary Smith Burger is a student
running for City Council in the
Fourth Ward. As a student, she
shares and understands youi
nnxnn~~~r~ a .o nr-.n e ni sr

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