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October 04, 1980 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-10-04

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Page 4

Saturday, October 4, 1980



The Michigan DdilI
y Robert Lence-

E nga o
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCI. No. 27

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M1 48109




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

pt YOU &ET Ct MT
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Au a hero even in defeat

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OE LOUIS, Ezzard Charles, Floyd
Patterson, Sonny Liston, Joe
Frazier, George Foreman, and
Muhammad Ali have a lot in common.
All earn or earned their livings by
beating up on each other or on other
pugilists. All were black. And all were
heavyweight champions of the world.'
But one of these men is much more
than just a boxer. A hero to many, a
God to some, a leader on political and

veiled his new religious faith, Black
Islam, and his new name.
Ali's radically different faith-and
his sometimes excessive arrogan-
ce-was an important influence in the
growth of black pride during the six-
ties. Ali helped to make it acceptable
for blacks to express discontent,
anger, even rage at America's racist
values and policies. This rage
sometimes had bloody consequences,
but its effect overall helped move Afro-
Americans toward greater political
and social power, a trend long overdue.
Ali's life and times again jumped
from the sports pages to the news
pages in 1967, when he refused to fight
in Vietnam.. His reasons were not
precisely the same as those of most
war resisters, for Ali as a Black
Muslim would have been willing to
fight in a jihad, or holy war. But his
refusal to join the merciless, vicious
war effort in Southeast Asia provided a
spur to others inclined to do the same.
For Ali's sacrifice (the move cost him
his title and livelihood for three years)
the nation owes him thanks.
Ali's glorious past, his flamboyance,
his intelligence and wit, all make his
fans and admirers cringe to see what's
been happening to him lately. Years
past his prime, the three-time cham-
pion continues to battle on, promising-
just after his loss to Larry Holmes on
Thursday that he would be back in the
ring yet again.
Please, Muhammad. Your call to
blacks to demand civil, rights--nay,
ehuman rights-were words the nation
needed to hear. Your verbal attacks on
the American adventure in Vietnam
were heroic. That is why we can no
longer stand to see you humiliated in
the ring; take your bows and get out.
Twenty years of punching and getting
punched are enough.

Did the U.S. have a hand
in the Iran-Iraq conflict?


... battered but still the champion
personal issues, better known than any
U.S. president in many corners of the
world, Muhammad Ali is one of those
few Americans who deserve to be
called a "living legend."'
Like Jack Johnson at the beginning
of the century Ali stood out as a
beacon of hope and determination to
the nation's blacks when he first won
the heavyweight title (as Cassius
Clay). But unlike Johnson, who was the
first black man to win the title, Clay
was allowed to be different; or rather,
he insisted on it. Shortly after beating
Sonny Liston for the crown, Clay un-

A quiet MSA victory

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the
full-scale conflict between Iraq and Iran is
that Iran did not immediately lie down and
:martyr itself in Shi'ite fashion. Instead, it met
the challenge with counter-attacks which
must have surprised those in Iraq and
elsewhere who believed that a quick strike
now could topple the' militarily weak
Khomeini regime within a matter of days.
There is good reason to believe that that is
just what Iraq, and the sizeable an-
ti-Khomeini Iranian opposition forces within
Iraq, believed would happen. And there is
equally good reason to suspect that a power-
ful faction in the U.S. foreign policy
establishment shared that analysis, and in-
deed encouraged it. The fact that it did not
happen that way may mean that key actors in
the drama have committed a gross
miscalculation that could result in dire con-
sequences for everyone concerned.
CLEARLY, THE effective cause of the
present conflagration runs much deeper than
the disputed border issue. The border is little
more than a wild card, ever ready to be
played whenever one side wanted to pick a
fight with the other.
Since the accession of Ayatollah Khomeini,
Iran and Iraq have been entirely antithetic to
each other. Khomeini has repeatedly called
for the majority Shi'a Islamic sect in Iraq
many of whom are transplanted Iranian
Shi'as to overthrow the government af
President Saddam Hussein and establish a
revolutionary Islamic government in Bagh-
Iraqi leaders, who could be labelled as
secular Marxists, have on their part labelled
the Khomeini government ' as
racist-presumably for their treatment of
Arab and Kurdish Sunni minorities in Iran.
They have given shelter to Iranian op-
positionist leaders from the old National
Front government and to Iranian troops to
train on Iraqi soil, and have provided a
location for two anti-Khomeini radio stations.
BUT IRAN IS claiming that Iraq is not ac-
ting on its own in this conflict. Both the U.S.
and the Soviet Union have disclaimed respon-
sibility for the Iraqi attack. Still, it does not
seem that Iraq gains all that much in making
deep strikes into Iranian territory. Though
the fighting started over control of border
regions, the Iraqis now claim that they want
no less than to destroy Khomeini's regime.
If the present Iranian government is
brought down under these conditions, who is
likely to be the successor? Iraq surely has no
designs over the whole of Iran. At best, they
would attempt to annex Khuzistan, the
southern province with the largest ethnic
Arab Sunni population, and the province with
virtually all of ian's oil supplies. However,
the pattern of battle does not support this
supposition. Khuzistan has not been singled
out as a focus for Iraqi operations.
Far more likely is the possibility that the
principal actors in the Iran-Iraq conflict, and
the likely successor to Khomeini, are in fact
the Iranian oppositionist forces operating un-
der the cover of a de facto Iraqi declaration of
Bakhtiar, the former Prime Minister in the
final days of the Shah's regime who now lives
in Paris, visited Iraq in June to confer with
government leaders and Iraqi-based
Iranians. Bakhtiar was reported than as
saying that the Iraqis had told him that they
had no designs on Iranian territory.
Also, ' General Oveissi, the former military
commander of Tehran under the Shah, has
frequently been reported training an Iranian
opposition army in Iraq, and an air strike
force of Iranian opposition forces has also
been said to be training in Egypt.
The probable existence of these forces,
estimated at 20,000 by most analysts, makes
the likelihood of their being behind the front
line Iraqi advance very great.
Iraq, it would seem, would be quite happy to
sponsor such an operation. By providing a
thin political cover, they could rid themselves
of a troublesome foe without committing
significant numbers of their own troops.
QTV H UI AT3' .. ..1 t .. ....,.k *. ,. a.t

By William Beeman
on the aggressive military front and on the
conciliatory diplomatic front. And there is no
question but that key Administration advisers
in the National Security Council have long
favored' a militarist solution to the hostage
crisis, even while State Department officials
stick to the diplomatic path.
Thus, it is not inconceivable that the right
hand of the Administration, whose thinking
closely parallels the Iraqi quick strike
scenario, signaled a green light to Gen.
Oveissi, even while the left hand, in the per-
son of Secretary of State Muskie, was making


Khomeini? The Saudis, for one. The clerical
regime in Iran has been a perpetual thorn iP
Saudi Arabia's side since the beginning of the*
revolution. Khomeini has openly called for
the overthrow of the Saudi government and
Iran has opposed Saudi leadership on OPEC
policies. Iranian leaders have made direct
overtures to Shi'a Muslims in Saudi Arabia to
join their revolution. The coming month of
pilgrimage has been looked upon by the
Saudis with great trepidation. During this
time they must allow Muslims from every
nation to enter Saudi territory. Iranian
revolutionary pilgrims caused a great deal of
trouble during last year's pilgrimage, and the
Saudis may be very relieved to have them out
of the way this year.

UDOS ARE again due for the
Michigan Student Assmebly-this
time for showing it can address mun-
dane as well as more pressing student
It seems the Ann Arbor police had
begun a new, policy this term which
allowed officers to issue tickets for ex-
cessive noise at parties-without the
prior warning that had been given in
past years.
This week, MSA members' met with
Police Chief William Corbett to discuss
the p roblem, and Corbett anno iced

yesterday he would revise the policy
and encourage his officers to issue
warnings before they issue
tickets-some of which can run to $100.
Certainly the noise ticket problem is
not as important as the formerly plan-
ned North Campus bur hours cutback
or the now-defunct proposal to shorten
Library hours.
But it is an inconvenience for studen-
ts, nevertheless. MSA properly devoted
only a few hours to solving the
problem, and got quick results.
HE 5A1D! Y

AP Photo
AN IRAQI SOLDIER points his Soviet-made assault rifle at a portrait of Ayatollah Shariat*
Madari Monday after the arrival of Iraqi troops in Qasr-E-Shirin, northeast of Baghdad.

a friendly gesture to the Ayatollah in a speech
at the UN.
IN ANY CASE, the timing for a strike was
right. The Islamic calendar, which has been
such a useful guide to political and military
actions in the past, is between Ramazan, the
month of dawn to dusk fasting, and the month
of Hai, the pilgrimage to Mecca. The weather
is also excellent in late September and early
October. Also, Iran is at its lowest ebb in-
dustrially, financially, and militarily, and
chances for a quick military success must
have appeared very great.
The elimination of the Khomeini regime at
this time could be extremely convenient for
the Carter Administration. A quick strike
leading to a change in government by early
October would give the new regime just about
a month to establish itself, release the
American hostages, and re-establish ties with
Washington before the November election.
The revelation of a new American-sponsored
offensive against Iran planned for Septem-
ber, made late this summer by columnist
Jack Anderson, must now gain credence.
Of course, there is a joker in the deck-the
possibility of Iranian resistance, which seems
to be happening. If the quick strike solution is
repulsed, and if sufficient Iranian suspicion
about a U.S. hand in the game is aroused, then
the honitaes are in 0reater dnae than e.

France could also gain by Khomeini's fall.
France is the chief European customer for
Iraqi oil, which is threatened by a hostile
Iranian regime. It is now trying to establish
itself as principle arms salesman to the Mid-
dle East, and is gradually replacing the
Soviets as the chief supplier to Iraq. Disap-
pointed by Khomeini's treatment of French
economic interests after the revolution,
France has also served as a staging area-for
the Iranian opposition and hopes to gain
economically if that opposition takes control'.
CONTRARY TO some analyses, the ,ne
nation that gains very little from this conflict
is the'Soviet Union, for it is not clear who they
should support. Repudiated by Khomeini and
on tenderhooks in their relations with Iraq,
the Soviets may well find their best course is
to sit back and wait to see how best to exploit
the situation.
So when one answers the question "Qui
Bono"-who gains by a successful invasion of
Iran-the answer is very clear. Many, many
people gain. Iraq, with its traditional enmity
towards Iran, gains a measure of security, if
not territory. But history may record that the
Iraqis were acting with the encouragement
and direct support of a whole raft of outsiders.
William Beeman, who spent close to

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