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December 03, 1980 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-12-03

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f'

OPINION
Pa0e 4 Wednesday, December 3, 1980 The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Will China's Gang of Four
trial end the revenge cycles?

Vol. XCI, No.74

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M1 48109

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

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SAID victory encouraging
TUDENTS HAVE GOOD reason more and better student represen-
I to be optimistic in light of the tation in the administrative decision-
ults of last week's LSA-Student making that will be crucial in the
vernment elections. Sue Porter, coming year of University financial
rgaret Talmers, and the entire restraints and budget cuts. We may
ket of Students for Academic .and also expect progress toward improved
titutional Development have been recruitment and retention of minority
ept into the leading council positions students and a higher level of quality
a tide of intelligent progressivism. among graduate teaching assistants at
en Tim Lee, the presidential can- the University.
ate for Student Alliance for Better LSA students have wisely rejected
presentation who was buried in the the clouded vision of Tim.Lee and other
ID landslide, conceded that Porter SABRE candidates in favor of the
d the SAID victors have a clear driving commitment and clear goals of
andate." the SAID ticket. In fact, every SAID
With by far the heaviest voter tur- candidate received more votes than
t in the history of LSA-SG and with any non-SAID candidate and the only
ar student support for SAID's plat- persons denied seats on the council by
m, we may hopefully look forward voters were SABRE candidates.
the council becoming a truly effec- LSA students have lent their over-
e vehicle for solving LSA student whelming support to the SAID can-
)blems. didates and their platform. Now it is up
With the SAID victory, LSA students to Porter and the other SAID victors to
n anticipate a renewed drive for pick up the initiative and run with it.

Physical re.

"istance-an

effective rape defense?

By David Milton
China's updated version of the notoriou
Moscow purge trials is now taking place in
Peking. But the Chinese are surpassing their
Stalinist predecessors thanks to the miracle
of television, which nightly broadcasts the
tortured faces and barely audible confessions
of the former political associates of China's
revolutionary leader, Mao Zedong.
Billed by the present Peking regime as a
partially secret, partially public prosecution
of criminals, the spectacle now being staged
is clearly a drama of political vengeance.
Recent foreign visitors to mainland China
report that the trial of the Gang of
Four-headed by Mao's widow, Jiang Qing,
and a coterie ofyother past Chinese political
leaders and military - comman-
ders-represents a political super bowl
staged to titillate or frighten millions-of spec-
tators.
REGARDLESS OF the politics and policies
of the political faction which has won ii
China, and those of the faction now in the
dock, the key question is whether this public
drama of forced confession will finally bring
to an end the cycles of factional revenge that
have shaped the politics of China over the
past 20 years, or instead guarantee another
cycle of retribution in the near future.
The Deng Xiaoping regime now in power,
despite its much-publicized legal code and its
proclamation of a new reign of law for China,
is proving in practice to be just as arbitrary in
its application of justice as the regime it
superceded. The difference between the
present and past Peking administrations lies
simply in the targets subject to illegal arrest:
During the late 1960s, at the height of the
Cultural Revolution, Mao turned the masses
loose against the officials who ruled them. In
the revolutionary disorder that ensued,
many injustices were committed against of-
ficials who remained unprotected by legal
rules and procedures.
CHINA'S NEW LEGAL code is designed to
protect the traditional authority and
sacrosanct power that Chinese leaders have
enjoyed for thousands of years. The present
show trial of the Maoist Gang of Four is the
opening gun of a whole series of lower level
trials that will soon sweep China in a massive
purge of all those deemed "leftist" by the new
party of order in Peking.
Avenging Chinese officials, led by Deng,
recently supervised the rewriting of the
Chinese constitution. The populist provisions
installed by Mao guaranteeing the right of the
ordinary people to speak out freely, to air
their views fully, to hold great debates and
write political posters, have been removed, as
has the clause, insisted on by Mao, that the
workers have the legal right to strike. The
Maoist belief in the occasional benefit of
disorder has been replaced by Deng's
demand for unity and discipline.
One yearsafter China's new legal code was
heralded as the new rule of law throughout
the country, thousands of political prisoners
are now being held without charge or trial.
THE FAMOUS Democracy Wall in Peking
has been turned into a giant billboard for
commercial advertising, and today any
citizen who dares to post his or her criticism
of powerholders risks imprisonment.
At least 6,000 young people in Peking alone
are reported to have been sent to reformist
labor camps since the new legal code came in-
to effect. Crackdowns by the Deng regime on

THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
Lights! Camera! Action! Bring on the guilty parties!'

4

4

IN RECENT YEARS; more and
more attention has been given to the
issue of rape-how to prevent it and
how to deal with it should an attack oc-
cur. The feminist movement.has had a
lot to do with bringing the issue out in
the open, and it has made some impor-
tant strides in combatting the problem.
Women used to be afraid to report the
crime for fear of being insensitively
treated by the police. Now, public and,
private agencies-including the Ann
Arbor's own Women's Crisis Cen-
ter-have sprung up that offer help to
rape victims from specially trained
female counselors.
At the behest of angry women's
groups, some of the laws that used to
make it difficult to get a rape convic-
tion have been changed. A woman no
longer has to worry quite as much
about being made a victim a second
time by a defense attorney in a cour-
troom.
Yet one aspect of the rape problem
remains by and large the same as it
has always been, namely, the "com-
mon wisdom" about how a woman
should react to a would-be rapist on the
spot. The advice generated by most
media and law enforcement sources
has long been not to fight the rapist.
The logic is that the attacker would
probably get what he's after anyway,
so it is foolish to risk any further injury
by attempting to avoid the rape.
When methods of resistance are

suggested, they are usually the sort
least likely . to infuriate the
rapist-trying submissively to talk
him out of it, pleading for mercy, or
doing something disgusting to dissuade
the would-be felon from his goal. (One
California pamphlet went so far as to
suggest that women induce themselves
to vomit to repulse an attacker.)
The "common wisdom" received
some scrutiny recently in two studies
commissioned by the National Center
for the Prevention and Control of
Rape. Researchers studied the out-
comes of hundreds of rapes and attem-
pted rapes and discovered that
physical resistance is more likely to
fend off an attacker than the older,
more passive methods. Furthermore,
there doesn't seem to be any solid
evidence that a woman who resists an
attacker's advances is more likely to
get seriously hurt than a more docile
victim.
The matter certainly merits more
study, but if the Center's findings are
borne out, the case would seem to be
very strong for women to learn self-
defense techniques that would help
them minimize their chances of being
hurt while maximizing their chances of
escaping a rapist. As the number of
women who can defend themselves
against attackers increases, the num-
ber that {might have to could well
plummet.

youthful dissidence in a country in which half
of the one billion population is under the age
of 21 do not augur well for the future
stability of the nation.
China's most famous young dissident, Wei
Jingsheng, has been sentenced to 15 years in
prison for suggesting that aside from Deng's
four modernizations of agriculture,, industry,
science, and national defense, a fifth moder-
nization should be added-democracy.
BOTH THE DEFENDANTS in the Gang of
Four show trial and youthful Chinese
dissidents have been jailed under a recently
enacted proviso which states that all those
prisoners detained before January 1, 1980 are
not entitled to the protection of the new legal
code. Future arrests will, no doubt, be
covered by new, hastily drafted provisos.
A recent editorial in the Communist Party
journal, the People's Daily, makes it clear
that China will not follow the path of
democracy, but will ruthlessly enforce
proletarian dictatorship, party rule, and rigid
censorship under the guise of the protection of
state secrets.
A new law threatens a jail sentence to any
citizen who discloses information covered by
17 categories of state secrets. These include,
aside from national security and inter-
national relations, a broad range of economic
affairs, the national budget, scientific in-
novations and discoveries, culture, education,
and even medical and health matters.
WHILE THE GANG of Four and the other
defendants now facing death sentences before
a world television audience certainly abused
the prerogatives of power during their own
reign, the signs of a new order of freedom and
democracy in China are not in sight. The old

Chinese elites are back in power. They live
behind the big walls of their luxurious com-
pounds from which they are chauffeured to
work, sheltered from public view by the silk
curtains that cover the windows of their Red
Flag limousines.
Topparty officials know which strings to
pull to get their children into Peking Univer-
sity, Harvard, and MIT. Chinese workers
remain only one step behind their Polish
counterparts in the recognition that the
privileged party cadres are simply the "Red
Bourgeoise."
Meanwhile, thousands of ragged petitioners
from the provinces besiege Peking and
China's other main cities to present their
grievances to an indifferent bureaucracy. If)
the mounting dissatisfaction of millions of or-
dinary Chinese is met by the new party order
with more purges, contempt, or even benign
neglect, then the cycle of revenge that has
become a hallmark of Chinese politics in
recent decades could erupt once more.
As if to punctuate that possibility, a few
days before the opening of the current show
trial, a bomb explosion ripped through
Peking's main railroad station, killing nine
and injuring 81. This act of political'terrorism
suggests that a continuing politics of revenge
by China's aging rulers may not produce the
stability and consensus that the world's most
populous nation so desperately needs.
David Milton is a professor of
sociology at the University of Oregon-
Eugene and taught at Peking's First
Foreign Language Institute from 1964 to
1969. He wrote this article for the Pacific
News Service.

4

-.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

4

Blame Israelfor Palestinians'

woes

RE
v9FENSE.

1 pw 9w'
'KOS

To the Daily:
I am compelled to comment on
David Brief's letter of November
21, in which he attempts to lay the
blame for the Palestinian
problem on the other Arab coun-
tries.
In a country where the Jewish
lobby is so strong it is amazingly
difficult to learn objective infor-
mation on the situation through
the media. I would like to
enlighten your readers on a point
or two.
First of all, the "Palestinians"
(why the quotation marks,
David?) have never wanted war.
How many of them do you think
appreciate second-class citizen-
ship in an area that they have oc-
cupied for generations, without
control of even a basic need like
their own drinking water?

The problem began with the
formation of the state of Israel.
For years, the Jews and the
Arabs lived together peacefully,
until the British mandate ended
with the birth of a new state and
the displacement of thousands of
Palestinians. And for victims of
oppression, it's hard to under-
stand how the Israelis could treat
other human beings the same
terrible way they were treated,
until you hear a quote an Israeli
spokesman used as justification
when asked the same question:
"Those to whom evil is done do
evil in return."
Secondly, David Brief is
correct in stating that there was
a Palestinian state. But how can
you consider Jordan a
Palestinian state when you your-
self state that other Arab coun-

tries, Jordan included, have
chosen to use the Palestinians as
"political weapons"? Not to men-
tion the fact that the Palestinians
do not want Jordan as a
homeland. They have occupied
what is now called Israel for
generations, since Biblical times,
and have as much, or more right,
to normal lives there under their
own leadership (though the
Israelis have seen to it that any
potential leaders are silenced one
way or another).
Which leads to another
question-if the Israelis wanted a
state in 1948, why didn't they take
Jordan? No other country in the
world took in the homeless
Jewish population after WWII
except Palestine, and the
Palestinians were victimized for
not agreeing to live under the
government of those whom they
-took in.
Thirdly, it's sad to hear that
Mr. Brief knows so little about
4- -6-, nac nr,rith

families with young
children-one of which was my
mother's). The first terrorists
were the Haganah and the Stern
Gang, of which Menachem Begin
was a leader.
If the Palestinians use terrorist
tactics, they got the idea from the
Israelis. The Palestine
Liberation Organization wasn't
even established until 1964, while
the' Israeli terrorist groups ran
around in the '40s and '50s.
The. Israelis may want
peace-especially in light of the
fact that most of the world now
recognizes the Palestinians'
right to autonomy-but in dealing
with Egypt (another country
which has used the Palestinians
as a means of furthering its own
ambition) they are missing the
point. When you are confronting
an entire people's right to exist
independently, you deal with
members of that population, not
outsiders. But there seems to be
little chance-of this if the Israelis

Radioactive nightmare

oorm o. .C.IF

To the Daily:
T .nm ...-3, enn...npd nmi

creating disasters with patience
and foresight rather than have to

I.

I

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