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March 04, 1982 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-03-04

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6

OPINION

a,
Toage 4

Thursday, March 4, 1982

The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Living with Polish

martial law

Vol. XCII, No. 119

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial BoardI
Getting it straight
THE PAST. May, 1982: Secretary Haig says he
December, 1981: President has undeniable proof that Soviet spies
Reagan says intelligence reports have have infiltrated the United Nations,
confirmed the presence of Libyan "hit causing a perilous breach in security.
squads" along the perimeters of the Haig says he heard this information
United States. The president, however, from a friend, but he cannot release his
says he cannot name his source due to name because it is of a "personal
the secrecy which surrounds the event. nature." The U.N. is quickly closed
U.S. border security is tightened down along with the entire east side of
nonetheless. Manhattan.
February, 1982: Reagan tells a group June, 1982: Reagan says a top aide
of reporters assembled at the Capitol informed him recently that blacks are
that he has impeccable evidence that one of the chief causes of unem-
his earlier "incorrect" statements ployment. The president, however,
about the history of Vietnam were ac- cannot release the advisor's name
tually correct. The president, however, because it might, inspire a violent
refuses to show the reporters his backlash. All blacks are subsequently
evidence. denied voting status and some are "in-
March, 1982: Secretary of State terned."
Alexander Haig tells the House July, 1982: Secretary of Defense
Foreign Affairs Committee that he has Caspar Weinberger says he has
"irrefutable evidence" that leftist in- photographic proof that there are
surgents in El Salvador are being con- Soviet missiles stationed in North
trolled by forces outside of that coun- Dakota. The photos are classified,
try. Haig claims, however, that Weinberger claims, but F-4,Phantom
releasing this information would en- jets run continuous bombing raids over
danger U.S. security operations, and Bismark, the state capitol, for a week.
he refuses to do so. U.S. military and August, 1982: President Reagan says
economic aid to El Salvador is he has figures that prove the Canadian
thereupon increased. nation is rapidly shifting over to a
Thefuture. communist dictatorship. The figures
April, 1982: Reagan says im- are so important that only Reagan and
migrating Haitians are actually in the his wife Nancy are allowed to view
pay of the Cuban government. The them. Canada is subsequently brought
president cannot name the source of to its knees by an American economic
his nformation due to the sensitivity of embargo, and then nuked into the stone
the issue. Immigration to all U.S. ports age;
oTentry is restricted nonetheless. Next time, could we just have a bit
more information?
A succcessful taxi service
A T A TIME when Ann Arbor-and 1980. PIRGIM has effectively
the rest of the country-is becoming bargained with the AATA for the ser-
a veritable graveyard of social and vice, and has stressed the role such a
educational programs, it is heartening service will play in preventing crime in
to see the birth of a valuable federally- the community.
" funded program on campus. The new Just as pleasantly surprising as
program, an all-night taxi transit ser- PIRGIM's effective lobbying, is the all-
vice, will begin offering affordable and night ride's survival through the
safe transportation for all Ann Arbor current budget-cutting climate. The
residents by March 15. program will receive the bulk of its
Ann Arbor Transit Authority's all- $89,000 from the federal Urban Mass
night taxi program, approved by City Transportation Administration. AATA
Council on Monday, will offer cab rides officials admit they are surprised that
from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. for a flat rate of the program received funds, since it is
$1.50 per person. The program will be far from cost effective. It is merely
especially helpful in alleviating the helpful to the general public.
problem women face when walking A discouraging note is that the ser-
alone at night. The service thus will vice will operate for one year on an ex-
prove not only a convenience, but also perimental basis. So the worthy ser-
a tool to combat the ever-growing vice may face a shaky future. But at a
crimes of rape and assault. time when the country seems more and
Much credit for the program's more like a wasteland of neglected and
creation should go tothe Public In- financially crippled social programs,
terest Research Group in Michigan Ann Arbor can only be thankful that
student group, which has lobbied for an the night ride program has been given
all-night taxi service since September, a chance in our community.
*d
o . - -'.
if { 1Ii(' I l 1 1' + t'I II ' II

┬░ _
J'y '7' h I'I\ 7

Raymond Taras left Poland in
February-a month and a half after mar-
tial law was declared in that country-after
completing his doctoral work at the
University of Warsaw. Taras, a Canadian
who studied political sociology during his
tenure in Poland, discussed his months
spent under martial law and his,.predic-
tions for Poland's future with Opinion
Page Editor Julie Hinds this week.
Taras currently lives in Montreal and
has been offered a position as a research
associate at the University's Center for
Russian and East European Studies.

Daily: When martial law was enforced in
December, what was the mood like in
Poland? Was there more sympathy toward
the government or Solidarity? Has the mood
changed?
Taras: The mood has changed. I think it's
important to make the point that especially
after the statements made by Solidarity
leaders at Gdansk on December 12 (prior to
martial law) there was a strong reaction in
society against Solidarity, against what
people viewed as Solidarity's decision to un-
dertake a confrontation with the government.
People had been living on tenterhooks since
the establishment of Solidarity. A lot of my
academic friends were glued to the radio,
with so many crises occurring one after
another. In a lot of ways martial law came, I
wouldn't say as a relief, but as some kind of
definitive resolution.
I would take the view that there was con-
siderable understanding among the
population on the imposition of martial law,
especially in light of what happened in the
preceding weeks.
But, although there was considerable un-
derstanding for Jaruzelski's measures, at the
same time exasperation began to grow as
martial law dragged on and on. People had no
experience with martial law and assumed it
would last ten days, at most a month. People
had high expectations in January that if mar-
tial law was not completely eliminated, at
least most of the restrictions felt in daily life
would be lifted. Nothing of the sort arose. To
put it bluntly, I think the mood of the
population is now much nastier than it was in
December.

Daily: What were the effects upon intellectual
life? Were your activities or those of your
colleagues curtailed?
Taras: Yes. There was a ban on all
publications. At the universities all lectures,
seminars, and so on were suspended until
January, which meant that when I went to the
University of Warsaw there was virtually no
one there. People couldn't meet even in an in-
formal way. There was very little intellectual
contact during that period apart from one
person going to the house of another. Even
then, there were limits on personal meetings
until February, when up to 10 people were
able to meet in a house freely without in-
fringing on the decree of martial law.
Daily: Were any of your Polish friends or
colleagues arrested?
Taras: Some of them were interned, but now
most of them have been released.
Daily: Are the activities of Solidarity visible
now?
Taras: Solidarity has made a point of
remaining visible.
As for factories, Solidarity is limited to
collecting from members dues for the benefit
of the families of those interned or dismissed
from their jobs. As for Solidarity in intellec-
tual circles, there are considerable analyses
being done at the moment, academicians
writing 10 to 15 page reports of why martial
law was imposed, where did Solidarity go
wrong, and so on, Leaflets are being written,
printed, and distributed.
Daily: What about Lech Walesa? Is he still a
powerful figure even though he's kept isolated
by the government?
Taras: First, it's impossible for anyone in
Poland to answer some very big questions.
Such as, where is Walesa? Are negotiations
taking place between him and the gover-
nment? Very, very few people in Poland know
the answers. But the pro-Solidarity section of
the population is now focused less on Lech
Walesa and more on Solidarity leaders who
escaped the dragnet of martial law. These
leaders have been elevated to folk heroes. It's
not the Pope, it's not Walesa;. these aren't the
important characters in the images of the
Poles at the moment, it's other leaders.
Daily: What is the opinion of the Polish people
on U.S. and European economic sanctions? Is
it viewed as a positive or negative step? .
Taras: I would tend to say that the population:
realizes that these sanctions are bringing
hardship. For example, since no American
corn is being imported, there is no chicken
feed. With no feed there will be no chickens or
eggs in a month or two. But since there were
very few goods available before martial law,

y 7~
the fact that, for example, chickens disappear
from market doesn't really make all that'
much difference. I would categorically rule4
out the idea that the Polish population is op-
psosed to the sanctions.
Daily: How long do you think martial law will'
last? Do you think the discontent among the
people will growv into more resistance or will
martial law have an uneventful conclusion?
Taras: Everything depends on the piower.
struggle that is taking place in the political
leadership. I insist that Jaruzelski should be
viewed as a moderate. There are people who
are hardliners and oppose the fact that
Jaruzelski says that some kind of autonomous
trade union should exist even after martial
law is lifted. My contacts in Solidarity viewed
Jaruzelski as someone they could work with.
They don't say the same about other leaders
in the government.
If Jaruzelski doesn't have his hands tied by
the conservative, dogmatic faction of the par-
ty, I think he will make significant gestures
toward the trade union movement. If o such
gestures are made, then frustrations will'
grow. There will be trouble in Poland. I'm notu
sure that Solidarity should be blamed for any
such trouble, for there isn't any conspiracy.'
Solidarity is wiling to work with the gover
nment. It's imperative 4hat Jaruzelski be
given a little more time and some freedom to
maneuver during this period to reach some:
sort of agreement with Solidarity.

;*
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Dialogue is a weekly feature of the:
Daily 's Opinion Page and appears every
Thursday.

i

Weasel

CHARLESTON HEX)OMIA
14

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By.Robert Lence
y' WAT A STRgANGE ?LA.TY
NOT4IMG B BUTGOLF COORSES,
As FAR AS TE EM CAN SEE!
WHO KNOWS WHAT HORRORS
AWAIT ME!

6
h

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

Witt gets it all- wrong on Pc

To the Daily:
I found Howard Witt's column
on Pakistan (Daily, Feb. 16) an
insult to my intelligence. His
source sounded like he was a paid
agent of the murderous Zia
regime.

If the peoole of Pakistan
believed the self-appointed dic-
tator Zia was a necessity, Zia
would not need a ubiquitous
machinery of repression. He
would not refuse to hold elections,
arbitrarily dismiss judges, or

Guessing for Econ.

grades

To the Daily:
I've been insulted! (Why's he
telling me you're probably
asking). I have written this letter
on your behalf; you the student,
the consumer of education.
The class: Economics 400, the
. insult: guessing for grades.
In Tuesday's lecture, before 100,
students, the class teaching
assistant posed the following: Af-
ter I put up the grade distribution
for the midterm, you may:

professional, so educationally
unethical,, someone need be
heard from. This letter is not
coming from a student disgrun-
tled over his treatment by a T.A.,
for until this moment I was just
another happy face in the crowd.
Nor does it come from a casualty
of the exam. I am interested in
nothing more than getting my
money's worth. Something like
this makes me wonder, that's all.
Here then is what I offer to

make the law subservient to his
dictims like one who rules by
martial law.
When I was visiting my home in
Pakistan a year and a half ago, an
old acquaintance of mine, Nazur
Abass, was, arested. He was
a young lawyer printing pam-
phlets criticizing the martial
law-something Solidarity
workers are now doing in Poland.
A few days later, Abassi was.
dead while in custody of the
security forces. His body bore
telltale signs of torture. There
was no investigation, no
prosecution, and no action again-
st any police or military official.
And unfortunately, Abassi is not
alone. Amnesty International
thoroughly documents many
cases quite similar to his in its
recent report.
Mr. Witt, as a human being I

from a commitment to hs
people-the people he torments
with those bullets.
The economy of Pakistan is fou
the rich. The poor under hid
repressive, unrepresentative,
and provincial government are
worse than ever. Illiteracy is up,
malnutrition i up, inflation tops
30 percent, and the chasm bet-
ween the rich and poor continues
to grow by leaps and bounds.
Repression does not hold a nation
together-once before the
genocide committed by the
Pakistan army led to the division
of Pakistan and creation of
Bangladesh. Today that very
army is in control and I found
much hatred for what it has
come to symbolize throughout the
smaller provinces. The regime is
anti-Pakistan. More importan-
tly it is inhumane.
T+ is -ariA *. *Pt .P dnt.

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