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April 07, 1982 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-04-07

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OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, April 7, 1982-

The Michigan Daily

.... ....................... . ... ...........

A nuclear

freeze:

The

time is now

By Kent Redding
Contrary to popular belief, President
Reagan actually does believe that
"more is better." Not, of course, in the
size of government, or federal social
programs, but in nuclear arms produc-
tion. Although Reagan has called for a
supposedly drastic reduction in Soviet
and American nuclear arsenals, them
reality of his policy calls for just the op-
posite-more missiles.
Unfortunately, the rationale behind
Reagan's proposed massive build-up
ignores some very basic issues. No per-
suasive argument has been given for
the national need for better and more
powerful arms systems, and, more im-
portantly, the president has rejected
the growing public support for a
nuclear arms production and
deployment freeze.
MAD. IT IS A fitting acronym for the
American and Soviet policy of nuclear
deterrence toward one another: mutual
assured destruction. The current
debate over the timing of a nuclear
freeze concerns just that policy. The
United States must deter a Soviet
nuclear first-strike with the capability
to respond with an equally destructive
blow, so the policy states.
Ronald Reagan is the first president
to claim the United States does not have
such a capability. "The Soviets' great
edge is one in which they could absorb
our retaliatory blow and hit us again"
with nuclear bombs, he told the nation

last week. Thus the president favors a
Senate resolution, sponsored by
Senators John Warner (R-Virginia) and
Henry Jackson (D-Washington), that
calls for a freeze in nuclear weapons
deployment when the two superpowers
reach nuclear equality. The resolution
allows the administration to continue
with its plans to build new strategic
bombers, missiles, and submarines un-
til the United States and the Soviet
Union reach agreement on some form
of parity.
Inherent in Reagan's support of this
proposal and his plan to increase the
U.S. nuclear arsenal is the assumption
that the United States lags far behind
the Soviets in the nuclear race.
IT IS NOT AT all clear that this
assumption is correct. Military
figures do not indicate such a clear-cut
margin of U.S. inferiority. While the
Soviets have the advantage in
megatonnage (explosive power) and
delivery vehicles, the United States has
the edge in what many experts believe
is the most important category:
nuclear warheads, with roughly an
American 9,000 to the Soviets 7,000.
Even Secretary of State Alexander
Haig claimed recently that American
nuclear weapons are "more
sophisticated and reliable and more
technologically sound" than their
Soviet counterparts.
It is extremely difficult to conclude
which side has a true .nuclear advan-
tage. Because various methods of
measurement alternately emphasize

would perish and the infrastructure of
any nation would collapse instantly.
Medical facilities would be obliterated,
transportation systems destroyed, and
food and water contaminated. It might
then be true that the living would envy
the dead.
Reagan refuses to veer, however,
from the nuclear path. He has pointed
out that an immediate halt in nuclear
weapons production would not give the
Soviets any incentive to reduce their
arsenals when the Strategic Arms
Reduction Talks begin later this year.
Unfortunately, START negotiations,
like their predecessors (SALT I and II),
will probably take years to complete,
while nuclear missiles pile up like so
many junked cars. An immediate
freeze then becomes attractive because
it would halt deployment in its present
phase, without the further loss of
money and security.
The Warner-Jackson proposal is no
freeze at all, but a blank check for the
Pentagon.-The Soviets are not likely to
sit back and watch the Americans
take more from the nuclear cookie
jar-they will surely want more for
themselves.
HOWEVER, ONE positive aspect of
Reagan's endorsement of the plan is its
implication that public pressure does
actually effect presidential policy.
Thousands of people across the nation,
including many here at the University,
have refuted ."more is better" for
"enough is enough," and it may have

worked. Reagan has now responded,.'
albeit half-heartedly, to that pressure.
It must be recognized that it is dif-
ficult for many Americans to suddenly
change their minds on the nuclear arms
race. We have been told for so many
years that "the Russians are coming"
that a tiny part of that fear, no matter
how irrational, remains. But the United
States cannot escape partial respon-
sibility for the present arms race. The
Soviet Union is looking for its own
security as is the United States.
American has led the nuclear arms
race since the development of the
atomic bomb. Now it is time to lead the
quest for an end to that power - to
wage peace instead of war. An im-
mediate freeze will not solve all the
world's problems, but neither will an
America in shining nuclear armor. As
Senator Ted Kennedy (D-
Massachusetts) said, more bombs will
serve only to "make Soviet rubble
bounce from Moscow to Vladivostok."
We need to try to solve the problems
of the world, not create new ones.
Millions throughout Europe and North
America want nuclear freeze now-not
ten years.from now. The administration
should heed their calls.
President Reagan recently said that
a freeze is not good enough-he is
correct. But it is a beginning.
Redding is an Opinion Page staff
writer.

President Reagan stands with his nominees for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. From
left to right are Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, Army General John
Vessey, Reagan, Admiral James Watkins, and General Charles Gabriel.

megatonnage, or the number of
warheads, or any multitude of factors
such superiority distinctions become
blurred at best.
At any rate, many experts-such as
Jerome Weisner, technology advisor to
three presidents, and George Kennan,
former ambassador to the Soviet
Union-argue that absolute equality is
a moot point. Any first use of nuclear
weapons will escalate to - large-scale
war from which no country could
recover for decades, let alone win. The

president himself admits that
"everybody would be a loser if there is
a nuclear war."
YET THE PRESIDENT insists the
Soviet's could "absorb" a U.S. nuclear
retaliation. How does one absorb a
nuclear bomb? It almost sounds as if
the Russians could just hold on to their
chairs, grit their teeth, and afterwards
conquer America. The comment points
out the difficulty in imagining an actual
full-scale nuclear war. Regardless of
any civil defense preparation, millions

----------------- I

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Weasel

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Vol. XCII, No. 148

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

HEY GUPPY
You GoT AN
SPARE PEANUTS
IN ThAT BAG?
rt~(
F.

LEAVE ME ALONE.
THEY'RE MY PEANUTS,
I PAID FOR TEEM.
HEY GUYS
OC TUSA NOSE
OVER HERE _ r
PoESO WANNA
SNARE. TAE
WEALTH 1

SHAMETE WEATH
S NB A R E T 1E4 EA LT4

By Robert Lence
AW, HE orrANY
ALREADY 'CASHEWS.
AT MO5r I#
OP'EM. Tege~?

0
0

T ALL SEEMED like an outdated
scenario from an old war movie. A
large force invades a small, obscure
island to reclaim a colony, while the
irate mother country sends out its
fleet. The world watches with
~fascination, mean while, cheering on
the heroes, booing the losers,and
waiting.for the real fighting to start.
But Argentina's invasion of the
Falkland Islands and Britain's naval
response was all too true. Argentina's
takeover of the Falklands seems
strangely out of place in an age more
accustomed to using diplomatic chan-
nels or even covert military action.
While countries often threaten and
posture, they rarely- move in the
troops.
Did Agentina have a valid cause for
making such an rash move? The coun-
try does have a legitirate grievance
over ownership of the islands. Britain
seized the Falkland Islands in 1833 and
Argentina now wants to reclaim what
it feels it rightfully should possess. But
currently Argentina is taking the
wrong steps, for all the wrong reasons,
to address this problem.
Argentina's decision to act so for-
eefully seems little more than a
litical ploy - an effective device to
detract attention from its numerous
internal problems. Suddently Argen-
tinians are feeling proud of their coun-
try's might; and while they are feeling
so patriotic, little time will be left to
dwell upon the country's crumbling
economy, its inflation rate (the highest:
in the world), its plentiful human
rights violations, or its lack of free
elections. Argentina's six-year-old
military junta knows well how to em-
Ploy its tools to take the focus off its
inequities.
Nonetheless, the Argentinians have
further tarnished their case with their
abhorrent behavior toward the native
Falklanders. Although the island is a
colony, it is questionable whether its

inhabitants actually seek liberation.
Some 97 percent of the population
speaks English and has English roots;
these ties to Britain will be difficult to
break.
The invaders have instituted severe
martial law, apparently in order to
turn the islanders into faithful Argen-
tinians overnight. Imprisonment for
up to two months is mandatory for
inconsiderate behavior toward the
military, or disrespectful acts to
Argentinian patriotic symbols.
Since Argentina has behaved so
irrationally, the burden of restoring
some sanity to the situation now rests
on Britain's shoulders. The invasion
has admittedly rocked Britain. It for-
ced the resignation of Lord Carrington,
the nation's Foreign Minister and it
even threatens to topple Prime
Minister Thatcher's government.
Britain, however, must put this
patriotic aggressiveness on the back-
burner and work through rational
diplomatic channels. Although Britain
is reeling with shock, war psychology
is not an appropriate answer. The
Falklands cannot be won back suc-
cessfully through military force
without breaking the British gover-
nment and perhaps provoking an even
larger conflict.
In our unstable world it may no
longer be possible to gain greater glory
or right wrongs through military ex-
ploits. As shown with the Falkland
Islands incident, a military response
can only shake governments, obscure
political problems, and violate the
rights of civilians. The Argentinians
and the British both have erred by put-
ting faith in military solutions.
Now the outcome rests on Britain.
The British have the diplomatic know-
how and the past experience to put
aside their fervor for winning back
land - and soothing wounded pride -
and help calm the heated atmosphere
of the beleaguered islands.

,

Voting for a Nestle

By Ten Beckman
An important proposal appearing on the
Michigan Student Assembly ballot today will
ask University students to support the inter-
national boycott of Nestle products. The
boycott has been in effect since 1977; this
year, however, the Nestle Corporation has
shown the first signs of complying with
boycott demands. A vote of support for the
boycott would definitely help in an important
final push to force Nestle into compliance
with specific boycott demands.
These demands address the guidelines for
marketing infant bottle formula in Third
World countries established by the World
Health Organization. The WHO guidelines
outline unethical marketing techniques that
should not be employed - the very same
techniques that often have been common in
Nestle promotions. In 1981, an overwhelming
majority of Western countries approved the
WHO guidelines. The Nestle boycott hopes to
pressure the corporation into following these
rules.
WHY IS IT necessary for an apolitical
group like WHO to set infant formula
guidelines? The reason lies in the deceptive
manner Nestle uses to promote its infant for-
mula. In the majority of Nestle's mass media
advertising, healthy, chubby, Western-
looking babies are prominently displayed.
Such advertising appeals to the mother's sen-
se of pride in giving her child the best possible

care. Since it appears that the most moder-
nized Western countries use infant formula,
Third World mothers surmise that is must be
the best possible feeding method. Nestle
has often implied that bottle feeding is healthier
than breast feeding, a fact refuted by a
majority of physicians. The use of infant for-
mula in lieu of breast feeding is, in fact, very
dangerous in Third World countries, with
their problems concerning sanitation, plum-
bing, overcrowding, and cleanliness.
Another Nestle promotion found unethical
by WHO is the use of saleswomen dressed as
"milk nurses" to distribute free samples of
formula. These free samples last long enough
for women to stop lactating-producing
milk-forcing them to become "hooked" to
the formula. The formula is unneeded and ex-
pensive for most families, who must spend an
average of 58 percent of total income on for-
mula itself.
When money becomes scarce mothers try to
dilute the formula-to make it last as long as
possible. If the formula is then mixed with
impure water from unsanitary living con-
ditions a lethal formula results, full of
basteria and with little nutritional value. Such
formula causes malnutrition and infection to
run rampant in children throughout these
countries.
THE BOYCOTT has attempted to force
Nestle to conform to the WHO guidelines for-
bidding these marketing practices. And it ap-
pears that the pressure may be:starting to
work. The Nestle Corporation made a

boycott,
statement several weeks ago announcing that
they would now follow the actual WHO
guidelines. They have made nebulous
promises in the past, claiming they would
abide by the spirit of the guidelines.
The Infant Formula Action Coalition plans,
however, to continue its boycott until Nestle
meets with the International Nestle Boycott
Committee to work out specific details of a
settlement. With a strong show of support;
Nestle may be pressured into negotiating
concrete terms for following WHO guidelines.
A positive vote on Proposal B, dealing with..
support of the boycott, is very important. A
strong show of student support for a boycott
would help the Public Interest Research
Group in Iichigan in its effort to have the
University declare a Nestle-free campus.
This would mean alternative products would
be sold in all Vniversty-affiliated stores-(A
policy already in effect in the dorms).
PIRGIM plans to approach the Regents later
this month with its Nestle-free campaign if
there is positive student support.
A vote on Proposal B that supports making
Michigan a Nestle-free university would cer-
tainly be noted, and would perhaps add the
last amount of pressure necessary to make
Nestle comply with the WHO marketing
guidelines.
Beckman, an LSA cophomore, is a
member of PIRGIM's Nestle Boycott
Task Force.

0

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

0

Curious reasoning for gun control

To the Daily:
While I applaud your concern
over the problem of criminal
misuse of firearms, I find the
reasoning of your editorial
(Daily. April 1) curious and your

cidents, the total is less than 0.56
percent. This hardly indicates
mass waves of firearms hysteria
on the point of their owners.
Infringing upon the Second
Amendment rights of the honest

then the precedent will have been
set, even for the Daily. "Excuse
me, Mr. Witt, we will have to
have a peek into your files. The
First Amendment? Sorry, we
scrapned that back in the 1980s.

For some reason this seems to
be an attitude held in little favor.
To tell someone "Look, we know
you have problems, but that was
no reason to go up on the roof.
You'll have to pay the price now"

Ami

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