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October 07, 1982 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-10-07

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, October 7, 1982
Sinclair

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Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

The Michigan Dai1X
TT -REACTAN THEOLL-Y.
A MICjHTY FORTIES5
OUR GOD.

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Vol. XCIII, No. 25

420 Maynara St.
Ann Arbor, M' 48109

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

Food f
T HAS become fashionable, especially
within the ranks of the Reagan ad-
riinistration, to speak of food as a
weapon. Last week, a study was
leased which goes far to proving just
ie opposite - that food can be a tool
tr peace.
t Despite the resumption of grain
les to the Soviet Union by the Reagan
ministration, Washington officials
ntinue to suggest that restrictions on
ade - especially in food - is a
able, potent weapon in the Cold War.
They argue that by restricting sales of
g-ain to the Soviets, the United States
cn so erode the Soviet standard of
ling that they will be forced to submit
our wishes.
The idea is unworkable. If im-
lemented, such a plan would only ser-.
, to hurt American farmers by
ducing their market and weakening
teir credibility as a reliable source of
4jod. The damage to the Soviets would
negligible at most, since last year
American grain accounted for about
4te-third of what the Soviets imported.
's entirely possible that the U.S.S.R.
quld replace the U.S. grain with grain
i~om other countries at only slightly
A better
N A REGION where brutal authori-
tarian rule is the norm rather than
the exception, democracy has won a
s ll vietory. The..people o fBlivia,
o4p, of ,..atin America " smost im-y
poerished countries, have again won
the right to popular government.
Two years ago, Bo ivians elected,
through their Congress, a popular
political leader, Hernan Siles Zuazo, as
their president. But the country's
military leaders, afraid that Siles
Ziazo might notallow them free reign
in their control of Bolivia's enormous
drug trade, took control in a violent
coup before he could take office in La
Paz.
-Recently, however, two years and
tljree military dictators later, the
cirrupt junta has come under in-
creasing public pressure to step down.
Under its leadership, Bolivia's foreign
debt has soared, essential food has
become increasingly scarce, and con-
sqmer prices have skyrocketed by 200
percent.

r peace

increased cost.
But a recent study by the Worldwat-
ch Institute goes beyond condemning
as unfeasible the notion of "food as a
weapon." It says that Soviet depen-
dence on American farm products
could lessen tensions between the
nations or even serve as an additional
deterrent against Soviet nuclear attack.
The institute report says the Soviet
Union's chronic short-falls in
agricultural production cannot be
eliminated without radically altering
the Soviet farm economy. The current
leadership in the Soviet Union is un-
willing and unable to make those
changes, the report argues, so the
American grain sales actually serve to
improve relations between the two
governments.
The report makes a valid point.
There are arguments - apart from
those based on practical or
humanitarian grounds - which speak
against the notion of using restrictions
on food exports as a tool in diplomacy.
Such a notion ignores the tremendous
potential for peace from unrestricted
trade.

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Bolivia
Bolivia's only remarkable
achievement is that its military
regime has actually yielded to growing
popular pressure and agreed to' turn
over the ; government to civilian
leadership.,
That new government will almost
certainly be headed up by Siles Zuazo,
who, after two years in exile in Chile,
still has the support of almost all of
Bolivia's unions, political parties, and
people.
Siles Zuazo certainly will face
tremendous challenges when he accep-
ts the challenge of pulling Bolivia out
of record poverty. Sadly, some of the
extreme leftist policies he is sure to
enact may not be the wisest course for
a disunified and desperately poor
people. But the fact that rightist
military rule has surrendered to the
demands for popular government is a
significant triumph in Latin America.
And the only hope for a solution to
Bolivia's many problems can come
through democratic means.

By Samuel Day
The government of South Africa will deny
it, but in a safe, secure and secret place
somewhere within its borders, a small supply
of atomic bombs-probably no more thanhalf
a dozen-has been laid away for use if
necessary in the final defense of apartheid.
The bombs are fueled with uranium
enriched in utmost secrecy in a factory built
near Pretoria in the early 1970s for the osten-
sible purpose of serving South Africa's
peaceful nuclear programs.
THEY WERE fabricated outside Cape
Town in the proving grounds of a company
called African Explosives and Chemical In-
dustries, Ltd., the world's largest and most
sophisticated manufacturer of conventional
high explosives. An early prototype of the
bomb was successfully tested in the predawn
hours Sept. 22, 1979, by scientists aboard a
flotilla of South African naval vessels in the
South Atlantic.
The purpose of the atomic stockpile is to
deter South Africa's neighboring black-ruled
states-chiefly Angola, Zimbabwe and
Mozambique-from going too far in support
of the increasingly serious internal struggle
to overturn white minority rule at the
southern tip of Africa.
Although this picture may differ from
reality in a few details, there can be little
doubt about the essentials of South Africa's
nuclear weapons program, or about its inten-
tions.
FOR 50 DAYS this summer I roamed the
length and breadth of South Africa, visiting
nuclear facilities, interviewing people in a
position to know, and talking with scores of
South Africans about whether and why their
government would risk triggering a nuclear
holocaust. The picture that materialized
merely added to the weight of evidence
regarding an "Afrikaner Bomb" that has
been accumulating since August 1977, when
South Africa was caught red-handed
preparing a nuclear weapons test in the
Kalahari Desert.
Pretoria then was forced to call off the test
by diplomatic pressure from the United
States and other major powers.
What the evidence dramatizes is the
emergence of a frightening new phenomenon
of the nuclear age: the clandestine
proliferator.
FOR THE first three decades of the nuclear
arms race, beginning with the bombing of
Hiroshima Aug. 6, 1945, the entrance of each
new nation into the nuclear club was a highly
public event, marked with awe and trembling
by others, like some monstrous "rite of
passage" to superstatehood. First came the
United States, then the Soviet Union, Britain,
China, and France.
Cut conditionscchanged after May 1974,
when the explosion of a "nuclear device" by
India demonstrated that club membership

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was attainable by even the poorest of Third
World countries.
The sudden realization that the bomb might
eventually turn up anywhere and everywhere
gave "nuclear proliferation" a bad name and
stimulated international efforts to contain it.
NEVERTHELESS, today Israel is almost
universally believed to have secretly built a
supply of nuclear weapons for use in an
emergency. Pakistan is known to be well
along toward its first atomic bomb. Taiwan
and South Korea are said to be next in line,
with Argentina and Brazil not far behind.
Since 1974, no nation has openly joined the
nuclear weapons club, however, even though
the spreading technology for peaceful nuclear
programs (especially uranium enrichment
and plutonium production)ihas put bom-
bmaking capability in the hands of an ever-
growing number. The difference now is that
bombmaking has gone underground. Club
membership has become clandestine.
Indeed, that's the way South Africa likes it.
By creating, the impression that it has built an
atomic bomb and is prepared to use it,
Pretoria achieves the desired effect of
deterring its neighbors from support for the
African National Congress, the leading
political resistance group in South Africa. A
threat to drop atomic bombs on the capitals of
the front-line states would have to be taken
seriously.
AT THE same time, by keeping its nuclear
weapons under wraps, South Africa protects
its already tarnished political image from

further ravages and preserves external
economic ties-particularly those with the-'
United States and Western Europe-that help
sustain the system of white minority rule.
Moreover, that is the way the present,
openly known club members also like itr
Doubtrand confusion about South Africa's
nuclear weapons status permit the United' y
States and other nuclear weapons powers to
keep their comfortable illusion that
proliferation is under control. So long as the
clandestine proliferators remain discreet, the
failure of anti-proliferation policies need not
be acknowledged.

IN FACT, as nuclear suppliers we have con-
tributed to the spread of the bomb. We also
have contributed by setting an example as the
world's foremost producer of nuclear
weapons-its foremost practitioner of the
diplomacy of nuclear deterrence.
Americans may well worry about the
growing problem of worldwide nuclear
weapons proliferation. But we are not likely
to be able to do much about it -until we have
faced up to the problem of our own nuclear
weapons excesses.
"Who are you to point the finger at us?" I
was asked many times in South Africa. It was
a question for which I had no adequate an-
swer.
Day spent his childhood in South
Africa. He wrote this article for Pacific
News Service.

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