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October 20, 1982 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-10-20

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, October 20, 1982-

The Michigan Daily

Fall fashion:

Protesting

military research

(I

- By Peter Ford
The fall fashions have come to the University
of Michigan. Once again, it is vogue to con-
demn all forms of military research on our
campus.
Yet as I listen to these students and other
concerned persons voice their fears. I detect
oie similar concept in all their arguments:
ignorance. Those protesting military research
at the University do not seem to have a general
,nderstanding of U.S. military policy or
.trategy. They do not-or cannot-perceive the
relationship between high-technology research
-and the nature and objectives of our military
,frces. But before they can argue this issue,
.they must have a better understanding of all
.the implications of military research in order
to arrive at intelligent, rational conclusions.
* THE PRIMARY purpose of all U.S. military
forces is deterrence. This simply involves
,4eterring any potential adversary from
.initiating armed conflict. History (through
such events as the Cuban missle crisis and the
Berlin blockade) proves we should possess a
force with the capability (not to be confused
with intention) to successfully engage a poten-
tial aggressor on any level of conflict, should
deterrence fail. History also indicates that
civilian leaders must possess the willingness to
use that force, should an aggressor initiate con-
flict.
Unfortunately, maintaining a credible level

of deterrence is quite difficult. Once an adver-
sary gains any edge in technolocy, develop-
ment, or deployment of a weapons system, it is
very easy for them to translate that gain into a
more aggressive and expansionist foreign
policy. The consequences of such shifts in
power relationships are quite frightening:
world instability, economic chaos, internal
discontent, and-worst of all-armed conflict.
It is these consequences which fuel the
military's legitimate interest in high-
technology research.
In our society, most private corporations are
driven by profit, not necessarily by the needs of
our people or country. They are not always
willing to conduct basic, high-technology
research, unless there is immediate profit
potential.
YET THE military, in its need to maintain a
capable level of deterrence, is more willing to
invest into "bold new horizons" of technology.
That is why a sizeable portion of high-
technology research is partly funded by the
military, or has some military applications.
Since almost half of basic research is conduc-
ted on college campuses, it is only logical that
some of this research be conducted at a quality
university such as ours. Being approached to
perform any research is a compliment to a
university, not an evil.
The opponents of military research on cam-
pus reveal their ignorance when they suggest
that such research has no benefit to society.
Once the military has proven these new

example) was partly funded through military
research. Most importantly, new technologies
developed for the military free man from per-
forming menial, repetitous tasks, and allow us.
to pursue those activities and ideals which
truly make us human.
These are but a few of the many positive
aspects of military research, and these alone
far outweigh whatever negative ones exist. As
a member of the Michigan Student Assembly, I
have read Bret Eynon's report on military
research on our campus. For someone who
supposedly did so much work, it is surprising
how his report a) was only 22 pages in length,
b) did not find any violations in the University's
research policy (which is itself vague), and c)
was composed mostly of quotes from books and
pamphlets. Personally, I have submitted lab
reports (Aero 301) which were longer than 22
pages; not only were they due in two weeks (as
opposed to a year), but I did not get paid for it
with your MSA dollars. This year, the assembly
voted to spend an additional $2,100 of the
students' money to do the same thing.
Finally, there are those who declare military
research as immoral and unethical. Is there
anything more moral, ethical, or Christian
than sacrificing your time, energy, or possibly
your life to defend your country and those you
love?
I can think of nothing else.
Ford is a senior in aerospace engineering
and a member of the Michigan Student
Assembly.

Protesting military research: Is ignprance the common theme?

avenues of technology sound and workable,
private firms then apply this technology
towards the production of consumer goods and
services. These private firms enrich society by
providing new consumer goods, and they

enrich themselves by generating profits.
THE INITIAL technology behind high-speed
calculators, home computers, quieter, fuel-
efficient jet engines, and lightweight composite
materials (in lightweight tennis racquets, for

_ -------- __ ................

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Stewart

i
E

Vol. XCIII, No. 36

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Consistently convoluted

YOU'VE HEARD the one about the
dog biting the hand that feeds?
Well, here's Reagan's newest twist on
that old saying-the United States is
ready to feed the hand it bites.
The president has been snarling and
growling.all year when it comes to put-
ting trade sanctions on the Soviets for
interference in Poland and to
chastising Europeans for working on
the pipeline. But although ferocious on
technological trade, the president is
pulling in his claws on agricultural
trade. He's offered, in fact, to sell the
Russians all the grain they want, and
he's promised not to renege on the deal
for at least six months.
Is this hope that the president has
made a new ideological commitment
to the principles of free trade? Hardly.
Meagan's move is a political expedien-
ry-a few grain sales equal a few farm
votes. The promise not to back out on
the grain deal applies only to sales
made through November-the magical
month when ballot boxes are in bloom.
ZBut Reagan is doing much more with

the grain sale than a little politicking.
He is simultaneously adding fresh con-
fusion to an already contradictory
policy on trade and weakening
relations with the Western alliance.
Europeans have rightly griped that
while the administration harshly
demands European cooperation on
trade sanctions, U.S. policy has no
teeth when American profits are on the
line. This double standard has been
particularly insulting to the
Europeans, and thus particularly ef-
ficient at making Western relations
deteriorate.
Show a little consistency, European
allies demand; stop hypocritically
harping on the pipeline and go ahead
and sell your damn grain. Reagan,
however, already has been consistent.
He has consistently made trade policy
subservient to political goals, con-
voluted and corrupted trade policy,
and pushed , Europe w toward
alienation-an astoundingly good job
of bungling a major area of foreign
policy.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
The Daily: Voice of the apathetic

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_ - -

To the Daily:
As one of the numerous ac-
tivists on this campus, I was ap-
palled at your coverage of last
Thursday's events surrounding
the Regents' meeting, as well as
your general coverage of ac-
tivism on this campus.
Activism isn't dead, but the
Daily seems to wish it were. Why
is it that the Daily said "the
students lost their first battle,"
concerning the "disappointingly
small ... crowd" at the rally, but
The Ann Arbor News mentions
"the presence of large numbers
of students" which forced the
Regents to move their meeting.
The Daily failed to mention
that 25 percent of the people at
the public comments time stayed
afterwards for a meeting about
what to do next. A reporter was
Disbano
To the Daily:
In the story about graduate
student apathy to Rackham
Student Government elections
(Daily, Oct. 14), Gene Goldfield
was quoted as saying he didn't
vote "because the administration
..- - __,L.. 4_..F l-1,

there-but this important follow-
up was ignored.
Since this meeting, students
are acting around the issues
raised. This meeting was far
more important than the public
comments.
Things are being done, studen-
ts will have their say. Why does
the Daily continually downplay
the extent of student involvement
in campus politics?
The Daily should be en-
couraging students to participate
in the processes that affect their
lives, not make them pessimistic
and apathetic about campus
issues. Just because there aren't
rallies the size of the ones in the
sixties (when Tom Hayden was
editor of the Daily) does not
mean issues are not being
seriously and extensively ad-
!RSG
This year's election proves
again that the Rackham Student
Government is a sham and
should be disbanded. Graduate
students at the University ap-
parently do not need advocates
with the graduate, school ad-
ministration or with the housing

dressed. The Daily seems to feel
that students are so conservative
that the editors should cater to
the views of the University ad-
ministration.
Many students get their im-
pressions of University activities
through your paper. It is impor-
tant that you encourage student
participation.
Also, as a member of the
Senate Assembly Research
Policies Committee looking into
military research, I must say
your joking about defense depar-
tment sponsored research in your
editorial on Sunday was totally
inexcusable. Designing weapons

systems is no laughing matter.
This research does exist, and if
the Daily feels the people looking
into this issue aren't presenting
the Daily with enough printable
material, maybe the Daily should
do some of its own work. Stop un-
dermining the work of those of us
who are working hard to make
this campus a better place with
your irresponsible journalism.
You should be a voice of the con-
cerned students, but instead you
are a voice for the apathetic that
are sitting by and letting this
University go to hell.
-Tom Marx
October 18

i
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PIR GIMplan-unfair

III
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a
7
1

To the Daily:
Complaints are often sounded
about the role of special interest
groups in government. It is said
that many levels of American
government are subject to the in-
fluence of powerful lobbies.
Our Michigan Student Assem-
bly is no exception. PIRGIM has
succeeded in convincing the MSA
to approve a plan whereby
students will be charged $2 per
term on their hill sto ,mnr.

interest group, should have the
exclusive right to appear on the
student verification form (SVF)
at all? This gives PIRGIM an un-
fair advantage over the othet
organizations which are also
struggling to obtain funds.
If PIRGIM can get its
refusable-refundable funding
plan approved, can any other
group claim the right to use the
University billing system for
fund raising?

7- ,1 S'} 4-

I A III ~U\ \

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