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October 26, 1982 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-10-26

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OPINION

The Michigan Daily,
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Tuesday, October 26, 1982

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E e a et udetianigan
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Wasserman

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ACCET 1t TIANTATNUCL.E4Z WA

1\6G1T INDWCOULDP E CI-WTHA

Vol. XCIII, No. 41

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Active harassment

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NEVER MIND that a White House
study group issued a report last
week which said there was no need for a
military draft in the forseeable future.
The Reagan administration is sticking
to its program of "passive enfor-
cement" in an attempt to get more
young men to registe'r for the draft.
A more precise term for the program
would be "active harassment"; under
it, the government has prosecuted a
number of men for failing to comply
with the Selective Service's
registration dictate. And every single
man has been a vocal opponent to the
registration.
The government's intentions are
clears: By throwing the ringleaders of
the anti-registration movement in jail,
the government hopes to scare the
hundreds of thousands of less vocal
nonregistrants into submission.
Although hardly original (the Tsars
used the same logic for generations-
see where it got them), it's not a bad
solution to the administration's
problem. It's relatively cheap
(prosecutors are, after all, less expen-
sive than the hordes of police that
would be needed to corral all the
nonregistrants); it's quick (can you
think- of the years it would take the
courts to get through all of the 500,000
or so nonregistration cases?); and it's
feasible (the number of nonregistrants
remains about 20 times the capacity of
the federal prison system). There's
only one little problem with the
program: It isn't exactly legal.
Imagine that-and from the Reagan

administration, the very embodiment
of law and order. This week, in fact,
lawyers for a California nonregistrant
may succeed in getting a judge to slap
a big, fat contempt charge on the
Justice Department for refusing to ex-
plain exactly how it has chosen which
registration cases to prosecute.
The defense in the case presented a
letter from a Justice Department fun-
ctionary who wrote that "the chance
that a quiet nonregistrant will be
prosecuted is probably about the same
as the chance that he will be struck by
lightning."
Enticed by that tidbit, the judge in
the case asked for more information
from the administration. The ad-
ministration lawyers were no fools.
Faced with the knowledge that several
cases of selective prosecutions were
dismissed during the Vietnam War and
that a complete disclosure of infor-
mation could weaken their case, the
administration quickly dashed behind
the shield of executive privilege and
refused to cooperate with the judge.
The administration, ironically, is
trying to keep the whole matter as
quiet as some of the nonregistrants.
But the message comes through loud
and clear. No matter what the findings
of "high-level" White House commit-
tees, somebody in the administration
seems enamoured with the idea of a
draft. No matter what legal difficulties
are involved, the administration wants
to remain ready and able to impose a
needless and brutal military conscrip-
tion.

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Antiquated views on military research...

To the Daily:
It is terrifying to
Peter Ford ("Fa
Protesting military
Daily, Oct. 20) hast
by the engineering co
its representativ
Michigan Student A
tenders antiquated i

learn that
1l fashion:
research,"
been chosen
)mmunity as
e to the
ssembly. He
deologies of

nuclear weapons technology
which aim at conventionalizing
nuclear warfare. Nor is Mr. Ford
aware of the dilemmas of nuclear
proliferation, or the obscene
levels of spending on weapons,
which have surpassed one million
dollars per minute.
Is this squandering of world
ie"t rFord con-
"ciders ta-'fruitful' investment in
consumer products and spin-off
technologies? One wonders
whether Mr. Ford would enjoy a
game of tennis with his "light-
weight tennis racket" on a court
of molten asphalt, breathing air

inflamed with radiation, against
a bright red, glowering sky, in a
leveled city barren of life. Can
these paltry returns be recon-
ciled with the potential destruc-
tion of the world?
The most troubling aspect of
Mr. Ford's argument is that his
values emanate from technology,
rather than the other way
around. Technology is the be-all
and end-all of his world view: He
has discarded humanism for a
mindless life of consumption.
Mr. Ford's ignorant,
nationalistic, repulsively
moralistic, and holier-than-thou

Ballots and bullets

A FTER CENTURIES of unrest in
Ireland and a decade of British
troops on Irish soil, London should
know better by now. No easy answers
to Ireland's problems exist.
But last week, Britain displayed,
stunning ignorance when it put its faith
in an easy answer. The British pinned
their hopes on Northern Ireland's
assembly elections, touting them as
the first step in a return to.self-rule.
Then the results came in.
Those winning seats agreed
wholeheartedly on only one issue-
their refusal to tolerate each other.
Catholic moderates vowed to boycott
the assembly altogether. Their respon-
se really didn't matter-the Protestant
majority already had vowed not to
share power with the Catholics. To put
a capper on the dismal election after-
math, the IRA made significant gains.
Sinn Fein, the IRA's political organ,
picked up several seats, an important
psychological victory. The Sinn Fein
vote, besides being symbolic, served
another purpose-it cut deeply into
support for the moderate, peace-
seeking Catholic parties.

So London expressed dismay that its
rosy plans for the elections went up in
smoke. The stage is now set for Britain
to throw its hands up in despair and
conveniently ignore Northern Ireland
until the next set of assembly elections.
Britain has neatly set its own
unrealizable standards for returning to
self-rule anyway. It has vowed not to
withdraw from Ulster until the assem-
bly becomes truly representative. With
an assembly made up of parties who
cannot even agree to work together,
that standard has little chance of ever
being met.
London can ill afford to keep its
delusions. "It was clear even before
the election that the assembly was
dead," said one Catholic, leader. He
might have added that the assembly is
as dead as Britain's chances of getting
out of Ireland through blind ignorance.
If the British expect to find peace
through elections, they need look no
further than at the party slogans. They
surely won't find peace in an election
like last week's, where one group ran
under the chilling cry, "A ballot in one
hand and a gun in the other."

deterrence and parochial
patriotism without eyen doing"
them justice.
His positions on deterrence are
self-negating. He preaches
capability for nuclear war
without intention, and then says
that "civilian leaders must
possess the willingness to use
that force, should an aggressor
initiate conflict." This argument
is naive and devoid of peaceful
foundations.
Like President Reagan and
others of his ilk, Mr. Ford is
ignorant of the immense dangers
that nuclear weapons present us
for the future on this planet. He
does not address recent trends in
Ratify
To the Daily:
The Sept. 30 GEO meeting on
the proposed contract was a
sham dominated by special in-
terest shouters, research
assistants who legally are no
longer participants in contract
ratifications,andtgroup leaders
deliberately avoiding inden-
tification. Only with effort was
the contract not aborted right
then and there without consulting
the membership at large.
So now the contract goes to a
vote-and most teaching
assistants and staff assistants
have little memory or history
available. Several points should
be kept in mind:
" This is not a referendum on
particular issues, such as gay
rights, affirmative action, or
class size.
" This is not a vote on whether
RAs are covered by the contract.
The Michigan Labor Relations
Board already has decided that
they are not-which, ironically,
goes against the University's
preference.
e A rejection of the contract
will not decertify GEO as the
bargaining union. That can only
be done by TAs and SAs in a
properly organized decer-
tification election. It is idle to
speculate whether the University
would or would not welcome self-
destruction by GEO, but you
might check with former AFSC-
ME members.

attitudes about paper writing,
student government spn-
ding-and his perversely
"Christian" arguments declaring
the admissability of violen
ce-are absurd.
"I can think of nothing else;"
champions Mr. Ford. This 'is
precisely the danger of his redu-
tionist neo-conservative vision. If
such be the product of his
thought, he should stop thinking
altogether.
-Joseph Stern,
Marc Grandsaid
October 2

... do 'not deserve attention.. .

To the Daily:
Peter Ford is evidently
ignorant of the issues surroun-
ding opposition to military
research. In his Oct. 20 commen-
tary he argues against condem-
nation of all forms of this resear-
ch at the University, when no
such blatant "condemnation" has
been made. The students and
faculty of this campus who have
questioned research policies
have done so on the following
grounds:
The present boom in defense
department-sponsored research
projects at the University in-
cludes many with specific
military applications. This is in
violation of current Regents'
guidelines prohibiting research,
"any purpose of which is the
destruction of human life."
" The tooling of the University
into a research center capable of
attracting more Pentagon dollars
requires taking money from
academic departments and
channeling it into military and
technological research. "The
priorities (of the University of
Michigan) have already been
shifted," according to Vice
President for Academic Affairs
Billy Frye. We do not object to
the presence of technological
research on this campus as Ford
contends; we object when
technology becomes the entire
focus of our education, at the ex-
pense of quality in other depar-
tments. This has happened.
" It is no coincidence that the
redirection of the University
comes at a time of redirection of
the United States toward a policy
of first-strike weapons develop-
ment, and increased economic
and military support for police
states overseas. The shift in
United States policy entails the
development and deployment of
lethal, more "effective"

for Non-Violent Research, who
were among the earliest critics.
Ford's contention that the United
States' foreign policy is un-
falteringly one of deterrence
ignores such recent historical
events as the bombing of Cam-
bodia, the Bay of Pigs invasion.
CIA-engineered coups in
Brazil, Chile, and Guatemala,
and the UnitedStates' current
"advisory" capacity in El
Salvador. One of the research
projects now going on at the
University is directly applicable to
development of the stealth bom-
ber, a nuclear first-strike weapon
... except fro
To the Daily;
Way to go! It's nice to see some
red-blooded American like Peter
Ford stand up and defend the
U.S. of A.'s military research at
Michigan.
You're darn right that world
peace depends on our doing
researchhere.dLike you say, if
those Commies get one more
bomb than us, there's no way
around "armed conflict." And
what about Chaos? Who wants
the world to be run by those guys
in black on "Get Smart"?
It's also nice you remembered
that military research gives us a
lot better stuff to buy, like my
Atari "Planet-Blaster" and those
light-weight tennis rackets.
Heck, that nifty contraption not
only improved my Aunt Edna's
backhand, it's helping those
private companies get rich. And
that's why our economy is in such
great shape today.
I'm with you one hundred and
ten percent that technology
makes you feel more human, too.
Darned if I don't just get tingly
all over when I get to show folks
back home a personalized Univer-

which could hardly be intended to
"deter" any red menace.
The claim, in Ford's article,
that dying for one's country is the
height of Christianity is the most
ridiculous andnarrow-minde,
statement I have read in the
Daily recently.
Ford's arguments are not the
result of a studied review of
history, but rather are dry
restatements of Cold War
rhetoric. As such they do ntt
deserve our attention.yd
-Mark DuCharme
October 2$
m real men
all that technology gives me free
time to do human things-likp
playing with my "Planet-
Blaster" or watching "Dukes of
Hazzard" on the tube.
As for what you think abodt
that Bret Eynon guy's study on
military research here, we thin
alike. I never trusted anything
under 22 pages either-like those
whaddya' call Ten Comman-
dments. Anyway, my' last
National Enquirer had over 40
pages-and it had pictures.
Finally, on that clincher of
yours, I can't think of anything
better than dying for the Stars
and Stripes either. Too bad real
men like you and me missed out
on the Vietnam war (I woulda
gone, but I wasn't old enough.*
Honest.).
But cheer up. Maybe us two can
get together in El Salvador and
shoot up some of those Ruskies. If
we're lucky, we might even be
able to do it with some weapons
made at our very own university.
Makes ya feel kind of proud,
doesn't it?
-Jon Weiss.
October 21

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