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February 10, 1983 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-02-10

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I

OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, February 10, 1983

The Michigan Daily

Resisting the draft registration system

By Tahree Lane
The swirl of controversy around draft
registration swept into Michigan last
week when a 21 year-old Hope College
student was arraigned on charges of
failing to register for the draft. Daniel
Rutt is one of 14 men singled out by the
federal government for not registering
because of his outspoken opposition to
draft registration.
Rutt's trial brings to Michigan many
questions about the draft registration,
including how the justice department
has chosen to prosecute non-registrants
and whether the process is needed at
all.
Rutt believes draft registration
"works contrary to God's purpose.''
His attorney charges that because Rutt
and the 13 men indicted in other states
were outspoken opponents Hof
registration, they were targeted for
prosecution.
THE government is sending a
message to draft-age men: There will
be only a few "sacrificial lambs" who
will be punished primarily for being
outspoken about their refusal to
register. But the government is run-

ning a risk of creating broad public
support for these "crusaders." Church
congregations, many of which have
already gone on record opposing draft
registration, may take tougher stands
against registration.
Federal judges around the country
are unsure about how to deal with these
protestors. Thus far, some of the 14
men have been sentenced to prison;
some to two years' alternative service
work. In one case, a federal judge
altered an indictment against an Iowa
man, saying he did not have a con-
tinuous duty to register after a one-
week sign-up period expired in 1980.
The government is appealing this
ruling.
Rutt's attorneys say they will follow
the arguments that, were presented in
defense of a California non-registrant.
That case was dismissed when the
government refused to surrender
documents that defense attorneys said
would prove the Department of Justice
was pursuing selective prosecution of
non-registrants.
ANOTHER MORE fundamental
problem is present for those like Rutt.
A built-in Catch-22 exists for the in-

'(Rutt's) attorney charges that because
Rutt and the 13 men indicted in
other states were outspoken opponents of
registration, they were targeted
for prosecution.'

dividual who believes any war-related
activity is wrong. If he registers, he
has violated the very foundation of his
beliefs. If he follows his conscience, he
risks punishment that he may have
likely avoided completely if there ac-
tually was a draft and subsequently, an
appeals board.
There is also reason to abolish the
registration system altogether. The
Selective Service draft registration
process had been in "deep stand-by"
status since 1975 when President Ford
suspended , peacetime draft
registration, largely because of the
Vietnam anti-war backlash, but also to

save money. Also, the all-volunteer,
army had been in existence for two
years and was thought capable of
meeting current American defense
needs.
Between 1975 and 1980, the National
Selective Service System atrophied. Its
staff had shrunk from 7,000 employees
to 250. Registration was re-established
by President Carter in 1980, in part as a
show of strength to the Russians on the
heels of the Soviet invasion of
Afghanistan. Also, by that time,
military experts were concerned that
the caliber of volunteer recruits had
dropped.

BUT TIMES have changed. The
conditions which precipitated the re-
establishment of draft registration are
no longer cause for alarm. Relations
with the SovietAUnionare not as chilled
as in 1980. And hard times and a
paucity of jobs have created a situation
where recruits are more intelligent and
more highly motivated than in the
previous decade.
In 1979, for instance, more than 50
percent of new enlistees scored below
average in reading and arithmetic
comprehension and aptitude on Army
entrance exams. In 1982, less than 19
percent of the scores were below
average. A few years ago, only about
one in three Army recruits was making
it through training to become a soldier,
according to Pentagon officials. Now,
four out of five make it.
And, far fewer but more technically
trained military personnel are needed
to fight modern wars, including the
"sustained, winnable nuclear war"
which the Reagan administration is
said to regard as feasible.
Selective Service officials claim that
a registration process in operation
could save four to five weeks of induc-
tion lag time in the event of a national

emergency. That point is reasonable
the United States were to become ii%-'
volved in a traditionally fought conflic;
But the very idea of large numbersZf
young men going off to fight the war 1n
the nuclear-computer age seems al
tiquated, at least technologically if n~,
unfortunately, philosophically.
A formal process of registration fet
the draft is not the only way infoi-
mation could be gathered on dra .
eligible men. Perhaps the Selectile
Service could be granted authority, 4s
the justice department has been, :o
have access to Social Security Ad-
ministration or Internal Revenue Ser-
vice records, and compile com-
puterized lists of draft registration-age
men. These lists could then be
available to the armed services in the
event of a national emergency.
This arrangement would enable the
government to eliminate a draft
registration system that functions un-
fairly and ineffectively.
In any event, Congress would be wise
to eliminate funding for registration.
Lane is a graduate student ©f
journalism.

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCIII, No. 108 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Answers for a massacre

Wasserman

&00tTo s "YOU
1N F ~ow -TE ~c Avh
MR P SD T tAIeS DI&Ie

"The main purpose of the
inquiry was to bring to light all
the important facts relating to thet
perpetration of the atrocities; it
therefore has importance from
the perspective of Israel's moral
fortitude and its functioning as a
democratic state that scrupulous-
ly maintains the fundament-
al principles of the civilized
world."
So read the report of the Israeli
commission that investigated the
country's role in the massacre at the
Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps in
Beirut last September. After an
exhaustive study - which included
hearing testimony from 49 witnesses,
questioning 160 others, and examining
nearly 12,000 documents - the com-
mittee made some solid recomme4-
dations for those whom they found to
be "indirectly responsible" for the
massacre. If implemented, these
recommendations would be the small
step toward easing tensions in
Lebanon.
As the panel suggested, Defense
Minister Ariel Sharon should resign or
be fired. He should have foreseen that
the slaughter would occur if Christian
Phalangists were allowed into the two
refugee camps. the committee placed
the blame for Israel's role in the
massacre largely on Sharon's

shoulders.
Sharon's resignation or ouster could
only serve to make the world know that
the Israelis do in fact see their
culpability in the senseless carnage of
Sabra and Chatilla. But more impor-
tantly, it would knock off the razor's
edge of Israel's hardline policies in
Lebanon. Prime Minister Menachem
Begin would be less apt and less able to
thwart the essential compromise
necessary to bring a more lasting
peace to Lebanon.
Although the committee recommen-
ded little action against most of the
other main figures in the controversy,
among them Begin, Foreign Minister
Yitzhak Shamir, and General Rafael
Eytan, it also blamed them. they were
responsible for stopping the massacre
immediately after they found out about
it.
The 108-page report is a thorough,
painful examination of the events
surrounding the massacre. It goes a
long way toward healing Israel's
wounds. The panel has made a com-
mendable appraisal of the country's
role in the massacre.
Israel's leaders should now show the
rest of the world that they, too, are
capable of maintaining the fundamen-
tal principles of the civilized world by
acting on the panel's recommen-
dations.

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11

WEST BERLIN-Last year
some 30,000 of this city's 120,000
Turkish residents were eligible
for West German citizenship.
Exactly 50 applied.
"Ask the Turks here if they
want to go home, and 90 percent
of us will say, 'Yes,' " says Gazi
Kilic, who emigrated to Berlin
from a small Anatolian village 14
years ago.
Embraced in these figures and
sentiments is a growing hostility
toward German life among this
country's 4.7 million immigran-
ts-a hostility that many Ger-
mans cannot understand. "What
puzzles me about' their unhap-
piness is that our guest workers
have some of the best wages and
benefits in the world," remarked
on Berlin official.
AT THE BOTTOM of Europe's
"crisis of the immigrant,"
however, lies something more
than economic issues. Its im-
plications should be closely read
by Americans debating our own
national policy toward im-
migrants.
In effect, immigrants here are
being asked to accept the
ultimate terms of the classic
American "melting pot"-total
assimilation. But they often are
deprived of the traditional old-
world supports that helped
generations of American im-
migrants survive the
assimilation ordeal. Instead of
accelerating integration, say
immigration experts, this
aproach almost certainly is im-
peding it.
"Germans seem ready to ac-
cept foreigners as neighbors only

Europe 's
struggling
melting pot
By Frank Viviano

unlike guest workers they are not
allowed to bring their familiesin
to Germany. "Business is very
good," said Ekven. "But how;
long can I stay alone in Berlin;
when my wife and sons are: Kin,
Istanbul?"
The dilemmas evident -ins
Kreutzberg are by no means-
limited to Germany. While
France has had much longer ex-
perience with immigration, a
massive influx of North Africans
in the past two decades has led to
a hardening of French attitudes,
even in tolerant Paris. And
French law, like German law,
prohibits most recent
newcomeers from entering
private business.

Berlin Wall near Checkpoint
Charlie.
With 40,000 Turkish and
Yugoslav residents, it houses
Germany's most dense concen-
tration for foreigners, but Kreut-
zberg offers few of the exotic
street scenes that were once
synonymous with immigrant life.
Indeed, it seems less an im-
migrant ghetto than a cultural
desert-neither German nor
Turk nor Yugoslav. While dozens
of stores which once served a
predominantly German clientele
have been moved out with their
old customers, virtually no im-
migrant enterprises have moved
in.
The vast majority of im-
migrants, in fact, are prohibited
from doing so. Their passports
specifically exclude the legal
"right of establishment"
necessary to open a private
business.
"THE GENERAL OPINION
among Germans is that we asked
for and needed workers, not en-
trepreneurs," explained Barbara

S

United States today-the ideal of
diversity is under severe attack.
"The German population is not
well-prepared for a mujlti-
cultural society," John said.
The victims of this clash bet-
ween official German support
for cultural pluralism, and a bias
against it in law and mass
opinion, are clearly the im-
migrants themselves. Yet
despite their deep resentment,
most cannot afford to return to
Turkey or Yugoslavia, where
current economic conditions
make West Germany's 8.6 unem-
ployment rate seem in-
significant. Kreutzberg's empty
streets and shuttered stores thus
reflect a cultural limbo in which
foreign residents are effectively
trapped.
WHILE THE German gover-
nment has slowly grown more
sensitive to these cultural sour-
ces of immigrant hostility, the
few steps taken to improve mat-
ters have been contradictory half
measures.
A case in point is that of Selami
.N.£f nn~n tr

PARADOXICALLY, im-
migrants who arrived in Europe
under the worst of circumstances
are in some instances experien-
cing the smoothest cultural tran-
sition: Those admitted under
refugee status are normally
guaranteed the same privileges
as citizens, including the "right
of establishment."
"The final irony may be that
these people are assimilated far
more readily in the end," accor-
ding to the OECD's Aveling.
That test already is a dismal
failure, in the opinion of Recep
Kayaalp, 21, who plans to leave
Berlin for Turkey soon despite
the economic hazards. ' "Ten
years ago our different ways
didn't bother people here. They
greeted us at the airports with
bands and 'Welcome to Ger-
manv cianc hprntlp thpv nppnO~n*I pti ~~AAda]

. ' i

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