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January 14, 1983 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-01-14

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The Michigan Daily

Friday, January 14, 1983

Page 5

Keeping faith with Jimmy


By George Golubo vskis
IN 1976, WHEN Jimmy Carter was
running for President, he presented
0 himself'with the motto, "Why not the
best?" Carter's memoirs Keeping
Faith-Memoirs of a President, reflect
that motto, but the reader will find
some parts superficial and ask, "Why
not the rest?"
Carter's examination of his ad-
ministration's personalities are quite
short-sometimes fleeting, othertimes
directly on target. His chief-of-staff,
Hamilton Jordan, is described as
more seriously misunderstood and
underestimated by the press and public
than anyone else who worked in my
administration." Why Carter doesn't
say. I guess to find out you'll have to
buy Jordan's book.
On the other, hadd, the National
Security Advisor, Zbignew Brzezinski
("the most controversial member of
my team"), is described extremely
well, especially concerning his disputes
with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance.
(Ironically, Vance recommended Br-
zezinski and Brzezinski recommended
Vance when Carter was choosing his
foreign policy advisors.) "Next to
members of my family," Carter writes,
"Zbig would be my favorite seatmate
on a long-distance trip; we might
argue, but I would never be bored."
Another individual Carter examines
is Bert Lance, who was chosen Officer
of Management and Budget and later
forced to resign after an investigation
of his past bank dealings. Carter
devotes one of the best chapters in the
book to Lance which includes some of
the best stuff written concerning the
President vs. the Press in American
Carter could have used some other
case to illustrate his anxiety with the
press, but with Lance being a close
friend, Carter's writing more poignant
and justifiably so. Still, Carter is able to
take the press' pokes in stride. Because
of his Southern background, Carter
really got a kick when the local
(Washington) cartoonists had a field
day characterizing us as barefoot coun-
try hicks with straw sticking out of our
ears, clad in overalls, and unfamiliar
with the proper use of indoor plum-
Throughout the book Carter notes his
Southern heritage and its impact on his
present-day policy decisions. Even
more so,-his Baptist background is om-
nipresent. Yes, we knew Jimmy was
one of those born-again types, but he

notes his religion constantly. This isn't
to say his references to religion are of
the Billy Sunday smack-them-with-the-
Bible sort, they are not. The point is
that to understand Carter the
President, one must understand Carter
the Christian. To cite a few examples:
*Carter found common ground with
the military because of the personnel's
"religious faith." Carter "experienced
a sense of brotherhood with them."
" Carter's excellent working relation-
ship with Vice President Walter Mon-
dale was partially because Mondale
was a "preacher's son."
* Carter's underlying understanding
of China was based on the nickles and
dimes he gave as a child to Christian
missionaries in China.
* A large chunk of the chapter on
Human Rights is about the persecution
of Baptists in the Soviet Union.
" His major discussion of the Middle
East starts off by noting his knowledge
of the "Land of the Bible."
Carter is a man of detail. To under-
stand him, one must look at the detail of
his book.
With the correct Lyndon B. Johnson
style politicking, Carter got the Senate
ratification votes he needed. When
Senator Cannon (Nevada) was worried
about what the Las Vegas Review-
Journal editors would say about a pro-
treaty vote, Carter tracked down one
of the editors, who was traveling across
Oklahoma in an automobile, and con-
vinced him to note the senator's courage
in an editorial. When Sen. Hayakawa
(California), a semanticist by
profession, gave Carter a textbook he
wrote, the President read the entire
book that night so as to impress
Hayakawa in an attempt to get his vote.
To ease tension betwe h him and
Senator Sasser (Tennessee), Carter in-
vited him to the White House for the
twentieth anniversary celebration of
the Country Music Association. "Tom
T. Hall, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty,
Larry Gatlin, and Charlie Daniels
proved to be a lot of help to me and
Panama that evening!"
Usually Carter didn't exhibit such
ferocity when pushing legislation: he
would mention an initiative and forget
about it. Yet in his book, Carter doesn't
even mention some important issues
that confronted his administration.
Carter outlines his views and
negotiations concerning the Strategic
Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II), but
he only casually mentions the MX
missile plan and says absolutely
nothing about Presidential Directive 59,
which radically changed our nuclear

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Some of the happier memories of Carter's presidency-his inauguration, an early meeting with the
press, and standing in front of the United States flag at a town meeting.

targeting strategy. Was the directive so
secret that it couldn't be talked about?
Secrecy wasn't that much of a priority
when Carter reveals that American
spies pose as journalists in foreign
countries. This little tidbit of infor-
mation will surely cause difficulties for
American reporters throughout the
Human rights could have been more
extensively written about-there was
nothing about why the Carter ad-
ministration wanted to seat the mon-
strous Pol Pot regime in the United
The domestic economic plans of Car-
ter's: scarcely mentioned. The tax
structure, referred to 1976 candidate
Carter as "a disgrace to the human
race," or any plan to revise it: never
talked about. The "top priority" to
revise bureaucracy: zilch.
Why does Carter hardly mention
domestic policy? I am sure people want
to know why inflation soared during his
Presidency and contributed to the
$22.50 price of his book. But, just as a
Chief Executive excells in the eyes of
America with foreign policy (exam-
ple-Nixon and China), so will his
writings. Carters chapters on the Mid-
dle East and Iran are indispensible to
anyone wanting to understand
Carter's Middle East section is

amazing simply by how much was
achieved in such a short period of time.
When Carter first talked to Egyptian
President Anwar Sadat and raised the
possibility of diplomatic relations with
Israel, Sadat shook his head em-
phatically and retorted, "Not in my
lifetime!" With Carter's masterful
meticulousness and calculated risks, a
Middle East Treaty was achieved. The
Camp David chapters are particularly
useful to a student of international af-
fairs in understanding the role of the
United States as a mediator. To the
ones who thrive on suspense, the mere
idea that Sadat's own advisors may
knock him off in such a secure place as
Camp David is exhilirating.
Iran was undoubtedly Carter's down-
fall. One doesn't have to read the book
to understand that. What is utterly
fascinating is Carter's description of
how he realized that the Shah was going
to be eventually overthrown.
Carter visited Iran on New Year's
Eve 1977 and noted that he toasted the
Shah as "an island of stability in one of
the most troubled areas of the world."
He goes on to write, "In my brief over-
night visit, I saw no visible evidence of
the currents of dissatisfaction which,
though underestimated by the Shah, I
knew to be there."
Huh? Somehow these two statements

don't connect. How did Carter know
there was dissatisfaction? He himself
notes that even eight months later the
CIA reported that Iran was "not in a
revolutionary or even a
prerevolutionary situation." Does
President Carter have a sense he
doesn't write about?
'Carter doesn't analyze why the Shah
fell in early 1979 or much any place in
the book. Anyway, his strength is in
concise statements after the details.
During the closing days of the 1980 elec-
tion, Carter precisely wraps up his
feelings: "My hands are getting well
scratched up on the back, because the
crowd gets emotional." Such a perspec-
tive can only be given by a Presidential
"Keeping Faith" is Carter's perspec-
tive from the Oval Office and, even with
its flaws, it is a sincere effort which
reflects who Jimmy Carter is, and what
he did.

'4g1 V 0"

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'Liszt Favorites'
(Turnabout, 34779)
The groves of musical academe have
.been graced with occasional virtuosic
rarities, and in the piano's realm, one
name rises conspicuously above the
masses: Franz Liszt. His music offers
the pianist overflowing opportunity to
bedazzle his listeners, and gives note-
hungry critics mouthfulls to consider.
While easily rendered as superficial
flash, Liszt's compositions retain a
message that must be elicited by the
performer. And the worth, or lack
.thereof, of the message lies in the per-
ception of the individual.
On Turnabout's collection entitled
Liszt Favorites the pianist is Jerome
Rose, appropriately a recipient of the
Grand Prix du Disque from the Franz
Liszt Society of - Budapest. Amidst
these intimidatingly demanding works
Rose displays masterful technique. His
skillful balancing provides a panoramic
view of note-laden music with striking

clarity. The percusiveness 'of his
playing, a combination of the recor-
ding, the piano, and his execution,

La Campanella,
Uebestraum, etc.)
TV 34779

"Liebestraum" Rose plays thought-
fully, but does not ponder. The lively
"La Campanella" shimmers with
energy. In his patient rendition of "Una
Sospiro," the notes sigh with conten-
"Waldesrauschen" ("Forest Mur-
mers") reveals the cost of Rose's per-
vasive clarity. Contrary to nature, his
murmuring notes are too
distinguishable and therefore lose the
intention of the composer. Liszt himself
felt that "the letter killeth the spirit",
and his lyric phrasing must not be un-
necessarilly stinted. Rose tends to in-
terpret the notes and bars strictly, oc-

casionally causing phrases to be un-
naturally rigid. Nevertheless Jerome
Rose, in terms of technical facility, is
irreproachable; and his ability to con-
vey a painful lot of notes (to the extent
that it sounds easy) is worthy of a

-Lauris Kaldjian


vpiy I rc

makes for welcomely decipherable
Rose's "Mephisto Waltz" is crisp and
has a devilish playfulness. His scale
work is precise, almost too precise. In

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co-directors: Christopher Watson & Kathleen Smith
day, evening & weekend classes
New classes begin January 10

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