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September 28, 1983 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-09-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

C

OPINION

Page 4
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCIV - No. 18

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, Ml 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Why Watt stays employed

SECRETARY OF the Interior
James Watt's time has long since
passed. He has slighted or insulted
group after group of people. The
policies for which he is largely respon-
sible benefit only big business at the
expense of the resources he was sup-
posed to protect.
So why hasn't Watt been replaced?
The answer is simple: He is politically
too valuable for President Reagan to
fire him - yet.
In his checkered career as a cabinet-
level secretary, Watt has linked the
weaknesses of Indian reservations
with the failure of socialism, accused
Democrats of being communists and
- worst of all - said the Beach Boys
attract the "wrong element." In his
most recent verbal miscue, Watt;
managed to offend blacks, Jews,
women, and the handicapped all in one
breath.
Worse, his policies have shown an
unmistakable disrespect for the
nation's wilderness areas. He has
opened off-shore oil drilling areas
previously closed because of environ-
mental concerns. He has opened up
millions of acres of federal land to bid-
ders for ridiculously low prices. More
recently, Watt began selling coal
Where's t
Dr ON'T YOU hate showing up for
a party at the wrong time, or
t:even worse, the wrong place. Well,
don't get this one wrong - Harold and
Vivian Shapiro moved their annual
party from their house to the student
Union.
Why move down the street, though?
Having it at the University president's
house was a tradition. Okay, it's not
the beer olympics or the mudbowl, but
it was fun to grab a glass of punch and
peek at how those who don't study live.
Did we do something wrong, :Heal? Were
we rude last year? We tried not to
trample mud on the carpet, or spill
punc on the sofa, or stay too late (after
all, nobody wants to be like John
Belushi in "The thing that wouldn't
leave.") And leaving that goal post in

reserves at a time of zero demand at a
price to match.
Despite these comments and policies
- or rather because of these commen-
ts and policies=- Reagan keeps Watt
employed. Watt takes too much
negative attention away from Reagan.
The secretary is a much-needed con-
duit for the president. The liberal
press, environmentalists, Democrats,
and even some Republicans scream at
Watt instead of screaming at his boss.
On top of that, Watt is an excellent
fundraiser, one of the best for his par-
ty. He gets his fellow Republicans
angry at the people angry at him.
Those angry Republicans then open
their checkbooks.
So Reagan won't get rid of James
Watt just yet. He'll wait until he can
get the most political mileage out of
such a move - around May or June
next year, as the race for president
shifts into high gear.
Then the president can get up in
front of a whole bunch of people and
say, "James Watt was a good guy in
my book, but the people wanted him
out. I'm a man who listens to the
people. Vote for me."
After that he'll leave the podium,
call Watt, and thank him for the great
job he did for his president.
he party?
your front yard after the Purdue game
last year was all in fun. We just got a
little carried away.
Why move to the Union? They won't
even let you bring your own food in.
And besides,.we can go to the Union
anytime, how often do we get to drop
by your house and chat.
Sure, the "new" student Union is
having its grand opening, but that is no
reason to move your reception.
We don't get enough attention
around here as it is. Most of the
University's professors don't even
have time to teach our classes, much
less have us over for cocktails. Your
reception was a small break from the
norm.
Bring the party back home. It was
more fun that way.

Wednesday, September28, 19
AMMAN, Jordan - While the
eyes of most of the world were
riveted on the drama of
Menachem Begin's resignation,
another top-level personnel shift
was taking shape more quietly in
the Middle East.
As a result, the future of Yasser
Arafat could be decided by the
end of this month.
BY IRONIC consequence,
Arafat was being handed what
may be his walking papers from
the Palestine Liberation
Organization.(PLO), just as
Israelis were pleading with their
own prime minister to stay in of-
fice. In the long run, an Arafat
dismissal could prove far more
significant-for Arabs and
Israelis alike-than Begin's
departure from the scene.
The bad news for Arafat came
from the PLO's 18-member
Reconciliation Commission,
which issued a report here that,
in effect, asks the organization's
longtime chairman to step down
from, or at least dramatically
scale down, his role.
Headed by a prominent
Palestinian lawyer, Ibrahim
Bakr, the commision served
notice on Arafat to give way to a
new caretaker leadership from
Al Fatah, the largest sub-group
within the PLO coalition. The
report proposed that elections be
held under these interim auspices
to select a permanent new leader.
SINCE THE bitter defeat at.
Israeli hands in Lebanon, Fatah
has been wracked by internal dif-
ferences, leading to bloody con-
frontations between followers of
Arafat's moderate policy line and

Yassar

PLO maybe
squeezing out

By Ibraham Abu Nab

a rebellious, more radical fac-
tion.
Commission members said
they were convinced that the
grave divisions within the PLO,
.and especially inside the Fatah,
required drastic measures in or-
der to regain confidence and
credibility for the organization.
Their words carry great weight,
because the commission is drawn
from inside the Palestinian
community itself and is not an-
swerable to "outsiders" in the
Arab world.
The commission was
established in July by the
Palestinian Central Council in
Tunis and mandated to in-
vestigate the divisive aftermath
to the Israeli invasion. Its fin-
dings were to be binding on all,
but particularly on the two
warring Fatah factions. After
taking affidavits from the Fatah
Central Committee, the com-
mission interviewed Syrian

The Michigan Daily

Foreign Minister Abd el-Halim
Khaddam in Damascus and then
met with PLO dissidents in Leb-
anon's Bekka Valley.
BOTH SIDES in the Fatah
power struggle have been asked
to respond to the commission's
report by September 21.
In all probability, the results
will profoundly alter the
Mideastern picture. For in ad-
dition to shifting control of
military, financial, information,
and other organizational matters
to a caretaker leadership, the
commission has recommended
that the PLO reaffirm its
adherence to armed struggle and
renounce participation in all
American-sponsored efforts to
achieve a political settlement in
the region.
These recommendations mark
a dramatic swing toward radical
views, a swing about which
moderates here have been war-
ning the United States for mon-

Arafiat

ths. The commission, whose
members are not all radicals,
would have found it difficult -to
reach any other conclusion.
Arafat's moderation had not only
produced no results, but, in the
eyes of most Palestinians, led to
the twin disasters of Lebanon and
the current fratricidal conflict in
the PLO.
THE commission may have
been forced to lean even harder
on Arafat than was required by4
these events, thanks in part to the
PLO chairman's own
maneuvering. In violation of
specific promises to the com-
mission, Arafat has persisted in a
war of words with Syria, and in
efforts to solicit foreign help on
his behalf.
Indeed when the commission
left Damascus, Arafat was on his
way to Yemen, Kuwait, and Iraq
where he escalated his
propaganda war against Syria.
Unlike most Palestinians, who
are convinced that their
problems must be solved inter-
nally, he appears to believe that
the solution lies in outside Arab
intervention.
As for his response to the com-
mission, he already has made
public statements to the effect
that the investigation "had
failed." What remains to be seen;,'
however, is whether Yasser
Arafat is in a position to
judge-or to be judged.
Abu Nab is a widely syn-
dicated columnist for. the
Kuwaiti daily. He wrote this
article for the Pacific News
Service.

Sinclair

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY

Students love communication 101

To the Daily:
There are several things I want
to say in answer to Barbara
Misle's commentary upon the
Department of Communication
("Communication department
masks fluff," Daily, September
21).

Her judgement of Com-
munication 101 is sharply at odds
with most of her fellow students.
The course was taught by the
same teacher last term, and
received a 6.28 rating on student
evaluations. This is based upon a
seven-point scale.

Reagan handicap not funny

To the Daily:
It is reprehensible that the
Daily should participate in the
vicious satirizing of the President
of the United States because of a.
hearing handicap ("Ronnie, can
you hear us?", Daily, September
11). Having a hearing loss, and
the resulting need to wear a
hearing aid, is no worse than
wearing glasses to correct a
visual handicap.
Do we poke fun at past
Presidents and other officials of
high rank in the world who need
to wear glasses? Not at all. What,
then, justifies tasteless, ill-
humored cartoons at the expense
of President Reagantand millions
of other Americans who suffer

success, and the probability of
future success in life, puts me on
a higher scale than millions of
"normal" people across the
country who are working at
menial or even executive level
jobs. Now, if my handicap is not
worthy of being made fun of, then
are we justified in poking fun and
attempting to cause great
political harm to the man who
holds the highest office in the
land? Again, the answer can only
be an undeniable, and emphatic,
no.
-Fredrick S. Cohen
September 22
BLOOM COUNTY

She is obviously put off at at-
tending a 300-student lecture
class aimed at freshpersons. It is
not even a concentration course,
but a pre-concentration course.
Ms. Misle's anger apparently has
been stoked by the fact that it
took three terms to get into it. A
good many seniors have had the
same problem, or worse, and
frankly, with our faculty and
budget constraints, we cannot see
any way to solve that. Almost all
of our courses have waiting lists
every term. We are moving to
reduce that, reluctantly, by steps
which will reduce the number of
concentrators.
Finally, there is the matter of
that headline, which I assume
was written by someone else, as
it is in normal newspaper usage.
"Department of Communication
Masks Fluff", it says.
Headline writing is a numbers
game, a matter of counting let-
ters and spaces. There are daily
examples even in major papers

of heads that may be misleading
or nonsensical, but, which, by
God, fit. Charitably, that is the
excuse for this one.
But, it nevertheless slanders a
solid department which has the
leading role in an interdepar-
tmental Ph.D. program which is
as tough as any in the country;
two professional M.A.programs
whose journalism and telecom-
munication graduates are sought
after by some of the country's
most important newspapers and
television stations, and has an
undergraduate program which is
highly popular and rated highly
by most of its students.
To dismiss all that on the basis
of attendance at fewer than ten
percent of sessions of two classes
which should have been taken
two or three years earlier seems
a bit much.
- William E. Porter
September 26
Porter is chairman of the
communication department.
by Berke Breathed

.8E YOU MOVE REACNE1P

FAVAT, yE XRVY

_

I

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