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October 26, 1983 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-10-26

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, October 26, 1983

The Michigan Daily

4

The third view

on Europe's

ByE. P. Thompson
Second in a series
When commentators explain the current
"Euromissle crisis," it is often suggested that
it is a crisis between two antagonists - NATO
(or the United States) on one hand, and the
Warsaw Treaty Organization (or the Soviet
Union) on the other hand, and that it is all about
the balance of intermediate nuclear forces. On
the one side there are Soviet SS-20s and that is
why NATO must deploy Pershing II and cruise
missles on West European territory in reply.
In fact, there have always been three parties

Euromissle
Debate

I

public relations handouts. For example, it is of-
ten said that the Soviet Union with over 330
triple-headed SS-20s is threatening West
Europe with over 1,000 warheads, matched
against nothing on NATO's side. Both the
British publics have been solemnly assured of
this NATO "nothing" by persons as highly-
placed as my own Prime Minister (Mrs. That-
cher) and your own President.
BUT THIS IS just a cold war propaganda
game. Both sides are always presenting the
figures in the best light to support their own
measures of modernization and weapons build-
up. The real story is different. Back in the early
1960s, the U.S., withdrew the ground-launched
missiles, Thor and Jupiter, from Britain and
Turkey, as part of a deliberate NATO re-basing
policy.
NATO had decided to rely instead on air-laun-
ched and sea-launched (carrier fleet and sub-
marine) missiles, which -were thought to be
more effective, more mobile, and less.
vulnerable. But if you look at a map of Europe,
you see a huge land mass on one side and the
Atlantic Ocean on the other. Hence the Soviet
Union, which had no great ocean to fall back
upon, continued to rely on ground-launched
missiles (SS-4s and SS-5s, now being replaced
by the modernized SS-20s).
Hence all this counting-game depends on
what categories are counted and what is held
under the hand and hidden from the counting.
In this case, what is hidden in the European
theater is all the tactical stuff and all the air-
craft-launched stuff (on both sides), the U.S.
Poseidons allocated to NATO Command, the
British Polaris submarine-launched missiles
(soon to be upgraded to Trident II D-5s), the
whole French armory (ground-, air-, and sea-
launched) which is also targeted on the Soviet
block, and the multitude of U.S. air and sea-
launched cruise missiles (including the Iowa
task-force to be based on Staten Island, New
York) which are on their way.

ALL THIS CAN be added up and balanced in
different ways, but there is no way in which the
balance can come out at 1,000 to nothing. In any
case it is disputable whether the Pershing II
and ground launched cruise missiles are
properly described as intermediate or as
Euromissiles at all. The Pershing II, in par-
ticular, will be based in West Germany and can
strike very swiftly - in six or eight minutes -
deep into Soviet territory, perhaps as far as
Moscow. But the SS-20, nasty as it is, cannot
strike back across the Atlantic. In this way, in
Soviet perception, the balance will be badly
tipped against them. They see these weapons as
forward-based U.S. strategic missiles, to be
owned and operated by U.S. personnel on Ger-
man, Dutch, British, or Italian territory, which
present (in the case of Pershing II) a credible
first-strike capability.
I said that there were three parties to this
argument, not two. Despite the results of
recent elections, most opinions show that more
than half of the populations of Britian, West
Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Italy are
aginst NATO's new missiles. This opposition is
expressed by very vigorous peace movements
in all West European nations, with some sup-
port in the East European nations also.
These are not (apart from a few fringe
groups) pro-Soviet movements. Nor are they
(as they are sometimes described) anti-
American, although there is growing resen-
tment, among both West and East Europeans,
at playing pig-in-the-middle to the two super-
powers, and at being left without any rights of
decision over matters which may settle their
fate.
WHAT WE HAVE decided, in the West
European peace movement, is that enough is
enough. We are not even interested in balance.
These is sufficient nuclear weaponry placed
now in Europe to blow up our continent twenty
times over, and we don't much care if one side
can do it twelve times and the other side eight

iissiles
Soviet Union - which brings into Europe one
single Cruise or Pershing II missile. And if they
bring them, then if it is possible by non-violent
methods, we will make these bases inoperable.
WE ARE AWARE that this fall Britain and
West Germany, in particular, will become
deeply divided nations. We are also aware that
fringe groups "angries" or even planted
provocateurs may try to stir up episodes ofy
violence. We are taking our own measures to
self-police our own demonstration, and we rely
on the good sense of the American public not to
be panicked by sensational accounts of
marginal episodes but to keep in steady view
the common aims of movements for peace on
both sides of the Atlantic.
The only numbers-game that would interest
us would be a Dutch auction, downward. Yes,
we would like all the SS-20s to go, and why not
throw in (on our side) the U.S. Poseidons and
the British Polaris to sweeten the Soviet op-
tion? Meanwhile, we are demanding a freeze
now, on every new deployment on both sides,
while the talking continues.
And this talking should not be above our
heads, by the two giants. European nations
(West and East) should be brought into the
talks; then non-aligned nations (and the United
Nations itself) as arbiters.
If we could do this, then we can already see
further objectives. 1) All nuclear weapons (in-
cluding British and French) out of Europe,
from eastern Atlantic waters to the Urals; 2)
mutual deep reductions in conventional forces;
3) guarantees by the Soviet Union of the human
rights clauses of the Helsinki Agreement, so as
to prepare the way for a mending or melding of
the two antagonistic blocs in Europe.
Thompson, a British social historian, has
taken a leading part in the British and
European disarmament campaigns. He is
the author of Protest and Survive and
Beyond the Cold War.

I'. .I

I

to this debate, not two, for the European peace
movement has a perception and an agenda
which is not the same as that of either bloc or
superpower. Since both sets of missiles are
designed for fighting a European war, there is
nothing intermediate about them to
Europeans. Europe is where they happen to
live and would prefer to go on living.
BUT LET US look at the balance arguments
first. No one in Britian or West Europe loves
-Soviet SS-20s; they are pointed at us, and they
are fearful weapons. Our peace movements
have repeatedly called on the Soviet leaders to
start reducing their numbers, unilaterally.
Nevertheless a large part of the European
public can do elementary arithmetic, and it
knows that United States and NATO leaders
-have continually falsified the balance in their

times. We have decided that the time has come
when we can make concessions to the growth of
nuclear militarism no longer.
For three years, on your side of the Atlantic
and on ours, there have been conferences and
church meetings and marches and agonizing
over the fate of the earth. Well are we serious
or not? Someplace at some time some persons
have got to decide that they will lay aside all
else, not only to say no-but to be no. We have
been forced to the view that the place is Europe
and the time is now and the persons will have to
be us.
'Europe is the place where, at' last, the
nuclear arms race might be stopped. We mean
to refuse any act of NATO - and any deal over
our heads between the United States and the

&ir CIbt i:an 3 a i
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Stewart

4r

Vol. XCIV-No. 43

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

1 j1 CB
I I y DIM

I

Faltering suDDort

TATISTICS DESCRIBING THE
level of state support for public
colleges over 10 years were published
this week, and the state of Michigan
diol not do so hot.
Since the 1973-74 academic year, the
stiate has increased its higher education
budget by a meager 91 percent. That
may sound like a hefty increase, but
when adjusted for inflation it turns out
to be a 15 percent loss of buying power
for the state's universities. That
record earned the state the infamous
honor of saving the most money in its
education budget. In other words, it
means Michigan finished dead last
among all fifty states in higher
education growth in the last decade.
Every other state in the nation has
outstripped Michigan in its ability and
willingness to support higher
education.
If the trend continues, it will spell
doom for a fine college system -
especially if that system can find no
politically feasible way to become
smaller.
Certainly, one could argue that:

Michigan's colleges started that ten-
year period better off than those in
most states, and that the others are
merely catching up. Michigan surely
does not have the worst colleges in the
nation. In fact, it still has some of the
best.
But one fact remains: Something
will have to give if the trend continues.
With less and less money, universities
simply cannot simultaneously retain
quality, size, diversity, and service to
citizens.
Already at this university several
programs have been eliminated or
severely cut. Tuition has skyrocketed
and started to damage the diversity of
the student body.
The state cannot hope to retain a
high quality educational system much
longer, if every other state continues to
support higher education more than
Michigan does.
We understand that there are other
state services that need funds, but the
returns on a renewed investment in the
state's colleges are worth the sacrifice.

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

-

Sleepy students photo incredible .

. .

To the Daily:
I found the photograph of
students studying "diligently" at
the Graduate Library ("Sleepy
hollow," Daily, October 18) more
disturbing than entertaining. At

first I laughed when I saw that
every student pictured appeared
to be sleeping.
On second reflection, however,
I came to doubt that the scene
was authentic. I suspected that

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the photographer set up the'
photograph. If my suspicion is
warranted, then the
photographer cast the Daily's
credibility into serious question.
How many other photographs -
or articles for that matter - are
similarly fabricated? Was this
photograph set up?
If the answer is yes, then there
is cause for alarm for both the

Daily staff and the readership. A
newspaper's credibility is a
fragile as it is precious.
- Scott Dales
October 18
Editor's note: Yes, The pic-
ture was set up. We thought it
was obvious, but apparently y
we were wrong. We hope you'
enjoyed it anyway.

4

Accidents will happen

To the Daily:
The deployment of Cruise and
Pershing II missiles in Western
Europe scheduled to begin in
December marks a new phase of
the arms race. The changes that
these weapons systems make
bring us considerably closer to a
nuclear war. These two missiles
are fast, hard to detect, and very
accurate (within 60 feet of
target). These three charac-
teristics make these weapons
systems ideal for first strike at-
tack against the Soviets. A first
strike is not believed possible
now because enough Soviet (or
American) missiles would escape
launch pads to act as deterrent.

be a substantial incentive to shoot
first. In addition the Soviets have
promised that when Cruise and
Pershing Its are deployed they
will go to a computer launch on
warning system in which the
human element is eliminated
from the process of launching a
retaliatory strike. In light of the
number of computer errors that
our own defense computers make
it is only a matter of time before a
nuclear war starts by accident.
- Erica Freedman
Mike O'Neill
David Mikleshun
October 20
QT M~t I' A'W TVJEY

Nope, just humorous

. . .

To the Daily:
I am responding to the picture
that appeared on page 1 of the
Daily on Tuesday, October 18. I
am a graduate student in library
science and fully appreciate the
humor in the photograph which
depicted students "sleeping" in
the Reference Room of the
Graduate Library. Not only was
it humorous, but all too realistic.

Have you ever been in the library,
.at closing?
The photograph did me a favor
by reminding me of the human-
ness and humor in even the most
academic endeavors.
I congratulate the
photographer and all the par-
ticipants.
- Susan K. Kruger
October 21

4

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