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November 11, 1983 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-11-11

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Page 4

Friday, November 11, 1983


First strike option can't

The Michigan Daily
defend Europe


By John Marshall Lee
Fourth in a series
Any argument in favor of a declaration by
the United States that this country will not be
the first to use nuclear arms in any future
hostilities will invariably meet with the respon-
se:, "But can Europe be defended without
nuclear weapons?" Another question, though,
should come first: Can Europe be defended
with nuclear weapons?
The answer, of course, is "No." Europe can
be destroyed with nuclear arms; it cannot be
defended with them. If nuclear weapons are
used, on whatever scale initially and by
whichever side there is a prohibitively high
probability of catastrophic destruction of the
involved nations and their allies, including the
United States. That destruction would occur
immediately if nuclear firing began in the form
of large-scale general attacks. If, as is more
-probable, nuclear operations began with
limited, regional, or tactical strikes, the
ultimate destruction would occur with the
almost certain process of escalation.
THE LEVEL OF destruction would be a new

phenomenon, enormously beyond the ex-
perience of past wars. The dead would be num-
bered in the hundreds of millions. The physical
destruction would obliterate the fabrics and
cultures of thestargeted nations. The survivors
- probably, as they say, envying the dead -
would be reduced to a primitive existence in a
poisoned land. It would be an unimaginable
catastrophe, altogether unprecedented in
human history. Averell Harriman wrote recen-
tly, "A conflict waged with nuclear weapons
would be nothing less than the act of nations
gone mad. For those who see it as anything
less, I reserve but scorn for their lack of com-
mon sense, and pity for their departure from
common humanity that binds us on a fragile
To turn to nuclear weapons to shore up a
failing conventional defense, in a word, would
be suicidal, a monstrous and irrational act.
Yet, just such U.S.-initiated firing of nuclear
weapons is today the accepted strategy and
declaratory policy of the United States and
NATO. We have been leaning on this nuclear
crutch for a generation. It is deeply embedded
in the concepts, training, organization, and
hardware of U.S. and Allied forces, and in the
governmental super-structure controlling
those forces. But it cannot, it must not be used.
In the words of Field Marshal Lord Carver, this
current strategy is "either a bluff or a suicide
In the long run, the bluff of nuclear deterren-
ce cannot hold. It is true enough that both sides
are very conscious of the appalling consequen-
ces of nuclear war. Both feel the weight of the
nuclear threat, of deterrence. But to avoid

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frustration, lapses of reasoning, error, and
desperation. And these men, on both sides are
bound into an antagonistic relationship sure to
produce periodic confrontations and crises.
Sooner or later, in one crisis or another, the day
will come when the nuclear threat will not be
enough to prevent the outbreak of war.
On that terrible D-day our choice, if indeed
the choice is left to us, will be between fighting
conventionally - win, lose, or draw - or
crossing the fateful line into nuclear war. If we,
and the Soviets, do not change the way we think
about nuclear weapons, one or the other will
almost surely make that ultimate mistake.
Thomas Powers, in his profound little book
Thinking About the Next War, writes, "Since
1945, the United States and the Soviet Union
have been preparing to fight each other in a big
war, and eventually they are going to do it....
When the war comes, we will fight it with the
weapons at hand, and these prominently in-
clude nuclear weapons."
THIS PINPOINTS the heart of the
problem. It is a problem of what people think -
government people, military people, and the
general public. Specifically, we now conceive
of these nuclear instruments as legitimate
weapons, tools that can be used like conven-
tional weapons for national purposes. The task
before us all is to establish that nuclear devices
are not legitimate weapons but instruments of
suicide and genocide, that their only human
function is to prevent their use by others, and
that they cannot ever be called on for military
operational purposes, even in desperate
military situations.
Such a profound and fundamental change in

the most central element of national and allied
strategy cannot be accomplished in secret. It
demands discussion, debate, and persuasion, in
this country's administration, Congress,
military, media, and public, and with our
Ultimately, our antagonists need to be con-
vinced of the change. Further, when the
decision is made, very substantive military
changes will be needed, in planning, training,
military educationedoctrinal publications, and
organizations. Hardware changes will also be
necessary: some buildup of conventional for-
ces to carry the whole combat load (less is
needed here than often assumed), and
retailoring of the nuclear forces for the ex-
clusive role of retaliation against nuclear at-
The vehicle for this basic change of concept
and posture is a declaration that the United
States will not be the first to use nuclear
weapons in a conflict. Examining the No-First-
Use concept, discussing it at home and with
allies, pushing it to adoption, formally issuing
the declaration - these steps will irresistibly
impel the needed rethinking and the con-
sequent military measures. Under No-First-
Use, the changeover to a sane strategy will be
Let us get on with it.
Vice-Admiral Lee, U. S. Navy, retired,
served in the navy for 42 years. A former
line officer and destroyer officer, he has
also served as deputy director of the U.S.
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

I '',
catastrophe, we must, on both sides, refrain
from using these weapons not just today and
tomorrow, but month after month, year after
year, and decade after decade.
WE CANNOT, on either side, go wrong on
this one single time. And these weapons are in
the control of men. They are human beings
with human frailties, subject to stress, anger,


Edite aedbtn thigan
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan


Vol. XCIV-No. 57

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

HERE HAVE been several major
sexual harassment cases at the
University over the last year. Two prof-
essors have resigned, one in the face of
being fired, and at least one other has
been disciplined for harassment in-
Yet no one, besides a select few ad-
ministrators and faculty who were in-
volved with the cases, knows what
happened. No one knows 'what actions
these professors were disciplined for -
near assault? physical, sexual ap-
proaches? verbal sexual overtures? of f
color jokes?
The University has chosen to
withhold this information to protect the
harasser's family and perhaps, his or
her chance to start with a clean slate
somewhere else.
The result, however, is that while the
University has become more aware of
sexual harassment, it has not been
able to form a clear definition of what
exactly it is. Everyone has their own
idea of what harassment
definitely includes, what it might in-
clude, and what is grasping at straws.
But few grasp the full range of what
constitutes sexual harassment.
The University has been combating

this problem with its program "Tell
Someone," which includes about 50
video tapes describing different types
of sexual harassment. But these video
tapes deal only with fictional
situations, and have failed to reach
a great majority of the community.
A more effective way to help clear up
confusion would be to publish a
thorough account of the harassment
cases in which the University does take
disciplinary action. While obviously
withholding the names of involved par-
ties, the University could clearly ex-
plicate what the offenses are and what
degree of punishment those offenses
Because a set of precedents would
arise, and a clearer definition of
harassment would evolve in the com-
munity, the practice would promote a
fair disciplinary process for those ac-
It would also publicize the cases
more, encouraging other victims of
harassment to come forward.
But much more importantly, it
would help promote an accurate
definition of harassment, and an
awareness of the punishments which
go along with it.


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Administrators ignorng their committees

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To the Daily:
I am writing this letter to ex-
press discontent with several
processes occurring within the
administration. I am a member
of the Advisory Committee on Af-
firmative Action, as well as the
vice president of personnel at
MSA. This letter concerns the
process which was used to
develop and decide on the new
associate vice president of
academic affairs who is going to
be working with all aspects of
minority interests on campus.
First off, the position was never
presented to nor voted upon by
the Advisory Committee of Af-
firmative Action. I feel that this
is a grave mistake on the part of
the administration.
The committee was set up as a
presidential directive. Thus, the
committee should have some
policy power .concerning all
aspects of affirmative action.
The committee was presented
with a written document, not a
job description, of the position
one day before the regents were
to vote on it. I am not against the
position at all-I feel that it is a
However, I hate to see another
University nosition go to waste

committees set up in the first
The Daily recently wrote ar-
ticles concerning the lack of
student involvement on the
regential and University commit-
tees ("Student truancy plagues
committee meetings," Daily, Oc-
tober 5, et seq.). They noted the
delinquent attendance of student
members and seemed to infer
that this is a fault of the appoin-
tment process, and it is the duty
of my office to keep tabs on
committee members.
I am not a baby sitter. I do
keep track of committee business
and agenda for the information of
the assembly. This is a task that
has been ignored in the past and I
have made it a priority for my
committee this year. Perhaps
the reason for the lack of atten-
dance in the past is due to the
administrations failure to con-
sider the opinions of many of
these committees. After all, who
wants to commit time to
something which does not have
any input into policy areas which
are of great importance to the
university community.

In conclusion, I just want to
urge the administration to recon-
sider the goals of their commit-
tees. They should be consulted
and included in the decision
making process at all levels, in-

cluding the formulative and
-Susan Povich
November 1
Povich is vice president of
personnelfor MSA.

Concerts aren 'tforflags

To the Daily:
Recently, I attended a beautiful
concert by the Soviet Emigre Or-
chestra. As I was leaving the
Power Center, I overheard an
elder of our generation state: "If
I had not known that there were
American citizens in this or-
chestra, I would not have atten-
ded this concert as a mild
This made me question my
beliefs of what any art form is
supposed to accomplish. I
always have thought that art was
a unification of material and

spiritual beauty, not some arena
to wave flags and ideologies at
one another. (Perhaps, this is
why there was poor attendance at
this concert.)
I say, leave the flag waving
and ideologies to politicians and
armies. Leave unification of
material and spiritual beauty to
the artist.
I've never seen a flag in
Beethoven's 9th symphony or in a
lithograph of Salvadore Dali.
What do you think?
-Jonathan Gregory Harney
November 3



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Unsigned editorials appearing on the left
side of this page represent a majority opinion
of the Daily's Editorial Board.


by Berke Breathed




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