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November 19, 1983 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-11-19

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Saturday, November 19, 1983

The Michigan Daily

Choking on chemical weapons

By James Boyd
In 1969 that torchbearer of peace and
morality Richard Nixon ordered a halt
to U.S. production of chemical and
biological weaponry on the grounds that
the use of such weapons would be
repugnant to the conscience of
mankind. With admirable, if uncharac-
teristic clarity of thought he decided
to abide by the Geneva Protocol of 1925
that banned the use of poison gases in
warfare.
Such clarity of thought is now alar-
mingly absent from our legislative
body. The Senate in disregard of
Nixon's actions last week voted 47 to 46
to commence production of nerve gas
weapons.
. NIXON WAS responding to the con-
clusions of committees on disar-
mament at Geneva and within the
United Nations that called for the
agreeing parties to "undertake not to
develop, produce, stockpile, acquire or
retain biological agents or toxins, of
types and in quantities that have no
justification for peaceful purposes, as
well as weapons, equipment, and means
of delivery designed to use such agents
or toxins for hostile purposes or in ar-
med conflict." The Convention stated,
and Nixon agreed that the cessation of
poison gas production would facilitate
the achievement of general disar-
mament.-
But today we are deep within the
heart of Cold War II and the naive
notion of de-escalation really doesn't
have any place. The line between "us"

and "them" is being drawn with a
much sharper pencil under the current
administration. Proponents of the
Senate bill use the vocabulary of a bi-
polar world; they speak of "deterren-
ce," "national security," and
"necessary bargaining chips."
The argument of Reagan and others
is that these gas weapons should be
produced in order to force the Soviets
into a negotiated reduction of chemical
stockpiles. Proponents argue that we
need the bargaining chip against a
country that is going full steam ahead
with its production of these weapons.
BUT PRODUCTION doesn't equal
reduction and it certainly doesn't equal
the correct moral and diplomatic stand
that this country should be taking.
There is evidence that the Russians
used nerve gas in Afghanistan and
Kampuchea but this does not allow us to
sever agreements based on morality
and the goal of complete disarmament.
A violation of international agreement
does not give the remaining parties free
reign to disregard these accords. What
a violation should do is strengthen the
resolve of countries like our own to
uphold the position that morality and
diplomatic understanding necessitated.
It is a frightened and weak political
stand for our nation to render void an
agreement on the grounds that "the
Russians did it first." Joseph McCarthy
and his ilk have created a generation of,
cold war crybabies. Reagan rules the
playground of international politics
with the stick of fear.
IS YURI packing a switchblade yet?
We better play it safe and carry one just
in case.

Unfortunately we are not talking
about switchblades, broken bottles, or
baseball bats. We are talking about the
latest model of morally reprehensible
weapons. Now would be a perfect time
for the United States to support the side
of that which is morally correct. Even
those legislators who approved of the
bill do not deny that nerve gas is a truly
odious weapon. But then you've always
got deterrence about which to think.
We've been thinking a lot about
deterrence lately. We deterred a Cuban
military buildup in Grenada, and we
must be deterring something in
Lebanon. Why don't we make one ex-
ception and just do what is purely,
unassailably, and morally right for a
change? We should send a message to
the world that we haven't gone com-
pletely berserk with our thrusting and
parrying - with our games of war.
If Nixon could do it then why can't we?
And especially why can't we now?
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to predict the ef-
fects of nerve gas warfare on a society
or the environment. The danger
would apply to the country employing
these weapons as much as to the coun-
try that had been attacked, regardless
of any protective measures that would
have been taken in parallel with the
development of its offensive capability.
What other weapon have you heard of
that carries with it such dangerous un-
certainties? The escalation of yet
another gruesome weapon capability is
frighteningly absurd. The atomic
bomb, then nerve gas - what's next?
Will the Soviets come up with a
satellite zapper that fries a country's
little babies until they are nothing more

than charred stains on the sidewalk?
The Senate had a perfect opportunity
to display that there is some sanity left
in this world. During the heart of the
first cold war, President John Kennedy
at one point defined the peace our coun-
try sought as "not a (peace) forced on
the world by -American weapons of war.
...Let us re-examine our attitude
toward the cold war," he asked,
"remembering that we are not engaged
in debate. ...We must deal with the
world as it is."
Kennedy wasn't exactly practically
committed to such an ideology but at
least this sort of thought helped set the
wheels of detente spinning. If nothing
else, the rhetoric was comforting -
rhetoric that is completely absent
today. We have evolved to a point
where we don't even feel the need to
espouse altruism. The Capitol is full of
hardened, cynical types who don't have
the time for peaceful recourse.
The final decision rested upon the
shouldersvof George Bush who cast the
deciding vote. One has to wonder why
Bush felt the desire and need to create
theseaweapons while 15 yearsnearlier
Richard Nixon felt the desire and need
to destroy them. What exactly is hap-
pening? It appears that we are not
progressing toward a safer more
rational environment, but rather
toward a world dominated by two fac-
tions that are in constant competition to
see who can most effectively scare the
other into submission.
It's scary, but I find myself asking,
"Richard Nixon, where are you?"
Boyd is the Daily 's associate arts
editor.

4

4

4

If you thought Richard Nixon's policies were off the mark, compare them to
the Reagan administration's declaration of Cold War II.

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

To hell with you, Bo Schemb

Vol. XCIV-No. 64

420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 4

s Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Boar
u ashigdsuso

T IS DISTURBING that in an open
university community like this, a
student could be fired from his job
because of his political beliefs. But that
seems to be exactly what happened
early last week.
A University professor fired one of his
research assistants partially because
the student was a member of the
Progressive Student Network and has
protested campus military research.
Although the student, Piers Lewis, did
not participate in a recent PSN sit-in,
he did attend a candle-light rally to
support the sit-in.
y In another incident,, a University
employer threatened to fire a different
'SN member after the student took
two hours off work to assist protestors
uring the lab blockade.
} The University's action against
thesea students displays a
frightening intolerance for dissenting
views - intentionally or otherwise. It
an intolerance, which can do nothing
$ut stifle open discussion of these ex-
traordinarily important issues.
Prof. Joseph Datsko, who is in

charge of the defense d
sponsored research projec
Lewis was working, said
choice - "morally, respor
ethically" - but to fire V
because of his apparent op
military research. He saii
moral contradiction to bel
PSN and work on a defe
tment-sponsored project.
Does this mean it is also a
tion to support a nuclear
work on defense research,
an an end to the arms race a
cept DOD grants, or to lobb
defense department's budg
the same time accept thel
money?
And more importantly, is
sko or anyone else willing
those decisions for their emp
If there is a contradiction,
the employee and should
him or her to resolve. The
should evaluate employee
their job performance.
To do otherwise is telling
will be fired if their opinio
with those of the University.

To the Daily:
St. Seventy-eight years ago here in
.8109 Ann Arbor, Fielding Yost wrote,
"Anyone who can be present as a
spectator at one of the big foot-
rd ball games of the year and can
look on without enthusiasm as the
game progresses is lacking in red
blood and can expect no pleasure
- in outdoor sport." (Football for
Player and Spectator, Ann Arbor,
epartment- 1905) In 1983, Bo Schembechler
t on which commented, "I can't believe the
he had no fans are not sophisticated enough
nsibly, and to understand the game, in my
;he student stadium."
heostidn tWhat this is all about is the new
p3Osition to Icheer introduced to Michigan
d it was a football fans at the Michigan-
long to the Iowa football game on October
nse depar- 23. This cheer, known as the
Wave, takes place as each section
in the stadium stands up in suc-
contradic- cession and yells. Hopefully, sec-
freeze and tion will follow section all the way
to pursue around the stadium. Incidently it
nd also ac- makes a wonderful, incredible,
yy to cut theI maize and blue big noise. Now Bo
get and at wants to get rid of whoever
g thought up the cheer. Michigan's
Pentagon's cheerleaders claimed to have
nothing to do with the wave. In
Prof. Dat- ftict head cheerleader, Bob
g ro make Seymour was quoted as saying,
omkes "We never do any cheer during
ployees? the game." No Kidding! The
it is within biggest reaction the cheerleaders
be left to have had in recent memory was
professor last Saturday when some fans got
'~tired of waving and grabbed the
s only on dummy cheerleader (don't ask
what's the difference) and tried
them they to pass it up and out of the
ns conflict stadium.
However, a determined rush by
the near grief stricken
cheerleaders rescued the dummy
from the clutches of the evil fans.
Anyway, the first I remember
hearing about the Wave cheer
was a few years back in a Sports
Illustrated article about Crazy
George, a cheerleading drummer
with the NHL Colorado Rockies. I
doubt though that Crazy George
comes under Bo's jurisdiction
and can be fired. I don't think he
is even on the University payroll.
The problem here is that the
fans at Michigan are too red-
blooded and understand the game
of football only too well and they
respond to 21 point quarters with
sophisticated waves of en-
thusiasm. But to Bo, instead of
being redblooded, those fans who
took part in the Wave are just
plain asses. Well, so what! Daryl
y - Rodgers called arrogant
Michigan fans asses a long time
ago and instead of being hum-
" ' . bled- most Miphns fnsar

really think that without the wave
cheer no one would know that the
Stadium is an oval? This isn't
Michigan State, Bo.
What it all comes down to is the
question of sportsmanlike con-
duct, which I feel brings up a
question of intent. I do not feel
that it was the intention of fans
taking part in the Wave to inter-
fere with the playing of the game.
True, against Iowa the first Wave
may have caused a lack of com-
munication which might have
created some confusion which
resulted in a delay-of-game
penalty for Michigan. But the
Wave had none of the malicious
intent of those Wisconsin fans
who back in 1980, made enough
continuous noise that the
referee's took away three
Wisconsin time outs, penalized
Wisconsin five yards for delay-of-
game and gave Michigan a first

down within the Wisconsin five,
all in the same drive! Michigan
Stadium does not have an elec-
tronic scoreboard like Illinois
that can be used to bring forth
pre-programmed responses from
Illinois fans during key game
situations.
I think Bo is upset because he
likes to say, "We don't do that at
Michigan, not in my stadium."
And he is right, the fans do not
maliciously and with pre-
mediated intent attempt to inter-
fere with the play of the game.
Wolverine quarterback, Steve
Smith said, "The cheering
DIDN'T bother me," And it
didn't, Smith had three touch-
down passes on Audible Plays
called at the line of scrimmage.
Still Bo threatens to clear the
stadium if the fans wave on in
the future. Now who is not being
sophisticated Bo? Clear the

echler. .".
stadium? The Michigan Athletic
Department might as well print
on all the tickets that alcholic
beverages are not to be brought
into the stadium. One has to be
realistic about these things.
To sum it all up, Purdue
Cheerleading Captain, Belinda
Cook, was quoted as saying, "I
think the cheer just shows a lot of
enthusiasm." Judging by
Fielding Yost's criterion, en-
thusiasm is what any fan who en-
joys football should and must
have. Sorry Bo, but the writings
of Yost must bevindicated and
the Waverines must wave on. But
just think what it will be like if the
Wavers move across the alley in-
to Crisler Arena for basketball
games. Only if...
Michael Hoffman
November 8

4

... Our cheer is the wave of the future

To the Daily:
Michigan Students, please do
not let Bo intimidate your use of
the Wave cheer at future football
games. The noise generated by
small segments of the stadium is
much less than that generated by
organized cheers involving the en-
tire stadium.
I commend you on your reac-
tion to the asinine PA announ-
cement during the Purdue game

to refrain from cheering when the
ball is in play. The silent cheering
and the silent Wave were very
resourceful reactions to a request
which easily could have provoked
much uglier responses. I haven't
had so much fun in Michigan
stadium in years.
To placate Bo, you might start
the Wave between plays and
during timeouts and then, when
the quarterback approaches cen-

ter, make the Wave silent. Also,
don't overdo it.
These are the observations of
an alumna (LSA '57), mother of
three University students, long
standing season ticket holder and
long time defender of Bo.-But on
this matter of the Wave, Bo is all
-wet!
Sally Gerak
November 7

Daily backs first amendment unevenly

Ll

To the Daily:
You were so quick to defend
General Haig from the smat-
tering of hecklers at this speech
that I expected you would ex-
press similar outrage at the con-
siderably more disruptive
behavior of the hecklers at the
rally on November 7 against
military research.
On that Monday, the invited
speakers - especially Lowell
Peterson, an elected official -
were literally shouted down by a
small number of loud-mouth con-
servatives. One, as you pointed
out in your article, actually clim-
bed up the curb to where Mr.
Peterson was speaking, shouting
all the way, and waved his hands
in Mr. Peterson's face. You know
as well as I did that if anyone had
even tried to get on stage with
Gen. Haig, let alone shout him
down for ten straight minutes, he
UT IVCWt CATkTPV'

would be in jail now. Yet these
right-wingers don't get so much
as their wrists slapped.
If the Daily is to view itself as
the guardian of the First Amen-
dment, perhaps it should be a bit
more evenhanded. If you are
going to criticize people who
make remarks during a speech

by a conservative supporter of
nuclear arms and armed inter-
vention aboard, at least show
some outrage when right-wing
hecklers make it impossible for
someone who opposes all that
even to speak at all.
- Cheryl Foster Bullard
November 9

4

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