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March 09, 1984 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-03-09

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4

t
I'

OPINION

.
a"

FOage 4

Friday, March 9, 1984

The Michigan Dail-.:

*

Scientific research expands data

base

.1
- ,..

By Peter Ford, III
Several factors determine a nation's
ability to survive: the strength of its
ekonomy, the ethics of its people, the
stability of its government, and its
military effectiveness. Scientific
research with military applications
helps maintain an effective military.
Scientific research with various ap-
plications, including military but not
ptimarily military, should be perfor-
med at universities. This research
helps a University perform one of its.
primary functions: providing
knowledge for the welfare of humanity.
Each nation possesses its own distinct
qualities: government, economy,.
ethics, religion, and culture. It would be
dangerously ignorant to assume all
nations act and think as we do.
Democracy isn't thi ohl' government;
capitalism isn't the only economic
philosophy; Christianity isn't the only
religion; all the people in the world

aren't white.
DESPITE these unique qualities, one
thing all nations have in common is
survival. Nations cherish their
uniqueness, and will go to great lengths
to preserve those qualities they cherish.
Unfortunately, many nations will go to
extreme lengths to preserve, or im-
prove themselves, even if that means
exploiting and abusing other nations.
As long as such threats exist, a nation
must possess these qualities to defend
itself: a vibrant and diverse economy, a
stable government with experienced
and educated leaders, social and
cultural respect among its people, and
an effective and efficient military. As
long as a nation requires an effective
military, along with its other qualities,
to survive, it requires military research
to support its military.
Military research helps the military
maintain its technological effectiveness
relative to its adversaries. This resear-
ch helps prevent opponents from
gaining edges in weapon system
development that might threaten world

stability. Without this research, it.
would be very difficult for this country
to maintain its ability to defend itself
from external threats. These threats

vulnerable to these actions.
Research aimed only at producing
weapons does not belong at a univer-
sity. The knowledge this research

scientific research with various ap-
plications, even if some of them are
military, should be performed at a univer-
sity. This research expands the knowledge
base for everyone-not just for a few

society, then this type of military
research does not fulfill the university's
mission. Also, the armed forces possess
facilities that are better equipped and
staffed to perform this research.
YET scientific research with various
applications, even if some of them are
military, should be performed at a
university. This research expands the
knowledge base for everyone - not just
for a few researchers with security
clearances, or weapons manufacturers
- as does weapons research. Research
sponsored by the Department of Defen-
se is always going to have military ap-
plications. If the research has civilian
as well as military applications, and its
findings are open to the public, it
belongs at a university. Attempting to
ban this research at a University
makes little sense, for if this research
will always be conducted, whether to
expand our knowledge base and/or
military effectiveness, banning it, say, at
the University would only hurt the
University. Some other research
facility, or university (Cal Tech or

researchers

with securi

ty

clearances

or

MIT.) would gladly accept thes
projects. Therefore, only the UniversitK'
professors, financial base, acd2
ultimately its students would suffer.
People hoping to ban defense depar-
tment-sponsored research here suggest
this research is immoral. One can veir,?
easily argue that a professor, or #
university is very moral when perftb
ming a service that in some small way
helps the nation they love preserve the
qualities, traditions, and character it
possesses. A university has just as mach
right to pursue these activities as a'
other entity in our country.
Research with various applications,
even if some are military, provides
knowledge for society. Research which
only helps to produce weapons does not:
Expanding the knowledge base 'of
society is a primary mission ofA'?
university; any research fullfilling thii
mission should be performed at univ&9'
sities, especially at an institution as'ex-
cellent as ours.
Ford is a senior in the College
Engineering.
A~cc)I>

weapons manufacturers-as does weapons
research.'

don't necessarily have to be military.
Hostile economic, diplomatic, and
social actions could be taken against a
country when it's perceived to be

produces is not available to the whole
university community, or the greater
society. If one of a university's primary
missions is providing knowledge to

- --

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Stewart
6:3-r8

MATTHEW

33

Vol. XClV-No. 125

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt snot be as the hypocrites are: for they love
to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they
may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou,
when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray
to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall
reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do:
for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye there-
fore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye

',,
0.,m

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Away with the manger

ask him.

P AWTUCKET, Rhode Island's
official Christmas display
including a Nativity scene is not a con-
stitutional violation of the separation
between church and state. Or so ruled
the Supreme Court Tuesday, 5 to 4. But
there seems to be many discrepancies
in he ruling on this touchy con-
stit tional issue which has recently
became! embroiled in election year
politicking.
The Court's ruling is questionable
because Chief Justice Burger writes
that "admittedly" the Nativity scene
"is a reminder of the origins of
Christmas." This seems to imply that
the display is promoting the Christian
concept of Christmas exclusively.
Because it uses city funds, the disply
ought to be purely secular in nature.
Although the court over the years
has upheld government programs that
accommodate religious observance,
such as the recent state tax deductions
for parochial school tuition and prayes
by chaplains in the state legislatures,
this is the first time the justices have
endorsed an official display of a sym-
bol that is explicitly and exclusively
Christian.
It is disturbinig that in approving
Pawtucket's Nativity scene, Burger
writes that even the "traditional,
purely secular displays" put up during
the Christmas season "would
inevitably recall the religious nature of
the holiday." It seems Burger does not
understand that for some non-religious
citizens or minority religious groups
Christmas is simply a time for gift-
giving and celebration of the com-

munity spirit of good will and not
necessarily a reminder of Christ's bir-
th.
The Court goes on further to declare
that Thomas Jefferson's interpretation
of the "wall" of separation between
church and state is not possible in this
day and age. Burger writes "total
separation is not possible in an ab-
solute sense." While it would be uncon-
stitutional to forbid individuals to
practice their religions or to forbid in-
dividuals to display Nativity scenes on
church-owned private property, the
fact that the Pawtucket scene is pur-
chased with city funds is a worrisome
union of church and state.
Furthermore, the Court's ruling
trivializes the meaning of the Nativity
for those who are religious by implying
that the scene of Christ's birth arouses
no stronger emotion than Santa's
house or reindeer which are also part
of the Pawtucket display.
Let us hope that this decision will not
play into the hands of those who wish to
have the U.S. affirm that this is a
"Christian nation'' so they can
promote their individual beliefs in the
form of a constitutional amendment
permitting prayer in public schools.
This nation, like most other countries,
has citizens of diverse religious
backgrounds and also citizens who are
not religious at all.
In the future, the Supreme Court
would be wise to keep the church and
state on opposite sides of the wall.
Scaling the wall poses a dangerous
threat to the religious freedoms
Americans now enjoy.

N.
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. 4

The big losers in the current
flurry of negotiations in Southern
Africa are likely to be the leading
liberation movements in the
region.
For the Reagan ad-
ministration, the agreements
between South rAfrica and its
neighbors are especially
welcome after the debacle in
Lebanon. There have been two
apparent diplomatic
breakthroughs.
FIRST, Angola and South Africat
agreed to setsup a joint com-
mission to supervise South
Africa's withdrawal from
southern Angola, which it has oc-
cupied in a manner not unlike
Israel's occupation of southern
Lebanon.
Barely a week later, Mozam-
bique and South Africa announ-
ced a security pact, under which
South Africa would stop suppor-
-ting rebel forces fighting the
Mozambique government.
On the surface, these
agreements seem to herald an
era of peaceful relations. But
Southern Africa's major
problem-apartheid in South
Africa-remains untouched. The
white minority regime has
skillfully managed to shift atten-
tion from its repressive policies
to the larger issue of regional in-
stability-an instability formen-
ted by South Africa itself.
IN SHORT, the new accords
crown the success of South
Africa's destabilization policies
in the region.
The major aim of these policies
has been to isolate the African
National Congress (ANC), which
represents the greatest threat to
South Africa's internal security.
The ANC, in fact, was totally
frozen out of the agreements.
The multi-racial ANC is the
leading national liberation
movement in South Africa. For
years, it advocated non-violent
change. More recently, faced
with an increasingly repressive

South Africa 's
latest diplomacy
destabilizes region

By Louis Freedburg

TM NW!IMSMART

~I'M FREH! t'AAwow/
I'mA YOUNG 1 I M WO~w
IS TIiS 0NE OF THOSE
NEW PENSIADS?
1f',"

most of its operations from
Angola.
Using sheer military force and
disregarding national boun-
daries, South Africa has
managed to intimidate each
country on its perimeter to put
the squeeze on ANC exiles and
their activities.
Its most devastating
"destabilization" policies have
been directed at the former Por-
tuguese colonies of Angola and
Mozambique. In Angola, it
provides aid to UNITA, the rebel
guerrilla organization. By U.S.
estimates, UNITA has caused
over $7 billion damage to the
country's infrastructure and
poses a real threat to the gover-
nment.
IN MOZAMBIQUE, South Africa
has backed the anti-government
Mozambique Resistance
Movement. This guerrilla
organization has attacked
bridges, railway lines, and power
plants and generally left the coun-
try so vulnerable that intelligen-
ce sources speculate South Africa
could overthrow the government
in 48 hours if it wanted to.
Beyond supporting rebel
BLOOM COUNTY

groups, South Africa also has in-
tervened directly, bombing ANC,
and SWAPO targets in the two
countries and killing many
civilians in the process. Both
countries have been further
weakened by a terrible drought.
It is this combination of con-
ditions that has forced Mozam
bique and Angola to the
negotiating table. with South
Africa, where they have been
pressed to restrict the activities
of both ANC and SWAPO.
FURTHER evidence of South
Africa's success appeared at a
recent meeting of the Southern
African Development Coor-
dinating Conference, which was
attended by representatives from
all black-ruled states in the
region. The organization's aim is
to help these countries achieve
economic independence from
South Africa. Contrary to
previous years, neither SWAPO
nor the ANC was invited.
ANC officials concede that
South Africa's policies have
"created difficulties." If it loses
its footing in friendly countries
like Mozambique and Angola,
ANC may well attempt to

strengthen -its underground ac
tivities within South Africa so'
that it can rely less on others for'r
Te wie minriy egie,'
however, is likely to increase the;
chokehold on the ANC inside .
South Africa by continuing to ji
members, extending its netwo
of informers, and increasin g
pealtesfor ntigovernmnac-
UNDER these circumstances,
the ANC will find itself hampered
by its inability to move supplies
and personnel into South Africa
from neighboing countriteAN
will not put a stop tp turmoil in'
South Africa. The trade union
movemegt is urgingfrsorwad
spite of unrelenting police action
has mobilized a large portion of
urbanized blacks. Resistance
against the government's effort j
to remov millions of blacks for-
nment "homelands" could
become powder kegs of resistan-
ce as unemployment and poverty
reach intolerable proportions.
As conflicts escalate, and they
inevitably will, the black African
countries to the north will find it
increasingly difficult, from a
political standpoint, to sustain
agreements restricting the only-
real representative of South
Africa's black majority. This will
quickly make the recent
diplomatic "victories" more and
more irrelevant.
As in Lebanon, the web could
unravel quickly.
Freedburg is an an-
thropologist and native of
South Africa. He wrote this
article for the Pacific News
Service.
by Berke Breathed

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