Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

January 05, 1984 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-01-05

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


Page 4

Thursday, January 5, 1984
The evil empire:Rea-
image of the Soviet

b, to, ig an 743a' t6
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCIV-No. 78 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board


Mixed succes!
Y OU DON'T quarrel with suc-
cess," commented Ronald
Reagan concerning Jesse Jackson's
recent successful attempt to negotiate
the release of Lieut. Robert Goodman
from the Syrians. But something
which should be quarrelled with is
whether any great success was in fact
achieved. Goodman was released but
the situation in Lebanon does not ap-
pear to have been improved and none
of the diplomatic parties involved are
any more credible. The good guys are
still few and far between.
Jesse Jackson has not proven him-
self to be the master diplomat or
single-minded champion of freedom.
His motive lies no closer or farther
than next November and his campaign
has certainly benefitted from this
publicity stunt. In saying that "ours
was a moral appeal not so much based
on justice but on mercy," Jackson is
ignoring the more obvious ulterior
motives of the Syrians and glossing
over the appeal that his partisan
politicking has for them. Syrian
President Assad, in allowing Good-
man's release, is not responding to
moral callings but instead to potential
diplomatic advantage.
Goodman's presence in Lebanon af-
fords Reagan a pretext for continued
involvement - something the Syrians
desperately want to end. With Good-
man gone it is Assad's hope that
domestic pressure on Reagan will be
increased for an American with-
dr a1. The dealings with Jackson do
not attest to Jesse's skill and influence
as much as they attest to a Syrian
desire to display the impotence of
Cold h
TWO LOCAL murders and a slightly
sluggish city council added up to a
cold Christmas for many of Ann Arbor's
City council has been planning since
September to create a shelter for the
city's population of "street people." Lit-
tle snags developed in an already slow
moving bureacracy, and the council has
continued to delay final approval for the
shelter. Meanwhile, an anyone who
vacationed north ofethe Florida keys
knows, the temperature dropped. And
dropped. And Ann Arbor's homeless
had one less place to go for shelter.
To further complicate things, two
recent murders put the city's street
people on the receiving end of some
rather harsh criticism from Chief of
Police William Corbett. Two street
people, Robert Lee Williams and Lester
Joiner Jr., were charged just before
Christmas with intentionally drowning
19 year-old Brian Canter. Another in-
vestigation culminated in the arrest of
Machelle Yvonne Pearson for allegedly
shooting Nancy Faber early in Decem-
ber. Faber was shot while in her car in a
Kroger parking lot, and, according to
Corbett, police traced the murder
weapon through a series of exchanges

s for Jackson
Reagan's current policies.
All of this maneuvering by Assad
and Jackson second-guesses Reagan
and undermines his authority in the
region. Mercy and morality unfor-
tunately don't carry as much weight as
diplomatic and political concerns.
Reagan's partial political diplomatic
injury does not render him worthy of
much sympathy, however. He still
holds most of the cards and is playing
them unproductively. Following
Goodman's release, Reagan called for
increased efforts on both sides to try to
insure stability in the region. He has
done nothing to follow up this desire:
no new proposals, no new efforts. He
has assured the Syrians that a with-
drawal is not being considered and that
aerial reconnaissance missions would
continue to be flown over Syrian-
backed territory.
It's business as usual. Reagan's
tenuous policies aren't adapting to the
volatile, complex conditions in the
region, Assad is jockeying under the
guise of humanitarianism to exacer-
bate those conditions, and Jesse is
working on votes. The only good guy is
Goodman and he has disturbingly little
to do with the whole situation - much
like his Marine counterparts. Unlike
the Marines, however, Goodman is no
longer in Lebanon. And amid all the
double-talk and diplomatic
machinations, that is a notable, if in-
significant success indeed.
Goodman's return prompted one
White House official to comment,
"Everybody gets something out of this,
and it doesn't cost anybody anything."
Nothing except credibility.
among "street people" before and after
the shooting.
The two incidents prompted Corbett to
call the street peoples' lives "a shadowy
world." He appeared to connect all of
Ann Arbor's homeless with the two
murders. "Birds of a feather flock
together," as he so eloquently put it.
Whether it was intentional or other-
wise, Corbett's linking of all the city's
homeless with the three murder suspec-
ts was unfair and irresponsible.
The city's homeless are as diverse a
group as any other in town. Many are
just out of jobs, lacking basic skills, and
uneducated. They are victims for the
most part, not criminals. To imply that
because of their poverty they are
criminals or even associate with
criminals is innacurate.
The two crimes are heinous, those
responsible should be punished. But we
hope a public backlash to the killings
doesn't punish those who are not respon-
But aside from the killings, council
has been sputtering on the homeless
shelter project. The decisions need to be
made; the shelter needs to be opened.
It must have been a long, cold month
for many of the city's homeless. They
deserve some warmer treatment.

By Richard Barnet
Under the Reagan ad-
ministration the Soviet Union has
acquired a new image. In
Truman's time, Russia was seen
as a dangerous, enigmatic force
to be contained; in Kennedy's, a
cunning adversary in a global
chess game; in Kissinger's, an
uneasy partner in an antagonistic
collaboration called "detente."
But in the Reagan era the
Soviet Union is viewed as "the
focus of evil in the world," a
corrupt, decaying system headed
for the "ash can of history."
At his first press conference as
president, Ronald Reagan made
a point of painting his opposite
members in the Kremlin as men
prepared to "lie, cheat, commit
any crime." The same theme has
been struck again and again.
The clear implication is that
the Soviet Union is not an ap-
propriate diplomatic partner. To
deal with the Kremlin is like
dealing with the Mafia. The only
language they understand is the
threat of force.
Around the world, national
leaders and professional
diplomats have expressed con-
cern about the Reagan rhetoric,
which has given the United States
the image of a nation spoiling for
a fight.
Reagan's pronouncements
about the feasibility of fighting
nuclear wars in other people's
countries, and the musings of
White House aides such as
Richard Pipes that we just might
have to go to war with the Soviets
if they don't change their system,
helped bring millions of
protestors into the streets of
Europe. The Democrats surely
will make an issue of the Reagan
The critical issue is whether
President Reagan believes his
own rhetoric. There is strong
evidence that he does.
The last American leader who
talked about U.S.-Soviet relations
as a holy war was John Foster
Dulles. Dulles made bloodcur-
dling speeches, but he was a
pragmatist. He did not hesitate
to sign an important agreement
with Stalin's successors that
permitted the mutual withdrawal
of U.S. and Soviet forces from
But close observers of Ronald
Reagan doubt that he could bring

The Michigan Daily.,
military actions against tiny
countries like Grenada and
Nicaragua which are presented
not as independent nations but as
Kremlin outposts. The evil of the
Soviet system justifies acts of
war in our hemisphere, in defian
ce of both legal obligation and the,
overwhelming sentiments of the
Latin nations.
In the Reagan world view, like.
the old-fashioned Hollywood, r
movies in which he appeared,'
evil is punished and virtue
rewarded. The Soviet system is
on the skids because it deserves"
to be.
There is indeed evidence of a
significant decline in Soviet..
health and education in recent
years, which almost certainly is
due to the cumulative effects of
siphoning off so many resources
to the military.
But there is no evidence at all
that the Soviets therefore wilt.
shrink from appropriating.,
whatever resources are needed to
match the U.S. military buildup-;
and to prove that they are not .i
paper tigers headed for that ash. .
can. There is considerable inter,.
nal dissatisfaction with many
aspects of the Soviet system, but m
spending whatever is needed for Z'
defense has strong public sup. ,
In short, it is most unlikely thai
threats and insults from the: ":
Reagan administration will make
the Soviets less evil.
The rhetoric war between the
superpowers is reaching new.,;
heights as military costs -
escalate. In times of economie
crisis when critical domesti''
needs in both societies are unmet
the case for spending scarce'-"
resources on the military to carry.4
on the game of crisis,
management must be made with
special urgency. Roughly,
speaking, a trillion-dollar
military budget requires an.'-
enemy twice as evil as one for
which only $500 billion is to be ap-
In both countries, the rhetoric
creates a climate of fear aid a
sense that war is inevitable. That
is dangerous enough. But the
greatest danger is that leaders
might believe their own rhetoric
and act on it.

AP Photo
The cold war rhetoric of past administrations has been revived by
world leaders Ronald Reagan and Yuri Andropov. The real question,
however, is do they believe their own words. And the frightening an-

swer is probably, yes.
himself to sign any agreement
with the Soviet Union. For this
president, relations with the
Soviet Union can be managed
only be confrontation and demon-
stration of will.
The only agreements possible
are tacit understandings that
there are lines not to be crossed.
Such agreements depend on the
threat of nuclear escalation.
When he entered the White
House, Reagan hoped to avoid
negotiations altogether until his
military buildup was well under
way and he had demonstrated to
the evil enemy that the American
people, now free of the Vietnam
syndrome, were totally behind
him. Because of the peace
movement in Europe and the
freeze campaign here, he was
forced to the negotiation table
sooner than he wished.
Now, to allay what officials call
"nuclear anxiety," the Reagan
administration claims that the
Soviets will soon be back at the
table. But there is strong eviden-

ce that they will not.
The key to Ronald Reagan's
political success has been his gift
for effective simplification of an
increasingly baffling and com-
plicated world. The "evil em-
pire" is critical to his
streamlined world view.
He may well believe his own
1980 campaign rhetoric which
ascribes all variety of America's
troubles abroad - from the
Iranian hostage-taking to conflic-
ts within the NATO alliance - to
the "green light" which the Car-
ter administration gave the
Soviets by not talking tough
enough or building missiles fast
He has said there wouldn't be
any "hot spots" in the world but
for Soviet machinations,
meaning that revolutions in such
places as Angola, Nicaragua and
El Salvador would not happen
unless buttons were pushed in
This view helps build political
support in the United States for

Barnet wrote this for
Pacific News Service.




. .

IT.f .:





l ' TRY 1)p1
- - ,
yj* 4m

.C eJOo f TE~cIKE~sS iTo TQhkw
-W INS o O9. UTRE .&4ER.,
C Ny

ctVv; Q D..

-4 44

J -ThE

- .. .. .. . .. .. . - -0 - .- - .


...... .. .
.. ... ..
................ ......
..... .. .

Back to Top

© 2024 Regents of the University of Michigan