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October 23, 1984 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-10-23

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4

OPINION
Page 4 Tuesday, October 23, 1984 The Michigan Daily

d

A step

towards ending the arms race

By Justin Schwartz
What can we do to stop our ominous
slide towards nuclear annihilation?.
One major step is to vote "yes" on the
nuclear free zone, proposal 1 on the city
ballot,this Nov. 6. The nuclear free zone
would prohibit work "a major purpose
of which" is the research and develop-
ment of nuclear arms. It would also
create an oversight commission to
review public contracts from the
Departments of Defense and Energy,
and to find sources of alternative,
civilian funding.
While in no way affecting basic
research or inquiry into nuclear
medicine, nuclear power, or the nature
of the arms race, it would stop the
development of the first strike and first
use nuclear weapons systems in Ann
Arbor and at the University. The
nuclear free zone is the necessary next
step in citizens' initiatives for peace.
Voting for it is a civic duty.
LOCAL action such as the nuclear
free zone is necessary because the
federal government, while professing
peace, only prepares for war. It
unilaterally escalates the arms race
and makes macabre preparations to
"prevail" in a "limited and prolonged"
nuclear war.
Millions of Americans have
petitioned and voted for a freeze.
Seventy percent of the public supports
it in every poll. But the Reagan ad-
ministration plays Cold War games
with the "Evil Empire." Even the
Democrats rejected Jesse Jackson's
convention demand for immediate
freeze talks. They promised only to
"move towards" such talks. We do not
have the time for motions instead of ac-
tions.
The new nuclear weapons systems
being developed in Ann Arbor have
nothing to do with deterrence. They are
weapons for aggressive war. The U.S.
now has 30,000 nuclear weapons.
Reagan has asked for 17,000 more. The
U.S.S.R. has about 20,000. Only 400
bombs would destroy either side, ob-

serves former Defense Secretary
Robert MacNamara. Each side can
destroy the other several scores of
times. There is no defense against this,
and least of all in new nuclear weapons.
We need fewer, not more nuclear
weapons.
As a matter of fact, the new nuclear
weapons make nuclear war more
likely. What deterrence exists is
threatened by new, highly accurate
silo-busters like the MX and Pershing II
missiles. These threaten to blow up
Soviet missiles or command centers in
a U.S. first strike, before the U.S.S.R.
could retaliate. Former National
Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy
says the MX is a "use-it-or-lose-it first
strike weapon." Space weapons expert
Reginald Turner reports that U.S. Star
Wars systems "could make the Soviet
missile arsenal obsolete overnight,"
with the same destabilizing effect of
destroying deterrence.
THE U.S. also has 20,000 theater and
tactical nuclear weapons - nuclear
howitzers, Hiroshima-sized landmines,
battlefield atomic rockets, neutron
bombs, and cruise missiles. According
to official U.S. policy, these are for
winning "limited nuclear wars," not
deterrence. They are meant for first
use in the Third World or Europe. As
former Deputy Assistant Defense
Secretary Morton Halperin explains:
"We will fight with conventional
weapons until we are losing; then we
will fight with tactical nuclear weapons
until we are losing; then we will blow up
the world."
The U.S. government rejects the
notion that nuclear wars cannot be
fought and won. It is actively preparing
to fight and win such wars. The new
nuclear weapons are meant to enable
them to do it. The U.S. is to "prevail"
in a nuclear war "at any level of con-
flict," stipulates "Defense Guidance,"
a secret Pentagon document leaked to
the New York Times on May 30, 1982.
"Senior U.S. officials" were quoted in
the Times on August 14, 1981 as saying,
"Defense Guidance was intended to
enable the U.S. to regain nuclear

superiority over the U.S.S.R. within
the decade. The administration intends
... to build a capacity to fight nuclear
wars that range from a limited strike
through a protracted conflict to an all-
out exchange."
This doctrine, which, by the way, is
called "NUTS" (nuclear use theory),
goes back over 20 years to the Kennedy
administraion, when MacNamara
developed "the view that any actual use

very nice, but, as we see, neither is the
U.S. government. They do know that a
mutual freeze and disarmament is in
their interests, and have proposed these
and other peace offers. The U.S. flatly
turned most of them down, even when it
had overwhelming superiority through
the mid-1970s. The U.S. government did
not try to stop the arms race when it
had superiority. If fact, the U.S. has in-
troduced, usually five to ten years

I think that in the long run the people of the
world will do more to promote peace than
the governments. The people want peace so
much that one of these days the gover-
nments had better stand out of their way
and let them have it.'
-President Eisenhower

of U.S. nuclear weapons should be con-
trolled and restrained," according to
his former Deputy Assistant Defense
Secretary Herbert Rowan.
THIS NUTS doctrine is not just talk.
It is accompanied by a policy of
threatening to start nuclear wars
whenever - this seems expedient. In
November 1981, then-Secretary of State
Haig threatened a "nuclear warning
shot" over Europe if the Soviets were
misbehaving. Nixon threatened to
nuclear-bomb Vietnam. His "Madman
Theory," as he explained it to his for-
mer aide Haldeman, was to "slip word
to. . . (the North Vietnamese) that for
God's sake, you know Nixon is obsessed
about communism. We can't restrain
him when he's angry - and he has his
hand on the button . . ." There are
many other instances of such threats.
How many more threats before the
bluff is called?
It is worth noting that no one has
produced an example of a Soviet threat
to attack first with nuclear weapons.
People ask "what about the Russians?"
Well, what about them? They are not

before the Soviets followed, every
single major piece of new nuclear
weapons technology since 1945. We
can't wait until Star War systems
are in place before we start talking.
MOST people may not realize it but
there is work on such aggressive
weapons being done in Ann Arbor. At
the University, engineers are working
to harden nuclear missile and bomber
electronics against the destructive ef-
fects of the electromagnetic pulse
caused by nuclear blasts. This work
may give the military the confidence in
its command control systems it needs
to fight a prolonged nuclear war. In
town, KMS Fusion, a local defense con-
tractor, is trying to improve the ef-
ficiency of a space-borne laser
developed by the U.S. Air Force
Weapons Laboratory. This might well
be part of the Star Wars program for
destroying the Soviet deterrent. Work
on such aggressive weapons must be
stopped.
The nuclear free zone proposal will
stop it, at least here. Of course, it will
not stop the arms race by itself. Unfor-

tunately, it will not disarm a single
nuclear weapon. But peace begins at
home. We need something stronger
than advisory resolutions and petitions.
These have not worked. We must keep
doing these too, but we also need the
nuclear free zone. It will tell our
Representative Pursell, an alleged
freeze supporter who votes funds for
first strike weapons, that he must
change his votes. It will tell the new
president in unmistakable terms to stop
the arms race now. By raising popular
pressure, it will increase our chance for
a freeze and disarmament.
President Eisenhower said: "I think
that in the long run the people of the
world will do more to promote peace
than the governments. The people want
peace so much that one of these days
the governments had better standout of
their way and let them have it." The
government has had 40 years to stop the
arms race. It has not stopped it. It has
only escalated. We do not have much
time. The nuclear free zone will tell the
government that it can no longer count
on our cooperation in our own destruc-
tion.
The measure is a good one:
* It is carefully drafted to include
only nuclear weapons systems and
nuclear war planning work. Basic
research in civilian and conventional
applications, nuclear or other, are ex-
plicitly exempted by the law.
-Nuclear arms work has nothing to do
with free inquiry. Work affected by the
law is classified. If you discuss its
details freely, the government will put
you in jail.
*The proposal only extends existing
University policy to the city as a whole.
The University already prohibits
classified research a clearly forseeable
effect of which is the taking of human
life, and if first strike and first use
weapons systems do not fall under that,
nothing does.
*The University and local firms won't
be affected unless' they do such work.
The Chamber of Commerce denies that
nuclear arms work goes on in the city.
Our research indicates otherwise. But

no firm does only such work; all do
civilian work which could be expan-
ded.
eDespite the insinuations of the op-
position, it is law like any other, enfor-
ced through the courts. The com-
mission has no enforcement powers and
cannot charge or convict anyone 'of
anything.
*Most of all, it will help reduce the
risk of nuclear war and be a call for a
freeze and disarmament.
The weapons companies do not like it.
They have hired a consultant named
Richard Claussen to run a group called
"Citizens Against Research Bans."-
Claussen's principled commitment to
peace is suspect. He says: "The finan-
cial motivation brings me here. I am'in
the business of making money." He
spent $504,000 to defeat a similar
measure in Cambridge, Mass. Here he
is blitzing the city with misinformation
and Hollywood-style advertising. "
Over 8,000 local voters petitioned-to
put the nuclear free zone proposal on
the ballot in a citizen's initiative. It Is
sponsored by Michigan Alliance for
Disarmament, a local citizen's group
which has worked for jobs, peace, and
equality in town for almost three years'.
The nuclear free zone campaign is fun-
ded entirely by small local con-
tributions. No wonder the Detroit Free
Press says the contest might look like
one between "well-heeled we'r
profiteers and well-meaning peace
protesters."
BY VOTING "yes" on Proposal 1, te
nuclear free zone, we can make a real
difference in stopping the arms race
and preserving the only world we have.
By voting for it we can help to start a
process of conciliation and peace, in-
stead of spiralling down into the
nuclear abyss. There is still time. Lets
start here.
Schwartz is a graduate studentin
philosophy of science. He is active
with the Michigan Alliance for
Disarmament.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Reduce the citv

S

nuclear threat

Vol. XCV, No. 41

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Nuclear leapfrog

WHO WON today's leg of the arms
race? It's really too close to call
but it looks like the Soviet Union will be
declared the winner.
Western intelligence sources have
reported that there is a new land-based
intercontinental ballistic missile in the
world's arsenal - the SS-25. The
Soviets have been researching the
weapon for the past six years and ap-
parently have now begun deployment
in western districts of the Soviet Union.
The SS-25 gives the Soviets the ad-
vantage in land-based strategic
nuclear weapons which means, of
course, that the United States is at a
disadvantage. It means that the
United States now has to surpass the
megatonnage, mobility, and range of
the SS-25 in order to restore a favorable
balance.
This game of leapfrog has been going
on since 1945. First we're ahead, then
they're ahead, then we're ahead. The
world is left paying the debt on obscene
arms investments and living with the
incredible destructive power of its
"defensive" systems.
President Reagan hopes to get a big
jump on the Soviet Union by creating
the Star Wars missile defense system.
There are real doubts that the program
would even be feasible but at best it
will do little more than sap billions of
dollars from the national budget and

open up a whole new arena for conflict.
Where do the superpowers take their
Cold War after land, sea, sky, and
space?
Before the conflict goes to space, it
should go to the negotiating table. New
weapons systems are the easy solution.
They may cost billions and billions of
dollars but are attractive since they
allow the leaders of the Soviet Union
and United States to put the problem
off. Why talk when you can leapfrog
over the danger? Unfortunately, no
matter who is out in front, the danger
remains.
In Sunday night's presidential
debate, Walter Mondale attacked the
president's proposed space-based an-
timissile systems asking, "Why don't
we stop this madness now and draw a
line to keep the heavens free of war?"
But why stop there? It is amazing that
neither candidate has provided a con-
crete program for keeping the earth
free of war. This is largely because the
American political mentality speaks to
the fear of Russian superiority instead
of the real fear. The escalating
destructive power - possessed by the
superpowers and the resulting
economic and social costs should be
the strongest political motivator in this
election.
The Soviets are ahead today, the
United States will be tomorrow. Who
cares, the world is always the loser.

To the Daily:
I'm writing in response to Andrew
Hartman's column on City
Charter Amendment Petition
Chapter 20: Nuclear Free Zone
Act. With all due respect to your
thoughts as read in "Vote against
nuclear free city," (Daily, October
12) I believe your column
represents the epitomy of
misguided interpretation.
You claim that if the amen-
dment is passed in November,
"our security will be threatened
by creating a greater potential
for a Soviet first strike because of
a perceived weakness in our
nuclear forces." There is no
weakness in abandoning the con-
struction of destructive weapons.
As if we didn't know, there is
already a nuclear threat, not only
in our country and the world but
in Ann Arbor. By passing the
amendment, the nation and the
world will be one huge step closer
to folding the nuclear umbrella
and ending the threat.
You claim that with further
development of our nuclear ar-
senal, "we are lessening the risk
of our missiles being fired ac-
cidentally," meaning if the
amendment is passed, there will
be a greater chance for a nuclear
accident. Common sense tells us
that if we didn't produce the
weapons in the first place, there
wouldn't be any accidents. Gran-
ted, we have the weapons in ab-
surd quantity, but by passing the
Nuclear Free Zone Act, we set a
standard, not for arms reduction,
but arms elimination.
You claim that the proposed
amendment "violates our First
Amendment rights of free
speech." You write that "you
could not talk about a nuclear
war in your classes or discuss a
hypothetical situation with your
friends." The proposal neither
states nor implies your
allegation. To the contrary, if we
pass the amendment, discussion
among the student body will
likely increase due to the atten-
tion Ann Arbor will receive from
the media. Further, assuming

6

of it be found unconstitutional.
Hartman, the campus and
citizens of Ann Arbor appreciate
your thoughts on the Nuclear
Free Zone Act. Your assertion
that the amendment could be

Vote for the Ray-gun' image

detrimental to our safety and
well being, though, must be
thought over once more. If
passed, the Nuclear Free Zone
Act will edge our country to a
long-awaited peace. If we don't

To the Daily:
I am an eighteen year-old
student at the University who will
be able to vote for the first time
this November. Like many other
Americans, I never considered
my individual vote to be very ef-
fective and so I was never par-
ticularly interested in exercising
my right to vote. Then somehow I
came to the realization that
although my single vote may not
sway the polls, the millions of
other "insignificant" votes like
mine are what elections are
made of. I began to believe it was
my duty to cast my vote and cast
it thoughtfully. In order to make
my vote as valuable as possible I
started to pay attention to the
various candidates' speeches and
ideas. After learning a little
something of the strengths and
weaknesses of the two presiden-
tial hopefuls I have decided to
vote for Ronald Reagan.
Both candidates seemed to
have relatively little to offer to
BLOOM COUNTY

the welfare of the nation.
Reagan's policy of spending cuts
in such programs as medical
research and education in favor
of military advancement seemed
to me to be unacceptable until
compared with the mysterious
terror of what Mondale might
have been capable of, con-
sidering his lack of presidential
experience and his ideas of
paying off the deficit with money
from sources he never specifies.
Mondale's idealistic theory on
disarmament appeared
ridiculous until I considered
Reagan's kamikaze theory on
national defense. At first glance,
making a decision between the
two politicians looked difficult,
but Ronnie stands out in more
ways than one as the only
reasonable choice. First of all,
his charisma: the image of Ronnie
as the Grecian formula cowboy
galloping out of the red dawn and
into a star-spangled sunset sim-
ply provokes more emotion than

the sight of droopy-eyed Fritz and
his pathetic smile. Ronnie is a
president we can all be proud of;
standing tall and adamant at
strategic arms limitations talks
or cracking nuclear one-liners at
dinner with Margaret Thatcher.
Ronnie, with his kooky sense of
humor and show-biz appeal, adds
sparkle to an otherwise
inanimate office. What is more,
Ronnie might just be unstable
enough to frighten the Soviets out
of any potentially provoking
situations in which Ronnie's
defense strategies might come
into play-I know he frightens
me!
Now it is your task, just as it
was mine, to ponder the issue and
make up your mind. Don't leave
your vote to a roll of the dice;
consider my logic and take my
advice: cast off your fears of im-
pending world war-vote Re-run,
vote Ray-gun, vote four more,
eighty-four!
-James Burz
October1b
by Berke Breathe

S
0

pass it, we will remain under the
nuclear umbrella reticently
agonizing over the stupidity .of
arms proliferation.
-Steven Jaron
october 17

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