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October 02, 1985 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-10-02

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I

OPINION
Page 4 Wednesday, October 2, 1985 The Michigan Daily

I

tb r S id n !Ja n Uar i g
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

SDI protests miss the truth

4

Vol. XCVI, No. 20

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Deaf ears

R ACKHAM Student Gover-
nment's decision to ban any
representatives of the Reagan Ad-
ministration from speaking on
campus is a regretable means of
protesting Administration policy
which rings of provincialism.
At its Monday night meeting,
RSG passed the resolution
specifically to protest Vice-
President George Bush's scheduled
talk commemorating the 25th an-
niversary of the Peace Corps here.
RSG dies not, of course, have the
power to restrict speakers on cam-
pus, and the resolution is entirely
symbolic.
Although the resolution sounds a
great deal like an act of censorship,
it really is nothing of the sort. RSG
members were fully aware that
their decision to ban speakers
could not be enforced, and would
likely be ignored by University
administration. It is not censorship
because it has absolutely no teeth.
On the other hand, since the
resolution calls for a ban on Ad-
ministration speakers, it seems to
call on people to ignore what those
government figures have to say.
And that's not a good idea.
No matter how unpleasant his
message may be, Bush's speaking
on campus will generate discussion
on Administration policies.

Equally unpleasant may be Civil
Rights Commission Chairman
Clarence Pendleton next week, yet
his appearance will undoubtedly
bring up some grievously neglected
questions.
At the same time as RSG passed
its resolution to ban Administration
speakers, it passed another endor-
sing protests at Bush's address.
Such a controlled protest is a far
more effective means of bringing
about discussion because it can
respond to Bush's immediate
remarks rather than criticize his
more distant policy statements.
That discussion should be the
ultimate aim of people dissatisfied
with the selection of Bush to give
the Peace Corps address. As for-
mer director of the C.I.A., Bush
represents the very antithesis of
the non-interventionist Peace Cor-
ps ideals.
In his address, Bush will almost
certainly present his views in a
manner his critics will disdain.
Fortunately, those critics will be
there to provide their objections.
In spite of the fact that the RSG
resolution was made to promote
discussion on Administration
policies, its tone and message seem
aimed to discourage discussion in-
stead. And that discussion is vital
both to the University community
and to a healthy democracy.

By George Fish man
The wave of 'Star Wars' bashing around the
country will soon reach a peak here with an
anti-Strategic Defense Initiative weekend
bash adding to the present research boycott
by many University scientists.
What are the motives of the small group
centering around Carl Sagan and Richard
Garwin at Cornell who have managed to turn
the last great hope of the nuclear world into a
monster?
They detest the SDI because of its political
implications, and have thus politicized the
scientific world in an attempt to come up with
technical reasons of lack of feasibility. They
know the scientific arguments against SDI
are weak and have engaged in a campaign of
misinformation to obscure this fact from their
audience.
They have repeatedly gone into conferences
where classified scientific data could be
discussed, admitted the fallacy of their'
arguments, and then repeated the arguments
in the outside world where the classified data
could not be used against them. Ludicrous
assumptions are put into their models (such
as all Soviet missiles would be fired from the
same point on earth and not fired at with the
space station laser closest to them) to come
up with the need for thousands of space
stations (at $1 billion each) when the correct
number is about 100.
Even after admitting this mistake, they
quote cost estimates based on the original
figure. They say the Soviets could simply
overwhelm the system with additional
missiles, notwithstanding the fact that new
space stations would be needed in the amount
of only the square root of the number of ad-
ditional missiles, giving us a great cost ad-
vantage.
Equally ludicrous Soviet countermeasures
are come up with. An exmple is decoy

warheads to overwhelm the defenses. It is
common knowledge that unless decoys with
the same as actual warheads, they can be
easily differentiated and thus ignored. If they
weigh the same, then there would be little
reason to use them.
The vast majority of scientists who have in-
timate knowledge of the technology find the
SDI eminently feasible. It could destroy well
over 99 percent of incoming missiles, and the
Soviet Union would never launch an attack
knowing this. In fact, part of the Star Wars
system is already available with off-the-shelf
technology.
Technology utilized in the the Pershing II
missile can allow us to immediately build and
deploy a system of ground based projectiles
that could destroy a majority of incoming
Soviet missiles. This would not adequately
protect our population, but would protect our
missile silos (if a few are destroyed, so
what?) from a Soviet first strike.
The Soviets will be adding to their first
strike capacity developed in the late 70's with
a new generation of missiles - the SS-24 and
SS-25X. They can destroy almost all our land
based missiles, leaving us with no counterfor-
ce capacity to destroy their silos and bunkers
for the nomenklatura.
All we could do would be to launch an attack
against Soviet cities and start a global war of
annihilation; or surrender. Not giving the
Soviets such a great incentive for starting a
nuclear war would be extremely valuable in
itself.
Research has produced many more results
than anyone could have expected so early.
Already, laser beams have destroyed ICBM's
and charged particle beams have charted
straight paths through the atmosphere. And
as opposed to every other research project
they have ever been involved in, some scien-
tists just use these successes to proclaim that
too much more needs to be done.
If the motives are not based on feasibility
but on political and strategic theory, what are
they? Is it that the United States could launch

a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union with the
shield of the SDI? Not only does this point to
their high regards for the United States and
ignore the fact that when we had a nuclear
monopoly we did not use it, it is irrelevant.
The Soviets will have a Star Wars system in
a matter of years regardless of whether we do
or not. They started research years before us,
lead in many technical areas, and spend
billions of dollars and use thousands of scien-
tists each year. One does not want to think of
the possibility of the Soviets alone having
such a system.
As anti-nuclear war activist Jonathan
Schell has discovered, they have a more self
interested reason for opposing the SDI. They
are part of a huge arms control industry
whose only excuse for existence is to develop.
and monitor (sic) hugely complicated arms
control agreements.
The fact that the SALT agreements in-
creased the number of nuclear weapons both
sides had and gave the Soviets a first strike
capacity points to the horrifying conclusion
that the goal of these people is not the reduc-
tion or elimination of nuclear weapons. They
have admitted this in print, saying any
greatly reduced number of nuclear weapons
would be 'destabilizing.'
This is why many activists such as Mr.
Schell have been embracing Star Wars. For
once both the Soviets and us have missile
defense systems we can begin the elimination
of nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.
A phased system of putting the systems in
place and cutting up ICBM's for scrap could
be easily envisioned.
The Soviets would not be so furious over our
SDI research if they thought, as Carl Sagan
wants us to, that it was unfeasible (they would
love us to divert defense dollars into quack
projects). They know better. 4
So does Mr. Sagan, the Union of Concerned
Scientists, and some self-righteous physics
professors at the University of Michigan. It
seems that ideology and careers are getting
in the way of truth and hope for the earth.

Fishman is a first year law student.

Wasserman
Ou1 STAR WAR DEFENSE SY
WILL GAFE6UARD &
' S~~EQT~~

\CT:r LLYT. nT:

WILL INS')RET 'E

Gender gapping

U,)c c ' C 1 1T W u t

THE PUSH to oust Secretary of
Health and Human Services
Margaret Heckler from her
position is yet another indicator of
the woeful backsliding women are
experiencing within the Reagan
Administration.
While the White Press Office
would like to pass off the attempt to
remove Heckler from her post as a
"promotion," the offered am-
bassadorial post in Ireland would
obviously be a shift to a much less
politically important placement.
In addition, Heckler's leave-taking
would pare female cabinet-level
appointees down to one: Secretary
of Transportation Elizabeth Han-
ford Dole, the wife of Republican
ally, Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas.
In recent months President
Reagan's Chief-of-Staff Donald T.
Regan's status relative to the
status of women within the upper
echelons of policy making has
come under tremendous criticism.
Former ambassador to the U.N.
and member of the National
Security Council Dr. Jeanne Kirk-
patrick voluntarily left her post
last year and has been candid
about the discrimination she ex-
perienced in the exclusively male
enclaves of the policy making elite:
"Sexism is alive," Kirkpatrick has
said.
While Regan is ostensibly
dissatisfied with Heckler's
management of the Department of
Health and Human Service, par-
ticularly in regards to large num-
bers of vacancies in high level
positions, she is a Reagan appoin-

tee; a former member of Congress
with a moderate Republican voting
record.
Since assuming the HHS post
Heckler has consistently defended
the Administration's conservative
policies, and the economic
initiatives which have resulted in
cutbacks in many health insurance
and social welfare HHS programs.
Apparently such support is not
enough, however, for Reagan,
Regan, and Company, who would
like to see more aggressive anti-
abortion activism coming out of the
the agency.
The Heckler incident is unfor-
tunately only an illustrative detail
in the "big picture" for women
within the Reagan Administration.
Since Regan's tenure at the White
House began, what was
traditionally the top-ranking ad-
ministrative post for a woman,
director of public liason, has been
dropped down a notch, denying any
input from female White House
staffers at the important daily
senior staff meetings for the first
time since 1977.
Many say the appointments of
women to high level or high-
visibility positions during Reagan's
first four years and as re-election
time neared in 1984 were cosmetic
concessions made to close what
was feared to be a growing gender
gap.
But now that Reagan is safely
ensconced in the White House once
again, the need to appease the
public has dissipated, and ugly
sexist sentiment is increasingly
evident.

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I WILL D FENS

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CWTAiNLY Pf~oFCT

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14

LETTERS
Protest misguided 'media stunt'

To The Daily:
One would think that with all
the teaching that goes on at this
university, someone, somewhere,
would learn that confrontation
causes withdrawal and reaffir-
mation of a stand rather than
repudiation. But I suppose it is
more fun and soothing to the ego
to have one's picture in the paper
than one's beliefs come to
fruition. At least that is the im-
pression left by the 48
"protestors" who "sat in"
(trespassed is the legal word, I
believe) on Carl Pursell's office.
This blatant media stunt by a
group of probably very well-
meaning people only serves to
push Congressman Pursell into
the unenviable position of
reflexively having to defend a
position that deserves his full
f1P~-4hi 14t . a n, nnaw, o

its ability to garner readership.
Finally, I have a piece of ad-
vice for those who were arrested
at the congressman's office.
There are many organizations
available to actively voice your
views and work with to have your

views taken seriously. These
organizations include the
Michigan College Republican
Organization and the College
Democrats. If you really want to
have an impact on what is going

on, spend your time and money
working within the system in-
stead of spending it to get out of
jail and fighting the system.
-Karl J. Edelmann
September 24

Letters to the Daily should be typed, sriple spaced, and
signed by the individual authors. Names will be withheld only
in unusual circumstances. Letters may be edited for ' clarity,
grammar, and spelling.

3

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