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December 02, 1986 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-12-02

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, December 2, 1986

The Michigan Daily

4

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

SDI

abets

proliferation

Vol. XCVII, No. 62

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
Intentional violations

T HIS PAST WEEK, the news has
been dominated by mounting
revelations of U.S. administration
involvement in clandestine ship-
ping of arms to foreign countries.
Inspite of President Reagan's
denials of the illegal Iranian
transaction and subsequent ship-
ments to the Contras, the arranged
delivery of arms to Iran, through
Israeli agents, follows an extended
history of illicit weapons tranfers
and violations of congressional
intent on the part of the Reagan
administration.
Ignorance does not indicate
innocence. Even if it were true that
Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North
was able to transfer huge amounts
of U.S. arms and funds without
the sanction or knowledge of other
Reagan officials, which no one
seems to believe, Reagan would be
guilty of compliance and neglect.
The two operations most recently
uncovered are additional demon-
strations and results of, the Reagan
administration's contempt for legal
restrictions, popular sentiment, and
congressional power.
The Iranian arms deal and the
related diversion of money to the
Contras are not isolated operations.
-They fit within the Reagan
administration scheme to
circumvent the mandates of
congress and the American people.
Covert arms deliveries, often
through third parties, have become
common practice for this
administration. The administration
practices triangular trade, the use of
third parties to transfer arms, when
it is prevented by congressional
and popular opposition from
becoming directly involved.
The role of Israel in the Iran
affair came as a surprise to few.
Israel has traditionally fulfilled the
United States' "need" to support
undemocratic governments.

Whenever congressional restriction
prohibits U.S. military aid to a
repressive "ally," Israel increases
its military support. Israel has
served this function by supplying
such beneficiaries as Guatemala,
Chile, South Africa, and the
Contras. Beyond economic profit,
Israel has little self-interest in
arming such repressive powers-
unless one considers that Israel is
the largest recipient of U.S.
monetary aid.
Israel is not the only country
employed in triangular trade. Other
countries implicated include South
Korea, Taiwan, Honduras,
Venezuela, El Salvador, and Saudi
Arabia. Saudi Arabia, not
incidently, began to provide
military aid to the Contras after
receiving the AWAC aircraft
shipment for which President
Reagan strongly lobbied. Of
course, there is no documented
evidence that there is a reciprocity
of aid involved. The Pell
amendment to the 1986Foreign
Aid bill prohibits the granting of
aid to countries with the express
intent of channeling money to other
parties. Yet, as long as there is no
written agreement-i.e., evidence
of intent, the Reagan administration
can, and does, violate the intent of
the law while appearing to obey it
technically. It is characteristic of
the Reagan administration to
manipulate, twist, and when all
else fails, violate the law to
achieve its foreign policy
objectives.
The recently revealed operations
should not be treated as anomalous
or products of "overzealous"
individuals. They are only further
evidence of the triangular trade's
prevalence. They are symptomatic
of the Reaganism disease. It is a
disease which calls for a cure.

By Justin Lahat
I was quite enlightened by Mr. Palis'
and Mr. Caver's letters ("Peaceniks miss
the point on arms control" and "Star Wars
foes are wrong," Daily, 11/10/86).
Little did I know that the Soviets "have
violated every major arms control
agreement they have ever signed with the
United States," as was stated by Mr.
Palis, I suggest that he look over the
Limited Test Ban Treaty, the Seabed
Treaty and the Threshold Ban Treaty, all
of which have been apparently followed
(there is some speculation that the United
States has violated the Serabed Treaty). If
Mr. Palis has any evidence to the
contrary, I would gladly welcome his
presenting it: my subscription to The
Plain Truth has lapsed.
The 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which
specifically bans the deployment of
nuclear weapons in the earth's orbit and
outer space in general, must also be taken
into consideration. It appears that the
SDI system touting the famed X-caliber
laser, the power of which would be
generated by a nuclear explosion, is in
direct violation of this treaty. Further -
more, I cannot conceive where Mr. Palis
came up with the idea that the United
States has unilaterally decreased the
Justin Lahat is a LSA sophomore.

megatonage of its nuclear arsenal by more
than 30 percent since the mid-sixties.
I must also take note of a major
inconsistency in Mr. Palis' argument in
favor of SDI. First he writes that the idea
of "Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)
is failed doctrine." He gives no evidence
to support this stance though he later
writes that a nuclear war is unwinnable.
Excuse my ignorance, but is not the
inability of winning a nuclear war the
underlying premise of the MAD doctrine?
Beneath the surface of all this
rigamoroleais the assumption by Mr.
Palis that SDI works. Even if this
Dalkon Shield of defense technology
could be implemented (which is
doubtful), it is not even proposed that it
could defend against cruise missiles or
low flying bombers. Furthermore, even
if SDI was 95 percent effective against
high-flying intercontinental missiles,
which no one of merit believes, the
remaining five percent would be enough
to levy substantial damage. Obviously,
the Pentagon understands this.
Reportedly, they think of SDI as a
bargaining chip for cutting an arms
control deal with the Soviets. This
appears to be the position maintained in
Mr. Caver's infinitely better-thought out,
though equally misguided, letter.
Mr. Caver mocks Gorbachev's
request for a test ban on SDI, writing that
the Soviet Premier is unwilling to give

any concessions of his own. The Soviets
have been folowing a self-imposed,
unilateral nuclear test ban since August,
1985. This is verifiable by current
sattelite and seismographic techniques.
This attempt to convince the United
States to halt testing as well seems like a
major concession on the part of the
Soviets. The United States, as Mr. Caver
submits, enjoys quite a technological
advantage over the Soviets. What better
way to continue this advantage and
decrease the huge amounts of money we
spend on our military wares than signing
a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty with
the Soviets?
Mr. Caver appears to believe that
through increasing the arms race we can
economically force the Soviets to submit
to us. With the United States spending
$300 billion a year on the military ($30
billion so far for the proposed SDI) while
we have a deficit approaching $3 trillion
by 1988 and an upcoming recession, it
seems that Mr. Caver has cast himself in
the role of the. pot calling the kettle
black. Every president since Eisenhower
has been in favor of a halt to testing
except Reagan. The United States now
has the best opportunity it has ever had to
reach this goal. It in fact, has an
obligation to work toward ending the
nuclear arms race with the Soviets as
stated in jhe Non-proliferation Treaty.
We must act quickly. We have nothing
to lose and everything to gain.

Wasserman

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4

For people who know everbody

Putting it on the line

A GROUP OF UNIVERSITY
students have determined that an
Online debate would be a good
way of opening up political
exchange on campus. Topics they
have suggested for debate include;
Classified Research on Campus,
Political activism by religious
groups, Middle East Conflict, and
Prospects for Arms Control.
The students have proposed
setting up two simultaneous
conferences. The first would
include only local and/or national
'experts' and a moderator, who
would lead the debate according to
as-yet unestablished guidelines.
The panel would proceed with
experts responding to the
moderator and each other. In the
second conference, computer users
would respond to the panelists,
pose questions if they so desired,
and generally discuss the content of
the first conference. The
combination of two conferences
gives computer users access to
information and a channel for
discussion. Computer users could
suggest topics and people or
groups who would be interested in
serving as panelists.
Though computer dialogues may

seem removed, people are already
using computers to send messages
to friends or meet new people.
Taking advantage of the University
communication system in this way
makes sense, especially since all
students pay at least $100 per term.
The computer system is an easy,
accessible information source
(when there aren't massive lines
during midterms and finals) and
can be a viable means of finding
out what other people on campus
think about political issues. Such a
forum would extend the exisiting
debate all over campus, possibly to
people who have little opportunity
to voice their opinions or time to
attend conferences.
Computer dialogues will not
replace personal conversations, but
they can add to the discussion
process. Information access will
increase as permanent records of all
conferences are saved for
reference.
Using the computer system for
thought provoking debate is an
encouraging sign of openminded -
ness. Willingness to share ideas
and opinions with people who have
diverse viewpoints is education at
its best.

I was walking to class Qne day with a
friend and a funny thing happened.
Somehow it took us 15 minutes to get
from one end of the Diag to the other.
Why had this trip, which normally
takes two minutes, taken fifteen?
Well, in the space of 200 yards, my
friend had to stop to talk to Suzie from
economics, Pete from West Quad, Doug
IDD ow Ihi~
from Mojo, Tim from wrestling, Carrie
from home, Beth from arobics, Joe from
the frat, John from the co-op, Judy from
the Mug, Sheila from freshman
orientation, Debbie from work, Liz from
the bar, and-worse-Bill and John from
my psychology and poli. sci.
It seems my friend was one of a select
group of people. She was what
anthropologists classify as "a person who
knows everybody." Just exactly how
these people know everybody is a
mystery and is a point of unending
curiosity to those of us who don't know
everybody.
To further probe into this issue, I
interviewed Hubert T. Popularity, the
person who knows the most people on
the U of M campus. By last estimate,
Mr. Popularity is on a "Hey, what's up"
relationship with over 5,000 people on
campus. Further, he can carry on a 30-
second chat involving classes, politics, or
housepets with over 3,500 persons.
Mr. Popularity points out that people
who know everybody benefit from the
self-fulfilling prophecy. It seems that
people are impressed with and want to
know people who know everybody.
Thus, the people who know everybody
now know everybody plus some. "The
rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.
It's sort of like Reaganomics," he
explains.
Mr. Popularity can think of no other
reason that he is so popular, except that
he is a great guy. The people who know
everybody have a certain code, he says.
It's not cool for a person who knows

everybody to scream across a street, "Hey,
John!!" That would be seeking out
recognition and for that they can be
disbarred from the Persons Who Know
Everybody Club. Instead, persons who
know everybody must coolly walk by
their friends with a "John, what's
happening?"
The code specifies that when two
people who know everybody meet, the
one who is with another person will wait
to be greeted. This maximizes
impressing people, because the person
with the other did not have to seek out
the greeting.
Problems could arise if both persons
who know everybody are each walking
with other people. The code of ethics,
however, takes care of this says Mr.
Popularity. If both persons are walking
with others, the person with the opposite
sex friend gets priority.
What are we people who don't know
everybody to do in the face of this? How
are we to deal with the people who know
everybody?
A friend of a friend of a friend of mine
got back at his friend this way: anytime
he would walk with his friend he would
whisper under his breath to strangers who
were walking by, "Hey, John," "Hey,
Ralph," "Hey, Jenny."
I urge everyone to take this strategy.
If all of us start talking to people we
don't know, it will be harder for the
people who know everybody to
distinguish themselves.
Anywhere you go, you should strike
up impromptu conversations with
strangers. Keep the subjects safe:
classes, clothes, sports. And above all,
do not blow your cover by attempting to
guess the other person's name.
If this group effort fails, there is a
solution for individuals seeking to do
some impressing. People who don't
know everybody should band together
with the friends they do have and
coordinate their schedules. They should
schedule their classes so that their paths
to and from buildings cross.
That way, these people will run in to
each other and impress the hell out of
anyone they may be walking with that
day. This is a good example of long range
planning. For short range planning, one

might try to impress others by having his
friends line up in the Fishbowl around
lunch time and stream out at 30 second
intervals.
For solving the more general problem,
a third solution may be in order. It is a
punitive one and should only be used in
extreme circumstances.
A quota would be put on how many
people a person can know. At an
institution of 35,000 people, one can be
fairly liberal about these limits. Say, for
example, an undergraduate should be
limited to 1,700 acquaintances. 1,200
persons smiled at in class, but never
spoken to. 500 friends (semi-close).
450 friends known exclusively in classes.
250 friends (very close). And 30 best
friends.
Failure to limit oneself to these quotas
would result in punishment. Persons who
know everybody would all be rounded up
and put in one room. The door would not
be blockeil; but because these people
would know everyone there, they could
never leave. . The people who know
everybody would be forced by habit to
make the rounds and visit with everyone
they knew.
Just as they would finish talking to
everyone they knew, a day will have
elapsed and they will have to make the
rounds all over again. A never ending
cycle wouldensue. Persons who know
everyone would be trapped in this
Kafkaesque institution forever. I call this
punishment: the myth of Sisyphus meets
Dale Carnegie.
Some persons may object to this
penalty as "too harsh" or "too
existentialist." Being in a room with one
person who knows everybody is bad
enough. Think how bad it would be
when everybody knows everybody. 4
I would have to agree here. These
punishments are too harsh. The only
solution would appear to be letting these
friendly maniacs out on the street.
We have no humane choice but to
learn to endure them. With a little
patience and tolerance, you might even
enjoy walking with a person who knows
everybody. Just not when you're in a
hurr

J

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