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January 26, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-01-26

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OPINION
Page 4 Monday, January26, 1987 The Michigan Daily

Edite an n btudntsa net M ichig an
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Support moderates in Iran

Vol. XCVII, No.82

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.

Repeal Prop. 48

THE NATIONAL COLLEGIATE
Athletic Association's (NCAA)
Proposition 48, which sets
academic admissions requirements
for athletes, does more to bolster
the public image of university
athletics' academic integrity than it
does to actually resolve the
"student as well as athlete'
dilemma. The NCAA should repeal
Prop. 48 and replace it with an
emphasis on graduation.
Proponents of Prop. 48 claim
that the if the academic standards
(700 S.A.T. and 2.0 G.P.A.) are
not met then denying an athlete the
first year of eligibility is justified.
They maintain that since the
University's primary role is to
provide an education, athletes must
first demonstrate academic
competence.
But Prop. 48 seems to have been
primarily created to pacify public
outrage on the academic status of
"student-athletes." Unfortunately,
the victims have too often been
tremendously gifted, seventeen-
and eighteen-year-old black athletes
from economically impoverished
areas. Though pestered and wooed
by college coaches for at least three
years, the exceptional athlete may
enter his or her first Fall Term in
the midst of national attention to his
insufficient S.A.T. scores.
An outstanding athlete should be
admitted to the University on the-
valid merits of exceptional athletic
ability. For most sports, the only

pre-professional athletic programs
are at colleges. The University's
respective schools and departments
admit highly skilled applicants like
artists, dancers, and musicians
largely on the merit of specialized
ability. To readily accept artists but
not athletes is prejudicial. Talented
individuals with academically weak
test scores and grades should enter
the University under confidential
conditions of first year, academic
probation..,
Academic potential should not be
assessed, in all cases, on the basis
of test scores and grades. The
S.A.T., culturally biased and
manipulatable through private
courses and study guides, is
neither correct nor just in
estimating collegiate potential.
Public education, supported
significantly by local taxes, differs
drastically in measures of quality.
Advocates of Prop. 48 argue that
recruiting athletes who may have
little chance of graduating is
exploitative. The exceptional athlete
who goes on to a lucrative
professional career is not exploited.
The NCAA should require coaches
to graduate a high percentage of
their scholarship athletes.
Schools should offer athletes an
opportunity to improve and mature
as people, assuring meaningful
classes at an appropriate level. An
athlete should not be scorned for
studying athletics, as a dancer is
not scorned for studying dance.

By Reed Rubinstein
The Iran arms scandal has provided
some entertaining commentary on the
way that America conducts its foreign
policy. Between occasionally self-serving
congressional investigations and the
hordes of print and television reporters all
seeking to become the next "Wood-
Stein," the real issue has been lost. What
is important about Iran is not whether
money was diverted to the contras or
even, in geopolitical terms, whether
American law was broken. What is
important is the relative validity of the
policy goal that led to those arms sales.
Lost in the dust and confusion has
been a reasoned discussion of the goals
which animated the policy process that
led to the sale of arms to the Khomeni
regime. Two basic justifications for the
arms have been offered. The first was that
the sales were necessary to help get
American hostages out of Lebanon. The
second was that the sales were a means of
establishing contact with a "moderate"
group within the Iranian power structure
that upon Khomeni's death could take
control and bring Iran into a realignment
of sorts with the West.
If in fact the purpose of the arms
transfer was to buy the freedom of
American hostages held in Lebanon by
Iranian surrogates, thentheAmerican
policy was at best ill advised, and at
worst harmful to the lives and safety of
other Americans. An arms for hostages
trade first rewards perpetrators of terrorism
for their actions, and second belies the
long-stated American policy never to
Reed Rubinstein has B.A., M.A.,
and J.D. from the University of
Michigan. He is currently employed by
a law firm and is working on a Ph.D.

negotiate with terrorists. Perhaps the
single most important resource that a
nation has in its dealings with other
hostile nations of groups is the credibility
of its threats to use military force to
protect its citizens and/or its vital
interests. If this was an arms-for-hostages
trade, then the contradiction between what
American policymakers say they will do
with terrorists and what in fact they did do
with terrorists in the Iranian case will
make future terrorist groups less likely to
respect the credibility of American
threats. This lack of credibility will
therefore endanger the lives of other
Americans.
If, however, the purpose of the arms
sale to Iran was in fact to establish
contact with a more pro-western group
within the Iranian government, and
strengthen that group relative to its pro-
Soviet competitors in preparation for the
battle over power in Iran that is cerain to
come, than American policymakers
should be complimented not condemned.
Indeed, recent reports indicate that the pro-
western group has managed to squelch
Iranian critics of the Arms deal; a first
small indication that there is hope for the
West vis-a-vis the Soviets in Iran.
While the execution of the policy in
the Iran case might be flawed, the
underlying principal of seeking out and
supporting groups sympathetic to the
West in hostile regimes should be
preserved. Given the fact of continued
competition between the United States
and the Soviet Union, competition that
will only intensify in the 1990s, it is
important thatthe United States began to
identify ways in which it can more
effectively pursue its interests. The
American character is dynamic, creative
and flexible. Yet, the American policy
planners' response to Soviet activities in

the post World War II period has
emphasized statis and reaction, through
the policy of containment. Given this
poor fit between national character and
national policy, it is not surprising that
the containment doctrine has not
generated great enthusiasm among the
American people.
U.S. foreign policy makers should
exploit American strength, not feature
American weaknesses in our competition
with the Soviet Union. In policy terms,
this principal does not mean static
containment of Soviet influence with the
U.S. in the unenviable position of having,
to react to Soviet initiative. It means
instead a policy based on dynamic action,
flexibility and creativity which
encourages change in strategically
important areas of the world that may be
controlled by groups hostile to the west.
A policy based on the development of
"pluralism," that is, a development of-
competing loci of power within a
particular nation, which finds disaffected
groups in hostile nations (like Iran) that
might be friendly to the United States,
and aides those groups with money, arms,
and organizational support to challenge
the controlling power is the kind of
policy which emphasizes American
strengths and would engender public
support. Such a policy would force the
Soviet Union to take the defensive
allowing the United States to the inherent
rigidity of the Soviet foreign policy
bureaucracy.
To the extent that the Iran affair was
triggered by the desire to help entrench
and support a pro-western faction within
the Iranian government, then the policy
goals were proper and should serve as the
basis for future dealings with other
nations. That, and really little else, is
what is important about Iran.

Wasserman

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Pictures of death

V IEWERS OF TELEVISION
STATION WPXI in Philadelphia
witnessed Pennsylvania State
Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer's
suicide in all of its gory entirety
Friday. Readers of the Miami
Herald saw a picture of Dwyer,
who had been convicted of
accepting bribes, with a gun in his
mouth at the instant of the bullet's
impact. These photographs
presents the ethical dilemma
between journalism or
sensationalism.
The Daily only published a
picture of Dwyer holding a .357
Magnum revolver prior to taking
his own life. Realizing that the
public nature of Dwyer's suicide
would breed a curiousity to see all
of the pictures, the Daily decided,
nonetheless, that the pictures
showing Dwyer at the point of
death would be inappropriate for
publication.
Many argued that showing the
moment of the bullet's impact
would have more completely
illustrated the story by bringing the
reality of death closer to home. The
pictures of Dwyer killing himself
depicted death in a more realistic
way than one sees in television or

movies.
Had Dwyer's death been news
in its own right showing his death
would have been essential to the
story. For example, the .film
footage of President John F.
Kennedy's assassination is
routinely shown. Dwyer was not a
major news figure in Michigan
however, his death was only
significant to the extent that it
occurred in a spectacular fashion
and does have to be shown in
gross detail.
The much less gory picture
shown in the Daily was disturbing
in its own right. The photograph
shows Dwyer talking to reporters
and onlookers only moments
before taking his own life. The
strain of his decision is apparent on
Dwyer's face. The story is not one
of blood and guts, but what drove
Dwyer, a successful public official
who had met sudden downfall, to
take his own life. The picture of
Dwyer before death tells that story.
The unpublished pictures of
Dwyer being propelled upward by
the impact of his shot do not
explain or advance the story of his
death. They shock and disturb
without enhancing the journalistic
element of the story.

LETTERS:
Committee supports peace and justice

:1
14

To The Daily:
The Peace and Justice
Committee is an internaitonal
committee of the Michigan
Student Assembly, and we're
hot.
We would like to welcome
anyone interested in issues of
peace and justice to check us
out. We meet every Tuesday
evening at 6:30 at the MSA
office, conveniently located on
the third floor of the Union.
What do we do? We have
always been interested in
military research at our
university. Last semester, we
were involved in the campus-
wide forums on classified and
proprietary research. We are
currently working with MSA's
military researchers to raise
funds for procuring the
contracts for proposed research.
(These are availible to the
public through the Freedom of
Information Act. However, the
transaction and copying fees
make these materials quite
expensive.sWe do not wish for
these documents to become
inaccessible due to economic
obstacles - these materials
must be available to the
university community for
examination and criticism.)
We focus on other issues,
too. We organized a series of
discussions in the residence
halls on different aspects of
discrimination. We spent a
weekend in Washington, D.C.,
to attend the conclusion of the
Great Peace March.
This Q mectPrw e. mill hv.

will address military research
on campus, American-Soviet
relations, hunger and homeless -
ness, discrimination, and our
nation's role in Central
America.
We are also planning to
hold a candlelight vigil for

peace, throw a The-Freedom-of-
Information-Act-Isn't-Quite-
Free fundraising party, and
continue to work on the issue
of military research at
Michigan. And much, much,
much more.
For information about tb

Peace and Justice Committee
or our information table, call
MSA at 763-3241. We look
forward to seeing you this
Tuesday.
-The Peace and Justice
Committee
January 26

Who's afraid of the big, bad code?

To the Daily:
Piecemeal the body dies, and
the
timid soul
has her footing washed away,
as
the dark flood rises.
We are dying, we are dying, we
are
all of us dying
and nothing will stay the death-
flood rising within us
and soon it will rise on the
world,
on the outside world.
We are dying, we are dying,
piece
meal our bodies are dying
and our strength leaves us
and our soul cowers naked in
the
dark rain over the flood,
cowering in the last branches
of
the tree of our life.
These lines, from The Ship
of Death by D.H. Lawrence,
reflect the most heartfelt cries
evident in the letter of Mr.
Michael Phillips "Life is Hard
and then vYn i D;- ffm)ni

epoch making issue which will
relegate most other concerns to
the dust-bin of history. 0
dastardly code, tormentor of my
soul, be gone with thee. I feel
now that I can talk about my
other concerns which get such
short shrift in the halls of the
power elite, wherever they may
be. Why do they have to put
tampon and laxative
commercials in the middle of
the Cosby show? What do
Danny Thomas and Lorne
Greene know about insurance?
It is some consolation to know
that our MSA representatives
are thinking so clearly and

contributing so mightily to the
problems which confront us
all.
One of my roomates has the.
following addendum -"Mr.,
Phillips' discussion
demonstrates the infantile
behavior that has forced the.
University to propose stricter
standards. Perhaps if Mr.
Philips were to conduct a
hunger strike to protest this
grotesque abuse, he could-I
reconsider his equation of
hunger and code."
-George Fishman
January 25

Disarmament reduces risk of war

Desensitizing violence

T HE JOURNALISTIC controversy
surrounding Pennsylvania State
Treasure R. Budd Dwyer's suicide
highlights the insensitivity of
American culture to actual death.

or South Africa raise no objections,
but a white American male killing
himself publicly seems close to
home - thus unpalatable.
It is esential thait individ1i c

To The Daily:
From the letter "U.S.
military strength prevents
world war." (Daily 1/21/87), it
is clear "even to a casual
observer" that should
responsible Russian people
think like Prof. John Clark,
much of our limited resources

disarmament? Yes! These and
other innovative non-
aggressive attempts at
preserving peace has not
worked in the past not because
of any inherent flaw in- the.
methods but because of a lack
of true commitment on all
sides involved! Neither finger
pointing nor short sighted

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