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October 04, 1988 - Image 4

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Page 4

Tuesday, October 4, 1988

The Michigan Daily

Ube Midiga I
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Baker plays last card

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Vol. IC, No. 19

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.
Pentagon connections

LAST WEEK a silversmith engraved
the name James Johnson Duderstadt
onto a 36-inch oak and silver mace -
the ceremonial emblem of the Univer-
sity's "authority." During Thursday's
inaugural parade, the mace will be
borne along by the Grand Marshall in
honor of the new president.
How appropriate that a fancy club
- armor-breaking weapon of the
Middle Ages - is the symbol of
And how appropriate that the latest
name to appear on the mace is that of a
modern day technocrat who has been
deeply involved in weapons research at
the University.
In 1982, while dean of the
engineering school, Duderstadt
conducted laser weapons research for
the U.S. Air Force. According the to
the Air Force's director of science, this
research was designed to help the
military understand "to what degree
different kinds of (laser or particle)
beams could be used in space- for
weapons systems."
Duderstadt has denied any knowl-
edge of the purpose for his work:
"There's no particular weapons system
that I'm aware of." In response to a
1982 Daily inquiry, Duderstadt pled
ignorant, claiming that he was "not
privy" to the intentions of the Depart-
ment of Defense in underwriting laser
weapons research.
But at the same time, the Air Force
itself was proudly boasting of the
weapons applicability of the dean's
space laser research and contended that
Duderstadt's work is specifically di-
rected at weapons objectives. "It may
turn out that [Duderstadt's] work will
contribute to a super communications
system (or other civilian application),
but we're not looking into the future
for such spin-offs," said an Air Force

At the same time observers in Engi-
neering were fiercely arguing that Dud-
erstadt's work violated University
guidelines governing weapons research
on campus.
Research proposals submitted and
funded during the period of Duder-
stadt's tenure as dean included those of
Thomas Senior. He investigated
"screening smokes" to cover military
operations in battlefields and stealth
technology for aircraft. They included
proposals by Duderstadt's nuclear en-
gineering colleague, Terry Kammash to
look into x-ray lasers for the SDI pro-
gram. They included work by
Theodore Birdsdall to extend his work
on anti-submarine warfare to missile
technology for SDI. And the list goes
It was this kind of aggressive
courtship between the University's En-
gineering School and and U.S Depart-
ment of Defense that led many on
campus to refer to Dean Duderstadt as
"Michigan's Pentagon Connection."
Dazzled by the pageantry of the
upcoming inaugural festivities, many
members of the University community
seem to have forgotten this label. But
as Duderstadt himself is fond of
saying, it's hard for a leopard to
change its spots.
Military research produces the tech-
nology of warfare that is used to back
up U.S. foreign policy all around the
world. This is its only purpose. A
University president blind to the con-
nection between military research and
killing people does not have the skills
to lead this University. A president
who understands these connections and
welcomes military-sponsored research
is an even more frightening prospect.
A meter-long silver mace is indeed
an appropriate emblem to usher in the
reign of Michigan's Pentagon Connec-
tion. A meter-long missile would be
even more appropriate. But neither
maces nor missiles nor military re-
searchers are appropriate for anything
except dishonor and condemnation. To
honor the "authority" of Duderstadt or
his mace is to dishonor everything a
University is supposed to represent.

By Arlin Wasserman
Eight years have passed since University
Regent Deane Baker took his place at the
long wooden table in the Fleming build-
ing. He has been in the same seat setting
priorities and establishing rules since be-
fore most students arrived at the Univer-
sity. He has been in office as long as
Ronald Reagan. And this parallel is not
unwarranted. During Baker's term, a con-
servative agenda has been played out at the
University that at times either mirrors or
magnifies the same destructive, conserva-
tive agenda enacted in Washington. Fore-
most among his accomplishments has
been a restructuring of priorities among
the various colleges at Michigan and a
minimizing of barriers to military research
within the University.
While Baker did not act alone, many of
his accomplices have gone beyond our
easy reach. Former University President
Harold Shapiro, who spouted academic
freedom as an ideal surpassing societal re-
sponsibility, is away at Princeton, al-
though Michigan will still have his legacy
of bombs being designed next door to
classrooms. Former University President
Fleming, who armed campus security
officers and made progressive dissent an
act punishable by expulsion, is in semi-
retirement somewhere in Ann Arbor. They
did not act alone, though. Their motivator,
Regent Baker, is still at the University of
Michigan. And he is at his most
vulnerable point.
Unlike University presidents who are
hired and fired, or move on to other ca-
reers, regents are elected to eight-year
terms; the longest elected term in the
United States except for judges. But
judges' rulings can be appealed, while re-
gents are omnipotent at the University.
Regents are not paid. This is a stum-
bling block for lower income and student
representation on the regental board. Also,
some regents are nominated based on
cronyism within their respective political
parties. And there are no real qualifications
for being a regent, other than possibly
ruling an exploited Third World country.
The only real benefit for a regent, besides
bolstering a resume, is the feeling of
absolute power over 35,000 students and a
slightly smaller number of faculty and
staff. (However, pork barreling and nepo-
tism also occur.) While estimating the in-
come of the regents is difficult, one also
should note that three quarters of the re-
gents work in major law firms.
Now that we know in part how Baker
and other monarchs are crowned, we
Arlin Wasserman researches military
research for MSA.

should look at Baker's record in brief. In
the early 1980s, the regents reorganized
the educational system in conjunction
with a reorganization of priorities in
Washington. In the name of energy con-
servation, the University slashed many
programs, ironically cutting the School of
Natural Resources by almost 25%, all for
the environment. The School of Natural
Resources, in public discussion, offered
alternative means of reducing energy con-
sumption rather than raising money to
meet existing costs. The cuts were made.
Priorities then were suddenly reexamined
and money was plowed into salaries for
engineers and physicists rather than storm
windows and insulation. The regents used
a smoke screen to efficiently restructure
the University to suit the Pentagon's
needs. The stage was set for the
militarization of the University.
Since then Baker has worked to accom-
plish just this task. During the fall of
1985, Baker began making rumblings,
commenting on how there were literally
billions of dollars for Star Wars research
available. He said that the University
should actively pursue these funds. After
all, there were excellent physics and engi-
neering departments on campus that had
just received great budget increases.
But there was a stumbling block. In
1972, during the Vietnam War, student
and community outrage over weapons re-
search conducted at Michigan led to the
creation of the End Use Clause. The clause
prohibited research which results in the
killing or maiming of human life. While
few projects fell within these very narrow,
guidelines, all rejected projects notably
were from the Department of Defense, the
source of funding for Star Wars. The DoD
made public remarks about how they
would be hesitant to do research at a uni-
versity with these types of "stringent"
Baker then pushed for a reevaluation of
the University's End Use Clause, claiming
it inhibited academic freedom. Possibly
suffering from mental infirmity, Baker did
not perceive how these very same research
guidelines stood in the way of Star Wars
dollars. A great debate was led by then-
President Shapiro over the need for abso-
lute academic freedom. The unspoken heart
of the debate focused on freedom to do any
research that did not try to kill people, but
it was never couched in those terms by the
Despite student and community protest,
Baker got his way. The End Use Clause
had its teeth removed. New guidelines
called simply for academic freedom. But
wait, Baker thought it might reflect nega-
tively on classified research and wrote a
second version - absent of both teeth and

dentures - that allowed any research. This
was passed by the regents.
The DoD dollars and Star Wars research
came to campus, along with chemical and
biological weapons research, as well as
new surveillance technologies suitable for
naval warfare and combat in tropical Third
World countries. The war came closer to
In April, 1988, the disarmament move-
ment on campus began to regroup.
Protests took place on the Diag. Mili-
tarism was countered as CIA recruiters
were unwelcome and Central American
intervention was rejected. Support of
apartheid had already been on the progres-
sive agenda. Notably, Baker did not sup-
port divestment of stock holdings in com-
panies tied to South Africa and he also re-
jected the notion of an honorary degree for
Nelson Mandela since Mandela could not
accept it in person. Be real!!! When the
movement to end heterosexism also be-
came visible, Baker stood in their way:
calling for an investigation of homosexual
activity in university lavatories during a
public discussion on harassment based on
sexual orientation.
Baker, like Reagan with the United
States, has polarized the campus. Visible
and articulate protest is on the rise and
Baker bears the brunt of every onslaught.
He played his last card in calling for:
guidelines curbing political dissent and the i
arming of campus security officers. These
guidelines also passed despite great
protest. Baker has had his way in each in-
stance. He has shown himself to be totally
insensitive and unresponsive to his con-
stituency in every imaginable way..
Now he is up for re-election on
November 8. The public, for a change, has
a chance to bar Baker's influence from the
University for at least the next eight years.
As of September, 1988, Baker still had
some financial and political backers. These
backers include Ford and Dow Chemical.
Both companies are in the top 100 recipi-
ents of DoD dollars and both do extensive
research at the University. Comerica also
contributed to Baker's campaign as did
Stroh's beer company, a company that
exported most of their capital from the
state after its plant burned down. Baker's
cronies know they have to gloss over his
fascist image with television spots and
slick brochures, but the key to any elec-
tion is still voters and lever pullers and.
Baker has not shown himself to be re-
sponsive to any of these people.
While electoral politics might not ap-
peal to everyone reading this article, a
signal to the regents that they must once
again be responsive and participate in the
democratic process may well stymie their
autocratic practices for some time.

............. . ........
............... v

Silence envelopes struggle for Puerto Rican self-determination:
Liberate Puerto Rico


how Hispanic writer Juan Gonzalez re-
cently described the attention paid in
the U.S. media to the pro-indepen-
dence movement in Puerto Rico and the
unjust conditions which fuel it.
"That a nation priding itself on devo-
tion to liberty can still hold colonies is
something many Americans, even
journalists, never seem to question,"
Gonzales observes. "Anything that
would remind the nation of its colo-
nizer reality creates discomfort and be-
comes a victim of circumstantial si-
lence" (New York Daily News,
Gonzales' words could hardly have
proved more prophetic. On September
24, some 1500 people - mostly
Puerto Ricans - gathered in Con-
necticut to participate in the third annual
Grito de Lares national march through
Hartford. A display of unity and oppo-
sition to U.S. policy, the march was
organized to bring attention to the
struggles of the Puerto Rican people.
The press responded with deafening
Organizers of the march hoped to
bring three messages home to the U.S.
public: the oppressive colonial condi-
tions that are ravaging their homelands;
the impoverishment of Puerto Ricans
living in the United States; and the
persecution and imprisonment of
Puerto Rican nationalists both here and

years ago, Puerto Rico has been re-
tained as a colony ever since. It is
presently classified as a commonwealth
- a fact not known to many North
Americans. Puerto Rico has been on
the United Nations Decolonialization
Committee's list of colonies since
1973. In fact, the U.N. has repeatedly
stated that Puerto Rico has the "right to
self-determination and independence"
- a proclamation that has also fallen
on deaf ears here in the seat of colonial
A legacy of colonial dominance in
Puerto Rico has destroyed the ecology
of the island and demoralized its peo-
ple. At present, an astonishing 13 per-
cent of the island's best lands are part
of U.S. military bases.
In Puerto Rico it is illegal to fly the
national flag without the U.S. flag next
to it.
Puerto Ricans who flee their home-
land and come to the United States face
low paying jobs, racism and more ur-
ban poverty. As one organizer of last
Saturday's march argued, the term
"Puerto Rican-American" is unheard of
because no Puerto Rican considers the
United States their home.
It will take more than annual marches
through Hartford to end the*
circumstantial silence that envelopes
the issue of Puerto Rico and to force
the United States off the island. It is the
responsibility of those who do consider
the United States their home to under-
stand the current situation in Puerto

Daily ad
To the Daily:
In the Friday, September 30
issue of the Michigan Daily,
an ad, signed by the Academic
Committee for Student
Information (ACSI), appeared
on the last page accusing Arabs
and Muslims of anti-Semitism.
The ad also claimed that "the
traditional attitudes of Islam
toward Jews, not territorial
disputes, are the real roots of
the Arab-Israeli conflict."
First, it is very important to
note that anti-Semitism is an
entirely European phenomenon
that goes back to the period of
the Roman Empire, and that
Arabs and Islam has nothing to
do with it.
As a matter of fact, Arabs are
themselves Semites. Historic-
ally, the term "semitic" refers
to the language group which
includes Hebrew, Arabic, As-
syrian, Babylonian and Phoen-
A well known Jewish
scholar, Arthur Koestler, has
argued that most European
Jews, those who established
the state of Israel, were them-
selves not semitic at all
(Koestler, Thirteenth Tribe).
He claims that they are the de-
scendants of a central Asian
group, which converted to Ju-

Jews and Muslims trace their
ancestry. According to Mus-
lims, the religion of Abraham
and Isaac is the true religion,
the religion of true submission
(Islam) to God's will. It is the
same religion which Jesus, the
greatest prophet, preached. And
it is the same religion as that
of the descendants of Ishmael,
the Arabs - the message that
the prophet of Islam, Moham-
mad, was sent to revive and re-
orient. Therefore, Islam accepts
Judaism completely as an inte-
gral part of the development of
Islam, just as it accepts Chris-
tianity. On the religious level,
just as on the linguistic or
racial, there is no anti-
Semitism in Islam.
The ad that appeared in the
Daily in the name of peace is
nothing but another way to
mislead the public about Islam
and Arabs. Obviously, the
ACSI knows nothing about
Islam because the passages that
were chosen from the Koran
apply only to Jews who turned
away from the true teachings of
Abraham. In fact, there are
similar passages in the Koran
which apply to hypocrite
Muslims. Indeed, the root of
the Arab-Israeli conflict is po-
litical on the part of Arabs and
religious on the part of Jews.
This is confirmed by the fact
that Muslim and Christian
Arabs fought and areistill
fighting Israel side-by-side.
-S-ami W. Tabh

(Daily 9/29/88). As one of the
most intellectually and morally
advanced societies in the world,
our practice of capital punish-
ment is a disgrace; it equates
our system of justice with that
of barbarism. What would the
founders think if they knew
that the government "of the
people, by the people, for the
people" also murders the peo-
One of the arguments sup-
porting the death penalty
claims that the punishment
should fit the crime -- "An eye
for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,"
and so on. But if this is so,
why don't we sentence a rapist
to rape? These punishments
were certainly fit the crime, but
what purpose would they
serve? If anything, justice
should be consistent, not
I feel that it is the duty of
the government to respect the
right to life of an individual
above anything else. However,
murder is a terrible crime.
Nothing can compensate for
the loss that a person feels
when they are affected by mur-
der. It is the ultimate sin; it
shows a complete disregard for
the sanctity of human life. And
that is exactly why the death

penalty should be abolished.
-Patrick Hawke
September 30
To the Daily:
In his editorial "Econ. slows.
progress" (9/30/88), Mark
Greer quotes form a recent pa-
per of ours. Although accurate,,
the quote is out of context and;
Greer's characterization of our
views is so oversimplified as
to be meaningless. More inter-
esting is the fact that the cita-
tion is inaccurate. Greer at-
tributes the paper to one of us
(Courant). It was written by,
both of us.
What are we to make of this
avowed champion fo feminist.
causes leaving Mary out while
including Paul? The answer,-
perhaps, lies in Greer's earlieri
editorial, where he advances the:
bizarre argument that peopled;
with joint appointments area
second-class citizens. Courant's
appointment is in two units,
Corcoran's is in four. Perhaps,
Greer felt that a woman ap-
pointed in four units just:
wasn't worth the ink.
-Mary E. Corcoran
Paul N. Courant
October 3


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