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January 12, 1989 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-01-12

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Thursday, January 12, 1989

Page 4

The Michigan Doily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. IC, No. 73 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.

Laboratories of


U. S

undercuts talks

Paris conference on chemical weapons
indicates the State Department has suc-
ceeded in fixing attention on its unsub-
stantiated allegation that Libya is build-
ing a chemical weapons plant.
Over 100 nations have sent delegates
to the conference. And yet both the
New York Times and the Associated
Press this week have focused almost
exclusively on the accusations and de-
nials of the U.S. and Libyan represen-
tatives. Even the announcement of a
unilateral destruction of much of the
Soviet chemical arsenal has been
eclipsed by obsessive reportage of
U.S.-Libyan dueling.
By Tuesday, both the AP and the
Times reported that the conference was
fraught with bickering. In fact, as is
revealed near the ends of these stories,
it is specifically the imputations put
forth by the United States that are cre-
ating divisiveness.
If the past is any indication, repeat
allegations serve for the United States
significant and nefarious purposes.
Even if later discredited, allegations
can undermine the applications of in-
ternational law and raise doubts about
verifiability and the value of arms con-
trol agreements. As the world's largest
chemical weapons producer, the United
States has a great stake in achieving
these ends.
.In 1981, the Reagan administration
ptbmulgated a series of similar allega-
tipns against the Soviet Union. As re-
pdrted repeatedly in U.S. newspapers,
tt Soviets were allegedly manufac-
triing biological weapons, deploying
chemical weapons in Afghanistan, and
had provided toxin weapons (yellow
rain) to the Vietnamese - all in viola-
tidn of the Geneva Protocol.
;This entire series of accusations was
a :

later discredited or remained inconclu-
sive. But simply disseminating the al-
leg ations made the Protocol - along
with disarmament treaties in general -
appear impotent and ineffective.
Soon after, citing Soviet "non-com-
pliance," U.S. conservatives began en-
couraging withdrawal from the Bio-
logical Weapons Convention. And in
this atmosphere of manufactured dis-
trust, the U.S. Chemical Warfare and
Biological Defense Programs experi-
enced a resurgence of support. Be-
tween 1980 and 1985, funds for re-
search and development of biological
and chemical weapons increased 300
percent. Political attitudes shifted from
disarmament to re-armament.
Now the United States is again
sowing the seeds of suspicion and
doubt. Reflecting on the breakdown of
the Paris negotiations, the New York
Times offhandedly referred to the
Geneva Protocol as an "almost antique
document" (1/10/89). This trivialization
of international law does indeed make
remote the possibility of a meaningful
And this is unforgivable. The out-
come of the Paris conference will have
much to say about the fate of a binding
treaty, currently in draft form, that
would ban chemical weapons outright.
Two years of negotiations in Geneva
have seen good progress, but this frag-
ile process could be easily derailed by
false allegations and belligerent pos-
The world's graveyards are filled
with the victims of chemical warfare.
Negotiations to ban chemical arsenals
must be entered into soberly and in
good faith. The United States has failed
to do this, and the media has failed to
hold the United States responsible for
its damaging actions.

by Arlin Wasserman
This is the third of a four-part series.
Richard Jannaccio was once a science
writer for the University of Wisconsin in
Madison (UW). The day before he was
fired, Jannaccio wrote a story about a
newly hired consultant at the University.
That consultant is Philip Sobocinski.
Sobocinski was hired to help professors at
UW tailor their research to attract Pen-
tagon grants - that is to serve the inter-
ests of our nation's military.
Sobocinski moved to Madison when he
retired as an army colonel serving at the
Army Medical Research Institute for
Infectious Disease in Fort Detrick, Mary-
land. There he oversaw the distribution of
over $300 million in research grants.
UW's hiring of Sobocinski capped their
year-long search to hire a recently retired
Department of Defense (DoD) officer to
head their University Industry Research
Sobocinski fits the bill perfectly. He
retired only a few weeks before coming to
UW. There he helped Professor Fun Sun
Chu land a half million dollar grant to
study trichothecene T2 poisons which kill
by causing profuse bleeding. Not only did
Chu receive the money to develop
antibodies to fight T2 toxins but also to
mutate the virus itself and create new
antibodies to cure the newly created varia-
tions of the disease.
This research parallels the general U.S.
policy on chemical and biological
weapons (CBWs): create aggressive
weapons for which only we have the cure
so that these weapons can be used to dec-
imate the enemy without adverse affects
on the soldiers using the weapons.
Arlin Wasserman investigates military
research at the University for the Michigan
Student Assembly,

Chu is currently developing new forms
of saxatoxins, an algae derived from poi-
son which the CIA has used in Central
America since 1975. Soon after Chu's first
grant, Professor Bibhuti DasGupta re-
ceived a quarter million dollars to develop
nerve toxins in the Food Research Insti-
tute of UW, the same unit in which Chu
We can all look at the UW situation and
marvel at what takes place at another Big
Ten university. But we should not be sur-
prised. Similar types of research go on at
this university, which currently receives
nearly $12 million from the Pentagon -
over a million dollars more than UW re-
ceived this year. This figure has more than
doubled in the past five years.
The root causes of this problem exist at
many levels. One can point the finger at

administrators may see their jobs as value-
free: the researchers create the weapons and
the government uses them.
In the words of Philip Sobocinski "The
United States leadership from the President
on down, the management of the DoD
laboratories and the scientists themselves
are all ethical and moral people"
(Progressive 11/87). But as we have al-
ready seen in part one of this article, our
President is not hesitant to use CBWs to
achieve political gains.
And lastly, we can place the blame for
the militarization of scientific research on
the Reagan administration. Universities
need research funding, and if funds are cut
for the Department of Health and Human
Services or the Environmental Protection
Agency and given to the DoD, then it is


'...Are they free of blame if they do not even wonder about
the motivations of the Pentagon to fund their particular re-
search project?'


researchers who feel that science is value
free, that the poisons they create can be
used for good or bad. In this, they are cor-
rect. But are they free of blame if they do
not even wonder about the motivations of
the Pentagon to fund their particular re-
search project? In the case of Chu who
now works with algae, if our country is
worried about civilian poisoning from al-
gae, why is the money not coming from
the National Institute of Health?
At the same time, university
administrations are motivated to go after
money for research. The University of
Michigan would probably be embarrassed
to note that its total research dollars for
1990 dropped by eight or nine percent, and
this is the likely scenario if it discontinued
receiving money from the Pentagon. Large
research universities are likely to go after
as much money as possible. And these

not surprising to see universities restruc-
turing their research priorities to match
those the Reagan administration has
It is unlikely that the Bush administra-
tion will stop developing new CBWs, but
it may be possible to prevent much of the
research from occurring (or at least not on
this campus) by creating an atmosphere of
awareness - one in which professors ac-
tively question if they want to do certain
types of research for the DoD.
Moreover, as citizens and as students we
may want to ask whether or not we want
this type of research conducted at any
public university and whether CBW re-
search actually serves the public interest.
(This will be the subject of the final part
of this series.)



Associated Press

A young victim of Iraqi chemical
fast year for medical treatment.

By Libby S. Adler
The majority of letters and editorials on
this page prove their authors to be less
than knowledgeable when it comes to
Zionist theory. It is understandable in the
face of current Israeli oppressive measures
that people might attribute these inexcus-
able policies to the ideology that the state
presumes to espouse.
This kind of willful ignorance plays
well into the hands of those who oppose
an ideology. An anti-communist can cite
problems in the Soviet Union and an anti-
capitalist can cite oppression in the United
States, though John Locke's theory of
property, upon which our system is sup-
posedly based, does indeed account for the
greed and distressing inequalities that we
see in this country. Many of our campus'
anti-Zionists have utilized the same
advantage, masking an anti-Israeli gov-
ernment stand behind a poorly supported
anti-Zionist one.
There is no lack of evidence that Israel
has been enacting the ideals of the most
dangerous of the Zionist theorists, but it
is imperative to realize that Zionism is
not a monolithic ideological entity. Sadly
for those who have never been exposed to
Zionist thought, many of the letters and
editorials in the Daily have mentioned
only the most right-wing of a vast spec-
trum of Zionist thinkers. Vladimir
Jabotinsky, founder of Revisionist Zion-
ism, the ideology of the Likud party in
Israel, was a right-winger. Likud has done
a swell job of enacting his principles,
which, modeled on the Italian nationalism
of his day, are not exactly humanitarian in
their methods. Meir Kahane, a virtual
outcast in mainstream Israeli society, has
been cited repeatedly on this page. He is,
unquestionably, a bigot, as even some of
Israel's more accepted political leaders
have proven themselves to be.
Before you dismiss Zionism as a whole,
however, I would ask you to examine the
thoughts of a few other influential Zionist
thinkers and the platforms and voting
records of other parties in the Israeli par-
Libby S. Adler is an LSA senior

liament, the "Knesset." I am not talking
about fringe elements in pre-statehood
theory or Israeli society, but visible and
known thinkers and politicians.
A.D. Gordon, for example, has been
classified as both a socialist and a mystic.
He wrote about the connection that the
Jewish people had to the land in Palestine.
He believed that only by directly working
on the land can the Jews get back in touch
with their national creative consciousness.
This theory is completely void of any no-
tion of exclusivity.
Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook is yet an-
other great Jewish mystic (not to be con-
fused with his embarrassing offspring, a
Rabbi someone else Kook, founder of the
Gush Emunim philosophy). He wrote of
the Jewish nation's need to regain its geo-
graphical and cultural cohesion such that it
may fulfill the commandments of the
Torah, regain cultural creativity, re-estab-
'I am a Zionist. I believe in the r
termination: both my nation and
war with mine.

tion, and have been vocal and active
against the violation of human rights and
U.N. agreements. Both parties are Zion-
ist; that is, they favor the existence of a
home for the Jewish People in Israel.
They, as I, believe that Jewish liberation
and Palestinian liberation can indeed both
exist in Palestine. The place is small, but
not so small.
I am a Zionist. I believe in the right of
all nations to self-determination: both my
nation and the nation that is bitterly at war
with mine. It saddens me that Yitzhak
Shamir and George Habash demand exclu-
sive rights to this land of two peoples.
To equate Zionism with racism is to
take into account only those Zionists that
deny individual or national rights to
Palestinians. Zionism is a national
liberation movement. If you believe that
all nationalist movements are racist, ther.
you must concede that Palestinian, Arme
ight of all nations to self-de-
1the nation that is bitterly at

bombardment arrives in






peace." With these words Palestine
Liberation Organization (PLO) leader
Yasser Arafat set the stage for a new
eTa in the Palestine/Israel conflict. In a
concession to Secretary of State
George Shultz's diplomatic newspeak,
Arafat accepted UN Security Council
resolutions 242 and 338, acknowl-
edged "the right of all parties," includ-
ing Israel, "to exist in peace and secu-
rity" and "totally and absolutely" re-
nounced terrorism.This ended a 13-year
I.S. ban on negotiating with the PLO.
The Palestinian people and their sole
lgitimate representative, the Palestine
Liberation Organization, should be
commended for their political pragma-
.For forty years the people of Pales-
tine have withstood Israel's Iron Fist

fence, however, is less than encourag-
ing. The very same day the United
States sat down with PLO officials for
the first stage of dialogue, Israeli
troops in the West Bank town of
Nablus murdered five Palestinian
mourners at a funeral and wounded
scores of others across the Gaza Strip
and West Bank.
In a rare display of public unity,
Shimon Peres of the Labor Party and
Yitzhak Shamir of the Likud Block
have ruled out the possibility of Israeli
participation in an international peace
conference with the PLO - almost
universally recognized as the only
possibility for peace.
For the sake of all people in the re-
gion, Israel must end the suffering of
the Palestinian people and move to-
ward recognition of the Palestinian

lish a relationship with God, and con-
tribute to the world as a whole. Rabbi
Kook's ultimate goal was universalism,
but he felt that the Jews would better con-
tribute to the "Tao", if you will, once they
had re-established their cultural and reli-
gious roots.
Ahad Ha'am, Hebrew for "One People",
was a proponent of reviving the Hebrew
language (which in its current form is less
than a century old). He also wished to see
Jewish centers for study established.
Again, the idea is Jewish revival, not the
oppression of Palestinians.
Current political parties such as the
Citizens Rights Movement (CRM) and
Mapam (based on Ber Borochov's Socialist
Zionism), have respectable platforms,
voting records and morals. CRM has in-
troduced legislation to better the lives of
Palestinians, women and gay men. Ma-
pam is aligned with CRM, but tends to
focus more on economic issues. Both par-
ties oppose the occupation, favor talks
with the Palestinian Liberation Organiza-

nian and Kurdish nationalism are racist
movements as well. To equate current Ise
raeli policy with racism, state terrorism or,,
military oppression is much more realis-
tic, and this column should in no way be
taken as a justification for such action,
My point is that Zionism, the ideology,
and Zionists, the proponents, are a lot
more diverse than many of the authors on
this campus would have you believe.
Check out The Zionist Idea by Arthur
Hertzberg, for a survey of Zionist theory,
and watch for the statements and activities
not just of the campus group Tagar, but
also of the Progressive Zionist Caucus.
The Soviet Union had its Stalin as well
as its Gorbachev; Palestine had its Abu
Jihad and its Mubarak Awad. Only by
recognizing the diversity of thinkers and
actors on the scene of any movement or
institution, can we come to a just and in-
formed judgement. It is time for those
who care about the Middle East to start
examining the peacemakers and the
moderates instead of simply exploiting the


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