The "silent majority"
speaks up...a little
James Green, chair of Students get something going, I asked
for a Conservative Campus (SCC) Green what he thought of my
- a newly formed group - was dictionary's definition of
not interested in an interview. "conservative."
"I certainly am not one that shirks He would say that this was not his
from discussing things with people definition: "I would certainly not say
who don't agree with me, but... I am that I am opposed to change:
familiar with your aaivities, and I politically, economically, socially,
am familiar with your column, and I whatever"
sincerely doubt that you're going to But he was adamant about the
put any positive spin on anything that interview: "I'm reluctant because I
Isay." have very little to gain and a lot to
Conservative activism, in one lose."
sense, is a contradiction in terms. So the topic of conservatism on
For all the political action of campus, unfortunately, was left to
conservatives, their work someone with less- (or more-)
generally amounts to preserving than conservative views.
existing structures and E
institutions. As "activists" then, According to this Monday's
they have very different needs, Daily article about the formation
and it makes sense for a new of Green's group, then, SCC is
conservative group to violate the advancing the claim that there is a
traditional principle of student "silent majority"of conservative
groups grovelling for any exposure students on campus, woefully
they can get, and Green knew neglected by the "left-wing
that. representation," which flourishes
"I have to weigh whether it would on campus.
be more advantageous for you to have Green and SCC raise a popular
me quoted as 'no comment,' or question - is this a conservative
whether I should open myselffor you campus in disguise, a liberal
to interpret what Isay." campus, a liberal campus in
"Conservative," according to disguise or a hotbed of radicalism?
my trash pocket dictionary, There is a college journalism
means: 1) Tending to conserve movement in this country which
(with "conserve" meaning "to basically argues that every campus
keep from being damaged, lost or is a hotbed of radicalism - as
wasted," as well as "a jam of two evidenced by everything from
or more fruits"), 2) tending to vegetarian entrdes in the
preserve established institutions, cafeterias and "non-Western"
etc; opposed to change; and, 3) requirements in the English
moderate, cautious. departments to shanties, building
As a journalist, thought, I occupations and noisy
recognize the importance of self- demonstrations. Witness the
definition as well. So, hoping to Michigan Review, Dartmouth
Review, Cornell Review, etc.
But as convinced as these
people may be of the radicalism
of their environments, they still
operate on the principle that SCC
espouses: the silent majority.
In other words: "We know that
they are trying to take over and we
won't let them."
The real campus political
situation is somewhere in
between. The conservative
"activists" come and go - mostly
into high-paying political,
corporate or military careers -
without alleviating their fears.
Why? Because education and
schools breed discontent. Just ask
the Israeli government - or the
governments of Peru, South
Africa, Korea, etc. So even when
colleges are open to a very limited
population of people with major
material incentives to join the
ranks of conservatism, there's just
something about all those books
and classes and newspapers and
parties that increase the
possibility of something slipping.
And what incentive is there to
speak up in favor of the status
quo? The need only arises if it's
And while the SCC and other
groups (including the proud
leadership of the Michigan
Review) have pledged allegiance
to some sort of change, the
essential reactionary nature of
their actions is clear. And they
have not entertained mass
support. Which means that either
there is not a majority of people
intent on pursuing the protection
of the status quo, or that the
threat is not significant after all,
and thus they remain silent.
In either case things aren't
looking especially good for a
brand new group called Students
for a Conservative Campus, which
claims to want changes but won't
(yet) say what they are.
Speaking of conservative, by
the way, it was good to get David
response to last week's Slings and
Arrows (See letter, 9/24/90).
Political debate is a two-way
street. I hope the following
response will encourage more
readers to write.
According to Danziger, I spend
so much time "bashing US
that I have lost
sight of "what
like." As an
-:. example, he
Philip cites a reported
case of Iraqi
Cohen soldiers raping
The confusion here is that
Danziger will not recognize a
position which supports neither
Hussein nor the United States. I
said the situation is "a case of two
bad guys." But Danziger
responds, "Saddam Hussein's not
the benevolent guy Cohen seems
to think he is" - not because of
any praise I offer the Iraqi leader,
but simply because I criticize the
For the rest of the letter, suffice
it to say our understandings of
history are markedly different.
But it has been a while since I
heard the US role in the Vietnam
War referred to as the "protection
of South Vietnam."
attention. Nobody thought that
the Palestinians could defeat the.
Israeli army by throwing stones.
The idea was to throw stones at
the eye of the camera so that the
people in the United States with
their large screen televisions
would recognize that the Israeli
government was carrying out a
of Palestinian land.
the new crisis in
the gulf the media
forgotten about the by T
other corner of the
[Palestine] and has concentrated
more on Iraq. Now the US media
is trying to erase the gains the
Intifada has made in the last three
years by concentrating on the
Palestinians' "connections" to
and support of Saddam Hussein.
This is merely a media attempt to
defame the Palestinian struggle.
At the same time every
Palestinian identifies with the
Kuwaitis who are now living
under occupation. Every
Palestinian says to Iraq out of
Kuwait, down with the
occupation.' But at the same time
nobody wants the US backed
emir to return to power in Kuwait.
WM: You have said that the
new Israeli Defense Minister,
Moshe Arons, a member of the
right-wing Likud Party, has
actually given orders to show
more "restraint" than his
predecessor, Labor party member
Yitshak Rabin had advocated..
Given Labor's moderate image,
this seems ironic. What does this
say about the political party
system in Israel?
LT: First, it (the order to shoot
'less') does not say that the right-
wing in Israel is liberal and
doesn't like to break bones.
That is what it does not say.
What it does say is that the
major weight of Israeli public
opinion is shifting to the right,
and that every party in Israel that
wants to remain in power must
make concessions to the right-
wing. Therefore, even the Labor
party (which is more moderate
than Likud although it is still
hardline zionist) must attempt to
be more extreme than the most
extreme rightists because they
report to a
segm ent of
m Abowd society and
by that right-
wing segment to stay in power.
They don't want any criticism
from the right. Therefore, Labor
must break bones, they must
show that they are as powerful
and as brutal in their treatment of
the Palestinians as their Likud
Likud is known for being
extremely brutal and for wanting
to get rid of the Arabs so they do
not have to prove themselves to a
right-wing Israeli public as Labor
must to survive.
As a result, they can perhaps
give more attention to world
public opinion. They can say the
Israeli Army will shoot less, while
. amarbor CivicTcatrec
S:-ected by Ssan% ,Orris
.ip September 23-October 6,
Th .sdays-Saturdavs at 8 P.M.
Ann Abor Civic Theatre,
31035 South Ian Street
4 oD Oe io
maintaining the current level of
oppression. Thus Likud presents,
a more 'humane' image, and as a
result, reduces negative media
coverage and international.
WM: There seems to be a
growing sentiment in Israel -
expressed by a growing number
of politicians and Israeli citizens
- calling for the mass expulsion,
or to use the euphemism,
"transfer," of the 1.8 million
Palestinians from the West Bank
and Gaza into the neighboring
Arab countries. Is this a serious
option which the Israeli
government might pursue or is
this still rhetoric and threat?
LT: If you could have seen
some of the Israeli politicians
when Iraq invaded Kuwait, you
would have seen saliva dipping
from their mouths. (The Israeli
ruling coalition) is tempted to
become part of the Gulf war in
order to finally do what they
started to do forty-two years ago
which is to turn the Palestinians
into refugees and drive them out
of the West Bank and Gaza.
There are a large number of
right wing Israelis who are still
mourning the 1%7 failure to take
advantage of the war with the
neighboring Arab states and get
rid of the Palestinians. They tried
to implement this idea of transfer
in certain Palestinian areas in
1%7 but were unable to continue,
and until this day Israeli leaders
are unable to forgive themselves
for not carrying through with mass
expulsion [of Palestinians] like
Where does Philip Cohen get his news anyway? In his
article in the Weekend section (9/21/90) where he
explained the difference between illusion and reality with
the U.S. in the Persian Gulf, Cohen made clear his
ignorance of foreign policy and history. His explanations of
the "realities" of the situation are really really out of touch
with the true situation.
In the present situation, Cohen seems to indicate that
given the choice of U.S. intervention or not, the majority
of Middle East nations would let the U.S. stay home. This
is just wrong. We were asked to come over and help Saudi
Arabia defend its territory when Iraqi troops began to mass
on the border.
Cohen spends so much time bashing U.S. foreign policy
that he seems to lose sight of what life under Saddam
Hussein's soldiers is like. I guess he missed the news
about the Kuwaiti man who went crazy because he was
forced to watch as Iraqi soldiers raped his two daughters.
Gee, I wonder if maybe Saddam Hussein's not the
benevolent guy that Cohen seems to think he is. I guess
Cohen forgot that the Iraqis initiated the conflict by
invading Kuwait, or maybe he just conveniently never read
that part of the newspaper.
Historically, Cohen needs a little lesson. His contention
that U.S. domination means "torture, death, and war" is
also without base. Since World War II, the United States
has been put in the role of world police officer. We have
been responsible for putting a stop to aggression globally.
In some cases we have used military means.
But perhaps Cohen has forgotten what happened in the
areas where we-didn't intervene in time. In Cambodia,
after the beloved Pol Pot regime came to power, they
summarily executed millions of their own people. And
what happened in Vietnam after the U.S. finally ended
their protection of South Vietnam? The friendly North
Vietnamese rolled in and executed hundreds of thousands
of their own people.
All of a sudden, the U.S. doesn't look so bad for
attempting to stop the aggression.
Perhaps Cohen should attempt to sit down and read a
newspaper objectively once, and then write his opinions.
Perhaps he should sit down and read a history book and
figure out what happens when the leading power in the
world does not intervene to halt aggressive nations.
First in a two-part series
weekend - Early, with the mist
still on the bayou, the trucks roll
up to Earl's Roadside Bar near
Jean Lafitte Park. I was playing
pool in the corner with some
friends, watching with curiosity,
which was quickly turning to
The crowd at the bar were
wearing "Duke for Senate" t-
shirts. On the jukebox - "She
ran off with a nigger." This was
hardcore Duke country, White
Trash trying to turn back the
clock, and by the looks of things,
they had a fairly good chance of
I decided to crash a Duke rally
which was taking place on the
following Monday in Metarie,
rt of the
u love fror
*Jams & honey
Sat. 10-6 Sun.11-6
9375 Saline-Milan Rd.
Saline, MI 48176
We welcome Jacobson's Charge and American
Shop until 9 p.m; on Thursday and Friday. Until 6 p.m. on Monday, Tues
September 28, 1990