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May 09, 1980 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1980-05-09

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Page 4-Friday, May 9, 1980-The Michigan Daily

4

Government overlooks
Agent Orange victim

Muskie: A much-
needed diplomat
S ENATOR EDMUND Muskie has a hard job
ahead as President Carter's new secretary of
state. Though his appointment comes as a surprise
given his lack of foreign affairs experience, we are
hopeful that Muskie will prove to be a secretary of
state who leads his country to peace, not war.
Muskie has given several indications that he has
the potential for a successful tenure as secretary of
state. We hope that he will ignore the present anti-
SALT climate that pervades the Senate and direct
his full attention to resurrecting the SALT II treaty.
SALT II and continuing nuclear arms limitation
discussions with the Soviets are even more essen-
tial in an era of increasing tensions between the
United States and the Soviet Union.
The new secretary of state strongly favors the
SALT II treaty. He is respected by the public both
here and abroad, and is well thought of among his
former colleagues. We can only hope that these
plusses will add up to another attempt at
ratification of the treaty in the Senate.
Next week when Muskie meets with Soviet
Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko in Vienna, it will
be the first Soviet-American exchange since the in-
tervention in Afghanistan last December. This
meeting will offer an important opportunity for
Muskie to exert a first effort toward presenting the
resumption of an uncontrolled arms race.
Given the current hawkish mood of the ad-
ministration, Muskie appears dove-like in com-
parison. He has stressed finding peaceful options
to deal with the current world situation and said he
would not have taken the job were he not confident
the Iranian crisis could be solved by peaceful
means.
Muskie's twenty-two years in the Senate have
shown him to be a strong leader. We hope that he
will be able to re-establish the strong role in foreign
policy that rightly belongs to the secretary of state.
Hopefully, his peaceful outlook will effectively
counter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Br-
zezinski's aggressive policies.
Muskie has said he is a politician, not a theorist.
If he is to be a truly "political" secretary of state,
he will have to re-establish the peaceful arts of per-
suasion and compromise. Brzezinskii is noted for
taking the hard line in tense situations; we hope
that Muskie will be more willing to bend. Peaceful
solutions to the world's crises require a strong
diplomat. Muskie can fill that role.
Editorial policies
Unsigned editorials appearing on the
left side of this page represent a majority
opinionL of theDaily's Editorial .&RKrd
sue la M EMO, ..::< 'r a n ,,, nnmmun ,

The only game I played when I
was a kid was soldier. Yeah, I
loved the military. I couldn't wait
to get to Nam.
I thought, well, this is my
patriotic duty. I'm an American
citizen. I definitely felt like it was
my war for my generation. So I
fought a war when I was young. I
never got to go out and party like
young people do. I joined the ar-
my when I was eighteen years
old. And from then on, it's been
one fast trip.
I'M REALLY confused right
now about this Agent Orange
poisoning. I didn't even know
anything about it until I read it in
the paper; all I knew is that I have
a liver disease. I've been very
depressed. Of course the
depression could be caused by
things that's happened to me in
Nam. But is it causing
sleeplessness, liver disease,
enlarged spleen, high fevers?
I ask myself, when am I gonna
get out of it? When am I gonna try
and straighten my head out and
finally live my life peaceful?
That's what I've been trying to
do, and then I come down with
this sickness. The doctors tell me
they don't know what caused it.
They can't even diagnose what
kind of disease I have in my liver.
And they're doctors; they're sup-
posed to help people, treat you,
try to cure you ...
My mom keeps telling me to go
to the VA, but I won't go because
I know what's going to happen if I
go there. They're going to turn
me away. They're going to say,
"What's Agent Orange? It hasn't
been proven it's in somebody's
system, you know; Agent Orange
only causes rashes."
YOU WANT TO know how

By Michael Uhl anything in the world. But I don't
and Tod Ensign want to do that no more. I don't
want to kill anybody no more., I
much I've worked in the last just want to live my life to its
seven years? Maybe a total of fullest. I want everything I can
eight months. I've worked as a get. I wanna sit outside at night-
carpenter, laborer, whatever I time-I'll lay on my roof and look
could get. Plus, I'm a mechanic. aI feelslierI'mstil fighing.
But I like to be outside. I love the I feel like I'm still fighting a
outdoors; I like to do anything war right now. I'm very
physical. Running, hiking up a depressed. I'm in Nam. But I'm
mountain. ... I'm fighting something I can't
THEY TELL me, "You can go see.
to work." And I say, "What can I I COULD DIE tomorrow; I
do?" They say, "Well, you can't could die a year from now. They
do anything physical, no lifting or don't know what's going to hap-
anything like that." I say, well; pen to me. They don't know if it's
what you're telling me is I can't going to be a slow process or a
work. Because to me that's what fast one. They just don'tknow.
work is all about, doing That's the reason I say to myself.
something physical. That's the reason I like to go to
I'm a man; I'm not some girl or the mountains and stay away
lady. I'm not a secretary that from people. Because I don't
pushes a pencil all day. And I really feel like I'm a human
can't take an office job and be being, ya know. I feel like I'm an
cooped up in a building all day. I animal.
have to be outdoors. But-the thing is, am I an animal
Maybe all this stems from my to be overlooked' or am I an
training in the service, because I amimal to be coped with? That's
was trained for the outdoors. But what I feel the question is, ya
I feel like I'm a labor man know. Should I be helped? Or
someone that has to do physical should I be overlooked?
labor. You take this away from I've been overlooked.
me, then I no longer feel like a
man. I feel like somebody just This article is taken from a
shrivelling up to nothing. taped interview with James.
I AM IN pain, man, and not Fortenbury, a Vietnam
from my disease, but I have a veteran who was exposed to
pain in my head. I tell my mom
and I tell my brothers that I have Agent Orange and currently
a lot on my mind. I have things suffers from acute liver disease.
that they could never com- It is an excerpt from a just-
prehend because they've never published book, GI. Guinea
experienced anything like I've Pigs by Michael Uhl. a Viet-
been through. Pg yMcalUl it
I'm strained killer. I know that nam veteran, and Tod Ensign,
that's what I'm best trained at, a lawyer specializing in.
what I can do better than military affairs.

I
I

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40

THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
-_ 'Couldit be-the Americans-are ascrazy as,' Ware?'

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