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July 11, 1981 - Image 6

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1981-07-11

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pinion
Page 6 Saturday, July 11, 1981 The Michigan Daily

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The Michigan Daily
Vol. XCI, No. 38-S
Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
Massive arms
sales dangerous
THE REAGAN administration clarified its
policy on foreign arms sales Thursday,
with few surprises in store for concerned ob-
servers. But the aggressive new approach con-
tains plenty of worrisome misconceptions.
. To hear White House and Pentagon officials
tell it, weapons sales abroad- to virtually any
nation throwing its support Westward-are an
indisputably valuable tool for our foreign policy
goals. Selling tanks and jets to friends, they
say, enhances out own national security. Any
infusion of arms to pro-West nations tips the
quantitative scale in our favor, while providing
added intangible benefits by making us more
popular to arms-seeking allies, or so goes the
logic.
At its most simplistic level, this approach
may be valid, but there are many incon-
spicuous dangers in such a view that -our
leadersdon't seem to appreciate:
*While seemingly adding to a region's
stability by "enhancing the defense" of
weapons customers, the fickle interrelation-
ships of these nations-particularly third world
nations, where most of the arms are being
sold-make a long-term assessment of
"regional stability" excessively presum-
ptuous.
" External considerations aside, the internal
stability of such nations is often highly ten-
tative. Selling arms to the Shah appeared to be
smart geopolitics in 1970, but the 1979
revolution in Iran exposed our efforts as
hopelessly myopic.
" American arms sales are now being touted
as simply a response to outrageous Soviet sales
($17.5 billion last year). Fine, but this is the
same logic the Kremlin used-citing equally
ridiculous American -sales in the 1960s and
197s-when its surge began. Somewhere along
the line, this dangerous oneupmanship must
stop. Why not now? It's not clear that all other
options have been exhausted.-
" Foreign nations are beginning to view arms
purchases as a status symbol, equating their
acquisitions of sophisticated weaponry with
overall prosperity. This gives them a dis-
torted sense of what defenses they really ne ed,
provides a similarly distorted kinship to the
superpowers, and mutes their justified needs
for economic aid.
The United States should not dismiss the use
of arms sales-we should indeed protect our
allies this way in some cases. But there are hid-
den dangers lurkin n such transactions, for us
and for our customers, and other nations need
to be more closely assessed - ' v+

GOTTHEN1LER I4REM I EEEirs.
COD WHEN ILOST - f I

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Moral Majori y, you
-had better beware!

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To the Daily:
Is . the so-called "Moral
Majority" really something to
worry about?
"We've already taken control
of the conservative movement.
And conservatives have take con-
trol of the Republican Party. The
remaining thing is to see if we
can take control of the country,"
says Richard Viguerie, a key
fundraiser for the New Right.
And according to James Watt, we
don't have to worry about con-
servation and preservation of the
environment because there may
not be many generations left
"'before the Lord comes."
ARE THEY really big? Jerry
Falwell, founder and head of the
Moral Majority has his own zip
code. He raises millions of dollars
and has registered thousands of
voters, and the Moral majority is
just one group. There is also
Christian Voice, ReligioussRoun-
dtable, and many others.
Are they dangerous? Books.
ranging from Shakespeare to
Steinbeck to "The Diary of Anne
Frank" have been removed from
library shelves. In Arkansas, the
Bible is now a book of science
and, according to creationists, is
"scientifically and historically
accurate." Children are being in-
doctrinated instead of educated.
A woman's right to choose an
abortion is under attack and the
Equal Rights Amendment may
be at death's door. The Voting
Rights Act may die and open
housing legislation is a dream
What you see, what you read,
what you do, and your very
rights-are all under attack.
r baqk is The
Voice Hf teasosi. The Voice of

Reason is a broad-based group
dedicated to fighting the Moral
Majority and other extreme
right-wing groups. It is a positive
group fighting for three impor-
tant principles.
THE FIRST is the secular
state-a belief in the separation
of church and state. As we see it:
"The founders of the American
state were students of the
Enlightenment. They were op-
posed to all forms of religious
fanaticism. They wanted to avoid
the religious civil wars of the
past. Using their ingenuity, they
conceived of a new alternative.
We call it the secular state."
The second principle is per-
sonal freedom-the, defense of
liberty in lifestyles and private
behavior. According to VOR:
"What you read, what you buy,
what you do in voluntary in-
timacy, is your private domain
into whichno governmenthas the
right to intrude. If the state tries
to dictate behavior in all areas of
your life, it will destroy in-
dividual freedom and dignity. It
will foster disunity and resen-
tment."
The third principle is free
inquiry-the rights of science to
proceed unimpeded by religious
dogma. Our group believes: "The
American republic was born with
the age of science. Our founders
believed that a strong America
required educated citizens. They
knew that the prosperity of
America lay in the willingness of
its people to train for the future."
THE VOICE of Reason's
national advisory board includes
Nobel-prize winner Linus
Pauling, Isaac Asimov, and other
world renowned scientists.

The Voice of Reason is
nationally incorporated and is
registering its political action
committee. It will be endorsing,
funding, and supporting can-
didates. It will organize by
district and hold rallies and
teach-ins, and is preparing a
questionnaire with a social scien-
tist at the University to circulate
to elected officials. It's
monitoring. school and library
boards, and is reaching out to the
media.
VOR is also a legal group. It
has filed an amicus curaie
(friend of the court) brief in one
case; and Howard Simon of the
ACLU is its General Secretary.
. In just a few short months, The
Voice of Reason has grown to 13
chapters in Michigan and is ad-
ding new groups from Marquette
to Ann Arbor. It has gone national
and now has state chapters from
Connecticut to Alaska.
The Voice of Reason has
resolved that "The secular state,
personal freedom and free
inquiry are indispensible values
in our American tradition. They
need out support and protection.
We must not allow a determined
minority of politically ambitious
dogmatists to destroy them
through our neglect. We must be
voices of Reason."
On Sunday, July 12at 1 p.m. in
}zanderson Rooms C & D in the
Michigan, the University of
Michigan Voice of Reason will
meet. PLease join us and other
concerned citizens who realize
that the Moral majority is
neither!
-David.Treece,
The Voice of Reason
July 10

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