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May 11, 1982 - Image 6

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1982-05-11

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Page 6
The Michigan Daily]
Vol. XCII, No. 5S
Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Edited and managed by students
at the University of Michigan
Speaking softer
P RESIDENT REAGAN lowered his saber a
few more inches Sunday to propose a
comprehensive program to reduce U.S. and
Soviet nuclear weapons.
The Soviets are not likely to accept the plan
as is, but the proposal provides an important
take-off point for negotiations to safeguard the
world from nuclear war. And it marks a change
in Reagan's approach to the Soviet Union.
The president's conciliatory tone was in
marked contrast to the war-like rhetoric of his
administration's early days. Now his
traditionally fervent anti-communism may
serve him well in his peace-making efforts by
insulating him from conservative attacks. Very
few would venture to say Ronald Reagan has
gone soft on communism.
Thus the president is in very strong position
politically to make proposals that could ac-
tually reduce the danger of nuclear holocaust.
Reagan's plan is an important first step
toward a safer world, and one would hope it is
not just rhetoric designed to placate public
The president's first step is a small one,
however, that needs to be followed by larger
ones in the direction of peace and conciliation.
To add to his move, he could propose a com-
prehensive ban on the testing of nuclear
weapons, including underground tests. He
could also renounce the first use of nuclear
weapons and scale back research of new, more
threatening, missiles.
The president should be applauded for his
reduction proposal, but if he is truly intent on
defusing the world's nuclear menace, his
initiative is only a beginning.
i (-#
ot&I . tae 66 P-A9404W WAR

Tuesday; May 11, 1982.

The Michigan Daily

Alternatives to war


By Jon Stewart
The Falkland Islands crisis has
come down to life and death ter-
ms because it is framed in ab-
solute black and white terms.
Both Argentina and Britain
claim sovereignty over the
desolate, windswept rocks, and
the question of sovereignty
allows for no compromise.
The solution, if there can still
be one, is clearly to remove the
issue of sovereignty from the
negotiations and find a suitable
alternative in which to frame the
dispute. The question of
sovereignty, after all, is a distin-
ctly "modern" idea intruding in-
to the post-modern age. It is an
obsolete notion about the
relationship between peoples or
territory and the
"sovereign"-an idea that arose
in 16th century France, produced
the bloody Napoleonic wars, and
gave rise to the great modern
nation-states and led to the
mayhem and chaos of world
YET DOTH Britain and Argen-
tine now are mounting a 19th cen-
tury-type war (albeit with 20th
century weapons) over a 19th
century idea: the notion that a
state can and should exercise
sovereign power over a subject
people and territory. In Britain's
case, the claim to the territory -
8,000 miles away - is especially.
absurd; while in Argentina's case
the claim to the people - British
- is equally ridiculous.
If sovereignty is no longer a
legitimate political idea, what
are the alternatives? Political in-
dependence has been the
preferred alternative for most
subject colonies in the 20th cen-
tury. But clearly, independence
as a nation-state is not a suitable
solution for a few highly depen-
dent, isolated islands composed
of only 1,800 people and tens of
thousands of sheep.
The alternatives, however, are
numerous and models of them
abound all over the globe -
especially in small territories, of-
ten islands, where the
inhabitants are culturally distin-
ct from the culture of the nearest
national territory. The Hong

Kong solution - a long-term
lease by one state (Britain)
superimposed over the territorial
sovereignty of another state
(China) - is the most obvious. It
already has been discussed and
OTHER alternatives exist,
The concept of "power
sharing" is becoming more
relevant to an increasingly inter-
dependent world. One form that
shared sovereignty has taken is
the condominium, which is a
compact between two states over
joint administration of a third
The world's oldest con-
dominium is the tiny territory of
Andorra, a 191-square-mile
region between France and
Spain, inhabited by some 21,000
people. France and Spain agreed
704 years ago that sovereignty
over the territory would reside in
the kings (later presidents) of
France and the Spanish bishop of
Urgel. The arrangement works to
this day.
The South Pacific islands of
New Hebrides provide another
example of a condominium. Both
France and England provided
administrative services to the
predominantly Melanesian
population, and each claimed
sovereignty over 'their own
nationals. But neither state
claimed territorial sovereignty.
This arrangement worked
reasonably well from 1906 until
the islands became the indepen-

dent state of Vanatu in 1980.
arrangement falling short of a
condominium exists . in Spit-
sbergen - another strategic and
equally important island group.
Fifty years of international
squabbling over these islands, 550
miles north of Norway, resulted
in a 1920 treaty which granted
sovereignty to Norway but
provided rights to other national
to exploit the islands' resources.
Today Russia and Norway, which
are political enemies, both mine
Spitebergen's coal and are
negotiating over its offshore oil.
An interesting twist to this Spit-
sbergen treaty is that no military
base of fortification can be built
on the islands.
A similar no-military-use
clause pertains to the treaty
governing ise of Antarctica
signed in 1959. It sets guidelines
on scientific and resource use of
the continent, governing 12
signatory nations but recognizing
no nation's claims of sovereignty.
Essentially, the members of the
treaty agree to disagree on
sovereignty claims and not to
press the issue.
Other models of shared or
limited sovereignty are too
numerous to discuss (for instan-
ce: Berlin, Monaco, San
Marino, the Canal Zone, even
American Indian reservations).
But the point is not that any one of
these territories offers the ideal
solution to the Falklands; it is
that a great variety of political
arrangements short of full
sovereignty has worked - and
still works - for many small
territories, including some of
which have greater strategic and
economic importance than the
tury, history has been shaped
because sovereignty is divisible
and can be reduced to delegations
of discrete powers.
Is it too much to hope that the
outcome in the Falklands can be
one that looks to the future rather
than the past?
'Stewart is an editor for the
Pacific News Service.






Smaller but dirtier


To the Daily:
Two events prompt our writing.
Yesterday a university em-
ployee came through our offices
in Angell Hall to clean the win-
dows-from the inside only, as he
had been instructed! Of course,
all the dirt is on the outside.
As we write, it is a warm day in
April, yet the heater in our office
is going full-blast. The tem-
perature in hereis 85 degrees, , ,

In these days of budget cuts,
"smaller but better campaigns,"
and other curtailments, it would
seem that the University could
more wisely employ its man-

power and resources.
-Hermann S. Schibli, TA
Ariel Loftus, TA
Anita Estker
April 20, 1982

Editorials appearing on the left side of
the page beneath The Michigan Daily logo
represent a majority opinion of the Daily's
(qi#f., , ,

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