1 Page 5
Vol. XCV, No. 25-S
95 Years of Editorial Freedom
Managed and Edited by Students at
The University of Michigan
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the
Daily Editorial Board
N WHAT SEEMS like a scene out of the past, a man who
refused to register with the Selective Service faces up to
five years in jail or a $10,000 fine next week.
The resister, David Wayte - should not go to jail and
should never have been prosecuted.
Wayte is the victim of the federal government's policy of
selective prosecution. The government only prosecutes
those who fail to register and are vocal about it.
If the federal government is going to enforce the law -
no matter how unjust - it should prosecute all who violate
it and not only those who speak out against it.
An equivalent situation would be the government only
prosecuting those drunk drivers who speak out against
drunk driving laws. Or only prosecuting those pickpockets
who vocally oppose laws against theft.,
A second and probably more important reason why
Wayte should not be jailed or fined is the unjustness of the
law. Why prosecute those who do not register with the
Selective Service, when there is no reason to register?
Many will argue that a list of young men is needed in
case the country goes to war, so that the military will
have a pool of men available to send off to war.
The arguments against registration itself have been
rehashed many times, but in light of recent events, it ap-
pears they have to be rehashed once again.
The Carter administration used Selective Service
registration as a political tool to show the Soviets that the
United States was not pleased with the invasion of
Afghanistan. But the Soviets have not changed their
position on Afghanistan. So this political tool has proved to
be ineffective and needs to be disregarded.
Continuing to have young men register with the Selec-
tive Service serves only to send signals to the world that
the United States is taking steps to prepare itself for war.
The U.S. should be a symbol of peace, not war.
A more peaceful attitude would be to end the Selective
Service registration and the prosecution of vocal
Letters to the Daily should be typed,
triple-spaced, and signed by the in-
dividual authors. Names will be withheld
only in unusual circumstances. Letters
may be edited for clarity, grammar, and
Saturday, June 22, 1985
MR. PQES\DEtT - D oYOU QEGRET YOUQ
CPTICISM\ O NM Y C AMTEDUR\NG-
'MEOI QA6S CQ1% O M 1990
The Michigan Daily
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Black market arms trade thrives
___________________________________ South Africa - all barred from buying arms through
By Michael Klare normal channels.
___________________________________ No one can provide a reliable figure on the worldwide
The good news is that the latest estimate of arms trade trade in black market arms - "I wouldn't even hazard a
with the Third World - released each year at this time by guess," said Richard Grimmett, author of the CRS
the Constitutional Research Service (CRS) of the Library report - but by simply studying what is known of such
of Congress - shows no ominous upturn : sales in 1914 held trade, one sees it can hardly fall below $10 billionsa year.
at roughly $32.3 billion, slightly up from 1913 but well This includes approximately $1 billion each spent by
below the 1912 level. Iran and Iraq to sustain their five-year-old war, according
The bad news is that while most legislators and analysts to Stockholm's International Peace Research Institute;
consider this figure definitive, it's highly misleading. another $1 billion spent jointly by the factions in Lebanon;
THE FIGURE, based on classified information, and hundreds of millions spent by Libya and South Africa,
represents sales of basic military hardware by major and by guerrilla and covert forces in Third World hot
supplying countries - the United States, the Soviet Union, spots like Central America.
France and a number of others. But it does not include any LIKE ITS drug counterpart, black market traffic in
data on the fastest-growing component of the arms weapons respects no ideological frontiers. Thus the
business, the soaring black market weapons trade. Islamic rulers of Iran, who fiercely denounced Israel after
Although relatively small in scale, black market tran- their revolution against the Shah, now depend on secret
sactions often prove far more dangerous than legitimate Israeli sources for parts and ammunition. And despite
transfers because they usually go to nations or groups ac- their polemics against Washington, the Iranians have
tively engaged in armed violence, avidly sought U.S. arms through clandestine channels.
Black market sales actually cover a wide spectrum. At US. officials have also cooperated with Israel and other
one end are illicit dealers who sell relatively small quan- foreign governments in channeling arms. It is likely,
tities of arms to foreign buyers in violation of government for instance, that the surface-to-air missiles provided to
regulations. Typically, these customers are guerilla the contras are Soviet-model weapons captured by the
groups, narcotics smugglers, and "outlaw leaders" like Israelis in their 1982 invasion of Lebanon.
Libya's Ehadafy. All this suggests that the black market arms trade,
AT THE OTHER end of the spectrum are large, though subject to little scrutiny, has become an important
reputable dealers, including some major corporations, that factor in the international military security situation. It is
secretly exports arms to embargoed foreign governmen- clear some sort of international control and inspection has
ts often with the explicit, if unacknowledged, backing of become essential.
their own governments. Such suppliers are very active in
sales to such countries as Iran, Iraq, Chile, Taiwan and Klare wrote this for Pacific News Service.
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by Berke Breathed
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