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July 19, 1985 - Image 5

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1985-07-19

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OPINION

The Michigan Daily
01he s~Chgun tail
Vol. XCV, No. 34-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
Wrong penalty
O NE QUARTER OF the world's population lives with-
in the borders of China. That's a pretty staggering
figure.
Reducing the birth rate is a major priority for many
third world countries. The population growth has a
significant effect on the social and economic well-being of
a country. The way to handle the problems, however, has
caused divisions among countries.
Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to
allow President Reagan to withhold part of a planned $52
million contribution to the United Nations Fund for
Population Activities to pressure China to halt reported
abuses of its population control policy. Reports say that
the Chinese government has forced women to have abor-
tions if the women already have one child or if a "planned
birth certificate" was not obtained in advance.
Forced abortions are an unacceptable way to handle a
population problem. But the House's action is inap-
propriate because not only does it affect China, it affects
other countries, like India.
The Chinese have had a tradition of large families
because that often insured that the parents would have
someone to take care of them when they got old. The
Chinese also have a strong tradition of having a son in the
family and often the family will have more than one child
to insure the family does have a son.
The goal of reducing the birth rate is important to the
survival of many countries in the world today but there are
limits to what should be allowed to keep the birth rate
down.
If the United States disagrees with the policy of a
specific country, then sanctions should be imposed against
that specific country. An across the board sanction hurts
many countries that need our help.
If the United States feels that China's population control
policy is wrong, then the United States should take ap-
propriate action against China and China only.
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Friday, July 19, 1985

Page 5

A ccidental nuclear war
By Frances Dinkeispiel and examine the information and, if necessary, challenge
David Kaplan either side's interpretation of the data.
Dav__ d_ Kap _ _n _ Although the movement to establish such a crisis center
has gained momentum - it was unanimously endorsed by
When and if a nuclear war starts it will be by accident, the Senate in June, 1984 - the Reagan administration has
But it might be prevented by creating a place where remained cautious. The president has proposed different
Washington and Moscow could swap information and methods for improving communications with Moscow,
reassurances instantly. methods that critics say fall far short of what is needed.
That is the consensus among a growing number of In a recent speech before the European Parliament,
policymakers and experts in military strategy, including Reagan proposed "a permanent military-to-military
William Perry, former Undersecretary of Defense for communications link." According to Pentagon officials,
Research and Development in the Carter administration, the system would function much like the current hotline -
In the late 1970s Perry helped develop nuclear weapons: a teletype machine able to transmit three pages of text
now he spends much of his free time drumming up support per minute.
for an accidental nuclear war prevention center.
ONE ADMINISTRATION official explained that this is
PERRY ANIOT HERS point to a series of developmen- the only plan the Soviets are likely to accept, for now. But,
ts which they say make such an accident more possible official said. "we have not written off these joint cen-
than ever:
- Launch on warning. Fast flying modern missiles However. Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin for-
leave little time for the superpowers to react - as little as mally endorsed the idea in May. Some arms control ex-
six minutes with the advent of the Pershing II and its perts think our own administration is the one dragging its
Soviet counterpart. heels, and they point to the limitations of merely another
hotline.
- Outdated technology. Congress' General Accounting
Office has issued several reports charging that the "The (administration's) proposals are not enough,"
nation's main computer for missile attack warning, argues William Ury, who researched the idea for the U.S.
designed in the late 1960s, is dangerously obsolete. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and wrote a book
on it. Ury asks, "If you were involved in a bitter dispute
with someone hatf way across the world, and the stakes
- FALLIBLE MACHINES. The Defense Department were extraordinarily high would you really do it by sen-
has allocated millions of dollars to develop artificial in- ding cables back and forth, or would you prefer doing it
telligence capable of deciding independently when to face to face?"
launch nuclear missiles. Alarmed computer specialists
say even the most sophisticated machines are capable of
making mistakes. PREVIOUS EFFORTS to create the centers have been
"totally rebuffed," according to John Lewis, director of
- Proliferation. The possible spread of nuclear weapons Stanford University's Center for International Security
to such nations as Libya and Pakistan, or to terrorist and Arms Control. "At a very high level," says Lewis,
groups, poses perhaps the greatest danger of all. An "the idea was merely dismissed."
unidentified nuclear explosion during a time of inter- Grassroots support, meanwhile, seems to be growing.
national crisis could be mistaken by the superpowers as In early May, a prominent group of California politicians
the beginning of all-out war. - including Milton Marks, state senator from San Fran-
cisco, and Dominic Cortese, Democratic assemblyman
According to its proponents, an accidental nuclear war from Santa Clara - helped to found Californians for a
center, staffed by members of both nations and equipped U.S.-U.S.S.R. Crisis Control Center.
with the latest communications gear, could quickly
de-escalate such an international crisis. If a terrorist The group introduced a broadly-based bill supporting a
group detonated a nuclear bomb in the Middle East, for center in the state assembly, and encourages cities and
example, the center would link up leaders of the two communities to pass local resolutions endorsing the idea.
superpowers for an immediate "teleconference" via TV. Even its biggest boosters, however, acknowledge that
an accidental nuclear war center will have limitations. In
AS A FIRST step, they couldagree to not take any conflicts of interest that are genuine, says Stanford's
retaliatory action until the culprit had been identified. Lewis. the center could not porform the "essentailly
Then they would share information - movements of political task" of resolving a crisis.
military forces, reports from spy satellites - to prove Adds author Ury, "Crisis control is not a substitute for
whether either side had in fact exploded a nuclear arms control."
device. The binational staff would be able to jointly

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