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January 21, 1991 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-01-21

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Page 4 -The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 21, 1991

mE frlidirgan DailI
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Editor in Chief

Opinion Editor

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other cartoons,
signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Attack on Israel

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'U' student describes daily life in wartime Israel

Iraqi aggression against
Gulf has once again escalated, this time
thanks to Saddam Hussein's attacks on
Israel. The man who claims to speak
for the less fortunate and seeks to be
the leader of a new pan-Arab
movement deserves the strongest
possible condemnation for his
unprovoked aggression against
innocent civilians.
Fortunately, casualties as a result of
the Iraqi Scud missiles were minimal;
but if attacks persist, it is only a matter
of time before hundreds or thousands
of people are killed. While the United
States erred by initiating an assault
against Iraq, there is no justification for
an Iraqi strike against Israel, a country
that had not previously been involved
in the Gulf dispute.
Surely, Israel now has every right to
retaliate. But Israeli leaders should be
commended for the restraint they have
shown, holding back rather than
jeopardizing the fragile Allied coalition
assembled by the United States. An
Israeli counter-strike would have
questionable military effectiveness -
U.S. bombing has persisted almost
non-stop - and splintering the
coalition could drag out an unnecessary

civilians is deplorable
war even longer.
It is difficult for us to comment on
the specificsof a war we have opposed
from the outset. If diplomatic channels
hadn't been abandoned, the world now
would not be in such a precarious
situation. But even within the context
of the hostilities in the Middle East,
there is no defense for an unprovoked
attack of terror against a civilian
population. This should probably come
as little surprise from a man who
gassed to death thousands of Kurds
within his own country.
We can ultimately do little more
than reiterate our hopes for a cease-fire,
a resumption of dialogue, and finally
an Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait and
the return home of U.S. troops. As this
seems unlikely in the near future, all
efforts must be made to limit civilian
casualties. Also, perhaps world leaders
will heed Jordan's King Hussein, who
has called for a break in the fighting so
diplomats can have another go at
securing peace.
In the meantime, given Saddam
Hussein's willingness to escalate the
war, Israel has every right to do what
any other country would do to protect
its citizens.

Annual holiday is culmination of student struggle

By Mark Katz
JERUSALEM - It's 2:00 Saturday
afternoon here. Most of us are just waking
up from our third-straight long night. At
about 9:00 last night, the first siren of the
evening sounded. Some friends and I, in
the midst of dinner, threw down our
plates, snatched up our gas masks, and
quickly hurried to the nearest sealed room,
the bomb shelter located in the basement
of our dormitory building.
Students rushed into the shelter, the
door was slammed shut, and the gas masks
placed on. Once again the joyous waiting
period began.
All ears are fixed on the one or two ra-
dios in the shelter. We Americans share a
special common bond with the new
Russian and Hungarian immigrants: un-
derstanding the Hebrew on the radio is just
not an option. We rely on our Israeli
friends for the bulk of the translation, but
by this time we have memorized the two
crucial words for which we are painfully
waiting - lehasir hamesekhah - take
off your gas mask.
Wearing these gas masks is far from an
enjoyable experience. The initial excite-
ment of being surrounded by hundreds of
Darth Vader clones quickly gives way to a
feeling of inescapable lockjaw. But, regard-
less of the intense discomfort we all suf-
fer, the thought of the alternative makes
our plight slightly more bearable.
So the fun continues in these prison-
esque shelters. Some people break out
decks of cards, others books. We all sit
waiting for some army official to break
into the cheesy Israeli pop song playing
on the radio and tell us it's time to lehasir
Katz is a University of Michigan student
who has been studying at Hebrew
University in Jerusalem since August.

Finally, at a quarter to ten, the words
of salvation are heard. We take off our
masks, massage our jaws for a good five
minutes, and are soon told we are allowed
to leave the sealed room.
But the night's festivities have just be-
gun. After trying desperately to stay up for
the 2 a.m. wake-up call we experienced the
past two nights and are anticipating again
this night, we all finally go to sleep, just
in time to wake up to a 5 am siren. It's
the same old procedure. We get out at
about 5:30, and creep back into a deep
But a 7:15 am siren brings this doze to
a quick halt. While it turns out that the
first two sirens were actually false alarms,
we learn on the radio that this time two
missiles have hit the greater Tel Aviv
area, just 40 minutes west of us. Our wor-
ries are quickly calmed when we find out
that only minor injuries to 10 people
were caused. At about 8:30 am we get the
word and return to our rooms to catch up
on all the night's lost sleep.

A sensitive subject in the past week
has been the sudden departure of many
Americans, especially at Hebrew
University. Out of 500 American students
on the program, fewer than 100 remain
now. Reactions of Israelis I've talked to
differ. Some feel that if they were in the
same position, they would leave in a sec-
ond. Personally, I know many Americans
who wanted nothing more than to stay in
Israel during this time of crisis. Many
were faced with the ultimate dilemma of
choosing between their parents and their
After hours of long-distance arguments,
many students felt that they simply could
not defy their parents and subject them to
such a grave, constant fear. Most of us
who stayed are blessed with parents who
while perhaps equally worried, understand
our strong feeling that as Jews, now is
unquestionably the most important time
to be here in our homeland.

Most of us who stayed (in Israel) are blessed with
parents who understand our strong feeling that as
Jews, now is unquestionably the most important time
to be here in our homeland.

There are, however, some positive
aspects to this wartime drudgery. The past
few nights of shelter life have made for a
true bonding experience for a random
group of 40 or 50 students remaining in
my building, most of whom probably
would not have known each other existed
were it not for a trigger-happy Saddam.
Ethiopians, Russians, Argentinians,
Hungarians, French, Americans, Israelis,
and others in my shelter all share in this

However, even the strongest of Zionist
fervor cannot always stay at the forefront
of our thoughts in this kind of a war. This
is not a war of heroes or even of active in-
volvement, as in past Israeli wars. It is a
war of toting gas masks to the bathroom
with you and sleeping in rooms which
smell awful after days of being sealed up.
In any case, most of us plan on waking up'*
to many more sirens and anxiously await-
ing the two precious words - lehasir
hamasekhah - in the days to come.

A speaker addresses students during a rally lastyear on Martin Luther King Day. The
annual holiday is the result of fervent student struggle.

Letter shows Bush's fervor for war

brates Martin Luther King Day, stu-
dents have the opportunity to do more
* than honor and learn about a revered
leader's dreams and ideals. They have
the chance to honor the victory of a
student movement against an often
unyielding University hierarchy.
For many University students, the
holiday is no more than a day off, a
time to sleep in, catch up on home-
work, or go out of town. But the day
holds more significance than a three-
day weekend; it is the culmination of a
two-year student struggle to convince
the University to honor King.
Students should not look at today as
a day absent from learning, but as a
day for a different kind of education,
one focused on King's goals and aspi-
rations - equality, civil rights, har-
mony, and peace - as well as the in-
justices he fought - poverty, racism,
discrimination and violence.
In March 1987, the United Coalition
Against Racism (UCAR) issued 12
demands to the University, among
them the cancellation of classes on the
official King holiday.
In 1988, after Interim University
President Robben Fleming refused,
student demands to ask the Board of

ments sponsored seminars, speeches,
films, and performances to educate
students about King's dreams and ide-
Instead of naming the holiday after
King, however, the University admin-
istration dubbed it "Diversity Day."
Many saw this as a move to shift the
focus from King to the University. In
1990, student leaders won yet another
victory when the University quietly
changed the name to Martin Luther
King Day.
The day is also exceptional in an-
other way: it brings together a variety
of campus organizations - student,
academic and administrative. The
events are sponsored by the University
itself, student organizations such as
UCAR, and academic departments.
Seldom does the University commu-
nity come together for a single educa-
tional purpose, and this effort must be
rewarded with large attendance at each
The cancellation of classes - which
few other universities honor - is a
powerful example of student-initiated
change at the University. But we must
not take this accomplishment for
granted. When this year's seniors
graduate, with them goes the memory

By David Leitner
Looking at the situation we now find
ourselves in, many Americans have been
wondering how this military action even
got started. Why did we drop the equiva-
lent of Hiroshima on Baghdad early
Thursday morning?
Some cite the Congressional authoriza-
tion of military force two weeks ago as
setting us up for war. But, in fact, this
power was given to President Bush by a
Congress whose hands were bound, for to
remove over 400,000 troops now in the
Gulf would make the entire effort a waste
of time and might be thought of as un-
patriotic or "un-American."
In fact, the reality of the use of U.S.
military force came long before Congress
said anything. President Bush has wanted
U.S. action in the Gulf and tried to tie the
hands of Congress so that our country's
forces would remain. The perfect example
of Bush's effort can be found in a state-
ment Bush sent to 460 American universi-
ties, a copy of which appeared in the
1/10/91 issue of the Daily.

Logic cannot permit this assumption.
If "armed men" (the Iraqi forces) invaded
this country, we would indeed be justified
in using force in self-defense. However,
self defense cannot support our defense of
Kuwait, a sovereign nation.
To use force when not in self-defense is
clearly aggression, where the reward is
control of Gulf oil reserves. U.S. military
action would be unjustified, for as Mr.
Bush states in this very piece, "...we
know that to reward aggression would be
to end the promise of our New World
Bush alluded to this "New World Or-
der" repeatedly, referring to the changes in
Cold War tensions, reform in Eastern Eu-
rope, and the upcoming formation of the
European Community next year. How-
ever, the use of the word "order" is inter-
esting, for it implies uniformity and ad-
herence to rules. Who will dictate those
rules becomes the concern. Presumably, it
would- be the nation that would lead the
world, deriving its power from its ability

Iraq's "nuclear arsenal" was also men-
tioned. The threat of a nuclear confronta-
tion was thus conjured, based upon little*
or no substance. This supposed Iraqi capa-
bility is only speculation; no concrete evi-
dence has been found to substantiate
Bush's claim that Iraq has an available nu-
clear offensive. In doing this, Bush set
himself up to say that since the nuclear
threat is present, we must work quickly to
stop it. Clearly, this is not the case.
Just as the Congress was being con-
vened upon the crux of the matter, the
Baker-Aziz meeting was held, supposedly*
showing that Bush was considering peace-
ful negotiations. However, if Bush was
sincere in this wish, one would think he
would have mentioned the talks, or at the
very least address the prospects for peace
more emphatically than simply stating
"we desperately want peace" in his article.
It seems more of a token statement, rather
anything with any backing.
As Bush tries to dispel ideas that he is
pushing this war into full throttle, he
could have quelled some of those fears by
at least addressing those peace alternatives,
such as the embargo, is this letter sent to
so many colleges nationwide. It was ap-
parent, from his neglect to mention this,
that he wanted war very badly.
Now war is here. And while we deal
with the issues of strategic interests, the
Israeli question, and the length of this war,
f n n n ., h - r < . _. - . - rrf f. - --2t r

(Bush's piece) was simply war propaganda. A string of
faulty assumptions, generalizations, and scrupulous
word choices which only served to urge direct
military action in the Persian Gulf, making light of any
feasible peaceful alternatives.

Bush began with a melodramatic ex-

to settle Rlobal disnutes. by force or oth-

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