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February 07, 1991 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-02-07

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Page 4--The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 7, 1991
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I l


420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Opinion Editors



' y

c Clout
/ ' + { IE M3JGIi ALr ICY T
, tN p B

I '

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.

Women in the war
Armed forces must open combat roles to female soldiers

T he war in the Gulf took an ominous turn last
week, when American POWs turned up on
Iraqi television. After an Iraqi claim to have a
woman GI in captivity was confirmed by the
Pentagon, the debate over what role women should
play inthe military was once again brought to light.
It is disheartening to learn that Americans of either
sex have been takenpris-
oner, but such news .. .
should not weaken the .
push for gender parity in
the military. The U.S.
military must begin to
treat men and women as
equals -including plac ..
ing women in combat
Currently, women are
barred from three divi-
sions of the U.S. mili-
tary: cannon artillery, ar-
mor, and infantry. The
military cites physical,
notmental reasons for this
exclusion. Lt. Colonel
William Gregor of the
University Reserve Offi-
cer Training Corps Air Force Capt. Sharon
(ROTC)office explained medical evacuation uni
that the decision is a mat- Why are women prohib
ter of physical strength. roles in the U.S. Armed
Women are on the average less fit then men at their
peak age, according to Gregor, and the disparity
between the sexes gets progressively larger.
To restrictAmerican women in the armed forces
from certain roles based on averages is incredibly
short-sighted. The military currently screens all
recruits upon their enlistment to insure that they
are mentally and physically qualified for combat.
Extending combat roles to include women would
only broaden the pool of physically-fit soldiers to
.choose from. Until recently, the Israeli army placed

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women in combat roles; these women performed
as well as their male counterparts in combat.
This restriction will have a profound effect on
the thousands of American women fighting in
Operation Desert Storm. When the Gulf conflict
ends, many soldiers who performed well in combat
will be rewarded with medals and promotions.
Because women are
barred from combat, they
are excluded from much
of the praise, and black-
balled from the pay in-
creases, prestige, and
benefits that accompany
those advancements.
Surprisingly, many
Americans - both men
and women - are op-
posed to women joining
men on the front lines.
Some fear that women's
sense of compassion will
interfere with their abil-
ity to follow orders; oth-
ers claim that allowing
women to serve in com-
AP PhOo bat will interfere with the
enbright is a nurse in a male bonding that makes
ationed in Saudi Arabia. a unit successful. These
d from assuming combat arguments are rooted in
ces? ignorance and fear, and

~~U5T .

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should be disregarded.
It is obvious that the armed forces' exclusion of
women from combat roles is based on nothing but
outdated traditions, much like the segregation of
minority enlistees during the two world wars.
If we are really fighting for the "preservation of
democracy" in the Gulf, then we would do well to
practice what we preach. Women as well as men
should be allowed to "be all they can be" in our
armed forces.

Hussein, allied coalition must protect prisoners and civilians

Don't blame ROTC
To the Daily:
I would like to make a factual
correction to Mary Ann Hinton's
comments in the Daily article,
"People of Color Sponsor Teach-
In" (2/1/91) in which she blames
the University and the Reserve'
Officer Training Corps (ROTC)
for the disproportionate number
of people of color in the military.
She said, "Students, who would
otherwise be unable to afford,
college, can continue their,
education through ROTC scholar-
I am not certain how scholar-
ships are administered for other
branches of the armed services,
but I can tell you, based on my
experiences, that U.S. Air Force
ROTC scholarships are merit-
based, and have absolutely
nothing to do with individual or
family income levels, or skin
color, for that matter.
I would guess that the other
services have similar policies with
regard to ROTC scholarships.
ROTC scholarships are not
necessarily or primarily for those
"unable to afford college." Those
choosing to accept Air Force
ROTC scholarships are required
to maintain certain academic,
physical, an moral standards
while in colne, and are required
to serve'in the Force follow-
ing graduation for _ing periods
of time, depending on the job they
qualify for in the Air Force.
Ray Hunter
Colonel (ret.), U.S. Air Force
Who do we elect?
To the Daily:
In recent years, we at the
University have often decried the
judgement of we the people as
voters. While the voters of
countries in Latin America and
Eastern Europe elect their poets,
their fiction writers, and their
dramatists to lead their nations,
we the people of the United States
elect former movie stars and
former oil company executives.
Yesterday, I witnessed the
reason why. The occasion was the
Underclassmen Hopwood Awards
Ceremony, with a reading by the
writer Bharati Mukherjee. The
reading was splendid, the audi-
ence appreciative; however, as
soon as Ms. Mukherjee finished,
most of the audience rose and
departed, leaving these young
writers to receive their prizes

nearly alone.
Suddenly, I was reminded of
high school, where each autumn
Friday we gathered in the
gymnasium for the rally support-
ing our warrior sport - the one
with offense and defense, with
territory won and lost, the one
with casualties and doctors, and
an ambulance parked in the end
zone, where the artists, the
musicians, the actors, the creators,
also performed and spoke and
wrote and thought, always
without pep rallies, and always
nearly alone.
But the University is different
from high school. Here, these
days, we rally again - and
rightfully so - to protest war.
But I must ask: can we mean
what we say - that we oppose
war, if we don't live to support
peace? And surely, if that means
anything, it means to honor,
support, and encourage our young
We need to do this, for them,
yes; but writers, even such young
ones, are independent and self-
reliant individuals. So, we need to
do this for ourselves - for our
own spirits. We at the University
need to live peace; we need to be
people who honor our artists, who

support and encourage our youn
If we are not, then what can we
expect when we the people elect
men who take us into war?
Gilda Povo
LSA English Lectur
Tell our readers
what you think.
Write to the
Michigan Daily at
420 Maynard
Street, or send
your letters via
MTS to
"Michigan Daily."

A r

L ast week the American people were given their
first glimpse of one of war's inevitable casual-
ties: the prisoners of war (POWs), subjected to the
hardships and anxietes of prison as a reward for
putting their lives on the line. The American media
circus - which rarely misses a beat - took
advantage of this development to highlight Iraq's=
shameful treatment of the U.N. coaliton prisoners.
Seven Allied aviators were "interviewed" on
Iraqi television and then repeatedly shown on
American television with swollen faces, glazed
eyes, and severe facial abrasions. Now, according
to Saddam Hussein, they are being used as human
shields to protect various military targets in Iraq.
Both actions represent clear violations of the
Geneva Conventions, to which Iraq is a signatory.
The guidelines stipulate that POWs must be pro-
tected against acts of violence or intimidation, and
prohibits their captors from using physical ormen-
tal torture. The conventions also prohibit the use of
POWs as human shields. To the extent that war can.
be defined within rules - a rather dubious concept
- Hussein has clearly violated the existing guide-

But while it is appropriate to condemn Hussein's
actions, the urge to demonize both him and his
country does not justify the media's consistent
refusal to criticize the allied coalition for its own
The coaltion's initial blockade of Iraq also
violated the convention's guidelines, which ex-
plicitly state that all civilians must have access to
food and medical supplies. Bush allowed neither:
into Iraq and browbeat countries like Jordan that
objected to his attempt to starve a population into
Nobody likes to see people tortured, and nobody
condones it. But while we must always condemn
such behavior, we must also be consistent -
recognizing that both sides are committing human
rights abuses. We can only hope that both sides in
this conflict will show some compassion, both for
the captured allied flyers who are now innocent
bystanders, and the people of Iraq, who have been
suffering since the August invasion of Kuwait.

The Edu.0. ;a ' sicIKt _r


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1 ' 4_

ROUNDUP Test your
Are you PC (politically correct)? This question has
been gripping college students across the nation this
wither break. The Badger Herald, in an attempt to
continually serve the UW-Madison student body, has
provided the following quiz to measure your own po-
litically correctness.
Do you believe that Martin Luther King sold out to
the white establishment and that the only group to make
progress for African Americans during the 1960s and
1970s were the Black Panthers?
When answering essay questions do you make a
point of spelling women "womyn?"
During last semester did you have at least one
professor who you were sure was a bigot? '
Do you use the words racist, bigot, multicultural,
and white male establishment at least five times a day?
Do you think that the United States government and
the CIA are involved in any one of the following:.
Holding up new AIDS drugs and keeping money

level of PC
away from AIDS research so that it can kill off more
Inviting Iraq to invade Kuwait so theU.S. govern-
ment could send troops to Saudi Arabia to protect our oil
Do you still believe that socialism is a good idea and
just has not been given a fair chance?
And finally, do you believe that we live in a racist,
imperialist, patriarchal society and that only young PC
students can save the United States from moral bank-
If you answered over half the questions affirmatively
you are well on your way to becoming the type of
brainwashed student that would make Madisoh's left-
wing proud.
Jan. 21,1991, The Badger Herald
by Lowell Schwartz
University of Wisconsin-Madison

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The abortio
While the war in the Gulf is
foremost on most students' minds,
there is another war being quietly
waged at home against women's
reproductive rights.

Two re-
cent events
do not bode
well for the
future of
abortion in
the state of
The inau-
guration of
Gov. John
Engler and
the new ini-


n war rages
tions in this state. This regulation
made an abortion a legal medical
option unavailable to poor women,
a group that already has little access
to birth control alternatives.
And in 1990, the Michigan Leg-
islature passed a stringent parental
consent law, requiring any woman
under 18 seeking an abortion to
obtain the permission of her parents
or judicialapproval.Gov.Blanchard
vetoed this bill, but pro-life groups
collected 300,000 signatures, forc-
ing a statewide referendum. The
parental consent legislation passed
and will be activated March 27.
Under the new parental consent
law, a teen not wishing to inform
her parents must go to the county

on at home
pushing for a mandatory 24-hour
waiting period for a woman sched-
uling an abortion, during which time
the woman would be required to
review literature on abortion alter-
Women living in rural areas and
depressed neighborhoods will have
to make repeated trips to far-away
abortion clinics. The decision to
have an abortion can be difficult,
and once a woman makes up her
mind, she should not be forced to
endure guilt- and embarrassment-
producing propaganda from pro-
The state pro-choice movement
depended upon Gov. Blanchard to
veto anti-choice legislation.but now

Nuts and Bolts

PLUCE at )C F T v a,

't}n KSUS

By Judd Winick
L.-r VUS KNO..
' rP n SAL-


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