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January 14, 1991 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-01-14

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Page 4 -The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 14, 1991
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.
IIULc.CJc. .r...
Congress was timid, had little power anyway
congress' vote "unmistakable demonstrates the United States' commitment to
enforce a complete Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait."
-- President George Bush, immediately following congressional
approval Saturday of the use of force in the Gulf.
"This is the practical equivalent of a war declaration."
- House Speaker Thomas Foley (D-Wash.) after the vote.


. o

f f ' ,LIJ , *

Congress has taken landmark action by
voting Saturday to authorize force in
the Gulf, the public should not take
Saturday's "war"~ resolution -- passed
52-47 in the Senate and 250-183 in the
House - as such a grand step.
Constitutionally, the resolution
might have been meaningless. Last
summer, President Bush committed
troops to the Gulf to defend Saudi
Arabia without any discussion by
Congress. Just after the congressional
elections,* Bush almost doubled the
U.S. force in Saudi Arabia and trans-
formed it from a defensive to an offen-
sive posture, again without any ap-
proval by Congress. After unilaterally
taking these actions, it is very debatable
whether Bush would have needed
Congress' approval to proceed further.
Indeed, the United States has fought
hundreds of skirmishes in its history,
and Congress has declared war only
Ave times. True, many of these skir-
mishesnwere small-scale battles in the
1fth and 19th centuries, but the consti-
totional precedent remains that since
our Civil War the President does not
need Congress' approval to commit
tioops to battle. All the President needs
is for Congress to appropriate money
ror the troops.
This century the President has
committed troops without a congres-
sional declaration of war in Latin
America and Asia. Why should the
Oersian Gulf be any different? Bush
indicated he may have gone to war
even if the Congress voted him down.
Ii this case, a declaration of war may
riot have been a legal requirement, but a
political one. To be prepared to spill
American blood for this cause,
lresident Bush felt he had better make
sure the Congress backed him.
Bush called Saturday's vote a vic-

tory. He recognized that the vote was
close, but to him that was irrelevant.
He likened the vote to an athletic con-
test: a win by even one point is still a
While close doesn't count except for
hand grenades and Bush's beloved
horseshoes, the President should count
Congress' vote as a nominal victory
but a moral loss. A close vote may be
enough to pass a capital gains tax cut or
a foreign aid bill, but it is not enough to
endanger American lives.
In fact, if Bush had not forced
Congress' hand by committing troops
and posturing for war, his support
would probably have been even lower.
As it was, if three senators had voted
differently, Congress would have left
Bush without any political backing at
When going to war, the President
should have behind him a generally
unified nation in which the consensus
for risking so much American life is
strong. President Bush has demon-
strated no such unity. The country is
split. Opinion polls have consistently
shown a nation confused about the
goals of our involvement and still ask-
ing itself if a war would be worth it.
The vote in Congress, though a
nominal victory for Bush, reflects the
nation's sentiment. Unfortunately, both
the public and the Congress have only
limited control over a President who
adamantly wants to lead the country to
President Bush should realize the
precariousness of his support before
sending troops into battle, perhaps as
early as tomorrow. As Rep. Ron
Dellums (D-Calif.) said, "There is no
national consensus to go to war. If the
President chooses to do that, then he
takes a divided nation into battle."



Deputization and the Gulf: there is a link

By Paul Lambert
As the new decade begins, the shift
toward personal empowerment continues.
The main goal of this movement is the
opportunity for each individual to peace-
fully pursue goals of their own choice -
not anarchy, but enlightened democracy.
One of the keys to this social trans-
formation is more enlightened allocation
of publicly held resources. The proposed
campus police deputization will increase
the security budget by at least 500 percent.
These new deputies would supposedly be
used only to deal with felonies on campus,
yet not even deputization's most ardent
supporters can show a 500 percent increase
in campus felonies.
The proposed war in the Persian Gulf
has many features in common with the
deputization issue. Foremost, is an ethic
which condones intimidation and overt ag-
gression to gain needed resources or politi-
Lambert is a member of the Homeless
Action Committee.

cal compliance.
Secondly, access to information has
been routinely denied to the public on a
need-to-know basis, violating the Freedom
of Information acts. Thirdly, both pro-
grams are being pursued, at least in part,
to smother even the most reasoned dissent
in mass paranoia. Fourth, both programs
are being funded massive budget transfers
away from the "weaker" human service ar-
eas. As a center of education, we must de-
cide both individually and collectively be-

tarian society where there is food, hous-
ing, heat and simple human dignity f6r,
all. Over 50 years ago Franklin D. Ro-
sevelt made a promise to America of "A
chicken in every pot," which to this day iA
benefitting us all. Over 50 years frong
now, the Reagan/Bush legacy of a Stealth
bomber in every hanger will have no sud*
benefit for us and our successors.
We must continue to stand together'
against intimidation of the weak, -and,
boldly make new choices in favor of hu-

The proposed war in the Persian Gulf has many features
in common with the deputization issue. Foremost, is an
ethic which condones intimidation and overt aggression
to gain needed resources or political compliance.

tween education that trains the managerial
elite or an education which promotes max-
imal equality and opportunity.
We must continue to build an equali-

man equality. We have it in our collective
power to choose prosperity, freedom aud
dignity for ourselves and all in our natiOT
-Choose peace!

Daily skewed giving federal funds to groups such as
11 Planned Parenthood is highly question-
deputization p~i able.

Lion in the Middle East and a coalition o0
community groups have been organizing
all fall to protest the march toward war;
The morning following any U.S. air, sea,
or ground strike these actions are planned:'

Press in the Gulf

Restrictions will hamper
prage has always played a major role in
shaping public opinion. From the
niewsreels of marching Nazi troops that
spurred American patriotism in World
War II, to the shocking images of
civilian executions and crippled GIs in
Vietnam that heightened anti-war
sbhtiment in the 1960s and '70s, the
press has been a powerful weapon in
shaping the attitudes of the American
people. As tensions in the Middle East
escalate, U.S. military leaders have
cracked down on correspondents in the
Persian Gulf. This time, they intend to
have the press on their side.
American correspondents covering
the Vietnam War had complete access
to troops in the field. Free to move
about as they pleased, reporters sent
back stories of discouraged and
confused GIs and haunting
photographs of naked children running
from burning villages with their backs
on fire. Images like these made
Americans stop and think, and many
people changed their minds about the
But Pentagon officials have learned
their lesson from Vietnam, at least in
one respect: new governmental
Omitations on reporters' movements
and new censorship guidelines aim to
lessen the impact of the war on the
American people.
The Pentagon has limited press ac-
cess in the battlefield to two 18-mem-

true account of the war
times. Two reporters in Saudi Arabia
have already been threatened with
exclusion because they asked military
commanders "rude" questions.
But the restrictions extend beyond
the access of the press; the military has
cracked down on the images they can
send back to the American public.
Military censors will review all pool
news coverage and censor a wide range
of material. Many of the coverage
restrictions deal with national security,
but the military is also prohibiting any
footage showing military or civilian
casualties, or hospitalized soldiers,
because of the "possible mental an-
guish of the families of American
casualties." It is clear that the Bush
administration and U.S. military
leaders are extremely concerned with
keeping anything that could hurt
Americans' support for the war out of
the media.
Pentagon spokesperson Pete
Williams has assured U.S. military
commanders that "nothing will be
reported that will jeopardize the success
of your mission." Williams has rejected
several offers of compromise from
Washington newspaper and television
bureau chiefs to allow for looser press
guidelines relying on an understanding
between the press and the military, as
was the procedure in past wars.
So while the military leaders in the
Gulf are concerned with the success of
their mic~Qinnc_ military and nolitical

To the Daily:
In the editorial "Deputization: Poll
shows opposition to University police
force," (1/11/90) the Daily misrepresented
an important fact about the deputization
The editorial stated, "It is evident that
of those students who care about the issue,
almost two out of three are opposed to
deputization (52 percent to 29.4 percent)."
In fact, the Daily itself reported on Jan.
9 that 18.6 percent had no opinion about
deputization. This does not automatically
mean that this 18.6 percent of the students
"don't care" about deputization. What it
does mean is that these students have yet
to be persuaded about whether we should
have deputization and may still be waiting
for the decisive reason for or against depu-
In fact, for all the hoopla about the
overwhelming majority of students who
oppose deputization, this poll shows a
different story. A bare majority oppose
deputization whereas almost half of the
students either support deputization or
have yet to hear a convincing argument.
So before the Daily goes off shouting
about an overwhelming student majority
against deputization, there is still work to
do. The jury is still out.
Douglas Thiese
LSA Sophomore
New Title X is
To the Daily:
Title X of the Public Health Service
Act prohibits federal funding to so-called
"family planning" clinics that promote
abortion. The constitutionality of the title
is obvious in that it prevents those op-
posed to the killing of unborn children
from being forced to support abortion
through federal taxation.
Katie Sanders (12/4/90) stressed the ef-
fects of Title X on low-income women (a
disproportionate amount of whom are mi-
norities). Before supporting such an argu-

It is sad that the right to choose has
become more important than the choice
being considered - to kill an unborn child



or not.U Informational pickets outside Uni-
or not. est ulig
Currently in America, and unborn child versity buildings, ahei
may be legally aborted until they are born, Noon march to the Federal Buildin
purely for the sake of convenience. Now, ( Noo mr o th ederay)
it is unborn children who have no rights (at the comer of Fifth and Liberty)
because of the denial of personhood. 7 pm meeting to plan further ac
Abortion is an example of where an tions such as a possible moratorium o4
individual's freedom should stop where University activities (at a place to be and
another's starts. Certainly the right to life nounced).
rises above the right to kill. From the Federal Building we will join
members of the Ann Arbor communiti
Sue Derengoski who have signed the pledge of resistanc4
Officer, Students for Life - U of M who will meet at noon the day after 4,
U.S. strike - and proceed together to the
Join local protest if military recruiting center on Huron. The
recruiting center has been chosen as th4
Gulf war breaks out clearest presence in Ann Arbor of U.S,
To the Daily: As members of the University come
Countless lives are at stake right now munity, we stand for dialogue. We stan,
in the Persian Gulf. We are at the brink of for peace and the peaceful resolution o
a war that many of us feel powerless to conflicts. And we will do all we can t
prevent. But if the U.S. government make our message heard.
strikes, can we sit back and allow business
to go on as usual? If you feel angry, con- J"n Rub
fused, upset, or frightened by this David Hel m
prospect, here is what you can do. Members of Students Against U.
The Students Against U.S. Interven- Intervention in the Middle East
r -
6~~~i'& &c#JOwJC43S

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