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The Daily Tar HeelWednesday, March 5, 19867
94th year of editorial freedom
Members of the Reagan administra
tion are once again trying to mandate
the way Americans live.
By using the specter of organized
crime much the same way Reagan uses
that of a "worldwide communist con
spiracy," a presidential commission has
called on employers to test their workers
for drug use. The commission proposes
testing all federal government employees
and all employees of private companies
that do business with the government.
The avowed goal of the commission
is not, however, to control drug use, but
to "eliminate" organized crime. By
ending drug traffic, the commission
apparently expects the nation's kingpins
of crime to willingly relinquish their
illicit profits in favor of some other
But in pursuing this goal, the com
mission has forgotten things called
constitutional rights, guaranteed to
While there undoubtedly is a connec
tion between organized crime and illegal
drugs, those drugs most Americans
indulge in are not produced by the Mob.
According to the governmment's own
report, only about 500,000 Americans
considered unemployable are addicted
to heroin; 5 million regularly use
cocaine. Those people who would be
most affected by the proposal are the
20 million regular users of marijuana,
a drug more the product of backyard
gardens or indoor greenhouses than of
The argument that organized crime .
would "be substantially weakened by the T
proposal is invalid. Organized crime has
been around for decades, and will be
around for decades more as long as
Price of friendship
Ferdinand Marcos must not have read
much Emerson, who once said, "The
only way to have a friend is to be one."
The deposed-Philippine president calls
Ronald Reagan his friend and expects
a great deal from him so much, in
fact, that Marcos has crossed the line
of being a friend and ally to that of being
a nuisance and an embarrassment.
The Philippine government, under the
leadership of President Corazon C.
Aquino, filed a motion Monday in
federal court in Hawaii for an injunction
to prevent Marcos from collecting on
the planeloads of goods he swindled
from the Philippine government. U.S.
officials are taking inventory on ever
ything Marcos hauled to Hawaii, an
inventory the new Philippine govern
ment is quite interested in.
While the question of what to do with
Marcos' stuff is being handled, the
question of what to do with the Marcos
entourage is even more troublesome.
Marcos' suggestions on what he wants
the United States to do for him, though,
display a thankless, rather self-centered
attitude toward the Reagan administra
The Daily Tar Heel
Editorial Writers: Ed Brackett, Tom Camp and Dewey Messer
Editorial Assistant: Nicki Weisensee
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Rob Sherman, Kelli Slaughter, Rachel Stiffler, Joy Thompson, Elisa Turner, Rhesa Versola, Laurie
Willis, Bruce Wood and Katherine Wood. Kelly Hobson, Marie Thompson, Eric Whittington and Skip
Williams, wire editors.
Sports: Tim Crothers, James Surowiecki and Bob Young, assistant sports editors. Mike Berardino,
Greg Cook, Phyllis Fair, Phil Gitelman, Paris Goodnight, Louise Hines, Lorna Khalil, Mike MacKay,
Tom Morris, Kathy Mulvey, Lee Roberts, Wendy Stringfellow and Buffie Velliquette. Bill DiPaolo,
Greg Humphreys and Billy Warden, sports cartoonists.
Features: Mike Altieri, James Cameron, Eleni Chamis, Kelly Clark, Kara V. Donaldson, Marymelda
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Arts: James Burrus, Mark Davis, Mary Hamilton, Aniket Majumdar, Alexandra Mann, Alan Mason,
Mark Mattox, Sally Pont, Garret Weyr and Ian Williams.
Photography: Charlotte Cannon, Larry Childress, Jamie Cobb and Janet Jarman.
Copy Editors: Roy Greene, assistant news editor. Jennifer Cox, Carmen Graham, Tracy Hill, Toni
Shipman, Kelli Slaughter and Joy Thompson.
Artists: Adam Cohen, Bill Cokas and Trip Park.
Business and Advertising: Anne Fulchcr, managing director; Paula Brewer, advertising director; Mary
Pearse, advertising coordinator, Angela Booze, student business manager; Angela Ostwalt, accounts
receivable clerk; Doug Robinson, student advertising manager; Alicia Brady, Keith Childers, Eve Davis,
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and Cathy Davis, secretary.
Distributioncirculation: William Austin, manager; Tucker Stevens, circulation assistant.
Production: Brenda Moore and Stacy Wynn. Rita Galloway and Rose Lee, production assistants.
jlM Z(X)K, Editor- " ' i
STUART TONKINSON, Associate -Editor
Grant Parsons, University Editor
. BRYAN CjATES, News Editor
KLRSTIN COYLE, City Editor
JlLI. GERBER, State and National Editor
SCOTT FOWLER, Sports Edxor
DEN1SE SMITHERMAN, Features Editor
ROBERT KEEFE, Business Editor
Elizabeth Ellen, Arts Editor
DAN CHARLSON, Photography Editor
Randy Farmer. Production Editor
a significant number of Americans
express demands that can be met only
by underground suppliers. The surest
way to eliminate drug trafficking profits
from gangsters would be to legalize
popular drugs. This proposal is
obviously anathema to the president,
whose main goal in this instance is the
control of narcotics, not the curtailment
More importantly, the proposals
infringe on Americans' civil rights.
Employees, who should be presumed
innocent until proven guilty, would have
to demonstrate they did not use drugs.
Those conducting the tests would also
"search" the employees bodies without
any probable cause that an offense has
been committed, ignoring another right.
The government argues that civil
liberties are irrelevant when one consid
ers that drug-enforcement officers risk
death in combatting dangerous crimi
nals, but if a society can maintain law
and order only by trampling on indi
vidual liberties, the quality of life in that
society must be questioned.
The commission also defends its
proposal by saying "There's no civil
liberty or civil right . . . to use drugs."
That is true, but there are definite
constitutional safeguards protecting
citizens of diverse beliefs from the
imposition of a morality held by those
in power. There are people whose moral
beliefs force them to oppose such "sins"
as drinking, smoking, homosexuality
and using drugs. But those individuals
who choose to indulge in these sins are
protected ly the Constitution from their
peers; for the government to try to
eliminate these protections is plain anti
American. tion's back-bending efforts to help him.
Marcos cannot live as a regular
civilian. He has far too many enemies
to be considered safe without protection.
The United States has provided security
since he left Manila, but must relinquish
that responsibility soon; the multimilli
onaire Marcos has requested police
protection for an indefinite time period.
Want to hear something funnier?
Marcos is seeking recognition from the
United States as a diplomat with the
immunity from prosecution that accom
panies that status. Marcos must consider
Reagan to be a fool because such an
announcement would endanger (if not
kill) all hopes for strong relations with
the new Aquino government. Even
worse, it could jeopardize any continued
presence of American troops in the
strategically pivotal Philippines.
A national leader in power who
carried considerable leverage would
rarely seek such concessions from an ally
and a friend. A president who was forced
into resignation because he played
despot lacks the leverage and the right
to make such presumptuous requests.
tar Wars advocates
David Hood's column, "Public perceptions of
Star Wars inaccurate" (Feb. 26), provided solid
evidence that, as the headline stated, public
perceptions about President Reagan's initiative
to shield the United States from Soviet missiles
are at best fuzzy. And it seems that those citizens
with the foggiest perceptions of the Strategic
Defense Initiative are those who, like Hood, give
the program their unqualified support.
Hood asserts in his column that a missile
defense system "could have a tremendous
stabilizing influence on the nuclear superpower
relationship." The author never . manages to
explain to us how an escalation in the already
raging arms race would stabilize superpower
relations. His one weak effort to justify his
assertion is that since the Soviets are researching
a missile-defense system, why shouldn't we? Such
attitudes fail to promote stability; instead, they
merely sustain the unending upward spiral of
the arms race.
But instead of arguing that Hood's basic
philosophy about security in the nuclear age is
unsound, as I believe it is, I shall instead accept
his contention that a missile-defense system can
be developed and can be effective against ICBMs. .
By my understanding, proponents of the so
called Star Wars program envision the completed
system as working like this: The Soviets launch
a first-strike attack designed to destroy most of
our land-based IGBM force and cripple our
communications. Our radar system detects the
missiles and our defense system goes into action,
disabling 95 percent of the Soviet missiles. (The
95 percent figure is an extremely optimistic one,
and few scientists other than Reagan's Science
Adviser George Keyworth and Edward Teller,
who was the driving force behind the develop
ment of the hydrogen bomb, believe such a high
rate of effectiveness could be achieved.)
So, let's optimistically assume that only five
To the editor:
I'm writing in response to
Jeffrey Smiley and Linda Wastila's
letter ("Modest proposals," March
4) concerning recruitment of poll
tenders for general elections.
While I do agree that it is
imperative for the democratic
system to have all polls attended,
and while it makes sense to
reimburse the volunteers for their
time, I would have difficulty
justifying preferred seating at a
basketball game as a means of
I would be very willing to sit
down with anyone involved to
brainstorm and find more approp
riate motivational schemes.
This problem might best be
solved by , something , as, . easy as a
recruiting poll tenders a bit further
in advance than happened this
Carolina Athletic Association
Laugh with UVa
To the editor:
In response to Allen Gleitz
("UVa exiles misled," Feb 26), I
must say I am amazed at the
demonstrated lack of humor
regarding Virginia fans. First of
all, look at the pep band. They
poke fun at nearly everything: not
U.S. aid for contras would be a
Last Tuesday, the Reagan Administration
formally submitted its request for $100 million
in aid to the Contra forces seeking to overthrow
the popularly elected government of Nicaragua.
The request itself was not a surprise, as it had
been expected for weeks; but the terms of the
bill and administration threats to commit U.S.
military forces to Nicaragua if the bill is not
approved were alarming.
The proposal will give the president full control
over $70 million of the money for any kind of
assistance he deems appropriate. This may be
used by U.S. agencies, including the CIA and
Pentagon, to distribute the aid in whatever form
the form it will take, of course, will be military
in nature. This clause circumvents current
congressional control over a free executive hand
in this matter. The remaining $30 million will
be used for what the president coins 'human
itarian aid'. Such aid includes tools of war like
trucks, radio equipment and even aircraft.
The real meaning of this dangerous proposal
is the escalation of an already unwinnable war,
and the deterioration of U.S prestige with our
allies to the south. .
Aid to the Contras, who, after five years and
literally hundreds of millions in private and
public American aid, have not achieved any of
their promised objectives, is bad policy in itself.
Reagan justifies his request claiming it is the only
way to pressure the Sandinistas to negotiate. Yet,
at the same time, he has refused to heed the
Contadora nations' call for negotiation, although
Nicaragua has agreed to their terms since 1984.
Also, the president has turned a deaf ear to
Nicaraguan and Mexican requests to return to
the negotiations at Manzanillo, which the United
States abandoned in 1985. Instead, the military
path is Reagan's only real commitment.
Most democratic nations try to resolve their
differences with pragmatism and negotiation
first. President Reagan uses only brute force
shrouded in hollow promises of later negotiation.
Twisted logic indeed. The bottom line here is
that negotiation is the last thing the adminis
The president secured votes for his $27 million
in humanitarian aid last spring by promising
reluctant Democrats that negotiation would soon
follow. As an aide to Rep. Bill Richardson, D
N.M., told me during a recent lobbying trip to
Washington, "The president lied to us then, and
we dont trust him now." This request only
follows a familiar pattern of lies from the
president, filled with doublespeak that calls for
escalating the war to bring negotiation and peace.
Toe? tuQQD CfiLQiAni
percent of the Soviet missiles penetrate our
defenses. The Soviet Union and the United States
currently have roughly equal numbers of
warheads, and each nation can deliver about
9,000 nuclear warheads to its opponent's soil.
For the sake of argument, let's further assume
that the Soviets launch 1,000 warheads in a first
strike (actually, many more warheads than this
would likely be launched, since the Soviets would
know that our defense system would neutralize
many of their missiles). If our defenses are 95
percent effective, only 50 of these 1,000 warheads
penetrate the defense shield and detonate on
But these 50 warheads are not of the same
variety that the U.S. detonated over Japan 40
years ago. They are orders of magnitude far more
powerful. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs
were nuclear fission bombs, and each had
explosive equivalent of roughly 15,000 tons of
TNT, or 15 kilotons. Modern warheads are
fusion bombs, and range in power from about
100 kilotons to about 20,000 kilotons (20
megatons). In other words, a typical nuclear
warhead is somewhere between 10 and 1,000
times as powerful as the Hiroshima bomb.
Supporters of Star Wars should imagine for
a moment what the United Stated would look
like if the equivalent of between 500 and 50,000
Hiroshima bombs detonated above American
soil. Imagine for a moment the fallout levels that
would result. Imagine the millions of people who
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only other schools, but also them
selves. Their intention is to get the
fans into the game and to have
fun, not to offend. Think about
it. A group which calls itself "The
Award Winning University of
Virginia Fighting Cavaliers
Indoor Outdoor Precision (?)
Marching Pep Band and Chowder
Society Revue, Unlimited" does
not expect to be taken seriously.
Fans at West Virginia understood
this: they applauded many of the
jokes regarding outdoor plumb
ing, literacy rates in West Virginia,
and the general intelligence of their
students. It was a humorless
politician sitting in the stands that
got his feathers ruffled. He actu
ally took the band seriously!
Secondly, I find the analogy
used (telling a racial joke around
friends which is funny until the
"jokee" overhears) inappropriate.
Jokes made "against" anyone are
Feeding a war does not bring peace only
destruction, death, hatred and division.
The most frightening thing about this matter
is that administration officials have threatened
the commitment of American combat troops if
this aid is rejected by Congress. In a Washington
Post article Feb. 26, a senior administration
official asserts that the Sandinistas cannot be
changed, or as the President is pushing,
overthrown, without such aid. "You aren't going
to do it with sweet talk," he said. He further
states that rejection of this money will leave only
two options: "the introduction of U.S. troops,
or just walking away." Of course, this is an
oversimplification of the issue that leaves no
room for moderation a hallmark of the
president's foreign policy. We all know that the
president does not walk away from anything he
so adamantly supports. Ironically, within the
same article, the president rules out the possibility
of direct U.S. intervention. Once again, some
thing appears to be askew in the White House.
There are other considerations here that hit
much closer to home. It is absurd for the
president to think of spending $100 million on
maintaining a nebulous cause which the bulk
of the American public know nothing about in
the first place, while our domestic budget is in
a state of crisis. In the same breath, Reagan is
proposing cuts to college financial aid that will
disqualify one million students from receiving
any federal money. Also, proposed cuts in state
and local grants jeopardize our very quality of
life (need 1 add that UNC shares such funds with
the state?). School lunches, veterans' benefits,
mass transit programs, education, the arts and
many other domestic needs are being sacrificed.
This $100 million would go a long way at home.
President Reagan has attempted to downplay
this issue by saying this money will come from
already appropriated defense funds. However,
even within that argument, the funds in question
could be transferred to the veterans' benefits and
the G.I. Bill that is being heavily slashed.
Obviously, the president's priorities lie with the
Contras and not with the welfare of American
civilians and soldiers in need.
One might also consider the effect this policy
is having on our relations with alliesin the region
would die. And imagine the diseases that would
spread across the continent, infesting the millions
of human and animal corpses that would lie
rotting on the earth's scorched surface.
Let's understate the situation and say things
look bleak. But wait, there's more. What happens
to the 950 warheads that are disabled before
reaching their targets? They dont just disappear.
If their rocket boosters are disabled outside
Earth's atmosphere, they will orbit for a short
time and eventually re-enter the atmosphere.
They may break up on re-entry or they may
fall to earth and rupture on impact. In either
case, they spread their load of deadly plutonium
and enriched uranium liberally across the planet's
surface, poisoning the air and water for hundreds
of generations to come.
Obviously, when we examine the impact of
even a relatively small number of warheads
penetrating a missile shield, the resulting
devastation is mind-boggling. Rational thinkers
will quickly see the fallacy of Reagan's proposal
to spend billions on his Star Wars scheme. Sane
people need to speak out and make it clear to
Star Wars proponents that we are not fooled
by their poorly-reasoned arguments that a missile
shield can protect us. The only people that
Reagan's Star Wars will protect are the fat cats
and bureaucrats who profit from the billions that
are yearly wasted by the military-industrial
I invite anyone knowledgeable about the
physics and other technical aspects of nuclear
warheads to clarify what would happen to the
warheads of missiles disabled outside the
atmosphere when these warheads re-entered the
atmosphere or impacted on the earth's surface.
John Gardner is a graduate student in city
and regional planning from Columbia, S.C
made in the "jokee's" presence.
Fortunately, most "jokees" realize
it's all in fun. Many even find it
amusing (horrors!). Before you go
slinging the ol' mud around, ask
yourself why Carolina shouts, "Go
to Hell State" at every game,
regardless of who's playing.
step toward war
and elsewhere. Earlier this month, foreign
ministers from Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Uruguay,
Colombia, Venezuela, Panama and Mexico met
with Secretary of State George Schultz and urged
him to cut off the contras and negotiate with
the Nicaraguans in the spirit of the Contadora
Accord. Schultz rejected their proposal outright.
In July, the Contadora group traveled to areas
in Nicaragua that Reagan claimed were training
camps for Salvadoran rebels (Santa Clara) and
unanimously denied the accusation, essentially
calling such claims lies. What such actions mean
is that our strongest Latin American allies are
very concerned about the policy in question, and
demand a peaceful solution. The administration
has essentially disregarded these genuine fears
of the nations who are directly affected by the
Central American crisis.
Even the Central American countries are
protesting. Last week, Costa Rican President
Arias voiced his objection to hosting the Contras
in his country. Guatemala's Vinicio Cerezo has
recently called for a Central American summit
of sorts. Even Honduran President Azcona has
quitely voiced opposition to having Contras in
his national territory. In spite of this oppostion,
the President acts with impunity, crusading for
his beloved "freedom fighters."
One aide I spoke with said the President has
personally made the Contras his symbol, and
will stop at nothing to make sure they achieve
their aims. His obsession with this cause has
reached the point of no return, where zealotry
has erased all vestiges of objectivity, pragmatism,
diplomacy and rationality. President P eagan has
decided that this country's reputation of
following democratic ideals is worth losing, as
is the respect and trust of our allies in Latin
America, in return for blind faith in the acclaimed
Indeed, this bill is a step toward ensuring a
genuine regional war. Honduras and Costa Rica
will only tolerate for so long having what amount
to well-equipped armies answerable to no one
but themselves entrenched in their territories.
I doubt the Contras simply leave when asked.
Most analysts agree that the Contras cannot win
any time soon, as they do not have popular
support. The bill at hand will only serve to further
entrench them into their Honduran bases.
Conflict between the countries involved is
inevitable. Such is the fruit of the President's
policy. And more is most assuredly around the
Michael Smith is a senior Latin American
studies major from Raleigh.