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8The Tar HeelThursday, July 31r 1986
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The release of the Rev. Larry Jenco last week
brings the plight of four other Americans who
have been held for the past 13 to 16 months
by the Islamic Jihad in Lebanon to the forefront
One of the hostages still in Lebanon, David
Jacobson, held captive since May, 1985, said
in a videotape carried out by Jenco that he felt
like he was stranded at the Alamo waiting for
help to arrive. He said that the Reagan
administration's refusal to negotiate with his
captors meant that "our release will be by death."
Ronald Reagan, all too aware of the beating
that his predecessor took over the Iranian
hostage fiasco, has refused to negotiate with the
terrorists for the release of the four Americans
still in Lebanon. The principle is sound;
negotiating with terrorists or "knuckling under
to their demands" only leads to more terrorism.
The policy's consistency, however, is question
able in light of events since the first American
was taken in Lebanon.
Jacobson's words show the price that Amer
icans will have to pay for. Reagan's policy of
not negotiating with terrorists. One of the
hostages, William Buckley, a political officer at
the U.S. Embassy kidnapped on March 16, 1984,
was claimed killed by the Jihad in October after
Israel's raid on the Tunisian headquarters of the
Palestine Liberation Organization.
The Reagan policy has not been consistent,
especially in the absence of public scrutiny
as when a TWA plane was hijacked and an
American serviceman was killed amid massive
press coverage during their three-week captivity.
The release of PLO members held in Kuwait
did take place despite Reagan's policy. The
president explained that the release of the
Americans and the Palestinians were not related,
and certainly not a reward for the terrorists'
That situation attracted much heavier press
coverage than the plight of the Jenco's group
has throughout their entire 16-month ordeal,
though the situations overlapped. Of course,
pictures of unshaven pilots leaning out of cockpit
windows, terrorists giving press conferences and
bodies being thrown onto the tarmac make much
better copy than five still pictures of hostages
held for months without any signifigant
The American people would have been much
more reluctant to pay the price of not negotiating
with terrorists for the release of people that they
knew intimately from daily, even hourly, reports
on their situation. The power of television made
celebrities out of the TWA passengers and their
pilot because moving pictures of them existed.
Reagan can continue to ignore the others and
score political points with his "tough stance"
because Americans don't know they exist.
The Reagan stance is appropriate, but in the
aftermath of the TWA crisis, the accent now
is not on not rewarding terrorists, but on
retribution. Reagan has made it clear that the
terrorists themselves will have to pay the price
for their actions. This was shown after the
Achille Lauro situation and the Berlin disco
bombing. After the disco bombings, Libya was
forced to pay a very high price after the State
Department intercepted mysterious coded
messages between the terrorists and that country.
Later revelations that Syria (the rescuers of the
TWA victims) had links to the bombers didnt
warrant as much coverage as the more spec
tacular obliteration of Khadafy's house. But
bombing secret locations in Lebanon seems a
problem that needs a totally different approach
nothing should be none.
The release of Jacobson was a calculated
attempt by the Jihad to place their hostages in
the limelight to increase thevstakes of the game.
Their value to the American people has not been
fully appreciated. As faceless prisoners of war
they can be ignored, but they aren't soldiers,
they're American citizens, and something should
be done. The Jihad's strategy is clear
introduce Jacobson to the American people as
more than a two-year-old still picture, before
killing him so his talking obituary will bring
home the fate of the others to the American
people. The networks can get a lot of mileage
out of this footage of Jacobson's strange
prophecy, and it will make the public aware of
exactly what the price of Reagan's inflexibility
is. Some attempt must be made before Jacob
son's grim predictions are made real.
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Jo Fleischer, Jill Gerber co-editors
John deVille photography editor
Scott Greig city editor
Tracy Hill news editor
Eddy Landreth sports editor
Michelle Tenhengel arts editor
Christopher Baroudi, Mike Berardino, Chip Beverung, Bonnie
Bishop, James Burrus, Catherine Cowan, Ruth Davis, David
Foster, Nancy Harrington, Bill Logan, Matt Long, Dwight Martin,
Steve Matteson, Randall Patterson, Sally Pearsall, Wendy
Stringfellow, Julia White and Katie White.
Cellular phones another
useless toy for yuppies
For $29.95 a month you can have
the current techno-toy at your
fingertips. CB's are out and cellular
phones are in.
Cellular is madisonavenue-ese for
"It be in your car."
Extending the use of a phone is
in keeping with current American
logic. We act as if somewhere in the
Smithsonian there lies a faded
document written by the founding
fathers that reads, "You can never
have too much of a good thing,
especially technological props."
If necessity is the mother of
invention then surely the advertising
industry is the mother of the fetish.
We just have to have certain toys
regardless of their true utility and
enjoyment potential. We get the
impression that without a yellow
diamond "Consumer on board" sign
in the rear window and a cellular
phone that your car and life are not
The creators of the fetish tell us
we need these new gizmos in order
to be properly outfitted commuters.
The yuppie-oriented ads strongly
suggest that one's livelihood may well
depend upon having a cellular phone.
The commercials run something like
the following: How can you go about
your business while you're stuck in
a traffic jam? Your competition will
probably get the account now. Why,
you might as well hadn't gotten out
of bed this morning, you're practi
What does one do with a cellular
phone? Transact business, a.k.a.
work. A society that is consumed
with the concept of leisure and
simultaneously lionizes the work
ethic finds a lot of ways to at least
give the appearance of work. Driving
with the mental fog incurred from
lack of sleep, etc., combined with the
morning haze and merging traffic is
mere idle time. Lest one work for
the Devil, one best get a car phone
and get crackin'.
Besides the merchandizers of the
gadget, who do they exist for? If we
take the above as the best case
scenario (i.e. cellular phones are vital
business tools) what else can they be
used for, or better put, what will they
be used for?
Celluar phones are portals to the
outside world. And like any ordinary
The Port Bow
residence phone, they work both
ways not only can you call but
others can call you. It seems that a
dawning technology may infringe
upon an older one the cellular
phone vs. the car, your own private
The few moments of privacy that
the commute to and from work and
other solo mobile excursions afford
should be held more dearly than they
presently appear to be. Whether you
choose silence or stereo (which
requires no thoughtful interaction) as
background, the meditation that
occurs while driving can be of the
most soothing and enriching variety.
Conflicts can be resolved, conversa
tions conceived and dreams reflected
upon while doing 55. Not to mention
how you're going to handle that client
you're going to call.
I am not a technophobe, but I have
a personal beef with phones. They
are cold, plastic and impersonal.
They deny eye contact and the
viewing of facial expressions which
convey important information as
well. They prevent full appreciation
of a speaker's intonations as well the
human warmth passed on by a
handshake or a hug. The fewer of
them and the less they are used, the
Besides, the spread of cellular
phones could lead to the extinction
of a most important form of direct
communication found on the high
way. Imagine having another driver
suddenly swerve in front of you.
Quickly you dial the mobile operator
for the phone number of a blue Chevy
with license number RTJ-947 and
then dial the culprit and deliver a few
choice epithets. I fear the lack of
continued usage of our middle fingers
may lead to an evolutionary
John de Ville is a senior philosophy
major from Highlands who does not
own a phone. Please leave all mes
sages for him under his windshield