The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, November 05, 1986, Image 2
Page 2AThe Battalion/Wednesday, Movember 5, 1986
(USPS 045 360)
Texas Press Association
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The Battalion Editorial Board
Cathie Anderson, Editor
Kirsten Dietz, Managing Editor
Loren Steffy, Opinion Page Editor
Frank Smith, City Editor
Sue Krenek, News Editor
Ken Sury, Sports Editor
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A habit worth kicking
The recent remodeling of a State Department suite in a tobacco
motif may have been done as a tribute to the industry that funded
the renovations, but it also proves that one arm of the government
doesn’t know what the other is doing.
Besides two signs noting the tobacco companies’ contribution,
the redecorated suite is furnished with trim work featuring tobacco
leaves and flowers, antique tobacco jars, bowls with tobacco leaf pat
terns and several peace pipes.
The State Department says the decorations are a way of saying
thank you and are appropriate because of tobacco’s long history as
an American cash crop. No mention was made of tobacco’s long his
tory as an American cancer crop.
The Treaty Room renovation lights up a two-faced government
policy towards tobacco. While happily taking the industry’s money
and gratefully paying tribute to it on one hand, other government
hands are downplaying, if not openly attacking the use of tobacco
For years the surgeon general has warned of the dangers of ciga
rette smoking, and now chewing tobacco also carries similar warn
ings. The armed forces have implemented new smoking restrictions
as have many other federal agencies.
The tobacco lobby is the most powerful agricultural interest
group on Capitol Hill. When its money talks, the administration lis
tens, but when the products it supports cause cancer, the administra
tion condemns. When the federal government takes tobacco money,
it indirectly promotes the product.
We can’t ignore the tax revenues gleaned from tobacco, but we
also can’t ignore that the money is tainted with cancer and emphy
sema and death. The administration needs a consistent policy. It
needs to stop wasting tax dollars attacking the products of an indus
try it indirectly “thanks” and supports.
If the administration and Congress truly were concerned with
the health of the American people, it would get the arms of govern
ment working in unison and kick the tobacco-lobby habit. Then we
could all breathe a little easier.
&1986 HouziW fV$T '
Summit transcripts reveal l<
in-depth talks in Iceland s
to White House
released a small
portion of the
transcript of the
Reagan and Mik
The White House,
has refused to re
lease its transcript. A confidential
source, though, slipped it to me over the
The two leaders sat down the first
time at precisely 10:03 a.m., Saturday.
According to the transcript, Gorbachev
opened with an offer to eliminate all
ballistic weapons in Europe. The presi
dent responded with a story about L.B.
Mayer, once head of the MGM studio in
Hollywood. At that point, according to
the official notes, Gorbachev went to his
briefing books to find out who Mayer
The president then followed with two
more anecdotes about Mayer, one about
Marilyn Monroe and another about
John Wayne. He then launched into a
story about going down the coast high
way in California that, the transcript in
dicates, had no ending. Finally, the
president agreed to abolish all nuclear
weapons in Europe.
“How about all ballistic missiles?”
Gorbachev asked. The president then
told the story about having lunch in The
Brown Derby in Hollywood with Gene
Kelly. They were approached by an
other actor whose name he had forgot
ten but who was very short. The short
man’s head was level with their table.
“Who’s this?” Kelly asked, “John the
Baptist?” The notes indicate that the
president laughed but that Gorbachev
only smiled. The president told Gorba
chev how the bravery of a black sailor at
Pearl Harbor resulted in the desegrega
tion of the armed forces. Gorbachev
At this point, the president said he
would agree to the elimination of all bal
listic missiles, but not those on subma
rines because they could be recalled.
“Nyet,” the Soviet leader said. “They
cannot.” The president looked puzzled
and asked to see one of his advisers,
Richard Perle. After a brief conversa
tion, the president assented to the pro
posal on all ballistic missiles. He then
asked for time to take a nap or tell a
story about Errol Flynn.
Upon resuming their conversations,
Gorbachev congratulated the president
on how well-rested he looked. He re
marked <4n the progress they had made
and suggested even more could be
done. The president agreed and then
told his Errol Flynn story. The notes in
dicate that Gorbachev smiled and asked
about all nuclear weapons.
“I’ve already done that,” the tran
script shows the president as saying.
Gorbachev said no, it was ballistic mis
siles they had eliminated. The notes in
dicate the president seemed confused
and then launched into a story about the
difficulty he once had getting a Social
Security card for one of his children. He
described the length of the line and the
amount of time he had to spend in it
and said that this was the problem with
government. He said he understood
that lines were a problem in the Soviet
Union to which, the notes show, Gorba
chev nodded his head. “What about all
nuclear weapons?” the Soviet leac!ift>n<
then asked. B tes
“I thought we had already taken a® 01
of that,” the pi cskIciu i rsponded (. I?','* (
bachev said they had not. The prelF”
dent, seemingly confused, said ttJSU,
had. It was his intention, he said, Pw’
eliminate them all, since he had sejjinui
wh.it w . 11 (<Mil<l d(> when hr helped ..if tin
erate Auschwitz while with the Am cine
motion-picture unit. “Let’s do it," RtiB nu
gansaid- ,n p‘;
At that point, Gorbachev asked ftiP
the elimination of the Strategic Defenst )ri ,‘ l j
Initiative. “No way," the presidentsai;S ie(
He described SDI as the ie< hnologicyith t
breakthrough that would end nudei|jcu!
war for all time. He likened it to if ^ a l
1944 Norihandy invasiorf which,1” *
said, won the war for the Allies.
“The Soviet Union won the war
the Allies,” Gorbacnev said. “And
way, if we eliminate nuclear weap
why woidd you need SDI?” At
point, the president lanched into
story about Albert Einstein’s letter
Franklin Roosevelt, proposing thattl*
United States build an atomic b<
The president suggested that SDI
his chance to be another Rooseveltaj
he was not going to blow it.
By now it was late and, inexpli
the transcript shows the president sal
ing, “Honey, l forgot to duck.” Gorki
chev then said, “No SDI,” towhichij
president responded, “I cannot accff
that. We built SDI, we paid foritandii
ours.” The notes indicate that Gorki
chev then stood to leave, but befoi
doing so, turned to the presdientwittij
puzzled look on his face. “One m
thing,” he said. “Who’s Errol Flynn?
Copyright I9H6, Washington Post Writers CM!
Syrian bad manners versus
freedom for U.S. hostages
with Syria this past
both Canada and
the United States
ambassadors in re
sponse to Syrian
leader Hafez As
sad’s continuing Mark Ude
support of terror- ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■
ism. Syria in turn responded that Great
Britain would pay dearly and by “suita
ble means” for their actions.
This is an expected reply from a na
tion that is considered much more dan
gerous than Libya, despite the United
States’ recent clash with the north Afri
can nation. Perhaps this is because Syria
is much more subtle.
Syria, through its own groups and
proxy militia in war-torn Lebenon, has
been linked to numerous terrorist at
tacks upon the general populace, all in
the aim of restoring the balance of
power in the Middle East and helping
displaced Palestinians, which means dis
placing the Israelis.
While Libyan leader Col. Moammar
Gadhafi is viciously anti-American, and
freely welcomes known terrorist groups,
he is at most a paper tiger. Libya does
not have strong support from the Soviet
Union because of Gadhafi’s radical be
Assad, on the other hand, enjoys
strong support from the Soviets and
maintains a close relationship with Gor
bachev. A direct confrontation with
Syria would be close to a direct thrust
against the Soviet Union.
Unfortunately, such ties to the Soviets
are not the only reason there has been
no retribution against Assad for terror
ism. Opinions have surfaced that Syria
had a part in the release of David Jacob
sen and the Rev. Lawrence Jenco, two
American hostages in Beirut. France
also needs Syria’s help in negotiating the
release of eight French hostages held
somewhere in Lebanon.
For countries to make an effort to
stop Syrian-sponsored terrorism, retri
butions need to be enacted. But if a na
tion’s hands are tied by citizens held
hostage in Lebanon or other Arab coun
tries, such retribution is difficult. To ob
tain hostages’ quick release, Syria’s coop
eration is required. But the cooperation
will not be there if Syria is attacked in
the diplomatic and economic worlds.
European powers also hesitate to is
sue rash an impatient responses against
Syria because they fear terroristic repri
Aristotle once said that evil will pre
vail only when good men do nothing. If
we cower in inaction, because we fear
terrorist attacks against our people,
then evil definitely will win. But Amer
ica does not willingly back clown from
threats and abuse against its citizens
abroad. And perhaps the United States
is unique in this respect. While many
countries will rise up in anger if their
homeland is invaded or despoiled by an
invader, only the United States has a
history of seeking retribution when one
of her citizens has been cold-bloodedly
While the United States should make
all efforts to obtain the release of those
Americans, it should not be pressured
into passively accepting or condoning
Syria’s bad habits in return for goodwill
and freed hostages. Nor should we be
afraid to retaliate for terrorist acts
throughout the world, for fear of Soviet
response or being too closely identified
with Israel’s interest or foreign policy.
Mark Ude is a senior geography major
and a columnist for The Battalion.
My purse was stolen from DeWare Field House Monday between 11:30
a.m. and 12:00 p.m. I was frantic until it was recovered by an honest
custodian in G. Rollie White four hours later. My purse and credit cards were
returned, but I’m still upset because along with my checkbook, two valuable
pieces of jewelry also are missing.
I had taken off two special rings before handball. They are gone. They
were both from another country and are virtually irreplaceable. 1 wish
whoever took the rings would contact me instead of going to a pawn shop. I'll
offer the money, and they can remain anonymous if they wish. The police
will not be involved. If anyone has any information about the rings, their help
would be greatly appreciated.
Stephanie Richard ’89
Bikes nof death machines'
Parts of the Oct. 28 article on sportbikes were inaccurate. Budd Abbott’s
statement on the number of people capable of handling sportbikes was
misleading. While there may be only 500 people in the United States able to
ride these machines to their full potential, just about anyone can ride a
sportbike safely. Abbott’s label “death machine” is a misnomer. Today’s
sportbike has better suspension, better brakes, better tires, more responsive
handling and is much easier to ride than the bikes of the past. As far as high
horsepower is concerned, we have in several instances been able to use the
extra horsepower to get out of the way of careless drivers. For this reason, we
believe that Abbott’s approach to limiting sportbikes’ performances is
misguided. Although we agree inexperienced riders are a problem, Abbott
places too much of the blame on the sportbike and not enough on the
Fernando Maldonado ’87
Kolchi Tsukimashi ’87
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