The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, December 10, 1986, Image 2

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Page 2/The Battalion/Wednesday, December 10, 1986 Opinion The Battalion (USPS 045 360) Member of Texas Press Association Southwest Journalism Conference 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 Editorial Policy The Battalion is a non-profit, self-supporting newspaper oper ated as a community service to Texas A&M and Bryan-College Sta tion. Opinions expressed in The Battalion are those of the editorial board or the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Texas A&M administrators, faculty or the Board of Regents. The Battalion also serves as a laboratory newspaper for students in reporting, editing and photography classes within the Depart ment of Journalism. The Battalion is published Monday through Friday during Texas A&M regular semesters, except for holiday and examination periods. Mail subscriptions are $17.44 per semester, $34.62 per school year and $36.44 per full year. Advertising rates furnished on re quest. Our address: The Battalion, Department of Journalism, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4111. Second class postage paid at College Station, TX 77843. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Battalion, De partment of Journalism, Texas A&M University, College Station TX 77843-4 111. IT S PEELING, RUSTING, LEAKING OIL, ANP SINKING IN THE MUP... mr Bench SMU ’Jnite^FeatureSynit^ | ANP NEEPS MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS TO REPAIR,,, The SMU Mustangs need to be roped, tied and just plain saddle- broken or they’ll continue their record-breaking probation status, tainting the image of the already tarnished Southwest Conference. Last August, Southern Methodist University’s football program was placed on probation by the National Collegiate Athletic Associa tion for the fifth time — more than any other college football team. Despite the NCAA’s ruling, SMU continued to break the rules and allegedly has continued supporting at least two of its athletes with cash allowances and free room and board. Other college football teams around the nation probably are in volved in shady deals, but continuing to violate the rules shows a complete lack of respect for the rules and the teams in the confer ence. The worst part is that the odor from SMU’s barn is stinking up the entire Southwest Conference. Albeit other schools aren’t acting as much of a deodorant. But the result of all this is that more honest football teams in the conference are getting manure thrown on their jerseys by other ever-critical football conferences. Why do donations make people feel satisfied? In all fairness, the NCAA needs to focus its spotlight evenly on all schools. But SMU’s flagrant disregard for regulations cannot go un punished. It’s time for the NCAA to shut down SMU’s football pro gram and rid the Southwest Conference of this saddle sore. Hopes and fears Clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli troops have been going on for days in the little town of Bethlehem on the Occupied West Bank — yes, that Bethlehem. The violence spread to within 100 yards of the Church of the Na tivity, a site that was nothing more than a manger until a rather spe cial child was born there. While giving a lecture on the rap- idly growing world population and world hunger, my science profes sor showed the class a slide of a starving African child holding an empty dinner pail. mr- ^ -mKm the child and the class of about 70 stu dents, my professor began speaking about the boy and his unfortunate situa tion. The naked boy’s leatherish skin was stretched bones, and his Mike Sullivan A few of the students gasped as they learned of the child’s hopeless future. But like myself, most of the students seemed unmoved by the picture and perhaps bored with the professor’s ser mon. He’s frequently called the Prince of Peace, but, 2,000 years after his birth, the frequent fighting that surrounds his birthplace serves as a painful reminder that few people have gotten the message. er his stick-like eyes were sunken deep into his skull. His dry mouth hung open and there were flies on his teeth. That he was standing on his own was nothing short of miraculous. If he hadn’t been standing, I would have thought he was dead. Trading glances between the slide of Weapons Reagan’s deal with Iran was last shot at credibility I’ve seen pictures of starving children many times before. I’ve seen their pic tures on TV, in magazines, and I’ve heard about the starving children on the radio. The message always is that, “The children are starving to death and they need my help now.” But for me the pictures have lost their shock value, and I’ve never really paid much attention to the messages. I’m aware of the starving children all over the world. I know about Live Aid, Band Aid, etc., but I’ve never donated to the cause. And, though I believe it’s a worthy cause, I probably never will con tribute. gible evidence” argument. Tki ask me to help out, but it’s usualvi form of a money donation. Ho» really know they need my money what, exactly, will it bespentonili ceedingly difficult to prove to iw somebody else needs my SlOmort I do. It’s even harder to connntt over a phone or through an adiei ment. Whether 1 donate or not difference on a world level, but my ai tude toward local problemsisdfai I’ve tossed change into cans*: stopped at stoplights. I’vedonatec 1 ) to local drives, and I’ve even blood. But donating to causes home requires little effort,andH never see exactly where my doit goes, I generally feel good aboti contributions. In the vast ca thedral called Washington, the policy monks scurry around murmuring dire warnings about a presidency adrift. Nothing could be worse, they wail, no outcome of the present scandal more dangerous than a Reagan administration too weak It will hardly matter if Regan is pro ven to have known nothing about Lt. Col. Oliver North’s one-man foreign policy. His credibility is not the issue; his competence is. He has to go so that oth ers can be let in. Richard Cohen to implement its foreign policy. This is the dirge of fools. It would be one thing if the Reagan administration was on a foreign-policy roll. But in this area, the administration is bereft of successes. Its most glorious triumph, trumpeted time and time again, was the invasion and occupation of Grenada — a dot in the Caribbean that, unfortunately, set Reagan on a col lision course with reality. What followed was some stirring mo ments — the bombing of Libya, the sending of Marines to Lebanon, the downing of an Egyptian airliner taking terrorists to freedom — but they all seem to have been to no avail. The Ma rines died in Lebanon and while the bombing of Libya was brutal, it neither ended terrorism nor freed our hostages. In the end, the president had to do what he pledged he would not: barter for the lives of Americans. Whatever that epi sode might be — a scandal, an outrage or a wholesale violation of the law — it can hardly be called a success. All this is by way of saying that the drone of the soulful policy monks drowns out the gleeful rubbing of more than a few hands. Some in Washington see the present crisis as nothing less than a wonderful opportunity. This is the moment to force the president to seek a bipartisan foreign policy. This is one of the reasons why important sen ators are calling for the heads of key presidential aids, including Chief of Staff Donald Regan. The turning point for both Reagan and Regan probably was their joint belly-flop at Reykjavik. There, with Re gan looking on, an ill-prepared presi dent faced a boned-up Soviet leader. American conservatives were appalled at what Reagan put on the table — ei ther the complete elimination of all bal listic missiles or all nuclear weapons — and breathed a sigh of relief when the talks collapsed. Liberals, on the other hand, were appalled that Reagan walked away from so handsome an of fer. Reagan won the post-Reykjavik pub lic-relations battle. But he left too many important people convinced that some thing was terribly amiss at the White House. The president and his staff seemed inept — poorly advised or, worse, not advised at all — and af terward unsure of what, in fact, the United States had offered the Soviets. The public opinion polls showed that the spin doctors succeeded in convinc ing the people that Reykjavik was a tri umph. Official Washington, doing a double-take, concluded otherwise. It was a debacle. The current scandal of guns for hos tages for Contra cash was both the last straw and a chance to make some changes. Whatever the policy’s ultimate intentions, what astonishes Washington is the sheer amateurishness of the effort — its reliance on dash and daring at the expense of wisdom. To implement the policy, those who know most about for eign affairs — including the State De partment — were kept in the dark. Also ignored were the key foreign-policy players on Capitol Hill. The disaster that followed was predictable — and could have been predicted by knowl edgeable people. Nicaragua remains the greatest dan ger — and the best lesson. That foreign- policy effort entails the creation and funding of a counter-revolution to topple the Sandinista regime. The result appears to be a war without end and one with unintended results. Already — be cause the Nicaraguan adventure lacked support in Congress, and the White House acted on its own — it has pro duced a major domestic scandal. But that is nothing compared to what might lie ahead. As with Vietnam, the war threatens to spread. A thoughtless ef fort to stabilize by force may destablize the entire Central American isthmus and ultimately require the use of U.S. troops. With the exception of our enemies, no one wants a paralyzed presidency. But a humbled one is another matter. Based upon what has happened and what could lie ahead, taking the Reagan presidency down a peg or two is far from a tragedy. When it comes to this administration and foreign policy, a weakened presidency is the next best thing to a wise one. Copyright 1986, Washington Post Writers Group It may sound like I’m inhuman, but I’m just honest. I’m being honest when 1 say that it’s easy for me to ignore the persistent cries of the starving. I’m be ing honest when I pliantly say, “No, I don’t have 42 cents a day to feed a hun gry Ethiopian child.” And I’m being honest when I say I can sleep just as eas ily at night. I’ll bet that 99 percent of the students on this campus can ignore the cries, ra tionalize their excuses and sleep just as well as I can. After all, ignoring a prob lem that never has and most likely never will directly touch our lives is really quite logical. Perhaps my apathetic attitude toward world problems stems from a lack of tangible evidence. I’ve never actually seen a starving child in person, nor have I ever heard one cry. There’s a lot of things I’ve never seen or touched, and most of those things don’t rank very high on my list of concerns. Or maybe I think I can afford my in difference because I know that inevi tably somebody does care enough about a problem like starvation to try to help it. Of course. I’m smart enough to know that that person or group probably could use my help. But not getting involved can be again rationalized away with my “lack of tan- After recently donating a oil beans to a food drive, I thoughts about why donating to local i makes me feel good, and world causes has never interestedi»| Apathy is the easy answer, an answer that is more realisM probably quite universal. Though there are sometruhfl ous people in the world, moslf are in this game for themseM large extent. Considering the'f little, get a little” ideal thathastel stilled in all of us from childhood 1 ! lows that people donate, or giq cause they hope to get somethi! return. Maybe they hope somebody up is taking notes, or maybe they woi a little recognition — or a lot, dtp ing on the size of the contribuj from their friends and peers.! haps those who donate are looii ward to the nice tax break theyl j their generosity. Whatever it it : has to be something in it forthetf utors. That would explain why the< starving children doesn’t bothj Unless I told everybody aboutni'l tion. I’d get no recognition,and too concerned about tax breaks As for whoever’s watching J from above, I’m sure my cant good enough in his all-acceptingt'l Mike Sullivan is a senior JO'S- major and a staff writer forUt" ion. Mail Call Good tunes, poor transmission Don't give a spit EDITOR: The A&M radio station KANM, 99.9 EM, has some of the best alternative music I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. All the disc jockeys have spirit, intelligence and discriminating tastes. However, the sound quality is totally ragged, fuzzy, and distorted. Where is the pride in putting out a quality audio experience? I know there is a budget problem, but so far no one at the radio station has responded to my plea for technical improvements. Why? The mindless pop-pop on commercial stations is awful, but the hissing fizz on KANM is worse. Does anyone care? Will Aggie pride give us a radio station to listen to? Help! Russ Newsom EDITOR: Will someone please explain to me why so manyp here at Aggieland spit? One can’t help but notice the disgusting little blobs lining the walkways from Kyleff to the Zachry Engineering Center. I don’t care if it is fq season — carry a tissue, go to the bathroom, oratleasi 1 - for the grassy areas. Nobody likes somebody else’s bodily fluids. As Wl Carlin so memorably noted, “You’d wipe it on flarain? wood if you had to.” Gotta run — time for class. Here slip-sliding away. Paula DeForest Letters to the editor should not exceed 300 words in length. The editc serves the right to edit letters for style and length, hut will maht ntr f ■ maintain the author’s intent. Each letter must he signed and mustinduir 1 sification, address and telephone number of the writer. >fl HOI Hth th littee le rur publica even th andid; conven But C