Editorials

COMMONWEAL Voodoo treaty-reading Whilc all eyes have focused on Washington in recent weeks for the dramatic revelations of the Tower Commission, Soviet leader Gorbachev has been at work...

...By that time, however...
...June 1986...
...Congress should defend the traditional reading of the 1972 treaty...
...Such a course would necessitate developing alternative sources of energy (wind, sun, water) long out of fashion This laundry list of options is not innovative...
...Drivers sighed...
...3 Marc 1987: 133...
...Conservation and common sense arc being squeezed out of current U.S...
...Given the moment, it must rest with Congress, and perhaps eventually with the courts, to conduct such an inquiry...
...ihe IS government...
...The president's recent foreign policy failures have only increased his administration's incentive to achieve some lasting legacy in the next two years...
...Foreign Minister Genschcr was wise to tell the visiting Nitze and Perle that West Germany advises both the US and the USSR to adhere to a strict interpretation of the treaty...
...COMMONWEAL Voodoo treaty-reading Whilc all eyes have focused on Washington in recent weeks for the dramatic revelations of the Tower Commission, Soviet leader Gorbachev has been at work redirecting the action toward a stage of his own choosing...
...Not until recently...
...The National Petroleum Council's March 1987 report predicts the worst scenario yet, which should hit in the 1990s when the U.S...
...In so doing, he made clear what had been his intent from the beginning: the eventual deployment of a fullyimplemented space defense...
...This is not to say Washington and the Reagan administration have been fixated and immobilized by the Iran controversy...
...it offers no immediate relief to the domestic oil industry's woes, and it does not provide a definitive solution to the world's dependence on a non-renewable energy source But even limited measures are better than passively waiting for the next energy crisis...
...and the desire of the president to leave SDI as a legacy, the days of the ABM Treaty clearly may be numbered...
...Nitze and Perle travel with high-level documents to NATO members already involved in lucrative Star Wars research programs: the president's reintcrpretation of the 1972 ABM Treaty...
...energy could be cut in half Were we more stringent still, and able to match the Japanese consumption rates, we could extend fossil fuel reserves/^r the whole world by nineteen additional years Such a focus could also reduce the trade deficit, reduce cleanup costs for pollutants and damage caused by acid rain, and could reduce tensions between the US and the Middle East...
...These agreements were made with the advice and consent of the Senate...
...Huropeans had it even worse...
...Reagan was claiming that the treaty also allowed development, although not deployment, of an SDI system...
...oil cartels...
...On brown-out days, businesses made do with neither lights, electricity-powered machines, nor heat...
...In the persons of Paul Nitze of State and Richard Perle of Defense, the ongoing implementation of President Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) is being ably promoted abroad...
...Hours spent waiting in a string of cars snaked around islands of gas pumps, lines that spilled out onto the street, blocking traffic...
...April 21, and other public television stations may yet schedule it...
...Gorbachev's...
...In this pivotal scene of the arms control drama, they are attempting to position the ABM Treaty itself at center stage...
...it will be aired on New York's WNETal 11 p.m...
...Like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern...
...The film has its weaknesses, but it is well worth the viewing time...
...What about the consumer who wants to purchase a big car'.' What about the low-income family who wants a cheap (though expensive to operate) refrigerator' The logic of this position depends upon who is blamed for (he last oil crisis...
...medium-range missiles in Europe by the end of five years...
...Vice President Bush headed a task force which proposed: (I) to abolish the fuel economy standards, laws which require auto makers to produce energy -efficient cars or face fines (Chrysler supports the federal controls), and (2) to eliminate the Interstate Commerce Commission itself, the agency which regulates the nation's trucking and railroads...
...some cursed...
...But virtually every year since then, dour forecasts have been published predicting the next oil shock...
...All this, to buy a few measly gallons of gas at recently quadrupled prices, gallons which given the gas guzzlers most Americans drove then wouldn't go very far...
...SDI would do that, significantly redefining the basis from which subsequent administrations would have to direct their efforts at arms control, even if an accord is reached imminently on intermediate-range missiles...
...Gas was rationed and use of fuel at home and at work was restricted...
...First he ended the Soviet Union's eighteen-month moratorium on nuclear testing, satisfying his military critics at home...
...Its aim in doing so was to restrict the escalation of offensive strategic nuclear weapons by decreasing the incentive to add more While both the U.S...
...energy policy...
...Although the Soviets initially rejected SDI research on grounds of the 1972 treaty, at Reykjavik they grudgingly accepted "laboratory research" as permissible...
...No sooner did OPEC agree to stabilize oil prices (around $18 a barrel) and no sooner did the price of gasoline drop to below a dollar a gallon (finally), than some Americans under the ruse of opposing big government developed a case of collective amnesia about gas lines and a nostalgia for V-8 engines with a speed limit worthy of them...
...There is ample evidence that the new' reading utterly fails all these criteria...
...To abandon the most reliable, long-established means of restricting the nuclear arms race is to leave everyone more vulnerable and with less incentive to enter into future treaties...
...In December...
...THE NEXT OIL CRISIS Remember gas lines...
...Horns blared...
...and the USSR have claimed, not without reason, that the other has violated certain aspects of the treaty in the last fifteen years, the basic thrust 13 March 19H7: 131 of the agreement has never been in serious question...
...Congress must insure that the administration fulfills its treaty obligations...
...It is important that their activity remain but a passing sidelight to the broader action, that its potential for tragedy fall decidedly short of affecting the central drama...
...While they can be terminated unilaterally by a president, it has never been argued that their individual obligations can be modified without consent of the Senate...
...will be dependent on foreign sources for from 48 to 60 percent of its oil needs...
...the US...
...Considering so many foreshadowings...
...14, 1984), has produced a documentary on Hume and the nonviolent politics of his Social Democratic Labor Party "To Live for Ireland" was shown on numerous PBS affiliates last January...
...This phrase appears to sum up our national energy policy...
...In fact, the administration had begun such a rcintcrprctation a year before Reykjavik...
...Last month President Reagan told a conservative audience he was saving his "best stuff for the final act...
...Its purpose was to prevent cither superpower from ever acquiring the capability of implementing a nationwide defense against strategic missiles...
...Never mind that the Texas economy is collapsing...
...Even as he has been try ing to mind the fire in the kitchen, he has quietly sent his men abroad to pursue that "other" business in the capitals of Europe...
...Why take such counterproductive measures' Especially since were we to reduce our consumption of energy as the nation had been doing with the help of legislation like the Energy Policy and Energy Conservation Act of l'>75 and were able to match Western European rates of consumption, the costs of U.S...
...SDLP mayor of Dcrry...
...Obviously, such a market-oriented approach promotes neither efficiency nor conservation...
...ITiere are problems, however, with the reintcrpretations...
...And for good reason...
...It docs promote a course which, environmentalists predict, will accelerate the inevitable oil crash...
...Arms Control and Disarmament Agency...
...Two crucial questions must therefore be reexamined at this time: Is the administration's reinterpretation of the 1972 treaty correct...
...The Congress must determine whether the administration's new view is consistent with the general logic of the treaty, whether it is in keeping with the negotiating record and the views of those who at the time composed the treaty, and whether it is consistent with how the treaty has been interpreted since its ratification, including by the Reagan administration itself...
...Deregulation enthusiasts, led by the Reagan administration, are posing the question: What about the law ' The law of supply and demand, that is...
...Therefore, after a deadlock last term...
...Thai treaty, ratified by the U.S...
...negotiators are required to refrain from discussing any limits on defensive missile systems which might differ from the administration's new interpretation of the ABM Treaty...
...While many of the details of the latter have to be explained, at this writing it appears Mr Gorbachev has achieved a rousing "first-act" curtain, one that caught the West by surprise, one that will necessitate groping and regrouping in later scenes...
...Even following President Reagan's March 1983 Star Wars speech, his administration maintained the traditional interpretation of the treaty, designating SDI purely a research project, a point reiterated as late as last month in a report by the U.S...
...As Senator Nunn (D-Georgia) recently wrote the president, a decision to abridge the ABM Treaty "would provoke a constitutional crisis of profound dimensions...
...One had to rev up the engine to move a foot...
...So began the winter of '73, the year OPHC became a household word...
...On the contrary, in arms control the president has a vastly different agenda from Mr...
...they seek its timely demise, while at Geneva U.S...
...While the emissaries have not been greeted with enthusiasm, their determination is convincing...
...And what is the constitutional responsibility of any administration to abide by solemn treaties...
...Furthermore, gutting the ABM Treaty could undermine what remains of the arms control process...
...by Professor Abram Chayes...
...Readers who view it will be rewarded with several seconds' worth of a CVw»mwiwra/-spon.sored reception for John Tierney...
...The second oil crisis, in 1979, was milder, prices merely doubled...
...The price would entail the reinterprctation, if not the repudiation, of the ABM Treaty...
...Check one: OPEC...
...It is that revisionist reading which is now being proffered abroad by Nitze and Perle...
...and that oil is a resource which, to the best of our 132: Commonweal knowledge, lies buried in far greater quantifies in the Persian Gulf than anywhere else, our Alaskan deposits included...
...Yet the revisionists stand a chance of prevailing The Reagan administration has often shown a dogged tenacity in accomplishing its agenda, even when its policies proved to be misguided, and even when they have required the most complicated means of dissimulation, as in the Iran-comraspiracy affair...
...that "trade balance" is a euphemism...
...and the USSR...
...Senate in 1972, remains the only bilateral arms control agreement still in force between the U.S...
...These have been defined most clearly in the Harvard Ixtw Review...
...The Reagan administration blamed the government, so now it seeks a corrective in "the unbridled market...
...Recourse to the federal courts may be required in the present case...
...The time to act is now . when at least on the energy front, the Middle East doesn't have the US over a barrel TV GUIDE "We Are the Children" is a two-hour TV film about a young American physician and a television reporter whose lives are transformed by their work in .1 mission clinic for victims of the Ethiopian famine Ii will be shown on ABC on March Itv Tony Award-winner Judith hey Uirn>htnn Beach Memoirs and Hurhburlx), Ally Sheedy ( The Breakfast Club), and Ted Danson ("Cheers") star in this Paulist Productions drama that probes the inevitable questions about suffering, faith, and service evoked whenever anyone confronts a catastrophe of such magnitude...
...And he sent a new plan to Geneva for the removal of all Soviet and U.S...
...The misuse of the logic they employ defines the whole affair as an effort in voodoo treaty-reading...
...Congress is reconsidering a bill to allow states to rescind the 55 mph speed limit...
...Stiff fines were imposed on violators...
...and the photography has a power of its own Mary Pal Kelly, whose articles for Commonweal include a profile of Northern Ireland's Catholic political leader John Hume (Dec...
...What might this presage...
...Until proven otherwise...
...During the night watches, the Rosencrantzes and Guildensterns are very much at work...

Vol. 114 • March 1987 • No. 5


 
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