Skip to main content
The largest online newspaper archive
A Publisher Extra® Newspaper

Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois • 30

Chicago Tribunei
Chicago, Illinois
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

A forum ideas, analysis, diverse opinion 4 Section 3 Chicago Tribune, Tuesday, January 15, 1980 'ITSpSCftlV i Bob Wiedrich ON THE WAY BACK HK)Mf i I IRAN, WE CAN CATCH THAT SWrJ 5IX-ALARMER IN AFGHANISTAN. I The right place to press the issue Patrick Buchanan Nixon's Russian warning IT IS NEAR dawn. Mayor Byrne baa just returned home from marathon sessions with community groups about who will be her next police superintendent of month. The phone rings as she and her press-secretary husband, Jay McMullen, sit down to a cup of coffee in the breakfast nook. McMullen answers.

"McMullen here," says McMullen. "Johnny Johnson of The Tribune here," lays a voice on the other end of the line. I "I need fresh lead for the 5-Star-vdition police story. Did Jane select the physically handicapped Hispanic with the Polish surname from the 31st Ward for superintendent next month? "Or, did she settle on that mother with II kids who lives on welfare in a high-rise on Lake Shore Drive?" "NO COMMENT," McMullen mumbles, wiping cookie crumbs from his lips. "I gotta talk to the mayor first." "But you're at home, she can't be more than a few feet away from you," argues Johnny Johnson of The Tribune.

"No she Isn't," declares McMullen, ly- Has World War III begun? When appointed, there had been no question about McMullen's qualification for the job. With 23 yean as a City Hall reporter, McMullen probably knew the place better than his wife. Leave me alone!" "I'm also your husband," Jay hisses in exasperation. "You tell me who you picked or I'll sleep on the you won't," shouts Jane, now fully aroused and working up a queen-sized mayoral mad. "My feet are cold." Tell me who you named," Jay persists.

"And gimme back my turtleneck sweater. It's freezing in here. You and your dumb Dial Down Thermostats for Posterity campaign. "That was your stupid Idea and it stinks," the mayor roars. "Besides, you're fired!" "Nope, I quit," Jay fires back.

He grabs his coffee and stalks into the living room. The phone rings again. "This is Johnny Johnson of The Tribune," the caller says. "Is Jane still indisposed?" "You want a new lead for the 5 Jay shouts. "Well, you got it.

I just quit. I'm through. I'm finished. I'm going back to the Sun-Times and get some sleep." Johnny Johnson hangs up the phone and turns to hi typewriter. He starts writing a new lead: "Mayor Byrne's husband, Jay McMullen, resigned Tuesday as her press secretary after she refused to discuss official business with him while sharing a cup of coffee in their Near North Side home.

"McMullen, named last Jan. 7 by Mayor Byrne as her Sl-a-year press coordinator, said be was returning to his former job as a writer at the Chicago Sun-Times. "McMullen's surprise resignation gave credence to reports that Mayor Byrne's attempt at bargain basement nepotism was failing. "According to McMullen, Mayor Byrne refused to divulge her latest choice for police superintendent-of-the-month. Instead, he said, she complained that her feet were cold." JOHNSON TURNED away from his machine to ponder what he had just written.

When appointed, there had been no question about McMullen's qualification for the job. With 23 years as a City Hall reporter, McMullen probably knew the place better than his wife. But why had she elected to thrust her husband into a position of potential daily confrontation with the press? Surely, she must have recognized that McMullen never could be a pedestrian press secretary because of his unique, connubial relationship with his employer. All Chicago viewed him as her alter ego. So whenever McMullen spoke, people believed it really was Mayor Byrne speaking.

Well, Johnny Johnson returned to finishing his new lead for the S-Star police story. An editor played the story on Page 1. And about 11 o'clock that morning, Johnny Johnson went to lunch. He met McMullen in a bar. McMullen punched Johnny Johnson in the nose.

But Mayor Byrne did not raise a finger in her husband's defense after he was arrested. Instead, she called the police to report the theft of a turtleneck sweater. By David Kline THE INVASION OF Afghanistan by perhaps 85.000 Soviet troops raises a profoundly disturbing question: Has World War III already begun? The question is neither alarmist nor ridiculous. If responsible historians can now say that the first shots of World War II were fired as early as the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931 or certainly by the 1936 Italian conquest of Ethiopia can't we also try to discern tomorrow's world conflicts in today's developing crises? If so, then the events in Afghanistan take on added significance, for behind Moscow's takeover of its southern neighbor many observers see a strategic plan for global domination. INTERESTINGLY, SOME commentators in the United States press were taken by surprise by Moscow's actions.

They had thought the Soviet Union would avoid getting bogged down, like America did in Viet Nam, in a counter-guerrilla adventure. History shows, however, that imperialist powers are bound by an overriding logic in their actions. Moscow is competing with Washington for control of spheres of influence, markets, and resources. As a sphere of influence, Afghanistan ranks quite high on Moscow's priority list. Though landlocked, Afghanistan is a Soviet base of operations in Southwest Asia and a stepping stone to warm-water ports in the Arabian Sea.

To be fcure, there is more at stake than just the fate of Afghanistan's 15.4 million citizens. Afghan rebels interviewed by this reporter in October in Paktia Province stated emphatically that they were fighting for world peace as well as their own independence. "We are fighting for all of you," asserted Syed Ishaq Gailani of the National Front for the Islamic Revolution ip Afghanistan. "The Russian design is first to control all of Asia, and then control the world." Indeed, there is evidence to support that view. IN THE INCREDIBLY swift span of less than five years, the Soviet Union has gained pressure points that extend from the tip of Indochina across Central Asia down through the Arabian Peninsula and on to the African Horn.

Today, Soviet forces or their surrogates, the Cubans and Vietnamese, operate over a huge arc of territory that is sometimes called the "Crescent of Crisis." Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia, Afghanistan, Southern Yemen, and Ethiopia all are countries that have been placed under the Kremlin's umbrella since 1975. Military analysis think the Russians are trying to stretch a net across the strategic Strait of Malacca (in the Indian Ocean), the Strait of Hormuz (in the Persian Gulf), and the Gulf of Aden (which guards the entrance to the Red Sea and Suez Canal). If that net should ever close, United States leaders could say goodbye to Middle East oil, Japan could say goodbye to vital shipping with her Western allies, and the whole world could say hello to a Soviet military and economic chokehold on Europe. China, too, would be encircled and subject to invasion. Sooner or later after Moscow achieved this capability or so the thinking goes war could be joined between the two superpowers.

It is a measure of the value that the Kremlin places on Afghanistan that it was willing to incur world condemnation to send its own forces to stabilize the situation there. In contrast, Washington's few countermeasures are not likely to prove an effective response. This doesn't mean, of course, that Washington should re-embark on its own expansionism in Asia fey, say, dispatching troops to the region. But actions such as directly aiding the Afghan rebels, providing China with sophisticated arms for self-defense, and strictly embargoing all strategic-materials trade with the Russians could have been a stronger response. AS IT STANDS NOW, Moscow will probably conclude that Washington is unwilling or unable to check the Soviet juggernaut in Asia.

Isn't there something reminiscent here of the early appeasement response of Western nations to the rise of Fascist military power in pre-war Germany? In fact, doesn't this whole Afghanistan affair smack of those days before 1939 when war clouds were already gathering over the world? One similarity to those days, at least, was pointed up by an Afghan expatriate in the United States as he watched television film of Soviet troops entering his nation's capital: "Those Russians have the same swagger, the same arrogance in their manner, as the Nazis had in Czechoslovakia in 1938." SAN CLEMENTE, Nixon is a man relaxed. Reviewing the page proofs of his forthcoming book on foreign policy, the former President appears as healthy and vigorous as he has been in a decade. The former First Lady's health is on the mend after a bout with bronchial pneumonia. The ex-President is preparing for a late winter move to New York, nearer to the children and grandchildren, back East "where the action is" and for a March visit to Europe. For two hours, the conversation revolved around two issues: The political situation inside both parties, and the implications of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Forced, by the writing of his book, to reflect on two decades of American-Soviet relations, Nixon perceives in the Afghan adventure of the Soviets a new development, as logical for the Kremlin as it is ominous for the West. NIXON LISTED five separate stages of Soviet intervention, of which Afghanistan represented the fourth in the progression. Step 1. With the United States holding strategic superiority, the Soviets and the Chinese confined themselves from 1962 to 1972 to providing defensive weapons to North Viet Nam and indirect support for the Viet Cong guerrillas in the South. Step 2.

In the spring of 1972, Soviet support took a quantum leap. Rather than providing military aid to guerrilla units, the Soviets armed and equipped the North Vietnamese for a conventional overland invasion of South Viet Nam an invasion that ended in humiliation for Hanoi, as the South held and the Americans renewed the bombing and mined the harbor at Haiphong. Three years later, with Nixon out of office, the President's hands tied in Indochina by Congress, with military assistance to Saigon reduced to a trickle, the identical tactic was pursued an overland invasion of South Viet Nam by a conventional communist army equipped almost exclusively by the Soviet Union. It succeeded: Saigon was overrun. Step 3.

With the Portuguese having departed, and control of Angola undecided, the Russians in 1975 and 1976 took the next step up the escalator of intervention by sending in "proxy forces" i.e., the Cubans to provide the margin of victory for pro-Soviet elements in a Third World country. The proxy forces were used again, with equal success, in Ethiopia in 1978. Step 4. In Christmas week of 1979, the Red Army itself marched into a Third World country, Afghanistan, to prevent the overthrow of a pro-Soviet regime by an anti-Marxist movement. Nixon dismisses with incredulity editorials and network analyses that suggest that Afghanistan will become "Russia's Viet Nam" or that the Kremlin acted out of concern for the 50 million Moslems inside the Soviet Union.

To compare lightly armed Afghan guerrillas with Soviet-armed and equipped North Vietnamese divisions is ludicrous, he contends. And what is often overlooked is that the new Soviet puppet installed in Kabul replaced another Soviet puppet who was removed and executed because he was insufficiently successful and obedient. The Afghanistan the Soviets invaded was not a "nonaligned" nation but a country headed by a pro-Soviet regime on the precipice of collapse. HERE, THEN, ARE the Kremlin's steps up the escalator of intervention: first, indirect assistance to pro-Soviet guerrillas; second, support of convention-, al army invasion by a Soviet client state; third, use of "proxy forces" to provide the margin of victory in a distant Third World country; fourth, deployment of the Red Army itself to save a pro-Soviet regime; fifth and what Nixon sees as the logical next step in the progression use of the Red Army to intervene and take over some neutral or pro-Western nation in the Third World. With the invasion of Afghanistan, the Soviets are sending the West and the Third World another message that apparently has not gotten through.

It is this: Not only has the Brezhnev doctrine been extended from Central Europe to Central Asia, the use of the Red Army to save a pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan portends a Kremlin willingness to use Soviet army and airborne divisions to maintain satellites elsewhere in the Third World i.e., in South Yemen, Ethiopia, Angola, and Cuba. big comfortably. "She's indisposed." "Well, I'll hang on," says Johnson, accustomed to McMullen's wily ways. "No you won't," snarls the by-now indignant McMullen. "It's 5 o'clock in the morning.

The mayor needs her sleep. And I'm off duty." "No you're not," bristles Johnson of The Tribune. "A press spokesperson always is on duty." "Yeah, but I'm also the mayor's husband; we're entitled to some rest," McMullen growls as his indignation approaches a crescendo. "You expect me to work 24 hours a day for a lousy buck a year?" He slams down the phone. Jane sips at her coffee.

"Who was that?" she murmurs drowsily. "One of those pesky reporters," McMullen replies. "He thinks I'm on duty all the time." "You are, honey," Jane says, her eyelids slipping toward slumber at the breakfast table. Jay reaches over and shakes the mayor. "If I'm on duty, then you tell me who you decided to name your next police superintendent of the month," McMullen demands angrily.

"Don't you dare shake me," retorts Jane. "I'm the mayor. I'm your boss. David Kline is a Chicago journalist who was behind guerrilla lines in Afghanistan in October. few VtfitMirlntirfl.ietneiwi Bill Raspberry Eligible males a vanishing species Wi St Ssaeplace nearby vherew drS jPii what I call the eligibility threshold.

Women become eligible at lower levels (of age, education, and professional success) than men. A woman with a bachelor's degree is perfectly eligible for a male PhD, but not the other way around. It is quite common for a male doctor to marry a nurse, or for a male executive to marry a secretary or administrative aide. But what woman 'executive would date, let alone marry, her clerk? The higher a woman rises, in terms of success, education, or income, the more men she eliminates from consideration. Just the opposite is true for men.

f'The ironic twist to this story," says Savvy, "is that the class of men who are statistically most available are the least educated. So we have a puzzle with completely mismatched pieces." THINGS ARE worse still for black Andy Rooney WASHINGTON "Look, yon must meet a lot of interesting men in your work. Why don't you introduce me to somebody?" The requests, from single female friends, used to be made with an embarrassed I'm-not-really-serious smile. A couple of years ago, the embarrassment disappeared. Nowadays, there's often a hint of despair: "I'm serious; please introduce me The requests almost never come from men, except those who are bored with their present relationships and want to fool around with an additional woman.

But if the men are greedy, the women are increasingly desperate. You've seen it, too. Think back to the last time you gave a party, how easy it was to come up with single women who were bright, attractive, and fun to be with, and how hard it was to think of single men to invite. Where are the eligible men? SAVVY, THE NEW magazine "for ex-ecutive women," takes an interesting, mostly depressing, look at the question in its February, 1980, issue. Its conclusion: For women at or near the top, the men simply aren't there.

Part of it is basic arithmetic. Single women between the ages of 30 and 54 outnumber their male counterparts by a ratio of 128 to 100. Eliminate the never-married men, presumably confirmed bachelors, the magazine says, and the ratio of single women to single men in the 40-to-44 age group reaches almost 3 to 1. But as bad as the numbers are, the practical situation for a single woman is a good deal worse, as a result of the "marrying up marrying down" syndrome. Women prefer men who are older, more successful, and better educated than themselves, while male preferences run just the other way.

A 43-year-old single man feels free to choose among women ranging in age from early 20s to mid-40s. A 45-year-old single weman may find her realistic options limited to men in their mid-40s or older slim pickings indeed, when many of these men have already married younger women. THERE IS, in addition, the problem of A salt solution to the enduring auto 'A women. Says Savvy: "Sociologist Robert Staples of the University of California estimates that there are five eligible black women for every black man. In addition to the Viet Nam war, which brought 7,224 black fatalities, he factors in the high mortality rate of black males aged 20 to 35 due to homicide and suicide roughly three times the jate for white males.

"One black woman points to an additional aggravation of the statistics the 'snowbird' problem. Interracial marriage is climbing back up, and black men are crossing over at above three times the rate of black women." THE ARTICLE'S authors Christine Doudna and Fern McBride offer a few half-hearted tips for meeting men, and a handful of interesting anecdotes. But the overall impact of their piece is discouraging. For instance: "For women over 40, death begins to be a factor, as women outlive men by an average of 7.7 years. In the 45-to-55 age group, there are 854,000 unmarried widows and 176,000 unmarried widowers, a ratio of nearly five to one." The Savvy article underscores what I've been trying to explain to my single female' friends.

The reason I haven't introduced them to all these witty, charming, successful and single men is simplicity itself: There aren't any. ern states? Why indeed! Are not our Southern states equal partners in this union? They should all participate in the good things the North alone derives from salting programs. The automobile'indus-. try itself might well consider subsidizing salt-spreading programs in those states which do not now have one. It might even consider the feasibility' of developing a salt-based undercoatlng for new cars.

U.S. cities currently use 10 million tons of salt on their roads every year. It is a domestically produced commodity for which we do not depend on any Middle Eastern sheikdom or ayatollahdom. We should bend every effort toward doubling that figure. It is good for the economy and good for us.

Every ton of salt we splatter on the undercarriage of our can is a ton of salt we don't clog the arteries of our bodies with." year on the damages done by salt spread on our roads to melt ice and snow. A study done in Canada concluded that salt did about $200 worth of damage a year to every car in that country. These are the kinds of statistics from which car sales are made! Why, then, are we limiting the salting of our highways to the winter months? Why do we only put salt down when there is ice and snow? If every major city in America began a program of year-round salting, car sales would increase dramatically. Cars would be rotting out right and left. Brake lines would go, electrical systems would short out, mufflers would go quicker, and gas tank straps would corrode and give way.

LAST YEAR. New York City alone spread 166,938 tons of salt on its streets. It produced one of the greatest pothole CAR SALES in Detroit are Everyone is worried about it because, as we all know, as goes General Motors, so goes the nation. In my view, there is just one solution to the problem. If new car sales are to.

improve, old cars are going to have to start falling apart even faster than they do now. The answer is salt A few hundred thousand tons more salt on our Toads would substantially hasten the day when each of us has to buy a new car. The automobile industry can come Up with new names for its cars, new style hubcaps, and they could even put tiny disposals in their ashtrays, but they are never going to find a more effective way to get us to buy new cars than by putting more salt on the roads. IN 1976, a federally fended study estimated that we spend $2.7 billion a crops in the history of mankind's paved streets. It would be hard to estimate the good these frame-rattling craters did for the auto repair business in the city.

If 25,000 cars had to have repairs averaging $200 apiece, this means that $5,000,000 was pumped into he economy. It is not only the automobile industry that would profit from the increased use of salt. Salt helps destroy water mains buried beneath our streets, thus providing increased overtime for municipal employes and public utilities workers. Nurseries across the land would profit. Nothing kills trees and shrubs along the roadside like a good dose of NaCl.

The replacement jobs provided to garden centers and nurseries would be a shot in the arm for them. AND WHY SHOULD we limit the spreading of salt on our roads to North- i.

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 300+ newspapers from the 1700's - 2000's
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra® Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the Chicago Tribune
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

About Chicago Tribune Archive

Pages Available:
Years Available: