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September 13, 1979 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-13

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Page 4-Thursday, September 13, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Whe Micigan al
Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
Vol. LXXXX, No. 7 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

U.S.

:

Stay out of Angola

E WEEKS and months following
the death of an important inter-
national leader lead all political
strategists to ponder the inevitable
question: Who is next in line?
Those observers are suddenly busy
in Angola due to the death Monday of
the country's first and only president,
Dr. Agostinho Neto. Neto died after a
long bout with chronic hepatitis and
cancer of the pancreas.
And the country's future is further
complicated by the fact that Neto's
departure leaves a vacuum in Angola's
leadership at the same time that
Neto's party, the Popular Movement
for the Liberation of Angola, faces
another struggle with rival guerilla
factions in the countryside. Those
other groups - mainly the National
Union for the Total Independence of
Angola - have been opponents of
Neto's movement since the
revolutionary days of 1975, and the new
.gap in leadership may serve as a
:catalyst to further fighting.
It may also serve as a catalyst for a
new attempt by the United States to
put its favorites in the higher echelons
,of power in Angola, an attempt that
has met failure in the past.
As the struggle for leadership in
Angola was brewing in 1975, the United
States - forgetting the lessons of Viet-
nam - began sending covert economic
and military aid to pro-Western fac-
tions in the civil war in Angola. The
Popular Movement took from the other
side, receiving considerable equip-
ment from Eastern Europe. The battle
Slines were drawn.
But with the assistance of Cuban
:ctroops, the Popular Movement and
: Neto were thrust into power and have
-held it ever since. It has been that
presence of Cuban troops which has
kept the United States from
recognizing Angola, and it has been the
main stumbling block in the efforts to

restore diplomatic ties between the
U.S. and Cuba.
Yet, since taking power the Popular
Movement has not had an easy time.
Confront1 with the persistent efforts
of rival guerilla factions, Angola has
'not been able to become the "economic
Brazil of Africa" that businessmen
there have long predicted. Instead, it
has been plagued by economic har-
dship which can only get worse in the
anticipated battle for leadership.
The grand opportunity for influence
must be clear to the United States. By
aiding pro-Western guerilla groups,
the U.S. can establish a stronghold in
the heart of Africa at a time of growing
African disillusionment toward
American foreign policy. And, as the
arms limitation treaty appears in
serious trouble on the Senate floor, a
forceful plan of intervention in Angola
could sway the important bloc of .un-
decided senators that the Carter ad-
ministration refuses to sit idly by while
the Soviets continue their presence in
Africa.
Moreover, in the aftermath of the
discovery of Russian troops in Cuba, a
U.S. active role in Angola may attract
more sympathy. Since the Soviets can
station troops in Cuba, why can't the
U.S. try to exert influence in Angola?
Amidst these temptations, the Car-
ter administration must resist any in-
tervention in Angola, either through
financial or military assistance.
Neto was a strong and determined
leader who devoted his entire life to his
country. He even spent several terms
in jail for the sake of gaining indepen-
dence for his land.
At the time of his death, he was
working to gain acceptance from the
United States, and not wooing the
Soviets as most Western politicians
expected.
It would be in the U.S. interest if his
successor continues in that direction.
But he must not be pushed.

Daily Photo CYRENA CMANi
Inside The Institute for Social research, pollsters devote themselves to question, though, is: Have you ever been polled? Wouldn't you like to
expanding the public's awareness of its own atitudes. The key be?

Power there for the asking

i
1

.and El Salvador

S 0

Some of us never tire of polls.
We search out political and sexy
surveys in. newspapers and oc-
casionally delight in more ob-
scurejournal samplings; written'.
by experts for evperts.
Part of the fascination is
voyeuristic. I rarely speak with
elder Hispanic women, par-
ticularly about Mideast politics.
But look, there it is, a whole block
on the bar graph showing how
many of these people approve of
Begin and how many don't -
making me feel like I understand
an otherwise strange group.
THOUGH SOME OF us can't
get enough however, there's,
something mildly insulting about
polls.
We're reminded, with each
description of some part of the
contemporary American psyche,
that no matter how free spirited
and independently minded we
might feel as individuals, as a
group we're predictable.
That's not the half of it. Few of
us have been tapped to represent
hundreds of thousands of others.
Who that you know has even been
polled on interracial marriage or
space exploration or Jerry
Brown?
OF COURSE the population is
too large and the samples are too
small for anyone to expect to be
polled. That doesn't stop me,
though, from contemplating the
day when my call will cofne.

N THE WAKE of the July
revolution in Nicaragua, the ripple
effect has spread northwest to another
dictatorial regime, in a tidal wave of
protest and violence that is threatening
the military government of El
Salvador President Carlos Humberto
Romero.
And once again, the United States is
caught in the precarious position of
backing an oppressive and repulsive
regime against a popular uprising. If
there is one thing the administration
should have learned from the
Nicaraguan situation, it is that in order
for the United States to win influence
with any future revolutionary gover-
nment, the time to board the ban-
dwagon is early on in the struggle, not
after the victory is assured.
One cannot help but wonder whether
our. relations with Nicaragua's
provisional junta would be better now
if the administration had not backed
the Somoza regime to the disasterous
end, and then - once Sandinista vic-
tory was assured - worked to under-
mine the revolution by unsuccessfully
trying to move Somoza'a national
guard into key positions in the
provisional government.
Now there is concern in the state
department about a domino effect, hit-
ting El Salvador, and the ad-
ministration has already forgotten the
lesson of Nicaragua, responding to the
uprising by urging the current . El
Salvadorian officials to now liberalize

By Brian Blanchard

the repressive military regime have
most recently launched a vigorous new
campaign of insurrection. Eleven
people were killed in the most recent
incident of fighting, and the authorities
there are preparing for a new wave of
violence expected to coincide with In-
dependence Day festivities this coming
weekend. The president's 56-year-old
brother was murdered in his home by
armed, masked gunmen.
These revolutionaries represent the
downtrodden of El Salvador, who com-
prise most of the population of that
nation. They are the poor, who have
been most hurt by government policies,
and by El Salvador's oppressive land
control system. It is the unemployed,
the landless, the peasants, who are
leading this insurrection.
And, once again, the Carter ad-
ministration, that has shown a sincere
interest in cultivating favor with the
third world, is supporting the military
government that has held power since
1932. In effect, the administration is
again supporting the status quo, and
hoping that a few, late "reforms" will
placate an angry populace.
But the populace has shown that, like
the Sandinistas, it is too late to be
satisfied with a few token attempts to
liberalize the country. But it is not too
late for the administration to actually
get on the right horse early and sup-
port a movement for simple social
justice.

"Excuse me, sir. Do you have 15
minutes-t1 an hour to discuss
issues of national import?"
Apparently, I'm not alone in
looking forward to my interview.
In an upcoming issue of the
Public Opinion Quarterly, two
researchers with the University's
Institute for Social Research
(ISR), That high temple of
polling, say, in effect, that those
who've been touched by pollsters
respond with gratitude to the
system. They're more likely to
vote than those of us who haven't
had the chance to call a poll our
very own..
Michael Traugott, director of
Election Studies at the Center for
Political Studies and a lecturer in
the Political Science Depar-
tment, and John Katosh, a doc-
toral student and assistant direc-
tor of the studies, took the results
-from election surveys from 1972,
'74, and '76 and compared them
with records of registration and
voting for the interviewees.
Some of those polled were in all
the surveys, some in two, and
some in just the last.
THE RESULTS, the resear-
chers say, aren't conclusive.
"At some point, we'd like to go
back and really look at it," says
Katosh. They're worried that sin-
ce one-time interviewees were

given a choice about being polled
again, there's a possibility that
those who turned further inter-
views down mostly continued in
their non-voting ways and that
those who were willing to meet
with the pollsters again were ripe
to vote anyway.
Their hypothesis makes sense.
People who read headlines year
after year telling them what they
think are suddenly asked to make
headlines. And not just for them-
selves, but for a whole chunk of
the populaton. It brings the
headlines home.
Traugott and Katosh shouldn't
spend, so much time doubting
themselves - they have too
much else to do. The obvious task
before them is to marshal the
awesome resources of ISR behind
a Rapid Polling Project.
EVERYONE complains that
too few of us get involved in the
political process, that a shrinking
segment of the population is elec-
ting everyone's political leaders.
The obvious solution to the
problem - if you think it that -
is to poll every man, woman and
child in America before Novem-
ber, 1980.
Having been given a chance to
register their opinions directly
with someone, to have the exact
shading of their opinions reflec-

ted in serious surveys, RPP
would make voters overnight.'
The important thing would be
to call the whole country at least
once with a -few questions (a la
would have to be passed that no
official poller could be put' on
hold. If the holds weren't barred,
it would add a decade to the poll).
But the epic survey could also
be used to find the answers to
some long sought questions. RPP
could determine whether or 'not
housewives really prefer the sof-
ter tissue and whether in fact four
out of five dentists agreed on
everything.
THE TWO University resear-
chers say the polling may have
long-term effects on voting; in
which case the RPP could be a
once a generation project. -Bet-
ween generations, RPP staffers
could decide what other habits
they would like to encourage in
Americans.
After all, if questions about
elections asked before political
contests prompts voting, the
possibilities for polls to change
are endless.
If Lou Harris is influential now,
consider his clout when he
discovers that simply by asking
Americans questions no orge's
bothered to ask them, they'll
follow his lead.
Brian Blanchard is the Daiy's
University Editor.

i

Letters

e

To the Daily:
Gloria Steinem's presentation
September 10 at Hill Auditorium
was, as one departing observer
remarked, "thoroughly delight-
ful." Ms. Steinem assumed we
were committed as women and
men to the feminist struggle. She
assumed we were familiar with
the dynamics of power and
elitism that underly that
struggle. More exciting, she
recognized and affirmed con-
structive changes we have helped
to implement.
Ms .Stinem nseifically com-

superficial analysis of the
current state of feminist politics
is disappointing, and a little
frightening. We rightfully expect
more sophisticated critical
analysis from an experienced
and active leader. Her in-
spiration is essential; it is inef-
fective and distracting, however,
if it is not grounded in a
pragmatic representation of the
implications of. what we have
achieved and the specific ob-
stacles we still face.
Though the academic com-
munity is more responsibly ad-
A..noct: I- h fo.ari. a anfnaf~,at

our statistics show the entry and
progress of women through
traditionally male enclaves?
With characteristic delicacy,
Ms. Steinem said "I hesitate to
use the word 'elite,"' when
speaking of her audience as
members of an academic com-
munity. Yet it is precisely such
terms we must use, not as the
popular rhetoric of cult figures,
but as the sophisticated
analysists we should begin to be.
Our educational system is, in
fact, elite. We cannot hope to un-
derstand the benefits and
limitatins of such asvtem until

ilisticV
within academia. Contrary to Ms.
Steinem's encouraging opinion,
diplomas continue to be con-
sumer products, by the natureof
rampant grade inflation apd
placebo quota systems.
Ms. Steinem's discussion was a
sophisticated movement pep
rally. She affirmed her audience
by delineating the "we's" and tae
"they's," and thereby welcon d
"us" into the fold of an acce-
table "revolution." There i a
great discrepancy, however,
between the ease with which Ps.
Steinem employed her rhetorc
and the amount of work sil

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