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December 06, 1979 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-12-06

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Page 4-Thursday, December 6, 1979-The Michigan Daily

U.S. imperialism cause of Iran unrest

Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom


Vol. LXX) " -

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Funding for abortions

EVER SINCE Congress passed the
Hyde Amendment; the 1976
legislation that banned Medicaid fun-
ding of most abortions, pro-choice
groups have waged a thankless battle
against this discriminatory policy.
However the Supreme Court's recent
announcement that it would hear
arguments next spring on the con-
stitutionality of denying Medicaid
financing for abortions considered
medically necessary provides the op-
portunity to abolish at last this
inhumane law.
The Justices' action stemmed from
the decision of a United States District
Court in Illinois last April that ad-
mirably declared unconstitutional the
Hyde Amendment by asserting that
the state does not have a legitimate in-
terest in preserving the life of a non-
viable fetus at the expense of the
mother's health (the Hyde Amen-
dment terminatred public funding for
abortions except in cases which the
pregnancy resulted from rape or incest
or threatened the mother's life). This
lower court decision prompted three
appeals, one from the federal gover-
nment, arguing that Congress has a
strong and legitimate interest in
promoting childbirth. Note that
Congress is largely made up of men
who will never feel the pain or be
physically or mentally debilitated
from carryng a baby.
The most recent Gallup poll in April
of 1979 found that 54 per cent of the
respondents believe abortions should
be legal under certain circumstances,
78 per cent when the life of the mother
is endangered, 59 per cent when it
would be detrimental to her mental or
physical health, and 53 per cent when
the pregnancy is the result of rape-or
The racist Hyde-Amendment denies
Medicaid recipients, most of whom are
poor members of minorities, the right
to exercise the constitutional right to
have an abortion on request. Of course,
rich women, unlike the poor, need not
resort to life-risking self-abortions or

black market abortionists because
they can afford $175 for the early term
suction abortion or the $400 to $1300 for
the late-term saline abortion.
The old version of the Hyde Amen-
dment allowed funding for abortions in
cases which the pregnancy would
result in "severe and long-lasting
physical health damage." But earlier
this year Congress adopted a new ver-
sion which eliminated this exception. It
is unjust and perhaps unconstitutional
for the government to refuse to pay for
medically necessary abortions when it
pays for all other medically necessary
procedures for women who are eligible
for Medicaid.
It is apparent that in formulating
this policy that Congress did not con-
sider heavily the health of women who
have to spend the nine months of their
pregnancy in bed, women whose
children will be still born or die shortly
after birth, and women who may be too
young or old to have a child.
Furthermore, the Hyde Amendment
stems from the Catholic Dogma that
life begins at the moment of conception.
and the fetus should be preserved
regardless of the mother's health and
welfare. The problem with this stand is
that it discriminates against non-
Catholics who beleive abortion is
proper is a mother will not be able to
provide for her child.
Since the federal government filed
one of the appeals, President Carter,
as well as the other 1980 Presidential
candidates, must voice his opinion on
the highly emotional abortion issue.
When the time comes, the Supreme
Court must rule in favor of Medicaid
funding for medically necessary abor-
tions. But given the conservtiveness of
the Court, it is unlikely that it will rule
on behalf of welfare abortions. The
public must make it clear by writing to
the -.media, the Supreme Court
Justices, and to their Congressmen,
and by participating peacefully in pro-
choice demonstrations, that it is time
to abolish this backwards and
discriminatory policy.

The embassy occupation and the taking of
American hostages in Iran had both
revitalized waning popular support for the
theocratic regime of Ayatollah Khomeini in
his country, and sparked a frenzy of patriotic
..chauvinism in the U.S. unmatched in three
decades. Khomeini has his thousands of
demonstrators back in the streets of Tehran
demanding the extradition of the bloody ex-
dictator, Shah Reza Pahlavi, while the
ayatollah's crazy antics have fueled a
backlask of super-patriotic, flag-waving
protests on the campuses and in the streets
across America. The Iran embassy crisis has
even accomplished the miracle feat of tem-
porarily bolstering the image of the desparate
Jimmy Carter as a "natonal leader."
As Marxists, we shed no tears for the em-
bassy hostages, a motley crew of imperialist
diplomats, CIA/NSA agents and Marine
lifers. Khomeini has correctly branded the
embassy as a "nest of spies"-which is
business as usual for capitalist diplomacy.
But that is not how most Americans view it;
they know that the hostages are primarily
held by the followers of the maniacal mullahs
simply because they are American. A com-
bintion of identification with the hostages as
American nationals and a real alienation
=from the Iranian society where alcohol,
movies, music, sunbathing, homosexuality
and .most things associated with a post-
medieval lifestyle are ruthlessly purged, has
aided in driving Americans into the current
dangerous pro-U.S. reaction.
THE AMERICAN government has
gleefully seized on this and his sought to
mobilize popular support for racist round-ups
and economic trade sanctions against
Khomeini's theocratic state-channelling the
frustration and anger of the American people
against the "foreign devils." Carter has
already ordered the 50,000 to 100,000 Iranian
stuents to report to immigration offices,
threatening to deport those found to be
"illegally here" and the INS has begun to in-

By The Spartacus Youth League
vade the campuses to begin the round-up.
While the students who hailed the ayatollah
should have no complaints about returning to
join the "Islamic Revolution,' such expulsion
orders would particularly be applied against
those who opposed both the shah and
Khomeini. If deported they would face
'revolutionary tribunals" at the hands of the
Pasadars, who are no less sinister than the
shah's SAVAK. The threatened police state
round-up recalls the 1919-1920 Palmer Raids
against foreign born communists and labor
militants, and the racist persecution of
Japanese-Americans during World War II.
160,000 of them were incarcerated in
American concentration camps. These
draconian reregistration/deportation orders
must be opposed by all those who defend
democratic rights!
The Pentagon has created a 110,000-man
"Rapid Deployment Force," and recently
announced that the aircraft carrier Midway
and five other warships are standing by in the
Arabian Sea, while the Kitty Hawk is sailing
from the Philippines. Washington may well
decide to write off the hostages and teach the
upstart mullahs a real lesson in imperialist
diplomacy. Revolutionaries and the
American working class must militantly op-
pose military action by U.S. imperialism
against Iran. U.S. Hands Off Iran!
In contrast to what many American leftists
would have us believe, the mullahs have not
been waging a struggle against imperialism
at all. On the contrary, Khomeini's gover-
nment has most recently been negotiating
-with Washington for resumption of billions of
dollars in military aid to be used against Kur-
dish rebels, Arab oil workers, Iranian leftists

and the Soviet Union. The Tehran embassy
seizure and hostage taking was a diversion. It
was fundamentally an attempt to refurbish,;
Khomeini's anti-shah credentials in a period
of growing disillusionment with, and op-
position to, his clerical-reactionary rule. The
Carter administration has sought an under-
standing with Khomeini for the same reason
he unconditionally backed the shah: as the
best hope to create a strong centralzied Per-
sian anti-communist regime on the Soveit
Union's southern flank. It is U.S. imperialism
which created Khomeini, by helping the shah
crush the labor movement and the pro-
Moscow Tudeh party and thereby leaving the
mullahs an open field as the main organized
opposition to the bloody autocrat.
As for the deposed monarch, we are in favor
of the shah getting his just desserts and op-
pose any attempt to grant him asylum in the
U.S. or elsewhere. Certainly the. Iranian
masses deserve to be able to determine the
fate of the murderous shah. But the tyrant-in-
power is no less guilty of crimes than his
predecessor. The Kurds, Arabs, women and
working class will also want to ensure that,
Khomeini pays for his atrocities against the
Iranian working class and oppressed. It is
only through proletarian revolution, led by an.
Iranian Trotskyist party, that the oppressed,
can break the chains of imperialism and
Islamic obscurantism and emancipate them-
selves from the shahs and ayatollahs forever.
In the U.S., with the bottom falling out of
the economy, the oil cartels jacking up
gasoline prices sky high and unemployment
reacing new levels, there is plenty to be mad
about. don't get suckered into disgusting
American chauvinism! The American people
have every interest in replacing q gover-
nment that props up vicious dictators like
Pinochet, the shah and Khomeini with a
government-of the working-jl!ss. Hate the
shah? Hate Khomeini? Then hate U.S. im-

Spacey Jane

By Tom Stevens

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Letters to the Daily


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To the Daily:
The anti-Iranian hysteria that
was evidenced last week on the
University of Michigan campus
was deplorable. While blatant
racism and chauvinism is not
new to the U.S. society at large, it
is somewhat unusual to see them
so openly expressed on our cam-
pus. Just last year a poignant
photo exhibition at the Michigan
Union depicted a shameful
episode in our history, the incar-
ceration of thousands of
Japanese- Americans in concen-
tration camps during World War
II. The message of the display
was clear: the United States can
and did act with vicious racism in
a time of crisis. It was the per-
sonal bigotry of many U.S.
citizens, fueled by an irrespon-
sible propaganda campaign of
the U.S. government, that
allowed our enemy to be iden-
tified as the Japanese race,
regardless of the political af-
filiations of the individuals in-
Judging from the recent anti-
Iranian hysteria, certain local
residents sem tn h ine inable nf

are racist, and potentially just as
harmful as was the anti-Japanese
hysteria during WW II. To blame
Iranians just because they are
Iranians is logically indefensible
and morally reprehensible.
Even if one were not convinced
by moral or logical arguments
alone, a quick look at recent
history shows that attacks on
Iranians are at best misdirected.
If one feels compelled to pinpoint
the ultimate cause for the current
situation one would be better off
looking to the U.S. government
rather than students and other
people who happen to be from
Iran. The U.S. government
originally installed the shah in
Iran. The U.S. government sup-
ported the shah's Iran militarily,
economically, and
diplomatically, during the time
that it was commonly recognized
as one of the most repressive
police states in ,the world. And
finally, to add insult to injury, the
U.S. effectively gave the shah
political asylum (under the guise
that appropriate medical treat-
ment was available in the U.S.)

D. Rucknagel, Prof. Human Gen.
J. Samoff, Lect. CAAS and Res.
A. Schwartz, Assoc. Prof. Math.
M. Taussig, Assoc. Prof. Anthro.
J. Vandermeer, Assoc. Prof. Bio.
A. Wald, Asst. Prof. End.
A. Zweifler, Prof. Int. Med.
To the Daily:
Prof. Kenneth Luther says, "It
is ironic that while Americans
aren't injured or vilified in Iran,
Iranians are vilified and
harrassed in the U.S."
Can he be serious? Right now
Americans are being held
hostage in Iran, while mobs chant
"Death to Americans" and the
Ayatollah talks darkly of trial
and punishment.
Vilification and harassment
are never justified. But suppose
Prof. Luther had to choose -
between receiving a harrassing
telephone call late at night, or
being held hostage under daily
threat of death. Need we guess'
which he'd prefer?
Neither' form of xenophobia
belongs in a civilized world, but
dubious "ironies" of this calibre
do nothing to dispel the
chauvinism which already per-
vades the whole issue.
Mary Kay Murray

Muslim attitude toward justice
and the Christian one, involving
their tendencies to apply respec-
tively the concepts of accoun-
tability and forgiveness to the
issue. While this general distin-
ction is certainly correct and im-
portant to know, the comments
made on "Christian forgiveness"
left the impression that is was
basically perceived as a forgive
and forget attitude of niceness or
meekness. Might it not rather be
that the Christian frame of mind
here involves a valid- fear of
taking up and prosecuting certain
just causes and through one's
own self-righteousness turning
them into instruments of evil?
What might need to be ap-
preciated then, it seems, is an
element of selft-doubt, perhaps
essentially "Christian", which
extends not merely to the level of
acts but deeper to that of inten-
tions and potential, thereby
resisting the inclination to
separate people into exclusinve
camps of good and evil-which
Islam, as Khomeini reads it at
least, seems prone to.
The Iranian people deserve
tremendous sympathy from us
for the justness of their grievan-
ce, but in so far as the element of
self-confident pride infects their
attitudes, and that of their leader,
therehv nonlrizini the isse at

_. . tw

e t t ti

Sue Warner. ... .........................EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Richard Berke,. Julie Rovner .......... MANAGING EDITORS
Michael Arkush, Keith Richburg....EDITORIAL DIRECTORS
Brian Blanchard....................... UNIVERSITY EDITOR
Judy Rakowsky...... .................CITY EDITOR
Shelley Wolson......................PERSONNEL DIRECTOR
Amy Saltzman...................... FEATURES EDITOR
Leonard Bernstein.......................SPECIAL PROJECTS
Ra mi .Er .ic o.. ......... ARTS EDITORS

GEOFF LARCOM ................ Sports Editor
BILLY SAHN... ...... .. ... Executive Sports Editor
BILLY NEFF ................................ Managing Editor
DAN PERRIN............................... Managing Editor
Mark Borowski, Stan Bradbury, Bob Emory, Al Fanger, Elisa
Frye, Dave Johnson, Lee Katterman, Gary Levy, Scott M.
Lewis. Mark Mihanovic. Jon Wells.


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