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January 27, 1979 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-01-27

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Page 4-Saturday, January 27, 1979-The Michigan Daily

br 3IIIg3 ThIQ
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Eighty-Nine Years of Editorial Freedom

For God and justice


Vol. LXXXIX, No. 98

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

" t

Students play dead

F ALL THE significant groups on
campus, none should be more
aware of the needs of the University
than the students. Neither the ad-
ministration, the faculty, not the
alumni are in closer contact with the
failings of this institution of higher
learning than those who rely so heavily
on it for their education.
On Wednesday night, students were
invited to attend a wide-ranging
discussion of the University's needs as
part of the presidential selection
process. Eleven students attended the
meeting. The low turnout was a major
disappointment. While students claim
to have a significant stake in events at
the University and while we claim the
administration and faculty often turn a
deaf ear to student concerns, students
fail to make their presence known even
when a meeting is called for -the
specific purpose of providing a
medium -for expressing student con-
The presidential selection process is
far more important to each student at
the University than Wednesday night's
turnout would suggest. Every student
has specific complaints about the
University that are discussed at great
length in dormitory dining halls and
other places students gather; the
University does have major shor-.
tcomings, especially in the area of un-
dergraduate education. No single per-
son will have more effect on how these
shortcomings are handled than the

next president. these considerations
far outweigh the temporary con-
siderations that kept students away
from Wednesday's meeting, whatever
they may have been.
A fight is currently being waged by
the students' elected representatives,
the Michigan Student Assembly, to in-
sure the students' role in the presiden-
tial selection process is something
more substantive than that of an in-
nocent bystander. But if only 11
students care enough about the new
president to attend a meeting with the
purpose of outlining the problems the
new president will have to face then
the MSA's claim of vested student in-
terest in the process rings hollow.
The abysmal turnout is a reflection
of the "me'' generation of which we all,
unfortunately, are a part. At a time
when students could have made a
significant contribution to the future of
the University, they failed to make the
effort. When asked for input on an in-
stitution which usually fails to lend it-
self to democratic decision-making,
only 11 of 35,000 students bothered to
On Wednesday night, the opportunity
to send the administration and the
Regents a message presented itself.
Everyone received that message
loudly and clearly. It is the same
message the Regents and ad-
ministration often use to justify the
denial of students' rights - students
r just don't care.

MANAGUA - "Anastasio
Somoza cultivates evil. Hatred
and ambition are in control in
Nicaragua;" said Father Florian
Ruskamp, a leader of 34 North
American Capuchin priest-
missionaries in Nicaragua.
To this veteran cleric, politics
and religion go hand in hand. He
views the Roman Catholic Chur-
ch as torn between those who
wish to uphold its patriarchal
traditions and younger clerics
who see political liberation as
part of God's work.
"The internalrchurch struggle
is between the strong military
advocates and socialist-
democracy," Father Florian told
Pacific News Service. Adherents
of the latter view regard their
religion as linked to the poor,
while those advocates of the
status quo cling to the rich and
. Six years after participating in
a reformist conference in
Medillin, Columbia, the
Nicaraguan church hierarchy
denounced Somoza in 1974 for his
brutality against the population,
and for his corruption in gover-
nment and business (Somoza
owns and controls nearly one-
third of the economy).
Then in 1975, after successful
guerrille attacks on the guardia,
Somoza's U.S. - trained troops
launched a Vietnam-type coun-
ter-insurgency operation against
peasant villages in the north and
northeast of. the country. Hun-
dreds were killed, and hundreds
more. were incarcerated in
'relocation camps." Military of-
ficers and right-wing landowners
confiscated community property
and lands for their own profit.
These massacres were exposed
and denounced by Capuchin
priests. Father Florian recounts
the terror in the countryside
during that time.
"The guardia started the
massacres in Matagalpa where
Sandino lived ,(Augusto Cesar
Sandino, one of'Latin America's
original nationalist guerrillas, for
whom the Sadinista National
Liberation Front, FSLN, is
"Some entire villages were
burned to the ground andbevery
living being murdered. Babies
heads were smashed on the
ground. Those not slaughtered
were forced into concentration
camps. At least one camp
remains," Father Florian said.
The Capuchins practice a form
of primitive communism in the
jungle villages of the northeast
and north where they have set up
egalitarian, self-sufficient com-
munities involving some 800
Another opening in the conser-
vative Nicaraguan church facade
occurred when internationally
renbwned poet-priest Ernesto
Cardinal declared his allegiance
to the revolutionary FSLN.
"I am a Sadinista, a militant
nationalist guerrilla," the black-

bereted, gray-haired man told
Pacific News Agency last month.
"I joined last year because
young people and older peasants
came to me and talked of the ef-
ficacy of joining the FSLN. Was it
Christian? Was it right? When we
analyzed the reality of
Nicaragua, we knew that the
FSLN was the only way. ,Many
joined. I watched them fight
valiantly, without becoming
brutes, without torturing the

By Ron Ridenour

reign of justice."
Father Garcia cited a passage
from the Medellin document
written by the Bishops of Latin
America in explaining his action:
"Revolutionary insurrection
can be legitimate in the case'of
prolonged tyranny which gravely.,
affects the fundamental rights of
persons and endangers' the com-
mon good of the country."
The times were revolutionary
and the church began to accede to

'With rifle in hand, full of faith
and full of love for my
Nicaraguan people, I will fight
to the end for the coming of the
reign of justice .
-Sacred Heart priest
Gaspar Garcia Laviana

mander, Eden Pastora (Zero),.;-
also had been a seminary
After the guardia suppressed
the insurrection last September
by bombing and burning four
cities (Esteli had 80 per cent.. _
structural damage), Nicaragua's
Archbishop, Miguel-Obando.
Bravo, excommunicated those
members of the army who had
violated church ethics in their
repression. Scores of
Nicaragua's 350 priests inter-
preted this rare official censure
as a mandate for more direct ac-
tion. They harbor fugitives andu ,
guerrillas, and support small
cells of youths who live clan-
destinely in the cities. Most o the
former students are not members
of the FSLN but hide for fear of
being killed by soldiers.
One priest in Leon, the second
largest city and one of those
bombarded by the air force and
tank battalions, helps gover-
nment outlaws survive nHe ob-
served, "The people only had
hope in the FSLN during the in-
surrection, but now they are
Other leaders believe the
people are all the more ready to
wage war against Somoza.
"The war will end only when,.
people are ready to die," said,
Jaime Chamorro, brother of
martyred Pedro Joaquin
Chamorro and a key leader in the
Broad Opposition Front currently :
negotiating a possible plebescite
with Somoza's ruling party.
"If you believe in a future, you
must fight," he said. "Many must
die. The only way to convince the
entire church to support thefinal ..
fight to overthrow the dictator-
ship is for there to be more suf-
fering. It is sad, but true."
Father Florian carries the
point further: "What can be wor- :
se thanthe Somoza dictatorship?
We must destroy the myth of
Somoza'a anti-communist
propaganda. Who the hell cares if
communism comes tomorrow,
we can live with it. We must do all
we can to stop this tyranny."
This Capuchin is not the voice
of the entire church but his views
are well entrenched in the an-
cient tradition.tMany clergy
believe as he does that for
religion to be relevant to the
future of poverty- stricken Latin
America it "must be involved
,where the people are, and more
and more are breaking out of the
entrapment of capitalism. The
church is inclined to support
socialism in some ways in order
to achieve justice and peace."
Ron Ridenour writes for
many national and regional
publications. He recently
spent one month in Nicaragua
and Central America traveling
with priests and guerrilla
fighters. This article was writ-
ten for Pacific News Service.

Ai a
A 'holy war' in.Iran

continues to foment, it appears
ever more likely that the country will
be cast into an unfortunate bloody civil
Three late developments indicate the
possibility of what some would call a
"holy war" for Iran. First, when
Prime Minister Shahpur Bakhtiar
closed all Iranian airports the other
day he effectively blocked the return of
Ayatollah Rudollah Khomeini, the
religious leader who has orchestrated
the anti-government protest from
Paris where he lives in exile. Although
the Bakhtiar government explained
that the airport shutdown was a result.
of strikes in the country, it appears
that it was actually intended to stop
what seemed to be an irrespressible
movement to install Mr. Khomeini as
the leader of Iran.
The second indication was the
government announcement that all
public demonstrations would be
prohibited. It appears that this move
was made in direct response to an anti-
government procession scheduled for
Saturday, the anniversary of Moham-

med's death. The crackdown on
protest promises to be strict. For the
first time since the disturbances began
the military, has issued 120-millimeter
shells to the crews of tanks on guard.
The military strongly favors the return
of the shah, but has formed something
of an alliance with the Bakhtiar gover-
nment. That alliance at this point is
rather tenuous.
Last, Mr. Bakhtair, who is barely
holding his government together and
could not do so without the aid of the
military, has offered to resign and call
elections for a constituent assembly
for concessions from the Ayatollah.
But if Mr. Khomeini accepts a com-
promise, it would probably only be
temporary at best. Once in Iran Mr.
Khomeini would certainly be swept in-
to power. At that point the military
would stage the coup which Mr.
Bakhtiar is trying desperately to
avert. Considering the religious fervor
which motivates the anti-government
demonstrations and the violence, it
would be almost impossible to thwart
the "holy war" which Mr. Khomeini

enemy as .they are tortured. I
decided I could not hide from my
Christian, my patriotic duty,"
Cardenal, a Thomas Merton sup-
porter, said with pride.
The old man does not bear a
gun, as do other parties. He
organizes for material and
spiritual aid and for his fighting
One of those comrades, Sacred
Heart priest Gaspar Garcia
Laviana, joined the revolutionary
fighters a year ago Christmas.
"During Christinastime, when
we celebrate the birth of Jesus,
Our Lord and Savior, who came
into the world to announce the
Kingdom of. Justice, I want to
speak to you as my brothers and
sisters in Christ, and share with
you my decision to enter the
clandestine struggle as a soldier
of the Lord and as a soldier of the
National Liberation Front of
Sandino," he wrote in a widely
circulated message to fellow
He spoke of sacrificing in the
revolutionary struggle with all
guerrilla factions, diverse
Marxist's and Christian
Democrats alike.
"With rifle in hand, full of faith
.and full of love for my
Nicaraguan people, I will fight to
the end for the coming of the

"I am a Christian. The frater-
nity of brotherhood in natural
among us and guerrillas alike..
We share all food and resources,"
said a 21-year-old seminary
student who killed army soldiers
during the insurrection last
August-September, which
claimed some 6,000 lives, accor-
ding to Red Cross figures.
He joined with the guerrillas
after his 13-year-old brother had
his fingers cut off by guardia
troops last July forprotesting
Somoza's rule. Interviewed in a
"safe house", he said he trained
in the arroyos, mountains and
beaches near his native Jinotepe,
in southern Nicaragua.
"We didn't have many weapons
- some store-bought pistols and
rifles mostly, and some M-Is we'd
stolen from the U.S. - equipped
guardia. We learned how to sur-
vive in the jungle, how to fight
hand-to-hand, how to handle
weapons. Then we raided srmy
patrols. I'm adGod-fearing man,
but I felt good to shoot a guar-
dia," the young guerrilla said.
The dominant group of
guerrillas - the Third Way fac-
tion which hopes to install a
popular democratic government
after Somoza is overthrown - ac-
tively recruits Catholic members
and clergy. Their military com-


Samoff: One of few

Disaster for Michigan


To the Daily:
The Black Matters Committee
gives full support and-joins with
fellow students and concerned
faculty in their efforts to have the
grievances in the tenure decision
against Assistant Professor Joel
Samoff by the Political Science
Department redressed.
In a department more than
willing to establish- committees
and devote endless hours and ef-
fort to legislate perfunctory
measures aimed at attracting
and recruiting black and other
minority graduate students,
Samoff has been one of only a few
willing and working to create an
atmosphere conducive to our
education and retention here at
Michigan. Samoff has taken the
time, expended the energy, and
on numerous occasions even
transcended the boundaries of
his primary areas of expertise to
advise, counsel and construc-
tively criticize the worked and
research efforts of many of our
If one of the primary functions
of this University is to educate its
students, it should not take such
interactions lightly. In fact, they
should be underscored. For they
are crucial in the educational
process if students are to intellec-
tually develop and excell in
scholarly endeavors. Consequen-
tly, with few faculty in the

means employed tocontain it -
the delineation of the lexicon by
department officials such that
the demarcation between rigor in
research and mode of research
were publicized as one and the
same, and ultimately accepted
by most, if not all parties
engaged in the tenure process,
such that the type of
methodology, not excellence, was
established as the prime criterion
for evaluating his published and
ongoing research. Furthermore,
the fact that he is recognized as
one of the top Africanist and
political economist of his
generation by distinguished
scholars in his field of expertise
make it difficult,, if not im-
possible, to accept the claim of
the Department Chairman,
Professor Samuel H. Barnes that
the decision to deny Samoff a
recommendation for tenure was
due to a lack of rigor in his
research and based solely on
professional merit.
If so, what were the qualifying
bench marks? His student coun-
seling and performance. in the
classroom are an exemplification
of teaching at its finest. In ad-
dition, Samoff's department and
university service are far above
the norm in both quantity and
quality. As for his ongoing
research and publications, 'the
high marks frnm distinguished

To the Daily:
Disaster is in store for
Michigan energy and environ-
ment policy if the state senate
gives Senator Joe Mack the chair
of the newly-formed energy and
natural resources committee.
Environmentalists "do to this
country what others would have
to do with bombs," Mack says.
He has stalled or scuttled en-
vironmental protection bills,
while campaigning to weaken
existing environmental laws.
His conservation committee for
the last, four years has been a
continual source of frustration.
With the combining of energy
and conservation into one Senate
committee, Chairman Mack
would sabotage the state's ability
to deal with critical issues in the
coming four years. Michigan's,
legislature must act soon on solar
energy, energy conservation,
consumer protection for utility
customers, and other issues that
Chairman Mack would be sure to
Senator John Hertel is vying
with Mack for the seat. The ad-
visory committee on committees
has recommended Senator Her-
tel. But Mack, second-ranking in
seniority among Democratic
state senators, will muster votes
on the Senate floor when the issue

comes up January 29 or shortly
The Public Interest Research
Group in Michigan (PIRGIM) is
actively lobbying for Senator
Hertel as chair for the commit-
tee. Lansing PIRGIM staff mem-
bers are visiting state senators,
and a delegation of Ann Arbor
groups coordinated by PIRGIM's
University of Michigan chapter
has met with Senate Majority
Leader William Faust.
Senator Mack is opposed by the
Sierra Club, Common Cause, En-
vironmenta} Action of Michigan,
East. Michigan Environmental
Action Council, West Michigan
E.A.C., Michigan Citizens Lobby,
and others throughout the state.
-i Public concern is what influen-
ces senators most, and letters to
your state senator can make the
difference. Because the time
span is so short, a brief note
hastile mailed today will be more
effective than a longer letter
penned later. Write to your
senator at the State Capitol, Lan-
The vote on who chairs the
energy and natural resources
committee will set the stage for
policy progress or legislative
lethargy in the next four years.
-Steve Freedkin
Executive Director,
PIRGIM, Lansing


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