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October 24, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1975-10-24

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WHILE THE FRENCH, Portuguese and Americans
have all abandoned colonial wars, the bankrupt
British are still involved in two major counter-
insurgency operations. One is in Ireland. The other is
in Oman-a sultanate the size of Colorado which sits
at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the world's most
strategic waterway.
British newspapers are now running ads for ex-
British military pilots to serve three-year stints in the
Omani air force, with generous tax-free starting pay
and side benefits. Mercenaries are only the tip of the
For 11 years, rebel tribesmen in Dhofar province-
organized under the leftist Popular Front for the
Liberation of Oman (PFLOAG)-have been battling the
stolidly pro-Western Omani government for indepen-
dence. Theirs' is now the only revolutionary war direct-
ly involving major outside powers anywhere in the
As the annual June-September monsoon season ends,
fighting has escalated in western Dhofar, near the
border of radical socialist South Yemen. The guerrillas
now reportedly possess hand-carried SAM ground-to-air
missiles, and both Popular Front and government
sources predict major clashes in the next few weeks.
DHOFAR OFFERS AN ideal setting for counter-
insurgency operations. The area is relatively small
(10,000 square miles); its population, under 200,000,
lives like the rest of Oman in 14th century conditions.
(Oman in 1970 had an infant mortality rate of 75 per
cent, three primary schools, one hospital, no press and
five per cent literacy rate in a population of 750,000.)
Guerrilla supply lines to South Yemen run through
mountains less than 20 miles wide. Compared to
Algeria, Vietnam, or Malaya, the fighting is simple.
Yet the rebels have survived-and grown, though
since 1973 they have faced government forces beefed
up by several thousand Iranian soldiers and Iranian
helicopter gunships, and coordinated by British military
The Sultan's war today in fact bears an unmistakable
British stamp.

Officially the British admit to only 600 military
personnel in Oman, but there are actually over 2,000
-irrcluding combat officers and pilots; training opera-
tives and communications experts at the two RAF
bases of Solala (in Dhofar) and Masirah. The elite
branch is the 200-man Special Air Services (SAS), a
counter-insurgency unit used in behind - the - line
missions and for training local forces.
IN THE WORDS of one British officer, Dhofar is
"the last place in the world where an Englishman is
still called sahib." British tactics in fact draw heavily
on the lessons of previous British colonial wars. For
~ ,-
"Officially the British admit to only
600 military personnel in Oman, but
there are actually over 2,000 . .
Dhofar is the last place in the world
where an Englishman is still called
sahib. British tactics in fact draw
heavily on the lessons of previous
British colonial wars."
example, in Kenya the British relied on groups of
deserters from nationalist and tribal forces, called
"counter gangs," for intelligence gathering and combat
In Oman, the counter-gang policy has been developed
by SAS training teams since 1970. Over 1,000 Dhofaris
have been organized in tribal squads for counter-
guerrilla actions. They are now particularly strong in
eastern Dhofar, where, according to British reports,
anarchy prevails as armed tribal groups monopolize
power and operate protection rackets around desert
wells. Thus, while the Popular Front has tried to
eliminate tribal differences, the British have actively
revived them.

'We regret that you were mugged. It's strictly
against company policy now, you know.'

Two other British tactics-first used in the Boer
Wars but updated in the Malayan Emergency in the
1950's-are referred to as food control and population
control. The terms mean starvation and forced re-
WHILE AIRFORCE, NAVY and artillery detachments
systematically bombard guerrilla-held areas, destroying
animals, crops, wells and mountain paths, British
construction workers have completed nine resettlement
centers as part of this food and population control
project. Dhofar's mountain population-where guer-
rilla strength is greatest-faces two alternatives: death
from shelling or starvation, or resettlement in govern-
ment-controlled centers. Several thousand in recent
months have fled to 'neighboring South Yemen, but
most have been relocated in the nine centers, and
others newly built around Dhofar's capital Solala.
The centers are guarded by barbed wire fences and
check points, which not only keep the inhabitants under
control but prevent them from taking food out to the
Air power is the government's key weapon against
the rebels. Besides terrorizing' and attacking the
liberated areas, it is used for intelligence gathering and
to increase mobility of government forces. The sultan
is now using helicopter-borne troops, backed by British
and Iranian forces,, to launch an extensive offensive
in northwest Dhofar.
THERE IS NO sign that the British or Iranians are
planning to cease their intervention. The Iranians, who
want to be the arbiters of politics in the Persian Gulf,
claim the British do not want the war to end because
of the excellent miliary training offered by the Dhofar
war. The British accuse the Iranians of relying too
much on American Vietnam-style tactics, of using too
much firepower and not enough ground fighting.
Meanwhile the Sultan, offering pilots lucrative, three-
year contracts, leaves no doubt he envisages a long
term war, even with foreign assistance.
Fred Halliway is a British free lance writer who
speciaizes in the Mid East. Copyright PNS 1975.
per pushers
ing, the status quo is bound to be upset.
A truly effective solution to the housing problem
would require sterner measures than the mere addi-
tion of a few housing inspectors or the construction of
a few more units. To really solve the problem, individ-
uals involved must be ready to compromise to a
meaningful degree. If long-term improvement of the
housing problem is to be realized, this premise must
be fully accepted.
THE CLAIM THAT the Fair Rental Practices Com
mittee is biased in favor of the landlords, is not true.
There are as many tenant activists as landlords, as
well as a number of individuals who do not seem to
cloarlv fall on either side of the issue.
Whatever comes ot of this committee will repre-
sent the work of representatives of all parts of the
community, and should be respected as such.
A final point: whatever does emerge from the Com-
mittee can have no impact if it does not pass City
Council. City Council will make the final decisions. The
Committee for Fair Rental Practices should keep this
in mind as they proceed with their work.
The Fair Rental Practices Committee is holding
mublic hearings, so if you would like to voice your opin-
ions of the Ann Arbor housing situation, you should
attend them.
Hearings will be held at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 28, at the
Community Center and at 3 p.m., Nov. 5, in East

± tw LM 40 § n ait.
Eighty-Six Years of Editorial Freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Rental group not just pa

Friday, October 24, 1975

News Phone: 764-0552

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, M'i. 48104
Matlovich: Double standard

to further court consideration of
the case, Judge Gerhard Gesell's re-
fusal to prevent the Air Force from
discharging Sargeant Leanord Mat-
lovich because of his homosexual pre-.
ference was both a severe blow to
the hopes of civil libertarians nation-
wide and a reaffirmation of the dou-
ble standard of justice affecting
military personnel.
For Matlovich, the decision prob-
ably wasn't a surprising one. Since
he dramatically revealed his sexual
preference late last summer, and
subsequently became the focus of
much national attention, the Sar-
geant has repeatedly expressed doubt
that his military life could continue
The discharge order officially went
into effect yesterday - bringing a
distinguished 12-year career record
to an abrupt end.
The Air Force has once again
upheld their hallowed tradition of
going "by the book" in this particu-
lar case, something which Judge.Ge-
sell himself called a tragedy of the
case. Matlovich was merely caught
up in the inertia of the insensitive
military machine.
And the tragedy is more than a
personal one. The Matlovich case
cuts deeply into the traditionally un-
reasoning logic that has governed all
of the military's personnel interac-
THE FACT IS that many of Matlo-
vich's contemporaries knew he
was homosexual and probably more
than a few military officials knew it.
NEWS: Gordon Atcheson, Steve Hersh,
Rob Meachum, Jim Nicoll, Cathy
Reutter, Jeff Sorensen
Steve Harvey, Paul Haskins, Jon
ARTS PAGE: James Valk
Enjoy, enjoy
IT'S HARD TO imagine a more inop-
portune time for such temperate
weather to visit Ann Arbor. Im-
mersed in midterm exams and the
opening phases of the infamous se-
mester projects, most students are
finding it difficult to spend an hour
sunning on the Diag, much less take
out time for a walk through the Arb.
This is all because the Almighty
Weathermaker deems it amusing to
bless us with sunshine when most of
us are tramped in the basement of

It never affected his record, nor his
performance. In times of both war
and peace Sergeant Matl9vich ful-
filled his duties without exception.
Matlovich and his friends, more-
over, have never made an effort to
impose their sexual preference on
others. They have their own bars,

SINCE THE END of August, a little publicized, but
potentially effective committee has been meeting.
This is Mayor Wheeler's Blue Ribbon Committee on
Fair Rental Practices. Set up amid cries that council
members were not living up to their campaign pro-
mises concerning the housing crisis; many people ex-
pressed doubts that this committee could ever accom-
plish anything.
After all, hadn't there been a previous committee
set up to study Rent Control, and hadn't that turned
out to be a negative do-nothing committee?
People also complained the Fair Rental Practices
Committee was too large, 18 diverse individuals. How
could a group of people that large get anything ac-
complished? Finally people complained that the Com-
mittee was biased, that it was weighed in favor of
the housing industry.
Though the committee and its purposes sparked
considerable discussion when it was formed two
months ago, there hasn't been sustained public interest
in the issue since then.
A number of points have to be mentioned.
First of all, it is doubtful that this Committee will
be a do nothing committee. It has been charged with
the responsibility of not only analyzing the housing
problem, but of finding solutions to it.
THE COMMITTEE has been divided into subcom-
mittees, each with their particular task. One of these

subcommittees is devoted entirely to solutions. Most of
the individuals on this subcommittee think they have
a good idea of what the-housing problem is about and
are concentrating on creative ways of solving it. They
have discussed ideas ranging from the renovation of
abandoned houses to the establishment of rent control
based on supply, to the issuance of long term mort-
gages so that more tenants can afford to buy houses.
It is doubtful that such a solution-oriented group will
fail to come up with some feasible solutions.
Although the committee is large, its size has not
hampered it. Recent meetings have proved much
more productive than the chaotic first few. Of course,
real test as to whether the committee will be effec-
tive or not will come when all the research now being
done by the subcommittees is completed. Only then
will its decision-making power come into play, and
there are some extremely controversial decisions to
be made. It will be very difficult (if not impossible)
to create solutions to the housing problem that will
not affect some party negatively.
IF NOTHING IS done, the tenants will surely claim
they've been had. If something like rent control is
proposed, the landlords will claim their rights as
free market operators have been compromised. And
if some type of city aid is called for, Council will balk
at the prosnect of an unbearable fiscal burden. When
a committee is charged with a task as great as de-
veloping a solution to so complex a problem as hous-


own meeting-places. They have
unsuccessfully to keep the case
becoming a media madness.
were just trying, as homosex-
have tried nationally, to put
the cloak of grief and shame
society has chosen to blanket

them in.

The Air Force has said that
homosexuality in their ranks creates
morale problems, but there have
never been any such complaints on
Matlovich's base in Langley, Virginia.
The discharge perhaps instead struck
a vicious blow to the morale of other
gay military men and women who
have long wanted to lead an accept-
ed public life.
WILL THERE EVER be a time when
public law can have any sway
with the military? Are they to re-
main forever, particularly in peace-
time, an isolated entity? The mili-
tary so often expresses a desire to
see their men and women lead nor-
mal lives in the community, but
when will they help put this idea
into practice?
Editorial Staff
DAVID BLOMQUIST ................ Arts Editor
BARBARA CORNELL .. Sunday Magazine Editor
PAUL HASKINS..............Editorial Director
JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY Sunday Magazine Editor
SARA RIMER................ Executive Editor
STEPHEN SELBST................City Editor
JEFF SORENSON............. Managing Editor
MARY LONG .......... Sunday Magazine Editor
STAFF WRITERS: Susan Ades, Tom Allen, Glen
Allerhand, Ellen Breslow, Mary Beth Dillon,
Ted Evanoff, Jim Finklestein, Elaine Fletch-
er, Stephen Hersh, Debra Hurwitz, Lois Josi-
movich, Doc Kralik, Jay Levin, Andy Lilly,
Ann Marie Lipinski, George Lobsenz, Pauline
Lubens, Rob Meachum, Robert Miller, Jim
Nicoll, Cathy Reutter, Jeff Ristine, Tim
Schick, Katherine Spelman, Steve Stojic, Jim
Tobin, Bill Turque, Jim valk, David Wein-
berg, Sue Wilhelm, David whiting, Margaret
Photography Staff
Chief Photographer
STEVE KAGAN ..............Staff Photographer
PAULINE LUBENS ..........Staff Photographer
Sports Staff
Sports Editor
MARCIA MERKER ........ Executive Editor



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To The Daily:
members of the LSA Student
Government wish to reply pub-
licly to a letter printed by the
Daily on Wednesday, October
22, 1975.
We are members of different
political organizations, and in
some cases, members of no
particular organization; approxi-

Faye, also a member of LSA-
Among the major points of
disagreement are the following:
The rejection of Mr, Faye's mo-
tion was not "an inhumane ges-
ture" nor a function of "the
size of each member's heart"
nor are we against "helping
some kids with a crippling dis-



D ii.l

was spent is this form. This
year we have approximately
$5,000 to go toward financial
contributions to students on
campus. This responsibility to-
ward students' needs has in-
creased considerably in a year
when the University, S.G.C.,
and the Rackham Student Gov-
ernment have significantly de-
creased amounts of money avail-

ties which serve the needs of
students at the University, and
secondly those which can not
get funding elsewhere.
O There are literally thou-
sands of charitable organiza-
zations worthy of support. How
then might the LSA-SG deter-
mine which of these many do-
ing constructive work deserve
our support? And what then

administrative and organization-
al support, it would have been
Lastly, LSA Student Govern-
ment members are not intimi-
dated by roll call votes; when
and if an important issue arises,
and if five members request
such a vote, a roll call is taken.
It is in the interests of com-
pleting our meetings in a rea-

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