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January 22, 1980 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1980-01-22

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Page 4-Tuesday, January 22, 1980-The Michigan Daily

Is Khomeini still in control?


Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom

Vol. XC, No. 91

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Pakistan aid plan is enough

'Afghanistan has raised fears that
the national security of neighboring
Pakistan may be seriously threatened.
But Soviet intentions in that area of the
world have implications not only for
the nations in the region, but for the en-
tire Western world. Correspondingly,
the United states last week offered a
two-year, $400 million aid package to
the government of Pakistan.
Presumably, the U.S. government
would prefer to have a strong Pakistan
check Soviet aggression before it
becomes necessary for other coun-
tries, or even the United Stares, to do
But Pakistan's President Moham-
mad Zia ul-Haq has termed the
proposed aid "peanuts" and is deman-
ding more. General Zia obviously
would like to milk the perceived threat
of further Soviet aggression-whether
real or imagined-for all it's worth.
General Zia hopes he can trick or
frighten a jumpy United States by
crying "the Russians are coming, the
Russians are coming." General Zia is
no fool. He sees that the money coming
from the United States can reinforce
not only the national security of his
nation, but the security of his own
political regime as well.
The United States has played this
game before. Historically, in Latin
American nations and other relatively
weak countries around the world, a
whisper of a communist threat is all

that has been necessary to open the
floodgates for U.S. military and
economic aid.
This U.S. support of often-repressive
regimes-not unlike General
Zia's-has gotten the U.S. into inter-
national hot water before. It can do so
again unless the government is
cautious in its hand-outs to nations that
may be threatened.
The'U.S. aid proposal is certainly not
"peanuts." The State Department has
calculated that the proposed assistan-
ce-half military and half
economic-would substantially in-
crease Pakistan's ability to discourage
Soviet aggression. And General Zia is
certainly in no position to refuse the
aid, which the State Department said
will probably be accompanied by ad-
ditional assistance from other Western
It is unfortunate that the U.S. is in a
position where its vital interests call
for support of a regime such as
General Zia's. But if the Stdte Depar-
tment is sufficiently cautious in the
amount and the use of funds, perhaps
the U.S. can avoid the responsibility
for entrenching another repressive
The aid to Pakistan must be
monitored carefully to prevent abuse
of the funds. The only real reason for
the aid is the Soviet, threat, and the
U.S. had better make sure the money is
being used to counter that threat and
not the threat of one of General Zia's
domestic political rivals.

A rumor has surfaced in recent weeks
among Iran-watchers and knowledgeable
Iranians that those masterminding the oc-
cupation of the U.S. Embassy are only
masquerading as supporters of the Ayatollah
Khomeini, and are, in fact, dedicated to his
ouster as head of the Iranian state.
The rumor seems, on the surface, to be one
of those flights of fancy that analysts indulge
in when they run out of hard information. Yet
in delving into the reasons why such a theory
may be plausible, a pattern of facts relating
to the course of the entire revolution emerges,
shedding a new light on the conduct of the
Ayatollah Khomeini.
WHEN ONE WATCHES the evening news
every night and sees thousands of Iranians
shouting anti-American slogans, it seems as
though Iran is united in support of Khomeini
and opposition to the United States. Whereas
the latter may be true, the former certainly is
not. Several groups are highly opposed to
Khomeini, they are extremely well organized,
well armed and well trained. They are
fanatically dedicated to the Iranian
revolution; but not to Khomeini's Islamic
Revolution. Theirs is a secular revolution
largely friendly to leftist ideas and adamantly
opposed to all ties to the West, as well as to the
influences of religioussauthority in the
establishment of the new state.
It is difficult to group these revolutionaries
under a single heading. They format least
half a dozen major guerrilla organizations of
varying size and political persuasion that
have been active in Iran for many years,
some extending back to the Mossadeq eraof
the early 1950s and before. Some are staun-
chly communist, though not necessarily sup-
porters of Moscow; others ally themselves
with the ideals of the Palestine Liberation
Organization; still others model their ac-
tivities on the philosophy of Libyan
strongman Colonel Ghaddafi.
Many of these groups had been carrying out
guerrilla operations against the government
of the Shah from various outposts in the
remote mountains and forests of the country
for some time. Fortified with training in Cuba
and PLO camps and dedicated to the ovr-
throw of the Shah, they saw a perfect oppor-
tunity in latching on the powerful charismatic
leadership of Khomeini to achieve their goals.
They claimed before Khomeini's arrival in
Iran from Paris that he was simply a means
to an end, and that when he had served his
purpose, he too, would be gotten rid of.
IN THE SHORT period between the
arrival of Khomeini in Iran and the fall of the
Bakhtiar government in February, scuffles
between Khomeini's true supporters and the
armed guerrilla groups and their supporters
had already begun on the Tehran University
campus. Islamic fundamentalists were at-
tacking leftist speakers and destroying leftist
revolutionary literature despite calls for
unity by their leaders.
The leftist groups viewed the Islamic
republic with deep suspicion. Noting the ex-
tensive financial and political support
provided Khomeini by the bazaar merchant
class, they felt certain that commercial in-
terests would eventually drive Iran back into
an alliance with the West. Mustafa Madani,
leader of a collective of several guerrilla
movements known popularly (but incorrec-
tly) in the Western press as the "Fedayeen, "
was quoted in the Middle East Journal in Sep-
tember as saying, "The Government is the
true representative of this new, dynamic
capitalist class whose natural ally.will sooner
of later be the U.S. again, and a capitalist
mode of development. As long as they pray
and clamour for unity, they are all right with
The events leading to the fall of the
Bakhtiar regime had been engineered en-
tirely by these guerrilla groups. In fact, the
February uprising against the Shah's army at
the Doshan-Tepe Air Base in East

By William Beeman
Tehran-the event that actually put Khomeini
in power-now appears to have been entirely
planned by the leftist guerrillas, despite
claims at the time that is was a spontaneous
INDEED. KHOMEINI was so stunned by
the event that he lapsed into silence for two
full days. The first member of the religious

. demonstrate their strength and
" put Khomeini on notice that they must be
recognized and represented;
" show the Iranian people that once again
they were able to act decisively in accom-
plishing revolutionary goals where
Khomeini's supporters had failed;
* estrange the United States permanently
from involvement in Iran;
.and give them a chance to discredit their



AP Photo
ONE OF THE IRANIANS inside of the U.S. embassy compound in Tehran takes several tapes
of Sunday's Super Bowl game from a California radio reporter. Some observers believe that
the militant students holding the hostages are becoming more isolated and more radical and
will no longer come out into the public view. Students such as this one may be messengers for
the militants, rather than members of the group.

Sanctions are a bad idea

O N NBC TV's "Meet the Press"
this past Sunday, President Car-
ter reaffirmed his intention to impose
economic sanctions against Iran "that
would encourage therm to release their
hostages." In view of the fact that the
U.S. was unable to push any kind of in-
ternational measures through the
United Nations, and since there is
some possibility that other circum-
stances may secure the hostages'
release anyway, it would appear ill-
advised to forge ahead with the plan-
ned sanctions at this time.
For a host of reasons, Carter cannot
concede any major point to the
militants in Tehran. Were he to agree
to work for the deportation of the Shah
to stand trial in Iran, terrorist action
might soon become the accepted modus
operandi for any violently-inclined
group in the world which has some
complaint or other to settle with the
U.S. While some nations may have
legitimate grievances against this
country, we must . insist that they
address their pleas through more ac-
ceptable forums, such as the U.N. and
the International Court of Justice.
Backing off the proposed economic
measures could not reasonably be con-
strued as a major concession. The

Soviet Union has killed the attempt at a
larger-scale set of sanctions; the U.S.
would be acting on its own, with an ef-
feet no more conspicuous than the ver-
bial whistling in the wind..
Furthermore, Iran's other problems
may soon force it to release the
hostages, provided that its leaders can
do so without complete loss of face. For
a while, .Ayatollah Khomeini had the
world convinced that Iran was
possessed of great solidarity and was
unified behind him. It has become in-
creasingly evident that that is not the
case. Shiite Muslims are at odds with
Sunnis; Kurds are dissatisfied with the
leadership; leftist factions are
clamoring for liberal reforms; and
many Shiites are lining up behind
religious leaders more moderate than
Khomeini. The belief that the militants
holding the embassy are operating in-
dependently of the national leader-
ship appears to be well-founded.
Lastly, the Soviet presence in
Afghanistan may shock the Ayatollah
and his cohorts into the realization that
their geographical position£ requires
powerful friends in the world. It would
further both Iran's and U.S. interests
to join in staving off the Soviet threat.
That consideration alone may win us
back our men and women in Tehran.

hierarchy to issue any statement on the
uprising was the late Ayatollah Taleghani,
who happened to be the one religious leader in
close contact with the guerrillas.
The breach between Khomeini and the lef-
tists came quickly. Sadeq Qotbzadeh, whom
Khomeini appointed as head of the National
Iranian Radio-Television, banned the broad-
cast of all communiques from leftist guerrilla
groups. On February 15, he went on the air to
announce that, "This was an Islamic
revolution and no one else had a part in it."
The next day Hashem Sabaqian,
spokesman for Prime Minister Bazargan, an-
nounced: "The leftists have no place in this
IN THE MONTHS following, the guerrilla
groups were systematically harassed, houn-
ded out of the headquarters they had
established, and arrested. The most
significant arrest was that of Mohammad
Sadati, a leading member of the Mojahedin-e
Khalq "People's Crusader" group. Fourteen
prominent leftist student leaders, many of
whom had been acive in opposing the Shah's
regime from the United States and other
foreign countries, were also arrested and
nearly executed;sthey remain inrprison even
now. By July all leftist literature had disap-
peared from the streets and bookstores.
Disenfranchised, angry and frustrated, the
guerrilla groups declared that they "had gone
underground before and would do it again."
Clearly, one of the best strategic plans that
these groups could adopt to show the gover-
nment that they are still a force to reckon
with would be an operation such as the
takeover of the U.S. embassy, accomplished
with delicious poetic justice in Khomeini's

enemies in Khomeini's inner circle: Bar-
zargan, Yazdi, Bani-Sadr, Qotbzadeh, and
perhaps Khomeini himself.
The theory may seem far-fetched, but if it is
true, the United States must face the sad fact
that Khomeini is being held hostage every bit
as much as the United States.
Khomeini's own careful, stepwise en-
croachment in gaining influence over the
decision-making within the U.S. compound,
added to the seemingly inability of his suc-
cession of foreign ministers to make their
pronouncements on the situation carry and
weight with the embassy occupiers, seems to
support this possibility.
The people who effectively put him in
power, and whom he later, renounced, may
indeed now be exacting a grim revenge
through the embassy takeover: the United
States finishes off Khomeini; Iran never
forgives the United State; and the leftists
are permanently rid of two principal ob-
stacles to their capture of the government.
Khomeini has made spectacular use of the
embassy takeover to achieve social solidarity
and political goals. He has also gained con-
siderable control over tlie embassy situation.
If it indeed proves to be his enemies and not
his supporters who are holding the U.S.
hostages, Americans will be put in the odd
position of rooting for the Ayatollah, hoping
that he has a few more good moves up his
William Beeman teaches anthropology
at Brown University and has spent seven
of the last 12 years living and studying in
Iran. He wrote this piece for the Pacific
News Service.


Letters to the Daily
YS A opinion affront to dignity.

To the Daily:
The 18 January 1980 article
"The Peace Threat Doesn't Come
From Moscow" by the Young
Socialist Alliance is an affront to
human dignity and moral con-
sciousness. Your "newspaper"

has sunk to an all-time low by
printing it. The article sanctions
the wholesale enslavement and
slaughter of the Afghan people by.
the Soviet government. There is
no justification for this carnage!
It is chic (and convenient) to

blame the United States for
everything wrong in the world
today. If the sun fails to rise
tomorrow I'll know it's our fault.
But if we are to blame for the
butchery in Afghanistan it is
because our unilateral disar-

Afghanistan position clarified

To the Daily:
The Daily editorial, "Repor-
ters' ouster alarming" (Jan. 19)
made no attempt to clarify the
Afghan position. While American
journalists in Afghanistan
romanticized the Islamic rebels,
depicting them as desperate
freedom fighters in a hopeless
fight against tyranny, with no
help from the "free world," the
truth is categorically ignored.
Nothing constructive has
resulted from this slanted, if not
perpendicular, reporting. What
these "journalists who do their
job effectively" have been suc-
cessful at is plunging the world
intn annther cnld war inniar-

unmentioned that the socialist
regime in Kabul has made land
reform its political centerpiece.
Nor do the American press agen-
cies ever dare to whisper the
most atrocious crimes of the
Kabul government, the policies of
restricting the sale of women as
brides and little girls as
prostitutes. This is all beside the
point. The Afghan right to self-
determination is the issue, ac-
cording to Western correspon-
dents. If the Mullahs of
Afghanistan wish to follow the
Iranian precedent, fine. Just as
long as the Russians stay out of
the picture.

excuse for Carter to ignore his
campaign promises and be con-
sidered a patriot for doing so.
Certainly the expulsion will not
curtail the pouting which charac-
terizes the American journalists
response to Soviet success. It will
quite likely reinforce the public's
approval of the Pentagon's urge
to confront its adversary without
regard to the price we all will have
to pay. It will, however, replace
the first-hand half-truth reports
with second-hand half-truths
reports, thereby reducing the
credibility of the irreverent lust
for blood which these reporters

mament efforts have given the
Soviets free reign (reign of
terror) in the world. They are
merely resuming their goal of
world conquest, a goal
established when the communists
tools control of Russia.
This leaves the Afghan people
with two choices: Worship God
and face death or prison, or wor-
ship the Soviets and live under
their "protection." For true
Muslims this is no real choice at
all. The Soviets' god is too
small for them to worship.
So they die defending
Islam with slingshots while the
Soviets crush their country with
The article you printed
justified the extermination of the
people because of their religious
beliefs. Did you also print pro-
Nazi propaganda in the 1930's?
Freedom requires responsibility.
Your editorial staff ha' demon-
strated very little responsibility
in the past two years since I've
been here. To print this letter
would be a welcome start (I've
had several letters refused in the

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