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April 10, 1980 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-04-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


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Page 4-Thursday, April 10, 1980-The Michigan Daily

U.S. is
"In view of the fact that Archbishop tee of1
Romero was under constant permanent the j
police surveillance," states an Am- econo
nesty International spokesperson, impr
"questions must arise as to how the Bus
assassin was able to carry out the mur- is als
der." death
That's a good point. cordin
Yet merely one day after Romero's fice r
assassination, a U.S. State Department dingb
official assured Congress that milita
Washington will continue to support the "Ax
repressive Salvadoran junta that the gu
should be the key suspect in the mur- reforn
der. many
ch 28
DEPUTY Assistant Secretary of "inv
State John Bushnell told a subcommit- soph

io
sponso
the House of Representatives that
unta "is committed to basic
mic and social reforms and to the
ovement of human rights."
hnell failed to note that the junta
o responsible for more than 700
s since the beginning of 1980, ac-
ng to Archbishop Romero. His of-
eports 110 killings in the week en-
March 22 alone, as the result of
ary attacks on peasants.
rmy occupations of rural areas in
uise of carrying out the agrarian
rn have brought the deaths on
y peasant leaders," says the Mar-
Latin American Weekly Report,
what appears to be a highly
isticated counter-insurgency

ring
operation."

oppression in El Salvador

By Bob Warren

SINCE THE Carter administration is
currently seeking $5.7 million more in
arms for the Salvadoran regime, ithas
tried to hide exactly what the weapons
are being used for.
Instead, Washington points the finger
of guilt for the violence everywhere but
at itself and the Salvadoran junta.
- The most recent example is the at-
tempt to blame El Salvador's
revolutionary organizations for the
massacre during Archbishop Romero's
funeral. Some accounts in the big
business media even hinted that the left
was responsible for Romero's
assassination.
AND THE U.S. Defense Department
charges that Cuba is behind the violen-
ce in El Salvador.
"Cuban influence on El Salvador and
Honduran leftist organizations is
longstanding," a top official told the
House Subcommittee, "and there are
clear indications the Cubans are
assisting these groups in their attempt
to overthrow the current government in
El Salvador."
He charged that Cuba is using bases
in Honduras to train and arm the
Salvadorian freedom fighters.
Cuban president Fidel Castro has
made no secret of that country's
solidarity with the fight of the
Salvadoran workers and peasants. But
Washington's allegations are a shabby
attempt to distract attention from the
real crimes committed by the junta it
supports with the weapons it supplies.
ARCHBISHOP Romero, whom
hypocritical officials in Washington
now claim to mourn, was ignored by
them when he appealed for the cutoff of
U.S. arms aid to the junta.
"Undeniably, Romero's death sup-
plies powerful posthumous impetus to

his... appeal to Jimmy Carter to
retract its pending offer of military aid
to the civilian-military junta," admit-
ted an editorial in the March 26
Washington Post.
But the Post warns against jumping
to such a rash conclusion: "His mur-
der, however, would seem to underline
how intolerable it would be for the
United States to abandon the center now
and leave to field to the two extremes."
THIS IS the public excuse
Washington has been using for U.S.
support for its aid to the blood-drenched
regime.
But it is a transparently fake
justification for U.S. support to the
brutal suppression of the Salvadoran
workers and peasants, who are
struggling to free themselves from im-
poverishment and tyranny and their
country from imperialist domination.
U.S. Rep. Thomas Harkin, a
Democrat from Iowa, points out that
U.S. aid to the junta is "another signal
to everyone in El Salvador that the
United States is with the military. In
turn, that strengthens the military in its
convictiop that it's all right to repress
certain segments of the population
beginning with the left."
REPORTS FROM a number of sour-
ces-including an ex-member of the
Salvadoran junta, Hector Dada-put
the number of U.S. military advisers in
the field in El Salvador today at more
than thirty. The Pentagon is said to be
building three special helicopter bases
in the countryside for use in counterin-
surgency operations against peasant
struggles.
Opposition forces also charge that
Washington is secretly assembling an
army of. intervention using Puerto
Rican and Venezuelan troops. The
Venezuelan defense department has
denied involvement, but the

Venezuelan Congress has set up a
special commission to investigate
Salvadoran-Venezuelan relations,
"above all in military affairs."
The Salvadoran regime has already
received $50 million in U.S. "economic"
aid, and the U.S. Agency for Internation-
al Development announced March 28
that agreements have been signed to
provide another $13 million.
IN ADDITION, thecjunta is receiving
light weapons from Washington's
French and Israeli allies.
And this comes on top of decades of
U.S. aid and counter-insurgency
training to the Salvadoran army under
previous dictatorial regimes.

"The bullets that killed Salvadoran
Oscar Arnulfo Romero had "Made in
U.S.A." stamped all over them," the
socialist weekly Militant correc
stated.
People all over the world" who are
outraged by the murder of Archbishop
Romero and the massacre of hundreds
of other Salvadorans should recognize
that the U.S. is prime culprit for the
violence. The U.S.-sponsored
repression must cease immediately.
Bob Warren is a member of t
National Committee of the Youn
Socialist Alliance.

AP Photo
ARMED CIVILIANS STAND inside the Metropolitan Cathedral in San Salvadt
after violence began March 30 at Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero's funeral.

Arrnoto
TWO NURSES PAY homage to Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero at the Metro-
politan Cathedral in San Salvador on March 29. Romero was assassinated March 24.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

NviielY YeaIrs of IdAifo0rio Freed(1om

PIRGIM explains anti-draft position

Vol. XC, No. 151

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Food stamps a new victim,

MANY AMERICANS are pleased
about the fiscal concern that has
been seen recently in Washington, with
the president and Congress alike
rushing to cut government spending;in
hopes they will be able to present a
balanced budget to win voter approval
come November. It is reprehensible
that by far the most popular target of
budget cuts seems to be welfare
programs, while military spending is
consistently raised ever higher.
Food stamps may soon fall as one
victim of the thrifty atmosphere in
Washington, though not through any
specific legislative initiative. The
problem is simply that after a 1977
measure that expanded eligibility for
food stamps was passed, no funds were
allocated to cover the cost of the
change.
The temptation to laugh the problem
off as typical government bungling
does not address the reality of the
suffering that a delay in distribution of

the food stamps could cause,
particularly in the state of Michigan.
The dire status of the state's auto
industry has increased the level of
unemployment, and with it, the
number of people who need and have
been receiving assistance from the
food stamp program.
Still, the program will die on June 1 if
Congress does not appropriate further
funding by two weeks before that date.
Americans would be doing their
needy a great wrong if they let the food
stamp program expire without protest,
especially in view of the fact that even
a cut of a few percentage points from
the vast military budget would save this
program, and perhaps others that have
been coming under fire from the
budget-cutters.
Conservative rhetoric about
"welfare chiselers" notwithstanding,
there are thousands of Michigan
citizens who cannot do without
government assistance.

To the Daily:
The recent comments about
our organization offered by Mr.
Humbert of the Collegiate
Association for the Research of
Principles (CARP) (Daily, April
2) point to a key deficiency in our
efforts. This deficiency is not our
involvement with the draft
registration issue, however, but
our apparent failure to make
clear to the University com-
munity just why the Public In-
terest Research Group in
Michigan (PIRGIM) opposes
such a measure.
Last summer, PIRGIM's State
Board of Directors (made up of
student representatives from our
five campus chapters) passed a
resolution opposing peacetime
registration on the grounds that it
threatened civil liberties and was
possibly in violation of the 13th
Amendment to the Constitution
as a form of involuntary ser-
vitude. Such a position echoes the
view of the American Civil Liber-
ties Union.
Drafyt registration constitutes a
threat to world peace as well.
PIRGIM was one of the sponsors
of the four-day teach-in, "Peace
and Politics in the 1980s: A New
Understanding," that sought to
explain the recent rise in world
tensions in Iran and Afghanistan.
Eminent speakers from both
within the University and across
the nation were brought together
to provide their insightinto the
changing face of U.S.-Soviet

relations. Emerging from the
teach-in was the little known
"Brown Doctrine," of Secretary
of Defense Harold Brown, which
cited turbulence in the Third
World, not Soviet aggression, as
the key threat to U.S. interests..
SFor-Brown; military intervention
by the U.S. is a legitimate foreign
policy option for quelling this
turbulence, and the draft will no
doubt play a key role in such in-
tervention.
PIRGIM has thus opposed
draft registration on basic con-
stitutional and civil libertarian
grounds,.and has offered a broad
perspective on the role of draft
registration in U.S. foreign policy
through an open educational
forum. This was done in coalition
with and through the support of
campus and community groups:
LSA-SG, MSA, People's Action
Coalition, School of Natural
Resources, Vietnam Era
Veterans, etc. Yet, Mr. Humbert
charges that PIRGIM fails to
represent the majority of campus
students on this issue, and that as
a public interest group we are too
political. We feel such comments
must be put in proper perspec-
tive.
The 52 per cent of students
nationwide that favor
registration is cited from a poll
from a publication (Today's
Student) we have frankly not
heard of until recently. We have

heard of The Michigan Daily,
whose first poll in the heat of the
Afghanistan crisis still showed 55
per cent of students opposed
registration. Yet representing
the view of a simple polled
majority is not the sole function
of a public interest group. In 1972,
16,000 students on this campus
requested the Board of Regents
to assess a mandatory fee to fund
what is now the Public Interest
Research Group in Michigan
(this fee is now voluntary). Since
that time, PIRGIM has worked
on a multitude of issues, to
represent those interests that
would otherwise go unrepresen-
ted (for instance, who complains
when chemical companies dump
toxic wastes?).
The key word here is .issues.
PIRGIM is a non-partisan, non-
profit organization. We neither
support candidates nor political
parties. We do, however, work on
issues, many of which arise in the
public or political arena. When
PIRGIM works on the issues of
toxic waste, nuclear power, or
the draft-these are issues that
affect our daily lives; simply
because they are issues discussed
in the political arena makes them
no less important or PIRGIM any
more political.
The draft is hardly our only
issue. We have published recent
surveys on banking services,
grocery store prices, and copying

centers in Ann Arbor. We are
sponsoring a two-day conference
on Alternative Energy on April 12
and 13. We have offered
workshops on tenant organizing,
toxic wastes, marijuana
decriminalization, consumer
problens; riminal code
revision, and energy conser-
vation, while bringing to campus
people like Ramsey Clark (for-
mer U.S. Attorney General) and
Congressmhan Carl Pursell. Our
free film and speaker series was
held in dormitories throughout
the campus, and this past Mon-
day we held a debate for MSA
presidential candidates to
present their platforms to the
electorate.
We feel that PIRGIM is
justified in its activities and
deserves the support of the cam-
pus community. That our stand
on the draft has become rather
controversial is, more thari
anything, a slight to the other
issues we work on and the ser-
vices we provide. It is unfor-
tunate that it is only the draft that
is front page news. We will work
to make these other issues as
worthy, and hope you will dig
deep in the news pages until then.

-Daniel Carol
PIRGIM State Board
of Directors
April 7

0

Satirical letter a

shocking.

Higgm-

To the Daily:
Professor Ezra Mendelsohn's
response (Daily, April 9) to Mr.
Prosterman's good coverage of
Professor Israel Shahak's
presentation (about which the
Michigan Daily did not report)
was a shocking response on many
different levels. It was a purely
emotional and nationalist respon-
se that missed what both the
presentation and the coverage
were all about.
It also failed to come to grips
with Mr. Prosterman's insightful
remark that repression at home
(of Palestinian nationalists and
their supporters) has reper-
cussions for Israeli policy on the
. international scene. It is a fact
that Israel maintains close and
friendly ties with the governmen-
ts of South Africa and many Latin

American dictatorships to which
it sells arms. (We know what
those arms are used for and
against whom in both South
Africa and Latin America). It is
unbelievable that a historian and
a professor should be blind to the
resemblance that exists between
those regimes in the treatment of
human life and their politically
oppressive nature. The connec-
tions between Israel and those
countries are connections which
the American press (not Pravda
or Arab propaganda) has
frequently pointed out and which
the Israeli government does not
deny.
Logically the Israeli gover-
nment's denial of Palestinian
civil and national rights cannot
be condoned because of the
Holocaust and what the Jews

response
went thorugh during the Second
World War. This is precisely
what Prosterman was trying to
get at: the rise of fascism in
Germany and globally in the late
1930s spelled doom to the obser-
vation and respect of individual
civil and human rights. This is
what we have to be wary of now
whether Jews or Arabs.
Finally, it took courage from
both professor Shahak (who is
one of the few Israeli citizens who
publicly speak out against the
Israeli government treatment of
the Palestinians) and Mr.
Prosterman (who is an American
Jew) to take a stand againsts
Israeli denial of Palestinian civil
rights. It isBless impressive from
Professor Mendelsohn as both a
professor and a historian to com-
pletely ignore this main issue.
In the-end, Professor Men-
edelsohn, the truth will not be
silenced. This is one of the main
'issues of human history as long
,a there are critical histnrians

MSA endorsement hit

To the Daily:
I wn distresed tn isenmer

it is a foregone conclusion that
"Realistic" willc pnture n mnre

I~$S~~S$F$~SS. ~& ~ ....~. I

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