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March 05, 1981 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-03-05

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"

OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, March 5, 1981

The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Don't protest investments
without offering alternatives

Vol. XCI, No. 124

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M! 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
MSA stil has time to
remedy Schaper stml

S ADLY, IT SHOULD come as no
great surprise to now-dismayed
Michigan Student Assembly members
that their plan to revise MSA's tangled
election code has hit a snag. Last mon-
th, MSA appointed David Schaper -
who during his long, controversial
career in University politics has ad-
mitted rigging student elections - to
reorganize and rewrite the MSA elec-,
tion code. This week, Schaper has
submitted a revised version of that
code in which he ignored a number of
changes MSA directed him to make.
SLast week, Schaper submitted a first
draft revision of the code to the
ssembly, which then scoured over the
draft, making deletions, additions and
rewording some parts. This week,
$chaper returned with the final draft,
presumably simply revised to ac-
cbmmodate MSA's changes.But, in the
final draft Schaper submitted, a num-
ber of the additions made by the
Assembly were not included, some of
NSA's rewording was not present, and

Schaper even made some additions of
his own out of the blue.
Now, several Assembly members
have said they are outraged that
Schaper did not follow through with
their directive.
MSA members should not be stun-
ned. It was their poor judgement that
enabled Schaper to abuse and
manipulate the authority in the first
place. Why MSA consented when
Schaper volunteered to rewrite the
code in January is a mystery.
Certainly, the election code, a
scrambled patchwork of confusing and
often ambiguous regulations, needs
revision. But, Schaper, who has admit-
ted violating the very principles of the
document in the past, is not the person
to revise it.
The Assembly clearly stumbled in its
appointment of Schaper, But it is not
too late for it to regain its balance by
promptly dismissing Schaper from his
duties and looking for a new, more ap-
propriate, candidate.

By Ross Romeo
The University Regents are in a dilemma
that needs clarification. Arguments of
"proper" University investments are a major
concern to advocates of divestiture in South
Africa and those students who say the
University should not invest in defense com-
panies.
Whether they are right or wrong, their
arguments leave out important implications,
and to my amazement, these lobbyists
haven't offered an alternative list of cor-
porations in which the University should in-
vest. No wonder they are having a difficult
time with the Regents.
The anti-apartheid and anti-defense lob-
byists must come up with an alternate in-
vestment policy if they want any chance of
success. Cramming Regents meetings with 150
students ishan effective way of bringing the
issue to light, but beyond that, it has little im-
pact for several reasons:
" There is nothing wrong with having a say
in how the University should maintain its in-
vestment portfolio, but the financial im-
maturity of the lobbyists is evident. Throwing
investments around is foolish unless you ad-
vocate where this money should be rein-
vested.
" Let's not follow the Michigan State
University Syndrome. It's no secret that
MSU's entire Humanities Department is on
the financial guillotine. Everyone attributes
this to the state of Michigan's cutbacks in
university funding, but in reality, that is only
part of the reason.
MSU actually receives more money from
the state than The University of Michigan

bank and taken out a money market cer-,
tificate!
Had their divestiture been gradual instead
of immediate, they would have had more time
in determining a better, alternative invest-
ment portfolio.
As of February 15, corporate investments
were yielding between 28-34 percent on the
dollar in South Africa. Computed out, the an-
nual yield would be about $300 for every $1,000
that's invested, making South Africa the
second best investment in the world. This is
money that MSU no longer makes, and that is
why their cutbacks are more drastic than
here at the University.
Refusal to invest in American defense com-
panies could have similar financial reper-
cussions. Since our government gives them a
lot of business, these companies are some of
the best investments on the market today.
This is not saying that investments in South
Africa and defense companies are morally
acceptable. But if the lobbyists want to have
any effect, they must present some financial
recommendations in addition to their
ideological rhetoric.
If the Regents should agree to their moral
arguments, the University must be prepared
to make cutbacks similar to those of MSU
which involves 6000 students and 34 tenured
faculty members in the Humanities Depar-
tment.
So I challenge the lobbyists with this dif-
ficult question:- Stop telling us what the
University should divest from. How about a
new verse for the same old song - what
should the University invest in?
Ross Romeo is an LSA junior.

STUDENTS PACK last month's meeting of
the University Regents to protest proposed
University investment in five American
defense contractors.
does. Then why are they suffering more than
we are?
Over a year ago, the MSU Board of
Trustees yielded to the pressure of the anti-
apartheid lobbyists and divested MSU's en-
tire holdings in any company that does
business in South Africa. Since then, their
Wall Street investments have faltered,
sometimes yielding only 10-16 percent profit.
They might as well have gone to the local

U.S. fuels Salvadoran terror

Yet more defense hikes

f 3HE REAGAN Administration's
T1 proposal to increase the military
budget poses several potential
problems.
At a time when the administration is
aemandtjng enormous slashes in the
fderal budget, it'is unconscionable
that it plans to ask Congress for a $38
billion increase in military spending.
Since his inauguration, President
Reagan has continuously bemoaned
excess government spending. As a
result, countless social programs have
fallen victim to the budget cutter's ax.
Washington may have argument for a
modest increase in military outlays,
but such a dramatic increase is un-
thinkable -when the maintenance of
so many domestic programs is needed.
True, the administration is attem-
pting to cut some financial corners
with its proposal to buy arms on long
term orders. Officials say this will
reduce more than $1 billion a year by
1985, but the proposal also carries
some severe financial consequences.
Long-term contracts are difficult to
alter. Currently, under short-term con-
tract, the government's liability is

limited to $5 million if the contract is
terminated. The liability, however,
would bettremendously increased un-
der a multi-year contract.
This would also "lock-in" the Defen-
se Department's position for future
federal funds. If, for instance, there is
a need to cut back on military spen-
ding, Congress may not have the power
to do so because of the long range
agreements.
In the interest of maintaning
equitable funds for all government
programs, both in the long and the
short run, Congress should kill
Reagan's proposal.

Unsigned

I * 1 . 1

e

pearing on

ditorials ap-
the left side

of this page represent a
majority opinion of the
Daily 's Editorial Board.

SAN SALVADOR - "All the reforms we
fought for have been lost. The great problem
is on the right. Terrorists operate with im-
punity and the government does nothing to
stop them. El Salvador's problems do not
come from Cuba or Nicaragua. The problem
is that this country is caught in a process of
selfdestruction unleashed by those who use
the banner of anti-Communism to preserve
and expand repression and unjustice."
The speaker, Col. Adolfo Arnoldo Majano,
is the kind of Salvadoran who official U.S.
policy presumably supports:a conservative
army officer, American-trained and strongly
pro-American in his beliefs. He had staked his
reputation on bringing reform to El Salvador
and doing something about the terrorism
which cost so many Salvadoran lives, as well
as those of two U.S. government advisers and
four American Catholic women brutally mur-
dered here last year.
TODAY, NOTHING HAS been done about
these murders, the reform effort has been en-
tirely abandoned and Majano himself is under
arrest.
A modest, serious, friendly and disciplined
officer, 42 years old, and with four children -
Col. Majano might correspond to some com-
puter print-out of the Pentagon's and State
Department's ideal Latin American military
man. Second in his class in advanced military
studies in Mexico, he has commanded a
Salvadoran infantry battalion and been chief
of studies at the Captain-General Gerardo
Barrios Military School, the West Point of El
Salvador.
In October 1979 Majano helped install a
military junta in San Salvador which the
United States supported on the grounds that it
was a moderate civilian-military coalition
struggling for national reform. Majano was
one of the strongest proponents within the
Salvadoran military of land reform and other
attempts to alleviate El Salvador's
astonishingly unequal distribution of national
wealth. ,
BUT WITH strong backing from the U.S.
embassy here, Salvadoran military men with
far less savory reputations than Majano's,
have steadily deprived scores of reform-
minded officers of any power to control
terrorism or to implement real reform.
Majano himself last October narrowly
escaped an assassination attempt by the
same "anti-Communist" forces that have
also murdered priests and nuns on allegations
that they are the agents of Cuba and
Marxism.
A number of reformist Salvadoran officers,
including close friends of Majano, have also
been murdered. Dozens of other Salvadoran
lieutenants, captains, majors, and colonels
have been stripped of their commands -
precisely at the time, according to U.S. of-
ficial proponents of military aid to El
Salvador, the country faces a dire threat from
"Marxist guerilla insurgents."
While lavishing aid on Salvadoran colonels
with known links both to the reactionary
oligarchy and the right-wing death squads,
the U.S. embassy never once intervened to
support those Salvadoran officers who have

By T. D. Allman
tried both to combat terrorism and im-
plement reform.
LAST MONTH, IN a little noticed but most
important event for El Salvador and the U.S.
involvement here,, Colonel Majano was
dismissed from the ruling junta as part of a
government reshuffle strongly supported by
the American embassy and the State Depar-
tment. He went briefly into hiding, was cap-
tured on February 21, and is now awaiting
court martial on unverified charges.
Designed to assauge growing doubts in
America about U.S. support for the junta
following the terrorist murders of the four
American Catholic women working in El
Salvador, the reshuffle was presented as
proof that moderate civilians were really in
charge. In fact, under the, guise of reforming
the Salvadoran government following the
murders, the most corrupt members of the
junta have virtually total power.
From the beginning, the big problem with
Majano and other members of the original
October 1979 junta, most of whom by now not
only are out of power but have themselves
been persecuted and in some cases killed,
seems to have been that they demonstrated
an alarming proclivity to practice what they
preached.
AS EARLY AS late 1979, the U.S. embassy
actively intervened to reduce the influence of
both civilian and military reformers on the
junta. Because of his national reputation for
dedication and honesty, Majano had been
unanimously elected to the junta by his fellow
officers. With Majano's support, the junta
moved to discharge many corrupt officers,
and to disband ORDEN, the "counter-terror"
organization set up, on U.S. advice, during the
Alliance for Progress.
Alarmed that "reform" in El Salvador
might really mean revolutionary change,
American officials then actively lobbied for
filling other powerful posts with officers
known to be far more conservative. Accor-
ding to Salvadoran sources, it was at U.S. oc-
ficial instigation that Colonel Jaime
Gutierrez, now the junta's most powerful
member, was named to office, even though
the Salvadoran officer corps itself preferred
another candidate with a strong commitment
to reform.
U.S. officials also successfully persuaded
the Salvadorans to accept Colonel Jose
Guillermo Garcia as Minister of Defense. Far
from being a reformer, Garcia was well
known for his tries to the country's reac-
tionary oligarchy, and for his toleration of
abuses of military power and human rights.
THE TRAGEDY OF the situation is not that
the U.S. government has lacked opportunities
to strengthen the Salvado'ran moderates. It is
that it has used every opportunity to destroy
those moderates and to shore up opponents of
land reform who condone, and in some cases
are actually involved in, the right-wing terror
campaign that now claims even American
lives.

As early as March 1980, for example, the
refusal of Defense Minister Garcia to take
any action against terrorism created within
the junta and government. Either Garcia
went, the regime's moderate civilians said, or
they would leave. Garcia, with strong U.S.
embassy support,umaintainedhhis position.
The civilians, a number of who were later,
murdered, resigned - and El Salvador lur~
ched into full-scale repressive violence.
A moderate with a strong sense of loyalty
both to his country and to the armed forces,
Majano remained in office, hoping to work
from within to salvage something of whathe
calls "our October process of national
renewal and reform." But as U.S. military
aid began to flow to the regime, even
Salvadoran military officers soon found they
acted at their peril when they actually attem-
pted to control terrorism.
Majano's first major defeat came when he
ordered the arrest of Major Roberto
D'Abuisson - El Salvador's most notorious
terrorist figure. At the insistance of right-
wing Salvadoran officers, backed by the U.S.
embassy, D'Abuisson was released, and today
remains at liberty to mount terrorist attacks
all over El Salvador. Majano's attempts to
provide protection for Catholics, including
Archbishop Oscar Romero before his
assassination, also incurred the conser-
vatives' ire. And as the months passed, con-
servatives like Garcia and Gutierrez found
they possessed a powerful new weapon in
their power struggle with the reformers: the
argument that they, not the figures like
Majano, were the only sure way to maintain
U.S. aid.
GRADUALLY REFORMERS within the
military found themselves without troops or 0
with their commands suspended. With the
approval of the U.S. military aid mission in FJ
Salvador, Defense Minister Garcia also
dispursed concentrations of reform officers
within the chain of command. Majano's
dismissal and arrest only compromised the final
acts in the emasculation of the Salvadoran
reform movement within the armed forces.
"The people are outraged," Colonel Majano
remarked before his removal, "at the total
difference between what we promised in Oc-
tober, 1979, and the reality that has come to
pass. When a whole nation feels betrayed,
there is the risk that it will rise up."
As what Washington now calls the "guerilla
offensive" in El Salvador unfolds, the im-
pression is that once again America has sided
with the military against the civilians. But the
victims also have included all that is honest,
patriotic, and honorable within the armed
forces of El Salvador. As a result of U.S.
"aid" to the military here, hundreds of fine
officers like Majano have been defested -
without a single Communist bullet being
fired.
T. D. Alman, who wrote this article for
the Pacific News Service, .has just retur-
ned from assignment in Central A merica..

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