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April 03, 1981 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-04-03

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OPINION
Pge 4_ Friday, April 3, 1981 The Michigan Daily

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Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

A seige of Midnight guilt

Vol. XCI, No. 149

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M1 48109

You're sitting at your kitchen table
sometime after midnight. You sit and con-
template all the elements which meticulously
arrange themselves into what you're fond of
calling your principles.

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Misstep on Nicaragua

Coming
y parte
By Christopher Potter

HE REAGAN administration, with
j. admittedly little supporting
evidence, has canceled all aid to
Nicaragua, a move that could very
well push that country's friendly
goqernment toward collapse. The
Reagan administration has charged
that the complete cutoff of all
economic assistance is necessary
because Nicaragua "may be" con-
tinuing to aid leftist rebels in neigh-
boring El Salvador.
It is odd that Washington.has decided.
to -cut off the aid now, just after the
Nicaraguan government has made a
concerted effort to block the clan-
destine flow of arms through this Latin
American nation. In general,
Nicaraguan officials - have been
cooperative with the Reagan ad-
ministration and have made con-
siderable efforts to comply with
Washington's demands concerning the
underground arms-running.
Even more odd is the fact that the
Reagan administration has no real
evidence to suggest that Nicaragua is
still a major corridor for foreign arms
entering El Salvador. In fact, in the
administration's own statement an-
nouncing the aid cutoff, officials
refused to say flatly that arms were
still being transported through

Nicaragua, and instead used only con-
ditionals: "We remain concerned
however that some arms traffic may
be continuing and that other support
(for the Salvadoran rebels) very
probably continues." Washington
should not base a major foreign policy
decision-such as the Nicaraguan aid
cutoff-on such vague and flimsy
generalities.
If the arms flow has already
stopped-as Nicaraguan officials insist
and as all available evidence tends to
contend-then there is little more
Nicaragua can do, and therefore no
chance aid will be restored.
Nicaragua, still recovering from the
wounds of a long and bloody civil war,
continues to be torn by internal strife
and factionalism. Without American
support, the fledgling Sandinista
government, which has been generally
friendly to the United States, could
well collapse, plunging Nicaragua's
political factions into another bloody
struggle for control. This is neither in
the best interests of the Nicaraguan
people or the United States.
The Reagan administration should
recognize that cutting off aid to a
friend on the basis of flimsy or non-
existent evidence is not a wise foreign
policy.

You're nursing a beer, shaken by the sud-
*den eruptions in Washington. You gaze past
the TV screen into yourself, and question
whether those elements of idealism ever truly
meshed inside you at all.
THE PRESIDENT has been shot. You've
long been convinced he's a decent, principled
man; but also a man so politically misdirec-
ted that his politics may soon threaten to
bring not only America but the entire world
crashing down about our shoulders. You
passionately believe this, and you fear him
for it. You have dreaded the encroachment of
his army for years, and at last they hold the
power.
YOU ALSO BELIEVE in compassion, in
tenderness, in the sanctity of any human life.
You sit and watch your television set with
garbled apprehension, an ambigious sense of
imminent loss. You worry how effectively a
70-year-old physiology can withstand a
bullet's impact, however glancing the blow.
You gaze at the somber faces of those
denizons of government up there on the
screen: Lynn Nofziger - calm, stentorian-
sturdy. Alexander Haig - trembling and
quivering, voicing a confusion over White
House succession ill-becoming an ex-chieftain
of NATO. You watch Nancy rushing into the
hospital; you watch the President's older
brother bitterly denounce. violence in
America, then break down in sobs.
And suddenly it all wells up inside you: One
sick punk has triggered this storm of anguish,
and if you could only believe in God, you
would pray for your president - for this kin-
dly man who wanted only to do good and
deliberately harmed no one.
THAT'S WHEN the gremlins start creeping
in. You drink another beer, lean back and
ponder past killings and near-misses. You
quietly mutter over the cold injustice of a
blank universe which shoots down your
heroes, while letting the opposition off the
hook. If only John Kennedy had lived.. . if
only Bobby had the chance to salve human
hate . . . then again, if only Arthur Bremer
had aimed a little higher at George
Walace. . . . The litany rambles on, and you
curse yourself for your selective sympathy.
You sit there, wondering how to deal with a
part of you that perhaps worships death as a

Apr rnriuo
PRESIDENT REAGAN WAVES to onlookers as he walks from the Washington Hilton hotel to
his limousine immediately before being wounded in a round of gunfire. Behind the president to
the left is presidential Press Secretary James Brady and to the far right is Washington
policeman Thomas Delahanty, both of whom were seriously wounded by the would-be assassin.

From ric

HICAGO MAYOR Jane Byrne's
decision to move into the crime-
ridden Cabrini-Green housing project
seems to speak of a genuine concern
for the welfare of Chicago's under-
privileged.° At best,,however, her ac-
tions are just a start in the fight again-
st the problems of the dwellers of large
urban housing projects.
Mayor Byrne's presence as an
inhabitant of the project has already
reduced the level of violence at the
project-wherea11 persons have been
shot this year and more than 30 have
been wounded. But much of the im-
provement seems to be related to the
large contingent of security personnel
who have descended upon the complex
since Byrne made the announcement
that she was moving in.
Project residents fear that as soon as
the mayor-and her bevy of bodyguar-
ds-depart, residents will once again
be at the mercy of the youth gangs
which compete for control of the
projects.
Hence, any real solution to the
problems in Chicago's housing projec-

es to rags
ts is going to involve reducing the
power of the gangs. Reducing the
powers of the gangs requires a broader
solution such as giving jobs to project
dwellers that will reduce their finan-
cial and social dependence on the
gangs. Byrne's temporary residence
alone-while a nice gesture-will sim-
ply not solve the problem.
Cynics have asserted-probably not
without some justification-that Byr-
ne's move to Cabrini-Green has more
to do with a desire for the black vote in
the 1983 Chicago mayoral elections
than a desire to rid the projects of their
horrible violence.
But her actionscare especially en-
couraging when compared with the
callous indifference expressed by
President Reagan recently when he
suggested that problems of the unem-
ployed would be solved if they would
merely read the help-wanted ads. At
least Byrne has demonstrated a desire
to learn .more about the problems of
the disadvantaged on a first-hand
basis-even if her move does have
political motives .

pragmatic means for world betterment. You
tell yourself that one man alone can't change
the world, yet you know that's false. How can
anyone deny that the end sometimes does
justify the means? Why didn't John Hinckley
shoot a second sooner?
You've got your own Mr. Hyde jabbering
inside your own brain, and you want to throw
up.
YOU GAZE OUT your window. The faintest
pink haze inches above the horizon of dark-
trees. You feel forced to ask yourself the
evening-long, unuttered question: Are you
sorry he didn't die? Did all our futures hang
arbitrarily on the squeeze of a trigger? Would
this sad, anguished planet have become a
safer, better place without him?
The question dangles - you aren't a
prophet. You believe in democracy, in orderly
change, in the genius of compromise. You
believe in America and the basics of its
system. It's a working wonderment so an-
tiethical to the minions of terrorism - those

strange, sweaty creatures, brandishing their
weapons and shrieking for blood. What could
these misfits have in common with us? We're
the civilized ones.
And then my president is shot - and a
savage little imp bounces around inside me
and howls for joy.
IT'S EARLY morning. The gremlins have
slipped away, back into some nearby corner.
You turn out the light. You weep a little, both
for yourself and for a world so raw and
desperate that murder could somehow mutate
into a saving act of grace in the eyes of many.
You stretch out on your bed, close your eyes
to the darkness, and pray that out of the
horror of this near-martyrdom something
bright and pure and shining might grow.
Christopher Potter is a Daily Staff
writer. His column appears every Friday.

0

Students must rally to check
th e gro wth of anti- ts

As the organizers of the Students Concerned
About a Reoccurrence, we believe that the
recent anti-Semitic mailing to the campus
dorms from a neo-fascist organization
striving for legitimacy in academic com-
munities by calling themselves the "Institute
for Historical Review," demanded a strong
response by the University community.
The existence of the Holocaust is an in-
disputable historical fact. What kind of group
would argue the point? A publication entitled
The Myth of the Six Million published in 1969
by the organizer of today's "Institute," cen be
obtained from the National States Rights Par-
ty, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the National
Socialist White People's Party (Nazis), as
well as the "Institute."
The man who organized the "Institute" has
a history of anti-Semitic and racist activities
dating back 20 years. He has organized the
extreme right-wing racist Liberty Lubby, has
formerly done organizational work for the
John Birch Society, and - besides publishing
a racist, anti-Semitic newspaper - uses his
publishing house to produce neo-Nazi, Klan,
and other racist literature. He recently com-
plained that "Only a few Americans are con-
cerned about the inevitable niggerification of
America."
It is also important to question the concern
of historical accuracy by the director of the
"Institute," Lewis Brandon. The last letter
that Brandon signed was in 1979, urging
students to promote a publication entitled The
White Student which aims to "mobilize young
impressionable minds to the perils of racial
integration" and "encourage the setting up of
White Studies groups." The White Student has
been widely distributed by the Ku Klux Klan
in front of public schools in California.
The motivations of those who regard the
Tlnln ...a - e yth n nnnnta k m narm.

By Donald R ogers
aware that a similar letter was sent to over
12,000 American historians in which the "In-
stitute" again masquerading their theories as
legitimate revisionist research. To say that
the "Institute" in inactive is equivalent to
ignoring them and hoping they will go away of
their own accord.
All of us have an imporant stake in
establishing a free and open exchange of
ideas here at the University, but also have a
duty to fight the introduction of racist or
fascist ideas on campus. This duty extends
beyond the University to all facets of our daily
lives, but the introduction of such ideas in a
University setting is especially dangerous
because of the role of universities in shaping
ideas and issues in American society.
In Germany in the 1880's - years before the
Nazis - Heinriche Treitschke, a German
historian, brought the "Jewish Question" to
the foreground of public discussion when he
introduced the "question" in German univer-
sities. Hence the question of what should be
done with the Jews became legitimized and
those who advocated extreme measures were
seen as taking a legitimate position on an
academic question. The debate on the
"Jewish Question" in German universities
tended to legitimize Adolf Hitler's answer to
the question a half century later.
Admittedly and thankfully, these
"revisionist" theories of the Holocaust are
not being accepted by most ' people.
Nonetheless their threat must not be ignored.
As we have entered the 84s, there has been an
alarming rise in racist and anti-Semitic ac-
tivity in the United States and elsewhere.
In the Tnited States the Klan and Nazis

Democratic Policy Committee" and tout
Lyndon La Rouche of the U.S. Labor Party as
a conservative Democrat for President.
LaRouche subscribes to the "theory" that
the Holocaust is a myth. He forwards wild
conspiracy theories such as "Israel is ruled
from London as a zombie nation" and that the
British Crown controls a vast worldwide traffic
in drugs through a network of top banks,
prominent "Hofjuden (Jewish) Families,"
secret societies, Jewish organizations, and
crime syndicates.
This right-wing cult has been accused of
using mind control to indoctrinate members.
The group has a schizophrenic nature,
seeking broad support through groups such as
the Fusion Energy Foundation, the Anti-
Drug Coalition, as well as the National
Democratic Policy Committee. These groups
are fronts for the ideas of LaRouche and the
U.S. Labor Party.
Though it is tricky to attempt to compare
different countries at different periods of time
in history, there are instructive parallels
between the pre-Nazi Germany of the 20s and
30s and the United States of today.
History shows a rise in the prominence, ac-
tivity, and membership of hate groups during
times of economic hardship. The search for a
scapegoat goes on. The impact of such groups
can only be challenged effectively through a
vocal and active opposition to those who
atempt to spread ideas of hatred and look for
scapegoats.
We ask the University community to join
with us at the SCAR forum and memorial ser-
vice this week to learn more about hate
rrnnn and tn activelv demonstrate our on- a

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