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March 06, 1982 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-03-06

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OPINION

.,Page 4

Saturday, March 6, 1982

The Michigan Daily

4

Findi

#.

By Kent Redding
President Reagan's recent requests for more
military aid to El Salvador have provoked con-
troversy on Capitol Hill and throughout the
nation-and well they should. Reagan's
response to the civil war in that Central
American country has been solely a military
one: Send Jose Napoleon Duarte's regime
more arms to stop the communists. This policy
is not only too simplistic, it just isn't working.
Although ,there are reasons for the current
policy, there is also another way of looking at
the conflict. There are obvious political roots to
the problem that will not disappear just
because they are shot at.
The Reagan administration sees the conflict
as a classic East-West struggle. Cuba and
Nicaragua, both backed by the Soviet Union,
are fomenting the revolution by funneling ar-
ms to the leftist guerrillas, the administration
claims. Without this intervention, the
Salvadoran government might be willing and
able to stabilize the country.
Nevertheless, there is intervention and
Reagan feels he cannot sit idly back and watch
another Soviet dandelion spring up in the
United States' backyard. We must give the
Duarte regime arms to cut down that need
because, according to the State Department, it
could spread like wildfire across Latin
America.
And the United States has swamped the coun-

ng a soli
try with arns. El Salvador received $126
million in aid in fiscal 1982, much of it in
military supplies, and an additional $55 million
in emergency military aid after leftists
destroyed a crucial part of the Salvadoran Air
Force last month. Unsatisfied with the results
these arms have achieved, the administration
has asked Congress for more aid despite repor-
ts of rampant civilian slaughter by government
troops. The Pentagon is even training
Salvadoran troops in Fort Benning, Ga., at the
U.S. taxpayers' expense.
For now, increasing military aid to the Duar-
te regime is the administration's main policy to
prevent El Salvador from falling to the com-
munists. The United States is counting on the
March 28 elections to help Duarte consolidate
his government. Presumably, after his election
Duarte will have enough power to introduce
much-needed land and political reform to the
strife-torn country and, with more U.S. arms
and aid, prevail over left-wing and right-wing
opposition.
Unfortunately the administration's myopic
plan to rescue El Salvador from communist
aggression is too simplistic. As in Vietnam, a
military solution has been proposed for a
political conflict. The country has suffered un-
der the rule of a small oligarchy of landowners
and military leaders for decades. Respect for
democracy and human rights as we Americans
know it is virtually nonexistent in El Salvador,
a country where the military has cast the only
real votes in past elections and only two per-
cent of the population controls 60 percent of

ution for El

Salvador

Salvador, or so, at least, the administration
seems to be saying.
But one does not kill a weed by merely cut-
ting it off at the base. The weed will simply
grow back-it still has roots. And military
solutions in El Salvador (if indeed one is
possible) will be short-lived. The roots of the
conflict run deeper than the Cuban and
Nicaraguan aid to leftists that the United
States is focusing on. Only redistribution of
land, the formation of a truly democratic
government, and American economic aid can
help destroy the roots of communist revolution
in that country. As long as the United States
keeps supplying arms, without any attempt at
a political solution, the roots will remain.
U.S. strategists argue, however, that the
March 28 elections can provide the political
solution that many seek. Unfortunately, past
elections have =been notoriously corrupt, and
this one promises to be no different. The leftists
are boycotting the election for this reason and
are threatening those who do vote. On the other
side the extreme rightists will participate in
the elections and will use their most effective
campaign tactic - violence. Although the more
moderate Duarte is expected to win the elec-
tion, his margin is likely to be small and the
resulting government weak in the face of
strong opposition from both the right and left.
On the surface, the situation seems hopeless,
but there are alternatives. The best plan to end
the bloodshed and stabilize the government of
El Salvador would involve a negotiated cease
fire followed by negotiations to form a coalition

government that will hold internationally-
supervised elections.
This type of solution has worked in Zimbab-
we (formerly Rhodesia) where, after a decade
of civil war, white minority and black guerrilla
leaders agreed to work together for the good of
their nation. Fair elections were held and a
democratic majority government was formed
which remains in power to this day.
Leftists groups in El Salvador have indicated
their willingness to negotiate, but, unfor-
tunately, the Duarte and Reagan ad-
ministrations have refused to recognize them
as a legitimate political force. The State
Department, despite the success of
negotiations in Zimbabwe, has dismissed talks
as unworkable. Instead, it sends more guns and
the senseless slaughter of men, women, and
children continues.
Despite recent Reagan pledges of more em-
phasis on economic aid to Central American
countries, the administration has not backed
away from its hardline military stand in El
Salvador nor its refusal to negotiate. Secretary
of State Alexander Haig has promised the
United States will do whateveris "prudent and
necessary" in El Salvador. So far, U.S. policy
has pointed toward -a military solution that is
becoming increasingly elusive.
And apparently, for the Reagan ad-
ministration, a negotiated settlement is neither
prudent nor necessary.
Redding is a Daily Opinion Page staff writer.

the land. Throughout the bloody civil war, the
administration has continued to send arms to
Salvadoran troops known to - have wantonly
killed innocent civilians. To be sure, both
the leftists and government troops have been
guilty of atrocities. But U.S. policy makers
have insisted on a military solution to a
problem that is' much more complex. In its
haste to prevent a communist takeover in El
Salvador, the administration has exacerbated
the situation. All it takes is a few more guns
and we can eliminate the problems of El

q

Weasel

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

'4-....

Vol. XCII, No. 121

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

IF THE AUTROJUIES ----
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'Selling ILIR short

TMAGINE WAKING up in the morning Disabilities as already eliminated.
and receiving a letter like this: What chance does a targeted unit stand
"With the announced and planned when people already are offering their
axing of two rather large Institutes by services for its staff's relocation?
the UM administration, I'm sure that What's even worse is that Hudge
many of you are giving serious con- worked at the University before going
sideration to selling your home and into real estate. His position in the
moving to a less depressed area." College of Engineering should have in-
This very letter was sent to formed him that reviews do not ensure
professors and administrators working budget cuts-in fact, they shouldn't
at the University's Institute for Labor even suggest them. A review initiated
and Industrial Relations Wed- by the administration should, in
nesday by area realtor Edward Hudge. theory, look into the efficiency and
The institute is currently facing a strength of a targeted unit. It should
budgetary review initiated by the ad- not, as Hudge and too many others
ministration earlier this week. believe it does, spell gloom and doom
Beyond the fact that the letter is in for a University program.
the worst possible taste-the oppor- Because the general impression on
tunism apparent in the letter borders campus is probably much the same as
on repellent-it demonstrates a com- that held by Hudge, the review process
mon, and all too prevalent misconcep- is beginning to resemble a precon-
tion at the University. Too many ceived verdict. When this happens the
people believe that a budgetary review future of our university moves farther
spells the worst possible fate. and farther from our control.
Too many people at the University Selling homes-or selling our in-
have written off ILIR, the Center for stitutes and centers short-on the an-
The Continuing Education of Women, nouncement of a review, is both
,and the Institute for the Study of Men- premature and unsound.
tal Retardation and Related

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Racism will not vanish if ignored

0

To the Daily:
It can't happen here. That is
what Howard Witt (Daily, March
2) and others who oppose a com-
munity demonstration against
the Nazis on March 20 would have
us believe. But the destructive
threat of Nazi ideals grows every
day.
Our nation is in a state of decay

that extends far beyond its
economic plight. Psychologists,
sociologists, and political scien-
tists have been noting for some
time the decline of mutual
respect between individuals and
the lack of trust in our gover-
nment and traditional institutions
that pervades the citizenry. Our
social bonds are unwinding. And

The law of the ruling class

I'

To the Daily:
Wayne Williams was convicted
on evidence from a drunk cop,
falsified reports, and coinciden-
ce. That makes sense. What
would you do if you were part of
the ruling class in Atlanta and the
black people were getting mad
because the cops were not
trying to find a mass-murdered?
You would grab some black and
convict him on anything you
could contrive. Then you would
call off the people's special task
force, which wanted to find the
murderer, so that it would be
much harder to expose the cops'
lies. Conveniently anough, the
Public Safety Commissioner can
group the two victims, whom
Williams is charged with killing,
with all the other victims,
disregarding the large age dif-
ference. But can he make a
distinction when black youths
continue to be murdered in Atlan-
ta after William's arrest?
Surprised? If you had been
reading the "Revolutionary
Worker," of the Revolutionary

Communist Party, then you
would have forseen it. They have
been showing with careful logic
how, from the view of the ruling
class, it is necessary to keep the
blacks' anger checked; to keep
them from striking out at their
oppressors; to deny that this is a
logical and necessary result of
the capitalist system. The
amount of blacks in prisons
testifies further to this.
What about anti-black groups?
The police will protect the Nazi
march, (March 20th) in Ann Ar-
bor. That is fitting, too. The
Bourgeois can say, "Look at
those Nazis! It would be even
worse fdr the blacks and
Chicanos if those fascists were in
power !" But try marching for the
workers on May 1st; you will get
police harassment, because the
mere act of standing up for
freedom is considered
dangerous, be you in China, the
USSR, the United States, or
whatever.
-Ralph MacFadden
March 3

during times such as these, anti-
Semitism, racism, and all forms
of elitism have a special appeal to
many. The Nazis embody and
promote these ideals. The com-,
munity must demonstrate that
such behavior is unacceptable.
But public abhorrance of Nazis
should not be based merely upon
their intentions. Their past ac-
tions are reason enough. Millions
lost their lives because of them.
This nation fought a war against
them. Has our outrage dissipated
already? Mr. Witt displayed a
lack of sensitivity to this history
by comparing the Nazis with the
Revolutionary Communist Youth1
Brigade and the Women's Gar-
den Club. Neither of these groups
have destroyed individuals and
changed the world as did the
Nazis. The Nazis' presence
should provoke the Ann Arbor
community into action.
The actions of those who oppose
the Nazis should not be based
upon some expectation of the
press's behavior, as Mr. Witt
proposes. Indeed, Mn. Witt only
pointed out a possible quantitative
difference in the amount of press
coverage a counter-demon-

stration might attract for the
Nazis: Certainly, there would be
a qualitative difference as well. A
small article hidden on page ten
might be the only coverage of the
Nazi rally if a counter demon-
stration does not take place. But
that article would probably fail to
mention any opposition to the
Nazis since none was present.
Public complacency toward the
Nazis could very well be viewed
as public acceptance.
However, a front page article
on a counter demonstration
would emphasize the anger of the
community. March 20 provides a
great opportunity for those who
loathe the Nazis and disdain
bigotry to obtain equal press
time.
Anti-Semitism and racism will
not vanish if it is ignored. Con-
structive actions must be taken to
remedy the conditions that foster
such attitudes. I hope that all
members of the community will
demonstrate their anger towards
the Nazis and their resolve to
fight bigotry at city hall on March
20th.
-Don Solomon
March 4

WAoAog0"

' t

3'

Letters and columns represent the opin-
ions of the individual author(s) and do not
necessarily reflect the attitudes or beliefs of
the Daily.

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