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December 09, 1982 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-12-09

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OPINION

6

Page 4

Thursday, December 9, 1982

The Michigan Daily

k -

a
f

A Latin

American

history lesson

By Jon Weiss
x
"By studying history we can learn how to
use our power effectively for the better-
ment of all. "
This assumption was expressed by John
Jacobs to support his case for United States
military and economic aid to the Salvadoran
government ("The need for intervention in El
Salvador," Daily, Dec. 3). History, he claims,
has shown that when the United States "has
done nothing, communism has prevailed"-the
result of which has been the untold suffering
and misery of the people.
That an understanding of the past can be
useful in improving the human condition
makes sense. But because I agree with his
assumption, I can only disagree with his con-
clusion. What the history of U.S. intervention in
Latin America does teach us is that we must
not intervene in El Salvador.
Let's take a look at history. A few examples
should suffice.
Cuba. In 1901, the United States, under the
Platt Amendment, gave itself the right to in-
tervene in Cuban affairs. Historian Roman
Ruiz says that this act ".. . encouraged a fear
and distrust of the United States bordering on
the pathol'ogical" that culminated in Castro's
revolution of 1959. It was only after the
revolution, when the United States cut ties with
Cuba, that Castro was forced to turn to the
Soviet Union for aid. As punishment, we then
tried to overthrow his government-as part of
our "Alliance-for-Progress" program.
Guatemala. The United States was more
successful here. In 1954, it toppled the Arbenz
regime. According to Professor Franklin Por-
ter, "Guatemala had reached a highpoint of
' democracy under Arbenz." Unfortunately, he
encouraged long-needed r'eforms that posed a
threat to our ability to reap whatever was left

in his poor country. Which meant, in our eyes,
he was a godless "communist."
Dominican Republic. In 1965, the United
States landed 24,000 troops on this island to
protect the military junta from former
President Juan Bosch. Bosch had the audacity
to call for land reform and a return to his
nation's democratic constitution. He, too, was
seen as a tool of the communist conspiracy.
Chile. This one I'll save for you to look-up.
Hint: It doesn't make the U.S. of A. look
terribly concerned about trivial things like self-
determinism, democracy, and integrity. But
we had no choice (of course).
These four cases provide vivid testimony to
our treatment of our neighbors to the south.
U.S. intervention in Cuba, Guatemala, the
Dominican Republic, and Chile each fed the
other; each intensified the hostility of Latin
Americans for the United States.
The United States relationship with Latin
America has been marked by short-term gains
for ourselves at the expense of immense long-
term costs for all. We have become the "bad
guys." Our military support of authoritarian
regimes has gone hand-in-hand with our ex-
ploitation of the Third World, widening the gap
between the haves and the have-nots. The
spark for revolution has been lit by
Washington, not Moscow.
IN SO DOING, the United States has sadly
hastened the process of its own decline.
But we continue to ignore the lessons of
history. The State Department's White Paper
on El Salvador declared, "In short, over the
past year, the insurgency in El Salvador has
been transformed into a textbook case of in-
direct armed aggression by communist powers
through Cuba." What has been textbook about
El Salvador has been the United States respon-
se. The Reagan administration, like past ad-
ministrations, refuses to recognize the real
sources of insurrection in Latin America-
years of political repression and poverty,

f

,.-

AP Photo

which we helped to create.
Unfortunately, with Cuba and Russia
stronger than ever, the stakes for our blindness
are now much higher. Ironically, our interven-
tion in Central America serves only to promote
outside communist influence in the region. As
Robert Leiken writes, "Fears of renewed U.S.
hegemonism under President Reagan have

El Salvador: Learning from history
impeded progress toward collective security.
The Soviet Union's greatest asset in Latin
America, even greater than Cuba, is anti-
Yankee sentiment."
BANK-ROLLING right-wing repressive
regimes make neither good policy nor good
morals. We speak of democracy, yet we
uphold-in fact, install-juntas that are in no

way democratic. We speak of national
sovereignty, but show no qualms abol
violating the sovereignty of other nations.
Jacobs is right on one point. By learning
lessons from the past, the United States could
use its power more effectively for the better-
ment of all-if we honestly give it a try.
Weiss is an LSA senior.

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

The '60s: More than media hype

Vol. XCIfI, No.75

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-

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

To the Daily:
I would like to react to the ar-
ticle several weeks ago about the
1960s and their relevance to
today, because that article
referred to me extensively.
First of all, two corrections
must be made. One, I spell my
last name Duboff, not DuBoff, as
is in the article in Weekend.

Second, I am not a '60s activist,
as mentioned. I was a '60s ac-
tivist, of course, then I was a '70s
activist, and now I am an '80s ac-
tivist,nand I hope to be a '90s ac-
tivist, et cetera. To call me a '60s
activist is the kind of hype

and far away. Tom Hayden, who
just won a seat in the State
Assembly in California, was one
of the media stars of the '60s (as I
was, locally), and he is constan-
tly the victim of this kind of hype.

An MX victory

typiied aby the movie Gxr
though the 1960s were1

Carter piece on mark.

THE CHOICES could not have been
more distinct, and when the
smoke cleared, the House's position
could not have been more explicit: For
the first time since World War II, a
house of Congress had voted to deny a
president a major weapon.
President Reagan, not surprisingly,
is describing the administration's
defeat on the MX in the House of
Representatives in terms of national
betrayal. The Congress, he said, is
''sleepwalking into the future" and
"handcuffing our negotiators at the
arms table." And, perhaps more
ominously, he said, "I plan to do
everything I can to take this case to the
American people."
The president has every right to
throw a tantrum. Tuesday's vote by
any standard was an enormous rever-
sal for a man who has made huge
military expenditures a cornerstone of
his foreign policy.
Clearly, the American people and
the Congress have begun to reject the
Reagan notion that the path to arms
control lies in building as many arms
as possible. They are beginning to
recognize that the administration's

arms policies are destroying the
economy and increasing the likelihood
of nuclear war. In greater and greater
numbers, they are building an op-
position which can force the ad-
ministration to moderate its positions
and ease the tensions of the Cold War.
But the president's threat to "take
this case to the American people" can-
not be taken lightly-even on an issue
which has the tremendous popular
support of arms control. The president
has a proven ability to generate vast
quantities of mail to the offices of
recalcitrant congressmen, and, given
the stakes, he can be expected to throw
his heart into this fight.
But the further the president pushes
the issue, the more dangerous it will
become to him. The harder he tries to
force the MX through Congress, the
more tha public will identify this in-
satiable appetite for new weapons with
him and his party..
Of course the president can still win
the fight on the MX. But Tuesday's
vote in the House makes it clear that
such a victory-if it should come-will
be costly not only to the nation's
security but to the Republican party
and the president as well.

To the Daily:
I enjoyed yourhOpinion Page
piece on Anthony Carter
("Making a god out of a gifted
athlete," Daily, Dec. 7).
I don't know Anthony, but I ac-
cept your observations. It's tough
for a young person to come to un-
derstand how much perceptions
count. Anthony Carter is a public
figure at this point in his life and
what he says (or does not say)
shapes the outsider's view of the
Michigan athletic program as
much as what he does on the field
every Saturday. I'd like to think
Bo and his staff feel some respon-

sibility for this part
athletes' education.
This brings me to the
your column I liked bl
respect and recognitiony
to the athlete/scholar.7
proud tradition at this un
I'm sure it will endure
alumnus, as well as sta
ber, I find it satisfying
couraging that the Dai]
staff reflects thisvalue.
A.C. may be a bit pu
your piece. But I believ
done him a favor; h
preciate it one day.
Dec

*ong -gs Another correction needs to be
long agomade as well. The Weekend ar-
ticle ends on an "up note," except
it says the '60s were ephemeral.
. . It should have said that the '60s
were not ephemeral, a much bet-
of their ter tone to end on. The '60s
created long-lasting and far-
e part of reaching changes in this country.
test: the An entire alternative culture has
you gave been spawned, replete with
That's a cooperatives, collectives, com-
iversity; munes, and intentional com-
e. As an munities. More people are
Iff mem- working harder now than ever
and en- before. More attention is being
ly sports focused on disarmament,
eliminating hunger, poverty, and
it off by injustice here at home and
e you've throughout the world.

among the younger radicals like
myself. But it was also a period of
revolution, and this cannot' be
denied. The Cultural Revolution
that swept this country is on a par
with the Cultural Revolution that
swept through China during thi1
period, and indeed the two go
hand in hand. The French gover-
nment was nearly toppled in May
1968, as French students and
workers took their cue from
American and Chinese counter-
parts. American young people
aided the people of Cuba as well
as the people of Indochina. Many
new Socialist governments were
formed in Africa during this
period. So, what happened in thi
country can't be seen as separate
from the worldwide
Revolutionary Era the world has
been throughout this century.
What happened here during the
'60s is nothing new. The
cooperative movement has
existed since this country began,
and really took off here in Ann
Arbor in the 1930s.

ie'll ap-
i Cartier
cember 7

Many look on the '60s as a
period of rebellion against
parental authority.
Undoubtedly, there were
aspects of this, particularly

... or just pretentious ?

-David Duboff
December 1

F

To the Daily:
I never knew with what criteria
to judge a person's godhood-
that is until I read Ron Pollack's.
article "Making a god out of a gif-
ted athlete" (Daily, Dec.7). In his
scathing attacks on Anthony Car-
ter's deity, he has shown me the
light.
Pollack suggests that being
able to catch a football better
than anyone else is not a
prerequisite for godhood. This, of
course, assumes he must also
know what the prerequisites are
for godhood.
Examing his article I have
found four Pollack prerequisites
for godhood:
" A god has tact;
" A god speaks flawless Mid-
western English;
" A god must be a top-notch
student;
" A god must give frequent in-
terviews to the press.
Carter, Pollack writes, is
deficient in all of these basic
deifying qualities.
The first characteristic of a god
i s ennw.aec tart n nharw-

student who would zip through his
classes and still have time for
life-saving miracles (not just
game-saving miracles). And
make no mistake-a god's dialect
would certainly be Midwestern
English. Since Pollack considers
Carter's command of the English
language below what would be
"expected of a college student,"
he must be referring to A.C.'s
Florida dialect, as Sports
Illustrated called it, which is un-
suitable for a gridiron god. At
lease we now know a god must
have a college-level command of
the English language.
In the same vein, Pollack
suggests that a god gives
frequent interviews, and when he
does not grant a Daily reporter
five minutes, he is at least quick
to apologize and show us a rain-
bow.
I, for one, am glad that Pollack
has shown us the human side of
Anthony Carter. Still, it would be
grand to think that if god were a
flanker he most certainly would
be Anthony Carter. On the other
hand, if god were a sports editor.

To the Daily:
Here is the text of a letter
which was sent to President
Harold Shapiro today by more
than 75 faculty members within
the University:
We want to express our op-
position to any weakening of the.
University's stance that research
which directly leads to
destroying human life is inap-
propirate at the University of
Michigan. The present policy is
that the University will not enter
into any agreement contract or
accept any grant the "clearly
forseeable and probable result of
which is to destroy human life or
to incapacitate human beings."
The University Research
Policy Committee has been given
the task of proposing an ad-
ministrative mechanism for im-
plementing this policy. Before
doing so, however, they are
presently considering a diluted
aliterna tive nolicv sta tement

Preserve research guidelines

seem only a trivial weakening of
the previous policy, there are im-
portant differences. We should all1
oppose any University research
which has the destruction of
human life or humans as even a
secondary purpose, In many
research activities, it is arguable
which objective is primary and
which secondary-often, the
researcher may have multiple
objectives. Who is to determine if
the primary purpose of certain
weapon systems is deterrence or
destruction-or is it the other
way around?
The present policy statement is
clear about the University's
commitment to enhancing
human life rather than harming
it. The new statement is not.
We are grateful that the
University is pursuing an open
argument mechanism for
soliciting faculty opinion. We are
writing a public letter because it
is so close to the holiday season.

a

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