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March 23, 1983 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-03-23

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Page 4

Wednesday, March 23, 1983

The Michigan Daily

Questions on

U.S. aid to

El Salvador

By Ken Naffziger
President Reagan's recent calls for more
military aid to El Salvador serves only to fur-
ther illustrate his administrations outrageous
policies there. What the reality is in this small
Central American nation and what the ad-
ministration portrays as reality, are two totally
different pictures.
The administration has sent close to $1 billion
in aid to the government in El Salvador. What
have our tax dollars accomplished? It has led
to 35,000 deaths by the government and para-
military groups since 1980. What kind of people
are we supporting with this aid? The people of
this country have been dominated for close to
one hundred years by the "14 families," a
small yet powerful network of millionaire
Salvadoran families who control the nation's
wealth, military and paramilitary death
THIS GROUP had kept its priviledged
position by exerting repression and violence on
the rest of the population. The current leaders
of this group are Roberto D'Aubuisson and
General Garcia. D'Aubuisson is known as the
founder of paramilitary groups such as OR-*
DEN, who have murdered thousands of
civilans. He has also been linked to the mur-
derssof.Archbishop Romero and the two U.S.
land reformers. General Garcia is the Com-
mander-in-Chief of the present military forces
of the government. These are the people that
our tax dollars are supporting.
What is life like for the majority of the
population? A mere two percent of the.
population control the majority of the farm
land and almost all of the industry. That leaves

the rest of the Salvadorans to live in desperate
poverty. The poor in El Salvador have the
lowest per capita caloric intake in Latin
America. This is 40 percent below the
suggested minimum intake. Three out of four
children are malnourished and over half of the
children die before the age of five. Most rural
Salvadorans are illiterate because they have no
access to schools. Medical care is non-existant
for the poor majority. The per capita income is
only $750 dollars per year, but 90 percent of all
Salvadorans earn less than $100 dollars per
year. There is over 50 percent unemployment.
Land reform is a joke as 60 percent of the rural
families are landless. These people earn only $2
a day as seasonal workers on the coffee, cotton
and sugar plantations of the 14 families.
This is what the people, the guerillas are
fighting about. If any one of us lived under
these conditions, we would want to change
them too. Why does Reagan ignore these deep-
rooted social, economic, and political
problems and conclude that a military solution
is the answer? The current "solution" is
keeping a small ruthless group in power over a
large starving majority.
WE ARE TOLD that our "national security"
is at stake in El Salvador. What possible threat
can these people have on the "security" of the
United States? We are told that if El Salvador
falls then so will the rest of Central America. It
is the Domino Theory being raised from the
dust. In the last few weeks, the president has
said that we need more guns, more helicopters,
and'more advisers. Also, a "pacification" plan
has been proposed for El Salvador. The plan
combines a large-scale military operation with
a major effort to separate civilians from

destroy the guerilla's base of support will be
followed by the same soldiers going back and
providing social services to the survivors. This
later move would demonstrate the government
concern for the people. The major problem is
that the soldiers cannot separate the civilians
from the guerillas and many civilians will be
killed in the process. In Vietnam, after the
military sweep, the people were rounded up
and put in "strategic hamlets" to protect them
from the guerillas. The hamlets were com-
pared to concentration camps by many obser-
vers. Are these actions to be repeated in El
What do all these things that our president
tells us have in common? For one, they all have
been used before, to justify increased U.S. in-
volvement in Vietnam. They are being used
today to justify increased U.S. involvement in
El Salvador. They also are part of the Cold War
rhetoric used by consecutive administrations
since 1945 to justify U.S. involvement around
the world.
WE HAVE TO stop the U.S. intervention in El
Salvador before it is too late. Does anybody
remember Vietnam? A military solution
doesn't work so the Reagan administration
sends more guns. Meanwhile, the people of this
country sit by and watch it happen. Do
something. Write to the people who control
your tax dollars and say, "no more." Write to
the editors of your paper. Tell your
congressmembers to propose or support
legislation to cut off all military aid to El
Salvador. Tell them to support a negotiated set-
tlement. Tell them that U.S. involvement
violates the following laws.
" International Human Rights Legislation:
This law prohibits any government from aiding

or abetting governments which carry out grave
violations of human rights, such as summary
executions and torture.
" Immigration Law: This law requires the
United States to grant temporary asylum to
refugees who are fleeing government
prosecution in their homeland.
" The War Powers Act: This act prohibits the'
United States from sending U.S. troops or ad=
visers into places where fighting is taking,,,
place, or is about to erupt, without:
congressional approval.
" The Foreign Assistance Act: This act'
prohibits the United States from sending U.S.
military and security assistance to "gover-
nments engaged in a consistant pattern of'
gross violations of internationally recognized
human rights."
" International Financial Investment Act:-
This law requires delegates to the World Bank
to oppose loans to governments engaged in
gross and consistant violations of human,.
" El Salvador Certification Requirements:'
These were passed by Congress and must be
met in order for U.S. military aid to continue to
El Salvador.
All of these acts and laws are being violated :
by the Reagan Administration. The most im-.'0
portant thing to tell your representative is that
you are not going to sit back and watch history
.repeat itself.
Naffziger is a senior in LSA and a mem-
ber of the Latin American Solidarity

D'Aubuisson: Leading the right to massacre.
The U.S. Agency for International Develop-
ment, including Robert McNamara of
Vietnam fame, will provide assistance. The
plan resembles a part of "Operation Phoenix"
that was used in Vietnam. In theory, a major
sweep through guerilla strongholds in order to


_ __

Che Autdiitgan a Eilj
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCIII, No. 135

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109


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


EPA nominee:

Coming back to clean house

PE IDENT REAGAN may have ma-
de one of his few prudent moves of the
Environmental Protection Agency
scandal by nominating William
Ruckelshaus to fill Anne Burford's
tdi diretnrshin The

agency operating the way it was inten-
ded to be run and increase its
budget-which has been slashed since
Reagan entered office-so the EPA
can once again protect the environ-


vacaeu L
Ruckelshaus n
signals an adm
center on envi
the presiden
Ruckelshaus, th
the EPA, roomt
on its feet.
It is not insig
chose Ruckelsh
first director d
reputation for
Republican-a r
for refusing tof
prosecutor Ar
Nixon's famo
Massacre in 1973
Though Ruck
senior, vice pre
nation's largest
his nominatio
business and e
ning the presid
heed: Let the

inatLinlapparently Reagan needs to give Ruckelshaus a
inistration shift to the free reign. He is going to be under
ronmental policy, but, enormous pressure to clean up the
tonedsaloivebutmess the agency is in without having to
he original director of worry about matching the president's
togethe gnircyracrhetoric with action. If Ruckelshaus
to get the agency back doesn't get the EPA on its feet soon,
the agency's problems may prove to be
gnificant that Reagan terminal.
aus. As the agency's Reagan seemed to be offering
uring the Nixon ad- Ruckelshaus the kind of freedom he
Ruckelshaus won a needs at the press conference announ-
fair and tough ad- cing the nomination. At the same time,
He is a moderate however, some of the typical anti-en-
are bird in the Reagan vironment fervor for whichReagan has
He also won respect become infamous did manage to sneak
fire Watergate special its way in. When asked if he was
chibald Cox during changing any of his environmental
us Saturday Night policies, the president responded, "I'm
3 too old to change."
elshaus is currently a According to one House Republican,
sident at one of the "Bill Ruckelshaus isn't going to suck
forestry companies, his thumb. He's going to be a very
n won praise from tough administrator." If Reagan
nvironmentalists. En- doesn't let Ruckelshaus have some
, though, issued a war- room, the president better hope his
lent would be wise to newest appointment doesn't choke on
new director get the administration policies.







Attack on labor misses some targets

To the Daily :
Mark Gindin's attack on labor
unions in the Daily of last March
15 - that they're monopolistic, a
threat to the "free market," hen-
ce "keep unemployment high" -
even if justifiable, ignores other
kinds of unions, other
monopolies. Nor am I speaking of
monopolies in business,
outrageous as these are (like big
oil). These, Gindin does
recognize as likewise a threat,
albeit to him a lesser threat than
What Gindin ignores are unions
like the American Medical
Association. What happens to his
"free market" or "free enter-
prise" with the medico's control
of every facet of healthcare?
Well, try finding on TV, for in-
stance, the promotion of any kind

mighty low and earnings mighty
high. Gindin complains about the
"closed shop" of the UAW-type
unions, but these skilled trades
are closed shop with a vengean-
Gindin's blasting the UAW-type
labor unions is more like
scapegoating. They're merely
trying, as of the past half-

century, to keep pace with the
self-interest propensities
throughout the rest of society -
the skilled trades, the
professional associations
(medical, law, education, etc.),
the business associations (big oil,
utility monopolies, etc.).
Go where you will in the 20th
century and you'll find people

getting into groups and
associations to economically
protect themselves. Does Gindin.
want working people to be an ex-
ception to this historical trend? .
Laissez-faire, Mr. Gindin, is
kaput! For everybody!
- s. Colman.
March 17.


Daily flunks Marx conference coverage 0

To the Daily:
If your story on the first session
of the Marx Centennial conferen-
ce (Daily, March 17) were a final
exam paper, it would flunk. Here
are some of the larger points off:
"Your reporter says I said

tionary' when they were really
organized radical." I said, in
these words, "he changed his
estimate of peasant-worker
alliance in his earlier Class
Struggles in France to the por-
trayal of a fragmented and reac-
tionary class in the Eighteenth

* The picture you ran with the
article is not, and never was, of
me. It's a shot of Goran
With these howlers in the way,
we can no doubt ignore such
minor slips as the misspelling of


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