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October 27, 1983 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-10-27

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, October 27, 1983
Sinclair

The Michigan Daily '

V .1t t iVv M ( w N IK I

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCIV-No. 44

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Paranoia in Reagan's eyes

--

I4

TUESDAY MORNING'S invasion of
Grenada by U.S. Marines was a
tremendous mistake which has
damaged U.S. credibility with its allies
in Europe and Latin America.
It also raises serious concerns about
President Ronald Reagan's plans for
Nicaragua.
Tuesday morning, 1,900 U.S.
Marines led an invasion of the tiny
Caribbean island-nation, which
has been wracked by civil strife since
/an October 12 leftist uprising. Reagan
and state department officials said the
action was needed to protect U.S.
citizens on the island, prevent com-
munist Cuba from gaining another
Caribbean outpost, and reverse a trend
toward radicalism in the area.
The administration's justification for
the invastion crumbles under any
honest appraisal of the situation,
however.
There is scarcely any evidence that
the 1,000 Americans on the island were
either stranded there, or even wanted
to leave.
The Americans, mostly students at a
medical school on the island, could
have been airlifted out yesterday and
today under plans made by the school,
according to the school's chancellor.
Whether or not Reagan feared
another hostage situation like the
Iranian crisis, it is obvious that the
danger to U.S. citizens has been
greatly exaggerated.
What seems likely is that the ad-
ministration exaggerated the danger
to justify a solution to its deeper
worries - the overthrow of a
democracy by a leftist regime. Once
can almost see Reagan quaking in his
Lynching,
TN HIS running civil rights duel bet-
ween his actions and his image,
President Ronald Reagan put three
more holes in his image when he fired
three members of the Civil Rights
Commission. All three had been highly
critical of Reagan's record on civil
rights. Their firings, another in
Reagan's long line of moves designed
to lynch the commission, demonstrate
the president's true colors on civil
rights issues.
The commission was formed in 1957
as a bipartisan executive branch ad-
visory group. It has been a consistent
and active voice of reason on civil
rights. Its recpmmendations have been
followegd time and again, not because
of which party the commission agreed
with, but because of the logic and
common sense that permeated its
reports.
Though the six-member committee
has been critical of past ad-
ministrations and policies, no
president has been remotely as hostile
to it as Reagan. He has fought -the
commission's recharter - something
Congress must do every five years -
and tried to replace commission
holdovers from the Carter and Ford
administrations.
Congress has been reluctant to give
in to the president's whims. A bipar-

golf shoes over the possibility.
This country, however, cannot con-
tinue to shove a U.S.-type democracy
{'down the throats of peoples who do not
want it. Reagan's paranoia of anything
left of a William Buckley will even-
tually draw the country into more
foreign messes if it continues.
Will Nicaragua be next? The San-
dinista government also seems to offer
an outpost for Cuba. The efforts of the
rebels there could, with enough U.S.
aid, throw that country into internal
turmoil. Would Reagan then rush in
the Marines under the pretext of
restoring order? Tuesday's invasion
seems to indicate that he would.
"Today it was Grenada, tomorrow it
could be another country," as a
Bolivian ambassador said after the in-
vasion.
This invasion also puts a tremendous
strain on America's relations with its
allies in Europe and Latin America.
Key members of the Organization of
American States, such as Mexico,
Columbia, Costa Rica, Peru, and
Venezuela strongly opposed the in-
vasion.
Perhaps even more disturbing,
Britain, one of America's staunchest
allies, urged Reagan not to invade the
island. To Western Europeans,
Reagan's actions are more proof that
he is chasing Soviet phantoms, and is
too trigger-happy to be trusted with
nuclear weapons.
The U.S. government must realize
that it cannot solve every problem in
the world, that it cannot plug every
hole that leftist governments might
fill. With its invasion of Grenada,
America already has damaged its
credibility considerably.
Reagan-style
tisan coalition of senators proposed a
compromise that would allow Reagan
to appoint two new commission mem-
bers without removing any of the ex-
isting members, thereby increasing
the number of members to eight.
Reagan rejected that plan and
though he had no cause, illegally fired
his most vocal critics on the com-
mission: Mary Frances Berry, a
professor of history and law at Howard
University; Blandina Cardenas
Ramirez, a San Antonio educator; and
Rabbi Murray Saltzman of Baltimore.
That left the commission with three
members, two of which were appointed
by Reagan. But the commission cannot
operate with only three people - four
are required for a quorum. Reagan, in
essence, has left the commission for
dead unless Congress takes action.
Congress can remove the executive
branch control over the committee by
making it a legislative commission an-
swerable directly to Congress. If this is
done the commission could continue its
stellar work on civil rights without
worrying about a president that
doesn't share the same concern for
those who don't enjoy the same rights
as Ronald Reagan.
It's time to take this target of
Reagan's anti-civil rights hunt away
from him.

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

Heckling is a

function of

democracy

To the Daily:
In the editoral "Heckling
Haig's Hecklers" (Daily Oct. 22)
two basic points were made, each
of them misguided and ill-
founded. First, hecklers sup-
posedly shirked their "duty" to
allow others to exercise their
rights of free speech and
peaceable assembly.
The Constitution guarantees
neither a monologue nor an
obedient, passive audience. My
fellow hecklers and I did not in-
tend in any way to prevent Mr.
Haig from saying whatever he
wished to say. We neither forced
Haig from the podium, cut his
speech or the question and an-
swer session short, nor alter the
content of his speech. Unlike
Jeane Kirkpatrick at Berkeley
last spring, Haig was not shouted
down.
The Daily should have objected
to the behavior of the crowd and
Haig himself. Hecklers wanted to
hear Haig tell more subtle lies,
disanalogies, and subterfuges.
Haig too
To the Daily:
I just wanted to see Al Haig
speak tonight. That's all. But
what did we get? We got police
and a near-riot protest instead,
and it's the fault of whoever
organized Mr. Haig's little visit to
Ann Arbor.
Tell me, please, who possesses
the uncanny wisdom and
foresight to schedule Alexander
Haig - in person - in Rackham
Auditorium? There were at least
3500 parents, students,
professors, and generally in-
terested citizens wishing to hear
Haig speak. Rackham holds 1200
comfortably. I address this to
those responsible for this sham.
Wait. I think I understand. With
everyone scared about another
Vietnam in El Salvador, maybe
you had the idea that you'd only
let those peopletin who you knew
weren't going to give Al buddy
any hassles. After all, there were
all those radical protesters
sprawled out on the Rackham
steps telling everyone that they,
for once, were going to speak their
minds to a politican that counts.
Prohibitive measures, right?
Lock the doors before the
troublemakers can get in.
Or maybe, the adept organizers
of this important public talk just
don't realize that this is just that
- an important talk. This is The
University of Michigan. I've
heard it said that the University
is kind of respected and
prestigious, and that some great
people have graduated from here
. . of course this all could be
rumor. But rumor or not, I know
there are some people who aren't
totally apathetic with gover-
nmental issues. Some - like
myself admittedly - have been a
little busy with school and would
sincerely like to catch up on some
current events. Firsthand
knowledge like Mr. Haig's was a
privilege. It was a right we had

The largely right-wing crowd and
Haig tried to silence the hecklers.
The hecklers' right of free speech
suffered a greater infringement
than Haig's, if Haig's freedom of
speech suffered at all. Ironically,
" Haig's speech was not free; it
cost thousands of dollars.
It is moreover ironic that the
Daily mentioned peaceable
assembly. For the hecklers are
for global peace. The majority of
truly hostile comments came
from the political right instead of
the left. Hecklers advocate op-
position because it is essential to
democracy.
The Daily said the hecklers
were "trying to disrupt" Haig's
lecture. "Disrupt" is used here in a
pejorative sense which obscures
both the intention and the effect
,of the heckling. Applause in-
terrupts a lecture no less than
heckling does. The crowd, for ex-
ample, warmly applauded Haig's
remark that a certain woman's
beauty would not get her
everything in life. Implicit in the
big for littleA

Dialy editorial is an acceptance
of this type of interruption.
Democracy also allows for in-
terruptions expressing op-
position. Hecklers interrupted to
oppose Haig's position and
qualify his statements. The
hecklers succeeded in
democratizing the auditorium
and promoted interaction with
the speaker. Heckling Haig was a
mode of democratic opposition. It
was radically democratic since
each heckler autonomously exer-
cised his or her right of free
speech. It is false that the
hecklers were not listening to
Haig. On thie contrary, 'Hecklers
responded to specific remarks
made by Haig.
This type of democratic in-
teraction promotes education.
Thus the heckling did not adver-
sely affect the "spirit of
education in an atmosphere of
free speech" that the Daily said
is so important to the nurturing of
a world elite. Putting aside the ob-
vious point that Haig's speech
ackham

What about Ch:
What about out
What about: it,
really like ano
apology, a re-sc

rysler Arena? Haigs visit. Feedback, please!
side? Thank you Michigan Daily for
thuh? I would letting this one opinion be heard.
explanation, an - Anne Mancour
heduling of Mr. October 22

MSA out offocus

To the Daily:
After witnessing the actions of
certain student groups at the
Alexander Haig speech, we are
ashamed of being affiliated with
the student body of this univer-
sity. The complete disrespect,
impoliteness, and sheer rudeness
of the hecklers still stuns us.
These people, though they claim
to be "politically aware," did not
express themselves in an in-
telligent manner.
We also cannot believe the
audacity of the MSA News in
printing the "doctored"
photograph of Mr. Haig. Is this
newspaper actually published by
responsible people in the
Michigan Student Assembly (who
supposedly represent the studen-
ts)? We find their actions

irresponsible.
Due to the immaturity of a por-
tion of the Rackham audience, as
well as the improper image of
Mr. Haig in the MSA News, we
believe a formal apology to Mr.
Haig is in order. As President of
MSA, Mary Rowland is the leader
of, as well as chief representative
of, the entire student body, and
hence it is her duty to undertake
this task.
We are not all in favor of Mr.
Haig, or his policies, but we do'
uphold a high belief in respect
and politeness to all individuals
- whether we agree or disagree
with them.
- Christopher Grew
Joseph Dent
Nicholas John Kabcenell
October 21

was itself of minimal educational
value - similar pedestrian
analyses can be found in the
popular press - the hecklers
made Haig's speech more
educational than it otherwise
would have been.
Education certainly presup-
poses a knowledge of official and
quasi-offical government policy.
Education should also include a
critical examination of those
policies both in academic and
political settings. There is no
doubt that Haig's lecture was
academic only insofar as he
spoke in a building owned by a
university. The hecklers did not
believe that the cloak of
academia was sufficient garb to
allow Haig's atrocious statemen-
ts to go unchallenged.
The second basic point of. th'
Daily editorial is also flawed. Thie'
point was that the hecklers were
jeopardizing "the University's;
ability to bring in a varied rang;
of viewpoints and speakers."
First, the wisdom of attracting
speakers such as Haig should bi
questioned before worrying about
recruiting more of them. Wh
eriteria were used to select him?.
How well are the students served
when thousands of dollars are,
spent to hear Haig tell jokes? The
University administration should,
ask just how educational Haig's.
speech was. What students saw at
Rackham on Friday was a per
sonality and that was what most
of them were there to see.
University guest lectureships
should not be forums used to ex-
pound reactionary propaganda;
which attract their audiences on
the basis of personality. The
University should prove it is in-~
terested in presenting a diversity
of opinions. Why not invite Er-
nesto Cardenal or Ruben Zamora
to give an alternative perspective
on American foreign policy?
As Art Goldberg wrote in The
Nation of Jeane Kirkpatrick at
Berkeley: "Her appearance was
a political promotion endorsed by
a university guest lectureship.
The First Amendment, after all,
was designed to empower or-
dinary citizens against of-
ficialdom - and protect their
rights to criticize and petition
their leaders. In the real world,
free speech is ordinarily reserved
for those who own a podium."
Second, students should not be
concerned with frightening off
potential guest lectures by
challenging the viewshof those
who do come. For those who
would be deterred by such in-
teraction would probably not of-
fer the same educational ex-
perience others would. Without
the possibility of democratic in-
teraction with a speaker, much of
what makes a discourse
educational is lacking.
In "Heckling Haig's Hecklers"
the Daily has once again served
the causes of reaction and the
University administration.
- Eric Schnaufer
October 22

A

4

4

4

Jeering East Quad
To the Daily:

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I amydeeplyconcerned about
the way Alexander Haig was
received here in East Quad. A
group consisting mainly of East
Quad residents harassed and
jeered the former secretary of
state as he was entering and
leaving his room. Several people
yelled obscenities and political
slogans at his window.
While he was leaving his room,
they chanted: "Al Haig has no
place in our home" or
something to that effect.
Somebody even yelled out, "hit
him" as Mr. Haig got into his
BLOOM COUNTY

limousine.
As a resident of East Quad, I
am ashamed of the way these
protestors treated Mr. Haig.
Their actions were rude and
childish. Closedmindedness and
jeering are not compatible with a
free society, in which we listen to
a person's views with respect,
whether or not we agree with
them. Certainly those opposed to
Mr. Haig's views could have
protested them in a more con-
structive and civil way.
- Jonathan Koenig
October 20

I4

by Berke Breathed

i

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