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September 25, 1984 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-09-25

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4'

OPINION

Page 4 Tuesday, September 25, 1984

The Michigan Daily

I

Democrats aren't Communist-lovers

By Dave Kopel
As a liberal Democrat - and as an
admirer of Harry Truman, John
'Kennedy, and Hubert Humphrey - I
consider one'of the president's most im-
portant duties to be combatting Com-
Diunism. Communism is the enemy of
tiose values that Democrats cherish
iost: freedom, democracy, oppor-
tunity, individualism, and justice.
: When Ronald Reagan ran for
president in 1980, he assailed President
arter's anti-Communist record, and
promised to do better. Four years
later, let's take a look at how Reagan
has done.
TO BEGIN with, Reagan deserves
great credit for the invasion of
Grenada. American troops there over-
throw a Stalinist clique which itself had
just taken power a few days before in a
bloody coup. The previous government
- Maurice Bishop's Marxist regime -
had a fair degree of popular support,
but the new Coard government, which.
considered Bishop too pro-West, had
not a bit of popular approval. People
who say "Let Grenada be Grenada"
ought to applaud the American in-
vasion, because the Grenadan people
.themselves cheered the American
liberators.
The president also deserves praise
for sticking with President Carter's
plans to place Pershing II and Cruise
missiles in Western Europe. Our NATO
allies originally requested deployment
of these missiles during Carter's term,
as a counter to the massive build-up of
Soviet SS-20 missiles in Eastern
Europe. The new American missiles
ensure that if Soviet troops cross the
West German border, they will trigger

an American nuclear response. This
linkage of American and Western
European security is exactly what is
needed to deter a Soviet invasion.
And to the list of Reagan's accom-
plishments, we should also add his
strong assertions of American pride
and freedom. His "Evil Empire" ad-
dress, as well as his televised speeches
to the Chinese people about democracy,
were just the kind of speeches
American presidents should make
Admittedly America does some rotten
things to the world sometimes, and
American democracy isn't perfect, but
that doesn't change the fundamental
facts: democracy and freedom are
good; Communism and dictatorship
are evil. I'm glad the president stood.
tall and said so.
Unfortunately, Reagan's efforts to
combat Communism and the evil Soviet
empire haven't been completely suc-
cessful. Almost all Western European
nations now have significant neutralist
movements that favor unilateral
Western disarmament. While these
neutralists may never capture a
parlimentary majority, they are well-
established as a major political force.
Already they are impeding the efforts
of pro-American leaders in Europe to
increase defense spending and to con-
front the Soviet Union.
REAGAN bears much of the blame
for the growth of these groups. In-
significant while Carter was president,
they have blossomed under Reagan.
His casual talk about nuclear war has
scared many Europeans to death. The
West German Green party (which is in-
creasingly pro-Soviet) ought to send
Reagan an award for helping it win
seats in the Bundestag.
Reagan performed poorly as a leader

of the Western alliance. As historian
Arthur Schlesinger Jr. has observed,
the people in charge of America's
foreign policy know less about foreign
affairs than in any administration in
the past half-century. as a result, our
foreign policy is often misguided, and
almost always uncoordinated.
Reagan's clumsy effort to stop the
Europeans from helping Russia build a
natural gas pipeline is a case in point.
While Reagan's goal was worthwhile,
the pipeline embargo was undertaken

Reagan doesn't understand that the
rebellion will never be stopped until the
government earns the support of the
peole. And the current government,
which is nominally headed by Duarte,
but is dominated by the same people
who run the death squads, is never
going to attract popular support. Until
the United States takes vigorous action
to purge the fascists in El Salvador, the
Communists will flourish.
A similar story is taking place in
Guatemala, where the right-wing

By supporting fascism in El Salvador;
Guatemala, Reagan has strengthened
Communists; with minor variations,
same story is happening in Nicaragua.

and
the
the

to mount a full-scale civil war.
By supporting fascism in El Salvador
and Guatemala, Reagan has
strengthened the Communists; with
minor variations, the same story is
happening in Nicaragua. There,
Reagan rightfully condemns the
Sandinista regime's denials of human
rights. But he sends arms to supporters
of the old dictator, Somoza, whose
regime offered far less freedom and
justice than does the current one. The
Contra Guardsmen's idea of
"liberating Nicaragua" is to machine-
gun peasants who are working on farms
that have been confiscated from the
vast Somoza family estates. The
"secret war" does nothing but further
embitter the Nicaraguan peasantry
against the U.S., and give the hard-line
Sandinistas an excuse to crack down on
dissent. Our democratic allies in the
region, led by Venezuala and Mexico,
have proposed the "Contadora" plan
for neutralizing and democratizing
Central America. While paying lip ser-
vice to the Contadora process, Reagan
has systematically worked to under-
mine it.
IN THE Phillippines, we see a
sickening repetition of the mistakes in
Central America. In 1981, George Bush
told Philippine strongman Ferdinand
Marcos "We love your commitment to
democracy." No-one else in the Philip-
pines loves Marcos; even the conser-
vative business community is sick of
Marcos' corruption and repression.
Meanwhile, Communist revolutionaries
already control the interior of several
of the most important Philippine islan-
ds. As murdered democratic reformer
Benigno Aquino explained, "The Com-
munists love Marcos . . . He's the best
thing that ever happened to them.

From having 500 men under arms
before martial law (which Marcos im-
posed in 1972), they now have 17,000 -
and they're expanding." Aquino
predicted that unless Marcos resored
democracy in the Philippines, "The
scenario that will unfold in my country
is similar to what is now happening in
El Salvador." Yet instead of
pressuring Marcos to hold elections;
Reagan just hands Marcos all the
financial aid he wants.
Sometimes the struggle with Soviet
Communism requires military force or
aid, as in Grenada. In such situations,
Reagan usually knowswhat to do. But
in other countries, the battle with
Communism requires not more tanks,
but more freedom. Sadly, Reagan
seldom.stands up for American values
in these situations. Like Ronald
Reagan, Presiden John Kennedy
was a strong anti-Communist. But
Kennedyrealized that, "Those who
make peaceful change impossible,
make violent revolution inevitable."4
That's why President Kennedy con-
sistently put America on the side of
democratic reform movements around
the world. Reagan's alliances with dic-
tators play straight into the hands of the
Kremlin.
Reagan deserves credit for Grenada
and the Euromissiles, but the most
important anti-Communist task in the
next four years will be turning back
Communism in Central America and
the Philippines. Because vigorous sup-
port for democracy is the best antidote
to Communism, I'll be casting my anti.
Communist ballot for Walter Mondale.
Kopel is a third year la w student.

so clumsily, and with so little backing
from our allies, that it was bound to fail.
All it did was reduce American
credibility. The White House staff
ought to make foreign policy well, or
else leave it to state department.
professionals.
REAGAN'S Central American policy
also looks weak from the anti-Com-
munist perspective. After four more
years of war, and millions of dollars of
American military aid, the corrupt
Salvadoran army is further than ever
from defeating the Communist rebels.

military government permits no
political opposition, and systematically
slaughters the native Indian
population. Because peaceful reform is
impossible, peasants who want social
justice in Guatemala have no alter-
native but the Communist insurgents.
Instead of pressuring the Guatemalan
government to improve, Reagan un-
critically ships it all the military aid it
wants. Thanks to the lack of reform,
the Communists have been growing
stronger every day. By the end of
Reagan's second term, they will be able

Edie m d tig anl'
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Cramer

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Vol. XCV, No. 17

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

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AREMA rIiAIj ,Z

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4

So President Reagan wants to be a
diplomat. In a speech to the United
Nations General Assembly yesterday,
the president pledged to play a greater
role in the regional diplomacy of Cen-
tral America and the Middle East and
minade clear his intention to work
,ward a more constructive relation-
'ship with the Soviet Union. If indeed he
does pursue those goals in deed - not
:just in word - the best that can be said
is that it took him three-and-a-half
years to decide on a policy which would
have been followed from the start by
any responsible world leader. A
president shouldn't decide on
diplomacy, he should follow it instin-
-tively.
What Ronald Reagan does follow in-
stinctively is political opportunity.
'he time is ripe to appear the cham-
.pion of peace since one of the few
guestions the American voting public
has concerning Reagan is his war-
monger image. Now would be the time
to put everyone at ease. There is little
reason for comfort, however, in
reviewing the Reagan ad-
ministration's diplomatic record.
When the president met with Soviet
Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko on
Sunday he declared, "We have it
within our power to make history."
But history has already been made in
an unfortunate way. Reagan is the fir-
st president since Hoover not to have
met with a Soviet leader and he has
rejected every arms limitation
agreement ever proposed between the
two nations. His "diplomacy" regar-
ding the Soviet Union has included
terming it an "evil empire" whose
philosophies are destined for the "ash
heap of history." With diplomacy like
that, who needs antagonism?
His renewed interest in regions such

America comes after three-and-a-half
years of spotty and unsuccessful in-
volvment in those areas. Reagan has
proposed no solutions, other than
military ones, for the problems
associated with Central America.
Large military aid packages have been
granted but little serious discussion has
ever been proposed.
The administration's record in the
Middle East is even more bleak owing
to the extensive loss of life resulting
from its weak policies. Instead of
dealing intelligently with the problems
in Lebanon, the problems have thrust
themselves upon the president. Two
separate attacks on American in-
stallations in 1983 killed 304 people and
last week 23 died in the most recent at-
tack on the American Embassy. Each
attack could have been avoided, and
each successive one means the excuses
are harder to make. The Reagan ad-
ministration has contributed nothing
toward a diplomatic solution in
Lebanon, it has not even succeeded in
protecting its diplomatic corps from
slaughter.
Responding to the lax security
precautions at the new embassy, the
president said, "Anyone that's ever
had their kitchen done over knows that
it never gets done as soon as you wish it
would." It is doubtful that the families
of those killed would appreciate the
metaphor, but it does provide an in-
teresting way of looking at Reagan's
diplomatic record. He has yet to clean
up a single kitchen. His diplomatic ef-
forts are characterized by disarray
and ineffectiveness - when they exist
at all. All of this big talk about
strengthening America's diplomatic
efforts should be viewed with skep-,
ticism. A president who discovers
diplomacy this late in his term is
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MVI1DAL6 CHARM BREM6 TUE MIWAE ARRR--

.. ..-

LETTERS TO THE DAILY
Jewish students may miss classes

To The Daily:
I am writing to you on behalf of
the Jewish Students at 'the
University. With the rapid ap-
proach of the Jewish high holy
days of Yom Kippur and Rosh
Hashanah, a feeling of concern is
growing among these students
that the University is
"penalizing" them for their
beliefs.
In order to observe Rosh
Hashanah, the Jewish New Year,
and Yom Kippur, the Day of
Atonement, Jews all around the
world attend synagogue or tem-
ple. This year, Rosh Hashanah
happens to be on Thursday and
Friday, September 27, and 28,
1984, and many Jewish students
will miss classes on these days.
We at MSA have written letters
to the deans of the various

schools informing them of the
situation. We would like all
professors and teaching assistan-
ts to be aware of the Jewish
holidays and to excuse students
BLOOM COUNTY

accordingly.
Jewish students deserve to be
assured that their course
schedules will not interfere with
their religious practices.

- Benjamin Long
September2A
is MSA 's vice
for academic af-

Long
president
fairs.

by Berke Breathed

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