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October 25, 1984 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-10-25

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I

OPINION

Page 4 Thursday, ctober 25, 1984 The Michigan Daily
A physician' s view of El Salvador
Charles Clements, a physician and Viet- goes to both sides in El Salvador... Most of that Clements: I've certainly commented on ac- the guerrillas choose to accept his invitation'"
aid has come from the American public rather tions of the guerrillas that were less than ac- and participate in the elections, he couldn t
nam Veteran, lived in a rebel-held region of than physicians' support groups. In addition, ceptable, such as killing civilians in military guarantee their total security, and they would
El Salvador for a year, using his medical I've been a senior fellow at the Center for operations, and such as some of them who are have to face the same risk of the death squads
skills to aid the impoverished civilian Development Policy in Washington, D.C. and I over authoritarian. There are tactics of theirs that he does. Obviously, he was saying that this
population. He recently finished a book continue to lecture on U.S. foreign policy and that I have been very critical of, such as their issue-the protection of those who would run
Witness to War which draws on his ex- its direction. forced recruitment, which was not extensive for office and campaign-is an issue that would
periences. Daily Associate Arts Editor Daily: What did you testify about before but evidently happened for a while after I left prevent elections. If they can't campaign
pny enespoke wsiate ts lstr Congress? the country. There have also been individual safely, they can't participate. Duarte has ad-
Andy Weine spoke with Clements last week Clements: About my experiences in El acts of irresponsibility such as robbing people mitted that the death squads are still <,
about the recent changes in the political Salvador. As early as March, 1983, I reported and calling it a war tax, and people taking operating. That's an issue that is essential for
situation of the area, the parallels between that I'd seen Napalm used against the civilian things without paying for them. None of that negotiated settlements.
El Salvador and Vietnam, and the validity population, as well as white phosphorous. . . makes any sense in the context of the kind of
of U.S. policies there. During search and destroy operations I had revolution that they're trying to bring about. Daily: Do you support President Duarte in
heard U.S. advisors on the radio that were ap- But on the whole, I think that their deter- all of his policies?
NOTE: Witness to War will be parently in positions of command and control. mination for freedom and a just society is Clements: No. I think Duarte is in the same',; ,
reviewed in Friday's Weekend magazine. As well, I suspected that American pilots were commendable. And I certainly saw a discipline position today as he was when described by a 4
occasionally flying combat missions against that didn't exist in other parts of El Salvador. secret State Department cable in 1981; that is,
areas of guerrilla control in El Salvador. All of There were guerrillas who were punished for he's "a fig leaf providing cover for a rightist
.,those allegations have since been confirmed by actions of misdemeanor and for abuses of military regime." I think he is a decent man. ..
various reports. authority. He is not as brutal, dishonest, or corrupt as the .,
Daily: How has the situation in the Guazapa Daily: What is your opinion of the current Salvadoran military or oligarchy. But it must
a e zone (a "controlled zone" north of San political situation in El Salvador? Specifically, be remembered that he presided over this
...............'-....Salvador) changed since you left in March, 1983? what is your opinion of President Duarte and of government silently in 1980 and 1981, when the
Clements: About half of the villages in which the recent developments toward peace there? death squad activity was at its very highest. I
I lived are "pacified" in the same way that Clements: I think that all of those who have think his initiative toward peace is commen
large areas of Vietnam were pacified, in that an interest in peace have to be encouraged by dable, but I wonder about his sincerity,
there was no living thing left. Half the villages what happened in La Palma; specifically, the especially when the Salvadoran military laun
Daily: What have you been doing since you are now unpopulated, and only the craters and first explicit recognition of the F.D.R. and ches a major offensive two days after the peace
returned from El Salvador? ashes remain; there are no longer any people F.L.M.N. by the Salvadoran government is an talks.
Clements: I came back with the intention of there. Also, the area is being attacked three important first step. I think that Duarte's 't"'
raising money for humanitarian aid and retur- and four times a day now,compared to once a statement on the day after negotiations did Daily: Will you be returning to El Salvador?'' ""
Wing to El Salvador within 60 to 90 days. After I day when I was there. The casualties in the more to undermine U.S. foreign policy and Clements: At the end of this year, I'll re- r ,Z) .
was here a short while, I began to realize that area of bombardment are worse, and I suspect clarify the situation than have recent events, evaluate my role here as a peacemaker versus ..
PerhPS Ihda oeiPoratrl eea the strife's a lot higher, too. He said his hope in La Palma was to de- my role there as a physician, and try to assess;,
peacemaker than there as a physician, so I Daily: In your book, you give a fairly internationalize this conflict, to take it out of once more in which place I'd be more useful.
decided to take my witness public. I went to positive portrayal of the rebels in that they're the East-West arena. Both sides had agreed But I wouldn't be talking about my plans to Charles Clements, a physician who spent a
Congress and testified, and I began writing my friendly and helpful to villagers, humane to the that the cause of the revolution was closed return because of the danger it would bring to year in a rebel-held region of El Salvador and
book, lecturing around the country, and helping P.O.W.'s, and somewhat cooperative in their political doors. Basically, Duarte was saying those who would help me get into the country. has written a book an his experiences, says
to raise money for the Salvadoran Medical government rather than strictly hierarchical, that this was a Salvadoran problem and it Salvadoran President Duarte (pictured above)
Relief Fund. During that time, the Salvadoran Are there any ways in which you are critical of needed a Salvadoran solution. Secondly, he Dsis a "decent man". Clements, however, doubts
Medical Relief Fund raised about a quarter the guerrillas? Do you think that they're pur- gave away the problem with the U.S. ad- .Dialogue is an occasionalfeature of the Duarte's sincerity in initiating the recent peace
of a million dollars of humanitarian aid that suing the best way for achieving social change? ministration's policy here when he said that if Opinion Page. talks in La Palma.

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Cramer

Vol. XCV, No. 43

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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I Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
No trivial bit of information

W ALTER MONDALE probably
created a new trivia question
during his speech Tuesday to more
than 10,000 students and city residents
who gathered in the Diag. But the in-
formation he revealed is hardly trivial,
and sheds a peculiar light on the
character of the man he is challenging
for the presidency. For those who at-
tended the Diag rally yesterday, here
it is:
QUESTION: Who headed the
"Democrats for Nixon" campaign in
1960 and wrote a letter to Nixon with
the following criticisms of John F.
Kennedy?
"One last thought-shouldn't
someone tag Mr. Kennedy's bold new
imaginative program with its proper
age? Under the tousled boyish haircut
it is still old Karl Marx-first launched
a century ago... There is nothing new
in the idea of a government being Big
Brother to us all, Hitler called his
'State Socialism', and way before him
it was 'benevolent monarchy'."
ANSWER: It's Ronald Reagan, who
expressed those opinions in a 1960 let-
ter to Richard Nixon.
Strange, isn't it. The same Ronald
Reagan, who likes to invoke the name
of J.F.K. as a way of attracting voters
to his own Republican campaign, ac-
tually compared Kennedy to a man
who wrote the Communist Manifesto.
And, of course, to even compare Ken-

nedy's Democratic philosophy of
government with that of a German
leader who believed in the execution
of an entire race of people is a heinous
distortion of the truth.
Besides the obvious hypocrisy of
Reagan's use of Kennedy's name in his
1984 campaign, the letter shows how
Reagan is able to engage in vicious.
partisanship without regard to prin-
ciple. Perhaps Reagan cannot
distinguish between a strong U.S.
government that provides needed ser-
vices for its people and one that
decides to get rid of certain segments
of its human population.
Reagan is not the only politician to
twist the views of a former popular
president and to use a favorable image
for his own political advantage. This
new information on his real opinion of
J.F.K. will hopefully cause his
misleading strategy to backfire. Mon-
dale should also shy away from ex-
ploiting the Kennedy image. For
though he may well be closer to
sharing, J.F.K.'s ideals, Mondale is
hardly a John Kennedy.
Candidates of both parties should
win votes on the merits of their own
policies and beliefs, not those of
deceased, popular leaders.
Members of both parties should be
outraged that the leader of our free
world could not even distinguish
democracy from either communism or
fascism.

LETTERS TO THE DAILY

Night Ride not

created for women

To the Daily:
I read with interest your recent
Opinion Page column and the
related letter regarding poor ser-
vice received by two Night Ride
passengers. "A Nite-Ride
nightmare,"(Daily column, Oc-
tober 11) and "Nite-Ride unsafe
far un"(ny etr, October' 16).
AATA has sponsored Night
Ride service for over two years.
The service is provided through
the Veterans Cab Co. which receives
a subsidy of approximately $2.00
per passanger. Although the ser-
vice is provided by a subcontrac-
tor, AATA is ultimately respon-
sible for the quality of the ser-
vice. We agree with your readers
and expect professional, courteous
service from both the dispatchers
and drivers of Night Ride. If this
quality of service is not received
by any of your readers, I would
urge them to contact AATA at
973-504to rennrt. the' tnecific

number of vehicles in order to
maintain costs at a reasonable
level. The program is intended to
meet the late night transit needs
of the general public in Ann Ar-
bor, including University studen-
ts, but was not established to ser-
ve only the University area or
only women. Generally three to
four vehicles are in operation fro
m 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. and one
to two vehicles from 2:00 a.m. to
6:00 a.m. Because of this, wait-
times for pickups are longer than
those for the usual taxicab ser-
vice. Because of the shared-ride
nature of the program other
passengers are usually picked up
or dropped off on the way to a
BLOOM COUNTY

destination.
AATA has established service
standards for Veterans Cab to
adhere to in the provision of
Night Ride. Pickup waiting time
should average less than 20
minutes and combined pickup
and traveling time should
average less than 45
minutes. Ninety-five percent of
the trips should have a combined
waiting and traveling time under
60 minutes. Dispatchers
should make every effort to in-
form passengers of their expec-
ted pickup time, and drivers
should respond courteously to
passengers at all times.
AATA monitors Night Ride
service in a variety of ways.

Vehicle logs are reviewed
regularly and AATA occasionally
hires individuals to use Night
Ride and report on their ex-
periences. Passenger comments
such as those reported in your ar-
ticles are also invaluable sources
of information.
Please feel free to contact me if
you have any questions or com-
ments.
Richard Simonetta
-October 21

i

Simonetta is executive direc-
tor of the Ann Arbor Tran-
sportation Authority.
by Berke Breathed

0

Unsigned

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