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January 09, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-01-09

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OPINION

Page 4

Friday, January 9, 1987

The Michigan Doily

I

Edite mdbtta ny Michig an l
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCVII, No. 71

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Reagan's
Under a barrage of criticism over
its covert arms sale to Iran, the
Reagan administration has
generously conceded that "mis-
takes may have been made."
However, the administration has
admitted error only for "mis-
execution" of policy but not for the
policy aims themselves.
Defense of arm sales to Iran is
an untenable position. The Aya-
tollah Khomeni's government is
one of the most autocratic and
repressive regimes in the world.
Not only has it done violence upon
its own people, but it has exported
violence worldwide by supporting
terrorism. Despite President
Reagan's rabid rhetoric about
terrorism, he sold arms and
credibility to Iran. The President
continues to defend his actions,
claiming the "strategic necessity" of
seducing "moderates" in the Iran
government. Characteristically, the
administration has given
precedence to its perceived strategic
interests over the dictates of
morality. The moral bankruptcy
of Reagan's position can be
demonstrated by comparing his
policies toward Iran, Nicaragua,
and South Africa.
When Reagan's agents travel to
Iran with guns, the guns are for
sale; when Reagan's agents go to
Nicaragua with guns, the guns are
for slaughter. In Iran, a'country
condemned worldwide for its
brutality, the United States,
supposedly, has gone faithfully
searching for moderates. In
Nicaragua, a country recognized
throughout the world as the most
humane in Central America, the
United States has adopted a 'shoot
them all now, sort them out later'

arms sales
approach. When the Contras
descend upon a village, they do not
ask where the moderates are-they
enter guns with ablaze killing in-
discriminately.
The "righteous anger" which
Reagan has displayed in dealing
with the Sandinistas is in stark
contrast to the infinite
understanding he has shown the
racist government of South Africa.
The administration has spent much
effort and legitimacy attempting to
convince the public that
constructive engagement would
promote gradual alleviation of
racial oppression.
President Reagan claims to be
fraught with worry that sanctions
against the apartheid state would
"hurt the blacks most." Why is he
not concerned with the Nicaraguan
peasants, to whom he has cut off
even medical supplies gathered by
humanitarian groups? In truth,
President Reagan has been able to
patiently endure the suffering of
both Nicaraguan peasants and
South African blacks-not to
mention United States blacks.
Like Iran and unlike Nicaragua,
South Africa exercises terrorism on
its own people. Like Iran and
unlike Nicaragua, South Africa
exports terrorism, principally to
Mozambique and Angola. Like
Iran and unlike Nicaragua, South
Africa has materially benefitted
from President Reagan's
commitment to "moderation."
President Reagan seems to have a
peculiar method of choosing those
upon whom he bestows his
benefits. He has supplied South
Africa with commerce, Iran with
weapons, and Nicaragua with
orphans.

Socialis
By John Silberman
I cannot even begin to express my
absolute disgust for Seth Klukoff and
David Vogel, regarding their essay
"Socialism doesn't work" (Daily,
11/21/86). I must admit that I agree with
one thing they said, "To what depths has
debate on campus sunk to?" And thanks
to them, it has been lowered even further.
I ask you this: to what depths has your
human compassion fallen to? How can
you so offhandedly state "Not that
everyone in the West is perfectly fed and
sheltered..." and still consider yourselves
human beings? Do you realize what you
just said? You just condensed the
starvation, unemployment, and
homelessness of hundreds of millions of
people in the West into a mindless
simplification that, well, things are not
quite perfect. Are you for real? Why
don't you look at some facts, plain and
simple. China (socialist), only 25 years
after its revolution, totally eradicated
starvation. In India (capitalist) millions
upon millions of people continue to
starve while the country continues to
export food. In the Philippines
(capitalist), hundreds of families are forced
to live, literally, in trash dumpsites, for
they have no other way to get food. In
Cuba (socialist), virtually no one is
underfed. In the Soviet Union (socialist),
there exists a condition that Western
economists like to call
"overemployment" (too many people
have jobs!), while in the United States
(capitalist), more than seven million
people are without work, two million
have no shelter, and 20 million people are
malnourished. If this is capitalism
working and socialism not working, well,
then, you are terribly disoriented.
Furthermore, Vogel and Klukoff
Wasserman

m is
continue to show their stupidity when
they naively state the generalization that
"East Bloc economies do not even begin
to hold a candle to Western economies."
I do not totally blame Klukoff and Vogel
for such a senseless remark, for it is a
favorite argument of both Democrat and
Republican alike nowadays, and one
which, on the surface, seems convincing.
For it is easy to compare the respective
standard of living of the USA and the
USSR, and undoubtedly the USA would
come out on top. But does this prove
capitalism superior? No, because
limiting the comparison to just the USA
and the USSR, or just to the East Bloc
nations and the Western democracies,
presupposes that capitalism in the
Western democracies is an entity
functioning separately from the rest of the
world, and our luxury has nothing to do
with the misery in the capitalist Third
World. Wrong, our high standard of
living is the direct cause of the misery in
the Third World. How else could we get
chunk pineapple slices at Kroger if it
weren't for the peasants in the
Philippines earning pennies an hour?
And don't tell me that Dole pineapple in
the Philippines supplies jobs and needed
wages, because it is Dole who kicked the
peasants off their land originally, so that
Dole could grow its pineapple, and it is
Dole and its stockholders who keep the
profits. Who loses? Not only the
peasants in the Philippines, but also the
pineapple grower in Hawaii who no
longer can compete because he doesn't
pay his employees 30 cents an hour. And
why does the American auto industry
choose to import steel all the way from
Indonesia instead of steel produced
nationally? Because in Indonesia there
exists a right-wing dictatorship that
suppresses labor movements and ensures
worker docility. Not only does that hurt
the Indonesian miner, but also the blue

uperior
collar worker in America whose job wAs:
lost when U.S. Steel shut down. Not
only does this economic imperialism hurt
the Third World, but it also hurts the
American worker. Capitalism respects ho'
boundaries in its search for profits, nor
does it respect the right to food, shelter,
and employment.
I am not a Communist, nor do I wish
to live in the Soviet Union. All I'm
saying is that the immature generalization
professed by Klukoff and Vogel can serve
no good other than to increase the level bf
reactionary McCarthyism in our society
so that anything "socialized" is
immediately dismissed with a thorough
examination of the possible merit-:
Reagan capitalized on this sentiment in
1980 and 1984, declaring he would "get
the government off the backs of the
people." In England, the government is
on the backs of the people by socializing
hospitals, granting free health care to all.
In Sweden, the government is on the
backs of the people by assuring free
college for all. In America, Reagan has
put government on the backs of the
people by instituting mandatory drug
testing, and hopes to create a law telling a
woman what she can and cannot do with
her own body.
It is unfortunate that the typical
American citizen continues to be
receptive to the disease of conservatism;
for I'm sure that if he knew of the
atrocities committed in his name, he
would reject conservatism for what it is,
WRONG. Until that day, we must be
subjected to the likes of Ronald Reagan,
George Bush, Carl Pursell, Seth
Klukloff, and David Vogel, ad nauseaum.
John Silberman is an LSA Junior.

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LETTERS:.

i

Building solidarity

Daily should show responsib

A2MISTAD, THE ANN ARBOR
based construction brigade of
University students, graduates, and
other volunteers, is leaving for
Nicaragua to build a soil testing
institute in Managua. This
Saturday's send-off party for
A2MISTAD is both a fundraiser
and a celebration of the group's
intent: to solidify bonds with
Nicaraguans and help that country
realize a more efficient, self-
sufficient agricultural system.
AMISTAD means friendship in
Spanish and is the acronym for
Ann Arbor Managua Institute for
Soil Testing and Development.
Scholars and others in both the
United States and Nicaragua are
working together toward coord -
inating new farming methods with
political realities in Nicaragua.
Agrarian reform in Nicaragua
since the 1979 Sandinista
revolution has been both difficult
and successful. The first few years
produced the most dramatic
changes; the state expropriated 41
percent of the land and re -
distributed land to small producers,
many of whom organized into
cooperatives. The remaining 60
percent was left in private hands as
long as the land was being worked.
A shift in attitude away from

dependence on foreign chemical
pesticides to more ecologically and
economically sound farming
methods has also been a large part
of the reform. -
The Sandinistas are trying to cut
the cycle of first world de -
pendency. (Nicaragua imports
pesticides from major first world
chemical companies, mostly in the
United States, and then sells back
crops to first world countries,
again, primarily the United States.)
Providing enough food to meet the
nutritional needs of everybody in
the country while sustaining a
profitable export economy are
goals of the revolution. In order to
ensure continued educational and
health improvements, as well as
independence, Nicaragua must
fund these programs on its own.
Self-sufficiency for Nicaraguans,
however, is replete with obstacles
such as natural disasters (floods
and draughts), and, escalating
Contra attacks on silos, agricultural
workers, cooperatives, other food
production and transportation
areas. Increased U.S. aid to the
contras forces Nicaragua to divert
its limited resources; food,
medicine, and other materials to the
war rather than toward constructive
endeavors, such as A2MISTAD.

To the Daily:
How could you be so
insensitive? The cartoon in
Monday's editorial page does
nothing but promote racism
and stereotypes in an --
unsuccessful attempt at humor.
The Daily has neversshown as
much hypocrisy as did on
Monday, December 8, 1986.
Just last week, there was an
article on Retention of
Minority students on the
Editorial page. How dare you
show any type of concern for
the minority community
(especially the Black), and in
the next week insult us this
way? What you have done is
repulsive and shows that the
Daily editors are totally
insensitive to the minority
community as a whole.
There is also the question
of compassion. How can you
find humor in a cartoon that
refuses to consider the
underlying social conditions
leading to such a crime? I can
only imagine how funny this
cartoon would be to the
families of one of the young
people actually killed this way.
To say that the editors of the
Daily have warped minds
would actually only be an
understatement. If you could
begin to understand the
oppressed, confused minds of
the young people who feel that
they have to result to this type
of crime to deal with their

generalization that teens in
Detroit must all resort to
violence to obtain things that
they want-- again, ignorance.
So, you see, Micigan Daily,
there is much you don't
understand about the situation.
Israel seeks
To The Daily:
We have read with great .
interest the letter to the editor,
"1987: The year of Palestine"
(Daily, 11/20/86), about the
misfortunes of the Palestinian
people, signed by Ms.
Shadroui, Mr. Ghannam and
Mr. El-Haj.
The authors of that letter are
well known to the readers of
the Daily from their previously
published letters and interviews
that attempted to discredit
Israel.
Half truths, as we know, are
more misleading, than lies.
The letter written by Shadroui
et. al. is of this nature. The
letter goes to a great effort to
describe the structure and
organizations created by the
PLO. However, the authors
failed to describe the main
activities of the so called
"military for its people's
defense," namely, their
initiation, encouragement and
execution of worldwide
terrorism. During the past 18
years, 557 (!) acts of
international terror outside the

Why not try to show a bit
more editorial responsibility in
responsible journalism instead
of shallow, blatant, racist
humor! -Lannis Hall
MSA Minority Affairs
Chair

ility
Kimberly Washington
MSA MinorityAffair
Vice-Chair, LSA
representativ'
Kurt Muencho
MSA Presiden
December

peace in the middle east

following the 1947 UN vote to
partition Palestine into two
states. The authors complain
that "after forty years the
Palestinians still lack the
fulfillment of even a portion of
their national rights." The
truth of the matter is that
despite the fact that the
proposed partition was ex -
tremely unfavorable to the
Jewish population, it was
accepted by the leadership of
the Israelis, an acceptance that
meant the establishment of an
Arab Palestinian state besides
the Jewish state of Israel. The
reaction of the Arab League,
however, was a total rejection
of the proposed partition
accompanied by the escalation
of hostilities against the
Jewish population that reached
its peak when seven Arab
states invaded the newly
established state of Israel.
We must also ask why it
is that during 19 years, from
1948 to 1967, when the West
Bank and Gaza Strip were under
Arab administration, no
attempt was made even to

current aspiration could be
found in Ms. Shadroui's
concluding sentence in the
Daily's interview on Octobe
17 - "When Israel falls... we
are going to create a democratic
secular state...."
In contrast, Israel and the
Israeli people have been
engaged in a continuous effoi
to find a peaceful solution foi
the Arab-Israeli conflict. These
efforts have included endless
calls for direct negotiations
between Israel and any othei
party that will be willing te
accept its existence. One
should take into consideration
that throughout the history ol
the Arab-Israeli conflict,
progressive Arab leaders such
as King Abbdallah, Presideni
Sadat, PLO representative Isam
Sartwai and lately the Mayor ol
Nablus, Mr. El-Massri, were
murdered by their Arab brothers
because of their more moderate
approach toward Israel.
A long lasting settlemen
of the conflict that will satisfy
all parties can be reached only
by recognition and direci

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