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January 12, 1987 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-01-12

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OPINION

Page 4
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCViI, No. 72 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
Allother cartoons, signed articles, andletters do notnecessarily represent the opinion ofithe Daily.
Kee Your Guard Up

Monday, January 12, 1987

LAST 1HURSDAY, MEMBERS OF
the Latin American Solidarity
Committee (LASC) held a
demonstration at and in the
National Guard Armory of Ann
Arbor. After defying police orders
to evacuate the building, University
students Mark Weisbrot and Dean
Baker, were arrested for trespas-
sing. Staff Sgt. Hoffman, in a
statement revealing of government
attitudes, announced "this is not a
public building, it is a military
installation."
The actions of Weisbrot, Baker,
and other protesters have been
made necessary by the undemo-
cratic domestic and foreign
practices of the government
regarding Central America. Al-
though national polls have
consistently shown a lack of
popular support for the admin-
istration's interventionist practices
in Nicaragua, the White House has
found ways to insulate itself from
the populace and political
opposition. The National Guard
Armory has been targeted as a
manifestation of Reagan's efforts
to circumvent popular opinion and
dissent.
The National Guard has been
chosen as an instrument of
Reagan's Central American policy
because the President can
nationalize the Guard without
approval from Congress.
Traditionally, the President has
only had to request a governor's
cooperation in calling up a state's
contigent of the National Guard.
However, after receiving refusals
from some governors, Reagan has
removed even this obstruction to
his goals by "federalizing" state
troops. This usurption of power
has made it impossible to affect
Do not cut
T HE BUDGET PROPOSED BY
President Reagan contains cuts in
student aid. These cuts, if passed,
will critically limit access to higher
education.
The budget cuts decrease Pell
Grants by $1 billion. If ratified,
this cut would result in a loss of aid
for million recipients of the need
based grants. The College Work
Study Program, in which students
advance their education through
work experiences while earning
money for tuition, is being cut out
entirely in the budget proposal.
The cuts also affect the
Guaranteed Student Loan (GSL)
program by ending government
payment of interest on the loans.
The elimination government
subsidies of the interest on GSLs
would decrease the willingness of
banks to participate in the loan

programs, leaving many students
without access to loans.
The administration's cuts would
affect thousands of University
students who depend on Work
Study, Pell Grants and GSLs to
fund their educations. Some 3,000
students receive Pell Grants and
2,000 receive Work Study. The
cuts deny the educational
opportunities to those who cannot
affordroften exhorbitant tuition..
The administration justifies the
cuts on the basis of the budget
deficit and higher education's
rising costs. While the deficit may

deployment and use of the National
Guard by lobbying state and
congressional representatives.
The administration's success
in denying accountability to the
public and its continuing pursuit of
undemocratic policies has made
serious actions like civil
disobedience necessary as one of a
the few remaining avenues toward
affecting policy.
The National Guard Armory is
more than just a symbol of
Reagan's efforts to circumvent
public opinion. The National
Guard makes a considerable
contribution to the administration's
attempt to undermine the
Nicaraguan government. The
Guard has been participating in the
"war games" - next best thing to
being there - that have been
continually played in Honduras,
Nicaragua's neighbor, since June
1982. Besides adding to the
intimidation factor of the military
exercises, the Guard has built air
strips and military bases which are
used to aid the Contras and could
be employed in a possible invasion
of Nicaragua. Brig. General
Mathieu, assistant adjutant general
for the Army in Lansing, says the
Guard is involved in "humanitarian
stuff like building roads." Yet, the
actual purpose of the roads is to aid
supply of the Contra rebels. The
role of the National Guard is
Central America is anything but
humanitarian.
The Daily supports efforts, like
the Thursday demonstration, to
expose the lie of the United States'
"humanitarian" role in Central
America. It is hoped that such
efforts will continue and ultimately
be effective in ending intervention
into Central American affairs.
student aid
well necessitate budget cuts, these
cuts should not come at the
expense of access to education.
What minimal affects these cuts
may have on the deficit agree
outweigh by increases in the
defense budget anyway.
Secretary of Education William
Bennett's claims that college costs
have risen because of reliance of
federal assistance. Bennett argues
that when fewer students are able
to afford tuition at the current cost
the marketplace will cut tuition.
This is unconvincing.
The University's tuition
increases are the result of
decreasing state aid during the
recession. In order to maintain
quality the University implemented
large tuition increases, primarily
for out of state students. Instead of

decreasing educational opportunity
to cut tuition, government, both on
a state and local level, should take
an active role both in maintaining
quality and financial aid.
Fortunately, the Reagan budget
has been widely pronounced "Dead
on Arrival" because its cuts in
social programs and increases in
defense are widely divergent from
the congress's budget priorities.
Historically, the role of financial
aid has been to make an education
available to all regardless of ability
to pay, congress should not
abandon this role merely to satisfy
the administration's desire for
budget cuts.

Wasserman
MKS SgEEM To O. oe M MA~o o
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The Michigan Daily

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Letters:
Sanctions are ineffective

r

To The Daily:
Constructive engagement is
an apparent failure. The Reagan
administration has not acted
strongly nor quickly enough to
press the Pretoria government to
reform. A new strategy is
necessary if a major crisis is to
be averted. Economic sanctions
are not the answer.
Economic sanctions do send a
messsage of contempt to South
Africa's white minority
government, but will they be
conducive to change? The
inability of the European and
American sanction packages to
go beyond superficial measures
that do not adversely affect their
domestic economies leaves much
room for doubt. Yet, the
question runs much deeper than
that. Who will be most affected
in a showdown in the South
African economy? It is
reasonable to believe that Mr.
Botha will not miss many meals
in the near future.
Recently, the United States
has directed similar sanctions at
the governments of Poland and
Nicaragua that have failed to
bring their politically desired
results. In fact, these sanctions
have helped to legitimize these
governments. Faced with a
breachment of sovereignty by a
foreign power, these states have
used American sanctions as a
justification to increase the level
of militarization and limit basic
civil rights within their borders.
Sanctions help to breed a "siege
mentality" that brings about a
predictable level of reaction
rather than liberal reform.
In South Africa, the reaction
has already began. The Pretoria
government's enforcement of a
news blackout is the latest in a
series of tough pro-apartheid
measures that have included the
state of emergency black
townships and the outlawing of
active black political and
student organizations. Recent
election results show that many
in South Africa's white
population do not believe that
President Botha's National Party
is dofng enough to keep the
peace, and the government is
feeling extreme pressure from
the Right to get even tougher.
Economic sanctions will
accelerate this reactionary
process just as an economic
crisis helped give birth to
fascism in Europe between the
wars and to use a more subtle
example just as the American
electorate voted in a president
preaching law and order
following the economic
problems in the United States in
the 1970s.
Hopes that economic
sanctions will create a situation
where, in the near future, a
coup d'etat will bring the black
majority to power are not well
founded. Modem revolutions are
won by highly organized and
well armed groups. There are no

black groups that fit this mold
in present day South Africa. It
takes very little historical
memory to recall what the
Czechs and Hungarians proved
conclusively when armed with
little more than stones and the
moral outrage of the United
States government, it is very
difficult to stop a tank.
The real hope for change in
South Africa lies with organized
liberal grddps that have
tangible polit"...clout such as
the "English" business
community and the opposition
Progressive Federal Party. Well
publicized pleas from groups of
major South African
businessmen and journalists
calling for real powersharing and
the now forgotten meetings
between the Progressive Federal
Party and the outlawed African

National Congress illustrate the
potential that these groups have
for wedging lasting political
concessions from the Pretoria
government. With pragmatic
help from the United States and
her allies, these changes could be
dramatic. Economic sanctions
will obviously limit the
political power of the liberal
business community and the
growing reaction from the Right
will weaken Pretoria's liberal
opposition. Moderate elements
within South Africa could be in
real danger of extinction. The
,result is a quickening of the
social and political polarization
in South Africa - white against
black. Under present conditions,
this is a battle that the black
majority has little chance of
winning.
Economic sanctions are

Feel confident in Safewalk

To The Daily:
At 1:00 in the morning on a
Tuesday morning, I sat in the
Union waiting to meet a friend
so we could walk home
together. The thought crossed
my mind that maybe she had
gotten tired of studying and had
gone home early. A year ago I
would have either walked
home, in fear, asked a friend for
a walk home, or taken the
Night Owl to the stop closest
to my home and run home,
again fearfully. This year, I
thought for a minute about
walking home alone, in fear,
and then remembered Safewalk.
Ah! The perfect alternative! I
ceased worrying about the
whole issue. I had an option
in Safewalk if my friend did
not show up.
In this instance, I used
Safewalk as a back-up way to
get home, but I use it
regurlarly as a primary option,
and am very proud to do so.
Although I continue to be
frustrated that I cannot function
independently in safety on this
campus, I am very happy to
have an option that offers me
some measusure of
independence. Safewalk allows
me to claim my right to feel
safe and to be safe.
In addition to being a
regular "walkee" of Safewalk, I
am a walker and a dispatcher
for Safewalk. I derive as much
pleasure form participating in
Safewalk as I do from using it.
Everyone participating> in
Safewalk is very excited about
it and is happy when people
use it. The more that people
use it, the better the
participants feel about it. It
was created to be used.
I stress the idea of its
having been "created to be
used" because many people
seem to feel guilty about using
Safewalk. Many people have

told me that they hesitate to
call on Safewalk because thay
feel that they will be "putting
us out," or that their
destination isrnot in anarea
dangerous enough to warrant a
walk. Safewalk was created to
walk people around campus so
that they feel safe. I find it
destressing that people feel
guilty about claiming their
right to feel safe and the be
safe.
Since the beginning of the

year, the number of users of
Safewalk has been increasing
steadily. In response to the in
crease of "walkees," more
walkers were added to the staff,
and more will be added in
January. I hope this trend
continues as more and more
people become aware of
Safewalk and recognize in it a
positive and very available
response to a frustrating
problem.
-Rebecca C. Knox
January 5

popular because the Americari
public feels as if they are at
least doing something to hely
blacks in South Africa, but it is
of course no accident that thi
legislation came rolling through
Congress just in time for the
November elections. The United
States is justified in pressing
the Botha government to reforp.
Yet, however politically popular
these economic sanctions might
be, they are in the end 'a
dangerously passive outgrowth
of constructive engagement tlhat
in time will push the situation
in South Africa towards a
confrontation that has a better
chance of strengthening apartheid
than destroying it.
-Brian E. Burns
January 7

2 G-
o ..

'My opinion? Gee, that's a toughie...
Can you give me a hint?"

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