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October 20, 1987 - Image 4

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-10-20

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OPINION

Page 4
t tf~chgan tlu
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVIII, No. 29 420 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.

Tuesday, October 20, 1987

The Michigan Daily

End U.S.C
YESTERDAY, THE United States
shelled an Iranian oil platform. Al-
though early Associated Press re-
ports indicate that the attack was
relatively restrained, the danger re-
mains that the military conflict in the
Persian Gulf will escalate. Now is
the time to rally against the United
-States' military intervention in the
"Persian Gulf.
The United States' intervention in
the Gulf started when the Soviets
offered Kuwait a chance to put So-
viet flags on Kuwaiti ships. It was
thought that the Soviet flags would
deter attacks from Iran and Iraq.
Concerned that the Soviet Union
would thus gain a foothold in the oil
trade in the Middle East, the United
States counter-offered Kuwait U.S.
flags and a massive military escort
for Kuwaiti ships.
The United States has assembled
its largest military force since the
Korean War in the Gulf region to
make sure there is no vacuum that
the Soviets can fill. With the some-
times active, sometimes tacit sup-
port of the Arab countries, the
United States has set out to subju-
sate the unruly Iranians.
While this strategy is logical to
those who maintain that the U.S.
bloc must retain sole control of the
Middle East oil supply, it is not in
the interests of those in the military

julf presence
service and the general public.
Thirty-seven people in military ser-
vice died on the U.S.S. Stark be-
cause of U.S. stubborness.
More men and women in the mil-
itary may yet die as a result of the
U.S. bombing of Iran. The U.S.
military force in the Persian Gulf
was an effective propaganda
weapon of the Khomeini govern-
ment even before the United States
started bombing Iran. Now that the
United States has bombed Iran, Iran
has declared "full-scale war" on the
United States.
Whatever the Iranian public
thought of its war effort against
Iraq, there can be no doubt that Ira-
nian nationalists will rally to
Khomeini to show that Iran is inde-
pendent of the United States. The
memory of the United States'
overthrow of Iran's government in
1954 remains fresh in the minds of
today's soldiers.
On the other hand, the people of
the United States have yet to rally
for war against Iran. A measure of
this is that the Reagan administra-
tion has not asked Congress for an
open declaration of war. Instead,
the Reagan administration carries on
as it sees fit and apparently hopes to
trigger a war situation that the pub-
lic will support.

Pursell
By Phillis Engelbert
I am writing to bring attention to and to
express outrage over a meeting to occur
this Tuesday in Ann Arbor between
House Representative (Republican-2nd
District) Carl Pursell, Dominos pizza
owner Tom Monaghan, and 12 Honduran
business leaders. It is not surprising that
Rep. Pursell, who votes to send aid to the
"contra" terrorists at their Honduran bases
while refusing to hold a public forum with
his Ann Arbor constituents on the matter,
should once again represent the interests of
the wealthy and powerful in maintaining
U.S. imperialism in Central America.
This is not the first time that Pursell
has joined forces with Ann Arbor's pizza
baron Tom Monaghan, whose possessions
include the Detroit Tigers, radio station
WPAG, and a multi-million dollar auto-
mobile collection. Earlier this year,
Pursell accompanied Monaghan on a visit
to Monaghan's pizza store in Honduras.
Monaghan's latest acquistion demonstrates
the continuation of his support for that
very sector of Honduran society which al-
ready controls the vast majority of wealth.
Honduras has traditionally been little
more than a colony of the United States.
Rightfully characterized as a "Banana Re-
public," it has long served as the site of
U.S. economic and military expansion-
ism. Honduran farmworkers regularly suf-
fer the health consequences of applying
such pesticides as DDT and 2,4,5-T,
which are produced in the United States
solely for export, as they have been
banned from use in our country. And in a
land where malnutrition is endemic, cash
crops produced for export (such as ba-
nanas, coffee, sugar, and tobacco) take upn
52% of the arable land. (U.S. AID, Con-
gressional Presentation FY1987). In addi-
tion, U.S. corporations own each of the
five largest firms in Honduras, and 41 of
Phillis Engelbert is on the steering
committee of the Latin America Solidarity
Committee.

the largest 50 firms. (Barry and Preusch,
Central America Fact Book).
Recent U.S. military activity in Hon-
duras is not without precedent. From the
CIA-backed coup in Guatemala in 1954,
to the U.S. invasion of the Dominican
Republic in 1965, to the destabilization of
the Chilean government in 1973, the
United States has used Honduran soil to
train militias and to launch attacks. In
1980, the CIA created the "contras," a
mercenary force, to overthrow the gov-
ernment of Nicaragua. Contra bases were
first established in fertile valleys of Hon-
duras near the border with Nicaragua,
where they remain today. Since 1983,
80,000 U.S. troops have been trained in
Honduras. (Food First, Interview with
Marine Corps Cpt. Ferrara). From 1980
until the present, the Honduran govern-
ment has been the recipient of over $350
million in U.S. military aid. (U.S.AID).
In addition, the United States now has 16
military bases in Honduras, (New York
Times, 3/3/86) the presence of which has
caused the displacement of many peasants,
ecological destruction, loss of agricultural
productivity, the rise of prostitution and
what now appears to be the spread of
AIDS.
Little is spoken in the U.S. press about
Honduras, the second poorest country in
this hemisphere, where over 70% of the
children are malnourished. At 78 deaths
per 1,000 live births, Honduras has the
highest infant mortality rate in Central
America. Almost half the population can-
not read or write and between 125,000 and
150,000 families are landless. (Food
First). Little is spoken in the U.S. press
about the harsh government repression
that peasant land reform movements are
met with, the torture and threats levied
against opposition leaders, or the over 218
political assassinations that occurred be-
tween 1981 and 1984. (Honduran Com-
mittee for the Defense of Human Rights,
Honduras Update)
During the past week, Ann Arborites
have had the unique opportunity to hear
about the realities of Honduras from two
Honduran citizens: Dr. Juan Almendares

joins Monaghan4

and Elvia Alvarado. Dr. Almendares, in
his talk on October 14 at the University of
Michigan, attested to the fact that it is
impossible for democracy to exist in his
country while it is occupied by U.S.
military forces and the contras. The
story of Elvia Alvarado, a peasant woman,
is told in the recently published book:
Don't be Afraid, Gringo.
In her book, it is stated,"When I hear
that all this military buildup in Honduras
is just trying to maintain peace in our
country, I ask myself what peace they're
talking about. Maybe it's peaceful for the
politicians. The congressmen make
$3,000 a month; their bellies are full of
food and drink; they've got a wad of bills ,
in their pockets. So for them there's
peace...

"We don't need the U.S. money. We
never get to see any of it anyway. What do
you think that money goes for? To the
foreign bank accounts of the rich, to line
the pockets of our corrupt politicians, to
give the military more power to repress
the poor." (p. 142-143)
The positions of Monaghan and Pursell
work to further the poverty and oppression
of the vast majority of Hondurans. The
Honduran people need doctors, teachers,
peace, and the food that could be grown on
the land now occupied by military bases.
They don't need corporations, weapons, or
foreign armies. Please join concerned Ann
Arborites in a protest of the meeting be-
tween Pursell, Monaghan, and the Hon-
duran businessmen, at 11:30 a.m., this
Tuesday at the Campus Inn. Also join the
Latin American Solidarity Committee
(LASC) and other solidarity organizations
in a protest over renewed aid to the contras
at 2 p.m. on Thursday October 29 on the
steps of the Michigan Union. There will
be funeral procession to the office of Carl
Pursell, where we will hold a service for
the contra victims. Please dress ap-
propriately. And just a reminder - LASC
.is still offering a $100 reward to anyone
who is able to set up a public meeting
between Rep. Pursell and his constituents
to discuss his votes on Central America.

I

I

LETTERS
Expose political conditions in Korea

For a sister school

TONIGHT, THE MICHIGAN Student
Assembly will consider declaring a
"sister university" relationship with
the University of El Salvador. This
relationship could involve exchange
of information, aid, and delega-
tions.
Another important result of
forging this relationship would be
the inclusion of the University of
Michigan in the Urgent Action net-
work. The network speeds infor-
mation concerning the abduction of
Salvadoran university students or
personnel to interested groups and
individuals. In turn, these con-
cerned outsiders may level pressure
on the government for release of
those abducted.
It is laudable that University of
Michigan students have joined the
chorus of outrage against persecu-
tion of fellow students in Central
America. Recently, the Michigan
Student Assembly unanimously
passed a resolution protesting the
arrest of Salvador Ubau and calling
for his immediate release.
In 1980, troops invaded and
closed down the University of El
Salvador (EUS), killing fifty stu-
dents in the process. The shut-
down, part of a general wave of re-
pression, targeted the "brains be-
hind opposition to the government."
After four years, the EUS was
reopened, an apparent indication of
liberalization. But recent events
have revealed that the
"liberalization" is superficial. With
the reemergence of vocal dissent on
EUS campus has come an increas-
ingly overt clampdown.
Last year, a student member of

the Christian Youth for Peace was
assassinated on campus in broad
daylight. On June 15 of this year,
one of El Salvador's death squ'ads
issued a communique threatening to
kill 14 university students and fac-
ulty if they did not leave the country
in forty-eight hours. The military
has indicated its implicit support, if
not involvement, in these actions by
statements such as that of Colonel
Lopez Nuila who said that EUS
was becoming a "base for subver-
sive groups."
On September 1, Jorge Salvador
Ubau, president of University
Unity, was abducted, evidence in-
dicating Treasury Police involve-
ment. The only positive contrast to
this bleak picture has been the re-
sponse of the international and, es-
pecially, student community. Stu-
dent and other groups have re-
sponded to this renewed repression
with prompt and persistent pres-
sure.
Such pressure in the crucial
hours following a person's disap-
pearence has been effective in ob-
taining release of the "disappeared"
in the past, including the recent
past. Six EUS activists arrested by
the National Guard last month were
freed after a great deal of interna-
tional protest.
MSA's recent resolution is com-
mendable not only as an expression
of student solidarity, but as a
necessary attempt to affect the all-
too-real conditions affecting stu-
dents internationally. MSA should
take the further step of adopting the
University of El Salvador as a sister
university. Any effort to save lives
is worth undertaking.

To the Daily:
Public attention focused on
South Korea earlier this year
when Korean authorities
admitted that sutdent Park
Chong-chol died under torture
on January 14. Amnesty
International remains concerned
about human rights conditions
in South Korea.
Amnesty has for many years
received evidence of the regular
use of torture in South Korea.
While the authorities have
made statements condemning
the preactice, it has continued.
The trial of police officers for
the death of Park Chong-chol
will be the first of its kind.
Park Chong-chol is only one
of thousands of people who
have been arrested in Korea for
the non-violent exercise of
their free-speech. Koreans face
sentences of one to four years
imprisonment for participating
in peaceful anti-government
demonstrations.
In July of this year, the
authorities released 2865
political prisoners, but many
remain in jail. Amnesty
International has carefully
investigated the cases of 34
prisoners of conscience and is
seeking their release.

The Ann Arbor chapter of
Amnesty is currently working
toward the release of Koh
Song-guk, a part-time lecturer
in diplomacy at Korea
University. He has been
sentenced for distributing
"subversive" books and giving
ideologiacal support to
"radical" student activities.
Koh Song-guk is one of five
Clarifies Ann
To the Daily:
I would like tq respond to
Mr. Levine's comments
regarding rent stabilization in
the October 15th article,
"Tenants, owners gear for bat-
tIe." He make reference that the
Ann Arbor Apartment Associ-
ation would work to fight rent
stabilization similarly to how
the Ann Arbor Tenant's Union
is working to support rent
stabilization. I would like to
clarify that Ann Arbor Citizens
for Fair Rent, a broad-based
community organization, not
the Ann Arbor Tenants' Union,
is organizing to place rent
stabilization on the April City
election ballot.
The Ann Arbor Tenants'
Union organizes to provide de-
cent, affordable housing for

persons arrested in raids on
bookstores. Relatives of these
prisoners contend that they
were tortured into "confessing"
to the charges made against
them. Relatives said they saw
clear signs of torture when
visiting the prisoners.
As another part of its efforts
to improve human rights
conditions in Korea, Amnesty
Arbor Tenants
tenants throughout the City.
Tenants' Union advocates pro-
vide phone and walk-in coun-
selling to answer common
questions about tenants' rights
and responsibilities. The Ten-
ants' Union also provides edu-
cational programs and materials
designed to educate tenants of
their rights. AATU presents
workshops and has written
numerous how-to-fliers to pro-
vide quick, written answers to
common questions. The Ten-
ants' Union also publishes a
pamphlet on tenants' rights and
landlord-tenant law, a kit on
subletting and lease reassign-
ment, and a do-it-yourself kit
fighting evictions.
The Tenants' Union has a
commitment to organize as
well as educate tenants to pro-

is carrying out a letter-writting
campaign to raise awareness in
the U.S. Congress 'about
Korea.
The Ann Arbor chapter of
Amnesty meets the second
Tuesday of every month at
7:30 in the Welker Room of
the Michigan Union.
-Peter J. Muhlberger
October
Union role
tect their rights. AATU staff
and volunteers have organized
at numerous sites across the
City to protect tenants' rights.
Through our City Account-
ability Project, the Tenants'
Union has also been working
for better enforcement of the
City Housing Code and
lobbying for changes in City
and state law to better protect
the rights of tenants. For more
information, call 763-6876.
-Jen Faigel
October 15
Band 'uncreative'
To the Daily:
With regard to Mr. Trubow's
letter on the Michigan Band
(Daily, October 19), unfortu-
nately I have to agree (though I
personally liked the flag
routine). And there are other
problems. To stand and play
during "Stars and Stripes" is
unforgivable. To repeat char-
ting, songs, and dancesteps
from the year before i s
uncreative, and to feature props
and the announcer with the
intent of making the show
easier is cheap. The whole
thing is exacerbated by a
general lack of energy (except
for the pregame) which be-
comes painfully apparent when
a band like Wisconsin's comes

Chassy
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