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February 02, 1988 - Image 4

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, February 2, 1988

The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Nicaragua made concessions

4

Vol. XCVIII, No. 85

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.
MLK day fought racism

IN THE FACE OF RAMPANT institu-
tional racism and racist attacks at the
University, it is important to recog-
nize the student groups responsible
for the alternative classes and
protests held on the national holiday
for Martin Luther King. The United
Coalition Against Racism (UCAR)
and everyone else involved in the
organization and promotion of these
events deserve commendation for
these alternative educational events
while the University administration
largely ignored the spirit of the day.
Although some people on the
picket line around Angell Hall in-
correctly labeled students racists,
'this was not the position of UCAR
and violated the spirit of the protest.
UCAR has made an official apology
for any such unsanctioned actions.
A number of people have criti-
cized the UCAR-sponsored boycott
of classes and the protest around
the Fishbowl. However, most the
critics seem disturbingly unaware of
the numerous alternative events.
To condemn the entire holiday, as
well as UCAR and the other groups
involved in the activities, because of
objections to the handling of the
1 class boycott ignores the general
success of the day as a whole.
There was an entire day of alter-
native classes held in the Union on
topics rarely discussed or presented
at the University. These events
were sensitive to student interest, as
was evidenced by the large numbers
in attendance at these teach-ins: at
least 1500 people marched in the
parade, classes and symposia at the
Michigan Union were full.
If any substantive criticism, albeit
minor, could be leveled at UCAR, it
is that the protesters were not suffi-
ciently prepared for interacting with
students attending classes. Also,
more white students would have
honored the boycott if UCAR had
been able to spend more time edu-
cating people as to its importance.
But it must be remembered that a

great deal of the anti-racist move-
ment'stime and energy was taken
up in the days preceding MLK day
in dealing with Steiner's unantici-
pated racist remarks.
More importantly, those who
criticize UCAR for not preparing
adequately for the boycott should
have helped to do just this. Those
who didn't do anything to educate
their fellow students about the im-
portance of the holiday, especially
in light of the rampant institutional
racism that persists on this campus,
are not in a position to criticize
those who cared enough to do
something.
The unfortunate actions of a few
people must not be construed as
reason to condemn the entire block-
ade. The aim of protesters was
simply to make students think about
the tacit statement they were making
by attending classes during the
boycott. UCAR reasoned that if
students must go out of their way
and use a side door, perhaps they
would reconsider their decision to
violate the boycott and begin to un-
derstand the significance of that de-
cision. Obviously this was UCAR's
intention, since the side entrances to
the buildings were left unblocked.
Sadly, the more regrettable aspects
of the boycott have been exagger-
ated in the minds of many students
to the point of equating UCAR's
efforts with the kind of intolerance
the protest was designed to over-
come. That such thoughts are mis-
taken becomes painfully obvious
when one examines the motives be-
hind the boycott in the first place.
Students must realize what Dr.
King stood for; that the injustice he
fought is still prevalent in society;
and that it is important to set aside
his birthday as a symbol of a con-
tinuing commitment to eliminate
racism. With this in mind, it is dif-
ficult to find fault with UCAR in its
efforts to make King's birthday a
holiday in the fullest sense of the
word.

By L.A.Vazquez
As a student who desires Peace in
Central America, I strongly oppose this
latest attempt by the Reagan
administration to subvert the Arias Plan.
Continued aid at this point will only serve
to plunge Central America into another
period of bloodshed and death, all with our
tax money - the same money that is
needed in our own country to further our
education, or to deal with other problems
too numerous to mention. By now it
should be evident that the CIA-backed
contras do not want Peace, they are mak-
ing too much profit from drug-running and
skimming dollars from "aid" packages, in
fact they would like very much for the
conflict to continue.
It should be evident also that the
Nicaraguan government has continually
made concessions in attempting to comply
with the Arias accordI. They have lifted the
"state of emergency," have released
prisoners, have agreed to direct talks with
the U.S.-backed contra mercenaries. It
seems to me that Nicaragua is unfairly fo-
cused upon by the U.S. media, who simi-
larly ignore flagrant violations of the
Arias Peace Agreement by other countries
L.A. Vazquez is a graduate student in
the school of Public health.

in the region, as recently evidenced by the
downing of another CIA-contra plane car-
rying guns to the contras.
Contrary to statements by Elliott (I lied
to Congress) Abrams and the State
Department, there is freedom in Nicaragua.
Opposition parties take to the streets, give
speeches in the National Assembly, make
statements to the press - and then com-
plain loudly that their civil rights are be-
ing violently suppressed! La Prcnsa, fi-
nanced from the U.S., publishes daily
whatever distortions and "interpretations"
it sees fit to print. Different political
points of view are expressed regularly over
the airwaves. Every kind of religious
movement or sect does house-to-house
proselytizing, billboard advertising, or ra-
dio broadcasting.
If the Nicaraguan people had Peace, they
would prosper and " advance beyond
previous levels of accomplishment they
had aspired to before the current U.S. em-
bargo and CIA/contra war. The Nicaraguan
successes of the literacy campaign, their
vaccination programs, their land reforms,
and any future measures of achievement
would make them the envy of all Central
America. The people in power in the rest
of Central America (with the exception of
Costa Rica) know that the crushing
poverty and injustice that is endemic in
their societies will produce explosions if
the Nicaraguan experiment is allowed to

succeed.
The military dictatorships in Honduras,
Guatemala, and El Salvador want to see
the Sandinistas fall from power so they
can maintain the "status quo" in their
countries. The Reagan administration
wants to keep its "friends" in power in 4
these countries, no matter what the cost in
suffering and human lives. The Reagan
administration paints the alternative in the
most frightening way possible by calling
it COMMUNIST!! at every chance, thus
stampeding the U.S. public into support-
ing what it would have no part of if it re-
ally knew the truth and the people in-
volved.
How long are we going to allow this
needless bloodshed and destruction to 4
continue in our name? Will the Reagan
administration stop asking for contra aid
after this request ? Of course it won't!!
That is precisely why we must try to stop
this madness now. I urge all peace-minded
individuals on this campus to write or call
their congresspersons and ask them to vote
"o to further contra aid. Reagan calls the
contras "freedom fighters," and I do agree
with this, they have been fighting freedom
for 7 years now. It is high time America
started sending doctors and teachers, engi-
neers and mechanics, food and medicines
to Nicaragua, to help rebuild this tiny
sovereign nation torn apart by earthquake,
civil war, and foreign aggression.

Stop

beating

Palestinians

4

By Hana Salah, Dina
Khoury, Dima Zalatimo,
Cheryl Ajlouny, Paul Singh
Buttar
In the occupied territories,,protests and
demonstrations against Israel's oppressive
and barbaric iron fist policy are still
widespread. As these protests entered their
seventh week, the Israeli regime
implemented a new policy of force in the
West Bank and the Gaza. Under this latest
tactic, the army has beaten hundreds of
Palestinians with clubs, fists, and rifle
butts. "The first priority is to use force,
might, and beatings," Defense Minister
Yitzhak Rabin said of the new policy.
The significance of the crisis in the
occupied territories is that Israel's
oppressive response shows it has been put
on the defensive over the Palestinians for
the first time in 20 years. Israel and Prime
Minister Shamir overlook the fact that the
The authors are members of the
Association of Arab American University
Graduates (AAUG).

restrictions - bullets and tear gas, raids
and roundups, illegal deportations, and
curfews and censorship - are seen as a
change of course by friend and foe alike.
The Israel which was in no hurry to make
up its mind on the fate of the lands it
seized in 1967 is being forced for the first-
time by angry youths to face the fact that
it cannot remain a "democracy" and an
occupying power indefinitely.
It is now the time for negotiations to
come about. There must be a just and
comprehensible settlement for the region.
"The question is how to start negotiations.
And the crux of it is Palestinian
representation. It's no use waiting your
adversary to be represented by people so
pliable that they're not representative. You
make peace with those who were at war
with you [the PLO]. The people we talk
to should be moderate enough to be
negotiate with and yet immoderate enough
to be able to give us a signature with a
commitment behind it. Otherwise you go
through the fiasco of our [Israel's] 1982
negotiations with the Lebanese. We sat up
there with very amiable people, and we
d-ank wine, and we spoke French to each
other. And they signed an agreement with
us. But they were like people who sign a

check without having a bank account."
This was a quote taken by a New York
Times correspondent in an interview with
Abba Eban, Labor member of the Knesset,
Chairman of the Committee on Security
and Foreign Affairs, and former Foreign
Minister.
Israel and it supporters must realize
that the Palestine Liberation Organization
(PLO) is the sole and legitimate
representation of the Palestinian people
and any sort of negotiation processes must
include them. The first step to bring
about a solution and an end to the
apartheid-like policies for the occupied
territories is an international peace
conference where both Israel and the PLO
are represented under the auspices of the
United Nations Security Council. The road
to peace is through dialogue and Yasser
Arafat and the PLO have agreed to
recognize Israel if she is willing to
recognize them through an international
conference. So now at the University of
Michigan, dialogue must begin between
Jewish and Arab organizations in order to
put pressure on Israel to negotiate with the
representation of the Palestinian people -
the PLO. 4

Recent U.S. activities in Nicaragua

Pursell: oppose contra aid

THE HOUSE OF Representatives
will have the opportunity on
Wednesdays to end a disgraceful
chapter of U.S.-sponsored terror-
ism by ending support of the con-
tras. President Reagan has pro-
posed $36 million in additional aid
for the band largely made up of ex-
Somoza National Guard members.
A portion of this aid package is
termed "humanitarian," yet spon-
soring a terrorist organization is
hardly humanitarian. In addition to
$3.6 million in lethal aid, $18 mil-
lion of this "humanitarian" support
will go to repair military hardware.
Food aid will be used to free
other funds for the contras to buy
weapons. The. contras have stock-
piled arms, collected from air drops
by the CIA, in anticipation of fur-
ther aid being voted down by
Congress.
The Sandinista government has
made broad concessions in order to
comply to the Arias peace plan.
They have lifted the six-year old
state-of-emergency, reopened La
Prensa and opposition radio sta-
tions, and offered amnesty for con-
tras. Nicaragua has done much
more to comply with the Arias ac-
cord than have the major U.S.-
- ra .tr 1 Sa r- n n . - ort __.,tn T

contras over $250 million. During
the same period, the contras com-
mitted thousands of murders, in-
cluding many civilian. They also
used U.S. tax dollars to destroy
over $237 million worth of health
and daycare centers, schools, and
cooperatives from 1981 to 1984
alone.
Contra attacks are characteristi-
cally on unarmed citizens and so-
cial institutions such as health cen-
ters and farms. They typically
commit premeditated torture, rape,
mutilation, and mass kidnappings to
force men into contra service. In-
timidation is crucial to contra victo-
ries - they successfully terrorize
local citizens out of cooperating
with education, food distribution
and community resource projects,
and murder clergy who support the
government. (Crime and Social
Justice, nos. 27-28)
Contra aid passed by one vote in
the House in late December. Many
representatives bowed to their de-
sire to get home for the holidays
and their support for the massive
spending bill to which the aid was
attatched. The vote will be close
again on Wednesday; therefore citi-
zen input may sway the final vote.
A A I T , 'I ,, .I ~

The following in a partial timeline of
CIA and U.S. military activities in
Nicaragua:
-October 1983: The CIA sets fire to 1.6
million gallons of oil in Corinto,
Nicaragua.
-February-March 1984: The CIA mines
Corinto and El Bluff harbors.
-October 1984: The New York Times re-
ports the CIA published and distributed
how-to manuals on assassination and
overthrow of the Nicaraguan government
to the contras.

-1982 to 1984: The United States conducts
military maneuvers over Nicaragua and
flies spy planes over Managua.
-October 1986: Eugene Hausenfaus shot
down in plane flying over Nicaragua. CIA
ties to aid the contras revealed by several
journalists and independent organizations.
-November 1986: Conspiracy by the Rea-
gan Administration of selling arms to Iran
and diverting profits to the contras uncov-
ered. Other funds reportedly used during
1986 U.S. elections to smear candidates
who opposed Administration policy in

Central America.
-1986: Repeated break-ins at U.S. offices
of contra-opponents. Objects of value ig-
nored while files and other information
stolen.
-January 1988: Files released by FBI under
Freedom of Information Act reveal intense
surveillance of anti-contra groups and in-
dividuals by the Bureau.
Information taken from Crime and So-
cial Justice, vol. 27-28.

++ a

LETTERS

Zinn

Rather exposed Bush

QQ °"
ALW AYs FMET t
RULE EIGHT
yti1
f'

i
i
,. .
%/
"
r
a%,

To the Daily:
Last Monday's Bush-Rather
fiasco reaffirms t h e
overwhelming power of the
media to shape public opinion.
Unfortunately, the adversarial
aature of the interview has oc-
cuded the real importance of
the interview-that George
Bush inadvertently implied his
involvement in the Iran-contra
affair.
For months, Bush has in-
sisted that he only became
aware of the arms-for-hostages-
for-profit scheme after the
Congressional hearings last

surfaced in the Iran-contra
hearings. During the interview,
Bush attempted to excuse his
actions with a reference to the
torture of a CIA agent in
Lebanon. Such an attempt to
swell American patriotic pas-
sions, however, is misplaced as
Bush knew of the agent's death
well before the arms-for-
hostages swap occurred. Rather
achieved his goal, but the point
was lost on the public due to
the excitement of an argument
on live television.
Hopefully, the crest of pub-
lit h..t.r a ...ll ,, _ n o i1 ..

}

LW

4
44

A

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