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October 18, 1989 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-10-18

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OPINION
Wednesday, October 18, 1989

Page 4

The Michigan Daily*

.."

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

The United States and Noriega:

The dictator

we created

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Vol. C, No. 31

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.
Happy Anniversary

FIFTY-THREE wEEKS ago James J. Dud-
erstadt was inaugurated President of the
University of Michigan. The pomp and
circumstance with which the 1 lth Presi-
dent took office seems to have set the
tone for the year. Image and appearance
have replaced substance and action.
Though Duderstadt has spent much of
his first year talking about pluralism
and multiculturalism, he has shownlittle
actual commitment to taking tangible
steps to address the concerns he so
proudly hails in his Michigan Mandate.
-On October 6,1988, Duderstadt was
inaugurated in an invitation-only cere-
mony at Hill Auditorium. Some stu-
dents gathered outside the auditorium
to protest Duderstadt's selection -
made through a series of closed-door
meetings without any student input and
in violation of the Michigan Open Meet-
ings Act - and his record of participa-
tion in laser weapons research for the
Air Force. It was a non-violent protest
that featured a skit, and it ended with
four student arrests and one student go-
ing to the hospital.
Duderstadt never commented on
what happened his first day on the job.
But over the year he has increased po-
lice presence on campus. An agreement
was reached with the Washtenaw County
Sheriffto deputize two University Public
Safety officers, giving them the power
to make arrests and to bear arms.
The inauguration protest was the first
time a University officer ever arrested a
student. One month later campus se-
curity forces were again called on to
quell student protest of Duderstadt.
On November 11, the Office of the
President released the Annual Report
on Minority Affairs, cataloguing the
University's recruitment and retention
of minority students. The report con-
tained glaring errors and outright lies -
touting committees which did not exist
and making wild exaggerations about
recruiting success. During a rally or-
ganized by the Socially Active Latino
Student Association (SALSA) to pro-
.test the report, students attempted to
limb the stairs of the Fleming building
to talk with Duderstadt. They were
locked in the stairwell by University
security officers. Several students had
'.their arms slammed in a door.
Again, Duderstadt offered no apol-
ogy and took no steps to correct the use
of force. When he finally met with the
students he spent less than a half hour
with them, asking them to rewrite the
report without ever taking responsibil-
ity for the mistakes.
-In January Duderstadt hired a new
public relations consultant, upgrading
the position to give it "high manage-
ment priority."

*January's big event was "Diversity
Day," Duderstadt's clever cooptation
of Martin Luther King Day that avoided
acknowledging the manor the civil rights
movement, and insulted people of color.
Student activists had pressured the
University to recognize the national
holiday by giving the University com-
munity the day off to celebrate and
educate themselves on race issues. On
Diversity Day, all University staff had
to work.
*In February, two women walking
on the Diag were verbally sexually as-
saulted by four members of the Uni-
versity's hockey team. Once more,
Duderstadt and the University admin-
istration were silent, even though the off
court conduct of athletes, particularly
those receiving scholarships, has always
been a "concern" of the University.
*Later that month the new PR con-
sultant brought CBS and the "This Mom-
ing" show to campus. Anxious to co-
operate with the University, CBS re-
fused to let students speak out in ways
that might tarnish the University's im-
age. Instead, it featured top administra-
tors cheerleading for the University's
accomplishments. Prominent among
these was the Michigan Mandate, a fa-
vorite speech of the President's which
has not really translated into direct ac-
tion, and which - incidentally - Dud-
erstadt continues to repeat and repeat,
even at this late date, to audible groans
from audiences who have heard the
empty rhetoric too many times.
In March, Duderstadt went public
with a call for reason, tolerance and
civility. Presumably this was designed
to address the growing tension on cam-
pus around numerous racist and violent
attacks of individuals. Yet in spite of his
gentle pleas to the humanity in all of us,
Duderstadt has never specifically con-
demned individual instances of racist
and sexist harassment on this campus.
But this fall Duderstadt proved that
he is truly a man of action. Acting in
renegade fashion, Duderstadtpulled Re-
gental Bylaw 2.01 out of his hat, thereby
skirting "democratic" process and insti-
tuting a new harassment policy for stu-
dents. Judging by Duderstadt's con-
spicuous silence every time a racist,
homophobic or otherwise violent attack
has occurred in the community, and
judging by the decrease in student of
color enrollment in the incoming class it
is hard to believe that the President has
any serious commitment to combatting
discrimination and harassment.
In all, Duderstadt's year has been a
facade of action and democracy. He has
used corporate media, bogus reports,
and meaningless committees to stifle
the studentvoices mosttruly responsible
for institutional change.

By Shane Green
October 3rd's failed coup attempt in
Panama has brought severe criticism of
the Bush Administration for its lack of ac-
tion, organization, and clear-cut policy.
But little has been said of the longstanding
relationship between Gen. Manuel Noriega
and the U.S. or how the U.S. previously
supported an unpopular military dictator-
ship in Panama. While the media has la-
beled Noriega everything except a child
killer, it has neglected to show how the
U.S. helped this man rise to power. Con-
sequently, much of the U.S. public does
not understand why Washington has been
unable to topple him from power as well.
Noriega's ties to Cuba made him valu-
able to U.S. intelligence by 1966, when
he was put on the C.I.A.'s payroll. In
1968, the U.S. supported Gen. Omar Tor-
rijos Herrara's coup against a popularly
elected president, because it saw military
rule as a key to stability in Central Amer-
ica. Shortly thereafter, when he became
chief of intelligence for Torrijos, Nor-
iega's role grew tremendously. But he
would fulfill his most important function
for the C.I.A. following the Nicaraguan
Revolution of 1979, when money was
needed to buy arms for the contras in Hon-
duras.
Without sufficient legal sources, contra
supporters began trafficking drugs to raise
money. Noriega, who had worked with the
drug trade in the past, was key in facilitat-
ing the network between Colombia and
the U.S.; Panama was an excellent depar-
ture point for drugs going to the U.S., and
its international banking system was ideal
for laundering drug money.
At the same time, Noriega entrenched
himself even more firmly in power, cul-
minating with the death of Torrijos in a
plane crash in 1981. Many suspected that
Noriega (and the C.I.A.) was involved, but

he escaped attention by allowing others to
assume formal command, even though he
was now the most powerful. His political
methods, however, did not escape the criti-
cism of the opposition newspaper La
Prensa, which had dedicated itself to over-
throwing Noriega. In 1985, an outspoken
leader of the newspaper, Dr. Hugo
Spadafora, was viciously killed. When
Noriega was subsequently linked to the
murder, the Panamanian people's shock
was only outdone by their fear of his bru-
tality. Nonetheless, Noriega remained on
the C.I.A. payroll, and U.S. money for aid
to Panama was now being controlled by a
dictator concerned with suppressing his
people in order to remain in power.
In 1987, he was brought up on charges
of drug trafficking by the Justice Depart-
ment, much to the dismay of the State
Department, which feared exposure of its
long and somewhat dubious ties to Nor-
iega. Failing to stop the charges with
pleas of "national security," the White
House was forced to oppose Noriega .

throw with Col. Eduardo Herrara, an exiled
leader in Miami. However, because the
plot might end in Noriega's death, Rea-40
gan stopped the coup, fearing political
repercussions as a result of an Executive
Order in the early 1970s disallowing U.S.
involvement in assassinations. (Outrage
over the C.I.A.'s murder of Chile's Presir
dent Salvadore Allende caused the order.
Ironically, the other man the C.I.A. was
soliciting permission to kill at that time
was a young officer in Panama- Manuel
Antonio Noriega- feared because of his
deftness in the heroin trade).
Following elections earlier this year, it
is clear that Panamanians do not want
Noriega. Unfortunately, there was no such
referendum pertaining to the U.S. In 1968,
Washington gave Panama a military estab-
lishment and made sure it stayed in power.
Consequently, the U.S. cannot escape re-
sponsibility for this man's rise to power
or the fact that he was supported even after
his brutality became evident. The U.S. has@

'When Noriega was subsequently linked to the murder, the
Panamanian people's shock was only outdone by their fear of
his brutality. Nonetheless, Noriega remained on the C.I.A.
payroll...'

The following year, sentiment grew
stronger against Noriega. He dismissed
the puppet president and assumed complete
power, leading to a call by Reagan for him
to step down. Harsh economic sanctions
were imposed, but he resisted the domestic
pressures through further repression, a tac-
tic that had become commonplace over the
past ten years. This repression has in-
cluded falsification of elections, violent
dispersals of legal protests, and mass cen-
sorship, all of which had been overlooked
by the U.S. previously.
The C.I.A., forced to change its rela-
tionship with Noriega, plotted his over-

not supported democracy in Panama, but a
dictatorship. Its victims are the people of
Panama, caught between a "strongman"
that the U.S. created and the U.S. itself,
with all of its self serving policies.
The U.S. has a responsibility to help
the people of Panama get rid of this dictd-
tor, but not through intervention; U.S.
involvement was the problem in the first
place.

Shane Green is an RC sophomore and an
opinion page staff writer.

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Jews of
Yemen
persecuted
To the Daily:
There are over 1,200 Ye-
menite citizens who are denied
the right to communicate with
their relatives living abroad,
and who are denied the right to
establish their own religious
schools. They are not allowed
to travel, or to emigrate. They
are a people who have never
staged riots, never carried out a
single bombing of a bus stop,
never kidnapped school chil-
dren, and never thrown rocks or
petrol bombs at passing cars.
Throughout the centuries their
only request has been to be left

three fourths of the Yemeni
Jewish population, perished.
Up until the mid-1950s the
Jews of Yemen were subject to
having orphaned children ab-
ducted to be raised by Mus-
lims. This was no horror tale
told to naive travellers. This
was Yemeni law. And to this
day, for a Jew to speak Hebrew
in public in Yemen, is a crime.
The Jews of Yemen may not
be alone in their captivity,
many other Jewish communi-
ties are also refused the right to
emigrate, but they are certainly
among the most persecuted.
-John Blow
October 11
Seeking
news from
4.Ut d% !W ' A d%" IA

ings and dreams with. It seems
like a lifetime since I have
been able to call someone my
friend. Certainly there must be
somebody out there in the
world who needs a friend al-
most as much as I do. I am
sure some people who read my
letter might think I am just
trying to fleece or con some
unsuspecting person out of
money or favors. I assure you I
am not! I have learned the ter-
rible cost of illegal behavior,
and all I want is friendship. I
need that friendship to help get
me ready to live a law-abiding
life when I get released from
here in August 1990. I would
like very much for you to print
my letter.
-Bill Santa #23013-E-2-E
Westville Correctional
Center,
P~fh 1RayA73

increasing the hate and distrust
that both sides justifiably feel
about each other. The Daily
seems to ignore that hlat sides
are unjustified in killing each
other, no matter which side
kills more or which side one
believes is "in the right." The
Daily calls for only Israel tp
stop the violence. For Israel to
stop its violence, a settlement
to the whole problem has to be
reached. Unfortunately, Israeli
hard-liners have gained enough
support (by using the violence
of the intifada as an example
that it will never be possible to
coexist peacefully with the
Palestinians) to prevent Israel
from even starting
negotiations. The Palestinians,
on the other hand, have the
power to stop the violence on
both sides and vastly accelerateI

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