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November 10, 1989 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-11-10

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Page 4

Friday, November 10, 1989

The Michigan Daily

By Andrew Mills
I don't know how to break it to them.
I read in the Daily last week that there's
not going to be a graduation ceremony in
Michigan Stadium, and I don't know how
to pass along this disturbing piece of news
to my parents. It seems that instead of one
large ceremony, each school will conduct
their own graduation, in an effort to
involve the students - especially the
undergraduates - more.
You see, my parents, like many other
parents of the thousands of soon-to-be-
alumni on campus, have been looking
forward to graduation since they dropped
me off in my Couzens triple three years
ago. It was that very weekend, in fact, the
day after she helped me hang my posters
and make my bed, that my mother visited
the Campus Inn and asked if she could
iIke reservations for the weekend of April
28, 1990. They said no, that they only
took reservations three years in advance,
and that she would have to call back in
January. It wasn't long after New Years'




Day that my mother secured a block of
rooms for my graduation. Graduation date
has since been pushed back a week, and
after some frantic phoning, Mom was able
to switch the reservation.
I don't care so much where I graduate.
To be honest, by the time May rolls
around, I'll be so anxious to get out of
this burg, that I wouldn't mind if we all
stood in line at CRISP - one last time
- to pick up our diplomas.
But graduation ceremonies, like
confirmations, bar mitzvahs, and even
weddings, are for the parents. At least
that's how it's been in my family. Hell,
they paid for my time here, why shouldn't
they get a show at the end?
Now I understand some of the reasoning
of those high University officials who
made the decision to "personalize"
graduation in this way. Logistically,
graduation in Michigan Stadium is a
mess. Sitting in the stadium, students
don't give a whit about the speaker, the

honorary degree recipients, or the
processional. They usually just talk with
friends, pop some champagne, and try to
figure out what to do with the gown once
the ceremony ends. The parents can't pick
out their children (whose names are never
read off), and if it rains or if the weather
turns arctic, as it did last year, sitting on a
hard bench for hours isn't at all pleasant.
But now that graduates will be spread
out across campus - Engineering here,
Business there, Natural Resources
somewhere else - the entire mystique of
a graduation ceremony is lost. Let's face
it, the effect of thousands of mortarboards
flying through the spring sky is somehow
lost inside the Power Center, one of the
proposed graduation venues under this new
A common complaint of past graduates
has been the sub-standard quality of
commencement speakers. Every spring,
the New York Times runs a list of
prominent graduation speakers at colleges

across the nation. Bill Cosby, Garry
Trudeau, Francois Mitterand, Walter
Cronkite, and scores of other notable,
interesting people are on hand at other
schools. And while I don't mean to insult
the speakers at Michigan's graduations
past, they are rarely in the Times' article,
and they surely don't make anyone's "A"-
Sure, a poor speaker causes the students
to pay a little less attention to the speech,
and a little more attention to the beach
ball bobbing around the stadium, but what
will happen now? Without the prominence
afforded by a large ceremony, the
University is going to have an even
tougher time attracting the big names.
And if they do manage to nab a Ted
Kennedy or a Jesse Jackson or even a
Barbara Bush, only a select few graduates
(most likely the masters and doctoral
recipients) will have the privilege to hear
them. To alleviate this, the University
might broadcast the commencement

address on closed-circuit TV. I don't think
anyone really believes that will do the
Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins -
the whole clan is planning to make the
trip to Ann Arbor for the annual spring
ritual. But what do they have to look
forward to now? A droll speech and "Good
luck as you enter the world," from the
dean, as we sit on our hands in Angell
Hall Auditorium D?
As the plan is laid out, the LSA college
will get to graduate in Crisler Arena; it
could be worse. I wonder to what
auditorium of this sprawling campus some
of the smaller schools will be relegated:
Natural Science? Chemistry? MLB? It
seems cruelly ironic that many of us will
be going through graduation exercises in
the very same room where we slept
through so many lectures. Maybe, if we're
lucky, we'll sleep through this one.
Mills is an LSA senior, and co-Editor.
of the Daily's Weekend Magazine.


Ebe £idi4jau flyrtA
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. C, No. 48 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.
he same old story

Abortion in Br

SIX WEEKS ago, the Committee of
Mothers and Family Members of Polit-
ical Prisoners, Disappeared, and As-
sassinated of El Salvador
(COMADRES) - a group of women
organized to protest the terror perpe-
trated by the Salvadoran government's
death squads -occupied the Costa Ri-
can Embassy in San Salvador.
The women sought to draw interna-
tional attention to the right-wing
ARENA government's escalating hu-
man rights violations - the kidnapping
and murder this year alone of almost
2,500 peasants and union members
fighting for the political and economic
reforms necessary to combat El Sal-
vador's devastating poverty.
The women had planned to stay for
two hours during which they would
make a brief statement. But when the
women entered, the Salvadoran mili-
tary and police immediately surrounded
the embassy. The protesters risked ar-
rest and imprisonment if they left the
Rather than facing imprisonment in
El Salvador, the women remained in-
side the embassy - blockading them-
selves for 28 hours - at which point
the Red Cross was finally permitted to
escort the protesters to safety.
A few weeks later, the Salvadoran
government struck back. A bomb went
off outside the COMADRES office,
wounding four bystanders. Men in
governmental uniforms were seen
fleeing the scene just prior to the ex-
The same day another bomb ex-
ploded at the office of the National Sal-
vadoran Workers' Federation
(FENASTRES), killing ten and injur-
ing forty, including FENASTRES'
charismatic leader, the thirty-five-year
old Febe Elizabeth Velasquez. FENE-
TRAS is one of several organizations
'that COMADRES had tried to protect
from the governmental-sponsored vio-
lence. FENETRAS' office had already
been bombed twice before this year.

This type of action, in a chilling re-
play of the mass murders of the early
eighties, is once again becoming repre-
sentative of the Salvadoran govern-
ment's response to those who oppose
its concerted rollback against labor,
failure to implement land reform, mas-
sive oppression, and lack of democ-
The U.S. State Department - much
like the Salvadoran government itself
-insists that such atrocities are being
committed by right-wing extremists
bent on sabotaging any hope of peace.
And they are right. What they fail to
mention is how inseparable such
"extremists" and El Salvador's gov-
ernment have become since ARENA's
accession to power last June. Even the
usually conservative Salvadoran human
rights organization Tutela Legal is now
documenting a pattern of systematic
human rights abuses by government
security personnel.
Right-wing killings in El Salvador
are hardly a new thing; the Daily's
pages have provided documentation of
their frequency often enough. But the
recent increase in such killings - and
ARENA's growing audacity in tar-
geting church-sponsored peace or-
ganizations and even respected interna-
tional political figures such as Ruben
Zamora - suggests an ominous ex-
tension of the usual pattern.
In this context, it is as crucial as it
has ever been at any point in El Sal-
vador's long war for the U.S. public to
stand up and be counted. Our tax dol-
lars - to the tune of $4 billion dollars
in the last decade - have funded and
continue to fund these killings. Is it not
ironic that MSA's Conservative Coali-
tion can spend so much energy
protesting the expenditure of four thou-
sand dollars on a student mission for
peace in El Salvador while all too many
of us remain silent about how much
more of our money continues to fund
death in the same country?

By Mark Buchan
As the abortion issue continues to dom-
inate U.S. politics, it is of interest to note
that the U.S. is not the only country
where debate rages. British parliament is
set to have its first full-scale discussion of
abortion reform since Thatcher took office
in 1979.
As in the U.S., there is a large anti-
choice movement, which has become in-
creasingly identified with politicians of the
right. And there is a national pro-choice
campaign supported by the Labour party.
However it is not federal funding of abor-
tions which is under question, nor whether
there should be exceptions in the case of
rape or incest. A National Health Service,
which guarantees access to abortion for all
women, makes such questions obsolete.
In England, the debate is over a pro-
posed reduction of the 28 week limit for
termination of pregnancy. The anti-choice
movement seeks a 22 or 20 week limit.
The Labour party will compromise at 24
weeks - a move favored by both the
Prime Minister and her health secretary -
but only on certain conditions: that excep-
tions be made in cases of rape, incest and
fetal abnormalities; that the bureaucracy
which delays a woman's access to abortion
facilities be trimmed; and that one, not
two, doctors approve the procedure.
The compromise appears exemplary, but
in the political arena the situation is not
so simple. Strictly, the government debate
is not on abortion, but on research on

human embryos. Abortion is only being
debated because of the pressure the anti-
choice movement has put on the govern-
ment to link it to embryo research. This
blurs two separate questions.
In 1982, a Committee of Inquiry was di-
rected to examine the problems arising out
of new developments in embryology. In
its report, it specifically avoided questions
of abortion. The Committee felt it wrong
to merge the question of how scientists
should limit their research on embryos be-
cause of the "humanity" of the embryos,
and the entirely separate issue of when a
fetus within the uterus may be aborted for
the sake of the mother. In allowing abor-
tion to be debated as an issue related to
embryo research, the government is delib-

expense. Thus abortion itself is not being
attacked, but only the right of poor
women to abortions. In Britain, because
medical care is available to all, govern-
ment funding of abortion is not an issue.
If a reduction in the 28 week limit does
pass, it will apply to everyone.
The debate is being followed beyond
Britain's shore. Each year, some 4000
Irish women come to the United Kingdom
for safe, legal abortions. Abortion remains
illegal in Eire.
As the pro-choice campaign in the U.S.
gains impetus, a glance at the situation in
Britain helps clarify its implications. A
woman cannot have freedom to control her
life without access to health services that '
facilitate that choice, regardless of her in-

'In the U.S. access to abortion is being systematically reduced
by increasing its expense. In Britain, because medical care is
available to all women, government funding of abortion is not
an issue.'

erately ignoring the findings of its own
Despite the deliberate attempts of the
anti-choice movement to confuse separate
issues, the abortion debate in Britain re-
mains centered on what is important -
the welfare of pregnant women. It is sig-
nificant that the anti-choice movement is
reduced by public pressure to merely cam-
paigning for a 20 week limit.
In the U.S. access to abortion is being
systematically reduced by increasing its

come. When the U.S. realizes that in a fair
society abortion must be equally available
to all women, it is only a short step away
from recognizing that medical care should
be equally available to all.. The power of
the pro-choice campaign can be seen in
elections all over the U.S.; there is no
need to stop there.
Mark Buchan is a graduate student in
the Department of Classical Studies, and
a member of the opinion staff.



U.S. double standard

By Tania Drelichman
On October 3, 1989 a coup d'etat to
overthrow the Panamanian dictator General
Manuel Noriega flopped. The coup failed
for one reason - the United States broke
its promise to take action against Noriega.
A day after the coup, The New York
Times ran an article by Elaine Sciolino,
"Once Again, A Survivor". A quote from
this article clearly illustrates how nega-
tively the Reagan and Bush Administra-
tions view Noriega, even though they tol-
erate him. According to them, General
Noriega stands for everything repugnant in
a political leader. He has been accused of
taking part in election fraud, drug traffick-
ing, money laundering, espionage against
the United States and even murder.
It is hypocritical of the Reagan and
Bush administrations to have made this
statement, since both of their administra-
tions can be accused of similar activities.
First of all, Noriega was accused of taking
part in fraudulent elections last May. In
the 1982 El Salvadoran elections, the
Reagan administration placed a conserva-
tive business leader into power after the
people had already elected another candi-
date. Another example of U.S.-supported
election manipulation involves the up-
coming Nicaraguan elections, in which
President Bush openly and financially
supports the opposition coalition.
Although the contras are scheduled to de-
mobilize by December 5 this year, as of
now, they continue to fight the Sandin-
ic.a Ar~eri.t n.'cnn _ tof.hern-

government and the Colombian drug deal-
ers. The money-making process went as
follows: the drugs arrived in Panama from
Colombia, then the drugs were flown to
the U.S. to be sold, and ultimately
money from these sales was used to
supply the Nicaraguan contras. This is
a critical point, since it is this relationship
with Noriega that both the Reagan and
Bush administrations wish to conceal from
the American public.
As for money laundering, it occurs so
often in the U.S. government that to ac-
cuse Noriega of this same crime before
looking into things here seems ludicrous.
For example, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver
North and General Secord were tainted
with money laundering during the Iran-
Contra hearings. Other members of the
Reagan administration that have been as-
sociated with money laundering include
Edwin Meese, James Watt, and Samuel
Pierce Jr.
Noriega's last two "repugnant" activities
happen to be integral aspects of U.S. for-
eign policy. If espionage against the U.S.
is so terrible, why has the U.S. spied on
other countries so many times? All U.S.
administrations have been guilty of espi-
onage. The Central Intelligence Agency's
raison-d'etre is to spy on other countries
and individuals for the U.S. government!

And yes, the U.S. has even committed
murder, directly and indirectly. In 1973 in
Chile, the U.S. was directly behind the
murder of President Salvadore Allende
After Allende's murder, an executive order
was passed prohibiting the U.S. from any
involvement in direct assassination at-
tempts. It was this order that suspended
Reagan's plot to overthrow Noriega in



The order, however, has not prevented.
the U.S. from being indirectly involved in
numerous killings. Whenever the U.S.
supports a corrupt government or group it
is indirectly involved with murders. The
Reagan and Bush administrations' support
of the Duarte and Christiani regimes in El
Salvador, the Cerezo regime in Guatemala,
and the contras in Nicaragua provide just a
few examples of the indirect role the U.S.
government has played in the loss of
thousands of lives.
The Bush administration was scared to
come through on its promise in Panama
primarily because of the Iran-Contra scan-
dal. The fear that Noriega will squeal pre-
vents Bush from taking any drastic mea-
sures against him. Ironically, actions of
Noriega that Reagan and Bush find repug-
nant only mirror their own.
Tania Drelichman is a sophomore in

t[ 's

March for abortion ri hts

U111 1 11YjI Y,19 A, f{ , I

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