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November 16, 1989 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-11-16

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Thursday, November 16, 1989
Salvadoran rebel offensive shows popular support:

Page 4

The Michigan Daily I

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St,
fol. C, No. 52 Ann Arbor, MI 481


Our war, their war

By Philip Cohen


,- . I. V. -

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.
Fh ht a nti-emitism

LAST WEEK an act of anti-Semitic
vandalism took place outside the Sigma
Alpha Mu fraternity house. Two cars
parked outside the fraternity, which is
publicly known as an organization with
'4-majority of Jewish members, were
covered with spray-painted swastikas.
'This act of violence is not isolated, but
rather another incident to add to a long
list of anti-Semitic incidents which are
taking place in Ann Arbor and across
the country.
Last month three Jewish students at
Brooklyn College were beaten by 15
white man wielding broken bottles and
yelling anti-Semitic insults.
Last year a placard constructed by the
Palestinian Solidarity Committee was
spray-painted with swastikas; several
years ago a swastika was emblazoned
on the side of the East Engineering
building; the SAM house has been
similarly attacked; Neo-Nazis have
marched and rallied at the Federal
Building on Liberty street; and "JAP"
baiting - attributing derogatory char-
acteristics in reference to Jewish
women - is a common occurrence.
Anti-Semitism has also been imple-
mented as policy in many institutions
- both overtly and covertly. The
onginal charters of many fraternity

house read "for white Anglo-Saxon
Christians" only. Several institutions of
higher education have had in the past
"ceilings" on the number of Jewish
students admitted, much like today's
"unofficial" ceilings levied against
Asian and Asian-American students.
Such discrimination and harassment
is becoming all too acceptable to the
mainstream public opinion, as evi-
denced by the success of Klansman
David Duke in the Republican Party, as
well as the appointment of William
Rehnquist to the Supreme Court de-
spite the fact that a stipulation in the
contract on his house says he will not
sell to Blacks or Jews.
Proponents of anti-Semitism today
continue to embrace the symbols and
rhetoric espoused by Adolf Hitler's
Third Reich in the 1930s and 40s.
They consciously choose to reintroduce
signs from the past in an effort to reju-
venate the hatred and emotions associ-
ated with the slaughter of six million
Jews in the Holocaust.
Incidents such as that of last week
and institutions which discriminate
against groups of people must not go
unnoticed and must not be forgotten.
They must be challenged and repudi-
ated, and the struggle against anti-
Semitism must continue.

The events of the recent offensive by
rebel guerillas in El Salvador are unfolding
rapidly and unpredictably; accurate infor-
mation on the situation is hard to come
by. But the scope of the offensive already,
and the severity of the retaliation by the
government's military forces, have some
immediate consequences which bear analy-
First of all are the conflicting reports on
the amount of support the rebels have.
The Farabundo Marti National Liberation
Front (FMLN), which has been engaged in
a military struggle throughout the 1980s,
claims now and has always claimed to
have the support of the majority of El
Salvador's population. And there are facts
to support this claim. In recent years the
guerillas have operated more or less freely
in about one-third of the country - areas
which they have termed "liberated zones."
Here, with the support of the rural popula-
tion, the FMLN has established coopera-
tive farms, regional governments, literacy
and health campaigns.
During the last few years, the FMLN
has reached out to, and gained the open
support of, such ostensibly moderate
groups as trade unions and human rights
And in this week's recent offensive it-
self there is substantial evidence for wide-
spread support for the rebels. The offen-
sive was months in the planning, weapons
and supplies were transported secretly into
the capital city of San Salvador; guerillas
took up residence throughout the city,
concealed among numerous supporters in
the shanty-town areas which sprawl
throughout the city's suburbs. When the
offensive began, the FMLN was fully
mobilized within the city.
And as the battle has raged within the
capital (and other cities, though the U.S
media has been largely confined to San
Salvador), the rebels have been able to dig
in to friendly neighborhoods, preparing to
By Mike Sobel
This is the second of a four-part series
In the first part of the series, I proposed
that evidence supports a claim that the rise
of the AIDS virus roughly corresponds
with the advent of recombinant DNA
technology. In this part, I shall propose
that the AIDS virus has no apparent ances-
tor and that elements of the virus itself
generate doubt as to whether it is, in fact,
a natural virus. I shall use a fairly techni-
calsbut essential analysis of the virus itself
to support this claim.
The AIDS virus is a diabolically effec-
tive parasite. Once the virus enters the
human bloodstream, it primarily targets
the T4 lymphocytes of the immune sys-
tem. It is believed that its surface protein
(GP 120) binds with CD4, the phenotypic
marker of the T4 cell. The CD4 molecule
which, as a surface receptor, identifies and
draws in other molecules required for cell

wage a drawn-out battle. In addition, pre-
viously non-military groups are reportedly
announcing they will take up arms to join
the insurrection - among them are CO-
MADRES, the committee of mothers and
relatives of the victims of government
death-squad violence, whose office was
targeted in a government bombing last
In spite of facts and testimony to the
contrary, the U.S. government, and most
of the media, have continued to maintain
the position that the offensive, by func-
tion of its scale and apparent
"desperation," represents the rebels' last-
ditch attempt to spark an insurrection from
a population in which they have little
support, with little chance of success.
There are a number of reasons for this.
First, the U.S. establishment must main-
tain that the revolution has no popular
base if it is to continue to assert that the
rebels are puppets and creations of
"communist" countries: the Soviet Union,
Cuba, Nicaragua.
Further, the claim that the FMLN is
weak and lacks support - while it might
seem to make the justification for more di-
rect U.S. intervention in the war more dif-
ficult - actually helps support such a
move by perpetuating the myth that the
role of the U.S. in El Salvador is to insure
the survival of a stable, popular democracy
in a struggle against outside aggression.
The question of U.S. intervention in the
war has an ironic tone to begin with, be-
cause of the massive military and eco-
nomic support the United States govern-
ment has supplied to the Salvadoran gov-
ernment for the last 10 years. Meanwhile
the media has announced that the right-
wing ARENA government, headed by
death-squad leader Alfredo Christiani, has
"not asked for U.S. assistance" in the
The current offensive has been compared
to the Tet Offensive in Vietnam and the
escalation of attacks by the Nicaraguan

Sandinistas in 1978 - the last year before
their victory. In both cases rebel groups
suffered heavy losses, but iron-fisted, des-.
perate retaliation by controlling military
regimes resulted in an increased level of
mobilization among the population. In
Nicaragua the Somoza regime struck back
with carpet-bombings of neighborhoods in
Managua, as it now appears the govern-
ment of El Salvador is prepared to re-
The declaration of 24-hour curfews in
areas controlled by the FMLN, though
civilian residents remain in their homes,
essentially represents the government's
admission that the war pits the military
against the majority of the people. In rec-
ognizing the same principle, The FMLN
seems prepared to accept civilian casualties
by the government in exchange for in-
creased polarization and mobilization, and
the government appears poised to deliver.
The U.S. media is now unable to avoid
reporting the death and destruction inflicted
by U.S.-supplied planes and weaponry in
the poor neighborhoods of San Salvador,
where FMLN support is highest. Unmen-
tioned as yet in the major media is the
military assault and bombing at the Uni-
versity of El Salvador, and the capture of
student organizers there.
The Bush Administration has been care-
ful not to rule out the possibility of direct
U.S. military intervention, though it con-
tinues to stress the supposed "control over
the situation" held by the Salvadoran
regime. If the situation does indeed worsen
for the government, making that position
impossible to hold, U.S. citizens - espe-
cially students - should be prepared to re-
spond to more massacres by the Salvado-
ran military, and an increased level of par-
ticipation by the United States.
Philip Cohen is a Daily Opinion Asso0
ciate Editor, and a member of the Latin
American Solidarity Committee.

One of the cars painted with swastikas last Friday.
The Wonderful World of Disney:
Making people happy

W HEREVER HE IS, Walt Disney
must be smiling; the Magic Kingdom
is growing in ways that would warm
his heart.
In Florida, it includes The Epcot
Center - a glimpse of a future where
the trains run on time - and the new
Disney-MGM movie studio-theme
park that will produce more of the
full-length cartoons Walt Disney pi-
oneered and so loved. There is now a
Disney World in Tokyo; it outgrosses
its U.S. counterparts by nearly two-to-
one. EuroDisney, in a Paris suburb,
will open just in time to take advan-
tage of the unification of European
markets in 1992. Worldwide, Disney
has tripled its profits in the last five
B ut what exactly is Disney? Or, to
put the question the way Disney man-
agement does in their training sessions
for new workers, "What does Disney
A few films, some Mickey Mouse
ears - Disney produces entertain-
ment, not goods. According to the
usual definition, Disney is a service
industry. In fact, other service com-
panies have come to regard Disney as
a model: Lisney's executive seminars
on how to train employees are the
field's hottest, in a very hot field: from
flying planes to flipping burgers, 75
percent of the U.S. labor force now
has service-sector jobs. Fifteen years
ago, it was only 40 percent (United
States Bureau of Labor Statistics).
The seminars, called "The Disney

with their peers. "Don't take yourself
seriously," goes one Disney slogan,
"take your job seriously.".
A variety of tools helps managers'
efforts - company songs (like the
ones sung at the weekly pep rallies at
Domino Farms), uniforms, profit-
sharing schemes, whatever will make
a worker forget his or her concerns
about wages, working conditions, and
job security. The means may be be-
nign - many, like profit sharing, are
borrowed from socialism - but the
end is worker disempowerment. All
decisions come from above.
In most cases, service industry
workers will only buy the company's
line for so long. McDonald's keeps its
revolving door of employment spin-
ning so fast that it budgets as much for
hiring and training as it does for
wages. Similar turnover rates charac-
terize service companies.
Through its seminars, Disney is try-
ing to change that. It shows companies
how to better select and train workers
who will stay, and stay docile. Hun-
dreds of corporations, from Chase
Manhattan Bank to Ben and Jerry's
Ice Cream, have sent their hiring staffs
to Disney U. They learn how to sift
out potential unionizers, and how to
hold onto workers at Disney-level
wages - currently no more than
seven dollars an hour.
But even Disney and its mammoth
doses of pixie dust can't keep workers
down forever. In 1987, Forida Disney
World employees struck for union


n orphai
Tat seems to be the primary transactiva-
tor of HIV expression. As Gallo states in
his 1987 article published in the Int Arch
Allergy Applied Immunol, tat might also
control expression of the trs gene product
which "apparently governs the splicing of
mRNA for envelope andcore structural
proteins, a regulatory mechanism which
may be novel in molecular biology."
The trs gene upregulates HIV synthesis
by transacting an anti-repression mecha-
nism. The 3' orf gene seems to promote
downregulation of virus expression. Fi-
nally, the R gene codes for an immuno-
genic protein, the function of which is
Because, as mentioned in part 1, HIV-1
has been classed as a lentivius, some have
tried to uncover the mysteries surrounding
its origin and pathogenesis by studying it
in the context of animal lentiviruses such
as the visna-maedi virus of sheep and the
equine infectious anemia virus of horses
(EIAV). These viruses seem to target the
macrophage/monocyte cells of the im-
mune system and cause progressive, fatal
disease in their hosts. The visna virus also
has two open reading frames analogous to
the sor and tat genes on the HIV-1
genome. Some have suggested that HIV-1
and these animal lentiviruses may have
evolved from a common ancestor.
In his 1987 article published in Proc
Natl Aced Sci USA, McClure constructed
a phylogenic tree indicating that 1) HIV,
visna and EIAV evolved from a common
progenitor and 2) HIV diverged from this
ancestor before the other two. Yet, visna
was isolated from European sheep in the
1930s, fifty years before HIV-1 was iso-
lated. As Gallo pointed out, "the analogy
to these viruses of ruminants should not
be overdrawn because there are important
differences such as the lack of immune
suppression and T4 trophism by the len-
tiviruses and their capacity to be casually
transmitted. Thus, it seems unlikely that
HIV-1 evolved from any known animal
Much attention has also been focused on
other known 'primate' retroviruses in order
to uncover the mystery of HIV-1. These
include simian T-cell lymphotrophic virus
type III (STLV-III) and human T-cell lym-
photrophic virus type IV (HTLV-IV).
While there are some ostensibly signifi-
cant similarities, I maintain that HIV-1 is

All of these viruses seem to have an
affinity for CD4 bearing T4 lymphocytes.
STLV-III causes immunodeficiency i
macaques, hence the variant name simi
immunodeficiency virus (SIV), but it i
non-pathogenic in mangabeys and african
green monkeys (its natural host). HTLV-
IV was recently isolated from healthy
Sengalese and has a possible variant.
LAV-2 (HIV-2), isolated from West
Africans with AIDS-like illness. Yet, in
his 1987 article, published in Contrib
Microbiol Immunol, Folks points out that
the pathogenesis of HIV-2 is still under
Bcause AIDS seems to have originated
in Africa and a seemingly related virus was
isolated from indigenous monkeys, Guinta
proposed in a 1987 letter published in Na-
ture that HIV-1 "descended from a mon-
key virus , probably via the passage to
man of STLV-III." STLV-III shares over-
all 45 percent sequence homology with
HIV-1 and 95 percent sequence homology
with HTLV-IV. As Arya mentions in hisO
1987 article phblished in Nature,
"Korfield et al. have noted that HTLV-IV
and STLV-III may not be independent
virus isolates but result from transmission
of the same virus to different cell cultures
in the laboratory." So, as Chakrabarti
points out in his 1987 article published in
Nature, "Even if it is supposed that mon-
keys could be an accessory resevoir for
HIV-2, available sequence data are incon-
sistent with the idea that AIDS emerged
from recent transmission of SIV to hu-
mans, followed by rapid viral evolution
towards HIV-1."
AIDS did not come from monkeys.
Because, again, the pathogenesis of
HIV-2 is still in question and HIV-2 is yet
to be firmly classified as a lentivirus, I
maintain that until further research and se-
quencing be done on HIV-2, HIV-1 is the
only known human lenti retrovirus to
HIV-1 is unusually unstable even for a
lentivirus and it possesses an almost apoc-
alyptic self-defense mechanism: the ability
to mutate or possibly recombine so that
there exist a number of antigenic variants
within a single host. Some have suggested
that because it is so unstable and has been
in the human population for a relatively
significant amount of time, more efficient
means of transmission may already exist.


metabolism, sees the virus as innocuous
and draws it into the cell.
Once inside the cell, reverse transcrip-
tion takes place. The virus sheds its its
coat and its genomic RNA is transcribed
into DNA by reverse transcriptase. This
integrated, or proviral, DNA becomes a
permanent part of the host chromosomal
DNA. After integration of the provirus,
infection may assume a latent period until
the cell is activated. Upon activation, the
proviral DNA then translates into viral
genomic RNA and messenger RNA
(mRNA). Viral assembly occurs with bud-
ding of the mature virion from the cell
surface. Once budding occurs, it is possi-
ble that a massive increase in the perme-
ability of the cell membrane causes cell
death. Exactly how the virus is able to
suddenly kill enough T4 cells, which are
critical for immune function, is still under
some debate.
Another aspect of the virus that is still
in question involves the make-up and
mechanism of the proviral genome itself.
HIV-1 has several more genes then other
known retroviruses. Eight genes have been
identified, the exact function of many of
,thnnh ran .nlrnn,. n


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