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February 28, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-02-28

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Page 4 -The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, February 28, 1990

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
ARTS 763 0379 PHOTO 764 0552
NEWS 764 0552 SPORTS 747 3336
OPINION 747 2814 WEEKEND 747 4630
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.


Election was fair, and U.S. should lift embargo

tions are over and the procedure has
been verified as fair, the U.S. govern-
ment should honor its promises and
immediately end its century-long viola-
tion of that country's national
sovereignty. Ann Arbor's congres-
sional representative, Carl Pursell, who
has supported the contras for the past
eight years, has an obligation to pub-
licly demand this from the Bush Ad-
An end to U.S. interference requires
the immediate lifting of the economic
embargo and demobilization of the
contras. The U.S. - acting at first
covertly through the CIA and later
-openly - created, armed, and trained
this force. The contras have waged
.war, primarily against the civilian
-:poulation of Nicaragua, for most of
"Tis decade. It is not enough to say, as
: rbsident Bush has, that "we hope the
:cease-fire will be established without
4=delay and respected by all sides." The
'U.S. must actively help to demobilize
tlh contras, just as it actively mobilized
"'-After nine years of U.S.-sponsored
Violence and destruction of the
Nicaraguan economy, it is understand-
:'able that 55 percent of the people
-.would have voted for Violetta Barrios
bde Chamorro. Bush had promised an
eod to the embargo if she won, and
most people probably thought that the
War would also end if the U.S. finally
:upceeded in driving the Sandinistas
-.ot of office. On the other hand, state-
%ments last week by U.S. Secretary of
-state James Baker indicated that if the
Sandinistas won, the war and embargo
:would continue until they showed "a
,,,The army

substantial period of good behavior."
Unfortunately, no behavior on the part
of the Sandinistas, short of "crying
uncle," has ever been seen as accept-
able by the U.S.
In 1984, Nicaragua held elections
under conditions that were judged to be
free and fair by more than 400 ob-
servers from 40 countries, including a
group of the most respected Latin
America scholars from the United
States. Since the Sandinistas won that
election, the results were dismissed by
the U.S. government and media, and
the aggression against Nicaragua con-
This time, the U.S.-financed party
won, and so there is talk of normaliz-
ing relations between the U.S. and
Nicaragua. But if history is any guide,
the United States will continue to try to
determine the structure and policy of
the new government, and the terms of
its relations with the Sandinistas. After
more than $12 billion in damage in-
flicted by the war and embargo,
Nicaragua is in economic ruin and
especially short bf foreign exchange.
The Bush administration can exploit
any aid it might give to impose its will
on Nicaragua.
Consequently, it is important that
the embargo be lifted, the contras de-
mobilized, and any aid granted un-
conditionally. As an influential House
Republican who has supported the
contras, Pursell should speak out for
such unconditional normalization of
relations with Nicaragua. Anything less
would indicate that he, like the U.S.
government, has never been interested
in democracy for Nicaragua, but only
in United States control.



Congress can't legislate Turkish history

By Kenan Ezal
Yesterday, the United States Congress
voted on Resolution 212. By considering
this proposition, our lawmakers have, in
fact, told us that they think they can write
history as well as make history. Think for
a moment, not about the subject of the
resolution, but about the implication of
our government writing history. Do the
words "1984" or "Big Brother" have any
significance to you?
In 1985, Congress tried to pass the
same resolution without success. And just
several weeks ago, the Daily published an
editorial in support of the same resolution
(2/9/90). When questioned about the edito-
rial, the Daily's response was that it had
never considered the other point of view. I
suppose it's very possible that Congress
has the same excuse. However, a univer-
sity newspaper should be more sensitive
to the issues. If a university newspaper
neglects to research all aspects of the is-
sues that it supports, how can we expect
the U.S. Congress to do any better?
The subject of the resolution is the so-
called "Armenian Genocide." In effect, the
resolution confirms as a fact that 1.5 mil-
lion Armenians were deliberately and sys-
tematically killed by the Ottoman gov-
ernment between 1915 and 1923 in East-
ern Anatolia. However, the majority of
historiars who are experts in the area dis-
agree with the resolu~tion.
They specifically disagree with the
word "genocide." They do not dispute the
fact that Armenians died and were killed in
Eastern Anatolia in 1915. The facts of the
matter are that between 600,000 and 1.5
Ezal is a graduate student in Aerospace
Engineering and a member of the Turkish
Students Association.

million Armenians were either killed by
Moslems or died as a result of famine.
However, between 2.5 million and 3 mil-
lion Moslems were also killed in the same
region and at the same time, either by the
Armenians, or by the Russian troops with
which the Armenians sided.
Suffice it to say that the time in ques-
tion was World War I and the Ottoman
Empire was in its final days. It was at war
on five fronts at the same time against the
Russians, the English, the Greeks, the
French, and the Armenians on the side of
the Russians. The Armenians who were
not in the region in question were left
The above statements are not meant to
excuse anyone of the atrocities committed
by all sides. One should understand, how-
ever, that all sides did commit the same
crimes against one another. One can match
document for document every act each side
claims to have been committed by the
other. For every document in the U.S.,
British, German, Russian, French, and
Turkish archives that accuses the Moslems
of violent acts against the Armenians, an-
other can be found, equally legitimate, that
portrays the Armenians to be equally as
guilty. ,
For example, some Armenians like to
quote the U.S. ambassador to Turkey dur-
ing World War I, Henry Morganthau, as a
reliable source confirming genocide. They
forget to mention, however, that Morgan-
thau, in addition to disliking Moslems,
never left Instanbul (Constantinople) dur-
ing his entire term. For those of you not
familiar with the geography, Istanbul is
more than 1,000 miles from Eastern Ana-
Admiral Mark Bristole, the U.S. High
Commissioner in Istanbul after Morgan-
thau, did tour the regions in question and

wrote, "I see that reports are being freely
circulated in the United States that the
Turks massacred thousands of Armenians
in the Caucasus... Such Armenian reports
are absolutely false."
In 1985, the majority of American ex-
perts on the subject declared to the mem-
bers of the U.S. House of Representatives
the following: "The weight of evidence so
far uncovered points in the direction of se-
rious inter-communal warfare (perpetrated
by Moslem and Christian irregular forces),
complicated by disease, famine, suffering,
and massacres."
In the United States, the ratio of Amer-
icans of Armenian descent outnumber
those of Turkish descent 10 to 1. The ma-
jority of those Armenians are, in fact, de-t
scendants of those who survived the
tragedy of Eastern Anatolia in 1915. They
support the concept of "genocide" due to
the emotional impact of having relatives
who died or were killed in Eastern Anato-
lia. No one is trying to undermine the
events and the emotional toll they had on
the survivors. However, the Armenians
were not the only ones to suffer. One
must not forget that Moslems also suf-
Resolution 212 not only allows
Congress to move closer to becoming
"Big Brother,"but it also distorts the
truth. History is not black and white.
There have been shades of gray in every
aspect of human history since the dawn of
No single nation or group of people
can claim to be perfect, especially
Congress, which should leave the writig
of history to the historians and stay in
their own designated area of expertise -
making history.

- - - - - -

.abolishing it is a no-lose
* budget, many civilian defense analysts
fiave rightly called for the elimination
>of the B-2 bomber program on the
"grounds that it is overpriced, prema-
-turely obsolete, and incapable of com-
pleting its assigned mission. The Daily
submits for your consideration another
'obsolete and overpriced war machine:
the U.S. Army.
a The United States is at a point in its
history where it has much to lose and
little to gain by maintaining an army.
SThe Warsaw Pact is crumbling and our
.Ties in Western Europe and East Asia
are offering to take on a greater share
of the burden of defending their home
soil. The European Economic Com-
munity has a greater population than
the Soviet Union and a higher com-
bined Gross National Product. Japan's
Gross National Product is almost as
Allowing these nations to take care
of themselves would reduce the natural
advantage their low military budgets
give them in trade wars. Congress, if it
were willing to forgo acts of military
stupidity like those in Grenada and
Pdnama, could cut the army from its
budget entirely and save more than $57
' The effect of cutting the army on the
economy would be overwhelmingly
:'positive. Army personnel, with their
:technical skills and reputation for self-
discipline, would have little trouble
~finding work. The G.I. college fund
:pfovides thousands of dollars worth of
fi'nancial aid for those seeking a uni-
versity degree or further technical
-.rining. Prison construction and police
:-w6rk are expanding fields which both
:c ll for skills found in the military.
If the government wisely reinvests

proposition for the U.S.
Such a cut would not leave the
United States defenseless, either. The
country would still have the most ad-
vanced air force, the largest navy, and
the most accurate nuclear arsenal in the
world. The national guard is just as
large as the army, and once it collected
all the army's cast-off equipment, it
could become an equally potent military
In fact, the national guard enjoys
several natural advantages. Because it
takes several days to call up, there is
more time for democratic discussion of
the merits or disadvantages of an op-
eration before it gets underway. The
President's advisors have more time to
talk him or her out of a rash decision'
and enemy leaders might be alarmed
enough when they saw the mobilization
taking place that they'd come to the
bargaining table and no war would be.
Because soldiers in the national
guard are integrated into civilian life
and not segregated inbarracks, their
valuable skills in fields such as com-
munications, electronics, and civil
engineering do not go to waste and can
be used to make the United States more
competitive. Because they are not sub-
ject to constant brainwashing, these
men and women are more likely to be-
have humanely in a hostile environment
and less likely to depersonalize the en-
emy. American minutemen, French ti-
railleurs, Finnish militia, and the Viet
Cong all scored dazzling successes
against their more professional oppo-
Patriotism consists of seeing what's
good for the country and acting on it.
The real fight for world influence is
being waged with gold, not guns. The
United States is in debt, losing mar-
kets, and selling its most valuable as-

Shanties stifle debate
To the Daily:
At our February meeting, the Board of
Regents approved the expenditure of
$580,000 for the third phase of the Ingalls
Mall improvement, that portion extending
from North University to the Hatcher
Graduate Library. In the course of the dis-
cussion, I was critical of dumping a truck-
load of garbage on the Diag, and said that I
hoped that there were no visiting alumni
on campus that day.
I also commented that after a long pe-
riod of time, I believe it is eight years, it
was time to consider whether the Diag was
the appropriate location for the shanties,
which seemed to be multiplying.
The first shanty was part of a political
effort to persuade the regents to divest
stock of companies doing business in
South Africa. That was substantially ac-
complished in 1982, and totally accom-
plished a year or two ago.
Do the shanties promote discussion, or
do they stifle it? Are the shanties merely a
proxy for real debate of the issues of our
time? By substituting for real debate, do
the shanties actually minimize the kind of
open discourse that university should en-
While I believe that vandalism of the
shanties has been the work of students
who were intoxicated or high school stu-
dents, it can be argued that if erecting a
shanty is a form of political expression,
so is tearing it down.
While I have your ear, two related

than $1 billion at cost) are owned by the
people of the State of Michigan, and
should be preserved for future generations
as they have been preserved for today's
students, there would be some additional
respect for our facilities and their condition
and appearance.
There are other locations around the
campus where the shanties could be lo-
cated. How about in front of the Student
Publications Building?
Thomas A. Roach
member of the
Board of Regents
Daily can't choose
Palestinian leaders
To the Daily:
This past Thursday (2/22/90), the
Daily attempted to lay the problems of the
Middle East on the doorstep of Israel, and
those "groups like Tagar" who are not in
favor of blind trust as a solution to the
problems of the Middle East. As co-chair
of Tagar, I feel obliged to respond.
The Daily proclaimed that "It is not for
Israel to decide who should represent the
Palestinian people..." True enough. But it
is also not for the Daily to decide either,
nor for the PLO. We can only speak for
ourselves, but we of Tagar happen to be-
lieve in the rights of all people to choose
their own leaders and representatives in an
atmosphere free of coercion and violence.
We still wonder at why it is that the Daily

Gaza for voicing support for the Egyptian-
Israeli peace treaty, and we cannot support
claims to legitimacy for an organization
that guns down the mayor of Nablus be-,.
cause he is a popular moderate. We wonder;
at how the Daily can.
Israel has offered the Palestinian Arabs
what no Arab government, much less the
PLO, has ever offered them: a chance to
elect their own representatives and decide
their own fate in negotiated settlements.
We support this opportunity for democ-
racy. How is it that the Daily does not?
How is it that they demand that the PLO's
reign of terror and bloodshed continue?
But the Daily went on to declare that it#
is not important to them whether or not
Arafat is sincere when he makes his
promises, or whether or not the PLO is
interested in coexistence at all. They tell
us, "does George Bush trust Mikhail Gor-
bachev?" It is sad to see that there is such
abounding ignorance about an issue that
can mean the life and death of so many.
You see, whatever else you might say
about Gorbachev, or even his immediate
predecessors, none of them ever spoke of
"liquidating" the United States. I wish that
I could say the same for Arafat's state-
ments about Israel.
It is sad to find the Daily plunging
headlong into the issues surrounding the
Arab-Israeli conflict, riding the crest of
their own ignorance. Their treatment of
the Middle East would have us believe that
this is some garden resort, a place where
all problems can be resolved in the 30@
seconds it takes for a commercial break on

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