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January 18, 1990 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-01-18

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OPINION
-Page 4 Thursday, January 18,1990 The Michigan Daily

E1j £ ibituuftlU
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Glasnost for the U.S.A.?

420 Moynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Vol. C, No. 74

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.
Bush deals drugs

GEORGE BUSH has masterfully ma-
nipulated anti-drug and patriotic senti-
ments in the invasion of Panama. De-
spite the rise in his public support
though, the national drug problem only
worsens.
The spread of crack addiction is
causing a rise in infant mortality. Other
babies who live may have AIDS from
drug-related transmission. In some
neighborhoods, one in 40 babies have
AIDS. Still others will live only to have
drug-related health problems that will
cost billions of dollars to take care of
from now on.
Yet, that price to the future is not too
high for George Bush. After all he is
popular now. He makes the public feel
good while attending to his own
agenda behind the scenes.
Bush's war on drugs is more of the
same policy of more law enforcement
and more prisons that has failed to
solve the drug problem for 10, 20 and
100 years. The explosion in prison-
building and imprisonment rates has
gone along with the explosion in drug
abuse.
S Theproblem is that a prison sentence
is not a deterrent to drug abuse or the
lucrative drug trade.
The war on drugs is a drug itself. It
makes the public think the U.S. gov-
cment is doing something, something
just.
The do-gooder-feel-good-law-en-
forcement policy is great as an instru-
ment of social control. For example,
the Los Angeles police sweep the
streets of lower class and minority
neighborhoods arresting thousands for
looking "suspicious" - whatever that
is. The Those who are not the victims
of these raids - mostly upper class
whites - give them and other discrim-
inatory policies in the guise of law-and-
Order high approval ratings, but drug
"abuse continues to soar.
Sooner or later, the public will realize
that the U.S. government is soft on
drugs. It refuses to take effective ac-
tion.
t The invasion of Panama should serve
,as an opportunity for all sober-minded
people to point out the role of the U.S.
government in Noriega's drug-dealing.
Noriega received his military and intel-
ligence training in the United States.

He was on the CIA payroll. Then, as
Panama's dictator, he received U.S.
aid.
To say that Noriega was a U.S. cre-
ation is an understatement. He was a
U.S. puppet, who became a Franken-
stein turning against his maker.
Before losing his masters' support
though, in operation "Black Eagle,"
Noriega helped Israel supply the con-
tras (the pro-U.S. rebels in Nicaragua)
with $20 million worth of arms.. The
United States paid Israel and to reward
Noriega allowed him to fly drugs to the
United States on returning empty
planes.
Operation "Supermarket" was an-
other arms deal arranged by Noriega.
This time the contras paid for their
weapons with money from drug sales.
(R.M. Coster and Guillermo Sanchez
Borbon, Mike Harari: a merchant of
death).
Noriega's critics saw Bush and
Noriega discuss these matters. There is
even a photo of the two together.
The U.S. involvement in the drug
trade has to do with priorities. Desper-
ate to stop the spread of pro-Soviet in-
fluence in Central America, the United
States government used the drug trade
to support pro-U.S. rebels. The gov-
ernment kept it quiet because the public
did not support the contras, not to
mention importing cocaine into the
United States.
In conservative language it was plain
old "geopolitics." In radical language it
was another day in the life of
"imperialism."
Whatever one calls it, U.S. allies,
like the contras, the Afghani rebels and
the government of the Bahamas, en-
gage in the drug trade all the time.
Putting in new puppets in Panama will
not solve anything, since it is the U.S.
government and U.S. allies that are the
problem.
Since Noriega is aware of these re-
alities, he may yet escape the so-called
justice system in the United States with
a wrist-slap and more covert payoffs
from Bush to stay quiet.
As for Bush, he is not just soft on
the drug problem. He is the drug
problem. He may not use drugs or sell
drugs, but he is a drug lord, the biggest
organizer of the drug trade in the
world.

The following piece was written and
distributed by the Ann Arbor Citizens
Concerned About the Media at a lun-
cheon on January 16, at which Ann Arbor
News editor Ed Petykiwiecz spoke on
"New Directions for the Ann Arbor
News." Although the examples contained
in this article concern international
news, the same points could also be illus-
trated with examples of local and national
reporting. Anyone interested in con-
tributing to the efforts of this group should
call 769-5673.
by Ann Arbor Citizens Con-
cerned About the Media
While the countries of Eastern Europe
and the Soviet Union continue to expand
the range of issues and reporting available
to them in their news media, it is unfortu-
nate that the same cannot be said for our
own corporate-controlled mass communi-
cations system. As the Columbia Journal-
ism Review has recently noted, "the domi-
nant orientation of the press is a bland,
cozy, forgiving and above all forgetful re-
lationship with power."
We are a group of Ann Arbor citizens
who wish to hold the press accountable to
basic standards of fairness and accuracy, as
well as their obligation to present diverse
points of view. The Ann Arbor News,
like most papers, falls well short of these
goals. Here are just a few recent examples
of negligent reporting:
- November 1, 1989. The News reports
that President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua,

by ending his government's unilateral
cease fire with the Contras, "has invited
renewed U.S. military aid to the Contras."
This was not an editorial or even a "news
analysis" piece. This comment was the
third sentence in a front page news article.
There is no explanation of why a
sovereign government does not have the
right to defend itself against armed attack,
nor how it "invites" illegal retaliation
from foreign powers by doing so.
- January 4, 1990. Among more than
150 column inches (plus pictures) of the
U.S. invasion and occupation of Panama,
there is nothing about the nearly universal
opposition to the United States' military
action in the rest of the world. The inva-
sion has been condemned by the Organiza-
tion of American States (by a 20-1 vote),
by the U.N. General Assembly, and met
with protests throughout the world. U.S.
Congressman George Crockett (from the
Detroit area) condemned it; one would
think that a local politician of his stature
would at least get his views reported in the
local press.
But the entire coverage of the invasion
has stayed close to the official government
line. The civilian deaths, estimated at up
to 7,000 (former U.S. Attorney General
Ramsey Clark) are unimportant. The vio-
lation of the U.S. Constitution (Article 1,
section 8) which says that only the
Congress can declare war, is not even an
issue. Nor is the violation of the U.N.
Charter, the OAS charter, or the Canal
Treaties, despite the wide concurrence
among specialists in international law as

to these illegalities. Noriega's alleged
practice of voodoo and possession of co-
caine and red underwear are deemed more
important facts for public consumption.
Other examples are more routine but no
less pernicious in their influence. For ex*
ample, the News reports that Honduras
has held three "free elections" in recent
years, without informing the reader that
more than 140 people have been
"disappeared" and more than twice that
number assassinated for political reasons
during this time period. Or that the Hon-
duran military, which is controlled by the
United States, exercises veto power over
decisions made by the civilian govern-
ment.
The list could be extended indefinitely,
but the pattern is the same. There is a sys-
tematic one-sidedness, by repetition of
government propaganda, exclusion of crit-
ical facts, and selection of "experts" for
quotation.
We believe that this community has a
right to a more accurate and balanced
press. We challenge Mr. Petykiwiecz to
recognize the problem that nearly all seri-
ous students of the mass media have ac-
knowledged, and take positive steps to cor-
rect it. The problem has been called to his
attention numerous times, but he has so
far been unwilling to consider any concrete
proposals. We call upon concerned citizens
to let the Ann Arbor News' advertisers
know of their discontent with the current
state of the News.

EAQARDZ:D".. lTSPt4TIONAK.L LOS VIOLRG-P...

.flKoSE A~2 RE Im ASONiS
FOR p THlE INVASION?

OF THlE INVASION
~ '~ 1

a

IU' Council: DOA

SENTENCED TO death last year by
University President James Duder-
stadt, the University Council's brutal
murder was carried out last month
by a firing squad of eight University
regents.
There were no witnesses, because
the regents meet in closed sessions
so that they can conduct the Univer-
sity's business without the intrusion
of students and their bothersome
opinions. Some claim the regents had
been slowly poisoning the Council
for the last several years, weakening
it by refusing to recognize its author-
ity and circumventing bylaw 7.02,
which makes it responsible for ap-
proving or rejecting all codes of
nonacademic conduct for the Univer-
sity community.
In any case, it's dead now. Sur-
vivors include a feeble student
movement, an unorganized faculty,
and a triumphant administration.
Since its creation in the early 70s,
the Council has defended the rights
of students and faculty to be free of
University control in all areas of life
not having to do with classes and
grades. It continually repulsed efforts
by the University administration to
implement codes of conduct limiting
"acceptable" forms of political and
artistic expression on campus.
Apparently the regents weren't as
pleased with the Council's work as
students were. According to Regent
Roach, "'U' Council failed utterly.
For its entire life it's never decided
anything..." (Daily, 1/11/89). Since.

the plug on the Council's life support
system. Why should they be both-
ered with trying to get students and
faculty to agree to the codes the ad-
ministration wants to govern them
by?
Of course, in the last three years
the administration has imposed three
codes (one of which was ruled un-
constitutional) on students, despite U
Council's disendorsement. Former
University President Fleming, and
then Duderstadt, invoked the bylaw
which allows presidents to ignore all
other bylaws to implement the anti-
discriminatory acts policy and the
protest policy.
So although U Council had nomi-
nal power, the administration still did
whatever it wanted to in the end - it
just experienced minor embarrass-
ment when it blatantly subverted the
democratic process dictated by its
own bylaws.
Now that they've relieved them-
selves of even those small pangs of
embarrassment, the administration is
free to impose any kind of code it
wants without trying to pass it
through a body which includes stu-
dents. But U Council's lack of real
power even when it was alive points
to the administration's success in
marginalizing students from a formal
role in decision-making processes at
the University.
Students do not vote and are usu-
ally not even represented in an advi-
sory capacity on search committees

Religious
Slant
To the Daily:
This letter is in response to
the "review" of Public Enemy's
latest single Welcome to the
Terror Dome by Nabeel Zu-
beri (1/15/90).
It seems that Zuberi used the
"review" to take his best shot
at The Nation of Islam of
which he says "is about as Is-
lamic as Pontius Pilate was
Christian." He then says that
past remarks, which some say
were anti-Jewish, made by Pro-
fessor Griff (Public Enemy
member), had something to do
with the dubious doctrines of
The Nation of Islam.
I was always under the im-
pression that subjective and
emotional outbursts were to be
confined to the op-ed page; I
guess I was mis-taken.
These claims by Zuberi were
not substantiated anywhere in
the article, yet they were
printed as if they were factual. I
wonder if I could write an arti-
cle to the Daily saying that
"the insane, degrading and asi-
nine remarks sometimes made
by Ad-Rock of the group The
Beastie Boys highlight his own
ignorance as well as the dubi-
ous doctrines of Zionism
(which is about as Judaic as
Nimrod)." Just because Ad-
Rock is Jewish does not in any
way substantiate my claim.
This attack on The Nation of
Islam reminds me of the recent
attack on Father Stallings and
his Imani Temple by the
Catholic Church. Father
Stallings connected his identity
as a Black man to the teachings
of the Church, so that his
overwhelmingly Black congre-
gation could see themselves in
a more positive light. As a re-
sult, Father Stallings was
blasted and subsequently booted
from the Church. .
It seems as if people still, in
this supposed enlightened age,
have problems when Black
people break away from what
is considered the "norm" to
form something unique that

Nation of Islam would have
been substantiated if I was
writing an article and had
more column space available.
Having said that, I still feel
that my criticism was valid. If
you ve read Malcolm X's au-
tobiography, you'll know that
Malcolm split from the Nation
of Islam after he had been on
the Hajj (the Muslim pilgrim-
age to Mecca) and visited
Africa.
Malcolm became part of the
broader framework of Sunni
Islam after revealing how Eli-
jah Muhammad was a charla-
tan. Muhammad's own sons
saw that their father's beliefs
and their historical basis were
at odds with Islam. These doc-
trines are dubious because
they espouse the "black an-
gel/white devil" theory of his-
tory, as well as nonsense
about the white race being a
laboratory genetic mutation of
the black race.
I make no apologies for de-
scribing these views as
"dubious," which in. retro-
spect seems rather a gentle
term. Professor Griff s com-
ments about Jews being re-
sponsible for most of the evil
in the world are clearly anti-
Semitic, and in other press in-

terviews he has shown himself
to be in considerable sympa-
thy with the Nation of Islam.
I'm a Pakistani-born British
Muslim myself; I applaud peo-
ple of color breaking away
from white society's dominat-
ing "values." As for your
Beastie Boys analogy, which is
hardly pertinent, I would have
no hesitation in calling the
doctrines of Zionism
"dubious," at the very least.
Whose
Unity?
To the Daily:
I attended yesterday's "Unity"
march and subsequent diag
rally. I went under the impres-
sion that this event was in-
tended be a symbol of the unity
of all students on campus. I
thought that the event's pur-
pose was to unite students of
all colors, religions, and ethnic
backgrounds in the fight
against bigotry. The organizers
of the event did not seem to
agree with me.
After an inspirational (and I
would say unifying) opening
prayer which mentioned the
river of consciousness that

touches us all, Earl Henderson
announced that, "Whites come
here racist and leave here
racist." "White folks" have a
problem with treaties and other
agreements, said Ron Scott, a
former member of the Black
Panthers.
These (and other) comments
implied that a large percentage
of that rally's participants can-
not be a part of the unity. A
multi-racial group of students
dedicated to a unified fight
against racist behavior and for
an anti-racist university and so-
ciety was not the audience to-
wards which to direct these re-
marks.
If, as I believed, this event
was supposed to unite students,
where were representatives of
other oppresed minority
groups? Why were there no
Asian-American speakers? Chi-
canos? Latinos? Gay men and
Lesbians? Native Americans?
As a matter of fact, after the
opening prayer, other groups
were hardly mentioned at all.
If this "unity" march was
truly meant to be unifying, it
failed. If it was not, it needs a
new name.
-Jeff Levin
January 16

Break the Silence!
Changing Closets:
A Forum on the Experiences of
Lesbians and Gay Men of Color
Thursday, January 18, 1990
7:00pm Rackham West Conference Room
Co-sponsored by the Lesbian and Gay Men's Rights Organizing
Committee and the Lesbian and Gay Male Programs Office, in
honor of Martin Luther King Day.

t do yov ti~nk the Presidenrt knew, cavd
oe do yov thUir h hishose should be

i

I

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