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September 21, 1990 - Image 14

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-21
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The bombs arealways
louder on the other side of
the fence

On July 5, 1988, I clipped a
photo of an Iranian man weeping
on the floor of an airport. The
photo, by the Associated Press,
accompanied a story about the
downing by U.S. naval forces of
an Iranian jetliner carrying 290
people, all of whom were killed.
The caption read: "Mohammed
Ghulam Gulami weeps Sunday in
Dubai's airport after learning that
11 members of his family were
killed."
Well, in the long run 290
innocent civilians killed by gung-
ho U.S. troops abroad really isn't
that many. In fact, it's less than a
tenth the number killed in the
bombing of poor neighborhoods
in the invasion of Panama last
winter, and nothing at all
compared to a million killed in
the Vietnam war, and so on.
But this story was striking for its
simplicity - its pathos. These
290 people were just killed by
accident, as far as we know.
In fact, the U.S. government
even admitted to making a
mistake.
Oops.
Ems
But who will print the pictures
like this one when U.S. bombs
come crashing through the roofs
of the poor in Iraq or Kuwait or
wherever the United States
strikes first in the Middle East
this time?
This is not Vietnam. No more
film footage of blood spurting
from the skulls of suspected

communists summarily executed
by U.S. mercenaries. This time
the press stays on the bus. After
Vietnam, the humanity of the
enemy is being banned from
public view.
See Grenada.
See Panama.
See Saudi
Arabia.
A lot of
people still
x blame the
media for
Phili p turning public
opinion
against the
Vietnam War.
Maybe they
did. But whether or not you
blame the messenger doesn't
seem to matter if there is no more
messenger. So the press stays on
the bus.
See, one characteristic of these
wars (and many others) is where
the bombs fall: over there. So if,
we keep the cameras focused on
the Kadhafis and the Khomeinis
and the Husseins - instead of on
the Mohammed Ghulam Gulamis
- it's just a lot easier to keep the
illusion in focus and the reality
out of sight.
mom
The illusion is that while
Saddam Hussein means to control
the oil resources of the world for
his own profit while making the
people of the region suffer
unimaginably, the United States
wants to protect the sovereignty

of weaker nations and assure the
"free" flow of oil on world
markets.
The reality is that the United
States will sacrifice the
sovereignty of any nation to
protect its profit-making
potential, at any cost to the
people of that country.
The illusion is that while
foreign domination under
Hussein means torture, death and
war, foreign domination under the
United States means peace,
harmony and freedom.
The reality is that foreign
domination under the United
States means torture, death and
war - see Peru, Chile, Argentina,
El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama,
Guatemala, Israel, Turkey, the
Phillipines, Korea, Laos,
Cambodia, Vietnam, etc.
The illusion is that the Arab
countries are clamoring for U.S.
aid, and sending whatever help
they can to aid the humanitarian
efforts of the United States.
The reality is that half of the
Arab countries have enough
support from elsewhere in the
world (or from within their own
countries) to survive refusing to
support a U.S. invasion of the
Arabian Peninsula (c tue will to
die trying). The other half are
willing to sell their countries -
cash only - to United States, in
exchange for supporting the
invasion.
The illusion is that - when
asked - the United States is

willing to come to the aid of its
allies.
The reality is the United States
would trade thousands of lives for
a permanent base in the Persian
Gulf. Especially their lives, but if
necessary its own as well.
The reality is that the bombs
always fall over there.
U..
During the Vietnam War,
General Westmoreland informed
us that "the Oriental" did not
have the same regard for human
life as those of us in the so-called
civilized world. That comment
served two functions which
represent a lot of what goes on
around these things. The first
function was to reassure people
here that killing a million people
over there wasn't that bad. The
second function was to explain
that killing those million people
was necessary because if "they"
weren't stopped they'd just do it
to someone else. (As if he cared.)
Westmoreland was proven
wrong and the United States was
driven out of Vietnam for two
imporant reasons. The first was
because the people of Vietnam
drove the U.S. army out
physically; the second was
because some people in the
United States - mostly students
- drove the U.S. army out
righteously.
But this is trickier. It's a case of
two bad guys. Fortunately for
students here, we're only
responsible for the behavior of
one of them. And if we do our
part to stop this one, chances are a
lot better that the people of Iraq
and Kuwait and the other
countries we're affecting will be
able to stop that one.
Ours is a greater task, and so
the responsibility falls on us. This
act must be an act of will -
beyond the call of material
necessity. Because the bombs
won't be falling on us.

experts who know and recommend
my work? Nor does he read the
many positive reviews of my work.
He seems to be reading the
Washington Times instead of
ARTFORUM and the New York
Times. This is the man who is in
charge of the Endowment? v
Mr. Frohnmayer never contacted
me personally to find out directly
about my work before, making me
and three of my fellow artists
sacrificial lambs for the
Endowment. He is making a
horrible mistake and using a
"sacrificial plan" to save the NEA.
He should be standing up for artists
rather than bowing to the demands
of a few fanatics in Congress. This
is supposed to be the National
Endowment For the Arts, not the

National Endowment against the
Arts.
Thinking that this "sacrificial
plan" will calm everyone down is
silly. What will stop these few
religious far-right fanatics from
running a smear campaign on a new
set of artists, art work, and
institutions next year? And when
they're finished with artists, they'll
move onto librarians, newspapers,
television, radio, school, and
different religious views. It is not
art they are after, they are after
anyone different than them. They
are the ones who are un-American.
When some people argue that
the NEA selection process itself is
censorship they are wrong. Art is a
profession and has experts as does
other areas. When one applies to a

public university there are certain
eligibility requirements of
excellence. The peer panel process
serves this purpose well.
Some people argue that the NEA
should be accountable in regard to
giving public money. They already
are. When an artist or institution
receives NEA money they must
report back to the Endowment
within the next fiscal year as to
what that money was applied to.
The NEA does not put restriction on
certain pieces of art because as Mr.
Frohnmayer has stated himself,
"you grant money for a process, not
for a finished product."
Some people say that the NEA
should be abolished and that
private business should fund the
arts. They too are wrong.

Corporations use the NEA as a
guideline in knowing who to give
money to by knowing who has
gone through the distinguished
process of the Endowment
procedures. Most private funds and
foundations do the same. Also, big
business has its own private bias
concerns and does not give money
to work that does not somehow
benefit their product. This is
reality, as the recent PBs
controversy indicates.
When as society we allow artists
to be silenced we approach the
spirits of fascist societies. Nazi
Germany had their artists
eliminated. In South Africa they
are banned and tortured. In
Tiananmen's square they were
imprisoned and their art torn down.

And
Cong
want
by a
give
gove
who
W
talen
visic
tone
fight
expi
righi
cour
agre
point
hear
or b
away

U

p....................................................

O

Students,
We want to thank you for your extraordinary
business this fall book rush at our new location on

North University and State.

We actually ran out of

4

Canada hangs on to its richest minion

Many students at the
University of Michigan have
driven to Canada for various
reasons. Some trek to Toronto to
visit the O'Keeffe Center. Others
are content to spend a night on
the town in Windsor. However,
few realize that Canada was and
still is in the midst of a national
crisis.
The province of Qu6bec desires
independence from Canada, and
there are many forces behind
Qu6bec's strengthening separatist
movement. Nationalism still
abounds but something new has
strengthened Qu6becers' belief
that secession is a plausible

alternative to the present
situation. With good reason, they
believe they possess the
economic means to seek
independence.
The most widely
discussed
explanation for the
popularity of the
separatist

11.

I
I

ra t

of Canada, whether through
labels on consumer products or
access to French television
stations, has become an
increasingly popular cause.
In the past,
, members of Qu6bec's
parliament have
1 proposed
p4i independence from
Canada as a means of
Gottfried preserving their
"distinct society." In
1976, the Parti Quebdcois gained
71 of the 110 seats available in the
Qu6bec parliament. In 1980,
Premier Ldvesque of the Parti
Qudb6cois proposed the idea of

"sovereignty association" which
would have given Quebec
political independence while
maintaining its economic ties to
Canada. His proposal was rejected
by Quebecers viewing
independence from Canada with
skepticism.
Today's Quebec, very different
from the Qu6bec L6vesque
encountered in 1980, is an
economically strong and eager
province. Within the past decade,
Quebec businesses have
accomplished many feats,
including gaining control of their
provincial economy.
"When separatism first became

an issue in the 1970s, the
provincial economy was still
dominated by English speakers.
Now, financial institutions led by
French speakers, including Caisse
de D6pot, Banque Nationale, and
Mouvement des caisses
Desjardins, are big boosters of
Quebec business," wrote Thane
Peterson and William J. Holstein
in the July 9, 1990 edition of
Businessweek.
Quebec possesses a vibrant
economy and an optimistic view
of future economic prospects,
particularly of investments in the
United States, Canada's largest
trading partner. In the 1988

a few titles and had to restock. We apologize for any
inconvenience, and want you to know that we're
prepared and excited about January's book rush.
As a special gesture of our appreciation,
we'll be offering significant buyback bonus-cash"
coupons in December. Just keep your eyes on the
Michigan Daily.
Thanks Again!
book & supply
3175s.5tStO.. 665E90
+- --n-- -"""--"-^"

movement is the a
existing French by Barbar
nationalism within
the province. The French
language, in particular, has
become a symbol of Qu6bec's
"distinct society." An insistence
that French be present in all parts

I' Se;tsmbey 21, 1990

4

WEEKEND

sep$teinbal:21,1 oso

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