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July 28, 1983 - Image 6

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Michigan Daily, 1983-07-28

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OPINION

4

Page 6

The Michigan Daily

Thursday, July 28, 1983

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The Michigan Daily
Vol. XCIII, No. 28-S
93 Years of Editorial Freedom
Managed and Edited by students of
The University of Michigan

Sinclair

'SUMMER 'Eguirq

4

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the
Daily Editorial Board
Those Washington
Bullets again

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POOR PRESIDENT Reagan. Seems he can't
get a bit of respect these days. To show
the world his deep concern for creating peace in
Central America, he sends out a powerful naval
task force to both coasts of Nicaragua and what
happens? He gets lambasted by the press for
provoking war. Gee, Mr. President, we really
feel for you.
Perhaps the press and other Reagan critics
would lay off a little if the President cleared up
some political ambiguities. For example:
" What are our "vital interests" in Central
America? The President and his colleagues
frequently use the vague term without ever
really defining it. If they mean that preventing
the spread of communism is a "vital interest,"
then we are in for serious trouble. Just by looking
at the recent past it is clear that the U.S. cannot
prevent the spread of communism through
military force - and whenever we try to we lose
much more than we gain.
" Why is it that Nicaragua is a "dirty-rotten-
filthy" country because they supply the leftist
guerrillas in El Salvador with limited amounts
of weapons; but the U.S. is a bastion of
righteousness because we supply the op-
pressive rightist government of El Salvador
with everything from weapons to advisers? If
the President wants to criticize evil foreign in-
fluence in El Salvador than he ought to cut off
U.S. military aid there. Otherwise, he doesn't
have a firm leg to stand on.
" What right does the President - of the sup-
posedly most democratic country in the world
- have to speak about covertly overthrowing
another government? To be sure, the San-
dinista government in Nicaragua is far from
perfect. But let's not forget the evil dictatorship
that existed there before the Sandinistas rose to
power. To hear the Reagan administration talk
about overthrowing the Nicaraguan gover-
nment, you'd think they were speaking about a
football game. Unfortunately, however, Central
America is no game - the people of Nicaragua,
for the most part, support the Sandinista
government. So why can't we just leave them
alone?
The only way to achieve peace in Central,
America is through direct negotiation with the
countries involved in the potential hostilities -
and that includes Nicaragua. Kissinger-type
muscle flexing will only push countries such as!
Nicaragua closer to the Soviet Union, which is
the ultimate fear of patriotic Americans, like
President Reagan.
Someone should tell him that.

E
I

x
Tide turns against generals

By Sandy Close
The bloody wars in Central
America now being debated in
congress soon may be over-
shadowed by political turbulence
in the countries farther south.
Sparked by the worst economic
recession of the century, that
turmoil could mark the twilight
of the ruling generals all across
Latin America.
Chile is the most dramatic case
- where a once bitterly divided
population now is unified in its
opposition to military rule. In
Brazil and Argentina, where the
generals have sought to stave off
popular protest through reform,
the momentum for civilian rule
appears irreversible. In Uruguay
demands are mounting for
democratization. Bolivia kicked
its generals out of office last
year.aAnd in Peru, a right-leaning
civilian government with close

ties to the military faces a
growing insurgency.
The countries that are faring
the best - Colombia, Venezuela,
Ecuador - are those that
haven't been ruled by generals
for a long time and whose ec-
nomies benefit from valuable
natural resources.
As University of New Mexico
scholar Nelson Valdes notes,
three themes are common to the
rising tide of anti-militarism:
- Resistance to austerity
measures!coupled with demands
for popular participation in the
economy.
- 'A resurgent nationalism
coupled with resentment against
the military for betraying the
national interests to foreign
powers.
- Far-reaching demands for
human rights, inspired by a
revulsion against the murder,
torture and disappearance of

thousands at the hands of
military goons and death squads.
Fom this vantage, the ferocity
of the right-wing generals and
oligarchs in Central America
may be explained in part by their
sense that the tide is turning
against their kind - particularly
in the Southern Cone to which
they traditionally looked for sup-
port and legitimacy. Ten years
ago, it looked as if military rule
was the long-term destiny of
these countries; now that destiny
seems to be crumbling.
Before the Reagan ad-
ministration shoves more aid to
its military and right-wing allies
in Central America, it should
consider whether it's bucking a
storm that could sweep over all of
Latin America.
Close wrote this article for
the Pacific News Service.

A

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.4

LETTERS TO THE DAILY
'JAP'story 'not inappropriate'

To the Daily :
As one who admired and read
The Daily when I was a student at
the University (M.A., 1949), I am
depressed to read that over 4,000
students would threaten the
existence of the newspaper for a
single article on "The Jewish-
American Princess." (See The
New York Times, Tuesday, July
19, 1983, page A1O.) However of-
fensive the Jewish Princess
stereotype may be, the phrase is
used a great deal by many Jews
in the New York City area where I
have lived for over 30 years, and
a scholarly essay on the subject

should not be inappropriate for
The Michigan Daily.
Even if the article published in
Ann Arbor was offensive, I find
the reaction to it, especially by
the Hillel Foundation, grossly
unfair. The protest against the
article was probably in order, but
to withdraw support of the paper
for a single mistake by students
is to encourage rather than to

discourage anti-Semitism.
Indeed, I believe that the
members of Hillel should become
active supporters of The Michigan
Daily and otherwise show their
interest in the entire student body
at the University in the spirit of
the great Jewish scholar for
whom the organization is named.
- Wm. Walter Duncan
July 19,1983

4

Letters and columns represent the opinions of
the individual author(s) and do not necessarily
reflect the attitudes or beliefs of the Daily.

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