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August 09, 1985 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1985-08-09

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OPINION

The Michigan Daily
Vol. XCV, No. 49-S
95 Years of Editorial Freedom
Managed and Edited by Students at
The University of Michigan
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the
Daily Editorial Board
Counter the Contras
EDNESDAY U.S.-backed rebels firing automatic
weapons took 29 American peace activists and 18
journalists captive. Before the American religious group
left for the two-day trip along the San Juan River that runs
between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, they said that they
would hold President Reagan responsible if they were at-
tacked by the American-backed rebels.
Senior administration officials and members of
Congress said that the rebels have been getting direct
military advice from White House officials on the National
Security COuncil. It is a might outrageous to think that the
Contras would abduct Americans without the blessings of
their benefactors - the N.S.C.
The N.S.C. began advising the rebels' military
operations last year after Congress ended military aid to
the Contras. Although the N.S.C. operation is viewed as
legal it is bitingly unethical. When Congress banned
military aid to the rebels the Central Intelligence Agency
was forbidden to advise the rebels, but the officer in
charge of the N.S.C. operations frequently confers with the
C.I.A., the State Department and the Defense Departmen-
ts. Is he merely a puppet in covert C.I.A. operations?
Regardless of whether or not the Contras abducted the
Americans on the advice of the N.S.C. or if they claim full
responsibility for the initiative, their action proves that
they are unworthy of American aid.
Furthermore the $27 million in "humanitarian" aid to
the Contras violates the international definition of
humanitarian aid that was established at the Geneva Con-
ference. Humanitarian aid supplies non-military aid to
both sides in a war-torn country - the U.S. is only sup-
plying aid to the Contras.
In essence humanitarian aid is not supposed to provide a
decisive military advantage for a fighting faction, but the
U.S. "humanitarian" aid provides all the necessities that
soldiers need - boots, uniforms, food, helicopters.
Everything but ammunition is supplied and the Contras
can use their resources that would have been spent on
food, etc., to buy weapons.
If the Contras, after receiving all this aid from the U.S.,
then abducted the Americans then they are not worthy of
any U.S. aid.And if the N.S.C. ordered the abductions of
the Americans by the rebels then something is more amiss
than meets the eye.
The Michigan Daily encourages input from
our readers. Letters should be typed, triple
spaced, and sent to the Daily Opinion Page, '20
Maynard, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109.

Friday, August 9, 1985 Page 5

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/A6-SSCE

Date rape is common

By Laura Bischoff
After a summer at the Daily
covering the crime and safety beat,
I've learned an enormous amount
about Ann Arbor, society, and people
in general. My eyes were opened to.
some very valuable ideas and per-
spectives - much of them were in
regards to rape.
It is a problem so deeply rooted in
our society and culture that it is going
to take years of constant awareness
and education efforts before the
general population comes to the
realization that rape happens all the
time and it is a serious problem.
WE AREN'T JUST faced with the
scary threat of a scruffy psycho killer
in a trench coat jumping out of a dark
alley, it is much more than that. Rape
occurs between friends, business
associates, relatives and other people
we trust. Date and acquaintance rape
is especially prevalent on a college

campuses.
The rape culture begins with
everything: jokes, clothes, television,
music, and advertsing to name a few
sources. From the moment a child is
born, society tells them to behave ac-
cording to their sex. Little Johnny will
be taught tobe aggressive while Little
Mary is told to be submissive and
compliant. These sex stereotypes
contribute heavily to the issue of
rape.
The stereotype that "macho stud
has to be aggressive" is just as
horrible, unfounded, and harmful as
the stereotype that blacks are lazy
and eat watermelons. We simple can-
not believe stereotypes; they are
detrimental to society.
The rape culture certainly cannot
be eliminated or even weakened with
the snap of our fingers. It will take
work. The first steps to rape preven-
tion are awareness and education. We
need to make people aware of the

problem and then educate them on
the issue.
This fall there will be workshops
given in the dorms and offered to
other organizations as well. These
workshops, focusing on date and
acquaintance rape, will be presented
by trained student facilitators. The
material they cover is excellent! Sin-
ce acquaintance rape is so common in
college, the topic is particularly ap-
propriate. I advise all University
students to take advantage of the
program.
Although it'll take much more than
a few workshops to eradicate the
problem of rape, it is a step in the
right direction. I applaud the people
organizing the program. If the
workshops prevent one rape they'll be
worth it.
Bischoff is a Daily repor-
ter who covers crime in Ann
Arbor.

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