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May 18, 1994 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1994-05-18

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OPIN ION
Pa ge 4 W ed nesd ay, May 18,1994

EDITOR IN CHIEF
James M. Nash
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS
Patrick Javid
Jason S. Lichtstein

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan.

0

Unsigned editorials present the opinion of a majority of the Daily's
editorial board. All other cartoons, signed articles and letters
do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Daily.

O n Saturday, May 7, an unfamiliar
terror struck the city of Ann Arbor and
the campus of the University of Michigan.
Christine Gailbreath, a University admis-
sions assistant,was found brutally murdered
andraped ina wooded areaon the city's west
side.Even worse than this single tragic event
is the fact that the alleged perpetrator is
presumed to be a serial rapist who has been
linked to three prior rapes and various other
attempted assaults. Perhaps most shocking
inthisunfortunate sagais the deplorable fact
that, before Gailbreath's murder, local po-
lice did not publicly acknowledge the infor-
mation that Ann Arbor was home to a serial
rapist.Thisrepresentsagrossmiscalculation
on the part ofthe Ann Arborpolice force, and
should lead localresidents and students alike
to question their assumed police protection.
The police have been tracking the rapist
for almost two years now. One rape in 1992
and two in 1993 have been proven - by
DNA testing-to be attributabletothe same
man. The testing was confirmed in early to
mid-April, and thus the Ann Arbor police

Ann Arbor Police:
Silent but Deadly
Local residents and students left in the dark

had ample time to inform the public. More-
over, the police were also aware of his
method - he attempts to knock the victim
unconscious before the rape - and the
locations he generally targets: the city's
west side between Main and Maple streets.
Nearly a month passed with little emphasis
on the danger lurking in Ann Arbor; that is,
until police were confronted with a raped
and murdered resident in their own city.
The police have given several unsatis-
factory explanations for their silent but
deadly reaction. An announcement would
have alerted the rapist that police were

searching for him, they claim, or that pub-
licity could have led to copycat assaults. Or
- by far the most ridiculous of them all -
they believed he had left the city because
there was a six-month lapse in his patterned
assaults; in fact, there are many lapses in
the rapist's crimes over the past two years
and he continues to haunt the city. Finally,
the police claim they were quietly spread-
ing the word that patterned sexual assaults
were occurring in Ann Arbor, but we can-
not identify any students who knew of this
potentially life-saving information. These
excuses may seem logical to a male police

detective sitting safe and sound at his desk,
but they do nothing to help the community
that the police profess to serve. Despite
everything the police have said to expla
their lame behavior, the fact remains that a
proven serial rapist has roamed Ann Arbor
for almost two years -and this was unfor-
tunately not passed on to the community.
Steps are now being taken to protect the
city.The police have setup ahotline and are
receiving questions andtipsfromconcemed
citizens. They have also increased their pa-
trols throughout the city in an attempt
thwart future assaults. A community meM
ing was held last week to inform local resi-
dentsonthis matter, andanotherwill soonbe
scheduled toaddress the latest developments.
The question remains, however: why was a
community meeting not scheduled before
Gailbreath's rape andmurder? It is nowtime
to focus all of the city's energy on capturing
andprosecuting therapist. Studentsand An
Arbor residents alike must protect and iP
form themselves in order to stop this crimi-
nal, and prevent the insidious crime of rape.

Debacle in Haiti
U.S., OAS and U.N. must restore Aristide

H aiti, which has been ruled for the past
two years by a military elite that over-
threw the democratically elected president
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, has posed a strate-
gic and humanitarian crisis for the United
States, United Nations and Organization of
American States (OAS). Theirpolicies con-
cerning Haiti have been utter failures. No
one is willing to commit to tough sanctions
or collective military action to overthrow
Haiti's gun-toting minority, which is now
summarily executing hundreds of Haitians
in their homes and in the streets.
Last week's mock invasion of Puerto
Rico by American military personnel sug-
gests that the Clinton administration is con-
sidering unilateral military action to force-
fully return Aristide to office. Nearly the
entire OAS strongly opposesunilateralU.S.
intervention. Indeed, such action would not
only overextend U.S. influence in the region
but would set a dangerous precedent. Any
military intervention must be agreed upon
by either the United Nations or OAS and
should include multilateral forces.
Moreover, the Congressional Black Cau-
cus and numerous human rights groups
have criticized the U.S. .policy of forced
repatriation of Haitians. Then-Gov. Clinton,
during the 1992 campaign, promised to
overturn President Bush's racist immigra-
tion policy, one that denied Haitian refu-
gees asylum in the United States. In prac-
tice, however, President Clinton has

frowned upon the immigration of great
numbers ofpoor Blacks to the United States,
even though these same refugees face ex-
ecutions and torture in their native country.
Clearly, the United States must act deci-
sively in humanitarian crises - and spe-
cifically,in Haiti-toprotecthumanrights
and to remain a credible power.
The U.N. attempt to pressure Haiti's mili-
tary regime to step down with an economic
embargo has also been a failure. Haiti's poor
have sufferedfromtheembargo intheirlack
of food and medical supplies. As the people
suffer,the military elite have supported them-
selves with the help of the Dominican Re-
public, which has never much liked Aristide
and is letting shipments of oil into Haiti.
Sanctions can only work completely if they
serve to make the government illegitimate in
the minds of the people. In an undemocratic,
military-ruled nation such as Haiti, sanctions
are unlikely to produce a total success.
All this equivocation is tragic. It proves
that the United States and its neighbors are
indifferent in the face of massacre. Nobody
seems to care about Blacks who are suffering
at the hands of political repression in Haiti
(or in Rwanda and Burundi, for that matter)
any more than they cared about the boat full
of Jews turned away from American shores
at the height of the Holocaust. In 1943, the
ship St. Louis was sent back to Europe, and
most ofthemendedup in Nazi concentration
camps. History has a way of repeating itself.

Bosnian politics
Clinton should help lift the arms embargo
n 1991, President Bush and the United echoed in the words of Sam Nunn (D-Ga.),
Nations imposed an arms embargo on the who warned thatunilateral action could se@
former Yugoslavia. The calls for lifting the dangerous precedent in unstable regions of
embargo were clamoring during the attack the world such as Korea.
on the Muslim enclave of Gorazde, but have The U.N. Security Council does not yet
subsided in the wake of Richard Nixon's favorliftingtheembargo.Onereasonforthis
death. Now, three years after it was first isthattheBritishandFrench stillhavepeace-
imposed, the U.S. Senate has passed two keepers on theground. If the Bosnians were
amendments to urge President Clinton to given weapons to defend themselves, these
repeal this ban. The first, proposed by George foreign troops would obviously be in more
M. Mitchell (D-Maine), is a recommenda- danger. Therefore,President Clinton shout
tion thatClinton work withintheframework push fortheremovaloftheineffectivepeace-
of the U.N. Security Council to lift the em- keepers and give the Bosnians a fighting
bargo. The second, offered by Robert Dole chance at survival.
(R-Kan.), requires Clinton tounilaterally lift In any case, it isunlikely that either mea-
the ban and help to arm the Bosnian Mus- sure will be anything more than symbolic.
lims. Both will meet stiff opposition in the House
Both senators feel that the United States if they ever make it out of committee. How-
has a moral obligation to help the Bosnian ever, the fact that the Senate has passed two
Muslims, but Dole feels that this obligation resolutions on this issue should be awake-up
is strong enough to breach the U.N. resolu- call for the president. Clinton has yet tJ
tion against the importation of arms. While establish a cohesive foreign policy. Perhaps
no one wants to see the conflict continue, by persuading the United Nations to lift the
lifting the arms embargo may be the only embargo, Clinton can help his cause in two
way to check the slaughter in Bosnia without ways. First, it will be an example of how the
foreign military intervention. However, at United States can still be amajorforce within
the same time that the United States wants to the confines of the United Nations. Second,
help the Muslims, it must also think of future Clinton may be ableto bolster his own ailing
geopolitics. If the United Nations is to suc- foreign policy by helping the Bosnian Mus-
ceed in its role as the world's peacemaker lims fight on a more level battlefield.
and consensus-builder, the United States Muslims have found themselves outgunne
cannotactunilaterally in the post-Sovietera. since the beginning of the war - but with
Even the United States must obey the man- foreign military hardware they can at least
dates of the United Nations. This idea is have a fighting chance.

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