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January 30, 1991 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-01-30

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Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 30, 1991
WIie Idhrb4an &IIQ

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109


Editor in Chief

Opinion Editor

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.
Fro the Daily
-iulf conflict
Officials downplayed possibility of a ground war




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began two weeks ago, both the Bush
administration and the media were
euphoric. The war, the American
public was told, was going splendidly.
News from the Gulf could not be
petter. But as the sand swirling amidst
the first news of Operation Desert
Storm began to settle, it became
ihcreasingly apparent that both the
White House and the Pentagon had
grossly understated what they, and the
American public, were up against.
Now, as President George Bush,
Defense Secretary Richard*Cheney,
and Chair'of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Colin Powel continue to backtrack on
their earlier statements - and the ex-
perts in Washington crow ever louder
about the "need" for a ground war - it
is time to state the truth. The American
people have been manipulated and lied
to - both before and since the bomb-
ing began - about what kind of war
this is and how long it might last.
If Bush and Powel had warned
Americans three weeks ago that the

conflict could last an indefinitely long
period of time, it is unlikely that the
American people would have been so
supportive of the war. Before the con-
flict began, rhetoric about a short, de-
cisive victory emanated from
Washington. The American public was
led to believe that this would be another
"Operation Just Cause" like the inva-
sion of Panama: minimal American
casualties and little American pain.
Few Americans can grasp how
catastrophic this war might be. Fewer
still have been allowed access to the
full range of information necessary to
gauge the Bush Administration's real
reasons for our presence in the Gulf.
It is not too late to stop the bomb-
ing, stop the war, and give sanctions or
negotiations time to work. At the very
least, the American people deserve the
right to participate in a free and open
debate about our President's course of
action - before such activities include
the deaths of thousands more Ameri-
can and Iraqi soldiers and civilians.

Amnesty International responds to Bush's letter

Military research
'U' should disclose information about projects

By John G. Healey
Clear facts. Black and white. Unam-
biguous choice. These are the terms
President Bush used in the letter he sent
to over 450 college and university
newspapers two weeks ago. The subject
was Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. The
object was to prepare young people for
military confrontation in the Persian
The letter cited Amnesty
International's recent report on Iraq as
evidence to support the administration's
position. Perhaps presidential advisers
know that Amnesty volunteer groups are
now active on more than 2,600
campuses in this country. I hope the
administration will soon learn that
Amnesty members and other student
activists cannot be misled by
opportunistic manipulation of the
international human rights movement.
Amnesty published its report on the
Iraqi government's gross human rights
violations for one purpose: to advance
the protection of human rights. By
publicizing such abuses, the. movement
generates public pressure and
international protest. The American
public should not tolerate selective
indignation by its own government. We
can teach our political leaders that
people's human rights are not conve-
nient issues for rhetorical arsenals.
When taken at face value, President
Bush's condemnation of torture and
Healey is the Executive Director of
Amnesty International USA.

political killings by Iraqi authorities
appear laudable. Violations of basic
human rights should arouse indignation
and inspire action to stop them. The
matter becomes less "clear" and
"unambiguous," however, in light of two
questions: Why did our President remain
mute on the subject of the Iraqi
government's patterns of severe human
rights abuses prior to August 1990? Why
does he remain mute about abuses
committed by other governments, our

If President Bush is sincere about "desperately
want(ing) peace" and if he wishes to remove
ambiguity from his invocation of "moral obligation,"
then let him be consistent in his concern for human

Tomorrow's tensions in the region may
well be mapped by the human rights,
records of our long-term "friends," such
as the Saudi Arabian government, and
new-found "friends," such as the Syrian
government. We've heard little from the
U.S. government in recent years about
the appalling tactics of repression used
in Saudi Arabia and Syria.
President Bush's selective-
indignation over Iraq's abuses in Kuwait
undermines the norms of "human

so-called coalition partners in the re-
Iraqi soldiers' behavior in Kuwait
does not constitute a sudden shift to the
brutal side. There was no presidential
indignation, for example, in 1989, when
Amnesty released its findings about the
torture of Iraqi children. And just a few
weeks before the invasion of Kuwait,
the Bush administration refused to
conclude that Iraq had engaged in a
consistent pattern of gross human rights
If U.S. policies before August 1990
reflected concern about the Iraqi govern-
ment's human rights record, our country
might not be digging in for war today.

decency" he touts in his letter to
campus newspapers. Exploiting human
rights to justify violent confrontation is
itself indecent.
Amnesty International takes no posi-
tion on the territorial disputes now
raging in the Persian Gulf. But we do
support international coalition-building
to prevent all egregious human rights
violators from conducting business as
usual. If President Bush is sincere about
"desperately want(ing) peace" and if he
wishes to remove ambiguity from his
invocation of "moral obligation," then
let him be consistent in his concern for
human rights.

I4 . . ......... ::::..

Students sit-ia at the Division of Research Development and Administration (DRDA) in the
lnstitute for Social Research (ISR) building last week. The demonstrators were
protesting University involvement in the development of fuel air explosives (FAEs).

( FAE) may not be as well known as
the catchy new Gulf War terms like
Scud and Patriot, but this weapon of
mass destruction hits much closer to
home. Some of the research on the
design and production of the SFAE
was conducted right here in the
hallowed halls of the University of
Michigan. The University is selling
itself as a research mercenary, and this
practice must be curtailed.
Military-funded research is nothing
new at the University. During the Viet-
nam war in the 1960s, the University
conducted extensive research on the
tools of the military. However, follow-
ing that conflict, the University, under
great pressure, instituted the
"kill/maim" clause. This guideline
barred any University department from
conducting any research for a project
where the end result might be used to
kill or maim human beings. But the
regulation was dropped in 1987, and
the University is once again involved in
research producing weapons of mass
Though much of the research
funded by the military eventually has

Administration (DRDA). But in 1987,
the University revoked this access
priviledge, and today, a great deal of
research is kept under wraps by the
DRDA. This secrecy is unacceptable;.
students, faculty and staff have a right
to know the extent of University
research and its possible ramifications.
The University's assistance in the
development of the SFAE is even
more disquieting. This weapon uses
three separate explosions to' create a
massive fireball and shock wave de-
stroying everything in its range, and
uses up all oxygen in the area -
sucking every atom out of a human's
The SFAE is an impressive
weapon: it has a low price and involves
relatively simple technology, but has a
massive destructive capability. Iraq
possesses these weapons, and new
CIA reports imply it may have been
fuel-air explosives (FAE) - not nerve
gas - that Saddam Hussein used
against Iraq's Kurdish minority popu-
lation and against Iran during their
eight-year war.
Despite Pentagon denials as recently

Protesters should
stand behind troops
To the Daily:
As students of the University we are
embarrassed and ashamed at the responses
to the war in the Persian Gulf by several
University students and staff. We clearly
understand students' opposition to the war
and desire to perpetuate peace. However,
we think it is time that we all get our
heads out of the sand and realize why this
war is really being fought. This war is not
about oil and it is not solely about the
liberation of Kuwait, but it is an attempt
to protect the free world and protect the
quality of living for us and our future gen-
Many advocate peace and the denial of
support to those in the Gulf. Granted we
all would like peace; the time for that is
past. It is now time to get behind our
troops who are risking their lives for our
freedom. More than anything we need to
present an image of unity to our enemies
and especially to our troops who desper-
ately need our encouragement. Please do
not make these brave men and women
ashamed of their actions. Don't let our
soldiers down.
Michelle Eusebio
Business Administration senior
Laura Wilbert
LSA senior
Send our GIs mail
To the Daily:
I'm currently the acting company
gunnery sergeant for approximately 260
hard-charging combat-ready Marines

adults in order to express themselves
freely without censorship. They also
wanted personal addresses from the
writers so they could answer their mail
on more personal terms, and were
asking for more mail from women..
These Marines come from all walks
of life; they are indiscriminate and
thrive on companionship. I have Marines
with all types of interests who would
really like letters of University students.
For those students who would like to
correspond with certain age groups,
ethnic backgrounds or whatever, please
indicateon the back of the envelope.
Send letters to:
d/o SSgt. John D. Underhill
A Co., LSB Det, 1st FSSG (Dep)
FPO San Francisco, CA 96608-5702
John Underhill
First Force Service Support Group
Dissent is important
To the Daily:
Some say that now the war has started,
all dissent should stop. I wonder at this
reasoning. The simple fact that a war is on
does not compel us to accept it. Of course
the men and women in the military
ideserve our respect and support. But does
this mean that we must support a
senseless war?
The six students who toppled the anti-
war monument on the Diag said that it
was "too graphic and unnecessarily
violent." I wonder what those students
believe war is. Perhaps a video game?
War is hell. War is the gassing of

Defend free speech
To the Daily:
I wish to address the small group of
students who took it upon themselves to
rid the Diag of the controversial anti-war
Although I may not be in full agree-
ment with the anti-war protesters I fully *
support their right to express their views.
I find it contradictory that people in favor'
of this war would destroy another
American's right to express his or her be-
liefs. After all, isn't part of the argument
in favor of war to defend the freedom of,
the Kuwaiti people?
Freedom in the United States has al- .
ways included the right to speak and ex=
press personal beliefs. Saddam Hussein
has taken away the freedom of Kuwait, an:*
action our country has taken a stand-
Yet within our own University, a
small group of people has decided, for the
entire student body, what type of protest
will be tolerated. The monument was not'
a "clear and present danger" to this coun-
try, but the destruction of the monument.
and the destruction of the protesters' rights:
Celeste Mahabir
LSA First-year student

The Daily encourages
responses from its readers.
Letters should be 150
words or less and include
the author's name, year in


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