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January 15, 1991 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-01-15

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Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 15, 1991
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.

/ N. ~on

,From the= Daily
Dying Democracy
Bush leaves a shameful mark on American history

ticks down the final hours to the U.N.
deadline, Americans everywhere are
confronting the surreal feeling that a
situation they do not understand and
cid not ask for has come to dominate
their lives, and the lives of millions of
others around the world.
With Congress' almost comic debate
over the issue now behind us, it is clear
how little voice the people of this
country have in decisions that will un-
questionably affect their lives, as well
as our collective future. The daunting
task facing the American people is also
clearer than ever before: we must wrest
control from the Bush administration
over the future meaning of "the Ameri-
can way of life" and the "new world
This country's anti-war movement
provides hope that we, the American
people, might someday be able to not
only shape our future, but the terms
defining that future as well.
Last week, nine union presidents
representing more than six million
unionized workers came out against the
war. A week ago, 18 church leaders -
representing 42 million parishioners
and every major denomination in
America - did the same. In unlikely
places like Baton Rouge, Louisiana and
Missoula, Montana, city councils are
passing resolutions condemning the
It isn't hard to see why. This war is
not only being pursued with a flagrant
lack of respect for the democratic pro-
cess, but at a cost of well more than a
billion dollars a month - in a country,
with a deepening recession, rising un-
employment, deteriorating social ser-
vices, and a standard of living below

that enjoyed by Americans in 1973.
Bush's pontification about sacrific-
ing for the "American way of life"
rings so hollow because that way of
life offers ever less. Thirty-seven mil-
lion Americans lack health insurance.
Twenty million go hungry every
month. Five million are homeless.
Meanwhile, military analysts predict
that Washington would spend a
whopping $80 billion in the first 3-6
months of a shooting war.
Connecting Bush's desert adven-
tures to such domestic abuses has
broadened - not narrowed - the anti-
war movement. It has challenged aver-
age Americans to look behind the "my
country, right or wrong" rhetoric and
examine jest what this nation actually
stands for.
Today, across the country, thou-
sands of American people will demon-
strate against the war. This past week-
end, as Ann Arbor held its teach-in and
one of its largest rallies in years,
100,000 demonstrated against war in
Spain. A hundred thousand more
joined them in Berlin. Sixty thousand
more chimed in from Paris. And, per-
haps most surprisingly, 40,000 took to
the streets in Istanbul.
Around the world, people are saying
they've had enough. Faced with gov-
emments that consistently place profits
before people, millions everywhere are
speaking out in the only way they still
can - by taking to the streets. Ameri-
cans must continue to do the same, re-
claiming the democratic rights we have
lost. As the clock ticks down to mid-
night, let us vow that we will never
again allow our government to lead its
people - and the peoples of the world
- to the brink of annihilation.

MLK: 'A time comes when silence is betrayal

On April 4, 1967, a year to the day before
he was killed in Memphis, Martin Luther
King spoke out publicly against the
Vietnam War for the first time. Today, in
honor of the anniversary of King's birth-
day and mindful of the U.N. deadline in
the Gulf, we are printing the following
excerpts from King's speech, delivered at
the Riverside Church in New York City:
By Martin Luther King, Jr..
I come to this magnificent house of
worship tonight because my conscience
leaves me no other choice... A time comes
when silence is betrayal. That time has
come for us in relation to Vietnam...
A few years ago... it seemed as if there
was a real promise of hope for the poor -
both Black and white - through the
Poverty Program. There were experiments,
hopes, new beginnings. Then came the
build-up in Vietnam and I watched the
program broken and eviscerated as if it
were some idle political plaything of a so-
ciety gone mad on war, and I knew that
America would never invest the necessary
funds or energies in rehabilitation of its
poor so long as adventures like Vietnam
continued to draw men and skills and
money like some demoniacal suction tube.
So I was increasingly compelled to see the
war as an enemy of the poor and to attack
it as such...
The war is doing far more than devas-
tating the hopes of the poor at home. It is
sending their sons and their brothers and
their husbands to fight and to die in ex-
traordinarily high proportions relative to
the rest of the population. We were taking
the Black young men who had been crip-
pled by our society and sending them

8,000 miles away to guarantee liberties in
Southeast Asia which they had not found
in Southwest Georgia and East Harlem.
So we have been repeatedly faced with
the cruel irony of watching Negro boys
and white boys on TV screens as they kill
and die together for a nation that has been
unable to seat them together in the same
schools. So we watch them in brutal soli-
darity burning the huts of a poor village
but we realize they would never live on
the same block in Detroit.

I am convinced that if we are to get on
the right side of the world revolution, we
as a nation must undergo a radical revolue
tion of values. We must rapidly begin the
shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a
"person-oriented" society. When machines
and computers, profit motives and prop-
erty rights are considered more important
than people, the giant triplets of racism
materialism, and militarism are incapable
of being conquered...
True compassion is more than flinging

We have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony
of watching Negro boys and white boys on TV screens
as they kill and die together for a nation that has been
unable to seat them together in the same schools.

I could not be silent in the face of such
cruel manipulation of the poor. The great-
est purveyor of violence in the world today
is my own government. For the sake of
those boys, for the sake of this govern-
ment, for the sake of the hundreds of thou-
sands trembling under our violence, I can-
not be silent...
Somehow this madness must cease.
We must stop now... I speak for the poor
of America who are paying the double
price of smashed hopes at home and death
and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a ci-
tizen of the world, - for the world as it
stands against the path we have taken. I
speak as an American to the leaders of my
own nation. The great initiative in this
war is ours. The initiative to stop it must
be ours...

a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and
superficial. It comes to see that an edifice
which produces beggars needs restructur-
ing. A true revolution of values will soon
look uneasily on the glaring contrast of
poverty and wealth... A nation that con-
tinues year after year to spend more money
on military defense than on programs of
social uplift is approaching spiritual
We must move past indecision to ac-
tion. We must find new ways to speak for
peace in Vietnam and justice throughout
the developing world - a world that bor-
ders on our doors. If we do not act, we
shall surely be dragged down the long dark
and shameful corridors of time reserved for
those who possess power without com-
passion, might without morality, and
strength without sight. s ,

f l 1Y

Saturday teach-in had only one perspective

'Gulf teach-in

By Jennifer Knoll
"The U of M teach-in on the Persian
Gulf Crisis" more accurately should have
been titled "One Perspective On The
Events In The Middle East." The sessions
presented only one point of view -
against invading Iraq and in support of
linking Israel and the Persian Gulf Crisis.
The day's events really provided students
with a disservice.
There are a tremendous number of
scholars who are against this war, but see
no connection between Israel and the Gulf
Crisis. Of course, these speakers were not
invited to lecture. Not only was this point
of view not presented, but anyone without
previous knowledge on this topic attend-
ing these seminars would have no idea that
this perspective exists.
One afternoon assembly titled "Today's
Middle Eastern Question: Israel, Iraq and
The United States" is a perfect example of
how one-sided the day was. There were
two speakers at this session both with al-
most identical points of view. It would
have been so much more useful if the
speakersheld different perspectives on Is-
rael's role in the Persian Gulf.
Knoll is an LSA senior majoring in Polit-
ical Science and Sociology.

Such a presentation also ostracizes
those who do not see any linkage from the
anti-war movement. Many people left the
rooms feeling as if they must be indirectly
in support of this war because they see no
connection between Iraq's invasion of
Kuwait and Israel. To perpetuate the idea
Israel is involved with the Persian Gulf is
to eliminate many potential supporters of
the anti-war movement.

Students were treated to a one-sided indoctrination,
take it or leave it. If a student did not absorb the
opinions that they heard then by default they were
right-wing warmongers.

liberalism which exists on this campus. If
you dislike Bush and you dislike war then
you must denounce attacking Iraq and link
Israel to the crisis. Anything else is unac-
A teach-in as such is suppose to edu-
cate people on a topic. Those attending,
should be provided with a variety of view-
points. Students should have been able to
walk away from the sessions and formu-

Variety of anti-war voices
:conflict in the Persian Gulf, the anti-
war movement grows with each
passing day. Unlike the reactionary
protests and demonstrations countering
U.S. involvement during the Vietnam
:conflict, this movement has taken the
initiative, and has attempted to prevent
war from occurring at all.
Anti-war organizers on this campus
have been organizing activities to culti-
vate and solidify the movement since
November. Last Saturday's teach-in is
-n example of the hard work that is
going into this effort, and the event's
planners are to be commended. The
fact that more than 1,500 people turned
put for Saturday's events is encourag-
ing, and indicates the fervent desire for
peace in this potential conflict.
.Aside from the teach-in's imnor-

will solidify movement
from the typical one-sided, self-serving
activist movements too often character-
istic of this campus. The anti-war
movement is becoming increasingly
broad-based, and should continue to
expand in the coming months, as ten-
sions in the Gulf come to a head.
It is now imperative that the leader-
ship of the movement not reverse the
progress made, and be careful not to
alienate certain students by excluding
differing points of view. The teach-in
should not become an isolated instance
of even-handedness, but should serve
as the basis for a broad-based and
united student movement.
In addition, students now involved
in the movement should not lose inter-
est. Too often, large numbers of people
turn outefor one specific event, and
then lose touch with the iss~ue. The

Not only were several of the sessions
one-sided, some were inaccurate. Professor
Sullivan stood out amongst those who
adulterated facts. In his comparison of the
West Bank and Gaza to Kuwait he never
mentioned the different circumstances un-
der which these occupations developed.
Iraq's invasion of Kuwait was aggressive.
Israel's territories were gained in a war
started by surrounding Arab nations.
The speakers tried to rally support for
their point of view by riding the wave of

late their own opinions from what they
Unfortunately this was not the case.
Students were treated to a one-sided indoc-
trination, take it or leave it. If a student
did not absorb the opinions that they heard
then by default they were right-wing war-
mongers. The one-sided format was an in-
sult to students' intelligence. The organiz-
ers of these sessions should have realized
that when presented with all the informa-
.tion, students could draw their own con-
clusions about the crisis in the Gulf.

Defend Kuwaiti liberty
To the Daily:
Paul Lambert's letter (1/14/90) claim-
ing that there is a link between the Persian

sounds more like communism or fascism
than the "enlightened democracy" that the
author purports to support.
In his most blatant assault on fact,
Lambert attributes to Franklin Delano
Dr 1n. tnm -. t n u lo L nan.

continue to stand together against intimi-
dation of the weak." I agree. Let us do so
by defending the right of nations such as
Kuwait to freely exist without being swal-
lowed up bythe "intimidation and aggres-

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