The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, October 22, 1986, Image 2

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    Page 2fThe Battalion/Wednesday, October 22, 1986
The Battalion
(USPS 045 360)
Member of
Texas Press Association
Southwest Journalism Conference
The Battalion Editorial Board
Cathie Anderson, Editor
Kirsten Dietz, Managing Editor
Loren Steffy, Opinion Page Editor
Frank Smith, City Editor
Sue Krenek, News Editor
Ken Sury, Sports Editor
Editorial Policy
The Bnualion is a non-profit, self-supporting newspaper oper
ated as a community service to Texas A&M and Bryan-College Sta
Opinions expressed in I'he Battalion are those of the editorial
board or the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions
of Texas A&M administrators, faculty or the Board of Regents.
'The Battalion also serves as a laboratory newspaper for students
in reporting, editing and photography classes within the Depart
ment of Journalism.
The Battalion is published Monday through Friday during
Texas A&M regular semesters, except for holiday and examination
Mail subscriptions are $17.44 per semester, $34.62 per school
year and $36.44 per full year. Advertising rates furnished on re
Our address: I'he Battalion, 216 Reed McDonald Building,
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
Second class postage paid at College Station, TX 77843.
POSTMASTER: Send address cnanges to The Battalion, 216
Reed McDonald, Texas A&M University, College Station TX
Overdue resolution
Tonight the Student Senate once again will consider a resolution
calling for the divestment of Texas A&M funds from South Africa
after tabling the measure Oct. 8. The resolution should be passed in
hopes that it may encourage the Board of Regents to consider stu
dent opinion on apartheid.
The regents have ignored Student Against Apartheid’s requests
to discuss divestment. The board’s claim that the divestment issue is
up to the Legislature is a blatant attempt to shirk responsibility for
investments by the Texas A&M University System.
The Senate already has approved a “moral condemnation” of
apartheid, but a stronger statement should be made. Aside from sim
ply stating moral opposition to this repugnant form of government-
supported racism, our student representatives should go on record
as urging the regents to take action against apartheid.
Given the regents’ previous concern for student opinion on the
subject, the resolution probably will wind up in the trash can.
But the Senate should do what it can within its power to show
that A&M students do not support funding of human rights oppres
sion. We can’t sow the seeds of social conscience in the regents’
minds, but the Senate resolution can make the students’ views clear
and put the ball back in the board’s court.
Mail Call
Memories of youth
While reading Cathie Anderson’s column (Friday’s Battalion), and for
many a moment thereafter, I found myself returning to my likewise long-lost
days of youth. We all can learn valuable lessons about today by reliving the
- d isant and not-so-pleasant memories.
What made Anderson’s piece so realistic for me was the manner in which
she included sibling dialogue. Virtually all I had to do was insert other names
and the story was almost the same. What is especially nice about my own par
ticular situation is the way we four “kids” have gfown to be such close friends
in spite of numerous tooth-and-nail, fight-to-the-death conflicts.
I am similar to Anderson in that my upbringing was rural. Being from
the Lubbock area I remember cotton fields, biting winter winds, the alterna
tely despised and anticipated dust storms, livestock shows, street dances dur
ing Homecoming, (one of) the best July Fourth celebrations and excursions
to the serenity of neighboring mountain states — it is all there and neatly
packaged for instant recall.
Thanks, Anderson, for helping me to forget (for five minutes anyway)
about University-scale population density and educational stress and remem
ber lost youth that might not be so lost after all.
Bradley T. Bowen ’85
Letters to the editor should not exceed 300 words in length. The editorial staff reserves the right
to edit letters for style and length, but will make every effort to maintain the author’s intent.
Each letter must be signed and must include the classification, address and telephone number of
the writer.
Dillard is a
"liege pr<
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oss a ‘‘t,’
jjigher you’
ut whom yo
And when
It's not a tr
kill that requ
uid memor
ying glass.
V es is locket
|ch comes
riting,” Dilh
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at partiet
child al
“But it’s sti
.Willing to
llard beg
ster graj
Wanted: American pilots Corr
for Central American flights
J§4n artich
ofjThe Bate,
tt inform
M Ocear
Eugene Hasen-
fus has been
charged by the
Marxist Sanda-
nista government
with the crime of
terrorism and vio
lating public or
der. This was
done at a formal
hearing before “a
revolutionary trib
unal.” One would
was on, but also many others like it. This
provided opponents the opportunity to
question the involvement of the Reagan
administration’s present support of Ni
caraguan rebels.
Mark Ude
think the Nicaraguans could do better
than that. Perhaps the tribunal decided
the terrorism charge would milk more
publicity and induce a more severe pun
ishment than a charge of gun smuggling
or illegal entry.
Set up three years ago, this court is
made up of a lawyer and two lay people,
who are usually politically active in the
Sandinista regime. Their main job is to
prosecute those accused of counter-rev
olutionary activities, whatever they may
There were many suspicous questions
left unanswered. First off, CIA Director
William Casey denied any knowledge of
the doomed flight’s operations to Con
gress. And even more intriguing, Ha-
senfus was a former employee of a CIA-
owned company during the Vietnam
conflict, and the former chief pilot of
that airline approached him a few
months ago and asked him to work for
another airline that was owned by a firm
previously owned by the CIA. The pre
vious head of this former CIA-owned
airline was a former CIA director, and
the current head is a lawyer who did le
gal work for the airline when it was un
der CIA ownership.
parison between these free-lance orga
nizations and other groups such asikt
Abrah am Lincoln Brigade. Worse jn
he claims the U.S. government has no
control over such volunteer forces. Bot,
that reallv got the survivingmembersof
the brigade fired up! They wentoverto
Spain in 1938 “to light against fasosc
and foi freedom." Reagan also seen!
oblivious to the fact that the brigade*!!
defending the leftists, instead of fijh
ing them like the Contras in Nicarap
Unfortunately, we may never to
the exact circumstances of the Hasenfe
incident because of the political am
sphere. The Sandinistas are paradmt
Hasenfus before the internationalpress.
but no one has been permitted to tall io|
him privately, not even his “defeiw
jThe OD1
pies from be
at ivater d<
16,000 meter
tersas was r<
I It was i
funds from
the new OIJ
ally the mot
System fund
■jklso, the
ship sails wit
sioi al techi
and a ship a
incorrectly s
ut 50 A
sail on
he Bate,
It’s as clear as day.
In other words, they can avoid the di
rect due process and get on with
stringing up political targets.
Hasenfus, after bailing out of the C-
123 that was inconveniently shot down
by the Sandinistas, had no reservations
about claiming that the CIA was fund
ing not only the shortened flight that he
The CIA definitely is running the
show. President Reagan doesn’t know
what he’s talking about when he sug
gests that perhaps free-lance groups are
in action. Everybody knows that once a
person is associated with the CIA, one is
on the payroll, under the authority of
and responsible to the CIA, no matter
The U.S. government is nottheonl)
participant in the Central Americ
struggle. As long as the SandinisiM
main in power, the rebels will needs®
So, kiddies, if you’re interestedinad-
venture, just pick up the latest issue of
Soldier of Fortune or maybeevenabad
issue of some survivalist magazine,Xoi
that the CIA is going to take the raploi
arms shipments in Central Amerce
there might be some job openings!
South-of-t he-Border airlines.
President Reagan even goes as far to
suggest that maybe there is a slight com-
Mark Ude is a senior geography mff
and a columnist for The Battalion.
A&M shouldn’t fund South African atrocities
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first in a two-part
series on divestment of Texas A&M’s funds from
South Africa.
As an African historian it - —
is my profession to dissemi- Larry
nate knowledge about. Af- Yorak
rica. It is particularly impor-
tant that information on
South Africa be made available because there are
many instant “experts” on the country who have
been spreading inaccurate or misleading informa
tion in an effort to make Americans fear what an
apartheid-free, democratic South Africa might
look like.
Racially discriminatory laws have been a funda
mental part of life for the black majority in South
Africa since that nation obtained its independence '
from Great Britain in 1910. But it was only with
the national election of 1948 (in which only whites
could take part) that the all-encompassing system
of white supremacy called apartheid (literally, “se
parateness”) came into existence.
Apartheid is not just segregation, such as existed
in the American South for many decades after the
Civil War, but a system of total political, economic
and .social domination by the white minority over
the “non-white” majority. It is a system of laws
written only by whites that designates 87 percent
of South African territory for whites only — whites
const itute about 15 percent of the total population
— and leaves the remaining 13 percent for blacks,
who constitute 72 percent of the total population
of some 31 million people (1985 est).
The idea is to deny blacks any basis for political
participation in government by “de-nationalizing”
them, denying them the possibility of citizenship in
South Africa by creating artificial, supposedly in
dependent “tribal homelands” in which all blacks
are expected to become citizens.
To reach the theoretical goal of total territorial
separation, the South African government has re
moved forcibly since 1960 some 3.5 million black
men, women ahd children from whites-only land
(where they are said to constitute “black spots”) to
the black “homelands,” where there is little or no
work and the land is invariably barren. These “ho
melands” have aptly been described as dumping
To repress any black resis
tance to this plan the govern
ment of South Africa has en
acted since 1948 a series of
draconian police-state mea
sures. Among other things
these policies have led to the
killing of more than 2,000
blacks since September 1984
(when the current cycle of
black defiance began). Some
13,000 people, many of them
children, have been arrested
and detained without any
form of due process of law or
even access by family. It is
well-established that the
South African government
systematically tortures its de
Under current legislation,
anyone who publicly speaks
in favor of the abolition of
apartheid, or simply states
that blacks and whites should
be equal before the law, is lia
ble to arrest and conviction as
a “communist” or “subversi
ve.” It is against the law for
anyone, white or black to ad
vocate the application of in
ternational economic sanctions against the South
African regime.
For South African blacks, the land of their birth
has become a horrendous nightmare of political
repression, denial of the most elemental human
rights, and, all too frequently, death.
During the 1950s all the non-violent efforts of
black political parties to protest the imposition of
apartheid met with government-sponsored vio
lence: dogs, night-sticks and
In 1960, following the po
lice killing of 69 unarmed
blacks in Sharpeville — many
shot in the back as they fled
the scene —the government
outlawed the major black op
position parties, including
the African National Con
gress (founded in 1912),
whose current head, Nelson
Mandela, remains in prison
nearly 25 years after his con
viction for seeking the end of
Most Americans, of
course, find this system re
pugnant. The question is
what to do. First, what have
Americans done, particularly
in the years since 1948?
While most Americans re
mained unconcerned or un
aware about South Africa,
many American businessmen
saw fit to place substantial in
vestments in South Africa
during the period that apart
heid was being constructed.
American businesses
flocked to the country to take
advantage of the higher-than-average returns on
investment afforded by a system that kept black
wages at a level one-fourth to one-twentieth of
those paid to whites.
Some 350 U.S. companies operate currentlii
South Africa. T he most recent accounting pte
U.S. direct and indirect investment at lObillioMi
which the overwhelming bulk came since 1948
American investment has been in indusiiifl
strategically important to the South Africanf
ernment: computers, oil, automotive vehicles.^
surprisingly, many South African blacks seellittf'
feet of foreign investment as serving to strenpk
the apartheid regime. Since at least 1959 wi
leaders have called for the imposition ofeconoi
sanctions against South Africa as the only non*
lent means that outsiders have to helpbringate
the abolition of apartheid. Comprehensive,efe
live sanctions will help to reduce the amount
bloodshed in the inevitable process of dismanfc
Finally Congress has come to see the logics
these arguments, recently voting tooverrideP$
dent Reagan’s veto of a sanctions bill. The figlii 11
override in the Senate was led by Sen. Richard!*
gar, R-Ind. His action demonstrates that non*
lent economic action against South AfricaiswH 1
partisan issue.
Why would a conservative like Lugar talced*
politically dangerous step of breaking witli®
head of his party and lead so many of his felD'
Republicans in voting for sanctions? Becaused*
South African government has left no otherato
native. It is in America’s own interest to 11$
sanctions, to do what we can to express our(B?
proval and to raise the cost to white South Aft* 1
of maintaining its abhorrent system of racialdo®'
This then is one of the principal reasons fort
versities like Texas A&M to divest themself
their investments in South Africa. Some 120®
leges and universities already have undertaken! 11
or partial divestment of securities in con#
that continue to do business in South*
time for A&M to join them.
Larry Yarak is an assistant professor of histoP