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

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Page 2fThe Battalion/Wednesday, October 22, 1986 EBB Opinion EB 51 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 tion. 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 periods. Mail subscriptions are $17.44 per semester, $34.62 per school year and $36.44 per full year. Advertising rates furnished on re quest. 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 77843. 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 EDITOR: 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. iLSBEE (. Dillard is a "liege pr< Claus al eking at oss a ‘‘t,’ jjigher you’ ut whom yo And when It's not a tr nvolved. Lndwritir kill that requ uid memor ying glass. ‘Everythin) V es is locket |ch comes riting,” Dilh ften makes 1 at partiet child al on. “But it’s sti oitentime! .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 be. 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 lawyer. jThe OD1 pies from be at ivater d< 16,000 meter tersas was r< I It was i funds from Foundation 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, tors. 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 what. The U.S. government is nottheonl) participant in the Central Americ struggle. As long as the SandinisiM main in power, the rebels will needs® plies. 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 grounds. 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 tainees. 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 bullets. 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 apartheid. 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 apartheid. 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®' nation. 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 l Fr foi AF ac