Oakland Tribune from Oakland, California on July 13, 1987 · 15
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Oakland Tribune from Oakland, California · 15

Oakland, California
Issue Date:
Monday, July 13, 1987
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w THE TRIBUNE, Oakland, California Monday, July 13,1987 A-8 I.: 'i ' - ; r : : t . r I H i j ) V, n v l; - '4 - should be taken (lit of S. Korea By Rotor Hayoo Each year, Siberian cranes flock to the Demilitarized Zone in Korea. North and South Korea still technically at war havd an unspoken accord to leave the great birds undisturbed. . The cranes are an endangered species. On Koreas DMZ, they nest amidst lethal firepower. North-South cooperation to preserve the crane a Korean symbol of life and a' peaceful home suggest that sanity can prevail over ideology in Korea. UQtll South Koreas recent unrest, most Americans had forgotten that 40,000 Amej lean troops are in Korea. These troops are reportedly armed with 150 nuclear weapons stored at Kunsan Air Base. They are the only American soldiers in the world on a 24-hour-iwar footing. U.S. troops sit between 800,000 North Korean and 600,000 South Korean soldiers dug in along the DMZ. Korea is the only place in the world, beside Germany, where nuclear war could conceivably erupt, with little or no notice. WhafYtaore, ever since the United States introduced nuclear weapons into Korea in 1958, the United States has stuck to its first use" doctrine. This stance raises the specter of spillover from a nuclear war in Korea to a superpower naval-nuclear shootout in the North Pacific. "According to American military officers; ' Pentagon strategy entails defending South Korea by striking deep into North Korea, Including its northern capital, Pyongyang. It also integrates ground-air and conventional-nuclear forces. Last month's huge; qnnual UJS.-South Korean military exercise, Team Spirit, was a dry run of an "aiMWd battle deep strike and nuclear-conventional operations against North Ko- rea. TK STRATEGY is Justified as deterring a North Korea blitz attack to grab Seoul. But many American analysts dismiss thi nightmare scenario. North Korea, they say, knows it cannot win a conventional war agginftl South Korea with or without American help. nMore likely, were told, North Korea plant to exploit a political crisis in South Korea with small groups of guerrillas, which would render American nuclear weapons and air-land battle useless. Indeed. some political analysts argue that close U.S. ties with South .Korea's unpopular military may fuel precisely such a crisis in the South. Today's unrest in South Korea makes it tiiqq fq ask again if nuclear weapons should be kept in the Korean Peninsula. Instead of detecting the North or freezing the security deadlock, these weapons may stimulate a dangerous nuclear arms race, undermine conventional deterrence, and prompt North Korea , to pre-empt the South in a crisis. They also encourage both Koreas to think, about home-grown bombs. , .There i another less dangerous, nonnuclear path for American foreign policy in KoreaT First, the United States should encourage civilian democracy in South Korea. A non-pylitary government would promote progress in North-South talks, and keep Koreas tdcurity deadlock from simply deteriorating. To this end, the United States should withdraw its de facto support for the South Korean militarys political role.jOf course, only the South Koreans can push their military back into its barracks. But only the United States can clearly signal its support for'SHch a policy. Unless pulled, levers do not exert pressure. SECpND, the United States should demilitarize relations with North Korea by recognizing it diplomatically. Relying on theAmerican military to communicate witf North Korea has allowed the military tail tbWag the American diplomatic dog. Third, the United States should withdraw it puclear weapons from Korea. We should'xnnounce we will disengage our ground. forces when North and South Ko-rea'roffensive forces are reduced in an eq-uitafilet planned manner. The United States might plso reduce the size and frequency of the Team Spirit exercises. IWirth, the United States should initiate regional arms control talks for the North Pacific.' The Korean knot cannot be untied without addressing the naval-nuclear arms race offshore. 'Tb&te four steps would loosen Koreas nuclear tripwire before events in the region further' deteriorate. Especially given the region's current tension and instability, nuclear weapons in Korea needlessly endan-gefftflUions of Americans and Koreans not to mention the humble Siberian crane. . 'IPttdr Hayes. is coauthor, with Walden Belloand Lyuba Zariky, bt American LalgNuclear Peril in the Paclflc.Zand a military analyst or Nautilus Pacific Research, a think tank on Asia-Pacific. UHI flCOMINQ-IOMORROW; 1 Robert Nations warns that 8outh "Korea's turmoil may not be over. ERen Goodman lays that ORvsr North rfchl the hart) marry take Nm to be. e When the American hostages came first Forfeotten amid all the Iran-contra hearings and headlines ig the fact that, for more than a year, the Reagan administration duped reporters with disinformation. The administration set up Libyas erratic Moammar Gadhafi as a scapegoat, portraying him as the chief terrorist menace, at the same time that it was selling arms to the real menace, Irans implacable Ayatpllah Khomeini. ' On Dec. 27, 1985, for example, terrorists gunned down 18 innocent passengers, including five Americans at the Vienna and Rome airports. The administration immediately isolated Gadhafi as the culprit behind the attacks. Yet trusted intelligence sources told us, as we reported, that the airport terrorists had been trained in Iran and that their leader, Abu Nidal, had been oh Khomeinis payroll After the attack, an administration task force, headed by Vice President George Bush, issued a report condemning terrorists. Secretary of State George Shultz followed up with a scathing denunciation of terrorism, offering no quarter to nations that supported it. He neglected to mention that, even as he spoke, the United States was offering arms talran. President Reagan, meanwhile, turned up the heat on Libya. He charged in p public speech that he had irrefutable evidence that Gadhafi had engaged in armed aggression against the United States. He imposed economic sanctions on Libya and ordered all Americans to leave the country. This was accompanied by a wave of official statements and leaks depicting Gadhafi as the abominable terrorist Most reporters were in the position the government likes to have them in: They took the administrations word. The White House knew about the limited resources of the press, its short attention span, its difficulty in portraying complex issues, its inability to function when information is cut off. So angry Americans, conditioned by the press as- defied Libyan warnings and steamed into disputed waters off the Libyan coast Then on April 5, a bomb exploded in a West Berlin discotheque killing two people. President Reagan lashed back on April -9, calling Gadhafi this mad dog of the Middle East and ordering an air raid on terrorist-related targets in Libya. The president stood proud and tall, upholding American honor. Yet all the while, he was secretly dealing with the terrorist most in need of scourging. Ayatollah Khomeini. For Gadhafi is merely the tail of the terrorist rattlesnake; Khomeini is its head. - Our own role in this drama is dubitable. As it happened, we were the oily reporters who knew all along that the White House was engaged in Sack-channel negotiations with Iran. We knew the negotiators included some subterranean figures whom we had pre-. viously linked to the CIA renegade Edwin Wilson. In testimony at the Iran-contra hearings, framer Pentagon official Noel Koch said Dale Van Atta had confronted him with the hushed-up details in early December 1985. He had it cold, Koch testified. Had we rushed into print with all we knew, it might have blown the sordid negotiations sky-high. It could have halted the arms shipments to Iran. It might hqye prevented the illegal diversion of profits to the contras. In short, it might have stopped the blunders and crimes that produced the Iran-contra scandal and rocked the Reagan administration. - But we listened to the entreaties of high administration officials, including the president himself, who begged us to hold back the story until the hostages were released. Some officials pleaded with us; others screamed at us. They warned that the hostages would be killed if we wrote about the secret negotiations. We thought about those hostages, particularly our colleague Terry Anderson of The Associated Press, in the evil clutches of Khomeinis terrorists. There are seasons when it is a close call, but we agreed to withhold the arms-for-hostage story. Not until the bombing of Libya did we change our minds and start to tell the story as delicately as possible, still withholding some sensitive details to avoid reprisals against the hostages. ' sault, cheered when in late March a U.S. task force Jack Anderson appears In The Tribune on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays. He wrote this column with Dale Van Atta. The return of the Necklace of Lights It was 1922 and the Shrin-ers were holding a convention in Oakland. The local party boys, the Dons of Peralta, a civic booster organization of pioneer families (known for its extravagant city fiestas) wanted to extend a hardy welcome. The Dons decided to do up Lake Merritt and had colored lights strung around the. bor-r. A fountain in the center of ' the lake was illuminated by a huge search light mounted on the roof of the auditorium. The light was so powerful that publicists swore it would change night into day in the inland valleys if it were installed at the crest of the Oakland hills. When the Dons put up party decorations, they didnt mess around. - The lights were first turned on June 11, 1922, and they were such a hit, with the locals as well as the visiting Shriners, that the city decided to Install permanent lighting fixtures along the lake. One of the plans was to light the foliage along the lakeshore. The lake will take on alluring tints of fantastic light from concealed projectors, creating an effect which, combined with the enhancement of the re-' flection in the depths ot the lakes waters, promises to produce all the Illusion of fairyland, said Edgar Sanborn, vice.' president .of the park board. Gosh, public - officials donlt talk that pretty anymore. That plan was eventually scrapped, but the light' project steamed ahead and included a lively public debate about the design of the lanterns that would ' support the Necklace of Lights. Finally the organizers decided on Florentine lamppost with amber lanterns for a softer effect, connected by a string of 3,400 smaller bulbs. Romaine Myers was chosen as the electrical engineer. The lights were to be a shining memorial to our fallen heroes, our boys who lost their lives in the trenches of France. Each of the 126 lampposts was purchased by an Oakland resident for the costly amount of $120. On Aug. 27, 1925, thousands of people gathered on Sen. Doles bill is ill-advised By Gerald J. Bonder The Reagan administration has placed the removal of Cuban troops from Angola high on its East-West agenda. It has attempted to achieve this by linking the withdrawal of the Cubans with a parallel pullout of South Africans from Namibia. But Preto- -ria has shown no interest in this; in fact, its continued posture of aggression toward Angola virtually guarantees that the government in Luanda will not feel secure enough to send the Cuban troops home. Rather than blame South Africa, however, Senate Minority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kan., wants to punish Angola with sanctions even though he opposed the use of that mechanism to fight apartheid. Dole and Sen. Dennii DeConcini. D-Ariz., are cosponsoring a bill this week that would bar American companies from operating in, or doing business with, Angola. . Dole admits that he harbors no illusions that the legislation will lead directly or Imminently to the Cubans departure from Angola. In fact. Dole and DeConcini are signaling friends and foes that the United States i unable to recognize, let alone protect, its own best interests. If American corporations acq fared to withdraw from Angola, their places would be taken practically overnight by other companies among Americas North Atlantic Treaty Organization partners, which are desperately eager to increase their economic stakes in that country. So the main effect of Dole's and DeConcinis initiative would be to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars of assets, trade, profits and sources of oil to Western .Europe, without hurting Luanda. the lakes shore and the Necklace of Lights was turned on. The wondrous glow lit the lake's waters and the spectators broke into spontaneous applause. For 16 years the citys Necklace of Lights drew Oaklanders and tourists from all over the world to the lakes shore. The luminous Lake Merritt was known worldwide and Oakland basked in the glory. Publicizing Oakland is more important now than ever before because of nationwide interest in the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, reads a 1985 Post Enquirer article about the worldwide Interest in the necklace. Conditions were never more propitious for a dignified and effective boost for Oakland. (Sound familiar?) Alas, Oaklands beautiful necklace became a victim of World War II. In accordance with the wartime blackout, the lights were turned out on Dec. 17, 1941. Although no longer on the shore of Lake Merritt, the lights were not dark for long. In 1946, Dr. Velva Brown bought the string of lights from a West Oakland junk dealer. Brown, who grew up in Oakland, was a physician on her way back to a Baptist mission in Swatow, China. She took the lights, a diesel engine and a generator and had them installed at the mission and nearby towns where residents had never seen electric lights. Brown was later ejected from China after the revolution and came back to Oakland, but thats another story. Throughout the 50s there were efforts to restore the lampposts, which had been vandalized and had fallen into disrepair. But either the money or the materials were not available. In April 1950, the lampposts, .sans the necklace, were turned on for the first time since the war, thanks to the Committee to Get Little Things Draie. In May 1959, Oaklanders voted on Proposition E, a bond measure to fund the restoration. But still the lights did hot go on. The dream of restoring the lights was apparently forgotten in the '60s and 70s. But in 1982, Emelyn Jewett proposed the restoration project to the Lake Merritt Breakfast Club. The rest is history. And tonight, at 9:45 p.m. (after the fireworks), the necklace will light Lake Merritt's shore again for the first time in 46 years. Brenda Payton writes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. THE UNITED States has become Angola's leading trading partner, taking more than half the value of all Angolan exports; in turn, Angola is among the top four importers of American goods in Africa. A ban on this trade would not only deny American companies the profits from hundreds of millions of dollars worth of exports; it 'would also make the United States further dependent on oil from the volatile Persian Gulf region. Dole's role is particularly invidious given his strong support for subsidies of American wheat exports to the Soviet Union during the past two years. On the one hand, he advocates subsidies of roughly $100 million for sales to Moscow that would allow American pain to be bought cheaper in the Soviet Union than it can be purchased in the United States. On the other hand, he would .ban all trade with a Soviet-supported regime in Africa, at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars in trade and benefits. Perhaps only a farm belt Republican could get away with that contradictory position. Dole and DeConcini are not alone in leaning on American corporations in Angola, to America's own financial and strategic detriment Last fall Rep. James A. Courier, R-NJ., introduced an amendment to the defense authorization bill to prohibit the Pentagon from contracting for petroleum products with any company that produces or buys, directly or indirerily, any petroleum products from Angola. The Pentagon estimated that the effect of Couriers measure would be to increase fuel costs by $72 million while carrier fleets would be reduced to an unacceptable level of their fuel requirements. Adm. William J. Crowe Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned that if the Angola sanction becomes law, we will concede far more to the Soviets in reduced operational readiness than they could ever gain through a Marxist regime in Angola . . . While Congressman Courier's motives are laudable, the consequences of his proposal will seriously hurt our national-security posture. , CLEARLY, MORE than laudable motives are needed to fashion a prudent and workable policy in Southern Africa. Dole's motives, however, may be less than laudable. As part of his presidential cam- ' palgn effort to attract support from ultraconservatives, he has taken positions on Southern Africa that are so far to the right that they are more supportive of the Pretoria regime than the Reagan administration. Dole has not only sought to punish Angola for South Africa's intransigmee on Namibia; he has also Joined Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., in supporting South African-backed terrorists who are trying to overthrow the government in Mozambique. Doles self-serving approach to Southern Africa raises serious questions about his qualifications for the presidency especially about his ability to manage simple, let alone complex, foreign-policy matters. He has demonstrated a dangerous amateur Ism that would weaken American strategic and economic interests and tie the United States more closely to the repressive and militaristic policies of South Africa. Doles call for sanctions (which the ad- -ministration strongly opposes) may appeal to the far right in Washington and Pretoria, but it will surely repulse middle-of-the-road Americans Republicans and Democrats alike. , Gerald J. Bender is the director ot the School ot International Relations at the University ot Southern California and the immediate past president of the African Studies Association. This article appeared in the Los Angeles Times. 1 1 I i .L. J r i . r

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