To the Editors of The Crimson:

I would like to suggest that The Crimson begin publishing its daily news summary "The Real World" on the editorial page where it appears to belong.

In the January 16, 1976 "Real World" article, The Crimson provides a blatantly biased account of recent developments in the Angolan war.

The article refers to the military setbacks of the "Western puppet" National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA). No one denies that the United States and other Western nations have supported the FNLA. Yet to assume that such aid makes the FNLA a "Western puppet" is an opinionated extension of the facts which belongs in an editorial commentary, not in an unsigned news piece. This "Western puppet" was until recently receiving active support from the People's Repulic of China. It may well be true, as recent Crimson editorials have stated, that the FNLA is now totally an instrument of the Western powers. But in cases concerning factual interpretations, it seems to me that The Crimson, as any reputable publication, has a responsibility to either present various interpretation of the facts, or to stick to a neutral statement of factual developments.

The Crimson article also refers to Zaire as a United States "tool." Again this is one interpretation of the facts which may or may not be supported by all the facts. The United States has indeed funneled aid through Zaire to forces fighting the Soviet-backed Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). It is unclear that this by itself makes Zaire a "tool" of the United States. This eliminates the possibility that Zaire may, in fact, support U.S. objectives in Angola. Zaire has in the past been open to many influences, and it is far from clear that the United States controls its policy. Zaire presently uses North Korean military advisors, for example. Also, President Mobuto of Zaire is the brother-in-law of Holden Roberto, leader of the FNLA, and this certainly is one other possible reason why Zaire has supported the FNLA.


A less obvious bias of The Crimson lies in the article's reference to Cuban "volunteers" fighting in Angola. The word "volunteers" seems to imply some sort of loose group of individuals who are motivated by their own belief in the righteousness of their cause. It is hard to see how this is the case with the Cubans in Angola. Cuban Premier Castro did not publicly announce that Cubans were fighting in Angola until January 15, 1976, so it seems doubtful that Cuban individuals were able to volunteer to help the Angolans before even knowing that such an option was available to them. Furthermore, Cubans are not notoriously free to decide where they want to go to carry out their desires. Clearly, the Cubans fighting in Angola are members of the armed forces and their deployment to Angola was a decision of national policy. Perhaps as soldiers in the Cuban army they were able to ask to be stationed in Angola. But I think even The Crimson would agree that even in the armed forces of democracies such as the United States, volunteering to do something that your superiors want you to do is not always an act of pure free choice.

I contacted Associated Press, the wire service to which The Crimson subscribes, to see if these terms I criticize were used in the original AP wire story. They were not. They were added by The Crimson in the guise of being "from Wire Dispatches."

It should be clear that the point is not whether one agrees with the opinions and editorial choices of The Crimson, but rather that the objectivity of its news reporting is open to serious questions. Opinions should be irrelevant to news stories. I thus find it extremely disturbing to see this blatant example of opiniated interpretation surreptitiously being passed off as straight news. David H. Solomon '76

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