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Student Group Backs Free Kuwait
Alleging massive human rights violations in Iraqi-occupied Kuwait, a new student group has broken from the policies of other on-campus organizations to take a hard line against Iraqi aggression--and for U.S. intervention--in the Persian Gulf.
At an introductory meeting last night, about 15 members of Students for a Free Kuwait discussed the need for immediate action to restore independence to Kuwait.
Organizer Bader El-Jeaan, a visiting student, said that the group is not opposed to military intervention.
"Other groups on campus want a resolution of the conflict. We believe that the important priority right now is the liberation of Kuwait," said El-Jeaan, who is Harvard's only Kuwaiti undergraduate.
The group will focus on human rights violations by the occupying troops in Kuwait, said organizer Stephen W. Gauster '92.
Organizers cited Congressional testimony by American and Kuwaiti citizens describing atrocities committed by Iraqi troops. Statements made to Amnesty International by other refugees back these allegations, El-Jeaan said.
Members of the organization said they believe negotiating with Saddam Hussein is out of the question.
"There is a lack of understanding about the dictator mentality," said Northeastern University junior Ayad Faisal, a member of the Boston chapter of Citizens for a Free Kuwait.
"Americans don't understand Hussein," Faisal said, "They have never experienced a dictator."
El-Jeaan said that Harvard's Society of Arab Students (SAS) has offered inadequate support to Kuwait.
"SAS in general has toed a rather pro-Iraqi line, not only by connecting this to the Palestinian conflict, but by not offering support to the Kuwaitis," added Gauster.
Taiwanese Official Talks on Economy
Saying that "in a responsible government, pragmatism must prevail over ideology," the mastermind of Taiwan's economic boom told a Yenching Auditorium crowd yesterday that his country has been successful because the government has limited its role in the economy.
"Failure in developing countries is often due to government shouldering too much responsibility without maintaining a stable economy," said K.T. Li, senior advisor to the president of the Republic of China on Taiwan.
To help the country get out of its post-war depression, the government allowed its currency to depreciate to its market value and reduced the number of regulations concerning business, Li told an audience of approximately 150.
These policies attracted greater foreign investment, freed up business transactions and enabled consumers to buy the lowest-priced, highest-quality goods, Li said.
Rebel Leader Warns of War
Unless Congress drastically cuts U.S. military aid to El Salvador, guerrillas may soon launch a new offensive against the Central American government, a rebel leader told a Boylston Auditorium audience yesterday.
Francisco Altschul, a member of the rebel group FMLN's diplomatic commission said that a reduction in U.S. aid might induce the El Salvadoran government to make concessions to guerrilla leaders.
"The U.S. government could bring pressure to make it possible to advance," Altschul said. "Unless the El Salvadoran military understands that it's not going to receive a blank check, it will not move [toward a negotiated agreement]," he said.
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