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Deukmejian and Divestment

July 28, 1986

I was very disheartened to see Gov. George Deukmejian and the University of California Regents cave in to the shameless dishonesty of the divestment movement.

By avoiding all legitimate debate and chanting "anyone who opposes sanctions supports apartheid" divestment advocates (and their media allies) have created such political pressure that even intelligent and ethical men are forced for political survival into behavior that is stupid, immoral, and un-American.

Stupid? The South African economy is based on agriculture and minerals. Divestment only effects fringe elements, which are primarily owned by non-Afrikaners who already oppose apartheid. Mining interests are particularly invulnerable to sanctions, since South Africa is the sole source outside the U.S.S.R. for many critical industrial materials.

Immoral? Divestment is economic terrorism: A direct attack on an innocent third party in order to indirectly influence the behavior of the true target. Palestinian terrorists and divestment advocates share the same problem. They don't have the power to directly attack their real target. So they vent their anger on whatever is available--airliner, cruise ship, or conglomerate.

The biggest victims of divestment are South Africa's blacks. Not only will they lose their jobs with American firms, but local companies will probably fire their black workers to make room for laid-off whites.

P.A. McCOMBS

Thousand Oaks

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