Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 5, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
April S, 1973 THI lETHMIDOf HIRAID Liberals making an historic The Uganda affair By Louii Brt'ke By Norman Cousins, in the Los Anfdes Times The debate over the rehabili- tation of Vietnam makes for an interesting reversal of roles be- tween the president and a largo segment of the American liber- al community. The president, who has taken pains to identify himself as an arch conservative on the is- sue of government spending for social purposes, believes the United Slates has a commit- ment to rebuild Vietnam on a large scale. The Libard position has turned "hard" on Vietnam. In and out of Congress, liberals now declare that our first obli- gation is to ourselves. They contend that if we have any money for rebuilding cities, the money ought to go into Ameri- can cities. Scarcely a city in the United Spates, they con- tend, is not now in drastic need oi new housing, new schools, new hospitals, new recreation centres. It seems to me that liberals are making an historic m i s- take in juxtaposing a far-reach- ing rehabilitation program for Vietnam against America's own needs. By telling; the American people they have to choose re- tween bombed cities in Viet- nam and run-down ci'ies in America, the liberals are set- ting up a false choice. Our obligation to Vietnam stands by itself. For almost a decade, the United States has been engaged in an undeclared war in Vietnam. We made it appear that we' went into Viet- ncm to uphold the principle of self-determination. The histori- cal record shows that precisely the opposite was true. Under the terms of the Geneva agree- ment of 1954, the poiiiical future of Vietnam was to be deter- mined in free elections. But the United States intervened to prevent those elections, as ue learned from the Pentagon Pa- pers and from the memoirs of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. The reason for the interven- tion was that we feared the re- sults of the elections would be inimical to U.S. foreign policy. We were also a silent partner to the assassination of Presi- dent Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam. The United States dropped more explosives on Vietnam both north and south than were rained on all the cities of Europe during the Second World War, including the blitz of London and the air raids over Berlin. The legacy of ths bombing is some 23 million craters. The fields of Vietnam have been defoliated by chemical poisons. The homeless people of South Vietnam alone now number close to three million. No documented figures have bsen made for North Vietnam, but the number could be a million or more. The essential question for the American people today has nothing to do with dollars. Nor should it have anything to do with politics. The essential question is a simple one: What is owing to the Vietnam- ese? Is it beyond the imagination of Americans to know what it is like to have your village or your home bombed or burned out time after time? we no idea of what it is like to huddle in terror in muddy dug- outs wbTe dynamite rains from the sky? The ordeal of the Vietnamese people has bean going on for more than 30 years. There has bsen almost no respite from war for as long as most Vietnamese can re- member. Before the Americans it was the French and before the French the Japanese. If it should be argued in Con- gress that the United States should not initiate a rehabilita- tion program by itself, and that we should press mightily to enlist the widest possible par- ticipation from other nations, especially France and Japan, then it is a valid point. There Is no reason, in fact, why the United Nations should not be engaged in a mobiliza- tion of mercy in Vietnam. But the notion that the Am- encan people can now turn Book Reviews from Vietnam is no less shattering to American values than the war iteelf. We need not make a choice. It is within our capacity both to rebuild Vietnam and to re- build America. Those who con- tend we must do one or the other insult both our common and our moral sense. Sickening, frightening "Acapulco Gold" by Edwin Corley (Dodd, Mead tand Company Limited, 328 pages, If you think the life of an advertising executive is a diag, you are almost right; if you think he gets away with everything, you might be wrong unless you are Mike Evans. He is young, successful, and heads the department responsi- b'e for preparing advertising to push the sale of marijuana cigarettes. The taboo on mari- juana is expected to be lifted by the upcoming inaugural speech of the newly elected president of the United States. Mike and his staff work fe- verishly, almost fanatically, to prepare the kind of advertising would appeal to all classes of society, hopefully to influ- ence them to become addicts, legally. It is expected to be big business. The philosophiz- ing about the usefulness of marijuana is preposterous and sickening, the greed for profit and power at the expense of poi- soning a society frightening, to say the least. While the argument prevails over the different grades of the cigarettes, some of the huge expense account is used up. Mediocre bosses spend lavishly on mediocre girls. They are dwarfed by ideas too big for them to handle properly; so they make a proper mess of it. Frequent resort to trite sex- ual action is used vainly to give the whole an appeal of some kind. The book is definitely too long for what it has to say. The disturbing feature of a great deal of today's literature is truly demonstrated in this novel with its vulgarity of language and thought: a trend, not towards beauty but to decay of art in particular and expressive language in gener- al. But don't take my word. Per- haps if you decide to read it, you will disagree with me >ou might even like it I didn't. HANS SCHAUFL For flat land fanciers "Floor of the Skv: The Great Plains" lw David den (Sierra Club, SI9.75, 128 pages, dis- tributed by Clarke, Irwin and Compapy I am a flatlander by birth and rearing and thus feel the attraction of the great expanse! so well conveyed through the photography of this book. I COT (Of 1973' Vega... duality built iit Cemsda by General Motors wifis coveted Magazine Awards for third year in a row. 1971-Motor Trend "Car of the Year" and Driver Best Economy Sedan Station and Garage Management "Easiest sub-compact to service." and Driver Best Economy Sedan 1973-Motor Trend Economy car of the year GT HUTCH Available for the VEGA HATCHBACK idea] for camping think I would like to have this book around to pick up occa- sionally for the serenity the pictures bestow on me. The text is a different mat- ter. It is well written to be sure, but it is disturbing because it is a chronicle of the rapacious- ness of man against a land- form and its natural inhabi- tants which is alarming. Of course, the Sierra Club can be expected to take a sombre view the exploitation of the en- vironment dedicated as it is to conservation. Nevertheless, the dismal review of abuse is no exaggeration; it is simply a dis- tillate of history some ts- pects of it, such as the deple- tion of the soil, being all-too- familiar to me and others of sny vintage. In his introduction, editor-in- chief John G. Mitchell speaks of the plainsmen who are "en- vironmental psychopaths." They are those who shoot every- thing that moves; overgraze the pasture land: employ farm- ing methods that are destruc- tive; and so on. Plowden fleshes out the picture with an histori- cal review that includes a sec- tion on the removal of the In- dians which is quite devastat- This is an American book, of course, it deals with the great plains that lie below the border between the 98th meridian and the Rocky Mountain wall. Not all that is described applies to Canada but there is enough that is parallel to make us un- comfortable. DOUG WALKER Books in brief "The Story of Pearls" by Shohei Shirai. (Longman Can- ada Ltd. 130 This book interested aie be- cause pearls, even cheap imi- tations, are in every woman's jewel box. When I was small, I had a tiny little pearl in a ring given to me by my uncle, vho told me to always be on the look-out for its match in the oysters we ate from time to time. I didn't like oysters, but I kept looking for pearls. This book traces the history of !hc pear] from ancient times to the vast pearl culture business of this present day. It's very informative and lib- erally endowed with good glossy pictures. MARGARET LUCKHURST "TTwmas Dalies in Earl? Canada" fc> R. H HnMianl. credit or recognitJon. He was also prob- ably western Canada's teading authority en the life history of the moose and carried out detailed and exhaustive research on this big animal finding out much that is still considered authoritative. When talked at Ms yammer cabin m Crock, be was very bitter about policy of the B.C. Fish md WOdliie Brandi authorized to open, the season on cows. "These people don't know what they are doing" be said. "Open season on cows with roads being pushed into every corner of the country will result in wiping the moose out Give us a hard winter on top of it aad the moose haven't got a chance." He went on to damn the biologists, lay- ing all the blame at their feet a part of his argument I could not altogether agree with, for I knew some of them were good conscientious men. But they were under- staffed and working with ridiculously low budgets to carry out adequate research over the vastness of British Columbia. Consequently, they were resorting to far too much guesswork. His prediction came true in 12 short years a prims example of badly man- aged land use and pox appreciation of environment a kind of mismanagement which we Albertans can observe with the certain knowledge that we are travelling the same road unless we move quickly to right some of our mistakes. We too are failing to see that opening wild country with a network of access roads is putting undue pressure and stress on wildlife with which it can't adjust or cope. We are seeing at present the signals of conditions that could decimate our deer. elk and moose populations to the point where recreational hunting wOl be enjoyed by a very few under a tight draw system for licenses. Already elk are changing their wintering range habits to country not nearly so suitable or desirable. We are ateo to sec erosion problems due to 'no-cansoCTXf buBdozsr jnentality', that will ultimaleily wreck the spawning beds of some of the finest trout streams in the province. t'nkss -we toko strong immediate to protect our -saltTsbeds and big game ranges witfrn len years we too wflJ see oar beautiful province suffer the same ugly sterility as parts of British Columbia. All kinds of wildlife and fish will be but shad- ows of fanner abundance purple shad- h the twilight oJ our history. Laci of aaferstaadmg aad greed is no excuse.