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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 29, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta _ THE IETHBRIDOE HERALD Wedneiday, December 29, 1971 Joseph Kraft Why the bombs? The reasons lor the resumption of U.S. heavy bombing along the Ho Chi and 'Other supply routes arc plain. The North Vietnam- ese have been making headway into Laos and Cambodia and, according to Defence Secretary Melvin Laird, the incursions threaten the safety of lliO.OOO Americans as they with- draw from the area. Mr. Laird ac- cuses Hanoi of five violations of the "understanding" of the 19C8 bomb- ing halt. Hanoi denies any such un- derstanding. It is interesting to read of a report carried'in Pravda, the Soviet Com- munist party newspaper, published Dec. 22, suggesting that a deal has been made between Peking and Washington which would allow the U S. to step up the war in Indochina "without fciiring complications with China." There is also speculation that in return for Peking's non-inter- vention in the Vietnam conflict Wash- ington might be willing to find a formula for Chinese claims to sov- ereignty over Taiwan. It's all guesswork naturally. N o one really knows what's going on in the secret enclaves where presiden- tial decisions are made. But there is little foiestion that the Chinese are desperately worried by the Soviet pact with India, and see it as a mili- tary threat which could break out al- most any time. They are ready to go a long way in accommodating the U.S. in exchange for some kind of agreement, short of direct military assistance, which would minimize the danger. Signs are that hositilities in Laos and Cambodia may be stepped up prior to the Nixon visit, and there is bound to be a massive outcry from the American people. One can only hope that this is the storm before the calm. Mr. Nixon must be count- ing on a great diplomatic victory from his Chinese venture, to risk tiie domestic antagonism arising from the resumption of the bombing part- icularly in a close-to-election year. Signs would be a big help Driving through the parking areas adjacent to our shopping centres is a risky business demanding the motor- ists' skill and attention. In fact with cars hurtling from all directions to park as close to the stores' doors as possible it would be a distinct safety advantage if motorists had eyes in the back of their beads. During the busy hours in winter such areas are made even more haz- ardous when snow is plowed into huge piles in an attempt to keep the thoroughfares and the parking stripes visible. It would be a safety measure if the snow could quickly be hauled away. While the administrators of Centre Village Mall oblige their customers by keeping the parking area plowed, tliey have not seen fit to erect "en- trance" and "exit" signs leading on and off the grounds. This creates still one more traffic danger for if leaves the motorists in a kind guessing game, and at twilight in u heavy snowfall even those familiar with'the area have difficulty finding the unmarked ramps. It should be mandatory for all heavily used parking lots not onty to post illuminated direction signs, but also to erect intermittent warning signals cautioning motorists to drive with care. Crumpled fenders and frazzled nerves are things the motor- ist learns to endure when making use of such parking facilities. But the poor pedestrians who must uss them too lead singularly dangerous lives. They too would find clearer di- rections a decided benefit to their safety. Close relatives Ever since the time of Charles Darwin the subject of man's rela- tives in the animal world has been one of high humor or heatedness. People have tended to be either amused or affronted by the idea that man has a kinship to the apes. Now a discovery has been made by an Oxford geneticist that suggests man is more closely related to the chim- panzee and gorilla than even Darwin thought possible. Research by Dr. Peter Pearson, of the Population Genetics Unit, sug- gests that the chimpanzee and gor- illa began their separate develop- ment about the same time as man and from the same common ances- tor between five and 10 million years ago. Although the chimpanzee and gorilla have two more chromo- somes than man, the study of the banding patterns of their chromo- somes has shown that they bear an uncanny resemblance to each other. Since man hasn't learned to get along with his immediate still engaging in savage slaughter of one another it is not likely that there will be much interest taken in trying to establish rapport with these newly discovered distant relatives. ANDY RUSSELL Adventures idth cougars TVTY son, John, through the born on the edge of wile luck of being edge of wilderness coun- try and an inherited curiosity about what goes on in it, has a penchant for seeing rarities few people have the opportunity to enjoy. One (fay in mid-winter he was out alone following a creek up into a canyon on tlie edge of the rockics, when he came across fresh cougar tracks in the new snow. With his usual flare for anticipating the unusual, he proceeded to follow the tracks. They led hin: en a sinuous trail for a mile or so farther up tlie canyon until finally the sign pointed where tlie cougar had jumped up a bank before going into the thick timber. John was standing motionless wondering how far the big cat was ahead of him when he heard it call. While he listened in- tently, the call was repeated. Though Isn had never heard a cougar before, it sound- ed to him as though the animal was lonely and was seeking company. On noiseless feet, he proceeded toward the sound, Over the next hour the cougar's tracks led him on a circuitous interwoven pattern through the timber; a trail covering a lot of ground hut going nowhere in particu- lar, until he was sure the cougar wa.-i only moving enough to keep out of his way. Their the tracks led to the base of a big branchy fir tree where uncled. up, John Found himself looking into the yellow ryes of his quarry sfrctch- out on a limb only a few feet overhead. His reaction was typical. Although arm- ed with nothing more lethal than n cam- era, he just stood there looking up, com- pletely unafraid and fascinated by the beauty nnd grace of the big cat. It was a female, ho guessed, and she was obviously just as unworricd and unafraid as be. She had apparently got. tired of ramoling around and had climbed into the tree for a rest. Site was partially hidden by intervening branches preventing a photograph, so John began climbing slowly up a somewhat smaller tree close by for a better view. As he climbed, she opened her mouth to show an impressive array of gleaming teeth and hissed softly at him a couple of times, but showed no further signs of alarm. Finally John reached a place or.ly a few feet below hor, where he proceeded to take her picture. Going even closer, he photographed her again. She gazed nl him, yawned prodigiously and closed her eyes for a nap, obviously liored by the whole business. Only when John started to "limb down and made a bit of noise did she pay him any attention. He left her, still in Urn tree and unconcerned about having become a teenage photographer's model. Another day he was rambling up the creek above our ranch when he came to a place where a cougar bad killed a cow elk on the ice. It had been feeding on it some time and now new snow partially covered the kill. While examining the kill and the tracks around it, his attention was drawn to a tuft of brown fur sticking up out of the snow a few steps to one side. Going over to it, ho kicked the snow off the carcass of a wolverine, which was fro- zen stiff. He suspected it bad Iwen killed by the cougar, and subsequent examina- tion proved this to be true. Apparently sometime after the cougar had made its kill, it tad left to sleep off a full belly in some nearby thicket. Then IJifi wolverine had discovered the dead elk, nnd while it was feeding, the cougar camo back to find its cache being raided. Stalk- ing close along the top of a bank, it had jumped on the wolverine. The fight that followed was sharp, fierce and short. Tooih marks showed that the wolverine's skull had iKfcn crushed. Tlie wolverine's glossy pelt now hanRS on nir wail. American role in recent conflict inept WASHINGTON In assess- ing thi' American role in the two-week war between In- dia and Pakistan, it is neces- sary to jettison the usual ideas about cause and effect, per- formance and result. Wliat counted were luck and irony. This country's performance was first inept and then ignoble. But the end result, es- pecially if the president can disentangle himself from his own rhetoric, is not bad fi all. The inept part of the per- formance came before the war brake out. Ever since the presi- dent's chief foreign policy al- viser, Henry Kissinger, passed through New Delhi last sum- mer, Washington knew there only one sure to avert war. Thai was to prevail upon the Pakistani regime of Presi- dent Yahya Khan to free the arrested Bengali leader, Muji- bur Rahman, and open negotia- tions for an autonomous East Bengal. President Nixon assured himself leverage over the Pakistani government by maintaining arms shipments. He wrung small concessions on troop deployment and negotia- tions with lesser Bengali lead- eia. But, inhibited by me- mories of loyalty to a former partner in the old anti-Com- munist crusade, he could never bring himself to push the Paki- stanis to the point of releasing Sheikh Mujibur. Indeed, his pressure was so weak that one cynical Pakistani leader, Zitlfi- kar Mi Bhutto, who has now become president, used to won- der aloud how the United States could have so much lev- erage and get such small re- sults. The ignoble part came after the Indians, acting in cold- blooded self-interest, went to war. In a fit of petulance, the president cut off aid and sent a naval task force to the Bay of Bengal. A number of officials, acting under his orders, stig- matizect Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the Indian regime in tones fit for Hitler and the Nazis. Since nobody did anything differently as a result of all this huffing and puffing, (lie United States should logically haved sustained the kind of diplomatic defeat that comes when a great power asserts it- self lo no purpose. But what acrufJly h a p p e ned on the ground in the subcontinent, far from being a defeat, is in keep- ing with American interests. East Bengal has been the flic of an historic change- divorce from Pakistan and movement towards indepen- dent status. But ethnic and geo- graphical factors made that change inevitable anyway. So far, the cost in lives has been remarkably small. No doubt there will be more stress and larly outside the capital of Dacca. Thousands of persons may be killed and tortured for collaboration, real or supposed, with the Pakistanis. Even so, that is a relatively low figure, "No actually its diapers, talcum powder and oil." given the numbers involved. Moreover, the present leaders in Dacca appear to be sensible and moderate men. With a lit- tle help from the oustide in- cluding the United Nations and the United States they may be able to manage with mini- mum breakage an inevitable upheaval that could haves caused a holocaust on the grand scale. Pakistan has also undergone major change. Apart from the loss of territory, the military leader, Yahya Khan, has been replaced by a civilian, Mr. Bhutto, as president. But the loss of territory was almost certainly inevitable, and the replacement of an extremely stupid leader by an extremely clever one is not all bad. In India, Mrs. Gandhi's pop- ularity has soared to new heights. No doubt that will en- rage the India-haters who get their kicks by waxing wroth over what most of us take for granted namely, evidence that Indian leaders are no more pious in principle than other leaders. But the central problem of India is the prob- lem of crumbling authority. A gain for Mrs. Gandhi means that India will be that much less of a burden on the rest of the world. Finally, there is the diplo- matic outcome. Russia, having fully backed India's win, is now seen as tbs major foreign pow- er on the subcontinent. But that has been true ever since Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin pre- sided over the Indo-Paldstani Inice at Tashkent back in 1966. With Mrs. Gandhi, a truly jeal- ous nationalist, growing in au- thority, there is scant chance the Russians will derive any se- curity advantages from their favored position in Delhi. The Chinese proved unable to slop gains by their chief rivals in the north and the south. They are the big losers, and fey would have been vis- ibly isolated and paper ti- gers fcr all the world to except for American support at the United Nations. As to this country, it has un- doubtedly paid a price for Mr. Nixon's petulance. Not only does Washington look bad, but it will be harder than ever for the president to make the Con- gress cough up on aid. Still, the United States retains the eco- nomic and technical know-how which is more than ever re- quired on the subcontinent. If Mr. Nixon can get over his personal pique, American eco- nomic assistance can play a role in building stronger re- gimes in East Bengal, Paki- stan and India. That, in the long run, is the best insurance available against dramatic shifts of power adverse to the American interest. (Field Enterprises, Inc.) Paul Whitelaw Political rift in Quebec causing new problems TlfONTREAL The decision of terrorist ideologue Pi- erre Vallieres to renounce the FLQ and call for support of the Parti Quebecois couldn't have come at a worse time for Rene Levesque. In recent months, Mr. Levesque the leader of the Parti Quelrecois has been trying to play down his move- ment's radical image. He knows that his party must ap- peal to the mass of average Quebec voters if independence is ever to be achieved by dem- ocratic means. Therefore, the Parti Quebec- cois chief was understand- ably reticent when he issued a statement hailing Mr. Val- licrcs' decision as "coura- but saying little else. The support of the PQ by the radical author and accused ter- rorist cannot but hurt Mr. Lcvesque's efforts to maintain political respectability. Despite his decision to reject, the FLQ and its violent methods. Mr. Vallieres will continue to be as- sociated in tlie public mind for many years lo come with Que- bec's extremist fringe. The dramatic ideological shift of the man who wrote the best-selling book, White Nig- gers of America, was revealed in a 27-page handwritten mani- festo published in the influen- tial daily. Ix- Devoir. H had been mailed to publisher Claude Ity.in by the author, who has been in biding since mid-September to avoid a court appearance on charges of sedi- tion and counselling to kidnap and murder. Mr. Vallieres writes that, government leaders arc using terrorism as a pretext to kill off such legitimate protest groups as the Parti Quebe- cois, unions and citizens' com- mittees. He goes on to say that the only "real allernalivo" is Parti QiH'bccois. and do- Mribcs it as the "main strat- egic political force in the lib- eration struggle" of the Quebec people. "The greatest lesson to be derived from the October he writes, "is that governments aren't afraid of the the extent of whose power they know full well. They are afraid, however, of the concerted action of the PQ, the unions and citizens' committees." Mr. Vallieres' call for the use of electoral means to achieve independence is un- likely to result in an end to terrorism. But, it will un- doubtedly cause some ex- treme leftists who have so far shunned the. Parti Quebe- Flower people Jly Don Oakley, NKA service JVEAXDERTHAL men were not the loutish, brutish, apelike creatures we have long thought them to be. They may actually have been the first "flower people." Recent archeological discov- eries in a cave in a remold area of Iraqi Kurdistan indi- cate that Neanderthals were communal beings and were the first to experience the stirrings of a social and religious sense. They took care of the crippled and helpless among Iliern and buried their de id with flowers. This much-naligned group possessed very "human feel- ings to a very much greater extent than we have ever says Ralph S. Solccki, professor of anthropology at Columbia University, reporting his findings in "Intellccliial Di- gest, a new national magazine devoted to culture and ideas. So next time ynu sec a slingfiy, scraggly flower person shuffling down the street, Ihinlc before you yell Unless you want to compliment him. cois for its bourgeois methods take an active role in the party. That's the last thing Mr. Levesque wants at this time, for he is already involved in E dispute with the existing leftist faction in his movement over the direction and style of Pequiste policies. The party establishment is under increasing pressure to go "faster and according to Pierre Eourgault, the unoffi- cial leader of the radical wing. Mr. Bourgault, who is a member of the executive coun; cil, says the PQ should become involved in strikes, citizens' committees and similar activi- ties which would integrate it more into the "social reality." He also accuses Mr. Levesque of being too concerned with rc- spectabilify. However, Mr. Levesque is well aware that even though the PQ won six of it-s seven seals in the 11170 election in working-class districts, it at- tracted 23 per cent of the popu- lar vote much of it from the "respectable" middle class. The dispute came to a head after the Oct. 30 demonstration to pretest the shutdown of Prcsse, the Montreal daily newspaper. Although the Parti Quebec- cois had issued a statement supporting (he locked-out work- ers, the party executive and its parliamentary caucus decided by