Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 6, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Thursday, February 6, 1975 The Syncrude solution The resolution of the Syncrude problem is wide open to criticism. It sets several unhealthy precedents. It associates government with business in a way that is not good for either. It can be considered "bailing out" the oil com- panies. It is vulnerable to shifts in world oil prices. And so on and on. But it may be the least objectionable of the several available alternatives. One of these would be to let Syncrude die. Because of the delay thus occasioned in the development of the tar sands and the impending shortage of oil in Canada, this could be much costlier in the long run. Another would be for the governments to loan the required money and thus be in a better arms-length position to police the project. But since there is a wide bu> unfounded opinion abroad that the pro ject is bound to make money, it would be politically impossible to put government money into it without commensurate government ownership. In sum, the federal and Alberta governments had-little real choice. Their decision, whatever it might have been, will have loud reverberations throughout the land for many many years. The problem is not resolved. Although the project will go ahead it will muddy Canadian politics far into the future. A good law Another challenge to the breathalyzer law has apparently been successfully turned back! An appeal of a conviction of an impaired driving charge had been allowed by a Calgary judge because the solution used in-the breathalyzer had been inadequately tested. That ruling has now been over turned by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Alberta. Possibilities exist that mechanical ap- paratus may not function properly or be adequately administered so that probably it is right that challenges should occasionally be made. But there can hardly be a fairer or more impartial method of determining alcoholic impair- ment than the breathalyzer test. The use of this test deserves general acceptance, not questioning on any kind of continuous basis. Society deserves whatever protection can be afforded by the breathalyzer law. The carnage caused by impaired drivers is deplorable and must be stopped. Only if the police are allowed to use the instru- ment approved by law is there hope of achieving that end. Sympathy is hard to muster for con- victed drivers claiming the alcoholic content of their blood might not have been as high as the testing showed. The .08 rate at which conviction is made is already generous toward the drinking driver. Most people are impaired and dangerous before that rate is reached. They are guilty of risking their own lives and the lives of others by choosing to drink and drive and ought to pay the penalties decreed for their irrespon- sibility. The breathalyzer law is. a good one. It is a relief to see it surviving the challenges made of it. Letters It's Jackson's move By William Satire, New York Times commentator Russia's divided dissidents By Dev Murarka, London Observer commentator MOSCOW' The Soviet government's rejection of the American trade bill because of its "unacceptable" condi- tion about Jewish emigration has sharpened division among the leading Russian dis- sidents. It also has destroyed .the comfortable illusion which many of them had cherished for many years: that they had only to enlist American sup- port to succeed in some of their demands. This posture began paying diminishing returns some time ago, but it was overlooked in the aura of success which seemed to envelop the Jackson amendment. Now the amend- ment has proved to be a huge- ly wasted effort and counter productive to boot. Significantly, one of the first dissidents to raise his voice against an automatic link between the dissidents and the West was Roy Medvedev. He is the author of a powerful denunciation of Stalin's terror which was published only abroad. Last week Medvedev, in a carefully worded and thoughtful statement, passionately denounced U.S. Senator Henry Jackson, accusing him of making political capital out of the emigration issue. He also repeated his argument .that change in the Soviet Union had to come from within, not through outside pressure, and warned yet again that such pressure could only damage the cause by delaying reforms. Within 24 hours Dr. Andrei Sakharov, the distinguished nuclear scientist, had issued a statement which called upon the Ford administration to continue its pressure on Moscow. But even Dr. Sakharov avoided any direct praise of Senator Jackson though he had been not only a strong supporter of the amendment, but even sought to make it tougher and more' binding upon the Soviet government. The two leading dissidents still inside the Soviet Union have thus come to represent diametrically opposite philosophies and tactics of the movement. Essentially, they represent the optimistic and pessimistic perspectives on reform and change. Medvedev, still a Marxist, believes that the Soviet Com- munist party and the govern- ment are not the em- bodiments of total evil and im- mobility. He believes that by pressure of public opinion, by quiet persuasion, the party's top hierarchy can be made to make changes. He concedes that the pace may be extreme- ly slow. But he has consistent- ly maintained that there are elements within the party and the government who are not altogether unsympathetic to demands for change, even if their vision is limited because of their experience, and these moderates should not be an- tagonized and made to adopt rigid, uncompromising postures. He maintains that this is precisely what happens when the dissidents operate (as they have tried to operate for the last decade) only through external pressure. His view apparently is that such conduct represents not only the poverty of the philosophy of some of the leaders of the dissidents, but also alienates mass sym- pathies which might otherwise be on their side. Dr. Sakharov, on the other hand, represents an essential- ly pessimistic and bleak view of the future. He cannot see how the present ruling circles in the Soviet Union can become interested in reform except through external pressure. He also contends that Moscow's need for credits and technology can be used as an effective bargain- ing counter by the U.S. to force the Soviet Union to make internal reforms. It must also be said in favor of his thesis that a large number of Jews was able to migrate in recent years only because of pressure from outside. Moreover, for a long time this view of the dissident strategy and tactics was the one which was extremely popular and which prevailed. It was also enthusiastically endorsed by the external supporters of the dissidents, who felt flattered that they were able to. bring such pressures upon such a powerful government which was really outside their control. Alas, the stage of mutual compliments has come to rather an abrupt end because of the Soviet government's action in re- jecting the American trade bill. The controversy between Medvedev and Sakharov is acute and fundamental in a relevant way. For it is beginn- ing to shift dissident opinion in Medvedev's favor to a great extent. When Medvedev, for instance, calls upon others to judge the "motives" of Jackson and to "decide to what degree the dramatic fate of the Soviet'Jews really dis- turbed Senator Jackson and to what extent he made use of the tragedy of tens of thousands of Jews in the Soviet Union to aid his per- sonal career and his doubtful political he leaves little doubt that his own verdict is extremely harsh and unfavorable. And this arouses a very sympathetic response among many dis- sidents, as well as non- dissidents, who feel rather bitter that in all the din about the persecution of Jews and their emigration rights, the real purpose of dissidence to reform the Soviet system has been overlooked. They are even resentful of the Western press to some extent because they feel that it has imposed a censorship of its own under which only the more extreme dissident sentiments are given full publicity, while other moderate sentiments are either denounced as collaborationists or ignored. The result is that, in the eyes of the Soviet public, the moderates are also tarred with the brush of extremism. Certainly, Senator Jackson's ostentatious trip to Peking last year and the reception he got there has also aroused a certain degree of nationalistic feeling here. Even dissidents are beginning to question whether Jackson is really motivated by humanitarian sentiments or purely by a desire to harm and denounce the Soviet Union. Indeed, some of them are now beginn- ing to fear that the whole emigration question may boomerang on the dissidents themselves. Therefore, by air- ing his views in public, Medvedev has expressed not only the sentiments of a big section of the dissidents: he also has tried to protect them from such a backlash. It is also clear that the dis- sidents can no longer carry on as if nothing has happened. They have to think seriously where and how they want to go next and what should be their realistic goals. Many feel that Medvedev and Sakharov, from their opposite viewpoints, are making a serious contribution to the debate .and hope that instead of splitting them, these contributions will serve to clarify the issues. In its own way this is a far more impor- tant development in the Soviet Union than anything else which has happened in recent months. WASHINGTON Toward the end of this week, Sen. Henry Jackson is expected to announce officially that he is a candidate for president of the United States. If he is to move at all, "Scoop" must make his move now, because he has recently been staggered by the most savage rabbit punch ever delivered a putative candidate, for high office. The American secretary of state, in an un- precedented political collaboration with the Soviet ambassador to the United States, has placed the blame for the collapse of detente at the door of Jackson. Most Americans think what "Dobbyssinger" wants them to think: that the insistence by the Senate that economic aid to the Soviet Union be tied to liberalized emigration policy led to the renunciation of the trade pact. Since "Scoop" Jackson led the charge for that linkage, and since he represents the most obvious threat to the Dobbyssinger foreign affairs hegemony, he was the logical fall guy. But the truth lies elsewhere. On Dec. 18, Leonid Brezhnev emerged shaken from a Polit1 buro meeting to order the publication of an earlier, secret message from Gromyko to Kissinger warn- ing that no "assurances" had been given on emigration, as Kissinger had been telling the Senate. This signalled the vic- tory of Soviet hardliners in the Kremlin, and underscored the folly of conducting foreign af- fairs between superpowers on the basis of secret agreements between men who posed as modem Metternichs. On the same day, Dobrynin and Kissinger met to work oat their mutual reaction. Their, master plan had failed; as realists, they now had to devise a scheme to enable their reputation to survive, preferably one that would blame failure on a geopolitical opponent. The instrument chosen the pretense upon which the trade agreement would founder was a Senate restriction on the amount of credit that could be extended to the Soviet Union by the export-import bank. Wisely, the Senate bill introduced by Adlai Stevenson 3D made it necessary for the president to come back to Congress as credits to the U.S.S.R. reach- ed million, which at the current pace was expected to be in about 18 months. Last year, when the idea of putting a ceiling on ex-im credits was broached, Kissinger had mildly ob- jected, but that was only because he did no.t want the Senate looking over his .shoulder; the bankers and the Soviets knew that the ceiling, when reached, would be push- ed up to meet Soviet demands when necessary in 1976. But on Dec. 19, the credit ceiling that had already been passed suddenly became to our own department of state an intolerable slap in the face to the Soviet Union. said th'e U.S. secretary of state, and caused the official State Department spokesman to twist the facts: he divided the million ceiling by four years, the length of the term, to come up with a specious figure of million per year. Officials at the Export- Import Bank were incredulous; so were other ad- ministration economists, who knew that the computation was false and that a credit line was intended to be raised as utilized. Could the State Department bo making a stupid mistake? Hardly. At year end, Kissinger told the coterie, which agrees not to attribute direct quotations to him: "The bill permits credits to them at the rate of million a year, which towards a superpower is an insult. an absurdity." Why, a logical mind might wonder, would the U.S. secretary of state insist on the world knowing that the Soviets had been deliberately insulted? Why would he interpret an action that was not considered an insult in such a way that a gullible press corps and a sensitive superpower would have to take it as a humiliation? The reason why, of course, was that a scapegoat was needed and the U.S. Senate was the scapegoat. Sure enough, a couple of weeks after being informed by the U.S. secretary of state that it had been publicly humiliated, the Soviet Union renounced the trade agreement, and -the Dobryssinger propaganda ap- parat put out the line that the Senate Jackson and the rest had torpedoed detente, despite the efforts of the peace-loving forces in Washington and the Kremlin. Actually, on Dec. 18 a day that should live in infamy the decision was made by the Dobryssinger factor to accept defeat and lay the blame elsewhere. As Jackson officially enters the list, trying to clear his head from that Dobbyssinger rabbit punch, he faces the op- position of the left wing of the Democratic party and the right wing of the Soviet Polit- buro. Waiting for him, further down the road, is the man who has shown himself daring enough to use foreign affairs leverage in domestic politics the only secretary of state under whom two presidents have served. Finding employment This is in regard to the employees who advertise for personnel to fill vacancies with their company, via the newspaper. It seems there is always a shortage of qualified people. For, of course, who wants to hire you once you're past 35, when there are so many young people just out of school. The fact remains, employ- ment seekers are reluctant to answer ads, as you seldom if ever receive a reply. After all, you only spent an hour or so writing a resume that would qualify you for the job. You have the experience and the know-how for this job. So we have to sell ourselves via the mail so we will be granted an interview. That is the idea of. it all. By some fluke of nature you are asked in. One hour later you are led to believe you do fill all the requirements and could you start Monday. This is of course Thursday. Better still, we'll give you a call on Monday for sure. Thanks for coming in. The phone call never comes. One other experience I've had as well as others I've talk- ed to is an employer saying: we are looking for older, mature type of people, married preferably, as they are more settled. We just can't seem to hold on to the younger one just out of school.' Mind you I'm not knocking the younger people, I'm just quoting bare statements from the employer. Yes you seem to fill our re- quirements, however, we have others to consider, but we will make our decision in the next few days. How soon can you start? I'll be honest with you. I do believe you are the person we want, but I'll call you tomorrow morning. But that call was never made. Of course any other job you may have considered has been lost, while waiting for this call. So you humble yourself and call the employer back. They are very sorry for the in- convenience they may have caused, but they have hired a much younger man fresh out of school, and they will take a chance on him. But we will keep you on file and perhaps later on So that's all, we'll just sit around for a couple of months and perhaps there will be another opening Lethbridge WONDERING Bigoted persecutors Since my arrival in Lethbridge some two years ago I have been waiting in vain, it seems, for some of Southern Alberta's famous Christian attitude to manifest itself. I feel it would be immoral to remain silent over the con- tinual persecution of the Hutterite communities. The bigoted, narrow mind- ed attitude displayed by these persecutors I have only seen paralled in the speeches of Adolf Hitler and leaders of the Klu Klux Klan. While I disagree completely with the philosophy of the Hutterites, only an idiot could see them as anything but the honest, courteous, hard working people they are. They are good for the land and can only have a good influence on a community seeking har- mony with nature. We should all begin display- ing some of our famous Chris- tian actions. Firmly putting these few evil minded people, who are poisoning the minds of our farming com- munity, into the very meagre perspective they deserve. Perhaps then we could all truly start to love our neighbors. G. TODD Lethbridge Gun control wrong The editorial about gun control (The Herald, Jan. 28) leaves a lot to be desired. Gun control would be wholly wrong and unacceptable by millions of gun owners as hunters and sportsmen. Shooting and hunting is a sport, a recrea- tion enjoyed by untold numbers and yet it seems that the majority of these people are silent. Everyone's thoughts are that no sucK law could possibly be passed in this free country. The Bill of Human Rights gives everyone the benefit of free choice, a freedom that does not exist in Communist countries, and therefore a Gun Control Bill Would present discrimination against all gun owners. An attempt to control guns was probably created from an increase in crime. Why not solve the problem where it ex- ists, bring back the death penalty and increase penalties for crimes committed with firearms but do not interfere with the law-abiding citizen? I feel that it is normal and perfectly justified for me to defend my sport of hunting and shooting. Otherwise. I may wake up someday stripped of my right to live and die a free man. FRANK KACSINKO Coaldale Letters are welcome and will be published providing: identification is included (name and address are required even-when the letter is to appear over a they are sensible and not libelous; they are of manageable length or can be shortened (normally letters should not ex- ceed 300 they are decipherable (it great- ly helps if letters are typed, double spaced with writers do not submit letters too frequently. Jackson amendment jeopardizes emigration By Norman Cousins, editor of Saturday Review Do I laugh when you go for a haircut? JERUSALEM Sen. Henry Jackson deserves credit for attempting to help Jews emigrate from the Soviet Union to Israel. But the result of his efforts to tie the issue of exist visas to increased trade between the United States and Soviet Union is hurting, not helping, large numbers of Jews seeking to get out of the Soviet Union. Knowledgeable Israelis to whom I have spoken here make the point that the kind of pressure ex- erted by Sen. Jackson and his colleagues, however well intentioned, on Soviet leaders to permit Jews to leave doesn't fit the needs of this particular problem. A great deal of progress has been made in the past two and a half years in getting Jews out of the Soviet Union, thanks to quiet, behind the scenes negotiations both on the of- ficial and nonofficial levels. Earlier this month, the total number of Soviet Jews who resettled in Israel reached Most of them had come since 1973. The principal reason for the success of this exodus was that bulldozer-tac- tics were avoided. The program would have failed if Soviet leaders had been forced into a position where they would have had to react against interference with internal affairs. Through patient, painstaking and adroit efforts; however, it was possible to hold serious dis- cussions on the question with Soviet representatives on various levels. A number of senators -and congressmen, prominently among them Sen. Hugh Scott (R Sen. Edward Kennedy (D Rep. Morris Udall (D Ariz.) and Rep. John Brademas (D were especially effective in their well informed talks with Soviet officials. All these efforts have now been jeopardized by the Jackson amendment. What is most surprising about the episode is that the Senate per- sisted with the Jackson amendment despite the warn- ing by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that it would almost certainly defeat Sen. Jackson's purpose quite apart from the effect it would have on U.S. basic foreign policy objectives. It is doubtful if world peace has ever been as fragile in the past quarter century as it is now. Here, in the Middle East, one has a clear sense of the extent to which a breakdown between the United States and the Soviet Union could touch off the world powder keg: Sen. Jackson's amendment has un- necessarily and, I fear, irresponsibly, damaged the chances that the United States and the Soviet Union can act jointly to head off a ghastly explosion in the Middle East. Thfc problem of maintaining world peace, of course, is not confined to the Middle East. A reversion to the cold war .could have the effect of producing dangerous flare-ups in Berlin, Central Europe and a half-dozen other crisis zones in the world. Where do we stand now? It is not going to be easy to reopen wide the exit door for Jews from the Soviet Union. Nor will it be easy to reverse the present downward drift in the relations between the two most powerful nations in the world. One hopes, however, that enough good sense and maturity can prevail in the Congress and that legislators will find a way out of the box that the foreign policy of the United States, is now in. The Lethbridge Herald 504 7th SI. S. Lethbridge. Alberta LETHBRIDGE HERALD CO. LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mail Registration No. 00t2 CLEO MOWERS, Editor and Publisher DON. H. PILLING Managing Editor DONALD R. DORAM General ROY F. MILES Advertising Manager DOUGLAS K. WALKER Editorial Page Editor ROBERT M. FENTON Circulation Manager KENNETH E BARNETT Business Manager "THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"