Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 14, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
4-THE LEiHBRlDQE HERALD Thursday, February 14, 1974 IJHJOItlALS Detente effects on Russian dissent By C. L. Sulzberger, New York Times commentator No more MAD The acronyms of war are as predictable as the rites of spring; they simply appear a little earlier in the winter, when the U S. defence budget is being put together and it seems necessary to remind the public that war is still an instrument of national policy. The annual crop of stories about Russian military strength, replete with alphabetical combinations like ICBM, ABM and MIRV, are usually designed for U S. consumption However, the current topic of conversation among Pentagon watchers is the decision to alter MAD, which will have an effect on European security and should stimulate some creative thinking in the current round of SALT talks MAD is the policy of mutual assured destruction which originated about 20 years ago with Robert McNamara, then U S. secretary of defence. Under this strategy, the US and the U.S.S.R aimed their nuclear missiles at each other's large cities The assurance that, regardless of who started a nuclear war, civilian populations on both sides would be wiped out, was felt to be an adequate safeguard against such a war, and of course it carried with it the protection of missile sites from surprise attacks For 20 years the fate of the world has rested on this seemingly fragile but actually durable assumption Now, U.S. Secretary of Defence James Schlesinger has announced that the U S is re- targeting some of its missiles to aim them at Russian military sites. This step has produced any number of sophisticated analyses by experts proving that it is, a. foolish, and, b. wise. Critics assume that it will enhance the possibilities of starting a nuclear war and that this first strike capability will upset the delicate balance between the two nuclear giants This ignores the fact that both nations have submarine fleets roaming the world with nuclear warheads, capable of first or second strikes. Proponents see it as an assur- ance to Europe, a repairing of the nuclear umbrella, and a better deterrence to Russian invasion of western Europe than heretofore existed because the U.S. will be less hesitant to use long-range missiles in defence of Europe if they are aimed at Russian military targets instead of cities How the Russians will target their missiles is anyone's guess, until the SALT talks produce results. In a successful game of nuclear standoff, however, it is absolutely necessary that one's intentions be perfectly clear to his opponent The most poignant aspect of the whole argument over the wisdom of modifying MAD is the realization that seldom in the current spate of analyses of nuclear military strategy is there any indication that the subject matter is death. The increasing use of catchy acronyms, operation code words, and technological jargon insulates the strategists and even the executors from the horror of their endeavors and presumably enables them to retain their sanity, if that is the right word. When the manoeuvrable re-entry vehicle, an improved, expanded warhead for the Trident submarine missile system, enters production, another alphabetical toy will be placed in operation. It's a MAD, MIRV, MARV world. And anyone in Southern Alberta who thinks it is a remote world should take a leisurely drive to Great Falls, note the missile siloes, and ask himself whether their computer cards have been re-targeted or whether they are still aimed at Moscow Rethinking defence policy The Financial Post has suggested that Canada rethink its defence policy or at least acquire a clear one and then reorient its procurement strategy along lines that would favor an indigenous aerospace industry geared to the requirements of smaller powers, who are more apt to need fishery patrol planes than sophisticated submarine hunters At the moment Canada is the second largest user of light aircraft in the world and yet it manufactures none. No one is building that fishery patrol airplane and no one is making a medium range transport plane with short takeoff and landing capabilities, which would suit Canadian needs and those of many other countries around the world. Aviation production in Canada today is mainly under license, which may save development costs but does nothing to encourage Canadian design and engineering, and locks the country m to the more sophisticated defence systems for which the planes were originally designed but which may not suit the Canadian situation. As the Post story points out, in paraphrasing McLuhan, the weapon becomes the policy and a million long-range patrol aircraft may not be what Canada really needs. And a foreseeable continuing stalemate among the great powers, with possible limited wars in which Canada is not likely to commit troops, raises the additional question of whether this country really needs some of the expensive military hardware made necessary by commitments abroad. "We must have enough surveillance capability, maritime and high altitude, to know what is happening around and above writes aviation expert Kenneth McDonald. "But that doesn't require either transAtlantic range or over-the-horizon watching for missiles against which we have no defence." A reordering of defence policy along these lines would necessitate pulling out of NORAD and NATO and this would create certain diplomatic strains. But the money saved could be made available to the Canadian International Development Agency and provide opportunities for a Canadian aerospace industry geared to the present vacuum of small power needs, with ready markets around the world. There is a great deal of national pnde involved in playing with the big boys, and their toys, but this may be false pride. Smaller powers are not necessarily second rate powers, especially if they develop a real sense not only of their needs but also of their opportunities. With this in mind, the Post's suggestion is worth consideration. One Day in the Life of Alexander Solzfeenitsyn. THE HAGUE There are two theories about the effect of detente on dissident opinion in Communist East Europe One estimates that as tensions slowly ease and there is a relative increase in contacts between that area and the West, the amount and degree of dissent against prevailing authoritarian rule will lessen because the political system itself will become relatively softer The second heightened by the latest developments in the Solzhenitsyn case reckons just the contrary It calculates that penetration of democratic concepts of freedom bound to grow as international confrontations fade cannot help but promote new showdowns between independent-minded individuals and governments determined to control them Having recently discussed this subject with persons directly involved, I have been persuaded that the first, relatively easier trend, will be the initial reaction but that it will lead to a subsequent, tougher situation when states like Russia recognize what is taking place Right now it is indicated that there are fewer proclaimed dissidents inside the U.S.S.R. as a certain proportion of them lose the vigor of their stand with improvements in housing and general living conditions Moreover, their independence of mood is partly satisfied by the technological breakdown of previous barriers, enabling them to keep in touch with officially discountenanced ideas by listening to foreign radios or even telephoning friends abroad. Yet, although the quantity of is perhaps diminishing, the quality of those remaining in opposition is annealing, tempered in the furnace of oppression Two names instantly come to mind m this respect Alekandr Solzhenitsyn, the fearless Nobel prize-winning author, who now complains of "general illegality" in the Soviet Union and Andrei Sakaharov, father of the Soviet H-bomb and an internationally renowned scientist Solzhemtsyn's is that kind of indomitable free spirit forged occasionally by a brutal "Cheer up... at this rate Mrs. Plumptre and her forty thousand will soon be destitute too." World co-operation vs U.S. isolation By James Reston, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON The United States has now placed before the other major industrial nations of the world both a generous offer and a clear warning The offer is to share America's advanced technology in a common effort to solve the world energy cnsis, and the warning directed primarily at France is that isolationist or go-it- alone policies in the energy field will affect America's military guarantees and may lead to economic chaos and general insecurity "We can have no real security in the Letters President Nixon told the leaders of the major industrial "unless we are all secure and unless we all co-operate... if each of the nations goes off on its own or goes into business for itself, the inevitable effect will be this: it will drive the price of energy up, it will drive our economies down, and it will drive all of us apart. The president then made clear that the other nations could not expect the co- operation of the United States in one field if they refused to co-operate with the United VIC administration There seems to be considerable confusion regarding the administration of the Unemployment Insurance Act, this year. Possibly my experience with the UIC might serve as a guideline for future applicants. 1 was under the impression that the government had been unable to pass the legislation they brought before the legislature in order to prevent some abuses under the present act The insurance booklet that came out this year appears to be identical with last year's, but the administration of it is very different If you do not have a car, available at all times, so you are able to accept any job within a 36-mile radius of the town in which you live, you are immediately disqualified. It was suggested to me that I could use the bus, if my car was not available. The bus comes to Picture Butte once a day, at noon, and goes right back to Lethbndge afain During my Interview, I was asked what kind of a job I was looking for, and when I answered, I was told that I couldn't specify what kind of a job I was willing to taxe. When I asked what I would have to do in order to qualify for benefits, I was told that I would have to fill out a form explaining in detail how I would be able to get to this mythical job every day. In addition, I would have to interview four or five prospective employers every week, and furnish the UIC with tbeir names and addresses When I explained that I would be out of work for the months of January and February, only, the information clerk was horrified, and told me that I shouldn't even have applied for insurance, but should have gone out and found a job for myself. Apparently there is no such thing as seasonal unemployment, anymore. I wrote to the UIC man in charge of my'file requesting more information. After waiting a week, I telephoned to see why I had got no answer, and was told that be was sick, but was expected back in a few days, maybe. In the meantime, his correspondence was allowed to accumulate on his desk. They obviously didn't consider it very urgent, since it would only be some poor devil trying to collect unemployment insurance which they had no intention of granting anyway. I wonder if they are required to get a doctor's certificate saying they are really sick, as is necessary for an applicant for insurance benefits. In the seven years that I have been dealing with manpower, I have never got a job through their efforts, nor have I talked to anyone in the area who has. Furthermore, they told me they have no liaison whatsoever with the UIC. I have also noticed in the want ads, that prospective job seekers are no longer asked to refer to manpower. I wonder just what their function is. I hope this will be of some benefit to any future would-be applicants for unemployment insurance. DISGUSTED. Picture Butte States in other fields. "Security and economic considerations are inevitably linked and energy cannot be separated from either... He insisted. In short, world security, world trade, a reliable world monetary system and a fair distribution of energy were all interconnected and inseparable. He didn't go as far as to to the Allies that their isolation could revive American isolationism and the withdrawal of American troops from Europe, but he clearly implied it and implored the leaders not to put their short-term interests ahead of creating a co- operative world order. The fuel shortage has already created a mood of irritation in this country, and the isolationist impulse, as the European leaders know, is never'far below the surface. Also, after Vietnam, the troubles in the Middle East, the disenchantment with detente, the devaluation of the dollar, and the rising cost of living, the possibilities for blaming all this on other nations are obvious. The danger in France's go- it-alone policy is not that it might be unpopular in the United States, but that it might be very popular an excuse for turning the United States itself away from the expensive and intractible dilemmas of foreign policy into the simpler nationalistic policies of the past France, which has always had strong ties with the Arab world, and has just completed a billion deal with Iran which will undoubtedly assure her own fuel supplies for a while, implied that the United States was trying to "establish or impose a new world energy order" on the oil-producing states. This, Foreign Minister Michel Jobert suggested, "would inevitably lead to a confrontation or a conflict with the producing countries, and maybe with all developing countries." He bad nothing to say about the fact that the oil- producing countries had already combined to reduce production, prices and deny fuel to rations whose Israeli policies they didn't like Nor did Jobert indicate how such a confrontation could come about, since the consuming states need the oil and the producing states don't even need our luuuey. A case could be made, and the Canadian foreign minister made it, that maybe this oil conference was called too soon, without adequate preparation, and without the oil producers, thus giving the appearance of a gang-up on the producers. Still, the differences between the United States and France (and to a lesser extent with other European countries) are much deeper than the technicalities of the meeting. President Pompidou, Foreign Minister Jobert and other Gaullists still fear that the United States is trying to build a new Atlantic or worldwide political organization which would be dominated by American military, financial and industrial power. There are even suspicions in Paris that the United States would like to weaken or break up the European Common Market countries, now the largest trading unit in the world so France wants the American military shield and co-operation in the defence of Europe but does not want to get too deeply involved with the United States in energy, monetary or trade questions. Secretary of State Kissinger laid out the American offer for co-operative efforts to conserve fuel, develop new sources of energy, energy sharing, research and development, financial assistance to less developed countries and negotiations with the oil-producing nations. But it was left to the president to insist that co- operation had to be a two-way affair, and even to raise the spectre of American isolation. This was not a popular theme with the visiting officials but as the president said, the major industrial nations have reached a point where they have to work together in all these inter-related fields or watch their relations break down into even worse disorder than now exists. system seeking to squash rather than nourish a soul He has consciously looked for trouble, seemingly aware that his ceaseless championing of human rights is also his best protection because it keeps his own plight and that of others threatened with elimination constantly before the world's eye Sakharov is less flamboyant, less pugnacious, but not less courageous He has in a sense staked his destiny on the ultimate triumph of what is called ideological convergence an idea once popular in Yugoslavia which sees an eventual merger of Marxist- Socialist and Capitalist Democratic systems This seems like a gentle form of gradualism but is recognized as especially dangerous by present Soviet leaders They discount any hint of convergence and proclaim the final triumph everywhere of what is still called socialism to its Soviet practitioners Probably somewhat puzzled at the start by fierce opposition engendered by his ideas when they were first expressed in the Khrushchev era, Sakharov has felt driven to advocacy that the West should not exaggerate concessions in the name of Detente until Moscow officially eases restrictions and also slows the pace of rearming In other words, less belligerently than Solzhemtsyn's dramatic, single-handed fight, featured by unyielding attacks on the system he inhabits, Sakharov seems determined to force through the kind of convergence in which he believes, even if Moscow disowns it and Washington hasn't yet recognized its potential But, in the shadow of these two remarkable individual instances of dissidence, there seems to be a slow decline in the extent and degree of what was clearly a larger body of opposition in the U.S.S.R only a few years ago This doesn't in any way reflect genuine tolerance on the part of the government although its autocratic methods are far less drastically expressed than in Stalin's unbelievably harsh days t Rather, there is a subtler mixture of restraints, seeking to break up hostile coalitions Some groups are allowed to emigrate in small parcels Some discontented individuals have been permitted to travel abroad and in certain instances deprived of their citizenship while away Some have been internally exiled to distant villages and some restrained for psychiatric attention they didn't require Finally, the less durable resistants have sometimes softened their opposition as living standards slowly improve and automobiles, better housing, television, and even foreign broadcasts become available. External detente, if not carefully regulated along the lines called for by Sakharov, could become an enormous danger But internal detente, according to the methods described above, seeking to splinter opposition without actually destroying it, represents an undramatic but often moral danger to the idea of dissidence as expressing individual freedom Would you like scrambled for breakfast instead of boiled9 The Lethbridge Herald S Letnbrtdge Alberta GE HERALD CO LTD Proprietors Second Class Mail Registration NO 0012 CtEO MOWERS Editor and OONH PH.UNG Managing Ednor DONALDS OORAM General Manager ROY F MILES Adverttomg Manager OOUQtAS K WALKER Editorial Page Editor ROBERT M Circulation Manager KENNETH E 8ARWETT Business Manager 'THE HERALD SERVES THE SOUTH"