Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 26, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, February 26, 1975 Aid to Cambodia would be disastrous A bankers9 boycott An Arab economic boycott of businesses with ties to Israel has been in effect for about 30 years without any great consequences, that situation has changed how that the Arab world has suddenly developed economic clout. The latest evidence of this has been the dis- closure of an Arab blacklist of banks with Jewish connections. Five major international banks have been excluded from participating in bond issues in which Arab banks are taking part as co managers; This has been known for about a year within banking circles. Only recently, however, have the so-called Zionist banks also been exclud- ed from participating as underwriters, which means that they cannot get the same favorable terms as the 100 or 150 banks that normally underwrite such loans. This exclusion of Jewish banks from the international capital market has led to a furor in the banking industry which even Arab bankers would like to see abate. They are reportedly willing to retreat to a position of unwillingness to participate with the blacklisted banks as eo managers of loans but willing to sell them bonds. This step should meet the objections of the Jewish bankers. The boycott has not been absolute, par- ticularly where investment managers have been steadfast against Arab pressure or where Arab national interests superseded anti Israeli interests. This is one reason the Arabs do not like the spotlight of publicity focused on their activity. However, some merchant banks have apparently looked on the blacklist as an opportunity to pick up governmental and corporate clients who traditionally did business with the Zionist banks. Kleinwort Benson, a London merchant bank which is arranging a million loan for Marubeni, a Japanese trading company, has given its word, for in- stance, that the five blacklisted banks will not be included in the underwriters. The director of the Banque Arabe et Internationale d'Investissement said in Paris recently that "most lead managers are happy to exclude Warburg and Rothschild from competition. They all did it with no hesitation." While the Arab attitude can be thought of as anti Israeli, as much as anti Semitic, and can be excused to that ex- tent, the merchant bankers who ac- quiesce in order to further their. own business have no such excuse. More madness In the past year a new term has entered the vocabulary of chemical war- fare the "binary bomb." This bomb contains not one but two chemicals, each essentially harmless when separate but deadly when mixed together in flight. It is considered, by military strategists in the U.S., to be preferable to existing nerve gas, which is a single chemical that kills instantly and makes storage a constant hazard. It is an indication of the level of insani- ty at which military planners operate that the safe storage feature of the binary bomb is a strong selling point in its favor. Like air conditioning in the control room for a gas execution chamber, it makes death easier.to deliver. Nothing is more dangerous to civilization. Last year, the U.S. Congress killed a request from the U.S. army for funds to'" load artillery shells with binary nerve gas. This year the army has again re- quested funds to dp so. In addition, the U.S. navy and the U.S. air force have submitted budgets to develop the new binary nerve gas bomb. This news will surprise everyone who thought that fears of chemical warfare RUSSELL BAKER Congress in Disneynam NEW YORK The administration is try- ing to get a group of Congressmen to go to Vietnam and discover that American policy there is sound. It is a routine that was developed in the. early Johnson period. Whenever, as now, Congress threatens to balk at financing our various wars out there the administration transports a group of them to Vietnam to ad- mire our policy successes on the scene and bring back a rosy report. If the group ever gets off the ground, it won't see the Asian Vietnam, of course. Nobody very important has been allowed in there since 1967. In that year the government realized that the whole thing might collapse at any moment, and naturally it did not want to lose a lot of Congressmen who had been sent there to see how splendidly the policy was succeeding. The National Security Council decided it would be safer to demonstrate our Vietnam successes in a less troubled setting. It called in the creators of Disneyland and had them build a brand new Vietnam on the outskirts of Rockville, MD. There is where Congressmen signed on for administration tours go when their plane leaves Washington. They fly to New York, spend two days in one of the Kennedy airport holding patterns, and then land at Rockville where briefings begin immediately. The man who plays President Thfeu at the. Rockville Vietnam is a retired actor named Slim Sensenbaugh, and I asked him recently what sort of policy successes he would show the visiting Congressmen. "It'll be a little different from the old days when we used to get Bob McNamara and Gen. Max Taylor up here in Sensenbaugh explained. "In those days we gave them a simple rosy outlook briefing. All they wanted was enough to be able to go back and say there was light at the end of the tunnel if we just had the patience to spend a few billion more dollars." Nowadays the situation is different. There is no hope that Congress will send billions to Vietnam this year. Professor Kissinger will be happy if he can get just a few hundred millions. "For this kind of Sensenbaugh said, "We'll show them.evidence that the other side is determined to humiliate the United States by crushing us, but that we can hang on if Congress will come across with a trifling three or four hundred million." I asked to see some of the Rockville Viet- nam's devices for persuading Congressmen, and Sensenbaugh took me to a large well lit room full of writers. "These writers are mostly old fiction writers from dead magazines Collier's, the Saturday Evening Post, Sensenbaugh said. "Right now they are all busy composing captured enemy documents that will prove to Congressmen that the Communists believe the United States is too cheap to keep up the good fight." He showed me a freshly inked captured enemy document. "Top secret from it said. "Unless the Congress of the United States gives Professor Kissinger 300 million right away, communism will triumph by springtime." A writer handed Sensenbaugh a draft and asked -what he thought of it. It said, "Top Secret and eyes only to our brave captured soldiers if Kissinger gets the 300 million from Congress it's curtains for communism in Asia." "A little obvious for my taste." said Sensenbaugh, "but a Congressman should love it." I asked Sensenbaugh if visiting Congressmen ever asked to see some cap- tured enemies. "We always keep a large cast of captured enemy soldiers in case they he said, showing me a compound where a large cast was practicing looking captured and hostile. "It's the chorus of the Metropolitan he said. "They always need the money." Don't visiting Congressmen ever object to being sent to the Rockville Vietnam? The only Mac who ever objected, said Sensen- baugh, was George Romney. He came back from Rockville saying he had been "brainwashed" and everyone became so angry that Romney had to stop running for president. "He had broken the rules of the suggested. "It wasn't said Sensenbaugh. "Everybody saw Romney was a dangerous man when he admitted we brainwashed him here at Rockville. A guy like that could have gotten the whole country trapped in the quagmire of reality. What's more, Congressmen might have had to start going to the real Vietnam again. We could lose a lot of Congressmen that way. By Tom Wicker, New York Times commentator NEW YORK Why doesn't Secretary of Defence James R. Schlcsinger go on televi- sion and try to sell the Brooklyn Bridge? That would be easier and far more honest than trying to sell the shabby proposition that if Cambodia goes it will be both a disaster for the United States and the fault of the Democratic Congress. Schlesinger said on ABC's "Issues and Answers" that if Congress.did not provide million requested by the Ford administration for military aid to the Lon Nol government, Cambodia would "absolutely" fall to the Com- munists. Maybe so, although scare talk out of the Pentagon is cheaper than the dollar. What Schlesinger did not say, although he knows it perfectly well, is that if Congress does put up the million, Schlesinger and the ad- ministration will be back next year for more, probably much more, since a hundred times will not bring an anti Communist victory in Cambodia, anymore than such sums brought an anti Com- munist victory in Vietnam. There is a great deal more that Schlesinger did not say, although he probably knows most of that, too. He did not say, for the most egregious example, that the real dis- aster is that of the gentle and unwarlike Cambodian people, whose country and civilization are being savagely blown apart by a war that the Ford administration, like the Nixon administration before it, seems to see only as an instru- ment of policy. But those are or were real Cambodians bleeding and dying and watching their homes and children destroyed. Schlesinger did not say that if Cambodia is really about to fall to the Communists, two successive administrations which in foreign policy and national security affairs are really the same have no one to blame but themselves. While it is not as yet clear to what extent the Nixon administra- tion participated in the overthrow of the Sihanouk government, there is no doubt that the Lon Nol coup was at least encouraged from Washington. And it was the American invasion of Cam- bodia from South Vietnam in May, 1970 that brought full scale war to a country that had been at peace. That war, and the continu- ing American backing for Lon Nol, has not-rescued ..Cam- bodia from the Communists but made it far more likely if Schlesinger's warnings have any validity that Cambodia will be taken over by the Com- munists. Nor did the Cambo- dian war have any useful effect on the war in Vietnam, had been put to rest by the Geneva protocol, ratified only last December by the U.S. Senate. However, via this protocol, the U.S. joined other military powers only in giving up "first use" of chemical warfare weapons. The protocol does not restrict research, production and stockpiling of these weapons for pur- poses of retaliation against such attack. This is a further illustration of applied insanity and demonstrates that military strategists are as adept at finding loopholes as tax consultants. It is also depressing evidence of the inability of national governments to trust each other. Signing the protocol was hardly more than a charade. It really doesn't strain credibility to believe that, if they were neighbors, any individual American and any individual Russian, to make the obvious pairing, could learn to trust each other or at least to recognize that their common interests should limit their expressions of animosity. And yet, the problem of translating this reservoir of good .will or common sense into national policy seems practically impossible, regardless of political systems. It is an inability on which the world may founder. despite the inflated claims made for it by Richard Nixon and other such statesmen. That war has done little but ruin Cambodia, slaughter Cambodians, absorb American resources, and blacken this country's once good name in a way not even South Vietnam could quite ac- complish. Fortunately, there are numerous members of Congress who know all this and more and who are not likely to be frightened off by the implication that they will be held responsible by an out- raged America if Cambodia goes Communist for ex- ample, Vice President Rockefeller's recent warning that "we know where the responsibility will lie" if Congress does not honor what he called a "moral com- mitment" to further military aid for South Vietnam. (In fact, no one should be sur- prised, if Congress refuses the aid request, to find that the Pentagon has enough money and material in its pipelines and .hiding places and gobbledegook accounts to keep the war going right along in both Cambodia and South Vietnam.) But even if the Schlesinger Rockefeller scare tactics don't work, the military aid struggle discloses a sad and rather ominous state of mind at the top of the Ford ad- ministration an un- willingness-to admit error, a 1 dogmatic anti communism, an affinity for military force, a mindless persistence in out- moded or discredited slogans, an inverted sense of priority, a myopic perception of domestic political reality, and an utter callousness to the human consequences of lofty policy decisions. If there ever was any validi- ty to that fear of an outraged and vengeful public, it was when a huge American army was committed to battle and the national honor was loudly proclaimed at stake. No such army is now engaged, and so little American honor can be found amid the wreckage and corpses of Indochina that to invoke it now mocks history. A moral America must support the fight By William Safire, New York Times commentator WASHINGTON. A Com- munist rocket, fired with the intent of killing civilians in the capital of Cambodia, exploded in a school and slaughtered a score of children. Shocking pictures of the bodies of the children appeared, on nightly televi- sion news and on front pages, bringing all the horror of war once again into the American living room. Had the rocket been supplied by U.S. aid, or fired by recipients of U.S. aid the anguished uproar would have been heard in the halls of Congress and in every cranny of the land to "stop the killing" and deny the murder- ing attackers one more round of ammunition. But it was a Communist rocket, financed in Peking or Moscow and launched by the Khmer Rouge, who are trying to overthrow a non- Communist government. Therefore, 'after a humanitarian wince of pain, the reaction here is muted. We shudder and turn away. 1 That .is because we are bored with Southeast Asia's endless by our inability to end it'once and for all; a large Congressional group now seriously proposes to let it end by cutting off supplies to our allies so that they will lose and be quiet. They tell us that our allies are at.fault for the killing that comes with their continued resistance to overthrow; that our word is our-bond is our bondage, and the. United States is somehow to blame the continuance "of war- fare, since we are unwilling to dictate a surrender; that our allies are more evil than the enemy they are fighting. That final assertion that President Thieu is a "corrupt dictator'' unworthy of our aid is made by longtime Doves with a vested interest in his downfall. Because they predicted his collapse the mo- ment we pulled our troops out of Vietnam. But there he stands, two years later, an ob- stacle to takeover by North Vietnam and worse yet a reproof to those who were so certain he had no indigenous support. One basic fact stares us in the face; there are no South Vietnamese troops killing anybody in North Vietnam; thero are plenty of North Viet- namese troops fighting today in South Vietnam. It is still the South that is defending itself from sustained attack from the North. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Sharing wealth equitably A certain politician recently claimed in a commentary on sharing the social wealth that before we can see the just society in terms of material wealth, the upper and middle classes must learn to permit more of their share of the wealth to reach the lower class of about 20 per cent of the populace. I find the unmistakable im- plication here to be more interesting for this person im- plies that about 80 per cent of the present population right- fully owns most of the wealth. 'He, like too many others, including union leaders, ap- parently believe that the material wealth around today is the consequence of human labor- mainly and is a gross abberration of fact and truth. This is simply not true when in fact the main reason that we have what is often called the affluent society is attributable mostly to the ingenius machines which toil day and night in the industrial centres of the continent. When machines produce the bulk of the material wealth no one class in society has right- ful claim to ownership of all of this material wealth. I am not implying that all of this material wealth be shared equally through in- come but I resent it when the attitude is taken by politicians .or anyone else that when somewhat more of this wealth trickles down to the lower classes, and mainly through government actions, this class must be obligated to the. com- passion and generosity of the upper 80 per cent who, wrongfully in my analysis, lay claim to most of the wealth. A more equitable sharing of this wealth would be more an act of sagacity, for gross ine- qualities cannot be expected to be endured without end. The history of man's behavior reveals that sooner or later violence is used as a last resort to reduce the hated inequalities of great magnitude which if nothing more are debasing to the dignity of man. LLOYD WEIGHTMAN Lethbridge Typing omission Forget about that, says a weary majority; America did its bit. If the South Viet- namese cannot defend themselves by themselves now, we cannot be expected to support them forever. That goes for the Cambodians as well. Foolishly, responsible of- ficials in the United States repeat the light at the end of the tunnel argument; just another year's aid, just a billion or so more and we'll win. That's nonsense. We should know by now that Communist aggressors, financed and supplied from outside, are prepared to fight on for decades until they win. The non-Communist majority in those countries seem prepared to fight on just as grimly for just as long. Provided we match the supplies from outside, our allies may be weary, but they are not bored; shall we now tell them we are no longer willing to match the Soviet contribution to their enemies, and they should plan for defeat? If we do cut off supplies and let the Communists win, save a billion dollars a year and more, for many years; that's good. Next we will tell the world that we will not help an ally defend itself from Com- munist takeover for longer than one decade; that's not good. Moreover, there is the possibility that we will be em- barrassed by the severity of the local consequences of Communist victory. This is that hoary chestnut, the "blood bath when Nelson Rockefeller rais- ed it recently, he was roundly denounced by people who are absolutely certain that no wholesale executions will follow the Communist victory. Such certainty must be com- forting, since it runs contrary to much experience. The reason why the United States should continue aid to people fighting Communist takeover is because we are on the side of human freedom. Not because we lost men in or because the Congress authorized it; or even because our support tells the world that our word to our allies is as least as good as the Soviet's word to their allies. Why are we so afraid to assert that what we are doing to help others defend themselves against Com- munist sponsored aggression is the right thing to do? Costly, painful, nerve- cracking, ancj when Thieu jails journalists, infuriating but essentially moral. The measure of our success is not in making peace, since the Communists want victory and not peace, but in helping our allies to continue to resist as long as the pressure is on. As Sen. Jackson begins to waffle on Vietnam, just as Sen. Percy finds it expedient to waver in support of Israel, we ought to ask ourselves what kind of a people we are becoming. Do we stand ready to help allies help themselves, or do we let them go hang after a certain length of time? Much more is at stake here than the fate of one regime, or the expenditure of hundred millions, or the justification of past positions. Either America will remain a strong force against worldwide totalitarian coer- cion or she will turn inward and head downward. Permit me to mention that at the commencement of paragraph 4, of the University of Lethbridge Aperture column, (Feb. 15, New thresholds of due to a typographical omis- sion on the part of the univer- sity's information services of- fice, the meaning conveyed differs substantially from that intended. The desired mean- ing becomes clear if this paragraph begins as follows: By definition, an atonal composition is character- istically not in a particular "key." Music of earlier such as Bach and Beethoven Is of course in various keys (one key at a time) and is organized ac- cording to the principle known as a principle of "musical gravitation" relating tones of a piece to a single tone or "tonal centre." KENNETH L. HICKEN Associate Professor of Music UofL The Lethbridge Herald 504 7lh SI. S. Lelhbridge. Alberta LETHBRIDSE HERALD CO. LTD. Proprietors and Publishers Second Class Mail Registration No. 0012 CLEO MOWERS. Editor and Publisher DON. H. PILLING Managing Editor DONALD R. DORAM General Manager 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"