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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 2, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta Thursday, January 2, 1975 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 5 1974, the year of increasing perils 1 By Dr. I. J. Adel-Czlowiekowski, University of Lethbridge professor Two years ago the hand of the political barometer in- dicated stable, fine weather in the world. The only smoulder- ing trouble spot, the war in In- dochina, was drawing to a close owing to the Americans' unacknowledged.defeat and to the tireless efforts of two very able negotiators, Dr. Henry Kissinger and his counterpart Le Due Tho. President Nixon had declared in August, 1969, that after a confrontation between the two superpowers came the era of negotiations, and two years later promised in his report to the U.S. Congress "an international structure which could silence the sounds of war for the remainder of this century." This new American posture coincided with the broad diplomatic offensive from Moscow and aimed at the relaxation of tensions all over the world, but especially in Europe. The mood of detente was hailed by leading statesmen and their obliging political analysts, as ushering in the period of "a moderate and peaceful international system in the remaining decades of this century." However, even before a year had elapsed, the world stage, so full of hope, has been gripped by a wave of murky apprehensions and bitter dis- illusionment. The French president, Mon- sieur Giscard d'Estaing cer- tainly did not exaggerate when he said a few weeks ago that "the world is unhappy. It is unhappy for it does not know Where it is going and because it guesses that if it knew its direction, it would realize that it was rushing headlong to a catastrophe." This is a portentous statement, coming as it is, not from a professional doomsday sayer but from a seasoned politician, renowned for his calm, clearsighted mind. Indeed one does not have to look very far in order to dis- cern the obvious reasons for this unusual pessimism. Barely within the span of one year the calamities have been piling up in rapid succession: the Yom Kippur war and in its wake the energy crisis, the food crisis revealed by a considerable price increase in the wealthy countries and by a dreadful famine throughout the Indian sub continent and in Sahalian Africa, an alarming inflation in all non Communist countries combined with the collapse of the international monetary system causing social unrest and industrial strife, which appear to tear asunder the social fabric of the most stable and civilized European nations. Their bearings and nerve were already seriously sapped by an appalling debasement of moral standards and a dis- turbing decline of religious faith manifest in varying degrees in every western country. It seems hardly possible to give a detailed diagnosis of these multifarious woes. It will be sufficient to consider only a few of them. When we turn our gaze to economics it is evident beyond any doubt that the industrial countries are heading toward a serious depression, indeed we have already entered a depression. Despite repeated assurances to the contrary, the governments of most in- dustrial nations were unable to stop the decline in produc- tion and to substantially curb inflation which, if anything, has become even higher than before. To combat inflation, stern and unpopular measures are needed; above all a reduc- tion in money supply and fiscal brakes on consumption and government spending. The cure of inflation will be very painful in terms of private, personal and cor- porate incomes and employment. In recent years "slump that is, increasing unemployment and rising prices has been experienced in many countries. Current inflation was exacerbated by a sudden quadrupling of oil prices and doubling of other commodity prices which has created an unprecedented up- heaval in international trade and finances. The full economic and political effects of the energy crisis precipitated deliberately by a handful of Arab countries are as yet to be felt by all oil con- surning countries. The Economist estimates the combined deficit of the oil consuming countries in 1974 in the neighborhood of some billion, while the sum total of their gold and foreign ex- change reserves amounts to billion. It is fairly obvious that the oil consuming countries will be unable to pay for their essential energy re- quirements unless they reduce their consumption and obtain long term loans from the oil sheiks. Britain, Italy, France and Japan will have a combined trade deficit of some billion; they have borrowed billion from American banks and a couple of billions from the Arab countries which will keep them going for about a year. But they will not be able to repay these loans, and will find it difficult to get new ones. Thus, the rich industrial countries have entered a vicious circle of growing indebtedness which will augment their inter- national payment deficits froiii year to year. Simultaneously the oil produc- ing countries will not be able to absorb, in the form of im- ports of manufactured products, the equivalent of huge revenues from oil sales. These facts are well known, yet nobody is inclined to draw proper conclusions. Each government acts as if a solu- tion depended solely upon the individual country to restore a badly upset balance. Although a whole year has elapsed since the fateful move of the OPEC most oil consuming countries, including the U.S., have exhibited only their utter paralysis. Nothing came out of the American pro- ject to attain "energy independence" in 10 years. France and the U.S. are still quibbling about the best way of approaching the oil producing countries. The economic plight caused by the energy crisis appears to be bad enough. It has been, further aggravated by the food crisis. The immediate crisis in 1973 was caused by the U.S. Soviet grain deal, the biggest in history and the most upsetting one for the world grain market. The soy- bean crop failure and the drop in the anchovy catch off the Peruvian coast were the contributory causes. As a result of these unfortunate and unpredictable hap- penings, the price of a bushel of wheat went up from in 1972 to in the summer of 1973. By June, 1974 it had fallen again to averting the danger of mass starvation. Since world grain reserves have been reduced to their lowest level in two decades, the present food supply is rather precarious and the outlook for the next decade is rather bleak, and for the countries of South East Asia and Africa, which are inhabited by about one third of mankind, it is outright dis- astrous. The world food conference in Rome held last November was a failure due to the reluctance of the food producing countries, headed by the U.S., to make any firm commitments with respect to world food reserves and food assistance. The long term prospects for food production are not bad it can be expanded con- siderably, some experts say by as much as four times, provided the price of fertilizer is reduced (which is not very likely) and provided that a number of other important conditions are met. Yet whatever happens food will be scarce in the foreseeable future and the rich countries, which include the industrializ- ed West, Japan and the oil producers, will outbid the poor nations for it. Since there is only a slight chance of restoring an inter- national monetary order capable of coping with worldwide inflation and for regulating world production and distribution of essential raw materials and foodstuffs, the probability of economic chaos is very high, and this, of course, has incalculable political consequences. It is perhaps not entirely pointless to recall that the depression of the 1930s paved the road to horrible dictatorships in Europe. This time there is no dearth of potential saviours. Strong Communist parties, which exist in Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, and extreme leftist forces in Britain, are waiting impatiently in the wings for the collapse of the liberal economy and parliamentary democracy to seize power in those countries. With their active co-operation the Soviet dominance can be quite easily extended from the urais to the Atlantic coast without any need for the Soviet army to cross the Elbe River. Such are the latent poten- tialities in Western Europe, hitherto one of the most prosperous and stabilized areas of the world. The situa- tion in the other parts of the globe is incomparably worse. This will be the subject of the second article. Who is ahead in the nuclear arms race By Shaun Herron, Herald special commentator The layman may listen to politicians who issue statements about arms agreements after secret talks. He may listen to the debates that follow, when the "ex- perts" begin to analyze the statements. How much any of it means to him is a horse of a different color. How much the radio and press commen- tators know about it is a horse of that same mysterious color for what a politician means when he says the arms race has been "capped" nobody knows and President Ford, the advocate of "open government" is not about to tell. That beloved entity, "the people" is the victim of politicians and commen- tators, but in particular he is the fooled and helpless pawn of the brokers of power and the authors of press releases. He knows nothing. What exactly is it that has been "capped" in the nuclear arms race? I can't tell you for I am one of the pawns just as you are. But there is an institution in Washington, D.C. that interests itself in these high matters and, has the expert knowledge to examine and make informed statements about the facts. It is called the Centre for Defence Infor- mation, director, Rear Ad- miral Gene La Rqcque; direc- tor of research David John- son. And the centre has prepared a report for the Centre for the Study of Democratic institut'ions which makes President Ford's claim to have capped the nuclear arms race even stranger than it appears to be and more like a football player's contribution to a dif- ficult matter. The report, published less than two months ago says that "contrary to impressions created by the U.S. defence department, the U.S. has not reached a technological plateau in searching for new ways to spend billions on strategic weapons." On the contrary "it is rushing forward into new realms of weaponry that apparently far outstrip current Soviet ef- forts. In recent years, par- ticularly since SALT I in 1972, the U.S. has been deploying new strategic weapons at a pace far in excess of that of the Soviet Union." The report then goes on to list 27 vital areas in which the U.S. is making advances in weaponry that keep it far ahead of Soviet capabilities. According to the Centre for Defence Information the "Pentagon has unaccountably forgotten that MIRV was developed in the first place to penetrate a thick Soviet ABM system that has now failed to materialize... The success of the defence department in creating the myth of Soviet power and U.S. weakness has been a remarkable feat of salesmanship, made easier by the fact that the Nixon ad- ministration permitted Senator Jackson and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to dominate the authoritative interpretations of the "strategic balance." The report goes on to list the Strategic Weapons Breakthroughs in both countries from 1958 onwards. Of 19 instances the informa- tion centre claims, the Soviets failed to make any breakthrough in 10 cases including, as an example two operational MIRV systems for the US. in 1970 and 1971, but still no operational MIRV system for the Soviet Union as of 1974. "The Soviet Union does not have any operational MIRVed the report claims. "Recent information in- dicates that the Soviets are still having difficulty master- ing the very complex MIRV technology and may continue to have important reliability and operational problems even after they commence to deploy MIRVed missiles. The United States, now moving to MARV and other new ad- vances in strategic weapons, again leaves the Soviet Union struggling to catch up to something the United States has already moved beyond." If this information is cor- rect, it makes it rather dif- ficult to believe that there is any danger of great power nuclear war, since it would obviously be over very quickly. "The United States is much advanced over the Soviet Union in the technology for protecting its strategic submarines and in capabilities for-carrying out anti submarine warfare "When the Soviet Union counts up possible enemies with nuclear weapons that could attack it, it must take account of the United States, China, Britain and France as well as the fact that it has hostile countries adjacent to it "The United States has almost four times as many strategic bombers as the Soviet Union (496 versus 140) to and is moving quickly develop a new model. "The United States has about 650 aircraft in Europe and Asia and on aircraft carriers that can deliver nuclear weapons on the Soviet Union or China. The Soviet Union has no such 'fourth strategic force' for threaten- ing the U.S. It would seem that the Soviet Union has the strongest reasons for wishing some form of arms limitation and more grounds for concern about the arms race than has any.other country. The infor- mation, from an expert, in- formed and independent Washington source, has more credibility than it would have coming from any other source. It suggests that perhaps the possibilities of secure peace are more promising than we have been led to suppose. It also makes the debate on Canadian -defence policy oddly beside the point and almost comic in some of its aspects. The report quotes Secretary of State Kissinger: "What in Book review the name of God is strategic superiority? What is the significance of it politically, militarily, operationally, at these levels of numbers. What, do you do with He said, the report goes on, "Throughout history, increases in military power however slight could be. turned into specific political advantage. With the overwhelming arsenals of the nuclear age however, the pur- suit of marginal advantage is both pointless and potentially suicidal. Once sufficiency is reached additional in- crements of power dp not translate into usable political strength." Perhaps this is what Mr. Ford achieved in his summit conference: Perhaps some of the immense amounts of money the United States is still spending on over suf- ficiency of armaments is to be turned to more useful objec- that fulfil more pressing human needs? Or must it still be yesterday's wars with tomorrow's weapons? Educating a safe physician By Norman Cousins, editor of Saturday LOS ANGELES The stated purpose' of the new medical school of the University of Missouri at Kansas City is certain to provoke sharp controversy in medical circles. That purpose is nothing less than the "education of safe physicians." Many doctors will doubtless object to what they believe is the implication that their profession may not be entirely "safe." Dr. Grey Dimond, provost of the UMKC medical school, is aware of these protests from within his profession, but he is holding his ground. He believes that nothing is more important in the education of young doctors than to give them the fullest sense of their power to do un- intentional harm. What kind of harm? Begin with the vast array of drugs available to the modern physician. These drugs do the job assigned to them but they can create other problems. For example, the standard drug used to keep blood clots from forming carries with it the serious risk of causing internal bleeding. Some doctors use this drug in heart cases as a routine measure without adequate regards for the unintended effects. Tranquilizers, used so effectively in the treatment of mental disease, are being used increasingly in all sorts of cases that fall far short of mental illness. These drugs can depress the bone marrow, produce Parkin- son's disease-type symptoms and create dis- orders of the nervous system. Many people have a poor tolerance for even mild drugs. Not all physicians, however, attempt to ascertain the degree to which in- dividual patients may be allergic to their prescriptions. Some patients develop painful symptoms more serious than the symptoms the drugs are supposed to correct. The drug Butazolidih, for example, generally prescrib- ed for the relief of serious arthritis, car. create deep internal disturbances as well as an intensification of the original symptoms. fn general, it is a mistake to regard pain- killing drugs as harmless. Even aspirin has been described in recent medical research reports as a powerful drug that can cause internal bleeding even in small dosages. Medical journals have also reported the startling findings that aspirin tends to break down connective tissue and thus complicate the very arthritis it is supposed to treat. To a large extent, physicians are pressured into writing prescriptions by their patients who tend to feel they have not been properly treated unless they can carry away a little piece of paper with medical notations. Patients have to be educated in the fact that the doctor who does not write a prescription may be acting in their best interests. The best doctors are those who can distinguish between the many cases that are readily handled by the body's own apothecary and those cases that require heroic intervention. The doctor's most important function, therefore, is to determine the capacity of a particular patient to contribute to his own cure, as well as to inspire the patient with confidence whenever strenuous measures are absolutely necessary. The oldest rule of the medical profession is the Latin admonition "Above all, do no harm." The new range of drugs and devices is now putting, that admonition to its sternest test. That is why the kind of program now be- ing pursued by the University of Missouri medical school at Kansas City carries with it so much promise for the public health and safety. Far from being offended by the stated pur- pose of Dr. Dimond's program, the medical profession should regard it as a banner of which they can be proud. Those preconceived notions By Michael Rogers, Herald staff writer Prejudice. It's a strange word. The Concise Oxford Dictionary says prejudice is a preconceived opinion, bias, (against, in favor of a person or But I'm not prejudiced. And anyone who is, is a fool. If you look at it, prejudice is a narrow minded generalization. Some say it comes from ignorance and I suppose it does but not all the time. All blonde women are dumb and whatever that means. All men with blue eyes are egotists, and all men taller than six feet are male chauvinist pigs. They may be, but all tall women who aren't very good looking are women's libbers and all libbers are that way because they can't get a man. All fat women have a problem and all women shorter than five feet-five inches are the "feminine type" who want to marry. We must not forget women with red hair they all have terrible tempers and all women with brown hair are whatever that means. All women with black hair are mysterious. All old maids are frustrated and all librarians, regardless of sex, are typical whatever that means. Everyone who wears glasses is more intelligent than those who don't and all women who wear glasses are sexier than those who don't. All people with small eyes are suspected criminals. Everyone who drives a red or orange car is an exhibitionist with an inferiority complex. You can tell because they usually wear loud clothes to attract attention. All athletes are dumb sex-maniacs. The athletes are also ex- treme conservatives, especially the coaches. Every successful married businessman believes his wife doesn't understand him. All men with beards are insecure and all men with mustaches are trying, in vain, to alter their personality. All short men feel inferior. All civil servants are lazy and all newspaper people are cynics. Every police officer is power hungry and all politicians are liars. Did I forget something? Oh yes, all those Canadians who live in the Maritimes, par- ticularly Newfoundland, are dumb, backward people who can't chew gum and walk at the same timel All Ontarians are egotistical, money grabbers who want "everything" for themselves. All the rich businessmen in On- tario want to steal Alberta's oil. All French Canadians are prejudiced against English speaking Canadians. All French Canadians are separatists, too. Everyone living in Manitoba is full of hot air they talk but never do anything and they can't tell the difference between a train and a buffalo. Saskatchewan, or Saskabush, is a vast wasteland and it got that way because of the Socialists (a politician told me It's hard to say anything against Saskatchewanites because there are no peo- ple from Saskatchewan. Albertans, on the other hand, have no faults. Easterners might look on Albertans as greedy and selfish. But the Aryan Albertans know the oil was a gift from the Almighty, simply because Alberta is Alberta. British Columbians are a strange people, with hairy faces and burning feet. All of them live in the mountains and are either berry pickers or loggers. Vancouyerites believe B.C, is "God's country" but, of course, they are wrong that's Alberta. All Americans are red-neck imperialists who want to take over Canada, all Ukrainians and Polish are simple minded, Italians are eccentric garlic eating fascists, all Russians are all Britons are stuffed shirt conservatives, and all Scandinavians are sex crazed. All blacks aj-e inferior and not quite human, all Indians are drunks, Chinese and Japanese can't be trusted because of their color, the slant of their eyes, and particularly because of what they did during "the war." If you think all those generalizations about women and men, those from other provinces and other countries are ridiculous, extreme, outrageous, drastic, absurd, inane, dense, tiresome and just plain hoodwinked you're right. ANDY RUSSELL Authentic African suspense story Up to date records "Guinness'Book of Records" edited and compiled by Norris and Ross McWhirter (Guinness Superlatives Limited, 349 pages, dis- tributed by Hurtig This 21st edition of the famous record book has been completely revised and re il- lustrated, according to the preface. The member of our family who is a statistical nut, and who has compared the new edition with the previous one, says it is truly new and up to date. He is delighted with all the new records to be found in the book. DOUG WALKER "A Far Off Place" by Laurens van der Post {Clarke Irwin Company Ltd., 310 Laurens van der Post knows Africa with a deep and profound understanding of its animals and birds along with a very intimate knowledge of the spiritual and tribal characteristics of its most primitive people: the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert. Although this is a fiction story of four young people two white and two black threatened by the closing teeth of the savagery of "freedom who have ravaged the homes of Francois and Nonnie and massacred their families, it is written with grand attention to authenticity. It is a story of terrific suspense, raw physical danger and awesome endurance. Francois is a young white man of the African bush, Nonnie is a Portugese of some African exposure, and their guides and com- panions are Xhabbo and Nuin Tara of the Bushman tribe. All are accompanied by a magnificent hunting dog in a classic of human will, determined to survive in the kind of country where the effort can be utterly im- possible without knowledge of every hidden feature of it. This is a book that is a real hair raiser and I was unable to put it down till it was finished. Even though we tend to favor non fiction today, it is a joy to read well written fiction such as this, done with rare sensitivity and a passion for correct detail in its portrayal of Africa in all its natural beauty. To one who grew up devouring the works of Dickens, Kipling, Poe, Stewart Edward White, and Jack London all classic fiction adventure writers of a former generation A Far Off Place is a delight. All these former writers had something in common with van der Post; they all knew their story locations intimately and all had a fantastic command of English.1 This book describes fast disappearing features of Africa and it sheds light on the cruel contradictions of a political upheaval alleged to be dedicated to freedom, but is in reality cutting it to shreds that swim in blood. Behind the scenes is a struggle for power in which the tribesmen are merely pawns. Laurens van der Post has also written Ven-' lure to the Interior, The Night of the New Moon and The Lost World of the Kalahari. He is a master story teller and all his books are works of fine creative literary art something to be greatly admired and en- joyed. ;