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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 9, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta EDITORIALS Joyce Egginton The defoliation menace in Vietnam A fateful decision Although the Quebec government had been under some pressure, from prominent citizens, to give up the extraordinary powers granted by the federal government to fight terrorism, it decided to keep them. Application of the powers will be relaxed, however, and police will return to the use of normal procedures, "except in exceptional cases." The decision was influenced by information that "the causes and possibility of terrorism have not been completely eliminated.'' If special powers are deemed necessary so long as there is the prospect of terrorist activity, the Quebec government ought to be clamoring for legislation to replace the Temporary Measures Act when it expires April 30. "The causes and possibility of terrorism" are a long way from being eliminated. In the climate of discontent that exists in Quebec it is quite possible that eyen the retention of extraordinary powers in theory only could become a cause of rankling. Much will probably depend on how many "exceptional cases" there are for which the special powers will be employed, and how well they can be exploited by dissident elements. Those who had been advocating immediate repeal felt that the risks of provoking further disgruntlement in Quebec were not worth taking. Prime Minister Trudeau appeared to be impressed with their arguments but he chose to leave the decision in the hands of the Quebec government. That means that if Mr. Bourassa and his ministers have made a mistake, the ire of the people should be directed to them and not to Ottawa. Little comfort can be derived from the thought that Ottawa is off the hook. If a mistake has been made it will be the separatists who will make capital out of it The future of Confederation is still uncertain. Storm in the Indian Ocean Why are the Russians so intent on building up naval strength in the Indian Ocean? What are they up to? Surely they are not seeking a military or nuclear confrontation with their biggest rival, the United States? The answer is clearly political. The nuclear detente in West e r n Europe has prevented the Russians from using conventional military forces to intervene in Western Europe. It has meant that there is a political stalemate existing in that area which has stopped the Russians from using force to take over countries not already under their influence. But the Soviets have by no means given up the idea of spreading their ideology around the world whenever they see an opportunity. Most of these attempts have been directed through economic and military aid for anti-colonialist movements, and to "new" national governments. Eut they now accuse the Americans of having used direct military intervention to check "anti-imperialist" movements in several parts of the world, Vietnam being the most outstanding example. Until now the Americans have clearly had the advantage of the Russians in the network of U.S. military bases and in- stallations proliferating all over the world. America could bring her influence to bear in ways which the Russians could not match. The Cuban crisis, for instance, clearly showed up the limitation of Russia as a world power in this respect. Now, with the United States showing signs that she no longer wishes to be the world's policeman, particularly in Southeast Asia, Russia sees her opportunity to develop a world - wide naval presence, a presence which would assist her in taking full advantage of any opportunity to intervene in the internal affairs of nations where conditions would indicate a chance of success, and where the Americans would not risk nuclear war to stop her. Robert Stephens writing in the London Observer remarks that these must be "some new form of relationship between America and Russia which recognizes the inevitability of their world - wide political competition, but replaces their military competition by some co-operation in peace-keeping." And there hasn't been much indication of progress toward that "new relationship" in recent months Some kind of progress in the Middle East peace talks would be a hopeful sign. Weekend Meditation Dreamer of dreams '