Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 26, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
raq sees Britain as Gulf villain Tuesday, If73 THE LETHBRIPOI HCRALD 9 Why the price difference? By Richard Burke, staff member By Gavin Yonng, London Observer commentator BAGHDAD Many Arab countries distrust or Am- erica. Most get on with Britain. Iraq remains the unfriendly ex- ception. When Sir Alex Doug- las-Home, the British foreign secretary, arrived in Teheran earlier this month to attend a meeting of the Central Treaty Organizati'Dn (Cento) under the Shah of Iran's roof. Baghdad huffed and puffed with indig- nation. Iraq will soon be richer than all the dreams of the Ara- bian Nights, matters. Arab Western relations are often dictated by the current attitudes of a specific Western country of Israel the cooler to Israel, the more the Arabs like it. And recently con- sidered to be one of the "pro- gressive" Arab States, resumed full diplomatic relations with Britain after a break that leads as far back as the Six Day War of June 1967. Will this encourage Iraq to resume the relations with Bri- tain that vsere only broken off at the end of 1971' All the signs are that the answer today is No! Top Iraqis, members of the ruling Baath Socialist freely admit to me that, all things considered, Britain's stand vis-a-vis the Arab-Israeli conflict is not improving. Am- erica's certainly is not, they say, and cannot. But Israel is not their prime concern. Iraqi eyes are fixed south and east towards the Per- sian Gulf or Arab Gulf as it is called here to Arabia and Iran much more than to the north. They see the Gulf rapidly developing, thanks to America, into an inflammable cockpit of conflict; East-West, Arab-Iranian; progressive re- actionary. They see Britain's hand in this. Dramatic develop- ments in one of the richest con- glomerations of states in the world have given the Gulf the leek of a background setting for one of the more improbable James Bond fantasies. The Shah of Iran and the King of Saudi Arabia are buying an amazing collection of ultra- modern arms, ships, hover- craft, that makes the "Gold- "Dr. Nos" and "Mis- ter Bigs" of fiction ssem puny. America has now decided to protect the huge Western oil interests in the Gulf vicariously by a massive building up of the militarv capacity of friendly stales there. The Shah of Iran made it public that he is shelling out billions of dollars in a crash program that will make his rather under trained armed forces among the best-equipped in the world. He will have the newest Phantom jets, for ex- ample, from the United States, that only Israel has been vouchsafed. He has ordered so many tanks that one doubts whether he can possibly have the men to drive them and fire them. Britain the Ira- qis note is also in on the Iranian arms market. Britain is also in on the re- markable build-up of military hardware on the other side of the Gulf, in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Here, in lands of large- ly desert populations, of illiter- acy, poverty brutally contrast- ed with soaring wealth, Britain is assisting America in provid- ing arcraft, tanks, rockets and electronic devices to King Fai- sal, a clever man in his seven- ties, who once rode with his brothers into battle on camels, brandishing swords and bolt- action rifles. Perhaps sheer cynical arms- selling could be forgiven Bri- tain by Iraqi leaders who see the point of turning a fast dol- lar and who realize that mili- tary equipment is a good profit- maker. What the Iraqis cannot overlook, however, is Britain's apparent encourage m e n t of Iran's encroachments into the "Arab" Gulf. The build-up and the encroachments are seen to be arrogantly linked. It is apparent to anyone that such encroachments have been happening and in subtle ways (like emigration) still are. Some have taken place for the same declared aim as the arms build- up: to safeguard the Gulf oil in the event that some dastard- ly Arab leftist state or move- ment might try to cut oil sup- plies to Western countries for political rasons such as sup- port for Israel against the Arabs. Specifically crticizing the British to me, Iraqis point to the Iranian takeover in 1071 of three small islands in the nar- row neck of the Gulf where on the Map Oman sticks up and seems to be reaching for the Iranian coast. Britain, the Ira- quis said, could have done something to prevent this take- over. Or at least could have made loud noises of outrage and protest and appeals to world opinion. In the event, from Westminster came a loud si- lence, or at most a sort of in- comprehensible mumbling. Why, ask the IrSqis. And their quick answer is: because Britain and America (although America is the prime culprit) are sinisterly shoruig up the Shah's Iranian Empire even expanding it as the bastion of Western "imperialism" in the area. This is not only in the inter- est of oil but in the interest, largely, of preserving those friends of the West the kings and sultans and sheikhs who rule the Arab mainland and the Gulf emirates. The Iraqi Baathists are self-declar- ed, dynamic, socialist revolu- tionaries. They do not believe in a viable future for the Gulf rulers in the second half of the twentieth century. They see Watch for our 8-page flier in the mail now! rot Low Cost This attractive and practical boundary Izrf? it easy to build with 3 horizontal rails and posts every 8 CRAZY DAYS VALUE PER LIN FT. 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Phone 328-4461 Open Monday thru Friday a.m. to p.m. Saturday 8-00 a.m. to p m. For "Crazy Days" Values! Britain, though officially "with- drawn" from the Gulf, actual- ly still In there, scheming away in the old ways for all the old reactionary reasons. They see British advisers, political and military, all over the place. They see British troops engag- ed in a "secret war" in dis- tant Oman against "progres- sive" forces based in South Yemen. They also see that the Amer- ican-Iranian alliance is closely bound up with Israel; that Iran- ians receive military training in Israel, that there aie low- key Israeli missions in Iran. Iraqis certainly believe in the use of oil as a political weapon against the West. They have so few effective weapons that they must use what they have, they argue. Since nationalizing the Iraq Petroleum Company last year, Iraq is in a very strong economic position. It will soon be immensely rich. Its leaders feel time is on their side. The old feudal-style rulers of the Gulf, even the Shah, perhaps, cannot, thev believe, prevail for long against rising tides of youthful republican Iranian or Arab aspirations. The West particularly America is char- acteristically, once again, back- ing the old, played-out horses that look quite frisky one day and stumble to their knees the next. Iraq has other problems with Iran: Kurdish unrest; the shar- ing of the Shatt-el-Arab the mingling of the Tigris and Eu- phrates at Basra to become Iraq's main waterway to the high seas; various pinp rick border disputes. To Iraqis watching and listening hard, Britain is not seen or heard to be sympathetic to Iraq's point of view- But it is the Gulf and those Islands taken over by the Iran- ians that choke the leaders in Baghdad. The Baathists are a tough bunch. They have been in power five years. They have the bit between the'r teeth. They are cock-a-hoop, having successfully taken over their own immense oil industry. They have powerful friends in the So- viet Union and Eastern Europe, even if they don't much like them personally face-to-face. They are extremely sensitive to contemptuous treat m e n t of them by others. They have been pushed around before and they are fed up. They are aware of colossal shortcomings in the Iraqi political character that made Baghdad a disgraceful and bloody political arena from the first revolution in 1958 to the second (their own) in 1968. They are pot Communists. They would like good relations with Britain; a love-hate feel- ing, I think, persists. But just now, they will trade but not toss and make up as long as Britain, in their view shortsightedly, tags along he- hind America down the old dis- used dusty, cactus road of de- pendence on picturesque rulers, once so beloved of the now de- funct colonial office in London. And a Shah who arms his poor, backward country to the teeth against Iraq? and who de- scribes himself as the "police- man" of the region. The French, Iraqis say, are our friends. The French are just as dependent on oil as Britain. But France is not enmeshed in political James Bondery of this outlandish and dangerous sort. Why, Iraqis ask, is Britain? Books in brief "Oxford World Atlas" by Saul B. Cohen, Director, Graduate School of Geo- graphy, Clark University (Ox- ford University Press, 190 pages, Cloth paper- back This mammmoth and attrac- tive book contains enough ma- terial to boggle the mind of anyone whose cartigraphic ex- perience has been limited to coping with highway maps. Only a professional geographer cculd adequately evaluate this atlas but accompanying data would seem to indicate that very careful and accurate re- search has gone into its com- pilation. The publishers claim thai by using modern tech- niques and new designs they have produced an atlas which "achieves a deeper perspective and wider coverage of the world than any atlas of com- parable size hitherto publish- ed." ELSPETH WALKER "Deer Country" by Eliot Crompton. (Little. Brown and Co. Ltd.. 122 A youth-oriented tale about the pursuit of a trophy deer by a young boy. It is a warm book, delving into family relation- ships, both on the human and animal level. One might have looked forward to a different ending however. The ending used seems to wipe away the love and understanding the boy v rs seemingly building up in- side himself. GARRY ALLISON It's a pity President Nixon got soft and put a BMay freeze on consumer prices in the United States. A pity, because until the 60 days are up there's no way U.S. prices can catch up to what they are in Canada. Not that they would have anyway We all know the U.S. is an nation; compared to Canada, that is. Their com- panies find it so unpleasant and economi- cally unattractive south of the border that thev come to Canada. Consumers in the U S. won't pay is much for the same pro- ducts as Canadians will, so why not sell the products in Canada and pile up the profits? One company which produces papsr pro- duets in both countries, shows it's gratitude to Canadians who buy its toilet paper by charging them SO per cent more than their Yankee neighbors pay. I recently walked through a supermarket, in Missoula, a city in .western Montana slightly smaller than Lethirbdge. The pric- es on some products were the same as they are here More than half of 35 items were much lower hi price. A few were very slightly higher. There's nothing now in ths fact that prices vary. They do that even between stores in the same city. On some items, though, there are astonishing differences price? charged there and here. Canada is a major producer of pulpwood from which paper products are made. Vast quantities are shipped to the L S Can the company which exploits that re- source in both countries explain truthfully why it charges 50 per osnt more in Canada for its toilet paper, facial tissues, and paper towels than it does for exactly the same product across the border? Canada also turns out large quantities of aluminum, yet the lowest price at which tha Lethbridge consumer can purchase al- uminun foil in a supermarket is 99 cents for 25 feet. The Missoula supermarket sells the same amount for 26 cents. Does our toil hold more heat, or tear more or less easily? And, if it does either or both, is it worth 50 pe-- cent more? Tide laundry detergent has Made in Can- ada by Proctor and Gamble stamped on each package. It is made in the U.S. by the Sams company. Here, it costs for a five pound box; in Missoula it was 82 cents less. Both prices are the regular ones charged. Of six different meat cuts, four were from 6 cents to 50 cents a pound higher on this side of the border. At last count, there were three major meat processors right in our backyard, yet we're paying more for meat than consumers in a city where there are no packers. It is of interest, however, that weiners there cost a pound, despite the recent uproar over their composition, while they cost only 79 cents a pound here. Carrots, potatoes, canned tuna, oranges, jam, peanut buttsr, coffee and milk were all higher priced there from two to 12 cents more per pound. You can cha'k up the preceding Exercise to a grass-is-always-greener dreamer. Or, you can conclude, as I did, that manufac- turers in Canada and the supermarkets that sell their products find business a lot more profitable at the consumer's expense than do their counterparts in the U.S. Those less favored Department of Church in Society, The United Church of Canada The gap between rich and poor nations keeps growing, and today the greatest prob- lem is a disenchantment with foreign aid in affluent societies. Although it seems in- credible in a nation where many people think nothing of spending between and ?10 for a single meal, there are 400-million people living in the poorest lands who earn the equivalent of yes, one dollar per week. If you take another measure, In the de- veloping countries there live more than 900-mi'Lon farmers and peasants vhose annual incomes average less than which works out to about .28 cents daily. The critics of aid will say these are dis- torted figures because living costs are that much lower. And yet we must examine them, for if we don't we cannct gel a con- cept of the devastating poverty thai haunts most of mankind. The 1972 annual report of the World Bank, the globe's largest multilateral dis- penser of development aid, shows that Ca- nadians have been comparatively generous. Canada has paid to the World Bank's affTiate, the International Develop- ment Association, in advance contributions. The Association makes long-term loans over 50 years at no interest the kind of aid the poor countries need most. Unfortunately, only in Canada, Japan and a handful of the smaller European nations is the flow of official assistance to poor lands showing a meaningful increase. Only the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden will reach the target set by the United Nations, 0 7 per rent cf the Gross National Product (GNP) by 1975. The United Stales plans to ghe only 0.24 per cent (or a third of the Canada's contribution is expected to be 0 59 per cent Those billions of human beings less fav- ored than we, are poor not because they are lazy (as many would have you believe) but because of social, political and histori- cal factors. All affluent nations must adopt more enlightened attitudes toward aid. This is the only course for mankind if we are to have a better world. Report to readers Doug Walker Filling out the page it must marvel at the way editors al- ways manage to have their pages come out without either blank spaces or stories chop- pad off in the middle of a sentence How do they get things to come out just right? An editor generally plans his pages on a dummy sheet, marking in pictures, stor- ies, and other material. It is not easy to figure out how much type any given story or article or letter will make but it can be calculated that three lines of most type- written material will make approximately one inch of type in the standard 11 em col- umns. Variations in margins, differences in typewriters, frequency of capital letters, and alterations in copy can throw out the calculation rather badly. There are two things basically that can be done if there is more type than an editor shows on his dummy sheet. The make-up man can "steal" space by taking out leads around headlines sftid pictures. The leads give the white that separates and sets off the pictures and headlines from the rest of the type. Another expedient is to "cut" stories and articles. This is relatively easy to do with news stories which are generally written with the meat at the beginning and the fat farther on. It is harder to do with commentary in which there is a d3- veloping argument with the punch at the end. Two things can also be done when there isn't enough material to fill the page. White space can be increased around headlines and pictures as as leads being put between the lines of type. An alternative or additional approach is to have filler ma- terial on hand: brief stories, small -car- toons, sayings, gleanings from almanacs, and so on. Editors have to keep a careful check on this kind of material and "kill'1 it if it gets out of date before :t can be used (an out-of-date news story means a slip-up m this responsibility' When The Herald switches to photoelec- tric composition sometime tins summer it apparently will not be quite so easy to fill out empty space lines cannot be wider spaced, for instance. Editors have been ad- vised to gear themselves to put out extra filler material until they learn to calculate with the greater accuracy the new method requires. Mr. Mowers wouldn't mind if his editors didn't become experts in figuring out their pages exactly if this meant that more small items got into the paper. He thinks rhar kind of material ennances a news- paper. Not only do people tend to read short things more than long ones but by breaking up big globs of type with the small items the bigger pieces may get read as well when a person pauses to read a short story he may get started on the longer one while halted on the headlong plunge through the paper. Some filler is really of no consequence and it would be better if it was avoided by careful advance calculation. Some may say that should apply to the little anec- dotes I write about family, friends, and co- workers which are used to fill out the odd measure ems) editorial columns. This is pretty unsophisticated stuff to be given a place on the editorial page. I was relieved when the Herald editorial pages reviewed at The American Press In- stitute in New York contained none of my fillers. The way in which one poor editor was criticized for having a column of whimsical stuff on his page made me grateful that chance had kept my bits from the gaze of my peers But if I had forced to defend myself I would have ar- gued that a little lightness lends som? bal- ance to the dreadful seriousness that often pervades an editorial page It is a distor- tion to suggest that life is as solemn as a full page of unrelieved commentary on national and international affairs might imply. Besides, for all our sophistication there is still a degree of ordinariness about most of us which allows us to enjoy things that are less than profound. The same justification is employed in planning space for secondary cartoons Berry's World and Crazy Capars. It also governs the decision to have the satirical and humorous offerings of Art Buchwald, Eric Nicol, and Russell Baker appear on our pages. In addition we have the brief, salty observations on the news written by our own staff members, under the heading cf the Casserole Under either the old or new method an editor's best friend is an accordian type feature such as The Casserole, Bernstein's On the Use of Words, Sports Shorts, Cal- endar of Local Happenings, News in Brief. The items can be juggkd to fit the with some being left for another day if necessary or simply discarded I may wish J still had Looking Backward when we make the big switch but that's another story.