Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 28, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
Tfturtday, 38, 1973 LCTHMIDOI HMAIO 8 The importance of Atlantic dialogue By I. J. Adel-Czlowiekoskl, University of Lethbridge The sensations and revela- tions of the deplorable Water- gate scandal, which captivates countless television watchers on this continent and elsewhere, tend to obscure the many im- portant issues of world politics the American president has pursued with astounding ener- gy and brilliant success. Having extricated the United States from the disastrous hor- nets' nest of Indo-Chica and es- tablished rational relations with the People's Republic of China without apparently an- tagonizing Soviet Russia, Pres- ident Nixon turned his atten- tion to Western Europe. There followed a series of meetings with European statesmen this spring which might eventually lead to a major Atlantic sum- mit meeting some time in the fall, provided, of course, that there is no dramatic denoue- ment to the Watergate affair. Early this year, the British prime minister paid a call to Wfohington, followed in May by the West German chancellor and a month later by the presi- dent of France, who met his American counterpart at Reyk- javik. Such Journeys are not prompted by any sort of ex- travagant wanderlust, so one might ask a simple question as to the reasons and purpose of this hectic diplomatic activi- ty. The answer is that the changes which have taken place over the last decade in the relative positions of the partners to the Atlantic alli- ance, and particularly of the United States, call for its res- toration on a new foundation. This cannot be accomplished without long and thorough de- liberations at the highest T-avel. During the last quarter of the century profound changes have occurred in the relations among the major world powers. The balance of military power has shifted significantly to the ad- vantage of Soviet Russia. The United States has lost its un- rivalled nuclear superiority. From that fateful confrontation over Cuba a little more than a decade ago, the Soviets, though humiliated, did not fail to learn the bitter lesson. In order to challenge America's over- whelming might, they built a navy capable of deployment in any sea lane of the globe, brought their nuclear forces to parity with those of the UnrTed States, while maintaining mas- sive conventional forces that vastly outnumber the comftihed strength of NATO in Europe. The war in Vietnam has dealt grievous blows to the morale of the American people and the self-confidence of its leaders, and undermined America pres- tige and authority abroad. At the same time, American eco- nomic and financial predomin- ance, so overwhelming in early postwar period, largely vanished with the rise of other economic groupings and na- tions, especially Japan and TM European Economic Commun- ity. These developments, appar- ent to any perceptive observer, have compelled American policy-makers to take a hard look, and make an "agonizing reappraisal" of the new reali- ties. This found expression in President Nixon's speech of Au- gust 1969, heralding the ad- of ar. era of negotiations, and more recently in Henry Kissinger's speech of last April 23, calling for a "new Atlantic Charter." Far from ignoring important differences of approach to the current monetary and commer- cial problems, which tend to di- vide the United States from its Eurpean allies, Mr. Kissinger stressed the overriding military and political ties that should unite the non-communist coun- tries of the northern hemi- sphere. In this era of decep- tive detente and ''fo- liations with the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites, opened by France in the mid-sixties and thereafter pursued (with varying suc- cess) by West Germany, there looms a real danger that a clear distinction between a foe and a friend may be lost on both sides of the Atlantic Orean. Not only the United States which carries world-wide re- sponsibilities and interests, but also Japan and Western Eur- ope with their limited regional interests, have vital stake in the preservation of the alliance. There appear serious miscon- ceptions as to the meaning and limits of European autonomy. France, posing as a spokesman for European Europe, usad to assert her total independence from the double hegemony and to consider her hard gained au- tonomy as an end In itself. In Mr. Kissinger's view, the uni- fication of Europe is an essen- tial component of a broader whole, encompassing the entire West. For only a united West can muster sufficient capabil- ity to resist Soviet economic allurements or nuclear black- mail. The enormous Soviet military might is bound to cast a long shadow on Western Europe, Lacking a truly credible nu- clear deterrent, and much weaker in conventional armed forces, sooner or later Western Europe would succumb to So- viet dominance if separated from America. This would be a crowning achievement for Mus- covite diplomacy. The new version of the "At- lantic enlarged to in- clude Japan, underlines a close inter-relation between the poli- tical, military and economic (monetary as well as commer- cial) aspects of the partnership. But while it was quite appropri- ate for the Nixon-Kissinger team to remind the Europeans of the political and defence bonds that tie Europe and Jap- an to America, it was some- what premature to urge en- dors 3ment of the plan before the European interlocutors had a chance to thoroughly deliber- ate on such important economic and military proposals. Naturally, most Europeans welcomed the firm presidential pledge to maintain a substan- tial American military presence in Western Europe. But this cannot continue indefinitely in the face of strident Congress- ional clamour for the return of the American divisions. Europeans must face ly the probable American with- drawal from Central Europe in the not too distant future. Sooner or later, therefore, they will have to build up adequate defences regardless of high cost and low popularity with their electorates. Oh this score, the Europeans are divided into at least two groups: these who slrongiy desire American pro- tection, and the French who possess respectable armed forces, but who may be be- ginning to realize their insuf- ficiency. Right now the European al- lies have to formulate a posi- tion with respect to the Kis- singer plan. In the political domain, they are being called upon to join tha alliance of all non communist industrial na- tions of this hemisphere, with a view to concerted action vis- a-vis the Communist world and the less developed coun- tries. In the economic sphere, acceptable commercial policies stressing free trade in agricul- tural products and a common energy policy all three ma- jor partners are must be worked out. Faced with these complex problems, the European allies need a common policy before they can make a firm com- mitment to the comprehensive alliance proposed by Washing- ton. What makes the present situation unusually precarious is the fact that the Soviets are- pressing hard for a Euro- pean security conference and are engaged in talks on mutual arms limitation, while negotia- tions among the Western allies have scarcely begun. There is much uncharted ground to be explored before the European partners can be dear in their own minds on the implications of alternative policies, so it may be some time bsfore they are prepared Book Reviews to take common action towards solving global problems. The re- cent meetings in Washington, Paris and in Ice'and should help to measure the gap divid- ing the interlocutors on either side on the Atlantic. West German Chancellor Herr Brandt has declined pol- itely to subscribe to the "new Alantic Charter" and evident- ly has persuaded American leaders not to submit this docu- ment for endorsement by the European partners without more thorough discussion. The amiable German leader also defended the Common Market against American pressure for dismantling the common agri- cultural policy, and was reluc- tant to admit that commercial, monetary and military matters must be dealt as one single item at the forthcoming "At- lantic summit." The British prime minister took a similar stand during his encounter with President Pom- pidou in Paris, although the main theme of their conversa- tion pertained to European monetary policies, and the im- pending commercial negotia- tions with the United States. Finally, the most recent of the series, the Nixon-Pompidou conference held a few weeks ago at Reykjavik, produced lit- tle in terms of hard and fast commitments on the part of the urbane Frenchman. Nothing decided, though several matters have been set in clear- er light. The only firm assur- ance given by the French was an agreement not to weaken the alliance. On such an incon- clusive note ended the first phase of talks with the Euro- peans held last month prior to Mr. Nixon's "grand tour" of the European capitals. Unusual antithesis "Power and Innocence: A Search for the Sources of Vi- olence" by Rollo May (W. W. Norton, 283 pages, dis- tributed by George J. Mc- Leod OPEN WIDE RIGHT NOW! We'll put you in a new Pontiac for Just ASTRE- RIGHT ON! And right in there with the other low priced little cars. Compare the Canadian built Astro with VW Super Beetle if Toyota Corona Vega Colt if Datsun 510 Cortina Pinto i Mazda WE'RE BIG ON VALUE We're bigger on deals. We're biggest on small cars. Price Astrft soon! EMERSON'S Pontlac Brick GMC WE'RE BIG ON CHOICEI Psychotherapist Rollo May proposes a somewhat unusual thesis in this book: the light- ness of power and the unde- sirability of innocence. That's probably simplifying the con- tents of the book maybe even distorting the author's point of view but that's the impres- sion left with me. In a sense Rollo May means self determination and self- respect when he talks of power but even that does not recon- cile me to the notion that power is a. supremely worthy objec- tive. The exercise of power by people filled with a sense of their own importance has caus- ed far too much misery in the world for me to look upon it uncritically as good. His two favorite illustrations that of a girl forced into prostitution by her step-father and the un- fortunate Billy Budd in Mel- ville's novel seem to me to reinf o r c e my suspicion of power because both were vic- tims of the powerful. The denigrction of innocence is easier to accept. Innocence plays into the hands of the pow- erful and permits them to get away with the excesses of power. A book such as Charles Reich's The Greening of Amer- ica deserves criticism because it encourages the kind of inno- cence that permits power to be diabolical. If Rollo May is right that drug addiction is most preva- lent among those convinced of powerlessness and that deeds of violence are frequently per- formed by those trying to es- tablish their self-esteem then the pursuit of this study of the power innocence antithesis is worthwhile. Unfortunately while the writ- ing is sufficiently clear the final impact of the book isn't. The fault could easily rest with me but I suspect the author has failed to some extent in being either systematic or convinc- ing. Maybe what he seeks to convey isn't adequately encom- passed by the words "power" and "innocence." DOUG WALKER 'Crazy Capers' ENERSON'S-of course! PONTIAC Downtown on 4th Avenue South BUICK G.M.C. What's happened to progress? By Richard J. Needbam, la the Toronto Globe and Mail Where, I wonder, did the idea of pro- gress begin? Subject as always to correc- tion by more learned readers, I'm inclined to place it not around the time of the political revolutions In America (1776) or France (1789) but around the time of the Industrial Revolution in Brit- ain. With the advent of the machines, it seemed possible that everything could keep on getting better for everybody. The Americans seized upon the idea, and it became their most fervent article of belief, remaining so till this day. To be that's good; to be or that's awful. But if people are going to believe in progress, progress must be happen- ing, at any rate it must be possible, and this is the Jam in which the Americans (and the English, and the Canadians) at present would seem to find themselves. They have stopped progressing. Economically, socially, politically, the English-speaking nations appear to be in the doldrums. They don't seem to be get- ting anywhere, or even going anywhere. The real action is taking place in other countries, notably those of Asia and Western Europe. Worsa yet, there's a sense of deterioration, actual and immi- nent, in the Anglo-Saxon world that in- stead of things getting better for every- body they're liable to get worse. This is surely a milestone in our his- tory, and many observers have drawn attention to it. Richard Goodwin, erst- while brain truster for Presidents Lyn- don Johnson and John Kennedy, pointed out in a recent article that the American people feel something is terribly wrong; the system which worked so well for so long has stopped working, and is even turn- ing against them. "The real income of an American ma- jority has virtually stagnated for half a decade. Combined with a decay of other conditions of life, this means that the standard of living has declined. The change may be slight, economically unim- portant, but statistics do not reveal the devastation of this reality. For a quarter of a century, for most of 200 years, a continual improvement in the conditions of life, in the circumstances of every diligent family, has been an ar- ticle of American faith, an expectation woven into the acts and decisions of ev- ery individual. Political explosion is por- tended in the spreading knowledge that things are not getting easier or better, and the awareness that things are not going to improve unless some big change la made." Mr. Goodwin's reference to "other condi- tions of life'' is important. The real in- come of Americans might be increasing, it might be doubling every year, but that wouldn't alter the facts that the great Am- erican cities are booming nightmares; that social organisms like family and com- munity are disintegrating; that work and religion and patriotism appear to have gone out of style; and, above all, that the individual is unable to do anything about realizes that he no longer shapes, the conditions of his existence, that he has become an instrument, an object, of soma uncontrollable social process." I'm sure the British people must feel this way in the wake of their ruinous dock and coil strikes, not to mention the endless bloodbath in Ulster. As for us Ca- nadians, our famous apathy defends us from undue alarm; however, I do find the feeling (perhaps because I have it my- self) that it doesn't really matter if we have a federal election or not, and it doesn't really matter whom we elect. Noth- ing will happen, nothing will be done. Perhaps (these things recur in history) the English speaking peoples are losing the vitality which gave them world domina- tion and domestic affluence. They've work- ed hard, fought hard, tried hard. Now they're tired, they're willing to let tilings sb'de, prepared to let more ambitious and energetic races take over, and what's wrong with that? Nothing that I can see. But let's hope that Cecil Rhodes avd Teddy Roosevelt and Rudyard Kipling don't get to hear about it. Punishing reckless walkers From the Windsor Snn The Calgary police have struck a blow for all those sober, conscientious drivers who have been harassed by the maniacal meanderings of reckless pedestrians. A 15-year-old pedestrian in that city has been charged with failing to yield the right of way after he ran into the side of a car. The youth was apparently trying to run across the street when he hit the auto. It can only lead one to speculate what his penalty in addition to a fine might be. Perhaps hi? walking privileges will be suspended for three months (with the ex- ception, of course, of those necessary pe- riods when he must walk to and from school. And with the possible exception of school-related activities such as participa- tion on the track team so long as he did no running on pubJ.c The court's dilemma there, however, is already solved since the pedestrian received a bro- ken leg in the accident. Conviction for such a violation will nat- urally mean the loss of three points. The loss of all points could end up causing the most Machiavellian punishment of all condemning the ex-pedestrian (once he Is of an age when he can legally hold a driver's licence) to spend the next few years of his life driving a car whenever he leaves his house. Then again, with all the reckless pe- destrians roaming the streets, that may be considered cruel and unusual punishment- unfit for even heinous crimes. ANDY RUSSELL Some lingering memories Telephone 327-5705 My husband is preparing for retirement. Anyone who has ever made close ac- quaintance with a skunk that is excited and on the defensive, generally has excel- lent reason to look back on the occasion with no desire to repeat the experience. I recall hunting upland birds with my friend, Ben, and two good dogs one bright fall day. Ben's dog was an energetic cock- er spaniel and mine, a big rangy Ger- man shorthaired pointer. Both were fine hunters, working well together in spite of their differences in size and character. We were hunting along the weedy sides of an irrigation canal near where it inter- sected a country road, and as the dogs worked out the cover they were showing signs of keen interest in something. This cover was in an old burrow pit beside the road. I was standing on a low bank over- looking it and expecting a pheasant to come exploding out. While Ben's dog was burrowing through the heavy growth, my dog, Seppi, was backing him up. But I noticed he was carrying his head unusually high with ears at half-cock, not his usual stance when he had bird scent in his nose and looking down at the cocker, I spotted the familiar black and white stripes of a big boar skunk just as the dog rammed its nose practically into its exhaust pipe. The cocker growled and the skunk let go, liberaly dousing him with the frghtful charge skunk's carry for such emergencies. Meanwhile my dog had swung to the side, out of range, obviously intrigued by this new development. In the mix-up a big cock- pheasant went clattering up into the air, with both Ben and I, being a bit disorgan- ized, missing it clean. Meanwhile the cock- er was plowing up the greenery with its nose, trying to clean up, but not making much of a job of it, temporarly blinded by the potent acid that skunk's use for ammunition. In due course we disgustedly put both dog's in the back of the truck to head for home, but Scppi refused to ride with the reeking cocker, and we were obliged to take him in the cab with us. Seppi was wise to skunks and not always so fastidious for he had a way of playing with them on occasion that was hair-rais- ing. One evening I was out for a walk with him on the ranch, when he suddenly left me, going like a streak for a grassy meadow in the timber. Out in the middle of the meadow a big skunk saw him com- ing and hoisted his tail melting ready for war. The dog came flashing in close, thrust his nose within six inches of the skunk's gun muzzle, let out a great roar and side- stepped. The roar so demoralized the skunk, he didn't even pause to aim he just let go both barrels missing the dog by a good three feet. Again Seppi dived in close to roar and then dance to the side. Again the skunk let drive without making a hit. Anyone who thinks a skunk runs low on ammunition after the first shot had best think again, for they are fitted for re- peated firing. This one spun and shot fu- tiley until he resembled some kind of a lawn sprinkler surrounded by a halo of yellow spray backlit by the setting sun. The air wafting downwind was so thick one could almost carve it into chunks with a knife and build a fence out of it! I final- ly managed to control my laughter and call- ed the dog off. He had never bsen struck with a charge aimed at him but had gath- ered enough scent off the surrounding grass to make him reek. Giving me a devil-may-care grin, he proceeded to clean up by sliding back and forth through the fresh dirt of a gopher mound, scrubbing off the scent from his short, glossy coat. In a very short time he was fit to at least associate with, if one stayed on the upwind side. Meanwhile the skunk shuffled off looking extremely put out and no doubt feeling a bit light in ammunition supplies. Seppi's skunk technique was a masterpiece of tim- ing, the culmination of long experience, wherein he bad not always got off so cheap- ly.