Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 6, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
y, May 1, 1770 THI mHBRIDG! HERALD 3 Carl T. ROWIM Basic Truths With 'Snake Oi' Coating WASHINGTON Well, some of the shock has worn off, some of the atiacks arising from personal and political hos- tility have abated and it is pos- sible to view President Nixon's Cambodian venture from the standpoint of why we sent Amer- ican troops in and what it is likely to mean. A first, inescapable, observa- tion is that Mr. Nixon spoke some basic truths, but he coat- ed them in a heavy dose of snake oil. There is no doubting his con- tention that Cambodia was in serious military .trouble. It is true that a Communist takeover of all Cambodia would have been a crushing blow from a military standpoint, yes, but even more so from a political and psychological standpoint. But the president said nothing about the fact that this grim situation in Cambodia was brought on when an inept "pro- A m e r i can" group overthrew Prince Sihanouk and we rushed Boris Kidel in to embrace it. It is not in- conceivable that there was some South Vietnamese collu- sion in that 'coup', knowing that the ensuing crisis would pupil the United State in deeper and stall for a few. more years Uncle Sam's withdrawal from the bloody sinkhole. It is pos- sible that we got "suckered" in- to this new crisis. Mr. Nixon's "snake oil" comes in two brands. First, he portrays his action as necessary to protect the lives "of our brave men fighting tonight, half- way around the world." The early "patriotic" reaction will surely be that we must protect our brave boys until some- one concludes that we can save a lot more lives bringing our boys out of the east coast of Vietnam than by bringing them home across the battlefields of Camboida. Then the president said, as though he had not the slightest doubt, that sending U.S. troops into Cambodia was "indispen- sable for the continuing success of (our) withdrawal program." He said this foray into Cam- bodia will "end this war rather than have it drag on intermin- ably." He said this military strike will "keep the casualilies of our brave men in Vietnam at an absolute minimum." There is absolutely nothing in the history of five tragic years of American fighting in Viet- nam to suggest that either of those statements is true. They are not even good wishful think- ing, and neither is the Admin- istration assurance that U.S. forces will withdraw once their objective is achieved. It is almost as certain as tomorrow's sunrise that the Communists are going to res- pond with one or more major escalations somewhere in Indo- china. They are going to try to prove that Mr. Nixon's deci- sion will cost American lives thousands more rather than save them, And that will bring us up against (he sentences of over- importance in Mr. Nixon's jcb. "Tins action puts the leaders of North Vietnam on notice." he said, "that we will be patient in working for peace, we will be conciliatory at the confer- ence table, but we will not be humiliated. We will not be de- feated." "I would rather be a one- term president than to be a two- term president at the cost of seeing America become a sec- ond-rale power and see this na- tion accept the first defeat ill its proud 190-year history." Millions of Americans quickly recognized those words as vin- tage Johnson. Richard M. Nixon of April 30, 1970, could easily have been Lyndon B. Johnson of April telling a Johns Hopkins audience: "We will not be defeated. We will not grow tired. We will not withdraw, either openly or under the cloak of a meaningless agreement." This striking similarity to German Generals Seek Lost Military Power TJONN Many of West Ger- many's top generals once served in Hitler's Wehrmacht and have remained incorrigibly authoritarian and anti-dem- cratic. A remarkable insight into their present state of mind has been provided by a report sign- ed by Lieutenant-General Al- bert Schnez, the army's Inspec- tor-General, who demands a re- form of German society "at the top and at its General Schnez, who was barred from a NATO post because of Dutch protests against his alleged Nazi past, believes that the military should not renounce their demands even if political- ly they seem unrealizable. It is only thanks to the per- sonal intervention of Chancel- lor Willy Brandt in the Social Democrat Parliamentary group that a major political storm about the general's views has been averted. Anxious to avoid a collision with the military in its first few months of exist- ence, the Socialist-led Coalition government tried to minimize the affair. What is disturbing about the report is that it does not mere- ly reflect General Schnez's views but that it constitutes a collective effort of several top- ranking generals. They wrote their explosive document at the request of Gerhard Schroed- er, defence minister in the pre- ceding government, who was .concerned about army morale and gave instructions that the generals should express them- selves very frankly without re- gard to existing legislation and political feasibility. They found much to criticize in Germany today. Growing economic welfare and urbaniza- tion had reduced courage and battle effectiveness, they said. The readiness of Germans to .defend then: country had been negatively affected by the de- feat of 1945, the trauma caused by nuclear weapons a n d by But the generals are most perturbed by the attitude of German youth today. Instead of being good patriots as in the past young people were now moving towards pacifism and the Utopian ideas of the "New Left." Their aversion to bear- ing arms was being encouraged hy many teachers, clergymen, writers and TV commentators. Even inside the army the authors of the report found con- ditions far less .satisfactory than in the past. More discip- line was needed and the au- thority of officers and NCOs had to be strengthened. The shocking belief was developing that soldiering was a job like any other where one worked for 40 hours a week according to trade union rules.. The generals were also an- gered by the manner in which, they said, mass media distort- ed the history of the German army. There was an urgent need for the nation's political and military leadership to pro- claim clearly their faith hi "the traditions of the German army." The military quality of the army was deteriorating. Be- fore it was too late the State had to counter a development can be compared to the situation in which the French CHICKEN Prices effective Thursday, Friday, Saturday, May 7th, 8th, 9th Fresh Utility Grade Over 3 Ibi...... 39' Pork Butt Roasts ....................b.59c Pork Picnic Roasts 49c Side Bacon Prime Rib Roasts 99c Beef Steakettes lb. 65c READY TO EAT HAMS lb 65' Cottage Rolls wieners flYLMFR SOUPS ft WUI W Creom of Chicken. lO-oi. tini..... V for I M noney CL Snreddies I Orange Juice Pink Salmon Garden Gale sw. Ketch 3 sw. n APrf 2 2 Bon Ami Cream Corn Peanut Oil 4 Planters 48-ci. tint 1.29 APPLES Fancy Ontario OS! Grapes 490 Oranges 2 Canada No. 1 New Potatoes No. 1 GRAHAM'S FOOD MARKET 708 3rd Avenue South PHONE AND SAVE FREE DELIVERY GROCERIES 327-5434, 327-5431 MEATS 327-1112 OPEN THURSDAY Till 9 P.M. army found itself when it col- lapsed in 1940." As a start, General Schnez and his colleagues recommend- ed a revision of the Constitution to make it more difficult for young Germans to claim ex- emption from military service as conscientious objectors. The author urged 30 changes in German legislation to impose stricter discipline in the armed forces. "A mere cure of the generals said in their con- clusion, "promises as little suc- cess as the elimination of spe- cific weaknesses. Only a re- form of the armed forces and of society at the top and at the limbs with the aim of seiz- ing the evil by its roots can improve decisively the army's effectiveness." The document, with its lan- guage so disagreeably remin- iniscent of the past, caused an immediate outcry of protests when it was "leaked" to the press. The executive of the So- cialist Youth Movement de- manded General Schnez's dis- missal. Jocben Steffen, chair- man of the Socialist Party in Schleswig Holstein, protested that the Constitution would be violated if Germany was mod- elled according to the needs of the military. The most signifi- cant protest came from the now retired Lieutenant-General Count Baudissin who played a key role in trying to create a genuine citizens' armv free from Prussian and Nazi tradi- tion when German rearma- ment was launched. "Are offi- cers who argue in such terms and who sign such documents still qualified to hold their he asked. Helmut Schmidt, the new de- fence minister, faced with the possibility of the mass resigna- tion of top generals if he took disciplinary action against General Schnez, -preferred to avoid a showdown. A brash and ambitious politician, Schmidt is very anxious to succeed as the first Socialist defence minister since Gustav Noske in 1920. He flew specially to the Tun- isian island of Djerba where Chancellor Brandt was holiday- ing to enlist his support in the Schnez affair. At a meeting of the Socialist Parliamentary Party tiie Chancellor stifled the rumble of protests by as- suring MPs that the generals' loyalty to the Constitution and their obedience to the govern- ment were not being question- ed. Privately Schmidt explain- ed, that it was more a case of political stupidity than an at- tempt to impose discredited ideologies on the country. It is true the army presents no p o I i t i cal problem in Ger- many today. For Uhe y o u n ger generation military traditions hold no glamor. Because of the lack of suitable recruits the armed forces are short of officers and candidates for reg- ular commissions have drop- ped by 40 per cent during re- cent months. German politicians wno fol- low military affairs are con- vinced that it is only a ques- tion of time before the Ger- man army becoir.es fully "re- The younger gen- eration of officers whose mili- tary experience is limited to post-war times shares none of the prejudices of the Schnez generation, it is said, but for another few years the generals whose thinking is moulded by the Hitler era will still remain in command. (Written for Herald and The Observer, London) p Jh Johnson is noted not by way of deriding Nixon's stance, but by way of saying that Hanoi sees this, too, and the leaders of North Vietnam are likely to ig- nore Nixon's sombre warning the same way they Ignored Johnson's. Still more important is the fact that the two Nixon senten- ces ruling out "humiliation" and America's "first defeat" add up to a basic shift from what has appeared to be policy for more than a year. Withdrawal- with "Vietnamization" was noth- ing more than the acceptance of thinly veiled defeat. If the Communists respond as history suggests they will to Mr. Nixon's vow that the U.S. will not act "like a pitiful, help- less the president has committed this nation to more long and costly warfare. Either that or he has heaped the platter with another portion of indigesfibly tough words that Uncle Sam may one day have to eat (Field Enterprises, Inc.) Military Hallucinations Again From The New York Times RESIDENT Nixon's assurance in his recent address that lu's decision to seixl American troops against Communist santuaries in Cambodia will save lives, hasten the withdrawal of American forces and shorten the war has a familiar and wiiolly unconvincing ring. This is the same kind of rhetoric Amer- icans have heard from their leaders at every stage of tin's country's long, mis- guided plunge into the Southeast Asian morass. Time and bitter experience have exhausted the credulity of the American people and Congress. Presidential assur- ances can no longer be accepted in an area where actions, as Mr. Nixon's aides have observed in another context, speak louder than words. The president's action hi sanctioning an allied invasion of Cambodian territory goes far beyond the prudent Cambodian policy followed by his predecessors, even at times when the predicament of allied forces in Vietnam was far more perilous than it is today. This allied drive across the border has far-reaching and serious implications even if the immediate objectives are limited, as the president avows. If reports from Phnom Penh that the at- tack was launched without consultation with the Cambodian government are tine, the strike is a clear breach of Cambodian neutrality, the Geneva accords and the principles of international law which the administration has repeatedly cited in con- nection with the long-known and equally illegal Communist Vietnamese presence on Cambodian soil. The American-South Vietnamese drive will almost certainly provoke some reac- tion from Hanoi and perhaps from Peking, with consequences throughout Southeast Asia that cannot be predicted but which could be fateful. At the very least, new threats to Phnom Penh and fresh appeals for further American assistance can be ex- pected. By sending American troops into Cam- bodia, President Nixon has rejected liis own Nixon Doctrine in Southeast Asia, escalating a war from which he had prom- ised to disengage. This is not the "new" Nixon who campaigned on a platform pledged to peace. It is more like the old Nixon who as vice-president in 1954 said the United States would have to send troops into Indochina if there were no other way to prevent its fall to the Com- munists, then on the verge of defeating the French. Fortunately, now as then, Mr. Nixon's tough approach has produced strong oppo- sition in both houses of Congress, even among some former staunch supporters of his Vietnamization policy. The shacking expansion of this still un- declared war that was announced Thurs- day night warrants the assertion by Con- gress of its constitutional powers of re- straint on behalf of a people who have been asked once too often to swallow the mili- tary hallucination of victory through esca- lation. The Last Hope From The Calgary Herald A spokesman for Alberta soft drink bot- tiers said recently that the industry has no intention of discontinuing use of throw-away bottles. The bottlers apparently will not allow themselves to be convinced that throw- aways, introduced as a convenience to the trade rather than the public, create a dan- gerous pollution hazard and add greatly to municipal garbage-disposal costs. .Obviously, the only hope for controlling this menace is by law. A model already exists in the anti-litter bill passed by the British Columbia Leg- islature earlier tin's year which requires vendors to put a two-cent deposit on all beer and soft drink containers. It isn't only in B.C. that concern about this problem has been translated into leg- islative action. A member of the Ontario Legislature introduced a bill recently to ban non-returnable bottles in that province. Broken glass is a common sight in the streets and parks of this province. It is a threat to safety on the highways. Play- grounds, beaches and other recreation areas are plagued by it. The province is concerned about other forms of pollution. Why does it continue to allow pollution by this dangerous form of litter? The bottlers' defence that many other foods come in throwaway packages is a weak one. Most of the other containers do not injure people or damage property. They also decompose readily. Glass, by comparison, is indestructible: It can be pulverized, but that is an expensive pro- cess. If all the 48 million soft drinks con- sumed yearly in Calgary were sold in non- returnable bottles, the bill for pulveriza- tion could equal king's ransom. The bottlers like to say that throw-away bottles were introduced in response to pub- lic demand. In truth1 the public had no choice; the throw-aways were thrust upon it. The concern which has resulted in B.C., Ontario and elsewhere is indicative of gen- eral public objection, not demand. Curtain For B and B Commission From The Hamilton Spectator AFTER ALMOST seven rears, the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Bi- culturalism has published its fourth and final report. Its recommendations, 16 of them, concern the cultural rights of Cana- dians whose origins are other than English and French. The trouble with the Band B at the end of what seemed an endless career, is that its spirit has become so out of date as to be irrelevant. Perhaps this was inevitable, considering the theoretical purpose for it was established so long ago. Apart from the hundreds of thousands of words in its report, millions more have been added by politicians and commenta- tors until many Canadians whose origi- nal feelings towards the commission could perhaps be best described as hazy good- become indifferent. Then again, by some kind of iinstinct, the people of Canada leapt at (lie spirit of the conclusions which the B and B com- mission was laboriously reaching and so made its reports seem out of date when eventually they were published. What these years of labor and millions of words boil down to can be summed up in a mere handful of questions: Are we going to be tolerant of the "other Will we willingly grant him those rights of self-expression that we demand for our- selves? And as far as language is con- cerned, the whole thing can be tersely summed up in: Do we want our kids to be taught the other language (English or French as the case may In this last question the phrase "to be taught" is important; it is very different from "to Tin's difference is what, essentially, makes the commission's labors nothing but a monstrous exercise in intel- lectual gymnastics. Nothing can be taught to those unwilling to learn, as many a music teacher has discovered with rmis- daily ungifted children. And the same is true of teaching languages to those who have no gift of tongues. The utter absurdity of French translation services in the Ottawa government is s 'gloomy example of trying to make the im- possible. In spite of all the trumpeting about bilingualism, and its legalization in the government, the fact remains that En- glish texts are still preferred, even by the majority of Quebec members, to inferior French translations. Planing against grain is hard work. It is as though we were all "pixielated" with theories these days. The answer to anything is a commission or a study group. The report with its torrent of words en- joys a brief reputation as revealed truth, then joins all the oilier reports that pre- ceded it, gathering dust in the archives. Such will be the fate of the B and B reports. They have briefly held up a mir- ror in which Canada has been able to see part of its image reflected. Perhaps it was worth million. Holy Smoke! What Next? From The Hamilton Spectator WE OF the press, even without a Sen- ate Committee giving us a going over, have to swallow our pride with ombarraas- ing frequency; hard on the Adam's apple. Besides, the stalest digs are the most enduring. If we don't write garbage, then our product is useful io wrap garbage in, and, of course, we have had to accept that our paper was much more valued to the literate when wood burning stoves were in style, and even in demand for less ele- gant use. One would have expected the revered Times of London might be immune to such crude jesting, but it has been caught with its surplice down. For a time in a number of Turkish villages it seemed that British culture had made licavy inroads into com- munity readership. The airmail edition from England of The Times was in feverish de- maud, and Turkish authorities were delight- ed to see local yokels suddenly taking a profound interest in foreign news. The Times, regrettably, was being put to a ntuch more practical use. The wily Turks had found The Times airmail paper was beyond compare for rolling their cigarettes. Much superior to any Turkish material. Those had been buying the paper in bulk didn't even know English, and the standard- size Times, including business news, sold at about 50 cents. The long arm of the law is moving in on this spread of culture, because the smoking of cigarettes not sold by state monopolies is outlawed, to prevent tobacco growers from smoking their own tobacco. People caught with tobacco and a copy of The Times or Daily Telegraph arc fined approximately which makes the smoking of culture costly risk. Sad.