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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 26, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 4 THE IETHBRIDGE HERALD Fiidciy, Mtiy 24, 1971 Neal Aschfrsou The great gamble OIH; of Hie anachronisms of the Ni.xim I" .Moscow is lhat it is forcing Hie arch enemies, Hussiii and China inlo some kind of gel-to- gel her, no one knows quite what nor fur Innv in order lo offset the effcels of the mining of Haiphong harbor and the consequent massive cutoff of war material lo Ihe North Vietnamese. Statistics diucT as to the amount of war supplies provided by China and Russia to North Vietnam. But Iho nearest estimate is that Russia sends about In per cent of if and Ihe Chinese provide most of the rest. per cent of the Soviet sup- plies come by sea and the remainder arc carried by rail overlaji'l through China. The Chinese contribution is mainly in small arms, amimmilion and aid in kind food, clothing and so on. The U.S.S.R. sends tanks artillery and missiles, none of which are adapted lo rail transportation. Reports from diplomatic sources indicate that even before the mining of the harbor, the Chinese and the Russians, anticipating such an emer- gency, had agreed to gear up the Chinese railways in an attempt to offset the lack of shipments coining by sea. Freight was diverted and the Chinese agreed to cany every- thing in the form of war supplies from the U.S.S.R. that they could possibly load. Peking also promised lo increase Us aid to JVorUi VJelnam substantially. This would add to Ihe burden of a railway system already groaning with overload involving something like five times the former tonnage carried, Otu-e across the border into North irliiani, .supply trains would be suji- Itvt ui heavy bombing. I'niil now Peking has allowed Rus- sian supplies to go by rail from Vladivostok with reluctance. Pre- mier Choii Kn-Iai's refusal, even under present circumstances, to allow Russian shipping into Chinese ports, consistent with his long-time policy of refusing "united action" with the Soviet "revisionists" in support of Hanoi. What the Chinese really want is a reversion to a protracted war in accordance with Maoist principles, nilhcr llian the Giap strategy of a supported massive thrust to the Sonlh. Peking had hoped that the (liap offensive coupled wilh the har- bor minings would prevent the Mos- cow talks. lint the meetings continue and al- ready something in the way of Amer- ican Russian agreement on arms limitation and lechnological co-oper- alion has been achieved. The question the world is asking, is what the Rus- sians and Americans had to say to one another on the subject of Viet- nam. Whatever the answer is if there Is one it is certain to have enor- mous influence on the future conduct of the war, on the people of Indo- china, and on Richard Nixon's bid for another term in office. Can he prevent vital Russian war supplies reaching their destination or will tha harbor minings force a genuine all- out effort by Russia and China to save North Vietnam? If the answer is "yes'' to the second question, Mr. Nixon lias lost his gamble and prob- ably the presidency. IRA backlash Catholic women in Londonderry's Creggan area, known as an IRA hideout, outraged at the shooting of William Best, a young Irishman sen-- ing with the British army in West Germany, who came home on leave, announced that "if there is another shooting like this, we will tell the British authorities that the British army can come in and clear the IRA out." There has been much evidence in past weeks that Catholic residents want the secretary of stale for North- em Ireland, .Mr. Whitclaw, to act against the IRA, which is now pushed into tightly controlled pockets of the Bogside and Creggan. Mr. Whitelaw resists such action, feeling that it would plunge Northern Ireland into civil war. The only cheering news to come out of Ireland these days comes from Ihe south, where the Republic's Pre- mier Jack Lvnch has announced that his government will do all in its power lo crush the guerrilla outlaws who have been operating from bases in Southern Ireland. Fresh from a resounding victory in the ref- erendum over the question of Ire- land's participation in the Common .Market. Jlr. Lynch has the ball in his court now. If he means what ha says, he has it in his power to help .stop the bombing by effectively con- trolling the flow of arms from the South and refusing to provide sanc- tuary for terrorists. But Lynch's measures will take time to become effective. Wheth- er discipline among enraged Protes- tanls can be maintained long enough to prevent an explosive mass con- frontation'with IRA enclaves, which would almost inevitably lead to in- volvement of innocent Catholic resi- dents, is now Ihe vital question. The longer the answer is delayed, the belter. ART BUCHWALD Handguns for everyone WASHINGTON There are now 90 million handgiuis in Lhe United States, excluding the two that were taken from Arthur Bremer last week. Tins means that there arc still 110 million men, women and children in this country who tlon't own a handgun. These people are being deprived of the pleasure of shooling