Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 7, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
Widnttdoy, 7, THI HTHIRIDOI HWAIO Colin Legiim Why Nasser Died In Despair T ONDON G a m a 1 Abdul Nasser is not to be judged as an Egyptian leader. Had he been first, and foremost a na- tionalist his country would have been far better off than he has left it. It is true that Egyptian has been transformed under his leadership, and that the High Dam on the Nile has opened up the possibility of great economic achievements; but the Egyptians have paid a heavy price for Nasser's over- riding commitments to "the Arab nation." It is as the leader of the modem Arab revolution that Nasser will rank among the greatest historical influences of the second half of the 20th century. He was not the ini- tiator but the supreme exem- plifler of the modernization of the Arab world. He taught Arabs how to regain their dig- nity in a world where it was fashionable to regard Arabs as people looked down upon because of the venality of their often corrupt and feudal societies. His teachings and the politi- cal skill of .his diplomacy made them a force to be reckoned of merely to be used by the modern world. He showed them how to cast off the shackles of Western domination which had kept Arab countries playing second fiddle to alien interests. And he encouraged them at the same time to dare to thrTw off the feudal yoke which was the con- dition until the other day of much of the Arab world. Cairo became the. capital for Arab resurgence; it was the political Mecca to which modern nationalists and revolutionaries could look for help' and encouragement in their struggle against the an- cien regime of the Yemen, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian deserts and the Maghreb along 'the south shores of the Med- iterranean. By linking the fortunes of his Arab revolution to the modern forces of black Africa and of the non-aligned nations of the Third Nasser was able to establish a dynamic base from which to mobilize the moderning elites, of the Middle East. Today only one major feudal area remains in the Arab world Saudi Arabia; and even there Nasserism had be- gun to do its work. His policies drove him and the modern Arab States inexor- ably into closer ties with the Soviet Union, and ipso facto into enmity with the major Western Powers. As a conse- quence he made it possible for the greatest shift to occur in the balance of power in the Middle East since the decima- tion of the Ottoman Empire. His purpose, however, was not to drive the West out of the front door of the Middle East only to let the Commun- ists come in' by the back door. His aim was to make the Mid- dle East secure for Arab na- tionalists. But because of his heavy reliance on the Russians ne- cessitated by his unequal struggle with Israel the cut- ting-edge for the unifying Arab revolutionary forces he in- creasingly found it harder to maintain his goal of national independence. This he hoped to achieve once a political settle- ment was reached with Israel. He had for long accepted that as a matter of realistic politics he was above all a real- ist that Israel could not be destroyed. But here was his dilemma: how to remain in control of the militant Arab revolutionaries while at the same time pursuing a policy of detente with Israel. He died without resolving this dilemma. His death was undoubtedly hastened by the increasing ferocity of the con- tradictory forces which, on the one hand sought Arab hegemo- ny over Arab lands and, on the other, sought to come to terms with a Jewish State in their midst. Nasser died the scion of the Arab revolution; but he was no longer the universal favorite of the new Arab world. Here was his tragedy. He was bitterly opposed, even reviled, by the leadership of the most militant of the 'Polished Water' From The Wall Street Journal flSAG ,A jVGE BEACH, Mo. Can- ada Dry Corp. said it will test market a new product; Canada Dry Pure Drinking Water. James D. W. Blyth, president of Canada Dry, told the annual meeting of its national bottlers here (hat "the introduction of the new product comes in the wake of mounting concern over ..the nation's ecology and wide consumer demand for pure water for both drinking and mixing purposes." Canada Dry, a subsidiary of Norton Simon Inc., said it sub- jects normal drinking water to an extensive purification treat- ment that results in "polished water." A similar process is used in making all Canada Dry beverages. Berkeley, Calif., the site of one of the .company's major plants, has been selected as the initial test market area for the1 new product. Expansion is an- ticipated for sometime in 1971, the company said. Canada Dry said the water will be marketed cents 28-ounce and 65 cents, half- gallon bottles. Canada Dry also announced the test marketing of its Ginger Ale in 12-ounce plastic bottles. Mr. Blyth said the plastic bot- tles will be introduced in stores in the New York metropolitan area. He said this will be the first time a noncola product will be tested in a plastic bottle. Arab nations the Syrians, the Iraqis and the Algerians, Latterly, too, the Libyans had joined the ranks of his critics. Morocco, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Jordan and Lebanon had always remained cautiously suspicious of the growth of Nasser's influence and power. They refused to bend their knee at his Canossa on the Nile. At the last, Nasser could count for whole-hearted support only from the present revolutionary regime in the Sudan. The astonishing fact is that although he was becoming in- creasingly isolated within the modern Arab world which he had first helped to deliver as the revolutionary midwife, and then to sustain as the safe god- father the dissonant parts of the Arab nation still persisted in clamoring for his leadership at times of high crisis as in the most recent civil war in Jordan. But the task was becoming Increasingly impossible, even for his lion-hearted courage. A few weeks before he died he told a Sudanese delegation that he felt he could not go on for much longer allowing Egypt to carry the major part of the burden of the Arab world on the backs of his people. The Egyptians, he said, look- ed to him to defend and pro- tect their own interests, which he could do much better if he were to make these his first priority. Everybody, he grum- bled, felt they could criticize him and attack his .policies and then when their own policies got into trouble they would descend on Cairo insisting that he should take responsibility to put things right. It was, time, he said, that those who were so militant about Israel (meaning, of course, the Syrians, Iraqis and Algerians) should take over, or at least share more evenly to, Hie burden. These were the grumblings of a tired, dying leader. But his spirit never died; there was no dimming of his vision PRICES EFFECTIVE THURS., FRI., SAT., OCTOBER 8, 9, 10. 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It was not only the most ex- treme among them who open- ly called him a traitor; even the leadership of Al Fatah felt that he was betraying the Pale- stinian and Arab cause by ac- cepting the November 1967 resolution of the Security Coun- cil (which guarantees the exis- tence of a Jewish State within agreed and secure frontiers) and by committing himself to negotiations for a political set- tlement. The last days of the maker of the modern Arab revolution were heavy with despair. Those whose battles he was fighting were stabbing him in the back. Those he had helped to overthrow colonial and feu- dal regimes were intent' on teaching him statecraft and suggesting that they Were purer than he was in then- dedication to the Arab revolu- tion. And his own Egyptian people, who had borne the brunt of the casualties of the wars against Israel and whose economic plight was daily be- coming more difficult, felt there was a limit to the sacri- fices they should be expected to make on behalf of their brothers. Only Nasser could deal with these attitudes, pa- tiently, never angrily, coaxing the Egyptian nationalists to live by the higher values of their historic mission at the turning-point of Arab history. Of course it is true that the burdens imposed on Cairo were all of Nasser's making. He had deliberately set out, in his Philosophy Of Revolution, to make Cairo the capital of the Arab world. But he had hoped that his capital would be able to provide coherent and disciplined leadership for that world. He failed to prevent the fissiparousness inherent in this diverse world of Arab peoples from pulling them apart. The concept of "the Arab nation" is romantic; it has no political reality. It cannot be guided by a single leader from a single political capital. Not to admit this was perhaps Nasser's big- gest mistake. Yet, without this vision and ambition, it would not have been possible for him, or for any other leader, to have done as much for the Arab re- awakening as was achieved in the last 20 years. The immediate consequences of Nasser's death are un- predictable. Certainly there is no likelihood in the immediate future of meaningful negotia- tions between Arab leaders and Israel. Nasser, it is now recognized, was the only Arab leader who had the necessary authority to achieve a settle- ment that stood any chance of being implemented. All that is lost. The divided Arab world no longer has a leader capable of achieving and maintaining even the sem- blance of unity. The Palestinian Arabs will have the support of "the militant Arab States the Syrians, Libyans, Algerians and Sudanese. The divisions among the Palestinians are paralleled by divisions among their backers. that Nasser is removed from the seeps and King Hus- sein's authority has probably been destroyed, there is no- body left to curb the passionate militancy of the Palestinians. This is bound to bring them into sharper conflict with the Israelis. To whom can they now look for effective support to prevent themselves from be- ing militarily clobbered? Certainly not to the Alger- ians, Syrians, Iraqis and Lib- yans. .Their effective contribu- tion, even when Nasser was alive, was of minimal value; today it is likely to be even less valuable. But who among the national- ists will succeed in getting and holding power? The modern- minded technologists and real- istic soldiers or the fanati- cal Muslim Brothers who were never destroyed by Nasser but only driven deep underground? The Middle East without Nasser will be a totally, differ- ent place. It is the end of an exciting era an era of Arab rebirth and optimism, of cruel warfare and of the birth of modern, unstable, ambitious, new societies. Looking towards the new era, all is dark; all is fluid. Now the real contest lies between the Palestinians and the Is- raelis. It is possible to see in this dialectic a more positive hope for an eventual agree- ment, but not before probably further sanguinary warfare, and a succession of crises that will rock world peace. (Written for The Herald and The Observer, London) The Oceans As Sewers From The Ottawa Journal rpHOR Hcyerdahl, after an attempt to cross the Atlantic on a raft made of reeds, said that he and his companions dared not fill their toothmugs from the ocean when they were hundreds of miles off the American coast. The water was too filthy. His comment is suitable background for the report of a federal task force, which urges Canada to call an international con- ference to draft strict regulations for pol- lution control at sea. The report also rec- ommends that Canada establish extensive pollution control zones off its ocean coasts, in which suitable measures against oil and other contamination of the oceans would bs enforced. The time for action is now. Otherwise the Atlantic and Pacific mil become dead seas, two vast septic tanks. Fred Singer assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior has cal- culated the annual worldwide oil spillage into the seas from ships, tankers and oil rigs _ flue to undersea oil exploration at one million tons. But if the various sol- vents dumped in the oceans are totalled, the figure is 13 million tons annually. 'Oceans are used as sewers for disposal of chemical effluents, metallic substances, radio-active wastes, chemical warfare gases, detergents, DDT and other pesti- cides, and innumerable other forms of garbage. Here is a report to the 1908 meeting o( the American Association for the Advance- ment of Science: "Radioactive substances are found in all oceans and all organisms in the marine biosphere." Or as it said more specifically, radioactivity can be de- tected in any 50-gallon sample of sea wa- ter taken anywhere in the world. Do we exaggerate in suggesting that this pollution may destroy ocean life? Max Blumer, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said last year: "If we do not take care of the present biological resources in the sea, we may do irreversible damage to marine or- ganisms, to the marine food chain, and we may eventually destroy the yield and value of the food which we hope to recover from the sea." Canada's federal task force on ocean pollution was set up to recommend action, after the .Liberian tanker Arrow ran ground in Nova Scotia's Chedabucto Bay, pouring part of its cargo of fuel oil into the sea. Its first report de- mands careful reading. Transport Minister Donald Jamieson promises legislative action on the basis of the report. We urge him to hurry. Elevator System Not Antiquated From The Winnipeg Free SIDELIGHT on the record, grain ship- A ments that will be made _ from the Prairies in the current crop-year is the man- ner in which the gJiiii eompauies have risen to the challenge. In past years "ex- perts" in the government and the academic world have been telling us that our present grain elevator system is inefficient and antiquated and ought to be scrapped. It was hard put to it, they said, to handle an ordinary year's grain shipments, and any- thing beyond the average would be be- yond its power to cope. Typical of the criticism the grain com- panies have been subjected to is a state- ment Prof. Peter Apedaile of the Univer- sity of Alberta made in July. In his view the thousands of grain elevators now dot- ting the Prairie landscape should be re- duced to between 25 and. 60, strategically lo- cated to serve regions of up to square miles. Prof. Apedaile. did not specify where the money was to come from to effect this overnight change, but it is obvious that it would be more than the grain companies could stand. Such criticism, divorced from economic considerations, is as meaningless as it is gratuitous. No one would deny that our grain elevator system cannot remain static and that, with the abandonment of branch railway lines, changes will have to be made. The grain trade recognizes this and is pre- pared to make adjustments. But for the grain companies to remain viable, change must be gradual and within their financial competence. And, even over tha long term, it is questionable if it would be either wise or necessary to reduce the number of ele- vators to the 25-to-50 that Prof. Apedaile recommends. In the meantime, the present "antiquated" system continues to do its job. The record, indeed, shows that it has always done its job, for there has never been a time when the country elevators have been unable to handle grain shipments when orders and boxcars have been available. This year, asked to handle a record output of 700 mil- lion bushels of grain, it has said it can do it again. Perhaps the system is not as "an- tiquated" as the experts have claimed. A 'Deplorable' Sale From The Calgary Herald A leading Canadian book publisher, Mr. A Jack McClelland, has termed deplor- able the sale of the textbook division of W. J. Gage Ltd. to a United States firm. There must be many Canadians who feel as Mr. McClelland does. If Canada is going to be able to continue to maintain its own values and its own way of life, the control of educational pub- lishing and the means of communication must surely have to remain in Canadian hands. It is in these fields that Canadian thought and expression is nurtured. But what can be done to prevent the erosion of these seedbeds of Canadian cul- ture? Probably only direct government inter- vention could have prevented the sale of the textbook publishing division. That wouldn't have been a particularly desir- able course. There is already enough gov- ernment intervention.in the affairs of Ca- nadian citizens. Furthermore a government that thought it was acting in the public interest today by preventing the sale of a textbook pub- lishing firm, might be encouraged tomor- row to think that it was in the general in- terst to ban U.S. textbooks regardless of their obvious value. Textbook publishing in Canada is limited by a relatively small market. There is no national market as such since courses of study and textbooks are prescribed in each province by the education departments. A more national approach to education might make textbook publishing a better econom- ic proposition by widening the market for more Canadian texts. But with education a matter of provincial jurisdiction only greater co-operation between provincial education departments could bring UBS about. But even a concerted effort of that kind would depend' for success on the writing of more Canadian textbooks in a greater number of educational fields. This objec- tive might well be assisted by greater Canada Council subsidization of scholars interested in writing textbooks suitable for Canadian schools. None of these steps is going to be taken, of course, unless the Canadian people snow that they want the control of textbook pub- lishing to remain in this country. If there hadn't been so much apathy in the past, the "deplorable" sale that Mr. McClelland referred to might not have taken place. Coal Development Dilemma From The Great Falls Tribune lyfONTANA'S 1971 Legislature will have to make sensitive decisions about how the state's rich coal resources are to be developed.. There will be increasing, pressure to strip mine the 300 billion tons of coal in eastern Montana. Dr. Sid Groff, coal authority from the Montana School of Mineral Science and Technology, told: the Pacific Northwest River Basins Commission earlier this month that Montana leads the nation in economioalwly mineable coal. Groff said eastern Montana's 300 billion tons of coal are included in a trillion tons in eastern Montana, northeastern Wyoming and west- ern North Dakota. He estimated Montana's near-surface .coal reserves at 18 billion tons. Groff predicted that Montana's coal, es- pecially valuable because of low pollutant and high burning qualities, would be devel- oped rapidly during the next 15 years, largely for shipments to power plants as far as miles away. He thinks Mon- tana hns only 50 years to use its coal re- sources before advanced technology ren- ders tliem obsolete. Montana stands to get considerable money from coal. The Water Resources Board was told a strip mining operation about to begin in southeastern.. Montana promises to provide the state millions of dollars in royalties. What priority should the state empha- size quick economic development to provide jobs and money for the state or a slower program that stresses land re- clamation as well as development? State and federal natural resource rep- resentatives meeting in Helena decided to seek a "regional approach" to reclamation of lands stripped for coal. Gov. Forrest H. Anderson thinks that strict reclamation standards would put Montana in a weak competitive position for coal development if neighboring states fail- ed to adopt the same standards. A regional or even a national policy Is needed to prevent coal-rich land from being ravaged by overly-eager developers. The 1971 Legislature will have to decide how much leeway to give strip mining companies. When deciding, they will have to consider the current economic advan- tages of development and also the fact that they are the Stewarts of the land. They have an obligation to future gen- erations of Montanans as well as to this generation.