The Peace Calendar Vol.2 No.4
Full text version of all articles from
Lee Gold — May 1984
Pamela Miller — May 1984
Direct action is a term used by peace activists to describe non-violent activities ranging from street theatre to illegal demonstrations. Ironically, the group which claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Litton Systems plant outside Toronto in October 1982 called itself ‘Direct Action.’ Toronto police used this fact to justify raids on private homes and peace organisations, and wiretaps of fifteen prominent non-violent peace activists.
No criminal charges have been laid against any of these individual activists. However, fifteen months later their belongings have not been returned, and they have been given no assurance that the tapes of the wiretaps have been destroyed.
Representatives of the Citizens’ Independent Review of Police Activities (CIRPA) have accompanied two of these peace activists to two hearings before the Metropolitan Toronto Police Commission. They requested the immediate return of the private property seized in the raids, assurances that the wiretaps had been destroyed, and a public apology. They asked the commissioners to investigate what appeared to be a deliberate policy to discredit and harass the peace movement, and sought guarantees that “a mass targeting of a community group by police would not happen again.”
At a first meeting in March of this year, several commissioners threatened to walk out if CIRPA attempted to discuss the wiretaps. At the second meeting, in April, they stated that they had no authority to investigate any activities of the police. In response to this position, CIRPA board member Peter Rosenthal (who was also wiretapped) asked the Commission “If the Police Commission doesn’t control the police, who does?”
Chairman of the Commission Philip Givens stated that “even if all of Toronto was wiretapped the Commission could not interfere or question the action. They could only make decisions about uniforms and such.”
CIRPA wants the Commission to investigate allegations of police impropriety against peace activists so that similar invasions of privacy for not cause do not reoccur. They want guidelines established for future investigations and an apology in order to clear people’s names. CIRPA is considering asking the Supreme Court of Ontario to order the Commission to exercise its authority under the Police Act. CIRPA will also renew its push for a publicly-elected Board of Commissioners which will place the police of Metropolitan Toronto under civilian control.
CIRPA can be reached by telephone at 416/xxx-xxxx.
Roy McFarlane — May 1984
“It is a mistake to equate national security with military superiority,” says Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll, who spoke in Toronto April 4, 5 and 6. Carroll retired in 1982 from a thirty-seven year career in American war efforts, and he spoke with authority and confidence on conventional and nuclear war preparations and dangers of current American military strategy.
As Deputy Director of the private non-governmental Center for Defence Information in Washington DC, Carroll is critical of the American policy, known as MAD. According to Carroll, “the MADness of ‘mutually assured destruction’ must give way to mutual security if we are to avoid a nuclear catastrophe within the next decade. We will be safer when our adversary is safer.”
To promote our mutual security, Carroll believes we must abandon the Reagan administration’s proposals for nuclear weapons escalation. He gave two reasons in particular for his opposition to Reagan’s proposed nuclear expenditures.
First, Carroll noted that the Reagan administration plans to supplement its current nuclear arsenal of 30,000 weapons with 17,000 new MX, Pershing and cruise missiles within ten years. Changes in weapons technology have reduced the warning time for the MX and Pershing weapons from thirty to six minutes, and the USSR, which has declared that it will not allow the US to gain nuclear superiority, can be expected to respond with comparable “time saving” weapons.
“If we don’t turn things around by 1990,” predicted Carroll, “fear will detonate a nuclear war.”
Carroll’s second major criticism of Reagan’s nuclear program is that the national expenditure would be crippling. Equating national security with military force, says Carroll, ignores the detrimental economic effects and the social stress of diverting monies from social services and domestic production. The $2 trillion which the Reagan military expenditure demands over the next five years represents a cost to each American family of $30,000. Carroll pointed out that “a bankrupt nation is never secure.”
To turn things around, Carroll proposes that the superpowers adopt a set of agreements which together will constitute a nuclear freeze. A comprehensive nuclear test ban on both sides must be negotiated, he said. A verifiable ban on test nights must be followed by a ban on deployment and finally a ban on nuclear weapons production. From the new stability of this position Carroll believes real reductions in nuclear armaments can be negotiated.
For our part, Carroll says that Canadians must re-evaluate the decision to test the cruise missile, in light of its real impact on our national security. According to Carroll, our NATO obligations demand that we increase our security, not our risk. If testing the cruise missile will increase our military vulnerability. then we would be obliged to abandon the testing agreement.
Maureen Curle — May 1984
OTTAWA — External Affairs Minister Allan MacEachen introduced legislation (Bill C-32), Monday, April 16, to establish the Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security. The Bill, which is expected to become law this summer, was welcomed with some reservation by P.C. disarmament critic Joe Clark and N.D.P. External Affairs critic Pauline Jewett.
According to the Bill, “the purpose of the Institute is to increase knowledge of the issues related to international peace and security, with particular emphasis on defence, arms control and disarmament, and to
- collect and disseminate information and ideas on international peace and security;
- promote scholarship in matters related to international peace and security;
- encourage public discussion of international peace and security issues; and
- foster, fund and conduct research on international peace and security issues of particular interest to Canadians or to the Government of Canada.”
The Institute will be funded jointly by the Department of National Defence and the Department of External Affairs — with $1.5 million allocated for this coming year, rising to $5 million by 1xxx-xxxx.
MacEachen, opening debate on the second reading of the Bill on Tuesday, April 17th, said, “This proposed Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security should be seen in the context of increased concern in Canada over the state of East-West relations.
“There have been some signs of improvement recently. However, we have not achieved an atmosphere in which conflict between East and West can, be ruled impossible. The threat of nuclear war continues to loom. These spectres are of immediate concern to all Canadians. Fortunately there exists a broad-based, non-partisan consensus among us all that Canada has a right and indeed a moral obligation to play a lead role in efforts to reduce these tensions.”
Outlining the tasks of the Institute, MacEachen said, “The first priority will be to set up a library and data base for the voluminous published material on these questions. It will be a central resource for research and interest in this field by individuals as well as by groups and institutions.”
The Institute will also publish studies, and sponsor conferences on peace and security issues, according to MacEachen.
Former Prime Minister Joe Clark, presently P.C. critic on disarmament, began his party’s assessment of the Institute by saying, “I think there can be no question anywhere in the country that the concept of the establishment of a peace institute centred in Canada is of great importance to us.” Clark went on to criticise the Bill as being “fatally flawed.” “We need changes that will guarantee the independence of this agency, changes that will guarantee its accountability to the House of Commons and Parliament, and changes that will ensure … that there will be a complementing of the activities and institutions already engaged in the field of peace research in the country rather than a supplanting, directly or indirectly of these agencies.”
Pauline Jewett, joining the debate on behalf of the N.D.P., said that “We agree with the Bill in principle. We agree with much of its content.” Jewett detailed a number of amendments to the Bill that the N.D.P. would propose. She also stressed the importance of giving the Canadian public sufficient time to make suggestions to the government on the Institute before the, Bill creating it becomes law;
Later in the debate British Columbia N.D.P. MP Ray Skelly criticized the government. “One cannot advocate peace and disarmament and build components for nuclear weapons.”
Jean Lapierre, until recently parliamentary secretary to Allan MacEachen, responded on behalf of the government. “Certainly,” he said, “the cruise missile problem could be examined by that Institute, as well as other arms-related problems, possibly in the light of American involvement around the world.”
The debate on the Bill, adjourned when the House rose for Easter break, will be resumed in May, after the M.P.s return. There is as yet no indication of where the Institute would be located, or when it would begin operation.
Martin Zeilig — May 1984
For most Vancouver Island residents, it is easy to forget that the Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental and Test Range (CFMETR) even exists. Driving along the Island highway about to miles north of Nanaimo and looking across the long but narrow Nanoose Bay, one can only see a few non-descript buildings, and, anchored off shore, a yellow submarine and a decommissioned Yard oiler, both of which are occasionally used as target ships.
Few could imagine the complex collection of hydrophones, computers, display systems and high-tech electronics that are housed in the test control centre on Winchelsea Island, just off the tip of the Nanoose peninsula.
CFMETR takes pride in the reliability and accuracy of its facilities. Lieutenant Commander Colin Isham, Commanding Officer of CFMETR, has said that the underwater testing range is the most sophisticated in North America.
During maritime defence discussions between Canada and the United States in the early I 960s, it was agreed that both countries would achieve cost benefits from a cooperative arrangement. Nanoose Bay area was selected as the best location for the range because of its relatively quiet waters, undisturbed by commercial shipping, its uniform depth of 1400 feet and its proximity to existing naval and air bases at Esquimalt and Comox, both on Vancouver Island, and the American naval base at Bangor, Washington.
Commander Isham says that roughly 80% of range time is used by the US and most activities at CFMETR centre on the three-dimensional test range where improvements to different types of torpedoes are tested in a five by fifteen mile stretch of water in Georgia Strait, just outside Nanoose Bay. Torpedoes can be fired from submarines, surface vessels, airplanes or helicopters, but are most often fired from small-range vessels. Recovery of these torpedoes is also an important part of CFMETR activities as the lightweight Mark 46 is valued at $100,000 and the heavier Mark 48 costs about $1 million.
At one point beluga whales were trained to locate bottomed torpedoes and affix clamps used to haul the objects to the surface, but this did not prove 100% satisfactory as whales wouldn’t dig for objects under the mud and other recovery equipment often had to be used anyway.
Under the joint agreement between Canada and the United States, Canada is responsible for construction and maintenance of all fixed facilities such as buildings, roads and jetties, administration, security and operational control of the range. The US is responsible for supply, installation and maintenance of all technical equipment for operation of the 3-D range, as well as for technical training of both Canadian and American range personnel.
Both Commanding Officer Isham and the Canadian Minister of Defence, Jean-Jacques Blais, have said that there are ‘no nukes’ at Nanoose Bay. Approximately eight American nuclear-powered submarines are tested at Nanoose each year, but, says Isham, “nuclear missile-carrying submarines never come here.”
Commanding Officer Isham has said that there will be a 50% increase in operations at CFMETR.
This will not mean an increase in torpedo firings but an increased use of sophisticated and complex technology which will require four additional technicians on permanent staff.
There are 103 Canadian personnel presently employed at CFMETR. Annual federal funding from the Department of National Defence has been roughly estimated between 5 and 6 million dollars. While many Canadians feel this is a small contribution to ‘national security,’ others feel we might be more ‘secure’ if these funds were used for nonviolent training programs for our politicians and military personnel.
Last summer Vancouver Island peace groups participated in a five week long ‘Peace Camp’ on the Island highway overlooking Nanoose Bay. Several thousand visitors passed through the camp, taking away with them a better understanding of weapons testing at CFMETR.
Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island peace activists have recently established a ‘Nanoose Action Alert’ to call attention to the presence of nuclear-powered submarines in gulf waters. When a submarine is sighted, a rapid response phone tree will mobilise a variety of actions including vigils, media, telegrams and letters to officials.
The peace activists who take part in these actions emphasize that the military installations and individual employees are not the enemy. The real enemy, they point out, is the cultural value system which has for generations made militarism a socially accepted method of problem solving.
Dan Anstett — May 1984
OTTAWA — On April 6, the newly-formed group Pax Humana held a press conference to announce plans for “INPAX: A Commitment to Creating Peace.” According to Tim Evans, president of Pax Humana’s board of directors, “INPAX will be an international gathering of youth committed to positive peace initiatives which will take place from September 1-9, 1984, in ‘Ottawa.” INPAX is the first of many peace initiatives which Pax Humana hopes to organise.
Pax Humana is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation founded last November by Evans, who is also president of the University of Ottawa Students’ Federation, and three friends from the Universities of Carleton and Ottawa. Witnessing the “extraordinary public response to the threat of nuclear war,” Pax Humana’s founding members felt that the emotional energy arising from this fear must be directed into “positive and concrete action at the grassroots level, especially by youth.”
Special guest at the April 6 press conference and at a reception held the previous evening in the parliamentary West Block Building in Ottawa was Dr. Rodrigo Carazo, former president of Costa Rica and now president of the United Nations World University for Peace. Dr. Carazo is International Honorary Chairman of the Pax Humana group.
INPAX, which stands for International Peace, was conceived of in December, 1983, as a means to “promote global peace building,” and to “create an awareness among young people that they are capable of shaping the world’s destiny towards attaining peace.”
INPAX will involve 600 delegates between the ages of 18 and 30 from around the world. “Peace Trains” will depart from Halifax and Vancouver on August 27, gathering Canadian delegates along the way and arriving in Ottawa before September I.
A “jamboree” format has been chosen for the conference, and the programme for the nine-day fete is divided into four areas: Dialogue, Skills development, Cultural events and activities, and Beyond INPAX.
Present plans call for the INPAX delegates to be addressed by prominent international figures, including Dr. Helen Caldicott; Nobel laureate Garcia Robles; Dr. Carazo; and Petra Kelly, leader of the Green Party in West Germany. To date, however, there are no confirmed speakers.
Tim Evans and the other INPAX organisers hope to raise the proposed $1.2 million budget for the event from both governmental and non-governmental sources. Through various Federal Government summer employment programs, they have asked for a total of $660,000 in grants and goods and services. For example, they have approached the Department of National Defence to allow delegates from Europe to fly to Ottawa aboard DND planes from the Lahr Air Base in the Federal Republic of Germany. Banks and foundations in the private sector have been approached to make up the rest of the funding. A letter from Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, read at the INPAX reception on April 5, indicates the Prime Minister’s strong personal support for the INPAX festivities.
Others, however, have raised some questions about the purpose of the jamboree. On April 18th, NDP Defence Critic Terry Sargeant voice some reservations in the House of Commons.
“I have a terrible suspicion,” said Sargeant, “ that this INPAX group with its admirable initiative is really a Liberal front, (that) .somehow or other the Liberals are trying to get on the peace bandwagon.”
Liberal MP Paul McRae, who organised the April 5 reception, said he was “surprised” that Sargeant saw it “as something that I was trying to do in any very partisan way.”
The registration fee for the entire INPAX event is $200 per delegate. Evans stresses that he welcomes the support and participation from the Canadian peace movement.
For further information about INPAX, contact Robert O’Neill at (613) xxx-xxxx, or write The Pax Humana Group, 401 University Centre, Colonel By Drive, Ottawa On., K1S 5B6.
anon — May 1984
OTTAWA — On September 30, 1983, a non-violent civil disobedience action, organised by the Anti-Intervention Action Committee of the Alliance for Non-Violent Action, blocked traffic going into the External Affairs Building on Sussex Avenue in Ottawa. This protest against Canadian foreign policy in Central America led to the arrest of fourteen people.
The trials of the fourteen peace activists, who were charged with public mischief, took place this past April 2, just after Canadian advisors had returned from El Salvador’s elections and as External Affairs Minister Allan MacEachen was arriving in Central America.
Judge Paul Belanger refused to grant the group a joint trial. He agreed, however, to allow each defendant the right to act as an agent in each individual trial.
The defendants began by pleading not guilty, although admitting to their presence on Sussex Avenue.
The first defendants cited Canada’s support for loans to El Salvador through multilateral lending institutions, its bilateral aid program to Honduras, its silence when US covert military actions undermined the Contadora initiative, and its sending of election observers to El Salvador as evidence of Canada’s “active and complicit role in supporting US aggression in the region.”
The defendants also argued that Canada has ratified human rights agreements, and consistently propagates high morals on the international stage at the UN, but does not reflect human rights concerns in its overall foreign policy.
Jean Jacques Bastian, of the External Affairs Latin American desk, was subpoenaed by the defendants. He was asked to justify Canadian aid to Honduras when that nation was engaged in covert actions against Nicaragua. Instead of addressing the military issue, Bastian said that Canada considered underdevelopment in Honduras a crucial concern.
Following Bastian, Hugo Perez, a Salvadoran refugee who was once in the Socorro Juridico (the human rights organisation of the Archdiocese of San Salvador), described in detail the torture and killings of many civilians in his country. He described the paramilitary death squads which he said were “supported by the Salvadoran and US military.” Hugo also condemned the sending of Canadian observers, which he felt only legitimised the military and the death squads, “who didn’t represent the interests of the vast majority of Salvadorans.”
Among the defendants were a journalist who had visited Central America many times, a Catholic lay missionary who had worked in the region, and a teacher who had lived in Nicaragua. They related their experiences to the court and explained that their civil disobedience was justified given that all other methods of protest had failed to stop the oppression and killing in Central America.
Other defendants stated that the court was supporting an unjust system and was itself the guilty party.
Judge Belanger found the defendants guilty and fined twelve of them fifty dollars or a week in jail. The two others had asked to be discharged because a criminal conviction would hinder their future plans to work abroad.
Gordon Flowers — May 1984
Heartfelt appreciation goes out to Dan Heap and the staff of his constituency office for all their assistance on The Peace Calendar.
Andrew Van Velzen — May 1984
The Biennial Conference of the Canadian Peace Congress was held In Toronto February 24-26. The conference was attended by members of its National Board, representatives from thirty Peace Councils across Canada and from eighteen affiliated organisations, as well as by a delegation from its sister organisation, the Conseil Quebecois de la Paix. Also present on this, the 35th anniversary of the Congress, were Romesh Chandra, President of the World Peace Council, and Karen Talbot, who represents North America on the Secretariat of the WPC in Helsinki, Finland.
Focal points of discussion at the Biennial Conference were the increasingly dangerous escalation of the global arms race and the campaign to annul the testing of the cruise missile in this country and to declare Canada a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone. Delegates spoke overwhelmingly in support of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign, and pledged the Congress to make this effort a priority over the next period of time.
The Conference heard and accepted reports from its provincial councils and affiliates, as well as political, organisational and financial reports. A proposal to establish an award in recognition of activities for peace was also approved.
Resolutions were adopted dealing with the US threat to self-determination of nations, and with security and world peace. Other adopted resolutions supported the United Auto Workers position on peaceful production; called for the withdrawal of the current US ambassador to Canada for overstepping diplomatic privilege in his public falsification of the balance of arms; and gave full support for the PPCC. Additional resolutions dealt with the cruise missile testing in Canada and deployment of US missiles in western Europe.
The last item of business was the election of a new Congress executive. Elected were: President John Morgan; Vice-President Michael Choral; Executive Director Gordon Flowers; Treasurer Marjory Mitchell; Members Jeanette Morgan, Jaycee Cowl, Mel Doig, Barry Fraser, Art Jenkyn, Veli Kentala, Lari Prokop, Nickolas Prychodko. and Bill Thompson.
— May 1984
The Alliance for Non-Violent Action (ANVA) is initiating a National Election / Action campaign aimed at publicising Canada’s role in military production. As part of the campaign, local groups will organise around weapons and military facilities in their areas, with national actions scheduled between October 20 and November 11.
The non-violent actions planned for the campaign will include leafletting, picketing, demonstrations and civil disobedience. The campaign will be putting out a comprehensive map which will show the locations of bases, nuclear facilities, including power plants, weapons manufacturers and other military facilities.
Among the key military installations which the campaign hopes to publicise are the storage of nuclear weapons at Comox, BC, and Bagotville, PQ; the Nanoose Bay submarine testing range on Vancouver Island; the weapons testing range at Cold Lake, AB; and Halifax Harbour as a regular visiting spot for US nuclear submarines.
The campaign will also focus on nuclear power sites, and ANY A sees the campaign for a nuclear-free Ontario and the upcoming Darlington actions as part of this campaign.
The ANVA campaign will demonstrate that the testing and production of the cruise missile is only one aspect of a longstanding Canadian involvement in war-making. Canada was intimately involved in the Manhattan Project which produced the first atomic bomb, and continues to be heavily involved in war production to this 60 of Canadian arms exports that year. Another $350 million went to other countries, of which half were part of the Third World. Canada is one of the top 5 arms exporters in the world, with about 150 companies involved in some sort of military production.
Many of these companies are located in southern Ontario and Quebec. In addition to Litton Systems, outside Toronto, these companies include Spar Aerospace, producer of the Canadarm for the space shuttle, which is definitely for military uses, and infrared detection systems for the US Navy.
DAF Intal in Mississauga, Ontario, produces helicopter recovery systems for the US Navy. Garret Manufacturing in Rexdale produces electronic components and temperature controls, and has recently teamed up with British Aerospace to bid for a $600 million Canadian Forces contract for five low-level air defense systems.
Fleet Industries in Fort Erie, Ontario, manufactures civilian and military aircraft, and supplies many of the prime commercial contractors in the US. General Motors, in London, Ontario, has a $625 million contract from the US Marine Corps for Light Armoured Vehicles for use in the Rapid Deployment Force.
The Montreal area has many defense contractors, including Pratt and Whitney, a major producer of aircraft engines for civilian and military use — including the PT-6 series, the type used in Central America to bomb guerrilla strongholds.
In Winnipeg, Bristol Aerospace is involved in electronics and rocketry work with much of their exports going to the US military program. Boeing in Winnipeg will likely be a components manufacturer for the MX missile, if the MX is approved.
In addition to these Canadian companies currently involved in weapons production, Canada has many high-tech firms that will increasingly seek profitable contracts from the Pentagon. AES Data of Montreal is one such firm, and it is opening a military testing installation in Mississauga, Ontario. AES sells word-processing equipment to the US military,
ANVA believes that the time has come to oppose Canada’s massive involvement in nuclear and conventional militarism. For more information, contact the Alliance for Non-Violent Action, c/o CMCP, 730 Bathurst St., Toronto ON, M5S 2R4.
— May 1984
Edited by Mary Vrantsidis
- Watch for the Toronto Peace Festival, a day of fun and information from noon to 8:00 pm on Centre Island June 30. Bring a picnic lunch and listen to the informative speakers and lively entertainers. In case it rains, the festival will be held July 7th. The event is sponsored by the Toronto Disarmament Network. For more information or to volunteer, call xxx-xxxx.
- Two members of the Saint John, NB, Ploughshares group have set up the “Anvil Foundation” with $10,000 of their own money. In keeping with the resolution passed at the UN Special Session in 1978, the foundation hopes to increase the flow of information on the arms race and the disarmament movement to the people. Acdording to the resolution, educating and working for peace cannot be the responsibility of government alone. If you want to apply for funding or to contribute to the foundation, contact Rev. John Moses, Silver Falls United Church, 840 Loch Lomond Rd., Saint John, NB, E2J lZ2. Phone 506/xxx-xxxx (w) or 506/xxx-xxxx (h).
- The Campaign for a Nuclear-Free Ontario is gearing up to their major protest of the Darlington power plant scheduled for Sat. June 9th, with further action to take place on June 11. The Campaign is protesting all. aspects of the uranium trade in Ontario, from its mining and processing, to the reliance of Ontario on nuclear-generated electricity, as opposed to conservation or renewable energy. CNFO is also concerned about the use of CANDU reactors for bomb production and the large amounts of Plutonium that are produced in them.
- CNFO is having a major fundraiser, billed as a Reggae Extravaganza featuring the band Aikoben & Rebel Radio with other groups. This event is occurring at the Palais Royale on May 25 with tickets costing $7.00 in advance and $9.00 at the door, in St. Catherines on May 2nd and 18th. The theme of the meetings is “A future made possible through peace and ecology.” Contact: xxx-xxxx.
- For information on Ottawa support group to raise money for The Nuclear War Film, call Mahonri Young at 613/ xxx-xxxx. The film is being made by Peter Watkins, as a follow-up to his 1965 film The War Galme.
- Plans are underway to twin towns in Lincoln County, Ontario, with sister towns throughout the world. If you want to be part of the planning session, the Committee for Mundialised Communities will be meeting soon. Contact REACT at xxx-xxxx.
- May is the organising month for the Nuclear Free Zone movement in religious communities. The organisers will be holding a national press conference in the US during “Peace with Justice” week, May 4-13. For more information, contact Religious Task Forcel MFS, 85 So. Oxford St., Brooklyn, NY 11217, or phone 212/xxx-xxxx.
- The Vancouver Peace Centre Society has established a peace mission in its city. It will serve as a resource centre and offer space for speakers, exhibitions, performances and other events. The Society is also exploring the possibility of having a peace pavilion at Expo 86. Contact 1211 Bidwell St., Vancouver N6G 2K7, xxx-xxxx.
Anatol Rapoport — May 1984
For the last two months the National LetterWriting Campaign has targeted the Conservative and Liberal parties asking them to endorse and work towards the objectives of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign (PPCC). This month, the NLWC is focussing on the New Democratic Party, which is the only major political party in Canada to have endorsed the PPCC. Although the NDP have endorsed the Campaign, and have spent many hours assisting with the training of organisers and canvassers, one of the most crucial roles the NDP can play in the upcoming Federal election is to make the objectives of the PPCC an election issue and to focus debate on the issues of disarmament and development.
Thanks are due to NDP MP Pauline Jewett for bringing attention to the issue of cruise missile testing. Yet making disarmament a major issue in the next Federal election depends to large extent on one of the major parties introducing it as part of its election platform so that it can become a topic of pre-election debate. Therefore, this month’s suggestion is to write Ed Broadbent, leader of the NDP, thanking the NDP for endorsing the PPCC, and assisting in organisation of the canvass, as well as pressing him to make the objectives of the PPCC central issues in the next election.
No postage is required in writing to the New Democratic Party leader, and letters should be addressed to the House of Commons, Ottawa, Ont. K1A 0A6. Also, in order to assess the number of letters that are being written nationally each month I would like to receive a letter, for this month only, from each group that has endorsed the NLWC, indicating the number of letters written by your group to Mr. Broadbent. Knowing approximately how many letters are being written each month will allow us to confront each month’s target. (e.g., ‘We know you received X number of letters last month; why haven’t you responded?)
Finally, the NLWC would like to welcome four new groups: Athabascans for Nuclear Disarmament, Battleford Association for Nuclear Disarmament, People for Peace-Erin, and our second group from Quebec — West Islanders for Nuclear Disarmament. If your group is interested in becoming part of the NLWC, please write to me and let me know that your group endorses the concept and is willing to encourage peace activists in your community to write letters. Also, please send suggestions of individuals you would like to see targeted for letters.
301-103 Church St.
Kitchener, ON, N2G 2S3
P.S. Remember: Thinking about it doesn’t change anything. Please, put something in the mail.
Metta Spencer (reviewer) — May 1984
Brief to the Commission of the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark
presented 9th March 1984
I am a member of Science for Peace, a nationwide organization of scientists interested in peace research and peace education. I do not, of course, presume to speak for that organization. However, the views I am about to present are shared by many of my colleagues, who, being professionally engaged in scientific activity, feel a special responsibility imposedon them by that activity.
At one time, there was a widespread view that the professional responsibilities of the scientist did not include concerns about good and evil but only with the discovery and dissemination of truth, that is, with questions about what is — not about what ought or ought not to be. Nevertheless, even though the scientist in his professional role was supposed to ignore questions of value, science as such was for a long time regarded as the basis of man’s power over nature and hence as a fountainhead of positive contributions to the quality of life. In the last decades, this image of science has become tarnished. Science now tends to be seen increasingly as a source not only of benign technology but also of ultra-sophisticated destructive technology, literally threatening to wipe out the human race either quickly by megaweapons or more slowly by progressive degradation of the environment.
In my view, it is the responsibility of the scientists to explain that the misuse of science for destructive or self-destructive ends is not inherent in science as a mode of perceiving the world. On the contrary, the frightening perversions of technology now portends (a situation without any remotely analogous precedent in history), partly from deeply rooted delusions about social and political realities and even from misconceptions about the meaning of rational decisions in conflict situations.
Research on these matters and the dissemination of knowledge so obtained have become, to my way of thinking, a prime responsibility of the scientists to his profession and to humanity as a whole. Responsibility to the profession involves counteracting the image of science as Frankenstein’s monster — an image still projected by scientists who continue to serve the needs of the global war machine. These scientists disavow responsibility for the uses to which their research is put by insisting that science must be “value-free”. This stance, however, which amounts to disengaging intellect from conscience. is in itself an avowal of value, inimical in my opinion, to the spirit and ideals of science. Responsibility to humanity is that of providing a scientifically based infrastructure for the establishment of institutions designed for a lasting global peace.
In the societies of the superpowers, there are formidable obstacles in the way of a scientist attempting to discharge these responsibilities. In the Soviet Union, where expression of opinions in any way critical of the regime or of its policies is fraught with severe dangers, these obstacles are obvious. In the United States, where criticism and disscnt do not necessarily evoke sanctions. Ihe obstacles are of another kind, namely, the inertia of public perception of national security. still dominated by anxieties about world power status, reactions to challenges by determined adversaries, etc. ‘
Countries unencumbered by great power status and thus potentially free from self-defeating compulsions can play an important and constructive role in providing an antidote to the poison now pervading rclations between the superpowers. Canada is especially well suited for this role. in the first instance through diplomacy by developing creative peace initialives, conflict-resolving techniques, etc. This role can also be played internally by encouraging the attainment and dissemination of reliable, scientifically supported knowledge aboul how the new dimension of war has made all the time-honoured notions about its genesis. nature, and consequences all but irrelevant to the present plight of humanity.
Science for Peace was organized with Ihe view of providing enlightenment on all these matters. Thank you for the opportunity of presenting Ihis view al these Hearings.
MEMBERSHIP: We extend an invitation to join Science for Peace to all scientists physical, life, behavioural and social). engineers, physicians, and others. whether from industry, business. or tbe professions. Membership includes a subscription to the BULLETIN and thc right to participate in Chapter activities. Membership subscription: $25.00 (student/retired: $5.00). Make cheques payable to Scicnce for Peace we are registered as a charitable organinlion. Mail to: Science for Peace. University College, University of Toronto, Toronto On., M5S 1A1. Contacts: office, xxx-xxxx; Derek Paul, secretary, xxx-xxxx; Raymond Kapral, treasurer. xxx-xxxx.
Jon Spencer (reviewer) — May 1984
Arnold Simoni. New York: Schocken Books, 1983. 235 page hardhack.
Arnold Simoni’s important book maintains that “disarmament cannot be the cause of peace, but only the product of peace.”
“The way to avoid a nuclear war is not to address the weapons of war but the circumstances that inexorable trend to war — the conflict of interests that has placed half the world in a state of perpetual confrontation with the other half. If this can be resolved, disarmament will take care of itself.“
Accordingly, the author relates the nuclear arms race to the world’s economic troubles. Things will get worse, he predicts convincingly, but that may be necessary: people won’t willingly change until their situation becomes desperate. Only a crisis will bring an opportunity to restructure the world’s major institutions. We can accomplish nothing significant yet, but we must think seriously now about what to propose when the opportunity does arise.
If we are very lucky, Simoni implies, the world economy will collapse before we are all blown up, and we will be smart enough to replace it with a workable system. The most stimulating aspect of his analysis deals with the contradictions in the economy that will bring about its downfall. His is a version of what development theorists call the “dependency model” in that he holds that the affluent industrial countries, driven by the imperative; for growth, have impoverished the Third World, even while claiming to aid it. Capital must be exported, markets expanded, cheap labour exploited, and goods sold to keep the rich nations solvent. And this growth imperative applies both to the Soviet Union and to the capitalist nations.
Simoni explains militarism largely in terms of the mounting problems of an economy that requires incessant growth. Yet, while resources remain abundant, we have been able to live comfortably in this economy by borrowing against tomorrow. There are certain costs, to be sure — inflation and growing unemployment — but only the less developed nations have had to suffer much, so far.
We will not remain lucky, however, when the necessity for constant growth collides against the finiteness of resources. The inflation resulting from the first oil shortages presages a much more disastrous, out-of-control inflation as we confront other scarcities, one after another. And that prospect is worsened by other factors that even now release the economy from political control: the multinational corporations that are too big for any nation to manage; the growth of “floating money” in the form of Eurodollars, that cannot be controlled by nationallydetermined interest rates. Money is lent to Third World countries under terms that no national banking authority would tolerate; the outcome will be defaults and the collapse of the international monetary system.
Simoni makes a great contribution by pointing continuously at the impact that this inexorable economic catastrophe will have on the prospect of war.
“As the competition for resources (and markets) grows warmer, small countries will be bullied and looted by large ones, long-standing alliances will unravel in enmity, and long-standing enmities will rise to new orders of malice. The superpowers, whose wealth of indigenous resources has long allowed them to keep a certain distance from one another, will find more and more occasions for intervening directly, at the risk of treading on each other’s toes, in parts of the world the mastery of which they were formerly content to dispute through agents and surrogates … sooner or later there will be war.”
Yet possibly not. When the crisis deepens, the chance will also exist for progressive changes. Simoni has many to propose, not all of them the ideas that others find most promising.
For example, he does not place much stock in the United Nations.
“Probably it is just as well that the organization has not lived up to its founders’ expectations; nothing could he more chilling than the mutual hostility of the United States and the Soviet Union except the prospect of their mutual accord in the matter of how the world ought to be run. “
Far from hoping for world government, Simoni’s solution runs in the opposite direction — increasing decentralisation. To curb the multinationals, he would secure small zones of trade with protectionist tariffs.
He argues cogently for certain measures that would prepare the ground for abandoning economic growth: reducing worktime by legislation, while also establishing a guaranteed minimum income. People would work only if they wanted to, hence he liberated from their servitude to the multinationals. An international development agency would be created to provide genuine aid for the poor countries, yet be above political pressure.
Only after surmounting the pressure for growth can nations turn to the business of genuine peacemaking. Simoni’s proposals along those lines are not all original; thus he would encourage cultural exchanges and an independent broadcasting system that would allow countries to present their views wherever they like, uncensored by other governments. And he particularly favours the creation of an Integrated International Peacekeeping Force to enforce the agreements reached hy a voluntary association of medium and small powers.
I found Simoni’s book remarkably stimulating. Developing first a comprehensive overview of the world’s economy, he explicates its linkage to the nuclear danger in a masterly way. To quibble a bit, I confess that I sometimes wished he had presented footnotes and evidence of having grappled with the scholarly debates on the many themes that are integral to his argument. On the whole, however, his analysis sheds much light on the nuclear arms issue.
Nevertheless, I cannot agree with his main proposals; I remain unconvinced that international relations will be improved by trade restrictions or political and economic decentralisation. The planet being a unified ecological system, only a unified political system is capable of empowering the people who live here to protect their lives from, say, the acid rain produced by their neighbours, or from a shortage of essential raw materials that their neighbours may possess abundantly.
Still, Simoni’s argument must be pondered; we cannot indefinitely skirt the issues that he raises. And besides, unlike the garden variety anti-bomb book, this one is a literary delight, worth reading simply for its flawless and nuanced stvle.
— May 1984
- Albert, M., & Delinger, D. (eds.) (1983). Beyond Survival: New Directions for the Disarmament Movement. Boston: South End Press. Articles by Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn and others on present US defence policy and its political, economic and moral ramifications. A brilliant and damning indictment of the militarisation of American society
- Aldridge, R.E. (1979). The Counterforce Syndrome: A Guide to US Nuclear Weapons and Strategic Doctrine (2nd ed.). Washington DC: Institute for Policy Studies. A scathing critique, by a former Lockheed engineer and weapons designer, of current dangerous trends in American arms acquisition and strategic thinking.
- Aldridge, R.E. (1983). First Strike: The Pentagon’s Strategy for Nuclear War. Boston: South End Press.
- Alternative Defence Commission (1983). Defence Without the Bomb: The Report of the Alternative Defence Commission. London: Taylor & Francis. A vitally important, authoritative study, partlv sponsored by the Stockholm Intemational Peace Research Institute. that conclusivelv deI11onstrates the feasibility of all effective, nonnuclear defence posture for western Europe.
- Arbatov, G. (1981). The Soviet Viewpoint. New York: Dodd Mead. A series or interviews with the chief Soviet expert Oil North America, ranging over arms control. US-Soviet relations, etc. A subtle melange or truths, halftruths and distortions.
- Arkin, A. (1976). The Lemming Condition. New York: Harper & Row. A good children’s book dealing with the problem of widely-held destructive social views.
- Arkin, W.M., et al. (1983). Nuclear Weapons Databook, Vol 1: US Nuclear Forces and Capabilities. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger. The first of a series oif ten volumes. An e.xtraordinary enterprise. When completed, these books will stand as the definitive encIclopaedic treatment of nuclear armaments.
- Belts, R.K. (Ed.) (19R3). Cruise Missiles: Tech nology, Strategy, PoIitics. Washington: The Brookings Institution. Everything you’ve always wanted to know and much, much more.
- Briggs, R. (1992). When the Wind Blows. Penguin Books. Black humour of the highest order. A brillian cartoonist’s version of the horrible and, pathetic fate of a hapless married couple in Thatcher’s Britain after the holocaust.
- Carver, F.M.L. (1982). A policy for peace. London: Faber & Faber.
- Chomsky, N., et al. (1981). Superpowers in collision: The New Cold War. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. Chomsky’s rhetorical demmciations of the U.S. are balanced by Jonathon Steele’s cool analysis of Soviet policy and John Gitling’s expert essl’ly on China. All three wrilers agree that the U. S. has been il1ainly responsible, thanks to ils interventionist zeal and obsession wilh military and economic tensions and destabilizalion.
- Cockburn, A. (1983). The Threat: Inside the Soviet Military Machine. New York: Random House. A factual, well-documented study by a Brilish joumalist specializing in defence issues that Ihoroughly demolishes Ihe myth of overwhelming Soviet mililary superiority foslered by the Pentagon.
- Cox, A.M. (1982). Russian Roulette: The superpower game (with a Soviet commentary by Georgy Arbatov) New York: Times Books.
- Dallek, R. (1982). The American Style of Foreign Policy: Cultural Politics and Foreign Affairs. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Establishes a conneclion bel ween the oflen unstable and irrational course of us foreign policy since World War II and domeslic polilical and cultural faclors, e.g. anti-Communist paranoia.
- Draper, T. (1983), Present History: On nuclear war, detente and other controversies. New York: Random House. Ralional, incisive and causlic collection of essays by Ihe. prominenl journalist and polilical commentator. Uflerly demolishes Reagan’s and Weinberger’s appalling nolion of “prevailing” in a “protracted” nuclear war.
- Epstein, W., Webster, L., (Eds) (1983). We Can Avert Nuclear War. Cambridge, Mass.: Oelgeschlager, Gunn & Hain.
- Ford, D., et aI., and the Union of Concerned Scientists (1983). Beyond the Freeze: The road to nuclear sanity. Boston: Beacon Press.
- Freedman, L. (1981). The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy. London: St. Martin’s Press. A long, delailed exposition of the ways in which politicians, defence planners and mililary men have Ihoughl about nuclear weapo,j from the beginning of Ihe atomic age to Ihe presenl. This is a difficult book wrillen for an academic audience, ,but deserves a wider readership.
- Freeman, Harold. (1983). This is the Way the World Will End, This is the Way You Will End, Unless… Hurtig Publishers.
- Jiulley, John G. (1984). The Day We Bombed Utah. Scarborough: New American Library of Canada Ltd.
- Garrison, J. ( 1980). From Hiroshima to Harrisburg. London: SCM Press.
- Garrison, M. (1983). The Darkness of God: Theology after Hiroshima. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.
- Giangrande, C. (1983). The Nuclear North: The people, the regions and the arms race. Toronto: Anansi. A journalist’s passion ale account of Canada’s involvemenl in the development and manufacluring of nuclear weapons and of how ordinary Canadians — from Litton employees to native Canadians in northern Alberta — feel about it.
- Gray, E.S. (1982). The MX, ICBM and National Security. Praegar Publishers.
- Hansson, E., & Liden, K. (1983). Moscow women: 13 interviews. New York: Pantheon. Moving — and depressing — accounts of the everyday lives of women in the U.S.S.R.
- Hertsgaard, M. (1983). Nuclear,. Inc.: The men and money behind nuclear energy. New York: Pantheon Books. .
- Hilgartner, S., et al. (1983). Nukespeak: The selling of nuclear technology in America. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. A definitive guide to the Orwellian jargon that dominates the field of nuclear power and strategic thinking. Indispensable for anyone wishing to join the ebate.
- Holloway, D. (1983). The Soviet Union and the Arms Race. New Haven: Yale University Press. An extremely valuable scholarly study that views Soviet nuclear policy dynamically and dialectically in terms of responses to Western initiatives and perceived threats.
- Kaldor, M. (1981). The Baroque Arsenal. London: Andre Deutsch. An original study although rather limited in focus of the economically, socially and militarily counter-productive consequences, for both the United States and the Soviet Union, that .flow from an increasingly expensive, technologically sophisticated arms race.
- Kaldor, M., & Smith, D. (Eds.) (1982). Disarming Europe. London: Merlin Press. A collection of substantive papers dealing with various aspects of the military balance in Europe, both nuclear and conventional, proposals for alternative security arrangements, etc.
- Kaplan, F. (1983). The Wizards of Armageddon. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. An excellent critical study of the bizarre hidden world of American nuclear strategists and war planners.
- Kennan, G. (1982). The Nuclear Delusion. New York: Pantheon. The most important book yet published on the nature of the Russian threat and the misguided foreign policy of the United States with respect to the Soviet Union.
- Kennedy, E., and Hatfield, M. (1982). Freeze: How You Can Prevent Nuclear War. Bantam Books.
- Kennedy, G. (1983). Defense Economics. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
- Lens, S. (1983). The Maginot Line Syndrome: America’s hopeless foreign policy. Cambridge, Mass.: Ballinger.
- Leontief, W., & Duchin, F. (1983). Military Spending: Facts and figures, worldwide implications and future outlook. New York: Oxford University Press. ‘
- Lifton, R.J. (1968). Death in life: Survivors of Hiroshima. New York: Basic Books. A moving dissection of the psychological horrors visited upon the physical survivors of Hiroshima.
- Lifton, R.J., & Falk, R. (1982). Indefensible Weapons: The political and psychological case against nuclearism. Toronto: CBC. A powerful and profound book that treats “nuclearism,” i.e., our reliance on and acceptance of nuclear weapons, as a disease, both of the mind and the body politic, that “undermines national security, destroys political legitimacy and psychologically impairs a future. “
- Lovins, A.B. (1980). Energy/war: Breaking the Nuclear Link. New York: Harper & Row. A detailed examination of the relationship between the commercial exploitation of nuclear energy and the nuclear arms race.
- Lovins, A.B., et al. (1983). The First Nuclear World War: A new vision of national security to stop the spread of the bomb. New York: William Morrow. Both a factbook about the nuclearization of the Third World and a plea for common sense. Raises the threat of regional nuclear war.
- Mandelbaum, M. (1979). The Nuclear Question: The United States and Nuclear Weapons 1xxx-xxxx.
- A scholarly hut readable history and analysis of nuclear strategy and arms control. The author is a nuclear Candide, arguing that deterrence works, that efforts at arms control have been reasonably successful.
- MIT Faculty (Comp. & Eds.) (I983). The Nuclear Almanac. Boston: Addison-Wesley. Contributions by eminent scientists and historians, among them Paul Warnke, Herbert York and Philip Morrison. Wide-ranging and extremely detailed but intended for a lay audience. Covers every aspect ‘of the atom in war and peace.
- Myrdal, A. (1976). The Game of Disarmament: How the United States and Russia run the arms race. New York: Pantheon. A history of the development of nuclear weapons and of attempts to control and abolish them from the end of World War II to the late ’1970’s. Myrdal’s convincing thesis is that the process of negotiation between the superpowers has been a mutually self-serving exercise designed to regulate not to end the arms race and maintain their strategic superiority and repressive control over “allies” and client states.
- Newman, P.C. (1083). True North: Not Strong and Free. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart.
- Overy, B. (1982). How Effective are Peace Movements? Montreal: Harvest House.
- Peterson, J. (Ed.) (1983). The Aftermath: The human and ecological consequences of nuclear war. New York: Pantheon. Detailed, comprehensive, rigorously scientific and extensively documented. This is probably the definitive introduction to the subject.
- Physicians for Social Responsibility (B.C. Chapter) (1983). Prevention of Nuclear War.
- Polanyi, J., & Griffiths, F. (Eds.) (1979). The Dangers of Nuclear War: A Pugwash Symposium. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Consists of papers presented by an array of scientific, military and political experts (Lord Zuckerman, McGeorge Bundy, etc.) on the growing threat of nuclear war. Especially good discussion of the issue of nuclear proliferation.
- Pringle, P. (1983). SlOP: The Secret U.S. Plan for Nuclear War. New York: Norton. Clearly written, factual, jargon free and terrifying. Demonstrates the almost complete lack of flexibility and ultimate control in the nuclear war-fighting “game plans” of the Pentagon.
- Prins, G. (Ed.) (1982). Defended to Death. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. A meticulously researched, comprehensive analysis of the nuclear arms race by a group of Cambridge dons. Probably the most lucid and wide-ranging treatment of the question. Equipped with an extremely useful array of maps, tables and charts, glossaries, notes.
- Regehr, E. (1975). Making a Killing: Canada’s Arms Industry. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart.
- Regehr, E., & Rosenblum, S. (Eds.) (1983). Canada and the Nuclear Arms Race. Toronto: James Lorimer & Co.
- Roche, D., (1983). Politicians For Peace. Toronto: New Canada Publi. cations. (Doug Roche’s new book is expected to be released in June).
- Ryle, M.H. (1981). The Politics of Nuclear Disarmament. London: Pluto Press.
- Saffer, T.H., & Kelly, O.E. (1983). Countdown Zero: GI Victims of U.S. Atomic Testing. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.
- Sanger, C. (1983). Safe and Sound: Disarmament and Development in the 80’s. Ottawa: Deneau Publications.
- Scheer, R. (1982). With Enough Shovels. New York: Random House. A terrifying book consisting largely of unguarded remarks captured by a tape recorder concerning nuclear war, the Soviet Union, etc., made by key members of the Reagan administration and the American defence establishment.
- Schell, J. (1982). The Fate of the Earth. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. A passionate, powerful- unbearably so at times — exploration of the nature and consequences, both known and conjectural, of nuclear war. It may be repetitious and rhetorical in places and his solutions and prescriptions may be nopelessly unrealistic. However, such criticisms miss the point. This is above all, an unexcelled exercise in consciousness-raising.
- SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) (1982). The Arms Race and Arms Control. London: Taylor & Francis.
- SIPRI (1982). Yearbook. London: Taylor & Francis. This is “the bible” for almost any aspect of peace or military research.” Each volume contains authoritative, scrupulously objective analyses of strategic, theatre and tacticql nuclear weapons in the world’s arsenals; the arms trade; conventional arms stocks; chemical and biological weapons; current military doctrines and strategies, etc.
- Smith, D., & Kidron, M. (1983). The War Atlas: Armed Conflict, Armed Peace. London: Pan Books. An excellent graphic presentation of the world military balance since World War ll. Crammed with valuable information. The authors are noted for their maps; the facts speak for themselves.
- Smith, G. (1980). Doubletalk: The story of SALT I. New York: Doubleday.
- Steele, J. (1983). Soviet Power: The Kremlin’s foreign policy from Brezhnev to Andropov. New York: Simon & Schuster. By the award winning chief foreign correspondent of The Guardian. Convincingly argues that Soviet foreign policy is “less adventurous, energetic and threatening” than most Westerners believe.
- Stein, W. (1981). Nuclear Weapons and the Christian Conscience. London: Merlin Press.
- Talbott, S. (1980). Endgame: The inside story of SALT II. New York: Harper & Row (Colophon Books).
- Thompson, D., et al. (1983). Over our dead bodies: Women against the bomb. London: Virago Press.
- Thompson, E.P. (1982). Beyond the Cold War. New York: Pantheon. A collection of eloquent, inspiring essays by the intellectual leader of the European peace movement.
- Thompson, E.P. et al. (1982). Exterminism and cold war. London: New Left Books. Essays by prominent British and European leftist intellectuals on various aspects of the arms race and the new cold war.
- Thompson, E.P., et al. (1981). Protest and survive. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. A collection of essays by prominent, mainly British, peace researchers, activists and military analysts.
- Tsipis, K. (1983). The Bad Harvest: Understanding weapons in a nuclear age. New York: Simon & Schuster. Written by an eminent MIT physicist. Among the most accurate, detailed and reasonable descriptions of the physical and social effects of nuclear weapons.
- Unforgettable fire: Pictures drawn by atomic bomb survivors (1982). New York: Pantheon.
- United Nations Association of Can-. ada (1980). Canada, the Arms Race and Disarmament. Ottawa: U.N.A.C.
- United States Department of Defence (1978). Soviet Military Power. Washington, D.C.: GPO. A blatantly distorted, one-sided presentation of Soviet military capabilities.
- United States Office of Technology Assessment (1978). The Effects of Nuclear War. Washington, D.C.: GPO. A basic, factual description of the short- and long-term consequences for American and Soviet civilian populations, economies and societies of four possible nuclear scenarios, ranging from strikes against single cities (Detroit and Leningrad) to all-out attacks on military and economic targets.
- Wallis, J. (Ed.) (1982). Waging Peace: A handbook for the struggle to abolish nuclear weapons. New York: Harper & Row. A useful compendium of short articles and excerpts that focuses on moral and Christian arguments against nuclear weapons.
- Wallis, M. (1983). Peacemakers: Christian Voices from the New Abolitionist Movement. New York: Harper & Row. Crisis of survival — Crisis of faith. Personal statements by Christian peace activists.
- Weiss, Ann E. (1983). The Nuclear Arms Race: Can We
Survive It? Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. An excellent book, written for Junior-Senior high school students. Direct, not. sensational, and factual.
- Whence the Threat to Peace? (1982). Moscow: Military Publishing House. The Soviet version of Soviet Military Power. Equally one-sided and equally valueless as a piece of serious analysis.
- World Military and Social Expenditures (1982). London: WMSE Publications. A unique and invaluable annual statistical survey that compares military and social expenditures around the world in a succinct, easily accessible format.
- Zuckerman, S. (1982). Nuclear illusion and Reality. London: Collins. A concise, authoritative analysis by a former chief scientific advisor to the British government that emphasizes the crucial role of scientists and technocrats in the military R & D establishments in continuing the upward spiral of the arms race and undermining Ihe process of arms control and disarmament.
Most of the books listed here came from a bibliography compiled and annotated by Robert Cupido of CANDIS’ Education Collective. Reader submissions account for the rest of the book listings.
The CANDIS bibliography, a 25-page annotated list of books on nuclear war, ‘disarmament and the peace movement, is available for $3.00 from CANDIS, 736 Bathurst St., Toronto ON M5S 2R4.
David Cleary (reviewer) — May 1984
Thomas Powers. 1982, Alfred A. Knopf, New York. A Mentor Book, $~.50.
One of the most interesting things about being a newspaper editor is receiving usolicited submissions. Most of the unsolicited articles we receive for The Peace Calendar are easy to deal with news stories, for example, where one expects a clearly-written report, with attention to accuracy and a basic understanding of the context in which the facts are presented.
However, many of the submissions received by yer average editor are opinion articles which fail to address a specific issue. Editors generally don’t know what to make of these long, rambling ‘masterpieces’ in which the author outlines his or her position on every issue under the sun, but seems to have nothing ‘special’ to say.
When I read Thomas Powers’ books or magazine articles, I am always reminded of this ‘position paper’ style. I enjoy his writings, but I am always amazed that they were accepted for publication. Not because he is a bad writer, which is far from the case, but because I keep asking myself “Why are his observations more worthy of publication than anybody else’s?”
But that is always a temporary impression. When I stop to look back over what I’ve read, I find that Powers has communicated a great deal of hard information along with his observations, speculations and anecdotes. Nevertheless, it is not for “the facts” that one would read Thinking About the Next War. It is for Powers’ thought-provoking perspective on the most important issue of our time.
Thinking About the Next War is a very, aptly-titled book. That’s basically what Powers does — think about it. The book is not an attempt to grapple with some specialised area of the nuclear issue; it is a general explanation of why. Powers feels that disarmament is so important
Originally published as a series of essays in Commonweal between 1976 and 1982, the chapters touch on many of the issues related to the nuclear arms race, but avoid focussing on a specific point. The result is a stream of seemingly random observations and impressions, whose organisational structure is evident only when one looks hard at what one is reading.
The book is a fascinating collection of opinions, together forming a general discussion of the situation in which the world has found itself since the dawn of the nuclear age. It is not an optimistic view.
“Imagine for a moment that a nuclear war has taken place. Don’t concern yourself with the details of when, or where, or between whom. There are plenty of possibililies. You have survived, as so many survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You have time to reflect, whatever may still be waiting in the wings. Ask yourself: did anything, in the years after 1945, ever suggest a different outcome?”
Powers firmly believes that there will be a nuclear war, and he is bewildered by the military-minded folks who, although very knowledgeable, believe that war can be indefinitely deterred by enormous nuclear arsenals. At one point, he recalls a discussion between himself and a young physicist who holds this view.
“He found such a war unthinkable, his imaginat ion could not carry him beyond the outbreak of hostilities. ‘My mind just stops there,’ he said. His sludy of the subject had convinced him that it just can’t happen. Not in the sense that, objects can’t fall up, spring can’t follow summer, two and two can’t equal five, a man can’t breathe underwater.
To summarise Powers’ book in a review would be impossible. It addresses dozens of issues, including, for example; the technological improvements in missile guidance systems, which permitted (and forced) the US military to change the targets of their missiles from population centres to military installations. It discusses, but does not resolve, the question of what parcnts should tell their children about nuclear war.
Perhaps the most prevalent theme of the book is individual and collective denial of the seriousness of the nuclear issue.
“Ordinary citizens often entertain foreboding of the darkest sort. In a quite matter-of-fact way they will say, ‘What else were they built for?’ Defense community people say that their confidence is sunny and unshakable. If we just stick to our guns and make sure we’ve got a weapon for every weapon they’ve got, then there’s nothing to worry about. There is a soothing quality to these reassurances, as if we were being told that airplanes really do work, and it’s safe to fly.”
There are many opinions in this book with which I disagree. I could list them, hut that would be beside the point. The point is not whether Powers is continually correct, or whether he has avoided, mentioning some factor in one of his arguments. The important fact is that he is thinking about. the next war, and by reading his clearly-written book, we can clarify our own beliefs in regard to this vital issue.
Many people refuse to think about nuclear war and it is always interesting -and valuable to hear from someone who has studied the issue despite the natural human inclination to deny its importance. I’m just amazed that so many editors have the good sense to publish Powers’ essays. Write on, MacDuff.
Nancy Watt (reviewer) — May 1984
By the Harvard Nuclear Study Group. Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983. Also available in a Pocket Books edition.
Living with Nuclear Weapons could have been subtitled How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Although it is not entirely fair to characterise it in this fashion, the book is an argument in support of the nuclear status quo, with a few proposals for cosmetic changes in arms policies.
The book was jointly written by the six members of the Harvard Nuclear Study Group, four of whom have served in US administrations since Kennedy. It presents itself as an attempt by university scholars to raise the awareness of the public concerning nuclear weapons policy. In addition to presumptuously assuming that the public is uninformed about current policies, ‘the book dismisses the alternatives proposed by the peace movement as naive and misguided. Although purporting to be an objective look at the serious issues facing us, the book is far from objective.
The problem with Living with Nuclear Weapons is the unfounded assumptions it makes. The authors assume that because the knowledge exists to produce nuclear weapons they cannot be abolished. And so, rather than taking a position in favour of disarmament, they advocate arms control. Their conclusion is that we have to learn to live with nuclear weapons, or, in their own words, “living with nuclear weapons is our only hope.”
From these premises, the book moves through a discussion of the “historical” and philosophical problems posed by nuclear weapons, the military balance, and the options open to us. However, with the exception of the present course, the authors consider few of these options worthy of support: for them, our hope lies in a managed arms race. They do not endorse even a bilateral, verifiable freeze, arguing that any move towards disarmament is more risky than nuclear escalation.
Like many supporters of deterrence, these men believe that the global situation can be managed indefinitely by the superpowers to prevent war. Even the proliferation of nuclear weapons to nations outside the present nuclear club is viewed as inevitable. Their faith lies in the superpowers, particularly the US government, who they believe is powerful enough and wise enough to control international events. we all know that the sun set on the British empire, and that Rome fell. The question this book does not answer is, will the world change with or without the consent of the superpowers, with or without violence, with or without nuclear war. One thing is certain; the world will change whether these men like it or not. h3. Supports present policies
The book also assumes that the use of nuclear weapons, even first use of them, can be morally justified. Althouph they feel compelled to respond to the moral questions raised by the US Catholic bishops, they are unable to present a convincing arpument to support their own position. As an example of their faulty topic, they argue that national security is a moral goal because all nations pursue it. In 1800, governments could have arguued similarly that, because all people were engaped in slave trading, the slave trade was moral.
In the end, the authors of Living with Nuclear Weapons offer no alternatives to current trends. For them, the world is unfolding as it should. To its credit, the book distances itself from the “peace through strength” rhetoric of the Reagan administration by supporting the idea of “rough parity.” But where it comes to advocating the least dangerous military policy, the authors support nearly all of the present arms procurement policies.
This book will be useful to those who are interested in learning some of the arguments used by supporters of arms control. But, despite their stated objective of raising our nuclear awareness, the Harvard Nuclear Study Group has simply repackaged the old line — a good paint job for the nuclear status quo.
Laura Benson (reviewer) — May 1984
Dr. Seuss. New York: Random House, 1984.
It always makes my day to find that a childhood hero is “politically correct.” Dr. Seuss’ wonderful rhymes have entertained millions, and I have always been an enthusiastic one of those millions. The Butter Battle Book is true Seussery — the pictures, the rhymes, and the humour.
The tale of the Yooks — who eat their bread with the butter side up — and the terrible Zooks who eat their bread with the butter side down — strikes close to home. Obviously, one cannot trust a Zook who “spreads bread underneath,” so the Yooks mount a border patrol of the Wall that separates the Yooks and the Zooks.
From that moment onward, the arms buildup begins, culminating in the invention (on both sides) of the Bitsy Big-Boy Boomeroo filled with mysterious Moo-Lacka-Moo, which can blow everybody to Sala-Ma-Goo. The end is left up to the reader’s imagination — no happy ending here, but no unhappy ending either.
Dr. Seuss himself has said he’s not sure whether The Butter Battle Book is an adult’s book for kids or a kid’s book for adults. I think it’s both. The story line is very black and white, but — as the man says — “when you write for kids, if you don’t write more clearly and concisely and cut out all the mumbo-jumbo, you lose your audience.”
Last month’s issue of Psychology Today featured an article on children’s fears about the nuclear threat. The researcher concluded that parents need to be prepared to answer their children’s questions. Parents shouldn’t assume that, by not talking about the problem, they can keep their kids from finding out about it. Children need to be given lots of information, because fears are much less difficult to deal with when the imagination is prevented from running wild. Dr. Seuss has provided a starting-point for that discussion.
John Pendergrast (reviewer) — May 1984
Allan McKnight, with an introduction by Keith Suter. 1983, published by the Law Council of Australia. 136 pages.
What the world needs now is a practical plan for disarmament. Right? However, it is unrealistic to assume that this can be brought about simply. Many feel that this situation is just too complex to deal with through discussion and treaty. Indeed, since 1962, disarmament has taken a back seat to arms control with its ensuing doomsday life script for civilisation.
With creative insight, lawyer Allan McKnight drafted an inspired 102 article disarmament treaty in 1978. This resurrection of a stillborn hope for world survival, the almost-forgotten 1962 McCloy-Zorin Treaty, was virtually ignored. In fact, isn’t it only logical to use as as a starting point the last joint American-Soviet statement of agreed principles?
McKnight has produced a very comprehensive draft treaty. It would certainly provide an excellent starting point for dialogue between the two superthugs who in the past few years seem to be hell-bent on dragging the rest of us along in their not-so-novel game of nuclear one-upmanship.
A factual history of the world’s long struggle for disarmament during this century and an updated commentary on the articles of the treaty is provided by Dr. Keith Suter, Federal President of the United Nations Association of Australia. This contribution lends clarity and readability. In fact, one might venture the contents are interpreted for the legally-impaired.
— May 1984
Peter Pringle and James Spigelman. 578 pages, including 124 pares of notes and bibliorraphy. 1981, Avon Books. $4.95 paperhack.
The Nuclear Barons is a long and fascinating account of the development of nuclear technolopy and its political and economic ramifications. Thouph Pringle and Spigelman clearly think that nuclearism has heen fundamentally mispuided, The Nuclear Barons is not a polemical book. Rather, it concentrates on telling the story of nuclearism in a detailed and lively way. Sketches of the leading personalitics and organisations in the Unitcd States, the Soviet Union, England, France, Germany, Japan and Canada provide a more or less chronological account of the history of nuclear development. Although one occasionally wishes for a stronger sense of direction, The Nuclear Barons is nevertheless an invaluahle sourcebook.
The story of the nuclear barons is not one of evil ambition or soulless profiteering. The cast of characters, which proliferates as rapidly as nuclear technolopy itself, shares only the characteristic of energetic activity. These are people who make things happen. In the midst of ethical, technical and economic uncertainty, they rarely hesitate. Excited by the glamour of a new and promising technology, they continually press forward, confident that all prohlems will eventually be solved. Only rccently has their confidence been seriously questioned hy more than a small minority.
The issues dealt with in The Nuclear Barons are those that the leading proponents of nuclearism, have been forced to deal with themselves. These have not in general concerned the arms race, but rather nuclear power. Should France, for instance, develop its own reactor technology, or import it from the United States? If the technolopy chosen required enriched uranium, how should the enrichment he done? Once the technology was developed, how could it be sold? Similar choices confronted England, Germany, Canada and Japan.
On the larger issues of waste disposal and the proliferation of nuclear weapons; the authors note almost in passing that no satisfactory method of waste disposal has been found, and that the distinction between the capacity to produce nuclear power and the capacity to produce nuclear weapons is largely illusory.
Pringle and Spigelman spend rather more time on the question of the long-term economic viability of nuclear power. Their conclusions arc that the normal uncertainty involved in developing and implementing any new lechnology has been compounded in the case of nuclear power by the existence of cartels, massive government intervention and a considerable. degree of wishful thinking.
The Nuclear Barons documents not evil, nor even foolishness. More often than not, the nudear barons have represented the cream of their respective countries’ technical elite. We could not ask for more skilled hands in which to entrust our future. But the nuclear barons have been highly arrogant and, in the long run, short-sighted, and incompetent. The story is not new — ruling classes almost always turn out to be incompetent in the end — but the consequences are now threatening to become intolerahle.
Edward Mann (reviewer) — May 1984
Congressman Ronald V. Dellums, with R.H. Miller and H. Lee Halterman, edited by Patrick 0’ Heffernan. Ballinger Books.
Reviewed by Matthew Clark
US Congressman Ronald Dellums is a senior memher of the House Armed Services Committee, and Chair of its Subcommittee on Military Installations and Facilities — but he is by no, means a hawk. He was the first member of Congress to call for termination of all funding of the MX and Pershing II missiles, and he was an original co-sponsor of the Nuclear Freeze resolution in the House of Representatives.
In January, 1982, Dellums tried to have the House Armed Services Committee expand its hearings in order to examine the political and economic basis of the military budget. After his request was denied, Dellums convened — on his own initiative and with funding from the peace movement — the Special Congressional Ad Hoc Hearings on the Full Implications of the Military Budget. Defense Sense is a partial record of those hearings.
The book is divided into six sections, which consider, in turn, 1) the nature of the new arms race, 2) the foreign Rolicy goals and assumptions underlying. the arms race, 3) the US military hudget in some detail, 4) the impact of military spending on the civilian economy, 5) the moraJ issues raised by the prospect of nuclear war, and 6) some specific alternatives.
Most of the book consists of testimony from twenty-five witnesses, including Robert Aldridge, Herhert Scoville, Richard Barnet, Wi1liam Winpisinger, Bishop John T. Walker, Archbishop John R. Quinn and Philip Berrigan. The level of discussion is generally quite high, but it is also clear and simply stated. I particularly recommend Franklyn Holzman’s contribution, “Administration Misrepresentations of Soviet Military Spending.” The subject has been discussed elsewhere (by Ruth Sivard in World Military and Social Expenditures and by Tom Gervasi in The Arsenal of Democracy II, among others), but Holzman’s account is the clearest I’ve yet seen.
The sixth section consists of Dellums’ own policy proposals, which he presented to Congress in July 1982, as a comprehwsive alternative military budget. It was defeated, of course, but Dellums promises to continue introducing updated versions of his proposal “until the madness of the arms race is halted and then reversed.”
Cynic that I am, I don’t usually expect much from elected officials. I was pleased and surprised by this book, both the testimony of the witnesses and Dellums’ own analysis. He clearly encouraged the participants not to mince words, although their opinions generally stand well, outside the Cold War foreign policy consensus. Those who want to make the world safe for capitalism will pro.; bably not like this book, but those who want to examine the underlying causes of the arms race, and those who want to think about some serious alternatives, will find it stimulating.
Ken Hancock — May 1984
Barrie Zwicker. Published bv Sources, 10 Britain St., Toronto, ON, M5A 1R6. 38 pages. $3.50.
This booklet is an extremely well-written and timely statement of how the media in Canada and the United States are contributing to, rather than lessening, the drift to nuclear war. It is also an appeal to print and electronic journalists to conscientiously remedy this situation, before it is too late. They are the gatekeepers of the facts, and as such have an enormous responsibility since these particular facts relate to the survival of humankind.
A collection of articles written in 1982 and ]983, the booklet is mainly crafted by Barrie Zwicker, a well-known Canadian freelance journalist who has long been concerned about the threats to peace.
It has many illuminating and provocative quotations, such as George Kennan’s observation that “the view of the Soviet Union that prevails today in large portions of our … journalistic establishment (is) so extreme, so subjective, so far removed from what any sober scrutiny of external reality would reveal, that is not only ineffective but dangerous as a guide to political action,”
The piece “Our Portrayal of the Soviet Union” is based on research into stories in three major Canadian dailies. It shows that the picture of the Soviet Union provided by our print media is so distorted that it becomes almost impossible for us to relate to that nation and, its peace proposals constructively.
Relying usually on US government or unnamed sources, most of the articles dealt with in this piece simply feed the Cold War mentality. Spy stories, real or imagined, are very common, while neutral or accurate accounts, of daily life in the Soviet Union are very scarce. Opinion pieces and editorials were, over a six-month period, 60-80% negative. In brief, “coverage of the Soviet Union is anti-Soviet.”
Because we have been fed this ‘line’ uniformly since 1945, most Canadians and Americans swallow it unquestioningly. It is the merit of this booklet that it systematically exposes the nature and depth of media bias and underscores its dire consequences: “The essential violence of med)a misrepresentation about the Soviet Union and the arms race,” suggests Alan Geyer in “The Idea of Disarmament” “is that it destroys communication, trust and confidence, and eventually generates hostility and death.”
Zwicker summarises the study by an American journalist, William Dorman, which reveals the depth of the US bias, which affects even leading dailies such as the New York Times and the Washington Post, Dorman found that “Russian intentions and behavior to be painted in the darkest possible shades.” He concludes that “the media are often little more than spear carriers for official Washington.”
We usually believe our press in North America to be free. This booklet shows that most of the time it sees Russia as the great Satan, and is not free to be either fair or just. Economic factors are powerful here, but also we have come to believe our own propaganda. Before it is too late, this must be changed.
As Zwicker points out, “Stalin’s death camps, the brutality of Budapest in 1956 and Prague in 1968, and Soviet mistreatment of intellectuals, Baptists, Jews and dissident workers elicit and ought to elicit moral outrage, but none of these crimes is evidence of an intention to start a nuclear war.”
— May 1984
Editors’ note: This is the first in a series of five articles by Ken Hancock on “Nuclearism, Militarism and Third World Intervention.” The first article is a general introduction to the topic. Succeeding articles will examine (a) the actual ‘uses’ of nuclear weapons by the United States against the Third World; (b) nuclear weapons and nuclear energy and their link to Third World oppression; © Canada and US foreign policy; and (d) present trends in military strategies and their link to global political issues and struggles.
It is not often that I want to be seen agreeing with Henry Kissinger. After all, this man personally selected the targets of the massive US bombing of Cambodia. But when he stated in Vancouver last month that US policy-makers give no credence to the possibility of a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States, Kissinger revealed a strategic position which is often held by the more radical critics of US society.
Kissinger went on to say that, if we are really going to talk about a nuclear war, we must look to the present ‘conventional’ conflicts now raging in the Third World. More specifically, he stated that the most likely place for the beginning of a nuclear war is in the Middle East.
It is not often that one hears such open public statements from high-level strategists which, when analysed, can enlarge the narrow Cold War, East-West framework which currently limits our analysis of world tensions and events.
One can think back, for example, to the massive international rally in New York City on June 12, 1982. Many consider this to be one of the greatest organising successes the anti-nuclear movement has yet witnessed. But for others, it was a hollow victory. For, at the very time that the rally was taking place, Israel was invading Lebanon, and in the course of this invasion would kill 25-40,000 Palestinian and Lebanese people, and yet the leadership of the June 12 rally refused to allow any speakers that day to even address the invasion, let alone condemn it.
This not only raises questions of moral complicity in the face of actual killing of peoples in war today, it also reveals a fundamental ignorance (from which even Henry Kissinger does not suffer) about the actual political and military context in which a nuclear war will begin.
During the invasion of Lebanon, the Israeli army destroyed the Soviet embassy in Beirut, prompting a firm rebuke from the Soviet leadership. Later, the Israelis killed four Soviet advisors when they were spotted examining a downed Israeli jet. Responding to a major defeat in that war, Syria has committed itself to a major purchase of the newest Soviet war machinery.
The Soviet Union is planning to deploy some SS-20s north of Syria. The Israeli government is pressuring the Americans to provide Lance nuclear delivery systems. Israel, Taiwan and South Africa are in a consortium to build their own cruise missiles. The political tension mounts, and the very real potential for a new major conventional war grows, as does the possibility that it will go nuclear.
These conditions remind one of 1958, when the Marines landed in Lebanon equipped with short-range Honest John nuclear rockets. Or of 1973, when, in response to an Israeli threat to destroy the Egyptian army, the Soviet Union threatened to intervene and the Americans responded by putting their forces on a red nuclear alert. Oh yes, Henry is right. Let us redirect our attention from our Coid War fixation on Berlin and Prague to the areas where the actual potential for nuclear war exists.
“In western Europe, there might not be such a great temptation for the other nations to initate (nuclear) war against us. But in the Middle East, where we have a much tougher job with conventional weapons systems, the renouncement of first use of nue/ear weapons would provide too great a temptation to whoever wants to go into those areas.”
— Vice Admiral Gerald E. Miller, Deputy Director-Joint Strategic Planning Staff, 1976
The debate about cruise missiles in particular reveals a failure to place nuclear weapons systems in a broader political context. Many still believe that cruise deployment is a response to Soviet SS-20s. However, cruise missiles were given a serious commitment report after the Tet offensive during the Vietnam War. That was 1968, and the Tet offensive had made many in the US ruling elite critical of the way the war was being waged. New counterinsurgency plans began to emerge with tactical nuclear weapons playing a more agressive role in strategic thinking.
The idea of getting “bogged down” in another “loss” such as Vietnam terrified the more sophisticated members of the foreign policy elite. The new generation of nuclear weapons are a result of the changes made possible by technological revolutions and the changes made necessary by the increasing success of Third World revolutions.
The accuracy of these new weapons systems, the “flexibility” of tactical weapons, and the present commitment of the Reagan administration to 17,000 new warheads are all necessary to continue the global terror game of “resolve” and “will” that is so fundamental to the politics of intimidation.
Once we extricate ourselves from our Cold War fixations and analyse where (and against whom) cruise missiles will be deployed, the meaning of Kissinger’s policy statement becomes clearer. Cruise missiles will be deployed out of the new, permanent naval fleet in the Indian Ocean. Their target will be the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. The cruise missiles in Comiso, Sicily, are aimed at the Middle East and North Africa. Asia is threatened by the cruise missiles in the Sea of Japan. While we continue to engage in the old arguments focussed on Europe, cruise missiles already have been deployed for several months on the battleship New Jersey off the coast of Lebanon.
The policy alluded to by Kissinger is not new. In 1951, Robert Oppenheimer, one of the “fathers” of the bomb, led a project called Project Vista which researched the construction of new, smaller tactical nuclear weapons for battlefield conditions. The 38th Parallel of division between North and South Korea is “protected” by a tripwire of nuclear mines. Recently analysts have commented on the fact that cruise and Pershing II might be deployed in South Korea. Geo-political reasons are the basis for such possibilities, including the fact that, as a Pentagon study reported, Korea “is one of the few US military bases worldwide where no one is trying to chase us out or raise the rent.”
This is not to say, of course, that Soviet / US relationships are irrelevant to the work of the peace movement. Far from it. But this relationship, as important as it is to world tensions, is in itself more indicative of forces indigenous to US society than is oftcn understood or acknowledged. For example, little is said of the fact that, had Jimmy Carter stayed in office, his military budget would have been greater than Reagan’s for 1984. American policy was being pushed to the right before Reagan, and before Afghanistan.
Essential to this more to the right were the stunning victories of Third World revolutions in the 1970s. Vietnam, Angola, Nicaragua, and Iran (initially a leftist revolt taken over by the right wing theocracy) all moved away from the US-dominated global system. Panic in ruling circles about the refusal of the population to support direct military intervention (the “Vietnam Syndrome”) has dominated the present struggle in foreign policy circles.
Some elite members are willing to live with a new form of “detente.” Robert McNamara talks of accepting nuclcar “parity” (as does Trudeau), and advocates a massive build-up of conventional forces to deter Soviet “agression.” But detente is not peace, and a peace movement. should not accept it. During Nixon’s 1972 detente trip to the Soviet Union, the US military was unleashing, against Hanoi, the most massive bombings in the history of the human race.
There is no doubt that US policy is now in the hands of an elite group who are moving away from “detente” to a more agressive “rollback” position. Leftwing victories will not be “contained” in acceptable areas of Soviet strategic interests. They will be agressively roll backed or defeated.
This undoubtedly creates a global environment of increased possibility for “conventional” conflicts to turn (like Cuba in 1962) into a testing ground of will (nuclear war). The threat is very real. And it is growing. This threat has been an important element in the growth of the peace movement. Any political movement has the potential to call for popular input into foreign policy. Neither liberals nor conservatives want that to happen. For many, the political blundering of the Reagan administration and the perceived over-emphasis on the Bomb as a tool of foreign policy can only add to the growing political dissent of the population. Liberal leadership in Canada and the United States wants to return to a less threatening policy so that the peace movement can be defused and the questions of foreign policy can be returned to the technocratic-political elite who have dominated the decision-making process. I believe that no matter who rules, a major contlict will occur by the end of the decade. Reagan’s re-election will hasten that process. The political-psychological gains of actually using the bomb are being lost. A need to re-assert the “will” to go “eyeball-to-eyeball” is presently threatening the planet. The actual context for this will be what is has always been the Third World revolutionary threats to global control. Our actions in the next years, and our understanding of the political base of events will play an essential role in saving the planet.
Metta Spencer — May 1984
Letters to the editor are welcomed. Please be brief as space is limited. Letters should be addressed to: Editorial Board, The Peace Calendar, c/o CANDIS, 736 Bathurst St., Toronto, Ont., M5S 2R4.
US obstructs Conference
Further to my article on the International Women’s Conference in Geneva, published in the April issue of The Peace Calendar, I would like to make explicit a point that was so clear to me that I seem to have expected readers to read my mind.
As we listened to the US delegate speak in the Conference on Disarmament, it became horrifyingly clear that his country is putting unnecessary obstacles in the way of any agreements. .
In a discussion with Canada’s representative of the day, Mr. Skinner, I was ashamed to realise that he has been instructed by our government to agree uncritically with the USA.
The following summary of the votes at the UN General Assembly, October to December 1983, is taken from the March, 1984, edition of the quarterly publication of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Perhaps it will clarify where different nations stand on disarmament issues.
Key Disarmament Resolutions 38th UN General Assembly
- Nuclear test ban: For-119; Against-2 (US, UK); Abstain-26.
- Preventing an arms race in outer space: For-147; Against-l (US); Abstain-1 (UK).
- Cessation of the nuclear arms race: For-108; Against-19 (West); Abstain-16.
- Chemical Weapons Ban: For-98; Against-1 (US); Abstain-49.
- Prohibition of mass destruction weapons: For-116; Against-1 (US); Abstain-26.
- Nuclear weapons freeze: For-124; Against-15 (West); Abstain-6.
- Non-use of nuclear weapons/prevention of nuclear war: For-111; Against-19 (West); Abstain-15.
Isobel E. Hill Toronto, On.
Open discussion necessary
I disagree with Jeremy Agar’s’ comment in the April issue of The Peace Calendar that Simon Rosenblum’s critique of the Canadian Peace Congress is “scarcely legitimate comment.”
However, like Agar, I have never heard of Soviet threats of use of nuclear weapons in relation to any conflict, except of course the Kremlin’s frequent assertion that they will blow us to bits if ‘we’ strike first. If Rosenblum knows of any Soviet first-strike threats to any nation, I would be interested in hearing from him.
As for the Canadian Peace Congress and its affiliates being Soviet apologists, I think there is little doubt of that. I am referring to leaders in the CPC and not necessarily all of its members. One may look beyond the Congress to other groups spawned by the Communist Party of Canada and see that they focus entirely on NATO sins. Even groups not associated with either the Congress or the Party critique only western arms policy, partly perhaps because of the belief that it IS only in the West that we can effect change.
But should clearly pro-Soviet groups be banned from the movement as Rosenblum implies? I think not. As Matthew Clark explains, such actions would add fuel to Cold War hysteria — a lot of anger and bitterness wou1d result within the peace movement, particularly among CPC people, who would continue to be involved in the movement anyway. Freedom of speech within any structured national coalition would suffer a blow.
I say this in full knowledge of the manner in which some in the Communist Party have sought to restrict the freedom of speech and action of others in the movement. But any people who are agressive in speech or action can restrict the freedom of others.
A combination of unity in the struggle for survival and open discussion between peace groups on policy issues and peace proposals should be the cornerstone of the peace movement worldwide.
Fort Qu’ Appelle, SK.
A pat on the back
I wish to express my gratitude to you, everyone, for the important work you are doing. The quality and content of. the writing, the editorial policies in evidence, and the professionalism of the layout and production all serve to refute our critics’ allegations that we are a motley assortment of malcontents with a hidden agenda.
We share, I suspect, a profound hope that one day, in the not-too-distant future, you will have worked yourselves right out of a job.
Editors’ note: Thank, you for your kind words, but we can hardly take credit. The improvements we’ve all seen in The Peace Calendar of late are the result of increased participation from members of the peace movement in Canada. Don’t thank us, thank you.
NDP not credited
Michael Mandel’s letter “Electoral Opportunism” (TPC, April 1984) shows a bit of double standard among some peace supporters.
He is willing to concede that “Dan Heap has a good personal record on nuclear weapons,”~ but separates that from the NDP, which I represent.
Likewise, Jon Spencer, in the same issue in the lead story on peace movement response to cruise testing, quotes “MP Pauline Jewett” against the testing without mentioning the NDP, whom she officially represents on this issue.
Otherwise, The Peace Calendar and others are usually careful to name organisational ties (Moderator of the United Church, MIT Professor, Mayor of Toronto, etc.).
Why try to separate Pauline and me from the only party that has consistently put our anti-cruise and NWFZ stand in convcntion policy, our members by the thousands into peace coalition work and demonstrations, and our Caucus unanimously on the line in Parliament?
Dan Heap, MP
Editors’ note: Please accept our apologies for the omission, which was certainly not intended, nor malicious.
The Peace Calendar is underfunded and seriouslv understaffed. As you mention, we are usuaily careful to identify quoted sources for our readers’ information. However, mistakes do happen when a paper is forced to operate on such a miniscule budget and timeframe.
Understanding is essential
I would like to answer some of the points made in Simon Rosenblum’s letter (TPC. March 1984).
Each country is working for peace in the manner which best suits its environment at a given time. Europeans call for unilateral disarmament, Canadians for bilateral disarmament, Americans for a Freeze, the East for a Freeze and bilateral disarmament. The arguments between Mr. E.P. Thompson and Mr. Norman Solomon last year in The Nation illustrate how difficult it is to understand each other’s perspectives, even betwecn western countries.
We in North America labour under the greatest confidence trick ever played on an unsuspecting public, namely a fear of Communism that has effectively silenced our own political dissent. The fear distorts our work in the peace movement from the bottom upwards. We are unable to speak freely or honestly in case our view is not “balanced,” when in fact the truth is not balanced. In solidarity with the letter from David Collins, we should not be afraid or embarrassed to advertise our diversity.
It IS oversimplifying matters to say, as Mr. Rosenblum does, that the western European peace movement has kept its distance from the World Peace Council. 1n 1983, after considerable discussion and debate on the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s international committee, it was decided to send observers to the World Assembly in Prague, with a clear mandate. The majority view was that dialogue was more sensible than boycott. I think this view should be reflected in our own communities as examples of being able to work in harmony together.
Sergei Batovrin himself argues that the western peace movement should make itself more aware of the complexities of Eastern Europe and Soviet societies. Because we live in a traditional liberal individualistic society it is near to impossible for some of us to sec that our freedoms are easy to talk about when we don’t have to pay the price for them.
Thunder Bay, On.
Prohibit Soviet apologists
The April issue of The Peace Calendar carried two letters criticising Mr. Rosenblum’s viewpoint on the dangers of united front coalitions with Marxist-Leninist controlled organisations such as the Canadian Peace Congress.
Nothing was said about the prohibition against any independent, non-governmental groups in the USSR. Nor was, mention made of the systematic destruction of opposition parties, free association, and freedom of speech in states where the Marxist-Leninist Party has succeeded in provoking, internally, a revolutionary collapse of multi-party political systems and the installation of a totalitarian, one-party system.
It is not a matter of being friendly with the members of Communist-controlled peace fronts; this we can and should be. It is an issue of organisational integrity, since peace fronts arc not controlled by the membership but, on crucial issues, by the Party from above. Communistcontrolled organisations should be free to work for their goals in Canada, but under their own coalition umbrella. A separate and parallel coalition for democratically controlled indigenous Canadian organisations should be available.
According to the most widely accepted current theory, the dinosaurs became extinct quite suddenly, as a result of a cosmic accident. Perhaps a meteor struck earth with such force that vast clouds of dust or smoke blanketed the planet and shut out the sunlight for months at a time. Perhaps it was a volcano. In any case, everything froze, and many species, including dinosaurs, became extinct.
We may be next. If so, the smoke will be of our own making; the extinction of our species will he our own doing.
During the past two years, many scientists have carefully re-examined their projections for the outcome of a nuclear war, and now claim that their previous estimates were much too optimistic. Their conclusions about radiation fallout had been based on the evidence from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, which exposed the surrounding population to far less radiation than the weapons that are ready for use in World War III. It seems likely now that the fallout in the entire northern hemisphere will average 100 rads, so that almost no one will escape radiation sickness.
Moreover, scientists had never thought much about the effects of smoke on the world’s climate. The first study on this subject was released only two years ago by the World Health Organisation. Since then it has been matched by three other independent groups of scientists a group at Cornell University; another at Boulder, Colorado; and a group of Soviet scientists. (See the report in the April issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.)
New investigations are being planned by researchers in Canada, including one being organised at the University of Toronto’s Institute for Environmental Studies by Professor T.e. Hutchinson.
In a nutshell, the conclusions of the four completed studies are as follows. If as few as 100 megatons were exploded over 1000 cities, our species might become extinct. With larger numbers of nuclear explosions, that outcome would become more certain. Whoever starts a nuclear war will perish from it, like the rest of humanity, whether the other side retaliates or not. An attacker could perhaps “win” — but only for about two weeks.
Cities contain enormous amounts of tlammable material, including plastics and other synthetic products that release toxic fumes, such as carbon monoxide and dioxins, when burned. These would disperse throughout the atmosphere, especially in the northern hemisphere, where almost all of the bombs are targeted.
Even more disastrous will be the soot. The smoke from cities struck by 100 megatons of nuclear weapons would contain 225 million tons of carbon that would billow upward and within a few days spread out, blotting out about 95 percent of the sunlight and turning day into night.
Immediately the temperatures would drop, chilling continental areas to below minus 20 degrees Celsius. In the worst case, the cold would reach minus 40 degrees Celsius. However, Carl Sagan, one of the scientists reporting on this research, points out that there is a threshold involved: the climatic effects of 100 megatons would be almost as bad as the effects of 5000 megatons.
Only very gradually would the dust settle; it would take around four months for the daytime to resemble dusk and for the temperature to begin rising toward the normal level again. If the smoke disperses very high up in the atmosphere, the nuclear night might last a whole year.
Thirst would be another problem. Fresh water supplies would all freeze. The top layers of the ice would be the most contaminated from the fallout, so that people and animals would die of thirst or, if they managed to melt ice and drink it, poisoning.
The pollutants in the stratosphere would destroy the ozone. After the soot particles had fallen, this thinned ozone layer would admit about twice as much ultraviolet radiation from the sun as before, endangering the immune systems and genes of any organisms that had survived the disasters up to that point.
The effect in tropical regions will be more serious than those farther north; tropical plants become extinct when they all freeze. For the same reason, a summertime nuclear exchange will be more catastrophic than a winter one, since vegetation destroyed during its growing season can leave no seeds for regrowth in a subsequent year. Even if all the bombs were detonated in the north, the ecosystem of the entire planet would be in peril.
Biologist Anne Ehrlich describes the prospect of the nuclear winter vividly: “Uncountable populations of plants and animals throughout the northern hemisphere would be obliterated; their disappearances would reverberate through ecosystems as the loss of one population led to the eradication of others dependent on it. In subtropical and tropical regions, where species diversity is far richer, but where most organisms are less able to tolerate loss of, light and warmth, the cascade of extinctions could reach proportions unequalled since the dinosaurs disappeared… “
The dinosaurs had no choice, but we do.