The Peace Calendar Vol.2 No.5
Full text version of all articles from
Michael Galler — June 1984
Metta Spencer — June 1984
Two months after its inauguration, the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign (PPCC) is well underway. Michael Manolsen, national coordinator of the campaign, was in Toronto on May 7 to meet with the local organizers and canvassers. He talked a bit about the progress of the campaign to date.
There’s no doubt that the momentum is building,” Manolsen says. “Word of the campaign is getting out, perhaps not so much in a broad public way yet, but certainly through the peace and activist community in Canada. Most of the major centres across the country have canvasses or canvass training underway.
Manolsen believes campaign activity is spreading fairly evenly across the country, although regional resources and levels of organization do come into play.
“Toronto is one of the most advanced in terms of the level of organization, “ Manolsen noted, “but, by and large, we’ve got more activity in the West than we do in the East – the Victoria canvass was the first to get off the ground. The Maritimes are a little slow going at this point, which is understandable. The network is a little bit more diffuse there. I think we’ll see more building there as time goes on.”
Special effort is being made to canvass some of the more inaccessible rural and northern ridings, in order to make the campaign broadly representative of Canadian society. At this point, both Northern Ontario and the Yukon seem to be well-covered.
This early in the campaign, statistics about response rates and numbers of signed petitions are hard to come by. In Victoria, at the halfway mark, about 11,000 signatures had been counted. At the April 28 rally in Vancouver, 10,000 petitions were printed up and distributed, an effort which could conceivably return hundreds of thousands of signatures.
Manolsen is most encouraged by reports that between 60 and 70% of the people approached are signing the petition. “I think that is in fact very good,” he said, when you consider that on the cruise test issue alone, we were hovering around a 50% rate, according to the Gallup polls. And the petition goes quite a deal further than cruise testing alone, in terms of dealing with the issues.”
(The petition contains four demands: that cruise testing be halted; that Canada be declared a Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone; that spending on the arms race be directed to fund human needs; and that these points be ratified through a free vote in Parliament.)
Manolsen also noted that the campaign is attracting people who previously had not been extremely active in the peace movement. “The campaign offers these people an opportunity to get involved,” he said. “We are getting calls from groups that have just gotten started and are quite excited about having something to focus on like the campaign.”
In contrast to the enthusiasm of those participating in the campaign, news coverage has been somewhat muted. Manolsen speculates that the kickoff of the campaign was given a low media profile because it came hard on the heels of the demonstrations and ,activities responding to the commencement of the cruise testing. “The campaign at this point is soft news,” he observed. “There are no demonstrations or actions.”
Manolsen believes, that the campaign serves two understated but important functions. The first is to take the peace movement in Canada beyond the single issue of cruise testing. The second is the campaign’s role in the movement-building process. He expects to see long-term changes at the political level resulting from a heightened awareness and commitment to disarmament issues.
Manolsen stresses PPCC’s role as a first attempt to forge a broad-based national disarmament coalition. For example, labour unions have endorsed the campaign, and have lent it their considerable organizing abilities.
The Canadian Labour Congress has produced about 100,000 leaflets on the PPCC, and the National Union of Public Government Employees is coming out with two booklets. Three major Quebec unions are active in the campaign. Says Manolsen, “I think that’s exciting, the Labour and peace movement connection, and it bodes well in terms of the success of the campaign.”
Many local groups will be completing their initial canvasses in the spring. One of the problems facing the campaign is trying to maintain continuity over the summer, since the caravan won’t begin before the early fall. In order to fill the breach, local campaign committees will be organizing other activities, such as festivals, fairs and demonstrations.
“As well,” Manolsen says, “the summer will be a time for the mass petition drives at fairs, concerts, shopping centres and in the workplace. Perhaps we’ll be looking at a national blitz, hitting the streets again for a week or two in early September, and then rolling right into the caravan and the closing rallies.”
Manolsen sees the task of his Ottawa office primarily as one of providing services and materials to local organizers. “The first priority was to get a fairly comprehensive package out on the canvass, so local groups could get their canvass organizing underway. We will be producing in the near future another couple of packages about fund raising and the media, and then later another on the caravan itself. “
Manolsen also sees the national office as a “liaison centre” for the channeling of experience from major centres out to many smaller groups. A small newsletter is also planned.
As for the future, the PPCC as currently structured will end October 20, when the caravan arrives in Ottawa. Manolsen, a 28-year-old Montrealer, who is a member of the board of directors of Greenpeace and who has been active in peace-related issues for nine years, says he is making no plans past October. “I think the campaign will facilitate discussion of an ongoing national coalition, or an ongoing process by which groups across the country can determine a national program of action. “
The Peace Calendar staff now has its own phone line and can be contacted directly. TPC’s editorial and advertising offices can be reached at 416-xxx-xxxx.
Joe Mihevc — June 1984
TORONTO – Exiled members of the Moscow Independent Peace Movement, the “Group to Establish Trust Between the USSR and the USA,” visited peace groups in St. Catharines and Toronto in late May. Sergei Batovrin and his wife Natalia have been living in New York for one year, since they were ousted from their homeland for unauthorized peace work. They were accompanied on their Ontario trip by fellow activist Dr. Valery Godyak, a physicist who was expelled from the Soviet Union only two months ago.
Although Dr. Godyak spoke briefly at the three public lectures, Batovrin was the main spokesperson. An artist in his late twenties, he is an articulate speaker with a ready understanding of western culture and an American accent, acquired in his youth as the son of a Soviet diplomat posted in the United States.
Batovrin and Godyak keep in touch with the Trust Group through frequent phone calls. Despite being systematically intimidated by the KGB, the group continues to thrive: a few members have dropped out but others join, and they estimate the membership as 2000 in the whole country. Nine different branches exist in various cities. In addition, there are two other independent peace organizations in Moscow.
The Trust Group does not criticize its government’s military policy, both because they believe that criticism only produces hatred, and because it is illegal to do so. Instead, they concentrate on offering positive suggestions for ways of “humanizing” relations between people of the two blocs, in the conviction that improved trust -is an essential condition for stopping the arms race. Their proposals include ideas for conversion of the military-industrial complexes on both sides by shifting to joint work on peaceful, humanitarian projects.
The Trust Group’s impact is disproportionate to its relatively small size. Every statement that it issues is immediately read, without comment, by Radio Liberty, which has 20 million Soviet listeners. The Moscow synagogue, where some members of the coordinating committee (including non-Jews) can be reached at every weekly service, is kept as a meeting place for contact with the public, since members of the group have been deprived of phone and mail service.
Hundreds of western peace activists come to meet with the group, especially during the summer, and the New York members strongly support such contacts. They urge Canadians to do everything possible to make human contacts with ordinary Soviet citizens. Batovrin suggests that Westerners send friendly letters to people who are going on visits and ask them to hand them out on the streets to Russian passersby: it’s perfectly safe for them to do so.
Indeed, the presence of Western peace activists is of great support to the Trust Group. For example, last summer some women from Greenham Common went out onto the streets with some Trust Group members, distributed leaflets, gave speeches, and answered questions. Whereas any Soviet citizen who attempted such an action normally would be arrested in a minute or two, this demonstration went on without any interference whatever for two hours, since the KGB didn’t want to clamp down on Western peace activists or even display their repressive tactics to Western witnesses.
Batovrin will gladly put Canadians in touch with members of his group when they plan to visit the USSR. If you are going and want names and addresses, or if you want to forward letters through other visitors, contact Sergei Batovrin, 1793 Riverside Drive, Apt. 5B, New York 10034.
Hamish Wilson — June 1984
At present, the peace movement in Toronto has no centre to call its own. The small number of offices that do exist are almost always to result of the sustaining support of a church, political or community group. While this kind of support and the networking it encourages are vital, the existence of a centre of its. own with direct connections to the community will foster another important link for Toronto’s peace movement.
It is with this objective in mind that the Toronto Disarmament Network (TDN) has initiated the Toronto Peace Education Centre (TPEC). Recent literature from Vancouver indicates that the peace movement there is organizing. a similar centre.
The IDN feels that the peace movement is ready to make such a move. Those who years ago formed groups and networks are now ready to take a further step: the organizing and forming of a centre which will demonstrate that the peace movement will be around for a very long time.
TPEC’s immediate goal is to purchase a storefront building along a major Toronto street. The purchase will be made as soon as sufficient down payment can be raised. Given real estate prices in Toronto, this down payment should be at least $100,000.
Ideally, the building will have three floors. The first floor will be operated by TPEC, the TDN and its member groups, and will be open to the public as an information centre. Peace materials, such as books, buttons and artwork from the TDN and other groups and individuals will be offered for sale, and profits will help support the cost of running the Centre.
The second and third floors will contain offices for the wide variety of groups who make up the TDN. Many resources, such as photocopying machines, phones and meeting rooms, can be shared. One office will be reserved for the regular campaigns that occur throughout the year.
TPEC’s commitment to one location over an extended period of time will allow it to be a truly community-based organization. With an accessible storefront location, and operating as a broadly-based professional resource centre, TPEC will promote a direct connection between the public and the peace movement which will be beneficial to both.
TPEC is currently organizing a fundraising campaign. It is specifically looking for individuals and groups who will raise $500 for the cause. The names of each individual and group who makes a $500 contribution will be included on a plaque to be installed in the centre once it opens. TPEC is also approaching foundations and other funding groups.
For more information about TPEC, contact the Toronto Disarmament Network, 736 Bathurst Street, Toronto On., MSS 2R4. Telephone: 416/xxx-xxxx.
Keneva Kunz and Ami Hjartarson — June 1984
TORONTO – A number of peace, public interest and energy groups have recently formed a coalition whose objective is to make Ontario a Nuclear-Free Zone.
The Campaign for a Nuclear-Free Ontario (CNFO) has. as its major focus a rally at the site of the Darlington nuclear power station, now under construction in Oshawa, east of Toronto. The $11 billion station is thought to be the “key to halting the nuclear industry,” and the cancellation of Darlington is therefore the major demand of the Campaign.
Making Ontario nuclear-free goes well beyond the halting of Darlington, and the CNFO campaign has developed a comprehensive set of demands which would ensure that Ontario become nuclear-free.
CNFO calls for a halt to the manufacture ‘of the cruise missile guidance system by Litton, the development of energy policies which would encourage conservation and efficiency, the democratization of Ontario Hydro, the improvement of safety standards for those currently involved in the nuclear industry, and the retraining of those workers on the Darlington construction site.
Of most interest to the peace movement are the demands to halt the exportation of CANDU reactors and Canadian/Ontario uranium to other nations, as there are proven links between nuclear power and the spread of nuclear bomb-making capability.
The CNFO rally takes place on June 9th at Darlington. Bus transportation from Toronto to the site is available through the purchase of $5 bus tickets from the CNFO office at 730 Bathurst St. prior to June 6.
A further facet of the campaign is a Civil Disobedience action to take place on Monday following. All participants must be involved in a preparation session which can be arranged by calling the CNFO office at 416-xxx-xxxx.
David Cleary — June 1984
HAFNARFJORDOUR – There is an old saying. in Iceland that under the ocean’s surface lurk a hundred hazards. However, with the ever-increasing militarization of the North Atlantic, the hazards can probably be numbered at least in the thousands by now, and the pace of the arms race in the area shows no signs of slowing in the near future.
Iceland pursued a policy of neutrality in international affairs from the inception of sovereignty in 1918 until the British occupation of the country during World War II. In 1942, the Americans replaced the British and remained for the duration of the war.
From the outset, the Americans expressed the desire for permanent military installations in the country. However, Iceland’s newly achieved independence in 1944 and the end of the war in 1945 served to strengthen the desire for continuing non-alignment, and the Americans were forced to withdraw. However, in 1949, the government agreed to join NATO (refusing to permit a referendum on the issue, despite widespread protest and even riots in the streets), on condition that military forces would never set foot in Iceland during peacetime.
Scarcely two years later, in 1951, American troops returned to Keflavik, as there was now a war going on – in Korea.
During the ’50s and early ’60s, American operations in Iceland consisted primarily of radar and surveillance installations, as well as forward bases for bombers. However, changing tactics and a growing emphasis on nuclear warfare have resulted in the increased strategic importance of Iceland and the waters of the North Atlantic for the waging of nuclear war. Consequently, the scope of American military operations in Iceland has increased enormously over the past decade or so.
Orion PC-3s and Phantom F4E fighters are based in Keflavik. Both are designed for nuclear armaments and are intended for anti-submarine operations.
From the western and eastern corners of the country lie SOSUS underwater listening devices to monitor submarine traffic. LORAN-C installations orient NATO submarines and satellite communication centres are operated. AWACS, flying radar and control posts for air and missile warfare, are based at Keflavik. Negotiations are underway for construction of more radar installations. Construction of new, reinforced hangar facilities and greatly increased fuel storage facilities near Keflavik are well underway.
Recently plans for the construction of missile bases in Iceland were discovered, in connection with proposals to make available facilities for the sections of the American military which control long-range bombers and land-based missiles.
The situation in Iceland is probably duplicated to a greater or lesser degree all across the North Atlantic. While the European peace movement protests the deployment of 572 new ground launched missiles, “Battlefield North Atlantic” will be getting 3995 sea-launched and 3418 air-launched cruise missiles.
Opposition to Icelandic involvement in NATO and to American military operations in the country has been widespread, both in and out of Parliament. Annual rallies, cultural festivals and 50 km mass peace marches from Keflavik to Reykjavik have become traditional forms of protest.
With the upsurge in the European and North American peace movements, the Icelandic Campaign Against Military Bases (SHA) has sought to cooperate with other organizations, especially in the British Isles and Scandinavia, to work toward common disarmament goals and to exchange information.
In April 1983, an international conference was held in Glasgow, where representatives from the peace movements in countries bordering on the North Atlantic met to discuss the common dangers and to coordinate efforts to reverse the trend. Participants expressed the desire to collaborate with other peace movements in the Faeroes, Greenland, and Canada, to draw all the North Atlantic countries into discussion of these questions.
A follow-up conference, sponsored by a steering committee elected in Glasgow, will be held in Reykjavik, Iceland, August 24-26, 1984. The conference will discuss the dangers facing all the countries whose coastlines border on the North Atlantic and what can be done to reduce them. The conference is open to all interested parties, and details can be obtained from:
or from Campaign Against Military Bases in Iceland
P.O. Box 314
Matthew Clark — June 1984
Editors’ note: We would like to apologize for not having the space to run this article earlier, but we feel that it is just as interesting and pertinent now as it was then.
ATHENS – On February 6 an international Conference For the Denuclearization of Europe was convened in Athens, Greece. The conference was hosted and paid for by KEADEA, a government supported peace group made up of members of the Greek Parliament’s governing PASOK party and others. A seven-member committee composed of representatives from three western peace groups, three East Europe peace committees, and presided over by KEADEA, organized the four day conference.
One hundred and fifty representatives of 64 national peace groups from 29 countries attended. Canada was represented by two people from Project Ploughshares and two from the Canadian Peace Congress.
The conference was introduced as an attempt to coordinate and unify the international peace movement, and to plan a common platform for it. The main subject of discussion was European nuclear weapon free zones, specifically those proposed for the Balkans, the Nordic and Central European zones.
All but the French delegation expressed support for denuclearized zones. Some western groups argued that the creation of nuclear weapon free zones or declarations of no-first-use should be accompanied by the reduction of conventional arms, and should not be used as pretexts to an increased conventional arms race. East European groups agreed.
Disagreement arose over the question of responsibility for the crisis in Europe. A representative from the Czechoslovak Peace Committee rejected the idea of equal responsibility and was echoed in this by other East Europeans. E.P. Thompson of European Nuclear Disarmament (END) took issue on this position and linked the problem of responsibility with East European governments’ intolerance of independent peace activists. Thompson was supported by many western groups, including the Dutch Interchurch Peace Council. A West Berliner circulated a petition addressed to the East German government protesting the jailing of 16 independent East German peace activists.
There was greater agreement on questioning the need for ‘ba1ance’ or ‘parity’ in nuclear weapons. It was generally accepted that the introduction of new missiles. into Europe was at the root of the present crisis and the deployment of missiles on both sides were criticized, although East, European representatives assumed that a balance was created when SS-20’s were introduced.
It was also pointed out that there was a difference between ‘equal’ security and ‘enough’ security. Seeking balance, or equal security has only perpetuated the arms race. On unilateral initiatives Bruce Kent of Britain’s Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) commented that “a unilateralist is a muitilateralist who means it.”
A number of European representatives raised points that might be of interest to Canadian activists. Lars Baregard of Sweden described the stepping up of electronic surveillance for Soviet submarines in the North Atlantic and warned of the implications this had in the preparation of U.S. first strike capabilities. People in Iceland were reported to be concerned about the possible introduction of nuclear weapons there. Baregard called for the emergence of a third voice from the middle powers, such as those in the Nordic area, to mediate between the superpowers. A coalition of Nordic peace groups has prepared a nuclear weapon free zone proposal for the Nordic area, which includes extending such a zone to encompass Iceland, Greenland and Canada.
On the final day of the conference, the organizing committee submitted a list of points which they believed represented a consensus of views on the denuclearization of Europe. The document adequately reflected agreement on the desirability of nuclear weapon free zones, the call for the removal of all new missiles in Europe, support for a declaration of no-first-use, and support for the freeze. In the end, however, the conference organizers failed to receive support from some significant western groups.
Led by the Dutch Interchurch Peace Council, these groups felt that too many important issues had been left unresolved and that the conference had failed to provide a process to work out disagreements. It became clear at this point that there were differing expectations about what the conference should deal with and what its results would be. Future meetings of eastern and western peace groups should be clearer about goals and the procedures for attaining them.
The Athens conference was a useful first step in promoting increased dialogue between East and West. The Greek government, by supporting the conference, showed how important middle powers can be in promoting the disarmament process, a fact that should encourage the Canadian government to take greater steps in this direction.
Robert Penner — June 1984
TORONTO-The World Federalists of Canada held a public symposium Saturday, May 19, at Glendon College, as part of their four-day annual conference, “Harmony for a small planet: Creative Approaches to Peace and Security”. The organizing committee expected about 200 people to attend the public symposium, but the attendance exceeded their expectations by it considerable number. About half the participants were members of the World Federalists; the other half were interested and sympathetic non-members. Everyone I spoke to, members and nonmembers alike, found the symposium well-organized and informative.
Conference Co-ordinator Dieter Heinrich opened the day’s program, which began with a panel discussion and question period. The panelists were William Barton, former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations, who spoke on New Directions in the Search for Peace; Norman Alcock, founder of the Canadian Peace Research. Institute, who spoke on National Initiatives in Tension Reduction; and Douglas Roche, M.P., who spoke on the Parliamentarians for World Order, of which he is Internationa1 Chairman. The session was chaired by Beth Richards. The various presentations emphasized positive proposals for reducing international conflict. During the question period, several participants noted that the panelists had given little attention to problems of social injustice; one participant also remarked that the panel was entirely white and male.
After lunch, two seminar sessions were scheduled, on a wide variety of subjects. I attended Our Image of the Soviets – How Real?, which was facilitated by Barrie Zwicker, a freelance media critic. After a six-month statistical study of the three Toronto daily papers, he found not only that the media treatment of the Soviet Union is overwhelmingly negative, but also that it is overwhelmingly uninformative.
“Instead of anything approaching an informative, rounded, realistic picture of a country the papers repeatedly claim is so important, the public is being mistreated to hodge-podge of distorting trivia, boring stereotypes, and transparent bias parading as news.”
Zwicker often speaks in public on this issue; I recommend his presentation highly, and also his pamphlet, “War, Peace, and the Media” , available from Sources, 10 Britain Street, Toronto, Ont M5A lR6.
I also attended the seminar titled Promoting East- West Friendship, which was led by Koozma Tarasoff from the Ottawa chapter of the Canada-USSR Association. The participants in this seminar an agreed that greater human contact, including exchange visits and twinning of cities and correspondence exchanges would help to increase understanding and reduce tension.
At a banquet held that evening, World Federalists of Canada President Norman Alcock presented this year’s WFC Peace Award to Canadian journalist Gwynne Dyer, writer and narrator of the seven part television series War. Dyer is not a member of the World Federalists, and indeed had never heard of the WFC until he was selected for this year’s award, but many of the ideas he expressed in the series are very like those of the Federalists. In his acceptance speech Dyer quoted Sherlock Holmes method of problem solving: “Reject an the impossible solutions, and whatever is left, however implausible, is correct.”
Martin Cash — June 1984
TORONTO – On June, 30th Toronto’s Peace community will stage a new type of event to promote the cause of nuclear disarmament. The eight-hour Toronto Peace Festival will be heavy on entertainment and light on .speakers but the focus on disarmament will remain. The festival is organized by the Toronto Disarmament Network (TDN) in support of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign, and will be held on the Toronto Islands.
Confirmed artists so far include Nancy White; Louise Lambert and the Humner Sisters. There will also be classical musicians and many other performers. The stage show is being coordinated through the TDN by Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament (PAND).
Lynn Connell of PAND says the response from the arts community has been very enthusiastic. “The growth and credibility if the peace movement can very definitely be seen in the numbers of performers who are now willing to commit their time and talent for peace,” she says.
There will also be short speeches throughout the afternoon, but the emphasis will definitely be on having a good time and promoting a positive public profile for the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign.
“The festival is a non-threatening way to introduce people to the peace movement,” says Danya Agar, whose group East End Peace Action (EEPA) brought the idea to the TDN. For the past two years EEPA has organized, with great success, a similar but smaller-scale event in Toronto’s Beaches community.
The festival is seen as a way of culminating the first phase of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign. The first three months of canvassing will be complete, and the festival will bring people together for a festive climax before the inevitable lull in summer activity.
The festival takes place on Hanlan’s Point on Toronto Islands from 12 noon to 8 pm on Saturday, June 30, rain or shine. Peace related groups are invited to set up displays.
For further information about the Toronto Peace Festival, contact the TDN at xxx-xxxx or xxx-xxxx.
anon — June 1984
Among its other objectives, the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign (PPCC) will try to promote the discussion of peace and disarmament issues by candidates in the upcoming federal election.
The specific tactics on how to address the candidates have not yet been finalized. However, Matthew Clark, a member of the Toronto PPCC steering committee, says, “We don’t plan to be antagonistic. We don’t want to box anybody in. We want to encourage candidates to take a stand we think is the right one.”
As opposed to single-issue lobbyists in the US, who raise large sums of money and actively endorse of condemn specific candidates, the PPCC is a grassroots project whose impact will come primarily from its national scope and the numbers of Canadians who have signed the petition.
According to Clark, “We’re going to get as many people as possible to sign the petition, then go to the candidates in each riding and say ‘This is what the people feel about cruise testing and nuclear weapons in Canada. What do you say?’ That’s a very democratic way of going about it.”
Although things may change as the campaign grows in strength over the summer, early reactions from political strategists of all three federal parties to the demands of the campaign are, at this point, fairly predictable.
A spokesperson, from the Tory foreign policy planner’s office, who asked that his name not be used, says, “Our policy to continue testing the cruise missile is not going to be altered by public opinion. A Tory government is not going to be influenced by public demonstration. If we win the next election, we will have the responsibility to govern responsibly. You can’t lay policy on public petitions.”
A senior member of the Liberal Party policy committee says that “Peace is a very serious issue, but when party policy is decided upon, it will probably not be as important to us as questions of the economy. Also, the Liberal Party does not demand that its candidates stick to the party line as strictly as the NDP does. I’m sure there will be some Liberal candidates who support these issues and some who will be opposed to them.”
Steve Lee, Secretary of the NDP policy committee, says, “At our national convention in Winnipeg last July, Tommy Douglas said it best in a speech, that the three major issues in the next election will be jobs, medicare and disarmament.
Judy Wells — June 1984
We are expanding circulation of The Peace Calendar throughout Canada. For the present, Toronto distribution will continue on the usual basis but, in other parts of the country, we are experimenting with the following offer:
Your group can receive a whole box of 400 copies by about July 1 for $40, plus shipping costs, if we receive your prepaid order by June 22. You can then sell or distribute the copes without charge, as you prefer, in you own community. If you wish, you could rubber-stamp your group’s address on the top edge, as a local contact.
If 400 copies are too much for your group to afford, perhaps you can find other peace groups who will share the cost and the copies. Send a cheque today for $40, and we’ll ship a box to your town by Bus Parcel Express on about June 25. You’ll be phoned on arrival and pay shipping charges when you pick up the carton. Please don’t request smaller orders at this rate: we can afford to offer this low per-copy price (10 c.) only for full boxes.
NOTE: CANDIS now can accept Visa and MasterCard orders. Please attach details: Card number, Cardholder name, Expiration date, and whether Visa or MasterCard.
— June 1984
VANCOUVER – With its impressive turnout for the April 28 Walk for Peace (estimated at approximately 115,000), Vancouver has informed the country in no uncertain terms that its citizens are solidly behind initiatives for peace. The success of the Vancouver event also raises questions about the relatively lower numbers who attended April 28th rallies in other cities.
Claire Perry of End the Arms Race (EAR) Vancouver, gives a number of reasons for the success of Vancouver’s Walk for Peace. (EAR is a coalition of almost two hundred organizations, including church, labour, student, professional, peace, women, ethnic and others who are united in their opposition to nuclear weapons and their support for the funding of human needs.) “It is not an accident that the Walk for Peace was again so successful in Vancouver,” says Perry. “EAR, which was responsible for the Walk for Peace, worked for a full year for this achievement.”
Perry also points out that during the year of preparation, churches responded more vigorously than ever before. New groups formed in more denominations and the results could be seen in the greater array of banners representing a wider variety of different faiths, as well as different individual church congregations.
The Trade Union Peace Committee also developed new groups and new support in the labour movement during the past year, Perry notes. It made connections between the arms race and unemployment which were written up as a centrefold advertisement for the Walk for Peace and distributed to union members in 100,000 copies of trade union newspapers. The Trade Union Peace Committee also paid for twenty-five expensive and highly visible bus stop signs advertising the Walk for Peace all over Vancouver.
In preparing for the Walk for Peace, and to follow up on Vancouver’s Cruise Awareness Campaign, Perry says that hundreds of letters were sent to mainstream organizations inviting support for the Walk, and 200,000 leaflets were distributed by EAR, advertising the Walk’s objectives. They were:
- Help freeze the arms race by refusing to test the cruise or any other nuclear weapons system.
- Build international support for trust and negotiation between the US and the Soviet Union.
- Set an example by becoming a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone.
- Place the highest priority on funding human needs.
While the rally in Toronto also endorsed these objectives, the focus of the march in Toronto, as well as in some other cities, was against cruise testing and consequently was more sharply directed against Canadian government policy.
Some groups consider that Vancouver’s broader focus on peace may have been. partly responsible for the larger crowd. However, Bert Keser, Secretary of Against Cruise Testing (ACT) in Toronto, says “I don’t think it would have made a big difference to numbers if we’d watered down the demands of the march.” He also emphasizes that ACT will “continue to sharpen the focus against the Canadian government.”
Keser attributes the smaller numbers at rallies outside Vancouver to a “deflation” over the start of the tests, felt by many groups who had been working to prevent the testing. He also pointed to the nine other successful events organized by ACT during the past year which brought out good numbers in Toronto.
Bob Penner, a member of the Coordinating Committee of the Toronto Disarmament Network (TDN) , points out that since British Columbia has a political climate which fosters a high degree of citizen involvement on all political fronts, it is not surprising that there was a .greater turnout for the Vancouver March. He added that, wliether we like it or not, the “peace movement is basically middle-class and nonethnic,” and perhaps this character is especially consistent with Vancouver’s social make-up.
One thing is certain – there has been- a steady growth of support in British Columbia for peace issues over the past five years, as evidenced by the annual march, which gets bigger each year. Assistance from government, from the Mayor’s office to the Provincial legislature, has been a tremendous help.
As Frank Kennedy, President of EAR, says, “We had full endorsement from the Province and the Mayor’s office. The march was led by the Mayor and his family. And we had broad-based community support because we walked for peace. If you concentrate on one issue, as they did in some cities, you diffuse your forces. “
Matthew Clark of TDN says that the Network “didn’t organize a special effort for April 28 because we have put most of our recent efforts into launching the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign. TDN made a conscious decision to diversify tactics. There’s a danger of tiring your organization if you go all out for one single event. Each city has its own strategy and the PPCC is the strategy many people are picking this year.”
As Claire Perry says:” There is an enormous job ahead and the PPCC is the most immediate activity for most peace groups to undertake because of the need to make nuclear – disarmament the main issue before the people of Canada and its Parliament.”
While our strategies for achieving this goal may differ, each city, with sufficient time and energy, can realistically aim for a rally on the scale of April 28th in Vancouver.
— June 1984
Many small projects are in progress or have already resulted in reports or newspaper articles. This report, however, deals with large projects requiring funding from agencies or foundations. It includes possible studies on accidental nuclear war, applied games theory, and inquiries into the causes of wars since 1945.
A project on the consequences for Canada of nuclear war has been started by Prof. Tom Hutchinson of the Institute of Environmental Studies, U. of Toronto, with the cooperation of Science for Peace. A major element in it will be Nuclear Winter. People wishing to take part in this study should contact Prof. Hutchinson. The Royal Society of Canada has been asked by the Federal Ministry of Environment to form a committee to review the impact of nuclear war on the environment. Professor Ken Hare is chairing the committee.
In the past year we have kept in close touch with the Division of Arms Control and Disarmament, Dept. of External Affairs, which has adequate funds n()w for research on verification. The Division gives priority to research on Chemical Warfare Treaty verification and Comprehensive (Nuclear) Test Ban Treaty (CTB) verification. Science for Peace may undertake new work on chemical warfare. This matter will he considered upon receipt of a study of verification nearing completion at Queen’s University. A Chemical Warfare Treaty is perhaps the Arms Control Treaty most likely to be finalized in the next two years. We shall cooperate with the Department of External Affairs in its considerable efforts toward this.
There are several verification technologies relevant to a CTB treaty:
1. for explosions in the atmosphere: satellite observations and fallout;
2. for underground explosions: seismic detection, and fallout if there is a leak from the site of the explosion.
The Dept. of Energy, Mines and Resources (EMR) is managing the Canadian programme of seismic verification, technically and in worldwide linkage through ISDE (International Seismic Data Exchange). The Division of Arms Control and Disarmament will be supporting two further staff members in this field, in addition to the one recently hired. Specialized experts are needed and being hired. We should continue to monitor this work in case an opportunity should arise to be of service.
Radioactive air monitoring has been ignored by the Canadian Arms control community. The Swedish Government has, however, called for an international data exchange on atmospheric radioactivity and has pointed out its desirability for CTB Treaty verification, In Sweden an inexpensive air monitoring system has operated routinely for many years and has detected two Soviet underground nuclear explosions. We might usefully look into the possibility of such monitoring in Canada.
Science for Peace submitted a brief in 1982 to the Parliamentary Committee on External Affairs and National Defence regarding an International Satellite Monitoring Agency (ISMA); it is still resting there.
The Government’s position then was that the project would require U.S. cooperation. One purpose of ISMA was to lift the monopoly of satellite monitoring from the superpowers and put part of the responsibility with the U.N., which should be strengthened thereby. A copy of the ISMA brief was recently. sent to the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark’s commission on arms control.
We intend to cooperate with the Canadian Centre for Arms Control and Disarmament, a new research centre. Our good wishes go with its director, Dr. John Lamb, and his research director, Mr. Larry Hagen.
Another important step forward is the proposed new Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security which was promised in the Throne Speech in Dec. 1983. We have stressed to Mr. Geoffrey Pearson that such an Institute could fulfill important roles in Canada today. We have submitted a Brief on it to the Parliamentary Committee on National Defence and External Affairs which is currently holding hearings on Bill C-32. This Bill had two readings in the House of Commons.
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 the professions. Membership includes a subscription to the BULLETIN and the right to participate in Chapter activities. Membership subscription: $25.00 (student/retired: $5.00). Make cheques payable to Science for Peace. We are registered as a charitable organization. Mail to: Science for Peace, University College, University of Toronto, Toronto, On., M5S lAl.
Contacts: office, xxx-xxxx; Derek Paul, secretary, xxx-xxxx; Raymond Kapral, treasurer, xxx-xxxx.
David Delaunay — June 1984
ST CATHARINES – The second annual Inter-university Workshop in Peace Education met at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, on the weekend of May 12. A variety of possibilities for curriculum development were presented and in addition several speakers discussed ongoing research.
An especially significant contribution was made by Professor Michael Wallace, a University of British Columbia political scientist who has been attempting to estimate the probability of accidental nuclear war. Wallace does not think there is much chance of a war starting from a single, unexpected fluke in, say, a computer’s program. But in a crisis situation, the probabilities increase greatly, since the whole war machine is put on alert.
Two crucial factors determine the probability of catastrophic errors in such crises: the rate at which false alarms occur and the speed with which they can be resolved. If many alarms have resolution times that approach the flight times of the enemy’s missiles, the danger becomes very great that a retaliatory strike will be undertaken in response to false alarm.
Wallace has calculated the probability that a retaliatory strike will be launched in response to a false alarm, assuming varying frequencies of false alarms of varying duration. His most optimistic estimate is that there is a 95 percent probability that such a nuclear attack would be launched on the basis of error within eight days during a crisis.
Wallace seems to pin all his hopes for the future on an unexpected rationale for optimism: the possibility of annihilating all life through a “nuclear winter.” He reasons that it will soon be well established that any nuclear war will destroy everyone, including those who start it. When it becomes obvious that there can be no payoff for anyone, both sides will, if they are rational, relinquish their nuclear capability.
During another panel discussion, Professor Theodore Olson, of the York University Strategic Studies Program, stimulated a lively debate by arguing that strategic analysts and peace researchers have a good deal in common. His audience (comprising mainly peace researchers) resisted this conclusion, insisting that, on the contrary, they study ways of preventing wars, while strategic analysts study ways of winning them.
On the final evening of the conference, Geoffrey Pearson spoke about the bill that is to create a government-funded peace research institute. Mr. Pearson, who served recently as Canadian Ambassador to the Soviet Union, has been largely responsible for planning the new institute. The bill has just received its second reading in the House of Commons and has been sent, with the blessings of all three parties, to the committee that would administer its final touches. Consequently, Mr. Pearson expressed some optimism that it would be enacted before the summer recess.
According to Mr. Pearson, the peace research institute may begin to function this fall with a budget of $1.5 million, to be supplied equally by grants from the Ministries of External Affairs and National Defense. Its budget is expected to increase to $5 million within 5 years. For the present it will have a staff of six or seven full-time research scholars.
Various suggestions offered by Rt. Hon. Joe Clark to make the institute more independent were accepted as amendments to the bill. What remained contentious at the time of Mr. Pearson’s speech was whether the organization would be expected to reply to questions from the government or to offer advice. (There is some objection that a requirement that the institute respond to questions from the government would result in the tailoring of its research programs to fit the anticipated questions.)
The bill in its present form includes a compromise on this issue by stipulating that Parliament may request advice and that the institute may give it.
The conference ended by discussing plans for at least three similar workshops to be held in British Columbia and elsewhere next summer
Peter Rosenthal — June 1984
SUDBURY Over 400 signatures were gathered for the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign in a special Mother’s Day canvass, organized by the Sudbury Women’s Centre. Those who went door-to-door were impressed with the high level of support they received. About 80% of those approached signed the petition. Buoyed by their success, many canvassers have decided to do more petitioning for the PPCC.
Mother’s Day originated as a day of peace, initiated by Julia Ward Howe following her experience tending the wounded. in the American Civil War. The Mayor of Sudbury declared it a “Day of Peace, Love and Understanding, in recognition of the dream of all mothers for a peaceful world for their children and grandchildren.”
Before going door-to-door, a balloon-fest was held in a downtown park. One hundred people heard moving speeches by Dr. Jane Cox, M.D., co-chair of the PPCC in Sudbury, and Yvonne Obonsawin, grandmother, community activist, and narrator of the film All of Our Lives, on women and aging.
Keeping with the theme of “We’d rather see people blow up balloons than blow up the world,” over 150 balloons, shaped as a large dove and a women’s symbol, were used.
Both the balloon-fest and the Mayor’s declaration were well covered on the local media.
— June 1984
On April 26, 1984, a Crown attorney withdrew a charge of making an explosive substance against the president of the Toronto firm Litton Systems Canada, manufacturers of the guidance system for the cruise missile, On May 5 inspectors at Metropolitan Toronto Police Division 23 rejected the demand by fifty demonstrators that the police investigate the legality of Litton’s production of guidance systems for cruise missiles.
Peter Rosenthal, a professor of mathematics at the University of Toronto, who has represented many of the protestors against Litton in their various trials, sets out the background of these events in the following article.
TORONTO – For several years persons who have committed civil disobedience at the Litton plant have raised the issue of Litton’s criminality as a defense to their own charges. That is, they have argued that their actions were justified on the grounds that they were an attempt to stop Litton from committing a much more serious offense.
No judge has acquitted a demonstrator on these grounds, although no judge of Crown attorney has indicated why such a defense does not apply.
(In the U.S. the situation is quite different. The Plowshares Eight recently, won a new trial on the grounds that their justification defense had not been given a reasonable hearing at their original trial.)
Several judges have suggested, however, that it might be appropriate to charge Litton with an offense under section 79 of the Criminal Code of Canada.
Section 79 of the Criminal Code of Canada states that it is an offense if one “makes or ~
substance with intent thereby… to enable another person to endanger life.
Section 2 of the Code says that “explosive substance” includes “anything, or any part thereof, used or intended to be used … or to aid or to aid in causing an explosion in or with an explosive substance.”
Clearly, in my view and in the view ‘of other peace activists, a guidance system for a nuclear armed cruise missile is an explosive substance within the meaning of the Criminal Code, and it can certainly be argued that cruise missiles enable the U.S. military to endanger life. Therefore it seems that Litton and its senior executives should be charged with, and convicted of, violating the criminal law.
Although it is possible that Litton has some special exemption from the provisions. of this law, no such authorisation has been revealed, in spite of extensive investigations.
On October 25, ’1982, a charge was laid against Litton under Section 79, but the Justice of the Peace who received it said he would not proceed further.
When asked why, this justice of the peace said that he required further evidence to proceed. When asked what evidence might help he said; “Bring me a guidance system.” When asked for a more serious response, he said he would get back to us. We’re still waiting.
In 1983 another attempt was made to lay a charge. This time the justice of the peace refused to accept the charge on the grounds that the informant “did not hold a bona fide belief that Litton was violating the law.
On March 30, 1984 two members of the Women’s Action Collective laid an information (ie. laid a charge) in front of Justice of the Peace Bernard Gottlieb. Gottlieb also said that he wanted more evidence, but he agreed to hold a hearing in August to give the informants an opportunity to present further evidence and argument.
On April 26, assistant Crown attorney Norman Matusiak conducted an extraordinary procedure. Without ‘telling the informant, he brought the information on which the March 30 charge was based in front of a Judge and withdrew the charge. He said he was withdrawing the charge because “the only device manufactured at Litton Systems Canada is an inertial guidance system of the same type used in 747s, DC-10s…and many other general aircraft.”
This statement of Matusiak’s is patently false. As is well known, the essence of the cruise missile, the thing that makes it special, it the LN-35 manufactured by Litton. According to .Litton’s own brochures (which the informant would have been happy to supply to the Court), this part “brings the missile into terminal on-target attack” and “issues warheads arming command.”
Matusiak claimed that he was unaware of Justice of the Peace Gottlieb’s intention to hold further hearings when he withdrew, the charge. Lawyers are considering what should be done in response to Matusiak’s unprecedented manoeuvre, but it doesn’t really matter. A charge that is withdrawn can be re-laid at any time. (Should Litton ever be tried and acquitted they could not be re-charged.)
On May 5, 1984 the Women’s Action Collective and the Cruise Missile Conversion Project organized a demonstration at Police Division 23, the division responsible for Litton., to demand that the police investigate the legality of Litton’s production of guidance systems.
Such an action would be normal police procedure when anyone reports an alleged crime. Normal procedure was not followed in this case, however. The police said that they needed “evidence that Litton built parts for cruise missiles.” .
The police know, as we all do, that Litton produces such parts. They could easily obtain compelling evidence. The standard procedure would be for them to get a search warrant, enter Litton’s premises, and seize some guidance systems. They could then call expert witnesses to identify the seized parts as parts of the cruise missile, and to prove the offensive nature of the missile.
Instead of doing this, the police said with winks and smiles, “we need proof that Litton makes such parts.” The demonstrators’ spokespeople then produced a photocopy of a Litton brochure, to which the police replied “we would need the original.” (The police were later informed that the original could be produced by somebody present, to which they responded that they did not want to discuss the matter any further.)
It appears that the police, the Crown attorneys, and the Justices of the Peace are toying with the protestors. It seems clear that the authorities will not stop production of the parts for cruise missiles unless we force them to, hot by clever legal arguments but by public pressure. Nonetheless it may be sensible to continue to press for charges against Litton as part of the campaign to build such pressure.
Jane Davidson — June 1984
Dr. Carl Sagan will visit Ottawa on June 3 and 4 as part of a campaign to alert government leaders and the public to the urgent significance of recent research on nuclear winter. Much of this research has been carried out by Sagan and his colleagues. (See May issue of TPC for details.)
Sagan’s appearances in Ottawa have been organized by Physicians for Social Responsibility in cooperation with Lawyers for Social Responsibility, Science for Peace, and Nurses for World Peace.
According to Dr. Gerd Schneider of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Sagan’s itinerary will begin with a dinner for 250 on Sunday, June 3. The next day he will meet with senior bureaucrats and have lunch with Mr. Trudeau. In the afternoon, all Senators and MPs have been invited to hear Dr. Sagan discuss the policy implications of this new knowledge. All of these events will serve to publicize the real possibility that all humanity could be destroyed in the dark and frozen environment produced by even a limited use of nuclear weapons.
In the United States governmental attention is also being directed to research into nuclear winter. For example a subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee has decided to commission another scientific study and has allocated funds for it in ~he next year’s budget.
— June 1984
A desire to reach out to ordinary people, people who shun peace marches and yet feel quiet despair over the arms race, has led an Ottawa couple to create a grassroots-style of forum modelled after Tupperware parties.
The Peace Party Network got its start last fall when Maria and Paul Rigby of Ottawa decided to invite friends and neighbours over for an evening of discussion about nuclear war.
The party was so successful that several more were held, with an initial focus on the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign, and ,the movement spread to the Toronto area in March. Since that time, and with a broadened scope and purpose, seven peace parties have been held in Toronto and outlying areas.
Organizers and hosts who open their homes for the parties agree that ; each one has a different outcome and that none could be termed ‘failures..’
Although Tupperware parties provided the inspiration for peace parties, there is a basic difference. People attending are not pressured to go on. and hold their own peace parties.
Carolyn Spoore, a Toronto peace party organizer and host, says that even if a group never meets again and people go their separate ways afterward, something has been achieved.
“Their consciousness has been raised,” she says. “Questions get answered, and someone who has been to a party may well confront politicians at election time. They will certainly be better informed than they were before the party.”
The party format is very simple. Someone agrees to host a party and invites between eight and fifteen people, who may be friends, neighbours, relatives or co-workers. A facilitator is also invited to attend. The facilitator begins the discussion by asking each person in turn to identify themselves and say why they carne.
A free-flowing discussion of nuclear issues follows, and all points of view are welcomed. Facilitators try to maintain a non-combative, supportive environment. After a coffee break, the facilitator may ask people what further action, if any, they would like to take, and what they learned from the evening.
Some remarkable turnarounds in attitude have been reported. “often,” says Paul Rigby, “those who feel the most hopeless will argue the loudest about the futility of the peace movement. At one party, I confronted such a person and said ‘you really feel that nothing can be done. After that, he kept quiet and listened, and at the end was one of those most enthusiastic about taking further action.” ‘.
After a peace party in Bolton, Ontario, several people said they felt better informed about the reasons behind resistance to cruise missile testing in Canada. And participants in Newmarket, already committed to opposing the cruise, decided to meet again and form their own peace group.
Maria Rigby has national aspirations for the movement.
“What I really hope is that every person across the country will have a chance to get together in small groups and talk about the issue. I want a groundswell of people saying ‘no’ to war. We have to stop the U.S. and the Soviets — we have to change our government’s policy on cruise missile testing.”
Ken Hancock — June 1984
Peace Activist: Mr./Ms., as our Member of Parliament, I was shocked to learn that you have not been actively working on the issue of disarmament and development.
Member of Parliament: Quite to the contrary, I came out in support of Trudeau’s proposal.
Peace Activist: Which proposal was that, the peace initiative, or the decision to test the cruise missile?
Member of Parliament: Both of course!
Peace Activist: Oh.
Absurd? Yes. Uncommon? No. Therefore, this month’s suggestion is to write your member of parliament, asking him/her to come out in support of the four objectives of the Peace Petition Caravan Campaign, and letting them know in “no uncertain terms” that whether they endorse, and work towards the objectives of the PPCC, will playa large part in determining whether you will vote for him/her in the next federal election.
No postage is required in writing to your Member of Parliament, and letters should be addressed to the House of Commons, Ottawa, Ont., K1 A OA6. .
If you don’t know the name of your MP, please call your local Canada Service Bureau, except in Prince Edward Island, where you should call Island Inquiries.
The NLWC would like to welcome three new groups: Ashton Creek- Kingfisher Nuclear Disarmament Committee, Ploughshares Brantford, and Search for Alternatives to War. If your group is interested in becoming part of the NLWC, please write 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.
Finally, as you sit down to write your letter this month, remember that peace activists from 46 groups, from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Denman Island, British Columbia, will be writing to their member of parliament. Together we can make a difference! “
Happy letter writing, Doug Mohr
301-103 Church St.
Kitchener, Ont. N2G 2S3
P.S. Remember: Thinking about it doesn’t change anything. Please, put something in the mail.
To date, the following groups have endorsed the letter-writing campaign. We hope to be able to add the name of your group to the list.
Arts for Peace; Ashton Creek. Kingfisher Nuclear Disarmament Committee; Brampton and area Peace Council; Chatham. Kent Association for Peace and Disarmament; Community Forum for Shared Responsibility; Cruise Missile Conversion Project; East End Peace Action; East York Peace Committee; Educators for Nuclear Disarmament; Guelph Disarmament Group; Hamilton Disarmament Coalition; Inter-Church Disarmament Project; Killarney Nuclear Disarmament Group; Lakeshore Committee for Disarmament; Lawyers Alliance for Judicial Action on Nuclear Disarmament; Manitoba Peace Council; Mount Arrowsmith Disarmament Coalition; Niagara Disarmament Coalition; North York Action for Disarmament; Operation Dismantle; Parkdale for Peace; Peace Education Network; Peace Resource Center; Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament; Ploughshares – Brantford; Ploughshares – London; Ploughshares St. John’s; Ploughshares-Saskatoon; Ploughshares-Sudbury; Ploughshares Waterloo Region; Port Alberni Nuclear Disarmament Coalition; Psychologists for Social Responsibility (Toronto); Psychologists for Social Responsibility (Waterloo); Safe Mosquito Abatement Committee; Search for Alternatives to War; Slocan Citizens for Peace; Spadina Peace Group; Status of Women (Newfoundland); Thunder Bay Coalition for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament; Toronto Disarmament Network; Toronto Quakers Peace and Social Action Committee; Trinity Peace Association; United Jewish People’s Order; Vernon World Disarmament Coalition; Voice of Women; Waterloo Region Peace Network; and the Winnipeg Co-ordinatlng Committee for Disarmament.
— June 1984
Editors’ note: This is the second in a series of five articles by Ken Hancock on “Nuclearism, Militarism and Third World Intervention.” The first article provided a general introduction to the topic. This article examines three specific examples of U.S. nuclear terrorism against Third World countries. Succeeding articles will deal with (a) nuclear weapons and nuclear energy and their link to Third World oppression; (b) Canada and U.S foreign policy; and © Present trends in. military strategies and their link to global political issues and struggles.
“If the problem of the proper use of this weapon can. be solved… our civilization can be saved.” – Secretary of War Henry Stimson (Emphasis added) Ken Hancock It can be said with reasonable certainty that no empire has been as planned as that of the United States. In fact, during the entire period of the Second World War U.S. policy makers studied how to ensure that their system would emerge as the dominant capitalist colonial power. ‘
During World War II, the U.S. State Department and the Council on Foreign Relations (one of many ~on-elected, but fundamentally important policy-making groups in American society) established what was known as the Grand Area strategy. Its objective was to construct a post-World War II Pax Americana. More specifically, it was intended to identify those areas in the world which had to fall under direct American economic and political ,control if the world capitalist system was to survive.
Underlying the Grand Area strategy was the assumption that the old colonial masters could no longer maintain their imperial interests, and that the United States government (and the elite ecoonomic interests it represented) had to take on the major responsibility for global management.
An obvious example of this ‘change of command’ was the way the responsibility for re-establishing the right wing elites in Greece in 1948 was transferred from Great Britain to the U.S. This included supporting the monarchy (which had belonged to the fascist youth organizations in the 19308); destroying the Communist forces (who had been the ones who resisted the Nazis) and killing 80,000 people in the Civil War.
In other words, the plans of those who carved out the post Second World War order included a clear perception of what would and would not be allowed to happen. The establishment of the International Monetary Fund and the world banking system in 1944; the re-establishment of fascists collaboration governments from Thailand to Taiwan to Greece, and the emergence of a global economic and military system under U.S. control were the dominant political realities of the day.
It is in the context of this emerging post World War II global order that we must analyse Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 1945, Japan had already been devastated by the saturation of conventional bombs. Tens of thousands had been killed. The Japanese sued for peace and sent a message to Molotov, the Soviet Foreign Minister. Molotov passed this information on to Truman at the Potsdam Conference and Truman stated that he already knew that the Japanese had sued for peace: the U.S. military had broken the Japanese will. High-ranking militarists like Curtis Le May stated that the Japanese could not fight past the fall of 1945. But, that would be too late. By then, because of established Allied agreements, Russia would be able to join in the takeover of Japan. (Japan and Germany had already been identified by the Grand Area strategists as essential links to post World War II capitalist development.)
The U.S. decision makers did not want to ‘split up’ Japan like they had agreed to ‘split up’ Europe. The war over China was still going on. The U.S. had already occupied Guam, Hawaii, the Philippines and South Korea. All of Asia was at stake. The Russians could join in the final takeover by August 15, 1945.
Japan asked as a condition of surrender only that the position of, the Emperor be maintained. Truman refused, calling for an unconditional surrender. The Japanese had to be made to continue fighting while the bomb was being perfected. In other words, the Japanese people were used as pawns in the game of world power politics.
Hiroshima was bombed August 6th and Nagasaki on August 9th. In many ways these bombings were experiments. Both Uranium-235 and plutonium would be used as the bomb grade material to discover what effects they would have on the human life.
Japan could have been defeated by other means. But that was not the purpose of the bomb. As Eisenhower said later, the U.S. could not have protected its global interests if it had not possessed the bomb and if it had not shown the world that it would use the bomb on people.
Others have echoed Eisenhower’s opinion. Truman said that the bomb was useless if it was not used. Eugene Rostow stated that “we (the U.S.) could not go forward in planning the use of conventional forces with great freedom because we know that the Soviet Union could not escalate beyond the local level.” In other words, the ‘will’ to use the bomb forced the Soviets to back away from confrontations with U.S. military adventurism around the world.
In 1949, two events occurred which shocked the U.S. elite classes. In the summer, the Soviet Union exploded its first bomb, and China was ‘lost’ to Communist forces. Within two years the United States would be engaged in a war in Korea.
As in Vietnam, the entire arsenal of U.S. destructive power would be unleashed: Curtis le May (head of Strategic Air Command) observed proudly that the U.S. had burned down every town in North Korea. The people were forced to live in caves. Both Harry Truman (by flying simulated, atomic equipped 8-29 bombing raids over North Korea) and Eisenhower threatened to use the bomb. General MacArthur wanted to unleash 50 – 60 atomic weapons against North Korea and China. Only strategic military decisions (not sufficient troop concentration of enemy forces) kept the bomb from being used.
History was repeated in Vietnam. The U.S. flew more than 500,000 sorties against North Vietnam. During the 12 day Christmas bombing of Hanoi in 1972, the tonnage of bombs dropped was greater than that of all of the bombs dropped on Japan during the Second World War, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
According to Seymour Hersh, in his book The Price of Power, in 1969 nuclear equipped 8-52 bombers were kept on ready alert for 29 consecutive days, poised to strike against Vietnam with nuclear weapons. And Kissinger was sent to the Paris Peace talks with the “Madman Theory”. He was ordered to tell the North Vietnamese that Nixon was mad enough to use the bomb if U.S. demands were not met. As Rostow stated, these threats allowed the American military to employ its massive conventional weaponry because the Soviets (on whose support the North Vietnamese depended) would not risk a nuclear holocaust.
Since Hiroshima, we know of seventeen times when the American government has threatened to use the bomb. All but two of these were against Third World countries. The examples show clearly that whether the bomb is used or not is matter of strategic, not moral, concern.
The legacy of the ‘use’ of the bomb in Asia is overwhelming. The purpose of its threatened use has often been to ensure U.S. dominance in Southeast Asia. Repressive systems have been established throughout the region (Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea). The initial use of the bomb ensured American control of Japan. This was seen as essential to capitalist development. The people of the region have paid the price.
The record of history shows that the bomb is a tool for clearly articulated political and economic objectives. And the bomb is quite a rational tool; given global interests and power relations. The next article in this series will look at how these ‘rational’ interests have, to this day, continued to destroy the lives of the peoples of the Third World.
Margaret Boyce — June 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.
In Andrew Van Ve1zen’s article “Target: Military Production” in the May 1984 issue of The Peace Calendar, there is one mistake and two serious omissions.
- The PT -6 engine was not of the type used to bomb guerillas in Central America. It was General Electric.
- De Havilland Aircraft have supplied, and presumable will continue to supply aircraft to many of the world’s armed forces, including our own Canadian Armed Forces.
- McDonnell Douglas Canada is building small parts of the CF-18 Hornet jet fighters, and are building wings for the KC-10A Extender flight refuelling aircraft for the U.S. Air Force, which is used to refuel jet aircraft of both the U.S. Navy and Air Force. This allows the B-52 fleet to take off with a full load of air-launched cruise missiles, and refuel once airborne. It will be compatible with the North American Rockwell B-1 bomber when it reaches Squadron Service.
To be effective, ANVA should be at these plants during the work week, as security guards are rather blasé about demonstrations.
Andrew Van Velzen replies:
There are just a few points I would like to mention.
The PT -6 engine is built by Pratt and Whitney near Montreal and has been used in the Arava 101, an aircraft built by the Israeli’s which has seen much activity in Central America. ARA VA’s. have been used in El Salvador. The other companies which Derek Pennington mentioned such as De Havilland Aircraft and McDonnell Douglas Canada both based in the Toronto area are well known for their contribution to war production and the information Mr. Pennington gives is important. Unfortunately only so much information could go into the article, so only a few weapons producers were highlighted.
The Alliance for Non-Violent Action hopes the campaign will raise the level of awareness of Canadians to the many companies in Canada involved in military production and hopefully if enough people get involved the weapons producers will not get away with profiting from war and war making.
Item: Toronto Globe and Mail of May 17 indicated that Netherlands will be making a decision within the next few weeks regarding missile deployment. Apparently, Job de Ruiter, Defense Minister contends that the Netherlands did not agree to deploy at the time of the ’79 NATO meetings. NATO leaders are pressuring him to do so now.
Suggestion: perhaps peace groups should telegram support to the Netherlands for the stand against deployment.
NWFZ and the Constitution
The Village of Kaslo has just been declared a Nuclear Free Zone and we are asking the village council to consider passing a bylaw to give legal enforcement to this declaration. The provincial government has notified our regional district that the Canadian Constitution does not allow the province to sanction this kind of municipal bylaw. We are seeking further information on this question.
I am wondering if you or any of your readers could put us in touch with a municipality which has a Nuclear Free Zone bylaw. So far we have not heard of any such a bylaw exists in Canada.
We would appreciate any information on this topic.
Elizabeth A. Scarlett
As we go to press, we are unable to confirm any NWFZ bylaws, except in Vancouver.
Many municipalities have, as you know, “declared” themselves NWFZs, but Vancouver has passed a fire bylaw and a building code bylaw which prohibit the manufacture, storage and transportation of nuclear weapons in that city.
In the next issue, we will publish as much information as we can on other such bylaws. If any readers of The Peace Calendar are aware of such bylaws, please forward any information to Jon Spencer, c/o CANDIS, 736 Bathurst St.. Toronto. On. M5S 2R4.
— June 1984
TORONTO – The Christian feast of Pentecost, sometimes called the “birthday of the Church,” recalls the “gift of the Holy Spirit,” when the assembled disciples underwent a powerful experience in which they were convinced that God had visited them in a new way. They found no language adequate to describe what happened to them, but the results were indisputable: people who had been run-of-the-mill, timid and uncertain henceforth displayed extraordinary courage and assurance, power and eloquence.
Many Christians today, as well as non-Christian peace activists, covet these “gifts of the Spirit” to equip them for peace-making. As a result, the feast of the Pentecost has, for the past several years, been marked by prayers, vigils and civil disobedience actions at bomb factories, missile bases, etc., especially in the U.S. In 1983, a prayer service held illegally in the Capitol Buildings in Washington, D.C. resulted in 242 arrests.
Peace Pentecost 1984, Sunday June 10, will be observed in Toronto with a quiet service of prayer and witness against warmaking outside Litton Systems Management Office, 25 City View Drive, at 8:00 pm. Afterwards, those who wish may remain for an all-night vigil.
Though the action marks a Christian feast and is organized by a committee from several Christian groups, all peace people are welcome. Participants are encouraged to bring a candle. For more information, call xxx-xxxx or xxx-xxxx.
— June 1984
Edited by Mary Vrantsidis and Nancy Watt
- An International Peace Workshop will be held in England from July 13th to 20th. Guest speakers are Jonathan Porritt, Co-Chairman of the Ecology Party Council; Stephanie Leland, Founder – National Council of Women for Life on Earth; and, John Davy, Principal of Emerson College. For further information, write to: The Secretary, Summer Workshop, Emerson College, Forest Row, Sussex, England RH18 5JX.
- A Western peace group visiting Moscow brought flower seeds as gifts, both to the official and unofficial peace groups. An activist in the latter organization requested, and was granted permission to plant a peace garden in front of the police station. When the flowers bloom, they will spell out the message: “Ban the bomb in Russia!”
- William H. Epstein, former advisor to the Secretary General of the U.N. for Disarmament Questions, is being awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Alberta on June 4th and will deliver the convocation address. This is the first occasion (of which we are aware) of an honorary doctorate being awarded to someone in appreciation of activities in peace and disarmament.
- On May 2, 1984, Nobel peace prize laureate, Andrei D. Sakharov began a hunger strike in the Soviet city of Gorky. Sakharov was arrested and exiled in Gorky 4 years ago by Brezhnev, without being charged with any offence.
His hunger strike is an attempt to save the life of his wife, Yelena Bonner. She desperately needs special heart treatment, that can only be performed outside the Soviet Union. The Soviet government has refused both of them exit visas. Yelena joined her husband’s hunger strike 10 days later. She has been charged under Article 190-1 of the Soviet Criminal Code with “spreading slanderous anti-Soviet information discrediting the Soviet social and state order” and sentenced for up to three years in labour camps.
In Canada, Dr. Roman Fin and his wife Prof. Galina Fin joined their hunger strike for 6 days to demonstrate their support. They urge others to join – even for a day – and/or send letters of protest to the Soviet government: His Excellency Konstantin Chernenko, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R., The Kremlin, Moscow, U.S.S.R.
- The Peace Petition Caravan Campaign has opened an office at 32 Macdonell St. in Guelph. Office hours are 11 am to 4 pm, Monday to Saturday. Canvassing started on May 19th, but they are still looking for volunteers. If you are interested, please contact Dorothee Bienzle at xxx-xxxx.
- The University of Bradford will be holding a conference on “Peace Studies in Higher Education” to enable academics interested in the subject to come together and discuss intellectual issues and practical problems. The conference will run from September 12 – 14. Further information can be obtained by writing: Conference Organizer, PSHE, School of Peace Studies, U of B, Bradford, West Yorkshire, B10 1DP.
- The Peace Petition Caravan Campaign contact for London is: Jim Alexander, c/o Cross Cultural Learner Centre, 533 Clarence St., London, N6A 3Nl. 519-xxx-xxxx.
- Konaka Yotaro will talk about the anti-nuclear movement in Japan and will bring a new film, Hiroshima/Nagasaki: The Harvest of Nuclear War at OISE, June 18th, 7 pm.
- The Peace Calendar apologizes to all those people who were not contacted for the events calendar this month (especially London). As we all know, volunteer labour is a wondrous and mysterious thing. Unfortunately we just did not have the time to try to reach anyone more than once this month. It looks like this situation may be difficult to rectify as it has been a recurring problem. Please, if at all possible, try to send your events to us (or call them in yourself) by the 15th of each month. (Consider the virtues of Special Delivery). If you don’t have time to mail your events, check our list of correspondents before you call, there may be someone near you that you can contact.
— June 1984
Editors’ note: This month, the Campaign for a Nuclear-Free Ontario is beginning its drive to halt construction of the Darlington nuclear power facility, among its other objectives (See Page 1).
Many peace activists are especially concerned about Canada’s nuclear energy program because CANDU reactors, which are widely sold overseas, are ideal for nations who have military intentions.
The CANDU produces large amounts of relatively pure plutonium, an element which does not occur in nature, and which is used in the” manufacture of nuclear weapons.
Moreover, CANDU reactors are fuelled with natural uranium. Any nation which has a CANDU and has uranium reserves within its borders is therefore free from dependence upon international markets for fuel.
Finally, the CANDU’s continuous refuelling system enables governments to remove plutonium from the reactor without shutting down. Spent fuel can therefore be diverted for military purposes without detection by international :authorities, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency.
In order to further clarify this relationship between nuclear energy and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, The Peace Calendar is reprinting excerpts from two articles, one published by the British organization Scientists Against Nuclear Arms, the other published in Canada’s Nuclear Free Press.
What is nuclear proliferation?
Nuclear proliferation can be broadly defined as the increase of the total number of nuclear weapons in the world. This increase happens in two ways. The first (so-called ‘vertical proliferation’) is the acquisition of new nuclear weapons by a country (such as the USA or the USSR) which already possesses them. The second way (‘horizontal proliferation’) is the spread of nuclear weapon capability to more and more countries.
This Briefing is concerned only with horizontal proliferation.
A short history of horizontal proliferation
- 1945 – The UNITED STATES carries out the first explosion of an atomic device and the first use in warfare.
- 1946 – At the first session of the United Nations both the United States and the USSR put forward proposals to internationalise nuclear technology and abolish nuclear weapons – but no agreement is reached.
- 1949 – The USSR carries out a successful nuclear test.
- 1952 – BRITAIN carries out a successful nuclear test.
- 1953 – The United States sets up the ‘Atoms for Peace’ programme by which it hopes to be able to export ‘peaceful’ nuclear technology while avoiding the possibility of proliferation.
- 1957 – The International Atomic Energy Agency is set up to promote the peaceful use of atomic energy.
- 1960 – FRANCE carries out a successful nuclear test.
- 1964 – CHINA carries out a successful nuclear test.
- 1970 – The Non-Proliferation Treaty comes into effect.
- 1974 – INDIA carries out a successful nuclear test.
- 1977 – It is revealed at the Windscale Inquiry that the United States has successfully tested a nuclear bomb made from ‘reactor grade’ plutonium — albeit one made with the help of sophisticated weapon design techniques. “
As well as the six countries listed above as having carried out successful nuclear tests, two more; South Africa and Israel, have almost certainly developed their own weapons in secret. A further three (Pakistan, Brazil, and Argentina) are believed to be very close to a bomb production capacity, while many more could, given the appropriate political conditions, develop the necessary technology in one or two decades. In this last group. one could include nearly all the European states and countries such as Libya and Iraq which are in strategically sensitive areas of the world.
How bombs are made: the nuclear link
The actual production of crude nuclear fission weapons does not present great technical problems once the appropriate raw materials have been obtained. About 20 kg of weapon-grade uranium or 5 kg of weapon-grade plutonium is sufficient. (Weapon-grade plutonium usually implies a concentration of the isotope plutonium 239 of greater than 90%.) Provided the weapon is skillfully designed and constructed, a bomb can even be made from reactor-grade plutonium.
Weapon-grade uranium can be produced using the uranium ore and enrichment facilities of a civilian nuclear programme. Similarly the spent fuel rods of power reactors can be reprocessed to yield plutonium for a bomb. Thus any country which possesses either natural uranium and an enrichment facility or nuclear reactor with a reprocessing facility has the potential to develop nuclear weapons.
The Non-Proliferation Treaty and other international safeguards
(a) The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
The Non-Proliferation Treaty was designed to make possible the widespread peaceful use of nuclear power, while preventing weapon development in non-nuclear-weapon states. By adhering to the treaty, states agree that in return for access to nuclear technology and materials, they will renounce all attempts to produce nuclear weapons. For their part, nuclear weapon states agree to work towards nuclear disarmament and eventual abolition of all nuclear weapon systems. The transfer of nuclear weapons to either weapon or non-weapon states is prohibited.
It is obvious that for such a treaty to be fully effective it must be universally applied. Although by July 1983, 118 non-nuclear weapon states had signed the treaty, important non-signatories still include India, Pakistan, China, South Africa, Israel, Brazil and Argentina, and there is little incentive for non-signatories to join the fold when the nuclear industry is willing to supply sensitive materials to both signatories and non-signatories alike.
(b) The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Signatories of the NPT agree to submit to IAEA ‘safeguards,’ that is, to the inspection and monitoring of their facilities by the IAEA. IAEA inspectors check inventories and analyze samples of reactor materials while television cameras and seals protect sensitive areas. Even under optimum conditions however, these safeguards leave much to be desired. Plutonium is notoriously difficult to weigh and measure and experience shows that it is difficult to maintain records to an accuracy of even 1 %.
At present estimates, world nuclear power could produce over 2000 tonnes of plutonium by the year 2000. With this level of accuracy in accounting, the equivalent of several thousand bombs could go missing and not even be noticed.
Even assuming measurements could be accurately carried out, IAEA inspectors have little power. They can be refused access to key areas, inspections can be postponed, accounts can be fiddled and, if all else fails, a state can simply withdraw from the NPT on 90 days notice. The Israeli raid on the Iraqi ‘Osirak’ reactor was an outstanding illustration of the possible consequences of these limitations. Although covered by the IAEA, the Israelis suspected the Iraqis of avoiding IAEA surveillance and took preemptive action.
It should also be pointed out that some of the roles of the IAEA are rather contradictory. In addition to being the nuclear watchdog body, it is also charged with the development of ‘peaceful’ nuclear energy and it is easy to see how these two roles can come into conflict in situations where enthusiastic implementation of safeguards might threaten important contracts.
In 1981, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission told the Senate it was no longer confident that the IAEA could detect the misuse of nuclear materials.
© Other proliferation prevention measures
Another set of safeguards, preventive in nature, were drawn up in 1977 by the major exporters of nuclear technology (the so-called ‘London Club’). They consist principally of a trigger-list of sensitive technology which the firms concerned undertake not to supply to unsuitable governments, particularly those wl10 have not signed the NPT.
These regulations have had some effect and certain questionable contracts have been refused, but the system is voluntary and is constantly under commercial pressure. Several non-nuclear states. with ambiguous intentions,. such as Pakistan, Brazil and Argentina, have been given help.
US President Carter imposed unilateral restrictions on nuclear exports through the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act (1978): this was helpful but imperfect. He also initiated a major study of the nuclear fuel cycle and associated proliferation risks (called INFCE). The final report did not identify any proliferation-proof technologies and indeed confirmed the opinion of several previous studies, that preventing proliferation from nuclear power is primarily a political problem for which ultimately no technical fix exists.
SANA Briefing 14
Scientists Against Nuclear Arms 112 Newport Road, New Bradwell, Milton Keynes, England MKI30AA
Three case studies
India exploded a nuclear device in 1974 with plutonium produced in a small Canadian.research reactor, which Canada supplied in 1960. The heavy water was supplied by the U.S. There were no safeguards on the reactor.
Two U.S. reactors fuelled by enriched uranium started up in 1969. A 30 year fuel supply was included in the deal.
India completed a second larger CANDU in the early 1970s. Canadian cooperation on third reactor ended in May 1974, but the reactor was Completed by India in 1981. .’
Four additional large reactors based on the CANDU design are under construction. Heavy water plants are also being built.
India has two plutonium reprocessing facilities (with a total capacity of 175 tons per year), two fuel fabrication plants, one uranium enrichment centre and one uranium mine (with an output of 200 tons per year).
India refused to sign the nonproliferation treaty but allows IABA inspections at selected facilities. India has purchased heavy water from Soviet Union.
Argentina bought a large CANDU in 1976, which started up in 1983. Canada lost a minimum of $130 million on the sale. Argentina’s first reactor was built in 1974 by West Germany. The deal included a pilot reprocessing plant, a second, larger reprocessing plant is under construction. Expected to be completed in 1984, it will produce enough plutonium to make 10 bombs per year.
West Germany won the bid to build a third reactor in 1979, beating out Canada. The deal included a Swiss heavy water plant. Later the Soviet Union agreed to supply heavy water and enriched uranium which the U.S. had supplied in the past. The Soviet Union has also built a fuel rod plant near Buenos Aires.
Argentina refuses to sign the NPT, but allows limited IAEA inspections of selected facilities. Argentina also insists on its right to proceed with ‘peaceful nuclear explosions.’ “
Several large uranium mines are under development. Argentina has also signed nuclear co-operation agreements with India (one week before the 1974 explosion), Israel, Libya and Brazil (none are full NPT members).
Pakistan has a 137 Mw CANDU reactor which began operating in 1971. After the 1974 India explosion, Canada pressured Pakistan to accept safeguards on its reactor. Pakistan refused. Canada then stopped all nuclear assistance, including the flow of replacement parts, fuel rods, and equipment for a fuel fabrication plant. The reactor continues to run, however, and makes enough plutonium to make five bombs per year.
Pakistan tried to buy a massive plutonium reprocessing plant from France. The sale was cancelled in 1976 under U.S. pressure. It was later found that the French company had delivered 95 per cent of the blueprints to Pakistan anyway.
A top Pakistani nuclear scientist was convicted in absentia of stealing blueprints from a European uranium enrichment plant in the early 1970s. He now supervises an enrichment plant-under construction at Kahuta.
Pakistan has purchased large amounts of uranium from Niger, which is ‘laundered’ through Libya. Much of Pakistan’s weapons programme has been bankrolled by Libya’s Colonel Quadaffi.
Pakistan has obtained uranium enrichment components through an industrial espionage network which operated in Britain, West Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, the U.S. and Canada.
Pakistan refused to sign the NPT but allows restricted IAEA inspections at the CANDU reactor.
Pakistan has a pilot uranium enrichment plant, one uranium refinery, plutonium separation labs, and one heavy water plant.
Excerpted from The Nuclear Free Press 21, Spring 1984.
Roy McFarlane (reviewer) — June 1984
Transcripts from the conference initiated by the American Friends Service Committee, New England Regional Office. 122 pages..,(Cambridge, 1983; AFSC.)
Reviewed by Patrick McDonald
It is an unfortunate truth that, in the struggle to mobilize our fellow citizens’ opinion against Armageddon, single issues such as the cruise missile are more easily presented to the public than the broader pattern of inherently complex realities which underlie such symbolic issues.
Nevertheless, to be truly effective and informed advocates of disarmament, we owe it to ourselves to be familiar with significant implications of the arms race, other than that of a possible exchange of force between the US and the USSR.
This book is a collection of papers presented at a conference held in December 1982 at M.I.T. Organized by the AFSC, it drew the abilities of many personalities prominent in the disarmament field to bear on an alternate but vital consideration in the broad scenario of human survival in nuclear age: increased ,and apparently actively premeditated military action by the US in the Third World.
Although the many facets of this situation are examined from viewpoints as seemingly diverse as the repression of political dissent in the Philippines and the aggressive actions of American client states such as South Africa, a consistent. and chilling pattern is common to most of the presentations.
- American interests are maintained to a considerable degree by totalitarian “client” regimes;
- Widespread and usually indigenous revolutionary activity has arisen in many of these territories.
- The United States’ strategy has been to establish conventional military unity of a strength and mobility designed expressly to overwhelm the military forces of most Third World nations and revolutionary movements while counting on a massive superiority in nuclear weapons to hold the Soviet- Union at bay should it wish to contest any invasions or interventions resulting from this strategy.
Daniel Ellsberg and Noam Chomsky trace the historic roots of this policy ably and with well” documented arguments to the period after World War II and during most of the 1950s when, for a time, the US could in many instances dictate terms to the Soviet Union by directly or indirectly threatening to use its. nuclear arsenal, an arsenal which began by being unique and which later remained overwhelmingly superior.
The Soviet Union’s determined effort to close this gap following their humiliation during the Cuban missile crisis has resulted in a rough parity in nuclear strength at this time between the two nations.
The participants make a strong case for the argument that current American rearmament concepts are an attempt to return to those days of apparent invincibility – a period in which American military strength assumed virtually mythological dimensions and when the US felt it could send commandments carved in stone tablets to any part of the world and have them obeyed.
It is perhaps because this concept is a myth that this understanding is not so much Quixotic as potentially devastating. Christopher Paine- and Paul Walker demonstrate that, in order to, support Third World intervention in conventional terms, the development of nuclear deterrence has drifted more and more into the realm of first-strike scenarios. This development has been one of momentum rather than purposeful direction.
The authors reveal that the albeit relatively stable nuclear tension between East and West lies not in the nature of deterrence itself, but on the Third World foundation, the stability of which is decreasing rapidly. It is sobering indeed that events in Grenada, Latin America and the Philippines subsequent to the conference have strongly supported their thesis.
The only problem the reader may encounter in the 1983 edition is the large number of misprints; and in many of the later articles, omissions of entire pages of text, which make it difficult if not impossible to derive meaningful information from some of these presentations. If a later and corrected edition becomes available, however, the informed citizen would do well to invest a few hours in the reading of this book.
— June 1984
Jim Garrison and Pyare Shivpuri. Gateway Books. Distributed by Scholarly Books Services. Paperback $12.95.
“The Russians are believed to be ‘the greatest threat to peace’ by 75%of the public in virtually all of the 16 nations in the NATO alliance,”
The above statement is made in the concluding chapter of The Russian Threat. Jim Garrison and Pyare Shivpuri wrote their book to address this belief. In so doing they examine the current situations in Poland and Afghanistan, and answer the often-asked question “Do the Russians want to rule the world?”
Garrison and Shivpuri pick out the fine detail of the actions and statements of both the Soviet Union and the United States. Actions and statements which, over the decades, have increased the tensions between the world’s two most powerful nations. Tensions which lead the human race toward annihilation.
The authors are not Soviet apologists – they portray the Soviets as being collectively paranoid. The purges, show trials, mass murders and excessive cruelty of the Stalin regime are seen as the forbears of the subtler techniques of repression employing psychiatric treatment and internal exile.
Neither, however, are successive American administrations innocent of any wrongdoing. The authors detail the CIA involvement in the ousting of Salvador Allende from elected office in Chile, and they list the numerous occasions of American military intervention in Central America. And, clearly, the United States has been the pacesetter in the nuclear arms race, while the Soviet Union strives continually to keep up.
The Russian Threat is outstanding in its depth and scope. Whether the authors are discussing the relationship between each superpower and their respective alliances, the development of space-based weapons systems, or the psychological process of denial, they encompass more facts than any comparable study.
A sense of hopelessness may, on occasion, overtake the reader. The Russian Threat holds nothing back. The retelling of one woman’s story of torture by the Turkish government reveals that the human race has hot lost its capacity for barbarism – after continued beatings, hanging by her wrists from a pipe, her tormentors ran electric current through her body by way of her vagina.
If governments can sanction treatment such as this, it is conceivable that governments could sanction the use of nuclear weapons. In point of fact, both the Soviet Union and the United States have strategies which include scenarios for waging and ‘winning’ nuclear war.
A tightly-written, exceptionally readable book, The Russian Threat is highly recommended. It strips away the rhetoric and reveals the greatest threat facing humanity itself – nuclear war itself.
— June 1984
Thomas L. Perry Jr., Editor. 335 pages, available from the B.C. Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Box 35426, Station E, Vancouver V6M 3H5.
Reviewed by Helen Ready
This soft-cover collection of articles contains the proceedings of a symposium held at the University of British Columbia on March 5 and 6, 1983.
Beginning with a foreword by Dr. David Suzuki and proceeding through an impressive series of presentations by knowledgeable and distinguished speakers, the book contains the essential elements to enable its readers to become ‘nuclear-literate.’
The relevance of the topic to the health professions is firmly established by the description by Dr. Thomas Perry, U.B.C. professor of pharmacology, pediatrician and neurochemist, of the projected effect of a nuclear attack on Vancouver and Calgary, and the effect on Canada and on the world of an all-out nuclear war. He makes the futility of any preplanning by the medical system for such events so perfectly clear that the only realistic action remaining is that of working to prevent such catastrophic events.
Dean Michael Pentz of the Faculty of Science, The Open University, Milton Keynes, U.K. provides a chilling overview of the “State of the art” of nuclear weaponry, describes how the danger of war by escalation, accident or mutual misperception is ever-increasing and the logical futility of the concept of deterrence.
In “A Military Man Looks at the Nuclear Freeze,” Admiral Eugene Carroll, US Navy (Ret.), a man who has spent 37 years in support of the US National Defence Program, provides such a cogent argument why nuclear weapons serve no useful or rational military or political purpose- that this reviewer considers his article to be the keystone of the book.
As well as the numerous articles from noted speakers there are two articles devoted entirely to the cruise, Canada’s role in its testing, and the resultant weakening of Canada’s reputation and moral authority in the community of nations. These are crucial readings for Canadians.
The book is often scholarly, inescapably logical, deeply moving, contains a powerful call to action, and provides suggestions for how this action might be implemented. By addressing and answering so many facets of the nuclear issue through incorporating an excellent core of knowledge, this book serves as an ideal reference.
- Russia, America, the Bomb and the Fall of Western Europe, by Brian May. This book argues that the whole if Europe is afflicted by a crisis which transcends, but includes, that of the nuclear danger. Both East and West are handicapped by anachronistic thinking which could be disastrous. &22.75. Published by Routledge and Kegan Paul.
- The Dora Russell Reader, by Dora Russell. A peace activist since World War t, Russell has written and published vigorously for 60 years, and continues to do so today. With her husband, Bertrand Russell, she travelled to China and took part in the 1950s Women’s Caravan for Peace across Eastern Europe. $9.95. Published by Pandora Press. .
- Soviet Foreign Policy; The Brezhnev Years, by Robin Edmonds. Analysis of the Soviet Union’s rise to super-power status since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, and that nation’s relationship with the U.S.A. Edmonds assesses the foreign policy options now open to the new Soviet leadership and to the Western alliance. Cloth – $32.50; paper – $12.95. Oxford University Press.
- The Prisoners of Insecurity: Nuclear Deterrence, the Arms Race, and Arms Control, by Bruce Russett. Demonstrates that most of the fundamental questions about national security are political rather then technological, and questions the performance, use and function of weapons in the U.S. arsenal. Provides facts and figures necessary to an informed opinion and clarifies primary political issues. Cloth – $22.50; paper – $12.75. W.H. Freeman.
- The Cruise Missile, by Simon Rosenblum. Rosenblum discusses the cruise in context of US foreign policy, the debate over deployment in Europe, and the manifold implications of the cruise for Canada. Cloth $12.95; paper – $5.95, published by James Lorimer & Co.
- Safe and Sound: Disarmament and Development in the Eighties, by Clyde Sanger. Sanger provides a practical, understandable basis from which to consider the pros and cons of world disarmament. $8.95. Published by Deneau Publishers & Co.
- Arm Disarm for Peace: The Nuclear Threat and East-West Relations, edited by Waris Shere. Former and incumbent leaders from Britain, Canada, Germany and the United States as well as the secretaries-general of NATO and the Commonwealth address East-West relations, particularly the core problem of arms control. $9.95. Published by Hyperion Press.
- Winding Down: The Price of Defense, by the Boston Study Group. A study of the costs of the present-day arms race. The authors suggest that limitations on military expenditures may ultimately enhance, rather than diminish, the world’s security. Paper – $11.25. W.H. Freeman.
- Hope’s Half-Life, by Raymond Filip. The author directs his critical eye at the nuclear debate and takes potshots at both sides. However, Filip does not hide his bias – the nuclear arms race must be stopped. $5.95. Published by Vehicule Press.
- Women, Peace and Power, by Jo Vellacott. A look as the important role women have in the peace movement. Vellacott maintains that women’s rights are inseparable from the issue of peace, war and international order. $2.00. Published by Argenta Friends Press.
For a catalog of 30 taped lectures by disarmament activists and theorists, including Mary Kaldor, Richard Barnet, E.P. Thompson, Prof. Michael Howard, on alternative defense, spiritual and psychological aspects of the arms race; write to, Dunamis, St. James Church, 197 Piccadilly, London WIV 9LF.
- Nuclear Countdown: 27 min., 1978 United Nations. An outline of the history of international arms agreements and points out the increasing world insecurity as world nuclear arsenals build up. Designed for non-expert audiences. Available from the Metro Toronto Library Board.
- Dark Oracle: 90 min., 1982, colour. This f11m interweaves dramatic personal and human stories with rare, recently declassified footage of the secret world in which the hydrogen bomb is manufactured, tested and sold. Dark Circle shows the complex human costs of a nuclear economy. Available from DEC, 427 Bloor St. W., Toronto, MSS IX7; xxx-xxxx.